Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

The Burning Question: The Sabbath -- When Does It Occur?

"Do not continue to bring meaningless offerings! Incense is an abomination unto me. New moon and Sabbath, the calling of assemblies -- I cannot bear iniquity with solemnity. YOUR new moons and YOUR feasts I detest. They have become a burden to me that I am weary of carrying" (Isaiah 1:13-14, Dead Sea Scrolls Bible). "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8, Tanakh).

by Ernie L. Hoeh

Many will ask this question after reading the title, “is this just another article that proscribes Saturday as the Sabbath over Sunday, or Sunday as the Sabbath over Saturday? The answer to this is a resounding “No”. You might be surprised if I should flip a coin and say that an argument could be made that both are right about the same amount of time. To the person who remains “boxed” into their current set of beliefs, red flags are probably flying high right about now. If you have even so much as a sliver of an open mind, hang in there; read on and allow the holy spirit to take these seeds and do with them as the spirit intends.

If the two bolded words in the above passage of Scripture mean anything, then I’m sure that whatever belief you are currently of, (Saturday Sabbath or Sunday Sabbath) you are telling yourself that the “your” must mean “the other guy’s beliefs.” We’ve all been taught, trained and thoroughly convinced that we are doing it correctly, right?

Let me say right now, that I do believe that there are some of YEHOVAH’s chosen who are, in fact, keeping the Sabbath as YEHOVAH intended. Are the others wrong in what they are doing? Who am I to judge if YEHOVAH has not yet chosen others to open their eyes to His truth and His ways? For I will certainly not deliberately judge another. This writing is to present what historical documentation has been currently uncovered -- along with new revelations in Scripture. Once your eyes are opened to the subject matter of this article, you might be surprised at how the spirit will reveal much more in the Scriptures that we had never considered before.

Have you ever heard the phrase “can’t see the trees for the forest”? Try to put aside all your biases and watch and see if what I relate here proves itself in time. You may, then, begin embarking on even a closer walk with our Heavenly Father, one in which gives Him another reason to say “well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

To begin with, let’s look at perhaps the most intriguing of recent discoveries. In the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, page 410 under the heading “Holidays”, I quote:

“1. Sabbath and New Moon (Rosh Hodesh), both periodically recurring in the course of the year. The New Moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle. Both date back to the nomadic period of Israel. Originally the New Moon was celebrated in the same way as the Sabbath; gradually it became less important, while the Sabbath became more and more a day of religion and humanity, of religious meditation and instruction, or peace and delight of the soul, and produced powerful and beneficent effects outside of Judaism.”

I quote the whole passage above so that one can see that as soon as humanity departs from the “original” and supplants the use of the lunar cycle in the determination of the Sabbath day with another day determined by man, it becomes “more and more” popular. When humankind substituted YEHOVAH’s appointed times (feasts -- moedim) with man-made traditions/celebrations/feasts, they also become more popular.

Let’s examine the above encyclopedic quote a little closer to see what they are really saying.

(1). The New Moon is still… dependent upon the lunar cycle.
(2). The Sabbath originally was dependent upon the lunar cycle.
(3). Originally the New Moon was celebrated in the same way as the Sabbath.
(4). Gradually it [the New Moon Sabbath] became less important, while the [Saturday -- Saturn’s day] Sabbath [after being changed from YEHOVAH’s appointed time according to the lunar cycle as the set apart day of rest] became more and more a day of religion and humanity.

Have you noticed how the NEW MOONS generally go by unnoticed among humanity in this day and age (except for a few small groups that this matters to)? Could this be because man has not found a good way to supplant them with an alternative? For how then could it be called the “new moon”? It couldn’t, so man has let slide into obscurity that which he cannot change and promotes/proscribes the Saturnday Sabbath because man has now determine and “fixed” it to a 7th day Saturday in a seven day circle [examined more closely below] devised by man. Man has therefore rejected YEHOVAH’s establishment of the Sabbath according to the “laws of the moon” and His “faithful witness”.

Jeremiah 31:35-36 states,

Thus said the LORD, who established the sun for light by day, the laws of the moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea into roaring waves, whose name is LORD of hosts: If these laws should ever be annulled by Me -- declares the LORD -- only then would the offspring of Israel cease to be a nation before Me for all time” (Tanakh).

Psalms 89: 35-37:

"I will not violate My covenant, or change what I have uttered. I have sworn by My holiness, once and for all; I will not be false to David. His line shall continue forever, his throne, as the sun before Me, as the moon, established forever, an enduring witness in the sky" (Tanakh).

Proverbs 14: 5:

A faithful witness will not lie; But a false witness uttereth lies.

So if the moon is YEHOVAH’s “faithful witness” and the Sabbath ORIGINALLY was dependent upon the lunar cycle, where are other scriptures supporting this way of determining what day to celebrate and rest, and call the Sabbath then?

Turn to Psalms 104:19a:

“He hath made the MOON for APPOINTED TIMES [mowadah]”( ISR).

Psalms 104:19a:

“He appointed the moon for seasons:…” (King James Version).

Notice how other versions and translators have subtly rearranged the meaning of these words to reroute our way of thinking. “Seasons” makes us think of the four seasons of the year, spring, summer, fall and winter; not the Sabbath Day and Feasts, the appointed times of YEHOVAH God!

“APPOINTED” Strong’s Concordance #6213 [asah], means to MAKE (MADE).

“SEASONS” Strong’s Concordance #4150 [mow’ed], means “appointed time.”

YEHOVAH has “made the moon for appointed times.”

So what are YEHOVAH’s appointed times? Let’s take a look at Leviticus 23:

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying ‘Speak to the children of Isra’el, and say to them, "The feasts [appointed times] of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts [appointed times]. 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. These are the feasts [appointed times] of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times”'" (Leviticus 23:1-4).

Then the Scriptures goes on to describe the seven yearly feasts -- appointed times -- moedim (mo’ed -- mowadah) of YEHOVAH. Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot (Pentecost), Yom Teruah (blowing or Feasts of Trumpets), Yom Kipper (Day of Atonement) Festival of Booths (Tabernacles) and the last appointed time is called the Last Great Day, the eighth day after the beginning of Tabernacles.

Modern-day Jewish calendars use somewhat of a lunar reckoning to determine the seven annual appointed times -- feasts -- but never use the lunar reckoning to determine perhaps the most significant “appointed time” of all -- the 7th day Sabbath!

I’m sure by now you have even more questions than answers. That’s pretty normal at this stage when an entirely foreign concept (to our current understanding) is presented. Again, I’m not here to convince or force anyone to accept this. I’m only a husbandman -- farmer -- seed planter. Only the Ruach haKodesh can open your eyes if that is YEHOVAH’s desire and will for you.

Does it not seem foreign to you that a Jewish calendar must first consult with a Julian calendar and look in the last column under Saturday and then count and insert these days into the Jewish calendar? It certainly did me!

During the last several years, as YEHOVAH has been dealing with me to show me His truth of His Ways and His reckoning of time-keeping, it was so odd that all of His time-keeping ways could be found in nature except this goofy thing called a “week”.

Anchors --

I love the word “anchor” for are we not to be firmly anchored to the “ROCK”? Isn’t YEHOVAH’s way of determining the “Day” anchored to the setting of the sun? Yes. Isn’t the beginning of every ancient Israelite/Hebrew month anchored to the “NEW MOON”? Yes. Is not the beginning of the Hebrew/Israelite Year according to the Scriptures to be determined by the equinox and the New Moon? Yes. When you have anchors, everything else can be fastened to those anchors and remain steadfast and sure.

Now I ask you again, what about the “week” as we currently understand this word? It is so very true that our only understanding of the word “week” is a 7 day revolving never-ending cycle of sevens -- or a “CIRCLE” if you will. Is that the true meaning of the Hebrew word “Shabuwa”?

07620 shabuwa` {shaw-boo'-ah} or shabua` {shaw-boo'-ah} also (fem.) shabu`ah {sheb-oo-aw'} properly, pass part of 07650 as a denom. of 07651; TWOT - 2318d; n m AV - week 19, seven 1; 20 1) seven, period of seven (days or years), heptad, week 1a) period of seven days, a week 1a1) Feast of Weeks 1b) heptad, seven (of years)

Here we see that the King James Version has translated “shabuwa” as “week” 19 times and only once as “seven”. Yet the Hebrew word “shabuwa” means “seven, period of seven”. Here, man has given it the meaning of “week” which is of a more modern concept -- dating perhaps only to about 400 to 500 CE (common era -- AD). Shabuwa does not have the meaning of a never-ending seven day circle. It is a period of SEVEN.

So if we can separate our current understanding of “week” from the Hebrew word “shabuwa” we might be able to see this picture clearer. YEHOVAH’s way of time-keeping -- which He desires for us to follow -- is clearly shown in the lunar cycle. Now man will put a mental block in here and state “but there are 29.5+ days in a lunar cycle and that is not divisible by 4. Brilliant deduction, but why do you think YEHOVAH has established the NEW MOON? To intentionally give you a moon end (moonth end) rest. Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe our “weekend” (work 5 days get two off) is a man made substitute for YEHOVAH’s moonth end rest? It certainly appears to be so.

If our scriptural understanding is that the NEW MOON Sabbath arrives at the FIRST OF THE MOONTH then we are to WORK SIX days and the 7th day, REST, work SIX days and the 7th day, REST, etc, for 4 shabuwas, until the next new moon period; lets work it out and see what we learn.

Day ONE of a brand new lunar cycle (from the New Moon crescent) is the NEW MOON Sabbath DAY. When the first sliver is sighted after sunset two witnesses give testimony, trumpets are blown, bonfires are lit on the hill tops and the New Moon Day begins. The following evening everyone can go back to work and it begins the counting of the first shabuwa (period of seven as in “six days you shall labor and the seventh you rest). So now we see that day ONE is a NEW MOON DAY (observed as a Sabbath day) then work six days (lunar days 2–7) and then rest for the 7th day Sabbath (on the 8th day of the lunar cycle). Count seven more days (2nd shabuwa) and you rest on the 15th day of the lunar cycle. Seven more days (3rd shabuwa) rest on the 22nd day of the lunar cycle and again on the 29th day of the lunar cycle. A fuller explanation of this way of reckoning is detailed near the end of this article.

New Moon

Work Day

Work Day

Work Day

Work Day

Work Day

Work Day


Day 1 of new month

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Now we have come to the 4th Sabbath – the 29th day of the lunar cycle. What a time of rejoicing it is for our labors have ceased for this moonth and we enjoy the 7th Day Sabbath rest of YEHOVAH. At sunset (the completion of the 4th Shabbat of this moonth) we continue in the Sabbath mood and immediately begin the New Moon day or days. After the end of the Sabbath at sunset, we watch the western sky in Jerusalem to see if the first crescent of the moon is visible. If it is sighted, the trumpets are blown, bonfires lit and the following evening we start a new work shabuwa. [This would be a two day moonth end]. If the first crescent is NOT visible, we continue on in the Sabbath and again watch for the first crescent. Seen or not seen this 3rd Sabbath moonth end/beginning evening, the trumpets are blown and the following evening we can go back to work.

4th Sabbath










Day 29

Day 1

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8

Regardless of whether there is one or two solar days of no (null) moon [after the 4th Sabbath], it is considered day ONE of the new lunar cycle. This may be hard to understand but during the no/null moon period, it is a time of darkness where the “faithful witness” is unobservable in its changes. Every other day of the lunar cycle, one can visible observe changes that take place each and every solar day.

What about this Seven Day Circle that we currently observe? Hasn’t that been the only way of determining Sabbath since creation? Well, let’s see what history shows.

In an article by John D. Keyser entitled From Sabbath to Saturday: The Story of the Jewish Rest Day Keyser writes:

“Talking about the time prior to the Diaspora, Hutton Webster tells us that an old and still common theory derives the Sabbath institution from the worship of Saturn after which planet the first day of the astrological week [Saturday] received its designation. The theory is untenable for more than one reason. In the first place the Hebrews did not name their weekdays after the planets, but indicated them by ordinal numbers. In the second place Saturn’s Day [Saturday] began the planetary week, while the Jewish Sabbath was regarded as the last day of the seven, a suitable position for a rest day. And in the third place neither the Hebrews nor any other Oriental people ever worshipped the planet Saturn as a god and OBSERVED HIS DAY AS A FESTIVAL day (Rest Days: A Study in Early Law and Morality. New York: The MacMillan Company. 1916, p. 243).

"However, in the Diaspora, this soon changed with the influence of the Zoroastrian revival and the Roman planetary week --

"These imported [from Babylon] superstitions eventually led Jewish rabbis to call Saturn SHABBTI, "the STAR OF THE SABBATH," [and]...it was not until [after] the first century of our era, when the planetary week had become an established institution, THAT THE JEWISH SABBATH SEEMS ALWAYS TO HAVE CORRESPONDED TO SATURN'S DAY [SATURDAY] (ibid., p. 244).

"The association of the Sabbath Day with Saturday," explains Webster, "was probably one reason why Saturn, a planet in Babylonian astrological schemes regarded as beneficent rather than malefic, should have come to assume in late classical times the role of an unlucky star (sidus tristissimum, stella iniquissima)...Dio Cassius [Roman historian born 155 A.D., died after 230 A.D.] also speaks of the Jews having DEDICATED TO THEIR GOD THE DAY CALLED THE DAY OF SATURN [SATURDAY], 'on which, among many other most peculiar actions, they undertake no serious occupation'...Tacitus [another Roman historian] (Historiae, V, 4) thinks that the Jewish Sabbath may be an observance in honour of Saturn... (Rest Days, p. 244-245).

"Notes the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia:

"With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and the emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more DIVORCED FROM ITS LUNAR CONNECTION...(volume 10, 1943. Article, "Week," p. 482).

"Also, writes Hutton Webster, 'the establishment of a periodic week ending in a Sabbath observed every seventh day was doubtless responsible for the gradual obsolescence of the NEW MOON FESTIVAL AS A PERIOD OF GENERAL ABSTINENCE, since with continuous weeks the new-moon day and the Sabbath Day would from time to time coincide' (ibid., p. 255).

"This obsolescence of the New Moon festival is also noted by the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia --

“However, in the Diaspora the New Moon came to occupy a secondary position in contrast to the Sabbath; the prohibition against work and the carrying on of commerce was LIFTED, and the New Moon, although still celebrated by means of increased offerings, soon was reduced to the rank of a minor or half holiday. Its importance was confined to the fact that it remained of great value and necessity for the fixing of the festivals (volume 8, p. 171. Article "New Moon")

"Eviator Zerubavel, in his book The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week, observes that the Jewish and astrological weeks evolved quite independently of one another. However, given the coincidence of their identical length, it was only a matter of time before some permanent correspondence between particular Jewish days and particular planetary days would be made. A PERMANENT CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE SABBATH AND "THE DAY OF SATURN" WAS THUS ESTABLISHED... later than the first century of the present era, Jews EVEN CAME TO NAME THE PLANET SATURN SHABTAI, AFTER THE ORIGINAL HEBREW NAME OF THE SABBATH, SHABBATH. Moreover, as they came into closer contact with Hellenism, their conception of their holy day was evidently AFFECTED BY THE ASTROLOGICAL CONCEPTION OF SATURN AS A PLANET that has an overwhelming negative influence (a conception which, incidentally, is still evident even from the association of the English word "saturnine" with a gloomy disposition). There are traditional Jewish superstitious beliefs about demons and evil spirits that hold full sway on the Sabbath, and an old Jewish legend even links the choice of "the day of Saturn" as the official Jewish rest day with the superstition that it would be an inauspicious day for doing any work anyway! (New York: The Free Press, 1985, p. 17).

"Eviator Zerubavel makes some interesting comments and observations on page 11 about the Jews’ departing from YEHOVAH's true Sabbath day; from the reckoning of the lunar phases --

"...the dissociation of the week from a natural cycle such as the waxing and waning of the moon can be seen as part of a general movement toward introducing a supranatural deity. Not being personified as any particular natural force, the Jewish god was to be regarded as untouched by nature in any way. Accordingly, the day dedicated to this god was to be regarded as part of a divine temporal pattern that transcends even nature itself. That obviously involved dissociating the week from nature and its rhythms. Only by being based on an entirely artificial mathematical rhythm could the Sabbath observance become totally independent of the lunar or any other natural cycle.

"A continuous seven-day cycle that runs throughout history, paying no attention whatsoever to the moon and its phases, is a distinctly Jewish invention. Moreover, the dissociation of the seven-day week from nature has been one of the most significant contributions of Judaism to civilization. Like the invention of the mechanical clock some 1,500 years later, it facilitates the establishment of what Lewis Mumford identified as "mechanical periodicity," thus essentially increasing the distance between human beings and nature. Quasi [lunar] weeks and [continuous] weeks actually represent two fundamentally distinct modes of temporal organization of human life, the former involving partial adaptation to nature, and the latter stressing total emancipation from it. The invention of the continuous week was therefore one of the most significant breakthroughs in human beings' attempts to break away from being prisoners of nature [and away from YEHOVAH’s laws] and create a social world of their own (The Seven Day Circle, p. 11).

"On Page 8, Zerubavel further expounds:

"...the establishment of a seven-day week based on the regular observance of the Sabbath is a distinctively Jewish contribution to civilization…it is crucial to remember that the ancient dwellers of Mesopotamia themselves did not have a real seven-day week [like we know and understand today].…One of the most distinctive features of the [present] week is the fact that it is entirely dissociated from the lunar cycle. It is essentially defined as a precise multiple of the day, quite independently of the lunar month. Quasi [lunar] weeks, on the other hand, are generally defined as rough approximations of fractions of the lunar month, and are appropriately called "lunar weeks" by Francis H. Colson (ibid.)....the indispensability of a continuous week for the establishment of settled life with a high level of social organization, particularly significant since the rise of a market economy, which involved orderly contact on regular recurrent, periodic market days. Only by establishing a weekly cycle of an unvarying, standard length could society guarantee that the continuity of its life would never be interrupted by natural phenomena such as the lunar cycle. The dissociation of the week from the lunar cycle, is, therefore, the most significant breakthrough in the evolution of this cycle from its somewhat rudimentary and imperfect [?] predecessor. Only by defining the week as a precise multiple of the day, rather than...a fraction of the lunar month, could human beings permanently avoid the problem of having to handle loose remainders and, thus, introduce into their lives the sort of temporal regularity that they could never attain with the quasi [lunar] week" (The Seven Day Circle, p. 10).

The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia takes note of a radical change to the calendar:

"The association of sabbath rest with the account of creation must have been very ancient among the Hebrews, and it is noteworthy that no other Semitic peoples, even the Babylonians, have any tradition of the creation in six days. It would appear that the primitive Semites had FOUR CHIEF MOONDAYS, probably the first, eighth, fifteenth, and twenty-second of EACH month, CALLED SABBATHS from the fact that there was a tendency to end work before them so that they might be celebrated joyfully. Among the Babylonians these seventh days through astrological conceptions became ill-omened, while the sabbath in the middle of the month was made a day of propitiation, and its name was construed as meaning 'the day for ending the wrath of the gods.' The Israelites, on the other hand, made the sabbaths [as anchored to the moon] the feasts of a living and holy God. The work of man became symbolic of the work of God, and human rest of divine rest, so that the sabbaths became preeminently days of rest. Since, moreover, the LUNAR MONTH had 29 or 30 days, the normal lapse of time between sabbaths was SIX DAYS, although sometimes seven or eight; [at the moonth end only] and six working days were accordingly assigned to the creation, which was to furnish a prototype for human life. The connection of the sabbath with lunar phases, however, was discarded by the Israelites [more specifically, the Jews]...and the weeks were accordingly divorced from the days of the months and were made to follow in succession throughout the year, a more regular correspondence with the week of creation being thus secured. [And an uninterrupted flow of commerce was more appealing] The first lunar day, however, or the day of the new moon, retained, although no longer called sabbath, somewhat of its sabbatical character, so that in the Old Testament it frequently appears as a pendant of the sabbath" (Edited by Samuel Macauley. 1912. Vol. X, pp. 135-136).

We can certainly see that 7th day Sabbath and the New Moon Sabbath was originally anchored to the lunar phases as YEHOVAH intended. We can see additional resistance to walking YEHOVAH’s ways in the book of Amos. Amos 8:5 saying, "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat…” They could hardly wait to get back to “business as usual”. Here we see the end of an Israelite/Hebrew moonth and the fact that it was two to three days long. The merchants were clambering to get back to the business of buying and selling. States author Jonathan David Brown, in his book Keeping Yahweh’s Appointments, “It is quite easy to see how flowing with the natural rhythm of the moon cycle would disrupt commercial enterprise. When you're waiting with a truckload of rotting vegetables, who wants to wait for the new moon to be gone? The uninterrupted flow of our current seven-day cycle was thus very appealing to our predecessors who were caught up in building commerce" (p. 92).

Instead of being frustrated at the deception, I say, “Praise YEHOVAH for deliverance.” Can’t you feel yourself being released from the bondage of man’s false and deceitful traditions? Satan’s deceitful fingers are being pried off YEHOVAH’s elect -- one by one! Hallelu-YA!!! If anything, I am personally more determined than ever to walk YEHOVAH’s WAY! His TRUTH keeps setting me freer every day!

Can we see just a little clearer now with renewed eyes? Has not nearly everything YEHOVAH intended for us to use in observing His way of time-keeping (and reckoning the 7th day Sabbath and His appointed times) now been made clear to us? Remember the passage in Dani’el chapter 7 where in it states in verse 25, “and it speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times and law and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.”? Have you been finding yourself weary of having fallen to deceit at every turn since your birth? If YEHOVAH has been leading you on His path to truth, at every turn now, you find that man (at Satan’s instigation) has devised ways to supplant YEHOVAH’s ways. Let’s count a few of them.

1. YEHOVAH’s Name was supplanted (changed) or declared ineffable (not to be spoken out loud).

2. Sabbath was “fixed” to a Saturn’s day or a Sun-day instead of being determined according to YEHOVAH’s faithful witness, the moon and it’s lunar cycle.

3. Sabbath falls on any day of a Jewish calendar month -- evenly spaced apart according to the invented seven day circle instead of the reckoning of shabuwas and New Moon days.

4. The New Moon Sabbath was rendered insignificant and more or less discarded and totally ignored as a Sabbath.

5. Unclean foods have been declared fit for consumption. It's just not the truth.

6. Lawlessness has been declared righteousness. Again, it's just not the truth.

7. Being obedient to our Heavenly Father by keeping the law has been declared legalism.

8. The beginning of days now starts with midnight instead of sunset. (What is midnight anyway? Have you ever seen it without a man-made time-keeping device called a watch or a clock? We’d be in real trouble if an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) wiped out all electronics, wouldn’t we?)

9. The hour of the day used to be determined by the sun and a stick in the ground (shadow). Now that is archaic. Grab the clock again.

10. The month begins when the Julian calendar says it does (thanks to the Roman Catholic Church) instead of the New Moon crescent. That’s why I use the term “moonth” because our minds have been polluted to a false and deceitful understanding of a month.

11. The year begins in the dead of winter, again when the Julian calendar says it does (thanks again to the Roman Catholic Church), instead of observing nature and when YEHOVAH caused the equinox to occur along with the beginning of a new moonth.

12. And the institution of that great INVENTION, the WEEK!! AKA (also known as) the Great Seven Day CIRCLE. Do you believe in the ancient Israelite/Hebrew “Shabuwa” (period of seven) or the modern invention called the week (an endless circle of seven)? YEHOVAH never, NEVER, gave us “weeks.”

So What Rock Are You Anchored To?

Let us examine a few more scriptures that give credence to the days we spoke of earlier as being Sabbath days of a lunar reckoning.

Numbers 29:12-35 are the instructions for the feast of Tabernacles. On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (the 15th day of the Seventh moonth) you do no servile work (sounds like a Sabbath day and it is according to the lunar reckoning. It is the 7th day of the second Shabuwa).

Feast of Tabernacles

1st day -- 15th of seventh moonth -- no servile work -- Sabbath day (day 7 of 2nd shabuwa)
2nd day --16th day (day 1 of 3rd shabuwa)
3rd day -- 17th day (day 2 of 3rd shabuwa)
4th day -- 18th day (day 3 of 3rd shabuwa)
5th day -- 19th day (day 4 of 3rd shabuwa)
6th day -- 20th day (day 5 of 3rd shabuwa)
7th day -- 21st day (day 6 of 3rd shabuwa)
8th day -- 22nd day of seventh moonth -- no servile work -- Sabbath day (day 7 of 3rd shabuwa)

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt into the wilderness, it is no coincidence that YEHOVAH God spoke to the children of Israel on a Sabbath day. Shemoth (Exodus) 16 begins with the children of Israel entering the wilderness of Sin on the 15th day of the second month from their leaving Mitzrayim (Egypt). At the “even” (evening after sundown) the quail blew in. The Sabbath of the 2nd shabuwa was over, a new day began at sunset. The next morning manna was gathered for the next SIX DAYS, then the 7th from that time was the 7th day Shabbat of the 3rd shabuwa when they were not allowed to collect manna -- for there would not be any. By simply counting from the 15th, seven days later, the 7th day (a Sabbath rest) was on the 22nd of the moonth.

Passover, the 14th day of the moonth, is a preparation day (for it is the 6th day of the 2nd shabuwa), the day that the Messiah was nailed to the tree. The feast of Unleavened bread begins at sunset. The Passover meal is eaten after sunset on the 14th making it the 15th day when the meal is eaten, thus the feast of Unleavened Bread -- a day of no servile work -- is a 7th day Sabbath Day.

In the book of Esther we find an interesting passage concerning the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim. Esther 9:17-18 says “That was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.” [Ed. Note: This is how the Jews celebrate Purim today] Verse 18 “But the Yehudim [Jews] who were at Shushan assembled on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth day. And on the FIFTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH THEY RESTED, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.” WOW!! Here we find a group of believers apparently keeping a lunar Sabbath in addition to the two days of Purim.

In the apocryphal book Ecclesiasticus a very profound statement is recorded:

“And then the moon, ever punctual to mark the times, an everlasting sign: It is the moon that signals the feasts, a luminary that wanes after being full. The month derives its name from hers, she waxes wonderfully in her phases, banner of the hosts on high, shining in the vault of heaven” (Eclesiasticus 43:6-8).

The word “feasts” here, written in Greek, “heorte”, is the same word as the Septuagint Version in Leviticus 23:2. We know now that the 7th day Sabbath cannot be separated in its way of being reckoned from the other annual feasts of YEHOVAH.

I promised earlier in this article, to present a more detailed explanation as to why the New (null) Moon Sabbath is day 1 and the Sabbaths are reckoned and observed on Days 8, 15, 22 and 29. The scriptures translate “chodesh” as “new moon” which is derived from “chadash”. Thayer’s Concordance defines this as follows:

"02318 chadash {khaw-dash'} a primitive root; TWOT - 613; v AV - renew 7, repair 3; 10 1) to be new, renew, repair 1a) (Piel) 1a1) to renew, make anew 1a2) to repair."

Each lunar cycle has the moon coming between the earth and the sun for a specified period of time. During this time, the moon is being renewed. What does that mean?

“New”, in its basic form and understanding means “prior to being used, not used, unused”. Each day of a lunar cycle -- from the first sighting of a waxing crescent sliver till the last sighting of a waning crescent sliver -- the moon, as a faithful witness, testifies to the day and the phase of the month we are in. It gives witness. It is performing a function. When the first crescent sliver is sighted, it has (past tense) performed its “work”; it is no longer a “new moon.” When you buy a car, the first time you sit behind the wheel and drive it, it is “used”. At that point it is no longer new/unused. Think about that for a minute and you will grasp this concept. We like to show off our “new” car but in fact, it is something that is “relatively new” for we have used it. There is nothing that says we can’t get excited about its relative newness but technically, it is only “new” prior to having been driven. Likewise, the “new” moon/renewed moon is only new until it is visible, for at that first moment it is spotted, it has performed the “work” which YEHOVAH intended for it to perform for His people -- a sign, or signal that a new group of four shabuwas has begun. It has given us the time; a marker with which to begin counting the next four shabuwas leading up to the next new/null/no moon day(s). Day One is a no/null/new/renewed moon sabbath. Day 2 begins the counting of the four shabuwas.

Why is this important? Have you ever heard the saying, “A day late and a dollar short”? If the feasts and the counting of the month begins with the sighting of the first crescent sliver, the quarter moon phases will be off and the feasts will be kept at different time than proscribed. “A day late and a dollar short.” Also, the new moon (being renewed in the dark period) is not synonymous with “first crescent sliver” as many would have us believe. I hope this helps in the understanding of its reckoning. If not, pray for guidance from YEHOVAH and in time, the pieces will fall into place. Satan has manipulated us, and those we’ve trusted, all our lives. It may take more than a few moments to get focused on YEHOVAH’s truth, so take that in stride. As always, I reserve the right to modify or change my understanding concerning this and other issues as the Ruach HaKodesh teaches and reveals truth to me. Blessings to you.

I might also add that I believe more historical information will be forthcoming, but I also believe that much historical proof of a lunar reckoning has been destroyed to hide the truth and further the deceitful schemes Satan has devised. He has come up with many ways to keep us from walking YEHOVAH’s way of truth and light. Can I say to you, “BEWARE OF THE TRADITIONS OF MEN”? The Messiah warned the people of his day concerning the traditions of men. I personally believe that the lunar Sabbath was primarily being observed during Messiah’s day and that the seven-day circle (known as the “week”) was instituted by man after the time of Messiah.

CAUTION: If it is a widely accepted and celebrated holiday or tradition, in this world today, I’d caution, BEWARE.

Question everything. Question me. Seek YEHOVAH’s truth. It’s the only thing that can and will set you free. Let the Ruach HaKodesh speak to you concerning these matters presented above. I seek no following, only the truth YEHOVAH has to give and for me to walk in. Trust YEHOVAH's Ruach (spirit) to show you the truth of these matters spoken of.

May we have the convictions to do as our forefathers in Jeremiah's day did.

"Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, 'I have heard. Indeed, I will pray to the LORD your God according to your words, and it shall be, that whatever the LORD answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you.' Then they said to Jeremiah, 'Let the LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the LORD your God sends us by you. Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the LORD our God'” (Jeremiah 42:4-6).

Let this be our prayer of commitment.

May YEHOVAH God bless you abundantly.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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