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THE NEW MOON: COVERED, OR REVEALED?

On March 11 there is a New Moon.  Will you see it?  What is it that you will see?

This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon two weeks later. (Ex 12:2)

So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed?  The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10)  If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the new moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism. 

There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us: 

1Sam 20:5   “And David said the Jonathan, ‘Indeed 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 in the field until the third day at evening.'”

From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a new moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it.  David also says that he will be hiding in the field.  How hiding?  Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him visible in any movements, as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life.  How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the new moon?  Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as it goes from its final light phase to its next crescent moon. 

Amos 8:5   “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”

The heartless people who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and the end-of-the-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy.  If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question!  But if the new moon is darkened by the Earth being directly between it and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the life that was hidden appeared again to sight.  The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their evil thoughts and plans.

Ps 81:3-4Eng   “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.” 

Verse 3 has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew.  The two verses are each in parallel.  Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing:  God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon.  Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet:  at the New Moon, which is described as being covered.  The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is it speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples.  And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the full moons.  The Hebrew word is ba-kaseh (כסה), which simply means “at the [whole] covering“.  If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’; it is partly exposed.  We do not speak of covering something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over.  Light reveals; darkness covers.  Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16) The heavens declare the glory of God!

(You can read the full article here:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/the-new-moon-covered-or-revealed/ )

2 comments to THE NEW MOON: COVERED, OR REVEALED?

  • Howard

    Hannah, this is a great picture of what the Israel of God will be like when she finally ‘kisses the Son/Sun’! Praise the Lord!

    However, with respect to the New Moon, and the Biblical commandment of YHVH God regarding blowing the shofar, it is at its ‘inception’, and not at it’s sighted birth (molad). What man has done can not replace what God has spoken. Even the Creation began in darkness before God called Light to shine out! (Gen 1:2; 2Cor 4:6)

  • Hannah

    17 Mar 2013

    Your explanation of כסה opened up a new understanding for me, which I shared with our home group.

    First (my habit of not taking anything second-hand) I went through Tanach and checked for how all the related “kiseh” words are used, and I confirmed you are right – it is mistranslated in the Psalm and so we missing the messages of “covered” and “hidden”. (I have to wonder now how in the world they decided to render it “full moon” that one isolated time.)

    Besides the two directions you pointed out, with the moon as a symbol of Yeshua and of unbelieving Israel (and Kol Hakavod that you included both of them without feeling the need to cancel one out with the other!), it enriched a third direction that I have been sort of wondering about off and on – the symbol of the Bride and her interaction with the Lord (pictured by the sun).

    When she is turned completely toward Him, the world sees nothing – not because she is actually ‘hidden’ or disappears from the sky, but because their interaction is so intimate and holy it’s not for public view. (Same message with the Holy of Holies, always “covered” from public view). What we see, and what the witnesses in ancient Israel used to call the “molad”, was actually the first visible sliver of the crescent.

    In exploring that twin idea, I found out that astronomically speaking the new-born moon “follows after” the sun (whereas the old moon runs in front of it) – and usually it follows so closely you can’t see it because of the sunlight. What a picture of the newly redeemed…

    Halachically speaking, the sanhedrin wouldn’t declare a new moon until witnesses could say that they saw the moon setting after the sun. If necessary they would delay the new month until that condition was met – with enough time before sunset to offer the designated sacrifices. So the new moon was never just about the position of the moon by itself – the sun actually determined it. You could even say the “rosh” in “rosh hodesh” is actually the Sun/Son.

    The full moon is the opposite, when she is mature and able to proclaim the glory of her Lord in the darkness… and then the world sees Light reflected from her… and it changes the whole character of night. The Moadim that are associated with the full moon are in perfect harmony with that idea.

    Anyway, I meant to write something to you when I got time, because it was your comments that triggered this whole lovely chain. In the Jewish way of mining for gold in the written Word, it doesn’t cancel out your discoveries, it just adds to the wonder of G-d being able to say so many things with one verse.

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