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New Moon

The law appointed that at the new moon special sacrifices should be offered (Num. 10:10; see also 1 Sam. 20:5–6, 29; 2 Kgs. 4:23; Amos 8:5). The prophets often speak of “new moons” along with “Sabbaths.” As the days for all Jewish feasts were reckoned by the moon, the exact time of the appearance of the new moon was of great importance. Watchers were placed on the hills around Jerusalem, and watchfires on the hilltops told the news to distant cities. It is said that the Samaritans, in order to cause confusion, lighted fires on their hills at wrong times.