Scripture References: I Samuel 20:5-13; I Samuel 20:24-27; Isaiah 1:13,14; Ezekiel 46:1; Daniel 7:23-25; Deuteronomy 28; Deuteronomy 2:1-5; Revelation 3:9
Okay, I followed my own advice and prayed for additional clarification about the seventh day sabbath. I realize that I do not have all the answers, but searching the scriptures and studying history has led me to be quite skeptical about a fixed sunday or saturday sabbath. Yes, I know that people will think that I am not very smart as they count out six working days each week (sunday through friday) and rest on the seventh day (saturday), but worse things have been thought and said about me. I’ll live and keep learning and growing in grace. Here was the answer that I received after praying about the matter.
Celebration of The New Moon Festival
The most common and obvious argument against using the moon to reckon time for sabbaths is “How can you work six days and rest on the seventh consistently by using the moon as a time marker.” There would have to be a time that started at the end of the month when you would have to wait nine days before reaching the first seventh day sabbath of the new month. I started to think about the conversations that I had with a couple that believed that the conjunction (dark moon) was the new moon. When the moon cannot be seen, it is a definite sign that the crescent will show up either the next evening or the one after it. I reread I Samuel 20:5-12, and here is how I believe that they reckoned time during David and Jonathan’s day.
I believe that there were four sabbaths in the month, and these spanned 28 days. The two days that fell between the months represented the new moon feasts in which the children of Israel also rested. Let’s look at I Samuel 20:5. It shows that both David and Jonathan knew that the next day was the new moon.
“And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.” I Samuel 20:5
This means that either they had counted out the 30 days, they saw that the moon was about to be totally dark or it was already dark.
Jonathan promised to let David know about the state of affairs with his father Saul either on the new moon day (what he referred to as tomorrow) or on the third day in I Samuel 20:12,13. He knew that the new moon feast lasted two days, and if Saul didn’t question David’s absence on the first day of the feast he would not fail to mention his absence on the second day.
“And Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee; The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father.” I Samuel 20:12,13
David was expected to sit at the New Moon feast or what the KJV 1611 calls “meat” in Saul’s house for two days. See how Saul refers to “meat” or the feast day as two days instead of just one in I Samuel 20:24-27.
“So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat. And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty. Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?” I Samuel 20:24-27
Saul surely was keeping tabs on David, but he thought that the young man was ceremonially unclean which is why he didn’t attend the feast day. David would not have been able to participate in any worship rituals if he had been unclean, and those new moon feasts were opportunities that Israelites took to worship the Most High. When the children of Israel were in right standing, the Most High honored those solemn assemblies, but He stated that He hated those gatherings when the Israelites kept indulging in willful rebellion as stated in Isaiah 1:13,14.
“Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.” Isaiah 1:13,14
These scriptures indicate that something besides work was being accomplished on the new moon days, and these days are consistently tied to the seventh day sabbaths. We see this again in Ezekiel 46:1. This time the scripture further categorizes the new moon day with the sabbath rest day and not with the six working days that were common throughout the months.
“THUS saith the Lord God; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.” Ezekiel 46:1
A Healthy Dose of Skepticism
I know you all thought I just couldn’t count, but I have good reason to doubt the validity of the set saturday or sunday sabbaths. In Daniel 7:23-25, there is a king that comes out of the fourth beast of Rome. That wicked king attempted to change the sacred seasons, times and law.
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25
The spirit of that king was opposed to the testimony of Yahushua or what is known as the spirit of prophecy, and it was operating during Shaul’s day and at the time of the apostle John. We see that the ruling world system power of Rome, which will continue to be active until the very end through its extensive colonies, changed the calendar system. They established sunday as a holy day, but what about the Jewish saturday sabbath?
Edomites Ruled Judea Under Rome
The people of Judah, Levi and Benjamin were living alongside the Edomites (of Esau/Idumea) in what was called Judea during the time of the Roman conquest of the land. Years before Christ was born in Bethlehem, John Hyrcanus I conquered the territory of Edom, and the Edomites were forced to convert to the Israelites’ religion between 134 and 104 B.C. (http://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Hyrcanus-I) By the time of Christ, the Edomites had fully learned the Israelite culture, and they had even gotten in good with the Romans enough to rule over the Israelites. For example, Herod the king of Judea was an Idumean. During the time of Christ, it was common for the priesthood positions to be given to people who were not even Levites because they were considered political power positions. Therefore, many of the Rome friendly Edomites were in all aspects of political and religious leadership in Judea. I believe that the Most High allowed this to happen because the people of Judah, Levi and Benjamin were about to feel the affects of the Deuteronomy 28 curses for generations of willful disobedience. You play, you pay. I do not know if the battle was provoked or not, but the Israelites had been warned before to not fight against Edom to take any of their territory (see Deuteronomy 2:1-5). That was just one example of Judah’s rebellion.
The Romans knew better than to put actual Israelites in charge of anything in the region because they were causing insurrections. When Rome clamped down on them during the time of 70 A.D., there were two primary groups who got out alive from what I can gather. The first group were some early church believers who heeded the warning of the Master to “get out of dodge” when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies. I believe that these people of Judah, Levi and Benjamin were scattered abroad just like the northern tribes of Israel had been many years earlier. The other group that survived were some of the well connected Edomites. History even calls out one of these events as the Edom Exile. They lived to intermarry with the Gentiles in Rome and other of her colonies including Britain. The law of the Most High is powerful, and the Edomites mostly prospered by continuing to practice most of the Israelite traditions that they were taught. The people of Edom were so savvy that they even married into Gentile royalty. After thousands of years of intermarriage with people of primarily European descent, no one would know what they looked like originally. However, some genetic markers take a long time to stamp out, and every now and again someone known to be of Jewish descent will have very tightly curled hair.
Impact of Ruling Rome (Fourth Beast) on Major Religions
The Romans realized that a unified religious environment was what they needed to consolidate their empire, and modern day Christianity was born. Most people recognize what Constantine did to form the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and its daughters the Protestant churches. However, they do not realize that as a world power Rome wanted control over all the major religions. I can’t prove that the way that sabbath days were reckoned was deliberately obscured. However, most of the time religious leaders who want their groups to prosper in the world’s system have to compromise and lead their followers to compromise in some token way to show their allegiance to the spiritual powers that be. Since the actual people of Judah, Levi and Benjamin had fled the scene, the ruling Edomites could very well have worked with Rome to change how the sabbath days were reckoned. Please note that the Edomites took no oath with Moses in the wilderness. If we look closely, we can see some of the superficial similarities between the RCC and Judaism. For instance, the pope and his 70 cardinals all wear the small caps on their heads that are similar to the Jewish kippot or yarmulke. The RCC uses incense and censers just like the ancient Israelites did in their worship practices. The fact that the RCC even has 70 cardinals is reminiscent of the 70 elders of Israel. See the pattern? I believe modern Christianity, Judaism and Islam have been renovated or even created by the world system power of Rome to execute control over the masses.
I believe that the influential Edomites went along with the change in order for them and their people to survive and thrive under Roman rule. They needed a more predictable rest day than one that was reckoned by new moons because they knew that on those other six working days they were going to absolutely Crush It in commerce and trade. You can’t properly wheel and deal in world finance, banking, media, retail, entertainment etc. if you’ve got to wait on the moon to show up. That said, I believe that some Jewish people are actually Israelites, but many who hold the reigns of power within governments and large corporations are not. The Master Yahushua warned us that there would be people in the last days who claimed to be Jews (Judah, Levi and Benjamin) but are not (Revelation 3:9).
Thankfully, the Most High will not stay angry with Israel and Judah forever. The curses will be reversed during the end of the age, and He will gather His people back who now understand the value of obedience and convenant keeping. I believe that the Israelites collectively as well as the other sons of Noah (who have not sold their souls to the enemy) will start to remember who they really are and the lessons that they were supposed to learn during their journey here on the earth. Then it will be time to go home.
Shalom in the Master!