heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the "white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen. 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. It is frequently referred to along with the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2; Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6).
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).