by Bryant Muldrew
Many are preparing to celebrate the New Year’s arrival. Parties, resolutions, and many other customs are being planned in conjunction with the New Year. Very few people take the time to think about how the new year was established and whether it is truly the beginning of the year. For the Christian, the source of the beginning of the year can be found in your bible.
Remember that Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matt. 5:17 KJV) This means that the law established in the Old Testament is still relevant and applicable today!!!
So what does the bible say about the beginning of the year?
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.” (Ex 12:1-11 KJV)
This is the law of the Passover. It is to be observed in the first month on the fourteenth day. Passover is kept in the spring annually by Jews and some Christian denominations. The Jews have been keeping Passover accurately yet they celebrate their new year on Rosh Hashanah which is in the fall.
Some may argue that this isn’t enough proof. Read Lev. 23:4-6 and Num. 28:16 which restates the same law given in Exodus. Also note the following verses:
“And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the Lord: and these are their journeys according to their goings out. And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.” (Num. 33:2-3 KJV)
Here Moses is recording the story of the Exodus in Numbers. It says they departed Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month which is the day after Passover. Anyone familiar with the Exodus knows that the Israelites left Egypt right after Passover. So then obviously, anyone celebrating the new year in January isn’t in accord with scripture.
Now look back at the very first verses that mention the beginning of the year. Ex. 12:1-2
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (KJV)
Nowhere in these verses (or the verses that follow) does God command Moses and Aaron to celebrate the arrival of the new year. As we read earlier, God goes on to give instruction for the fourteenth day of the first month.
Take the time to do some research on the current New Year’s celebration and you’ll find that it is rooted in pagan customs. For example, did you know that New Year’s was celebrated on March 25th at one point in history? For the Christian, this fact should be important because God says:
“Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain…” (Jer. 10:2-3 KJV)
It is expressly FORBIDDEN to learn the ways of the heathen which God calls vain. Take some time to read Jer. 10:1-5 which gives another specific example besides the zodiac (signs of heaven).
So as you think about which New Year’s party to attend or how drunk you want to get, think about these facts:
- January 1st is not the beginning of the year
- The year begins thirteen days before Passover
- There is no law to keep a New Year celebration
- This should be important to you if you believe in God