In this article we will examine the three different beliefs of when New Moon day is. We will bring in historical documents for each one and compare the information. Let us begin with the concealed moon.
In modern language the term “New Moon” refers to that little black dot on our calendars today. Modern astronomers adopted the name “New Moon” which is when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and is not visible. There are now two ways the “New Moon” is recognized; the “astronomical” New Moon and the “crescent” New Moon. “Astronomical” New Moon means New Moon as used by the astronomers, i.e. conjunction and “crescent” New Moon is used in the original meaning of the first visible sliver. Some people have sought Biblical support for this modern meaning of New Moon. Psalm 81:3 is usually used which says:
“Blow on a horn for the Hodesh (New Moon) On Keseh (Full Moon) for the Day of our Hag (Feast).”
According to this “concealed Moon theory”, the word ‘keseh’ is from the root k.s.y. meaning to cover and therefore means “covered moon” or “concealed moon”. Now according to that interpretation, the verse which says to blow on a horn on the day of Keseh is really saying “[blow on a horn] on the day of Concealed Moon”. However this argument is not supported for the second half of this verse also refers to the day of keseh as “the day of our Feast (Hag)”. In scripture the word Hag is associated with the three pilgrimage feasts set up by YHWH back in Exodus. The three Feasts are Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. New Moon day is never called a Hag and cannot possibly be synonymous with Keseh/Hag. It has also been suggested that Keseh refers to Yom Teruah which falls on a New Moon day. However, Yom Teruah is called a moed in the Bible not a Hag, so Keseh/Hag will not work there either. What does Keseh really mean? It is quite likely that the word Keseh could be related to the word “Kista” from the Aramaic and also the word “Kuseu” from the Assyrian which means “full moon”. Hebrew, Aramaic and Assyrian are all Semitic languages and can often share common roots. This then fits in perfectly with Keseh as the day of the Hag since two of the three pilgrimage Feasts are on the 15th of the month, which is about the time of the full moon.
There is another point to consider. There is no actual ‘day’ of concealed moon. It is a fact that the moon stays concealed anywhere from 1.5 days to almost 3.5 days in the Middle East. It also was only 1000 years after Moses that the Babylonian astronomers discovered how to approximately calculate the conjunction. The Ancient Israelites would have no way of knowing when true conjunction was and therefore would not know what day to observe “Concealed Moon Day”. If you are thinking that they could have looked at the waning moon to determine it then remember there is a span of 1.5 to 3.5 days of no moon so what day would they be able to choose?
As to evidence in ancient documents or encyclopedias, I have found none. If someone has such evidence, please let me know. I am always willing to study for truth.
With this next one, there are not many who hold to this, but I want to cover something on it because questions do come up. The thought behind the full moon being New Moon Day is a little tough to explain. Most of what I have heard is that: firstly YHWH is a God of light and would therefore start a new month in total light. Secondly, the sign of the woman in the heavens with the moon at her feet is a full moon. Thirdly, the Sun being dark at the time of the death of Yeshua had to be an eclipse and could only happen with a dark moon which would put a full moon at the beginning of the month.
First let us examine the sign in the Heavens. The full sign is that she is ‘clothed’ in the Sun with the Moon at her feet. This sign is Virgo. She cannot be ‘clothed’ in the Sun with a full moon at her feet. The moon would be too close for it to be full. As the moon passes the Sun at conjunction, it begins to grow or wax in size. When the Sun is in Virgo with the moon at her feet it is in the Fall of the year. The Moon would be only about 2 -3 days from conjunction putting it at first visible crescent not full. In fact this sign happens every year at Yom Teruah. Now what about the eclipse? We know that an eclipse of the Sun can only happen when the moon is coming into conjunction with it. However, an eclipse has never lasted over a few minutes because the moon is always moving. To have the Sun be dark for three hours (Mat 27:45) is not a normal occurrence. It had to be supernatural by the hand of YHWH Himself. Therefore the event was not dependent on natural happenings and could happen anytime of the year. In looking for evidence in ancient documents or encyclopedias I also came up blank. Again, if there is such evidence please let me know.
First Visible Crescent
We now come to the final possibility for New Moon Day. It seems amazing to me that the most obvious sign in the heavens showing the new start of something is the first visible crescent of the moon. The natural course of growing out of obscurity and becoming brilliantly full and then declining in size as the month continues until disappearing and preparing to appear to start a new month is a smoothly planned pattern. It is like the Sun’s pattern of lightly dawning in the early morning heralding in the day and climbing to the utmost of the sky and then beginning its decent till all that is seen is the glow of final light. If you observe all creation it follows this same pattern. Everything appears from obscurity, climbing to full growth and then slowly lessening in color, brilliancy, size, strength, or volume. This seems to be the rhythm of life, the rhythm of the Earth, the rhythm of the Heavens. As I stated in the last “Theory”, the sign of Virgo is seen every Fall season (at Yom Teruah to be more precise) 2 -3 days after the conjunction of the Sun and Moon, which is when the first sliver of the moon becomes visible to the naked eye. It is hard to ignore the very sign YHWH put there for us to witness every year and then tell us to celebrate a special day of shouting on that very day every year.
Some would say that the crescent is a pagan symbol and should not be used. To this I must ask, who created the moon with all of the various phases through the month? Is it right to give credence to the enemy for corrupting that which was created by YHWH and then given to all nations (Deu 4:19), by calling it pagan? As for evidence in ancient documents and various dictionaries and encyclopedias, there is much. I have given only a few for you to examine below.
ENCYCLOPEDIA JUDAICA, Vol. 12, p. 1039. “Originally, the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculation, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon,” …The switchover from watching for the first visible crescent to calculating conjunctions to determine the month’s beginning came with Hillel II’s calendar revisions in the 4th century A.D. “By the middle of the fourth century, the sages had established a permanent calendar and the public proclamation of the New Moon was discontinued”
ENCYCLOPEDIA BIBLICA The appearance of the new moon inaugurated a new period, a new month…. The mean length of such a month is 29d 12h 44m 2.82s, and accordingly it was impossible that the determination of the month, as long as it rested on direct observation only, could arrive at any absolutely uniform result; the observed months inevitably varied in length between 29 and 30 days, and the order in which the months alternated had not yet been fixed even at the time when the Mishna was composed; even at that late date, in the second century A.D. the point was decided by the first visibility of the new moon.
CLEMENT OF ALEXADRIA Book IV chptr 5 "Neither worship as the Jews; for they, thinking that they only know God, do not know Him, adoring as they do angels and archangels, the month and the moon. And if the moon be not visible, they do not hold the Sabbath, which is called the first; nor do they hold the new moon, nor the feast of unleavened bread, nor the feast, nor the great day."
For more references read my book ‘YHWH's Unique Time-Piece , Explained'.
We have so much to learn about what our Father has set in motion from the beginning. As time draws near for our King’s return, YHWH will be revealing more truth to those who seek after it. Don’t find yourself waiting for the bus at the wrong corner.
Time Tracking The tracking of time is broken down into size segments. Seconds make up minutes, minutes make up hours, hours make up days, days make up weeks, weeks make up months, (OOPS, currently, in our Gregorian calendar, months are not made up of weeks), months make up years, years make up decades, …etc. Since when do weeks not make up months?When the Julian calendar began in about 45 BC, Julius Cesear began a perpetual 8 day week, making the weeks independent of months. In 126 CE the Julian calendar was changed to a perpetual 7-day week, with the first day being Saturn day, and again the weeks were perpetual, and not tied to the months.In the Hebrew lunar/solar calendar, weeks are directly tied to months, completing the pattern of all time segments being tied to each other.
Beginning of the month
The lunar month begins with the sighting of the first waxing moon sliver in the west shortly after sunset. The next day is declared New Moon day, and is day 1 of the month. Days in a month There are approximately 29.5 days in a lunar orbit around the Earth. Adjustment is made at the end of each month to adjust (intercalate) with the daily solar cycle. There are either 29 or 30 days assigned to the month based upon when the next new moon is sighted. If the new moon is sighted on the evening of the 29th, the next day is new moon day. If not, a 30th intercalation day is added. It should be noted that the moon’s velocity changes based upon its approach or departure from the earth’s gravity in its elliptical orbit, varying up to 13.4 hours each month. So no one knows the exact day or hour without observation.
There are always 4 weeks with 4 sabbaths in each month. New moon day establishes which days are sabbaths. Since new moon day is day 1 of the month, the 2nd through the 7th are the work days of the first week and the 8th is the sabbath. So the sabbaths fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of each (lunar) month. Check it out with scripture. It’s an amazing fit. Periodically added (intercalation) monthSince a lunar cycle consists of approximately 29.5 days, 12 cycles or months gives us 354 days. This means that 12 lunar months is about 11 days short of the annual solar cycle. A 13th month, (Adar2), is added (or intercalated) to the biblical year about every 3 years to adjust the 12 lunar cycles to the solar cycle.It is actually very easy to know when to add another month. Using a simple sundial that also indicates seasons, the length of the shadow in any particular month can be examined to determine whether an additional month should be added.Since the sun travels 360 degrees through the 12 constellations, a day is approximately one degree. So the 11 days short mentioned above equals 11 degrees. If the length of the sun dial shadow is less than 11 degrees from where it should be, an additional lunar month is added in the following spring at the end of the biblical year. Timing with the EquinoxesThe spring and fall equinoxes are important to observe in making sure the annual biblical feasts are at the correct appointed times. The first month of the biblical year starts at the first new moon after the spring equinox. The seventh month, Feast of Trumpets, begins on the first new moon after the fall equinox. Two witnesses in the heavens confirm this timing. At Passover, the 14th day of the first month, the sun will be in the constellation Aries. (see reference in Josephus). In the fall, the first new moon after the fall equinox is the Feast of Trumpets. Rev.12:1 points to this exact day every year with the constellation Virgo clothed in the sun with the sighted moon sliver beneath her feet. (reference free Stellarium software). This is such an exact sign in the sun, moon and stars, who could refute it? Take note of the error the Jews currently have in the circular calendar I downloaded on the cover of the brochure under free e-books. (equinox timing!) If the timing is correct, the barley will always be ripe. SummaryWe have been raised all our lives using the Gregorian calendar. It is difficult for us to even think about a different method of tracking weeks and months. I encourage you to try. History supports the fact that the ancient Hebrew calendar was lunar/solar based. You can verify this: (Mishna, Talmud, Philo, Josephus, Jewish encyclopedia, Zohar, etc.) See my wife Diane’s book “YHWH's Unique Time-Piece, explained”. The only way scripture completely fits, is by using the single biblical calendar which is the Hebrew lunar/solar calendar in use during Messiah’s time. Whenever a second calendar (using gregorian sabbaths) is overlaid onto the biblical calendar, it does not fit Scripture. (See my commentary on the Hebrew Annual Feasts in the list of Calendar Articles)
It seems that with each new subject the Father reveals to us, along comes more confusion and opinions to sort through, and this subject of when and where to sight the new moon is no different. We went around and around on the matter for two years. Should we learn to spot the moon here where we live or should we go with the sighting from the land of Israel? My question to all of us is: Where is home? Do we consider ourselves separate from Judah and therefore not a part of Yah's family? Do we see the land we now live in as the Promised Land? Many of us see who we are in YHWH. We see that we are the wild branch grafted in with the cultured branch and therefore connected to the Tree and Root of our Mashiach and YHWH. That means that where the Root is so is the Tree and where the Tree is so are the branches!
Where is the Root?
Lev 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto Yahweh. Lev 25:23 The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. Num 15:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you, Num 15:18 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land whither I bring you, Num 20:12 And Yahweh spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. Num 27:12 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.
Num 34:2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof: Num 35:34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I Yahweh dwell among the children of Israel. Deu 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which Yahweh Elohim of your fathers giveth you. Deu 31:7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which Yahweh hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. Deu 31:23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. Deu 32:49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: Jos 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.
The Root is in Jerusalem. He has marked this little piece of earth to physically make His stand against the enemy in the last days and place His chosen there. And all His law will come from Him.
Lev 25:23 The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
It should also be recognized that the scriptures, especially Father’s appointed times, are geared agriculturally to His land. The seasons of His feasts are only represented correctly in His land. For instance you cannot check the ripeness of the barley south of the equator since their seasons are opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. And how could you sight the moon at the North Pole in the winter when the sun never fully rises or sets? When we understand these things, where else should we look for the proclamation of the sighted New Moon than in Jerusalem?
It has been very interesting over the last several years observing various acquaintances of ours and how they dealt with the calendar change issue. I guess I could almost put it into what appears to be a two step process.
The first step is for an individual to understand the truth about the calendar issue. At that point, it depends upon the strength of conviction about how important it is to our Creator. If it is decided that it is important and becomes an obedience issue to the 4th commandment, step 2 is begun.
Step 2 involves beginning to adjust one’s schedule to accommodate Father’s appointed times. Since we are so immersed into the Gregorian calendar system, we need to begin by just trying to get permission from our bosses, overseers or customer/client relationships to keep the true sabbath rest day as determined by His calendar. When explained in a humble, gentle way it is amazing how understanding and flexible others become. This is especially true if we work as unto the Lord and we are considered an asset and valuable with our daily work production.
Lastly, when all else fails, we must decide what to do. Do we continue to please man, or do we do it Father’s way?
Scripture says if we keep His commandments, His blessings will be upon us. The question is, do we trust Him to do that in all of our circumstances.
I would like to start this next section with the first Feast of YHWH. I guess this is one of the most confusion causing commands that is given by YHWH. I have prayed and pondered and asked about this statement for as long as I can remember while walking this road of obedience to the Torah.
Luk 11:9 So I say to you: Keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you.
This is a very true and comforting statement by Yeshua. For Father, I believe, showed me the meaning for His statement:
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;
Seven times this commandment is made in the 5 books of Moses. Seven…….the number of YHWH.
I believe we have missed what He was telling us in this. It is not saying “I want you to count a continuous stream of days – 6 – 7th – 6 – 7th – 6 – 7th.” He is giving us the perfect ‘Sabbath week’ as the first Feast to remember; for it comes the most often. It comes 4 times a month. Now the question to ask at this time is….what are the months of YHWH? There are in Hebrew two words that are interchangeable for meaning a turn of around 30 days. Those two are moon and month -yerach, and -hodesh. Yerach can be translated moon or month and hodesh can be translated month or new moon. Let’s examine this a little further. A perfect set of verses to show the use of both words is in I kings 6:37-38:
In the fourth year hath the house of Jehovah been founded, in the month Zif, and in the eleventh year, in the month Bul-- that is the eighth month--hath the house been finished in all its matters, and in all its ordinances, and he buildeth it seven years.
The first two times it says ‘month’; it is the word yerach. The last ‘month’ is hodesh. So, what it is really saying is: In the ‘lunation period’ of Zif,……in the ‘lunation period’ of Bul—that is the eighth New Moon—
What you are seeing here is that YHWH’s calendar is based on the moon lunation period of 29 to 30 days and is marked with the New Moon as the start of the month- or lunation period.
Look at each command when to start each Feast of YHWH. It is based on a day in the month of the lunation period. Not the Roman calendar (Julian or Gregorian).
If our Father has placed all of His appointed times by the days of the lunar month, why wouldn’t He also place the important appointed time of the Sabbath in the same way? Do we serve an Elohim of confusion or of order?
How, you may ask, do you know this “Sabbath Week” is correct? I will ask you; can you explain why there is so much confusion in the counting of the omer time? Some start the count on the 16th, which is the proper First Fruits day, but some start the count the day after the Saturday Sabbath; which could be more days away from the 16th. Many times this count is started right after a day called the ‘high Sabbath’. So what do you do? Count 7 high Sabbaths and then add the fiftieth day? Where is that in Torah? However, if you follow Father’s perfect ‘Sabbath week’ you will have no problem with the count.
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Lev 23:14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the offering of your God; it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15`And ye have numbered to you from the morrow of the sabbath, from the day of your bringing in the sheaf of the wave-offering: they are seven perfect sabbaths; 16 unto the morrow of the seventh sabbath ye do number fifty days, and ye have brought near a new present to Jehovah;
Here right in Leviticus it talks of perfect Sabbaths. This means ‘undefiled’. How do you NOT defile a Sabbath in the counting? Make sure you count only the perfect ‘Sabbath week’ – 6 days of work and the 7th rest (Sabbath).
Throughout scripture it is understood that New Moon Day is not one of the 6 work days or a Sabbath. These two days are always mentioned separate.
Eze 46:1 `Thus said the Lord Jehovah: The gate of the inner court that is looking eastward is shut the six days of work, and on the day of rest it is opened, and in the day of the new moon it is opened;
The only way to count perfect Sabbath weeks is by YHWH’s perfect calendar of using the moon to count the days by its lunation cycle starting with new moon day and then dividing into 4 undefiled Sabbath weeks. Every special day of YHWH is tied to the moonth!
To read all my research on this subject, see “JUST GIVE ME THE FACTS PLEASE” at the end of my book "YHWH's Unique Time-Piece explained".
If you do not understand the true title for Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) and what it is portraying, you will not comprehend the true counting to Pentecost (fiftieth) day.
Lev 23:11 ‘And he shall wave the sheaf before יהוה , for your acceptance. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it. 12 ‘And on that day when you wave the sheaf, you shall prepare a male lamb a year old, a perfect one, as a burnt offering to יהוה 13 and its grain offering: two-tenths of an ĕphah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to יהוה , a sweet fragrance, and its drink offering: one-fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘And you do not eat bread or roasted grain or fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your Elohim – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 ‘And from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, you shall count for yourselves: seven completed Sabbaths. 16 ‘Until the morrow after the seventh Sabbath you count fifty days, then you shall bring a new grain offering to יהוה .
Deu 16:9 “Count seven weeks for yourself. Begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 “And you shall perform the Festival of Weeks to יהוה your Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as יהוה your Elohim blesses you. 11 “And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite who is within your gates, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are in your midst, at the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell.
Why would YHWH emphasize the counting of weeks – 7 weeks plus one more day after the 7th Sabbath, instead of just telling us to count 50 days in succession? What is He telling us about this Feast and its timing? Could we possibly mess up the right time to observe this day? If we do not stay on YHWH’s calendar, we could! How amazing it is that our Father has preserved His calendar for us by these simple instructions, for the only way to accomplish what He has set for us to do here is on His calendar – not the Roman one. To count 7 Sabbaths undefiled can only be done with the perfect Sabbath week.
Many of you who have only the western Roman calendar (present day) to look to for setting dates and following holidays; the following calendar may seem a bit strange. However, it is the original way days, months, feasts, weeks, and fasts were kept track of by the children of YHWH from the beginning of time until, I believe, the 2nd or 3rd century A.D..
Okay, let’s begin.
YHWH created the sun to give us daylight to work and to count off (along with the star constellations) a full year. He created the moon for determining the months by counting off the days (by the changing of the phases each time it appears) for a period of 29 or 30 days from the appearing to the reappearing sliver. At the appearing of the first visible sliver of the moon at evening out of Israel (the land), the next morning the new month is started for the fresh counting. Why do I say the next morning? First of all, it is New Moon DAY. The time for man to do any work is at the time of the sun, not in the night. The moon rules the night. The time of the new moon sliver is seen only after the sun goes down. That is too late to do any celebrating or sacrifices. To me it is announcing that the next day starts the new count for the new month. Also, there are the sacrifices to be done on New Moon Day that must be accounted for. When determining the calendars’ days with the Sabbath included, we must look at scripture. Things need to harmonize with it. In Scripture the New Moon and Sabbath are always talked about separately. This shows that New Moon is never the Sabbath. There is only one New Moon that is treated like a Sabbath and that is Day of Trumpets. New Moon is also not considered one of the 6 work days of the Sabbath week (Eze 46:1). So, what is it? It is the signal for the beginning of a new month. It is the first day of the month but not the first day of the 6 work days. The count for the first work day begins the day after New Moon day. YHWH established this perfect ‘Sabbath week’ for us to keep things straight when He would ask us to count 7 Sabbaths perfect to Shavuot . The count begins the day after the Sabbath (or 15th of Nissan) which is the 16th or “first day of the week” and ends the day after the 7th Sabbath. During this counting, we cross over to a new month twice. That is why we are told to count only the ‘undefiled’ Sabbaths – or perfect ‘Sabbath week’ (6 days work 7th day rest). 7 perfect Sabbath weeks = 49 days plus one more day after the 7th Sabbath =50. None of us have ever understood why YHWH kept reiterating the 6 days work and 7th rest. We were told it was because YHWH created the week separate from the rest of His calendar. I believe the Word says He is not an Elohim of confusion – doesn’t it? In believing the week runs totally independent of the most intricate time piece ever made makes no sense. Things don’t fit together in harmony and some things run into each other! That my friend is confusion!
Let’s take a look at what the calendar should look like starting in Nisan and going on to Pentecost in the third month of Sivan. The calendar for you to follow is at the beginning of this article. I have started with Passover on the 14th of the month of Nisan. We know from scripture that Yeshua was hung on the tree on the 14th and was put in the tomb that night. It said that the women saw where He was laid and went home for the Sabbath was coming. That would make the 15th a Sabbath. All Jewish writings show the 16th the day of first fruits and the day to start the count. That would be according to YHWH’s instructions ‘the morrow after (of) the Sabbath’. Let us now think about the count of the 7 Sabbaths PERFECT.
I have used the modern-day calendar for a familiar background. Notice I have not put any Gregorian dates on these, just the lunar dates. You will notice that both Abib and Iyar had the extra 30th day added to their months in the year of 2014. The 30th is not connected to a perfect Sabbath week so it was not counted as one of the omer days, as New Moon Day also was not counted. We are counting only the perfect Sabbath week of 7 days. We are counting only 50 days. These 50 days are within the 7 undefiled weeks plus one more day.
When following YHWH’s proper calendar according to His sun, moon and stars, His feasts lay neatly into place with no extra “high” Sabbaths to confuse matters. Also, Yom Kippurim never lands on the Sabbath. There is never the question “do we fast or feast?” Father keeps His fasts separate from His feasts.
YHWH wants us to be set apart from the world. He has also instructed us to not worship the heavens like the pagans who followed the phases of first quarter, full, and last quarter of the moon. He has not connected His Sabbaths or yearly feasts to the exact phases of the moon. We are to count the days from the first sighting of the moon – nothing else. I believe this is the way it was done from the beginning. There are many statements of this in historical writings and encyclopedias. See the reference pages titled “JUST GIVE ME THE FACTS PLEASE” in the free e-book "YHWH's Unique Time piece explained".
This is a question that seems to throw a wrench in the works for a lunar based Sabbath. Does it really? Let us look at the verses in Leviticus and examine them.
Lev 16:29 And it shall be a statute forever unto you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and shall do no manner of work, the home-born, or the stranger that sojourneth among you. 30 For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the LORD. 31 It is a sabbath of solemn rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; it is a statute forever.
Lev 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make atonement for the children of Israel because of all their sins once in the year.' And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Lev 23:27 Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And ye shall do no manner of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any manner of work in that same day, that soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work; it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of solemn rest, and ye shall afflict your souls; in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye keep your sabbath. (shabbathchem)
Okay, after reading the above scriptures; let’s look at a few things. First of all, this is the only time in YHWH’s instructions to His appointed times does He tell us to begin the on the evening of the day before the 10th (Lev 23:32). Next, this is not THE Sabbath. It is A sabbath of rest – in Hebrew that is Shabbat shabbathon. If you look at the instructions for Yom Teruah right before this, you will see this is also a shabbathon with no work. If you look at the tenth as THE Sabbath, then you must look at the first day of the month also that way and if you do that you now have 9 days to the next Sabbath. These two times are not THE Sabbath. Both of these times were set up by YHWH for a special purpose. They are a shadow of something to come just like all His appointed times. So, what is Day of Atonement a shadow of? Many of us have seen the fulfillment of this day through Yeshua and his death on the cross. Let us examine that event closer. On the evening of the 13th (according to John) after Yeshua and His disciples had their Passover together, they went to the Mount of Olives and there in the garden our Master began His afflicting of soul. His “afflicting” continued through the night into the morning and didn’t stop until He gave up his spirit. It went from evening until evening; just as it was commanded in Leviticus. Yeshua became the ram of the sin offering and went through the fire for us to cleanse us of sin. This was done only once a year, why? Because He did it ONCE for all (Lev.16:34). Forever is this atonement placed before YHWH in His Temple. On this do we meditate each year this kadosh day comes.
There is one other item to remember; we do not fast on the weekly Sabbath.
Quote: (SUN-WORSHIP AND THE ORIGIN OF SUNDAY Chapter 6 Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University)
“How would fasting on the Sabbath demonstrate hatred against the "evil" God of the Jews?
The answer is to be found in the fact that for the Jews the Sabbath was anything but a day of fast or of mourning . Even the strictest Jewish sects objected to fasting on the Sabbath. The rabbis, though they differed in their views regarding the time and number of the Sabbath meals, agreed that food on the Sabbath ought to be abundant and good. The following statement epitomizes perhaps the typical rabbinic view: "Do you think that I (God) gave you the Sabbath as burden? I gave it to you for your benefit.’ How? Explained Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba(180-230 ad), ‘Keep the Sabbath holy with food, drink and clean garment, enjoy yourself and I shall reward you.""
This subject seems to me to have taken on a life of its own; causing more confusion about the truth of the matter of how long Yeshua was in the grave and when he rose from the dead.
I feel we must thoroughly examine all scripture on this matter to try to see the true message and connection with the Spring Feasts.
Let us first lay the ground work for judging a matter.
Deu_17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deu_19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Joh 5:31 "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies about me, and I know that the testimony he gives about me is true.
Joh 8:17 In your own law it is written that the testimony of two people is valid. 18 I am testifying about myself, and the Father who sent me is testifying about me."
By these verses above, a matter needs at least two witnesses to be valid. In the gospels, what does Yeshua say about His death?
Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Yeshua to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry. Mat 20:18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. Mar 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.(note: the word translated ‘after’ could also have been translated ‘in, on, against, upon). Mar 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. Mar 10:33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: 34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. Luk 9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Messiah of YHVH. 21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. Joh 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Yeshua answered and said unto them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Yeshua had said. Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved the Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Above we have nine times Yeshua proclaimed the time of His rising from the grave. That is nine witnesses! How did the people understand what he meant?
Mat 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Yeshua, to put him to death;60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of Elohim, and to build it in three days. Mat 27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of Elohim, come down from the cross. Mat 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.(see note above at Mar 8:31. If it really meant ‘after’ why the statement in the next verse UNTIL the third day? Shouldn’t it say the fourth day?)
Mar 14:58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. Mar 15:29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
Luk 24: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Hmmm…… even the Angels are proclaiming it is the third day.
Luk 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. 13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Yeshua himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass therein these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Yeshua of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before Elohim and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
I think this last proclamation of the events is the most solid proof of the timing of the days of Yeshua’s trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Where else can we look for evidence of the sequence of the days?
Joh 19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Yeshua forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
Mar 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, and honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of YHVH, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Yeshua. Luk 23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Yeshua. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54 And that day was the preparation,and the sabbath drew on.(Note: the meaning of ‘drew on’ is ‘to grow light’)
Joh 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the stake on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,)besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
(Note: ‘high day’ is more correctly translated ‘great’. It was still the Sabbath.)
Joh 19:40 Then took they the body of Yeshua, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Yeshua therefore because of the Jews preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand
Luk 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
Joh 20:1 On the first day of the week, early in the morning and while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and noticed that the stone had been removed from the tomb………..Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen Yeshua, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Yeshua and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Mar 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mar 16:9 Now when Yeshua was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
Luk 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Okay, so we have the trial and crucifixion on the preparation day of Passover and for the Sabbath the next day. He is laid in the tomb that evening, the women note His burial place and go home for Sabbath. The first day of the new week (if Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, it is the last day of the week) they go to the tomb and find it empty. Yeshua then meets the two on the road that very day until evening and then appears to His disciples that evening of the THIRD day. Have I overlooked anything? Oh Yeah, the Jonah thing. What is really going on in the verses of Jonah? Have we honestly studied the total proclamation of Yeshua in them? Let’s look at the verses now.
Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Rabbi, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of YHVH, and keep it. 29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
When reading the two above references, it is quite obvious Yeshua is talking about hearing Him and obeying His instructions and warnings; just as the Ninevites heeded the warning of Jonah and the queen of the south listening to the wisdom of Solomon, for these Pharisees and Sadducees had one greater with them. I understand that verse 40 in Mathew is the kingpin of problems. Most cannot get past that one to make sense with all the other scriptures of ‘in three days’ or ‘on the third day’.
I do not claim I can explain this verse to anyone, but, I do see through all the accounts of the days taken in the scriptures of Yeshua’s Passion, there is no way he was in the ground even three full days. Look – Yeshua died at the 9th hour (3p.m.) on the day of preparation, was buried that night as the Sabbath day drew near. All rested the Sabbath day and early in the morning of the first day of the week (remember, the Sabbath is the 7th day of the week; therefore the last day of the week – then comes the first day of the new week) the women come to an open tomb. He is gone! That does not add up to 3 days and 3 nights in the grave no matter how you cut it. So what could that verse mean? I would like to put forward a possible meaning to this statement. First we need to go back to the Greek definition of a couple of the words in Mat. 12:40. The word ‘heart’– kardia, (kar-dee'-ah) Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: - (+ broken-) heart (-ed).
And the word ‘earth’ - gē, (ghay) Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application): - country, earth (-ly), ground, land, world.
If you examine these two key words used by Yeshua, could He possibly be saying that His time would start with the heart breaking thoughts, feelings and brokenness of what he was sent here to do. Dealing with all the occupants of this world to make a way of redemption? If this makes any sense, please let me continue. Let us now look at the Passover account in John.
Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Yeshua knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simons son, to betray him;
Joh 18:1 When Yeshua had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Yeshua ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Joh 18:27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew. 28 Then led they Yeshua from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early;and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
Joh 19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Yeshua forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
Joh 19:30 When Yeshua therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the spirit. 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the stake on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,)besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Joh 19:40 Then took they the body of Yeshua, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Yeshua therefore because of the Jews preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
Joh 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Yeshua loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away Yeshua out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen Yeshua, and that he had spoken these things unto her. 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Yeshua and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw Yeshua.
Now let’s look at this a little closer. According to John, they ate BEFORE the Passover began. Some ancient writings actually say it was the evening of the 13th. If it were that evening, then after they ate they went to the garden where Yeshua began His labored praying. At about midnight they came and took him to the high priest for the trial. When morning arrived which would be the 14th and the beginning of the preparation day, he was taken to Pilot and then taken to be crucified at the sixth hour of the day; breathed his last at the 9th hour and was taken down that evening, prepared by the two men and laid in a tomb. The next day was the great Sabbath that started the week of unleavened bread and Yeshua-By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of YHVH waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 1Pe 3:19-20 – The next morning which was the day of First Fruits and the first day of the new week, The women came to the tomb and found it empty! So, what do we have here?
The 13th - in the evening Yeshua had Passover with his disciples and went to the garden–beginning his agony– night 1. The 14th – continued his agony and passion till his death and burial - Day 1 and night 2.
Please look at this. Here is the fulfilling of the Day of Atonement – evening (13th) to evening (14th) afflicting the soul.
The 15th - The Sabbath and all at rest. Day 2 and night 3. The 16th - The morning of FirstFruits - and the empty tomb. Day 3.
(Co 15:20 But now is the Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: the Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are the Messiahs at his coming.)
We must remember that YHWH set up the Feasts – His Feasts – at specific times and on particular days. These were to be shadows for us to follow and watch for His fulfilling of them. He commanded the Israelites to have the Passover on the night of the 14th of Nissan.
Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: :6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it
Exo 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to YHVH throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
The next day – the 15th – was the first day of unleavened bread and the first day of freedom to leave that bondage.
Exo 12:15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. Exo 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is YHVH's passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto YHVH: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
The day of Firstfruits - the 16th -was introduced to the Israelites while on their journey through the wilderness.
Lev 23:9 And YHVH spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before YHVH, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
How do I know it was the next day? This was understood by the Jews. It was written in the Mishna, Philo, Josephus, and Talmud. Because He set these times down for us to observe, Yeshua HAD to fulfil them exactly. His blood shed on the cross was a token of our being purchased (redeemed) – 14th. He had no sin (leaven) as he was laid in the tomb – 15th. He was the Firstfruits from the dead – 16th.
I inquired of YHWH why in the New Testament this one Sabbath was called great, but not the one starting Sukkot. I feel He showed me in the above verses. It was commanded to be observed as a memorial for their being set free from bondage – Just as Yeshua did descending into Sheol to preach to those imprisoned by sin and setting them free along with those still alive and then rising from the dead the next day which just happens to be firstfruits!
Co 15:20 But now is the Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: the Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are the Messiahs at his coming.)
He fulfilled all PERFECTLY and we can celebrate the memorial perfectly every year too according to YHWH’s calendar. Each year it never fails.
I hear this a lot when discussing YHWH’s calendar. It is easy to get taken off to a side road and ambushed by the enemy of time – Ha Satan - if you do not understand your history.
Let’s just take a stroll down the path of Dio Cassius’s time and look for proper information to clarify what is going on.
Dio Cassius was a Roman statesman and historian of Greek origin born in 155 CE and died in 235 CE. His writing took place around 220 CE (3rdcentury). He was not even born at the time of Hadrian’s expelling the Jews from Jerusalem, forbidding the reading of Torah and stopping their calendar. Dio never knew the Jews as a nation; nor was he aware of their ways according to their holy days. By 200 AD (3rdcentury) many Jews had abandoned many of the religious ways of their people and followed many Roman ways; even adjusting to the Roman calendar. What kind of calendar system did the Romans have at that time after the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135 AD)?
The Julian calendar was the main Roman calendar at the time of Cassius, and the one he followed. The old Lunar Roman calendar with kalends, ides and nones reckoning was also still in use. There were a few other calendars in his territory being used too like the Macedonian, Egyptian, and Jewish (as beginning to fold into the Roman calendar). In 135 CE Hadrian forbid the use of the true Jewish calendar so through Cassius’s life he was most likely not aware of that calendar.
The Julian calendar was at first side by side with the old lunar nundinal figuring, (which used the titles of Kalends (beginning of month), Nones (end of month), and Ides (middle of month) and there were still 8 days a week) and had letters for the 7 days. Remember the famous quote “beware the Ides of March” warning Julius Caesar who was assassinated in 44 BC. The nundinal cycle was eventually replaced by the seven-day week which began with the day of Saturn. This first came into use in Italy during the early imperial period in the 2nd century (100–199 CE). The system of nundinal letters was also adapted for the week.
SUN-WORSHIP AND THE ORIGIN OF SUNDAY
Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University
1. Two Sabine calendars found in central Italy in 1795 and a third one which came to light at Cimitele, near Nola in southern Italy, in 1956 (all three dated no later than the time of Tiberius (A.D. 14-37)(1st century), present in the right column the eight letters from A to H of the eight-day Roman nundinum market week and in the left column the seven letters from A to G, representing the seven-day planetary week. In addition to these calendars should be considered also several so-called "indices nundinarii" (some of them dated in the early empire). These give the name of the towns and the corresponding days of the planetary week (WHICH ALWAYS STARTS WITH SATURDAY—dies Saturni) on which the market was to be held.
2. Dio Cassius, Historia 49, 22, LCL 5, p. 389; cf. Historia 37, 16 and 37, 17; Josephus, Wars of the Jews 1, 7, 3 and Antiquities of the Jews 14, 4, confirms Dio Cassius’s account, saying that the Romans succeeded in capturing the city because they understood that Jews on the Sabbath only acted defensively.
3. According to the geocentric system of astronomy of that period, the order of the planets was as follows: Saturn (farthest), Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon (nearest). In the planetary week, however, the days are named after the planets in this sequence: SATURN, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus; for a discussion, see R.L. Odom (fn. 35), pp. 11-17.
4. W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 35; note that initially the day of the Sun was the second day of the planetary week, following the day of SATURN WHICH WAS FIRST. This is clearly proved, for instance, by several stone calendars (so-called indices nundinarii) where the days of the week are given horizontally, STARTING WITH THE DAY OF SATURN; see above fn. In a mural inscription found in Herculaneum the "Days of the Gods" are given in capital Greek letters, STARTING WITH "KRONOU [OF SATURN], Heliou[of Sun] . . ." (CIL IV, part 2, 582, no. 5202). A similar list was found in Pompeii written in Latin and BEGINNING WITH "SATURNI [OF SATURN]" (CIL IV, part 2, 712, no. 6779). W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 35, rightly stresses this point: "It must, however, be emphasized straight away that in the planetary week Sunday always occupied only the second place in the sequence of days."
5. The existence and common use of the planetary week already in the first century A.D. are well attested by several testimonies. In the present study we need refer only to a few of them. The Roman historian Dio Cassius, who wrote his Roman History between A.D. 200-220, reports that Jerusalem was captured both by Pompey in 63 B.C. and by Gaius Sosius in 37 B.C. "on the day even then called the day of Saturn." That the praxis of naming the days of the week after the planetary deities was already in use before Christ is further corroborated by the contemporary references of Horace (ca. 35 B.C.) to "dies Jovis—Thursday" and of Tibullus (ca. B.C. 29-30) to dies Saturni—Saturday."
6. Petronius, a Roman satirist (died ca. A.D. 66) in his novel The Banquet of Trimalchio describes a stick calendar which Trimalchio had affixed on the doorpost with the number of the days on the side and "the likeness of the seven stars" on the other side. A knob was inserted in the respective holes to indicate the date and the day. Sextus Julius Frontinus (ca. A.D. 35-103), a Roman soldier and writer, in his work The Stratagems, referring to the fall of Jerusalem of A.D. 70, writes that Vespasian "attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, on which it is forbidden for them to do anything serious and defeated them."
Let’s try to put some pieces together here regarding dates in time. I have numbered the paragraphs from the chapter “Sun Worship and the Origin of Sunday” to make it easier to reference.
In paragraphs 1, 3 and 4. We can see that into the 1st century AD the eight-day week of Rome was still in use WITH Saturn day as the first day of the week. If we skip down to paragraph 5. We will see that the historical events Cassius is reporting on are in BC which put Saturn day on the first day of the week, since it was in that position still in the 1st century AD. In paragraph 6. You still have the stick calendar being used in 66 AD which puts it in the time of Frontinus.
So, what is he really saying in his statement about the attack from Vespasian? Obviously he too did not understand that only the preparation for battle (ramparts built, etc.) took place on the Jews Sabbath (for they would fight defensively on that day if attacked) and it was the next day they were attacked and defeated – which was the day of Saturn. (This we will read about by Josephus farther on.) That was only 4 years after the death of Petronius who was still very familiar with the stick calendar.
Now look at a section out of “Rest Days” by Webster Hutton:
The planetary week, an institution which has spread eastward over the Oriental world and westward into Europe, is a product of the speculations of astrologers and philosophers during the Hellenistic, or Greco-Oriental, era. The sequence of its days depends ultimately upon the order of the seven planetary spheres, adopted by Ptolemy (100 – 170 ce) in antiquity and after him by astronomers until the discoveries of Copernicus. If the planets are grouped according to their distance from the earth, beginning with the highest and descending to the lowest, we obtain the following order: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon. No certain evidence exists that this arrangement was known at an earlier date than the second century before our era.^ The astrological order, WHICH ALSO BEGINS WITH SATURN, proceeds next to the fourth planet, or Sun, from which again the fourth planet (by inclusive reckoning) is the Moon. By continuing to select every fourth planet thereafter we obtain at length the regents of the seven weekdays : Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus. How, it may be asked, did such an arrangement arise? This question has been answered for us by the Roman historian, Dio Cassius, who interrupts his narrative of the victorious campaign of Pompey the Great in Palestine to furnish a brief account of the planetary week.^ The institution, says Dio Cassius, can be explained In two ways. According to the first explanation the gods are supposed to preside over separate days of the week, following the ^''principle of the tetrachord' (which is believed to constitute the basis of music)." The second explanation given by Dio Cassius, and also by Vettius Valens, is connected with the astrological theory of "chronocratorles," which assigned to the several planets dominion over hours and days as periods of time.
The diagram illustrates Dio Cassius’s first explanation of the astrological week in use among the Romans, the assignment of’ the days to the planetary gods according to the musical harmony “by fours” (or the tetra-chord). The celestial order of the planets follows the circle: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon. The daily order follows the arrow in the star pattern, and the musical theory works thus by intervals of fours: (1) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, (2) Sun, Venus, Mercury, (3) Moon, Saturn,Jupiter, (4) Mars, Sun, Venus, (5) Mercury, Moon, Saturn, (6) Jupiter, Mars, Sun, (7) Venus, Mercury, Moon, etc.
This diagram shows the planetary gods of the days of the week in accordance with Dio Cassius’s first explanation. The planetary deities are listed in their supposedly celestial order. Taking them according to the musical theory of the tetra-chord, every fourth god is given his day.
By reading the above on Dio Cassius, it is plain he knew the first day of the week was Saturday for it still was during his days. Listed below are more proofs of Saturn being the first day of the Roman pagan week started at the time of the Caesars.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
Josephus, a contemporary of the apostle john, had a similar notion about the candlestick of the temple and the seven planets. Ptolemy (in the first half of the second century AD) held that the order of the planets was thus: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon. This was the Babylonian arrangement. Clement of Alexandria (about 200 AD) Evidently did the same, for he placed the Sun in the central position. Speaking of the candlestick in the temple, he said that “by it were shown the motions of the seven planets, that perform their revolutions towards the south. For three branches rose on either side of the lamp, and lights on them; since also the Sun, like the lamp, set in the midst of all the planets, dispenses with a kind of divine music the light to those above and to those below.” Thus the Babylonian astronomical science of the planetary bodies prevailed among the Greeks and Romans at the beginning of the Christian Era.
A GOLDEN BRACELET
Another item is a golden bracelet found in Syria, and said to be preserved in the British Museum. In this case we have the names of the planetary gods in Greek, together with their likenesses, in the exact order as they occur in the pagan week. Victor Durtly describes it:
“This little bracelet is only two and a third inches in diameter, and the engraved figures are but two fifth’s of an inch. The careless workmanship marks the period as near the close of the third or the beginning of the fourth century (250-300 AD). On the eight faces of the octagon are engraved the seven gods or goddesses of the week, and Fortune, TYXH [TUCHE], which opens the series. She holds in the right hand a cornucopia, and rests the left hand upon a rudder. Saturn, KPONOY. [KRONOS], comes next in order. He is clad in a long garment, and with the left hand holds a scarf which is floating above his head. The third place is occupied by the Sun, HALOY. [HELIOS], radiate, and standing in a chariot with two horses. He holds in the right hand a whip, and in the left a globe. The Moon, ZAHNH [SELENE], is the fourth figure. She wears a double tunic, a double crescent is on her head, and a veil, puffed out by the wind; she holds a lighted torch in her right hand. After the Moon comes Mars, APHI [ARES], naked helmeted, carrying his buckler. The sixth figure is Mercury
A POMPEIIAN PAINTING OF THE PLANETARY GODS
Furthermore, there have been preserved for it’s at least two sets of Roman pictures depicting the seven planetary gods of the days of the pagan week in their calendar order. They were painted before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
One set of these, in the form of medallions, was found by excavators in Pompeii in 1760, on the wall of a room and by good fortune completely intact. This set is preserved in the museum at Naples. In their original setting, the gods of the days of the pagan week appear in the following order: SATURN, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus.
DIO CASSIUS’S TESTIMONY CONFIRMED
The important fact for us to note in this story of the capture of Jerusalem by Pompey in 63 BC is that the day of Saturn in the planetary week of the pagans then corresponded to the Sabbath or seventh day of the Biblical week of the Jews. The testimony of Dio Cassius is confirmed by that of Josephus, the Hebrew historian, who was a contemporary of the apostles. Josephus’s account of the siege runs thus:
“Nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavors, had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on Sabbath days.”
“Had it not been for our practice, from the days of our forefathers, to rest on the seventh day, this bank [thrown up by Pompey] could never have been perfected, by reason of the opposition the Jews would have made; for though our law gives us leave then to defend ourselves against those that begin to fight us and assault us, yet does it not permit us to meddle with our enemies while they do anything else. Which thing when the Romans understood, on those days which we call Sabbaths they threw nothing at the Jews, nor came to any pitched battle with them; but raised up their earthen banks, and brought their engines into such forwardness, that they might do execution the next day. The city was taken on the third month, on the day of the fast, upon the hundred and seventy-ninth olympiad, when Caius Antonius and Marcus Tullius Cicero were consuls.” (the Jews did not fast on the weekly Sabbath it was the next day.)
Josephus adds, in the same account, that his testimony was confirmed by the writings of Strabo, Nicolaus of Damascus, and Titus Livius (Livy).
Strabo, the Greek geographer who was born perhaps in the year that Pompey captured Jerusalem, wrote thus: “Pompey seized the city, it is said, after watching for the day of fasting, when the Judaeans were abstaining from all work; he filled up the trench and threw ladders across it.”
Okay, let us examine the information of the fall of Jerusalem from both Dio Cassius and Josephus.
First of all, look at how Josephus phrases things. He does not use the names of the pagan days. He only says “had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account.” Now why would he say that IF the Jews were using Saturday as their Sabbath day every week? Also, Pompey would already know which day it was if it was always on Saturday. He wouldn’t have to “take notice”
Also, he says that, “on those days which we call Sabbaths they threw nothing at the Jews, nor came to any pitched battle with them; but raised up their earthen banks, and brought their engines into such forwardness, that they might do execution the next day”. Strabo agrees with this account.
Now if you reread what Dio says, you notice his claim of the battle taking place on the Jews Sabbath which he proclaimed to be the day of Saturn… which was really the day AFTER the Jews Sabbath that they were taken. Going back to the 4th page in this writing, you will read the explanation of Dio of the order of the days by their pagan names; which just happens to be starting with Saturn! I also have a big question here. Why is the word of a man, who not only hated the Jews, and was writing his historical events at a time way after Hadrian in 135 AD forbid the use of the Hebrew calendar and banned all Jews from even seeing Jerusalem, but also never saw Jerusalem himself, being taken as absolute correctness; when it obviously does not coincide with the account of Josephus who was as a matter of fact a Jew?
Both times in history that Jerusalem was taken, it was said to be at times when the pagan week began with Saturn. However, in 63 BC the Julian calendar was not in existence with the names of the days of the week. Only the old nundinal calendar existed with 10 months and 8 letters for the days. The Julian was created by Julius Caesar in 45 BC with still only letters for the days and 10 months. The two more months of September and October were added by Caesar Augustus. It would be very tricky indeed for Dio to go back in time to get the day the 63 BC battle took place with much accuracy.
I have much more historical writings showing Saturn as the first day of the week in my book “YHWH’S UNIQUE TIME PIECE EXPLAINED”.
So then, having all this evidence of the first day of the week being Saturn until the time of Constantine, do you still want to quote Dio Cassius?