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unto the Lord. The author of the Book of Ecclesiasticus observes concerning the moon, that the month is called after her name;1 but this was not so to an ancient Israelite. In our English language the words moon and month may have this relation; and a like thought is to be supported in the Greek tongue, in which the author of Ecclesiasticus wrote his Book. MTM, the month, may be a contraction from ^m^ the moon; though I think it more natural to. derive **w*> from iMiv, than j*w from Mw«. However in the Hebrew, yareach^ or, lebanah1 are the words which signify moon; and chodesh," is the word for month\ and these have no such affinity to one another. 4, Indeed, in the Hebrew Bible, there is, I think, no one text either in the Books of Moses, or in any
,' Ecc'us. xliii. 8.
* mi Vid. Gen. xxxvii. 9. Deut. iv. 19. Josh. x.v|2. Job xxxv. 5. Psalm viii. 4. Ecclus. xii. 2. Isaiah xiii. 10. Jet. viii. 2. Ezek. xxxii. 7; Joel ii. JO, &c.
1Cantic. vi. 10. Isaiah xxiv. 23. xxx. 26.
* Gen. viii. 4. Exod. xii. 2. Levit. xxiii. 24. Deut. i. 3, 1 Kings iv. 7, &c.
Vul. HI. «
other of the Books of the 014 Testament, which intimate that the Israelites observed the day of the new-moon in any of their festivals. The Israelites were to offer their burnt offerings unto the Lord in the beginning, not of their moons but (na'Enn vwra) be-rashei chadsheichem, on the beginning of their months," and the expression is the the same, Numb. x. 10. The Israelites are there commanded to blow with the trumpets *. on the beginning of their months; but nothing .relating to the moon is suggested to them. And this expression runs through all the texts of Scripture, in which the Lxx have used the word v»pt,w« or vu^nvia; or we in English, the new-moons. 1/Vhen the Shunamitc would have gone to the Prophet, her husband said unto her, wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? It is neither, (we render the place,) new-moon, nor sabbath; the Lxx say » veo/*»ivia Bse oaGGarov; but the Hebrew words are loa chodesh ve loa shabbath,' it is not the month-day, nor the sabbath. Thus again the Psalmist directs, to
- Numb; xxviii. 11. • 2 Kings iV. 23.
blow up the trumpet, not as we render it, in the new-tnoons, nor, as the Lxx » Vso^vi*; but, ba chodeshi upon the mouth day.* In
t Psalm lxxxi. 4. The latter part of the verse is thought by some writers to intimate something contrary to what I am offering. Blow up the trumpet, says the Psalmist, on the month day, after which follows, Wl DV1? PID33, baeceseh lejom chaggenu. The word ceseh, they say, is derived from the verb casah to cover, so that baeceseh may signify at the covering, or when the moon is in conjunction with the sun, covered, as it were, so as to give no light. Thus these writers think this verse intimates that the new* moon had been a solemn festival. But I would observe, the expression thus taken is so singular, unlike any thing to be met with, in any other place of Scripture, notwithstanding the frequent mention of the festival here intended, that I think we cannot safely build upon it. Others derive the word ceseh from DW casas, to number out; and accordingly render baeceseh, upon the appointed day: but were this the sense of the place, the word would, perhaps, have been written not HD33, baeceseh, but ND33 bacccsea, see Proverbs vii. 21. The reader may sec what has been offered upon this text in Scalig. de Emendat. Temp, lib. 3. p. 153. Cleric. Comment, in loc. and will, after all, find the passage to be obscure, at most but doubtfully explained by those who have written upon it.
none of the texts that suggest this festival, is there any mention ha yareach or hal lebanah of the moon; for not the first day of the moon, but the first day of the month was the day observed by them. It is remarkable that this signification of the Hebrew texts was so undeniable to the Jewish Rabbins, that they could not but own, that their observing the first days of months upon new-moons did not arise from any direction of the words of the law,' they say it was one
dth is the same as oi*3. See Proverbs vii. 21. roon n is the known expression for the feast of tabernacles. Deut. xv'i. 13. And I have been apt to suspect that transcribers have misplaced the letter D in the word caseh, and wrote HD33 instead of rocn i. e. baccesek for hassuccoth. In the Hebrew the letter* of the one word might readily be written for the lettCTs of the o*hcr. And if we may make this emendation, hasuecoth lejotn haggenu, will signify on the day of our feast of tabernacles; and the Psalmist will appear to recommend the observing two solemn feasts, which fell almost together in the same month; the one the monlh-day, or, first day of the seventh month, on which was to be a memorial of blowing of trumpets, Levit. xxiii. 24. the other the first day of the feast of tabernacles. See ver. 34. 'Maimonid. more Nevoch. p. 3. c. 46.
of the matters which Moses was taught in the mount, and by tradition was brought down to them.' It is, I think, undeniable, that the Jews did admit the use of a new form of computing their year some time after the captivity, which differed in many points from their more ancient method; and which obliged them in time to make many rules for the translation of days and feasts j an account of which we may find in the writers of their antiquities.' But the law, as Moses or Joshua left it to the observance of their fathers, or as it was observed untij. after David's or Solomon's time, seems to have been a stranger to all these regulations. I might perhaps say, that the Jews in following these were in many points led contrary to Moses' directions. When our Saviour was betrayed, he was apprehended on the night of the passover after he had eaten the passover with his disciples,' and carried early in the evening to the high