Does the Moon Regulate the Weekly Sabbaths?

Does the Moon Regulate the Weekly Sabbaths?

It is argued by the lunar Sabbatarians that the weekly Sabbath is regulated by the moon. They compare a few texts and come to this conclusion. Let us investigate their view.

From Scripture we find that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the Creator’s week and that there is a luminary that regulates the appointed times, including the Sabbath (Genesis 1:14, Psalm 104:19, Leviticus 23:1-3). (Troy Miller, The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath, p. 2; emphasis in original; accessed 11-4-13 at under the link entitled “Proof from Genesis One that the Sabbath is regulated by the moon!”)

Let us look at those texts and see what connections they are making.

And God 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, and for days, and years. (Genesis 1:14)

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (Psalm 104:19)

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:1-3)

Yes, the word seasons in Genesis 1:14 and in Psalm 104:19 and the word feasts in Leviticus 23:1-3 are translations of the same Hebrew word mow’ed.

And mow’ed means,

“an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically a festival . . . an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation . . . ” (James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #4150)

Their conclusion is simply this: Based on Psalm 104:19, the moon is appointed to regulate the seasons (mow’ed), and the Sabbath is also a feast (mow’ed), so the moon regulates the seventh-day Sabbath.

Well, the word mow’ed is also used for different purposes and not just for the appointed feasts. In the book of Jeremiah we see the prophet using the word mow’ed in reference to the timing of a bird’s travel:

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7)

The Hebrew word translated appointed times is mow’ed. It has nothing to do with God’s sacred feasts. Mow’ed is “her appointed time.”

In the book of Judges we see the word mow’ed used as a sign or signal:

Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city. (Judges 20:38)

The Hebrew word translated appointed sign is mow’ed and has nothing to do with the moon regulating it!

In the book of Daniel, the word mow’ed is used in prophetic language:

And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7)

The Hebrew expression translated time, times is mow’ed mow’adim, and it has nothing to do with the sacred feasts. The total is three and one half years, and years are not regulated by the moon, but by the sun!

Just because mow’ed is used in Genesis 1:14, in Psalm 104:19, and in Leviticus 23:1-3, concluding dogmatically that the moon regulates the weekly Sabbath because the Sabbath is also called a feast, is not a sound method of interpretation, unless all other texts say the same thing.