|NEW MOON |
The new moon was the commencement of each of the Hebrew months. See MONTH.
The Hebrews had a particular veneration of the first day of every month, for which Moses appointed peculiar sacrifices, Numbers 28:11-15; but he gave no orders that it should be kept as a holy day, nor can it be proved that the ancients observed it as such: it was a festival of merely voluntary devotion. It appears that even from the time of Saul, they made on this day a sort of family entertainment; since David ought then to have been at the king’s table and Saul took his absence amiss, 1 Samuel 20:5,18. Moses implies that, besides the national sacrifices then regularly offered, every private person had his particular sacrifices of devotion, Numbers 10:10.
The beginning of the month was proclaimed by sound of trumpet, Psalms 81:3, and the offering of solemn sacrifices. But the most celebrated "new moon" was that at the beginning of the civil year, or first day of the month Tishri, Leviticus 23:24. This was a sacred festival, on which no servile labor was performed, Amos 8:5. In the kingdom of the ten tribes, it seems to have been a custom of the people to visit the prophets at the new moons, for the purpose of carrying them presents, and hearing their instructions, 2 Kings 4:23. Ezekiel says, Ezekiel 45:17, (see also 1 Chronicles 23:31 2 Chronicles 8:13) that the burnt offerings offered on the day of the new moon were to be provided at the king’s expense. The observance of this festival was discontinued soon after the establishment of Christianity, Galatians 4:9,10 Colossians 2:16, though the Jews take some notice of the day even now.