The Hebrew Calendar
We all have a free choice of what we want to believe.
But the truth is still the truth, even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.
Just because you cannot see something does not mean that it is not there.
Time in heaven is precise and unchanging while time on earth is warped and inexact. we do not know the base of time used in heaven, or even how that integrates with our own earthly time. The Scriptures do not tell us what the heavenly calendar is, but the Scriptures do tell us that the Hebrew calendar is based on seasons. As a consequence, there are many variations of calendar in existence now. In heaven, the calendar makes sense, but there is no guarantee the the calendar will make sense to us on Earth. It is important to note that all calendars in the word started from the calendar that Noah brought with him, so it should not be unusual to find common themes between calendars kept between different cultures, religions and countries.
There have been numerous types of calendars that have been used throughout human history, reflecting the diverse ways that different cultures and societies have measured and organized time. We also do not know if the solar year has been constant. For instance, did the Great Flood cause a change to the Earths solar year, maybe it was once 360 days with a 30 day lunar cycle synchronised with the sun?
Here are some examples of calendar types that have existed:
Lunar calendars: Calendars based on the cycles of the moon. As the moon cycles its phases on average in about 29.5 days, lunar months typically last 29 or 30 days and a lunar year is 354 days.
Solar calendars: Calendars based on the cycles of the sun, with years typically lasting 365 or 366 days, but there are exceptions, two are only 364 days.
Lunar-solar calendars: Calendars that combine elements of both lunar and solar calendars, typically using a system of intercalation (adding extra days or months) to align the lunar months with the solar year.
Sidereal calendars: Calendars that are based on the movement of the Earth in relation to the fixed stars.
In total, I have analysed 121 different calendars, some still in use and some discontinued, and using different or mixed elements of the above types covering the date range from 5,000 BC to 2012 AD. Of this total, 53 are solar based, 58 are lunisolar, 5 are lunar, 4 are fixed, and 1 is sidereal. What is an interesting observation is that as the start date of the calendar changes, so do the weighting of calendar types.
There are 19 calendars that started earlier than 1000 BC. Of these calendars are 5 are solar based, 13 are lunisolar, none are lunar, 1 is fixed, and there is no sidereal. The 5 oldest calendars are Egyptian, Hebrew, Sumerian, Armenian and Assyrian. Of these, all are lunar-solar apart from the Armenian calendar which is solar.
Early civilisations often used lunisolar calendars because they were easy to understand and observe. These calendars are based on both the lunar cycle and the solar cycle, which helped people keep track of the month by looking at the phases of the moon which also enabled them to keep track of seasons. This is critically important to an agrarian culture as planting and harvesting for different crop types, or preparing for winter, must be carried out at the correct time. Ie in time for the rain season, or when the earth is reliably warm enough to germinate seeds when the risk of winter changes has passed.
However, the lunar year is shorter than the solar year, which can cause problems for agrarian societies that rely on seasonal changes for planting and harvesting.To address this issue, lunisolar calendars add extra days or months to the calendar. This is typically done by adding leap days or leap months
The Hebrew calendar is the only calendar that since inception, has been modified 4 times and is still used today. The changes to the calendar are as follows
Hebrew creation calendar. Circa 4,000 BC. There are no records that tell us exactly what this calendar was, however, given that the other major calendars at the time were lunar-solar, it is a fair bet that this calendar was also lunar-solar. The 7-day interval between Sabbaths ran independently of the monthly and yearly cycle, and the day was sunrise to sunrise. The decision to insert an intercalary month was made by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem on rather vague criteria such as the appearance of new plants. This decision may have originally been advice from the Father. Because they measured neither the equinox nor helical risings, the old Hebrew calendar cannot be reconstructed by mathematical formula and was relatively unpredictable in terms of years. Nonetheless, it did work, and this is the calendar that the Messiah kept. This calendar I think stayed in place until the Babylonian captivity in 586 BC
Hebrew Calendar during Babylonian captivity. Circa 586 BC. The Hebrew creation calendar was modified during the Babylonian captivity to blend parts of the Babylonian calendar into the Hebrew calendar.
The changes appear to have been
1) The start of a month was changed from new moon to first crescent of the moon
2) The commencement of a day was moved from sunrise to sunrise, to sunset to sunset
3) The application of the intercalary month may have been aligned to the Babylonian determination rather than the Sanhedrin determination (ie it was taken away from the Fathers advice).
These were fundamental changes to the calendar as it moved when the Fathers Feast days were celebrated. The use of the crescent moon created typically between 12 and 36 hours lag behind the creation calendar and the change from a sunrise-to-sunrise day to a sunset-to-sunset day creates further issues when comparing ancient Hebrew calendar practices and the Scriptures to this calendar.
These changes were very evident in the gospels with the Messiah having the Passover supper to the creation calendar, but the priests having their Passover supper a day later.
Hebrew Calendar during the Hasmonean dynasty. Circa 164 BC. During the Hasmonean dynasty a centralised Hebrew government was established that had the authority to regulate the calendar and intercalate the months as needed.
This resulted in the adoption of Babylonian astronomical knowledge and techniques for calculating the positions of the sun and moon. This knowledge helped to refine the intercalary system used in the Hebrew calendar and make it more accurate in maintaining the alignment of the lunar and solar years.
The Babylonian astronomer Kidinnu in the 4th century BC, proposed a slightly different 19-year cycle that is known as the Metonic cycle, and this was adopted into the Hebrew calendar. It remains in use in the Jewish calendar to this day, with a leap year added to the calendar in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 of the cycle.
It is not known exactly when the transition to this new system occurred, but there were other changes to the religious practices of the time. The Hasmoneans established their own priestly line and made changes to the calendar and other religious practices. Some Hebrew sects, including the Essene's, opposed these changes and withdrew from mainstream Jewish society. The Essene's felt so strongly about the calendar that they developed their own calendar which was detailed in the Qumran scrolls that used fixed month lengths that cycle 30-30-31 over the 4 seasons in a year. There were some other differences also that wont go into here - it is worth another article.
Hebrew Calendar present. Circa between 359 AD and 1200 AD. Hillel II standardised the calendar to remove variations in practice between different regions and groups.
The base for the year count earliest known use of the Anno Domini era in Jewish tradition dates to the 8th century CE, when it was used in a Jewish legal document known as the Shtarot. It later gained wider acceptance in the 11th and 12th centuries, particularly in the works of Jewish scholars in the Islamic world.
In about 1200 AD Maimonides clarified the rules used in the calendar which included clarifying and codifying the rules for calculating the years in the Hebrew calendar, including the principles of leap years and the use of the moon, to determine the start of each Hebrew month.
There is a belief among some that the Feast days are tied to heavenly days or cycles. This belief is based on a few different factors, including the lunar cycle, agricultural cycles, and the interpretation of biblical passages. For example, the Hebrew calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle, has been interpreted by some as being linked to the cycles of the moon in the heavens. Similarly, the agricultural cycles described in the Scriptures have been seen as reflecting a larger cycle of divine providence in the natural world.
Some people also believe that the biblical feast days are tied to celestial events or cycles, such as the equinoxes or solstices in the same way that solar pagan calendars operate. This belief is based on interpretations of Scriptural passages that describe the sun, moon, and stars as being created by the Father to mark seasons and times.
However, it's important to note that these beliefs are not universally accepted or agreed upon, and there is no documented history of the Hebrew calendar. Different people interpret the Scriptures and the Feast days in different ways. There is no consensus or Scriptural evidence on whether or how these feast days are tied to heavenly cycles or events, or even why the inaccurate orbit of a planet in this massive creation would enable alignment with heavenly time.
But the calendar and observance of the Feast days is important as the commands to observe these apply to all that are grafted into the vine. Scriptures tell us what days the Fathers Feasts should be on, and these set out the Salvation Plan of mankind, and all point directly to the Messiah.There are calendar versions specified in the Book of Enoch, the Qumran scrolls, as well as the Israeli civil and religious calendars, but many other variations exist. Our enemy has deceived the whole world by hiding and changing the Fathers calendar, and now we cannot say with certainty which calendar is the true calendar. However, from the Scriptures, the Messiah appears to have kept the lunisolar calendar, but to a sunrise to sunrise day and this is the calendar that I keep.
The pharisees Hebrew calendar is nearly identical to the Babylonian calendar which was in itself derived from an earlier Sumerian calendar which is dated to 2,100 BC.
The balancing factors in my view is that:
There is very little guidance given in the Scriptures on what is the correct calendar to follow, but I consider that the Hebrew calendar normally starts each month with the start of a lunar cycle, ie the new moon (which is no moon). Psalm 81:3 uses the word - כסה keseh which can help determine the timing of some of the Feasts. Keseh (we think - it is not used often) means properly the full moon, the time of the full moon. In Syriac the word means either "the first day of the full moon," or "the whole time of the full moon." This fixes the time of some of the Feasts to the full moon, which can only then be either the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Sukkoth. Both start on the 15th day of a month, and for a lunar month this would have been the full moon. The other Feasts are preparatory in nature for these two Feasts and occur on days that are not full moons, but there are reasons for this. Any month not commencing at the new moon would not then make sense for this Scripture. Some translations interpret keseh as "new moon" rather than "full moon." However, the context of the verse suggest that "full moon" is the more accurate translation.
It would be plausible for the Hebrew calendar to be similar to surrounding calendars, as the calendars would have been inherited originally through Noah and then would have had a common basis
An agrarian calendar will be in a form that people can tell where they are in the month. That is, a full moon means you are halfway through a month, don't forget, written calendars and cell phones were not available at that time
At the time of the Exodus, Yahuah reset the first day of the year to 1 Nisan (March/April). There is no solstice or equinox to pin this date to as would be necessary for an agrarian economy that depended heavily on seasons. The logical conclusion would have to be a lunisolar calendar with an intercalary period determined during the solstice (which is 3 lunar cycles after the start of Nisan).
But you need to decide for yourself which calendar is the correct calendar, and I will keep looking at the calendar with an open mind.
Note that the Messiahs kept the Feasts dates that are close to the lunisolar calendar, and did not criticise the pharisees for keeping Feasts to their lunisolar calendar. Notable that Israelis now keep the Feast dates to the gregorian calendar and no longer either the Hebrew or Creation calendar.
The Hebrews have been using a lunisolar calendar since the time they left Egypt. The first command the Hebrew people received after leaving Egypt was to determine the new moon, and after that, the Hebrews also received the command to keep the Passover that falls in spring and starts the three Spring Feasts and Autumn Feasts, these collectively are known as the Scriptural Feasts.
The Scriptural Feasts comprised seven annual events, these are recorded in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. According to the Hebrew calendar, Scriptural Feasts were to be held on the same date and month of the Hebrew calendar each year. In the western world however, we use the pagan Gregorian calendar that is a solar calendar, and this does not equate easily to the Hebrew calendar.
To add complexity, there are three calendars that you need to understand, as follows
Hebrew Calendar of which there are two methods to determine the start of a month
The Creation Calendar – this is the calendar determined out of the Scriptures as much as we can, and is the calendar that I use to follow the Appointed Times
The babylonian calendar - After the Babylonian exile, the Hebrews were divided on the date of the observance of Passover. This calendar lags the Hebrew creation calendar between 16 and 40 hours. You should not use this calendar
Gregorian calendar – this is a pagan Roman calendar focused on Roman false deities. You are forced by world economics to use this calendar.
The Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar is a lunar-solar calendar (also sometimes referred to as a synchronistic calendar). That is, the start and end of months is determined by the moons phases, and the start and end of a day and the year is determined by the suns phases.
There are four independent cycles that run through the Hebrew calendar
The 24 hour "day" cycle
The 7 day week cycle
The lunar month cycle
The solar year cycle
The term "moon cycle" (or "lunar cycle") refers to the moon's continuous orbit around the earth. As the moon orbits the earth, its appearance (the "phase") changes as the position of the earth between the moon and the sun change. Depending on where an individual is observing the moon, the shadow of the earth on the moon gives us an indication of the moon's progress through the lunar cycle. We can only see the part of the moon that is not shadowed by the earth, i.e. the part that is illuminated by the sun.
As the Gregorian calendar has months of 30/31 days, the monthly cycle within a year is very different to the Hebrew calendar and the gregorian calendar. The average month length for the Gregorian calendar is 30.4 days against the average month length of 27.3 days in the Hebrew calendar. There is also a difference in the number of days within a year, the Hebrew calendar has 360 days while the gregorian calendar has 365 days.
As the moon, sun and earth move through a cycle, it takes 235 lunar months, very nearly exactly equal to 19 years. At 19 years, the new moon occurs on the same day of the year as at the beginning of the cycle with perhaps a shift of one day, depending on the number of leap years in the cycle. To cater for this difference, the Hebrew calendar includes “leap months” where every 7 years out of 19 years a leap month is added, so that over the full 19 year cycle, all time is correctly accounted for.
The Hebrew "day" (24 hour period)
It is well known that Jews begin their day in the evening at sunset, not at midnight and not at daybreak, but this was not the case with the Hebrew creation calendar (see above), it was a change that was made to the calendar along with other changes (it could be considered as blending pagan practices into the Father calendar).
We know for certain that the day began in the Temple at daybreak, and this was the 24 hour day definition kept by Moses. When the Scriptures state in Genesis 1:5 “there was evening and there was morning, one day” its meaning is literal. The Father completed what was started earlier during the “daylight period” and this was followed by evening, and when morning came, the day ended – “one day.”
The true Hebrew days also varies from the current Hebrew interpretation and the gregorian day period - it is important for you to understand why. Contrary to common belief, and you can obverse it through the Scriptures, the Fathers day, the day period followed by Moses, is from sunrise to sunrise. This is evident throughout the Scriptures but the ones I would point readers to of the references is:
Exodus 12:6 ‘And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same new moon. Then all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slay it between the evenings........ 14 ‘And this day shall become to you a remembrance. And you shall celebrate it as a festival to Yahuah throughout your generations – celebrate it as a festival, an everlasting law.
Leviticus 23:5 ‘In the first new moon, on the fourteenth day of the new moon, between the evenings, is the Passover to Yahuah.
"between the evenings" generally meant the period from late afternoon until one hour before sunset. here can be no Passover feast without a Passover sacrifice. The instructions in verse 14 to keep this day as a memorial can only mean the day of Passover. It does not mean the days of Passover, as if there are two separate days, one for the sacrifice and the second for the feast. It means that there is only one day and only one Passover. Yes, the Passover comes in two parts, but both parts must occur on the same day because verse 14 says "this day shall be unto you for a memorial".
The only way this sequence can be fulfilled, and it would have been plainly obvious to those alive at the time of Moses, was for the day to begin and end at sunrise. The Messiah must also have kept sunrise to sunrise as the Gospels record a sequence where only the slaughter of the Passover lamb and the Passover supper had to be on the same 24 hour day:
Matthew 26: 17 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread the taught ones came to Yahuah, saying to Him, “Where do You wish us to prepare for You to eat the Pĕsaḥ?”
Mark 14:12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they were slaughtering the Pĕsaḥa lamb, His taught ones said to Him, “Where do You wish us to go and prepare, for You to eat the Passover?
Luke 22: 7 And the Day of Unleavened Bread came when the Passover had to be slaughtered.
Therefore, the Fathers original creation calendar day (and the one that the Messiah and his disciples kept) starts at sunrise, and finishes at sunrise 24 hours later. Israel practices sunset to sunset (which was adopted into Hebrew life during the babylonian captivity and in my view is pagan) and gregorian is midnight to midnight (which is from the roman calendar and is pagan). The sequences in the Scriptures just do not fit the babylonian or gregorian calendars - don't get fooled with these.
There are two types of Hebrew calendar that relate to the new testament, the original Hebrew creation calendar as set out in the Scriptures, and the Hebrew Babylonian calendar that was used by the pharisees.
The Hebrew creation calendar
The Hebrew Creation Calendar month determines the start of a new month as the day that begins at sunset when there is a new moon. That is, there is no visible portion of the moon (it is also known as “dark moon”). This day is the first day of a month, and days start counting from 1 to 30 until the next new moon, when the next month starts.
The 24 hour "day" starts at sunrise and ends at sunrise 24 hours later.
The Hebrew Babylonian calendar
This calendar was determined from the ancient Babylonian calendar which was adopted by the Hebrews during their enforced sojourn. This, defines the commencement of a month with sighting the first crescent of a new moon and as set out above, has a 24 hour days from sunset to sunset. This method of lunar sighting determines the first day of each month. The High Priest waited until the first crescent of the new moon was sighted before declaring the commencement of a new month.
The 24 hour "day" starts at sunset and ends at sunset 24 hours later.
Due to this delay, dates determined with this methodology are some 16 to 40 hours later than dates determined by the Hebrew creation calendar. This will explain to you why some sources are a day apart in their determination of Feast dates.
The gregorian calendar
This is the calendar that most of the western world keeps time to. Days of the week and months of the year are named after false deities. Days start at midnight and end the following midnight, and there is no reliance on the moon or sun for start or end of months. This calendar could not be further from the Scriptures if it tried.
The 24 hour "day" starts at midnight and ends at midnight 24 hours later.
Well that is what s-a-t-a-n hopes for. His alternate reality makes it hard to learn and comprehend the Fathers Way and time keeping and he has thoroughly hidden and confused what the true calendar is. If you wish to follow the Fathers Way, you need to follow the Hebrew Creation Calendar.
Three centuries after the resurrection of the Messiah, it was obvious that the persecution that the Roman Empire placed on believers to force them to recant was not working. Believers were growing fast in numbers as the Word spread. S-a-t-a-n may then have embarked on a new strategy of diverting people from the Truth by working within believers. He established a false truth that believers would follow given sufficient economic pressure. This false truth diverted believers from the Salvation Plan set out in the Appointed Times.
Constantine and the First Council of Nicaea, put regulation in place to force denominations, through economic pressure, to focus on the pagan festivals of c-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s and e-a-s-t-e-r, instead of the Fathers Appointed Times. This changed the Appointed Times away from the Hebrew Creation Calendar and masked the purpose of the Appointed Time. Following the gregorian calendar is merging witchcraft, magic, paganism, and false deities into the Appointed Times.
Most teachers will tell you that is OK, we can choose the dates to remember the Appointed Times and the Messiahs resurrection. But in my view this is not correct, who are we to reset something that the Father created?
S-a-t-a-n has fooled most denominations to willingly believe that the Messiah fulfilled all of the Old Testament, and the Appointed Times, Commandments and instructions no longer applies to them, that is, we are saved by grace and not works. But this is contorting the meaning and message of the Scriptures.
The Messiah certainly fulfilled the sacrificial system for the atonement of sins, the Feasts (which follows the Fathers Salvation Plan) and Commandments (including the Sabbath), but the Autumn Feasts are yet to come - this is the end of the age. During the Millennium Sukkot, an Appointed Time, remains and will be with us in the millennium (refer to Zechariah 14:16–19). So a question for those who do not believe in the Appointed Times - if they no longer apply, why does one of these survive into the Millennium.
Tables to help your understanding
If you wish to worship in spirit and in truth to the Fathers specified Appointed Times, you need to understand the Hebrew calendar, and convert the Appointed Time dates from Hebrew to gregorian. I have done this for you below I have made two tables to help match the Appointed Time dates in the Hebrew Creation Calendar to the gregorian calendar.
According to https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html?cal=2023#skycal, the new moon occurs at 19.23 on 21 March 2023. This makes the first day of Nisan to equate to the gregorian date of 22 March 2023. This then sets the days for the Spring Feasts and Pentecost.
Using the same NASA table, the new moon occurs at 03:40 on the 15 March 2023. This makes the first day of Tishri to equate to the gregorian date of 15 March 2023. This then sets the days for the Autumn Feasts.
The table below sets out the Appointed Times for 2023. The days in red are High Sabbath Days, and these are days on which you only do essential work. The day is set aside to Yahuah, to worship, study, pray and join with other believers to celebrate the Fathers Salvation plan
The table below sets out the Hebrew Calendar to the gregorian calendar. This shows you just how different these two calendars actually are
Things you must be aware of
There is contention over what the true Creators calendar is.
The Hebrew 24 hour day starts at sunrise and finishes at sunrise 24 hours later.
The start of a Hebrew month must be determined from the lunar cycle visible from Israel, not from other locations around the world. The time of a dark moon will differ depending on where in the world an observer is located.
The new moon can be calculated for Israel from NASA data within an accuracy of seconds. To determine the start of each month, use NASA data at https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html?cal=2023#skycal (make sure you select the right attributes before generating the table).
We can back date the occurrence of new moons historically using the NASA calendars so we can determine the day of week that Feasts occurred on. This is how we can determine the likely year that the Messiah was crucified on, and is discussed on other web pages here.
The Feast dates provided within the Scriptures are specific to a day within a Hebrew (and not Gregorian) month, for instance Passover is the 14th day of Nisan. The matching gregorian date and day of the week will naturally vary. It is not static as most denominations will tell you – it is physically and mathematically impossible for Passover to be Friday every year.
You will find many different calendar types that people prefer to follow, for instance the Book of Jubilees insists that a year is 364 days so that the same day always falls on the same day of the week. This was an Essenes view but mathematically it does not work as the solar year is 365.25 days. The additional day which is not compensated for loses the relationship between seasons, months and years. You need to decide in your own mind which calendar type is correct.
This means that Feast days, although they were celebrated on the same day number of the same Hebrew month, could not possibly fall on the same day of the week each year, as weeks are 7 days long and 27.3 is not exactly divided by 7. Similarly, the Feast dates cannot be referenced to the gregorian calendar days, to do so is a pagan practice and missing what is set apart by the father, with paganism. It is sad to see that many denominations follow pagan practices and calendars and not the Scripture specified calendars, they blend paganism and worship.
Elsewhere on this web site we talk about the incorporation of paganism and false deity worship into denominations.
Web page last updated 16 April 2023