The essay below was written by Margie Littell, a fellow blogger that I respect a great deal. Rather than re-create the wheel she has given me permission to quote her work on the Lunar Calendar. This is relevant today because it demonstrates how nobody is really keeping the Biblical 7th Day Sabbath anymore.
“The lunar month on the Jewish calendar begins when the first sliver of moon becomes visible after the dark of the moon. In ancient times, the new months used to be determined by observation. When people observed the new moon, they would notify the Sanhedrin. When the Sanhedrin heard testimony from two independent, reliable eyewitnesses that the new moon occurred on a certain date, they would declare the rosh chodesh (first of the month) and send out messengers to tell people when the first day of their week and month began.
Here are a few Bible references to this New Moon Calendar in the Bible:
“[ Israel at Mount Sinai ] On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.” Exo 19:1 ESV
“besides the burnt offering of the new moon, and its grain offering, and the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offering, according to the rule for them, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord.” Num 29:6 ESV
“David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening.” 1Sam 20:5 ESV
“Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty.” 1Sam 20:18 ESV
“So David hid himself in the field. And when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food.” 1Sam 20:24 ESV
“But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 1Sam 20:27 ESV
“And he said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor Sabbath.” She said, “All is well.” 2Kin 4:23 ESV
“and whenever burnt offerings were offered to the Lord on Sabbaths, new moons, and feast days, according to the number required of them, regularly before the Lord.” 1Chr 23:31 ESV
“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 regular arrangement 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 forever for Israel.” 2Chr 2:4 ESV
“as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.” 2Chr 8:13 ESV
“The contribution of the king from his own possessions was for the burnt offerings: the burnt offerings of morning and evening, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the appointed feasts, as it is written in the Law of the Lord.” 2Chr 31:3 ESV
“and after that the regular burnt offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the appointed feasts of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill offering to the Lord.” Ezra 3:5 ESV
“for the showbread, the regular grain offering, the regular burnt offering, the Sabbaths, the new moons, the appointed feasts, the holy things, and the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.” Neh 10:33 ESV
“Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.” Psa 81:3 ESV
“Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.” Isa 1:13 ESV
“Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.” Isa 1:14 ESV
“You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you.” Isa 47:13 ESV
“From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord.” Isa 66:23 ESV
SDA know about this and some are trying to get the Church to follow the lunar calendar instead of the solar.
For an article written by SDA calling for a return to the Lunar Calendar please click HERE.
Here is the thing that matters, if you were following a Lunar calendar like the Jewish people did, then it could get to the 3rd day of the week on a New Moon. At that point it would revert to the first day of the week and start over again. So in instances such as this you would have to wait 10 days total for the 7th day sabbath. When the Seventh Day is referred to in scripture is is always a lunar calendar referent. Our solar based calendar simply didn’t exist.
Below are some relevant quotations from Jewish sources on the lunar calendar. The point is that fixed weeks were not adopted by the Jewish people until the 4th century.
The New Moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle . . . 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. (Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, “Holidays,” p. 410.)
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 . . . . (Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. X, “Week,” p. 482.)
Under the reign of Constantius (337-362) the persecutions of the Jews reached such a height that . . . the computation of the calendar [was] forbidden under pain of severe punishment” (excerpted from The Jewish Encyclopedia, “Calendar.”)
Declaring the new month by observation of the new moon, and the new year by the arrival of spring, can only be done by the Sanhedrin. In the time of Hillel II [4th century A. D.], the last President of the Sanhedrin, the Romans prohibited this practice. Hillel II was therefore forced to institute his fixed calendar, thus in effect giving the Sanhedrin’s advance approval to the calendars of all future years.” (“The Jewish Calendar and Holidays (incl. Sabbath): The Jewish Calendar: Changing the Calendar,” www.torah.org.)
The present Jewish calendar was fixed in the fourth century. (Letter by Louis Finkelstein, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, to Dr. L. E. Froom, Feb. 20, 1939.)
Nobody keeps the weekly Sabbath anymore, not even the SDA. In truth, all these things are obsolete and were only a shadow of the true substance.
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” Col 2:16-17 ESV
For more on the Sabbath please see my blog post dedicated to that topic HERE. Thanks for reading and please feel free to drop a comment below if you desire.