Mat. 5: 18 ...till the heaven & earth pass away,

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Crescent vs. Conjunction

Created 2006-08-17 20:25

The beginning of the month

 

Shalom,

       This is an article that examines the implications of using the first sighting of the re-appearance of the crescent vs. using the day of conjunction to establish the beginning of the month. I expect to refine and make further clarifications and explanations of points made later, so this is by no means a finished article as yet. The most recent editing was done on 1/9/02.

      We will begin by analyzing a couple points that were brought from a pro-crescent study. Later we will look at some historical references to the crescent, as well as Scriptural references and implications.

It has been said that "The ancient Israelites would have had no way of knowing when the moment of conjunction takes place and would not have known on which day to observe "Concealed Moon Day".

It has also been suggested that "such a method would not work in the Middle East where the so-called "concealed moon" can remain concealed for as many as 3.5 days! It is in fact common for the moon to stay concealed for 2.5 days and in such instances how would the ancient Israelites have known which day was the Day of Conjunction?"

(This means that the cycle would be: day/night/day/night/day/night/day  or night/day/night/day/night/day/night,  in an extreme case.)

It has also been said: "In contrast, the ancient Israelites would have been well aware of the Crescent New Moon. In ancient societies people worked from dawn to dusk and they would have noticed the Old Moon getting smaller and smaller in the morning sky. When the morning moon had disappeared the ancient Israelites would have anxiously awaited its reappearance 1.5-3.5 days later in the evening sky. Having disappeared for several days and then appearing anew in the early evening sky they would have called it the "New Moon" or "Hodesh" (from Hadash meaning "New")."

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It is said above that: "Israelites would have had no way of knowing when the moment of conjunction takes place and would not have known on which day to observe "Concealed Moon Day". "


   On the contrary, knowing the day of conjunction would be possible. With the last appearance of the old crescent in the morning - a person would be able to observe the last crescent, and determine that the coming sunset would begin the new moon day (referred to above as "Concealed Moon Day"). Knowing in the morning that coming sunset brings the day of conjunction has implications that will be shown later. Counting the days could also help establish this. 

   It is important to note that the following methods would have to be used in the morning just prior to sunrise. Proverbs 20:13 - Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

   The day of conjunction can easily be determined by measurement from a fixed point, of the distance of the crescent above horizon - at a specific fixed time, or at sunrise. 

    An alternative method could be done by comparing the timing of the old crescent appearance with sunrise. The time difference would be the gauge - something like a sand glass would be an easy method to maintain the parameters.

    If the measurements exceeded the above mentioned measurements, then the crescent would be seen the next morning. If the measurements were within the parameters then the crescent would not be seen the next morning, if this was the case the coming sunset would begin the New Moon day. This would be basically based on a "x" marks the spot reasoning, meaning that the conjunction marks the New Moon day, since the conjunction can happen during the day or night. This would put the point of conjunction within 36 hrs of the last visible sighting of the old crescent. Of course, it would not be hard to pinpoint this date because there are 29 or 30 days in a month, and anyone should be able to verify this by the above mentioned means. Thus, the idea that the Israelites would not have been able to identify the day of conjunction holds no water. If a person takes just a little time and observation, they will find out just how easy and 'technology-free' it is to determine the day of conjunction.

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It is also said in the article: "In ancient societies people worked from dawn to dusk and they would have noticed the Old Moon getting smaller and smaller in the morning sky. When the morning moon had disappeared the ancient Israelites would have anxiously awaited its reappearance 1.5-3.5 days later in the evening sky."

And:

"such a method would not work in the Middle East where the so-called "concealed moon" can remain concealed for as many as 3.5 days! It is in fact common for the moon to stay concealed for 2.5 days and in such instances how would the ancient Israelites have known which day was the Day of Conjunction?"

   This is actually easier to answer than it looks. First of all, by using a half day to make a statement shows something that is being overlooked. The reappearance of the moon will always be either 1.5, 2.5, or 3.5 days after the MORNING that the moon was last seen. The moon being seen 3.5 days after the last visible crescent really has no bearing on anything, because if it takes 3.5 days to see the reappearance of the crescent, there will ALWAYS be a location on earth weather permitting, that the moon was already seen at the 2.5 day mark. The reappearance of the crescent ALWAYS happens AROUND sunset. 

   If the moon disappeared the morning of day one, at sunset, you would have half a day. By the next sunset, you would have 1.5 days. By the next sunset you would have 2.5 days. The answer to the question:  "It is in fact common for the moon to stay concealed for 2.5 days and in such instances how would the ancient Israelites have known which day was the Day of Conjunction?" day of conjunction would begin with the first sunset, during the first complete day after the last visible crescent. 

    If a person would break it down by hours, they would see that the conjunction would happen 12-36 hrs after the last visible crescent. (the first complete day)

   The above statement actually shows that it would be easy for them to understand the cycle of the moons' visibility. As to whether they were anxiously awaiting its reappearance, remains to be seen. Scripture indicates that the nations of the world are the ones who are anxiously awaiting the appearance of the sun, the moon and the stars.

Deuteronomy 4:19 - And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which YHWH thy Elohim hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

    Think about it..... the world has effectively changed the beginning of the day, so that for all purposes the day begins with sunrise.

Were they really looking for a moon of Abib?

Deuteronomy 16:1 - Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto YHWH thy Elohim: for in the month of Abib YHWH thy Elohim brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.

The above passage is one of the main passages used to support the doctrine of observing a 'new crescent'. The word here is shamar, which is the same word used when we are told to 'shamar' the commandments. If it was meant that we should actually be looking for something to physically see. - a different word, I feel would have to be used. 

something should have been used like:

(Strongs)

7200. ra'ah, raw-aw'; a prim. root; to see, lit. or fig. (in numerous applications, direct and implied, trans., intrans. and causat.):--advise self, appear, approve, behold, X certainly, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, X indeed, X joyfully, lo, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, X be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see (-r, -m, one another), shew (self), X sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, X surely, X think, view, visions.

Instead of shamar.

Sunset - Moonset

Isaiah 60:20 - Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for YHWH shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

Having the sun going down, and the moon withdrawing itself used in the same context has interesting connotations. The sunset begins a day, likewise - it is conceivable that the moonset begins the new month. The conjunction is the only 'new' happening during the complete moon cycle, all other appearances of the moon are a phase of its appearance. At the moon conjunction it becomes a new moon in a specific moment of time, a moon totally different from the previous one, after that specific moment in time it immediately begins to rebuild. Thus the term - Chodesh,

2320 vd,xo chodesh {kho'-desh} • from 02318; TWOT - 613b; n m • AV - month 254, new moon 20, monthly 1, another 1; 276 • 1) the new moon, month, monthly 1a) the first day of the month 1b) the lunar month

Which comes from the word:

2318 vd;x' chadash {khaw-dash'} • a primitive root; TWOT - 613; v • AV - renew 7, repair 3; 10 • 1) to be new, renew, repair 1a) (Piel) 1a1) to renew, make anew 1a2) to repair 1b) (Hithpael) to renew oneself

The moment a moon begins renewing or rebuilding, is the moment immediately past conjunction. Not even those who observe the crescent deny this fact.

 

Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets)

Knowing in the morning that the coming sunset marks a High Day is another reason determining the New Moon by conjunction is supported in the Scriptures.  

Leviticus 23:24 - 25 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHWH. 

If a person knew in the morning that come sunset would start a High Day, they would have that day to prepare accordingly. This is a given precept in Scripture. This would support the questioning of witnesses in a High Court in the morning of the day prior to the New Moon Day. 

 

Some important Scriptures to ponder while determining the New Moon.

Deuteronomy 4:19 - And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which YHWH thy Elohim hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

Deuteronomy 17:2 - If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which YHWH thy Elohim giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of YHWH thy Elohim, in transgressing his covenant, 3 - And hath gone and served other elohim, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 4 - And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

Job 31:26 - If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; 27 - And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 28 - This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the El that is above.

Why would YHWH have His people looking for a sign that can be idolized? Looking at a main principle in Scripture, I have noticed that the commands of YAHWEH are not burdensome, and do not lead into temptation. A command to observe a physical moon could lead to violating the warnings set above. YAHWEH begins with darkness, and makes it light. Many people acknowledge that beginning a day at sunrise could be conducive to idol-worshipping the sun, and view it as a distinctly possible reason why YAHWEH begins the day at sunset. This is something shown to us from the very beginning, what do you think?

2Kings 23:5 - And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

Jeremiah 8:1 - At that time, saith YHWH, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:  2 - And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 3 - And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith YHWH of hosts.

The above Scriptures have helped me to see YHWH's wisdom by giving us the disappearance of the sun to mark the beginning of the day, the disappearance of the moon to signify the beginning of the month could be another example.

Some interesting information from Encyclopedia Judaica:

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"As a male deity, the moon (Nanna) was worshiped by the Sumerians and by the Semites in general. Known as Sin among the eastern Semites, the moon god was called Erah in the "west." Sin was the patron god of Ur and Haran, which were connected with the origins of the Patriarchs. The popularity of the moon cult is attested by the frequency of theophoric names with the divine element Sin or Erah. The Israelites were warned against worshiping the moon, and convicted transgressors were punished by stoning (Deut. 4:19; 17:3–5). The moon cult was, nevertheless, introduced into Judah by King Manasseh (II Kings 21:3) but was subsequently abolished by King Josiah (II Kings 23:5)"

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Worshipping the host of heaven is nothing new to Judah. The above article is deceptive, in saying that it was abolished by King Josiah. Yes, it was abolished by him, but it returned after his death with a vengeance. 

Here is the start of the sequence:

2Kings 21:1 - Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzi-bah. 2 - And he did that which was evil in the sight of YHWH, after the abominations of the heathen, whom YHWH cast out before the children of Israel. 3 - For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

2Kings 21:9 - But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom YHWH destroyed before the children of Israel.

 

The temporary abolishing of moon worship and other evils

 

2Kings 22:1 - Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.

2Kings 22:10 - And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 - And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

2Kings 23:5 - And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

2Kings 23:21 - And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto YHWH your Elohim, as it is written in the book of this covenant. 22 - Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23 - But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to YHWH in Jerusalem.

2Kings 23:25 - And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to YHWH with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 26 - Notwithstanding YHWH turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 27 - And YHWH said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

The return to folly: as a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.

2Kings 23:31 - Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 - And he did that which was evil in the sight of YHWH, according to all that his fathers had done.

This shows that there was an immediate return to the previous state (them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.) that Josiah had done away with.

2Kings 23:34 - And Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. 35 - And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaoh-nechoh. 36 - Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 - And he did that which was evil in the sight of YHWH, according to all that his fathers had done.

Again we see the next king Jehoiakim ruling for eleven years returning to the evils of worshipping the host of heaven, and other evils that existed prior to King Josiah.

 

Just where is the crescent mentioned in Scripture?

 

The only time crescent is found mentioned in scripture is three places, the NKJV and NASB both translate saharon as crescent.

H7720. saharon, [962a]; from an unused word; moon, crescent:-- crescent ornaments(3).

Isaiah 3:18 - In that day YHWH will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils,

(Judg 8:21) So Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Rise yourself, and kill us; for as a man is, so is his strength." So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments that were on their camels' necks.

(Judg 8:26) Now the weight of the gold earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments, pendants, and purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels' necks.

In the above mentioned cases of crescent being mentioned in Scripture - they are not mentioned in a context that one would want to be associated with.

 

More information from the Encyclopedia Judaica:

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"Vestiges of Astrology in Jewish Folklore

In the Jewish religious literature of modern times there remain only vestiges of earlier astrological beliefs. On joyful occasions in individual and family life, Jews everywhere congratulate each other by saying mazzal tov ("good luck"). A successful person is popularly referred to as a bar-mazzal ("one of luck"), and a perennial failure is known as a ra-mazzal ("poor luck"; Yid., shlimazl; Aram., bish-gadda). It was customary in some parts to begin no new undertaking on Mondays or Wednesdays (Sh. Ar., YD 179:2, on the basis of the responsa of Nahmanides, no. 242), since Mondays were ruled by the moon and nothing could be properly done on them, while Wednesdays were ruled by Mars, a hard patron. Another custom was to perform marriages only in the first half of the month while the moon was waxing (ibid.; Nahmanides, responsum no. 282). "

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Colossians 2:16 - Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Kind of makes you wonder if they were having calendar issues back then. The evidence that they had differences is there.

Information from Holman Bible Dictionary:

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"A sect known as the Essenes created a purely solar calendar that combined mathematical calculation with a special ideology. Discarding observation of the new moon, the Essenes gave each month thirty days but added a special day at the end of each three-month period, giving a year of 364 days. We have reason to believe that when this party tried to put this calendar into practice, the Temple authorities drove them into exile. It would have disrupted the official religious festival cycle based on the lunar-solar year. We know about this erratic calendar only from sectarian books like the scrolls of Qumran."

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More information from the Encyclopedia Judaica:

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"The Samaritan Calendar

Based on a lunisolar system, the Samaritan calendar year (lunar year) has 354 days, divided into 12 months of 29 or 30 days each. The first day of the month is fixed by the conjunction (zimmut or kibbuz) of the moon with the sun (not by the appearance of the new moon). If the conjunction occurs at night or in the morning, not later than six hours before noon, that day is considered the first of the new month, which has 30 days; if it occurs later, the first of the new month is counted from the following and the month has 29 days. The civil year and the counting of the shemittot begins in the seventh month, Tishri; the religious year begins on Nisan (in their present-day calendars and in their astronomical tables the Samaritans count the shemittot from Nisan). In accordance with the Pentateuch, the months had no special names, but were counted as the first, the second, etc., starting with the month of Aviv (Ex. 12:2; Deut 16:1). This system is still practiced. In their historical and halakhic writings, however, one also encounters the later, non-pentateuchal names of Nisan, etc.

In the Pentateuch, Nisan is called "the month of Aviv" (Deut. 16:1). which is explained as the "month of ears of corn," when the barleycorn begins to ripen. This description means that Nisan must always occur in the same season, which is impossible in a strict lunar year. Therefore, the Samaritans (like the Jews) had to bind their lunar year to a solar year and thus arrived at a lunisolar year. This solar year is a mixture of the Persian and the older Julian (or Syrian) year, as evident from the Samaritan's astronomical tables. It has 365 1/4 days. In order to keep the lunar months in the solar seasons, it was necessary to intercalate one month in each second or third year, seven times in the 19-year moon cycle. In contradistinction to the Jewish calendar, the Samaritan leap years are not bound to a fixed year in this cycle but are decided upon according to need. The intercalated month comes before Nisan. The Samaritan rule for intercalating is as follows: they calculate whether the conjunction of the first month will occur before or after the 12th of Adar (one of the Syrian solar months; March of the Julian calendar). In the latter case, the day of the conjunction is fixed as the first of Nisan; if it occurred on or before the 12th of Adar, the month is intercalated and the new year is a leap year."

"The religious duty of intercalation is alluded to in the poems of the fourth-century Samaritan writers Amram Darah, and Markah: "... He [God] gave them feasts that do not shift and bound their names to the [celestial] lights" (Darah, Song 16, Ben-Hayyim, III. 2 p. 74). According to Samaritan tradition, the calendar was always based on calculation, not on observation of the new moon. This system, much venerated by them, is called Heshban Kishtah (True Reckoning) or Mahshav Ayyamim (Reckoning of the Days).

The oldest description of it is found in the Abu-al-Hasan of Tyre’s compendium of law, al-Tabbakh (11th century), in which he explains why the Samaritan rite of fixing the first of each month according to the conjunction is the only way of arriving at the true beginning of the new month, as the conjunction signifies a real new occurrence each month, whereas the new moon differs only in degree from its later phases during the month."

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and

"The fixation of this date for the existence of the Samaritan calendar, more or less in its present form, can be corroborated by the external evidence of the tenth-century Karaite scholar Kirkisan<, who polemized vehemently against the Samaritan system of fixing the first of the month by conjunction and reckoning, instead of by observation of the new moon."

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Interesting enough, though Israel (Samaria) had its share of evil (reference to Ahola and Aholibah) Israel is not shown to have turned to the worship of the heavens as Judah was.

More information from Encyclopedia Judaica:

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"Originally, the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculations, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. On the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, named Beit Ya'azek, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses; they then sanctified the New Moon. If the moon's crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the New Moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day. To inform the population of the beginning of the month, beacons were kindled on the Mount of Olives and thence over the entire land and in parts of the Diaspora. Later, however, the Samaritans began to light misleading beacons, and the High Court despatched messengers to far-removed communities. Those Jews who lived great distances from Jerusalem always celebrated the 30th day of the month as the New Moon. On those occasions when they were informed of its postponement to the 31st, they also observed this second consecutive day as the New Moon (RH 1:3–2:7) "

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and

"MOON, BLESSING OF THE, prayer of thanksgiving recited at the periodical reappearance of the moon's crescent. In Hebrew, the prayer is known by several names: Birkat ha-Levanah ("the blessing of the moon") or Kiddush Levanah ("sanctification of the moon"). It can be recited front the third evening after the appearance of the new moon until the 15th of the lunar month; after that day, the moon begins to diminish. The prayer is recited only if the moon is clearly visible (not when it is hidden by clouds) and it should preferably be said in the open air. According to the Talmud (Sanh. 42a), "Whoever pronounces the benediction over the new moon in its due time welcomes, as it were, the presence of the Shekhinah" ("Divine Presence") and hence it is recommended (Sof. 20:1) to pronounce the benediction, if possible, on the evening after the departure of the Sabbath when one is still in a festive mood and clad in one's best clothes."

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and

"In the mishanaic period, the proclamation of the new month by the rabbinical court was celebrated with dancing and rejoicing. It is still customary to rise on the tips of the toes in the direction of the moon while reciting three times "As I dance toward thee, but cannot touch thee, so shall none of my evil-inclined enemies be able to touch me." This is followed by "Long live David, King of Israel" (also pronounced three times) and by the greeting Shalom aleikhem ("Peace be to you") which is extended to those standing around who respond Aleikhem shalom ("to you be peace").

This part of the ceremony is reminiscent of the days of Judah ha-Nasi when the Romans abrogated the authority of the rabbinical court to consecrate the new moon which therefore had to be carried out clandestinely. "Long live David, King of Israel" served as a password between Judah ha-Nasi and his emissary R. Hiyya (RH 25a). It also voiced Israel's continuous hope for redemption by the Messiah, a descendant of David whose kingdom would be "established forever as the moon" (Ps. 89:38). The ceremony concludes with the recital of several scriptural verses, a quotation from the Talmud (Sanh. 42a) "In the school of R. Ishmael it was taught: Had Israel merited no other privilege than to greet the presence of their Heavenly Father once a month, it were sufficient," the plea that God readjust the deficiency of the light of the moon caused by the moon's complaint against the sun (Hul. 60b), and a prayer for the fulfillment of the promise of the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel when the Jews will "seek the Lord their God, and David their King" (Hos. 3:5).

The blessing of the new moon and the festive character of Rosh Hodesh (New Month) originated in the time of the Second Temple. Due to the significance of the moon in the Jewish calendar (see Ex. 12:2), it may be of much older origin; in the course of time it has, however, undergone substantial changes. The rite takes the moon as a symbol of the renewal in nature as well as of Israel's renewal and redemption. Various other elements, some of them of a superstitious nature, have become attached to the rite."

"Uruk resumed its traditional hegemony, succeeding Akkad in the King List and, by implication, in the possession of Nippur, while Ur maintained its importance as the center of the moon cult. "

"The same antiquarian interest characterized the rule of Nabonidus (555–539), who succeeded to the throne of Babylon after the three brief reigns of Nebuchadnezzar's son, son-in-law, and grandson. He was not related to the royal Chaldean house, although he was the namesake of a son of Nebuchadnezzar, whom he had served as a high diplomatic official as early as 585. The biography of his mother, Adad-guppi, is preserved on inscriptions from Haran, from which we learn that she lived for 104 years (650–547).

Her long devotion to Haran and its deity may help to explain her son's similar, but more fateful, preoccupation. Virtually alone among the former Assyrian strongholds, Haran recovered some of its old glory under the neo-Babylonians and survived for many centuries thereafter as the center of successive forms of the worship of the moon-god Sin. According to Adad-guppi's biography,

Haran lay desolate (that is, in the possession of the Medes) for 54 years (610–556) until, at the very beginning of the reign of Nabonidus (555–539), a vision informed him, in words strangely reminiscent of Isaiah 44:28–45:1, that Marduk would raise up "his younger servant" Cyrus to scatter the Medes.

In obedience to the divine injunction, Nabonidus presently rebuilt the great temple of Haran, and reconsecrated it to Sin. At the same time, he singled out the other centers of moon worship, at Ur in Babylonia and at the oasis of TemD in Arabia, for special attention. "

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2Kings 21:9 - But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom YHWH destroyed before the children of Israel. 

10 - And YHWH spake by his servants the prophets, saying,

11 - Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: 

12 - Therefore thus saith YHWH Elohim of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. 

13 - And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. 14 - And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; 

15 - Because they have done that which was evil in my sight,and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.

 

Think about it...... Judah was worshipping the host of heavens BEFORE they went to babylon........ They didn't get polluted in Babylon, they brought it with them.................