Andrew Gabriel Roth’s
Commentary on John 7:23
Studying the Scriptures to show one’s self approved with a truly open mind, and by saying an ‘open mind’ I mean that you’re willing to change your views when new evidence forces you to admit you’ve been wrong, can be a most liberating personal experience. That may seem straightforward enough and easy to do but I really don’t think many people are capable of it. Nevertheless, those who do have that capability are set free via a constantly increasing confidence in that which they currently believe to be true is actually correct. This confidence comes simply because they have been willing to move with the Spirit as it guides them into deeper revelation, the deeper the open minded study, the deeper the revelation and the end result is a fearless confidence when confronted with opposing views. The owner of that mindset will approach opposing views with a resolve to defend their present views with a bold confidence but with an ‘open mind’ to the opposing view. If the evidence provided by the opposing view is stronger than the currently held view the owner of the currently held view will then, with further confirming study, adopt the opposing view. Not only will the opposing view be adopted, it will probably be clung to more tightly than it is by the one who brought the opposing view in the first place. The one who searches for truth has absolutely nothing to fear! It is with that kind of mind set and fearless confidence that I have approached this rebuttal. As you will see by reading this rebuttal to the end I will not be abandoning my view of Full Moon Rosh Chodesh and Lunar Sabbath Observance!
I personally am not the brightest star in the evening sky and for me to take Mr. Roth to task over his commentary on John 7:21-23 might seem a bit ambitious considering the stature he has gained within the Hebrew Roots Movement. There can be no doubt Mr. Roth is a highly intelligent, highly motivated man who is highly regarded by many, but intelligence and zeal can be a dangerous thing if not guided by the Ruach HaKodesh. So, who am I to say he is not just wrong… but dead wrong!
A word about me, I am a simple man who is on a journey to know the truth of Scripture and the One who is proclaimed in those words, the Messiah Yeshua! Part of that journey has taken me to high places to watch The Two GREAT LIGHTS in the heavens as they beacon the Father’s Moedim, including the 7th Day Sabbath… no, on second thought, especially the 7th Day Sabbath! I am a Full Moon Rosh Chodesh Lunar Sabbath observer and I make no apologies!
To get this rebuttal started let me quote John 7:21-23 for you and then I’ll quote the commentary of Mr. Roth on that portion of Scripture, which I have taken offense too. By the way, whenever I quote a verse of Scripture in this article it will be from Mr. Andrew Gabriel Roth’s ARAMAIC ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT 1st Edition, often referred to as the AENT, whenever possible.
Y’shua answered and said to them, “One work I have done and all of you marvel! Because of this, Moshe gave circumcision to you. It was not because it was from him, Moshe, but from the patriarchs; yet you circumcise a man on the day of the Shabbat. If a man is circumcised on the day of the Shabbat so that the Torah of Moshe not be loosed, why do you argue against me because the whole man I have made whole on the day79 of the Shabbat? (John 7:21-23 AENT 1st Edition)
Mr. Roth’s commentary on these verses follows…
“79 This event is in active participle form in Aramaic, indicating that it is unfolding into the immediate present. As a result, this verse clearly invalidates the false theory of a lunar Shabbat. This cannot be referring to a miracle on any other time but, rather, at that moment on that day – since that selfsame moment is called the Shabbat day! Y’shua states that a day between the first and last days of Sukkot is the Shabbat. That being the case, the Shabbat is by definition, falling on a day other than the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd or 29th day of the month. This imperative clearly nullifies the lunar Shabbat falsehood; it is validated by Aramaicists and authoritative Aramaic grammars of both Christian and Jewish persuasion. Neither is there any historical documentation among Netzarim followers of Y’shua regarding the observance of a lunar Shabbat. Nor do Jewish historians such as Yoseph ben Mattathias (Josephus) support the theory that Y’shua’s talmidim observed a lunar Shabbat. Had Y’shua or his talmidim adopted lunar Shabbat observance, the Rabbinical world would have raked them over the coals, but no such thing is evidenced in Jewish writings.
The lunar Shabbat theory is a fallacy, invented by a “lunatic”.”
(Andrew Gabriel Roth, Commentary on John 7:21-23 AENT)
Setting aside, for the moment, the last sentence which I find extraordinarily offensive, unworthy of respect, unworthy of what many esteem to be a prestigious work and especially unworthy considering it has been placed amongst the pages of holy writ. This hardly seems the place for something so juvenile. I must say that I am not going to contend with Mr. Roth regarding his claims to there being no ‘historical documentation’ regarding Messiah Yeshua and His disciples observing a Lunar Sabbath, that is a ridiculous statement that is proven false on nearly every Lunar Sabbath website that I know of. From the perspective of a Lunar Sabbath Observer one would have to wonder if Mr. Roth lives in a vacuum or possibly a cave to say such a thing, has he been a true Berean? Has he given Lunar Sabbath Observance a fair hearing? Of course the strength Mr. Roth’s statement on there being no ‘historical documentation’ is totally dependent upon the reader not doing their homework! Furthermore I don’t know of a single Lunar Sabbath website that claims Yeshua and His disciples ‘adopted’ the Lunar Sabbath. It is most certainly not claimed by the Lunar Sabbath community that I am familiar with, clearly Messiah Yeshua and His disciples did not ‘adopt’ a Lunar Sabbath Observance; it was rather the norm and had been since Moses! This is the type of misrepresentation of Lunar Sabbath Observance that I find in every anti-Lunar Sabbath article I’ve ever read. Sorry, that dog just won’t hunt!
Getting back to the meat of the issue here… according to Mr. Roth the Aramaic demands the statement being made here in John 7:21-23 by Yeshua refers to a healing event that had just taken place ‘at that moment’ rather than anything that had taken place prior to ‘that moment’. Because this conversation is, according to Mr. Roth, couched in the ‘active participle form’ it connects a healing event that took place on a Sabbath to the very moment these words were being spoken. Therefore, according to Mr. Roth the day the words were being spoken was a Sabbath that fell in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is impossible if the Lunar Sabbath method of reckoning is true. Please be mindful that if the healing event and the words being spoken by Messiah Yeshua during the Feast of Tabernacles happens to take place on the 1st Day of the Feast, i.e. the 15th Day of the 7th Month, then Mr. Roth is completely silenced in his objection. The same can be said if the healing took place on the 8th Day of the Feast, i.e. the 22nd Day of the 7th Month. This event has to happen on the 16th Day of the 7th Month or later up to and including the 21st Day of the 7th Month for him to even think he has a case against Lunar Sabbath observance. The Feast of Tabernacles always begins on the 15th Day of the 7th Month, a day that is ALWAYS a weekly Sabbath and therefore ALWAYS a ‘High Sabbath’ in Lunar Sabbath Observance. According to Lunar Sabbath reckoning the weekly Sabbaths ALWAYS fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th Days of EVERY month and therefore if there is a Sabbath recorded in Scripture that can be unequivocally ascertained to have fallen on any other date (he believes this healing took place on the 19th Day of the 7th Month) then Lunar Sabbath reckoning is a false method of marking the weekly Sabbath (excluding the possibility of a manuscript or translation problem). Which is exactly what Mr. Roth has set out to prove and why he has turned to his Aramaic Peshitta. After all, how many of us can debate him based on the minutia of the Aramaic language, I certainly can’t, can you?
At this point I think it imperative to tell you that I am not a linguist at any level of any language, much less Aramaic. Quite frankly I have trouble spelling my name and speaking English, which is my native and only tongue. I have no problem believing Mr. Roth could be correct in his analysis of John 7:21-23 in the Aramaic, he might be right, he could be wrong, I wouldn’t know. I do wonder though about an apparent mindset in Mr. Roth that the Aramaic here in John 7 in the Peshitta is held without suspect. Is this the only manuscript out there that comes to us without error? Is it beyond questioning? I certainly don’t see it being questioned in Mr. Roth’s commentary on John 7:21-23. If Mr. Roth is correct in his analysis then I certainly would question the correctness of the manuscript, especially since the surrounding ‘context’ of the verses under consideration gives us every reason to believe that the ‘conclusion’ of Mr. Roth is in error. Once again, I am not questioning Mr. Roth’s ability to discern the linguistics of Aramaic but if the linguistics are saying one thing and the context is saying something altogether different then we have a problem.
Let’s take just a moment and look at the definition of ‘myopia’.
medical: a condition of the eye that makes it difficult to see objects that are far away
1 : A condition in which the visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye resulting especially in defective vision of distant objects
2 : a lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something
The bold emphasis above is mine, so what’s my point? Before this article has come to its end it is my hope that you’ll have come to understand that Mr. Roth suffers from a severe case of myopia when it comes to Lunar Sabbath Observance. He has an extraordinarily narrow view of John 7:23 and his limited view of the surrounding context compounds his narrow-mindedness which then results in a lack of foresight and discernment! He claims to have found two examples of Sabbaths in Scripture that fall on days other than the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th Days of the month, but with critical review it is proved he has most certainly not! Mr. Roth seeks in vain to find in Scripture a single weekly Sabbath that falls on any day other than the 8th, 15th, 22nd or 29th in order to prove Lunar Sabbath Observance false. This agenda fuels Mr. Roth’s myopia as he totally ignores the many Scriptural proofs that Lunar Sabbath Observers bring to the table clearly falsifying the continuous weekly cycle of the Gregorian calendar. On the one hand he requires just one example to prove Lunar Sabbath Observance false but then on the other hand completely ignores the multitude of examples proving a continuous weekly cycle to be unscriptural. This unlevel playing field has no place in any search for truth.
It is apparent to me that Mr. Roth has his nose so close to the text that he is unable to see the message contained in the broader context. As someone who has a few solo hours in the pilot’s seat I know from experience that if you’re flying below the treetops as you follow a meandering river it is impossible to see the waterfall cascading down the mountain you’re destined to crash into just around the bend! You can only fly low for short periods of time before you must climb to a safer altitude, stay low too long and you will crash! Mr. Roth has taken a low flying micro view and ignored a macro view that would have afforded him the opportunity to reconsider his conclusions. It is obvious to me that Mr. Roth has come to the Scriptures with an agenda to prove Lunar Sabbath reckoning false at all costs and in this case it’s going to cost Mr. Roth his own personal credibility with Lunar Sabbath Observers, not that he cares. In that mode of reasoning he has blinded himself, as will be shown, and opened himself up to having committed a classic case of ‘eisegesis’, which according to wikipedia is…
“the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text. The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda.”
This fits perfectly with Mr. Roth’s statement from his commentary claiming,
“The lunar Shabbat theory is a fallacy, invented by a “lunatic”.”
There was and continues to be, ‘an agenda’ here.
Be that as it may let’s get back to the all-important subject of ‘context’. If you look at all of John chapter 7 you will not find one word describing, in the sense of a play by play commentary, a man being made ‘whole’ through a healing event that has just taken place somewhere in the middle of that Feast of Tabernacles, not even in the English translation of the Peshitta! Not so much as even a hint! You will not find a conversation between the Healer and the healed for the healed is absent in John 7. You will only see the ‘mention’ of a healing that had taken place on a Sabbath at some place and time.
This absence of the person being healed by Yeshua in John 7 reminds me of the Dark Matter and Dark Energy of the Big Bang Theory. You can’t see it, you can’t measure it, you can’t detect it in any way but you’re supposed to believe it exists because somebody has a theory that doesn’t make any sense without it! Therefore it exists! The same thing applies here, there is not a sick man, there is not a healed man and there is not the act of a sick man being healed, there is no dialogue between a sick man and the Messiah, none of these things exist in the text, but somehow we’re supposed to believe it just happened at that moment because Mr. Roth has a theory!
A detail in the text of John 7:21-23 that immediately catches my eye is this,
“One work I have done and all of you marvel.” (John 7:21a AENT)
If John 7:21-23 is actually talking about a healing that had just occurred then He could not have referred to it as “One work I have done and all of you marvel.” The reason for that is that His healing work, which caused people to ‘marvel’, had already been recorded as having begun earlier in His ministry. But why did they ‘marvel’ at His work? Was it because a man was supernaturally healed or was it because a man was supernaturally healed on a Sabbath? At the very least, if John 7:21-23 is a reference to ‘an actual’ healing on the Sabbath then Yeshua would had to have said, “Two works I have done and all of you marvel”, for He had previously healed a man on the Sabbath. This is cause enough to go looking for the first healing that the Messiah accomplished on the Sabbath.
It is because the Jews had wanted to kill Messiah Yeshua for quite some time before the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7 that caused Yeshua to go up to the Feast late and in secret.
1. After these things Y’shua was walking in Galeela, for he did not desire to walk in Yehuda because the Yehudeans were seeking to kill him. 2. And the Feast of the Tabernacles of the Yehudeans was drawing near. 3. And his brothers said to Y’shua, “Depart from here and go to Yehuda that your disciples may see the works that you do. 4. For there is no man who does anything secretly yet desires he that it be in the open. If you do these things, show yourself to the people.” 5. For not even his brothers had believed in him, in Y’shua. 6. Y’shua said to them, “My time, mine, is not arrived up until now, but your time, yours, is here at all moments. 7. The world is not able to hate you, but it hates me because I witness, I, against it that its works are evil. 8. You go up to this feast. I will not go up to this feast now because my time is not yet finished. 9. He said these things, and he remained in Galeela. 10. But when his brothers went up to the feast, then even he went up, not openly but as in secret. 11. But the Yehudeans were looking for him at the feast and where saying, ‘Where is he?” 12. And there was much arguing among the crowds because of him, for there were those who said, “He is good.” And others who were saying, “No. He only deceives the people.” 13. But no man was openly speaking concerning him because of the fear of the Yehudeans. (John 7:1-13 AENT)
It is clear according to the text above from the beginning of John chapter 7 that the Jew’s desire to kill Yeshua preexisted the conversation where Messiah Yeshua mentions His “One work that I have done and you all marvel.” in conversation with the Jews. Therefore the Jew’s desire to kill Yeshua is not contingent upon a miracle that supposedly happened at that moment in the chapter. The Jew’s desire to kill Messiah Yeshua was alive and well, established at some time in the past and which had remained as a priority up until this comment of Yeshua in John 7.
With that said, there are enough details here in John 7 that if we go looking for the healing event that is only ‘mentioned’ in John chapter 7 but ‘actually’ recorded elsewhere we should be able to know beyond a shadow of doubt that the healing being mentioned in John 7 didn’t happen in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles that Yeshua was attending in John 7. To do that we must climb to a higher altitude and broaden our view of the ‘context’ which will take us beyond John 7 in both directions, both past and future!
So then what further evidence can we glean from John 7 that will help us connect the dots to a healing that has occurred at another place, at another time? A healing that Yeshua is only recalling in John 7?
Evidence # 1 ~ The Jews wanted to kill Yeshua.
After these things Y’shua was walking in Galeela, for he did not desire to walk in Yehuda because the Yehudeans were seeking to kill him. (John 7:1 AENT)
Why do you want to kill me?” The crowd answered and said, “You have a demon! Who wants to kill you?” (John 7:20 AENT)
Evidence # 2 ~ The Jews marvel at Yeshua’s work.
Y’shua answered and said to them, “One work I have done and all of you marvel! (John 7:21 AENT)
Evidence # 3 ~ Yeshua made a man ‘whole’ on the Sabbath.
If a man is circumcised on the day of the Shabbat so that the Torah of Moshe not be loosed, why do you argue against me because the whole man I have made whole on the day of the Shabbat? (John 7:23 AENT)
So we have 3 pieces of evidence to look for if we are to show beyond a shadow of doubt that the healing being spoken of in John 7:21-23 DID NOT take place on a Sabbath falling on the 16th or later on in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, up to and including the 21st, that Yeshua was attending in John 7, which would prove Lunar Sabbath Observance false.
In the early chapters of the gospel of John time is passing quickly. In the 1st chapter you have the very beginning of Yeshua’s ministry. In the 2nd chapter you have the first of many miracle signs in the water being changed to wine at the wedding in Cana and the first Passover of Messiah’s ministry. In the 3rd chapter you have Messiah’s witness to Nicodemus and John’s witness of Messiah. In the 4th chapter you have Messiah proclaiming the fields are white unto harvest even though there are still four months before the actual wheat harvest takes place, this is still in the time frame shortly after the first Passover recorded in chapter 2. In chapter 5 you have the healing of an impotent man on the Sabbath during the Feast of Tabernacles! It is here that we will stop and take a look around to see if we can connect the 3 pieces of evidence we found in John 7 to this healing event that takes place on a Sabbath during the Feast of Tabernacles. But before we do that I would like to take just a short moment of time to complete the context that leads to John 7. In Chapter 6 you have once again another Passover. So we have the 1st Passover of Messiah Yeshua’s ministry, then 6 months later the 1st Feast of Tabernacles when the man is healed on the Sabbath during the Feast, then 6 months later the 2nd Passover and then 6 months later the 2nd Feast of Tabernacles recorded in John 7. Therefore if the conversation between Yeshua and the Jews in John 7 is referring back to the healing of a man on the Sabbath during the Feast of Tabernacles in John 5 then the conversation in John 7 is taking place an entire year after the fact!
So what do we find? Allow me to quote from John chapter 5 and point out what I consider to be irrefutable proof highlighting the evidences that the man healed in John 5 IS the man spoken of in John 7.
1. After these things was a feast of the Yehudeans and Y’shua went up to Urishlim.
2. Now there was a certain place of immersion there in Urishlim, which is called Beth-Khisda, and there were five porches in it.
3. And in these were laying many people who were sick, and the blind and the lame and crippled and they were anticipating the stirring of the waters.
4. For from time to time a Messenger would descend to it, to the place of immersion and would stir them the waters, and whoever would first descend after the movement of the waters would be healed51 of every pain which he had. (51 Literally, “Be made whole.” (PY))
5. And there was a certain man who was in sickness thirty and eight years.
Evidence #3 ~ Yeshua made a man ‘whole’ on the Sabbath.
Found in verses 6, 8, 9, 11, 14 & 15
6. Y’shua saw this man who was lying there, and he knew that he had this disease for a long time, and he said to him, “Do you desire to be made whole?”
7. That sick man answered and said, “Yes my Master, but I have no person that when the waters are stirred up to place me in the immersion pool. Rather, before I come another descends before me.”
8. Y’shua said to him, “Arise! Take your pallet and walk.”
9. And that man was healed at once and arose and took his pallet and walked. And that day was the Shabbat.
10. And the Yehudeans said to him, to that man who was healed, “It is not Lawfull for you to carry your pallet.”
11. And he answered and said to them, “He who made me whole, he said to me, ‘Take your pallet and walk.’”
12. And they asked him, “Who is this man who said to you, ‘Take your pallet and walk?’”
13. But he who was healed did not know who Y’shua was, for he was pressed in by a large crowd, which was in that place.
14. After some time, Y’shua found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold you are whole again. Do not sin or else something that is worse than before should happen to you.”
15. And that man went and said to the Yehudeans that Y’shua is he who had made him whole.
Evidence #1 ~ The Jews wanted to kill Yeshua.
Found in verses 16 & 18
16. And because of this, the Yehudeans were persecuting Y’shua and were seeking to kill him because of these things he would do on the Shabbat.
17. But he, Y’shua, said to them, “My Father works until now, I also work.”
18. And because of this the Yehudeans were seeking all the more to kill him, not only because he had loosed the Shabbat, but also concerning that he would say that his Father was Elohim and was equating himself with Elohim.
19. But Y’shua answered and said to them, “Amen, amen I say to you that the Son is not able to do anything by his desire, but what he sees the things that the Father does. For these things that the Father does, the Son also likewise does.
Evidence #2 ~ The Jews marvel at Yeshua’s work.
Found in verse 20
20. For the Father loves the Son and everything that he does he shows to him. And greater than these works He will show him so that you will marvel.
(John 5:1-20 AENT)
As if the above items of evidence linking the ‘actual’ healing of a man on the Sabbath during the Feast of Tabernacles in John 5 to the ‘mention’ of a man being healed during a ‘conversation’ which took place during the Feast of Tabernacles a year later in John 7 isn’t compelling enough there is a totally devastating revelation in John chapter 9 that precludes any possibility of there having been a weekly Sabbath in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, and by that I mean any day other than the 15th or 22nd Day of the 7th Month, recorded in John 7.
Before I get to that dead end for Mr. Roth’s belief in there having been a weekly Sabbath in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles which proves Lunar Sabbath Observance false, I’d like to share a bit of wisdom which will help us as we move forward.
The Feast of Tabernacles is a 7-day feast. It begins on the 15th Day of the 7th Month and ends on the ‘last great day’, the 21st, which is totally contrary to popular belief. The vast majority of people believe the ‘last great day’ is the eighth day, which lands on the 22nd of the 7th Month. But as I said, the Feast of Tabernacles is a 7-day feast followed by the weekly Sabbath on the 22nd of the 7th Month, which is a ‘holy convocation’. This too, demands the Lunar Sabbath method of observance to be true! The 7-Day Feast of Tabernacles along with the 8th Day are spoken of inclusively as The Feast of Tabernacles just as the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are spoken of inclusively.
The commandment in Leviticus 23 reads like this…
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. ‘On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. ‘For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. (Leviticus 23:33-36 NKJV Emphasis Mine)
Now then it is on this ‘last great day’ of the Feast of Tabernacles, the 21st Day of the 7th Month that Yeshua is in the temple during the water libation ceremony…
Now on the great day which is the last of the feast, Y’shua was standing, and he cried out and said, “If a man thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Anyone who believes in me as the Scriptures have said, rivers of living water will flow from his belly.” And this he said concerning the Spirit that they were about to receive, those who believed in him. For the Spirit was not yet given because Y’shua was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39 AENT)
The ‘last nail in the coffin’ of Mr. Roth’s myopic view that a Sabbath fell in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles thereby proving Lunar Sabbath Observation false was driven into place back in John chapter 5. My purpose here and just above is to site a few time markers in the Scriptures to justify the final and complete burial of Mr. Roth’s belief that a Sabbath fell in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles thereby proving Lunar Sabbath Observation false. It is interesting that the Peshitta does not have the last verse of John chapter 7, i.e. verse 53, which notes that at the end of the ‘last great day’ everyone went to his own home thereby leaving Mr. Roth without this important detail. Of course that is if the only manuscript translation you’re going to accept is the Peshitta. I’ll quote it here and then I’ll quote the first couple verses from chapter 8 which also help as time markers which the Peshitta also does not have!
And everyone went to his own house. (John 7:53 NKJV)
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. (John 8:1-2 NKJV)
Clearly we see the transition between the ‘last great day’ of the Feast of Tabernacles, i.e. the 21st and the 8th Day, which is the 22nd of the 7th Month. Here Yeshua debates with the Jews throughout the day until they pick up stones to stone him to death, but Yeshua escapes…
And they took up rocks to stone him, and Y’shua hid and departed from the temple and passed through their midst and left. (John 8:48 (59) AENT)
And then comes utter destruction to Mr. Roth’s belief that there was a Sabbath in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles! Another healing on the Sabbath!
And when he crossed over he saw a man who was blind since his mother’s womb. And his disciples asked him and said, “Our Master who had sinned this man or his parents that he should be born blind?” Y’shua said to them, “He did neither sin nor his parents, but that might be seen in him the work of Elohim. It is necessary for me to do the works of Him who sent me while it is daytime. The night is coming that man is not able to work. As long as I am in the world I am the Light I am of the world!” and when he said these things he spat upon the ground and mixed clay with his saliva and he rubbed it upon the eyes of that blind man. And he said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Shilokha.” And he went and washed and he came seeing! Now his neighbors and those who had seen from the beginning that he would beg were saying, “Is it not he this man who would sit and beg?” There were some who were saying that it was he and there were some who were saying, “No, but he closely resembles him.” But he was saying that, “I am he!” They said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered and said to them, “A man whose name is Y’shua made clay and rubbed it on me upon my eyes. And he said to me, ‘Go and wash in the water of Shilokha,’ and I went and I washed and I began to see!” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said to them, “I do not know.” And they brought him, he who was blind from the beginning, to the Pharisees. It was now the Shabbat when Y’shua made the clay and opened his eyes. (John 9:1-14 AENT)
That is an absolutely devastating blow to Mr. Roth’s agenda of proving the Lunar Sabbath false! If you’re missing the point allow me to elaborate. Mr. Roth claims there was a man healed on a weekly Sabbath in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is recorded in John 7. That Sabbath would had to have fallen on a day other than the 15th or 22nd since those two days are ALWAYS weekly Sabbaths in Lunar Sabbath Observance. Here is the verse and the footnote that defines the approximate timing of the ‘mentioning’ of a man being healed on a Sabbath in a ‘conversation’ that took place between Yeshua and the Jews during the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7.
Now when the days of the feast were divided77 Y’shua went up to the temple and he was teaching. (John 7:14 AENT)
77 “In the middle of.” (PY)
According to Mr. Roth this means that the ‘conversation’ in which it is ‘mentioned’ that a man was healed on the Sabbath took place on the 19th Day of the 7th Month. If that day was a weekly Sabbath then the next weekly Sabbath would occur on the 26th Day of the 7th Month.
So what’s the problem?
It is simply this, the man who was healed on the Sabbath in John 9 is healed on the 22nd Day of the Month, the 8th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles!!! There are not 7 days between the 19th and the 22nd!!!
I can only imagine that Mr. Roth would argue that the 8th Day of the Feast is ‘The Last Great Day’ and therefore an Annual High Sabbath. But to do so adds to the 7 established Annual Moedim. There are not 8 Annual appointed times! The 22nd is ALWAYS a weekly Sabbath in Lunar Sabbath Observance, a holy convocation! There is one other tactic Mr. Roth or anyone else for that matter could use to argue against the healing of the blind man in John 9 as refuting Mr. Roth’s assumption that there was a healing that had just taken place in John 7 on a weekly Sabbath in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles thereby proving Lunar Sabbath Observance wrong. It is a probable tactic for Mr. Roth since the Peshitta does not include verse 53 of John 7 and the first 11 verses of John 8, therefore the tactic would be to say that the healing of the blind man in John 9 is not even connected with the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7 and 8. That this healing of the blind man takes place in the distant future far removed from the Feast of Tabernacles. This tactic however carries no more weight than the first since Messiah Yeshua only visited Jerusalem during the Annual Moedim. It is clear that Messiah Yeshua had been in the Temple earlier the same day the healing of the blind man took place and clearly the healing took place in Jerusalem since the blind man was told to wash his eyes in the pool of Shilokha. To say the healing of the blind man took place as a disconnected event from the Feast of Tabernacles is to argue against Messiah Yeshua’s habit of avoiding Jerusalem at all cost for all but the Annual Moedim, after all, the Jews did want to kill Him!
Although there is nothing in the text of John 5 that proves the healing took place on the 1st Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, other than a ‘large crowd’ and possibly Yeshua’s presence in the Temple that day, which I would associate with the 1st Day of the Feast, there is no reason that I can see to believe that the healing of a man, making him ‘whole’, on the Sabbath in John 5 was on any other day than the 1st Day of the Feast of Tabernacles when the crowds would be large since the 1st Day is a day of rest and no work and it would be expected that on the 1st Day of the Feast which is always a Sabbath Yeshua would come to the Temple whereas the next 6 days are work days. It is from that day forward the Jews desired to kill Yeshua. In John 9 however, because of the Jew’s preexisting desire to kill Messiah Yeshua He waited until the 8th Day of the Feast to heal the blind man. Here there can be no doubt that the blind man was healed on the 22nd Day of the 7th Month, the 8th Day of the Feast, which was also a weekly Sabbath. Had Yeshua healed him any earlier it would have jeopardized much of what He wanted to accomplish at the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7 such as His ‘If any man thirst…’ proclamation at the water libation ceremony.
As I studied for this rebuttal I began to see a reason for why Messiah Yeshua healed these two men when He did, there was a purpose and significance to the timing of these two displays of Messiah’s love, grace and endless mercy. I am convinced the 7th of the Annual Moedim, the Feast of Tabernacles, represents the Millennial Reign that takes place during the last of the 7-1,000 year periods in the plan of YHWH’s salvation of ALL MANKIND and these two healings in John 5 and John 9 represent our ultimate healing in the two resurrections to life that take place during the Millennial Reign. The healing of John 5 corresponding to the 1st resurrection which takes place at the beginning of the Millennial Reign when those who have faith in Messiah are made ‘whole’ thereby becoming the Bride of Messiah who will then rule and reign for the remainder of the Millennial Reign and the healing of the blind man in John 9 corresponding to the 2nd resurrection at the end of the Millennial Reign when the spiritually blind will be made to see! This healing on the 8th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles represents ‘new beginnings’, in this case I believe for all mankind and that should make us all shout, “HalleluYAH!” By the way, I am an avid believer that when it’s all said and done, ALL MANKIND will be saved! Furthermore both of these healings took place on The Seventh Day Sabbath, which also corresponds to the Millennial Reign. Good theories open the door to great hindsight as well as great foresight; in this case I believe it is my faith in the Lunar Sabbath that has opened the door for me to see these two healings during the Feast of Tabernacles as specifically representing the two resurrections during the Millennial Reign. It is the impotent man who ‘believed’ if he could get to the stirred waters first he would be made whole, just as we who ‘believe’ Messiah will make us, His Bride, whole in the 1st Resurrection. And as I said above it is the blind man in John 9 who represents the spiritually blind of all human history who will have their eyes opened for the first time in the 2nd Resurrection! Notice as you read the two accounts that the healing of the impotent man in John 5 is totally based on faith, whereas the healing of the blind man required the blind man to act on the commands of Messiah, he had to go to the pool of Shilokha and wash, an act of faith and actions!
There is one last point that I’d like to make and that is this… as I’ve said, I believe the healing of John 5 took place on the 15th Day of the 7th Month, which is the 1st Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, a weekly Sabbath, and I believe the healing of John 9 took place on the 22nd Day of the 7th Month which is the 8th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, also a weekly Sabbath. But the interesting point here is that these two Feast of Tabernacles, which are clearly recorded as having taken place in consecutive years both began and ended on weekly Sabbaths. Since the pagan calendars have disconnected the months from the New Moon it is impossible for the 15th Day and the 22nd Day of the Seventh Lunar Month to fall on the 7th day of the week on a pagan calendar that utilizes an unbroken chain of weekly cycles, in consecutive years! It is only on a Lunar Sabbath calendar where months begin with the New Moon and New Moon Day resets the weekly cycle that this becomes an unyielding expectation!
Thus far I have questioned Mr. Roth’s assumption that there was a healing on a Sabbath in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles proving Lunar Sabbath Observance wrong. In doing so I have found that the context of the surrounding chapters does not support his view. But could Mr. Roth be correct in his statement that the event in John 7 is in the active participle form? Let me quote a portion of his commentary once again.
“79 This event is in active participle form in Aramaic, indicating that it is unfolding into the immediate present.”
Could that statement be true? And if it is true… what is ‘unfolding into the immediate present’? We need to ask ourselves, what is the main subject of John 7? It is stated clearly in the first verse!
After these things Y’shua was walking in Galeela, for he did not desire to walk in Yehuda because the Yehudeans were seeking to kill him. (John 7:1 AENT Emphasis Mine)
The same subject is once again mentioned immediately before Messiah Yeshua answers the Jews in John 7:21-23 which Mr. Roth says is in the active participle form making it an event that is unfolding into the immediate present.
Why do you want to kill me?” The crowd answered and said, “You have a demon! Who wants to kill you?” (John 7:20 AENT Emphasis Mine)
It is abundantly clear to me that what was written in the 'active participle form' making it an event which is unfolding into the immediate present was not the healing of a man on the Sabbath on the very day these words were being spoken in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles but rather the desire of the Jews to kill Messiah Yeshua ever since He had healed a man, making him whole, on a Sabbath during the previous Feast of Tabernacles a full year earlier! That is what is ‘unfolding into the immediate present’! That is why it is written in the 'active participle form'!
I am convinced that Mr. Roth was blinded by coming to the Scriptures with an agenda… an agenda to prove the Lunar Sabbath false. He leaned on his own intelligence and understanding of the Aramaic language without being led by the Ruach HaKodesh and committed a classic act of eisegesis, i.e. he read into the text the very thing he wanted to see and prove! In doing so he unwisely ignored the ‘context’ and when you ignore ‘context’ you’re going to get burned!
Although intelligence can be a useful tool, it can also become a liability when leaned upon without the Spirit of The Most High guiding you. An intelligent person with a closed, agenda driven mind operating without the Spirit is a train wreck looking for a place to happen.
In this regard can Andrew Gabriel Roth claim this?
Y’shua answered and said,
“My teaching is not mine, rather it is of He who has sent me. He who desires to do His will can comprehend my teaching, if it is from Elohim, or if from my own will I speak.”
(John 7:16-18 AENT)
I would venture to say that within each and every one of us there is still an element of rebellion. None of us are exempt from that reality. There can be no doubt that Mr. Roth has a great deal of knowledge that can benefit the body of Messiah. Nevertheless when it comes to any man’s teachings, including my own, we must always, “Chew the meat and spit out the bones!”
I am not writing this to be a judge of anyone but I do feel compelled to stand up and be counted among Lunar Sabbath Observers of all Lunar phases and to reach out to those who might be in danger of having the seed of Lunar Sabbath Observance plucked from the fertile soil of their lives by a thieving, agenda driven bird with a rebellious spirit before that seed has an opportunity to set roots. We are all striving to know and do the best we can with what we think we know but sometimes we let our own agendas, agendas we may not even be aware of get in the way.
In this case I am convinced Mr. Roth spoke from his own will.
“The lunar Shabbat theory is a fallacy, invented by a “lunatic”.”
(Andrew Gabriel Roth)
I continue to be offended by that statement which is found in his commentary on John 7:23 from the Aramaic English New Testament 1st Edition published by NETZARI PRESS. I have been informed that this same comment remains, word for word, in the 5th Edition of the AENT. I had hoped Mr. Roth would have had the common sense and decency to retract such a juvenile comment but alas, he has not!
It is with every fiber of my being that I proclaim Full Moon Rosh Chodesh and Lunar Sabbath Observance to be true… and of our Father.
‘Thus said the Master YHWH, “The gate of the inner courtyard facing east is shut the six days of work, but on the Sabbath it is opened, and on the day of the New Moon it is opened. (Ezekiel 46:1 The Scriptures ’98)
“And the people of the land shall also bow themselves at the entrance to this gate before YHWH, on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons. (Ezekiel 46:3 The Scriptures ’98)
The setting of the verse above is the Temple during the Millennial Reign when people will worship on both the Sabbath and the New Moons! The New Moons are ‘worship’ days, they are not workdays, and therefore the gate is open whereas the gate is shut during the six working days. The New Moon being a worship day and not a workday demands it to be a 3rd classification of monthly day, it is not a work day nor a Sabbath day, it is a New Moon Day which then ‘demands’ the resetting of the weekly cycle! It can be no other way!
I cling to an evidence based faith that has produced a fearless confidence in defending Full Moon Rosh Chodesh and Lunar Sabbath Observance. It is based on the ‘Scriptural evidence’, that I know beyond a shadow of doubt the Scriptural calendar uses a Lunar Sabbath, which ALWAYS falls on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th Days of EVERY month. Based on the ‘Scriptural evidence’ there is no reason that I or any other Lunar Sabbath Observer should ever shrink back from an attack on Lunar Sabbath Observance regardless of who brings the attack, YHWH is no respecter of men and in this case neither should any Lunar Sabbath Observer be.
With that said, think once again of the statement Andrew Gabriel Roth has made in his commentary on John 7:23. What judgment has he passed on THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE?
“The lunar Shabbat theory is a fallacy, invented by a “lunatic”.”
(Andrew Gabriel Roth)
Let’s now consider what THE ALMIGHTY CREATOR has said;
And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and
and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so. And Elohim made TWO GREAT LIGHTS: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day. (Genesis 1:14-19 The Scriptures ’98 Emphasis Mine)
Now… let’s connect the dots!
And YHWH spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them,
“The APPOINTED TIMES of YHWH”,
which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings,
“My APPOINTED TIMES”,
‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to YHWH in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:1-3 The Scriptures ’98 Emphasis Mine)
It was THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE who placed The Two GREAT LIGHTS in the heavens above to mark
HIS APPOINTED TIMES
… especially The 7th Day Sabbath!
HE and HE alone is the Inventor of the Lunar Sabbath!