Introduction to the New Moon
In the Bible, the word for new moon is chodesh (SHD
2320). It means the first day of the month, as outlined in God’s Calendar in the
1Samuel 20:5 David said to
Jonathan, "Behold, tomorrow is the new moon [chodesh], 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. (RSV)
Each New Moon is a Sabbath day of rest. It is interesting that the word chodesh is taken from chadash (SHD 2318): 1) to be new, renew, repair. So we see even the original meaning of
the word for the New Moon is a time for renewing or returning to the One True
God and His Law. It is amazing that with the start of each new month we are
reminded to renew our relationship with our creator. It is another time Eloah has blessed us with a
special time set apart to worship Him and learn more of His ways.
In God’s Calendar, each month begins on the New
Moon. Therefore, in the Bible, the word moon and month are almost interchangeable.
That is why the majority of the time, chodesh is translated as month.
Genesis 8:13-14 In the six hundred and first year, in the
first month [chodesh], the first day of the month [chodesh], the waters were
dried from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked,
and behold, the face of the ground was dry.
In the second month [chodesh], on the twenty-seventh day of the month
[chodesh], the earth was dry. (RSV)
It is a very different concept from the
Gregorian calendar that we all follow today. The Gregorian calendar is an
arithmetical calendar and it does not take into account the New Moon when
calculating the beginning of the next month.
It is completely different from the original calendar established by
God. The New Moon can fall on any day of
the week, therefore we have to watch God’s Calendar to know when this day
comes, so we can prepare in advance. God’s ways are simple. He does not use
pagan names for His months or days of the week; they are simple numbers from
one to seven for the days of the week and one to thirteen for the months of the
year. For more information on the calendar and the various names that are used
see Hebrew and Islamic Calendar Reconciled (No. 53).
It is interesting that most people in today’s
world know what a full moon is, yet many people, especially those in developed
countries, are not aware of what a New Moon is. If we all followed God’s
Calendar we would all be aware of when each New Moon was and what it looked
like because it would be the start of the next month.
The scientific definition of the new moon is:
1: the moon's phase when it is in conjunction with the sun so that
its dark side is toward the earth; also
: the thin crescent moon seen
shortly after sunset for a few days after
the actual occurrence of the new moon phase 2: the first day of each Jewish month marked by a special liturgy
Here we see a few key points:
1. The moon is in conjunction with the sun and
2. The dark side of the moon is towards the
3. A thin crescent is visible a few hours or
days after the New Moon.
4. The Jews have a special service for the New
Let us continue to try to understand some of the
language relating to the New Moon.
a) the meeting of heavenly
bodies in the same longitude or right ascension, b) the situation of two or
more heavenly bodies when their longitudes are the same – they appear to be in
line with each other. (Macquarie ABC Dictionary, 2003)
A new moon conjunction occurs when the moon is
between the earth and sun and the three are all in a line. The moon is “dark” and can not be seen unless
we are able to see a thin round circle of light showing around the outside of
the moon. (This is rare to see in a city and conditions would need to be just
right to make this type of setting even in remote areas). We have also learned
the crescent moon follows the New Moon.
Eloah tells us that the sun and moon were
created for the seasons (Gen. 1:14; Ps. 104:19).
Genesis 1:14 And God said,
"Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day
from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and
Psalm 104:19 Thou hast made the
moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. (RSV)
This means we need to use the sun and moon in
determining the calendar. Different religions use the sun, moon or sun and moon
to determine their calendars. The
Gregorian calendar uses both the sun and moon like the biblical calendar, but
the end result is very different from the calendar that God shows us in the
Typically there are Twelve New Moons in a
biblical year or a prophetic year.
However, seven times in every nineteen years there is a Thirteenth New
Moon. The Thirteenth New Moon is added to keep the Calendar in its season and
assures that the first month of each new biblical year is in the spring. With God’s Calendar, the sun assists in
keeping the calendar so the Passover is at the correct time of the year.
Islam uses only the moon and believes that their
months should start with the crescent moon instead of the New Moon. Because
they only use the moon for determining their calendar and do not intercalate
and do not have the Thirteenth Month, the beginning of the year progressively
moves forward each and every year. (For
a more complete description of God’s Calendar see God’s
Calendar (No. 156), God’s Sacred Calendar (No. CB20) and How to
Determine God's Calendar (No. CB020b).
For the exact dates of the New Moons, Feasts etc. see New Moon and Holy Day
Calendar (No. C3)).
Who has kept the New Moons and How?
From scriptures, we know the New Moon is to be
kept under the law.
Numbers 10:10 On the day of
your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts, and at the beginnings of your
months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the
sacrifices of your peace offerings; they shall serve you for remembrance before
your God: I am the LORD your God." (RSV)
Numbers 28:11-15 "At the
beginnings of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD: two
young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish; also three
tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with oil, for
each bull; and two tenths of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with oil,
for the one ram; and a tenth of fine flour mixed with oil as a cereal offering
for every lamb; Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull, a
third of a hin for a ram, and a fourth of a hin for a lamb; this is the burnt
offering of each month throughout the months of the year. for a burnt offering
of pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD. Also one male goat for a sin
offering to the LORD; it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering
and its drink offering. (RSV)
2Chronicles 2:4 Behold, I am
about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God and dedicate it to him
for the burning of incense of sweet spices before him, and for the continual
offering of the showbread, and for burnt offerings morning and evening, on the
sabbaths and the new moons and the appointed feasts of the LORD our God, as
ordained for ever for Israel. (RSV)
(See also 1Chr. 23:31; 2Chr. 8:13; 31:3.)
For ages and ages people have kept Eloah’s
Laws. Eventually, they chose to rebel and disobey God. The New Moons become
part of the restoration as in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. Each time that
one of God’s servants restored Israel to the way of God, it included observing
the Sabbaths, New Moons, and Holy Days as God instructed.
Historically, ancient Israel kept the New
Moons (Ezra 3:5; Neh. 10:33; Ps. 81:3). The New Testament Church also kept the
New Moons with the Sabbath and Holy Days (Col. 2:16). The Bible also tells us
the New Moons will be kept in the restoration under Messiah as a Sabbath.
Isaiah 66:23 From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath
to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. (RSV)
(See also Ezek. 45:17; 46:1,3,6.) For more
information see The Statement of Beliefs (A1).
Since we know the New Moons were kept by
ancient Israel, and we know that Jesus and the apostles kept the law (including
the New Moons), and God tells us that we are going to keep them in the future,
it only makes logical sense that God desires for us to keep them too.
Clearly we have seen the New Moon is a
Sabbath. No distinction is made between the New Moon and the weekly Sabbath in
terms of buying and selling. Both days are holy and no trading is permitted on
Amos 8:5 "When will the
new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer
wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal
deceitfully with false balances (RSV)
The New Moons are special Sabbaths.
Historically, there are many examples when the word of the Lord came to the
Ezekiel 26:1 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month,
the word of the LORD came to me: (RSV)
Ezekiel 32:1 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first
day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: (RSV)
Ezekiel 29:17 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the
first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: (RSV)
Ezekiel 31:1 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day
of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: (RSV)
Haggai 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month,
on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet
to Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son
of Jehoz'adak, the high priest, (RSV)
The Bible makes it
very clear that it is on these New Moons that God spoke with the prophets when
they were before Him, or in His service. Why was Zerub’babel, prince in Judah,
consulting a prophet on the New Moon? The answer from the multiple texts shows
it was because they went before God on these days and He gave revelation
through the prophets on these days. (See Frequently
Asked Questions: The New Moons (No. 158)).
Ezekiel tells us that the sacrifices on the
New Moon were greater in number than those of the weekly Sabbath (Ezek.
Special New Moons
There are two extra special New Moons in the lunar year: the first
New Moon and the seventh New Moon. The New Moon clearly marks the beginning of
each month. The first New Moon of the year (sometime in March or April) begins
the New Year in God’s Calendar. This
first New Moon is a different date each year because the calendar that the world
follows today does not start each month on a New Moon. Sometimes the first new
moon is in March and sometimes it is in April. God’s New Year begins near the
spring, a time when a regeneration of plants and animals occurs on the planet. So we can see the New Year of 1 January, as
most of the world celebrates, has nothing to do with God’s Calendar. For more information see Satan's Days
of Worship (No. CB23).
The Seventh New Moon is special because it is
the Day of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24; Num. 29:1-6). This is one of God’s annual Holy
Days and is explained further on in this paper. (See also The Day of Trumpets (No. CB139).)
Significant First New Moons of the Year
From the Bible we know that many important events happened on the
first day of the first month. The restoration of the earth under Noah, when the
waters dried up after the Flood, cleansed the earth from the Nephilim and all
the people that were evil.
Genesis 8:13 In the six hundred
and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were
dried from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked,
and behold, the face of the ground was dry. (RSV)
Then we see Moses setting up the Tabernacle on the first day of the
first month making God’s Dwelling place on earth functional.
Exodus 40:2 "On the first day of the first month you
shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. (RSV)
Also, Ezra set out to restore the law on the first day of the month.
Ezra 7:8-9 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month,
which was in the seventh year of the king; for on the first day of the first
month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month
he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had
set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach his
statutes and ordinances in Israel. (RSV)
This was a restoration after the people and priests lapsed into
idolatry and disobedience.
of numbers associated with the New Moon
When we count the Sabbaths within a month there are typically four
weekly Sabbaths. When we add the New Moon we have five days in a typical month
that are set apart as holy time. We know that five is the number of grace. (For
more information see Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7).) By the grace of God we have been called and
God has given His Plan of Salvation to us. It is through the renewing of our
relationship with Eloah at the New Moon observance that we more fully
understand His Plan and are more able to correctly keep His Laws.
There are Churches today that keep the Sabbaths and annual Holy
Days, but neglect to keep the New Moons.
They are missing a vital piece of the symbolic meaning tied to the days
in which God outlines as special days of sacrifice and worship. At first we may not always understand
everything that God tells us to do, yet we need to obey God regardless and He
will direct our thoughts (Prov. 16:3).
When we look at the number of Sabbaths, New
Moons, and Feasts, interesting things become clear through the numbers. Let us
total the number of Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feasts within a given year. This
will assist us in seeing all the times Eloah has set apart in each year as holy
time for us to draw closer to Him.
52 weekly Sabbaths in a normal year from vernal
equinox to vernal equinox.
12 New Moons in a typical year
1st day of Unleavened Bread
Seventh day of Unleavened Bread
First day of Tabernacles
Last Great Day
Total = 72 days.
Though Wave Sheaf is not a commanded Sabbath
Day, it is a day we are commanded to be together to commemorate and remember
the Wave Sheaf offering. In 30 CE this was the Sunday morning Joshua the
Messiah ascended to his Father’s Throne and was accepted as the first of the
first-fruits as the perfect acceptable sacrifice to restore man and Host back
to the Father. (For more information on the Wave Sheaf see Wave Sheaf
and the Count to Pentecost (No. CB137), Messiah the
Perfect and Complete Sacrifice (No. CB120), and Who is
Jesus? (No. CB2).)
Once we add the Wave-Sheaf Offering into the
count of the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts of God we see we have the number
72. This is the number of the Council of
God including the 70, Jesus Christ and God. See Lesson: The
Creation of the Family of God (CB4_2)).
This same structure is found in both the Old Testament and New
Moses ordained the Seventy (Num. 11:26) plus
Eldad and Medad which equals seventy-two. Christ re-established this system of
seventy (Lk. 10:1ff. (which the Greek word is listed as 72).
The Church has been given 2,000 years from the establishment of the
Church in 30CE until the return of Messiah.
A jubilee is 50 years and therefore two thousand years is the same as 40
jubilees (40x50=2,000). This period of time was symbolized by the forty years that
Israel wandered in the wilderness. Just like Israel, the Church is now wandering in the spiritual wilderness of the Babylonian
If we multiply the 2000 years x 72 sacrificial
offerings of the Holy Day system, we arrive at the number 144,000. In
Revelation we learn that the
144,000 are a part of the elect that
God calls to be a part of His government (Rev 14:1). The 144,000 are given the Song of Moses and
the Song of the Lamb (Deut 31:21-22, Rev. 15:3) For more information on the
Song of Moses see The Song of Moses in Exodus 15 (No. 79), The Song of
Moses (No. CB98) and The Song of
Moses Colouring Book (No. CB98_2). They are the inner
wheel of the council of Eloah. God created all things and by Him all things exist. He is a
God of Law and order. He allotted responsibilities to the four Covering
Cherubs, Twenty-four Elders etc. For more information see The Family of
God (No. CB4).
The 72 x 2000 equals 144,000 sacrifices over
2000 years of the Church. We may speculate that there are seventy two
individuals called out of the world each year – some years more, some years
less. The prophets of old will make up some of the 144,000 since they had the
Holy Spirit and did the work of the One True God yet they came before or
preceded the Messiah. The New Moons are essential to the understanding of the
Council and the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1) that are in addition to the Great
Multitude of Revelation 7:9-17.
The year 2028 represents the 2,000th
anniversary of the ministry of Jesus Christ and the first year of the new
millennial Jubilee. The Seventy-two days make up the sacrificial offerings of the Holy-Day system.
The New Moons must be kept together with the Sabbath and the Feasts in order to
understand the symbolism of the 144,000. The
restoration is the same law given to Moses and to us as the Church. The New
Moons are central to the understanding of the Council and the 144,000 (Rev.
7:1-8; 14:1), which are additional to the Great Multitude of Revelation 7:9-17.
Let us look at both groups now in more detail.
144,000 and the Great Multitude
The Saints of God are those who keep the
Commandments of God and Testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14).
Revelation 14:12 Here is a call
for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the
faith of Jesus. (RSV)
Since the creation of the world there have
been faithful servants of God that have died in faith never receiving the
promises (Heb. 11). These individuals
and many nameless saints of Eloah make up the 144,000.
Time is drawing near and there is not much
longer till Messiah returns to the earth when the Seventh Trumpet sounds.
Revelation 7:3-4 tells us that will not happen until the last of the 144,000
have been sealed.
Revelation 7:3-4 "Do not
harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our
God upon their foreheads." And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred
and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel (RSV)
Many of the 144,000 have already qualified,
but scripture tells us they will not be the only individuals that are part of
the elect and first resurrection. The General Multitude then constitutes the
remainder that enters the Kingdom of God in the First Resurrection. From
Revelation 7:9ff., we learn who make up the Great Multitude and what awaits
Revelation 7:14-17 And I
said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came
out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in
the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore are they before the throne of
God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne
shall dwell among them. 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any
more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17For the
Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them
unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their
Although tribulation and difficult times come
against the followers of Christ, the Bible tells us that the reward is great.
The General or Great Multitude is made up of
those who make their robes white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). Both
groups, the 144,000 and the great multitude, keep the Commandments of God and
the Testimony of Christ that are the two essential elements for determining the
elect (Rev. 12:17; 22:14).
The “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” includes
both the 144,000, as the bride (Rev. 7:4-8, 14:1-5), and the Great Multitude as
the guests (Rev. 7:9-17; Rev. 19; Mat. 22). Anyone trying to say one group is
better than the other is leading us into a self-righteous attitude. Whatever
our role or job in the Kingdom is with Eloah, it is better than anything we can
imagine. We each have different tasks and responsibilities.
Remember, “It is better to be a doorkeeper in
the house of the Lord than one thousand days without” (Ps. 84:10).
The New Moons and the Feasts serve as markers
for the elect in their relationship with God and are direct extensions of the
Fourth Commandment. The Church of God has kept the New Moons with the Feasts
and Sabbaths (Col. 2:16).
Unless the New Moons are kept, it is
impossible to understand God’s Calendar or grow in grace and knowledge through
the renewing of the Spirit of God.
We know the New Moons were
kept historically by the prophets and patriarchs, Messiah, the apostles and the
Church and they will be kept in the Millennium.
We see understanding being
revealed as we keep the New Moons.
Let us each be faithful
servants of the Living God and keep all of His Holy Days.
The grass withers, the
flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever (Isa. 40:8, NASV). Let us
be counted worthy to stand with Messiah and the Saints of Eloah by keeping all
of the One True God’s Laws and Commands.