' NCCG.ORG, FAQ 364. Is Work Permitted on the New Moon?
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    FAQ 364
    Rosh Chodesh
    Is Work Permitted on the New Moon?

    Q. Is Shavuot (Pentecost) Sukkot (Tabernacles)? Is the weekly Sabbath the Rosh Chodesh (New Moon)? No, but they are all mowadah (days of worship, or appointed times) according to Leviticus chapter 23, Numbers chapters 10 and 28, Ezekiel chapters 45-46, and many other verses of Scripture. I'll post some that prove the New Moon day is a day that is not one of the six work days. The Gregorian calendar and Saturday Sabbath observers ignore the fact and YHWH that the New Moon is not one of the six work days and that the weekly Sabbath is a moed that is determined by the moon as YHWH declares.

    Refute the verses I am posting here one by one if you do not believe the New Moon day is NOT one of the six work days and/or the weekly Sabbath is not one of the mowadah that is determined by the moon as YHWH says in Psalms 104:19 and Genesis 1:14.

    Gen 1:14 And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs(oth) and appointed times(moed or mowadah), and for days and years,"

    Psa 104:19 "He made the moon for appointed times; The sun knows its going down."

    1Ch 23:30 " and to stand every morning to thank and praise YHWH, and so at evening;

    1Ch 23:31 and for all the burnt offerings to YHWH on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons and on the appointed times, by number according to the right-ruling upon them, continually before YHWH; "

    2Ch 2:4 see, I am building a House for the Name of YHWH my Elohim, to set it apart to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the New Moons, and on the appointed times of YHWH our Elohim. This is for Yisra’el forever.

    Eze 46:1 ‘Thus said the Master YHWH, “The gate of the inner courtyard facing east is shut the six days of work, but on the Sabbath it is opened, and on the day of the New Moon it is opened.

    Eze 46:3 “And the people of the land shall also bow themselves at the entrance to this gate before YHWH, on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons.

    Num 10:10 “And in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed times, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over your peace offerings. And they shall be a remembrance for you before your Elohim. I am YHWH your Elohim.”

    Num 28:11 ‘And on the beginnings of your months you bring near a burnt offering to YHWH: two young bulls and one ram, and seven lambs a year old, perfect ones;

    Neh 10:32 And we imposed commands on ourselves, to give from ourselves yearly one-third of a sheqel for the service of the House of our Elohim: Neh 10:33 for the showbread, and for the continual grain offering, and for the continual burnt offering of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, for the appointed times, and for the set-apart offerings, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Yisra’?l, and all the work of the House of our Elohim. Neh 10:34 And we cast lots among the priests, and the Lewites, and the people, for bringing the wood offering into the House of our Elohim, according to our fathers’ houses, at the appointed times year by year, to burn on the altar of YHWH our Elohim as it is written in the Torah,

    Psa 81:3 Blow the ram’s horn (sic. should be "silver trumpets") at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our festival day.

    Isa 1:13 “Stop bringing futile offerings, incense, it is an abomination to Me. New Moons, Sabbaths, the calling of meetings – I am unable to bear unrighteousness and assembly. Isa 1:14 “My being hates your New Moons and your appointed times, they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.

    Isa 66:23 “And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” declares YHWH.

    2Ki 4:23 And he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well!”

    Col 2:16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – Col 2:17 which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah.

    As you can see the Torah of YHWH has made the "festivals, the new moon, and the Sabbaths" different from the work days. The trumpets were blown so that the people would know to gather on these days at the tent of meeting before the Temple was built and then after the Temple was built they would know to come to the Temple to worship before YHWH as the Torah said. You can't worship before YHWH and work too. Obviously the New Moon day, the Feast, and the Sabbaths are forever known as days of worship on their appointed days. YHWH has clearly indicated that the New Moon day and the Sabbath day are NOT one of the six work days, period.

    So, why do people work on the New Moon day and not on the Sabbath?

    Why don't they recognize the Sabbath and the New Moon are definitely related? Why not determine all the moed, or mowadah (a.k.a. moedim) by using the moon as YHWH said?

    A. There is a great deal of confusion in messianic circles as to what Rosh Chodesh or New Moon Day is and how it is to be observed. The argument you make is that since Rosh Chodesh is an appointment or moed of Yahweh that it is (a) a time to assemble for worship, and (b) not a regular work day. Therefore, the reasoning goes, no regular work should be performed on this day as on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth days of the week.

    It is important from the outset to point out that nowhere is Rosh Chodesh called a "shabbat" - in other words, all the rules that apply to the Shabbat are not applied to Rosh Chodesh, otherwise Rosh Chodesh would have been called a "Rosh Chodesh Shabbat, which it never is. What is clear is that Rosh Chodesh is a set-apart, holy, or qodesh day like the Sabbath and the Annual Festivals and that is is essential for the calculation of the other moedim (appointments). We can summarise what Scripture says about it in five main points:

    • 1. There was a regular assembly of the people (e.g. Ezek.46:1-2);
    • 2. It was a day that the people assembled to hear the words of the nevi'im or prophets (e.g. 2 Ki.4:23-25);
    • 3. Sacrificial offerings were made under the former terms of the Old Covenant on that day (e.g. 1 Chr.23:31);
    • 4. No commercial activity was permitted (buying and selling) (Amos 8:5); and
    • 5. It sets the monthly sabbath days and regulates the timing of the annual festivals.

    It is not the position of this ministry that Rosh Chodesh is a regular work day. Aside from item #3, which no longer applies as blood sacrifices have been fulfilled in and by Messiah, the other four assignments remain permanently in force. Rosh Chodesh is a day of assembly to hear the nevi'im (prophets), no commercial activity is permitted, and it is crucial in the calculation of all the other moedim (appointments).

    But does this mean that we are to treat it in the same way as a regular Sabbath? Are we, for example, limited in how far we can travel, are we to prepare meals in advance so as not to do unnecessary work on it, are we forbidden to wage war on it, and are we forbidden to kindle a fire on it? Since there is no davar (word) in the Torah applying these Sabbath limitations on Rosh Chodesh, we cannot automatically assume that they apply to Rosh Chodesh. Indeed, if we can find just one instance where Yahweh commands a sabbath restriction to be broken on Rosh Chodesh (remembering that Yahweh does not command men to break His own Torah), then we can be absolutely sure that Rosh Chodesh is not to be treated as another kind of Shabbat.

    We do have such an example, and we have it in Yahweh's command to wage war on Jericho on a Rosh Chodesh day. This was a seven-day siege on this Canaanite city in which the children of Israel marched around the fortress for seven days. One of those days cannot have been the Sabbath because Israel was forbidden by Torah to wage war on the Sabbath, a point which makes no sense to those who follow calendars other than the Luni-solar Creation Calendar, and usually the Roman Gregorian Calendar or its Talmudic variant in which sabbath days are an endless string of repeating sevens. The Battle of Jericho proves that one of the seven days of the Battle of Jericho was the New Moon, which was neither a regular work day nor a Sabbath. This means that the Sabbath fell on the 8th day of that month, as it always did anciently, the Sabbath only ever being on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days of the biblical month. The children of Israel observed the Sabbath on the day after the city fell, an appropriate symbolism, for they 'worked' for seven days - one Rosh Chodesh 'work' day and six regular weekly work days.

    But if Rosh Chodesh is a sacred moed and a day of assembly, and is like the sabbath inasmuch as no regular work is permitted, how come the children of Israel marched around it and thus apparently broke the moed commandment?

    The answer is simple:

    • 1. Rosh Chodesh is not a regular work day;
    • 2. Rosh Chodesh is not a regular sabbath;
    • 3. Rosh Chodesh is a day unto itself.

    It's a moed (appopintment) but it's not like the other ones.

    Are their examples of other moedim (appointments) distinctions that will help us explain this better? Yes, there are.

    Pesach (Passover) is not a sabbath day. People were allowed to do regular work on it, even if traditionally most used the daytime part of it for preparation - or at least the women did. However, the evening - after sunset - was set-apart for a sacred assembly and meal. Thus Pesach (Passover) is an example of a set-apart day for assembly on which regular work could be done before dusk.

    It's not the only moed. Five of the seven days of Chag haMatzah (Unleavened Bread) were also sacred moedim (appointments) but there was no commandment other than not to eat leavened bread on them and under the Old Covenant for other ritual to be made which are no longer applicable to us. There was no restriction on doing regular work. Likewise, five of the days of Sukkot (Tabernacles) were set-apart days but there was no work restriction on them except for the first and eighth days. Given that this was largely an agricultural society, this makes perfect sense - you can't allow animals to starve for a week at a time. Merchants would have been allowed to buy and sell on these days too.

    Clearly not all moedim or set-apart appointment days were treated the same. And Rosh Chodesh was completely different from these non-Sabbath annual festival days inasmuch as one of the Sabbath restrictions was applied to it - there could be no buying or selling on it, that is, no commercial activity. 'The shops were closed' as on the Sabbath, which the unspiritual merchants of Amos 8:5 resented. However, there were no other Sabbath restrictions on it, other than to assemble to hear the words of the nevi'im (prophets) which obviously would not have occupied the whole day. They would have made animal sacrifices under the Old Covenant too which are, of course, no longer required.

    This ministry assembles for a morning service every Rosh Chodesh - it could be at any time of the day. We do not engage in commercial activity. This means we do not run shops or restaurants or visit them at Rosh Chodesh. We do not employ anybody for money on New Moon day. We do not do regular work which would involve us being paid a salary. But we are not restricted from doing essential farm work (heavy or light), travelling, preparing food as on non-Sabbath days, or other forms of labour that do not involve a financial transaction. Rosh Chodesh is not a sabbath day of rest, otherwise Yahweh would have designated it as such. And that fact that He commanded Israel to wage war on Jericho on Rosh Chodesh conclusively proves that it was not a regular sabbath. At the same time, it is not a regular work day either. It is a day unto itself, set-apart from all the other moedim.

    The fact that Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat are paired together in a number of passages of Scripture does not mean they are identical in content but similar, in the same way that the annual moedim (appointments) are similar but not identical in content. Each is in its own category because each performs a different function even if they are all related as moedim. The importance of the New Moon is by no means denied - indeed, it is critical to the proper temporal and spiritual functioning of Messianic Israel. To ignore it in calendar calculations or to do regular salaried or commercial work on it is clearly a sin and breach of covenant for which we are answerable if we rebel. However, it is not the Sabbath and is not as strict. There was never a death penalty for violating the New Moon as there was the Sabbath, a point that cannot be ignored. The New Moon primes the sabbath and the festivals but it is not a sabbath itself. It has an altogether different symbolic meaning which you can read about on our New Moon and Creation Calendar pages.

    This page was created on 28 July 2013
    Last updated on 28 July 2013

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