and nine-armed Hanukkah menorah's and return to basic biblical truth. When Messianics expect Christians to abandon their pagan traditions then they too must be expected to abandon theirs and not succumb to the threats of being accused of being 'antisemitic' because they won't follow the man-made rules of the rabbis. There is no place for hypocrisy in the Gospel life.
I am sure we will discover more about Rosh Chodesh as we are obedience to the commandment to obey it. That has certainly been our experience with all the other commandments and I have no reason to believe otherwise with this one! May this and all subsequent Rosh Chodesh observances bring you must joy and much light in Yah'shua our Messiah. Amen.
There are numerous possible English transliterations for the Hebrew tycarb (which means "In the beginning", the first words of the Bible at Gen.1:1): Bereshit (HRV), Beresheeth (RSTNE), Bereshis (OJB), Bereshith (ISRV), etc.. This is one reason we prefer to stick with the better known English terms which are uniformly spelled in the English-speaking world, e.g. Genesis (or First Book of Moses)
One of the straw men advanced by evolutionists and atheists is that the Genesis account cannot be literally correct because the heavenly bodies are, according to it, made after the creation of light on the first day. This confusion and dishonour brought upon the Name of Yahweh is caused by bad translations. For more on the Evolution-Creation debate, see our Science website.
There are two Hebrew words for 'moon', viz. yareach and levanah, which are both female in gender
For calculating the beginning and end of each day and especially the weekly Sabbath day
See Festivals and The Moedim of Yahweh. The Sabbath is calculated differently, by regularly counting off seven days from the first 7th day of creation. Some Messianics perpetuate the 'Lunar Sabbath' error by claiming the Sabbath has to be calculated from moon observances as well, which results in the sabbath falling on a different day of the week each month, destroying the seven day rhythm and changing the 'seventh' day into a variable day.
See The Pagan Infiltration of Christianity
See Does Easter Glorify Christ?
See John C. Whitcomb & Donald B. DeYoung, The Moon: Its Creation, Form and Significance (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI: 1978) for a comprehensive creationist account.
A group of Israelites who interbred with the conquering Assyrians after the fall and deportations of the Northern Kingdom who settled in Samaria and still remain there today. They have preserved many ancient Israelite customs including determining the beginning of the month and adhering to a three-stage marriage process (Dedication, Bethrothal and Full Marriage) which we as New Covenant Christians imitate.
'Scripture Alone', letting Scripture interpret itself and be the final arbiter of the truth.
See Young's Literal Translation of the Bible
A long footnote (#2, p.607, 2nd edition) in the RSTNE makes an interesting case for this being, in fact, a reference to the full moon and not the new moon but ignores the preposition error.
From a post in our old MSN online discussion forum, MLT Reception Group
Koniuchowsky, in the RSTNE, claims "the shofar is blown in the month of the exodus (not on the New Moon/Rosh Chodesh as many have mistranslated, for ba-chodesh means in the month, not necessarily new month, or new moon) from Egypt according to Psalm 81 verse 5. The blowing is correlated to Yisrael leaving Egypt, which we know took place on the 15th, or full moon in the month of Aviv" (RSTNE, 2nd edition, p.607, footnote #2). But is there any scriptural evidence that the shofar was blown on Aviv 15? I have not, to date, found any.
As we shall presently see, some argue that this is for contrast only, since a calculation can only be made from something visible, which the full moon obviously is. This is a little hard to read from the text, though, and evidence has yet to be mustered demonstrating such a linguistic device.
Also see Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1. Here what we customarily translate as "trumpets" is teruah which means to 'make a very loud noise'. See Yom Teruah 2007: The Day of the Awakening Blast
See Yom Teruah
The Karaites object to this interpretation by pointing out that the Hebrew word rendered as "feast" in Psalm 81:3 is the word chag. They assert that there are only three feasts in the year which are called chagim in the Torah, and these are the three obligatotry pilgrim feasts, when all males were required to journey to the temple at Jerusalem or the place of the tent of meeting before the temple was constructed, whether in the Sinai or at Shechem. They claim that since Yom Teruah (wrongly called Rosh Hashanah by Jews and most Messianics) is not one of the chagim, then in their view it makes no sense to say that the shofar should be blown "ON the day of our CHAG" because Yom Teruah is not a CHAG as they see it.
Careful study must lead us to conclude that the Karaite exegesis is wrong on several counts: (1) because the preposition in Hebrew is not "on (the day of our chag)" but rather "for" or even "toward (the day of our chag)" (Heb. le-hageinu). (2) Even if we conceed, for the sake of argument, that the correct translation is "on", we can prove from Torah that there is at least one chag which is not one of the three pilgrimnage feasts at least one time a day, and that is the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag haMatzah) , which is an annual sabbath and is called a chag (Exodus 13:6). If we check whether a pilgrimmage to the temple (or tabernacle) is required on this day, we discover that that is not the case. The first day of Unleavened Bread is indeed a pilgrimage day, Torah says that on the morning after the night of eating the passover lamb, the Israelites should return to their tents, i.e. to their places of residence (Deuteronomy 16:7). This proves that they are not required to stay in the place of pilgrimage later than the 15 of Aviv. And yet, the 21st of Aviv is also called a chag. Finally, the verb to which the word chag is connected (meaning 'to feast' or 'dance joyfully') is used in several places in the Bible for days that are not one of the three chagim (15th Aviv, Shavu'ot or pentecost, and Tabernacles or Sukkot).
But no matter how we interpret the word chag, the preposition before this word does not at all necessarily mean "on (the day of our chag)" because in its wider usage it means "for", "to", "towards" and it also stands in the beginning of Hebrew infinitive verb forms.
Strong's Concordance acknowledges that the word which the NKJV and other versions render "on the appointed day" is kece' meaning "the full moon, i.e. its festival" (OT:3677) even though there is no full moon festival - the only moon festival is Rosh Chodesh or the New Moon.
From an online discussion group, 2008
For a detailed study, see The Length of the Lunar Cycle
From an online discussion group, 2008
"The time an observer first sees that young Moon cannot be computed exactly. The time the Moon first becomes visible after the New Moon depends on many factors. The various effects are the geometry of the Sun, Moon, and horizon; the width and surface brightness of the crescent; the absorption of the Moon's light and the scattering of the Sun's light in the Earth's atmosphere; and the physiology of human vision. These things all change very rapidly" (Crescent Moon Visibility, United States Naval Operations [USNO], Astronomical Applications Department.
Obviously before the settlement of Israel and conquest of Jebus that became the city of David, the gathering would have been at the mobile Tabernacle in the wilderness, or at Shechem where the Tabernacle was located in the Holy land before being moved to Jerusalem by David.
Since the fall and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the diaspora, and before that when the New Covenant was inaugurated by Yah'shua, we are to gather wherever there is a body of true believers, who today collectively and in smaller units represent the temple of the Ruach haQodesh (1 Cor.3:16). When Yah'shua returns to inaugurate the Millennial Kingdom and the New Jerusalem descends from heaven (Rev.3:12; 21:2) to occupy the position where the current (old) Jerusalem sits, believers will once again assemble in the new Jerusalem for the three mandatory pilgrim feasts.
We can speculate here and suggest, with some justification, that when Yah'shua returns, so will the 30 day lunar month, this being an ot or sign that the Diaspora has ended. This in itself is proof that the Republic of Israel created in 1948 is not the true biblical Israel since we still live in a ~29½ day long monthly lunar cycle. This means that the gathering has not yet happened and that the majority of Jewish immigrants to the Israeli Republic are not true Israelites. This is proved by the fact that they still reject the King of true Israel, Yah'shua the Messiah and the country they live in is not a true theocracy but a secular republic. See What is a Jew?
This, then, is what we must look for to make our calculations for Rosh Chodesh and the start of the New Year.
In other words, Jerusalem is the International Date Line (IDL), not the man-made one bisecting the Pacific Ocean. Everyone east of Jerusalem to roughly the longitudinal border between Alaska and Canada.
This of course poses a dilemma in extreme northern and southern latuitudes were there is no sunset at all for 6 months of the year and where it is permanently set for another 6 months. In this instance (as in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Russia) you must wait for the sun to reach its lowest point on the horizon (in the summer months) and make calculations in the winter months. In calculating the Sabbath you are forced to adopt an artificially fixed time to mark sunset. In Sweden, where the writer lives, this is 6 pm throughout the year.
See the website, Congregation of Yahweh - Jerusalem
There are, admittedly, even diffiiculties with this. "The necessary time for full moon varies from 13.73 to 15.80 days after conjunction" (over two days depending on how the ellipse is oriented with respect to the sun and earth since it is off center) (Richard A. Parker, The Calendars Of Ancient Egypt)
Rosh Chodesh: The Ordinances of the Moon (Lion of God Ministries, Oak Grove, MO).
The Pentateuch or five Books of Moses, Genesis to Deuteronomy
See Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy: basic Rules for Observing the Weekly Sabbath , section on 'Travel'
See the series, The Spirit of Elijah
See, Teshuvah: The Season of Repentance
See Yom Kippur
As Protestants, Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians have done by abandoning Yahweh's festivals, new moons and sabbaths and substituting in pagan-derived abominations like Christmas, Easter, Lent, Halloween, etc..
Messianic Renewed Covenant (RNC), translation of the New Testament (TNN Press, Kissimmee, FL: 2003), p.248, footnote #h, to Colossians 2:16-17.
The Scriptures (Institute for Scripture Research, Northriding, South Africa: 2000), footnote #i, p.1143, to Colossians 2:17
Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition (RSTNE) (Your Arms to Yisrael Publishing, North Miami Beach, FL: 2005), Second Edition, p.1033, footnote #7 to Qolesayah/Colossians 2:17
Thayer's Greek Definitions
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan" (2 Thess.2:9, NKJV). "The law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate" (1 Tim.1:9, NKJV). "...the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great Elohim and Master Yah'shua the Messiah, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed" (Titus 2:13-14, NKJV)., etc.
A four-sided spinning top used by Jews and Messianics for gambling games and proclaiming a mircale that almost certainly never happened at Hanukkah - see Dreidel
Comments from Readers
"Thanks for this - [I] really appreciated reading the sermon. You make it all clear" (AK, Australia, 6 April 2009)
In response to a question as to how to calculate the New Moon:
"Something that I have found has helped me was when I learned that in Genesis 1:14, where Elohim says He is creating the lights to be signs for the moedim and calendar, the word most translated as ‘signs’ is the Hebrew word ‘owth’ (Strong’s H#226) which means a signal or beacon. With where Elohim’s 24 hour calendar days are from sunset to sunset, it means that with the night-hours happening before the daylight-hours of that calendar day, that the shape or phase of the moon in those night time hours acts as a beacon or sign for what the calendar day has begun. So for instance, if the moon is in the new moon in the nighttime hours, you would know that it is day 1 of the new month, or if it was a full moon, that it was day 15 and Shabbat.
With this, if the moment of conjunction (that is the moment when the moon becomes completely dark - this is the time most of the astronomy sites online will be referring to if you want to check that) happens in between sunset or sunrise (for instance at 21h00) so the people could within that night observe that there was a new moon, then they would now that day is Rosh Chodesh and day 1 of the new month had started with the last sunset and will end with the next sunset. If the moment of conjunction however happens during the daylight hours (for instance at 15h00 ) when the new moon cannot yet be seen or observed, Rosh Chodesh would begin with the next sunset, when the new moon is observable for the first time.
The moon remains ‘dark’ for about 17 hours after the moment of conjunction, before the first crescent is observable.
With the practical question how one can ‘observe’ when conjunction has happened (without having to refer to something like one of the astronomy sites that predict when the moment of conjunction is to happen), I found a good explanation about that here: http://creationcalendar.com/CalendarIssue/6-ConjunctionStudy.pdf :
(DP, South Africa, 10 February 2012)
“The temple was built so the entrance was toward the east. Those entering were facing the west (as a prohibitive measure—so Israel would not worship the rising sun). It was the priest’s job to call the feasts and new moons, and as they were receiving the folks at the temple, they were indeed facing the rising sun, and for good reason. As the moon grows old (wanes), every morning a smaller and smaller crescent is seen closer and closer to the eastern horizon [close to sunrise]. Conjunction day is the day the sun rises without the moon being seen first.”