And in the beginnings of your months you shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;
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George Leo Haydock
Month. This is not reckoned among the festivals, Leviticus xxiii. The Rabbins look upon it as a day of devotion, particularly for women. (Buxtorf. Syn. xvii.) Spencer (Rit. iii. 1,) maintains, that the Hebrews began their month when the moon first appeared, and that they imitated the pagans in keeping that day holy. But his proofs on both heads are very unsatisfactory. The Hebrews followed the solar year for many ages after Moses, though they might have adopted the lunar towards the close of the republic; and the pagans themselves ridiculed those as vile imitators of the Jews, who kept the new moons as a festival. (Hor. Sat. i. 9.) Sabbata Vin tu Curtis Judæis oppedere.
The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Arabs, and Turks, have given in to various superstitious practices in honour of the moon. See Macrob. Sat. i. 15 (Calmet)
The devil is commonly the ape of God, and teaches his votaries to adopt the ceremonies of the true religion, either to elude them more easily, or to bring those practices into discredit. Thus Middleton has endeavoured to show the conformity of Pagan and Papal Rome, as if the ceremonies of the Catholic religion were to be rejected, because some of them have been in use among the heathens. By the same argument, he may ridicule the revelation of God himself, on this subject, and represent vestments, holy water, as superstitious. He may pull down altars, condemn all forms of prayer, abolish all worship, both of soul and body. For such things have all been prostituted to idols! But those who are not totally infatuated by prejudice, will deplore the abuse of these things, and will not refrain from adoring the true God according to his will, with all the faculties both of their soul and body, on account of the devil and his false prophets having extorted similar acts of worship from their followers. It is no wonder that Protestants should ridicule our holy ceremonies, since they scruple not to assign so base an origin to those which God expressly prescribed. (Haydock)
The sacrifices which were ordered to be offered up on the first day of the month, were probably designed to renew the memory of the world's creation, or rather of the divine Providence, which regulates the seasons. Nothing was sold on this day, Amos viii. 5. But people went to hear the prophets, (4 Kings iv. 23,) and feasted among themselves, 1 Kings xx. 18. It is thought that many rested also from servile work, though this is no where commanded. (Calmet)
Tirinus agrees with To stat and Sanctius, in supposing that servile work was prohibited, for which he refers to 1 Kings xx. 19. He also asserts, that the Jews observed the lunar system, and that their months consisted of 29 and 30 days alternately, as 29 days and a half elapse from one moon to another. The sound of trumpets probably announced this solemnity, chap. x. 10., and Leviticus xxiii. (Haydock)