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Lunar Months and New Year

Using the Bible & SDA Bible Commentary

The Feast of Trumpets:

Leviticus 23:23-24 (NKJV) 23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’”

Offerings at the Feast of Trumpets:
Numbers 29:1-6  1 ‘And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets. 2 You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the LORD: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish. 3 Their grain offering shall be fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, 4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; 5 also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, to make atonement for you; 6 besides the burnt offering with its grain offering for the New Moon, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, as a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.

Leviticus 25:3-12 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6 And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, 7 for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land—all its produce shall be for food.8 ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

Exodus 23:16 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Exodus 34:21-23 21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. 22 “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end. 23 “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the LORD God of Israel.

Vol. 1 SDA Bible Commentary, pp 805 Leviticus 23:24:  Blowing the trumpets.  On the first day of the seventh month was a Sabbath: “an holy convocation” was to be held.  On that day the trumpets were blown, for the Day of Atonement was near at hand, and the first nine days of the month were to be days of preparation for it.  The first day of the seventh month of the religious calendar was New Year’s Day, the first day of the civil calendar year.

Vol. 2 SDA Bible Com., pp 106, 4th par.:  Blowing of Trumpets: the New Year (Modern Rosh Hashanah).  Six months after the Passover the series of autumn festivals began with the Blowing of Trumpets on the 1st day of the 7th month (Tishri).  The day, later called Rosh Hashanah, the “beginning of the year,” was a festival Sabbath (Lev. 23:24, 25; Num. 29:1).  It celebrated the beginning of the civil year.  This New Year’s Day was marked not only by the blowing of the trumpets but also by special sacrifices, almost double in number compared with the regular new-moon sacrifices.     Please see also pp. 117 par. 2 and pp. 144 #1.

Vol. 1 SDA Bible Com., pp 175, The Month Governed by the Moon. ---Just as one complete rotation of the globe on its axis, from sunset on to sunset again, marks off one day on this earth, so the time required for the moon to go once around the earth---that is, to pass through its visible phases, as from crescent to full moon and to crescent again---constituted the original month.  The ancient lunar month did not begin at the astronomical new moon, when that body stands between the earth and the sun---with its unlighted side toward us, and hence invisible—but one or more days later, with the appearance of the new crescent.  Now, however, most of the world uses artificial calendar months that disregard the moon.

Vol. 2 SDA Bible Com., pp 102, 103 Length of the Month.----Nothing is said of the number of days in a month.  In later times the lengths of the months and the intervals between the 13-month year were calculated by astronomical rules and fixed in a systematized calendar.  But in the beginning the months must have been determined by the direct observation of the moon.  Since the phases of the moon repeat themselves every 29 ½ days, approximately, the crescent would reappear in the evening at the close of the 29th or 30th of the month.  Ordinarily the months would alternate 30 and 29 days, but his was not always true.  There are not only minor variations in the motion of the moon that affect the uniformity of the intervals, but also weather conditions that sometimes prevent the visibility of the crescent.  We are told in later Jewish writings that it was the custom to look for the moon then at the close of the 29th……2nd par. pp 103:  In later times, certainly in the revised for of the calendar instituted some centuries after the time of Christ, the 6 months from Nisan through Elul ran 30 and 29 days alternately….

Lunar Months and New Year (PDF)