Hebrew: yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the “white” (Song of Songs 6:10; Isaiah 24:23)
The moon is frequently referred to along with the sun (Joshua 10:12; Psalms 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36-37; Eccl. 12:2; Isaiah 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Psalms 8:3; 121:6).
The moon was created by God on the 4th day of Creation, to be, with the sun, “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14-16).
A lunation was, among the Jews, the period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on the day of the new moon.
Worship of the Moon
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were warned (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3).
“Ur was consecrated to the worship of Sin, the Babylonian moon-god. It shared this honor, however, with another city, and this city was Haran, or Harran. Harran was in Mesopotamia, and took its name from the highroad which led through it from the east to the west.
The name is Babylonian, and bears witness to its having been founded by a Babylonian king. The same witness is still more decisively borne by the worship paid in it to the Babylonian moon-god and by its ancient temple of Sin.
Indeed, the temple of the moon-god at Harran was perhaps even more famous in the Assyrian and Babylonian world than the temple of the moon-god at Ur.”
They, however, fell into this idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jeremiah 8:2), and also cakes of honey, to the moon (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
Article Version: August 31, 2017