New Moons And Translation Days.
New Moons And Translation Days.
Once these are understood, it is easier to grasp
how time was originally calculated.
(Genesis 1:14-18) (NKJV) 14Then the CREATOR said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; 15and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16Then the CREATOR made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17The CREATOR set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.
New Moons And Translation Days. The Mystery Explained.
The Creator's calendar has two categories of days that do not exist in the modern papal/pagan calendar: New Moons and translation days. Once these are understood, it is easier to grasp how time was originally calculated.
For nearly 2,000 years, parts of the western world have regulated time by the same seven-day 'WEEKLY' cycle. This has created the illusion that the modern 'WEEK' of 'Sunday' through 'Saturday' has cycled continuously and without interruption since Creation*. This is simply not true. The last country to officially adopt the modern Gregorian calendar was Greece in 1923, although it was not until 1949 that the entire world was unified in its use. Knowledge of time, and how it is calculated, allows one to understand the significance of the New Moons and translations days that appear in the Biblical method of time keeping.
Humans relate to, and measure time, with reference to movement. The hands of a clock moving around a clock-face describe hours, minutes and seconds. A year is described by the rotation [orbit] of the Earth around the Sun. A month is described by the rotation [orbit] of the moon around the Earth. A day is described by the rotation of the Earth on its own axis.
Differences In Time Calculation: The Confusion Of 'WEEKS'.
Without movement, time cannot be measured. The modern Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar that bases its year on the length of time it takes for the earth to revolve [orbit] around the sun: 365.25 days. The day is based on how long it takes for the earth to make one complete rotation on its axis: 24 hours. On the modern Gregorian calendar, 'WEEKS' and months are not based on anything in nature. They are completely arbitrary. This is different from the luni-solar calendar established by the ETERNAL at the creation of the world.
The calendar of creation is based entirely on nature. From its years, to months, to days, it is all based on the movements of the heavenly bodies. The word "month" was originally "moonth" and comes from the word moon. In ancient times, months were always based on the movement of the moon. The Hebrew Sabbathon was celebrated at intervals of seven days, roughly corresponding with changes in the moon's phases. The fact that the months and days of the Biblical calendar are based on movements in nature, creates the biggest difference between the ETERNAL's luni-solar calendar and the Gregorian pagan/papal solar calendar in use today. It also creates the most confusion. Both calendars keep track of how much time it takes for the earth to complete one revolution [orbit] around the sun (a year). Both break that year into smaller, more manageable segments. But there, the similarity ends.
The modern Gregorian calendar has months ranging in length from 28 days to 31 days. The months are not tied to anything in nature. Consequently, the 'WEEK' cycles continuously and without interruption from one month to the next, and from one year to the next, giving rise to the idea that the CREATOR created it this way, and has been this way ever since creation.
The Creator's calendar on the other hand, bases each month on the movement of the moon. Each month begins with the 'New Moon' [New Moon Day]. The monthly luni-solar cycle restarts anew, on every 'New Moon'. The Hebrew Scriptural month is a lunar month, of which a quarter of this period, one phase of the moon, roughly coincides with one seven-day period, of which there are four every month. This is the hardest point to comprehend when first beginning to study the Biblical calendar of Creation. Conversely, the modern Gregorian solar calendar has a continuous 'WEEKLY' cycle, whereas the Scriptural luni-solar calendar of Creation, does not.
'New Moons' are significant components of the Biblical method of time-keeping since they are the point in time at which the monthly cycle restarts. The phrase "New Moon" in Scripture comes from the Hebrew word, 'Chodesh' (Strongs #H2320). The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines chodesh as "the new moon; by impl. [implication] a month". The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words expounds on this, explaining: "Chodesh can refer to a 'month', or the period from one 'New Moon' to another. In a related nuance the word refers not so much to a measure of time as to a period of time, or a calendar month".
Thus, in Scripture, 'New Moon' [chodesh] can refer to:
A. The first day of the new month.
B. The period of time between one 'New Moon' and the next.
C. A calendar month.
Scripture contains multiple references to new moons as the day on which the new month began. The extremely close correlation of the month as a period of time linked to a lunation of the moon can be seen in the fact that there are even more Scriptural references which use the word chodesh to refer to a calendar month than there are to its use as the first day of the month. Chodesh is used 20 times in the Bible to refer to the first day of a new lunation. It is used 251 times to refer to a calendar month, or lunation.
Another Hebrew word that links a calendar month to the moon is 'yerach' (Strongs #H3391). This word for "month" does not refer to a new moon, but does connect a calendar month with a lunation: "a lunation, i.e. month: - month, moon". Both words connect a month on the calendar to a lunation of the moon:
New Moons have no corresponding day in the Gregorian calendar with its months divorced from anything in nature. Thus, many people are confused over what to do on 'New Moon Day' or how to observe it. Scripture reveals several things about the observance of the 'New Moon':
New Moons were non-commerce days.
New Moons were days of thanksgiving.
New Moons were days of worship.
New Moons Are Non-Commerce Days.
Jews have always had a reputation for being very "good" with money: i.e., taking advantage of every opportunity to make money and extract high interest from gentiles. The Jews of Bible times were no different. When in apostasy, the Jews resented having to close their stores for Sabbaths and New Moons. The Bible records the lament of these greedy and unethical merchants:
(Amos 8:5-7) (NKJV) 5When will the 'New Moon' be past, That we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, That we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, Falsifying the scales by deceit, 6That we may buy the poor for silver, And the needy for a pair of sandals; Even sell the bad wheat? 7The ETERNAL has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their works.
Work done for the tabernacle, however, was allowable:
(Exodus 40:1-2) (NKJV) 1Then the ETERNAL spoke to Moses, saying: 2On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.
(Exodus 40:16-17) (NKJV) 16Thus Moses did; according to all that the ETERNAL had commanded him, so he did. 17And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up.
It is possible, but unknown, that other forms of "work" were acceptable to perform on 'New Moon Day'. However, no work that generated income, no commerce, was to be performed on 'New Moon' nor any other routine labor that could be performed on other days.
New Moons Were Days Of Thanksgiving.
'New Moons' were a time for families to get together, share a meal and rejoice over the blessings of the past month, rededicating themselves to the ETERNAL for the coming month. Both the Bible and extra-Biblical sources present 'New Moons' as a day for taking time to spend with family and friends over a meal. Some sources suggest it was a day when women in particular were freed from the many burdens of housework. Other passages of Scripture reveal that 'New Moons', like Sabbaths, were a time when people would go to make special inquiries of the prophets.
New Moons Were Originally Days Of Worship.
Where Scripture is silent, history can shed additional light. An early edition of the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia states that 'New Moons' were originally days for worship:
Sabbath and 'New Moon' (Rosh Hodesh), both periodically recurring in the course of the year. The 'New Moon' is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle. Both date back to the nomadic period of Israel. Originally the 'New Moon' was celebrated in the same way as the Sabbath; gradually it became less important while the Sabbath became more and more a day of religion and humanity, of religious meditation and instruction, of peace and delight of the soul.
Translation days, like New Moons, have no direct correlation in the modern solar calendar. However, it is necessary to understand what they are in order to have a clear comprehension of the ETERNAL's Scriptural luni-solar calendar.
Starry Night Sky.
"Translation day" is an astronomical term that is not found in Scripture. However, the fact that the Biblical months were based on the cycles of the moon is sufficient proof, that since they exist in nature, they likewise exist in the Biblical calendar. According to the United States Naval Observatory, a lunation is 29.5 days long. Generally speaking, this equates to every other month having 29 days, and off months having 30 days. A lunation never has less than 29 days or more than 30 days. This is a demonstrable astronomical fact.
Contrast that with the modern Gregorian pagan/papal solar calendar, which has months containing 28 days and 31 days. Their calendar is derived by mathematical calculations the main one of which is 365.25 days divided by 12 months. Additional rules are also used leading to an unnatural number of days in some months.
Astronomers use the term "translation day" to designate the 30th day of a lunation. It falls at the end of a lunar cycle on the "black moon" when the moon cannot be seen.
Because time itself is continuous, many have believed that the system by which time is calculated today, must also by default, be continuous. This is an error of assumption. Originally, all ancient calendars were luni-solar with a so-called 'WEEKLY' cycle (of varying lengths), restarting every new moon. Chronologists date the first calendar with a continuous 'WEEKLY' cycle to Babylon around 600 BC. Prior to that time, no calendar utilized a so-called 'WEEKLY' cycle that had no interruption. They all used a monthly system comprised of 'New Moon Day', and four seven-day periods of six work days and a seventh-day Sabbath. All time must be accounted for. Thus, translation days are not "non-days" as some have suggested. They have a date: the 30th of every thirty-day month. The 30th of the month, like the first of the month, was not part of the seven-day cycle. However, it was counted and did have a date.
Confusion over translation days has led some people to reject the Biblical luni-solar calendar. The fourth commandment clearly states:
(Exodus 20:9-10) (NKJV) 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the ETERNAL your CREATOR. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
Not understanding translation days has led to the false assumption that in a thirty day month, there are a total of nine days between the seventh-day Sabbath on the 29th of one month and the next seventh-day Sabbath on the 8th of the new month. This appears to create a problem because that time span is greater than the six-workday interval between Sabbaths prescribed in the fourth commandment. However, because 'New Moons' are a type of holy day, there are never more than six workdays in between worship days. A lunar month never has more than 30 days and is never shorter than 29 days. Thus, the day following the 30th is always a 'New Moon Day', which begins a new month.
The Creator's Luni-Solar Calendar, Showing 'New Moon' Day, His Sabbaths
On The 8th, 15th, 22nd, And 29th, And A Translation Day On The 30th.
The assumption that there will be too many work days between Sabbaths comes from not understanding that the 'New Moon' itself is a worship day that starts a new cycle of four seven-day periods: six work days, each followed by a seventh-day Sabbath. As the 'New Moon' begins the new cycle for the new month, 'translation days' like 'New Moon Days', are not part of the seven-day cycle, even though they are a day with a date. Translation days, which are always on the 30th of a lunar month, can never be transferred to the next month or counted as a date in the new month because the next month always starts with 'New Moon Day', which is always the day following either the 29th day or the 30th day [translation day], depending upon the lunar cycle. With the 'New Moon', the cycle of four seven-day periods begins anew. Interestingly enough, this confusion always arises among those in the west who have only ever known the Gregorian pagan/papal solar calendar, with its continuous 'WEEKLY' cycle. In countries that use lunar calendation for their religious calendars, it is an easier concept to grasp.
The ETERNAL has always clearly specified by name or date which days are to be kept holy. Thus, all days that are not specifically designated as holy days are workdays. There are never more than six workdays in between rests, as 'New Moons' are rest days.
Categories Of Days.
The Gregorian solar calendar has different categories of days: Work/school days, weekends (when most people take off work), and national holidays. The Biblical calendar has three categories of worship days:
Days (seventh-day Sabbaths)
Monthly (New Moons)
Annual (yearly feasts)
New Moon Day Sacrifices.
The importance of the 'New Moon' can be seen in the fact that the sacrifices prescribed for 'New Moons' were considerably more than those prescribed for the seventh-day Sabbath!
Many people who have been convicted to worship by the Biblical calendar observe the seventh-day Sabbaths and yearly observances, but the monthly observance of 'New Moon Day' is frequently overlooked. This is partly through ignorance of how to observe the 'New Moon'. However, the importance of the 'New Moon' can be seen in the fact that the sacrifices prescribed for 'New Moons' were considerably more than those prescribed for the seventh-day Sabbaths! The sacrifices required for the seventh-day Sabbaths were simply the two lambs offered every day, plus two additional lambs and a small food and drink offering. The sacrifices for 'New Moons' however, included two young bullocks, a ram and seven lambs, plus a sizable food and drink offering - in addition to the two lambs that were always offered every day.
Under the covenant system of sacrifice, the priests burnt a morning and an evening sacrifice every single day. The ETERNAL specified which sacrifices were to be offered on which days. The average daily sacrifice was a lamb. Larger, more expensive sacrifices were offered on the yearly feasts. If days were to be ranked based on the type of sacrifice specified for that day, it would be as follows, from least to most important:
4. Work days.
3. Seventh-Day Sabbaths.
2. New Moons.
1. Annual Feasts.
The Calendar: Reminder Of Creation.
All of Creation was designed to reveal truths about the Creator and to draw the hearts and minds of man to his Creator in grateful acknowledgement. The calendar devised by the ETERNAL is divinely designed for that very thing. The seventh-day Sabbath is to be segregated, set apart for the worship of the Creator. The English word 'Sabbath' comes from the Hebrew word 'shabath' (Strongs #H7673) and means "to repose, i.e. desist from exertion". But it was not just the seventh-day Sabbaths that were to be set apart. Originally the monthly 'New Moons', and of course the yearly feasts, were all times to remember the goodness of the Creator.
Couple Praying Together.
The four quarters of the moon supply an obvious division of the month; it is most significant that in the older parts of the Hebrew scriptures the 'New Moon' and the Sabbath are almost invariably mentioned together. The [lunar] month is beyond question an old sacred division of time common to all the semites; even the Arabs, who received the so-called continuous 'WEEK', at quite a late period from the Syrians, greeted the 'New Moon' with religious acclamations. We cannot tell [exactly] when the Sabbath became disassociated from the month.
The ETERNAL's holy convocations, including New Moons and seventh-day Sabbaths, are a time for renewed commitment to the Creator; a time to slow down, acknowledge the ETERNAL's gifts of family, friends and other blessings. 'New Moons' bring a blessing to all who will set aside this time to acknowledge all the blessings provided to them by the ETERNAL.
(Isaiah 66:23) (NKJV) And it shall come to pass That from one 'New Moon' to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the ETERNAL.
 [a]All scriptural links point to the Bible Gateway, A Searchable Online Bible In Over 100 Versions And 50 Languages, located at "BibleGateway.Com", a vast biblical resource containing all the major texts and reference materials useful for in-depth bible studies. Most scriptual quotations are from the (KJV) of the Bible, however versions noted in (parentheses) should also be consulted. [b]All Strong's scriptural references point to the Blue Letter Bible Lexicon, located at "BlueLetterBible.Org", another vast biblical resource which has over 4,000,000 links available, pointing to more than 165,000 pages of concordances, lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, images, and several Bible versions.
 Encyclopedia Biblica, 1899 ed., p. 4180.
 Ibid., p. 4780.
 #2320, The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 453.
 New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 410.
 Eviatar Zerubavel, The Seven Day Circle, pp. 7-8.
 The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 833.
 Encyclopedia Biblica, op cit., pp. 4178-4179.