When Does the Biblical Month Begin?

This is a lengthy article on a vital subject. It’s deep and heady and will take your full concentration to read. It’s essential that we have a correct understanding of the biblical calendar, so we’ll know when to celebrate YHVH’s feasts. For more background on the biblical calendars if you are new to this subject, I invite you to read three articles I have written previously on this issue available at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast. As you’re reading the article below, please let me know if you find any typos. As many times as I’ve proofread it, I still keep finding corrections that need to be made. Your help in this would be a blessing! Thanks. — Natan

Refuting 14 Pro-Conjunction Arguments in Favor of the Visible Crescent

By Natan Lawrence of Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources

The Issue at Hand

For most people returning to a spiritual Hebraic understanding and Torah-pursuant lifestyle, the subject of the biblical calendar is a daunting one because of the complex issues involved. Yet understanding the biblical calendar is vital if one is to walk out their Torah faith as the Scriptures reveal is necessary to achieve a higher reward in YHVH Elohim’s eternal kingdom (Matt 5:19). Knowing when to observe YHVH’s commanded seven biblical feasts (Lev 23), which are the seven steps in his plan of salvation, is dependent on a correct understanding of the biblical calendar.

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In the Book of Acts, Peter declares that Yeshua the Messiah wouldn’t return to the earth until the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). This is a broad and sweeping statement, and it’s hard to get into Peter’s mind to fully understand what he meant by it, but suffice it to say, it seems that understanding and celebrating the biblical feasts must be part of “the restoration of all things.” But how do we know when to celebrate them if we fail to understand the Creator’s calendar? Understanding when the month starts is crucial to understanding the biblical calendar and hence knowing when to celebrate the feasts.

This is where it gets dicey. There are several opinions among well-meaning Bible teachers as to how to determine when the month starts. These different opinions have given rise to much debate, argumentation Continue reading


Psalm 81 and the New Moon/New Month

Please note: This brief study is an excerpt from a larger work I am about to publish on this blog entitled, “When Does the Biblical Month Begin? Refuting 14 Pro-Conjunction Arguments in Favor of the Visible Crescent.” Stay tuned. — Natan

A Study on Psalm 81 — Is the Word Keseh Proof That the Month Is Conjunction-Based? 

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A source of great controversy has been the meaning of the Hebrew word keseh as used in Psalm 81:3. The conjunctionists use this word as definitive proof that the new moon starts at the conjunctions. Complicating the issue is the fact that this word occurs only two times in the Tanakh, making its meaning all the more difficult to quantify. Let’s now look at the issues surrounding the meaning of this word.

New Moon Conjunctionist Assertion: In Psalm 81:3 (also Prov 76:10; Job 26:7–9), the phrase full moon is the Hebrew word keseh meaning “concealed, dark, hidden or covered.” This points to a full or dark new moon. The overwhelming use of keseh in the Tanakh (Old Testament) fits the definition above. Job 26:9 to backs up this claim, when you link it back to keseh in Psalm 81:3.

Refutation A: There are several problems with this argument. The word keseh/vxf in Job 26:9 is not the same keseh found in Psalm 81:3. These are two Hebrew words that sound similar and are transliterated the same. In Psalm 81:3, keseh/vxf (Strong’s H3677) ends in the Hebrew letter heh, while the Job 26:9 kiseh/txf (Strong’s H3678) ends with the letter aleph and has a completely different meaning.  This keseh means “seat (of honour), throne, seat, stool, throne; royal dignity, authority, power.” This different Hebrew word has nothing to do with concealing or covering. Some lexicons say that both words have the Hebrew word kasah as their root, but as we shall see below, scholars aren’t certain whether keseh derives from kasah or from a similarly sounding Aramaic loan word that doesn’t mean “concealed or covered” at all, but means “fullness or full moon” and hence the alternate reading in Psalm 81:3. Strong’s and TWOT both state that keseh/vxf in Psalm 81:3 can also be spelled keseh/txf, although it is vowel pointed differently and thus pronounced differently than the keseh/txf meaning “throne.” Both TWOT and Strongs list these words separately in their indexes, but the confusion comes when they list the alternate spelling of keseh (with the ending aleph/t under the heading of the keseh that Continue reading