Saturday, June 26, 2010

Do the Moon Phases Signal the Lunar Sabbaths

The Moon Phases May Not Always Appear As They Seem

Anyone who studies the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar and particularly the 7th day Sabbaths on that calendar eventually comes face to face with the idea that the moon phases line up perfectly on the day or evening before the Sabbaths. Is this the case? Can the moon phases always be counted on to signal the Sabbath with any degree of certainty?

The theory says that the first quarter waxing moon appears with 50% illumination on the evening before the first Sabbath on the 8th of the month. Secondly, the full moon appears with 100% illumination on the at the end of the 14th daylight to signal the Sabbath of the 15th day of the month. And finally, the 3rd quarter waning moon shows 50% illumination on the evening before the Sabbath of the 22nd day of the month. Conjunction happens generally on the 29th day of the month in a 29 day month, but on 30th day in a 30 day month.

If one plots out the times of the phases in a linear manner, it can easily be seen that the phases do not always line up. As a matter of fact, their alignment from week to week is irregular to say the least. Granted, there are some irregularities that come with this kind of graphing, particularly when it does not include the time of the day the astronomical phase. This anomaly can distort the line of consistency to some degree.

Below are graphs showing the months of the biblical year 2009-2010. The data used to formulate these graphs is based on Universal Time GMT and is taken form a sole source at

Three methods for reckoning the beginning of the months have been shown to show comparisons between reckonings. The first column represents the method that signals the new visible crescent as the 1st day of the new month. The second column represents using the sunset following the conjunction as the first day of the new month. And in the last column, the 2nd day of the month (1st day of the week) is begun when the new visible crescent is seen.

This project focuses on an evening to evening reckoning of the day, but for the purposes of this work, should not be a hindrance to demonstrating the intent.

This project was developed just recently, so it may not be without some questions. Please feel free to evaluate the project idea, the data and let me know of any problems you find.

No comments:

Post a Comment