Debunking The Lunar Sabbath
by Christine Egbert
Lunar sabbatarians teach that each month the new moon resets the weekly 7 day cycle, consisting of 6 work-days followed by 1 day of rest known as the weekly Sabbath, which YHVH established on the 7th Day of Creation, according to Genesis 2:2-3. Therefore, if the previous month ends on what the Gregorian calendar calls Tuesday (the 2nd day of the 6 day work-week), and the following day is the new moon, that day (for Lunar Sabbatarians) would not be Wednesday. That day would simply be known as “new moon day”, a day that Lunar sabbatarians count neither as one of the six workdays or a weekly sabbath. It’s the day following this so-called “new-moon-day” that Lunar Sabbatarians count as day 1 of the 6 day workweek.
Lunar Sabbatarians contrived this mind-bending method of counting to ensure that their weekly sabbaths always fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of each month. Although, there are some Lunar Sabbatarians who claim the weekly Sabbath always falls on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of each month.
“What about months that have 30 or 31 days?” you ask. “How do Lunar Sabbatarians deal with them?” The answer is simple. They discount the 30th and 31st of each month as “transitional” days of the moon. In other words, they do not count them either. Like their new-moon-day, which begins each new month, but is not counted as day 1 of the 6 day workweek, the 30th and 31st days of a month are also non-days, according to Lunar Sabbatarians.
THEIR PROBLEM IS THS…
The Most High is not the author of confusion (1st Co 14:33). YHVH, who gave explicit directions for building the ark and the mishkan, would not enact this very strange method of counting to determine His weekly Sabbaths and His Feast Days, without first providing the formula, if the counting of days was not consecutive from creation. And no where in Scripture does such a formula exist, nor is there mentioned a 24-hour, non-day or a transitional day of the moon, for as Amos, the prophet declared:, “Adonay YHVH will do nothing unless He (first) reveals His secret to His servants, the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
Furthermore, in Deuteronomy 12:32 (and elsewhere) God’s warns His people NOT To ADD To or TAKE AWAY From HIS WORD, which David, in Psalms 138, says YHVH magnifies ABOVE HIS name. Students of Scripture, therefore, must take Exodus 31:15, which says, “Work may be done six days, and on the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to Yehovah,” at its face value, for if these days were NOT consecutive days, the Most High would have said so somewhere in the Bible.
EVEN BIGGER PROBLEMS
Two even bigger problems faced by Lunar Sabbatarians is the fact that (as I will prove from Scripture) 1. The day the new moon is sighted, in 1st Samuel 20, is day 1 of a new month (NOT a non-day). 2. The day David and his men ate the showbread was on the 3rd day of this new month, according to Scripture, and also the weekly Sabbath!
1st Samuel 20:5 declares, “David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening.”
New Moon Is Sighted On The First Day Of The Month
1st Samuel 20:24 “So David hid himself in the field, and when the new moon came the king sat down to eat meat. (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.”
1st Samuel 20:34 “And Jonathan rose up from the table (it is still day one) in the heat of anger. And he did not eat food on the second day of the new moon, (he fasted on the second day) for he was grieved for David.”
DAY THREE OF THE MONTH
1st Sa 20:35 “And it came to pass in the morning, Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed (3rd day) with David…”
ON THAT APPOINTED THIRD DAY
In verses 20:42, Jonathan bids David to go in peace, declaring that the name YHVH was between them and their seed forever. And in the very next verse (1st Samuel 21:1-2) David goes to Nob and talks to Ahimelech, the priest. Then, in verse 3, David asks the priest for some bread, and the priest replies (verse 4), “There is no common bread under my hand, but only holy bread (the showbread). The priest then inquires if David and his young men have kept themselves from women (sexual) contact which would have rendered them ceremonially unclean. David replies (5): “Surely, a woman has been kept from us three days since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, although it was sanctified this day in the vessel.”
What did David mean when he pointed out that the bread was, in a manner, common? The answer is found in the next verse (6) which says: “And the priest gave the holy bread to him, for there was no bread there except the Bread of the Presence which is taken from the presence of YHVH (Here it comes! Get ready!) in order to put hot bread in on the day it is taken away.” And on what day does the old bread get taken away and replaced with new bread? Every weekly Sabbath!
“Every Sabbath he shall set it (the show-bread) in order before YHVH continually (every 7th day), being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’, and they shall eat it (the re-placed show-bread) in the holy place, for it is the most holy unto him of the offerings of YHVH made by fire by a perpetual statute.”
These verses clearly establish that the day on which the new moon is spotted is counted as day ONE of each new month in the Hebrew reckoning of time. It is NOT a “non-day” as Lunar Sabbatarians falsely teach. And this particular weekly Sabbath, on which David ate the outgoing showbread, did not fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, or 29th of the month, nor did it fall on the 7th, 14th, 21st, or 28th day. It fell on the 3rd day of that Hebrew month.
Furthermore, if the Jews in the New Testament were keeping the wrong weekly Sabbath (as Lunar Sabbatarians claim), why didn’t Yeshua ever call them on it? Instead, when Yeshua and his disciples were hungry and plucking heads of grain to eat on a weekly Sabbath, and some Pharisees accused them of doing what is unlawful to do on a Sabbath, (according to their manmade regulations), Yeshua reminded them of what David did on a weekly Sabbath, when he and his men were hungry. They entered the house of God and ate the (outgoing) Loaves of the Presentation.
There are so many places throughout the New Testament in which Yeshua performs miracles on the Sabbath day, as well as places where he chastises the Pharisees for breaking His Father’s commandments in order to keep their own manmade doctrines. So why isn’t there even one verse in all of the New Testament in which Yeshua, Lord of the Sabbath, corrects the Jews for keeping the wrong 7th Day Sabbath? Why didn’t He accuse them of keeping the Babylonian Sabbath? (about which the Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol 10, Page 135, states, “…was a day of penance in the middle of the month…the 15th day of each month was the sabbath of the Babylonians. This day was reckoned that of the full moon. But since the Hebrew Sabbath was never connected with the full moon, and since it was a day of gladness not penance, and since the Babylonians had no “week of 7 days”, the assumption that the Hebrews borrowed the Sabbath from the Babylonians lacks all foundation.”) But facts don’t easily deter Lunar Sabbatarians. In spite of historical facts, they tenaciously hold to the antisemitic lie that Jews have been observing the Babylon sabbath ever since they returned to Israel from their exile.
Another fatal assumption made by Lunar Sabbatarians is that since Rome had an 8 day week calendar, Jews of the first century could not have kept the correct 7th day Sabbath. They ignore the pesky fact that between 17 B.C. and 14 A. D., Rome also used a 7 day, planetary week, calendar. The following is a quote from “Sunday In Roman Paganism” by Robert Leo Odum:
“In 1795 were found the marble fragments of which is known as the Sabine Calendar (Fasti Sabini), in a place in central Italy. The portions represent the months of September and October in the Julian calendar. The experts in this type of archaeological find have declared them to belong to the reign of Augustus Caesar, and to have been used between 19 B.C. and 4 A.D.”
Here is another quote. This one is from “Famous Firsts In The Ancient And Greek World” found under the heading “First Reference To A Seven Day Week.” It states: “An inscription (CIL1.220) dated between 19 B.C. And A.D. 14, preserving the remains of the sabine calendar is the earliest known public record of a seven-day week.”
The fact is this; Israel’s Jews influenced the world, not the other way around. Here is a quote from that first century Jewish historian, Josephus, taken from “Against Apion”; Book 2; Page 811; Subsection 282. “…the multitude of mankind itself has had a great inclination for a long time to follow our religious observance; for there is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whiter our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come.”
I could go on and one with quotes, there are so many, but I will end this section with just one more. Dio Cassius; Volume 8; Page 271: “Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most.”
And please don’t write and tell me that Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are all named for pagan gods. I know that! I also know that these PAGAN names for the days of the week are found no where in Scripture. Nevertheless, the fact remains (like it or not), they are a part of our English language. Each one of the pagan-named days of the week represents a specific count (Sunday = day 1; Monday = day 2, etc, etc) toward God’s 7th day Sabbath.
Luke 4:16 tells us that Yeshua’s custom was to go into the synagogue every Sabbath Day, and make no mistake, this was the very same weekly Sabbath (from sundown Friday night to sun-down Saturday) that Jews observed prior to their exile.
What About The Gregorian Calendar?
Did the 7 Day weekly cycle change with the Gregorian calendar? No! It did not. The sequencing of the 7 days of the week (Sunday through Saturday) was never affected. The day after Thursday, October 4th, simply jumped to Friday the 15th day of October.
Our current 7 Day weekly cycle was established and has been maintained (for the Almighty is able) since Creation week, when Elohim set apart the 7th consecutive day from the previous six workdays. And unlike the lunar sabbatarian calendar, Day 1 of God’s six-day workweek did not occur on the day following the newly created moon. Day 1 occurred 3 days before the moon was created on the 4th day, proving that the 7th Day Sabbath is not determined by the new moon. It is (and it always has been) determine by the continuous sequencing of 7 days into weeks, the 7 Day Hebrew week, which consists of 6 workdays followed by the 7th Day, a Sabbath Day of REST.
What About The 12 Hour Day?
Then there are those who pluck, out of context, the question Yeshua asked in John 11:9. “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” Based on this slight of hand, they claim the Sabbath is not from sunset to sunset, but only the 12 hours of daylight. But this is sophistry! Lets read the entire passage: “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble because he sees the light of the world.(10) But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles because the light is not in him.”
In context, Yeshua is declaring that during the daytime there is light and at nighttime there is darkness. It in no way refutes Genesis 1:5, which states, “God called the light Day (H3117) and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Yeshua was not suggesting, as some with overinflated egos, desirous of proving their esoteric knowledge of Scripture far exceeds the knowledge generationally amassed by Jewish sages, who have devoted their entire lives to the study of the Hebrew language and Scriptures. They ignore the fact that the Jews, according to Paul, have been “partially”, not entirely, blinded, and that their blindness regards the identity of Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua, not how to count to 7 or determine the length of time which makes up “one biblical day”.
Jeremiah 31:35 says, “Thus said YHVH, who gives the sun for a light (yoman) daily (i.e. The sun was given so that we can count days, from sunset to sunset; Genesis 1:5: “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night, and the evening and the morning was ONE (echad) day.”), and the ordinances of the moon (i.e. how we count months and determine His Appointed Times), and the stars He gave for a light by night…”
What About The Moon?
Psalms 104:19 says, “He made the moon for seasons (mo’ed, appointed times). The annual appointed Feast Days of Israel are set according to numerical days of the month (i.e. 14th of Aviv is Passover, 15th of Aviv is the First day of the Feast of Unleavened bread, a feast of 7 days). The new moon (Rosh Chodesh in Hebrew) determines a new month. But make no mistake, if one month ends on the 4th day of that week, the new month will begin on the 5th day of the week in the new month, regardless of wether you’re using the Hebrew-counting-names for the days of the week (Day One; Day Two; Day Three; etc.) or the pagan sun-god English names. The sequence of days forming weeks has been and always will remain unbroken. This continuous cycle of our seven-day week allows us to count the o’mer (7 weeks plus 1 day that equals 50) from First Fruits to Shavuot. Imagine trying to count to 50 using a Lunar Sabbatarian calendar with from 2 to 3 “non-days” each month. The Biblical year begins with the sighting of the first new moon after the barley in Israel reaches AVIV ripeness. Sadly, the Lunar Sabbatarians’ tortured way of counting days has caused many of them not only to miss the real 7th Day Sabbath each week, but to celebrate Passover well after the barley has become aviv. It boils down to this, when Satan–the deceiver–fails to keep a believer from righteously desiring to keep YHVH’s Sabbaths and Feast Days, he switches to plan “B”, and whispers, “Did God really mean six consecutive days you’re to work and the seventh day is a Sabbath? Or was that something those (evil Zionist) Jews brought back from Babylon?”