Reference: New Moon
The new moon was the commencement of each of the Hebrew months. See MONTH. The Hebrews had a particular veneration of the first day of every month, for which Moses appointed peculiar sacrifices, Nu 28:11-15; but he gave no orders that it should be kept as a holy day, nor can it be proved that the ancients observed it as such: it was a festival of merely voluntary devotion. It appears that even from the time of Saul, they made on this day a sort of family entertainment; since David ought then to have been at the king's table and Saul took his absence amiss, 1Sa 20:5,18. Moses implies that, besides the national sacrifices then regularly offered, every private person had his particular sacrifices of devotion, Nu 10:10. The beginning of the month was proclaimed by sound of trumpet, Ps 81:3, and the offering of solemn sacrifices. But the most celebrated "new moon" was that at the beginning of the civil year, or first day of the month Tishri, Le 23:24. This was a sacred festival, on which no servile labor was performed, Am 8:5. In the kingdom of the ten tribes, it seems to have been a custom of the people to visit the prophets at the new moons, for the purpose of carrying them presents, and hearing their instructions, 2Ki 4:23. Ezekiel says, Eze 45:17, (see also 1Ch 23:31; 2Ch 8:13,) that the burnt offerings offered on the day of the new moon were to be provided at the king's expense. The observance of this festival was discontinued soon after the establishment of Christianity, Ga 4:9-10; Col 2:16, though the Jews take some notice of the day even now.
(See MONTH.) On it work was suspended (Am 8:5), the temple was opened for worship (Isa 66:23), and in northern Israel the godly repaired to the prophets for religious instruction (2Ki 4:23). The trumpets were blown, in token of gladness, at the sacrifices peculiar to the clay (Nu 10:10; Ps 81:3); but there was no "holy convocation" as on the sabbath. The seventh new moon of the religious year was the feast of trumpets and began the civil year.
The first day of the lunar month was observed as a holy day. In addition to the daily sacrifice there were offered two young bullocks, a ram and seven lambs of the first year as a burnt offering, with the proper meat offerings and drink offerings, and a kid as a sin offering.
As on the Sabbath, trade and handicraft work were stopped,
and the temple was opened for public worship.
The trumpets were blown at the offering of the special sacrifices for the day, as on the solemn festivals.
It was an occasion for state banquets.
In later, if not in earlier, times fasting was intermitted at the new moons. Judith 8:6. The new moons are generally mentioned so as to show that they were regarded as a peculiar class of holy days, distinguished from the solemn feasts and the Sabbaths.
The seventh new moon of the religious year, being that of Tisri, commenced the civil year, and had a significance and rites of its own. It was a day of holy convocation. The religious observance of the day of the new moon may plainly be regarded as the consecration of a natural division of time.