Archive for category New Moon

Beginning the New Year – Pt. 2

moon3In 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:

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Beginning the New Year – Pt. 1

moon3When 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).

Preliminary Statement
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 Tequphath
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

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The Abib and Barley Error – Pt. 1

barleyAs springtime approaches that same old controversy rears its ugly head once again among the many followers of Yahweh concerning the beginning of the New Year.

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.

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Seeking Yahweh’s Truth

yhwh-11For 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.
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New Moons – Visibility or Calculation?


When it comes to the issue of determining New Moons by visibility or calculation, there are a number of questions one should consider when trying to ascertain Yahweh’s truth of the matter.

It seems that various religious leaders have convinced many people 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.

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Sabbath Year – Tishri Fallacy-Part 1

For those who are interested in observing the Sabbath years it would be very beneficial, at least from Yahweh’s perspective, to know what month actually begins the Sabbath year, Abib or Tishri.

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.

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New Year’s Day Dilemma

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.

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New Moon Clarity

So you want to know when the month begins, scripturally speaking, that is. For many, especially those who claim to be seekers of Yahweh’s truth, that’s easy.

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 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 wondered 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. Everything 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 debate can be ended if one carefully investigates Scriptures with an unbiased mind. We will proceed to do just that as we continue.

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 moadim (appointed times) of Yahweh. Therefore the legal authority of the moon and stars is during the nighttime. In contrast, 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.

From Jerusalem
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)

It 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 current 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 a 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 visible 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, sheepherders, 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)

It 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 keep the statutes of his festivals and sacred days accurately. 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 following information will be just a bit easier to comprehend. 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 that 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 a 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. 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:

The Abib and Barley Error – Pt. 1
The Abib and Barley Error – Pt. 2

If you are looking for more informative material regarding Yahweh’s calendar, be sure to check out another publication by QLYP titled: “The Festivals and Sacred Days of Yahweh.”

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