Lunar Based Sabbath
Scripture or Not?
The idea that the Sabbath is determined by the lunar cycle is a growing trend on the internet. The argument is made that the Sabbath has been changed and corrupted over time, and what is widely held as the Sabbath, Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset, is errant and pagan.
When I was first exposed to this idea I will admit it intrigued me. I was open to the idea that the Sabbath could have been corrupted, much of Yah’s Word has been corrupted and changed, and the Sabbath is something extremely important to Yahowah so it makes sense that those seeking to lead people away from Him would corrupt it. The arguments made on it’s behalf seemed sound to me on the surface. So I decided to research it on my own, and examine the evidence for myself. I quickly concluded that the argument did not hold water. However it continues to come up time and time again, so I decided to write this article on the topic so I when it comes up I can point people to this rather then engaging in the same debate over and over.
Much of the Lunar Based Sabbath idea comes from reading and interpreting the book of Enoch, a book which I have researched and rejected based on Yahowah’s testimony. To see why I reject it read my article Rejecting Enoch found on this site.
Let’s start by looking at Yahowah’s instruction regarding the Sabbath.
Exodus 20:8-11 wrote:
“Remember (zakar — recall, recognize, mark, memorialize, mention, proclaim, and be earnestly mindful of) that the Sabbath (shabat — the seventh day, the time of observance, of rest to reflect on God’s promise to settle our debts so we could settle with Him on the seventh) day (yowm) is set apart (qadash — is separated unto God for purifying and cleansing and thus special). Six (shesh) days you shall work (‘abad — labor) and do (‘asah — prepare and produce, fashion and finish, advance, assign, and accomplish, institute and celebrate) all (kol — the entirety of) your service of representing the Messenger and proclaiming the message (mala’kah — your Godly duties and heavenly labor). But (wa) the seventh (shaby’y — solemn promise which fulfills and satisfies those who listen and are observant of the role of the seventh) day (yowm), the Sabbath (shabat — the seventh day, the time of observance, of rest and reflection, and of ceasing and desisting from ordinary labor to consider the promise to settle all disputes and settle down) of Yahuweh (YHWH) your God (‘elohym), you shall not do (lo’ ‘asah — not prepare or produce, fashion or finish, advance, assign, or accomplish) any part of (kol) the work of God’s Representative and Messenger (mala’kah — from mal’ak, the ministry and mission of the heavenly envoy, the Divine endeavors and labor of God’s corporeal manifestation) yourself (‘atah), nor your son (ben), your daughter (bat), your servants and employees (‘ebed / ‘amah), your means of production (behemah — animals and beasts of burden), and those visitors (ger – foreigners) who relationally (‘asher) are in (ba) your home, property, or community (sa’ar— area enclosed by a door or gate, a household, assembly, city, or nation). For indeed in (ky — because surely and truly in) six (shesh) days (yowm) Yahuweh (YaHuWeH) made (‘asah — prepared and produced, fashioned and finished, instituted and celebrated) accordingly (‘eth) the heavens (shamaym — the spiritual realm) and the earth (‘erets — the material world), and the seas (yam), and all (kol — everything) which relationally (‘asher) is in them (ba). And (wa) He became completely settled (nuwach — rested after settling all unresolved issues) during(ba) the seventh (shaby’y — solemn promise which fulfills and satisfies those who listen and are observant of the role of the seventh) day (yowm). Therefore (ken — consequently, this is true and correct) Yahuweh blessed and adored (barak — knelt down and lowered Himself to greet those He had created and lift them up on) the Sabbath (shabat — the seventh day, the time of observance, of rest and reflection, and of ceasing and desisting from ordinary labor to consider the promise God has made to settle our debts and settle us in His home on this) day (yowm), setting it apart (qodesh — separating it from others, dedicating it to separation, cleansing, and purifying).
The Sabbath is one of many examples of Yahowah’s favorite equation, 6+1=7. Twice in this instruction Yahowah iterates this equation. Six days we are to work and on the seventh we are to rest because Yahowah created the heavens and earth in six days and rested on the seventh. So the only instruction given here regarding the Sabbath is 6 days of work and a 7th day of rest, the new moon is never mention, nor is the beginning of the month or anything related to the month.
Does the lunar based Sabbath keep the 6+1 equation? The lunar month has 29 days, 29 is not evenly divisible by 7, so what comes of the extra day? So you have 4 weeks of six plus one a week of one and then restart. So if you where to start at the beginning of a year you would have 6 days of work a day of rest, 6 days of work a day of rest, 6 days of work a day of rest, 6 days of work a day of rest and then 7 days of work and a day of rest. So in order to keep the Sabbath according to this lunar cycle once a month you have to ignore the 6+1 established by Scripture.
Let’s look at another Scriptural example of where the weekly and not lunar Sabbath is supported.
In Leviticus 23:15 we read:
Accurately count (saphar – reckon, record, relate, rehearse, and regale) from the day after (mahorath – the next day following) the Shabat (shabat – the day of rest and reflection), from(min) the day (yowm) you came forth and bore(bow’ – arrived with and included) the sheaf of grain (‘omer – bundle of grain prepared for processing and transport) as an ascending wave offering (tanuwpah – a gift of fruit which is lifted up, from nuwph, to elevate and move something which is sprinkled and anointed to and fro), a total (hayah – the existence) of seven (sheba’ – a sworn oath)complete (tamym – full, right, true, and perfect) Sabbaths (shabath – weeks). Always and forever (‘ad – eternally and into perpetuity), you shall accurately count, reckon, record, relate, rehearse, and regale (saphar) the Day of Fifty (yowm chamisym – the Feast of Chamisym), starting from (min) the next day after (mahorath) the seventh (shabiyiy)Shabat (shabat – week), and you shall come near and approach (qarab) Yahowah’s renewed and restored (hadas)gift (minhah – offering given freely as a present without compensation).
The day “you came forth and bore the sheaf of grain” is the festival of Bikriyum, or Firstfruits. So here we are told to count 7 Sabbaths and then on the next day to “come near and approach Yahowah’s renewed and restored gift” we are also told that it is the day of fifty. So 7 Sabbaths plus 1 is fifty days according to this. If the Sabbath is reset by the moon then there would not always be fifty days from Firsfruits. If the Sabbath is reset by the moon, since Firstfruits and Weeks are two months removed, one occurring in the first month and one in the third, the Sabbath count would reset twice during the time in between, and the fifty day count would not coincide with the Seven Sabbaths count.
Also if you look at this same instruction when it is reiterated in Deuteronomy you will notice something
Deuteronomy 16:9 wrote:
You shall accurately count (sapar – reckon, record, relate, rehearse, and regale) seven (sheba’) sevens (shabuwa’ – weeks) for (la – concerning and on behalf of)yourself (‘athah) from(min) beginning to (halal) bring a sickle (hermes) against(ba) the standing grain (qamah – from quwm, to stand upright and rise). Begin(halal) to count (sapar) seven (sheba’/i]) sevens(shabuwa’ – weeks). Keep (‘asah – attend to and celebrate) the Festival Feast (chag) of Sevens (Shabuwa’ – Weeks) to Yahowah your God (‘elohym) with a sufficient (misah – an appropriately affordable portion; from masas, an ultimately insignificant) voluntary offering (nadabah – freewill contribution; noncompulsory donation) from your hand, which by association (‘asher)you can give (nathan – bestow, deliver, and entrust) relative to (ka – according to)how (‘asher/i]) Yahowah your God (‘elohym) blesses and adores (barak – kneels down and favors) you.
Something that immediately sticks out here is that shabuwa is used in place of shabat. So the term week and Shabat are synonyms for a seven day period.
So the Miqra of Weeks was to be kept Seven Sabbaths plus one day from the Miqra of FirstFruits, which is Seven Weeks plus one, which is fifty days.
Seven Sabbaths + 1 = Seven Weeks +1 = 50 days
So now let’s examine some of the evidence presented in favor of a lunar based Sabbath.
The first one seems like a credible argument, at least until you examine it. The argument goes like this, and I am quoting from the following website:
The first moon, when they left Mitzrayim was on the 15th, that day they actually got rest from Mitzrayim bondage. Deut. 5:15 says “and remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Mitzrayim, and that thy mighty One brought thee out (15th) thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore thy mighty one commanded thee to keep the Shabbat day.”
Now ask yourself, what did being delivered from Mitzrayim bondage have to do with the Shabbat day? Unless, it was on the 15th, and a Shabbat.
They were commanded to keep the Shabbat day because they were delivered from Mitzrayim bondage on the Shabbat day, which was the 15th. (See Num. 33:3) Just as in the Creation Week, YaHuWaH rested on the Shabbat day. It is a Memorial Day of rest.
The argument to me falls apart with their “proof” that the day that Israel was lead out was a Sabbath, and that day was the 15th. The evidence is overwhelming that it was the 15th, but they fail to prove that it was a Sabbath.
Their reasoning is flawed because they are trying to make it fit their view. This is what happens when people take a verse out of context, especially when trying to prove their own agenda. The reason the 15th verse says to remember that you were a servant in the land of Mitzrayim, is not an attempt to link the Sabbath to the day of the Exodus, it flows straight from the 14th verse, which was conveniently omitted. The 14th verse reads (using the same translation they use), “and the seventh day is a sabbath to Jehovah thy God; thou dost not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy handmaid, and thine ox, and thine ass, and all thy cattle, and thy sojourner who is within thy gates; so that thy man-servant, and thy handmaid doth rest like thyself.” In context it is obvious that “remember that you were a servant in the land of Mitzrayim” is being given as the reason for “thou dost not do any work …. thy man-servant, and thy handmaid doth rest like thyself.”
Here is an amplified presentation of the Deuteronomy reiteration of the Sabbath instruction.
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 reads:
You shall observe (shamar — be aware of, pay attention to, carefully consider, revere, cling to, and be secure in, keep and rely upon) the Sabbath (shabat — the seventh day, the time of rest and reflection to observe the fulfillment of God’s solemn promise to settle us in His home and settle all disputes, completely satisfying us so that we can celebrate this) day (yowm) set apart(qodesh — separating it for purification, making it special) as Yahowah your God commanded (sawah — instructed and directed). Six (shesh — purification by bleaching mankind (represented by six) white) days (yowm) you shall labor doing your ordinary work (‘abad), and (wa) you shall do (‘asah) all (kol) your spiritual service (mala’kah — work associated with declaring Heaven’s message; from mal’ak, spiritual messenger and heavenly representative), but (wa) the seventh (shaby’y — solemn promise which fulfills and satisfies those who listen and are observant of the role of the seventh) day (yowm) observe the Sabbath (shabat) unto (la)
Yahowah (YaHoWaH) your God (‘elohym — Mighty One). On it you shall not do (‘al lo’ ‘asah) any (kol) spiritual service (mala’kah — work associated with declaring Heaven’s message; from mal’ak, spiritual messenger and heavenly representative), not you (‘atah), your son, daughter, male and female servants, animals, or means of production (behemah — domesticated animals), or foreigners (ger — visitors from other places and races) which are within your gates, spiritually resting and reflecting (ruwach) with you. For the purpose and intent that (lema’an) your male servant and your female servant rest (nuach) just as (ka – similar to) you. And you should be mindful (zakar — remember and recall, being thoughtful) that indeed (ky), you existed as (hayah) a slave (‘ebed — were in bondage) in the realm (‘erets) of the crucible of Egypt (misrayim) and Yahowah (YaHoWeH) your God(‘elohym) led and brought you out (yasa’ — descended and extended Himself to serve) from (min) there (sham) with (ba — in and by way of) a strong and mighty hand (chazaq yad — firm and resolute, authoritative and capable hand, which prevailed against a loud and severe spirit [Satan]), and (wa) with (ba — in and by way of) the Almighty’s (‘el) outstretched (natah — by giving and revealing, bending down as an inclined extension, and camping out by setting apart a) Sacrificial Lamb (zarowa’ — the arm strong enough to shoulder the burden).
It is asserted that no Sabbath in scripture can be shown to occur on any day other than an 8th, 15th, 22nd, or 29th of a lunar cycle.
The word “Sabbath” appears in more than 100 passages of the Tanakh and Greek text. It seems, at first thought, that if not one of those can be shown to fall on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, etc., day of the month, that that would be fairly significant evidence in favor of the lunar Sabbath theory. However upon examination there are many passages in the Tanakh and Greek text that refer to the Sabbath as a precept in such a way as to provide no precise and certain information regarding the correlation of days with months. See Ex 20:8-11; De 5:12-15; Ex 31:14-16; Ex 35:2-3; Le 24:8; Nu 28:9-10; Neh 9:14; 1 Chr 9:32; Ps 92:1; Amos 8:5; Jer17:21-27; Is 56:2, 6; Is 58:13; Matthew 24:20; John 7:22-23;
There are 20 Stories in the Tanakh and Greek text that refer to the Sabbath, but without dating it in terms of a day of the month. See Nu 15:32; 2Ki 11:5-9, 2Chr 23:4-8; 2Ki16:18; Neh 10:31; Neh 13:15-22; Matthew 12:1-12, Mark 2:23-3:4, Luke 6:1-9; Mark 1:21; Mark 6:2; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5;Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14-44; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; John5:9-181; John 9:14-162.
Having checked now a number of the verses cited by lunar based Sabbath proponents as showing that the Sabbath is shown to be on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, or 29th , just like the example mentioned a moment ago everyone ranges from a far stretch to a very far stretch, not once is it spelled out in a way that is definitive. I urge you to look for yourself and see.
One example that they try to argue for 15th day Sabbath that is a huge stretch is the fact that the manna stopped falling on the 16th of the first month. But the passage, Joshua 5:10-12, says nothing about whether the 15th had been a Sabbath. Indeed, if the 15th was a Sabbath, then the last day of manna falling was the 14th rather than the 15th, since no mana fell on the Sabbath. Joshua says that the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land, and that that was the day after the 14th. Therefore manna fell on the 15th and therefore the 15th wasn’t a Sabbath. So this example actually disproves rather than proves the lunar Sabbath.
Not one example I have found gives hard and fast evidence for the Sabbath being on any particular day of the month. But the Joshua verse above strongly suggests that the 15th of that month was not a Sabbath, much more strongly than the 15th being a Sabbath.
Personally I see no reason to doubt that the Sabbath as kept by Jews the world over is not the Sabbath. My reasoning is as follows:
1) We know that the Yahowdim of Yahowsha’s time kept the Sabbath correctly. I say this because we have no record in any of the eye witness accounts of Him teaching otherwise, and I am positive that if they were he would have told people, and something that big the eye witnesses would have recorded.
2) History from that time on is pretty well documented; we have letters and historians who kept records. Therefore you I would expect to see some evidence that in that time Jews the world over began keeping a different Sabbath. We have evidence of the Church instituting Sunday worship in place of the Sabbath, but there is no evidence that Jews changed their reckoning of the Sabbath during this period. No historian, no historical figure bothered to make note of the peculiarity of an entire religion, one spread all over the world, suddenly changing one of their most sacred precepts? If such a decision was made would it not have been evidenced in some way. The Talmud contains chapter after chapter of religious jews debating on how to interrupt and change the “law” but not once is there a mention of changing the reckoning of the Sabbath, and there are plenty of debates concerning calendar days.
A change that big to occur world wide and not be noted by anyone is just a stretch to big for me.
Here is where things get fun because Lunar Sabbath believers try to argue that the Lunar Sabbath was being kept at the time of Yahowsa, if this is the case and we have no record of Yahowsha correcting them, then it may lend some credibility to the case. Let’s examine the evidence that it was being kept at that time.
Here like all that I have cited concerning the lunar Sabbath the proponents excel at taking things out of context and twisting them to fit their idea.
Here I will be citing from the following website:
In[Philo’s] Allegorical Interpretation, 1 IV (8), it says…“Again, the periodical changes of the moon, take place according to the number seven, that star having the greatest sympathy with the things on earth. And the changes which the moon works in the air, it perfects chiefly in accordance with its own configurations on each seventh day. At all events, all mortal things, as I have said before, drawing their more divine nature from the heaven, are moved in a manner which tends to their preservation in accordance with this number seven. … Accordingly, on the seventh day, Elohim caused to rest from all his works which he had made.”
…Notice that Philo says the moon is perfect in its shape or appearance at seven day intervals. Had aHebrew speaking Israelite written this he would have said “it perfects chiefly in accordance with its own configurations on each Sabbath day instead of each “seventh” day because elsewhere in his writings, Philo identifies that when he mentions the seventh day [of the week] he is speaking of the Sabbath.
Seems pretty convincing, until you examine it in context. To start with, “elsewhere in his writings, Philo identifies that when he mentions the seventh day [of the week] he is speaking of the Sabbath” is an inaccurate or at least misleading statement. Nowhere is this found in Philo’s Allegorical Interpretations, and while it may be in another of his writing, I haven’t read all of them but have not seen it in what I have read and they don’t cite where so I cannot verify. But that is moot because unless he says that in this set we have no reason to apply it to this volume of writing.
Now let’s examine how they have taken this out of context to suit their point. We will start at the beginning and go through the end of Allegorical Interpretation 1 section IV. They started their quote half way through verse 8, thus disrupting the context. For those interested here is an online site which contains Philo’s work, and specifically AI 1: http://www.earlyjewishwr…m/text/philo/book2.html you can navigate the site to find more.
Philo’s Allegorical Interpretations 1 IV wrote:
- (8) But nature delights in the number seven. For there are seven planets, going in continual opposition to the daily course of the heaven which always proceeds in the same direction. And likewise the constellation of the Bear is made up of seven stars, which constellation is the cause of communication and unity among men, and not merely of traffic. Again, the periodical changes of the moon, take place according to the number seven, that star having the greatest sympathy with the things on earth. And the changes which the moon works in the air, it perfects chiefly in accordance with its own configurations on each seventh day. (9) At all events, all mortal things, as I have said before, drawing their more divine nature from the heaven, are moved in a manner which tends to their preservation in accordance with this number seven. For who is there who does not know that those infants who are born at the end of the seventh month are likely to live, but those who have taken a longer time, so as to have abided eight months in the womb, are for the most part abortive births? (10) And they say that man is a reasoning being in his first seven years, by which time he is a competent interpreter of ordinary nouns and verbs, making himself master of the faculty of speaking. And in his second period of seven years, he arrives at the perfection of his nature; and this perfection is the power of generating a being like himself; for at about the age of fourteen we are able to beget a creature resembling ourselves. Again, the third period of seven years is the termination of his growth; for up to the age of one and twenty years man keeps on increasing in size, and this time is called by many maturity. (11) Again, the irrational portion of the soul is divisible into seven portions; the five senses, and the organ of speech, and the power of generation. (12) Again, the motions of the body are seven; the six organic motions, and the rotatory motion. Also the entrails are seven–the stomach, the heart, the spleen, the liver, the lungs, and the two kidneys. In like manner the limbs of the body amount to an equal number–the head, the neck, the chest, the two hands, the belly, the two feet. Also the most important part of the animal, the face, is divisible according to a sevenfold division–the two eyes, and the two ears, and as many nostrils, and in the seventh place, the mouth. (13) Again, the secretions are seven–tears, mucus from the nose, saliva, the generative fluid, the two excremental discharges, and the sweat that proceeds from every part of the body. Moreover, in diseases the seventh day is the most critical period–and in women the catamenial purifications extend to the seventh day.
Fist take note that suspiciously absent from all of section IV is, “Accordingly, on the seventh day, Elohim caused to rest from all his works which he had made.” Philo did write this, but it is in VI (16), not IV (8). So they had to skip 18 sentence, over three paragraphs and two sections separated, in order to link the moon cycle to the Sabbath.
The entirety of section IV is being used to show how the number seven shows up time and time again throughout nature. It has nothing to do with a lunar Sabbath. All he is saying about the moon is that it cycles through in seven day increments, so on the seventh day of its cycle it is half, on the 14th day of its cycle it is full and on the 21st day of its cycle it is half. There is no link here whatsoever to the Sabbath, and no implication of a lunar based Sabbath.
It is telling the lengths with which they went to stretch this to mean that, and this is their first piece of evidence, one imagines that the best would be presented first.
Their next citation is from Philo’s Decalogue, and reads:
The Decalogue XXX (159):
But to the seventh day of the week he has assigned the greatest festivals, those of the longest duration, at the periods of the equinox both vernal and autumnal in each year; appointing two festivals for these two epochs, each lasting seven days; the one which takes place in the spring being for the perfection of what is being sown, and the one which falls in autumn being a feast of thanksgiving for the bringing home of all the fruits which the trees have produced”…
Let’s look carefully at what Philo is saying. To the seventh day of the week He [the Father above] has assigned the greatest festivals, in other words the greatest (longest) festivals have been assigned to the seventh day of the week. Philo, keeping the same luni-solar calendar established in Scripture, calls the first day of each of these seven day feasts the “seventh day of the week”. Scripture says that both of the seven day feasts (Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles) begin on the 15th day of their respective months. Friend, the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, is it not? It is the seventh day of the week EVERY year. If the 15th is the weekly Sabbath, so are the 8th, 22nd and 29th days of the month.
This one is interesting, but while we are in Philo’s Decalogue I would like to examine another section real quick, which I think will shed a little light.
Decalogue XX wrote:
(96) The fourth commandment has reference to the sacred seventh day, that it may be passed in a sacred and holy manner. Now some states keep the holy festival only once in the month, counting from the new moon, as a day sacred to God; but the nation of the Jews keep every seventh day regularly, after each interval of six days
Now that seems pretty unequivocal. Philo is stating that the practice of the Jewish nation at His time was to keep the Sabbath every seventh day regularly, after each interval of six days. Philo for those interested lived 20BCE-50CE, so right during the time of Yahowsha. So here he has stated unequivocally that the normative practice of the Jews of Yahowsha’s time kept a weekly and not lunar based Sabbath. Not only that but that those that did keep a lunar based Sabbath only did it once a month.
So let’s look at the Section XXX, and its (161) not (159) by the way. Reading it in light of Section XX(96) we have two choices, either Philo is contradicting himself, or we are misinterpreting what he has said in one of the two passages. So giving him the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume that we are misinterpreting one of the two. (96) is pretty straight forward, I fail to see any other way of interpreting it than the Jews of his time kept a weakly Sabbath, if you have another interpretation I am all ears. So let’s look at (161) and see if there is another possible interpretation than the one which lunar Sabbath advocates have come up with.
Decalogue XXX (161) wrote:
But to the seventh day of the week he has assigned the greatest festivals, those of the longest duration, at the periods of the equinox both vernal and autumnal in each year; appointing two festivals for these two epochs, each lasting seven days; the one which takes place in the spring being for the perfection of what is being sown, and the one which falls in autumn being a feast of thanksgiving for the bringing home of all the fruits which the trees have produced. And seven days have very appropriately been appointed to the seventh month of each equinox, so that each month might receive an especial honour of one sacred day of festival, for the purpose of refreshing and cheering the mind with its holiday.
Now first thing I notice is that he does not say that these festivals begin on the seventh day of the week. So another possible interpretation of this, one that would be in keeping with what he wrote in section XX is that Philo is simply saying that there are only 2 festivals, the longest, that always include the Sabbath, which makes them special since other festivals do not necessarily include it. So again either Philo contradicted himself with in the span of about two pages, and no one noticed at the time, in which case he becomes an unreliable witness, or the alternative interpretation of XX(161) is correct and lunar based Sabbath advocates of the time were so small in number that the majority of the people at the time understood exactly what he was saying.
So again we have a section taken out of context and used to prove a lunar Sabbath. Really however XX (96) should be all that is needed to prove that the Jews of Yahowsha’s time kept a weekly Sabbath, but in the interest of completeness, let us examine some more of their quotes.
Next they argue:
Speaking of “lunar” intervals, in Special Laws I. (178), Philo writes…“…there is one principle of reason by which the moon waxes and wanes in equal intervals, both as it increases and diminishes in illumination; the seven lambs because it receives the perfect shapes in periods of seven days—the half-moon in the first seven day period after its conjunction with the sun, full moon in the second; and when it makes its return again, the first is to half-moon, then it ceases at its conjunction with the sun.” [All emphasis supplied by author/complier of this study.]The half-moon (first quarter moon) announces the first Sabbath of the month. It is the seventh day of the week, naturally, but this is the 8th day of the month. New moon day is not counted against the week. The full moon rising at the end of the 14th day of the month announces the 15th as the second Sabbath of the month. If the new moon was counted, the quarter phases (or as Philo describes them, the moon as it perfects in its own configurations on each seventh day) would not come at the end of the week, disconnecting the perfection of the lunar cycle from the Sabbath.
Talk about a huge extrapolation and twisting of what was written. All he is saying is that the moon waxes and wanes in seven day intervals, that it is half after its first seven day period and full after its second seven day period. There is no linking of the week at all here. This is really grasping for straws.
I do love how the document points out lines like this from Philo, and lines that they can twist to meet their goal, but fail to point out the line that speaks of a weekly Sabbath in blunt and straight forward terms.
Philo gives a second witness in On Mating with the Preliminary Studies, XIX (102)…“For it is said in the Scripture: On the tenth day of this month let each of them take a sheep according to his house; in order that from the tenth, there may be consecrated to the tenth, that is to Elohim, the sacrifices which have been preserved in the soul, which is illuminated in two portions out of the three, until it is entirely changed in every part, and becomes a heavenly brilliancy like a full moon, at the height of its increase at the end of the second week”. Please let what Philo just said sink in. His readers in those days understood that the weeks were by the moon, same as in Scripture, and that at the end of the second week there would be a full moon. This statement needs no interpretation and is impossible to misunderstand. The sacred seventh day of the week, which comes at the end of the second week of each month, is a full moon abbath (Psalms 81:3-6). People would like for us to believe that the months were originally by the moon but the weeks were not. Philo was making a simple observation of how a person can be spiritually illuminated to a full brilliance just like a full moon at the height of its increase at the end of the second week. Friend, is there a Sabbath at the end of that second week?
I will state a line of logic that I think most here would agree with. Since we have a quote from Philo which is unequivocal in stating that the Jews of his day kept a weekly Sabbath, then any reasonable interpretation of any quote which appears to contradict the unequivocal statement should be consider more likely than an interpretation that contradicts the unequivocal statement.
So in that light let’s see if we can reconcile this quote with the unequivocal one in a reasonable way shall we. If the statement “needs no interpretation”, then why provide one?
Now ask yourself this. Why did Philo say at the end of the second “week” (shabua) instead of at the end of the second sabbath (shabat)? Lunar Sabbath proponents pay no attention to the different Hebrew terms. Weeks are not only descriptive of the calendar week, but of any consecutive number of seven days, things, or even years. Here are some examples.
For the lunar Sabbath proponent to score a point here, they must also believe that Jewish women only give birth on the Sabbath! Please pardon my use of standard English translations, I checked the pertinent words, but I do not have time to amplify these verse right now.
“But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.” – Leviticus 12:5
So as you can see, their ship is already sunk and at the bottom of the sea, but there is more.
“In the first, in the fourteenth day of the moon, you shall have the passover, a feast for a week of days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.” – Ezekiel 45:21
So here we have a week of days, as opposed to a week of weeks, or a week of years. Stating this way allows for the feast to begin on any day of the calendar week.
“I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled, and in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;” – Daniel 10:3-4
Apparently three whole weeks ends on the 24th day of the moon and not the 21st or 22nd.
This can only be true if “weeks” can refer to any consecutive 7 days without any relationship to the lunar cycle. So when Philo says the end of the second week, he is saying nothing different than 14 days after the new moon appeared.
So every bit of evidence we have examined shows that Lunar based Sabbath advocates are willing to, and need to twist the evidence to fit their view as opposed to letting the evidence guide them to the truth. The fact is that Yahowah’s instructions pertaining to the Sabbath are simple and straight forward, work six days and on the seventh rest, there is no mention of lunar cycles, or extra days or anything else for that matter, work six days and on the seventh you rest.
So why convolute something so simple? The answer is simple, people love to revel in the idea of secrete knowledge that only they know, it’s the same reason so many claim to have had personal secrete divine revelation which contradicts what God has already revealed. Yahowah reveled His word to the world, His revelation is the same for you, for me and for everyone else.
Man has corrupted Yahowah’s Word, there is no denying that, He told us it would happen, and we can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. With that said we should be aware of it and vigilant in finding it, but we should not buy into every theory about corruption. Go where the evidence leads you, and never take someone else word for anything, always verify it yourself. You have seen just how easy it is for someone to take something out of context and misrepresent it to suit their need, don’t fall for it. Don’t take my word for it, Look it up.