Nazarene Space

The Lunar Sabbath Error
By
James Scott Trimm

 

The Lunar Sabbath Doctrine is a teaching that has taken root among many in the Hebraic-Roots movement in the last fourteen years.  This false doctrine seeks to replace the repeating weekly seventh day Sabbath with a floating Lunar based Sabbath, which could occur any day of the week.  This Lunar Sabbath theory teaches that one begins counting the day after each new moon such that the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days are Sabbaths.


The Anti-Semitic Origin of the Lunar Sabbath Theory

The so-called "Lunar Sabbath" theory was an invention that came out of Anti-Semitic Groups with ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Jonathan David Brown is credited with being the first so-called “sabbath keeper” in this century (actually ever) to begin the practice of counting the Sabbath from the New Moon day rather than using the modern seven day week.  Brown published the book Keeping Yahweh's Appointments in 1998, which explained the practice, which has since spread like a virus.

Brown is a noted ant-Semite who has been convicted for his connection to a 1990 Synagogue shooting.  In 1992, Brown was sentenced to a 27-month federal prison term and fined $10,000 for accessory after the fact to a conspiracy to violate civil rights under 18 U.S.C. 3 and 241 (so-called Hate-Crimes), and for perjury under 18 U.S.C. 1623a. It was established in Court that Brown helped Damion Patton, described by Nashville police as a juvenile "skinhead", and Leonard William Armstrong, the Grand Dragon of the Tennessee White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan hide from authorities and disguise their car after Patton and Armstrong carried out a pre-dawn drive-by shooting of a synagogue in Nashville, Tennessee on June 10, 1990.

In court it was revealed that in the evening of June 9, 1990, Brown attended a meeting of an anti-Semitic white supremacists which Patton and Armstrong were also attending.  At 1:00 a.m. on June 10, Patton drove past the West End Synagogue in Nashville and Armstrong fired several shots through its windows with a TEC-9 assault pistol.  Fortunately the building was unoccupied so no one was injured.  Brown's apartment was searched under warrant on June 15th as police looked for Patton.  As a result of this search, authorities seized items belonging to Mr. Brown, which indicated his membership in the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. In the days following the shooting incident, Brown helped Patton evade authorities by lying to police regarding Patton's whereabouts, by hiding him at his farm in Pleasantville, and by helping Patton change the color of his car from white to black with spray paint.  Brown gave Patton a license plate from one of his trucks and supplied Patton with enough money to drive to Las Vegas and stay there.  Some five months later, Brown allowed Patton to live again on his farm for a month. In September 1991, the FBI arrested Patton who plead guilty to his part in the synagogue shooting.

In 1994 Brown sought to overturn his convictions the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Brown argued that the synagogue was owned by a corporation and not by citizens, and thus could not be covered by 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1982 (1988) which he argued applied solely to the property rights of citizens.  Brown also challenged as unwarranted the seizure of his personal property. The three-judge court upheld Brown’s convictions on March 21, 1995.

Three years after these events Brown published his Lunar Sabbath theory, and it has spread like a virus.

The so-called floating "Lunar Sabbath" is a recent invention. There is no evidence that anyone ever followed it until recent times. To the contrary the historical evidence proves that the ancient Hebrews (Including Yeshua himself) kept the Seventh day of the week ("Saturday") and not a so-called floating "Lunar Sabbath".


An Unbelievable Conspiracy Theory

The Lunar Sabbath theory presupposes that at some point in time, the Sabbath was changed from a floating so-called Lunar Sabbath, to the weekly Sabbath.  So when did this alleged change take place?

 Yeshua and the Pharisees clearly agreed as to what day the Sabbath was.  While at times they disagreed, at times, over what activities were permitted on the Sabbath, but they never disagreed over what day the Sabbath was.

As a result most Lunar Sabbath Proponents maintain that their floating Lunar Sabbath was kept at least until the first century, and that the alleged “change” to the weekly Sabbath came after that time.

This creates certain problems, because it means that Lunar Sabbatarians must place this change well within recorded history, and this created several problems.

To begin with this alleged change would have to have been made without any historical record of the change itself taking place.  This “change” also would have to have been somehow agreed to by both Jews, Christians, and even Samaritans, all over the world.  These groups who were at odds with one another, would have to have agreed to make this change together, without making any historical record of the change, and without leaving behind any dissident sects in any of these movements that rejected the change.  This would include Jews and Christians all over the world, as far south as Ethipoia, as far east as Japan, as far north as Armenia,  to institute this change worldwide without the benefit of modern methods of rapid communication.  Any gradual change would even more certainly have left historical footprints and dissident groups behind.  This is simply unbelievable.

Another problem this creates for the Lunar Sabbath Theory is that by placing this supposed change well within the reach of history, it is a simple matter to reach beyond this period, to show that a Lunar Sabbath was not used in or before the first century.


Authors of Confusion

Many Lunar Sabbath proponents use loaded terminology and misleading claims intended to confuse the real issue.

For example many will refer to the weekly Sabbath with the term “Gregorian” so as to wrongly imply that the seven day week is somehow unique to the rather late Gregorian calendar, or to wrongly imply that the long count of days of the week was disrupted in the change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar.  In fact there was no disruption in the count of the days of the week in this calendar change.  (see: http://nazarenespace.com/group/alternatecalendardebate/forum/topics... )  Others will refer to the Weekly Sabbath and the long count of the days of the week as “Roman” as if to wrongly imply that these were unique to the Roman calendar.  Others will seek to create confusion based on other Roman methods of long counting weeks, none of which impact the actual long count of weeks going from the present, back into antiquity.    Yet others will seek to create confusion with references to the changes of the Hillel II calendar.  The Hillel II calendar included no revisions in relation to the weekly Sabbath, and only impacted Rabbinic Judaism.  The changes of the Hillel II calendar are only brought up by Lunar Sabbatarians to confuse the real issue.


Six Days of Work

There are always more than seven days between the twenty-nineth day of a lunar month and the eighth day of the next lunar month.  As a result the lunar sabbath teaching violates the mitzvah often repeated in Scripture, and indeed even referenced in the Ketuvim Netzarim:

Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a sabbath of YHWH your Elohim.


The Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls

There are a multitude of calendar texts which have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and which demonstrate clearly that the Essenes did not keep a so-called floating Lunar Sabbath.  The material is far to extensive to present here, and totally unnecessary, since I do not know of any Lunar Sabbath proponents who take issue with this fact.

I will add that Josephus writes of the Essenes:

Moreover, they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not move any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon.
(Wars 2:8:9)  

If the Essenes kept a different Sabbath from the other Jews, it would seem very odd for Josephus not to mention that here.  This would certainly lead us to the conclusion that the Jews of the Second Temple Era did not keep the so-called Lunar Sabbath.


Back to Back Sabbaths

Under the Lunar Sabbath Theory, back-to-back Sabbath’s are impossible.  This is because all of the annual Sabbaths under this theory, would occur on days that would already be Sabbaths. However in the Second Temple Era, back-to-back Sabbaths were very much a possibility and there was much debate on just how to deal with these occasions.

Mishna Besah 2:1-2 deals with halachah surrounding what to do when back-to-back sabbaths occur due to a festival Sabbath falling the day before or the day after a weekly Sabbath (which can never happen in the Lunar Sabbath system):

2:1 "On a festival which coinsides with the eve of the Sabbath [Friday]- a person should not do cooking to begin with the festival day [Friday] for the purpose of the Sabbath.
But he prepares food for the festival day, and he leaves something over, he has lefts it over for use on the Sabbath.
And he prepares a cooked dish on the eve of the festival day [Thursday] and relies on it [to prepare food on Friday] for the Sabbath as well.
The House of Shammai says, "Two dishes."
And the House of Hillel says, "A single dish."
But they concur in the case of fish and the egg [cooked] on it, that they constitute two dishes.
[If] one ate [the dish intended for the Sabbath] or it was lost, one should not cook another in its stead in the first instance.
But if he left over any amount at all of it, he relies on it for the Sabbath.
2:2  [If the festival day] coincided with the day after the Sabbath [Sunday],
The House of Shammai says, "The immerse everything before the Sabbath."
The House of Hillel says, "Utensils [are to be immersed] before the Sabbath.
But man [may immerse] on the Sabbath [itself]."
(m.Besa 2:1-2)

Hillel and Shammai taught when Yeshua was a child, and the Mishna was codified around 250 CE.

Another example of back-to-back Sabbaths is found in the Mishna discussion about how to deal with a Sabbath that falls on the sixteenth of Nisan (the fifteenth being an annual Sabbath):

The bones, and the sinews, and the nothar of the paschal lamb are to be burnt on the sixteenth. If the sixteenth falls on the Sabbath, they are to be burnt on the seventeenth, because they do not override either the Sabbath or the festival.
(m. Pesachim 7:10)

Of course the sixteenth of Nisan could never be a Sabbath under the Lunar Sabbath theory.


A Sabbath that Falls on the First Day of Tabernacles

The Mishna also discusses how mal offerings were handled when the First Day of Tabernacles (the 15th of Tishri) falls on a Sabbath:

A man may offer a meal-offering consisting of sixty tenths and bring them in one vessel if a man said, I take upon myself to offer sixty tenths, he may bring them in one vessel. But if he said, I take upon myself to offer sixty-one tenths, he must bring sixty in one vessel and the one in another vessel; for since the congregation bring on the first day of the feast of tabernacles when it falls on a Sabbath sixty-one tenths as a meal-offering, it is enough for an individual that his meal-offering be less by one tenth than that of the congregation.
(m.Menachot 12:4)

Of course this passage must be speaking of events that took place prior to 70 CE (when the Temple still stood).  Of course under the Lunar Sabbath theory the Sabbath always falls on the 15th of the month, making this discussion meaningless.

 
The Ninth of Av

The Ninth of Av is a fast which commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date.  According to the Lunar Sabbath theory, the ninth of Av could never fall on a Sabbath, yet the Talmud discusses the issue of what to do when a Sabbath falls on the Ninth of Av as follows:

It was in fact taught: If the Ninth of Av fell on a Sabbath and, similarly, if the eve of the Ninth of Av fell on a Sabbath a man may eat and drink as much as he requires and lay on his table a meal as big as that of Solomon in his time. If the Ninth of Av fell on the Sabbath eve [food] of the size of an egg must be brought and eaten [before the conclusion of the day] so that one does not approach the Sabbath in a state of affliction’.
(b.Eruvin 41a)


New Moon on a Sabbath

The Talmud also discusses the issue of what to do when a New Moon falls on a Sabbath, and records a debate which took place between the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai on the issue:

R. Zera replied: The New Moon is different from a festival - Since its mention is included in the benediction on the sanctity of the day in the morning and evening prayers it is also included in that of the additional prayer. But do Beth Shammai uphold the view that the mention of the New Moon is to be included? Was it not in fact taught: If a New Moon falls on a Sabbath, Beth Shammai ruled: One recites in his additional prayer eight benedictions and Beth Hillel ruled: Seven? This is indeed a difficulty.
(b.Eruvin 40b)

However with the Lunar Sabbath theory, such a debate would not have occurred at all.

Yeshua’s Last Days

One of the biggest gaping holes in the Lunar Sabbath system is Yeshua's final week on earth... his crucifixion was on the eve of a Sabbath and his resurrection was on the first day "when the sabbath had passed" (Mk. 16:1) and he was in the grave three days...

Now there is much debate over how these days are laid out.  Some argue that Yeshua was crucified on a Wednesday and resurrected at the very end of the Sabbath (Saturday night).  Others (myself included) argue that Yeshua was crucified on a Thursday, and resurrected the morning after the Sabbath (Sunday morning).

But no matter how you slice it you have here either back to back Sabbaths (Friday being the first day of Unleavened Bread and thus an annual Sabbath)  or two Sabbaths with a non-sabbath in between (Thursday being the first day of Unleavened Bread and thus an annual Sabbath).  Neither of these possibilities is possible with a Lunar Sabbath System. With a Lunar Sabbath system, if Yeshua was crucified on the eve of the the sabbath [i.e. the first day of Unleavened Bread- an annual Sabbath] and resurrected on the morning after the Sabbath [since following the Lunar Sabbath System those are the same day] he would have only been in the grave for one day, not three.

Which Sabbath was the Firstfruits Offering?

The well known debate between Pharisees and Sadducees over which day was the first fruits  offering (As recorded in b.Men. 65a-66a) also disproves the Lunar Sabbath System .  It is impossible to debate whether firstfruits is the day after the weekly Sabbath of the day after the annual sabbath if those are the same day.  The Pharisees and Sadducees disagreed on that point, and since there were no Sadducees after the first century, during the first century the Jews of Yeshua's day definitely recognized these as different days, and therefore could not have been keeping the Lunar Sabbath system.



The Reward Offer

Lunar Sabbath proponent Arnold Bowen has for many years offered "a $10,000 reward to anyone who can pinpoint a weekly Sabbath on any other day than by the moon.”  Specifically “on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th."

On August 16th, 2012 I laid claim to this reward when I was able to pinpoint the 14th of Nisan (Abib) in 30 BCE (Saturday, March 28th, 30 BC) as a Sabbath.

Hillel the Great became Nasi if the Sanhedrin one hundred years before the destruction of the Temple (b.Shabbat 15a).  The Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, so this means Hillel became Nasi in 30 BCE.

Hillel’s ascension to the office of Nasi took place in a year which the 14th of Nisan (Passover) occurred on a Sabbath.  This situation did in fact occur in 30 BCE.  At the time there was a controversy as to whether the Passover lamb should be slaughtered on the Sabbath or not. Thereupon Hillel proved by argument and tradition that it was permissible, upon which the Bene Bathyra (Sons of Bathyra), the then heads of the Jews of Judea, voluntarily resigned their leadership in his favor.  The account appears in the Talmud in tractate Pessachim on page 66a.  The discussion begins with a section of Mishnah (Pessachim 6:1-2) which states that many Passover duties override the Sabbath.  The Gemara then recounts the story of the problem that Hillel resolved which led to his being made Nasi (president of the Sanhedrin):

THESE THINGS IN [CONNECTION WITH] THE PASSOVER OFFERING OVERRIDE THE SABBATH: ITS SHECHITAH AND THE SPRINKLING OF ITS BLOOD AND THE CLEANSING OF ITS BOWELS AND THE BURNING OF ITS FAT. BUT ITS ROASTING AND THE WASHING OF ITS BOWELS DO NOT OVERRIDE THE SABBATH. ITS CARRYING AND BRINGING IT FROM WITHOUT THE TEHUM AND THE CUTTING OFF OF ITS WART DO NOT OVERRIDE THE SABBATH. R. ELIEZER SAID: THEY DO OVERRIDE [THE SABBATH]. SAID R. ELIEZER, DOES IT NOT FOLLOW A FORTIORI: IF SHECHITAH, WHICH IS [USUALLY FORBIDDEN] AS A LABOUR, OVERRIDES THE SABBATH, SHALL NOT THESE, WHICH ARE [ONLY FORBIDDEN] AS A SHEBUTH, OVERRIDE THE SABBATH? R. JOSHUA ANSWERED HIM, LET FESTIVAL[S] REBUT IT, WHEREIN THEY PERMITTED LABOUR AND FORBADE A SHEBUTH. SAID R. ELIEZER TO HIM, WHAT IS THIS, JOSHUA, WHAT PROOF IS A VOLUNTARY ACT IN RESPECT OF A PRECEPT! R. AKIBA ANSWERED AND SAID, LET HAZA'AH PROVE IT, WHICH IS [PERFORMED] BECAUSE IT IS A PRECEPT AND IS [NORMALLY FORBIDDEN ONLY] AS A SHEBUTH, YET IT DOES NOT OVERRIDE THE SABBATH; SO YOU TOO, DO NOT WONDER AT THESE, THAT THOUGH THEY ARE [REQUIRED] ON ACCOUNT OF THE PRECEPT AND ARE [ONLY FORBIDDEN] AS A SHEBUTH, YET THEY DO NOT OVERRIDE THE SABBATH. SAID R. ELIEZER TO HIM, BUT IN RESPECT OF THAT [ITSELF] I ARGUE: IF SHECHITAH, WHICH IS A LABOUR, OVERRIDES THE SABBATH, IS IT NOT LOGICAL THAT HAZA'AH, WHICH IS [ONLY] A SHEBUTH, OVERRIDES THE SABBATH! (m.Pessachim 6:1-2)

GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: This halachah was hidden from [i.e., forgotten by] the Bene Bathyra. On one occasion the fourteenth [of Nisan] fell on the Sabbath, [and] they forgot and Passover, R. Akiba holds that the haza'ah must not be performed, though the man is thereby prevented from joining in the Passover sacrifice. did not know whether the Passover overrides the Sabbath or not. Said they, ‘Is there any man who knows whether the Passover overrides the Sabbath or not?’ They were told, ‘There is a certain man who has come up from  Babylonia, Hillel the Babylonian by name, who served the two greatest men of the time, and he knows whether the Passover overrides the Sabbath or not [Thereupon] they summoned him [and] said to him, ‘Do you know whether the Passover overrides the Sabbath or not?’ ‘Have we then [only] one Passover during the year which overrides the Sabbath?’ replied he to them, ‘Surely we have many more than two hundred Passovers during the year which override the Sabbath! Said they to him, ‘How do you know it?’ He answered them, ‘In its appointed time’ is stated in connection with the Passover, and ‘In its appointed time’ is stated in connection with the tamid; just as ‘Its appointed time’ which is said in connection with the tamid overrides the Sabbath, so ‘Its appointed time’ which is said in connection with the Passover overrides the Sabbath. Moreover, it follows a minori, if the tamid, [the omission of] which is not punished by kareth, overrides the Sabbath, then the Passover,[neglect of] which is punished by kareth, is it not logical that it overrides the Sabbath! They immediately set him at their head and appointed him Nasi [Patriarch] over them, and he was sitting and lecturing the whole day on the laws of Passover. He began rebuking them with words. Said he to them, ‘What caused it for you that I should come up from Babylonia to be a Nasi over you? It was your indolence, because you did not serve the two greatest men of the time, Shemaiah and Abtalyon.’ Said they to him, ‘Master, what if a man forgot and did not bring a knife on the eve of the Sabbath?’ ‘I have heard this law,’ he answered, ‘but have forgotten it. But leave it to Israel: if they are not prophets, yet they are the children of prophets!’ On the morrow, he whose Passover was a lamb stuck it [the knife] in its wool; he whose Passover was a goat stuck it between its horns. He saw the incident and recollected the halachah and said, ‘Thus have I received the tradition from the mouth[s] of Shemaiah and Abtalyon.’
(b.Pesachim 66a)

Now this section of Mishnah and Talmud makes it clear that the 14th of Nisan (Passover) could occur on a Sabbath, and in fact did occur on the Sabbath as early as the days of Hillel the Great, who was elderly in the days of Yeshua's youth.

Now as I have said before, Yeshua and the Pharisees clearly agreed as to what day the Sabbath was.  They disagreed, at times, over what activities were permitted on the Sabbath, but they never disagreed over what day the Sabbath was.  So if we can demonstrate that the first century Phraisees kept the weekly "Saturday" Sabbath, we would also be demonstrating that Yeshua kept the weekly "Saturday" Sabbath. And if we could show that the first century Pharisees did not keep a so-called floating lunar Sabbath, we would be showing also that Yeshua did not keep such a lunar Sabbath, and thus that such a lunar Sabbath was not valid.

Now this section of Mishnah and Talmud reveal that on occasion the 14th of Nisan could and did happen to fall on the Sabbath as reckoned by the first century Pharisees, and therefore by Yeshua as well.  This is impossible with the so-called Lunar Sabbath System, in which the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of a Lunar Month were Sabbaths and the 14th could NEVER be a Sabbath.

I have made an official claim with Arnold Bowen for the $10,000 reward offered to anyone "who can pinpoint a weekly Sabbath on any other day than by the moon... on either the 8th, 15th, 22nd, or 29th day of the Moon.".  I can now pinpoint 14th of Nisan in 30 BCE as meeting this criteria.  So far he has failed to make good on his reward offer. I will keep you all updated.

Well when I began writing this blog, it was my intent to write an exhaustive treatment of the Lunar Sabbath doctrine and its errors.  However the evidence against the Lunar Sabbath is so overwhelming, it has become clear to me that if I ever write an exhaustive treatment, it will fill a book, not just a blog.  None-the-less I believe enough information has been documented in this short treatment to completely disprove the Lunar Sabbath theory.

 

HaSatan wishes "to steal and to kill and to destroy" (Jn. 10:10) and he knows the time is short and has stepped up his war with those who proclaim both Torah Observance and Faith in Messiah (the two pillars of Nazarene Judaism) (Rev. 12:12, 17; 13:7). But no weapon forged against us will prosper (Is. 54:17).


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I don't remember making that argument. Sigh. Why should I even bother to read your posts, you answer before having read mine.

By the way, do you typically refer to Shabbat as Saturday ?
If not, it seems you agree with my (actual) "argument", which further implies we should call Yeshua for Yeshua (as opposed to other mispronounciations.)

James Trimm said:

Yes renouncing the seventh Day weekly Sabbath just because the pagans called the Seventh day Saturn is about as logical as renouncing the Creator because the pagans have called him "God" (which was also the name of a false deity).

" ... one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."   2 Peter 3:8.

"And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." Luke 6:5.  If you read the context here it is clear that Jesus (or Yehsua for those that would choke on a gnat)  is attempting to teach them that there is something greater than the carnal law (added because of transgression). The sabbath is no longer about one literal day of the week, but about a period of time, which began in the year 2000. This was the beginning of the 7th day or 7th thousandth year since the fall of the first Adam, representing the spiritual decline of mankind. We keep this one-time sabbath holy through the purification of our heart.

 

 

 

Without getting in to a debate over just what the symbolism is, the Sabbath has ALWAYS had symbolic meaning, that is all the more reason to observe it.

My apologies Solomon Avar. I misunderstood.

Solomon Avar said:

I'm not supporting lunar sabbath.

My point about Satur-day is that it's Satan renaming of Shabbat. Just like he renamed Yeshua as Jesus.

Now, this is not the matter I tried contacting you about earlier, which is something entirely different. Peace to you.

asker said:

Please Solomon Avar!

When I set out to look into the lunar sabbath I approached it as neutrally as possible seeking the truth not my own ideas. Please do the same.

What it boils down to is:

1. Scripture and scriptural instructions which become minutely detailed. Prove lunar sabbath from the scriptures.

2. It must be established that the Jews in Y'shua's day, his own peers which He fellowshipped with in the synagogues and the Temple, kept the lunar sabbath.

So first, prove the first two points before going off into conjecture land.

So now you are trying to say that Saturday is the mark of the beast?

Besides that you are trying to use Hebrew on English which really goes back to Latin or somewhere else.

OK, I'll bite. If Saturday is the mark of the beast, please give a BRIEF overview on how this all plays out.

These testimonies were forwarded to me recently. Perhaps you would all like to comment on these.

"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, dependant upon the lunar cycle." Universal Jewish Encyclopedia p.410

"... each lunar month was divided into four parts, coresponding to the four phases of the moon. The first week of each month began with the new moon, so that, as the lunar month was one or two days more than four periods of seven days, these additional days were not reckoned at all."
- Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Vol 10 p.482 Article "Week."

'With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and the emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection...” Vol.10
1943 Article “Week” p.482 by Hutton Webster. Also, writes Hutton Webster:

“The establishment of a periodic week ending in a Sabbath observed every seventh day, was doubtless responsible for the gradual obsolescence of the new moon festival as a period of general abstinence, since with continuous weeks the new-moon day and the Sabbath Day would from time to time coincide”
- Rest Days p.255 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

"However, in the Diaspora the New Moon came to occupy a secondary position in contrast to the Sabbath; the prohibition against work and the carrying on of commerce was lifted, and the New Moon, although still celebrated by means of increased offerings, soon was reduced to the rank of a minor half holiday. Its importance was confined to the fact that it remained of great value and necessity for the fixing of the festivals.”
- Vol.8 p.171 Article “New Moon” Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

"Among ALL early nations the lunar months were the readiest large divisions of times... (and was divided in 4 weeks), coresponding to the phases or the quarters of the moon. In order to connect the reckoning by weeks with the lunar month, we find that all ancient nations observed some peculiar solemnities to mark the day of the New Moon." - The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia 1904ed Vol 3 p.1497

“The Hebrew month is a lunar month and the quarter of this period--one phase of the moon--appears to have determined the week of seven days." - Encyclopedia Biblica p.4780

You do realize, don't you, that The High Holy Days [ Or, Appointed Feast Days ] are also referred to as Sabbaths; while having absolutely no connection to The Weekly Sabbath [ Established By Yahweh At Creation ]...? I highly suspect, that if you would read the entire entries within their own given contexts, your own understanding would improve greatly. However, considering the actual caliber of the modern religious scholars currently living within: " Spiritual Babylon " - there isn't actually any guarantee....

In either case, If You'll Actually Study The Scriptures Themselves [ as you have been commanded to by Yahweh ]: The Truth Is Quite Readily Discerned!


Abraham Cox said:

These testimonies were forwarded to me recently. Perhaps you would all like to comment on these.

"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, dependant upon the lunar cycle." Universal Jewish Encyclopedia p.410

"... each lunar month was divided into four parts, coresponding to the four phases of the moon. The first week of each month began with the new moon, so that, as the lunar month was one or two days more than four periods of seven days, these additional days were not reckoned at all."
- Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Vol 10 p.482 Article "Week."

'With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and the emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection...” Vol.10
1943 Article “Week” p.482 by Hutton Webster. Also, writes Hutton Webster:

“The establishment of a periodic week ending in a Sabbath observed every seventh day, was doubtless responsible for the gradual obsolescence of the new moon festival as a period of general abstinence, since with continuous weeks the new-moon day and the Sabbath Day would from time to time coincide”
- Rest Days p.255 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

"However, in the Diaspora the New Moon came to occupy a secondary position in contrast to the Sabbath; the prohibition against work and the carrying on of commerce was lifted, and the New Moon, although still celebrated by means of increased offerings, soon was reduced to the rank of a minor half holiday. Its importance was confined to the fact that it remained of great value and necessity for the fixing of the festivals.”
- Vol.8 p.171 Article “New Moon” Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

"Among ALL early nations the lunar months were the readiest large divisions of times... (and was divided in 4 weeks), coresponding to the phases or the quarters of the moon. In order to connect the reckoning by weeks with the lunar month, we find that all ancient nations observed some peculiar solemnities to mark the day of the New Moon." - The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia 1904ed Vol 3 p.1497

“The Hebrew month is a lunar month and the quarter of this period--one phase of the moon--appears to have determined the week of seven days." - Encyclopedia Biblica p.4780

I am certainly not here to debate, but to bring to the table what I have gleaned through 40 years of revelatory and scholastic teachings, the latter being the painstaking task of taking nearly every word of the Old Testament back to its Hebrew root, where the life is. Out of this study came a deeper understanding of the scriptures, leading to a personal revelation of the symbolic code of the Bible between 1998 and 2005.

Here's the condensed version of what I see.

There are two camps: those that observe the law and those that are led of the Spirit. Christians say they are being led of the Spirit and therefore are not subject to the law. However, the doctrines of Christianity are man-made, NOT of the Spirit, therefore those observing (obeying) these erroneous beliefs are NOT being led of the Spirit. It would be far better for them to observe the law than to delude themselves into thinking they are being led of the Spirit, and that Christ has set them free of the law. What they do not understand is that they are STILL under the law in that their heart is ruled by unholy spirits (Matthew 15:19), filled with abominations (Proverbs 26:25). These seven (seven referring to spiritual) represented by the seven nations the children of Israel (who were chosen out of all the nations to teach us about ourselves) failed to drive out of the promised land, symbolizing the good life we inherit upon the expulsion of these seven(spiritual) nations. When these are driven out, the living God is among us (Joshua 3:10).

In the other camp we have those that are truly led of the Spirit. This is a very small remnant (Isaiah1:9). They have fulfilled the law by offering up the spiritual sacrifices of God (Psalms 51:17). The carnal sacrifices of the law are considered INIQUITY to God (Isaiah 1:11-15) UNTIL the spiritual sacrifices of God have been offered, after which time the carnal sacrifices, feasts, sabbaths, oblations, etc. will be pleasing to God (Psalms 51:19).

We see these two camps two thousand years ago. John's disciples kept the law, performing a mind-body discipline with perpetual prayers, fastings, and ritualistic baths. John instructed his own disciples to stop following him and follow Yeshua, who was teaching his disciples to perform a heart discipline. It was time to move beyond obedience to the carnal law and obey the spirit of the law, performing the spiritual works of the word, which supersedes the physical works of the law.

This spiritual route is not one that will be widely traveled. It is the narrow gate that Jesus (a spiritual Nazarene) spoke of. Few are they that enter in, as Benjamin's inheritance was the smallest but the richest.

The righteousness counted unto them that observe the law is better than the self-righteousness of those that believe they are above the law, but have failed to complete the spiritual works that counts as the fulfilling of the law.  

Godspeed.


James Trimm said:

Without getting in to a debate over just what the symbolism is, the Sabbath has ALWAYS had symbolic meaning, that is all the more reason to observe it.

According to the Scriptures, those that observe the Torah are being led of the Spirit:

14 For we know that the Torah is of the Spirit: but I am of the flesh, and I am sold to
sin.
(Rom. 7:14 HRV)

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will
take away, the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you, a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you
shall keep My ordinances, and do them.
(Ezek. 36:27 HRV)

But when the Spirit of Truth has come, She will lead you in all Truth,...
(Jn. 16:13 HRV)

And what is the Scriptural definition of truth?  It is given in Psalms:

142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your Torah is truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever: give me understanding, and I shall live.
145 I have called with my whole heart: answer me, O YHWH; I will keep Your statutes.
146 I have called You: save me, and I will observe Your testimonies.
147 I rose early at dawn, and cried: I hoped in Your word.
148 My eyes forestalled the night-watches, that I might meditate in Your word.
149 Hear my voice according unto Your lovingkindness: quicken me, O YHWH, as You
are wont.
150 They draw near that follow after wickedness: they are far from Your Torah.
151 You are near, O YHWH, and all Your commandments are truth.
152 Of old have I known from Your testimonies, that You have founded them forever.
(Ps. 119:142-152 HRV)

Interesting statements Sandra; however, it is not "just Benjamin" who enters at the narrow gate.  The scripture says "all Israel will be saved meaning most specifically, those Whom Yahweh has chosen before the foundation of the world.  As the Prophet says, though Israel will be as the sands of the sea, only a "remanant will be saved."

 

The way is indeed narrow and difficult as Yahshua said.  Many people want to interprete the scriptures according to their own understanding.  Except Yahweh builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  It is He Himself who is our teacher even as He said through the Prophets.....all shall be taught by  Yahweh from the least to the greatest.  That is something most people don't understand and look instead to "man" and his man-made doctrines.  Yahweh states emphatically that the things that the fathers did were not of Him.  He did not speak to them about sacrifices and offerings as He states in Jeremiah and Isaiah.... He told them to obey His voice and Keep His Commandments.  Our Fathers added to the word and went backwards and not forward as many are doing today. 

 

You are right, the sacrifices that Yahweh desires are the fruit of our lips giving thanks and praise unto Him.  Sadly, most do not understand this and are still worshiping according to the ways beyond the Euphrates, just as our Fathers did while in Egypt, and upon entering the land. .

 

shalom

Shalom Abraham Cox. The quote you referenced here is the very one that caused me to launch into a year-long investigation into this matter. What this is is the "scholarly" ASSUMPTION that the seven day sabbath "must" have come from an original lunar basis. The same sort of thing as the ASSUMPTION that life on earth evolved and many other theoretical historical and scientific assumptions.

But be that as it may in this case because they all agree that even if it did originate from a lunar sabbath that it was changed to a weekly sabbath very early on upon arrival to the Holy Land.

This was in the JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA and it was as I had suspected…

Http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=13&letter=S#60
"The origin of the Sabbath, as well as the true meaning of the name, is uncertain. The earliest Biblical passages which mention it (Ex. xx. 10, xxxiv. 21; Deut. v. 14; Amos viii. 5) presuppose its previous existence, and analysis of all the references to it in the canon makes it plain that its observance was neither general nor altogether spontaneous in either pre-exilic or post-exilic Israel. It was probably originally connected in some manner with the CULT OF THE MOON".

"When the Israelites settled in the land and became farmers, their new life would have made it desirable that the Sabbath should come at regular intervals, and the desired change would have been made all the more easily as they had abandoned the lunar religion."

You see... IF the lunar Sabbath was changed to a weekly Sabbath, it happened MANY CENTURIES BEFORE YESHUA! Here again you see the typical (unbeliever's) historical belief that the Sabbath "MUST" be of pagan origins arising from moon worship.

This is why lunar sabbatarians must prove lunar sabbath was in widespread use during the time of Y'shua. That quote that they love so much is utterly useless to their cause.

There is also a book dealing with the origen and history of the seven day week: The Seven Day Circle The History and Meaning of the Week by Professor Eviatar Zerubavel.


"It is quite clear then that THE PERIODIC OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH EVERY SEVEN DAYS WAS AT THE HEART OF THE JEWISH WEEK FROM THE VERY BEGINNING." Page 6

"...the establishment of a seven-day week based on the regular observance of the Sabbath is a distinctively Jewish contribution to civilization" Page 8

..."it is crucial to remember that the ancient dwellers of Mesopotamia themselves did not have a real seven-day week. While it is possible that the seven-day intervals entailed in the regular observance of the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days of the lunar month might have served as the model for the Jewish week, they themselves cannot be considered weeks. Such intervals, which I shall call quasi weeks, undoubtedly bear a striking resemblance to the week and are often mistaken for it. Nevertheless, they are an essentially different phenomenon. One of the most distinctive features of the week is the fact that it is entirely dissociated from the lunar cycle. It is essentially defined as a precise multiple of the day, quite independently of the lunar month. Quasi weeks, on the other hand, are generally defined as rough approximations of fractions of the lunar month, and are appropriately called "lunar weeks" by Francis H. Colson.""

…"Those who believe that our seven-day week has derived from the lunar cycle seem to forget that the latter is not really a twenty-day cycle. In fact, approximately twenty-nine days, twelve hours, forty-four minutes, and three seconds—that is, about 29.5306 days—elapse between any two successive new moons. (That should also preclude any lunar origin of the fortnight, which literally means fourteen nights." One half of the lunar cycle is actually much closer to fifteen than to fourteen days.) THE LUNAR MONTH CLEARLY CANNOT BE DIVIDED IN A "NEAT" MANNER INTO WEEKLY BLOCKS OF COMPLETE DAYS. ANY SUBDIVISION of the lunar cycle necessarily involves some mathematically inconvenient remainder of hours, minutes, and seconds. A precise quarter of the lunar cycle, for example, amounts to 7.38625 days, and ANY WEEK OF THAT LENGTH WOULD NECESSARILY HAVE TO BEGIN AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE DAY. Hence the essential irregularity of quasi-weekly rhythms. In order to always begin at the same time of day, QUASI WEEKS OBVIOUSLY CANNOT BE OF A STANDARD LENGTH." Page 9

So now we not only have extra days in the lunar month, we have days that start at different times!! What a mess!! It really takes a lot of monkeying around to get even four seven day intervals from a lunar month and even then the days won't begin and end at sunset.

"It is interesting to note that the rise of the Sabbath cult within Judaism coincided with the withdrawal from worshiping the celestial bodies, and particularly the moon. In other words, the dissociation of the week from a natural cycle such as the waxing and waning of the moon can be seen as part of a general movement toward introducing a supranatural deity. Not being personified as any particular natural force, the Jewish god was to be regarded as untouched by nature in any way. Accordingly, the day dedicated to this god to be regarded as part of a divine temporal pattern that transcends even nature itself.

… A continuous seven-day cycle that runs throughout history PAYING NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER TO THE MOON AND ITS PHASES is a distinctively Jewish Invention." Page 11


Abraham Cox said:

These testimonies were forwarded to me recently. Perhaps you would all like to comment on these.

"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, dependant upon the lunar cycle." Universal Jewish Encyclopedia p.410

"... each lunar month was divided into four parts, coresponding to the four phases of the moon. The first week of each month began with the new moon, so that, as the lunar month was one or two days more than four periods of seven days, these additional days were not reckoned at all."
- Universal Jewish Encyclopedia Vol 10 p.482 Article "Week."

'With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and the emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection...” Vol.10
1943 Article “Week” p.482 by Hutton Webster. Also, writes Hutton Webster:

“The establishment of a periodic week ending in a Sabbath observed every seventh day, was doubtless responsible for the gradual obsolescence of the new moon festival as a period of general abstinence, since with continuous weeks the new-moon day and the Sabbath Day would from time to time coincide”
- Rest Days p.255 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

"However, in the Diaspora the New Moon came to occupy a secondary position in contrast to the Sabbath; the prohibition against work and the carrying on of commerce was lifted, and the New Moon, although still celebrated by means of increased offerings, soon was reduced to the rank of a minor half holiday. Its importance was confined to the fact that it remained of great value and necessity for the fixing of the festivals.”
- Vol.8 p.171 Article “New Moon” Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

"Among ALL early nations the lunar months were the readiest large divisions of times... (and was divided in 4 weeks), coresponding to the phases or the quarters of the moon. In order to connect the reckoning by weeks with the lunar month, we find that all ancient nations observed some peculiar solemnities to mark the day of the New Moon." - The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia 1904ed Vol 3 p.1497

“The Hebrew month is a lunar month and the quarter of this period--one phase of the moon--appears to have determined the week of seven days." - Encyclopedia Biblica p.4780

Agreed Parthenia.  All Israel shall be saved, referring to a spiritual Israel. They receive salvation by going through a spiritual judgment; through a spiritual purification process (encoded in the 49th chapter of Genesis). Those that complete this process (by traveling from Reu to Ben; from Reuben to Benjamin) are of the spiritual tribe of Benjamin, meaning, " a son of the right hand," the right hand symbolizing power, becoming a son of the power of God. These become pure spirit in essence, born of the spirit upon their physical death. 

I see the fruit, not as words that proceed from our lips, but as the truth that is born of that spiritual purified (virgin) womb called the heart, as it is written" " This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me."  Matthew 15:8

Godspeed.  
 
Parthenia K. Whitsett said:

Interesting statements Sandra; however, it is not "just Benjamin" who enters at the narrow gate.  The scripture says "all Israel will be saved meaning most specifically, those Whom Yahweh has chosen before the foundation of the world.  As the Prophet says, though Israel will be as the sands of the sea, only a "remanant will be saved."

 

The way is indeed narrow and difficult as Yahshua said.  Many people want to interprete the scriptures according to their own understanding.  Except Yahweh builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.  It is He Himself who is our teacher even as He said through the Prophets.....all shall be taught by  Yahweh from the least to the greatest.  That is something most people don't understand and look instead to "man" and his man-made doctrines.  Yahweh states emphatically that the things that the fathers did were not of Him.  He did not speak to them about sacrifices and offerings as He states in Jeremiah and Isaiah.... He told them to obey His voice and Keep His Commandments.  Our Fathers added to the word and went backwards and not forward as many are doing today. 

 

You are right, the sacrifices that Yahweh desires are the fruit of our lips giving thanks and praise unto Him.  Sadly, most do not understand this and are still worshiping according to the ways beyond the Euphrates, just as our Fathers did while in Egypt, and upon entering the land. .

 

shalom

Odds and Ends here. Seven-day week quotes

The Seven Day Circle The History and Meaning of the Week by Professor Eviatar Zerubavel...

"...It is quite clear then that THE PERIODIC OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH EVERY SEVEN DAYS WAS AT THE HEART OF THE JEWISH WEEK FROM THE VERY BEGINNING." Page 6

..."the establishment of a SEVEN-DAY WEEK based on the regular observance of the Sabbath is A DISTINCTIVELY JEWISH CONTRIBUTION TO CIVILIZATION" Page 8

… "A continuous seven-day cycle that runs throughout history PAYING NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER TO THE MOON AND ITS PHASES is a distinctively Jewish Invention." Page 11

..."the sort of "weekly" life most of us lead today basically DERIVES FROM THE ORIGINAL JEWISH MODEL OF A SEVEN-DAY PULSATING CYCLE" Page 115

..."As we have already seen, JUDAISM BEQUEATHED THIS TRADITIIONAL CONCEPTION OF THE WEEK as a Sunday-through-Saturday cycle to Christianity, and that was also true later of Islam" Page 122

Philo of Alexandria c.20 BC - c. AD 50 (Jewish philosopher, scholar, and leader) says..."Even now this practice is retained, and the Jews EVERY SEVENTH DAY occupy themselves with the philosophy of their fathers"

Seneca (ca. 4 B.C. to 65 A.D.) (Roman philosopher, dramatist, and statesman)
"This fervent stoic railed against the customs of this accursed race [the Jews] ... and especially their Sabbathkeeping: 'By introducing ONE DAY OF REST IN EVERY SEVEN, they lose in idleness almost a seventh of their life"...

Daily Life In the Times of Jesus
"The week of seven days"
"it appears that THE SEVEN-DAY WEEK, now so universally adopted, HAS ITS ORIGINS IN THE HEBREW CALENDAR."

www.swcp.com/creation/essay6a.htm+history+%2Bseven-day+week+%2Bjewi..." target="_blank">http://216.239.33.100/search?q=cache:NH7S1Fl7z1YC:www.swcp.com/creation/essay6a.htm+history+%2Bseven-day+week+%2Bjewi...
..."by the 1st century BC THE JEWISH SEVEN-DAY WEEK seems to have been adopted throughout the Roman world." [4] "
4. "Calendar," The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Macropaedia, 1975.

http://webexhibits.org/calendars/week.html
..."THROUGH EXTRA-BIBLICAL SOURCES it is possible to determine that the Sabbath AT THE TIME OF CHRIST CORRESPONDS TO OUR CURRENT 'SATURDAY.' Therefore it is common Jewish and Christian practice to regard Sunday as the first day of the week "

http://www.sabbathrest.net/religious/historical.html
"THE EARLY CHRISTIANS HAD AT FIRST ADOPTED THE JEWISH SEVEN­DAY WEEK with its numbered week days, but by the close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the planetary week; and in the fourth and fifth centuries the pagan designations became generally accepted in the western half of Christendom. The use of the planetary names by Christians attests the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by converts from paganism. ... During these same centuries the spread of Oriental solar worships, especially that of Mithra (Persian sun worship) in the Roman world, had already led to the substitution by pagans of dies Solis for dies Saturni, as the first day of the planetary week. ...Thus gradually a pagan institution was ingrafted on Christianity." -HUTTON WEBSTER, Ph.D., "Rest Days," pages 220, 221.

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