The New Moon

Part 1

 

Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

 

This article will be on the feast of the New Moon. 

 

There are as many mysteries of the bible, as there are people who are willing to interpret, their meaning.  One of the mysteries which have always perplexed me can be found in the book of Colossians 2:16: (NKJV)

‘So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a Festival or a New moon or Sabbaths.”

 

For those who have read my previous articles you know that it is quite common for me to quote this verse; it is a centerpiece in many of my writings.  We are commanded to keep the Festivals or Feasts of God.  We are also commanded to keep the Sabbaths.  Not only are we commanded to keep the Festivals and to keep the Sabbaths but, the bible says that they are Holy!!

 

Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV)

 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.”

 

 

Leviticus 23:4 (NKJV)

 “These are the feasts of the Lord, Holy Convocations, which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”

For those who do not know, a Holy Convocations is a meeting with the two or more people where God is present.

 

Matthew 18:20(NKJV)

 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Something is holy when God is present.

 

Exodus 3:5

 “Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ ”

 

The place where Moses stood was holy ground, because the Creator was there in the burning bush. He has placed Himself, through His spirit, into the days of the Sabbath and the Feasts. Just as He placed himself, through His Spirit, into the burning bush.  So I began to think that if the Festivals or Feasts of God are holy, and his Sabbaths are holy, and the new Moon is mentioned directly between them; then perhaps the new Moon is also holy.

 

I then began to wonder is it even something that we must keep or celebrate.  I mean there it is as plain as day.  So I began to seek out the answers to this mystery.  As in all things that I write I allow the bible to do its own interpretation.  I do not guess or speculate on the word of God; I do however accept without question the answers that the word of God gives me.  So on that note let us began to find the answers to this mystery of the new Moon.


The next question that I posed was; it ever commanded by God to keep this feast, and did anyone ever celebrate it in the bible.  Just for reference, any words that I define will come from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and all bible verses will come from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

 

1 Samuel 20:5 is the first place that I could find in the bible where the new Moon is mentioned, not only is it mentioned but it seems to be a big deal; at least it seems to me that is how David views it.

 

1 Samuel 20:5

 “And David said to Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening. “

The new Moon is mentioned in this next verse with the Sabbath once again.

 

Let us turn to 2 Kings 4:23

“So he said, ’Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.’ ”

 

Based on this scripture it would seem that Elisha equates the new Moon with the Sabbath in terms of not doing any laborious tasks; this is an important clue; Elisha is a prophet of God and he certainly would not compare the Sabbath with just any day.

 

 Amos 8:5

“Saying: ’When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?” ‘

 

And again we see that new Moon and the Sabbath are compared to each other.  One of the reasons, not the only reason, but a very important reason the Israelites were given over to slavery was because they broke the seventh day Sabbath.  Amos is saying that the merchants of his day would not sell merchandise on the Sabbath or the new Moon they would wait until it was over.

 

There are more Sabbaths then just the seventh day Sabbath.  Leviticus 23 has a list of the yearly feasts. As you read through this list please note that most of them are also Sabbaths.  The very first feast listed is the weekly Sabbath.  The next Sabbath listed is the Feast of Unleavened Bread; the first day and the last days of the seven day feast or Sabbaths.

 

Leviticus 23:7

On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.”  But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.”

Now let’s compare that to Leviticus 23:3

 “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”

 

Exodus 31:13

 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.’”


Notice that the word Sabbaths is plural, there are other Sabbaths.  How are we supposed to keep these Sabbaths?

 

Exodus 31:14

You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.”


The Sabbath days are days of rest.   They are not days in which work is to be done.  Working on the Sabbath day was a sin worthy of death.

 

Nehemiah 10:31

“If the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year’s produce and the exacting of every debt.”

 

Not only was it unlawful to work on the Sabbath, but it was also unlawful to buy or sell.  So with this information let us go back and look once more at 

 

Amos 8:5:

“Saying: ’When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?” ‘


You could not work on the Sabbath or buy and sell on the Sabbath, and if you could not work on the new Moon or buy and sell on the new Moon then it would seem that the New Moon is a Sabbath.  If it smells like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, and walks like a duck then it is a duck.

If the new Moon is a Sabbath, then what is a Sabbath, other than a day of rest?

 

Exodus 31:17

 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

 

Exodus 31:13

13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

 

Exodus 31:16-17

“Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenantIt is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

 

The Sabbath day is a sign from the Creator to His people.  It is a sign to let them and the world know that the One who redeemed the children of Israel from slavery into freedom, the One who redeemed them from a lie to the truth, the One who redeemed them from death to life was, the Creator of the universe.

 

Exodus 31:16-17

 “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

 

Whether it is the seventh day Sabbath, or a yearly Sabbath, they are all Holy to our Lord.

 

It is obvious just from the couple of scriptures I referenced that the new Moon is something special, and if it is a Sabbath day than it is very special to our Lord.  So as a child of God we must know, for sure, if this New Moon, which is mentioned many times in the Bible, is a Feast, and if it is, are we to keep this feast known as the New Moon.


So let us start with the Moon itself.  What does the bible say it is and what is its purpose?

 

Genesis 1:3-5

 “Then God said, Let there be light’; and there was light.  And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

 

This scripture of course is the beginning of the creation chapter.  This takes place on the first day of creation.  If we look closely we will see that it even though light is being placed upon the earth nowhere is the Moon mentioned.  He is bringing light to the earth.  Darkness was already there. God called the darkness night and the light day. This became the first day; the first mention of how we are to keep time.

 

Let us now go forward to the fourth day of creation.

 

Genesis 1:14

 “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night;’ “

 

On this day God begins to create other lights, and he has placed these lights in the heavens. Their first purpose is to divide the day from a night.  Again we see that the function of light, first and foremost, is too separate the day from the night. It is to calculate time.  Let us see what else these lights are to be used for.

 

Genesis 1:14

And let them be for signs and seasons and for days and years;”


So what are these lights?

 

Genesis 1:16

 “Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

 

 

Jeremiah 31:35

“Thus says the Lord, ‘Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar? The Lord of hosts is His name.’”

 

So we see that the greater light that rules the day is the sun and the lesser lights which rule the night are the stars.  The moon of course is mentioned by name, but its purpose is exactly stated.  These three lights are for the purpose of giving men signs, telling them the seasons, and calculating the days and years.  Let us look at each one of these functions and see how the Moon plays a part.

 

Let us start with the first function mentioned; signs.  How does the Moon give us signs? 

 

Isaiah 13:9-10

 “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. “


The event which is going to take place is “The Day of the Lord”.  So how will we know when “The Day of the Lord” has come?  What will be the sign for this magnificent occurrence?

 

Isaiah 13:9-10

“For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.”

 

One of the signs for the “Day of the Lord” is that the Moon will not shine.  There are other signs, but we’re just dealing with the Moon. 

Are there other examples where the Moon is used as a sign for events to come?

 

Matthew 24:3

 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when these things will be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

 

Matthew 24:29

 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” 


One of the signs for the end of the age is that the Moon will not shine.

 

Revelation 6:12 

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”

 

Joel 2:31

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

 

Acts 2:20

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”


When the Moon does not give its light and turns into blood this will be a sign for the Day of the Lord.  So we now know how the Moon is used as a sign. The next function on the list is the regulation of the seasons.

 

 

Psalm 104:19

“He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows it’s going down.”


The word used here for seasons should actually be translated as feasts.

 

 

Strong's  Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines this particular word  for seasons as:

moed:

Original Word: מוֹעֵד
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: moed
Phonetic Spelling: (mo-ade')
Definition: meeting appointed (3), appointed feast (3), appointed feasts (11), appointed festival (2), appointed meeting place (1), appointed place (1), appointed sign (1), appointed time (21), appointed times (8), appointment (1), assembly (2), definite time (1), feasts (2), festal assemblies (1), fixed festivals (3), meeting (147), meeting place (1), meeting places (1), season (4), seasons (3), set time (1), time (3), times (1), times appointed (1).

 

 

As you can see it does not mean the seasons as in spring and summer winter or fall but is speaking of the Feasts of God.  We shall get more involved in this topic later.  I want to concentrate on the last function that is listed for the lights that god placed in the sky.

 

Genesis 1:14

“And let them be for signs and seasons and for days and years;”

 

 The lights are to be used to help in the calculation of days and years. 

 

Genesis 1:5

 “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

 

Genesis 1:8

 “And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.”

 

Genesis 1:13

 So the evening and the morning were the third day.”

 

As we can see a Biblical day begins and ends at the setting of the sun.

 

Mark 1:32

At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed."

 

The calculation of days is not a function of the Moon per say, but it is important to know how the bible calculates time.  So let us move on to weeks.  How is a Biblical week calculated?

 It took God six days to renew the earth and create all that was within it. 

 

Psalm 104:30:

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.

 

And then He came to the seventh day and he rested and ended His work.

 

Genesis 2:1-3

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

 

Seven days is a Biblical week; and a day is from evening to evening.  This is all well and good, except, where does the Moon fit in?  Let us move on to a month. How is a month calculated?

 

Exodus 12:1-3

 “Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,’ This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.’ ”

 

Exodus 13:4

On this day you are going out, in the month Abib.”

 

When the Lord spoke this to Moses the Israelites were about to leave Egypt.  God was instructing Moses on the law, statutes, and ordinances.  The correct calculation of the months was of up most importance to God.   Abib is the first month of God’s year.  But how do we know when the month starts and what role does the Moon play in all of this.

 

There are two main words translated moon in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament.  The reference number of the most used word is 3394.  It is translated from the Hebrew word “yareach it means moon.  This is taken from another Hebrew word “yeraach” with the reference number 3391. It means a lunation i.e.: of the Month, moon.

 

According to the free dictionary at free dictionary.com lunation is:

The time that elapses between successive new moons, the average elapsed time being 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes; this is considered a lunar month.

 

It seems that the word Moon in Hebrew and the word month mean the same thing.  A month begins on a new Moon.  Its duration goes from a new Moon to new Moon.  The next most used Hebrew word translated as moon has a reference number of 2320 the Hebrew word here is “chodesh” pronounced kho,-desh it means the new Moon by implication; a month.

 

This is just more evidence that a new Moon is the beginning of a month, and that the duration of a month is from new Moon to new Moon.  Do not be confused, the new Moon spoken of in the bible is not the same type of event, or new Moon, which is spoken of by astronomers today.  When an astronomer speaks of a new Moon and you look in the sky you will see no Moon.  That is because when they use the term new Moon the Moon is not visible.  Like most things of man what we call one thing is completely the opposite of what God would call it.  When God speaks of a new Moon it is the time when the moon becomes visible. This is called by astronomers a Waxing Crescent.  God calls it a new Moon, because that is what it is.  Below is an example of a Biblical new Moon or the sign of a new month.

 

New Moon Abib 1 {March 12, 2013} at dusk over Washington DC

 

This was the first day of the first month of the New Year. It is the way we are to calculate the calendar according to the bible.

 

It seems that the new Moon is a very important time.  Curiosity always getting the best of me so I began to wonder if this is also true for the New Testament, or the Greek translation of God’s word.  I went back to Strong’s and I looked up the word new Moon to see what it means from the Greek perspective.  When I looked up the word moon in the Hebrew I had to use the word moon, but when I went to look it up in Greek I had to use the word new.

 

The reference number given for the Greek word new Moon is 3561 it is spelled “noumenia”; pronounced noo-may-nee-ah this word is translated new Moon. It is a combination of two words their reference numbers are 3501 and 3376. 

 

The word under the number 3501 is “neos” pronounced neh-os which means new, youthful, fresh, and regenerate.  The reference number of the second word is 3376 and the word is spelled “men” pronounced “mane” it means month.  The Greek word for new Moon is made up of two works which means new month.  As in the Hebrew, so it is in the Greek the word moon and the word month are exactly the same.  Our new Moon is a new Month.

At last and all praises to God for we have now learned how the Moon is used to calculate time.  A day is from sunset to sunset.  A week is seven days with the Sabbath being the last or seventh day of the week.  A month begins on a new Moon and ends on a new Moon.  A year is made up of 12 months.  Again if you want more information about the secret calendar of God follow the link that will be at the end of this article.

 

So where does that leave us.  Is the new Moon holy?  Are we to celebrate it as a feast and a Sabbath, and if so how often are we to celebrate the new Moon, and what does it represent?  For the answers to these questions you must wait till next time.  Until then my friends please take care.

 

Peace