Wednesday, April 11, 2012


by  Guest Blogger
Matthew Miller

If you were to ask a person “Can you tell me the time,” the person will most likely look at their watch or cell phone.  In like manner if asked for the date, one would consult the calendar or again check the cell phone.  These sources will give us the time and date but are they really the correct time and date.  Time for the most part is a universal standard.  Dates however depend on what calendar one uses. 
There are many ways to set calendars and even in Christian and Jewish communities there seems to be much debate and uncertainty over “how to” determine days and months.  Even the seventh day Sabbath is going through a fiery trial to hold its independence apart from the moon as a way to determine the correct “seventh day.”
In this article we will find out how the Creator of heaven and earth recons/establishes time.  We will study;
·       What determines the beginning of “regular” months
·        And how the “first” month of the year is determined
Determining the regular months
During the time from Moses to the fourth century, the first visible crescent of the new moon was used to determine the regular months.  The Children of Israel would watch the sky for the crescent new moon and declare that evening Rosh Chodesh (i.e., the first day of the month). 
In the fourth century, Hillel II (a Jewish Rabbi) established a fixed calendar for Judaism based on mathematical and astronomical calculations (cited by R. Avraham Hiyya in his Sefer Ha'ibbur). This Jewish calendar, still in use today, standardized the length of months and the addition of months over the course of a 19 year cycle, so that the lunar calendar realigns with the solar years.  This is not the calendar Yahweh established.
Note: Constantine (the Christian emperor) also changed Yahweh’s calendar in the fourth century, a change that remains hidden to most Christians.
Determining the first month of the year
Exd 12:2-20  This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you
During the time when the children of Israel were in the desert they were an agrarian people.  The first harvest of the year would come in early spring, this was the barley harvest.  Yahweh instructed them to bring an offering of flour made from barley, to be waived by the Priest on the day after the Sabbath during the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Passover is the 14th day of the “first” month; the Feast of Unleavened Bread is from the 15th day to the 21st day and Firstfruits is the day after the weekly Sabbath during the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.                    
Lev 23:9-11 And Yahweh spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you come into the land which I give to you, and you reap the harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the Priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
On the day after the Sabbath, the Feast called Firstfruits, a bundle of barley was brought into the Court of the Temple and thrashed; then 'parched' on a pan perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire, and finally exposed to the wind. Then it was ground in a barley-mill, which left the hulls whole.  Then the flour was passed through thirteen sieves, until the flour was sufficiently fine (Men. vi. 6, 7).  Though one ephah, or ten omers, of barley was cut down, only one omer of flour (i.e., about 5 pints), was offered in the Temple on Firstfruits as a wave offering.  The omer of flour was mixed with three-fourths of a pint of oil, and a handful (approximately) of frankincense was mixed in it, then a handful was burned on the altar.
In order for this month to be the First month of the year:
·       The barley had to be made into flour for the Firstfruits wave offering
·       Therefore the barley (the flour is made from) must be RIPE
In the spring, as the 12th month ends (on Yahweh’s calendar), during the last two days of the lunar month, the barley is examined to see if it is Aviv or ripe (i.e., ready to harvest).  Without having Aviv/ripe barley, the flour for the wave offering cannot be presented to Yahweh.  Without having barley flour for the wave offering, the main event for this Feast (the waive offering of barley flour) would be absent.  Without the wave offering, the Feast would be incomplete and therefore unacceptable to Yahweh.
There are two factors Yahweh established to determine the “first” month of the year;
·       The crescent New Moon must be seen
·       The Barley must be Aviv/ripe
The month of Abib
Exd 13:4   This day you came out in the month Abib. You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread: you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it you came out of Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty handed
Deu 16:1  Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD Yahweh your God: for in the month of Abib the LORD Yahweh your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night.
The English word Abib is Aviv, in Hebrew.  This is why we see the title for this month in scripture called the Month of Abib.” Because the “first” month of the New Year comes in the spring of the year, the word Aviv is one way to say spring in Modern Hebrew.
Note: If the barley is not Aviv/ripe at the end of the 12th month, an extra month is added to the calendar, and the “first” month of the New Year will arrive at the sighting of the next crescent new moon.
In conclusion
Yahweh is calling Christians to worship Him on His Feast days according to His calendar.  The calendar most Messianic Jews and Christians are using today is based on the Hillel II calendar.  This calendar is based on mathematical calculations, not the visible new moon and ripe barley.  Although many are still using the Hillel calendar, the Biblical calendar Yahweh established is beginning to be used by many who are seeking truth rather than tradition.  Not since the first century have so many believers been drawn to keep Yahweh’s Feast days on the true calendar.  This way of determining time should be something Christians are familiar with, but the blind have been leading the blind.  Yahweh is opening the eyes of pastors, teachers, elders and other leaders within the body of Messiah so that His True Calendar and True Feast days may be understood and therefore taught.
Note: We must never judge our brothers in Messiah for which calendar they use or how they choose to keep the Feasts.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.  

Matthew Miller is a pastor for Yeshua (Jesus.) He pastors The Vineyard of Yahweh -- a Messianic Christian congregation.  

Check out Molly's newest book, The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities. 


1 comment:

Molly Noble Bull said...

Interesting article by a Hebrew Christian pastor from east Tennessee.