In your Passover booklet you state: “It is true that the sun divides day from night and brings about the seasons, while the new moon sets the beginning of months.” My question is, how does the lights in the firmament determine or “brings about the seasons”?
I assume your question is predicated on Genesis 1:14. Based on this single passage, some advocate the use of the equinox to begin the biblical year. They derive this from the reference to the sun and moon. However, it’s crucial to realize that this passage is broad and does not provide any specifics as to how to determine the calendar. For this reason, we must consider additional passages.
Regarding your question, we believe that the sun marks the days, the moon marks the months, and the agriculture (i.e., barley) marks the year. Deuteronomy 16:1 states, “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto Yahweh thy Elohim….”
The word “observe” comes from the Hebrew shamar. The primary meaning of shamar is to guard, which requires the action of watching. The word “month” derives from the Hebrew chodesh and refers to the new moon. The word “Abib” is Hebrew and literally means, young ears of grain.
Based on the above passage and the Hebrew, it’s evident that we’re to watch for the new moon in the month when the barley is within the Abib stage (i.e., when there is sufficient dough in the ear to roast).
Psalm 104:19 also provides insight is how the sun and moon relates to the seasons: “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.” The word “seasons” is moed and refers to the Feast days. Yahweh confirmed here that the moon, i.e., new moon crescent, is for the seasons. In other words, it’s the crescent that determines the month and therefore the Feast days.
For additional information on the calendar, read our booklet: The Biblical Calendar