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Calendars, Calendars & Calendars!


By Amos Morgan



Calendars, Calendars & Calendars!
Copyright © 2018 By Amos Morgan
Do not duplicate without permission


Calendars, Calendars & Calendars!

If you want to convert ounces to grams, there is a formula to help you find the answer. If you need to convert temperature from degrees Celsius to degrees Fahrenheit there is a formula for that too, but if you need to convert from a lunar calendar (such as used in the Bible) to a solar calendar such as used in the western world there is no formula. The best you can do is make tables or charts to compare them but no formula to convert from one to the other. Most countries in the western hemisphere use a solar calendar (called the Gregorian calendar) while many Eastern nations use a lunar calendar or sometimes use the Gregorian calendar for commerce and a variety of lunar calendar for holidays, festivals and social events. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, has spoken approvingly of returning to the Biblical lunar calendar for both social and commercial use in Israel; it is already in use in their religious observations.

Our calendar is a make-over of the solar calendar used in Roman times and known as the Julian Calendar, named after Julius Caesar. It seems that at one time the first day of March was the first day of spring and also New Year's Day; this is evident from the Latin names of the months, September means seventh month, October means eighth month, November means ninth month, and December means tenth month. That is why February, which is now the second month is the shortest month; when it was the last month of the year it absorbed or lost any extra days. To that point, back in those Roman times, the months alternated between 31 days and 30 days except for February which had 29 days until leap-year when it had 30 days, and then everything became politicized.

Julius Caesar thought he was so important that his birth-month should bear his name, (July in English). Later Augustus said that if Julius had given his name to his birth-month then his own name, Augustus, (August in English) should also be the name of his birth month. But then he noticed that July had 31 days and August had only 30 days so that is why February lost a day, in domino fashion, to August. At least that is how I learned it from my granddaughter, Breanne, who was in the 2nd grade at that time.

Contrasting the foregoing with the lunar calendar given to the Jewish people by the designer and creator of the heavens and the earth can be quite interesting. Creation began in the darkness of night and the first day concluded with the return of night time; "The evening and the morning were the first day". In the northern hemisphere days are longer than the nights in summer. In winter the nights are longer. But there is an instant in time in the spring and also in the fall when the day and night are exactly equal in length as they are passing each other in length. That moment in spring when the day and night are equal in length is called the vernal equinox or first day of spring. The moment in the fall when the reverse occurs is called the autumnal equinox or first day of fall. This is kind of important to the next point we want to explore; no matter the "midnight sun" in summertime within the Arctic Circle and the dark days of winter, the average time from sunset to midnight is six hours. We must keep in mind that this six hour (average) time (sunset to midnight) belongs to day number two in the lunar calendar of the Jews and they belong to day number one on our Gregorian calendar. Forgetting this important difference has caused some people to make serious mistakes when commenting on biblical history.

A lunar month about is about 29½ days, so most of the months alternate between 29 and 30 days. Whereas we have twelve months, one with 29 days in one out of every four years, the same one with 28 days in three out of four years, four with 30 days each year, and seven with 31 days each year. Whew!

Table I below gives some of the characteristics of the lunar calendar used in Israel. This is not a research project about calendars; it is a research project on why errors are often made when those familiar with the Gregorian calendar miss-read Bible stories.

Table 1
Month No. Month Name No. of Days
1 Abib / Nisan 30
2 Iyar 29
3 Sivan 30
4 Tammuz 29
5 Av 30
6 Elul 29
7 Tisheri 30
8 Cheshvan 29/30
9 Kislev 30/29
10 Tevet 29
11 Shevat 30
12 Adar I (if used) * 30 (If used) *
13 Adar II 29
  • *Adar I is observed only in a leap year.
  • A twelve month lunar year consists of 353, 354 or 355 days, about eleven days less than a solar year such as we use.
  • There are twelve, twelve-month years and seven thirteen-month years in a nineteen year cycle of lunar years. Years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 are leap years and have thirteen months each.
  • Holidays occurring in the month Adar I are celebrated in Adar II on non-leap years and so are not skipped. Thus Adar I is the extra month – it is inserted ahead of Adar II on a leap year. Leap year may not be the correct name when using a lunar calendar but it helps us relate.

Mostly months were designated by numbers both in the Roman calendar and in the Bible; the Day of Atonement is the tenth day of the seventh month, for instance. One exception to this rule is the month Abib. In Exodus 13:4; 23:15; and 34:18, and also in Deuteronomy 16:1, Moses reminded the people that God brought them out of Egypt in the month Abib. In the book of Esther, 3:7 and in Nehemiah 2:1 it lists Nisan as the first month so we can safely say that somewhere between Deuteronomy 16:1 and Esther 3:7 Abib became Nisan. Probably it was during the Babylonian captivity. Also the twelfth month is listed as Adar in Esther 3:7.

If your birthday was on Monday in 2017, it will be on Tuesday in 2018, and on Wednesday in 2019, but if it occurs after February in 2020, it will be Friday, not Thursday because of the extra day (Feb. 29) that year. If there were 364 days in a year instead of 365¼ we could always celebrate our birthday on the same day of the week! It's that extra day and one-fourth that moves our birthday later in the week each year, but it is predictable. Not so with the lunar calendar; their year is about eleven days shorter than ours and they have to add another month every two to three years so their birthday jumps around much differently than ours. Following is an example of how someone's birthday day which is on the fifteenth day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar changes from year to year as displayed on our calendar. This date (15th day, 7th month) is mentioned in Zechariah 14:16; "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles." Many people believe that this is the actual birthday of Jesus, our King.

Comparison of a Birthday on the Lunar vs. the solar calendars
2017 Thursday October 5
2018 Monday September 24
2019 Monday October 14
2020 Saturday October 3
2021 Tuesday September21
2022 Monday October 10

There is a point to be made; Good Friday and Easter Sunday rarely fall on Friday and Sunday. And perhaps that is OK but notice that it has contributed to confusion of some when they try to study types and shadows in the Old Testament and the New. Not by accident, the month of the first Passover in Egypt and the month in which Christ was offered for our sins on Mt. Calvary coincide exactly. God had the dates planned so they were precisely the same for those two months so many years apart.

  • Sunday the tenth day of the first month a lamb was selected from among the sheep or from among the goats. It would be the Passover Lamb.
  • Jesus had been avoiding the crowds of late because the elders were planning to destroy him. Then on Sunday the tenth day of the first month he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and went straight to the temple where they who sought him were assembled.
  • On Thursday the fourteenth day of the first month they sacrificed the Passover lamb and, after sunset (on the fifteenth day) ate the Passover with haste, their staff in their hand. At midnight the Angel of the Lord went throughout Egypt slaying the firstborn if there was no blood struck on both side posts and above the door. This massive wave of death did not wait for the first rays of daylight to make itself known, " And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; … And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; …" Exodus 12:30-31. 'Fortunately' half-way through the lunar month is when the full moon occurs, so they had the light of a full moon that night. Perhaps we should say 'according to plan' rather than 'fortunately'.
  • Before the time of Christ – perhaps during the Babylonian Captivity – Jewish people began celebrating the Passover meal on two consecutive days. Isolated and away from their homeland it may have been difficult to know exactly on which day the new moon occurred. Back home the priest had always proclaimed the new moon as soon as two witnesses had reported seeing it (the new moon). Anyway, the practice is still carried on today among Jews not living in Israel. These two Passover meals, called Seder I and Seder II or Family Seder and Synagogue Seder is why Jesus ate the Passover in an upper room with his Disciples before he suffered. Remember that in the Levitical experience the lamb was sacrificed before the Passover meal.
    • Before going on we need to connect three dots. As mentioned before, our Gregorian calendar came into being after the last chapter of Revelation had already been written. So anytime we interpret the Bible message using the wrong calendar we obviously come up with the wrong message. In the Bible; …
      • One day ends and a new day begins at sunset, not at midnight. We do not go from Thursday evening to Friday morning; we go from Thursday evening to Thursday morning. This is important!
      • If there is not an even number of weeks in a year on the calendar, no monthly date can fall on the same day of the week on consecutive years (as with your birthday). That is why in reality Easter can fall on almost any day of the week. The Gregorian calendar includes a fudge factor to always push Easter onto Sunday; not so with the biblical calendar.
      • As noted in a related article, "The meaning of Sabbath", Sabbath does not mean Saturday, it does not mean Sunday; it means a Holy day, a Sanctified day. When God created the heavens and the earth, he then rested on the seventh day and made the seventh day of every week a Sabbath. Later when God gave the law on Mt. Sinai he added seven other Sabbaths but none of the seven are tied to Saturday. In fact one (and only one) is tied to Sunday. One of the seven Sabbaths is the fifteenth day of the first month, and in the year in which Israel came out of Egypt and also in the year in which Christ was crucified that fifteenth day 'just happened' to be on Friday. John, 19:31, 32, was not talking about Saturday when he said, "(for that Sabbath day was an high day,)". The words "an high day" or a 'high Holy day' identifies it as one of the seven Sabbaths added there at Mt. Sinai (or Mt. Horeb). (Just some speculation here, but perhaps Sinai was the Egyptian name and the same mountain's name was Horeb in the language of Midian. Galatians 4:25 identifies Mt. Sinai as being in Arabia, not the Egyptian Sinai, and Paul lists himself as going to Arabia. Arabia now occupies the land east of the Red Sea where Midian once existed, thus putting Mt. Sinai in Arabia, the Midian of long ago and in the Arabia of Paul's time and of our time. See Where is Mt.Sinai and how do you get there.
  • So now let's see if we can tie this all together. Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples before he suffered, went to the garden to pray and was apprehended as he finished praying there in the garden. This was after sunset on Wednesday evening the thirteenth on our calendar, but since it was after sundown it was Thursday on God's calendar. The next morning it was Thursday until the following sunset but that is not how we are trained to think; that Jesus could be apprehended on Thursday evening and then be taken to Pilot's Judgment Hall on Thursday morning! But that is how it looks to God, "The evening and the morning (is a) day". At about the ninth hour on Thursday Jesus gave up the ghost and it was at that same ninth hour when sacrificing of the Pascal lambs began and lasted from the ninth hour till the eleventh hour. (This is from the writings of Flavius Josephus in The Wars of the Jew, book VI, chapter 9, paragraph 3.) It was after the ninth hour, during the sacrificing of thousands of Pascal lambs, that Jesus' side was pierced for our sins. Jesus was placed in the tomb and the Pascal lambs were prepared for the Passover on Thursday evening. Sunset Thursday ushered in the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath that occurred on Friday that year. So then Christ was in the tomb Friday evening and morning, Saturday evening and morning and Sunday evening and he arose on Sunday morning, on the third day, as he said.

So who cares if we always celebrate Easter on Sunday rather than on the seventeenth day of the first Jewish month? Romans 14:5-6 says, "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. …" Galatians 4:10-11 says, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you …" so it doesn't appear that strict Gentile observance of Jewish holidays is a requirement, but that is not the overpowering concern here. When the perpetual Good Friday – Easter Sunday arrangement was put into the calendar they proclaimed that Christ arose in two days. Since that time we have had to choose between Bible experts and Bible believers. Between those who believe the Matthew 5:18 "every jot and tittle", and an explanation by those who believe the Bible includes portions that we must interpret by traditions and trust bible experts who do not literally believe that all of the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Remember what the serpent asked Eve in the garden, "Yea hath God said?" Getting passed the experts and doing the math for ourselves we can see that the Bible is the rock solid, jot and tittle true, Word of God. Jesus was in the tomb three days and three nights and arose on the third day as he said.



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