The Truth About The Lunar Sabbath

On November 27, 2015, in Bible Lessons, by Milton Carnes


Most people have never heard of "Lunar Sabbaths”. If you are a Sabbath Keeper, then you will hear about it and more than likely from the Internet. I have found some great material on the subject and it did not make sense for me to write on the subject because there already exist GREAT information on the subject matter.

Jonathan David Brown was the first known Sabbath keeper to begin the practice of counting the Sabbath from the New Moon day rather than using seven days in a week. He published the book "Keeping Yahweh's Appointments" in 1998, which explained the practice. The Lunar Sabbath movement has grown among the Messianic Judaism, Worldwide Church of God and its offspring, Seventh-day Adventists and Christian Identity movements.

A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of the lunar phase. Because there are about twelve lunation in a solar year, this period (354 days) is sometimes referred to as a lunar year. A common purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar or Hijri Qamari calendar. A feature of the Islamic calendar is that a year is always 12 months, so the months are not linked with the seasons and drift each solar year by 11 to 12 days. It comes back to the position it had in relation to the solar year approximately every 33 years. It is used mainly for religious purposes, and in Saudi Arabia it is the official calendar. In other systems, a lunar calendar may include extra months added that synchronize it with the solar calendar.

The Hermetic Lunar Calendar is one of many proposed reforms to the Gregorian Calendar. The lesser of the Great lights is divided into the four moon phases and has six, seven, eight, or nine days depending on the actual time difference between the full moon, first quarter, new moon and last quarter.

Anything more than seven (7) days in a week does not appear in The Scriptures.

By observing a Lunar Sabbath, you are basically saying that the month and the week started at the same time or the month started one day before the first day of the week. However, the sun, moon, and stars were not MADE until the fourth day, the middle of the week.

Did Yah do a re-set of the week after creating the moon from Genesis 1:14-16? There is no mention of this in Genesis! Actually these is no evidence to support this in scriptures.

A problem I see concerning the Lunar Sabbath is that most (not all) of the teachers of this doctrine DO NOT have a good understanding or at least a working knowledge of the Hebrew language. Therefore, many are teaching from an English perspective instead of a Hebraic perspective. We will see evidence of this later.

Let us examine Genesis 1:1-6

1 In the beginning Alahiym (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.

The article, 'the", does not appear in the Hebrew Language. Therefore a better English translation would be "In A Beginning" or "In Beginning". The word "created" means something coming from nothing.

Two scenarios are possible in verse 1:
#1. This verse is a summary with the details to follow starting in verse 2 ... Or
#2. This is NOT a summary but an event that happened but something caused change to the creation.

We need to define words from verse 1. This is easy because we do not have to look up words but let the scriptures define the words.

What is the heaven? Genesis 1:8 "And Alahiym (Elohim) called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day." Heaven = Firmament (expanse or space)

What is the Earth? Genesis 1:10 "And Alahiym (Elohim) called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and Alahiym (Elohim) saw that it was good."

Firmament = heaven (Strong's Concordance #H8064 for both words)
Dry land = Earth

Three Heavens

The First Heaven

Jeremiah 4:25 (King James Version)
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens (the sky) were fled.

Revelation 19:17
“I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven (sky), Come.”

The Second Heaven

Genesis 1:14-17 (King James Version)
14 And Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

17 And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, (Notice: This is talking about outer space; beyond the earth’s atmosphere)

The Third Heaven

Psalm 11:4 (King James Version)
4 Yah is in his holy temple, Yah’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

Deuteronomy 10:14 (King James Version)
14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is Yah’s thy Elohim, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Job 22:12 (King James Version)
12 Is not Elohim in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (King James Version)
2 I knew a man in Messiah above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: YAH knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: YAH knoweth;)

4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

What are the three levels of heaven?

1. The atmosphere in which we live.
2. Space.
3. The throne of The Creator.

1 In the beginning Alahiym (Elohim) created the firmaments (expanse/space) and the dry land.

2 And the earth became without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Alahiym (Elohim) moved upon the face of the waters. Something happened to cause the earth to become without form and void because Isaiah 45:18 states that YAH did not create it without form and void.

3 And Alahiym (Elohim) said, Let there be light: and there was light. Now we see the introduction of light for the first time and not before. There are no mention of the sun, moon, and stars in the expanse of space at this point.

4 And Alahiym (Elohim) saw the light, that it was good: and Alahiym (Elohim) divided the light from the darkness.

5 And Alahiym (Elohim) called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And Alahiym (Elohim) said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

14 And Alahiym (Elohim) said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And Alahiym (Elohim) made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And Alahiym (Elohim) set them in the firmament of the heaven 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 Alahiym (Elohim) saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Now we see the lights are placed in space on the 4th day. We cannot assume that the sun, moon, and stars existed in verse 1 just to support a doctrine of the Lunar Sabbath. The 1st day of the week started 4 days before the 1st day of the month.

Let us examine Genesis 1:14-16 "The creating of the great lights."

Genesis 1:14-17 (King James Version)
14 And Alahiym (Elohim) said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And Alahiym (Elohim) made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

The Hebrew word for light in Genesis 1:3 is .....

The Hebrew word for light in Genesis 1:14-17 is .....

The difference between owr and ma'owr is the letter "M" in English or the Hebrew letter "MEM". When the Hebrew letter "MEM" is placed before a word, it means "from" . Therefore Ma'owr actually means "from Light" he made two great lights. And that light in which these lights were made from can be found in Genesis 1:3. The English Translators did not make this known when they translated Genesis 1:14-17.

Lunar Sabbath Keepers often uses Ezekiel 46:1 to try and validate the Lunar Sabbath, but is this really proof?

Ezekiel 46 (21st Century King James Version)

[1] "Thus saith YAH Elohim: The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days, but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
This is simple and straightforward. The gates were to be opened on the Sabbath and the new moon day. These (the Sabbath and the New Moon Day) were the exceptions!

We can interpret Ezekiel 46:1 as the New Moon Day can fall on any of the six working days including the Sabbath or we can interpret this as the New Moon Day must be separate from the six working days and the Sabbath. Here is the key! Show this to me in Torah? Where is your witness in Torah showing that the New Moon Day or month starts before the 1st day of the week? Let's apply this belief to a Lunar Sabbath Calendar ....


Are there 8 days in a week? The word week in Hebrew is "Shabuwa" meaning periods of seven. I have yet to find "8 days in a week" in Scripture. The 8th day in the last week of the lunar month, is that day a working day, a Sabbath Day, or A New Moon Day? Ezekiel 46:1 is not as The Lunar Sabbath keepers believe.

Is the New Moon Day a commanded day of rest like the Sabbath?

If so, why does YAH allow work on new moon days, and why do we see people working on the new moon day? See Exodus 40:1-33 and Haggai 1:1, 2, 8, 12.

If the New Moon Day is a commanded rest day like the Sabbath, then why is it not mentioned in Leviticus 23? The only exception is The Feast of Trumpets. The New Moon Day is a working day and not a Sabbath.

We have to be able to find in TORAH where a NEW MOON DAY is a commanded day of rest like The Sabbath. Outside of The Memorial of Trumpets (Feast of Trumpets from Leviticus 23:24), NO OTHER NEW MOON DAY is called a day of rest in TORAH. "It is NOT there!"

Rule of thumb. Find it in TORAH first, then show it to me in the writings, the prophets and then other resources. The prophets do not contradict Torah. If we find something in the prophets that is not in Torah or contradicts Torah, then one of two things is happening: #1. Our interpretation of what has been translated #2. The translation by the translators.

What about Amos 8:5?

Doesn't it say that the New Moon Day and Sabbath are both rest days where no selling can take place? Here are 3 possibilities based upon context in Amos 8:5 #1. This is The Feast of Trumpets (7th Month 1st Day of The Month) #2. This is a 7th Day Sabbath that is on the 1st day of the month. #3. This is a Sabbatical year and this is the first day last month of that year if we read Amos 8:4-6.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the 7th Day Sabbath

Exodus 12:16 (New King James Version)

[16] On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you.

According to Lunar Sabbath keepers, the 15th of each month is always on a 7th Day Sabbath! This means that the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread and the 7th day of Unleavened Bread would always be on a 7th Day Sabbath.

If this is the case, then Exodus 12:16 becomes invalid as spoken by YAH because on the 7th Day Sabbath no manner of work can be done including the preparation of food.

Exodus 20:8

[8] “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] Six days you shall labor and do all your work, [10] but the seventh day is the Sabbath of YAH your Elohim. In it you shall do no work."

Is YAH trying to hoodwink or pull the old OKIE DOKE on us? I think not!

1 Samuel 20 (King James Version)

5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon (new month or new month day), 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.

The translators decided to use the word “new moon” instead of new month or new month day.

We will see why "new month" or "new moon day" would have been a better translation later. 1 Samuel 20:5 tells us that tomorrow is the next day.

18 Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.

19 And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. Three days concluded at even on the third day as stated in verse 5

20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark.

21 And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as YAH liveth.

22 But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for YAH hath sent thee away.

23 And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, YAH be between thee and me for ever.

24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon (new moon day or new month) was come, the king sat him down to eat meat.

25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty.

26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. Saul didn't speak that day. The Hebrew word for day comes from a root word meaning “the heat of the day”.

27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day? Notice that the translators used the word "month" here but they did not use new moon as in verse 5.

28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:

29 And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king's table.

30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?

31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.

32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?

33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.

34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.

35 And it came to pass in the morning (the morning started the day which was the third day), that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed (the third day) with David, and a little lad with him. Remember that David said that he would hide until the 3rd day at even, but Jonathan came in the morning on the third day.

36 And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.

37 And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee?

38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.

39 But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.

40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.

41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.

42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, YAH be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

New Moon should have been translated New Month Day or first day of the month. Tomorrow is the next day or light and not the night. Jonathan went at the appointed time to meet David on the third day in the morning. Pay attention to the sequence. David knew that tomorrow was the next day and the new moon day. The moon must rule the night as stated in Psalms 136:7-9 and Genesis 1:14-16. The three days started with the new moon day and ended at the third day at even but Jonathan came in the morning of the third day. 1 Samuel 20 easily proves that The New Moon day is also the first day of the month.

Understanding Joshua 6:1-5 and the Lunar Sabbath

1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

2 And YAH said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

Most Lunar Sabbatarians will say that the march around Jericho could not have included a 7th Day Sabbath.

Jasher 88:14 And it was in the second month, on the first day of the month, that YAH said to Joshua (Yahusha), Rise up, behold I have given Jericho into thy hand with all the people thereof; and all your fighting men shall go round the city, once each day, thus shall you do for six days.

Accordingly, they say that the march around Jericho would include the New Moon Day and then six working days for a total of seven days. Therefore, no marching would have taken place on the 7th Day Sabbath thus proving their Lunar Sabbath theory. But, is this true?

Using their (Lunar Sabbath Keepers) designations for the Sabbath occurring on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of each month, we can see clearly that the Children of Israel did travel on the 15th day of the month when leaving out of Egypt.

Numbers 33:3
And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

Acts 1:12
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. Some travel was permitted on The Sabbath

Acts 1:12 New Living Translation (©2007)
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile.

Why The Sabbath Cannot Be On The 8th, 15th, 22nd, & 29th of Each Month!

Once again, Lunar Sabbath keepers begin counting a "7 day week" by calling the 2nd day of the month (the 1st day after a New Moon Day) the "1st day of the week". The Sabbath is on the "8th day of the month". According to Lunar Sabbath Keepers, The Sabbath will always be on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of each month. Here is what it would look like below:

Exodus 16

1 And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Shin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. 2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of YAHUH in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Moses is told by The Most High what he is going to do

4 Then YAH said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” (Six days of manna from the 1st day of the week through the 6th day of the week with a double portion on the 6th day of the week.)

Understanding Exodus 16 can be confusing if the context of time is not determined. Verse 6 is the initial starting point. Moses spoke to the children of Israel the evening of the 15th. How do we know this? There are no commas in the Ancient Hebrew Language. The Hebrew conjunction, "waw" = "and" in English, is a prefix of the Hebrew word "you shall know" which becomes "and you shall know". The Hebrew Interlinear Bible verifies this as you will see the "waw or uau" in the actual Hebrew text. What does this mean? Simple, Moses spoke to the children of Israel on the 15th of the second month at even. If the "waw/uau/and" was attached to the word evening (which it is not), then that would mean that he was talking about them seeing the glory/esteem of YAH that evening of the 15th, but this doesn't bear record with them seeing YAH's esteem in the cloud the next morning as they looked into the wilderness in verse 9.

Understanding the language and how the conjunction "waw or uau", pronounced "U" or "OO", is used in context is crucial in understanding this text.

6 Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, At evening, then you shall know that YAH has brought you out of the land of Egypt (This is at sunset of the 15th. The conjunction "and" is in the Hebrew text but not in the English. The KJV uses the word "then" which is not in the Hebrew text. 7 And in the morning (the next day - the 16th) you shall see the glory/esteem of YAH (remember this when you get to verse 10); for He hears your complaints against YAHUH. But what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when YAHUH gives you meat to eat in the evening (the 16th), and in the morning (the 17th) bread to the full; for YAHUH hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against YAH.”

9 Then Moses spoke to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, ‘Come near before YAH, for He has heard your complaints.’” 10 Now it came to pass (from verse 7), as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of YAH appeared in the cloud. (All of this is done on the 16th)

11 And YAH spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight (on the 16th --- the Hebrew expression is "between the evenings" for the English word twilight) you shall eat meat, and in the morning (the 17th which is the first day of the week) you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am YAH your Alahiym.’”

13 So it was that quails came up at evening (the 16th at sunset) and covered the camp, and in the morning (the 17th) the dew lay all around the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Lunar Sabbath keepers read Exodus 16:7 and 16:10 and conclude that the "glory/esteem of YAH" is the manna which appeared on the morning of the 17th (which they therefore assume was the morning of the 16th) or the quail that appeared the evening before. Moses told the people the next morning (the 16th) they would see the "glory/esteem of YAH" which appeared in the cloud as they (the people) saw it while looking into the desert.

Sequence of events:

15th = arrival in the Wilderness of Shin, which is between Elim and Sinai. Moses spoke to Israel that evening.

16th = Israel saw the glory of YAH that morning in the clouds and at evening quail covered the camp. The 7th Day Sabbath.

17th = first day of manna that morning (1st day of the week)

18th = second day of manna

19th = third day of manna

20th = fourth day of manna

21st = fifth day of manna

22nd = sixth day of manna double portion

23rd = seventh day no manna given. The 23rd is the Sabbath, which makes the 16th a Shabbat, not the 15th!

Revisiting Leviticus 23:1-4 from a Hebraic Perspective
1 And YAH spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of YAH, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of YAH in all your dwellings.

4 These are the feasts of YAH, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

By reading the above passage in English, a person could easily assume that the 7th Day Sabbath and the Feast Days are all determined by the moon. But in the Hebrew text, there is a separator that appear at the end of verse 3 to show that verse 3 and verse 4 are not related but mentioned in the same context. Look at the graphic below from the Hebrew Interlinear Bible.

Three Months In A Row: Explaining Exodus 19:1

In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the "SAME" day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

Is Exodus 19:1 talking about the 3rd month 15th day of the month?

Here is the problem with KJV translation of this passage. The word "SAME" does not appear within the Hebrew text. There is a Hebrew demonstrative pronoun that appears where the word "SAME" was inserted by the translators. That pronoun should be "THIS".

A better translation of Exodus 19:1 would be
"In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, this day came they into the wilderness of Sinai."

With this being the case, more than likely Israel entered the wilderness of Sinai on the 1st day of the month. Why do I say this?

Look at Exodus 19:10-11; And YAH said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day YAH will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

Question, if the 15th of the month was the Sabbath, why would YAH ask them to wash their clothes on the Sabbath? There is no indication of another day that YAH is referring to at this point except for the day in verse one. This have to be the 1st day of the month.

Let's go to the Book of Jasher for more details. Jasher is the book mentioned in the Scriptures but it is not found within the Scriptures. See Joshua 10:13 & 2 Samuel 1:18

Jasher 82:1 And the children of Israel proceeded from Rephidim and they encamped in the wilderness of Sinai, in the third month from their going forth from Egypt.

Take a look at Jasher 82:6 "And in the third month from the children of Israel's departure from Egypt, on the SIXTH DAY thereof, YAH gave to Israel the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai."

The 15th day of the third month would be completely beyond the scope of the text in Exodus 19:1 with all of the activity taking.

Here is the sequence of days:

#1. Israel came into the wilderness of Mount Sinai on the 3rd month 1st day (verse 1)

#2. Cleansing for sanctification began on today (1st day of the month) tomorrow (2nd day of the month) and the third day. YAH came upon the mount on the third day of the month. (verse 10-11)

#3. YAH spoke the Ten Commandments on the 6th day of the month.

Roman Historians and the Sabbath

There seems to be a trend among Lunar Sabbath keepers to refer to people like me who keep a recurring weekly Sabbath as "Satyr-day keepers" -- as if we are following the a pagan Roman week rather than the week that they believe to be in the Scriptures.

The truth is that the Yahudim didn't want the set-apart Sabbath to be associated with "Saturn," an idol that had nothing to do with Yahudism. The name "Saturday/Day of Saturn" originated with the pagans, not with the Jews. The Yahudim repeatedly and unequivocally refer to the seventh day of the week as "the Sabbath."

However, when it comes to determining whether or not the Jews of the first century kept the Sabbath using the Lunar Sabbath or, as I believe, a recurring weekly Sabbath, examining the records of Roman historians and other writers can be helpful. By the admission of Lunar Sabbath keepers, and clear historical record, the Romans did not follow the moon phases when determining the weeks, or even the months for that matter.

For this reason, we can look into the writings of Roman historians and other writers to see if the Romans associated the Sabbath with their "Saturday/Day of Saturn." If they did associate the Sabbath with their Day of Saturn in the first century or before, this would be undeniable evidence that the week and the Roman week were both kept on the same recurring weekly cycle.

As we will see in this section, there is no doubt that Roman historians and other writers explicitly and repeatedly consider the timing of Sabbath keeping to be linked with the seventh day of the Roman week, which was a repeating seven day cycle, independent of the moon phases.

70 - 84 CE (AD)

Frontinus, a Roman Soldier who lived from c. 40 CE to 103 CE, wrote book on military strategy called Strategematicon in 84 A.D. In it, he writes:

"The deified Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business." Frontinus Stratagem 2.1.17.

The original Latin version of this book has "Saturnis" for Saturn, confirming that the Romans associated the Sabbath day with their "day of Saturn." It is this association that resulted in the 7th day of the modern week being called "Satur-day."

Since this book was written a mere 14 years after Vespasian's (Titus') destruction of Jerusalem, this is this is obviously very strong historical evidence directly from a first century eyewitness, tying in the Sabbath with "Saturn's day (Saturday)."

63 BCE - 229 CE

Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian who lived from ca. 155 to 229 CE, using the historical annals of the Roman empire, wrote about 3 battles which the Roman empire had with the Jews.

The first battle was during a time when the Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, two brothers who were the offspring of the Maccabees, were engaged in a dispute over who would rule. The Romans, through the actions of Pompey, came in and settled the dispute, siding with Hyrcanus. While speaking of Pompey's battle, the Sabbath is mentioned.

The setting is 63 BCE:

"Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty.

For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it.

As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall.

The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously. Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense, and all the wealth was plundered. The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away." Cassius Dio Roman History 37.16.1-4

So the Romans took advantage of the fact that the Yahudim would not work on the Sabbath. When was the Sabbath? Again, the weekly Sabbath coincides with the Roman "days of Saturn."

The second battle listed by Cassius Dio occurred in 36 BCE, is the one that resulted in the very first King Herod coming to power:

"The Jews, indeed, had done much injury to the Romans, but they suffered far more themselves. The first of them to be captured were those who were fighting for the precinct of their god, and then the rest on the day even then called theday of Saturn.

And so excessive were they in their devotion to religion that the first set of prisoners, those who had been captured along with the temple, obtained leave from Sosius, when the day of Saturn came round again, and went up into the temple and there performed all the customary rites, together with the rest of the people.
These people Antony entrusted to a certain Herod to govern; but Antigonus he bound to a cross and flogged,— a punishment no other king had suffered at the hands of the Romans,— and afterwards slew him." Cassius Dio Roman History 49.22.4-6

Note that Cassius Dio reports the Yahudim as keeping "customary rites" at the temple on "the day even then called Day of Saturn." This indicates that the Sabbath wasn't only called the "Day of Saturn" during his lifetime, but it was called the "Day of Saturn" back in 36 BCE, well before Yahushua was born in Bethlehem.

Next, he records that the 70 CE Jerusalem destruction was on the Sabbath, which he once again calls the "day of Saturn:"

70 - 229 CE

Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most. From that time forth it was ordered that the Jews who continued to observe their ancestral customs should pay an annual tribute of two denarii to Jupiter Capitoline.

In consequence of this success both generals received the title of imperator, but neither got that of Judaïcus, although all the other honours that were fitting on the occasion of so magnificent a victory, including triumphal arches, were voted to them. Cassius Dio Roman History 65.7.2

So his report is that the Jews kept the Sabbath on the "day of Saturn" from 63 BCE up until his day, no later than 229 CE. His report also agrees with Frontinus' account of the 70 CE battle.

c. 100 CE

The Historian Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56CE – ca. 117CE)
, after suggesting that Jews kept the Sabbath out of laziness, also associated the Sabbath with the Roman idol, Saturn:

They are said to have devoted the seventh day to rest, because that day brought an end to their troubles. Later, finding idleness alluring, they gave up the seventh year as well to sloth.

Others maintain that they do this in honor of Saturn; either because their religious principles are derived from the Idaei, who are supposed to have been driven out with Saturn and become the ancestors of the people; or else because, of the seven constellations which govern the lives of men, the star of Saturn moves in the topmost orbit and exercises peculiar influence, and also because most of the heavenly bodies move round their courses in multiples of seven. From The Histories, Book V

Again, the fact that a pagan associated Sabbath keeping with Saturn demonstrates that the Roman week's day of Saturn (Satur-day) was concurrent with what YaH's calls the Sabbath day. Tacitus is an eyewitness from the first century who has no "axe to grind" in regards to when the Sabbath should be observed. He wrote this a mere 30 years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

28 BCE to 1 BCE

Tibullus, a Latin Poet who lived from 54 BCE - 19 BCE, references the Sabbath in one of his Elegies. The Poet is quoted by J. Hugh Michael in his paper entitled "The Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers." In this Journal article, he says:

"Tibullus, again, gives us a glimpse of the influence of the Sabbath on the Romans. The Poet, sick in a foreign land, complains of his loneliness; neither mother nor sister has he there to nurse him; nor is Delia with him--she who had inquired of all the gods before permitting him to leave the city. Says Tibillus:

All promised a return; yet did nothing stay her from looking back in tears and terror on my journey. Yea, even I her comforter, after I had given my parting charge, sought still in my disquiet for reasons to linger and delay. Either birds or words of evil omen were my pretexts, or there was the holy day of Saturn to detain me. (Book I, Eleg. iii 13-18 in Postgate's translation in the Loeb Classics.)

The day of which the poet speaks is of course the Saturday, or, as Postgate puts it, "the Sabbath, on which no work was to be undertaken," and the implication is clear that unwillingness to set off on a journey on the Sabbath day was no unusual thing among the inhabitants of Rome, for Tibullus is enumerating the common reasons for the postponement of journeys of which he was only too ready to avail himself." The Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers. J. Hugh Michael Victoria College, Toronto, Canada. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 40, No. 2. (Jan., 1924), pp. 117-124.

It is interesting that Roman's would have any concern at all about traveling on the Sabbath. J. Hugh Michael references another writing by the Poet Ovid, who lived from 43 BCE to 17 CE:

Still more impressive is the witness of Ovid. In the Ars Amatoria he instructs the young Roman who is desirous of finding an object for his affections how he should set about his search.

The quest need not take him far a field: there is no lack of suitable damsels in Rome. The poet even specifies the parts of Rome where the quest of the amorous youth is most likely to be crowned with success: he should not neglect '(Adonis lamented of Venus, or the seventh day observed as holy by the Syrian Jew."

The first part of this direction can only mean that the youth should visit the Temple of Venus when her grief for Adonis was commemorated on the anniversary of his death.

Similarly the second part must mean that he should attend the Sabbath services held in the synagogues. Is it possible to attach any other meaning to the advice that the youth should not avoid the seventh day observed by the Syrian Jew? And what meaning is there in the counsel unless Roman maidens were wanting to attend those services?

It is not easy to think that it was the poet's intention that the young Roman should become enamored of a Jewess! The Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers. J. Hugh Michael Victoria College, Toronto, Canada. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 40, No. 2. (Jan., 1924), pp. 117-124

The work that J. Hugh Michael references, Ars Amatoria, was written in approximately 1 BCE. Thus, it is evident that even the Romans were associating the seventh day of their Roman week with the Sabbath. It is also historical evidence that they were observing a 7 day week at that time. But was Sabbath keeping really this tied into their culture?

119 CE

The Sabbath does appear to be closely entwined to the weekly cycle of the first century Romans. This is evidenced by the writings of Suetonius. Suetonius (ca. 69CE - 130CE) was a Roman historian who wrote "Lives of twelve Caesars" in 119 CE. While describing the life of Tiberius Caesar (14 - 37 CE), he wrote:

"The grammarian Diogenes, who used to lecture every Sabbath at Rhodes, would not admit Tiberius when he came to hear him on a different day, but sent a message by a common slave of his, putting him off to the seventh day. When this man waited before the Emperor's door at Rome to pay his respects, Tiberius took no further revenge than to bid him return seven years later." Suetonius The Life of Tiberius 32.2

Rhodes was a major schooling center for Roman families. It's interesting that the seventh day is referred to as the "Sabbath" (Latin: sabbatis) in Roman literature, especially when it is written by a pagan historian who was even the Roman Emperor's secretary for a time (Wikipedia entry on Suetonius).

It appears that J. Hugh Michael's references to the Roman poets, as well as this reference from Suetonius, is a strong indication that the seventh day Sabbath had become more tied into Roman society than most people realize. Possibly this is one of the reasons Josephus said:

"The masses have long since shown a keen desire to adopt our religious observances; and there is not one city, Greek or barbarian, nor a single nation, to which our custom of abstaining from work on the seventh day has not spread and where our fasts and the lighting of lamps and many of our prohibitions in the matter of food are not observed. Apion 2:282-283

In consideration of these things, it appears to me that the Romans picked up the recurring seven day week from the Yahudim, not the other way around. For 5 centuries or longer the Romans had kept an 8 day week with the days being named by the letters of the alphabet A through H. They did not keep a seven day week until they came into more contact with Sabbath keeping Jews in the early centuries BCE.

The fact that they named the days of the week after various planetary idols doesn't prove that they originated the recurring 7 day week. The naming of the days after planetary idols appears to have originated with either the Babylonians or the Hindu civilization, not the Romans.

So if you are a Lunar Sabbath keeper, the obvious question for you is, "If the Yahudim in the first century kept the Lunar Sabbath, and only later adopted what you call the 'Roman week,' why do the first century Romans keep saying the Sabbath is on their "day of Saturn (Saturday)?" The obvious answer to the obvious question is that the first century Yahudim, including Yahusha'eh the Messiah and His disciples, kept the same recurring seven day week as the Romans. It is historical fact that the same week and day sequence exists to this day and has not changed. YaH has preserved HisSet-Apart Sabbath!

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