Here is a recent illustrated series on the Divine Feastdays, as recorded at one of our Sabbath worship services.


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Early Hebrew Worship included Lunar New Moon Feast Days:

"They (the Jews) assemble, according to their customs...on the Sabbaths, New Moon days and festivals...to prostrate...calling in the Hebrew language: 'On which day will you come? At what time will you reveal Yourself? Because we are expecting Your coming...Do not tarry, even if You tarry we shall wait'."

-from Shenoute, Abbot of Athribis in Egypt, in the fourth century; cf. E. Amerlineau, Oeuvres de Schenoudi II (Paris, 1914), pp. 379-380. Reprinted in Scripta Hierosolymitana, volume 31, 1986. Publication of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.


Lunar New Moon was important in Early Israel!

"You are exhausted by your many counsels; let the astrologers, the stargazers, and those who prognosticate by the new moons stand up and save you from what is coming upon you." -Isaiah 47:13, The Scriptures translation.

"Isaiah uses the root chadash in 47:13 in reference to those who gaze at the stars. The challenge is made to these stargazers to make the future known by the chadashim, the 'new moons'." -Isaiah 46, 47 and 48: A New Literary-Critical Reading, by Professor Chris Franke (Eisenbrauns, IN) 1994.


The Lunar Calendar is Ancient

In ancient Chaldea, the birthplace of Abraham, a popular custom of his day was that for a month after a wedding, the bride's father would supply his new son-in-law with all of the mead that he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar-based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.


Lunar Watchers

"According to Jewish tradition, watchers were appointed for the appearance of the moon, from which their months were counted." -Charles L. Feinberg, "Jeremiah: A Commentary," p.211.

Lunar Month pre-figures our future Millennial life

"As the setting of the sun marks the new day, and the empty moon a new month, so the Dark Age of wandering in the wilderness is a theological preliminary to the promise of sovereignty, and the dawn of a new age." -Prof. R.L. Dieterle, Univ. of Minnesota, J.I.E.S. vol. 15, no's. 1 & 2 (1987) p.183.


How did the Sabbath become separated from Lunar Cycle?

"How the Sappattu [Sabbath] might have...become dissociated from the Lunar cycle...has not been persuasively explained." -Moshe Greenberg, "Sabbath," in Ency. Judaica

The Moon determines the Festival times:

Psa 104:19 Lord, you made the moon to show us when the festivals begin. And the sun always knows when to set. (ERV)

Worshipping on the Lunar Sabbath and New Moons

The Biblical Basis For Celebrating the Feast of the New Moon:



We welcome you to join us in celebrating Yah’s Feast of Chodesh (the New Moon on Yah’s heavenly calendar). Lunar Sabbath observers will gather at the shofar call to hear Yah’s Word, offer prayers, sing praise, worship Elohim and enjoy the fellowship of other believers in Yahshuah’s presence. Thus says Sovereign YAHUAH; “The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days. But on Sabbath it shall be opened and in the day of the new moon (“chodesh”) it shall be opened.” (Ezekiel 46:1)


Chodesh is so important that YAHUAH commands His people to give offerings on this Feast each month throughout the year. And in the beginnings of your moons (months) you shall offer a burnt offering unto YAHUAH: two young bullocks; one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; and three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; and a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savor, a sacrifice made by fire unto YAHUAH. Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine unto a bullock, the third part of a hin unto a ram and a fourth part of a hin unto a lamb. This is the burnt offering of every moon (month) throughout the moons (months) of the year. (Numbers 28:11-14)


“Chodesh” is translated as “new moon” in the King James Bible (KJV). Take a psalm and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day for this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the Elohim of Jacob. (Psalm 81:2) “Chodesh” (H2320) also means “monthly, the first day of a lunar month.” Its primitive root word is “chadash” (H2318) which means “to be new, renew or repair.”


According to Webster’s Dictionary the moon is (1) the celestial body that revolves around the earth from west to east in about 29.5 days. It accompanies the earth in its yearly revolution about the sun, and (2) this body as it appears during a particular period of time or at a particular time of month such as  new moon,  crescent,  half-moon, full-moon, old-moon, first quarter, and last quarter; and (3) a month, especially a lunar month, the length of time in which a moon changes from a new crescent through a half-moon stage, a full-moon stage then eventually disappearing until returning again as a new crescent moon.


Every 29 to 30 days, the moon becomes concealed at the end of its lunar cycle. When the moon goes through its “conjunction point”, it passes between sun and earth so that none of the moon’s illuminated surface faces earth. It is still there, but we can’t see it through the sun’s bright glare. As the moon revolves around earth, the sunlight reflected from its surface increases. Until one day, shortly after sunset, a crescent moon is visible in the western horizon. Having been unseen for one or two days, when Israelites saw the moon again, they called it chodesh. It wasn’t a “new” moon but rather a moon that was being “renewed”. Over the course of two weeks, we see the moon become increasingly lit until it is fully illuminated as a “full moon”. Then, during two next weeks, the moon reflection decreases until it disappears from our sight. YAHUAH created this unique cycle of the moon to convey a spiritual message that is memorialized in the Feast of Chodesh.


Let’s turn to scripture for more about this. The moon appears often in the KJV For example, it is in nine Psalms (8:3; 72:5-7; 81:3; 89:37; 104:19; 121:6; 136:9; 148:3). Strong’s Concordance notes that a word for moon appears over 250 times. In most cases, it is translated as month(s) in the KJV (recall Webster’s 3rd definition). If you want to read the Bible from a Hebraic perspective, the next time you see the word “month” in scripture read it as the word “moon” as in this verse, It came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh moon, on the first day of the moon that Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that YAHUAH had given him in commandment to them. (Deuteronomy 1:3)


Why does Scripture record the times of key events in days, moons (months) and years? It’s because the ancient Israelites used natural cycles (physical attributes of nature) that they could see and feel with their senses. For example, a day is a natural solar cycle (one complete spinning rotation of the earth). A month is a natural lunar cycle (one complete revolution of the moon around the earth). And, a year is a natural solar cycle (one complete revolution of the earth around the sun). There is no minute, hour, or week in nature. These are man-made concepts of time found on watches and calendars.


Ancient Israelites didn’t have wrist watches, Franklin Planners, pocket calendars, or the glossy picture calendars we put on our walls to govern and plan their days. When Israelites looked up to heaven  (not down on calendars),  they saw the sun, “yareah” (H3394) another Hebrew word for moon, and the stars. So it came to pass that Israel recorded its time in days (“yom”, H3117), in “yerah” (H3391) another Hebrew term for “lunation periods, months”, and in years (“shanah”, H8141).


Modern-day believers tend to be more connected to a weekly cycle of Sabbath than they are to a monthly cycle of the moon.  For example, people usually know what day of the week it is, but most don't know what phase of the moon they are in. A Gregorian calendar is no help as most of these no longer show the moon phase even though the very word month is derived from the word moon. The connection is apparent in the Hebrew words for month. For example, “yerah” is related to “yareah” (depicting the concept of a lunar cycle), and “chodesh” is related to “chadash” (depicting the concept of a renewed moon starting a new month in Yah’s heavenly calendar).


Elohim wants people to pay attention to His signs in the sky. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you ordained; what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you visit him? (Psalm 8:3-4)


Scripture links astral bodies (“lights of the heavens”) with the sacred seasons and YAHUAH Elohim’s feast days. And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night. Let them be for signs (“owth”, H225) and seasons (“moedim”, H4150)), and for days and years.” (Genesis 1:14) ”Owth” means “a banner, distinguishing mark, remembrance, a proof, an omen, a warning, a token, ensign, a sign or a miracle”. Yah’s heavenly bodies are signs to signal “moedim” which means “congregations, assemblies, feasts, seasons and appointed times”. In other words, Elohim created the sun, moon and stars as a signal for the sacred gatherings (feasts) of holy people.


So it is that BYA uses these intentionally placed lights in the sky as signals, ordinances and signs because Yah ordained them. Thus says YAHUAH, who give the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divides the sea when the waves thereof roar; YAHUAH Tzaviot (of hosts) is His name, “If those ordinances depart from before me,” says YAHUAH, “then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)


Certain verses in apocrypha (non-canonized scripture) also teach that the lights of heaven have a purpose. The moon, too, that marks the changing times, governing the seasons, their lasting sign, By which we know the feast days and fixed dates, this light-giver which wanes in its course: As its name says, each month it renews itself; how wondrous in this change! (NAB, Sirach 43:6-8) The sun and moon and stars are bright, and obedient in the service for which they are sent. (NAB, Baruch 6:59)


The moon’s purpose is to identify moedim (Yah’s appointed feasts). [YAHUAH] appointed the moon for seasons. The sun knows his going down. (Psalm 104:19) Yah created the lights of heaven as heavenly signs for helping people know when to assemble. For BYA, the new moon is a signal for Chodesh and the start of a new month in Yah’s calendar.


Why does Yah use the moon (a celestial body) as a signal for keeping moedim (spiritual picture of His Salvation Plan)? Scripture teaches that Yah uses physical means to lead His people on paths of righteousness (the Way of Holiness). A highway shall be there, a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it. But it shall be for those, the wayfaring men, though fools shall not err therein.  No lion shall be there, or any ravenous beast shall go up thereon. It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of YAHUAH shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:8-10)


YAHUAH also created celestial bodies such that no matter what men tried to do, they couldn’t mess with His sign posts. They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In His days shall the righteous flourish and abundance of peace so long as the moon endures. (Psalm 72:5-7) Even when men traveled to the moon they couldn’t dislodge it. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. (Psalm 89:37)


Furthermore, no matter where people travel in the world, they can always know the dates of YAHUAH’s Feasts (new moon, sabbath and annual festivals). They would not need shofars to be blown, or lanterns to be hung from Jerusalem watch towers, or calendars on their refrigerator door. Yah blesses Believers with the ability to know when to assemble for moedim by looking up to heaven rather than looking down at the devices of men (calendars). Yes, let Elohim be true, but every man a liar. As it is written, “That you might be justified in your sayings and might overcome when you are judged.” (Romans 3:4)


So the moon governs when BYA meets for Chodesh. To gather for Yah’s feast days is part of our walk. As we follow in Yahshuah’s steps, we worship in Yah’s time, not our own. Doing so enables the Holy Spirit to escorts us to our Bridegroom, Yahshuah. The feast days are helping BYA walk in the right direction. You set up way marks. You make high heaps. Set your heart toward the highway, even the way which you went. Turn again, O virgin of Israel! Turn again to these your cities.” (Jeremiah 31:21) As BYA responds to Yah’s call, we practice knowing and following His Way. Our Feast Days become rehearsal dates for our wedding.


Scripture teaches ancient Israelites during the time of David gathered for Chodesh. David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat. But let me go that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.” (1 Samuel 20:5) Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the new moon and you shall be missed because your seat will be empty. (1 Samuel 20:18)


The Israelites of Isaiah’s time also observed Chodesh and Sabbath although YAHUAH was weary of how they kept these feasts. Bring no more vain oblations. Incense is an abomination to me. The new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with. It is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My Soul hates. They are a trouble to Me. I am weary to bear them. (Isaiah 1:13-14)


Ezekiel also spoke Sovereign YAHUAH’s words on how Israel was to observe Chodesh. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before YAHUAH in the sabbaths and in the new moons. And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer to YAHUAH in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and a hin of oil to an ephah. And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram. They shall be without blemish. (Ezekiel 46:3-6)


See: Lunar Sabbath Observance in the New TestamentBack to top