New Moon Resolved
New Moon is NOT a Sabbath
I was sitting at my computer and grabbed my copy of "The Stone Edition Tanach" which is published by ArtScroll, a Talmudic Jewish company. Although I normally could care a fig what the Rabbinites say, I found it very interesting that I opened up to the following passage. This is its translation of Amos 8:4-6:
"'Hear this, you who devour the needy, decimating the poor of the land, saying "When will the month pass, so that we can sell grain; the Sabbatical [Year], so that we can open the [stores of] grain; reduce the ephah and increase the shekel, and distort the scales of deceit, to purchase the poor with silver and the destitute for shoes: and we will sell the refuse of grain?'"
New Moon should be translated as "month" (a good concordance shows that the Hebrew word "chodesh" can mean simply month as in Genesis 7:11; et al). Likewise, the seventh month of every year is called a Sabbath in Torah:
Lev 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto Yahweh.
Lev 25:3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;
Lev 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for Yahweh: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
Lev 25:5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: [for] it is a year of rest unto the land.
Lev 25:6 And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,
Lev 25:7 And for thy cattle, and for the beast that [are] in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.
So we see that every seven years was properly called a Sabbath.
Likewise, this would allow the poor to have an abundant harvest:
Lev 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
Lev 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather [every] grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I [am] Yahweh your Elohim.
Thus since the Sabbath year, no gleaning nor harvesting was allowed, the poor had access to more food.
However, in the Amos passage, not only is the Sabbath year concerned, but the Jubilee Year:
Lev 25:8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
Lev 25:9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
Lev 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
Lev 25:11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of thy vine undressed.
Lev 25:12 For it [is] the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.
Lev 25:13 In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.
Lev 25:14 And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest [ought] of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another:
Lev 25:15 According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, [and] according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:
Lev 25:16 According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for [according] to the number [of the years] of the fruits doth he sell unto thee.
I have bolded the things I did for a reason. Compare the things I bolded to the Amos passage. First, the laws of the Jubilee Year state that we are to not have Hebrew slaves. Second, it says we are to share our produce with the poor and not harvest any of it. Third, we are to do all our business transactions according to how close or near the Jubilee Year is.
However, the people in Amos 8:4-6 are corrupting these principles. They want the Jubilee Year to end so that they can increase their prices since the next Jubilee will be far distant. Then they want to repurchase Hebrew slaves. Finally, they want to go against Torah and glean those portions of their fields and those parts of their harvest that Torah says NOT to.
Of course, this upsets Yahweh. He gave the Jubilee Year as a year to focus on Him and to love our neighbour. We are to treat His sacred appointments with reverence and respect.
This is why Amos sees a basket of summerfruits in verse 1. Yahweh has abundantly blessed these people and they have rejected Him. It will happen no more. He will not only take material blessings from them, but spiritual blessings from them.
The Torah states only that the seventh New Moon is to be taken off as a Sabbath (Lev. 23:24 - Yom Teruah).
So it is with this article that I hereby proclaim that the New Moon is NOT a Sabbath. We are still to commemorate it with trumpet blasts (Numbers 10:10) but we do not have to rest on it.
This page was created on 4 October 2009
Last updated on 23 September 2013
Copyright © 2009-2013 NCCG