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Wednesday, December 12 2012
The New Moon Calendar
"Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years"
The LORD created His Calendar as direct observations of His Creation: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Days were based upon the observances of sunset to sunset; months were based upon the observances of the new moon crescent (the astronomical new moon, that occurs about a day before the new moon crescent becomes visible, can't be observed, and therefore can't be "observed"); years are based upon the observance of the Earth's orbit in relation to the background stars of each season. The seven-day week, although not observable in nature, is nevertheless to be "observed" as commanded by the Commandment to observe the LORD's Sabbath - if there were no Creator, there would be no seven day week.
"1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
The LORD was using His calendar before He gave it to the Israelites. It isn't the "Hebrew" calendar, or the "Jewish" calendar - the LORD created it and used it before any humans existed (the principle of the calendar was established on the fourth day, while humans were created on the sixth day). The LORD recorded the Flood in the time of Noah according to the calendar that He created at Creation.
"8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 8:5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month [see also How Did The Flood Happen?]: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you"
The Israelites were given to observe the LORD's calendar at the time of Passover, which although is observed on the fourteenth day of the lunar month (when the moon is full), the counting is determined from the sighting of the new moon crescent (the word "month" originated from the word "moon").
"12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron [see also The Meeting Of Moses And Aaron] in the land of Egypt, saying, 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month [see Nisan 14: The Sacrifice Of The Lamb Of God]: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it." (Exodus 12:1-7 KJV)
All of the true Christian Holy Days are determined from the time of the new moon i.e. "the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover" is fourteen days from the new moon; "the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement" is ten days from the new moon etc.
"23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover]. 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread [see The Messiah's Days Of Unleavened Bread]. 23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein." (Leviticus 23:4-8 KJV)
"Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day"
The Israelites observed the beginning of each new month / new moon by observing it.
"20:24 So David hid himself in the field [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Saul and David]: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat. 20:25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty. 20:26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 20:27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse [see Jesse The Bethlehemite] to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?" (1 Samuel 20:24-27 KJV)
Another example, from the time of Elisha: "Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath."
"4:22 And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 4:23 And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath [see When Is The LORD's Day?]. And she said, It shall be well." (2 Kings 4:22-23 KJV)
When David became king, he prepared for the transition from the Tabernacle (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle) to the Temple (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple). The Levites were to continue "to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD."
"23:25 For David [see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David] said, The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever: 23:26 And also unto the Levites [see The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood]; they shall no more carry the tabernacle [see also Where Is Your Tabernacle?], nor any vessels of it for the service thereof. 23:27 For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above:
David's psalms record the observance (ceremonial occasion) of the observance (the sighting) of the new moon with "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day."
"81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. 81:4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. 81:5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
The Temple was built by David's son and successor Solomon. In that time, "the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God" were carried on, not begun.
"2:3 And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me. 2:4 Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel." (2 Chronicles 2:3-4 KJV)
By the time of Solomon, the observance of the new moon was on a level with the weekly and annual Sabbaths - but not called Sabbaths as were the weekly and annual Sabbaths.
"8:12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch, 8:13 Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles. 8:14 And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. 8:15 And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures." (2 Chronicles 8:12-15 KJV)
Despite his great wisdom as a young man, Solomon went grossly corrupt. The united kingdom of Israel was divided into "Israel" and "Judah" as a punishment for Solomon's idolatry (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon). Israel and Judah however became even more corrupt. While individual kings attempted to stop the fall, both kingdoms were eventually exiled to Babylon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Back To Babylon).
"31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
"Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them"
For the most part, the Israelites continued to use the Name of the LORD (see also Blaspheming The Name Of God) while committing gross idolatry against Him - even while continuing to observe His Holy Days and the new moons. It was their perverted observance of them that the LORD condemned with "your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them."
"1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
The prophets consistently proclaimed the same warning and rebuke: "I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." Hosea:
"2:9 Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. 2:10 And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. 2:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. 2:12 And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. 2:13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD." (Hosea 2:9-13 KJV)
Amos also records that the new moons had been a day of no buying or selling, until they became corrupted: "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat."
"8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD showed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou?
"Of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, for the set Feasts"
The people of Judah were returned after their seventy years exile in Babylon. Were the observances "done away"? No. The perversion of them was done away, while they were restored in their purity by Ezra and Nehemiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah), "both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated."
"3:1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah also brought the return "of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts."
"10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 10:33 For the showbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God." (Nehemiah 10:32-33 KJV)
"On the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened"
A far greater return is coming in the future, not only of Israelites, but of all of humanity. Ezekiel was given the vision of that time while still among the captives in Babylon.
"1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." (Ezekiel 1:1 KJV)
The famous "dry bones" prophecy of Israel is about the future return of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant).
"37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves [see The Harvest Prophecies], and bring you into the land of Israel. 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:11-14 KJV)
At that future time, after the return of the Messiah (see the Fact Finder question below), Israel will be given to complete what they failed to do long ago.
"45:13 This is the oblation that ye shall offer; the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat, and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley: 45:14 Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: 45:15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. 45:16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 45:17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel." (Ezekiel 45:13-17 KJV)
At that time, "the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons."
"46:1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 46:2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 46:3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. 46:4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. 46:5 And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 46:6 And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish. 46:7 And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 46:8 And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof." (Ezekiel 46:1-8 KJV)
"From one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD"
But what about the rest of humanity? What about the verses below that some use to falsely claim that everything is "done away," and that everyone can do whatever they please to suit themselves?
"2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." (Colossians 2:16-17 KJV)
The verses don't say that the LORD's calendar and Holy Days (that are determined by the calendar) are "done away." It merely says don't let any rebel judge you for obeying the LORD. Notice carefully that "I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory" and that "it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."
"66:17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
It is by that very means, and at that very time, that the famous "swords into plowshares" will be accomplished.
"4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:1-3 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who is "the LORD God" Who created the calendar?
This Day In History, December 12
627: The Battle of Nineveh. A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.
1479: Emperor Frederick III (see The Holy Roman Empire) expelled the Jews from Schlettstadt Alsace.
1753: George Washington, then a loyal British military officer in Virginia, delivered an ultimatum to the French forces at Fort Le Boeuf, south of Lake Erie, reiterating Britain's claim to the entire Ohio river valley.
1792: Ludwig van Beethoven, aged 22 and newly arrived in Vienna, noted in his diary he had 15 ducats - enough for his first music lesson with Franz Joseph Haydn.
1896: In London, Guglielmo Marconi gave the first public exhibition of "wireless" radio.
1911: King George V of Britain held a coronation durbar (the room in the palace of a native prince of India in which audiences and receptions occur) in Delhi; the Indian capital was moved there from Calcutta.
1913: The famous painting "Mona Lisa" was recovered 2 years after having been stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris.
1930: The Spanish Revolution began.
1931: While facing a growing communist challenge, Chiang Kai-shek resigned as president of the Nanking government but continued as leader of the Nationalist government which still held control of much of China.
1943: The German Army began "Operation Winter Tempest," the attempt to relieve the Sixth Army which was then trapped in Stalingrad.
1964: Kenya became a republic.
1969: Greece withdrew from the Council of Europe shortly before it was to have been expelled because of its military regime.
1979: The port of Tumaco, Colombia, was hit by an earthquake measuring 8.0; 600 died and 80,000 were made homeless.