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Conjunction or Sighted Which?

By Joe Dumond

The subject of when the new month is to start has been argued over for many years. With both sides presenting logical and convincing papers to prove the matter to their own cause. It is the Bible that both sides use and it is confusing to those who are not so adept at searching out the scriptures. In the end, the average follower of Messiah is forced to admit they just do not know. Or they say that when the Messiah returns then He will sort it all out and we will then do as He says.

I was one of these confused followers. I had no idea. And I had no idea how to find out. I wanted to know the truth and not to be misled. It took me months to come to any conclusion, and it was based on slim evidence. But it is the one I have followed now for just over a year. Was I right in my thinking? I am not so inclined to just assume I am always right. So I constantly look for reinforcement to back my position or to change my position when I see that I am wrong. To admit that you are wrong is very difficult for me and is almost always met with resistance-sometimes very strong resistance.

As many of you did in the past or are at present, we all followed the Hebrew Calendar. I was challenged on this over a year ago, 2004-2005. I came to my conclusion that I should be keeping the sighted new moon as the beginning of my month. I based this on the evidence that you cannot know when the Messiah is to return although we all believe He is to come back on the Feast of Trumpets. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matt. 24:36). See article on Return of Yahshua.

Yet we have in our possession calendars that tell us exactly when the Feast of Trumpets is years and years in advance. So we do know, but Matt. 24:36 say we can’t know. So from this I concluded that by using a new sighted moon, which can’t be known until it is actually seen in Jerusalem on the day it appears, that we must use the sighted moon method to determine the new month. It was simple and made sense to me. But I could not prove it correct by scriptures.

Then I discovered Nehemia Gordon and the Karaites, and Michael Rood and his calendar, and others who also agree now back me up. And then I find some of you to whom this paper is sent to, who also agree with this conclusion. I was vindicated, but when I am presented with the conjuncture moon argument I am left with a feeling of not being sure any more. I am uneasy until I am once again convinced I am doing things according to the Law. But the conjuncture moon people are also doing so according to the law. Are both right?

And I am just as sure that those who follow the conjuncture moon are just as unsettled as I am, when the subject is brought up and discussed. Who has the absolute proof positive? If we are honest with each other as we should be to brothers and sister, then we would always be uncomfortable talking about this, because we won’t have the ‘thus says the lord’, scripture to go too.

It is in this light of not being 100% positive that I kept two Feast this year in 2005. I also kept two Passovers. And two Pentecost. I was not sure. Not 100% sure which one was correct. Then after talking to Chiam Goldman of the Rood Awakening Crew, he suggested I keep both this year. It was hard but I figured I was safe. But having done it I feel as if I was a hypocrite. Not being true to my beliefs. I knew the postponements were an abomination, and wrong. This is what the Hebrew Calendar does in the fall. Moving the Feast of trumpets one or two days away from the actual day of the new moon whether it was conjuncture or sighted, made no difference. Just whether or not it was going to be two Holy days back to back. Like a Friday and Saturday. If it was two Holy Days back to back, then the Feast of Trumpets was moved one or two days later. This is not biblical at all, but a man made idea. There are other rules but I am not here to discuss them.

The purpose of this paper is to offer you the proof positive that will conclude which is the correct way to determine the new moon, and thus the beginning of the new year and having once done that then we will be able to determine when each of the Holy Days is to fall. It is important to keep the Sabbath on the 7th day. Saturday. It is also just as important to keep the other Holy Days, the High Holy Days on the day we are commanded to keep them. Not when ever we want to. It is not our choice as to when they should be. It is our Fathers choice. Our choice is to whether or not we will obey.

So what is this proof?

As many of you are now aware of I have been reading many of Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s books this past winter. And am blown away by the things I am finding. In his book The Star that Astonished the World Mr. Martin is showing us by Astronomy, exactly the day and even the hour that our Messiah was born. Something I felt was impossible until I read his book and how he came to the conclusions he has. You can get a copy at . In the process of proving his points, he touches on the subject of the new moon, not to settle an argument as to when it was, whether conjuncture or sighted, but to show the truth behind a prophesy that we all know. In fact, we do all know the prophecies about the birth of the messiah.

So I will not tell you which New Moon is correct. You yourself must decide which method is the correct one. I will now show you what Mr. Martin showed me. Once I saw this all confusion as to whether it should be calculated conjuncture or sighted are put to rest.

The birth of the Messiah is recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, and in Luke’s Gospel. Did you know it was also recorded in Revelation?

But first let me quote you what it says in E. Raymond Capts book The Glory of the Stars. Another good book to have in your library.

Psalms 19:1-4
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun

Genesis 1:14-19
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Job 38:31-33
“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion? 32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth (Zodiac) in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?

Isaiah 40:25-26
“To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.

Psalms 147:4
He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

[ The Stars were put there by Yahweh, and each one named by Him. They have the same names in every language around the world. Although pronounced differently, they mean the same thing in each language. The constellations were named by Adam, Seth and Enoch and passed on down to us through Noah. They were given to them, by Yahweh as prophetic reminders each night of things to come. And can be read in any language around the world, today]

Chapter one- Constellation of Virgo [ the Virgin]

Virgo is pictured as a woman with a branch in her right hand and some ears of corn in her left hand. The name of this sign in Hebrew is “Bethulah”, which means ” a virgin”: In Arabic , “Adarah”, “the pure virgin”: in Greek ” Parthenos”, “the maid of virgin pureness”. All the traditions, names and mythologies, connected with this sign, recognize and emphasize the virginity of the women.

In the Zodiac of Denderah, in Egypt, Virgo is also represented with a branch in her hand. To the Egyptians the woman was represented as Isis, the wife of Osirus and was called “Aspolia”, which means “ears of corn” or “the seed”. The Greeks, like wise ignorant of the Divine origin and teaching of this sign , represented Virgo as “Ceres” with ears of Corn in her hand.

The corn and the branch denote a two-fold nature of the Coming Seed. The first coming as the incarnate fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” and as quoted in Matt 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

The bright star in the ear of corn in her left hand is called in Arabic, “Al Zimach”, meaning “the branch”. Zechariah writes of this branch in Zech 3:8 -For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. It is significant that Christ referred to Himself as the corn, or seed of wheat , which needed to fall and die on order to attain it’s proper fruitfulness. John 12:23-24.

One of the stars in the branch is called “Al Mureddin” which means , ” who shall come down” or ” who shall have dominion”.

Psalms 72:8 states “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.” The star is also known by the Chaldee word, ” Vindermiatrix ” which means “the son” or “branch who cometh”. An emblem of Christ, much employed by the prophets, was the branch, root, bough or sprout of a plant. Thus we find Christ described as the Rod from the stem of Jesse and a Branch out of his roots ( Isaiah 11:1). He is the branch of Righteousness, the Branch of thee Lord, God’s servant the Branch (Jer. 23:5; Isaiah 4:2; Zech 3:8; 6:12 ).

It should be pointed out that Virgo, in a broader prophetic sense, represented “the Virgin , the daughter of Zion ( Isaiah 37:22) which is another name for the nation of Israel ( the whole 12 tribes) . Throughout the Old and New Testament, Israel is often spoken of as the figures of a woman, the “wife” of Yahveh; the “virgin” of Zion (Jeremiah 14:17; 18:13; Amos 5:2; 2 John 1:1)

Mr Capt goes on to show how the whole Zodiac in its correct form is a letter from our Creator to us and can be read each night if we would take the time to do so. It opens the door to a deeper understanding of what He has been saying all these years.

I have in the past always assumed the Zodiac was a pagan thing. I now realize that it was a message from Yahweh, and was perverted into a pagan worship. Yah’s message has not changed. But the way in which we look at that message has. It became perverted. Similar to the snake on the pole that Moses made. Yahweh told him to make it but it was the people in Hezekiah’s day who were worshiping the snake and pole and not Yahweh. So it was destroyed.

Now we can read in the book of Revelation how the Apostle John read these stars.

Rev 12:1-6
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

If we look in the Zodiac we will see that Virgo or the virgin is being spoken about. And another constellation of the serpent is also mentioned and it just so happens to have its head near the Virgin. Coincidence? No, prophetic! This is talking about the birth of the Messiah and how King Herod tried to have Him killed as soon as he was born.

So now we have a zodiac in Heaven with a moving Moon also mentioned. This is crucial to the whole understanding. So make a note of this. We are talking about the moon in the constellation Virgo, at a moment in time. That moment was the day the Messiah was born. That day was the Feast of Trumpets. That year was the purpose of the book Mr. Martin wrote. This moon in Virgo was how he determined the exact hour the messiah was born. And by doing so settle the argument as to how to decide which moon we should use to determine the beginning of the month. But he was not trying to prove any thing about the moon, but his whole book was about when the Messiah was born. I am not sure he even realized what he said when he did say it. But the proof is over whelming evidence of how we are to determine the new moon.

The Feast of Trumpets as we all know is on the First day of the Seventh month. And the beginning of Trumpets, or the first day of the Feast of Trumpets is determined by the New Moon. The argument is not whether or not to keep Trumpets but as to which new moon we use to determine the first day. A conjunctured New Moon or a Sighted New Moon Crescent.

I don’t want to mess this up so I am going to quote exactly what Mr. Martin says, starting on page 82 of his book and finishing on page 90. He says…….

The essential factor in interpreting the symbol of Revelation 12:1-5 is the identification of the woman. What is John signifying by mentioning her? This much is certain: The woman in the first three verses is featured as being in Heaven and both the Sun and the Moon are in association with her. After the dragon casts down a third of the stars of heaven (Revelation 12:4), the woman is then found on earth ( versus 6 and 14). But the important factor is the birth of the man-child and the woman’s relationship with the heavenly signs while she is symbolically in heaven ( the first three versus of Revelation 12 shows the Sun clothing her, and the Moon under her feet and the twelve stars on her head.)

The “birth” of the Messiah is associated with this heavenly spectacle. Since some noted heavenly bodies are a part of the picture, it could well be that John intended the woman to represent a constellation that the two primary luminaries transverse, and that she was a part of the zodiacal system which gives headship to the signs (the Twelve Stars were a “crown” upon her head). Recall that interpreting astronomical signs dominated the thinking of most people in the first century, whether the people were Jews or Gentiles. Indeed the word “sign” used by the author of the book of Revelation to describe this celestial display was the same one used by the ancients to denote zodiacal constellations. [Liddell and Scott., Lexicon, 1448.]

This is made clearer when one looks closely at the text. Since the Sun and Moon are amidst or in line with the body of this woman, she could be, in a symbolic way , a constellation located with in the normal paths of the Sun and Moon. The only sign of a woman which exists along the ecliptic ( the track of the Sun in its journey through the stars) is that of Virgo the Virgin. She occupies, in body form, a space of about 50 degrees along the ecliptic. The head of the woman actually bridges some 10 degrees into the previous sign of Leo and her feet overlap about 10 degrees into the following sign of Libra, the Scales. In the period of Jesus’ birth, the Sun entered in it’s annual course through the heavens into the head position of the woman about August 13, and exited from her feet about October 2. But the Apostle John saw the scene when the sun was “clothing” or “adorning” the woman. This surely indicates that the position of the Sun in the vision was located somewhere mid-bodied to the woman, between the neck and the knees. The Sun could hardly be said to clothe her if it were situated in her face or near her feet.

The only time in the year that the Sun could be in a position to ” clothe” the celestial woman called Virgo ( that is, to be mid-bodied to her, in the region where a pregnant woman carries a child) is when the Sun is located between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic. This “clothing” of the woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year. This 20-degree spread could indicate the general time when Jesus was born. In 3 BC., the Sun would have entered this celestial region about August 27 and exited from it about September 15. If John in the Book of Revelation is associating the birth of Jesus with the period when the Sun was mid-bodied to the woman called Virgo (and this is no doubt what he means), then Jesus would have to be born within that 20-day period. From the point of view of the Magi who were astrologers, this would have been the only logical sign under which the Jewish Messiah might have been born, especially if he were to be born of a virgin. Even today, astrologers recognize that the sign of Virgo is the one which has reference to a messianic world ruler to be born from a virgin. [Devore, Encyclopedia of Astrology, 366.]

This heavenly woman called Virgo is normally depicted as a virgin holding in her right hand a green branch and in her left hand a sprig of grain. In the Hebrew Zodiac, she at first (in the time of David) denoted Ruth who was gleaning in the fields of Boaz. She then later became the Virgin when the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 was given in the time of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah. This virgin held in her left hand a sprig of grain. This was precisely where the bright star called Spica is found. Indeed, the chief star of the constellation Virgo is Spica. Bullinger, in his book “The Witness of the Star” (pp. 29-34), said that the word Spica has, through the Arabic, the meaning “the branch” and that it symbolically refers to Jesus who was prophetically called ” the Branch” in Zechariah 3:8 and 6:12. And Bullinger ( and Seiss in his book ” The Gospel of the Stars”) maintain that this sign of Virgo designates the heavenly witness for the birth of the Messiah (Jesus). They say that Virgo should actually begin the zodiacal signs that give the story of the Messiah. This may be. The Apostle John may have given the same indication as far as the first full sign of the zodiac is concerned. He depicted the woman of Revelation as having a crown of Twelve Stars on her head.

This could well show that the woman (Virgo) is the constellation of headship for all the twelve signs. The “head” position of Virgo is actually located with in the last ten degrees of Leo. It was in this very region where the story of the career of the Messiah would begin that Bullinger and Seis were referring to. Thus, the story of Jesus and His mission on earth, as related by these heavenly symbols, should logically begin with his birth from a virgin and conclude with him being crowned king in the final sign of Leo the Lion (with its chief star being Regulus-the King Star). This is no doubt what the apostle John was trying to show through the symbols found in Revelation Twelve.

The birth of this child in revelation Twelve ( whom John identified with Jesus) should have occurred while the Sun was ” clothing” the woman, when the Sun was mid-bodied to Virgo. This period of time in 3 BC covered 20 days (August 27 to September 15). If Jesus were born within that 20-day period, it would fit most remarkably with the testimony of Luke (relative to the birth of John the Baptist and the eighth course of Abijah). Indeed, the chronological indications associated with this priestly course of Abijah place Jesus’ birth exactly within this period. But there is a way to arrive at a much closer time for Jesus’ birth than a simple 20-day period. The position of the moon in John’s vision actually pinpoints the nativity to with in a day—- to with in a period of an hour and a half ( within 90 minutes) on that day. This may appear an absurd assessment on the surface, but it is quite possible. (Bold and underline Emphasis mine)

The key is the Moon. The Apostle said it was located “under her feet”. What does the word “under” signify in this case? Does it mean the woman of the vision was standing on the Moon when John observed it or does it mean her feet were positioned slightly above the Moon? John does not tell us. This, however, is not of major consequence in using the location of the Moon to answer our question because it would only involve the difference of a degree or two. The Moon travels about 12 degrees a day in its course through the heavens. This motion of one or two degree by the Moon represents on earth only a period of two to four hours. This difference is no problem in determining the time of Jesus’ birth. What is vital, however is that this shows the Moon as a New Moon. (Emphasis Mine, Bold and Underline)

Now note this point. Since the feet of Virgo the Virgin represent the last 7 degrees of the constellation ( in the time of Jesus this would have been between about 180 and 187 degrees along the ecliptic), the Moon has to be positioned somewhere under that 7 degree arc to satisfy the description of Revelation Twelve. But the Moon also has to be in exact location when the Sun is mid-bodied to Virgo. In the year 3 BC., these two factors came to precise agreement for about an hour and a half, as observed from Palestine or Patmos, in the twilight period of September 11th . The relationship began about 6:15 p.m. ( sunset), and lasted until 7:45 p.m. (moonset). This is the only day in the whole year that the astronomical phenomenon described in the twelfth chapter of Revelation could take place.

This also shows one other important point. The Moon was in crescent phase. It was a New Moon day, the start of a new lunar month. (Emphasis Mine, Bold and Underline)

While ordinary people in modern times who are not professional astronomers have little knowledge of the solar, lunar, planetary and stellar motions, the people from the first century up to the Industrial Revolution were well accustomed to them. Even people of little education were generally knowledgeable of the main motions of the astronomical bodies—even more than most college educated people today. When anyone of early times read revelation 12:1-3, an astronomical relationship was realized at once. There was no doubt that a New Moon display was being shown to them. And when the woman of the sign was interpreted as Virgo the Virgin, and with the Sun mid-bodied to the Virgin, they clearly saw a New Moon day occurring sometime in late summer.

The Apostle John said this heavenly relationship occurred at the time of Jesus’ birth. And in 3 BC this exact combination of celestial factors happened just after sunset only on one day of the year. It was on September 11th. It could not have occurred at any other time of the year. Indeed, even one day before – on September 10 - the Moon would have been located above the virgins feet with the crescent not visible, while one day farther - September 12 - the Moon had moved too far beyond the feet of the virgin, at least 25 diameters of the Moon east of her feet. Thus only one day applies. That day was just after sunset on September 11th.

The Apostle John is actually presenting to his readers something of significance in a symbolic way. Revelation 12:1-3 certainly shows a New Moon day that could only be observed from earth just after sunset and the day was September 11th. This mater fits well with Luke’s description of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Recall that ” there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over the flocks by night…. And the angel said… unto you is born this day [ which began at sundown ] in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” ( Luke 2:8-11). Jesus was born in early evening, and Revelation 12 show it was a New Moon day.

What New Moon could this have been? The answer is most amazing. It is almost too amazing! September 11 3BC was Tishri One on the Jewish calendar. To Jewish people this would have been a very profound occasion indeed. Tishri One is none other than the Jewish New Year’s day ( Rosh ha-Shanah, or as the Bible calls it, The Day of Trumpets - Leviticus 23:23-26) . It was an important annual holy day of the Jews ( but not one of the three annual festivals that required all Palestinian Jews to be in Jerusalem).

What a significant day for the appearance of the Messiah to arrive on earth from the Jewish point of view. And remarkably, no other day of the year could astronomically fit Revelation 12:1-3. The Apostle John is certainly showing forth an astronomical sign which answers precisely with the Jewish New Year Day. John would have surely realized the significance of this astronomical scene that he was describing.

The preceding three and a half pages were taken from Pages 82-90 of the Star that Astonished the World by Ernest L. Martin.

Other books on this subject, of interest to you will be:

  • The Gospel in the Stars by Joseph A Seiss
  • The Witness of the Stars by E.W. Bullinger
  • The Glory of the Stars by E. Raymond Capt
  • Mazzaroth by Frances Rolleston written in1865. A rare book.
  • 365 Starry Nights by Chet Raymo

I contacted Mr. Wadsworth and he confirmed the findings of Mr. Martin. In fact many planetariums around the world have changed their Planetary shows based on the findings of Mr. Martin.

And to confirm this myself I also installed a computer program called Dance of the Stars, recommended and purchased from Mr. Wadsworth. And another soft ware program called Starry Nights, which you can get at . I too was able to show this same event on the same day. The Moon conjunction was September 9. September 10 was a 1% Moon which would have been difficult to see with the sun setting only moments before. September 11 was a 4% Visible Crescent Moon.

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