Recently, a friend of the Eth Cepher asks the question: Is there a requirement to observe the new moon? Searching new moon in the Eth Cepher, and it seems to include [the observance of the] new moon as an ordinance to be followed.
We begin of course with that doctrinal mitsvah found in the paradise Torah:
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 1:14-18
And Elohiym said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed feasts, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And Elohiym made את eth-two great lights; את eth-the greater light to rule the day, and את eth-the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And Elohiym set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and Elohiym saw that it was good.
We know the moon then has an application for signs, appointed feasts, for days, and years, and to rule the night. But does the moon bring forth even more?
We have always taken the position that within the Tanakh, there is but one verse to give us direction as to the first day of the month, and it goes to the first day of the seventh month on that day we call Yom Teru`ah, or the Feast of Trumpets.
Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:1-5
SING aloud unto Elohiym our strength: make a joyful noise unto the Elohiym of Ya`aqov. 2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. 3 Blow the shofar on the dark New Moon today on our solemn feast. 4 For this was a statute for Yashar’el, and a law of the Elohiym of Ya`aqov. 5 This he ordained in Yahuceph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Mitsrayim: where I heard a language that I understood not.
While 81:3 has been discussed many times, the whole of the verse shows so much more! David is discussing so many things in this feast. At this feast, there is singing, with the playing of the timbrel, the harp and the psaltery, and of course the blowing of the shofar.
However, the critical part of the verse goes to the dark New Moon, or in the Ivriyt taqiah b’chodesh shofar b’keseh l’yom chag’u.
Ps 81:3 תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר בַּכֵּסֶה לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ׃
Of course, the big question has to do with the meaning of the word chodesh and the word keceh.
People rightfully claim that chodesh does not mean moon, because yereach means moon. Chodesh means moon cycle, and not just moon cycle, but renewed moon cycle, the easiest expression of which is New Moon.
The next question is keceh. What does this word mean?
Strong’s tells us that keceh (כֶּסֶא) (Strong's H36770 or (כֶּסֶה)keçeh; apparently from H3680; means properly, fulness or the full moon, i.e. its festival [?] or the time appointed. But is that correct? Let’s look at the root, shall we?
Strong's 3680 (כָּסָה) kacah – before we go any further, you notice that without the nikkudiym (Masoretic vowel markings) the words are spelled identically, and the meaning is, as a primitive root; properly, to plump, i.e. fill up hollows; by implication, to cover (for clothing or secrecy):—clad self, close, clothe, conceal, cover (self), (flee to) hide, or overwhelm.
Do we see any examples of the use of this word? Of the One Hundred Forty-Nine (149) times the word kacah is found in the Tanakh, One Hundred Forty-Five (145) times it is interpreted as meaning covered, concealed, or hidden. The other times it is construed as meaning overwhelmed.
There are two anomalies: Psalm 81:3 and Proverbs 7:20. It is our contention that these anomalies are in fact mistranslations which obfuscate the only verse telling us how to find the first day of the month – that day which is marked by the covered New Moon. Such an express statement would of course mitigate the rabbinical authority currently reserved to allow the new month to be declared only by a rabbi watching for a sliver moon over Jerusalem.
Finally, we note that this new moon – on the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teru`ah), marks the first day of the seventh month, one of four New Moons requiring perpetual observance, as we shall see.
Yovheliym (Jubilees) 6:23-28
And on the New Moon of the first month, and on the New Moon of the fourth month, and on the New Moon of the seventh month, and on the New Moon of the tenth month are the days of remembrance, and the days of the seasons in the four divisions of the year. These are written and ordained as a testimony forever. 24 And Noach ordained them for himself as feasts for the generations forever, 25 so that they have become thereby a memorial to him. And on the New Moon of the first month he was bidden to make for himself an ark, and on that day the earth became dry and he opened the ark and saw the earth. 26 And on the New Moon of the fourth month the mouths of the depths of the abyss beneath were closed. And on the New Moon of the seventh month all the mouths of the abysses of the earth were opened, and the waters began to descend into them. 27 And on the New Moon of the tenth month the tops of the mountains were seen, and Noach was glad. 28 And on this account, he ordained them for himself as feasts for a memorial forever, and thus are they ordained.
What is this? The Cepher Yovheliym tells us several things here. First, we are to observe the New Moon of the first month, the fourth month, the seventh month and the tenth month (days of remembrance); Second, these are the days of the seasons in the four divisions of the year! That is to say, the first New Moon is the beginning of Spring; the fourth New Moon is the beginning of Summer; the seventh New Moon is the beginning of Autumn, and the tenth New Moon is the beginning of Winter.
[NOTE: This is the calendar system we use in the Yom Qodesh that we call the Genesis Calendar. This system allows us to predict the early spring, early summer, early fall and the early and long winter we are having this year, as this year includes an intercalary month (a 13th month) of correction, adjusting the lunar cycle to the solar cycle in the common application of a soli-lunar calendar.]
We also note that the mitsvah expressed here in Yovheliym (Jubilees) does not call on a New Moon observance (Rosh Chodesh) for every month – but rather, the first, fourth, seventh and tenth.
Is there any scriptural evidence that the New Moons were observed? Let’s begin with this meeting between David and Yahunathan (Jonathan)
Shemu’el Ri’shon (1 Samuel) 20:4-6
Then said Yahunathan unto El-David, Whatsoever your soul desires, I will even do it for you. 5 And David said unto El-Yahunathan, Behold, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at evening. 6 If your father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beyt Lechem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.
Shemu’el Ri’shon (1 Samuel) 20:18-19
Then Yahunathan said to David, Tomorrow is the New Moon: and you shall be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 And when you have stayed three days, then you shall go down quickly, and come to the place where you did hide yourself when the business was in hand and shall remain by the stone Ezel.
We see here that the practice at the time of David was to observe the seventh new moon as a two-day feast – the dark moon and its subsequent sighting. Are there other witnesses to the observance of the New Moon?
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 66:22-23
For as the renewed heavens and the renewed earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says Yahuah, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from New Moon to his New Moon, and from Shabbath to his Shabbath, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahuah.
In addition to Yesha`yahu (Isaiah) making it clear that even in the renewed heavens and the renewed earth that the New Moons would be observed, Yechezq’el (Ezekiel) will also put his foot forward:
Yechezq’el (Ezekiel) 46:1
THUS says Adonai Yahuah; The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Shabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.
Amoc (Amos) 8:4-7
Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 5 Saying, When will the New Moon be gone, that we may sell grain? and the Shabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the sheqel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? 7 Yahuah has sworn by the excellency of Ya`aqov, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
Again, we see that even though the observance was despised in Amoc, it nonetheless was observed and apparently will be observed. Do we see anything of this in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament)?
Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day, or of the New Moon, or of the Shabbathoth: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come for the body of Mashiach.
What is this? We see Pa’al instructing us that we are to proceed with the observance of proper meat and drink, feast days, New Moons and Sabbaths without allowing criticism to deter us. These feasts and New Moons are shadows of what is to come for the body of Mashiach. In other words, the observance of the New Moons, the feasts and the Sabbaths, will also be practiced in the reign of Mashiach.
Speaking of feasts, let’s consider a couple of feasts which most Torah Observers are not aware: the feasts of Qatsiyr and Aciyph.
Shemoth (Exodus) 23:14-19
Three times you shall keep a feast unto me in the year. 15 You shall guard את eth-the Feast of Matstsah: (you shall eat matstsah seven days, as I commanded you, in the time appointed of the month Aviyv; for in it you came out from Mitsrayim: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16 And the Feast of Qatsiyr, the firstfruits of your labours, which you have sown in the field: and the Feast of Aciyph, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in את eth-your labours out of the field. 17 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before Adonai Yahuah. 18 No chamets shall be upon my offering of blood; and no fat of my feast shall remain till morning. 19 The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of Yahuah Elohayka. You shall not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
Let’s look at these two feasts. First Qatsiyr:
Qâtsîyr (קָצִיר) (Strong's H7105) is the past tense of the word Qasah from H7114 which is generally construed to mean severed, i.e. harvested, as reaped, the crop, the time, the reaper.
The usage is found generally as the harvest, which can be divided roughly into two harvest times: the time of the barley harvest (Ro’th (Ruth) 1:22); and the time of the wheat harvest (Shemoth 34:22). However, when the Qatsiyr is associated with the firstfruits of your labours, such firstfruits are generally construed as the Barley harvest.
But what of the word Aciyph?
ʼÂçîyph (אָסִיף) (Strong's H614) is the past tense of the word (אָסַף)ʼâçaph, the primitive root; which means to gather for any purpose; hence, to receive, take away, to assemble, to bring, consume, destroy, felch, to gather or ingather, generally, to put all together, and in the past tense meaning gathered, i.e. (abstractly) a gathering in of crops:—ingathering.
Shemoth (Exodus) 34:22
And you shall observe the Feast of Qatsiyr, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Aciyph at the year's end.
We see here the “[t]hree times in the year all your males shall appear before Adonai Yahuah;” namely, at Qatsiyr – the firstfruit harvest (barley), at Shavu’oth - the firstfruits of the wheat harvest -, and at Aciyph – the feasts of the year’s end.
At no point in scripture is Aciyph directly linked to Yom Teru`ah, Yom Kippur, or even Cukkoth; instead it is denoted as a feast of ingathering at the year’s end. In this Gregorian calendar year, we find the New Moons of celebration and observance (the First, Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth) to be on the following dates:
First: March 7 First Day of Spring
Second: June 3 First Day of Summer
Third: August 30 First Day of Autumn
Fourth: November 26 First Day of Winter
Some may wish to observe all New Moons, but Cepher Yovheliym calls for the observance of these four – that you may know the seasons. When you look at the schedule above, it predicts a very early Spring, a very early Summer, a very early Autumn and a very early and long Winter. I will leave your analysis of current evidence to your own observation.
But what of Aciyph? The question becomes: when is your harvest finally completed? For those harvesting pumpkins, the feast will soon be upon us.