Archive for category Calendar
In our previous discussion, Beginning the New Year – Pt. 1, we addressed the issue of the Hebrew terms תקופה (tequphah) and תקופת (tequphath).
We learned that a tequphah is a solar event and is a point in time that could be an equinox or a solstice.
It was also recognized that a tequphath represents a season of the solar year. The two seasons for calculating Festival Days being spring-summer and autumn-winter.
With this in mind we will continue in Part 2 with an examination of the Festival of Tabernacles and the Festival of Ingathering. What we will discover is how they both relate to the determination of the scriptural New Year.
Khag of Tabernacles
We must next be cognizant of the difference between the use of the labels “the Khag (Festival) of Ingathering” and “the Khag of Tabernacles,” the latter forming only a part of the former. The instructions from Deuteronomy and Leviticus for the seven-day Khag of Tabernacles state:
When all of the window dressing is removed, we discover that the entire issue about when to begin the year rests with the instructions regarding the Khag of Ingathering and its tequphath (season of the year).
The late Jews tell of four תקופת (tequphath) of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), each calculated as a period following one of the days of a תקופה (tequphah): the vernal equinox, the summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice.1
It is also important for us not to confuse the occurrence of a tequphah (i.e., equinox or solstice) with the season (tequphath) although the same word is sometimes used in common speech for both.
To begin with, a tequphah (equinox or solstice), as spoken of by Scriptures, is a solar event, marking a point of passage of the earth around the sun. It represents a day wherein one of two visual effects occur.
1. A solstice day is a day when the sun, as seen along the earth’s horizon, reaches its furthest point of rising or setting either on the north or south.
2. On the day of an equinox, on the other hand, the rising and setting of the sun lies on the horizon precisely in the middle between the two solstice points. As a consequence, the length of the periods of daytime and nighttime on that day of the equinox are almost exactly equivalent.
The Hebrew word תקופת (tequphath)—various transliterated as tekufath, tequfoth, tequfath, and so forth—is a form of the term תקופה (tequphah)—tekufah, tequfah, and so forth. Tequphah is itself derived from the word קופ (quph), meaning to, “go round.”2 The term תקופה (tequphah) more precisely means, “a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse:—circuit, come about, end”;3 a “circuit,”4 “orbit of the sun . . . circle of the year.”5
In Part 2 of our discussion we will delve deeper into the Pharisaic influence on many, especially among the Sacred Name groups of today, regarding the practice of considering the maturity of barley to determine the month of Abib and the scriptural New Year.
Picking up from where we left off in Part 1, the month-name ha-Abib was next connected by the Pharisees with the day of the omer wave offering. An עמר (omer) is a dry measure or gathering of “newly cut grain,”32 as in “a heap.”33
Omer Wave Offering
The omer wave offering of newly cut grain was a requirement under the Torah of Moses as a gift to Yahweh, being the first-fruits from each year’s harvest. The offering occurs in the spring at the time of Unleavened Bread and is directly connected with the Promised Land. This offering is described in detail by the book of Leviticus.
When you come into the land (of Promise) which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in this omer, the beginning (first-fruits) of your harvest, to the priest, then he will wave this omer before Yahweh for your acceptance. On the day after the Sabbath the priest will wave it. (Lev. 23:9-11)
Technically, the instructions from Scriptures do not specifically mention which first-fruits from which harvest. It only indicates in a subsequent passage that the Israelites were not permitted to eat bread, קלי (qali; roasted whole grains),34 or כרמל (karmel; fruits and produce)—all indicating a variety of produce—derived from the new year’s crops until after the omer wave offering had been made.35
Several questions that are usually brought forward by those concerned regarding the New Year are:
• What is the definition of a scriptural New Moon?
• Is a visible crescent of the moon required to begin the month?
• From what location does one need to determine the New Moon?
• Does one use the spring equinox to determine the month of Abib?
• Does one only use the “green ears of barley” formula for the month of Abib?
• Can one use only calculations for the New Moons?
• Does one use both the spring equinox and barley for the month of Abib?
• What group today has Yahweh’s truth and authority to proclaim the true New Year?
• Can we rely on the current Jewish Calendar for the correct dates?
As you can surmise, there can exist much confusion as one tries to sort out the actual truth of the matter.
In previous articles, we have already discussed the issues of visible new moons and calculations as they relate to Yahweh’s sacred calendar.
In this particular discussion we will address the validity of the so-called requirement of “green ears of barley” to determine the month of Abib and the beginning of Yahweh’s New Year.
Fleshy circumcision is also held by some as a proof that Passover is not an actual Festival or Feast Day for the reason that the lack of circumcision would prevent individuals from participating in a required sacred day of Yahweh.
What do Scriptures actually say concerning this issue?
If you are interested in finding out the truth of the matter then it would be advantageous for you to hop on the Trail of Truth to investigate.
Before we can directly address the issue of circumcision as it relates to Passover we must first determine if Scriptures demand fleshy circumcision in order for men to be saved.
Usually two reasons are given by the advocates of circumcision:
• Abraham was circumcised and he was commanded to circumcise all the males of his household.
• Fleshly circumcision is required in the written Torah of Moses.
For many, especially among those who assert to be followers of Yahweh, it seems that there exists an unfortunate commonality that runs contrary to what is advanced by Scriptures. This commonality can be labeled “Confusion.” Of course, this should raise a red flag as the following would indicate:
For the deity is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all assemblies of the saints. (1Cor. 14:33)
For example, this confusion can be demonstrated by the often divergent dates given by the various Sacred Name groups for Yahweh’s sacred days during any given year. For example, see Calendar Comparison.
Read the rest of this entry »
What does the book of Exodus really say regarding the observance of the Festival of Passover? Also, what about the Festival of Unleavened Bread?
There are two main popular understandings:
• According to the Hasidic Jewish view (System B) the Passover lamb was killed during the afternoon of Abib 14 and the Passover supper took place after sundown on Abib 15.
Abib 14 is a preparation day and not a High Sabbath. Abib 15-21 is the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. Abib 15 and 21 are High Sabbath days. There are 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
• Among the Sacred Name groups of today, most hold to the Modern Hybrid view (System G) whereby, at the Exodus, the Passover lamb was killed at the start of Abib 14 after sundown and the Passover supper eaten that night.
Like the Hasidic Jews holding to System B, they consider Abib 14 to be a preparation day and not a High Sabbath. Abib 15-21 is the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. Abib 15 and 21 are High Sabbath days. There are 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
For the seeker of truth, we are only left with the following possibilities.
1. One system is right.
2. Both systems are wrong.
If you have a strange suspicion that the second answer is more correct, then it is suggested that you read on.
It just so happens that there are many people, especially those of the
various Sacred Name groups, who believe that a Sabbath year begins on the Day of Atonement during the 7th month of Tishri, the autumn of the year, extending up until Tishri of the following year.
Interestingly, these same Sacred Name groups readily admit that Yahweh’s sacred year normally begins, per Scriptures, during the 1st month on Abib 1 which occurs at the time of spring.
The justification for this anomaly is that these groups claim that Scriptures indicate a different beginning of the year for the Sabbath years other than Abib 1. As stated earlier, they believe that Scriptures reveal a different year system for Sabbath years and also Jubilee years in that these years would begin on Tishri 10 of the 7th month. Read the rest of this entry »
For various reasons, there are those who would dismiss any consideration of the validity of Sabbath Years or Jubilee Years as commanded in Scriptures. (Lev. 25: 1-13)
The Yahu Ranger Report strongly disagrees with this position.
First, the knowledge of the Sabbath and Jubilee Years is essential for any reconstruction of the chronological framework of ancient Israelite history.
Second, once the true Sabbath and Jubilee years are ascertained it allows us to “clock in” and discover which years are presently Sabbaths and Jubilees. This knowledge holds great significance for the followers of Yahweh.
The book of Hebrews, for example, notes that, “The Law,” of which the Sabbath and Jubilee Years are a part, is “a shadow of the coming good things.” (Heb. 10:1) The Sabbath day, to demonstrate, was reckoned as a type of the great sabbatism and rest into which the people of Yahweh will one day enter. (Heb. 3:7-4:13)
In our last post, Passover/Abib 14 is a Festival Day!, any and all doubt was removed concerning the veracity of whether Passover Day, Abib 14, is in fact a khag or Festival/Feast Day.
As previously noted, there are those who would point to Leviticus 23:6 and insist that Abib 15 is the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread which continues on through Abib 21 (System B and System G).
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is a festival of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)
Also, they reference the passage from Numbers:
And on the fifteenth day of this month is a festival; seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. (Numbers 28:17)
For those who observe a form of the Pharisaic/Hasidic practice for the Festival of Unleavened Bread (System B and System G), these passages from Leviticus and Numbers are held as proof that the first day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread is Abib 15.
It is evident that when these two passages are closely examined in context the results reveal the opposite and actually support Passover Day, Abib 14, as being the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (System A).
When it comes to the issue of determining New Moons by visiblity or calculation, there are a number of questions one should consider when trying to ascertain Yahweh’s truth of the matter.
It seems that many people have been convinced by the religious leaders of various Sacred Name groups that not only must one actually see the visible crescent of the new moon but must also determine the greenness of the barley crop for the New Year.
These religious leaders purport to know and understand the true criteria for the determination of Yahweh’s calendar. They also claim their knowledge and understanding comes directly from Scriptures.
In addition, these religious leaders claim that the formula they claim emanates from Scriptures is very simple. So simple that Yahweh has provided the means for virtually anyone to determine the beginning of months and years regardless of circumstance.
Well almost anyone. You might not be so fortunate if you don’t have 20-20 vision or are not a farmer.
So, just how and when did the notion of a Sabbath year beginning with Tishri, the seventh month, get considered and implemented by the Jewish religious leaders? Needless to say, with Part 2 we’re going to find out.
The Transition to the Tishri Year
The New Year date of Tishri 1 for the Sabbath year is an offshoot of late Talmudic interpretation. As has been previously noted in Part 1, Scriptures never claim that the seventh month began a regular Sabbath year.
The deduction that Tishri began a Jubilee year was itself a misreading of Leviticus 25:8-13. The rabbis of the post-Bar Kochba period, in an effort to “build a fence around the Law,”21 merely extended their misreading of Leviticus 25:8-13, which dealt only with the year of Jubilee, to the regular Sabbath year.
There are many who actually believe that the Sabbath year begins with the seventh month of Tishri and not with the first month of Abib (Nisan).
It has also been extrapolated by many that not only should Sabbath years commence according to a Tishri reckoning but that every year should begin with the seventh month of Tishri.
If one believes that such a notion is found in Scriptures, then it is suggested that one take a closer look at the relevant facts of the matter.
In order to addess this issue we must contend with the concept that the Jews, from the time of their return to Judaea from Babylon in 538 B.C.E. until the end of the Bar Kochba revolt (135 C.E.), officially began their Sabbath years with Tishri 1 (Sep./Oct.) of the sixth year of the Sabbath cycle, as had become their custom sometime after the Bar Kochba war.
Another witness comes from an extra-biblical work, namely the Book of Yashar, also known as Sefer Ha-Yashar.
The present copy of the Book of Yashar is by no means to be assigned the authority of Scriptures but what the text has to say regarding the Passover of the Exodus nevertheless proves quite informative and interesting to say the least.
Book of Yashar
81:5 And the children of Israel TRAVELED FROM EGYPT AND FROM GOSHEN AND FROM RAMESES, AND ENCAMPED IN SUCCOTH ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY of the first month.
During the process of finding out the truth of the matter, the evidence from 33. Passover – Evening Begins the Day has firmly established that the Hebrew term ערב (arab; evening) begins at sunset, the period of twilight, and is the first part of a new day.
Our attention will now turn to the expression “בין הערבים (byn ha-arabim; i.e., between, among, in the midst of, or within the arabim (often translated “evenings”).1
For those who are seeking the clarity of Yahweh’s truth of the matter, the following investigation will prove to be quite revealing.
Read the rest of this entry »