Archive for category New Moon
In our previous discussion, Beginning the New Year – Pt. 1, we addressed the issue of the Hebrew terms תקופה (tequphah) and תקופת (tequphath).
We learned that a tequphah is a solar event and is a point in time that could be an equinox or a solstice.
It was also recognized that a tequphath represents a season of the solar year. The two seasons for calculating Festival Days being spring-summer and autumn-winter.
With this in mind we will continue in Part 2 with an examination of the Festival of Tabernacles and the Festival of Ingathering. What we will discover is how they both relate to the determination of the scriptural New Year.
Khag of Tabernacles
We must next be cognizant of the difference between the use of the labels “the Khag (Festival) of Ingathering” and “the Khag of Tabernacles,” the latter forming only a part of the former. The instructions from Deuteronomy and Leviticus for the seven-day Khag of Tabernacles state:
When all of the window dressing is removed, we discover that the entire issue about when to begin the year rests with the instructions regarding the Khag of Ingathering and its tequphath (season of the year).
The late Jews tell of four תקופת (tequphath) of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), each calculated as a period following one of the days of a תקופה (tequphah): the vernal equinox, the summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice.1
It is also important for us not to confuse the occurrence of a tequphah (i.e., equinox or solstice) with the season (tequphath) although the same word is sometimes used in common speech for both.
To begin with, a tequphah (equinox or solstice), as spoken of by Scriptures, is a solar event, marking a point of passage of the earth around the sun. It represents a day wherein one of two visual effects occur.
1. A solstice day is a day when the sun, as seen along the earth’s horizon, reaches its furthest point of rising or setting either on the north or south.
2. On the day of an equinox, on the other hand, the rising and setting of the sun lies on the horizon precisely in the middle between the two solstice points. As a consequence, the length of the periods of daytime and nighttime on that day of the equinox are almost exactly equivalent.
The Hebrew word תקופת (tequphath)—various transliterated as tekufath, tequfoth, tequfath, and so forth—is a form of the term תקופה (tequphah)—tekufah, tequfah, and so forth. Tequphah is itself derived from the word קופ (quph), meaning to, “go round.”2 The term תקופה (tequphah) more precisely means, “a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse:—circuit, come about, end”;3 a “circuit,”4 “orbit of the sun . . . circle of the year.”5
Several questions that are usually brought forward by those concerned regarding the New Year are:
• What is the definition of a scriptural New Moon?
• Is a visible crescent of the moon required to begin the month?
• From what location does one need to determine the New Moon?
• Does one use the spring equinox to determine the month of Abib?
• Does one only use the “green ears of barley” formula for the month of Abib?
• Can one use only calculations for the New Moons?
• Does one use both the spring equinox and barley for the month of Abib?
• What group today has Yahweh’s truth and authority to proclaim and sanctify the true New Year?
• Can we rely on the current Jewish Calendar for the correct dates?
As you can surmise, there can exist much confusion as one tries to sort out the actual truth of the matter.
In previous articles, we have already discussed the issues of visible new moons and calculations as they relate to Yahweh’s sacred calendar.
In this particular discussion, we will address the validity of the so-called requirement of “green ears of barley” to determine the month of Abib and the beginning of Yahweh’s New Year.
For many, especially among those who assert to be followers of Yahweh, it seems that there exists an unfortunate commonality that runs contrary to what is advanced by Scriptures. This commonality can be labeled “Confusion.” Of course, this should raise a red flag as the following would indicate:
For the deity is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all assemblies of the saints. (1Cor. 14:33)
For example, this confusion can be demonstrated by the often divergent dates given by the various Sacred Name groups for Yahweh’s sacred days during any given year. For example, see Calendar Comparison.
Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to the issue of determining New Moons by visiblity or calculation, there are a number of questions one should consider when trying to ascertain Yahweh’s truth of the matter.
It seems that many people have been convinced by various religious leaders that not only must one actually see the visible crescent of the new moon but must also determine the greenness of the barley crop for the New Year.
These religious leaders purport to know and understand the true criteria for the determination of Yahweh’s calendar. They also claim their knowledge and understanding comes directly from Scriptures.
In addition, these religious leaders claim that their formula for determining New Moons emanates from Scriptures and is very simple. So simple that Yahweh has provided the means for virtually anyone to determine the beginning of months and years regardless of circumstance.
Well almost anyone. You might not be so fortunate if you don’t have 20-20 vision or are not a farmer.
There are many who actually believe that the Sabbath year begins with the seventh month of Tishri and not with the first month of Abib (Nisan).
It has also been extrapolated by many that not only should Sabbath years commence according to a Tishri reckoning but that every year should begin with the seventh month of Tishri.
If one believes that such a notion is found in Scriptures, then it is suggested that one take a closer look at the relevant facts of the matter.
In order to addess this issue we must contend with the concept that the Jews, from the time of their return to Judaea from Babylon in 538 B.C.E. until the end of the Bar Kochba revolt (135 C.E.), officially began their Sabbath years with Tishri 1 (Sep./Oct.) of the sixth year of the Sabbath cycle, as had become their custom sometime after the Bar Kochba war.
In Part 3 we will now put all the evidence together to discover not only the location of the SIDL but also if the observance of the Sabbath day in the Hawaiian Islands is affected.
Helpful hint: If you are reading this on Thursday afternoon while sunning yourself on the beach in Waikiki you just might want to order your last Mai Tai and close out the tab before sundown.
Our final conclusion will begin by referencing the scriptural definition for the International Dateline which begins with an important passage found in the book of Job:
The word חג (khug), which, as we have already demonstrated in Part 1, means a “circle, compass, arch.” The term חק (khoq) means, a “statute, law,” “something prescribed, a statute or due . . . prescribed limit, boundary, (BDBG: The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon)” “prescribed, appointed . . . boundary . . . set time . . . statute, (SHL: Student’s Hebrew Lexicon)” “portion, limit (of life) . . . specific time . . . moment . . . boundary, limit (for the sea) . . . definition, rule, prescription, (CHAL: A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament)” “an enactment; hence an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage. (Strongs, Heb. #2706)”
Together, these two words refer to a statute that appoints an arch-shaped line across the face of the water. Meanwhile, תכלית (thaklyth) means “completion; by impl. an extremity:—end perfect (-ion), (Strongs, Heb. #8503)” “end, completeness, (BDBG)” “completeness . . . end or limit, utmost part, (SHL)” “extremity . . . boundary . . . completeness, perfection. (HEL: Hebrew-English Lexicon. Zondervan Edition, 1970)” “consummation, extremity . . . to the end of. (CHAL)” The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon translates this verse to mean, “unto the end of (= boundary betw.) light and darkness,” while the Student’s Hebrew Lexicon gives, “on to the limit of light w. darkness, i.e. where they seem to be lost in one another.”
Therefore, there is a statute that appoints an arch-shaped line across the face of the water which extends out to the boundary between light and dark—which is nothing less than sunset. The LXX version of this verse tells us:
The Vulgate has, “terminum circumdedit aquis usque dum finiantur lux et tenebrae,” i.e., “A marked off boundary is placed around the waters, as far as lux et tenebrae (light of the sun and darkness of night) come to an end. (Vulgate Job 26:10)”
Several modern translations of the MT (Masoretic Text) also express the meaning.
The New International Version, for example, gives an excellent translation when it states, “He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.”
Rotherham similarly has, “A boundary hath he encircled on the face of the waters, As far as where light ends in darkness,” footnoting as a clarification, “Unto the end of (= boundary betwn.) light and darkness.”
The New Jerusalem Bible, in the same vein, gives, “He has traced a ring on the surface of the waters, at the boundary between light and dark,” commenting in his notes that by the expression “traced a ring” it is to be understood as, “circumscribed a limit.”
We can also point to the Jewish Publication Society bible, which renders the passage, “He hath described a boundary upon the face of the waters, Unto the confines of light and darkness.”
Why a Statute Associated With Water?
This statement from Job 26:10, accordingly, has far-reaching ramifications with regard to the Scriptural International Dateline. First we must ask, “Why is a statute connected with the תכלית (thaklyth; boundary between, extremity, limit, completion) of light BESIDE darkness, and why, in turn, are these words connected with the face of the water?”
Light and darkness pass over the landscape every day. Why, then, does this verse consider it something that occurs “as far as,” i.e., away from Israel, and connects it with water?
As the New International Version clarifies, the ordinance that marks out the horizon on the face of the water is connected with the boundary between the light of daytime and the darkness of night. It, therefore, represents the stationary boundary between one date and the next.
In Scriptures, a new day begins with sunset. Also, the sun is constantly setting as the earth turns. With sunset the calculation from one day to the next is always moving across the landmass and oceans. Yet, the boundary between daylight and darkness in this passage from Job is a demarcation point between one day and the next across the horizon of the waters.
Therefore, the terms “statute” combined with “as far as the boundary between” and “upon the face of the waters” indicates something special that is only connected with the face of the waters.
It cannot merely mean the completion of a day, which occurs everywhere the sun is seen setting, but the completion or ending point in a legal sense of the Scriptural International Dateline. Furthermore, this verse indicates that the legal dateline is connected with the face of the waters and not with any landmass.
The Torah Goes Forth From Zion
We must also place this verse from Job in context with those pronouncing that “the Torah will go forth from Zion (Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:2),” Jerusalem is “the center of nations (Ezek. 5:5),” and the land of Israel is “the center of the earth (Ezek. 38:8-18).”
These comments mean that the moadim (appointed times) are calculated from Mount Zion and the throne of Yahweh in Jerusalem, all being located within the land of Israel.
The “part of” rule precludes the Promised Land (or any land, for that matter) from being divided by an International Dateline running through its midst (for the “part of” rule, see pp. 6-7 of “Rules for the New Moon”). Yet, it would indicate that Zion is the Scriptural Prime Meridian (center of the day).
In fact, we know that Israelites, such as Daniel and those living in Babylonia who lived in the lands well to the east of Jerusalem, calculated their days the same as at Jerusalem but started their Sabbath at sunset a half an hour or more prior to its beginning in Jerusalem, which also started at sunset.
SIDL Opposite Israel
If Israel is the center, then it is also implied that the Scriptural International Dateline is on the opposite side of the earth (the beginning/end of the day) and is connected with the water. Key is the fact that the date changes not along an arbitrary longitude but with the line of sunset as it extends along the surface of the earth.
Next, notice that in the above verse from Job 26:10, that light is mentioned before darkness, i.e., “as far as the boundary between light beside darkness.” This brings us to our next three important scriptural statements.
In Psalms, we are told that Yahweh has “called the earth ממזרח שמש (ma-mizrakh shamash; from the place of the rising of the sun) as far as from its going in, (Ps. 50:1)”and, Yahweh has blessed his name from now to olam (a world age), “from the place of the rising of the sun as far as from its going in.(Ps. 113:2)”
In Malachi we are told, “For from the place of the rising of the sun and as far as from its going in, my name (Yahweh) shall be great among the nations. (Mal. 1:11)”
Why limit Yahweh’s realm only from the place of sunrise to the place of sunset, i.e., only during the daytime, and avoiding the night?
Yahweh’s Realm is Light
A legal sense is given these verses by their use of the words “called” and “blessed.” In addition, scripturally, Yahweh is the deity ruling the light, while the evil one rules the darkness. Yahweh blesses and calls the righteous to stand within his light, but darkness (the first half of the day) rules first, then comes the light of day.
The symbolism, as a result, is manifest. With sunset and darkness, a new day begins, first governed by the evil one. Yet with sunrise and daytime comes the enlightenment of Yahweh, who governs the children of light.
Observe that when this concept is expressed in this fashion, the calling and blessing of Yahweh extends only from the place of the sun’s rising to the place of the sun’s setting.
Mt. Zion is the Scriptural Prime Meridian
Next, Zion is the point of calculation for a legal day but cannot represent the Scriptural International Dateline due to the “part of” rule. Accordingly, Mt. Zion must be the Scriptural Prime Meridian (i.e., the center of nations, of the earth, and of the day), the meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west are reckoned.
At the same time, the setting of the sun determines the beginning of a new day. Yet, when one begins a calculation from sunrise, he is calculating from the center of the 24 hour scriptural day.
Since Mount Zion is the Scriptural Prime Meridian (center) and the place from which one properly makes these calculations, it becomes clear that at the moment of sunrise (symbolic of the beginning of Yahweh’s rule on earth and the center of the 24 hour day), as seen from Mount Zion, it marks the center of an important boundary.
As one looks to the east as far as where the sun is shining, the region of the legal calling and blessing of Yahweh, he finds it extends to the place of sunset and darkness.
It is the line of sunset as it falls across the earth’s surface that marks the beginning of the next day, thus the legal stationary boundary for the dateline. Therefore, the dateline is drawn along the line of sunset across the surface of the water, not along some imaginary longitude invented by men.
Furthermore, instead of using midnight as the time of a date change, Scriptures uses sunset. Only at the moment when sunset reaches the Scriptural International Dateline does the date on the planet become entirely the same. As sunset moves to the west of the dateline, the new date follows with it.
It is interesting that on the day of the vernal equinox, which stands at the center between the winter and summer solstices, the 12-hour period of daytime is most equal with the 12-hour period of nighttime.
SIDL is 180° From Jerusalem
This detail, in turn, indicates that, at the moment of sunrise from Mount Zion on the day of the vernal equinox, the line of sunset, the Scriptural International Dateline, is approximately 180° from Jerusalem on the opposite side of the earth.
This detail conforms with the statement that Jerusalem is the center of nations and Israel is the center of the earth. Yet, this demarcation of sunset does not run along any of the modern longitude lines, which are arbitrary—although on the day of the equinox the scriptural dateline is very near parallel.
Rather, it follows the sunset boundary across the surface of the earth which represents a stationary line acting as the Scriptural International Dateline.
Based upon all the evidence given in Parts 1-3, the Scriptural International Dateline is determined as follows:
1. The “part of” rule (see pp. 6-7 of Rules for the New Moon) would preclude any landmass from being divided by the Scriptural International Dateline.
2. Zion is the point of calculation for a legal day but cannot represent the Scriptural International Dateline due to the “part of” rule. Accordingly, it must be the Scriptural Prime Meridian, the center of the earth and nations, the meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west are reckoned.
3. Job’s statement, “A statute circumscribes upon the face of the waters as far as the boundary between light beside darkness” indicates that the prescribed “boundary between” the “light beside darkness,” a phrase which itself would refer to an International Dateline along a horizon, must be connected with water and not with land.
4. At the time of sunrise in Jerusalem, the center of the day, the day is exactly one half over—12 hours have passed to the west and 12 hours yet remain from the approaching sunset in the east. This detail corresponds with the scriptural concept that Israel is the center of the earth.
It also indicates that, at the time of the vernal equinox, which is also a center point that begins the year, sunset (the beginning of the day) is approximately 180° to both the east and the west.
5. The Scriptural International Dateline is determined at sunrise on Mount Zion and, therefore, is subject to the regulations of the sun. The Scriptural International Dateline, which is marked out by the time of sunrise in Jerusalem, in turn, must be determined by the beginning of the solar cycle of the year.
The solar cycle of the year begins at the moment of the vernal equinox. As a result, the vernal equinox is the day by which we measure our limits for the dateline. It is at this precise time of the year that we have the closest to 12 equal hours of daytime and nighttime.
In turn, the vernal equinox in connection with the autumnal equinox determine the placement of the festival days within the solar year. In doing so, they set the timing for the first month and the first day of the year. The vernal equinox, therefore, must also be used to determine the Scriptural International Dateline. It is determined this one time for the entire year.
6. By determining the time of sunrise at Jerusalem, the point of calculation, one extends the daytime realm eastward to the point of sunset, the beginning of the next day (date).
7. The legal definition of “from sunrise to sunset” would extend eastward from the Scriptural Prime Meridian at the point of sunrise to the point of sunset, which in turn becomes the Scriptual Antimeridian or Scriptural International Dateline.
8. On the day of the vernal equinox the shadow of sunset encircles the entire planet, enabling us to mark the dateline across the entire globe, from the north axis to the south axis points. As a result, since sunset extends from pole to pole on this day, the dateline can be extended into the Arctic and Antarctic zones.
Nevertheless, the Scriptural International Dateline cannot be utilized by observing sunset in the Arctic and Antarctic zones, again due to the “part of” rule, since there is no rising and setting of the sun each 24-hour spin of the earth for 365 days a year. These polar regions, which we refer to as the Arctic and Antarctic zones, include all the area above the arctic and below the antarctic circles. Here one sunrise to sunset or vice versa can last several weeks or months.
Since a sunset may not occur for days, these regions are inconsequential to the daily use of a scriptural dateline, although once a line is established it can be utilized in these zones by calcuation, just as one would calculate the hours of a 24-hour day, despite the day and night cycle.
This evidence indicates that the Scriptural International Dateline runs across the horizon of the water and around any landmass which might be divided by it. It follows the line of sunset across the surface of the earth marked at the very moment that sunrise is occurring on the day of the vernal equinox as occurring from Mount Zion. Calculations show that on this day, from year to year, the line of sunset will vary, but only slightly.
Also, it should be noted that it would be erratic to change the dateline every year. Scriptures make it clear that Yahweh does not change (Mal. 3:6), which implies consistency. Therefore, it becomes obvious that a consistent scriptural theme must be established.
Using both the earliest and latest possible times from dawn until the moment of equinox shows that the sunset line varies only about 2° (between 141° W to 143° W) in the north. In addition, the variance is minimized as the line passes through French Polynesia, varying very little through these islands.
Following the “part of” rule, the dateline would, by necessity, have to skirt around the western side of Alaska, since the sunset line crosses that landmass.
By computing the relevant data and applying scriptural principles, the Scriptural International Dateline would run south from the Arctic zone, through the Bering Strait, passing on the west side of Alaska (at about 142.10°), then though Unimak Pass in the Aleutian island chain, the first major separation in landmass.
The islands lying just on the east side of Unimak Island set inside its arm, therefore, are also on the eastern side of the dateline.
From Unimak Pass the line will go directly east to the sunset line, turn south, and pass along this line through the vast open expanse of the Pacific Ocean east of Hawaii (at about 142.53° W), and then through the South Sea islands (at about 142.58° W) down to the Antarctic zone.
In particular, notice that the Hawaiian Islands are located east of the modern Antimeridian but also lie west of the Scriptural International Dateline.
In effect, this means that the Sabbath day along with the High Sabbaths would be observed one day earlier in the Hawaiian Islands than mainland U.S.A. and Canada.
Others falling into the same circumstance would be the Wallis and Futuna Islands, Samoa, and French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Tahiti, etc.).
In other words, if you happen to be sunning yourself at the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii on a Thursday afternoon you had better get ready to observe the Sabbath day at sundown. And you might want to refrain from ordering another Mai Tai!
Check out the following graphic to see how the SIDL lays out.
We concluded our previous excursion in Part 1 by providing various references proving that Scriptures demonstrate the concept of a round or spherical earth.
As we proceed in our quest for discovering the Scriptural International Dateline, in Part 2 we will investigate other sources supporting the idea of a spherical earth.
These sources will include ancient and late Jewish views along with references from ancient Greek philosophers and geographers. Also, additional citations from Scriptures will be provided.
So you’re enjoying your vacation with the family while sunning yourself on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii with no worries. You’ve made all the preparations for the Sabbath day which begins tomorrow at sundown.
As you are sipping on that refreshing Mai Tai suddenly an ugly thought occurs. Because of the location of the Hawaiian Islands in relationship to the International Dateline, could the Sabbath day begin on a different date? If so, would it begin one day earlier or later?
One quick solution to the problem would be to quickly order another Mai Tai, down it, and hope that ugly thought disappears.
Another solution would be to continue reading as we proceed with our investigation to discover if there really should be any concern regarding the Sabbath day in Hawaii.
Because of the wide range of opinions prevailing among the various followers of Yahweh there seems to be no unified consensus regarding the truth as how to determine the beginning of the scriptural new year.
At the same time, all claim to possess the truth of the matter while insisting that they have derived their conclusions directly from Scriptures.
What we are left with are two possibilities:
1. One conclusion is correct.
2. All conclusions are wrong.
For the sake of simplicity let us proceed with the possibility that all are wrong. All we are trying to do is clear away the confusion to get at the heart of the matter. Once we are finished only Yahweh’s truth should prevail.
All you would have to do is add 28 days to the date of the last new moon. Then go outside and look low toward the western sky at sundown. Keep looking for up to two hours or so.
If you don’t see anything then repeat the process the next day and so forth until you do. Simple stuff or so it seems.
It would have been simple except for the fact that when you personally did this awhile back a friend called you and said “Happy New Year” and proceeded to tell you that he saw the new moon.
Unfortunately you never saw the the thin crescent of the new moon even though you carefully scrutinized the early evening sky.
Because of this precarious situation you proceeded to disagree with your friend’s conclusion. You questioned if he was wearing his eyeglasses, using binoculars or a telescope. You even questioned if he had been drinking any alcoholic beverages prior to his sighting. Many more questions were asked and needless to say the conversation did not go well.
Then there was the time you actually did see the new moon for the New Year and you were sure you got it right this time. Well that worked until someone said you were wrong because the barley wasn’t ripe enough therefore you were one month off. At this point a slight sense of frustration set in with the realization that maybe you just weren’t qualified (smart enough) to figure these things out. Best to stick with the experts (religious leaders) to get it right.
So simple enough (and we do want to keep things simple), you proceeded to consult various religious leaders, elders, and teachers of Scriptures. Now things began getting rather messy. Virtually no one could give you a consistent answer.
New Moon Guesswork
You now come to the stark reality: It’s been “New Moon guesswork” all along.
So as a last resort to arrive at the correct answer you set out to determine which Sacred Name group, among others, had the most followers as this would be the best criteria for arriving at Yahweh’s truth. Surely large numbers of people cannot all be deceived and besides Yahweh just would not permit it. All is simple now and you could relax.
Amazing stuff! Amazing because it seems the New Moon controversy has been going on for over 2000 years with no end in sight! The truth of the matter is that the controversy can be ended if one carefully investigates Scriptures with an unbiased mind. We will proceed to do just that as we proceed.
New Moon Clarity
Let’s start with the fairly good premise that Yahweh wants mankind to observe his commanded festival and sacred days. (Exod. 23:14-17; Deut. 16:16)) Yahweh has also furnished us with a timing mechanism to observe these days at their proper times. For instance:
And eloahim said, Let there be luminaries in the open expanse of the heavens to divide between the daytime and the nighttime and let them be for signs and for moadim (appointed times) and for days and years; and let them be for illuminations in the open expanse of the heaven to give light on the eretz (land); and it was so. And eloahim made the two great luminaries: the great luminary for ruling the daytime and the smaller luminary for ruling the nighttime, and the stars. And eloahim set them in the open expanse of the heaven to give light upon the eretz and to rule over the daytime and over the night, and to separate between the light and the darkness. (Genesis 1:14-18)
Give thanks to Yahweh . . . to him who made the great lights; for his mercy is world-age lasting; the sun to rule in the daytime, for his mercy is world-age lasting; THE MOON AND THE STARS TO RULE IN THE NIGHTTIME, for his mercy is world-age lasting. (Psalms 136:1, 7-9)
Thus says Yahweh who gives the sun for a light by daytime and STATUTES OF THE MOON AND STARS FOR A LIGHT OF NIGHTTIME. (Jeremiah 31:35)
He (Yahweh) made the MOON FOR THE MOADIM (appointed times), the sun knows where he enters in. (Psalms 104:19)
Moon and Stars Rule Nighttime
It seems very clear that the statutes of the moon along with the stars are used to determine the the moadim (appointed times) of Yahweh. Therefore the legal authority of the moon and stars is during the nighttime while the authority of the sun is the daytime. Indeed, in Scriptures the days of the month as well as all the moadim are always counted by the 24-hour legal days of the moon, which begin at sunset.
Now that we have some facts it would be helpful to know from what location on the earth should the calculations of time be legally considered?
For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Yahweh from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
Seems that Scriptures are rather clear and unambiguous.
Most everyone realizes that the phenomena of the phases of the moon is caused by the moon’s revolution around the earth in relation to the sun. This lunar circuit takes about 29.5 days to complete and then the process repeats. Our modern months are based upon this cycle.
The point of completion of the lunar cycle is when the moon goes into conjunction with the sun. When the moon begins leaving its conjunction with the sun the rebuilding or renewing of the lunar cycle is commenced.
So, at minimum, there would be some kind of relationship with the moon completing its cycle for it to renew or rebuild along with the statute regarding the legal authority with nighttime. One might assume that the visual sighting of the New Moon crescent is required per Yahweh’s statute since in no way does this conflict with the concept of the rebuilding of the lunar cycle or new moon.
No Scriptural Command to See Crescent
One should make note of the fact that nowhere in Scriptures is there a command for one to actually see a visible crescent of the moon to determine a new moon.
A possible scenario would be that everyone in the general location of Mt. Zion/Jerusalem would diligently look for the visual crescent of the moon only to be disappointed by the fact that clouds were obstructing the moon and sun.
The next option would be to review the mathematics, for you wouldn’t be looking in the first place if there wasn’t some simple arithmetic at play.
Then there is the added problem of the simple math not being able to reveal a visible lunar crescent because the degree of separation of the moon and sun was too close to call.
Abraham Knew How to Calculate
But then you might say that Yahweh had to make it simple for a simple people who did not have the capability to perform the required complex calculations of new moons therefore he implemented the simple visual rule. Besides, aren’t we talking about farmers, sheep herders, and nomads of the desert?
Somehow even simple Abraham was able to keep Yahweh’s statutes correctly.
Because Abraham obeyed my (Yahweh’s) voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my STATUTES, and my laws. (Genesis 26:5)
Surely Abraham could not know about such things as mathematics and precise calculations. Unless, of course, there might be some evidence to the contrary. Josephus states:
HE (ABRAM) COMMUNICATED TO THEM (EGYPTIANS) ARITHMETIC, AND DELIVERED TO THEM THE SCIENCE OF ASTRONOMY; for before Abram came into Egypt they were unacquainted with those parts of learning; for that science came from the Chaldeans into Egypt, and from thence to the Greeks also. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1:8:2)
Seems that Abram was a little smarter than you might have thought.
Yahweh’s Clock Always Works
So what we have so far is evidence of Yahweh setting up a clock that all of mankind could use to accurately keep the statutes of his festivals and sacred days. It is only logical that Yahweh would teach mankind how to understand the clock and its calculations.
This would also mean that the clock would work regardless of man’s handicap of poor eyesight or clouds obstructing the sky.
When one does the research there can be found much evidence revealing that the ancients and later Jewish factions recognized the scriptural validity of mathematical calculations regarding the determination of the new moon.
For a more thorough discussion of the matter please refer to the article by Qadesh La Yahweh Press titled “Rules for the New Moon.”
After perusing the referenced article, the subsequent information will be just a bit easier to follow. This is how it works and you really don’t need good eyesight or be concerned with any clouds in the sky.
How Yahweh’s Clock Works
Before one can determine the first day of the month you actually need to determine when the last day of the month occurs. Sort of logical.
In reality, the actual purpose of the conjunction is to determine the last day of the month. This is a lunar event and therefore can only legally be counted during the nighttime of a 24-hour day.
If the conjunction occurs during the nighttime then that 24-hour day is legally considered the last day of the month. The next day beginning at sunset is New Moon day.
On the other hand if the conjunction occurs during the daytime then the following day at sunset is legally counted as the last day of the month. This is because of the “part of” rule as explained in “Rules for the New Moon.” New Moon day will commence with the second sunset after conjunction.
Keep in mind, the New Moon day is based upon the position of the moon as it relates to Mount Zion during the nighttime.
By now some of you are thinking that all this just can’t be true because, based upon the presented information, there will be some new moons occurring that will not have a visible crescent after sundown.
If one is worried about not being able to see the thin crescent of the moon then the following bears repeating, “One should make note of the fact that nowhere in Scriptures is there a command for one to actually see a visible crescent of the moon to determine a new moon.”
For now, this should be enough information for the reader to ponder for awhile and besides, the issue of the green ears of barley wasn’t even addressed which are purportedly needed in addition to a visible New Moon crescent for the New Moon day which begins the scriptural New Year.
For the discussion regarding “green ears of barley” please refer to:
If you are looking for more good material regarding Yahweh’s calendar be sure to check out another publication by QLYP titled: “The Festivals and Sacred Day of Yahweh.”