SACRED CALENDAR

Section Eight of
Biblical Holy Days

Introduction

Section Eight of Biblical Holy Days covers the Sacred Calendar. As with the other sections, our purpose is not to convince others to observe the divine appointments of the Almighty. It is to provide resource material and in-depth instruction for those who already observe these sacred times. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years there has been controversy surrounding the determination of God's Calendar. Therefore, this portion of Biblical Holy Days is the most controversial section. After much study, I have concluded that the calendar rules of the Hebrew calendar follow God's will for His people. The arguments of various "observable calendar" proponents do not hold water.

Here is a summary collection of Calendar data:

Sacred Calendar

The year and day are solar, while the month is lunar. Therefore, God's calendar is both solar and lunar. God's calendar is based on both observation and calculation.

A year has either 12 or 13 months. Abib 16 and Pentecost must be in the spring. Nineteen solar years almost exactly equal 235 lunar months. The current 19-year time cycle adds a 13th month in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19. To prevent unauthorized Sabbath work, the Day of Atonement can never fall on a Friday or a Sunday. Abib 21 is the only Holy Day that can fall on a Friday. Extensive food preparation is not permitted on other Holy Days.

The sun and moon are not in harmonious orbits. The earth revolves around the sun in about 365.24 days, while the moon revolves around the earth in about 29.53 days. Periodic calendar adjustments are necessary, such as the one in the second century A.D., to prevent the Holy Days from falling out of their proper seasons. In the fourth century A.D., Hillel II made public heretofore secret sacred calendar rules used by the Jewish Sanhedrin to confirm observation. These rules were given to Moses.

Genesis 1:14, Psalm 104:19, Leviticus 23:4 and Exodus 12:2, 13:4are important scriptures relative to the calendar.

How Does God's Calendar Work?

Should a Bible believer know and use God's Calendar? How can one be sure of keeping God's Holy Days at the proper time? To whom did God reveal the knowledge of His Calendar? Can certain Holy Days fall only on certain days of the week? What are the rules governing God's Calendar?

Why the Calendar is Important

What day is today? The typical answer one would give is the current date on the Roman Calendar. How does God look at time? Does He have a Calendar which governs how His true servants should love and worship Him? If God does have such a calendar, does it not seem obvious that those who love Him would know how it works, and use it?

During the time of King David of Israel, certain of the children of Issachar "had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do," I Chronicles 12:32. They had knowledge of astronomy and the calendar of God so as to know the times of the Sabbaths, Holy Days and New Moons that Israel was commanded to keep holy and observe. Are we supposed to know what we ought to do regarding God's sacred times? Ephesians 5:17. Will God help us to understand if we ask Him? James 1:5-7, Luke 11:5-13.

Of what value is it to know and use God's Sacred Calendar? It is as valuable as eternal life. In speaking of Passover, Jesus said that "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day," John 6:53, 54. Passover as the annual memorial of the death of our Savior is commanded to be observed by New Testament Christians, I Corinthians 11:23-26. So are the other Holy Days of God. When shall they be observed? Much confusion exists. The true Christian should know when to observe God's sacred times, I John 2:3-6.

Does God Number the Months?

Job 3:6, "the number of the months."

How many months are there to a common year? Daniel 4:29, Jeremiah 52:31. In prophetic terms, are there twelve months to a year of time, with thirty days in each month? Revelation 11:3compared with 13:5, and Daniel 7:25. Then originally, there may have been a 360 day year (12 months times 30 days each).

NOTE: God's Sacred Calendar as it presently exists, does not and cannot have twelve months of thirty days each. The revolution of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun do not quite correspond to twelve thirty-day months, as we shall see.

What were some historical events that may well have altered the length of the months and the year? See Joshua 10:12-14, II Kings 20:8-11 and Isaiah 38:4-8. Note: another factor is that the earth's rotation has slowed down over the centuries.

Will the earth's orbit be re-ordered by Jesus Christ? Compare Acts 3:19-21 and Isaiah 24:18-23. Should we look forward to this event? See Hebrews 11:8-10, and II Peter 3:10-14.

What are the Names of the Months?

Generally are the months of God's Calendar denoted by numbers instead of names? Leviticus 23:5, 24, 27, and 34. The Hebrew names of all the months are not given in the Bible.

Those that are given are Abib, the first month, Exodus 12:2, 13:4, and Deuteronomy 16:1, a time in the spring when barley and flax have headed out, but before wheat has grown up, Exodus 9:31, 32. Zif, the second month, a time for construction to begin, I Kings 6:37. Ethanim, the seventh month, time of the Feast of Tabernacles, I Kings 8:2, 65, 66, and Bul, the eighth month, a time for construction work to cease before winter rains, I Kings 6:38.

The names Jews of today give the months of the year are derived from Babylonian names as a result of their captivity in Babylon. Some of these names are mentioned in captivity or post-captivity books, such as Nehemiah, Ezra, Esther and Daniel. For example, we are told that Nisan is another name for the first month and Adar is the twelfth month, Esther 3:7. Here is a complete list (English spellings may vary according to the source):

Months of Sacred Calendar

Months

Days

1. Abib or Nisan*

30

2. Zif or Iyyar

29

3. Sivan*

30

4. Tammuz

29

5. Ab

30

6. Elul

29

7. Ethanim or Tishri*

30

8. Bul or Cheshvan

29 or 30

9. Kislev

30 or 29

10. Tebet

29

11. Shebat

30

12. Adar

29 (has 30 days in leap year)

13. II Adar or Veadar

29 (intercalary or leap year month)

* Denotes a month having Holy Days

 

Must God's Months Fall in Their Proper Seasons?

Do the Feast Days fall in particular seasons? Leviticus 23:4. What determines these seasons? Genesis 1:14, Psalms 104:19. NOTE: God tells us in the Bible to keep His Holy Days in their proper seasons from year to year. Yet the Bible does not tell us how to figure the calendar upon which these Holy Days are derived. We must go to another source -- the Jews, Romans 3:1, 2, and Matthew 23:1-3. They have been entrusted with the preservation of God's Calendar. God could not order us to keep His Holy Days without also preserving His Calendar which tells us when to keep them.

Some claim that Romans 3:1-2 is a mistranslation. It says (KJV), “What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision?  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed [Strong’s #4100, pistuo] the oracles of God.”  This word is usually translated “believed.”  God believed that His people would carefully preserve His Word.  Thus, the Jews were believed in by God to faithfully preserve His Truth, even if some of them would prove to be unfaithful to His Word that they preserved, verse 3.

The first of Nisan or Abib is always the first new moon near the beginning of Spring (near March 21). So Nisan falls in Spring. Likewise the month of Tammuz falls in summer, Tishri in the autumn, and Tebet in the winter. The purpose of the calendar laws is to ensure Holy Days fall in their proper seasons.

Can We Determine the Calendar For Ourselves?

Various theological reference books state that the Hebrew Calendar evolved. If this is true, then so did the Bible! The Jews, it is believed, first determined the beginning of the months solely by observation of the new moons. The year was determined by observing the clouds which ended the rainy season and allowed the spring harvest to begin.

Is this true? Is observation alone the basis of God's Calendar? If it were, then what if the day were cloudy and no one could see the new moon? How could the first of the month be determined if some could see the new moon and others could not?

Observation alone cannot be the basis for God's Calendar, because God's Holy Days are divine appointments (moed), times which God, and not man, has predetermined, Exodus 23:15, Psalms 81:3-5. God, not man, determines the seasons, Daniel 2:21. Even if the Jews themselves reject the true meaning of the Sabbath and Holy Days, still God has forced them to preserve the "oracles," the Scriptures and the Calendar which tell us when to keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, Romans 3:1-4.

Mankind is forbidden to observe the new moons for himself and to determine when to keep God's appointed times. Because at times some have done this very thing, God has said, "Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth . . . ," Isaiah 1:14, and Hosea 2:11.

Specific Bible laws forbid us to determine for ourselves when the year and the months begin. We are told not to "observe times [from the Hebrew anan, cloud or soothsayer; see Englishman's Hebrew Concordance, page 966, and Strong's #6049]" Deuteronomy 18:10, 14, Leviticus 19:26. An observer of times "watched the clouds" to foretell the future. Those who adapt this practice to determine when the winter rainy season is over and when the spring harvest season begins, set themselves up in the place of God, who alone can determine when the year begins in the spring.

In Galatians 4:10, Paul forbids the observance of "days, and months, and times, and years" which the Gentile converts to Christianity had been accustomed to celebrating. Here is a New Testament command not to follow the months of the pagan Roman calendar then in use, but instead to follow the months of God's calendar. The Western calendar in use today is the same as the Julian calendar, with a minor adjustment by Pope Gregory. Because professing Christians rejected God's calendar, the Roman calendar is still in use today.

God's calendar is determined primarily by calculation, the laws of which have been handed down from at least the time of Moses to the present day. (See Sanctification of the New Moon by Moses Maimonides.) God revealed the truth of His Holy Days and has also revealed the calendar that tells when to keep them, Deuteronomy 29:29.

Will Some Attempt to Change Times?

See Daniel 7:25. NOTE: This is why it behooves every true follower of God to study God's calendar so as not to be fooled by deceivers who strive to institute a "World Calendar" to upset the weekly cycle. Great religious confusion is at our doors. Will we be ready, II Timothy 2:15?

Will God's People Have Understanding of the Times?

Did certain men of Issachar understand the times governing what Israel was to do? I Chronicles 12:32. NOTE: They had knowledge of astronomy so as to maintain God's calendar so Israel could keep the Holy Days according to the proper harvest season. See also Esther 1:13.

Are we to seek to know the wisdom of God? See Proverbs 1:1-6. Can the one that lacks wisdom obtain it? See James 1:5-7, and John 16:13.

Why is the Ordering of Calendar Difficult?

The Bible year is solar, while the Bible month is lunar. God's calendar is determined both by sun and moon. The Roman calendar which the world uses today is entirely a solar calendar. The ancient Romans forgot about God's ordering of the new moons, Romans 1:18-20. Will we?

A year is that period of time in which the earth performs one revolution in its orbit around the sun. Such a "tropical year" consists of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46.069 seconds, or slightly less than 365-1/4 days.

A lunar month (also called "synodic month") is the period of time it takes the moon to revolve around the earth. God begins His months with the new moon, the first faint crescent visible from Jerusalem, of the moon after its conjunction with the sun. The conjunction of the moon with the sun, known in Hebrew as the molad, is the point in time at which the moon is directly between the earth and the sun and is thus invisible. Shortly thereafter, it becomes visible as a "new" moon. For religious purposes, the Hebrew calendar rules give the average time between one new moon and another as 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3-1/3 seconds, or a little more than 29-1/2 days. (The present astronomically correct value is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.841 seconds. The moon has accelerated slightly in the centuries since the Hebrew calendar was instituted. The cumulative effect of this is so small it will remain negligible for hundreds of millennia.)

Twelve lunar months do not exactly equal one solar year. It is true that twelve new moons do not complete one solar year, actually they equal approximately 354 days (12 x 29-1/2), whereas a solar year has slightly more than 365 days. Thus a lunar year of twelve new moons is about eleven days (365 minus 354) LESS than a solar year. If a Bible year always had twelve new moons, Passover would come about eleven days earlier each year. In a few years, Passover would occur in the middle of winter, then in the fall, and still later in the summer! Passover would wander instead of remaining in its proper season. God's Holy Days must be observed in their proper agricultural seasons, Leviticus 23:4.

Because of these facts, there must be an intercalary, or added, month, every so often in order to keep the Holy Days in their proper seasons. Because the solar year does not equal a whole number of lunar months, the ordering of the calendar is difficult.

Why does God Have a Nineteen-Year Time Cycle?

As has been shown, the solar year exceeds the lunar year of twelve new moons by about eleven days. In nineteen years, the solar cycle exceeds the lunar cycle by about 209 days (11 x 19), which is approximately seven lunar months (7 x 29-1/2 = 206.5). Thus in a cycle of nineteen years, if seven months are added (intercalated), the Holy Days will remain in their proper seasons. To put it another way, if seven months were not added every nineteen years, Passover would occur about 209 days earlier than it should! Thus, every two or three years in a nineteen-year time cycle, there must be an added thirteenth month, making that year a leap year. At the end of every nineteen years, the earth, moon and sun come almost into exact conjunction. Once every nineteen years there will be a new moon on the spring equinox.

A nineteen-year cycle of God's calendar has twelve common years of twelve moons (months) and seven leap years of thirteen months, for a grand total of 235 months (12 x 12 plus 7 x 13 equals 235), which almost exactly equals nineteen solar years.

19 solar years = 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46.069 seconds x 19 = 6,939 days, 14 hours, 26 minutes, 35.311 seconds

235 lunar months = 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 3-1/3 seconds x 235 = 6,939 days, 16 hours, 33 minutes, 3.333 seconds

This results in a difference of: 2 hours, 6 minutes, 28.022 seconds over 19 years. Thus, there is nearly the same amount of time in nineteen solar years as in 235 moons (months).

Yet this slight difference means that each Hebrew calendar year exceeds the tropical year by 6 minutes, 39.370 seconds. Though this difference is very small, it amounts to one day's variation in 216.34 years, or 4.6 days in a thousand years. Thus, Passover -- and as a result, Pentecost -- are continually forced later in the season. Without a calendar adjustment, such as the one in 140-163 A.D., Pentecost would eventually occur in the summer, which is not permitted according to the calendar law.

For the proof, and how this 6-1/2 minute difference proves a Monday Pentecost, see "A New Look at Pentecost in Light of the Calendar Adjustment in the Second Century" by Herman L. Hoeh.

The nineteen-year cycle is God's way of accounting for the eleven-day difference between the 365-day solar year and the 354-day lunar year of twelve moons. In every nineteen-year cycle of today, a thirteenth month, called Adar II or Veadar, is added in the years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 -- or seven times in nineteen years.

God's nineteen-year time cycle, written in the heavens, is based upon seven, God's complete number signifying the Sabbath, added to twelve, the number of tribes of Israel and Jesus' original apostles (7 plus 12 equals 19).

How Does God Keep Time?

A year in God's calendar can be either common (12 moons) or leap (13 moons).

A month is approximately (within a day or two) the time from one new moon to the next. It may have either 29 or 30 days. Usually, the months in a year alternate between 30 and 29 days. Months having 30 days are termed full (Hebrew male), while those having 29 days are defective (Hebrew haser).

A week has seven days, and is concluded by the Sabbath. A day has 24 hours, usually about twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness, John 11:9. For religious

purposes, such as observation of a Sabbath, the day begins at sunset, Genesis 1:5, Exodus 12:18. In the reckonings of the molad (conjunction of the moon with the sun), the day is figured as beginning at 6:00 P.M. at Jerusalem.

According to the Hebrew calendar, an hour is not divided into sixty minutes or 3600 seconds, but 1080 halakins or "parts," of 3-1/3 seconds. Thus, the average month expressed in Hebrew parlance is 29 days, 12 hours and 793 parts (which is the same as saying 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3-1/3 seconds).

The number of days in a Hebrew calendar year varies. Multiplying 29 days, 12 hours and 793 parts by twelve moons in a common or thirteen moons in a leap year would yield fractional values. Since a month can only have 29 or 30 complete 24 hour days, the number of days in a year must vary.

The eighth and ninth months, Heshvan and Kislev, vary with either 29 or 30 days. A common, twelve-month year may have either 353, 354 or 355 days. A leap, thirteen-month year, may have 383, 384 or 385 days. This makes six types of years.

Different terms are given for these six basic types of years, as follows:

Perfect Regular Defective

Common Year 355 days 354 days 353 days

Leap Year 385 days 384 days 383 days

Heshvan 30 days Heshvan 29 days Heshvan 29 days

Kislev 30 days Kislev 30 days Kislev 29 days

The Hebrew names for perfect, regular and defective are shelema, sedura, and hasera. Actually, there are 14 types of years, 7 common and 7 leap, as will be explained later.

What Are the Rules Governing the Calendar?

(1) The reason for the existence of intercalation, or adding a thirteenth month, is to prevent Nisan 16 from occurring before the vernal or spring equinox (on or about March 21). The spring equinox is the time when the sun rises due east and sets due west, and everywhere in the world there is equal daylight and equal darkness (12 hours each). Spring must have arrived on or before Nisan 16. This is the number one cardinal rule of God's calendar.

Why is this so? Why can Passover, Nisan 14, be no earlier than two days before the spring equinox? Because when Passover falls on Friday and the wavesheaf was cut the following Sunday, Nisan 16, that Sunday must occur in spring. Otherwise, the harvest would begin in winter. The Feast of Unleavened Bread would not be a spring Feast. Nisan is predominately a spring month. Having thirty days, at least half of them -- Nisan 16-30 -- must be in the spring. The spring Holy Days cannot fall in the winter!

From the time of Moses through the time of Christ, Passover itself apparently never fell before the spring equinox. That is why Josephus was correct in stating that Passover always fell "in Aries" (which begins with March 21). See Antiquities of the Jews, III, x, 5. Because of the 6-1/2 minute difference between a sacred calendar year and the true astronomical value (refer to Section H), Passover occurs one day later every 216 years. As a result, Pentecost is pushed later and later into the year.

A corollary to rule #1 is that Pentecost must occur in the spring. Because of the 6-1/2 minute difference, from the time of Moses through the first century of the Christian era, Pentecost was being pushed closer and closer toward the beginning of summer. As has been shown ("A New Look at Pentecost in Light of the Calendar Adjustment in the Second Century," by Herman L. Hoeh), an adjustment to the intercalary cycle of leap years became necessary in 161 A.D. in order to prevent Pentecost from falling on the beginning of summer.

In Jesus' day the leap years in a nineteen-year time cycle were 2, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 18. Today the leap years are 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19. Today we are observing Passover and the Holy Days earlier than when Jesus observed them in the first century. We are observing them correctly. Some five hundred years from now, there will of necessity be another calendar adjustment in order to prevent Pentecost from falling in summer. God's Holy Days must continue to be observed "in their season."

(2) In ordering the calendar, the molad (conjunction of the moon and the sun) of Tishri is of paramount importance. Though Nisan is the beginning of the religious year, Tishri is the beginning of the civil year. Tishri 1 (Day of Trumpets) rarely falls on the molad of Tishri because there are four obstacles, delays, or considerations (Hebrew dehiyyot) which may cause Tishri 1 to be postponed one or two days.

(a) Consideration #1 is that the Day of Atonement may never fall on Friday or Sunday, nor may Tishri 21 (seventh or last day of the Feast of Tabernacles) fall on a weekly Sabbath. The reasons for this rule are profound. God is a God of mercy, compassion and purpose. He made the weekly Sabbath as well as the yearly Sabbaths for man, Mark 2:27-28, for man's good. His laws do not put unnecessary burdens upon His people, Matthew 11:30. On the contrary, God's Holy Days are days of joy and gladness, Numbers 10:10. In order to keep them so, there are necessary rules in God's calendar.

If the Day of Atonement were to fall on a Friday, there would be no possibility of preparing food for the weekly Sabbath. One would have to fast for two days instead of one. Likewise, if Atonement fell on Sunday, the cleaning-up and chores of the Sabbath would have to be postponed until Monday, or one would do too much work on the Sabbath in preparation for Atonement.

Also, if Tishri 21 fell on the weekly Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day would both fall on Sunday. Preparation for these High Days would have to be on the weekly Sabbath, which is not permitted.

As a result of these prohibited days for Atonement and Tishri 21, Tishri 1 may never fall on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. God's laws make sense! They are for our own good.

(b) Consideration #2 is entirely for an astronomical reason. It states that if the molad is at noon or later, Tishri 1 is delayed one day, or two days, if this would fall on a prohibited day as in Consideration #1.

As mentioned previously, in the reckonings of the molad, the 24-hour day is figured as beginning at 6:00 P.M. at Jerusalem. Therefore, noon is the middle of the twelve-hour period of daylight (where it is around Tishri 1). Therefore, observation, as well as calculation, is important in God's calendar. If one cannot see the new moon (assuming a clear sky), it does not yet exist! Experience has proven that if the molad takes place before noon, then the new moon can be seen by an acute observer the same day near sunset, and that same day was the first of Tishri. If the molad occurs after midday, the new moon cannot be seen until the next day, and Tishri 1 has to be postponed.

(c) Consideration #3 is as follows: If the molad in a common year falls on Tuesday at 204 parts past 3:00 A.M. (i.e., 3:11 A.M. and 20 seconds), Tishri 1 is put off two days. Consideration #1 forbids it from being postponed to Wednesday, so it is deferred to Thursday.

(d) Consideration #4 is very infrequent. It states that when the molad of Tishri immediately following a leap year occurs on Monday at 15 hours, 589 parts (9:32 A.M. and 43-1/3 seconds), Tishri 1 is delayed from Monday to Tuesday.

The complex reasons and proofs for Considerations 3 and 4 are given in the Encyclopedia Judaica article "Calendar," page 44.

Thus, for any particular month, the first day of the month in God's calendar may coincide with the new moon, or it may be one or two days later. This fact has confused some. An understanding of the above calendar rules, remembering that calculation has precedence over observation and that the Holy Days must be kept in their proper season, should help us to understand.

(3) These rules produce another calendar law: Passover (Nisan 14) can only fall on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sabbath. This is important and is well worth memorizing.

ALL the Holy Days are tied together. There is a constant, fixed number of days between Passover and the Day of Trumpets (to be exact, 163 intervening days). There are no variable months or intercalary months between the first and seventh months. Therefore, since the Day of Trumpets cannot

fall on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, Passover and all the other Holy Days (except Pentecost) cannot occur on three unique days of the week. To put it another way, each Holy Day other than Pentecost can occur on only four days of the week. Pentecost itself, always falling on a Monday, is limited to only four distinct days of the third month, Sivan 7, 9, 11 and 13.

Sunday is very rarely a Holy Day. Only when Passover is on a weekly Sabbath does the First Day of Unleavened Bread fall on a Sunday. This happens on the average of only once in every ten years. NONE of the other Holy Days can EVER occur on Sunday.

It was not chance, it was not evolution, that resulted in the eighth and ninth month being variable in length, or an intercalary month following the twelfth month. It was the divine hand of the Creator of the Sun, Moon and the whole universe!

(4) Again, a calendar rule that has already been reviewed is the fact that the years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 19 of every nineteen-year time cycle are leap years with a thirteenth month. Although the Bible does not mention a thirteenth month, rules of astronomy and Leviticus 23:4 demand intercalary months. (See our article on "Calendar Controversy" for a discussion of how Ezekiel proves a thirteenth month.)

(5) In conclusion, these rules produce fourteen different kinds of years, according to the "character" (Hebrew keviah from kava, "to fix") of the year. There are three elements which determine the "character" of the year: (1) The day of the week on which Passover (Nisan 14) occurs, (2) the day of the week on which the Day of Trumpets (Tishri 1) occurs, and (3) whether the year is "perfect," "regular," or "defective."

The following is a listing of these fourteen basic kinds of years, as adapted from the JewishEncyclopedia, article "Calendar." Succeeding pages give a sacred calendar, and supporting charts.

TABLE 1

TYPES OF SACRED YEARS

Type of Year (B) Code (A) Corresponding Roman Years

1 2-5-R 1984, 1987, 1990, 1997
2 2-5-P 1993
3 4-7-D 1976
4 4-7-P 1979, 1982, 1986, 1989
5 6-2-D 1992
6 6-2-P 1978, 1995, 1998
7 7-3-R 1981
8 2-5-D* 1980
9 2-5-P* 1983
10 4-7-D* 1996
11 4-7-P* 1975, 1999
12 6-2-D* 1985, 1988
13 6-2-P* 1991
14 7-3-R* 1977, 1994

(A) Explanation of Codes: first digit gives the day of the week of Passover (Nisan 14), second digit gives the day of week of Trumpets, third digit whether the year is defective (D), 8th and 9th month both having 29 days; regular (R), 8th month has 29, 9th month has 30 days; or perfect (P), 30 days in both. No asterisk indicates a common year of twelve months; an asterisk indicates a leap year of thirteen months.

(B) "Roman year" represents the year A.D. having Holy Days. NOTE: "1977" was the last year of a 19-year time cycle, and 1978 was the beginning of a new cycle, ending in 1996.

TABLE 2

TYPES OF SACRED MONTHS

Type of Month Number of Days Day of Week New Moon Falls

1 30 1

2 30 2

3 30 3

4 30 4

5 30 5

6 30 6

7 30 7

8 29 1

9 29 2

10 29 3

11 29 4

12 29 5

13 29 6

14 29 7

Pocket Calendar for Holy Days and New Moons

Pocket Holy Day Calendar* Observed previous evening, after sunset.

New Yr Passover* Feast of UB Pentecost Trumpets Atonement Tabernacles LGD

1996 Mar 21 Apr 3 Apr 4-10 May 27 Sep 14 Sep 23 Sep 28-Oct 4 Oct 5

1997 Apr 8 Apr 21 Apr 22-28 Jun 16 Oct 2 Oct 11 Oct 16-22 Oct 23

1998 Mar 28 Apr 10 Apr 11-17 Jun 1 Sep 21 Sep 30 Oct 5-11 Oct 12

1999 Mar 18 Mar 31 Apr 1-7 May 24 Sep 11 Sep 20 Sep 25-Oct 1 Oct 2

2000 Apr 6 Apr 19 Apr 20-26 Jun 12 Sep 30 Oct 9 Oct 14-20 Oct 21

2001 Mar 25 Apr 7 Apr 8-14 Jun 4 Sep 18 Sep 27 Oct 2-8 Oct 9

2002 Mar 14 Mar 27 Mar 28-Ap 3 May 20 Sep 7 Sep 16 Sep 21-27 Sep 28

2003 Apr 3 Apr 16 Apr 17-23 Jun 9 Sep 27 Oct 6 Oct 11-17 Oct 18

2004 Mar 23 Apr 5 Apr 6-12 May 31 Sep 16 Sep 25 Sep 30-Oct 6 Oct 7

2005 Apr 10 Apr 23 Apr 24-30 Jun 20 Oct 4 Oct 13 Oct 18-24 Oct 25

Pocket New Moon* Calendar

* Observed previous evening, after sunset.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

1996 Mar 21 Apr 20 May 19 Jun 18 Jul 17 Aug 16 Sep 14 Oct 14 Nov 12 Dec 11 Jan 9 Feb 8 Mar 10

1997 Apr 8 May 8 Jun 6 Jul 6 Aug 4 Sep 3 Oct 2 Nov 1 Nov 30 Dec 30 Jan 28 Feb 27

1998 Mar 28 Apr 27 May 26 Jun 25 Jul 24 Aug 23 Sep 21 Oct 21 Nov 20 Dec 20 Jan 18 Feb 17

1999 Mar 18 Apr 17 May 16 Jun 15 Jul 14 Aug 13 Sep 11 Oct 11 Nov 10 Dec 10 Jan 8 Feb 7 Mar 8

2000 Apr 6 May 6 Jun 4 Jul 4 Aug 2 Sep 1 Sep 30 Oct 30 Nov 28 Dec 27 Jan 25 Feb 24

2001 Mar 25 Apr 24 May 23 Jun 22 Jul 21 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 18 Nov 16 Dec 16 Jan 14 Feb 13

2002 Mar 14 Apr 13 May 12 Jun 11 Jul 10 Aug 9 Sep 7 Oct 7 Nov 6 Dec 6 Jan 4 Feb 3 Mar 5

2003 Apr 3 May 3 Jun 1 Jul 1 Jul 30 Aug 29 Sep 27 Oct 27 Nov 26 Dec 26 Jan 24 Feb 23

2004 Mar 23 Apr 22 May 21 Jun 20 Jul 19 Aug 18 Sep 16 Oct 16 Nov 14 Dec 13 Jan 11 Feb 10 Mar 12

2005 Apr 10 May 10 Jun 8 Jul 8 Aug 6 Sep 5 Oct 4 Nov 3 Dec 2 Jan 1 Jan 30 Mar 1

Calendar of Biblical Events

Americans remember July 4th as Independence Day. Other dates of the Roman calendar are noted as the anniversaries of various historical events. What about God's calendar for God's people? Are there dates which are noteworthy as the anniversaries of historical and Biblical events? Dates which even Jesus Christ took note of? Indeed there are!

Notice John 10:22. Jesus was in the Temple during winter at the Feast of Dedication (also known as Hanukkah, or Festival of Lights). Beginning on Kislev 25 (9th month), this is a eight-day celebration instituted by the Jews to commemorate the purging of the temple and the rebuilding of the altar after Judas Maccabaeus had driven out the Syrians in 164 B.C. It is also the anniversary of the pollution of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C. (fulfilling at least in type the prophecy of Daniel 11:31). Like the American and Canadian Thanksgiving Day, it is a national holiday of giving to God of thanks for His blessings and deliverance in time of trial.

Another commemorative day shown in the Bible is Purim, the Feast of Lots. This annual festival of the Jews on the 14th and 15th days of the last month (Adar or Adar II) was instituted to commemorate the preservation of the Jews in Persia from the massacre with which they were threatened through the machinations of Haman (Esther 9). Notice Esther 9:27-28. The Jews -- not God -- ordained this annual festival to be kept throughout every generation.

It's not wrong to take note of these historical occasions, since they were definitely anniversaries of God's intervention on behalf of His chosen people. Certainly since the Christian should desire to be spared from destruction, Luke 21:36, Purim should mean much more to the Christian than July 4, Thanksgiving Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day combined.

The Eternal God has a habit of repeating similar actions on the anniversary of the same day. The "night to be much observed," at the beginning of Nisan 15, Exodus 12:42, occurred on the selfsame day, 430 years after God made His covenant with Abraham (compare Genesis 15:5-18 with Exodus 12:40-42 and Genesis 17:19-21).

Other events are noted in the Bible according to the day on the calendar in which the event occurred. The following is a listing of Biblical events according to their dates on God's calendar.

First Month

1 New Moon, New Year.

1 Hezekiah opens doors of Temple and begins to repair it, II Chronicles 29:3, 17. Finished the work on the 16th.

1 Prophecy given to Ezekiel that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, would be given the land of Egypt, Ezekiel 29:17-20. Reaffirmed at a different time of the 7th day, Ezekiel 30:20-26.

1 God ordains a bullock to be sacrificed and the Temple to be cleansed, Ezekiel 45:18-19. Also to be done on the first day of the seventh month, verse 20.

1 Ezra decides to leave Babylon for Jerusalem with the intent of seeking God's law, doing it, and teaching God's statutes and judgments to Israel, Ezra 7:6-10. Departs on 12th day, Ezra 8:31.

1 Waters dried up from the Flood almost a year after rains began, Genesis 8:13.

10 Passover lamb kept up until the 14th day, Exodus 12:3-6.

13 Haman's death sentence against the Jews was posted in the kingdom of Persia, Esther 3:12-13.

14 Passover observed beginning of 14th (evening), Exodus 12, Leviticus 23:5.

15 Feast of Unleavened Bread, first day Holy day, Leviticus 23:6-8.

21 Last Holy Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread

24 Daniel had been fasting for three weeks, is given understanding by an angel, Daniel 10:2-4.

X Israel came into desert of Zin, abode in Kadesh; Miriam died there, Numbers 20:1.

X Nehemiah asks Artaxerxes to allow him to rebuild Jerusalem, Nehemiah 2:1.

Second Month

1 Eternal spoke to Moses in wilderness of Sinai on second year after they were come out of Egypt, Numbers 1:1. All Israel from twenty years old assembled together, verse 18.

2 Solomon begins to build the Temple in the fourth year of his reign, II Chronicles 3:2.

14 Second Passover, Numbers 9:9-14; II Chronicles 30:1-5, 15.

15 Feast of Unleavened Bread kept in second month by Hezekiah, II Chronicles 30:13, 21-23.

21 Last day of Feast of Unleavened Bread of Hezekiah in the Second Month.

17 Fountains of deep broken up, 40 days of rain begin the Noachian Flood, Genesis 7:11.

20 Cloud taken up, Israel begins journeying from Sinai in the second year of the Exodus, Numbers 10:11.

27 God told Noah to go forth out of the ark, Genesis 8:14.

X Construction of Solomon's temple began, I Kings 6:1, 37.

X Foundations of the temple laid by Zerubbabel, Joshua and others returned from captivity, Ezra 3:8-13.

Third Month

1 Again, God gives Ezekiel a prophecy as to Egypt's fall, but that their conquerors the Assyrians will fall likewise, Ezekiel 31:1-18.

23 Haman, enemy of the Jews, hanged. King of Persia's letter went out allowing Jews to defend themselves against their enemies on Adar 13. Mordecai advanced, Esther 8:1-17.

X Pentecost, a Holy Day, always falls on second day of the week, can be on 7th, 9th, 11th, or 13th of third month.

X Asa and other faithful of Israel enter into a covenant with God, II Chronicles 15:10, 12.

Fourth Month

5 God begins to work through Ezekiel, gives him visions and prophecies, Ezekiel 1:1-2.

9 Besieged by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, there was sore famine in Jerusalem, and the city was broken up about 586 B.C., Jeremiah 39:2; 52:6-7; II Kings 25:3. Jews remembered this horrifying event by commemorating it with a fast, Zechariah 8:19.

Fifth Month

1 Ezra arrives in Jerusalem from Babylon, Ezra 7:6-10.

1 Aaron died on Mount Hor in the fortieth year of Israel's wandering, Numbers 33:38. Israel mourned for thirty days, Numbers 20:28-29.

7 Babylonian army burns the Jerusalem temple, King's palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem, takes most of the rest of Judah captive, Jeremiah 1:3; 52:12-16; and II Kings 25:8-12. Jews commemorated this sad event with a fast, Zechariah 8:19 on tenth day. God was wrathful with their corrupted manner of fasting, Zechariah 7:1-13.

10 Certain elders of Israel come to inquire of the Eternal before Ezekiel. He is given a message from God that the reason they are in captivity is that they have polluted God's Sabbaths, Ezekiel 20:1-49.

Sixth Month

1 God begins to work through Haggai the prophet, Haggai 1:1.

5 Ezekiel is given a vision from God, sees several abominations being committed by God's people, Ezekiel 8.

24 The Eternal stirs up the spirit of Zerubbabel, Joshua and the remnant of the people to do the work of the building of God's House, Haggai 1:14-15.

25 Rebuilt wall of Jerusalem finished, Nehemiah 6:15-16.

Seventh Month

1 Day of Trumpets, a New Moon and a Holy Day.

9 At the end of this day, Atonement fast begins, Leviticus 23:32.

10 Day of Atonement, a fast, and a High Holy Day.

10 (Implied) Ezekiel given a vision of the rebuilt Millennial Temple at Jerusalem, Ezekiel 40:1and following -- implication is that "the beginning of the year" means the civil year.

17 Noah's ark rested on mountains of Ararat, Genesis 8:4.

15 (through 21) Feast of Tabernacles, first day is a Holy Day.

21 Prophecy of Haggai, Haggai 2:1-9.

22 Last Great Day, a Holy Day.

23 Completion of dedication of Solomon's Temple, II Chronicles 7:9-10.

24 After reinstitution of Feast of Tabernacles at the return from Babylonian captivity, a fast observed, God's Law read, special services held, Nehemiah 9:1-3.

X Ishmael of the royal seed kills Gedaliah, the ruler of Judah appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar, and flees to Egypt in fear of the Chaldeans, II Kings 25:25, Jeremiah 41:1-3.

Eighth Month

15 King Jeroboam of Northern Israel institutes counterfeit "Feast of Tabernacles," I Kings 12:32,33.

X God began to work through the prophet Zechariah, Zechariah 1:1.

X Solomon's temple done, I Kings 6:38.

Ninth Month

4 Word of Eternal came to Zechariah, told him that the fasts of the fifth and seventh months were not done to God, as the people would not heed God's prophets, Zechariah 7:1-13.

20 Jews and Benjamites from captivity, gathered together at Jerusalem and told by Ezra to separate from strange wives who were of a different race and religion, Ezra 10:9-11.

24 Word of Eternal came twice to Haggai that God's people were unclean and that God would shake the heavens and the earth, Haggai 2:10-23.

25 Beginning of eight day Feast of Dedication, or Hannukah, John 10:22.

X A fast was proclaimed in Judah as a result of reading Jeremiah's prophecy, but King Jehoiakim burns the scroll, Jeremiah 36:9, 22. The ninth month is in winter.

X Nehemiah, the Persian King's Jewish cupbearer, learns of the lamentable state of Jerusalem and his fellow Jews, Nehemiah 1:1-3, 11. Chisleu is an alternate spelling of Kislev, the ninth month.

Tenth Month

1 Waters from Flood had receded until tops of mountains were seen, Genesis 8:5.

1 Ezra and elders met to put away strange wives, Ezra 10:16-17.

5 Ezekiel was struck dumb by God until an escapee from Jerusalem informed him the city was smitten. God gave him a message as to why this event happened: they heard God's words, but did them not, Ezekiel 33:21-33.

10 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began siege of Jerusalem, about 588 B.C., Jeremiah 39:1, 52:4, II Kings 25:1. Remembered by Jews in a annual fast, Zechariah 8:19. Ezekiel given a message from God about the sins which caused this event, Ezekiel 24:1-27.

12 God's prophecy concerning Egypt was given to Ezekiel, 29:1-16.

Eleventh Month

1 In the 40th year, Moses spoke to the children of Israel the words of the Eternal, Deuteronomy 1:3.

24 God spoke to Zechariah in a vision, Zechariah 1:7.

Twelfth Month

1 (15) God told Ezekiel to lament for the fall of Egypt, Ezekiel 32:1, 17.

3 Rebuilt Temple finished, Ezra 6:15.

13 Publishing of Haman's death sentence upon all the Jews in captivity, Esther 3:10-13.

14 (& 15) Purim, celebration of Jews' deliverance from Haman's death decree, Esther 9:1-32.

25 (27) Evil-merodack, King of Babylon, released former King Jehoiachin of Judah from prison and gave him a daily allowance for the rest of his life, II Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34.

No recorded events in thirteenth month.

 

Additional Articles on God's Calendar :

Calendar Controversy
Review: The Calendar God Gave to Moses
Holy Day Calendar

Main Holy Day Menu

 

Written by: Richard C. Nickels
Giving & Sharing
PO Box 100
Neck City, MO 64849
United States of America

This material distributed on the Web by the Giving & Sharing site at: http://www.giveshare.org


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