Print Email this page


   Ask any Bible believer in the world what the Scriptural new moon is and you'll have few answers as to what it might be and also many blank looks, as most people don't have any idea.
   We were all in this category at one point in our lives, but as Yahweh calls us out, our understanding of His Word was deepened. The purpose is so we would come closer to Him in observing and acknowledging His ways and His purpose for our lives.

Some Basics
   There are some basic facts we can look at today about the new moon, and so this article is entitled as what one might find listed as a beginning course at a college on the subject.
   The first visible sliver of light (on the right side of the moon) from the rebuilding phase of the moon in the western sky, after sunset, is a new moon. This new phase of the moon is technically called the waxing crescent. It will always be in the western sky after sunset, and the timing will be regularly at 29 or 30 day intervals. If it is not confirmed by two or three witnesses, then we would automatically declare it to be a 30 day month. Concerning when a day starts, please see our mini-study entitled: When Does The Scriptural Day Begin?
   A question that came in not too long ago was, "Is there a Scriptural commandment to look for the new moon?" Looking into the book of Deuteronomy which has been termed by some as the "Constitution for the coming Kingdom," and also more readily known as "The second giving of the law," we find the answer is an emphatic "Yes!"

What the Law Says
   Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to Yahweh your Elohim, for in the month of Abib Yahweh your Elohim brought you out of Egypt by night, Deuteronomy 16:1 ESV.
   The word “observe” (Strong's Hebrew word shamar #8104) can have the meaning of "watch," “to look” and/or “take note of and keep.” The word "shamar" appears some 468 times in the OT (5 times as "watch") and has numerous translations to the English words: keep, watch (Vine's Expository Dictionary); keep, watch, observe, watch for, wait for and others (BDB Hebrew Lexicon).
   In Deut. 16:1, "Observe the month of Abib...," could easily read "Watch for the new moon of Abib..." “To watch for” means one must make a visual sight- ing.
   When Yahweh took the people out of Egypt, He obviously pointed out the new moon, after the new growth from the springtime. He said to Moses: This month (new moon) shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month (new moon) of the year for you, Exodus 12:2 ESV.
   It’s the only Biblical way to determine the new year (Hebrew: rosh hoshana) and the appointed times (Hebrew: moedim) of Yahweh (Lev. 23). This would include Passover, which is on the 14th day of Abib.
   Hence, the reason that it is so important is to get it right. In the New Testament we observe Passover, in Messiah, and partake of His body and blood (i.e., emblems thereof). How important is that for us? This appointed time, as well as the other appointed times specified for us today, are indeed relevant.
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is YAHWEH’S Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to YAHWEH; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work, Leviticus 23:5 - 7 NASB.

What Historians Say
   Historical information by Jewish scholars (such as, Edersheim, Spier, and others) also shows that the practice of observing the new moons for each new month was done. For example:

      • “The beginnings of the months were determined by direct observation of the new moon...witnesses had testified that they had seen the new crescent.” The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, by Arthur Spier.

      • “...with what care and anxiety its appearance was ascertained from witnesses who had actually seen it; also, how the tid- ings were afterwards communicated to those at a distance. For the new moon was reckoned by actual personal observation, not by astronomical calculation.” The Temple, its ministry and services as they were at the time of [Yahshua Messiah], by Alfred Edersheim (2003, page 289).

   It appears that since Egypt had three different calendars, and, historical records do confirm this, Yahweh wanted no mistake about when His Biblical New Y ear started.
   Again we read,
This month (new moon) shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month (new moon) of the year for you, Exodus 12:2 ESV.

Deeper Into the Hebrew
   The Hebrew root words for the moon, when researched, have the meaning of "light" brought out. One must then watch/look/note/observe the first visible crescent light presented to be able to confirm a new moon. It would then be kept and noted as a new moon (new month).
Harper’s Bible Dictionary, page 652, has this to say:
   “Hebrew has two terms for moon:
yareakh and levonah. The first is a common Semitic term, appearing as yrkh in Phoenician and as arkhu in Akkadian, where it is also the usual word for ‘month’ or one lunation. Yerakh also means month in Hebrew.
“Levonah is a derivative of ‘white.’ In most biblical references, levonah is used in parallelism to shemesh, ‘sun,’ to describe the brilliant luminosity of the moon (Song of Sol. 6:10; Isa. 30:26). But in Isa. 24:23, levonah is used in parallelism to bosh, ‘shame,’ to evoke an image of colorlessness accompanying embarrassment.
   “In referring to the new month, the biblical author uses the term ‘new, renewal’ (Heb.
khodesh), rather than either of the standard terms for moon.”
   What we find here is the Hebrew words used for moon do not indicate “dark” or “night.” The first possible sign for the newness or renewal of a moon would be the first visible “light.”

No Moon or New Moon?
   The scientific astronomical viewpoint (with Yahweh and the Bible removed) gives the new moon as essentially a no moon (conjunction), because there is nothing to observe, since there is no light.
   The other thing to consider is an astronomical conjunction (scientist's new moon) cannot be pinpointed by visual observation, since it can last for upwards of three nights. This means there is no singular conjunction event that will confirm a singular event. They are nights (plural) in which no moon can be observed. To say that one of those is to be a witness of the new moon is in error of Yahweh's Word.
   Some time ago we witnessed one of the thinnest new moons we've ever seen. There will normally be 1% - 2% illumination, but this may have been 1%. It was also the lowest on the horizon any of us has ever seen, but the fact is it was still seen and confirmed. It would not have been possible in a conjunction state.

Moon for Appointed Times
   He made the moon for appointed times; the sun knows its going down, Psalm 104:19 TS.
   Many translations use the term “seasons” instead of “appointed times,” but
moedim (#4150) is the plural form of the Hebrew word that is used to describe the Feasts of Yahweh, the Holy Days that He set-apart.
   On the fourth day of creation we also find the same Hebrew word used:
Then Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so, Genesis 1:14 - 15 NASB.
   The other thing to notice here is that light is emphasized, at least three times, not the darkness.
   “Originally, the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculations, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. On the [29 -] 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, named Beit Ya'azek, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses; they then sanctified the New Moon,” Encyclopaedia Judaica.
   This quote sounds as if the Temple would need to be standing for us to even attempt to affirm the new moon, but we understand that while some laws are in abeyance with no standing Temple, it doesn't negate the fact we are to worship Yahweh the way He chooses. It should also be noted that those, in Messiah, are a standing T emple (2 Cor. 6:16).   

Fulfillment In Our Day
   The following Scripture describes Yahshua talking to the Samaritan woman and essentially explaining that neither the T emple in Jerusalem, nor the place she worshipped at, would be the places of worship:
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. Yahweh is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, John 4:23 - 24 NKJV.
   So a place to worship is where you are, and we (members of the body of Messiah) are in this country (and others), now worshipping based on a similar format as the synagogues were in the 1st century.
   When it comes to the Feast of Tabernacles, we do travel to (as it is one of the commanded sojourning Feasts) an accommodating location for worship which is chosen by the eldership. Other sojourning Feasts are listed in Exodus 23:14 - 17 and Deuteronomy 16:16 - 17. We do the best we can to worship Yahweh in His Spirit and in His Truth, until He sends His Son back to gather us together.
   The new moons are a critical part of the Biblical calendar that we keep track of so we can keep the proper days of worship that our heavenly Father has for us. His Son kept them, and we are to do so also, as He set the example, as we are also to be obedient children to the Father. See our in-depth study on Biblical Holy Days.

Jerusalem Time?
   The question still comes up about using the new moon from Jerusalem only. Are we to look to Jerusalem for the new moon?
   What obedience or truth is there to ignore a clear command in our own area? When we see the sun set on the 6th day, do we wait until we get reports that the sun has set in Israel before keeping the Sabbath in our area?
   Do we recognize the new days in our area when the sun goes down, without recognizing the new months in our area when the new moon is shown? Jerusalem time would be recognized if one went there for the Sabbath or for a Feast. And, the lesson is that when the people went into the land they were to observe the appointed times of Yahweh. However, today we are in a different land, and are now obedient in Spirit and Truth here, just as the Messiah prophesied would happen (John 4:21 - 24).
   The prophecy for the coming Kingdom is that all will go there (Isa. 66:23; Zech. 14:16-19). But, that time is not now. The time now is what Yahshua proclaimed, but many refuse to listen even though we are to prepare ourselves now for the wedding to come and to be co-rulers with Yahshua in the coming Kingdom.
   The question for those on the fence is, what are you waiting for? For others in the faith, the question is, are you still committed? Where will you attend the Feasts this year?
Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching, Hebrews 10:25.

History Comparison Today?
   Yahweh warned the people not to be polytheistic like so many of the pagan nations were:
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars — all the heavenly array — do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things Yahweh your Elohim has apportioned to all the nations under heaven, Deuteronomy 4:19 NIV.
   So what did the people do and what do many still do today?
   Under Josiah, a good King of Judah, we hear of him paying attention to Yahweh's Word and clearing the Temple area of false idols of every kind that were evidently brought in by Manasseh. Manasseh was one of the worst kings Judah ever had. What made him so bad was all the false wor- ship he brought in.
   In 2 Kings 21:2-3 KJV, we read,
   And he did that which was evil in the sight of YAHWEH, after the abominations of the heathen, whom YAHWEH cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
   We sometimes need to look at history to make sure we're not bringing in false ways of worship. Josiah had to have this all corrected, according to Yahweh's Word which he read to the people.
Then he (Josiah) removed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places all around Jerusalem, and those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. 2 Kings 23:5 - 6 KJV.
   Interestingly enough, sometimes it is brought up that we're somehow keeping pagan practices by looking for the new moon. But, what we're essentially doing is what the good king Josiah did. He read the Bible and accepted it for what it said, not for what was occurring by those committing false worship.
   It doesn't say Josiah had opposition. But, then again, he was the king and opposing the king was a death sentence.
   New Testament verses (specifically the Apostle Paul's writings) are often shown by well meaning, but deceived, individuals, to show we are somehow committing false worship, when, in reality, they can't seem to see their own disobedience. This type of disobedience caused those of the age of accountability in the exodus to die in the wilderness (Heb. 3:12 - 19).

Putting Paul in Context
   An example is where Paul is saying, You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain, Galatians 4:10 - 11 NKJV.
   This looks to be speaking out of context of what we're doing. But one thing we've learned is you have to take Scripture in context, not out. Let's read the verses just before it:
But then, indeed, when you did not know Elohim, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known Elohim, or rather are known by Elohim, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? (Galatians 4:8 - 10 NKJV).
   This is speaking to former gentiles who worshiped false "gods" who were nothing. But, these false "gods" had days and months and seasons and years, which were to be honored. That is what Paul is addressing in this short statement.
   Again, let's highlight Galatians 4:8-10 NKJV and se ewhat he is focusing on:
   But then, indeed, when you did not know Elohim, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known Elohim, or rather are known by Elohim, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
   In the greater context, of the letter to the Galatians, Paul speaks against those who were saying the people had to be circumcised; the same issue is also addressed in Acts chapter 15.
   We have to understand not only the context of what is being spoken of and addressed, but what the nature the society was in at that time. It was a polytheistic society with every imaginable deity and way of worship were used to worshiping multiple deities at the same time. It was hard for them to stay monotheistic.
   Paul is not preaching to the Jews who came back from the Babylonian captivity, who knew very well to keep Yahweh's appointed times and worship on the Holy Days Yahweh designated, such as the 7th day Sabbath.
   Paul is specifically addressing uncircumcised gentile converts to Messiah who are being pulled in every direction from former pagan worship, and the days associated with them, such as December 25th. See our mini-study, Is Christmas A Biblical Observance?
   In Galatians, some of the Jews, now seeing gentiles having faith in Abba Yahweh and Messiah Yahshua, are trying to convert them to the Abrahamic covenant with the token of that specific covenant, which, for those in Messiah, was/is of the heart only in a New Covenant. It provided all the previous covenant promises and more. In that sense, it is a renewed covenant, but in Messiah's blood.
   The non-Messianic Jews, most likely, according to the law that was added "because of transgressions" (Gal. 3:19), were trying to get them to do other animal sacrifices in "obedience" to the law. Specifically, Levitical order vs. Melchizedeckan order. See the In-Depth study, Orthodox Believers. That aspect of the law is not for us today, because there is a change in the law (For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law, Hebrews 7:12 NKJV). As adults, we do not need to take a blood token from our flesh as in the earlier covenant with Abraham. Today, it is our heart that is circumcised (Col. 2:11). We do not need to offer up bloody sacrifices to Yahweh to be right with Him. Yahshua's blood is the covering for us, not other animals. We are justified by His sacrifice in the New Covenant.
   Here is another one of Paul's writings which is often used to try to teach that Yahweh's commandments are somehow done away in Messiah. And this one does mention the new moon.
Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths — which are a shadow of what is to come — but the Body of the Messiah, Colossians 2:16 - 17 TS.
   In context, this is the exact opposite of what we've just looked at in the letter to the brethren in Galatia. We are now talking about the things we ARE to pay attention to, but not letting those who would say we don't need to bother with them, bother us. In other words, don't let them condemn you for the right ways of worship which you are doing correctly.
   In Colossae, we have a similar situation with former heathen brethren being bombarded by tra- ditions and teachings of men, rather than the teachings from Yahweh's Sacred Scriptures.
   Out of context, from both before and after these two verses, it ap- pears to be saying "We can eat any kind of unclean food that we want, and we certainly don't have to keep those old Mosaic laws such as observing the new moons to determine when Yahweh's Sab- bath's are to be kept, like the 7 annual Sabbaths each year."
   Proof texting these two verses in Colossians, chapter 2, can pre- sent to someone, who is new or untrained in Scripture, an image in the mind of everything being done away with in Messiah.
   We would encourage everyone to take a look at the mini-study we have on this very chapter, entitled Colossians Chapter 2 and the Law. In context of Scripture, both before and after Colossians 2:16 - 17, is the idea of traditions, doctrines and commandments of men. Not of Yahweh, but of men. The word used to describe such things in the Greek is "dogma." But, in the body of Messiah, we can discern Yahweh's Word and discuss it and come to be on the same page, whether it is about food, drink, new moons, or anything else from Yahweh's Word.
   Let us read again the same passage, but with the proper view point, in context.
Let no one there- fore judge you in eat- ing or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sab- baths — which are a shadow of what is to come — but the Body of the Messiah, Colossians 2:16 - 17 TS.
   The shadow of these things point to what will be found in the Kingdom. It will have no end. We must keep them now as they keep us in line with Yah- weh's Word and give us insight as to what is coming.

Crescent Moons and Shiny Things
   Speaking of crescent moons and man-made things and thinking of worshipping the Creator with pagan ways, there are jewelry im- ages of crescent moons even mentioned in Scripture that were associated with Midianites, which were then taken by the Israelites and used.
   There are Assyrian artifacts and other pagan artifacts which show ancient crescent moons with the horns in an upright position, which we even see on Islamic mosques today and in locations around the world, like Dubai, Russia, and China. Many of the Islamic nation's flags are, in fact, with a crescent moon. Please note, though, that they are waning moons, a direct opposite of Yahweh's Scriptural new moon.
   As already mentioned, when we look for the new moon, scripturally, we are looking for the waxing or newness of light being once again formed on the moon because it indicates a new Biblical month for us and designates when to keep Yahweh's appointed times.

In Conclusion
   Syncretism, the mixing of pa- gan worship with other pagan wor- ship and taking all of that and mix- ing it with true worship, as we find in many Christian Churches, is a problem we are faced with today. See the In-Depth study on What Happened to Christianity?
   Mixing or compromising, and even outright doing away with the law, is also being found among some of those who proclaim the Sacred Names. And, quite frankly, some of those so-called "Sacred Names" are nothing more than man-made fantasies, along with their other false doctrines, such as proclaiming the earth is flat, a lunar Sabbath, the sunrise starts a Bibli- cal day, etc.
   We also see a problem with Judaism, in that they still hold many pharisaical traditions. And the Islamic Edomites and Ishmael- ites are out of the ballpark com- pletely with their worship of Allah, who is clearly different from Yah- weh of Scripture.
   It's going to take the return of Yahweh's only begotten Son, Yahshua, the true Messiah, to cor- rect the whole mess we see with false religions and the syncretism with true worship. In the meantime, we are being called out and are pre- paring for the coming Kingdom in which Yah- weh's law will go forth and all who find them- selves there will finally submit to Him fully.
“And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says Yahweh, Isaiah 66:23 NASB.

-Elder David Brett

© 2017 Yahweh's Assemby in Yahshua
2963 County Road 233, Kingdom City, Missouri 65262
View us online at:
Call Toll Free: (877) 642-4101
Main Line : (573) 642-4100