SIGNIFICANT EVENTS OF THE NEW MOON
Many significant events recorded in the Old Testament occurred on the first day of the lunar month, which shows the importance that God places on the first day of his sacred month.
The Great Flood
It is interesting to note that the date of the great flood was calculated using the time of Noah's birth (Gen.7:11; 8:13). If we do some simple addition and subtraction using the dates given in chapters 7 and 8, we can easily find that Genesis 8:13 is the point from which to calculate the dates of the events surrounding the record of the flood. Genesis 8:13 reveals that Noah was born on the first day of the first sacred month of the year (a new moon). Genesis 7:11 shows that the flood began 17 days after his six hundredth birthday and on his six hundred and first birthday, the waters dried up (Gen.8:13).
Although the great flood did not begin or end on a new moon, it is significant that the one who God used to save humanity was born on a new moon, which is symbolic of a new beginning. There were only eight people saved out of the flood, and the number 8 is one of the numbers used in the Bible to signify a new beginning.
God told Moses to set up the Tabernacle on the first day of the first month (Ex.40:1-2), which Moses did on the first day of the first month of the second year after the Israelites left Egypt (Ex.40:16-18).
The presence of God rested on the Tabernacle on the first day of the month (Ex.40:2,17,33-34; Num.9:15).
Offerings and Sacrifices
God gave instructions that special offerings and sacrifices were to be made on the beginning of each new month (Num.28:11-15). The prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel recorded that special offerings and worship will be done on the New Moon after the return of Christ. See Isa.66:22-23; Ezk.45:17-18.
The Feast of Trumpets is always to be observed on a New Moon day (Lev.23:24; Num.29:1). This festival pictures a new beginning for humanity (Matt.24:30-31) and the return of Jesus Christ as the conquering King of kings.
Moses Numbers the People
On the first day of the second month, in the second year after Israel came out of Egypt, Moses was told to take a census of the people (Num.1:1-18).
The Death of Aaron
Even the death of Aaron is recorded as occurring on the beginning of the month. Aaron died when he was 123 years old on the first day of the fifth month. The death of Aaron, ended the line of priests that came out of Egypt. Israel completed their mourning for Aaron on the first day of the next month and began their journey into the promised land with a new high priest (Num.33:38-39). This commemorated the death of the old priesthood and the beginning of the new one.
On the first day of the eleventh month of the Israelites' 40th year of wilderness punishment, Moses assembled the people and went over their covenant with God again (Deut.1:3).
The Promised Land
On the first day of the eleventh month, Moses gave the instructions to Israel to possess the promised land (Deut.1:3-8).
The Temple and Jerusalem
Hezekiah commissioned the cleansing of the temple on the first day of the first sacred month:
"Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the porch of the Lord: so they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first they finished" (2.Chron.29:17 Para.).
Cyrus the king of Persia commissioned the Jews to build a temple for God in Jerusalem. After their arrival, they begin to offer sacrifices to the Lord beginning on the first day of the seventh month, which was the Festival of Trumpets (Ezr.3:1-6).
Ezra departed from Babylon on the first day of the first month carrying with him the decree of King Artaxerxes to free the Jews from Babylonian captivity. Ezra arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month with the decree (Ezr.7:8-9).
After the temple in Jerusalem was dedicated, Ezra read to the people from the book of the law on the first day of the seventh month (the Festival of Trumpets). This was the first time this had been done since the Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon (Neh.8:1-3).
On the first day of the tenth month, Ezra and other priests began their deliberation to solve the problem concerning the Jews who had married foreign wives. The next year on the first day of the first month, their decision concerning this problem was formally made (Ezr.10:16-17).
After Hezekiah issued his command to repair the Temple and establish the worship of God in Jerusalem, the repairs began on the first day of the first month (2.Chron.29:3, 17). It is interesting that it took 8 days to clean the temple area up to the porch of the Temple and another 8 days to complete the repair and cleaning. The number 8 indicates a new beginning associated with the first day of the sacred month.
Revelation of Prophetic Events
God often spoke to his servants on the first day of a new month to give specific instructions and to reveal prophetic events.
God spoke to Ezekiel on the first day of several months to reveal that he would destroy Tyrus (Ezk.26:1-4) and Egypt (Ezk.29:14, 17-19; 31:1-2; 32:1-2).
The Word of the Lord came to Haggai on the first day of the sixth month to reveal the building of the Temple at Jerusalem that would take place just before the return of Jesus Christ (Hag.1:1).
After Christ's return, the temple that will be established in Jerusalem for the worship of God will be purified on the first day of the first sacred month:
"This says the Lord God; In the first day of the first month, you shall take a young bull without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary" (Ezk.45:18 Para.).
Although there are many other events that could be shown to have occurred on the first day of the month, the above examples show the importance that God has placed on this day by causing certain events to take place on it.
By B. L. Cocherell, file b5w17