Is Lunar Sabbath Correct?

When I realized that the biblical Sabbath was not done away with, the next question that was important to address was what day Christians should celebrate it.

There is a relatively new movement which claims that we should observe a lunar Sabbath as they say that’s according to the YHWH’s calendar. But is that really true? This post will address what I’ve found out about this issue.

I celebrated the lunar Sabbath once, so I was not for or against it, I was just searching for the truth. And that’s the best way to search for it – when you don’t lean towards any of the opinions so that your preferences do not cloud your judgement.

What’s more, I work for myself so I don’t have any difficulty adjusting to any day of rest. I don’t belong to any denomination either, so I don’t need to support any traditions of men about on which day to observe the Sabbath.

My research showed that the lunar Sabbath is definitely false, and in this article I will quote many primary documents to prove it, so that this issue is settled once and for all.

To start, here’s how the usual lunar calendar looks like, though sometimes other days are observed about which I will talk at the end of the article:

Lunar calendar

Where did the word “Sabbath” come from

First, let’s look at the linguistic origins of the word “Sabbath”.

The Hebrew word for “Sabbath” is “Shabbat” (שַׁבָּת) and is etymologically  related to the word “Shavua” ( שְׁבֻעַwhich means “week”, which in turn is related to “Sheba” (שֶׁבַע) which means “seven”. So the very root of this word proves that it’s the seventh day, and not some irregular time like lunar sabbatarians claim.

Seven is an important number in Scripture. There are seven spirits of God, Jesus addressed His message to the seven churches. There are seven candlesticks on the menorah. On the seventh day the walls of Jericho fell. Number seven is seen many times in the Bible, and is associated with completion, perfection, cycle and rest.

There are seven days in a week and on the seventh it’s the day of rest; the day of Pentecost is arrived at the day after counting seven weeks after the first Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So we have a seven-day-cycle, and then we have a seven-week-cycle.

The same happens with years. After seven periods of seven years a year of Jubilee starts.

The creation week with the seventh day as the day of rest can also be compared to the 7,000 year-span of this earth (as to YHWH a thousand earthly years is like a day), where after 6,000 years the Messiah is expected to come to usher in the 1,000 years of peace.

Lunar sabbatarians do not acknowledge these perfect cycles of YHWH that are based on the number seven and rely only on the phases of the moon. They choose to overlook all these cycles and the occurrences of number seven as though they don’t exist – although the Bible is full of them.

Sabbaths function within the weekly cycles and not according to new moons

And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:

Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days;  and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

— Leviticus 23:15-16

Nobody in their right minds would, after reading these verses, still decide to follow the lunar Sabbath doctrine. This passage proves that Sabbaths operate within weekly cycles. Seven weekly Sabbaths make 49 days, and the first day after the 49th is the fiftieth, which restarts the cycle.

If we are to count these days using the lunar calendar, we would arrive at around 51 or 52 days, but never at 50. Therefore calculating the day of Pentecost using the lunar calendar doesn’t work. This Bible feast, therefore, proves that YHWH counts Sabbaths by weekly cycles and not according to new moons. This alone should be enough to refute the lunar Sabbath myth.

There are also other feasts that do not depend on new moons, and that’s why YHWH does not give fixed dates for them -because those days change each year, such as First Sheaf and Feast of Weeks.

If those feasts had fixed times, YHWH would have been able to give the date for the beginning of the counting of the First Sheaf, and also, Feast of Weeks fifty days later, but He couldn’t give the dates because they change every year. Since we know that we cannot give a fixed date of these feasts, the lunar Sabbath must be wrong as it only relies on fixed dates.

Lunar sabbatarians ignore YHWH’s Sabbath instructions

The Sabbath command is not based on the lunar cycle, but is found by counting. We are told to work 6 days, and to rest on the 7th. If Yahweh wanted us to rest on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th day of every month, He would have told us to do it that way. But all we find by looking at the instances of the Sabbath mentioned in the Bible, that YHWH asks us to count the days, and not to look at the moon to determine the Sabbath:

Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, there will be none.

Exodus 16:26

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work (…).

Exodus 20:9-10

Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest (…).

Exodus 23:12

Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord

Exodus 31:15

Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest (…).

Exodus 34:21

Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord (…).

Exodus 35:2

Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest (…).

Leviticus 23:3

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 5:13-14

People who claim that the Sabbath is connected to the moon are ignoring God’s commandment to work six days and to rest on the seventh. They sometimes go around this problem by claiming that the first and the last days of months are not really days (!), so that their calculations would more align with the feast of Pentecost, for example.

However, we are told in Genesis that an evening and a morning constitutes a day, so they cannot deny that an evening and morning of the first day of the month is not really a day. They have to claim this so that their calendar would make more sense, but you cannot simply delete a day or two to do this – nowhere in the Bible are we told to disregard a new moon, or that a new moon is not really a day.

In fact, we find it mentioned that a new moon feast is considered a day in 2 Kings 4:23, for example, or Ezekiel 46:1 and 6, or Psalm 81:3. These verses prove that the new moon is a day, and therefore lunar sabbatarians err when they discount it as a non-day to make their calendar more logical.

Therefore we find lunar sabatarians ignoring YHWH’s command which He has given over and over again to work six days and to rest on the seventh, because sometimes lunar sabbatarians have seven or eight work-days and therefore rest on the eighth or ninth day.

A strange lunar sabbaterian claim based on the verse that doesn’t support it

Interestingly, they consider this verse as a proof that Sabbaths belong to the same category as new moon days:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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 in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.

— Ezekiel 46:1

A new moon day is indeed a day of celebration, and therefore the gates of the inner court were open as was the case on Sabbaths. That in no way makes the Sabbaths the same as new moon days! Lunar sabbatarians read into the Scripture what’s not there, and this is called “adding to the Scripture”, which is forbidden unless you want to be found a liar in the eyes of God, as it’s told in Proverbs 30:6.

Nowhere does the passage in Ezekiel say that these two celebrations are the same; it’s incredible that lunar sabbatarians go to such lengths to prove their theory, and this verse actually is one of their strongest proofs! I don’t even know what else I should say to disprove this strange assumption; this verse should not require any explanation because it’s very clear – both celebrations are celebrations, so that’s why the inner court gate is open; that doesn’t mean they follow the same cycles!

More on new moon days

Whilst some lunar sabbatarians simply discount new moon days as non-days, others consider them to be as an extension to their Sabbaths. This is a problem also, since we are allowed to work on the new moon days, so they are different to Sabbaths, as we read in Exodus 40 where men were allowed to build on the new moon day, or Ezra 7:9 from which we find out that travelling during the new moon was allowed.

So the new moon day is not the day of rest, though there is one new moon day in which rest is required, and that is the new moon day that starts the seventh month, which is called the Feast of Trumpets. Though judging from Amos 8:5 during new moon days we should refrain from commercial activity and employment also.

Extra-biblical sources prove Jews celebrated Sabbath on Saturdays

Greek Historian Cassius Dio who published 80 volumes of history on Ancient Rome writes about the reason why Jerusalem was captured. And that reason was that they did not defend themselves on the day of Saturn, which is Saturday, because it was their Sabbath.

Quoting from his work Roman History, book 37:

After this he more easily overcame the rest, but had trouble in besieging Jerusalem. 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 defence, and all the wealth was plundered. The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away.

So from this source we find out that in 63 BC Jews were observing their Sabbaths on Saturdays.

There are also those lunar sabbatarians who say that Jews started celebrating their Sabbaths on wrong days after the return from the Babylonian captivity, which the Scripture doesn’t support because we don’t find Jesus, who came to establish and clarify His Father’s law, saying anything about the wrong day of celebration.

We find Him correcting scribes and Pharisees on some points about the Sabbath celebration, but nowhere does He say that they celebrated it on the wrong day, which would be the first thing He would do rather than dealing with less important points about this special day!

Also, none of the prophets following the return from the Babylonian captivity ever mention anything about the wrong day of celebration. So if no prophets of God ever mentioned that Jews started celebrating the wrong day after the return from their captivity, and we don’t find Jesus mentioning it either, we can rest assured that they celebrated the right day.

In the Volume II of The Works of Philo Judaeus who was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived from 25 BC to 50 AD wrote this:

But after this continued and uninterrupted festival which lasts through all time, there is another celebrated, namely, that of the sacred seventh day after each recurring interval of six days (…).

In The Decalogue, XX, 96, he was careful to define the Sabbath as follows:

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 the Almighty; but the nation of the Jews keeps every seventh day regularly, after each interval of six days.

He also wrote:

And the miraculous nature of the sign was shown, not merely in the fact of the food being double in quantity, nor in that of its remaining unimpaired, contrary to the usual customs, but in both these circumstances taking place on the sixth day, from the day on which this food first began to be supplied from heaven, from which day the most sacred number of seven began to be counted, so that if any one reckons he will find that this heavenly food was given in exact correspondence with the arrangement instituted at the creation of the world.

For God began to create the world on the first day of a week of six days: and he began to rain down the food which has just been mentioned on the same first day;

(On the Life of Moses II, chapter XLVIII, section 266)

Therefore, here we again find it confirmed that the Sabbath belongs to a weekly cycle and is not dependent on the moon.

Sextus Julius Frontinus, a Roman soldier, politician, engineer, and author of the first century AD, wrote in 84 AD of the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by Vespasian in 70 AD as follows:

The divine Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, on which it is forbidden for them to do anything serious, and prevailed.

(Sextus Julius Frontinus, The Stratagems, book 2, Chapter 1, Section 17, look at the Latin original to see “the day of Saturn” below.)

The day of Saturn

Cassius Dio wrote of the same event in this way:

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 Capitolinus.

(Roman History, book 65, Chapter 7)

Tacitus was a Roman historian who lived between 58 and 120 AD. In his Histories, Book 5, Chapter 4, we find a highly prejudiced account on the customs of Jews. He writes that one possible reason why Jews celebrate Sabbath on the seventh day is to honor Saturn, thus connecting their Sabbath keeping with the day of Saturn, which is Saturday:

 They say that they first chose to rest on the seventh day because that day ended their toils; but after a time they were led by the charms of indolence to give over the seventh year as well to inactivity. Others say that this is done in honour of Saturn, whether it be that the primitive elements of their religion were given by the Idaeans, who, according to tradition, were expelled with Saturn and became the founders of the Jewish race, or is due to the fact that, of the seven planets that rule the fortunes of mankind, Saturn moves in the highest orbit and has the greatest potency; and that many of the heavenly bodies traverse their paths and courses in multiples of seven.

There are many more extra-Biblical pagan sources of proof that Jews always kept the Sabbath on Saturday, but I will stop here. If you want to explore this topic further, you may want to look at this FaceBook note which quotes primary sources.

Talmud proves weekly Sabbath

Talmud consists of the traditions of men, but their traditions developed around the actual laws of God which they were supposed to protect (though that produced a disaster, as we know from the New Testament). Therefore we can look at such sources to see what they say on the Sabbath issue.

We find that Talmud also disproves the lunar Sabbath myth. For example, A section of Mishna on the Order of Festivals, called Pesachim (פסחים) disproves the lunar Sabbath doctrine. From what I’ve gathered, Mishna was written in the first and second centuries AD.

In section 83a we read that bones, sinews and the remaining bits of the Passover lamb are burned on the 16th; but if the 16th day falls on the Sabbath, they are to be burnt on the 17th, because they do not override either the Sabbath or Yom Tov. (Source)

So from this passage we find out that the Sabbath is not considered to be based on the New Moon but on a weekly cycle, since the rabbis could never be sure on which day of the month it would fall.

In Mas. Eiruvin 40b (ערובין ) (Look at page 186 of this document), which is the second tractate in the Order of Feasts, it is written that:

If a New Moon falls on a Sabbath, (…) one recites in his prayer (…) eight benedictions (…).

This again disproves lunar sabbatarians’ claim that Sabbath depends on new moon days, because here we see it noted that a Sabbath can fall on the day of the new moon, thus making its cycle different from the cycle of the month.

Finally, in Menachoth 103b (מנחות) (which means “Meal Offerings”) which is found in Kodashim (קדשים ) which is the fifth Order in the Mishna, we find it explained what to do when the Feast of Tabernacles falls on a Sabbath, which again proves that Sabbaths have their own cycle, and feast days – their own, and sometimes the appointed times of these two separate cycles may fall on the same day.

To read more proofs from Talmud about Sabbath having a weekly cycle, you can check this website.

Jesus’ healing account proves weekly Sabbaths

In fact, Jesus’ account of healing proves that during His ministry on Earth the Sabbaths followed weeks and not months. This is proven by the healing account found in the Gospel of John.

The Feast of Tabernacles falls on the 15th day of the seventh month. Jesus came to the Feast of Tabernacles on its first day (John 7:10) and on the last day he was teaching (John 7:37). According to Leviticus 23, the last day of the feast is the eighth day from the fifteenth day of the month (Leviticus 23:34-36), therefore this feast finishes on the 22nd of the seventh month.

On the last day of the feast Jesus was teaching people, and the next day, early in the morning, Jesus taught in the temple, as it is written in John 8:2. At this time scribes and Pharisees brought in the woman taken in adultery, then Jesus was admonishing them, and then He healed a blind man (John 9:6-7), and in John 9:14 it is told:

And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

This verse proves that the Sabbath was on the 23rd day of the seventh month, which is impossible on the lunar calendar, because according to it the Sabbath always falls on the 22nd day.

Also, we have New Testament books that were written quite late, such as the Book of Revelation which is estimated to have been written in AD 81 to 96, and no New Testament books deal with any change in the day of Sabbath.

So if we find out that before the coming of Christ Jews celebrated their Sabbaths on Saturdays, and that after Jesus came He found no fault in these celebration days, and we also don’t find any change in the day of celebration after Jesus’ ascension in the books of the New Testament, then there was no change, and Jews were and are celebrating their Sabbaths at the right time.

Many countries associate Sabbath with Saturday

20% of the world’s population has the name for the seventh day of the week derived from the word “Sabbath”, and this word means “the day of rest” or has similar meanings. Check this infographic for proof, which I’ve found on this website and claim no ownership to:

Sabbath is seventh day

It’s also important to understand that times and seazons are not only set by the moon, but by the sun and stars also. For example, the days are set by the sun; the months – by the moon; and the years – by the stars. Therefore Sabbath is controlled by the sun and not the moon, since days are set by the sun.

Calendar changes did not affect the weekly cycle

Some claim that we celebrate the Sabbath on the wrong day due to pagan calendar changes. To this I should say that the Julian calendar was in use when Jesus was on earth, and Jesus said nothing about the disruption of the weekly cycle due to this new calendar.

The Julian calendar, which continued in use for 15 centuries was not accurate in the length of its year, as it was 11 minutes too long. By 1582, it was 10 days off. Pope Gregory initiated a change in the calendar, and to make up for the error in the Julian calendar, 10 days were dropped from the calendar.

The longer the countries waited to adopt this new calendar, the more days they had to drop to adjust. So in 1582, 10 days were dropped in the calendars of France, Poland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, for example, but the weekly cycle continued uninterrupted.

Currently, the Julian calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar, but the days of the week remain the same.

So we see that this argument falls flat as well, because calendar changes do not interrupt the weekly cycle as these two are not dependent on each other.

YHWH never associates Sabbath observance with lunar cycles

Sabbath was established independent of the moon, as the moon was created on the day four; so Sabbath cycles were measured by light and darkness, by evening and morning, which constitutes a day, and not by the moon. Also, if Sabbaths would be measured by lunar cycles, there would be a connection between the lunar cycles and the observance of Sabbath in Scripture, but there is no such connection.

Every time YHWH reminds us to observe the Sabbath, He tells us to count the days and not look at the moon to determine when the Sabbath arrives. YHWH emphasized the importance of Sabbath many times, yet He never mentioned the Sabbath in connection with the moon – but only with days and the periods of seven days.

Nowhere in Scripture does God ever instruct or even hint at keeping the Sabbath based on the new moon sighting. If Sabbath is such an important day for God, wouldn’t He tell at least once about it ? He never forgets to mention the relation between the new moon and feast days that are counted from it, yet He never does it about the Sabbath.

The truth is established by two or three witnesses

If by two or three witnesses everything in Scripture is be to established (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1), the lunar Sabbath is a false doctrine, because we do not find any witnesses for this doctrine in Scripture, and the verses that lunar sabbatarians use in support of it don’t point to the lunar Sabbath but things are read into them that are not there in order to support this false claim. There’s not a single passage in Scripture that plainly and specifically commands the linking of the Sabbath to the new moon.

Lunar sabbatarians get around this by saying, “It’s not written because everyone back then knew it,” and so it wasn’t necessary for God to specifically state it, but this kind of reasoning is extremely irresponsible and could be used to support just about anything.

If such reasoning is correct, then there would be no passages about not killing or having someone else’s wife either, because everyone back then knew it. In addition to this, using such excuses to explain why the lunar Sabbath is not in the Bible is not biblical since we should always seek support for our theological opinions in the Bible and nowhere else.

What is written is that the Sabbath is to be observed every seven days, with no skips or interruptions, and because lunar sabbatarians reset their Sabbaths each month and rest on irregular intervals, sometimes on the eighth or ninth day, they break YHWH’s command of keeping the seventh day holy every month.

What’s more, by observing the lunar Sabbath, they miss YHWH’s mark which is the Sabbath, and get another mark about which I write at the end of this article. Furthermore, they do not get any of the blessings promised in that sacred day, because they ignore YHWH’s day which He sanctified, unless it falls on one of their lunar Sabbaths.

Nowhere do we find in Scripture mentioned some sort of extended week that lunar sabbatarians claim to be true. Sometimes their week is eight or nine days’ long, but nowhere in the Bible such a long week is mentioned. The Bible contains the descriptions of events that span more than 2,000 years, and not even once such a week is mentioned. This kind of irregular week would be disorderly and confusing, and we know that YHWH is all about harmony and order.

If Sabbaths would depend on months YHWH would have told us so

In all the mentioned instances on Sabbath observance nowhere does YHWH say that Sabbaths should be counted from new moons, and that they always fall on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days. If Sabbaths would always fall on those days, YHWH would tell that they do, but He never does! Instead, He tells us to count 6 working days so that on the 7th we would rest!

So if He tells us to count daily cycles, it means it’s not about relying on new moons to get our Sabbaths right, because if that would be the case, YHWH would have clearly told us to rely on fixed dates starting from new moons, which He does when it comes to most of the feasts.

If you read the Bible, you know how important it is for YHWH that His people celebrate His Sabbaths. Wouldn’t He make sure that we get them right, rather than leaving us in the dark? If He would fail to tell us that Sabbaths depend on moon phases, that’s exactly what that would mean!

New moons and Sabbaths are separate and unrelated events

Scripture indicates that the new moon and Sabbath celebrations are two separate events. For example, in Isaiah 66:23 they are mentioned as two separate events because they are two separate cycles: “from one Sabbath to another” and “from one new moon to another” all will worship God. The same distinction is made in Ezekiel 46:1 and Colossians 2:16.

A strange argument

Then there is an argument that some lunar sabbatarians use which is supposed to “prove” the validity of lunar Sabbath. It goes something like this. If you would find yourself stranded on an island with no people, how would you know when is Sabbath unless you observe heavenly objects?

Well, to this I reply that Sabbath was created for man, not man for Sabbath (Mark 2:27), so God would not punish you if you were stranded on an island and therefore could not follow it. And since we have a Living God, I’m sure He would answer your prayer to know the right day and would show that in a vision or a dream.

God made sure that the seventh-day cycle was never broken from the time of creation, because it’s important to Him. Almost the entire world follows it to this day. If someone is kidnapped and held in a closed space unable to see the sky, how would then they be able to know when the lunar Sabbath is, for example? So I can make a similar argument that lunar sabbatarians make to show how irrelevant it is and that it cannot negate the validity of a weekly Sabbath.

Passover proves the lunar Sabbath false

YHWH’s people were told to start eating unleavened bread and kill the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month, place its blood on their doorposts and not to go out until the evening as then YHWH would strike the first-born of Egypt (Exodus 12:18-22). YHWH told to observe this ordinance forever (Exodus 12:24) and this feast is also mentioned in Leviticus 23-5 – that the fourteenth of the first month is the Lord’s Passover.

Very early the next morning, Pharaoh let Israel go free, and that’s when they set out on their journey – on the fifteenth of the first month. That’s a big problem, because on this day is the lunar Sabbath. Therefore by setting out on this day they either broke the Sabbath, or there wasn’t any Sabbath that day in the first place.

Appointed times do not always refer to feasts

It’s important to understand that the Sabbath is also an appointed time, and that’s why in Leviticus 23 Sabbaths are mentioned as “appointed times” together with feast days. However, that in no way makes those appointed times dependent on moon cycles.

Sabbaths are appointed times because they occur every Saturday. So the time is fixed, and that’s why Sabbaths are also called “moedim”. But these appointed times dictated by the weekly cycle are not the same as those dictated by the monthly cycle.

And even if we look at the Hebrew word “moed” (מוֹעֵד), it simply means “appointment” and has nothing to do with moon. So when this word appears in the Bible, one cannot simply assume that the lunar phase is involved.

I believe that lunar sabbatarians get mistaken when they see in Leviticus 23:2 the word “feasts” and the consequent talk about the weekly Sabbath, which makes them assume that Sabbaths are the same as feasts counted from new moons, when actually the Hebrew word that’s translated as “feast” there is “moed”, which means “an appointed time”, “an appointment”.

So, I believe, this word makes them assume that the weekly Sabbath is the same as fixed feasts, but that’s not the case. It’s still a fixed time, and that’s why it is rightly called so in Leviticus, but it’s not the fixed monthly time, but the fixed weekly time.

The same word “moed” is translated in KJV as “time”, “season”, “day” and mostly it’s translated as “congregation” (147 times), so it has nothing to do with moon but only refers to something that occurs at a planned time.

Orderly listing of days-weeks-months in the Bible proves lunar Sabbath false

In Numbers chapter 28 it’s very clear that YHWH doesn’t tie Sabbaths into months, which should be expected if a new month resets the weekly cycle. We read in that chapter about YHWH giving orders of how to make sacrifices for Him each day, then moves on to explain how to make sacrifices for Him during Sabbaths, which is then followed by months, then orders about appointed feasts.

So here we witness a natural progression; from days, to weeks, to months; which proves that Sabbaths are not related to months but are separate cycles. If lunar Sabbaths where correct, the progression should be days, months and then Sabbaths (which months are supposed to set).

This progression is seen elsewhere, too. For example, in 1 Chronicles 23:31 we find the same harmonious order of Sabbaths, new moons, and set feasts, and in 2 Chronicles 2:4 we find again firstly listed mornings and evenings, then Sabbaths, then new moons and then feasts. The same is found in other passages, such as 2 Chronicles 8:13, 31:3 and Ezekiel 46:3.

All Jews celebrate Sabbath on the same day

No Gospel writer ever says that the Jewish people kept wrong days for the Sabbath. In the book of Acts, many years after the Resurrection, there is no mention that the way the Jews understood and kept the timing for the seventh day Sabbath was incorrect. There is not a single Scripture that even hints at this.

Today, around 1,900 years after the Messiah and apostles, we know for a fact that the Jewish people have not changed the Sabbath since the time of Yeshua because such a massive change  would be widely discussed all over the world by historians and rabbis as well as the common Jewish people scattered in different countries, yet history records nothing of this sort.

Therefore, the Sabbath of today, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is the same one that Yeshua observed, and the same that Moses observed, going back to the Creation Week.

Groups of Jews have spread abroad from the Holy Land at various periods of time. However no matter in what country they are, they all observe the Sabbath on the same day, which proves that there was no change in the Sabbath celebration time.

Where did the lunar Sabbath doctrine come from?

Although lunar sabbatarians accuse the Jews of taking their weekly Sabbath from Babylon, what we find by digging deep into this issue that it’s the other way round; that the calendar that the lunar sabbatarians use is the calendar that Babylonians used right until the 5th century BC.

Quoting from Wikipedia:

Counting from the new moon, the Babylonians celebrated every seventh day as a “holy-day”, also called an “evil-day” (meaning “unsuitable” for prohibited activities). On these days officials were prohibited from various activities and common men were forbidden to “make a wish”, and at least the 28th was known as a “rest-day”. On each of them, offerings were made to a different god and goddess, apparently at nightfall to avoid the prohibitions: Marduk and Ishtar on the 7th, Ninlil and Nergalon the 14th, Sin and Shamash on the 21st, and Enki and Mah on the 28th. Tablets from the sixth-century BC reigns of Cyrus the Great and Cambyses II indicate these dates were sometimes approximate. The lunation of 29 or 30 days basically contained three seven-day weeks, and a final week of eight or nine days inclusive, breaking the continuous seven-day cycle.

Sounds familiar? That’s the calendar that some lunar sabbatarians follow, since not all of them observe 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days as Sabbaths, but observe the days that the Babylonians considered holy:

Lunar calendar

This calendar is taken straight out of Babylon, and the only difference between this minority lunar sabbatarians’ calendar and the usual one is that in this calendar the first day of the month is acknowledged as a day rather than ignored.

So the quarters of the moons were indeed observed as part of the religious rituals of Babylonians, but this wasn’t a Hebrew practice who only observed new moons and sometimes full moons, but never quarters. The observation of quarters is of a completely pagan origin.

So now we know the origins of the lunar calendar, but how did it get introduced to the Western observers of Sabbath days?

After some research, it appears that the first person to have introduced such a concept was Jonathan David Brown who wrote the book on lunar Sabbath.

Jonathan David Brown

Jonathan David Brown

According to Wikipedia, he was a member of or closely related to a white supremacist Ku Klux Klan group and was imprisoned for helping out another Ku Klux Klan member to hide from the police after the drive-by shooting of a Jewish synagogue in 1992.

So he was a Jew hater and although he pretended to follow YHWH, he clearly was a law breaker since he also lied to the police about that member’s whereabouts and therefore was a false witness.

Six years after the incident, he wrote the book on lunar Sabbath called Keeping Yahweh’s Appointments. And from this book this lunar theory caught up and spread like a virus.


From this research we find that lunar sabbatarians put unnecessary fear into those children of God who observe the Sabbath correctly and therefore have YHWH’s mark. They, however, have the mark of false gods, since lunar Sabbaths were observed by Babylonians for religious purposes.

There is absolutely no biblical, extra-biblical, cultural or linguistic proof of YHWH’s Sabbaths being lunar. This total lack of proof makes this theory false and therefore it should be discarded. It’s arrogant and foolish for lunar sabbaterians to push this false theory on people with such great confidence, when there’s no evidence of its validity whatsoever.

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  1. My great aunt is a Lutheran pastor and she said you can take a sabbath any time, apart from the church days(Sundays) and that many pastors take the sabbath on Saturdays since this is the day of the week they don’t work. I found it easy to fast from Friday night to Saturday night so I do believe this time is the Sabbath like you say.

  2. You CANNOT take a Sabbath any day of the week Ashley. God specifically sanctified the Sabbath and set it apart from all other days for a reason.

    History books confirm that their were 2 calendars in use in Israel during the life and time on earth of Christ. The “early Julian calendar” was the official calendar of Rome at the time and used by NON jews living in Israel. However Rome did not enforce their pagan calendar on the jews in fear that they would revolt. So while Israel was under Roman control, Rome freely allowed the jews to maintain their own calendar. Ancient historian Josephus tells us that during this same time period, Jews used the ancient Hebrew calendar (a luni solar calendar) and this fact cannot be disputed.

    The book of Jasher confirms that the battle of Jericho started on the first day of the 3rd month on new moon day, and lasted 7 days, and on the 8th day was a Sabbath rest. This is all the proof needed.

    The “early julian calendar” Rome was using at the time of Christ was actually an 8 day revolving weekly calendar.

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