On Day 4 of the creation narrative in Genesis 1:14-18, we are told about making two luminaries and kochavim or “stars” in the rakia or “firmament” of the Heavens. From this storyline, it is generally interpreted and understood that these two luminaries – the greater and the lesser ones – control the passage of earth time and biblical meetings, festivals, and celebrations. Keep in mind that the storyline is written by Moses (evidently) as he was writing from his Hebraic viewpoint. This being said, I want to present something that I’ve been processing through from the Book of Jubilees and its retelling of the Genesis creation of those lights in our firmament. The Book of Jubilees is missing its mention of the Moon and appears instead to make only the Sun the responsible one for all Signs (Hebrew: otot), Seasons (moedim), Days (yamim), and Years (Hebrew: shanim). To begin, let’s start with a short read from the Dead Sea Scrolls 4Q216 (the Book of Jubilees) Column 6, Lines 5-10 in Hebrew.
5 [… הש]מש ואת הירח ואת הכוכבים [ויתן]
6 [… ו]למשל ביום ובלילה ולהב[דיל בין]
7 [… גד]ול [על הארץ] לימ[ים] ול[ש]בתות ול[חדשים]
8 [… וליוב]לים ולכל תק[ופות השנים]
Here is the translation into English.
5 [Blank On the fourth day, YHVH made the s]un, the moon, and the stars. [He placed] 6 [them in the vault of the sky so that they could give light to the whole earth,] to regulate day and night and to separ[ate] 7 [light and darkness. And he placed the sun as a gre]at [sign above the earth] for the day[s], the [sa]bbaths, the [months], 8 [the feasts, the years, the weeks of years and the jubi]lees and for all the cyc[les of the years.] 9 [It separates light from darkness and is the vitality by which everything that] sprouts and grows in the ea[rth prospers.] 10 [These three great kinds he made on the fourth day.] Blank
The claim is made in Hebrew:
השמש...גדול על הארץ לימים ולשבתות ולחדשים וליובלים ולכל תקופות השנים
The Sun…is great over (or on) the earth for Days, and for Sabbaths, and for Chodeshim (months), and for Yovelim (Jubilees) and all T’kuphot (cycles) of the years.
If this is a sanctioned teaching from YHVH, why is the Moon missing from the narrative? Compared to the teaching in the Hebrew Bible (copied from the oldest complete manuscript of the Tanakh – the 1009 C.E. Leningrad Codex written in Cairo), both the Sun and the Moon are for Days, Sabbaths, Chodeshim (months), and Yovelim (years) as it is written:
Then Elohim said, let there be luminaries in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs and seasons, and days and years…Then Elohim made two great luminaries: the greater luminary (the Sun) to rule the day and the lesser luminary (the Moon) to rule the night; the stars also.
Undoubtedly, the lesser luminary (the Moon) must have a part to play for signs and seasons and days and years with no “wiggle room” to interpret the text in any other way, right? Since the Moon is absent from the text, many people reject the credibility of the Book of Jubilees.
I propose, however, that we have a closer look at Genesis 1:16 from both versions of the narrative, the one from the 2nd Century B.C.E. Book of Jubilees and the other from the 1009 C.E. Leningrad Codex. Once again, the Book of Jubilees is missing its mention of the Moon and appears instead to make only the Sun the responsible one for all Signs (Hebrew: otot), Seasons (moedim), Days (yamim), and Years (Hebrew: shanim). Genesis 1:16 says that Yehovah made “the greater luminary (the Sun) to rule the day AND the lesser luminary (the Moon) to rule the night.”
Notice the described luminaries – the greater and the lesser – are both given a specific purpose:
1) The greater light – the Sun – to rule the day.
2) The lesser light – the Moon – to rule the night.
I believe this explains why the Book of Jubilees mentions only the Sun responsible for all biblical signs, seasons, days, and years. We read in English, the greater light rules the day, and the lesser light rules the night. The term “rule” is derived from the Hebrew word משל Mem Sheen Lamed – “moshal.” To suggest that the Hebrew root “M-S-L” (Mem-Sheen-Lamed) means “to rule” is misleading. Instead, the sense of the term is more about parables, examples, and metaphors. Permit me to illustrate.
Proverbs 1:1. The proverbs of Solomon the Son of David, King of Israel.
The word “proverbs” is based on the Hebrew word משל (moshal). What is the Book of Proverbs? It is a body of parables, examples, and metaphors conveying spiritual truth. This is why the proverbs in Hebrew are called “mishle” from the root “moshal,” the same term explaining a purpose for the Sun or sunlight. Here is another usage of the word משל (“moshal”) as Yeshua used it:
Matthew 13:18. Therefore hear the parable of the sower.
Using parables, examples, and metaphors, Yeshua taught openly profound Spiritual Truth, even to some of his sworn enemies. Though Matthew 13:18 is conveyed in Greek, it appears evident to me that he used the Hebrew word משל (“moshal”).
In Genesis 1:16, the greater luminary – the Sun – fulfills the function of a parable for the day; likewise, the Moon for the night. I believe this is at the heart of the question that Yeshua’s disciples asked him about in Matthew 13:10, saying to him, “Why do you speak TO THEM in parables?” Please, look carefully at his response:
Matthew 13:11. He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given TO YOU to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them, it has not been given.”
Based on my understanding, here is how I might paraphrase Yeshua’s response:
Matthew 13:11. “Because Spiritual Truth through the greater light for the day has been given TO YOU to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but TO THEM, Spiritual Truth has been given through the lesser light for the night.”
Yeshua's relationship with his disciples is much like the relationship between the Sun and the Moon; the lesser Light of the night is tasked with the responsibility to shine the Light of the day into the darkness of the night. Put differently; it is clear that the Sun does not shine at night because its given purpose is to shine in the day. Since the world is spiritually not of the day but of the night, it is our purpose to function as the Moon. As we spiritually walk in the greater light of the day, we shine Messiah’s Light into the night, which is a world immersed in spiritual darkness and not having direct access to the light of the Sun. So, Yeshua said:
John 12:35-36. A little while longer, the Light is with you. Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light that you may become Sons of Light. These things Yeshua spoke and departed and was hidden from them.
Matthew 5:14. You are the Light of the World. A city (the New Jerusalem) that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Sha’ul or Paul precisely confirms the point:
1 Thessalonians 5:5. You are all Sons of Light and Sons of the Day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness.
Accordingly, as we are in the world but not of the world, so too, the Moon shines into the night but is not of the night. WE ARE the parable of the Moon shining Messiah’s Light into the darkness of the night. I think this is what Sha’ul was getting at when he said:
1 Corinthians 13.12. For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Sha’ul refers to the great hope that we are waiting for in the Last Day Resurrection. That happening will change the whole world. Then we will be in the Light and of the Light. There will be no more need for metaphors like the Sun and the Moon.
Matthew 13:43. Then the righteous will shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
We are purposed to shine the spiritual Light of the greater luminary – the Sun – into the spiritual night of the world’s darkness. Of course, as I have said, the greater luminary of the day – the Sun – does not shine at night. But since we are Sons of the Light and Sons of the Day, it is our job to shine with the Light of Messiah into a world absorbed in spiritual darkness. However, recall the warning of D’varim (Deuteronomy) 4:15 and 4:19.
Guard yourselves…lest you lift your eyes to Heaven, and you see the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, all the Hosts of Heaven, you feel driven to bow to them and serve them, which Yehovah your Elohim has given to all the peoples under the whole Heaven. as a heritage (“as a heritage,” not in Hebrew).
If we do signs, seasons, days, and years according to the world's ways, then we show our true colors, so-to-speak, that we are of the darkness and of the night, not of the day and not of the Light. Yeshua spoke about this to the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 16:1-4.
Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came and, testing him, asked that He would show them a sign from Heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Hypocrites! You know how to understand the face of the sky, but you cannot the Signs of the Times.
What did Yeshua mean with the statement, “But you cannot understand the Signs of the Times”? Here is the apparent answer from the following Qumran texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls:
Cairo Damascus Document “A” Column XVI, Line 3: ישראל מכל אלה הנה הוא מדוקדק על ספר מחלקות העתים …Of Israel in all these matters, behold, it is defined in «The book of the Divisions of The Times.
Qumran 4Q271 Fragment 4, Column II, Line 5. 5 ישראל מכול אלה הנה הוא[ מדו]קדק על ספר[ מח]ל[קות העתים ליובליהם ובשבועותיהם. … Israel in all these matters, behold, [it is defi]ned in «The book [of the Divisions of The Times according to their Jubilees and their Weeks».]
Notice the words: ספר [מח]ל[קות העתים = “Sefer machlakot haetim;” translation - the scroll of the divisions of the times. Therefore, our best understanding of Genesis 1:14-16 is to, once again, appreciate the biblical purpose for the Sun and the Moon.
1) The Greater Luminary – the Sun – is a parable and metaphor of Messiah in us, in the world, his Sons of Light.
2) The Lesser luminary – the Moon – is a parable and metaphor of Messiah through us to a people in darkness.
So, did Yehovah speak:
Isaiah 9:2. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light (the greater luminary), those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a Light (the lesser luminary) has shined.
Luke 2:30-32. For my eyes have seen Your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a [Spiritual] Light for revelation to the goyim (Gentiles) and the glory of Your people Israel.
This might very well explain the dilemma as to why the Masoretic text of Genesis 1:14-18 (based on the 1009 C.E., Leningrad Codex) reads differently compared to Genesis 1:14-18 in the Book of Jubilees (based on the 2nd Century B.C.E. Book of Enoch). Our present-day Masoretic redaction is essentially a prophetic discourse on the same thing as the text of the Book of Jubilees with one notable difference. The writer or writers of the Book of Jubilees focuses on retelling Genesis from the responsibility of the greater luminary of The Day, The Sun, and The Light of Messiah. Subsequently, I am suggesting the following paraphrase as a “retelling” of the creation narrative:
Then Elohim said, let there be physical luminaries as spiritual parables, examples, and metaphors in the firmament of the heavens. They will divide Light from Dark as spiritual metaphors: The Sun and the Moon for their cycles of the signs (otot)and seasons (moedim), and the days (yamim) and years (shanim). Then Elohim made two great luminaries: the greater luminary (the Sun) to be a parable, an example, and a metaphor of spiritual Light in the day and the lesser luminary (the Moon) to be a parable, an example, and a metaphor of spiritual Light in the night; the stars also.
In doing Yehovah’s signs (otot), and seasons (moedim), and days (yamim) and years (shanim) according to his defined cycles of the greater luminary – the Sun – we fulfill the role of Yehovah’s parable or משל (“moshal”) of the lesser luminary to a world that is immersed in spiritual darkness. He is the “Sun.” We are the “Moon.” He is the King. We are his Sent Ones, messengers of Messiah. This is what many New Covenant texts say:
2 Corinthians 5:20. Now then, we are ambassadors for Messiah, as though Elohim (God) were pleading through us: we implore on Messiah’s behalf, be reconciled to Elohim (God).
Ephesians 5:8. For you were once darkness, but now Light in Yehovah. Walk as Sons of Light.
Acts 5:17-20. Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (the Sons of Darkness), and they were filled with wrath, and laid their hands on the messengers and put them in the common prison. But at night, an Angel (m’lach) of Yehovah opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, “Go, stand in the Temple and speak to the people all the words of His Life.”
Matthew 17:1-2. Now, after six days, Yeshua took Peter, James, and John, his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the Sun, and His clothes became as white as the Light.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5. But you, brethren, are not in [Spiritual] Darkness, so that this [Spiritual] Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all Sons of [Spiritual] Light and Sons of the [Spiritual] Day. We are not of the [Spiritual] Night nor of [Spiritual] Darkness.
The New Covenant teaching is to walk in the calendrical light of the greater luminary – the Sun. However, since the greater light – the Sun – does not shine at night, we are “moonshine” diplomats and Sent Ones from the Day. We are, therefore, not of the Night. Based on the truism, let us not make the error of doing the moedim (the festivals) that are timed to the lunations of a “New Moon,” as the term “Chodesh” is often translated. I see no scriptural evidence that our testimony is about light phases in the faces of the Moon. Thus:
Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim (God).
In the years following the late first-century destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, when the religion of Judaism was being redesigned by the rabbinical minds of the period, it was part of the agenda to establish new long-lasting regulations for the doing of the moedim (biblical festivals).
Rosh HaShanah 25a: Rabbi Yehoshua said to Rabbi Akiva that “the appointed moedim of YHVH, which you shall proclaim them[otam] are to be sacred convocations (Leviticus 23:2). And it is written: “These are the appointed moedim of YHVH, sacred convocations; you shall proclaim them [otam] in their moedim” (Leviticus 23:4). And it is written: “These are the appointed moedim of YHVH; you shall proclaim them [otam] to be sacred convocations” (Leviticus 23:37). Three times the verses use the term: “them” [otam], which can also be read as “you” [atem], in the plural.
This comes to teach: You [atem] are authorized to determine the date of the new month, even if you unwittingly establish the New Moon (Chodesh) on a wrong day; you (plural), even if you do so intentionally; you (plural), even if you are misled by false witnesses. In all cases, once the court establishes the day as the New Moon (Chodesh), it is sanctified, and God grants His consent. After hearing this, Rabbi Yehoshua said to him in these words: Akiva; you have consoled me; you have consoled me.
This reflects the laws of “Lo Adu Rosh” and “Lo Badu Pesach.” Lo Adu Rosh means the new year or head of the year, establishing the days for the coming seven months of biblical moedim or festivals. The Feast of Trumpets can never start on a “Sunday” (the first day of the week = Aleph), a “Wednesday” (the fourth day of the week = Dalet),” or a “Friday” (the sixth day of the week = Vav). Then, the acronym Lo Badu Pesach means the Feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread. It can never start on a “Monday” (the second day of the week = Bet), a “Wednesday“ (the fourth day of the week = Dalet), or a “Friday” (the sixth day of the week = Vav). However, the days – “Sunday,” “Wednesday,” and “Friday” were sacred days to the Qumran House of Tzadok and their Book of Jubilees calendar according to the parable of the greater luminary – the Sun. If you follow my clarifications, you should have no difficulty understanding why Psalm 104:19 is dishonestly interpreted.
Psalm 104:19 (NKJV). He appointed the moon for moedim (seasons); the sun knows its going down.
עָשָׂ֣ה יָ֭רֵח לְמוֹעֲדִ֑ים שֶׁ֝֗מֶשׁ יָדַ֥ע מְבוֹאֽוֹ
The entirety of the psalm is all about the coming of the glory and the majesty of King Messiah, the Light of the World. So, when we read verse 19, our interpretation should follow the context. Please, permit me to give you my opinion on this verse in its context.
Psalm 104:19. He (Messiah, the Word) made the Moon [facing] to (or going towards) the moedim [of] the Sun. He (the Moon) knows (by watching) his (the Sun) coming in.
Here, the Moon follows the Sun in this text, not the other way around.
In Psalm 104:19, take a look at the Hebrew word מְבוֹאֽוֹ, which is generally translated as the sun going down. But in 2 Samuel 3:25, the term appears as מוֹבָאֲךָ, which is rightly translated as “your coming in” and in Ezekiel 43:11 it appears as וּמוֹבָאָ֣יו, which is rightly translated, “and his entrances.”
Given the biblical doctrine about the job of the lesser luminary – the Moon – in Genesis 1:14-18 from the Masoretic text of 1009 C.E. as compared to the job of the Sun in the Book of Jubilees from about 1,200 years earlier, the writer or writers of Sefer HaYovelim “The Book of Jubilees” desired to make it very clear in 6:32-35
And command thou the children of Israel that they observe the years according to this reckoning - three hundred and sixty-four days, and (these) will constitute a complete year, and they will not disturb its time from its days (yamim) and from its feasts (chagim) for everything will fall out in them according to their testimony, and they will not leave out any day nor disturb any feasts.
But if they do neglect and do not observe them according to His commandment, then they will disturb all their seasons (moedim) and the years (shanim) will be dislodged from this (order), [and they will disturb the seasons (moedim) and the years (shanim) will be dislodged], and they will neglect their ordinances. And all the sons of Israel will forget and will not find the path of the years (shanim) and will forget the months (chodeshim), and seasons (moedim), and sabbaths (shabbatot), and they will go wrong as to all the order of the years (shanim).
For I know and from henceforth will I declare it unto thee, and it is not of my own devising; for the book (lies) written before me, and on the Heavenly Tablets the Times of Days (yamim) is ordained, lest they forget the feasts (chagim) of the covenant and walk according to the Festivals of the goyim (Gentiles) after their error and after their ignorance.
Psalm 89:36-37 also concerns Messiah the Word and his Covenant Loyalty (Hebrew: chesed חסד).
English (NKJV): His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, even the faithful witness in the sky. It shall be established forever like the moon, even the faithful witness in the sky.
Hebrew Reading (vv.37-38) as I would understand the flow and context): His seed will be to (or towards) ‘Olam עולם(“illumination” from עלם) and his throne like (as) a comparison opposite the Sun. And like (as) the Moon, he (the singular collective Sons of the Covenant – see the context in the English v. 28; Hebrew: v. 27) has surely (certainly) been illuminated [Hebrew: עלם). Thus, testimony in the upper heavens [of the firmament], always [Hebrew: סלה).
So, we have learned that Yehovah’s moedim or biblical festivals and meeting times are pre-programmed events according to the work of the greater luminary – the Sun. Correspondingly, the moedim must fall on specific days among seven chodeshim agreeing to the 364-day solar calendrical year just as the high-priestly House of Tzadok presented it in their writings. However, because of a later and radical coverup of the Messianic signs, the moedim, the days, and the years, those initiating the revisions in the Judean calendar system; they made permanent changes to the Judaism of their day (in Yavne following the destruction of the Second Temple) which still pretty much drives the Judaism of our day. Their actions had a profound multi-generational effect on all Jews in the centuries to follow. All of this was, should I say, galvanized through the rules of Lo Adu Rosh and Lo Badu Pesach – forbidden starting days for the moedim or festivals.
The greater luminary of the Day and of the Light through Yeshua the Messiah has become a body of fouled waters of Torah. This should not surprise us given the words of Yehovah to the Prophet Ezekiel, who said:
Ezekiel 134:18-19. Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet (hinting at the halacha = “the legal system of Judaism”) the residue of your pasture—and to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet? And My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have fouled with your feet.
Essentially, this finds its expression through the words of the New Covenant Book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 10:28-29. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ Law dies without mercy on two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the Blood of the Covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of Grace?
Here is a summary of what appears to be baked into the biblical moedim of the pre-exile Hebrew nation:
The SIGNS (Hebrew: otot)
12 chodeshim (monthly) cycles.
8 chodeshim (months) each with 30 days.
4 chodeshim (months) each with 31 days (the extra day separating the four different seasons).
4 cycles of 13 weeks.
4 cycles of 91 days corresponding to each rotation of 13 weeks.
The SEASONS (Hebrew: moedim)
52 weeks of 7 days. Each 7th Day of the week is Sabbath.
7 chodeshim (monthly cycles) for feasts and festivals to maintain our relationship with Yehovah.
The DAYS (Hebrew: yamim)
360 cycles of 24-hour days with a “12” hour day and a “12” hour night.
4 cycles of days are called t’kufot or days of transition and renewal.
Total: 364 days in a cycle of one year.
The YEARS (Hebrew: shanim)
A cycle of 7 years called shemitah: a year of rest for the land.
A cycle of 50 years called yovel: a complete reset for the people.
But once again, from Deuteronomy 4:15 and 4:19, we have this warning:
Guard yourselves…lest you lift your eyes to Heaven, and you see the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, all the Hosts of Heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which Yehovah your Elohim has given to all the peoples under the whole Heaven.
EGYPTIAN FEASTS and FESTIVALS (mostly 18th Dynasty during the days of the Hebrews)
Thoth: Rebirth and rejuvenation.
Tekh: Drunkenness to Hathor (The Lady of Drunkenness).
Opet: Rejuvenation of the king by the god Amun at Thebes.
Hathor: Birth of the goddess for her blessings.
Bast: Celebration to Bastet with drinking, dancing, music, and sexual promiscuity.
Min: The 30th day of the month or an annual harvest festival to the god of fertility, virility, and reproduction.
Blacked-out Moon (New Moon Day): First day and head of the month.
New Crescent Day: in accordance with the light phases of the Moon).
Wadi Festival: Honour to the souls of the deceased.
Epagomenae: “Super-added” 5 days at the end of 360 days to align with the 365-Day solar year.
Neith Festival: Uniting the nation with lighted candles and oil lamps at night to mirror the sky and bring the earth into harmony with the realm of the gods.
ANCIENT ROMAN FEASTS and FESTIVALS
Floralia: Protecting the blossoms of spring.
Anna Parenna: Returning of the new year.
Lucario: Defeating and pursuing the Gauls in 390 B.C.E.
Fornacalia: Feasting of ovens on the day of Quirnalia and the Roman god Quirinus.
Saturnalia: Winter solstice.
Family Festival: Spiritual renewal and divine rebirth.
Lupercalia: Fertility and purification.
ANCIENT GREEK FEASTS and FESTIVALS
Stolen Fire: To the Titan god Prometheus. Lamps lit to his honor.
Torches: To the god Diana (Catholic Feast of Assumption). Light of the Moon with dancing.
Aphrodite: To the goddess Aphrodite for love, sex, beauty, sensuality, warmth.
The Charities: To the goddesses known as “the Graces.”
The Noumenia: To all household gods on the first crescent of the visible new moon.
Bacchanalia: To Bacchus for sexual orgies, divine communion, oblivion of nothingness, hedonism.
Hygenia’s Day: To the goddess Hygenia for healing and hygiene with bathing.
The Anthesteria: To Dionysus for three days when the dead are recalled to the land of the living.
The Nemesia: To the goddess Nemesis for blood sacrifices, fate, revenge, and divine retribution.
ANCIENT CELTIC (DRUID) FEASTS and FESTIVALS (some say the Celts have ancient Israelite origins):
2. Winter Solstice
4. Spring Equinox
6. Summer Solstice
8. Autumn Equinox
Galatians 4:9-11. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe (do or implement) days (yamim) and months (chodeshim) and seasons (moedim), and years (shanim). I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
John 12:36. While you have the [Greater] Light, believe in the [Greater] Light, that you may become Sons of Light [embodying the cycles of the Greater luminary].