Created by pastorbuddy on 4/1/2009
Subject: Yahweh’s calendar was solar based or lunar based.
|NOTE: This article was originally written (8-12-04) for an Internet discussion on whether
Yahweh’s calendar was solar based or lunar based. It rebuts those of a strictly solar
Calendar persuasion. I have placed this essay into article form for your consideration
And hope it is beneficial to you.
There are extremes on both sides of the calendar issue. Some people opt for a total solar calendar,
While others opt for a total lunar calendar. If we choose to love Yahweh’s word more than our preconceived
Biases and prejudices we are forced to believe that the Scriptures speak of a calendar
Consisting of the sun, moon, and stars. Here are 7 proofs to back up this claim.
In Genesis 1:14-16 we are told that Yahweh made two great lights. We are not told specifically what
These two great lights are in the Genesis passage, but we do know that the stars are mentioned
(Genesis 1:16). The understanding of the two great lights is seen by examining additional passages in
Jeremiah 31:35-36 “Thus saith Yahweh, which giveth the sun for a light by day,
And the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which
Divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; Yahweh of hosts is his name: If those
Ordinances depart from before me, saith Yahweh, then the seed of Israel also shall
Cease from being a nation before me for ever.”
Psalms 136:7-9 “To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: The
Sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by
Night: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
We thus see through the witness of Scripture that the lights mentioned in Genesis 1:14-16 are
The sun and the moon (and even the stars). Not just the sun, and not just the moon, but both.
Therefore it is both the sun and the moon that is to “…be for signs, seasons, days, and years…”
Both are used in determining the Scriptural calendar. A calendar that does not use one or the other
Is a purely man-made calendar. For someone to go by such a man-made calendar is vain worship
The word translated month (most commonly) in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word chodesh.
This word is defined by Hebrew Lexicons as follows:
Yahweh’s Calendar… Solar or Lunar? 2
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: “H2320 / chodesh / kho’-desh From H2318; the
New moon; by implication a month:—month (-ly), new moon.”
Brown, Drivers, Briggs: “chodesh 1) the new moon, month, monthly 1a) the first
Day of the month 1b) the lunar month”
What this shows is that when the Scriptures speak of a certain day of the month they are
Speaking of a specific day of the moon. This is further seen by noticing a couple of other passages in
1 Kings 8:2 “And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at
The feast in the monthH3391 Ethanim, which is the seventh monthH2320.”
1 Kings 6:38 “And in the eleventh year, in the monthH3391 Bul, which is the eighth
MonthH2320, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof…”
Notice that in both of these scriptures the word chodesh (#2320) is used interchangeably with
#3391. What is #3391? Brown, Drivers, Briggs Hebrew lexicon defines it as, “…1) month (lunar
Cycle), moon 1a) month 1b) calendar month…” This word in the Hebrew is yerach and is the exact same
Word translated moon in both Deuteronomy 33:14 and Isaiah 60:20. This further confirms the use
Of the moon in Yahweh’s calendar.
Further proof that the moon was used in counting days on Yahweh’s calendar is found in Psalm
81:3. This passage reads as follows in the 1901 American Standard Version of the Bible.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast-day. For it is a
Statute for Israel, An ordinance of the God of Jacob. He appointed it in Joseph for a
Testimony, When he went out over the land of Egypt, Where I heard a language that
I knew not. I removed his shoulder from the burden: His hands were freed
From the basket.
This passage shows that the full moon was a feast day in ancient Israel. The word full moon in
The Hebrew is defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as:
H3677 “kese keseh / keh’-she, keh’-she / Apparently from H3680; properly
Fulness or the full moon, that is, its festival:—(time) appointed.”
We know this festival is speaking specifically of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of
Tabernacles which both begin on the 15th day of the moon, i.e. the full moon. This is seen by
noticing Psalm 81:6 mentioning the removing of the burdens and baskets. When was Israel delivered
from Egypt? Numbers 33:3 states that it was on the 15th day of the month/moon. Therefore Israel
was delivered on the 15th day of the moon, or as Psalm 81:3 states the full moon festival. This clearly
shows that the moon was used in numbering days on Yahweh’s calendar.
It is very easy to show that ancient Israel had a festival on the first day of the scriptural month, and
this festival was known as the new moon festival. Some passages which show this new moon as a
festival are as follows:
3 Yahweh’s Calendar… Solar or Lunar?
Ezekiel 46:1 “Thus saith the Master Yahweh; The gate of the inner court that
looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it
shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.”
Isaiah 66:23 “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and
from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith
Amos 8:4-5 “Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of
the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn?
and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the
shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?”
2 Kings 4:23 “And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new
moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.”
These passages are meaningless if one attempts to say new moon simply means a month. These
passages are to be understood as meaning that there was a special festival in ancient Israel on the first
day of the lunation or moon.
Along with this reasoning let’s notice a verse in the New Testament which concerns itself with the
festival of the new moon; Colossians 2:16.
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or
of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:”
The underlying Greek text for the word new moon in this passage is the word noumenia defined
by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance as, “…noumeônia / noo-may-nee’-ah / Feminine of a compound
of G3501 and G3376 (as noun by implication of G2250); the festival of new moon:—new
moon.” The word noumenia is used in the ancient Septuagint translation of the Scriptures in such
passages as Numbers 10:10 and 1 Samuel 20:5 in reference to the new moon festival.
It is because of this overwhelming evidence that scholarly sources as Ungers Bible Dictionary state
It is evident from the writing of the prophets and from post Exilian documents that
the New Moon was an important national festival. It was often called a feast along
with the Sabbath (Psalm 81:3; Isaiah 1:13; Ezekiel 46:1; Hosea 2:11) on which all
business ceased (Amos 8:5), the pious Israelites waited on the prophets for
edification (2 Kings 4:23), many families and clans presented their annual thank
offerings (1 Samuel 20:6, 29), social gatherings and feasting were indulged in (1
Samuel 20:5, 24). (UBD, under heading Festivals, pg. 352)
We must also notice the heavenly phenomena of the cycle of the moon. The moon cycles in
approximate seven day intervals (7.3) after the new moon festival. This brings one to a half moon,
full moon, half moon, and then last sliver before the new moon festival arrives again.
In Ezekiel 46:1 we find that the new moon and the sabbath were not considered to be part of
the six working days. This means that after the new moon, the six working days commenced,
bringing you to the sabbath on the eighth day of any given month. The sabbaths follow to be the 8th,
15th, 22nd, and 29th days of the lunar months. These days were revealed to Moses in Exodus 16 when
Yahweh’s Calendar… Solar or Lunar? 4
Yahweh spoke on the 15th day of the 2nd month/moon. Israel began to receive manna on the
morning after the 15th (16th) for six consecutive days (Exodus 16:4-5,13). This brings them to the
seventh day sabbath which was on the 22nd day of the moon. The same sequence is mapped out in
the week of Messiah’s impalement. Messiah was impaled on the 14th day of the moon, with the 15th
being the weekly/annual sabbath, and the 16th being the first day of the week as well as the day of the
annual first-fruit offering. There is much more to say concerning this, but this proves that the moon
was involved in reckoning ancient scriptural weeks.
Let me briefly mention a lunar-based sabbath in regard to beginning the count to the feast of
Pentecost. The priesthood was to lift up the sheaf of the first-fruits to begin the count to Pentecost
of the day after the sabbath (Leviticus 23:11). However the ancient Septuagint translation (250 B.C.)
shows that the sheaf was to be waved on the day after the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
(Leviticus 23:6,7,11 – LXX) This shows that the first day of the feast was the sabbath each and
every year on Yahweh’s calendar. Thus we have the first month with a fixed sabbath on the 15th day,
and Yahweh revealed the weekly Sabbath to Moses on the 15th day of the second moon. The only
way to have a weekly sabbath on the 15th day of the 1st and 2nd month is to keep a lunar based
sabbath. Any other sabbath reckoning is a mathematical impossibility.
A calendar based on the moon and the sun requires a 13th month approximately every 3 years. A 13th
month is proven from scripture in the inspired book of the prophet Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 1:1-2 we are
told that Ezekiel received a vision from Yahweh on the 5th day of the fourth month, in the fifth year
of king Jehoiachin’s captivity. In Ezekiel 2:7 Yahweh again speaks unto Ezekiel telling him to warn
Israel concerning their treachery against Yahweh. Then in Ezekiel 3:15 we find that Ezekiel dwelt by
the river Chebar for seven days bringing us to the 11th day of the fourth month, in the fifth year of
king Jehoiachin’s captivity.
Now, in Ezekiel 4:1-11 he is given instructions by Yahweh to lay on his left side 390 days and
when he accomplishes this he is to then lay on his right side 40 days; equaling a total of 430 days.
The next time reference in Ezekiel is found in chapter 8:1 where we see that Ezekiel was sitting in his
house in the sixth year (of king Jehoiachin’s captivity) on the 5th day of the sixth month. This shows
that Ezekiel had finished his instructions given in chapter 4 because he was sitting in his house not
lying on either his left or right side. If Ezekiel was using a strictly solar calendar he could not have
possibly obeyed Yahweh’s instructions by the time reference given in Ezekiel 8:1.
From the 11th day of the fourth month, in the fifth year of Jehoiachin (Ezekiel 1:1-2; 2:7; 3:15) to
the 5th day of the sixth month in the sixth year of Jehoiachin (Ezekiel 8:1) is only 413 days on a
strictly solar calendar. If Ezekiel used a strictly solar calendar he disobeyed Yahweh. However, had
this particular year been one consisting of 13 months (lunar-solar year) Ezekiel obeyed the
instructions from Yahweh, plain and simple.
Keep in mind that Ezekiel 4:9-10 shows that Ezekiel was told to make enough bread to last him
the entire 430 days. I have given the solar only people the best possible scenario available, taking for
granted that Ezekiel made all this bread in one day, i.e. the 11th day of the fourth month. If we factor
in the making of twenty shekels of bread (Ezekiel 4:9-10) for each day this even further destroys the
notion of the strictly solar calendar, because the time span would decrease for the solar only people.
Furthermore, when you recognize the obvious fact that the scriptural months are lunar, but that
the new year is determined by the spring equinox it is a necessity that a 13th month be added
approximately every third year. If this is not done the festivals will be 11 days shorter every “strictsolar
year” that goes by, placing the festivals out of their seasons. This is exactly what happens with
the Islamic calendar which ignores the 13th month. Their festivals travel throughout all seasons of
yahweh’s Calendar… Solar or Lunar?