Saturday, May 27, 2017

Does Ezekiel 46:1-3 define “3 types of days”?

The Lunar Sabbatarian* claims:

The Bible clearly reveals three categories of days each month, Ezekiel 46:1-3

  1. New Moon Day,
  2. Work Days,
  3. His Seventh-Day Sabbaths.

Simple answer: No. Ezekiel 46:1-3 says: “1 This is what Adonai Elohim says: 'The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the six working days, but on Shabbat it is to be opened, and on Rosh-Hodesh it is to be opened. 2 The prince is to enter by way of the outer vestibule of the gate and stand by the support of the gate. The cohanim are to prepare his burnt offering and peace offerings. Then he is to prostrate himself in worship at the threshold of the gate, after which he is to leave; but the gate is not to be shut until evening. 3 The people of the land are also to prostrate themselves in worship before Adonai at the entrance to that gate on Shabbat and on Rosh-Hodesh.

This scripture I Ezekiel does not, cannot, “define types of days”. All the scripture says is:

1. The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the 6 workdays.
2. The same gate is to be opened on the Shabbat and on Rosh-Hodesh.
3. The prince uses that gate.
4. The gate is left open after the prince leaves, and is closed at evening.
5. Anyone coming to that gate is to prostrate themselves at that gate when it is opened.

There is absolutely nothing in those verses requiring Rosh-Hodesh to be “its own day”, not a workday or not a Sabbath!

In fact, the definition of any “types of days” is understood or must be established elsewhere because the language in the scripture works whether Rosh-Hodesh is a separate day, or if it is not! Therefore the verses simply do not “define” types of days! Truly. The phrase “'The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the six working days, but on Shabbat it is to be opened, and on Rosh-Hodesh it is to be opened” simply does not require Rosh-Hodesh to be “its own day”! It can be valid if it is a “work day”, and the gate opened if that day is also Rosh-Hodesh!

Let’s look at the context of Ezekiel to this point to understand what these verses actually convey:

Going back to Ezekiel 40, we see that the text provides a description of the vision given to Ezekiel of the Temple to be built in Jerusalem. We read about the design of the Temple, its gates, vestibules, guardhouses, inner and outer courts, etc. Then in Ezekiel 44 we learn:

1 Then he brought me back by way of the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east; and it was shut. 2 Adonai said to me, "This gate will remain shut; it will not be opened, and no one will go through it; because Adonai, the God of Isra'el, has gone through it. Therefore, it is to be kept shut. 3 Only the prince, since he is a prince, is to sit there to eat his meal before Adonai; he is to enter through the vestibule of the gate and leave the same way.

So we have learned why the east gate is kept shut! The gate is only for the prince!

In Ezekiel 45 we learn:

17 The prince's obligation will be to present the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the feasts, on Rosh-Hodesh, and on Shabbatat all the designated times of the house of Isra'el. He is to prepare the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Isra'el.'

So we know that the prince is to come to the Temple at the feasts, on Shabbat, and on Rosh-Hodesh, and at the other designated times.

Now we understand chapter 46! The east gate, as we learned, is only for the prince! It is kept closed, except at the times it must be opened for the prince to make his offerings. Anyone else coming to that gate, worships there, but they do not go in that gate. But it is for the prince only! Chapter 46 has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with “defining types of days!” The Lunar Sabbatarian has “found” something that is simply not there!

So this whole discussion boils down to “Why do the Lunar Sabbatarians think Rosh-Hodesh is its own day, not a Sabbath and not a workday?”

Well, it seems the only reason is this: They want it to! They think they have found something, so they seek proof! They have conceived a false definition of the “new moon day”, which they insist is independent of the week, and as a result, they “see” all sorts of proof in the scriptures. For example, they argue that the “Creators original time system of three types of days each month will be restored” and cite Isaiah 66:22-23 as proof. Let’s look at the prophecy of Isaiah 66:

22 ‘For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,’ says Adonai, ‘so will your descendants and your name continue. 23 ‘Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and from one Sabbath to another, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,’ says Adonai.

The Lunar Sabbatarian sees these verses as a “return” to the 3 types of days which they previously believe exist. But the scriptures, again, do not require that interpretation. Indeed, the Hebrew of Isaiah 66:23 here reads: “mid’eye chodesh be’chodesho umid’eye shabbat b’shabbat”, literally “from Rosh-Hodesh to Rosh-Hodesh (and) Shabbat to Shabbat”. In modern English this is “from month to month, week to week” (with the Biblical 7-day week understood), and implies no separation of “Rosh-Hodesh” as a separate “day” independent of the week! You see, the Lunar Sabbatarian so desperately needs these verses to justify a “new moon day”, they can only “see” their narrow interpretation in the verse!

Well, this could go on ad-nauseum. The Lunar Sabbatarians have written volumes (and I do mean VOLUMES – long, meandering diatribes!) on the subject in their sad attempt to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong. I mean, they will wear you out with their twists and turns, and convoluted interpretations! In the end, though, the simple fact that the 7th-day is the 7th-day, completely independent of the calendar, and the assigned moedim which are bound by the calendar which is established by Rosh-Hodesh, eludes them.

(*Lunar Sabbatarian: One who thinks the 7th day of the week is always on a fixed calendar date – usually the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the lunar month, and that the 1st day of the new moon is an entirely separate “holy day” to be observed independently of the week. The Lunar Sabbatarian thus concludes that only they have the “true calendar” and all other understandings of the calendar are wrong.)

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