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 Lunar sabbatarians count neither as one of the six workdays or a weekly sabbath. It’s the day following “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, some Lunar Sabbatarians have their Sabbath on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th. “What about months consisting of 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 are also non-days to Lunar Sabbatarians.
THEIR PROBLEM IS THS…
The Most High is not the author of confusion (1stCo 14:33). YHVH, who gave explicit directions for building the ark and the mishkan, would not enact this strange method for counting days without providing the formula. Yet, no where in Scripture does such a formula exist. Neither does even one 24-hour, non-day period of time exist. As the prophet Amos states, “Adonay YHVH will do nothing unless He (first) reveals His secret to His servants, the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
In Deuteronomy 12:32 (and elsewhere in the Torah) God’s people are warned NOT To ADD To or TAKE AWAY From HIS WORD, which David, in Psalms 138, says YHVH magnifies ABOVE HIS name. Therefore, students of Scripture 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 face value. If these 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 is day 1 of the new month. It is NOT a non-day. 2. The day David and his men ate the showbread was on the 3rd day of the month, and that 3rd day of the month (not the 18th, 15th, 22nd, or 29th day) was 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.”
Day The New Moon Is Sighted Is The First Day Of The Month
1stSa 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.
1stSa 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
1stSa 20:35 And it came to pass in the morning, Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed (3rdday) with David…”
ON THE 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) David goes to Nob, where he talks to Ahimelech, the priest, who trembles and asks him, “Why are you by yourself, and no man with you?” David answers (verse 2), “The king has commanded me a matter, and said, ‘Do not let a man know anything of the matter about which I am sending you…” 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). Then the priest inquires if David and his young men have kept themselves from women (understood to mean 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 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 very 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? On the weekly Sabbath!
“Every Sabbath he shall set it (the show-bread) in order before YHVH continually, 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 show-bread that is being replaced) 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. It fell on the 3rdday 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? Matter of fact, on one particular weekly Sabbath, when Yeshua and his disciples were hungry and plucking heads of grain to eat, some Pharisees accused them of doing what is not lawful (according to their manmade regulations regarding what constitutes work on the Sabbath). To clarify this, 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 15thday of each month was the sabbath of the Babylonians. This day was reckoned that of the full moon. But since the Hebrew sabbath was not connected with the full moon and was a day of gladness, not of 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, for in spite of historical facts, they tenaciously hold to the lie that the weekly Sabbath observed by Jews in Israel comes from Babylon.
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 7thday 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 (Monday = day 1; Tuesday = day 2) 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.
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 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.
“God called the light Day (H3117) and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5
Yeshua was not suggesting, as some with over inflated egos, desirous of proving their esoteric study of Scripture for 2, 5, 10, maybe even 20 years, far exceeds the knowledge amassed generationally by those (Jewish sages) who have devoted their entire lives to the study of the Hebrew language as well as the Scriptures. They ignore the fact that the Jews, according to Paul, have been “partially”, not entirely blinded, and that this blindness regards the identity of Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua. It does not mean that these sages do not know how long “one day” is or how to count to seven.
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?”