For a long time now the people have used a solar calendar to know the appointed times of Yahuwah. But is this what the scripture says? And what is a solar calendar exactly? What makes it a solar calendar? What other types of calendars are there? And do the scriptures tell us to use a solar calendar?
We are now going to look at the evidence provided by the scriptures, which will cover the calendar we find in the scriptures and we shall see that the calendar we use today is not fashioned the same way.
When we speak about the days in scripture, we all come to the subject with preconceived ideas. We have our own understanding of what an hour, a day, a month, and a year are, based purely upon what we have grown up with. The adults which are around us teach us these things. Likewise, they too learned the same way.
Before we can look at the days we find in the scriptures, however, we need to understand what type of calendar is used. What do I mean? Well, many people do not consider this subject, as a day is a day for them, and that is the basic unit of measurement. Light and darkness. So let me explain what it is I mean.
Consider for a moment a recipe. Recipes, for example, measure different items in different manners. We can measure something using measuring spoons and measuring cups. We can measure things in grams or ounces, We can measure using imperial or metric units. The common thing is that they all measure the quantity of a substance but they do so using different methods.
Once we have decided the measuring tool, we need to decide where we will measure from. Think of a circle for example. Where on that circle will you start to measure from? What makes one point of the circle the right place to measure from?
Where do we count from?
Time is the same, however it is not something we generally consider. We grow up knowing the day. We know Light, We know darkness. We understand what an hour is as well as a minute.
But most are not aware that time also, is measured in different formats. Why would this be important though? Let me explain by using an example I have found in my life,
Whilst I was at University, I was studying programming of computers. Now this isn’t going to be a lesson on how to program. Far from it. It is a lesson I learned on how to approach a problem.
Sometimes we look at a problem and we take the things we have used in the past and apply this knowledge to give us a solution. We do this every day infact. We learn how to tie our shoelace and then simply repeat the steps to achieve the task.
When learning to program I came across a problem I had never encountered before. I tried applying many solutions to the problem using things I had used in the past with similar issues – all to no avail. It just didn’t work. N matter how I tried it didn’t work. It was becoming frustrating.
So I stopped and took a break. I then came back to the original problem again. This time however, I took a step back. What do I mean?
I took a step back which allowed me to see the bigger problem. Just like instead of looking at just a couple of cogs in a clock, I stood back to see all the cogs in the clock.
You see the smaller problem could not be solved without considering the bigger problem itself. Once I could see the bigger problem, I could then solve the smaller problems simply.
So why, you might ask, are we talking about programming and the calendar which scripture uses together? Surely they are not related? Indeed, these two are related.
You see we look at the calendar by just looking at the days alone. We try to design the solution based on our existing knowledge of what a day is. But the calendar in the Scriptures did not have the day as its starting and ending points.
When you read the scriptures you need to take a step back and see that the days fitted within the month. The months then fitted within the years. It is a concept many people do not see, nor do they consider. The days in the scriptures start with the month.
Now some people might be saying that is obvious. Let me assure you, to many people, it is not obvious as they use two separate calendars. One which starts upon the international date line and another which starts with the new moon. One to know the Sabbath and the other to know the feasts. But Scripture only ever speaks of a single calendar. And that is what this article shall look at.
Where do the months start?
Let’s take a look at three different calendars we have today and see where they are similar to the scriptures and where they differ. This way, we should be able to see clearly which calendar is used.
What are we looking for?
1) A calendar where the month starts the count of the days.
2) A calendar where the appointed times are found using these days.
3) A calendar which matches the time frames we find in scriptures (e.g. time, times and half a time)
There are three types of calendars in use today. For me – that was two more than I knew existed. They are:
1) A Solar Calendar
2) A Lunar Calendar
3) A Luni-Solar Calendar
One thing which is common to each of these calendars is that in one format or another they each use the stars to see that time has passed. Upon each of these calendars, as time passes, the stars are located in a different place. So for the purpose of this article – since this is something which is common to them all – we will acknowledge it here and then compare where they differ.
A Solar Calendar
What is a solar calendar and how do I know if that is what I am using?
Many will be familiar with this type of calendar as they currently use it in their daily activities. A solar calendar can be recognised through its use of a predetermined dateline. The Gregorian calendar, for example, uses the International dateline. The international dateline tells the people using it where one day start and ends.
Wikipedia describes this line as “an imaginary line of navigation on the surface the earth which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next.”
Just in case you missed that, it is described as “an imaginary line”. The word imaginary, so you know, is defined as only existing in the imagination of a person. Other words which contain similar meanings of this word are: unreal, fictional, fictitious, pretend, make-believe or fanciful.
That is saying that the international date line is a imaginary line which exists only in the mind of the person who believes in it. Sadly today, that is the majority of the world’s population. Stop and ask yourself if you use this imaginary line to know when the day starts and ends?
Many people who use a solar calendar, look the Jewish community to know when the Sabbath day is. An article in Wikipedia which speaks of the International dateline refers to Judaism in particular and it says:
“The conventional International Date Line is a relatively recent geographic and political construct whose exact location has moved from time to time depending on the needs of different interested parties. There are no objective criteria for its placement. In that light, it cannot be taken for granted that the conventional International Date Line can (or should) be used as a dateline under Jewish law.”
It is interesting the Jews themselves say that the international dateline should not be used as a dateline under Jewish Law, but they themselves use this line. Why do they use it then? We shall see the answer later in this study.
There have also been other types of solar calendars throughout time such as the Maya calendar which had 18 division in the year consisting of 20 days and 5 extra days which were counted as bad days at the end of the year. Some other examples of solar calendars are the Egyptian calendar which was changed to used the sun from a lunar calendar, the Julian calendar and the Persian calendars. Each one of these calendars relied upon a man-made dateline in order for it to work.
There is one thing which differs immensely from what the scriptures say when we use a solar calendar. The scriptures tell us that the moon was used to set the days (Psalms 104:19). So why is that a problem?
A solar calendar has no way of knowing when a day starts and ends. That is why we see it using an imaginary line. This imaginary line tells the user when the next day has started. This has caused immense issues for the Seventh Day Adventist church in Samoa.
When the people of Samoa went to bed on Thursday the 29th of December in 2011, they woke up the next morning to a change in the date. Friday the 30th was skipped. Instead, they awoke to Saturday the 31st of December. This caused issues for those who had been using a 7-day count to know when the Sabbath was upon, as the Seventh-day Adventist church, for example, worships on Saturday – the day they say is the seventh day of the week.
By using an imaginary line to define a day, the people of Samoa had a problem knowing the appointed times of Yahuwah when that imaginary line was moved forward.
The question which should be asked by the Samoans, is “Did Yahuwah give them this imaginary line, or is that line made up and actually has nothing to do with His appointed times?”
When we consider the number of days in the Gregorian calendar and compare it to the scriptural calendar we find we have too many. There are 365 days in the Gregorian calendar and 360 days in the scriptural calendar. (See Daniel 7:25, Revelation 11:2-3, 12:6,14, Revelation 13:5)
A Lunar Calendar
The second type of calendar is a lunar calendar. Many people would not be familiar with this type of calendar as the majority of the world today no longer uses the moon in their calculations of time. In fact, today, many people who use a calendar which utilises the moon have been labeled as “lunatics”. This word has become synonymous with someone who is described as mentally ill.
A lunar calendar works by using the moon to set the start of the months. This, in turn, starts the days and the years. Yes. Each of these items starts at the same place. The month, the day and the year all start at the same location. Each month the day and the month also start at the same location.
The location where the month and day start upon the surface of the earth each month can differ from one lunar cycle to the next (see Isaiah 66:23).
Most of these calendars start with what is called the new moon. For those familiar with the Gregorian solar calendar here is where it differs from a lunar calendar. The lunar calendar also uses a line which starts the month, the day and the year by sighting the new moon. The difference is quite stark.
In this calendar, the new moon serves to provide the dateline and this line is not straight upon the surface of the globe, but rather it is curved upon the surface of the earth. This date line moves upon the surface of the earth, never staying in the same place from one new moon to another.
Below you can see an image (click on it to see the full sized image), which shows where the new moon was seen. The image starts from the right and goes towards the left. The first day is upon the far right, with the second day in the middle and the third day to the far left. The arc shape is reflected on the earth with the start of each day. This is because the new moon is seen in different locations upon the earth surface. Click on the image below to see in in full size so you can see the exact difference between a new moon calendar and a Gregorian calendar.
This calendar relies upon having witnesses, who see the new moon, to know when the new month is to be started. A little different from the Gregorian calendar which requires no witnesses.
Lunar calendars do share one item in common with a solar calendar in that they both have 12 months in them. But the year length in these calendars differs. Whilst a solar calendar has 365 days in it, a lunar year is 354 days long.
An example of a lunar calendar is the islamic calendar, which has 29 or 30 days in a month . Some months have 29 days and other months have 30 days, the length of which is determined by how long it takes from one new moon to the next. The islamic calendar also adds in leap days every 2nd or 3rd year. This is because, like the solar calendar which has a fraction of a day, so to does the lunar calendar year.
One issue we see with this type of calendar is that the warmer months and the cooler months move backwards throughout the solar year. This is because having a 354 day year does not keep up with the 365 days in a solar year. It is the solar year which keeps track of these items. In fact, it would take this calendar 33 years before it arrives back at the same place it started.
One interesting thing we note when we are looking at scripture is that the same fruit was picked at the same time each year, thus making it impossible to work for the events we find in scripture.
It does however align with the new moons and it also matches the number of months we find in a year when we look at the scriptures. When we compare the number of days in a lunar year to a scriptural year, however, we come up short at 354 days in a lunar calendar verse the 360 days in the scriptural calendar year.
A Luni-Solar calendar
The third type of calendar is a luni-solar calendar. Unlike the lunar calendar we have just looked at, it works to keep the warmer months and the cooler months at the same times each year, but it also uses the moon to start the months, days and years. It is a combination of both the solar and lunar calendars we have just spoken of. So how does it differ from them?
Looking at the differences between a luni-solar calendar and a solar only calendar, we see a difference in the date line they use.
A luni-solar calendar also uses the moon to start everything. That is, the days, the months and the years all start with the sighting of the new moon. Upon a solar calendar the days months and years all start upon the international date line.
The difference between a luni-solar calendar and a lunar only calendar is that a luni-solar calendar takes into consideration when the warmer months and the cooler months fall where as a lunar calendar alone does not. This allows one to determine the Abib barley.
By doing this it matches when the constellations pass by to the same time frame each year, and also the matches the solar year.
How does it do this?
A Luni-solar calendar matches when the warmer months and the cooler months fall by adding in extra days every second or third year. This is commonly done by adding a thirteenth month. This allows the Abib Barley to be harvested at the correct time each year.
This way the calendar keeps in line with a solar year, and also keeps in line with the lunar year. This tends to be done over a 19 year cycle known as the metonic cycle to bring it into line with the solar year, but allow the use of the lunar year.
We can see this in what Maimonides said in his work “Mishneh Toah” in a chapter entitled “Sanctification of the new moon” :
“By how much does the solar year exceed the lunar year? By approximately 11 days. Therefore, whenever this excess accumulates to about 30 days, or a little more or less, one month is added and the particular year is made to consist of 13 months, and this is the so-called embolismic (intercalated) year. For the year could not consist of twelve months plus so-and-so many days, since it is said: throughout the months of the year (Num 28:14), which implies that we should count the year by months and not by days.”
Now, at this point it should be noted that the Hebrew, (or Jewish calendar as some know it), is seen in Wikipedia as a luni-solar calendar. Wikipedia states:
The Hebrew or Jewish calendar (הַלּוּחַ הָעִבְרִי, Ha-Luah ha-Ivri) is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been steadily declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar.
It is fascinationg reading these things when we cosnider that today the majority of the world uses a solar only calendar. The difference between these calendars thus far, has been shown to be quite stark.
So which one of these calendar is used in the scriptures?
During my studies I have been utilsing a luni-solar calendar even though I see some issues with it as well. Let me explain why I use it, and what issues I see with it.
A Luni-solar calendar aligns with the new moons as we see in scripture. It also aligns the start of the day with the new moon as we see in scripture. It aligns the years with the growing seasons as we see in scripture. It also aligns the constellations which we read about in books such as Job.
A solar only calendar ignores where the days are counted from, has too many days in its year, has too many days between months and one month, February, has too few days.
A lunar only calendar ignores the growing seasons such that the fruit will not appear at the correct times of harvest. It also has too few days in it.
Does this make a luni-solar calendar right however?
The answer I provide might surprise many. Yes and No.
Yes. It does indeed keep the warmer months and the cooler months in line with what we see in scripture. Yes it does also start upon each new moon.
No. It does not match the exact number of days we see in scripture! What do I mean?
The scriptures are clear about the number of days we see in both a month and a year. We see this in Genesis, Daniel, and Revelation for example. When we read Genesis for example we find 30 days in a month.
Let’s take a look at how time was structured in the days of Noah as that is where the scripture points us to:
Genesis 7:11-12, 24
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, on that same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the windows and floodgates of the heavens were opened.
12 It rained on the earth for forty days and forty nights.
24 The waters covered [all of] the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
4 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
So from the seventeenth day of the second month to the seventeenth day of the seventh month, there were one hundred and fifty days. The number of months equals 7 – 2 = 5 months. 150 days divided by 5 months = 30 days each month.
When we view Revelation we see the same thing:
2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
In these scriptures, we learn that 1260 days is described as time, times and half a time, or 42 months.
Time = 1 year.
Times = 2 x Time = 2 years.
Half a Time = 1/2 a year.
Together that equal 3 and a half years. 42 months divided by 1260 days gives us just 30 days in a month. In fact whenever we look to the scriptures we see four things:
- A calendar which starts with the new moon.
- A calendar which is 360 days long.
- A calendar which has 12 months.
- A calendar which has 30 days each month.
So have you noticed anything? Each of the calendars we have looked at are missing one item or another. They either ignore the moon, or they ignore the length.
So what is the solution?
This was a question which puzzled me for a long time as well. How is it that the year in scripture is longer than a lunar year, but shorter than a solar year? How is it that the moon sets the count of the days?
While I was studying this topic I had some people say to me that the calendar Yahuwah used never actually used the moon. They would quote scriptures such as Isaiah 1, Hosea 2 and Lamentations 2. So before we delve any deeper, it is worth while taking a look at the scriptures they quote, so we can understand the context of what is occurring.
It is worthwhile reading the entire chapters of Isaiah 1, Hosea 2 and Lamentations 2, to see this in full, but here I will just add one section from each scripture which shows Yahuwah removing the appointed times from Israel.
13 Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.
11 “I will also put an end to all her rejoicing,
Her feasts, her New Moons, her Sabbaths,
All her appointed times.
13 “And I will punish her for the [appointed time] days of the Baals,
When she used to offer sacrifices and burn incense to them
And adorn herself with her earrings and nose rings and her jewelry,
And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,” says Yahuwah.
6 And He has violently broken down His temple like a garden hedge;
He has destroyed His appointed meeting place.
Yahuwah has caused the appointed times and the Sabbaths
To be forgotten in Zion
And has despised and rejected the king and the priest
In the indignation of His anger.
These are scriptures quoted commonly to those who utilise the moon to know the appointed times of Yahuwah. What is going on here?
We see Yahuwah tells us the sun, moon and stars are for His appointed times in Genesis 1:14, but here we see Yahuwah removing the appointed times from the people.
If you were looking at it up close all you might see is how Yahuwah is upset with the people and He removes their appointed times. You might say that the sun, moon and stars cannot provide His people with His appointed times as a result. But in this is the very answer, if you again, step back and look at the whole picture.
When someone is married they share everything. Each person brings something unique to themselves to the relationship. In our relationship with the Father, we bring our love for Him. We show our love in following His commandments. The Father also brings things to the relationship. He brings His appointed times. New Moon days, Sabbath days, and all the Feasts. Each and every appointed time which belongs to the Father, He brings along so that we can meet with Him.
Now I want you to think of a divorce and what occurs in this situation. Yahshua tells us that we can only divorce a person because of sexual immorality in Matthew.
31 “It has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
You see when someone says that Yahuwah told the people not to use the sun, moon and stars for His appointed times, they are leaving something out. Rather we see that the people had left Yahuwah for another lover, and in doing so, Yahuwah removed the appointed times from them. He removed the things which He bought to the relationship. He gave them a divorce.
Does that mean however, that Yahuwah does not use the sun, the moon and the stars to know His appointed times? Or does it simply mean that Yahwah took what was His from Israel. They still exist, but Israel could no longer find them.
We see this clearly for example in Hosea 2
2“Bring charges against your mother, bring charges;
For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!
Let her put away her harlotries from her sight,
And her adulteries from between her breasts;
4 “I will not have mercy on her children,
For they are the children of harlotry.
5 For their mother has played the harlot;
You see the people had left Yahuwah for another. And when they came back, Yahuwah had gone. He had taken the things which were His and removed them from the people so they could no longer be abused. And yes. It was abuse. They were using these appointed times to worship other “lovers” and thus abused the Love the Father had given them.
She who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my linen,
My oil and my drink.’
Thus the Father removes the appointed times from the people and that is what we see in Isaiah 1, Hosea 2 and Lamentations 2. The appointed times of Israel being removed.
How were the appointed times removed?
Yahuwahs Calendar does indeed use the sun, the moon and the stars. It does indeed use the moon to set the appointed times. The moon starts the count for the days, which we are given from the Light of the sun. The stars provide us with the year. There are twelve months in His calendar. There are 360 days in His calendar. So why the difference between what we see in scripture and what we have today?
The answer is that in order to remove the appointed times from the people, Yahuwah simply made the day longer. Consider, if you make a day longer, how does that effect the amount of time between one new moon and another?
The answer is that by making the day longer, it leaves less time between the new moons. In fact if we just added 20 minutes a day, it would make the lunar month shorter by half a day. That is, when we add 20 minutes per day to a 360 day solar year, we make the solar year 365 days long and at the same time, we shorten the lunar year.
This is achieved by making the speed the earth travels around the sun, less. By making it less, it takes longer to reach the same place. It makes the days longer.
The moon, however, is still travelling at the same speed, but it is going around an object which is moving slower. Because the earth is moving slower the moon can now go around the earth in less time. In fact it would reduce the time taken for the moon to go around the earth to just 29.5 days, or just 354 days to get back to where it was when it started because the day is longer.
Now while this is all nice as a theory, we should be looking to see if we see this anywhere in scripture. Is there anywhere in scripture around the time Hosea was written, when we see the sun move backwards in the sky making the day longer? The answer is yes. In 2 Kings 20 we find this occuring:
2 Kings 20:8-11
8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that Yahuwah will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of Yahuwah on the third day?”
9 Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from Yahuwah, that He will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow [indicating the time of day] go forward ten steps, or go backward ten steps?”
10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to go forward ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.”
11 So Isaiah the prophet called out to Yahuwah, and He brought the shadow on the steps ten steps backward by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.
This we also see reflected in Isaiah 38:
4 And the word of Yahuwah came to Isaiah, saying,
5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says Yahuwah, the Elohim of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.
6 I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.”’
7 And this is the sign to you from Yahuwah, that Yahuwah will do this thing which He has spoken:
8 “Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.
Ten degrees will work out to be approximately 20 minutes. 20 minutes extra in a day equals 5 days (the math is available in this article).
To me, this is the most logical explanation I can find, which explains the issue we have today with the calendar being the wrong length. After I saw this I asked myself if scripture says that the day shall be made shorter again and when this might occur?
We see this exact thing being spoken of in both Matthew and Luke:
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
6 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.
Noah had a 360 day year. We have a 365 day. We also see it being spoken of in Matthew 24
22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
So out of all of the calendars we have looked at thus far, there is only one of these which will align exactly with His appointed times when this restoration takes place.
It is the Luni-Solar calendar – as it keeps everything in line and is only out by the length of the month. If one believes what Yahshua said, that the days shall be made shorter, then absolutely everything would line up again just as the scriptures say.
- The months will have 30 days (not 28, 29, or 31 days)
- The months will start with the new moon. (not the international dateline)
- The appointed times shall fall as we are told. (not upon times we define, by times we are told)
- The Sabbath days shall be found upon this calendar (not upon a solar or a lunar calendar alone).
We see in Revelation 14 a single group of people keeping His appointed times and doing it blamelessly. These are the elect spoken of in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 above.
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Yahuwah and the faith of Yahshua.