The New Moon and the Translation Day
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By: Michael Pedrin


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The New Moon and the Translation Day

The New Moon and Translation Day

Before continuing our study, we want to present Dr. Siegfried H. Horn’s research on the month, as presented in the The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary:

A division of the year derived from the period required by the moon to pass through its 4 phases, as from one new moon to the next. Since the time of the moon’s circuit around the earth is neither an exact number of days nor a commensurable part of the year—its synodical revolution, approximately 29 1/2 days—a calendar month must be either a variable or an artificial period.

The Hebrew month was lunar, beginning with the evening on which the crescent moon appeared. The 1st day of the month was called the new moon (see 1 Sa 20:24–27), and was a day of special observances (see Num 10:10; 1 Sa 28:11–15). At first, visual observation was used to determine the appearance of the crescent. If the crescent was seen on the evening following the 29th day of the month, a new month had begun; if not, another day was added so that that particular month had 30 days (a month never had more than 30 days). Later, methods of calculation were devised by which it could be known in advance whether a given month should have 29 or 30 days. Jewish tradition tells of the method of examining at Jerusalem witnesses who claimed to have seen the crescent, to determine whether they had actually seen it or not. It tells also of fire signals that were used to announce the beginning of the new month to the outlying areas.

The Babylonians, like the Greeks, had lunar months. The Egyptian months were 30 days each, with 5 extra days after the 12th month. The Roman months, originally lunar, were changed to the 30, 31, and 28 (29) days that we know today. Modern Jews still use their Biblical months for religious purposes. These months generally alternate between 30 and 29 days, which have been calculated for centuries according to variable but standardized rules, and are no longer dependent on the moon. The Moslems, on the other hand, still depend on the actual sighting of the crescent moon each month for their religious calendar.

Neither the 30-day month implied in the Flood narrative (150 days totaling 5 months; Gen 7:11, 24) nor the 30-day prophetic month (42 months equaling 1260 days; Rev 11:2, 3; see Time, 5), has anything to do with the Jewish calendar month. Genesis does not furnish enough information to warrant drawing conclusions as to the sort of calendar Noah might have employed, and the 30-day month of Revelation is prophetic and symbolic, not literal, for no known calendar runs in an unbroken series of 42 30-day months. However, the idea of a theoretical or ideal month of 30 days was logical to the Jews, who called 30 days a “full” month; a 29-day month they spoke of as “hollow,” or “deficient.” Because of the variability of the moon’s motion, lunar months do not invariably alternate 29 and 30 days. Consequently it was impossible for the ancient Jews and Babylonians to predict the exact number of days in a period of months or years ahead. Thus the logical method of reckoning a future period was to count by “full” months, that is, theoretical months, of 30 days each (even as we today sometimes count 30 days to the month in computing interest). The Babylonians did this and quite possibly the Jews did also. Since not even Jewish readers of the book of Revelation could tell exactly how many days were in 42 Jewish months without knowing which months they might be (nor could the Gentiles using the Roman calendar, without taking leap years into account), the most logical method of reckoning a prophecy expressed in months and relating to future time would be by theoretical, rather than calendar, months. And the fact that the 42 months are of 30 days each is clear from the equation with 1,260 days. Further, months in symbolic prophecy are not literal, but symbolic months (which, interpreted by the year-day principle, are each 30 years) ( pp. 757, 758)

Three Categories of Days?

The lunar Sabbatarians have three categories of days each month: The first category is the new moon day. There was one new moon day each month. It was the first day of the month. The second category of day is the working days. There would be four sets of six continuously work days, the second to the seventh, the ninth to the fourteenth, the sixteenth to the twenty-first, and the twenty-third to the twenty-eighth days of the month. The third category of days is the Sabbath. There would be four Sabbath days, the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth days of the month. There is still what is called the translation day, for which there must be an accounting.

The 30th day, known in astronomical terms as “translation day,” is simply a work day, but is not part of a six day week followed by a seventh-day Sabbath. The “full” New Moon day is always the first day of the new month. The New Moon day is never a seventh-day Sabbath or one of the six working days, and never a translation day. (Kerrie L. French, “Three Months in a Row, Part 1-The Exodus”; accessed at http://www. on 10–30–13; emphasis in original)

Elsewhere this is what is said about the translation day connected with the new moon:

There are four complete weeks and 1–2 new moon days in each month.” (Troy Miller, “Tomorrow is the New Moon,” p. 5; accessed on 10–30–13 by clicking the link “David said, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon.’ When is New Moon?” at

The one to two new moon days in each month, according to them, are the first day of the month and the thirtieth day of the month, whenever there is a thirtieth.

There can only be 2 days of the moon in conjunction and when that occurs it appears that the ‘odd’ day should be treated as a work day or as an extended Sabbath since the scriptures do not specify. (Quotation taken from discussion of “Three Months in a Row” at; no longer posted)

Here they are not sure whether to connect this “odd” day with the work days, with the Sabbath day, or with the new moon day!

The translation day—the thirtieth—is hanging nowhere. It would be better if they had a fourth category of day, instead of just three, because the translation day seems to be fitting nowhere in their design of things!

They say it is the translation of the new moon day, and try to attach it with the new moon, and at the same time they say it is a work day, and try to attach it with the work days of the week. Trying to attach it with the Sabbath is ridiculous because God only rested on and sanctified one day!

David and Jonathan

In an attempt to show that there is an extra day of the new moon in the Bible, the lunar Sabbatarians quote the story of David and Jonathan found in 1 Samuel 20, where the new moon celebration was held for two days. So those two days should be the translation day and the new moon day:

The 30th of a month was a transition from one month to another, a dark day, which we now call translation day as mentioned above, and was a regular work day not considered as a Holy Day or feast day. (1 Samuel 20.) (“Printable Luni-Solar Calendar” accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www.worldslastchance. com/printable-luni-solar-calendar.html; emphasis in original)

After the last Sabbath (the 29th) in a 30 day month, there is a two day new moon celebration (day 30 of the old month followed by day 1 of the new month). (Troy Miller, “Tomorrow is the New Moon,” p. 4, accessed on 10–31–13 at by clic- king the link entitled “http://www.”; emphasis in original)

Let us look at the passage of the Bible that records the new moon celebrations.

And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat. (1 Samuel 20:5)

David did not attend the new moon dinner with King Saul which was customary:

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. (1 Samuel 20:25)

Now on the second day celebration of the new moon, David’s seat was still empty:

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? (1 Samuel 20:27)

Yes, from the above passage of scriptures we understand that there were two days of celebration of the new moon. Now, please note: When were the two days of celebration?

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? (1 Samuel 20:27)

The second day of celebration of the new moon was “the second day of the month.” The lunar Sabbatarians say the two days of celebrations were the thirtieth of the old month (the translation day) and the first of the new month:

There is a two day new moon celebration (day 30 of the old month followed by day 1 of the new month. (Miller, Ibid.; emphasis in original)

But the only place where the Bible records the two new moon day celebration places it as the first and the second of the month!

With this, their calendar is all upside down. If the second day of the month were still the new moon, then the first day of the week (according to their theory) begins the next day of the new moon which would be the third day of the month; and Sabbath, therefore, in that month would be on the ninth and not on the eighth as they claim it always was on! Look at what they say to this:

David understood that there would be two days of feasting (Day 30 and Day 1) which is why he requested that Jonathan come into field to shoot the arrows on the third day (the day following the second day of the new moon celebration). The underlying Hebrew in 1 Samuel 20:27, 34 literally means the 2nd day of the new moon (celebration) not the 2nd day of the month as translated. (I asked a Hebrew student). (Miller, Ibid., p. 5; emphasis in original)

Interestingly, some translations of 1 Samuel 20:27, 34 translate them as “the second day of the new moon” or something similar. (See the Lexham English Bible, the New English Translation Bible, the New American Standard Bible, and Young’s Literal Translation.) However, the great majority of Bible translations give the translation as “the second day of the month” or a similar phrase. I found at least sixteen translations which do this (ASV, KJV, BBE, NKJV, NCV, NLT, RSV, NRSV, NIV, NIRV, ESV, GWT, HCSB, GNT, Darby, and even the Douay Rheims (a ratio of 4 to 1 over the other choice). Also the Greek Septuagint agrees with the latter translation. (See The Lexham English Septuagint and The Septuagint with Apocrypha translated by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton.)

The teachers of the lunar Sabbath are still trapped, even if they interpret 1 Samuel 20:27, 34 out of the normal. Only the first day of the celebration is called the new moon and not the second day celebration in the passage of 1 Samuel 20.

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. (1 Samuel 20:5)

According to the lunar Sabbatarians, the translation day (the thirtieth) is before the new moon day (the first). So the two days of celebration should end on the new moon day (the first of the month).

In 1 Samuel 20, the new moon day is identified as the first day of the celebration. According to the lunar Sabbatarians, the new moon day (the first of the month) should have been the second day of celebration, the translation day (thirtieth) being the first day. So, you see, they can’t get out of this mess.

Their Sabbaths being fixed on the eighth, fifteenth, twenty-second, and twenty-ninth stand exposed. In this month it would then be the ninth, sixteenth, twenty-third, and thirtieth!

An Orphan Day

The Bible is clear that there are six work days, and the work days are continuous and culminate with the Sabbath rest:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth. (Exodus 20:11) [God’s work]

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. (Exodus 20:9) [Our work]

Six days ye shall gather it [manna]. (Exodus 16:26)

The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days. (Ezekiel 46:1)

There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. (Luke 13:14)

There is nowhere in scripture that shows or even indicates that there is a work day that is not a part of the six work days that are continuous. All the above texts show that the work days are only six, and they are continuous.

So how can one work day—the thirtieth—stand all alone, sandwiched between a Sabbath and a new moon? The lunar Sabbatarias admit it is a work day:

The 30th of a month was a transition from one month to another, a dark day which we now call translation day as mentioned above, and was a regular work day not considered as a Holy Day or feast day. (1 Samuel 20.) (“Printable Luni-Solar Calendar” accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www.worldslastchance. com/printable-luni-solar-calendar.html; emphasis in original)

Week and Sabbaths

It is very interesting to note the Greek word in New Testament for week and for Sabbath is the same—sabbaton.

In the end of the Sabbath (sabbaton), as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (sabbaton), came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (Matthew 28:1)

In the above passage of Matthew, the first day of the week is literally called the first day of the Sabbath. Why? The week revolves around the Sabbath. The week count ends with the Sabbath, and a new week count begins after the Sabbath.

The lunar Sabbatarians may say that it is true for just four weeks within a month that the week count begins the day after the Sabbath, but not at the beginning of the month where the new moon interrupts the four continuous weeks.

In Acts chapter 20 we have the week (sabbaton) mentioned. This week is, according to the lunar Sabbatarians themselves, the first week of the month:

The seventh day of their stay at Troas was the second day of the month which Paul refers to as the first day of the week. (“The WLC Sabbath Challenge”; accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www. html?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4d4b4981d3e5f6bf,0)

Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread.” The Greek reads “And upon the first day of the sabbaton.” How can it be the first day of the sabbaton if there was no Sabbath the previous day? If new moon reset the week, it should have read upon the first day of the noumenia (new moon). If they want clear proof that the weeks are a continuous cycle of seven uninterrupted by the new moon, this is it.

We have seen that the scripture presents the Sabbath coming on the seventh day after six working days, week after week, but with the lunar Sabbath theory that the new moon interrupts it at the month end/beginning, we have eight to nine days between the two Sabbaths of the month end and the month beginning.

. . . there are (admittedly) 8–9 days between the last Sabbath of a month (the 29th day) and the first Sabbath (the 8th day) of the subsequent month. Indeed, there are one or two new moon days during this segment of time. (Troy Miller “The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath,” p. 10; accessed on 10–31–13 at pdf)

These are all irrational concepts that are non-existent in the Bible and only exist in the minds of these lunar Sabbath believers!

The New Moon, Translation Day, and Manna

We know from scripture that God sent manna only on the six working days that were continuous and never on the Sabbath day. Since we believe that there are only two categories of days—six working days and the seventh day Sabbath—the manna poses no problem to us. But since the lunar Sabbatarians believe that there are three categories of days—the six working day, Sabbath days and new moon days (and the lunar Sabbatarians are divided where to attach the translation day, the thirtieth)—the coming of the manna poses a real problem to them.

The picture is simple. Did God send manna on the translation days and on the new moon days? If they say no, then two possibilities exists:

First possibility—God sent enough manna to last for four days on the final sixth day of the week of the month (the twenty-eighth, the twenty-ninth, the thirtieth, and the first).

Second possibility—They (men, women, and children) fasted for two full days (30th and 1st).

On the first possibility, if God sent manna on the twenty-eighth (the sixth day of the week) for a four days’ provision, it means it was a bigger miracle than what happened on the Sabbath day—the manna did not stink or breed worms for four days continuously! It would show that all of those three days were equal in importance.

The very purpose of the manna not coming down only on one day was to identify and show the greatness of the Sabbath day!

For the second possibility, God making them fast for two days, including the old people and the children, would reveal an unsympathetic God. That is in contrast to what He is—the One who gives us “our daily bread.”

If they say, Yes, God sent manna on the translation day and on the new moon day, then that is the right answer, for God said, “the seventh day, which is the Sabbath in it there shall be none.” This means every day other than the Sabbath it would fall. But God also said, “Six days ye shall gather it” Exodus 16:26. There would not be at any time more than six days of God continuously sending down manna. And further, there would be only one day after the six that God would not send manna which means:

a) There are only two categories of days—six work days and Sabbath day, and,

b) Sabbaths come continuously every seventh day uninterrupted by translation or new moon days.

And that should be the end of the lunar Sabbath theory that Sabbaths are fixed on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth!

Manna on the New Moon: Yes or No?

The lunar Sabbatarians are not sure what happened to the manna-giving during the month-end. They give different opinions.

One group believes that manna was not given, so they fasted.

Israel apparently fasted on new moon . . . (A Quick Thought: Did Israel gather or eat Manna on New Moon days?; accessed 11–4–13 at http://www.creation na.pdf)

That means old people and kids, too, fasted for two continuous days when there was a translation day every second month.

On the other hand, the same author in the same article says that God could have blessed them with a four days’ portion on the last day of the last week, and he compares it with the year of the Jubilee, where God blessed them for four years in advance:

. . . the 48th year of the Jubilee cycle had to provide produce for FOUR years (the 48th, 49th, 50th and the first year of the subsequent Jubilee cycle). (Ibid.; emphasis in original)

Collecting manna for four days wasn’t a problem. The people tried to collect more than what they required for one day, and it stank and bred worms. Preserving it for four days was a problem. If God provided manna for four days and preserved it for them, as He provided extra grain during the end of the jubilee cycle, He should have mentioned it to them, as He mentioned it in the Jubilee cycle period!

Another lunar Sabbath promoter is still not sure whether or not manna was given during the translation and new moon days. They are inclining towards manna been given, though:

Since New Moons are not seventh-day Sabbaths, it is possible that they would have gathered manna on New Moon days… The jury is still out on whether the Israelites were to gather manna for any New Moon days or Feast days other than the seventh-day Sabbath. My inclination is toward their not gathering a double portion on the previous day to a New Moon day and the other feasts.” (“Three Months in a Row” accessed at; paragraph no longer available)

Even though the above quotation is no longer available online, this quotation is:

Since the “full [sic— no end quotation mark is supplied] New Moons are not seventh-day Sabbaths, it appears plausible that they would have gathered manna on New Moon days. . . . While the seventh-day Sabbath is a feast, all feasts are not seventh-day Sabbaths. Therefore it appears that Israel would have gathered manna on all feast days except the first day of Unleavened Bread and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as both of these always fall on the seventh-day Sabbath. (Kerrie L. French; accessed 11–4–13 at http://www.thecreatorscalen

Lunar Sabbatarians triumphantly try to ask us whether the eastern gates of the temple were to be opened or shut (Ezekiel 46:1) if the new moon falls on the week day. Yet, they are not sure whether the manna fell on new moon days, translation days, feast days, etc!

A Bold Accusation

The lunar Sabbatarians are bold when they say that those who worship God on Saturday are worshiping the Saturn god and not the Creator:

While modern Saturday Sabbatarians do not worship by burning their children, the fact remains that the day on which one worships, honors the god of that day. Saturn is the god of Saturday. YHWH, the Creator God, is the God of the seventh-day Sabbath, calculated by His luni-solar calendar., p. 8; accessed 11–4–13 at

Here’s another statement:

The truth is that worship on the seventh-day of a pagan calendar does not direct one’s worship to the Creator. When one worships on Saturday, he is showing allegiance to the god of that day, the cruelest, most blood-thirsty of all the gods: Saturn. (Ibid., p. 10)

If that is so, that we are worshiping the saturn god because we worship on Saturday, then they are worshiping the sun god, moon god, tyr god, wodan god, thor god, frigg goddess and also the saturn god, for their Sabbaths keep falling on different days of the week—thus they honor all the planetary heathen gods and not just one!

Because the seventh day of the week has a pagan name today the holiness of that day does not vanish.  In the Bible the first month is called Abib, but later the Israelites called the first month Nisan, the way the Babylonians called it.

…for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. (Deuteronomy 16:1)

In the first month, that is, the month Nisan (Esther 3:7)

If the Bible uses the Babylonian names to address months, there is nothing wrong if we use the Roman names to address the days of the week!

They say that we who worship God on Saturday will be punished on the Day of Judgment if we don’t follow the beacon of lights in the heavens. Well, it is the other way round! God saw these moon gazers and predicted their judgment well in advance.

You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before! (Isaiah 47:13, 14 RSV).

The light, not from the sky, but from the word is going out again to them because God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).


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