Lunar Sabbaths?

God asks for a Sabbath every seven days. The day is reckoned by the sun, not the moon. The doctrine of Lunar Sabbaths is a distortion of the words of God.

This document contains:

    • A brief description of the Sabbath
    • The Biblical definition of a “day.”
    • A definition of a “week.”
    • A peek into the Lunar Sabbath theory
    • Why the moon’s cycle cannot mark the Sabbath days

The Sabbath

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3

At Creation God established a memorial of the work that He had done in making planet Earth. God formed the world in three days. He populated the heavens, the sea and the land in three days. On the seventh day He finished all this work. He pronounced a special blessing on this seventh day. This day would stand as a memorial of Him as the Creator. God called this memorial on the seventh day, the “Sabbath.”

“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11 

Down through time God continued to ask for honor on each and every seventh day. Even the 24 Elders in the heavenly court continue to hold a memorial of God as the Creator:

“The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’” Revelation 4:10-11 

God asked a simple thing from us on the Sabbath in memorial of His work. He asked us to:

      • remember this day
      • consecrate, or set apart, time to honor Him
      • rest from our every-day labors, and
      • allow all those in our household to rest
      • He also asked us to call His Sabbath “a delight” and respect the Sabbath as “honorable.”

“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 the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11 

“…Call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable…” Isaiah 58:13

Day

The SEVENTH DAY is when God asked us to keep the Sabbath. A day is identified by the sun. God defines the day the way He sees it:

“God called the light Day,H3117 and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5 

Strong’s Concordance defines this word “day” as the Hebrew word yom:

Strong’s H3117   יום   yôm
[pronounced: yome]
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next). . . .

God divided the day into two parts and tells us the dark part of the day comes before the light. “… So the evening and the morning were the first day.” He repeats this when He also tells us that the Sabbath day begins at sunset.

. . . from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your Sabbath.” Leviticus 23:32 

In order to count “seven,” you must have a starting point. This starting point for counting the Sabbath began at Creation and has been kept consistently ever since. This seventh-day is counted from the last time you had a Sabbath and then again to the next Sabbath and the next. Because of this pattern, the Sabbath defines what we consider to be a “week.” There is no evidence in the Bible that says we should begin our count over again at the observation of the moon.

Lunar Observation

Some people have proposed that lunar observation can determine the day for the Sabbath. They propose that you observe the new moon; the day following this is a Sabbath. Then you count seven more days to the next Sabbath.

A lunar synod, or the number of days before the moon completes a cycle, is twenty nine and a half days. This number does not even equate to a whole number of days, and it also does not factor evenly by seven. If you were to use the observation of the lunar cycle in order to begin counting the seven days to the next Sabbath, each month would need leap days and skipped days in order to begin counting seven again from the next lunar sighting. And if you must add in a few days to reach the next moon sighting, then the Sabbath is no longer on the seventh day, but maybe the eighth or the ninth day in disobedience to Scripture.

But God has laid out very plainly that He desires the weekly Sabbath to be guided by the sun, not the moon. Since the creation of the earth, every seventh-day is declared as Sabbath. And God’s pattern of seven evening mornings, ending on the Sabbath, has been continual ever since.

      • The SUN is the light in the heaven that governs a day.
      • A “Day” consists of the night and then the day. The sun goes down, the sun comes up and this is a day.
      • The new day begins and ends at sunset.
      • God’s weekly Sabbath is found by counting seven of these DAYS and is not found by observing the MOON.

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
     From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
     The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him,
     Not doing your own ways,
     Nor finding your own pleasure,
     Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
     And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
     And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:13-14

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