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Lam 2: 4 He has bent His bow like an enemy. He has set His right hand like an adversary. And He slays all who delighted the eye. In the tent of the daughter of Tsiyon, He has poured out His wrath like fire.
5 יהוה has been like an enemy. He has swallowed up Yisra’ĕl, He has swallowed up all her palaces, He has destroyed her strongholds. And He increases mourning and lamentation In the daughter of Yehuḏah.
6 He has demolished His booth like a garden, He has destroyed His place of meeting. יהוה has made the appointed times1 and Sabbaths To be forgotten in Tsiyon, And despises sovereign and priest In His raging displeasure.
7 יהוה has cast off His altar, He has rejected His set-apart place, He has delivered the walls of her palaces Into the hand of the enemy. They have made a noise in the House of יהוה As on the day of an appointed time.

Who decided when the Sabbath would be? How do we know what day of the week the seventh day falls? These are two questions that have been plaguing me of late. In the last few months we have met and become friends with some folks that have really opened our eyes to the inconsistencies of our “Messianic” life and these are two questions that we had never considered before. We, like sheep, just took the word of our previous teachers that the Sabbath (when we were Mormon) was on Sunday, and when we became Messianic that the Sabbath was on Saturday.

You see for centuries now we have all been following a calendar that has set days of the week. Some months have 31 days and there is even a month that has 28 days! But what does our calendar have to do with Elohims’ time reckoning? Nothing that’s what! The current calendar we are all forced to use is a man-made up system that has nothing to do with times and seasons, nothing to do with Elohims Feasts and Festivals, and doesn't line up with how nature keeps time. Man made calendars are made up to mimic natures time line, some might say "so whats the problem?" The problem is that Yah gave us appointed times and if our watch doesn't line up with His then we wont me there at the right time.

Gen 1: 14 And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, Ps 136:7; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so.

Where in the Bible does Elohim tell us that our days of the week are set? I have yet to find it, and trust me I‘ve looked, so once again the original two questions come into play. If יהוה has made the appointed times1 and Sabbaths To be forgotten in Tsiyon (Lam 2: 6) How would we ever find our way back? How could we possibly think we are on the right track now? I don’t believe we are, I think we are right smack in the middle of the forgotten times. If we weren’t, I believe that we all would be on the same page as far as the calendar goes. In my little area of Idaho we have people celebrating Yah’s Feasts (which is awesome) the only problem is that they are all celebrating them on different days from one another. In the same town people can’t even get the appointed times straight.

Here’s another question, in Biblical days how did the farmers and sheep herders know when to go into Jerusalem for Feasts and Festivals? There were no postal services and no e mail to spread the word… They knew by watching the lunar cycle. So let’s talk for a minute about ‘sighting’ the new moon. Where in the Torah does it tell us to start a month at the “sighting” of the new moon? It doesn’t! From what I understand a moon is considered ’new’ when it is dark, at the conjunction (when earth, moon &sun are aligned), not when you see the first sliver. So starting your month at the sighting does not seem to be the way to go, considering that we see it at different days all over the world due to weather.

Back to the farmer, he lives on the outskirts of Israel, and has cloud cover in his area and spots the sliver of the new moon on let’s say Wednesday. Well the new moon was spotted in Jerusalem on Tuesday (no cloud cover), but Farmer has no way of knowing that, since he has no internet and didn’t get the e-mail letting him know that 10 people from around Israel spotted it Tuesday. So he gets ready to leave for Jerusalem for the Feast, and since he spotted the moon on a Wednesday he leaves according to that, well he left a day late considering that the moon was sighted in Jerusalem on Tuesday so farmer shows up to the feast the afternoon of the actual feast and has been traveling all day and misses everything! Um yeah that doesn’t make much sense to me, how about you?

Exo 12:2 “This month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you. Keep in mind that in Hebrew it actually says “This New Moon is the beginning of New Moons for you,” Do a study for yourself on the New Moon and Shabbat. What you will find is what I found, that the New Moon and the Shabbat are not ever the same day, in fact the New Moon is a set apart day not one of the six working day’s or the Shabbat.

2 Kings 4:23 And he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well!”

2Chr 2:4 see, I am building a House for the Name of יהוה my Elohim, to set it apart to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the New Moons, and on the appointed times of יהוה our Elohim. This is for Yisra’ĕl forever.

The New Moon has its own offerings….

2Chr 8:13 even as the duty of every day required, offering according to the command of Mosheh, for the Sabbaths, and for the New Moons, and for the appointed times three times a year: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths.

Neh 10:33 for the showbread, and for the continual grain offering, and for the continual burnt offering of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, for the appointed times, and for the set-apart offerings, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Yisra’ĕl, and all the work of the House of our Elohim.

2Chr 31:3 And the sovereign appointed a portion of his possessions for the burnt offerings, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths and for the New Moons and for the appointed times, as it is written in the Torah of יהוה.

We are starting to see a pattern here, and that pattern is that the New Moon is a set apart day, and by set apart I mean set apart from all other days, from Sabbaths and the six working days, not set apart as a Sabbath itself.

Ezek 46:1 ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “The gate of the inner courtyard facing east is shut the six days of work, but on the Sabbath it is opened, and on the day of the New Moon it is opened.

There are eight or nine other scriptures which back up that train of thought look them up.

So, Yahowah tells us that we are to use the ‘lights’ in the sky for signs, appointed times, days and years, why aren’t we doing that now?

How complicated do you really believe that Yah wanted to make keeping time? I doubt He wanted the body of believers splintered this way, having to rely on some man or some organization to let people know when they are supposed to observe a Sabbath or a Feast. How did Noah keep track of time on the ark? And how do you reconcile Lam 2:6 יהוה has made the appointed times1 and Sabbaths To be forgotten in Tsiyon, with our current state of believers being on 2 or more calendar systems. It tells me that we are not following His time, that we have in fact forgotten His appointed times and Sabbaths, and until we all get on the same ‘calendar’ we are going to be stuck, and WAY outside of His will and instruction.

Let’s talk for a moment about the moon, we all know that Yahowah said we were to use it as a way to keep track of times and seasons days and weeks, did you know that there is a natural 29 or 30 day cycle that takes place as the moon renews its self monthly? Not 28 or 31. We only have a 30 day lunar month when the conjunction happens after sundown, which is not often. The natural cycle can easily be recognized by just looking up and observing at the moon the way our biblical brothers did nightly, and within a couple of months you will see the pattern:

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So, if the lunar cycle is the same every month (new moon) no matter what, wouldn’t it then make sense that our months that we observe should be the same, no matter what? I think so. Yah tells us to use the Moon as a guide to keep time, and the lunar cycle is the same every month, He also tells us to guard the New Moon and we see in scripture that it is set apart from the Sabbaths and the six working days.

So as we follow the lunar cycle we see that first we have a New Moon (conjunction) it is a set apart day, not a Sabbath or one of the 6 working days… then we count 6 days and on the 7th we have the First Quarter…. Count 6 days then we have the Full Moon…. Count 6 days then we have the Last quarter….count 6 days then we have the last visible sliver… the very next night is the conjunction again where the whole process starts anew.

It’s all very simple really and as far as I can tell the correct way to keep time would be a combination of the 2 most popular calendar systems of our time used by believers and Jews. The Hillel II calendar and the ‘Biblical’ calendar used by Michael Rood. Both have accurate information, the Hillel calendar starts the month at the Conjunction, only it does not set the New Moon apart from the other days. And the ‘Biblical’ calendar starts from the sighting of the sliver which in most cases would be correct (if visibility permits) which would put the count right as long as they observed the New Moon which at this time they do not.

Where both are stuck in my opinion is having set days of the week, which isn’t biblical and we have no proof that time was ever kept this way before the Julian calendar which is the calendar in use before the Gregorian calendar we are all using today. When you have a calendar with set days of the week whether you use the pagan names of Monday-Sunday or 1st day–Shabbat, something very important gets lost, the New Moon. And aren’t we commanded to observe it and set it apart? Wouldn’t it make more sense that as the Moon renews itself that the calendar should also renew itself, along with the weeks?

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Take some time and pray about this, do an intensive study on the subject, make sure you aren’t holding fast to something that you were taught or told by someone else, which is the knee jerk thing to do when something challenges a ‘fact’ you have always known. It’s a hard thing to do when it comes to breaking away from the social routines in which our culture has us firmly planted. We live in a society where ‘Monday’ through ‘Friday’ are the work days and our ‘weekend’ is ‘Saturday’ and ‘Sunday’. Whether you are Jewish or Christian isn’t it convenient that the set apart days for worshiping our Elohim fall on this ‘weekend’.

We are supposed to be in this world not of it and just because the pagans around us are following a schedule and calendar of their own making does not mean we have to! I have one basic understanding of our Elohim, simplicity, when it comes to His commandments he makes it simple for us, we are so far removed from the time when Torah was given that we have a hard time letting go of our indoctrination and realizing that the most simple answer to any question tends to be the correct one.

Thanks to Zakane Benel for your insight and thoughts.
Eriq Benel
7/23/2010 20:10:48

You did a marvelous job laying this out. It's so simple people can't grasp it. YHWH Most High be with you and your family as you grow in His Word.

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7/23/2010 23:35:54

Thank you Zakane...... I agree that it is simple, and I have noticed that people are having a hard time, the facebook arguments alone are HUGE!!!

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