The New Moon Sighting in Eretz Israel
A new moon is expected and now is a confirmed sighting, today, Sunday 12/08/2018, 29 Av 6157 AM, based on a 2.4% luminosity and a 17% angular distance with the sun. This means that tomorrow at sunrise it will be 1 Elul. There will then be approximately 40-days to Yom Kippur. To more fully understand the significance of the New Moon sighting and The Feasts please see other writings on this site: New Moon – Conjunction or Sighting.
The New Moon Sighting
Scripture never was a formal technical manual on how to figure the calendar. But Scripture does provide all the starting points necessary when used in combination with other scientific facts that will produce the correct calendar.
In Genesis 1:14 we are told that two great lights are signs for the appointed times, the sun and the moon. Scripture often satisfies a technical goal in simple ways and without technical language. The average reader tends to read right over these kinds of details. But the reader who has pondered the matter and realised the requirements that need to be clarified reads the text and does not miss the detail that makes things plain. It says, “And let them be for signs,” which is the lights. (Excerpt from D. Gregg – The New Moon and Tishri).
In ancient times Israel did not depend on calculation to determine the new moon. At the very best some calculations might be done by priests or learned men in one of the larger cities. But in the average hamlet or village there was no precise calculated information to know the exact day of the moon’s appearing like we have now days. Even though calculations might have been possible, the practice was to use observation as the primary witness and to use calculation only to confirm the observations or to determine when observations should be made. Everyone had the most basic knowledge in those days. A month could only be 29 or 30 days long. This was considered astronomical knowledge then. Today it is trivial for lunar calendars. But it is a fact of utmost consequence. Since a month must be at least 29 days, then there was no point is making any observations until the end of the 29th day. Since a month was never longer than 30 days, no observations were needed at the end of a 31st day. Observations were needed only at two times, 1. after the 29th day, and 2. after the 30th day. If for whatever reason, weather, war, negligence, lack of observers, fog, dust, sandstorms, and the like, the moon was not seen by the end of the 30th day, then the next day became automatically the first day of the new month. (Excerpt from D. Gregg – The New Moon and Tishri).