In Leviticus, chapter 23, verses 1-2, is where the Lord instructs Moses to speak unto the children of Israel concerning the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. In verse 4, it states again: “These are the feasts of the Lord even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”  (The word feasts in these verses is Strong’s #4150, mo’ed’, mo-ade’; that mean appointed times.)  Starting in verse 5, instructions are given telling when all the annual feasts are to be observed. [All verses are quoted from the Authorized King James Version.]
       The feast on the first day of the seventh month is the only annual feast that occurs on the date of the new moon. Notice the instructions in verse 24, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”
       In Numbers 29:1, the Lord gave the instructions again. “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing of trumpets unto you.”
       Psalms, chapter 81, is a psalm written by A-saph who was appointed chief of his brethren the Levites, by King David.  His job was to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, (#2142 = to remember; to mention) and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel with singing and musical instruments, (1 Chr.16:4-6).
       Notice an especially important point that A-saph did record in song. (3) “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. (4) For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.”  The Feast of Trumpets is what verse three is referring to, as it is the only feast of God that always begins on the new moon and because verse four states it is “a law of the God of Jacob”, the “law” that we read in Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1.
       Verse three also tells us the correct new moon we must use to calculate and observe all the Lord’s annual feasts and holy convocations. (3) “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” 
       At this time we need to examine the definitions of some words in Psalms 81:3, the words are “new moon” and “appointed.”    The words, “new moon,” is Strong’s #2320, chodesh, kho’-desh; from 2318; the new moon; by implication a month:--- month (-ly), new moon.    #2318, chadash, khaw-dash’; a primitive root; to be new; causative to rebuild:--- renew, repair. 
       The word “appointed” is Strong’s #3677, kece’, keh’-seh; apparently from 3680; properly fullness or the full moon, i.e. its festival:--- (time) appointed. (In Proverbs 7:20, #3677 is used again.) #3680, kacah, kaw-saw’; a primitive root; properly to plump, i.e. fill up hollows; by implication to cover (for clothing or secrecy):--- clad self, close, clothe, conceal, cover (self), (flee to) hide, overwhelm.
       From the definitions of the words new moon and appointed, we can determine that the new moon or month is a full moon that is concealed in darkness!  A-saph did record which new moon Israel was observing: the dark new moon.  This is the same new moon that David, Jonathan, and King Saul were observing in 1 Samuel 20:5, 18, 24-29.
       The moon is “full” two times each month, at the New Moon phase when it is covered, and concealed in darkness and later at Full Moon phase when it is covered, fully illuminated with sun light, but not hidden or concealed. 
       The new moon in Psalms 81:3 is not a thin crescent new moon and it is not a Full Moon fully covered with sunlight. It is the dark new moon that is covered, hidden and concealed in darkness. 
       Just before the moon becomes “new,” it is covered with darkness with the exception of a very thin sliver of sunlight on the left side of the moon as viewed from earth. The New Moon or month begins at the first minute of zero percent illumination of sun light on the moon, at the time of the conjunction of sun and moon.
       Psalms 81:3 is proof that those who observe the crescent new moon are following the teachings and traditions of the ancient Jewish elders which were learned in Babylon.  
       Another way to know the dark new moon is the correct new moon to observe is to understand the dark-light cycles that God created in Genesis, chapter 1 and Genesis 2:1-3.
       Notice Genesis 1:14, “And God said, Let there be lights (the Sun, Moon, and Stars [Ps.136:7-9]) in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
       The earth has a dark – light cycle of evening and morning called a “day.”  (The present day ends and a new day begins when the Sun sets below the horizon, at even or evening.) Seven complete dark – light cycles of evening and morning days are what we call a “week.” 
       The moon has a dark - light cycle called a “lunar cycle” that takes 29 or 30 days to complete.  The new moon or month begins at the beginning of the dark New Moon phase.  After the dark New Moon phase ends, light begins to appear on the right side of the Moon and continues to increase until it is covered with sun light, called the “Full Moon” phase.  After the Full Moon phase, darkness begins to rebuild, repair or renew the Moon until it be new  when it is again hidden, covered or concealed with darkness as the Hebrew word chadash, khaw-dash’; (#2318) defines: to be new, to rebuild, renew, repair!
       The equinoxes also mark which hemisphere of the earth will have the longest day of dark and light.  After the autumn equinox, the length of darkness continues to increase and the longest night in the year will occur on the date of the winter solstice.  When the sun crosses the celestial equator into the northern hemisphere at the time of the vernal equinox in spring, the amount of light continues to increase and on the date of the summer solstice will be the longest day of sun light in the year.
       The solar year, also called tropical year, or year of seasons, is the time between two successive occurrences of the vernal equinox.  This tropical year is determined by the sun like God instructs in Genesis 1:14. By counting the number of days and number of dark new moons from the date of one vernal equinox until the next vernal equinox, we can determine how many days the Lord has placed in the year, 365 or 366 days, and the number of dark new moons or months the Lord has placed in the year, 12 or 13.  The number of days in a month is counted from one dark new moon until the next dark new moon and will be 29 or 30 days.  All the Lord’s annual feast dates must occur within the tropical year! 
       We can also know the dark new moon is what was established as the beginning of months by looking at the Lord’s example and by what Israel was instructed about graven images and idols.  Deuteronomy 4:10-19, 23 is where Moses exhorts Israel to be obedient to the Lord’s instructions. (10) “Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. (11) And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. (12) And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire; ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude, only ye heard a voice. (13) And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (14) And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. (15) Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: (16) Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.”  (It is my opinion that the Lord hid himself in darkness so the Israelites would not make a graven image of the Lord.  [Exodus 20:23 appears to confirms this]  The Lord wants us to worship, praise, and pray to him, not to an image or idol.)
       Continuing in verse (17) “The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air. (18) The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: (19) And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”  Another warning in verse (23) “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.”  Also read Exodus 20:3-6.
       The Lord who made the heavens is who we are to worship, not an image or idol.  Psalms 96:5, “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.”  1 Chronicles 16:26, “For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.”
       In 2 Chronicles 33:7, Manasseh did evil in the sight of the Lord when he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God.  [A carved image is the same as an idol to God.] We know the dark new moon is the beginning of months because the dark new moon cannot be fashioned into a graven image, similitude, or likeness because it is hidden, concealed in darkness and is invisible in the heavens. 
       The thin crescent new moon that follows the dark New Moon phase can and often was fashioned, by many nations and people, into a graven image or idol to worship.  Most Islamic countries today use the thin crescent moon seen shortly after sunset for a few days after the actual occurrence of the dark new moon phase to start their months and their holy days.  They display a crescent moon image as their flag emblem that represents the god they serve and worship, their moon god, Allah!   Many times a day, they bow down and pray to their moon god.  The crescent new moon does display an image in the heavens and that crescent image is a representative figure that represents the god they serve and which feast days they worship their god.
       Conclusion:  A-saph, the Levite, did record in song which “new moon” Israel was observing at the time of King David, The Concealed Full Moon, which is the dark New Moon phase of the lunar cycle that the Lord created in the heavens. The dark – light cycles that God created help us understand how God counts time.
       The Lord spoke to Israel while hidden, covered, or concealed in darkness at Horeb, so Israel would not corrupt themselves and make a graven image of the Lord.  Also, the likeness of any figure that the Lord had described was forbidden.
       The dark new moon does not reveal an image to worship because it is hidden, concealed in darkness, and is invisible in the heavens.  We are instructed not to make any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth to bow down to serve and worship them, Exodus 20:3-5.  We are to worship the Lord, not the things he created.
Updated 11-13-06 by Art Ryan