The Lunar Shabbat Calendar Issues

By Yochanan Zaqantov

I have been asked about this calendar theory many times.  So I have decided to address this here and pull forward the facts and discuss the theory and its inherent problems with both facts and claims by the author Jonathan David Brown and others.  This theory is not an ancient one as the author states but of recent origin and did not originate with.

Lunar Sabbath

Jonathan David Brown was the first [Lunar] sabbath keeper in this century to begin the practice of counting the Sabbath from the New Moon day rather than using the modern seven day week. He published a book in 1993 which explained the practice, and the Lunar Sabbath movement has grown among the Messianic, Armstrong/Church of God and Christian Identity movements. Today Arnold Bowen, Matthew Janzen, and Troy Miller carry on the mantle of Lunar Sabbatarianism, while Jonathan David Brown concentrates on his musical work.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_David_Brown#cite_note-2

We see that from Wikipedia that he was the modern promoter of this theory in 1993.   He has published a book on this.  I have read many articles of people who have had introductions to this theory and even when shown problems with it.  None of them were used for this paper.  However, a search for Lunar Shabbat on the Internet shows that they are availble.  There are even some personal stories of contact with some of the followers.

The Theory

The theory starts with Jonathan Brown and subtly spreads through the Messianic communities.  It is futher taken up by his followers who have fine tuned it over time. One of the quotes from his supporter’s state from the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia which was originally compiled by Isaac Landman and was later published jointly by Isaac Landman and Simon Cohen. 

“The 1943 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia volume 10 page 482, edited by Isaac Landman under the article “Week”, written by Simon Cohen, Director of Research, states:

“WEEK" (in Hebrew shavua). The idea of the week, as a subdivision of the month, seems to have arisen in Babylonia, where each lunar month was divided into four parts, corresponding to the four phases of the moon. The first week of each month began with the new moon, so that, as the lunar month was one or two days more than four periods of seven days, these additional days were not reckoned at all. Every seventh day (sabbatum) was regarded as an unlucky day. This method of reckoning time spread westward through Syria and Palestine, and was adopted by the Israelites, probably after they settled in Palestine. With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection, so that by the time of the second Temple it was merely a period of seven days and no longer depended on the new moon. From Judaism the week passed over to Christianity, and through the influence of the later was generally adopted throughout the Roman empire;” (need direct citation)

The first problem with this quote is that Shabattum is not used in Hebrew but Babylonian and only for the 19th day of the month.  I will show this later at the end of the paper. Additionally, the problem with this quote is that this is a supposition that the Israelites were adopters of this practice in Babylon because it completely disregards the evidence of Elohim creating seven day system in Bereshit/Genesis 2:2-3, and its introduction to them in Exodus 16.  Shabbat was pre-exilic in nature.

Gen. 2:2 Elohim had finished, on the seventh day (bayom hasheviy’iyבַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי), his work that he had made, and then he ceased, on the seventh day (vayish’bot bayom hasheviy’iy וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי), from all his work that he had made.

Gen. 2:3 Elohim gave the seventh day his blessing (vayevarekh elohim et-yom hasheviy’iy וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי), and he hallowed it, for on it he ceased from all his work (shavat mikol-melach’to שָׁבַת מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ), that by creating, Elohim had made.

This shows that Elohim did establish a seven day period with six days he made something (the heavens and the earth and all that was in them) and rested on the seventh day and set it apart.  No one can deny that from the beginning of the earth the week or Shavu’a is a seven day period.  So the article above from Simon Cohen is missing a bit of information in that the biblical Shabbat predates the Babylonians.

Next, the Shabbat is introduced to Benei Yisrael (Children of Israel) in Shemot/Exodus 16:23-29.

23 He said to them: It is what YHWH spoke about: tomorrow is a Sabbath/Ceasing, a Sabbath of Holiness for YHWH. Whatever you wish to bake-bake, and whatever you wish to boil-boil; and all the surplus, put aside for yourselves in safekeeping until morning. 24 They put it aside until morning, as Moshe had commanded, and it did not reek, neither were there any maggots in it. 25 Moshe said: Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath for YHWH, today you will not find it in the field. 26 For six days you are to glean, but on the seventh day is Sabbath, there will not be (any) on it. 27 But it was on the seventh day that some of the people went out to glean, and they did not find. 28 YHWH said to Moshe: Until when will you refuse to keep my commandments and my instructions? 29 (You) see that YHWH has given you the Sabbath, therefore on the sixth day, he gives you bread for two days. Stay, each-man, in his spot; no man shall go out from his place on the seventh day! 30 So the people ceased on the seventh day.

So not only did YHWH create the seven day cycle but he actually showed the Israelites when it was.  There was no need of a tradition to be translated to this time but instead he literally taught them.  Also, if you look at the full account of Shemot/Exodus 16 you will not see a mention of Chodesh (New Moon) being mentioned.  This weekly cycle was independent of the New Moon.  Some will state that the 15th day when they arrived was a Shabbat according to the Lunar Calendar.  However, no where does the 15th day in Tanakh referred to as a Shabbat. 

Shemot/Exodus 15:17 – 16:1

15:27 They came to Elim; there were twelve springs of water and seventy palms, and they camped there by the water.

16:1 They moved on from Elim, and they came, the entire community of the Children of Israel, to the Wilderness of Syn, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day after the second New-moon after their going-out from the land of Egypt.

However, we know that 15th day of the first new moon was not a Shabbat.

Shemot/Exodus 12:33-36

33 Egypt pressed the people strongly, to send them out quickly from the land, for they said: We are all dead-men! 34 So the people loaded their dough before it had fermented, their kneading-troughs bound in their clothing, upon their shoulders. 35 Now the Children of Israel had done according to Moshe's words: they had asked of the Egyptians objects of silver and objects of gold, and clothing; 36 YHWH had given the people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, and they let themselves be asked of. So did they strip Egypt.

First, on Shabbat we are not to load burdens, nor are we to carry burdens.  They loaded themselves and animals with the goods of Egypt and their unleavened dough.

How do we know this was the 15th?

Bemidbar/Numbers 33:2-3

2 Moshe wrote down their departures, by their marching-stages, by order of YHWH. Now these are their marching-stages, by their departures: 3 They marched from Ra'mses, in the first New-moon (bachodesh harishon  בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשֹׁון ), on the fifteenth day after the first New-moon (bahamishah asar yom lachodesh harishon  בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר יֹום לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשֹׁון ); on the morrow of the Passover-meal (Mimacharat hapesach  מִֽמָּחֳרַת הַפֶּסַח) the Children of Israel departed with a high hand, before the eyes of all Egypt,

The fact left on the 15th day and packed and traveled shows this is not Shabbat.  Therefore, the 15th day of the second month is also not a Shabbat and there is not link to a new moon for counting.

The next bit of evidence is presented as proof of their theory from Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:35-36 (34-35 in Tanakh)

34 Thus says YHWH, Who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon (chuqot yareach חֻקֹּת יָרֵחַ) and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, that the waves thereof roar, YHWH of hosts is His name: 35 If these ordinances (hachuqim הַחֻקִּים) depart from before Me, says YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever. {S}

What was the Chuqot statues/practices of the Moon to rule the night.  Why do we say that because as we have studied before in the study on “Beginning of the Months and the Aviv” and our study of the “19 year Rabbinate Calendar” that Yareach is the hebrew word for moon and is correlated to the word Chodesh which is New Moon.  Neither of which is mentioned Bereshit/Genesis 1:14-16. (see below) It is simply referred to as the lesser light. The statue, practice or ordinance is that they must rule or be the brightness of the sky.  As long as there is an Earth and Heaven Israel will not cease to be a nation from before him.  This verse has nothing to do with a Lunar Shabbat.

Bereshit/Genesis 1:14-16

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 appointed time (ulmo’adim  וּלְמוֹעֲדִים), and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so. 16 And Elohim made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.

Divide the Day from the night is one practice of the Moon.  Both the Sun and Moon determine a part of the day period.  The evening first followed by the daylight portion.  The second practice of the Moon is its first appearance as the first visable cresent to establish the new month.  Now some want to say that only the moon is for mo’adim/appointed times.  It states that both sun and moon are for setting Mo’adim.

Bereshit/Genesis 1:18-19

18 to provide light upon the earth, to rule the day and the night, to separate the light from the darkness. Elohim saw that it was good. 19 There was setting, there was dawning: fourth day.

The job of the Sun and Moon was to shine light on the earth.  To separate the light from the darkness.  This is not the same as Bereshit 1:3-5

3 Elohim said: Let there be light! And there was light. 4 Elohim saw the light: that it was good. Elohim separated the light from the darkness. 5 Elohim called the light: Day! and the darkness he called: Night! There was setting, there was dawning: one day.

Here we see is not a creation of the sun and moon earlier but the concept of the day being created.  Our Elohim provides the light not the sun or moon.  The designation of setting and dawning is because he is introducing the reader to the concept of the day. Looking at these we see that the Moon or lesser light is created on the 4th day not the 1st day and therefore can not be used as proof of a lunar week counting from a new moon.

The next proof given is that the moon is a faithful witness but what is it a witness for in this case.   The verse in Tehillim it is the covenant with Melekh David or King David.

Tehillim/Psalms 89:35-38

35 My covenant will I not profane, nor alter that which is gone out of My lips. 36 Once have I sworn by My holiness: Surely I will not be false unto David; 37 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me. 38 It shall be established for ever as the moon (Kiyara’ach like or example of the Moon); and be steadfast as the witness in sky.' Selah

The use of the Kaf is equating the Moon as an example of something which endures for a long time.  Thus, shall the rulership of David’s seed last.  Both the Sun and Moon are witnesses in the sky and while it is singular in form and in context of the moon it is in no way singling out the moon as the only witness in the sky.

The next reference is the verse that the moon is appointed for seasons.  We have examined this in other studies

Tehillim/Psalms 104:19

19     He made the moon to mark the seasons (lemo’adim  לְמוֹעֲדִים); the sun knows when to set.

It shows us clearly that this is a mistranslation as it is not season but set appointments.  Mo’adim is plural form of Mo’ed.  If you look at the non-holiday forms of this word we can know this is not a season but an appointed time.   

Shemu’el Aleph/I Sammuel 20:35

35 And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed (lemo’ed  לְמוֹעֵד) with David, and a little lad with him.

So you can see that mo’ed or plural mo’adim is a set time not a season. 

Next, lets look at the word mo’adim.  They try to say that the Moon is a appointed time.because of the verse in Tehillim.  Yet it is never listed in Vayiqra 23 as one of the appointed times.  Instead it is used to establish appointed times.

Vayiqra/Leviticus 23: (parts of the chapter)

1 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: The appointed times (mo’adey  מוֹעֲדֵי) of YHWH, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed times (mo’aday  מוֹעֲדָי). 3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of work; it is a sabbath unto YHWH in all your dwellings. {P}

Here we see a {P} at the end of verse 3 which denotes a break in the hebrew text thus the mo’adim here are reffering to the weekly shabbat alone.  Therefore the plural refers to the fact that there are many shabbats during the year.  Interresting that since this covers shabbats that there is no command to start from the new moon to determine them.  Also, the new moon (Chodesh) is never referenced as a Shabbat in this entire chapter.  Continuing in Vayiqra/Leviticus 23.

4 These are the appointed times (mo’adey מוֹעֲדֵי)of YHWH, even holy readings, which you shall proclaim in their appointed time (bamo’adam  בְּמוֹעֲדָם). 5 In the first month (bachodesh harishon בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן), on the fourteenth [day] of the month (lachodesh  לַחֹדֶשׁ) at dusk, is YHWH's passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the [same] month (lachodesh לַחֹדֶשׁ) is the feast of unleavened bread unto YHWH; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of servile work 8 And you shall bring an offering made by fire unto YHWH seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of servile work. {P}

Again the {P} or Pey breaks this verse in Hebrew and the new moon is used to determine the Holy days and counting from it by day until we get to the end of the 14th day and beginning of the 15th day after sunset on the 14th to start both the feast of Pesach and the First Day of the Feast of HaMatzot.  It does not show anywhere here the moon being used for shabbatot (shabbat plural). 

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When you are come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest. 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before YHWH, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And in the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a he-lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt-offering unto YHWH. 13 And the meal-offering thereof shall be two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto YHWH for a sweet savour; and the drink-offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.  14 And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until you have brought the offering of Eloheykhem; it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. {S}

Again, this set of verses is completed with a {S} or samech ends this set of verses.  Notice that this is to occur they are to do it on the Morrow of Shabbat or the day after in this case.  Yet still not counting from the new moon.  It also shows when they are to eat and not eat of the new crop or even roast the mature but moist kernels.

Lets continue with Vayiqra/Leviticus 23.

15 And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest (mimacharat hashabbat  מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת), from the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving; seven shabbats (Sheva Shabbatot שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת) shall there be complete (temimot – without defect  תְּמִימֹת); 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh shabbat (ad mimacharat hashabbat hashevi’it  עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת) shall you number fifty days (tis’peru chamishim yom  תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם); and you shall present a new meal-offering unto YHWH. 17 You shall bring out of your dwellings two wave-loaves of two tenth parts of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven, for first-fruits unto YHWH. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams; they shall be a burnt-offering unto YHWH, with their meal-offering, and their drink-offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto YHWH. 19 And you shall offer one he-goat for a sin-offering, and two he-lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace-offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first-fruits for a wave-offering before YHWH, with the two lambs; they shall be holy to YHWH for the priest. 21 And you shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; you shall do no manner of servile work; it is a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 And when you reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them for the poor, and for the stranger: I am YHWH Eloheykha. {P}

Here we see some counting and this is the counting of the Omer that leads us to the day of Shavu’ot or Weeks.  Notice it says sheva shabbatot or 7 shabbats, which mean to get to Chag HaShavu’ot one must count 7 shabbat and the shabbat must come after counting a complete seven day.  We say earlier that the word for week was Shavu’ah, which is itself from Sheva meaning seven.  The second way to arrive at this is to count 50 days.  We will test this out later.

Skipping down to verse 23:

23 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying: 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, in the first day of the month (bachodesh hashevi’I ba’echad lachodesh  בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ), shall be a solemn rest unto you (yih’yeh lakhem shabbaton  יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שַׁבָּתוֹן), a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no manner of servile work; and you shall bring an offering made by fire unto YHWH. {S}

Here we see that the first for month (ba’echad la chodesh) or in the first day for Month. Or on the New Moon day we count number 1.  There is never a Day 0.

Skipping to verse 44.

44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the appointed times (mo’adey  מֹעֲדֵי) of YHWH. {P}

 With this verse we see that all the summation of the verse list them as Mo’adey or appointed or set times.  OK we have not seen any counting from the new moon in the entire chapter.  You can read it several times and never find it.

The New Moon as a Shabbat?

They use Amos 8:5 as proof that the New Moon is a Shabbat.  Yet if you look at the Torah the only new moon close to a shabbat is a Shabbaton and that is Yom Teru’ah.

Amos 8:5

5 Saying: 'When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell grain? and the sabbath, that we may set forth corn? making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances of deceit;

Here in this verse we see that one was waiting for the New Moon to end but, which new Moon could we not work on and therefore not sell.

Yayiqra/Leviticus 23:23

23 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying: 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, in the first day of the month (bachodesh hashevi’I ba’echad lachodesh  בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ), shall be a solemn rest unto you (yih’yeh lakhem shabbaton  יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שַׁבָּתוֹן), a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns (zikh’ron Teru’ah  זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה), a holy reading. 25 You shall do no manner of servile work (Avodah Melakhah); and you shall bring an offering made by fire unto YHWH. {S}

Here is the New Moon they were talking about.  Thus, they wished this day to end. But what about Yeshiyahu/Isaiah 66:23

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says YHWH. 

וְהָיָה, מִדֵּי-חֹדֶשׁ בְּחָדְשׁוֹ, וּמִדֵּי שַׁבָּת, בְּשַׁבַּתּוֹ; יָבוֹא כָל-בָּשָׂר לְהִשְׁתַּחֲו‍ֹת לְפָנַי, אָמַר יְהוָה.

Transliterated says:

W’hayah midey-Chodesh bachad’sho wumidey shabbat bashabato Yabo kal basar l’his’tacha’ot lefanai amar YHWH

Which translated says:

And shall be as often New moon in His New moon and as often Shabbat in His Shabbat he comes all flesh for they will bows to faces says YHWH.

 

The people will come and bow before YHWH on the Shabbat and New Moons. But it is no equating the New Moons as a Shabbat.  In Vayiqra 23 the new moon on the average other than the 7th one is never referred to as a set time (Mo’ed).  The Priests had duties on the New Moons.  This could explain the gate of Yehez’qel temple being opened on the New Moon.

Yehez’qel/Ezekiel 46:1-2

1 Thus says the Adonai YHWH: The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath day it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.  2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate; then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of that gate before YHWH in the sabbaths and in the new moons.

Like the previous verse in Yeshiyahu 66:23, this shows the people bowing down they faces to YHWH.  It also does not mean here the New Moon is a non-working day other than Yom Teru’ah.  For even the Chag HaMatzot and Chag Shavu’ot it does not call them even Shabbatot or Shabbaton.  Yet one may not work on them.  

The place where we see the Shabbat and New Moons set apart for offerings is Numbers 28:9-15

9 And on the sabbath day two he-lambs of the first year without blemish, and two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a meal-offering, mingled with oil, and the drink-offering thereof. 10 This is the burnt-offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt-offering, and the drink-offering thereof. {P}

11 And in your new moons you shall present a burnt-offering unto YHWH: two young bullocks, and one ram, seven he-lambs of the first year without blemish; 12 and three tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour for a meal-offering, mingled with oil, for each bullock; and two tenth parts of fine flour for a meal-offering, mingled with oil, for the one ram;  13 and a several tenth part of fine flour mingled with oil for a meal-offering unto every lamb; for a burnt-offering of a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto YHWH. 14 And their drink-offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bullock, and the third part of a hin for the ram, and the fourth part of a hin for a lamb. This is the burnt-offering of every new moon throughout the months of the year.  15 And one he-goat for a sin-offering unto YHWH; it shall be offered beside the continual burnt-offering, and the drink-offering thereof. {S}

Just looking at this you see there were different requirements for Shabbat verses New Moon even for the Priests doing the offerings.  So counting the New Moon as a Shabbat is adding to Torah, which we are told not to do. 

Joshua 5 proof of a Lunar shabbat?

Yehoshua/Joshua 5:10-12

10     Encamped at Gilgal, in the steppes of Jericho, the Israelites offered the passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the month, toward evening (should be “in evening”).

11     On the day after (mimacharat - on the morrow) the passover offering, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the country, unleavened bread (matzot) and parched grain (va qalui/kalui – roasted grain). 12     On that same day, when they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased. The Israelites got no more manna; that year they ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.

We know that they ate of the produce of the land in the day period after the Pesach offering which would have been the 15th day.  We know it is the day period of the 15th from the verse used in Numbers 33:3

Bamidbar /Numbers 33:3

 3 They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. It was on the morrow (mimacharat מִמָּחֳרַת) of the Passover (hapesach הַפֶּסַח) [offering] that the Israelites started out defiantly, in plain view of all the Egyptians.

This is the first day of Unleavened Bread.  We know that they were instructed to make an offering before eating it.  An offering is harvesting and thus forbidden on Shabbat.  This was from the words spoken by Moshe and so Joshua would have been well aware of it. 

Vayiqra / Leviticus 23:9-11

9     YHWH spoke to Moshe, saying: 10     Speak to the Israelite people and say to them:  When you enter the land that I am giving to you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the first sheaf (omer) of your harvest to the priest. 11     He shall elevate the sheaf (ha’omer) before YHWH for acceptance in your behalf; the priest shall elevate it on the day after the Sabbath.

Joshua would have done this with the sons of Yisrael.  If the 15th was the Shabbat then they would have violated the command of offering the Omer offering on the morrow of the Shabbat.  The 15 day as the morrow of the Shabbat, which shows us also that, the lunar Shabbat can’t possibly fit this story.  This would also be the first day of the counting. 

Ok let’s look at the quote of the Lunar Shabbat. From the website of one of the keepers of the Lunar Shabbat they state:

“If our scriptural understanding is that the NEW MOON Sabbath arrives at the FIRST OF THE MOONTH then we are to WORK SIX days and the 7th day, REST, work SIX days and the 7th day, REST, etc, for 4 shabuwas, until the next new moon period; lets work it out and see what we learn.

Day ONE of a brand new lunar cycle (from conjunction) is the NEW MOON Sabbath DAY.  When the first sliver is sighted after sunset on the evening of the first day (first day is now over with) two witnesses give testimony, trumpets are blown, bond fires are lit on the hill topes and the moonth end rest (long Sabbath) has ended. Tomorrow morning everyone goes back to work and begins the counting of the first shabuwa (period of seven as in “six days you shall labor and the seventh you rest).  So now we see that day ONE is a NEW MOON DAY (observed as a Sabbath day) then work six days (lunar days 2 – 7) and then rest for the 7th day Sabbath (on the 8th day of the lunar cycle). Count seven more days (2nd shabuwa) and you rest on the 15th day of the lunar cycle.  Seven more days (3rd shabuwa) rest on the 22nd day of the lunar cycle and again on the 29th day of the lunar cycle.   A fuller explanation of this way of reckoning is detailed near the end of this article.

 Now we have come to the 4th Sabbath – the 29th day of the lunar cycle. What a time of rejoicing it is for our labors have ceased for this moonth and we enjoy the 7th Day Sabbath rest of Yahweh.  At sunset (the completion of the 4th Shabbat of this moonth) we continue in the Sabbath mood and immediately begin the New Moon day or days.  After the first full NEW MOON day, (the second day of the MOONTH END PERIOD) we watch the western sky just after sundown to see if the first crescent of the moon is visible.  If it is sighted, the trumpets are blown, bond fires lit and tomorrow we start a new work shabuwa. [This would be a two day moonth end].  If the first crescent is NOT visible, we continue on in Sabbath and again watch for the first crescent. Seen or not seen this 3rd Sabbath moonth end/beginning evening, the trumpets are blown and tomorrow we go to work.

 Regardless of whether there is one or two solar days of no (null) moon [after the 4th Sabbath], it is considered day ONE of the new lunar cycle. This may be hard to understand but during the no/null moon period, it is a time of darkness where the “faithful witness” in unobservable in its changes.  Every other day of the lunar cycle, one can visible observe changes that take place each and every solar day.  Praise Yahweh.” http://www.yahwehmusic.com/covenants/burningquestion.htm

If this is correct then the Lunar Shabbat is determined.  Crescent Moon is their start day with the dark period is treated as 1 Day because there is no Moon. 

New Moon
Shabbat

2

3

4

5

6

7

Shabbat
8

9

10

11

12

13

14

Shabbat
15

16

17

18

19

20

21

Shabbat 22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Shabbat
29

New moon

Shabbat

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a 30-day month the Shabbat is kept for three days instead of two.  Now that we have determined the way they count and the Tanakh verse they use to support their theory lets see if it can be kept with the requirements and examples shown in Tanakh. Of Course we already have shown that many of their proof can be explained.  Many of the Lunar Shabbatarians use many apocryphal or the New Testament to prove this theory but we will stick to the Tanakh to show whether this theory is supported by Tanakh.

First, What makes a Day?

We have seen in other studies that evening and morning makes a day.  You only have to read the Tanakh to find this. I read and adhere to the evening to evening for a day like listed for the day of Yom Hakippurim (Lev. 23:27,32).

Vayiqra/Leviticus 23:27, 32

27 Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and you shall afflict your souls; and you shall bring an offering made by fire unto YHWH.

32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall you keep your sabbath.

The Shabbat is a day like any other with a darkness and daylight periods.  Thus from evening to evening is the day.


Devarim/ Deuteronomy 23:11

But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash [himself] with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp [again].

As he is facing evening, the sun goes down.  Evening is after the sun is set.

Shofetim/Judges 19:9

9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that you may go home.

In practice the end of the day was sunset.

Shemot/Exodus 16:8

8 And Moses said, [This shall be], when YHWH shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that YHWH hears your murmurings which you murmur against him: and what [are] we? your murmurings [are] not against us, but against YHWH.

YHWH fed Beni Yisrael in the evening and then in the morning.   So we can see that a day has one darkness period followed by a daylight period then if we put together 2 or 3 days and call them one day then we violate this rule.  Ok but what if these are really 2 or 3 days and each one is a Shabbat. 

Applying the Omer counting to this theory.

So we know from reading previously in Vayiqra 23:15-16 that

15 And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest (mimacharat hashabbat  מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת), from the day that you brought the sheaf of the waving; seven shabbats (Sheva Shabbatot שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת) shall there be complete (temimot – without defect  תְּמִימֹת); 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh shabbat (ad mimacharat hashabbat hashevi’it  עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת) shall you number fifty days (tis’peru chamishim yom  תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם); and you shall present a new meal-offering unto YHWH.

There are two ways to determine Chag HaShavu’ot.

  1. Count seven Shabbatot or Shabbats and select the morrow after the seventh Shabbat.
  2. Count 50 days.

So how would this work with the counting?  We are going to experiment with this theory and see if there is a way to make this work.

  1. Count all Shabbats including the New Moon Shabbats.

New Moon

2

3

4

5

6

7

Shabbat
8

9

10

11

12

13

14

Shabbat
15

16
Day 1

17
Day 2

18
Day 3

19
Day 4

20
Day 5

21
Day 6

Shabbat1 22
Day 7

23
Day 8

24
Day 9

25
Day 10

26
Day 11

27
Day 12

28
Day 13

Shabbat2
29
Day 14

New moon

Shabbat3
Day 15

2
Day 16

3
Day 17

4
Day 18

5
Day 19

6
Day 20

7
Day 21

Shabbat4

8
Day 22

9
Day 23

10
Day 24

11
Day 25

12
Day 26

13
Day 27

14
Day 28

Shabbat5

15
Day 29

16
Day 30

17
Day 31

18
Day 32

19
Day 33

20
Day 34

21
Day 35

Shabbat6

22

Day 36

23
Day 37

24
Day 38

25
Day 39

26
Day 40

27
Day 41

28
Day 42

Shabbat7

29
Day 43

Shabbat8

30
Day 44

New Moon

Shabbat
Day 45

 

 

 

 

Ok, we see that the morrow of the seventh Shabbat is only on day 44.  Not quite 50.  Ok lets try another example.

  1. Don’t count the New moon and intermediate Shabbats and still count 50 days.

New Moon

2

3

4

5

6

7

Shabbat
8

9

10

11

12

13

14

Shabbat
15

16
Day 1

17
Day 2

18
Day 3

19
Day 4

20
Day 5

21
Day 6

Shabbat1 22
Day 7

23
Day 8

24
Day 9

25
Day 10

26
Day 11

27
Day 12

28
Day 13

Shabbat2
29
Day 14

New moon

2
Day 15

3
Day 16

4
Day 17

5
Day 18

6
Day 19

7
Day 20

Shabbat3

8
Day 21

9
Day 22

10
Day 23

11
Day 24

12
Day 25

13
Day 26

14
Day 27

Shabbat4

15
Day 28

16
Day 29

17
Day 30

18
Day 31

19
Day 32

20
Day 33

21
Day 34

Shabbat5

22
Day 35

23
Day 36

24
Day 37

25
Day 38

26
Day 39

27
Day 40

28
Day 41

Shabbat6

29
Day 42

Shabbat

30

 

New Moon

 

 

2
Day 43

3
Day 44

4
Day 45

5
Day 46

6
day 47

7
Day 48

Shabbat7

8
Day 49

9
Day 50

 

 

 

Now, we have gotten to Day 50 and morrow after the Seventh Shabbat but we had to skip counting 3 days (2 new moons and a intermediate day) to make this work.  In other words, there is no way to count 50 and get to the morrow after Shabbat unless you ignore days.  Nowhere in the Tanakh will you find the skipping of counting days for Omer, New Moon or Shabbat.  This theory is based up an idea that the Israelites kept a lunar week/shabbat purely the invention to make this system work.  Additionally, it took 9 complete shabbat to get to a 50 days which violates the 7 complete Shabbatot.

When was the Moon created in Bereshit/Genesis chapter 1?

Bereshit/Genesis 1:16-19

16 And Elohim made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. 17 And Elohim set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and Elohim saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

So, the Moon was created on the fourth day and not the first day.  So, what was the Shabbat day of creation?   Lets read it.

Bereshit/Genesis 2:1-3

1 And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  2 And on the seventh day Elohim finished His work which He had made; and He rested (vayish’vat   וַיִּשְׁבֹּת) on the seventh day (bayom hashevi’i  בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי) from all His work which He had made.  3 And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.

So Elohim rested on the seventh day.  After the moon was created on the fourth day, and made its first appearance he did not count rest on the 7th days later not counting its appearance.  He rested three days later.  Later he tells them this is also the shabbat day.

Shemot/Exodus 31:13-17

12 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying: 13 'Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily you shall keep My Sabbaths (Shabbatotay  שַׁבְּתֹתַי), for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am YHWH who sanctify you.  14 You shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; every one that profane it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  15 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, (ubayom hashevi’i shabbat shabbaton וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן) holy to YHWH; whosoever does any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased [from work] (ubayom hashevi’i shavat  וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, שָׁבַת) and rested.' {S}

Just like in the story of Bereshit/Genesis it states that Elohim rested on the seventh day and that day is Shabbat not some counting from the new Moon. 

So what are the problems with the Lunar Shabbat Calendar?

  1. Forced to fit the Omer counting and still does meet both counts together.
  2. Exodus 12/Numbers 33 show that the 15th was not a Shabbat.  The burdens were loaded as they left on the 15th day.
  3. Joshua 5 account shows 15th on the Morrow after the Shabbat not on the Shabbat..
  4. Creation week moon isn’t visible /created until 4th day but Shabbat still on seventh day.
  5. Counting the Shabbat, intermediate days, and new moon as one day violates the definition of a day in Torah.
  6. New moon while set apart for offerings and used in some prophecies it is never called a Shabbat directly.  We know that the Spring Holy Days are not Shabbatot even though they have a restriction for work.
  7.  No mention of the New Moon as an appointed time in Lev. 23 with the exception of Yom Teruah.
  8. The New Moon with the Shabbat on the 29th and some months a 30th shabbat creates a Shavua which is more than seven days and violates the sheva/shavua connection. 

So what is the problem with using this theory for today?  We know as we read earlier that the Shabbat is a sign for his People.  By following this theory which I have shown is forced to make it work and stretches scripture to conform to rules for the appointed times, you are violating Shabbat and bring the death penalty upon yourself and removing the sign of the shabbat from you. 

Shemot/Exodus 31:12-17

12 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying: 13 'Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily you shall keep My Sabbaths (Shabbatotay  שַׁבְּתֹתַי), for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am YHWH who sanctify you.  14 You shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; every one that profane it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  15 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, (ubayom hashevi’i shabbat shabbaton וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן) holy to YHWH (; whosoever does any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased [from work] (ubayom hashevi’i shavat  וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, שָׁבַת) and rested.'

There is a universal consensus of the Jewish people who keep the seventh day because we know they did not loose it in Babylon because they kept it in Sefer of Nehemia/Ezra. We know it was shown to them and no date was given as the starting date in Shemot/Exodus 16 to point out this was a connected cycle to a Lunar Shabbat.  Joshua 5 shows us that indeed they did not follow anciently this derived calendar.

Nechemyah/Nehemiah 13:

15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading winepresses on the sabbath, and bringing in heaps of corn, and lading asses therewith; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and I forewarned them in the day wherein they sold victuals.

Here we see that after the exile the people of Yehudah continued to know when the Shabbat is.

Additional evidence that the encyclopedia article used as the basis to prove that Jews kept a lunar was not a universal view but actually started by Assyriologists.  In the book “The Jewish Festivals: From their beginnings to our own day” was written by Hayyim Schauss was originally written in Yiddish under the Title “Dos Yom Tov Buch” in 1933.  It was translated into English in 1938.  I have the English version in my library.  What is the important point about this is it was written in the pre-holocaust period.  Thus, this shows the knowledge of Jews in a period before the encyclopedia and the loss of knowledge about what was believed in that period.

Mr. Schauss states under Shabbat in Ancient Times:

“The origin of the Shabbat is obscure, as are the beginnings of all other festivals.  Only this much is certain, that the Jewish Shabbat did not originate in Babylon, as some Assyriologists assert.

We know from the inscriptions of the ancient Babylonians that certain days of the month or months were distinguished from other days of the month. These were the seventh, fourteenth, nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days of the month. These days were related either to the phases of the moon or the sacred number seven.  The nineteenth day was also distinguished because , added to the thirty days of the previous month, it totaled forty-nine, seven times seven.  On those days, it was told in an inscription, the king was not to eat meat roasted on coal, nor any food touched with fire; he is not to change his clothes, ride a chariot, or discuss affairs of state.  Neither shall the priest reveal an oracle, nor do the physicians treat the sick.

These days were not called Shabbats, nor did they have any relation to the Jewish Shabbath.  To begin with, they were not days of rest, but days on which, because of certain primitive beliefs, it was considered unlucky to work.  Secondly, the entire folk was not enjoined to guard against labor on those days, but only certain people-the king, the priest, the doctor. Thirdly, the day had nothing to do with the seven-day week that ran through the year, as among the Jews; these were only certain days of the month, and not all of the months, but only of a certain month.” (Schauss, pgs 3-4)

Here we see that the days adjusted and proclaimed by Lunar Shabbatarians as the true Israelite system is instead following a modified Babylonian system which makes them followers of Babylon instead of Israel.  Mr. Schauss discusses the so called controversy of where Shabattum (Babylonian word not Hebrew) came from.

“Even to this Shabattum the relation of the Jewish Sabbath is weak and dubious.  For Assyriologists do not know the meaning of the word Shabattum, we are not in any way certain that there is any relationship between the two words, despite the similarity in sound. 

Then, too, there is no proof that the Jewish Shabbath had anything to do  with the Full Moon.  The fact that the New Moon and the Shabbat are so often coupled in the Bible is no proof whatsoever that Shabbat signified the Full Moon.” (Schauss, pg 4)

The Shabattum was a Babylonian day of the Full Moon.  Therefore, it had no relation to a weekly Shabbat.  The Shabattum was a day of superstition and the stating of it was unlucky is an indication that it was not a rest day.  Mr. Schauss shows scholarly controversy in his time among Jewish scholars.

“The scholars are, therefore, divided regarding the origin of the Shabbat.  One group contends that the Shabbat was originally, among the Jews, one day a month, the full moon, like the Babylonian Shabattum. It was only later that the Jews discarded the observance of this day, being opposed to anything which had to do with the worship of the stars.  On the other hand, the Jews introduced the seven-day week, with the seventh day as a day of rest, and transferred to this day the name Sabbath.

A second group of scholars contends that the Jewish Sabbath never had any relation with the Babylonian Shabattum and the phases of the moon, but was, from the beginning. Even from the days of Moses, instituted on the seventh day of the week as a day of rest.

Even those scholars who contend that the Shabbat was originally related to the Full Moon concede that the Shabbat we know, the Shabbat of later times, of the seventh day of the week, was an original Jewish creation” (Schauss, pgs 4-5)

We see here that the controversy was not with whether the new moon was the beginning of the week but was instead the full moon as Shabattum.  All scholars agree that the seventh day Shabbat was Jewish in origin.  So where does this leave the issue of lunar Sabbaths.  It leaves them without a position that somehow in ancient times the Jewish Shabbat was linked to the new moon.

The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/index.jsp) also discusses Shabattum and Shabbat under Assyrian Analogies.  “This website contains the complete contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901-1906. The Jewish Encyclopedia, which recently became part of the public domain, contains over 15,000 articles and illustrations.”

Assyrian Analogues.

Dissociated from the moon, the Sabbath developed into a day of rest for the workers and animals on the farm (Deut. v. 14; Ex. xx. 10). Traces of the old taboo are, however, still found. In Amos viii. 5 it is the fear of evil consequences that keeps the impatient merchants from plying their wicked trade. The multitude of sacrifices (Isa. i. 8; Hosea ii. 11) on Sabbath and New Moon indicates the anxiety on those particular days to propitiate the deity. Closer contact with Assyro-Babylonians from the eighth to the sixth pre-Christian century probably revitalized the older idea of taboo. The assumption that the Hebrews borrowed the institution from the Babylonians, which was first suggested by Lotz ("Quæstiones de Historia Sabbati"), is untenable; but that the Exile strengthened the awe in which the day was held cannot be denied. It having become a purely social institution, a day of rest for the farmers, the taboo element in course of time had lost its emphasis. The Assyro-Babylonians may have had similar days of abstinence or propitiation (the 7th, 14th, 19th, 21st, and 28th of the month Elul), and contact with them may have served to lend the Jewish Sabbath a more austere character. The Assyrian calendar seems to disclose an effort to get rid of the movable Sabbath in favor of the fixed. If after the twenty-eighth day two days are intercalated as new-moon days, the 19th day becomes the 49th from the beginning of the next preceding month, as in the Feast of Weeks, in connection with which the emphasis on "complete Sabbaths" ("sheba' Shabbot temimot"; Lev. xxiii. 15) is noteworthy. At all events, in the Priestly Code, Sabbath violation is represented as entailing death (Num. xv. 32-36). The prohibition against kindling fire (Ex. xxxv. 3) probably refers to producing fire by the fire-drill or by rubbing two sticks together; this was the crime of the man put to death according to Num. xv. 32-36, the "meḳoshesh" (see also Beẓah iv. 7), the presence of fire being considered, if the analogy with superstitious practises elsewhere is decisive, a very grave sign of disrespect to the deity.

But Hebrew institutions are often in direct antagonism to similar ones among the Assyro-Babylonians. The seventh days in the Babylonian scheme were days of ill omen. The prophets of the Exile laid especial emphasis on the fact that the Sabbath is a day of joy, as did those of the Assyrian period on the futility of the propitiating sacrifices (Isa. i.). The Priestly Code could not neutralize this view. Its rigorous observance found acceptance only among the "Nibdalim" (the Separatists; see Neh. x. 31). Every festival in the Biblical scheme is associated with a historical event. The connection of the Sabbath with the Exodus, in Deut. v. 14-15, was altogether vague; and to supply a more definite relation to an event in Israel's history the Sabbath was declared to have had an important significance in the desert when manna fell (Ex. xvi. 27 et seq.). The Decalogue of Exodus supplies a theological reason for the observance of the day; its phraseology reflects that of Gen. ii. 1 et seq. Boththis explanation and the story in Genesisare among the latest additions to the Pentateuch.” (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=13&letter=S&search=shabattum#62#ixzz18TAMRGTE)

Here we see that even though discussions were being done about the linkage of New Moon to Shabbat, there is no proof of ancient sources for the New Moon starting the counting of weekly Shabbat.  Again the reference shown here is clear that observing the 7’s by the phases of the Moon was Babylonian in origin.  It is agreed that while their may have been influence, the Shabbat was pre-exile.

A system created/refined by the Greeks

In my search of further proof on the origins of this theory and found a scholarly article by Solomon Gandz titled “The Calendar-Reform of Pletho (c. 1355 – c. 1450) : Its Significance and Its Place in the History of the Calendar.  This was published in Osiris, Vol. 9. (1950), pp. 199-210.  http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0369-7827%281950%291%3A9%3C199%3ATCOP%281%3E2.0,CO%3B2-3

“As far as a the project of his calendar is concerned, Pletho impress us not as a blind admirer of the past and as a uncritical imitator of its antiquities,but as an original thinker who ideas of his own.  He appears to us as a reformer who was well acquainted with the deficiencies of the calendars of his time and therefore introduce a better system of time reckoning, a more correct, more rational, and more natural calendar.” (Pg 200, Gandz)

Here we see his goal was to build a better calendar.  He was aware of the Julian and Jewish calculated calendar of his day.  His goal was to make an ideal Lunar Solar calendar.  He studied under Elisaeus a Jew of high standing under the court of MURAD I, at Brusa or Adrianople.  He was exposed to the writings of Maimonides and his treaty on “The Sanctification of the New Moon”.  As the quote shows below both his and Maimonides start similarly.

Maimonidies treaties reads: ‘The months of the year are the month of the moon…; the years,however, are reckoned according to the sun.”  Simularly, Pletho begins his sketch with the words: “[We prescribe] the use of the natural month and year, reckoning the month according to the moon and the year according to the sun’ (pg. 202, Gandz)

Pletho was also familiar with the Karaite scholars of his day and in fact it was known the Karaites followed the empirical sighting of the new moon.  By this time the Rabbinical 19 year calendar was in full use and promotion by the Rabbis and their followers.

“Following an old Greek tradition Pletho prescribes the observation of two new moon days: the one, the day of the conjunction is called Hene kai nea, ‘the day of the old and new moon’ and belongs still to the old month; the other one, known as noumenia, ‘the day of the new moon,’ is counted as the first day of the new month.” (pg 202, Gandz)

Here we see the origin of handling of the extra days of the end of the month as a unit.  The New Moon was originally sighted as in observation for both Greeks and Jews.

“In determining the beginning of the month two methods may be followed. The old and primitive way was to begin the month with the phasis, the reappearance of the new crescent; this is the empirical method based on observation.  The later, more advanced method was to begin the month on the day of the mean conjunction of the sun and the moon, which can be determined only by astronomical calculation; it is therefore called the method of calculation.  The ancient Greeks followed the method of observation, like the old Jews.” (pg. 206, Gandz)

Clearly, from the ancient methods the calculating of the new moon was to build a better calendar.  It is clearly not necessarily better as we have seen in my other studies.  So what about the Shabbat?

“The reason for Pletho’s unusual innovation requiring the observation of two moon holidays at the end of the hollow month and three days at the end of the full month was certainly not a desire to imitate Jewish customs, but quite to the contrary it was prompted by his desire to alter and change the Jewish Sabbath.  Pletho wished to preserve the Judaeo-Christain Sabbath as a holiday, but in accordance with his general scheme of a natural calendar he wanted to have a natural, or lunar, Shabbat day, tied to the four phases of the moon, namely, the new and full moon, and the first and third quarter falling on the 8th and 22nd day of the month.  The Jewish week was not known in pagan antiquity; it is not a natural but artificial unit of time. (pg. 208, Gandz)

Did you read this?  The week of seven days was not naturally occurring.  Elohim designed it for ihis own purpose and was to represent the week of creation.  Many people reject this because they see patterns in the Hebrew text.  They ignore proof and say it does not count. The Shavu’a and Shabbat are uniquely Jewish and not a product of other calendar systems.

“The Sabbath is in a manner of speaking, a rebel against Sun and Moon, rejecting their order of time and following an order of its own which disrupts the arrangement of the month, as well as of the year; neither the ear nor the moth are multiples of the week.  Hence, there was no room for it in Pletho’s calendar.  However, Pletho did not abolish the Shabbath; he just constrained it to obey the laws of the Moon; he forcibly converted it to paganism.  He thus obtained four lunar Sabbath days in the month.  There remained one day in the hollow month, the 29th, and two days in the full month, the 29th and 30th, which interrupted the cycle of the lunar Sabbath.  There were blank or epagomenal days which were to be observed as minor holidays in their nomenclature, ‘the day of the old moon’ and ‘the day of the old and new moon,’ a loose connection with the moon.” (pg. 208, Gandz)

Clearly, Pletho’s Lunar Solar calendar with its Lunar Shabbats are extremely close to those keeping the Lunar Shabbat calendar today.  This can not be listed as just a coincidence since his desire was to change the Jewish Shabbat.  The end days of each month handled like elongated days is also a match for Pletho’s months and are treated like minor holiday’s too.

In conclusion, I have looked at this theory which claims ancient origin and find it a modified Babylonian system which has no connection to the weekly Shabbat based on seven day week.  In order to make this system work one must not count the New Moon day and adjust the Babylonian 7,14, 21, 28 to be 8, 15, 22, 29 or follow the Greek method I show by Pletho.  Thus, creating a set of dates that would align with the 15 day as a Sabbath in which Chagim Matzot and Sukkot would start.  Thus, do this to try to give credence to such a system. Clearly, this system violates rules which are established in the Hebrew text for a day and counting of weeks for Shavuot.  I have also shown two previous sources to the encyclopedia reference they use to proof of a so-called pure Solar Lunar calendar for weeks.  The Pletho system looks the most close to the modern innovation.  Thus, I find no compelling evidence which would indicate ancientness to this theory nor do I find true support for this in the Tanakh.