When does a biblical month and new year start and why is it important for YOU to know?

Why is it important to know when the biblical month and new year start? Because as more people are leaving the non-biblical traditions of man that they have been taught in their churches (including the non-biblical Christian holidays) and return to the truths of the Bible (including the biblical holidays), they need to know when to celebrate YHVH’s appointed times or feasts. This means that one needs to have a basic understanding of the biblical calendar, which is different from the world’s calendar in use today. The article below (along with other articles that I’ve written on the subject which you can find at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast) will help to explain this.

Exodus 12:2, Month. It is the Hebrew word chodesh (Strong’s H2320/TWOT 613b) meaning “the new moon, month, monthly, the first day of the month, the lunar month.” It is found in the Tanakh (Old Testament) 276 times and is translated in the King James Version as “month” 254 times, “new moon” (20 times), and “monthly” (1 time). We see that from these definitions that the terms “month” and “new moon” are synonymous. It has been understood for millennia that ancient Israelites began their month with the new moon.

Why was it important for the Israelites to know when the new moon occurred and when the month began? The dates of the annual biblical festivals that YHVH gave to Israel and instructed them to observe were determined based on when the new moon occurred (Lev 23:5, 6, 24, 27, 34).

The next question to answer is this: when does the biblical month begin? As we noted above, for modern astronomers the term “new moon” means something different than it did to the ancients, including those who YHVH inspired to write the Bible. Ancient calendars were determined by the moon, while modern ones are not. Some biblical expositors teach that the new moon begins when the moon is in conjunction or in line with the earth and the sun and is in its dark phase. Others believe that the month begins just after the moon has moved out of its dark phase and begins to show a sliver of light, which is called the visible or crescent new moon. Who is right?

Some Bible teachers claim that there is no place in the Scriptures that specifically states that the new moon begins at the first visible sliver after being dark for several days. Therefore, they reason, it is an assumption to say that it does (even though, as we will see below, this was the understanding of the ancient Israelites), and therefore, the new moon should be determined from its conjunction with the earth and sun while it is in its dark phase. While on the surface, this may seem like a valid argument, one important verse in the Scriptures, however, and some simple logic quickly disproves this notion. It is Genesis 1:14.

And Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons [moedim/biblical festivals], and for days, and years.”

In this verse we see that the sun and the moon are “signs” for seasons, days and years. The word “sign” is the ­Hebrew word owt (Strong’s H226; TWOT 41a) meaning “sign, signal, mark, token, emblem, signboard, standard.” In the Tanakh, owt describes such visible (not invisible) signs as Noah’s rainbow (Gen 9:12–13, 17), Cain’s mark (Gen 4:15), circumcision (Gen 17:11), and the Sabbath (Exod 31:13, 17; Ezek 20:12). In addition, owt is used some 80 times in the Tanakh to refer to miraculous signs. These include the plagues of Egypt (Exod 7:3; Deut 4:34, etc.), the sign of the virgin birth of the Messiah (Isa 7:11, 14); YHVH miraculous signs to Gideon (Judg 6:17) and King Hezekiah (2 Kgs 20:9; Isa 38:7). In addition, Aaron’s rod that budded was a sign or token (Num 17:25). Many more examples could be given.

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New Video: When Does the Biblical Month Begin? Crescent Moon or Conjunction?

To know when to celebrate the biblical feasts, the Bible believer must know when the month on the biblical calendar begins. Does the biblical calendar begin at the moon’s crescent or conjunction? In this video, we refute 14 pro-conjunction arguments in favor of the first visible cresenct new moon.


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.

rosh_chodesh 2

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


Tonight is the first day of the seventh month…

The new moon was not spotted in the land of Israel yesterday (Monday, Sept 14), which means tonight (Tuesday, Sept 15) will mark the beginning of the seventh month on the biblical calendar. This day also marks the beginning of the fall biblical feast season. HalleluYAH! Time to celebrate. It’s all good news, which we need in these dark times!

Yom Teruah (or the Day of Shouting/Shofar Blasts) is the biblical name for the traditional the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah) is on the first day of the seventh month (Lev 23:23–25). This is a high holy sabbath day.

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On the tenth day of the seventh month will be Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement, Lev 23:26–32).This year, it will be on Friday, Sep 25. This too is a high holy sabbath day.

Next, from the 15th to the 21st day of the seventh month (Sept 30 to Oct 6) will be Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles, Lev 23:33–43).

Finally, at the end of Sukkot will be an additional holiday called Shemeni Atzeret (or the Eighth Day, Lev 23:36, occurring on Oct 7). Hebrew roots and messianic people often overlook this high holy day sabbath, but it’s part of the Torah, and so we celebrate it.

All of these festivals are significant spiritually for the redeemed believer and are steps in YHVH’s plan of salvation. The fall feasts are also prophetic of events that will happen prior to and after the second coming of our beloved Messiah Yeshua.

For written instructional materials on these feasts, please go to http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast. For videos teachings about these feasts, go to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/HoshanaRabbah.

You may wonder why some people are celebrating these feasts on other days than the ones mentioned above. There are several reasons for this. I’ll briefly explain.

The rabbinic and orthodox Jews will be celebrating their feasts two days earlier. This is because their calendar is usually incongruent with occurrence of the visible new moon. How did they get off the biblical calendar, you might ask? For the answer to this questions, please read my article at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/new_moons.pdf.

Some people keep the biblical feasts on the astronomical new moon conjunctions, which is not the biblical way to determine the months. I explain this in the following article at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/vis_moon.pdf.

If you want a comprehensive understanding of the biblical calendar please read the following article at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/cal_demyst.pdf.

It’s important that we understand the biblical calendar issues, since there is a lot of confusion out there on the subject. Also, YHVH calls his feasts moedim or divine appointments, for it is then that he meets with his people. It’s important to do so when he has told us to do so, not when we choose to so.

Get a cup of tea  or coffee, find a comfortable chair and prop up your feet and get to reading on the subject of the biblical calendar. We have provide you some simple to understand resources to understand this subject. You’ll need to concentrate though and have your Bible handy so you can look up the verses yourself and prove that what we’re saying is the truth. You might need to read over some of the material a couple of times to wrap your brain around the concepts. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible. It’s really not that bad. Once you understand it, you’ll have a firm foundations from which to go onward and upward in YHVH’s truth.

Understanding the biblical calendar and knowing when to keep the biblical feasts is part of the restoration of all things that must occur in conjunction with Yeshua’s second coming (Acts 3:21). By obeying YHVH and keeping his feasts on the calendar he established, you are part of the fulfilling of Bible prophecy and are helping to hasten Yeshua’s coming.



Time to Awaken from Spiritual Slumber—Messiah Is Coming!

This year, the biblical festival of Yom Teruah (the Day of Shofar Blowing or Shouting or “Rosh Hashanah”) will likely be on Sunday, Sept. 8 according to the ancient biblical Hebrew calendar. This festival is a prophetically pictures the  beginning of the events that will surround the second coming of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. It is time to get ready, for no man knows the day or the hour of the King’s coming! 

“Arise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall give thee light.” (Eph 5:14, also 8–16)

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Yom Teruah or the Day of Shouting or the Shofar Blasts (commonly called “Rosh Hashanah”) occurs at the end of the summer months and marked the beginning of the fall harvest and biblical festival season for the ancient Hebrews. Prophetically, the summer months between the spring Feast of Weeks (Heb. Shavuot or Pentecost) and the fall feast of Yom Teruah is a spiritual picture of what is often called the “Church Age,” which is the period of time from the Feast of Pentecost in Acts 2 until the return of Yeshua the Messiah at the end of the age and lasting for approximately 2000 years. For many, especially those living in hotter climes, summer is a time of leisure, vacation, weariness and fatigue due to the excessive heat. Likewise, many Bible believers have fallen asleep spiritually growing weary while waiting for the return of the Messiah. Yeshua discusses this issue in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25) who are all found snoozing awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom (Yeshua).

This all changes on the first day of the seventh month of the biblical Hebrew calendar when off in the distance the sound of a shout (or shofar blast?) suddenly pierces the atmosphere and awakens the virgins from their summer doldrums. Not only does the sound signal the beginning of the seventh month when the new crescent moon is sighted, but it announces the return of the Bridegroom (Yeshua) coming for his bride (the virgin saints). As in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the cry went forth that the bridegroom was coming and all awoke from their slumber to prepare for his arrival. In these end days, that cry is going forth even now for all to hear, to awake and to prepare for the arrival of Yeshua the Messiah.

In the biblical calendar, the visible sighting of the crescent new moon always marks the beginning of the month and is announced by the shofar blast (Ps 81:3). Likewise, on the first day of the seventh month of the biblical calendar, the arrival of the new moon (Heb. rosh chodesh) when the shofar sound marks the beginning of Yom Teruah. This is the first day of the fall (festival) harvest season and is the time when the call goes out for the Continue reading


Happy Biblical New Year!

Have a blessed and fruitful new year abiding in Yeshua the Messiah our Vine and our Doorway to life. May you remain steadfastly and passionately in the River of Life of His Word and Spirit under the covering of His blood and under the shelter of His wings!

New Year, Happy

By the way, for fun, go to Google and in the search window, type in “Rosh Chodesh” and then click on Google images. The photo on the left will pop up near the top of the page. This image has been “borrowed” by many people, and we have seen it appear on other people’s websites and in at least one book.

Want to know the truth about it? That’s a picture my wife took of me blowing my shofar about three years ago on the Oregon coast in the town of Canon Beach. We were staying in a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it happened to be Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the month). From the motel room window I could see the sliver of the new moon, so I grabbed my shofar and went outside to blow it to signal the new month’s arrival as per Psalm 81:3. She snapped this photo and added the wording. This graphic now permanently resides on the home page of our website (http://www.hoshanarabbah.org).

As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”