Is Psalm 81:3 Schizo?
"Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day."
In all of Scripture I don't know if there is a more abused verse than Psalm 81:3. It's thrown around in just about every conversation regarding what phase of the moon is the beacon for the New moon on THE MASTER'S CLOCK. Both FVC and DMC Lunar Sabbath observers treat the verse as though words don't have meanings, it's truly sad. We'll never get to the true creation calendar of THE MASTER if we don't allow words to mean what words mean!
Given the number of different translations and the conclusions of the many commentators one might begin to think Psalm 81:3 has what is actually called M.P.D. or Multiple Personality Disorder!
I have personally read translations that have made this verse refer to Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, Yom Teruah and the Feast of Tabernacles!!! How can one verse have so many identities? It's M.P.D. for sure. Is Psalm 81:3 a little bit schizo?
Of the six Hebrew words which make up the entirety of Psalm 81:3 there are three words which demand center stage, everything the verse is trying to communicate revolves around them. Those three words are 1) chodesh, 2) keseh and 3) chag. Beyond the the six Hebrew words and especially those three words, translators provide (supply) words to help make sense of the Hebrew when translating into English, unfortunately, as we will see, these words are not in the original Hebrew and change the meaning of the verse dramatically.
Here are the six Hebrew words from which all the confusion ensues. These six Hebrew words make up the entire verse, everything else you read in English is being 'supplied'.
Psalm 81:3 >>
Strong's Transliteration Hebrew English
8628 [e] tiq·‘ū תִּקְע֣וּ Blow
2320 [e] ḇa·ḥō·ḏeš בַחֹ֣דֶשׁ the new
7782 [e] šō·w·p̄ār; שׁוֹפָ֑ר the trumpet
3677 [e] bak·kê·seh, בַּ֝כֵּ֗סֶה the full
3117 [e] lə·yō·wm לְי֣וֹם day
2282 [e] ḥag·gê·nū. חַגֵּֽנוּ׃ our feast
Psalm 81:3 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
תִּקְע֣וּ בַחֹ֣דֶשׁ שֹׁופָ֑ר בַּ֝כֵּ֗סֶה לְיֹ֣ום חַגֵּֽנוּ׃
KJV with Strong's
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon in the time appointed on our solemn feast day.
If the translation you use has words like 'up', 'time', 'of', 'solemn', 'and', 'on' or 'at' please understand that these words are being supplied by the translator to help make sense of the verse as it is being translated from Hebrew to English according to the biased, preconceived understanding of the translator! Some of those 'supplied' words may be appropriate while others may not be.
It's fascinating to discover the wildly differing opinions expressed in the translations and commentaries. Although the first word of our three subjects, the word 'chodesh', seems to be securely translated as New Moon the other two get bounced around quite a bit. The second of our subject words, the word 'keseh', begins the verse's Multiple Personality Disorder crisis. 'Keseh' is properly translated as 'Full Moon' or 'Appointed Time'. But since that doesn't fit the translator's presupposition of what the verse should say they then turn to the root word of 'keseh' which is 'kasah', the problem here is the word 'kasah' is not used in the verse! 'Kasah' properly translated means 'covered' or 'dressed'. This gives the commentators a little wiggle room as they then respond with their preconceived notion that the New Moon must be dark and a 'covered' moon is dark, therefore they say 'keseh' should not be translated as 'Full Moon'. The translators then choose to use the more vague definition of 'keseh' which is 'Appointed Time'. Unfortunately this then requires the translators to get a little creative and end up having to 'add' to the Scriptures by supplying a conjunction, the word 'and'. Of course this then changes a single blast of the shofar which takes place on the New Moon which is Full Moon to two blasts of the shofar which take place on the New Moon and then once again on the 'Appointed Time' which is then understood to be the 'chag' referred to later in the verse which is understood to take place in the middle of the month! But... There is no 'and'; it is being supplied so that the translator can make sense out of this verse according to his indoctrination as to what constitutes New Moon! There is no 'and' and there is only one blast of the shofar in the verse!
Much of this confusion could easily be eliminated if the translators and commentators would come clean and admit the obvious fact that the moon, without any influence from the solar system is a dark bodied space object. In other words the moon stripped naked is naturally dark. It is only when the dark surface of the moon is flooded with the sun's light, i.e. 'covered', that we see the natural connection between the Hebrew word 'keseh' (Full Moon) and 'kasah' (covered).
Then finally there is the last of our three subject words, the word 'chag', which is properly translated as 'festival' or 'feast'. The problem is many, if not most, translators understand 'chag' to be solely identified with the three travel festivals of 1st Day of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot and 1st Day of Tabernacles. Both the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles begin on the 15th day of the 1st and 7th month respectively. Even though Scripture doesn't say a word anywhere about either of these 15th day feasts falling on a Full Moon that doesn't stop the translators from making the assumption that they do indeed according to the traditions of men! Therefore they reason that the word 'chag' used here refers to the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread due to the context of the rest of Psalm 81 and therefore the 'chag' is also the 'appointed time' (keseh) just mentioned! Remember that the translators and commentators must 'redefine' the word 'keseh' to mean dark moon as being the New Moon or use the definition of 'keseh' to mean 'appointed time' which then can refer to a 'chag' which falls in the middle of the month! From the perspective of the majority of Full Mooners then the very last thing these indoctrinated translators and commentators can possibly allow is that 1) chodesh, 2) keseh and 3) chag could all be referring to one and the same thing with a single blast of the shofar to announce them.
There is no doubt in my mind that the context of the first five verses of Psalm 81 is directly connected to the first 28 verses of Exodus 12. Therefore when Psalm 81:3 speaks of "Blow the Chodesh shofar on the Keseh..." it is talking about blowing a shofar on the 1st day of the 1st month which is also the 1st day of the New Year. Because I am a reasonable person trying to discern the truth of this verse I am considering the possibility that the word 'chag' does in fact refer to the 'Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread' and not the Full Moon, as the majority of Full Mooners would have us to believe, based on the context of Exodus 12 which is no doubt what Psalm 81:3-5 is alluding to. With that in mind the verse is telling us that the New Moon shofar should be blown 'on' the Full Moon to announce the month of our 'chag', i.e. the Passover/Feast of Unleavend Bread.
Although it may be perfectly appropriate to add the word 'on' in the first half of the verse in this manner, "Blow the New Moon shofar 'on' the Full Moon..." I am definitely questioning the appropriateness of supplying the word 'on' in the last half of the verse in this manner, "'on' our feast day."
The reason I say this is because the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread are indeed a travel festival which would require advanced warning. It would be vitally important for the Israelites to know whether the old year had a thirteenth month or whether the New Year had begun requiring them to travel to Jerusalem in two week's time. In that sense Psalm 81:3 is telling us to blow the New Moon shofar on the Full Moon marking the New Year and the 1st Month within which the travel festival of Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread falls.
Is that in fact what the verse is saying? I can't be dogmatic but according to the context of both Psalm 81:3-5 and Exodus 12:1-28 I can't help but believe it is. May we all be led by the Ruach of YHWH as we humble ourselves and seek His face!
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