What's Wrong With The CALENDAR?
oes the Sabbath day begin at sunset on the north pole (Lev.23:32)? Isn't the International Date Line in the wrong place? Did Joshua's long day destroy the weekly cycle (Josh.10:13)? Should we begin our months with the visible new moon crescent or the astronomical lunar conjunction (Rev.12:1-5)? Should it be viewed locally or at Jerusalem (Ex.12:1-2)? Did the four seasons begin after Noah's flood (Gen.8:22)? Is the new year determined by "green ears" of barley or the spring equinox (Gen.1:14-16)? Should the new moon come before or after the equinox (Deut.16:6)? When is the next modern land Sabbath (Ex.23:10) and Jubilee year (Lev.25:10)? How does a person calculate the feast days (Lev.23) from scratch using an almanac? Is the calculated Jewish calendar one of the "oracles" committed to the Jews (Rom. 3:1-2)?
The biblical definition of a YEAR is four-fold. Originally both the LUNAR and SOLAR YEARS were synchronized to 360 DAYS long with no remainder (cp. Gen.7:11,24; 8:3-4; Dan.7:25; 9:27; 12:7; Rev.11:2; 12:6,14; 13:5). But when the sun dial of Ahaz moved "ten degrees backward" at Hezekiah's request (Isa.38:8; 2 Ki.20:10), it meant that 360 days + 20.668 minutes per day = 365.242 days. If you had a year that consisted of 360 days and slowed the orbit of the earth around the sun by .27 miles/second (The difference between 18.78 and 18.51 miles/second), you would end up with a year that takes 365.2422 days. This slower speed would cause 5.2422 days extra per year to make one complete revolution around the sun. There has been no change in spin of the earth in a 24-hour period nor has the speed of the moon around the earth been changed.
Originally the year had TWELVE MONTHS (Dan.4:29; Jer.52:31). In 1 Chronicles 27:2-15 the courses of men to serve the king in each month are listed and there are TWELVE courses through each of the TWELVE MONTHS (cp. Rev.22:2; Ez.47:12). There are many biblical references to the "TWELFTH MONTH" (2 Ki.25:27; 1 Chr.27:15; Es.3:7). Both the sun and moon are used to define the year (Gen.1:14-16; Ps.104:19; Ex.12:2).
But in Hezekiah's time, the LUNAR YEAR changed to 354 DAYS (12 x 29.5 = 354) or in LEAP LUNAR YEARS to 384 DAYS (1 x 29.5 = 383.5) and the SOLAR YEAR changed to 365.25 DAYS. Because the regular lunar year is eleven days shorter than the solar year and since over 33 days accumulate in three years, a thirteenth month can be added to eliminate the difference a little more often than every third year. In this way, the festivals can be kept in their seasons from year to year (Ex.13:10; 23:16; 34:22). The Bible doesn't mention a 13th month, but by the same token doesn't have to. It is automatic.
But when does the year begin? Should we begin a new year on the first new moon crescent on or after the equinox of March 20 to 21 when the sun crosses the equator? Or should we begin with the first new moon crescent on or after the "green ears" of barley?
Should We Use "Green Ears" Or The Equinox?
Many churches determine the new year's day or "Abib one" by taking the first crescent on or after the EQUINOX of March 20 or 21. Other assemblies take the first crescent of "GREEN EARS" of barley. Here are some of the reasons why we should use the EQUINOX rather than "GREEN EARS." (Remember that it is because of the action of the sun that the barley begins ripening, not the other way around.)
First, from Adam to Noah (1656 years), "GREEN EARS" could not have been used since PERPETUAL SPRINGTIME existed. There was only one season then. A water-vapor canopy covered the entire earth (Gen.1:6-8) creating a warm tropical greenhouse of springtime the whole year long from pole to pole. As Ovid said, "SPRING WAS FOREVER" (Meta.1:88-108). After the flood, "a seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter" (Gen.8:22) began. One of the results of the flood catastrophe was that the earth's axis shifted 23.4 degrees from vertical -- creating the seasons. From Adam to Noah the EQUINOX must have been used to start the year, and God says "I change not" (Mal.3:6) and Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Heb.13:8).
Second, ON BOARD SHIP, Noah wasn't able to examine a barley field in Israel or anywhere else (Gen.8:13), so he must have used the EQUINOX to figure the holy days.
Third, Israel was led IN THE WILDERNESS for forty years (Deut.29:5) without examining the barley in Jerusalem or Palestine. Both Jerusalem and Palestine were occupied by hostile Canaanites.
Fourth, barley is VARIABLE -- not precise. It ripens faster in warmer latitudes nearer the equator than in colder northern areas farther from the equator. Also, the barley ripens faster in valleys or at low altitudes than on mountains or at high altitudes. As Herbert Solinsky points out, "there is about a SIXTY DAY VARIATION in the time of the ripening of barley depending on the location within Palestine" (p.48, The Calendar God Gave To Moses). Yes, "When grain is ripening to a golden color in the south Texas Valley, the North Texas grain is not even in the ear" (p.8, Yahweh's Passover & Yahshua's Memorial). GREEN EARS of barley are NOT A BIOLOGICAL CLOCK and do not appear at the same time from year to year with respect to the EQUINOX. As Irvin says in The 365 Days, pp.171-172, "The sun is not directly responsible for the VARIATIONS in temperature that occur on the same calendar date of different years." Yes, excessive cold can delay "GREEN EARS." In fact, there are FOUR VARIABLE FACTORS that determine growing season and ripeness for any crop. They are 1.) how hot the local climate is; 2.) whether the winds carry hot or cold air; 3.) elevation above sea level and 4.) how much sunlight it gets. Even though Palestine is a small country, there is a vast difference in elevation, sunlight and wind.
Fifth, in light of the variation of "GREEN EARS" in different locations, where is the supposed "BIBLE-AUTHORIZED" location? There is no clear-cut answer. The first location was in the NILE DELTA in Egypt (Ex.9:31; 12:2). Later Israel encountered "GREEN EARS" located in the JERICHO VALLEY in Israel (Josh. 5:10; cp.2:6 where "flax was bolled" (Ex.9:32)). But virtually all assemblies ignore these two locations. Instead, they use MOUNT ZION by inferring into Exodus 12:24 something that's not there (cp. Isa.2:3; Micah 4:2). The Passover and D.U.B. are the "ordinance," not "GREEN EARS" of barley. Just because the law goes forth from Jerusalem doesn't mean sunsets and crescents are sighted at that location. Why should BARLEY FIELDS or EQUINOXES be any different? But when the astronomical conditions are correct (the sun has crossed the equator), a person should be able to find some "GREEN EARS" somewhere for a wavesheaf. That is why Deuteronomy 16:1 says, "Observe (or "watch" -- p.291, Wilson's O.T. Word Studies) the month (moon) of Abib (lit. Heb. is "GREEN EARS"), and keep the Passover unto the Lord." Exodus 9:31-32 explains that these "GREEN EARS" must be ears of barley since, just before the Passover, "the BARLEY was in the ear, and the flax was bolled (in bud). But the wheat and rye (spelt) ... were not grown up." Also 2 Samuel 21:9 shows that barley was the first grain harvested after winter. And again we read in Exodus 23:15, "Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month (moon of) Abib ("GREEN EARS")." And again in Exodus 34:18, "in the time of the month (moon of) Abib ("GREEN EARS").
Sixth, what did Christians do for thousands of years who lived in the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE? The cycle of seasons there is OPPOSITE from the northern hemisphere. "GREEN EARS" are no guide at all down there. The southern hemisphere has hotter summers and colder winters also. But the EQUINOX works well all over the world. Furthermore, there is reason to believe the earth's axis shifted 180 degrees on four different occasions, making "GREEN EARS" untrustworthy.
Seventh, Mount Zion is NOT THE BEST LATITUDE for the earliest barley. Also, it is ON A HILL rather than in a valley; and what if Mount Zion faces a prolonged DROUGHT? What if a LOCUST PLAGUE sweeps through Palestine before "GREEN EARS" appear? As Christ said, "The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father" (John 4:21). Also, prior to David's time, Jerusalem wasn't even occupied by Israelites since it was a Jebusite town. Therefore, Jerusalem has many potential problems for the "GREEN EAR" advocates, but the EQUINOX is unaffected by all these problems.
Eighth, every seventh year is "a sabbath of rest unto the land" (Lev.25:4) when NO PLANTING is allowed. Those who rely on "GREEN EARS" are forced to break this commandment, but the EQUINOX is again unaffected. On the Jubilee years, NO BARLEY WAS PLANTED for two years in succession (Lev.25:1-24), so there was none to consult. Flocks were allowed to graze (Lev.25:7,11).
Ninth, we observe SUNSETS LOCALLY in the WESTERN SKY to determine the Sabbath day. We observe LUNAR CRESCENTS LOCALLY in the WESTERN SKY to determine the new month day. But "GREEN EARS" can't be observed locally or in the sky. They don't fit the pattern. They aren't consistent. Instead, to be consistent, let us observe the STAR or CONSTELLATION LOCALLY which appears each year on the equinox to determine the new year's day. Josephus says Passover always fell "in Aries" (the Ram Constellation appeared at 6:30 p.m. on the WESTERN HORIZON on Nisan 14) (Ant.3:10:5). But because of the "precession of the equinoxes" the sun is in Pisces on March 21 and Nisan 14 today. According to the End-Time Vigil (Box 611, Nelson, BC, Canada V1L 5R4), the Hayden Planetarium of New York as reported in the New York Times, March 20, 1988, p.39, shows that the people of antiquity easily knew the SPRING EQUINOX by Arcturus -- a bright, first-magnitude star which appears shortly after sunset/twilight (the handle of the Big Dipper points to it) -- which always appears March 21st after the previous evening's sunset in the northern hemisphere. About 7:15 p.m. it rises above the eastern horizon on March 21 at 40 degrees North Latitude. This is all in keeping with Genesis 1:14 where"God said, Let there by lights in the firmament (expanse) of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs (of the zodiac), and for seasons (literally "feasts" from the Hebrew "moedim"), and for days (holy days), and years." (N.E.B., Emphasized, Jerusalem, Moffatt, Complete, Good News and Torah Bibles all support the rendering of "festivals" from "seasons.") This verse says the sun and moon and stars were made visible so the festivals could be determined. (Jeremiah 31:35 tells us specifically that these lights are the sun, moon and stars. (see also Ps.136:7-9).) In other words, the SUN provides a sunset each day, the MOON provides a crescent each month and the CONSTELLATIONS give us the vernal equinox once a year.
Tenth, Christ said, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 11:7-9) and this was spoken seven days before Passover (John 11:7-9 & 12:1) (Nisan 7). In the spring, DAY AND NIGHT ARE EQUAL for several days around the time of the EQUINOX if the observer is standing on the equator. The latitude of Jerusalem (31.8 degrees N) makes it impossible for day and night to be EQUAL LENGTH there on the EQUINOX. Instead, they are EQUAL LENGTH there before the EQUINOX and daytime is LONGER than nighttime there on the EQUINOX. But Christ was speaking from a worldwide perspective -- not a local perspective. His saying this at the approximate time of the EQUINOX implies that Christ was conscious of the EQUINOX at this Passover time. He made no remark concerning the state of the BARLEY.
Which Method Was Used In The First Century?
According to the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, p.49, we read that "Our rabbis taught, a year may be intercalated (a 13th month added) on three grounds: on account of the premature state of the corn crops (barley crops), or that of the fruit trees, or on account of the lateness of the TEKUFAH (SPRING EQUINOX). Any two of these reasons can justify intercalation. But not one alone. All however are glad when the state of the spring crop is one of them (barley crop). Rabbon Simeon Ben Gamaliel (Paul's teacher -- Acts 22:3) says, on account of the lateness of the TEKUFAH.... did he mean to say on account of the lateness of the TEKUFAH being one of the two reasons, they rejoined, or that of the TEKUFAH ALONE was adequate reason for intercalating the year. The question remains undecided."
Gamaliel obviously meant the TEKUFAH ALONE was adequate reason to insert an extra month since the other reasons are EFFECTS of the sun's influence, not the CAUSE itself. Drought or locusts could eliminate the other two factors, yet the EQUINOX or TEKUFAH still remains constant. March 20-21 is the equinox or tekufah. Why would Gamaliel even bring it up otherwise, since the other rabbis had already stated that case? Gamaliel knew the inventions of the Pharisees were not in harmony with the Bible, so didn't reply. Genesis 1:14 says "Let there be LIGHTS in the firmament of heaven ... for SEASONS" (moedim -- feasts). But men decided to use "green ears" instead to determine the new year in the first century. Did our Lord approved of this practice? He said, "Beware of the DOCTRINES of the Pharisees and the Saduccees" which he compared to "LEAVEN" (Matt. 16:6,12) or "HYPOCRISY" (Luke 12:12) or "MALICE and WICKEDNESS" (1 Cor. 5:8).
Some Christians today try to prove "green ears" are the preferred method over "lights in the firmament" by showing that this method was used in the first century in Palestine. For instance:
The Encyclopedia Judaica, article "Calendar," page 43, states, "In temple times this intercalation was decided upon in the individual years according to AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS ("green ears") (Tosef., Sanh.2:2; Sanh.11b); later, however, it was fixed" (calculated).
The Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Calendar," page 503, states, "it was provided that the first month should be in the spring ... At first it was in the hands of the Sanhedrin to decide annually whether the year was to be a common year or a leap year; and the decision was based on DIRECT OBSERVATION AS TO THE SIGNS OF SPRING. In course of time, calculation was in this case also substituted for observation."
Hastings Bible Dictionary, article "Passover," says "The day of celebration was determined by the CONDITION OF THE HARVEST ("green ears"). If this did not promise in the 12th month to be gathered in four weeks ... then the month was declared intercalary, and a thirteenth was added."
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, article "Calendar," pages 117-118 states, "Similarly, a leap-year was decided upon only when required, the main factor in the question being the STATE OF THE YOUNG CROPS ("green ears"), as it was desired that the Passover should coincide with the EARING OF THE CORN (grain -- corn is a new-world crop) ... it was not till later that the position of the sun was also taken into account" (through calculation).
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, article "Calendar," page 600, states the following: "The 'beginning of the months' was the month of the Passover. In some passages, the Passover month is that of hodesh ha-aviv, the lunation that coincides with the BARLEY BEING IN EAR. Thus, the Hebrew calendar is tied in with the course of the sun, that determines the RIPENING OF THE GRAIN.... the commencement of the month was determined by THE OBSERVATION OF THE CRESCENT NEW MOON, and the date of the Passover was tied in with the RIPENING BARLEY. The actual WITNESSING of the NEW MOON and OBSERVING the STAND OF CROPS IN JUDAEA were required for the functioning of the religious calendar."
Perhaps the two methods arrive at the same conclusion in most years. We are not debating that. But the SUN was put in the sky to determine the TEKUFAH or EQUINOX. It was the Shammai PHARISEES -- who were IN CONTROL in the first century (Ant.13:10:6; 18:1:4; Johnson's History Of The Jews, p.118; Unger's Bible Dict., p.855) -- who followed "green ears" of barley, and Christ often condemned their practices. They were not infallible. In fact, the PHARISEES disagreed among themselves (Acts 5:34-39; Acts 26:5; Php.3:5). They were WRONG about the SABBATH (John 9:16; Matt.12:9-14) and about HANDWASHING (Matt.15:1; Mark 7:1-5). They were WRONG about the "IMMORTAL SOUL" (Ant.18:1:3; Wars 2:8:14) and about CHRIST (Matt.9:34; 12:24; John 8:13). They even believed in FATE (Wars 2:8:14) and followed ORAL TRADITIONS (Ant.13:10:6; 18:1:4). Christ and the apostles kept Passover on a DIFFERENT DAY than the PHARISEES (John 18:28). Once again, Christ warned his disciples to BEWARE of "the doctrine of the PHARISEES and of the Sadducees" which he compared to LEAVEN (Matt.16:6,12) or"HYPOCRISY"(Luke 12:1) or "MALICE and WICKEDNESS" (1 Cor. 5:8).
Should The New Moon Come Before Or After The Equinox?
Many churches take the crescent CLOSEST to the spring equinox, even if that crescent happens to fall BEFORE the equinox, and call that "Abib one." Thus their holy days are one month too early. The correct method is to take the first crescent ON or AFTER the spring equinox and call that day "Abib one." (Other assemblies use "green ears" instead of the equinox. That method is synonymous with using EITHER SIDE of the equinox.)
Here are some of the reasons why it is correct to use the first crescent ON or AFTER the spring equinox:
First, it is not consistent to have Abib one in the SPRING some years and in the WINTER other years. The festivals are to occur IN THEIR SEASONS -- not out of them (Deut. 16:6; Num.9:2; Ex.13:10). Deuteronomy 16:1, Exodus 23:15 and 34:18 all make it clear that the moon must be "OF" the "green ears," not BEFORE them. There had to be enough barley developed for the wave sheaf (Lev.23:11).
Second, if Nisan one can fall 13 days BEFORE the spring equinox, then Passover will always fall IN SPRING but Trumpets and Atonement will fall mostly IN SUMMER, not autumn or fall. The fall holy days will be celebrated in two different seasons. Instead of harvesting crops during the harvest moon, people will have to travel to the "Feast of Ingathering" empty-handed as their crops rot in the fields. If Nisan one can fall 13 days BEFORE the equinox, then Tishri one will be 21 or 22 days BEFORE THE FALL EQUINOX. It is not proper to have the harvest festivals in the summer (Lev.23:39). Also, Abib should start IN THE SPRING -- not winter (2 Sam. 11:1; RSV & KJV). The spring begins on the equinox.
Third, farmers and shepherds two and three thousand years ago DIDN'T KNOW AHEAD OF TIME if the equinox would be MARCH 20, 21 or even 19. They didn't have almanacs. So if a crescent came 13, 14, or 15 days before, they wouldn't know if it were nearer or not ahead of time. Not only this, but also they COULDN'T PREDICT AHEAD OF TIME whether the month would have 29 or 30 DAYS, further blurring the midpoint. Even if the equinox was March 20, and the crescent was 14 days before, the actual time of the equinox would probably fall many hours after the taking of the Passover on the night of the 19th. So even on the same day, Passover here falls short of spring. The ancients probably COULD'T ALWAYS CALCULATE THE EQUINOX TO THE CORRECT DAY, let alone hour or minute. The equinox might fall at noon the 20th.
Fourth, the requirement of ripe barley for the wave sheaf (Lev.23:11) limits Nisan 15 through 21 to a time period from the BEGINNING OF APRIL TO EARLY JUNE (Solinsky, pp.46-48). "Barley begins to ripen in Palestine with the BEGINNING OF APRIL and in the lower and warmer parts the cutting is begun at the end of the same month. Hence, we see that the first new moon, which began the first month and the Jewish year, could only take place in the last days of March at the earliest, and the sacrifice of the 'omer' (wave sheaf) at the earliest only some days before the end of the FIRST HALF OF APRIL" (Astronomy In The Old Testament, Giovanni V. Shiaparelli, 1905, Oxford). In other words, the crescent must be on or after the equinox.
Fifth, only 28, 31, and 34 A.D. had Wednesday Passover dates (cp. Dan.9:27) (p.63, Solinsky). Only 31 A.D. fits from among these choices since Christ was "cut off" "in the midst of the week" of seven years (Dan.9:26-27) and 31 A.D. happens to be the middle of a week of years counting from 457 B.C. when the command was given (Dan.9:25; Ezra 7:11-26). The only Wednesday Passover of 31 A.D. was on April 23rd (Gregorian). Christ's last Passover was observed in a year when the CRESCENT BEFORE the EQUINOX was CLOSER THAN the ONE AFTER and yet CHRIST USED the ONE AFTER. Fourteen days earlier makes April 9th which is 18 days after March 21st (latest possible equinox) showing that the nearer crescent before the equinox wasn't used (p.75, Solinsky, The Calendar God Gave To Moses).
Sixth, from the book Calendarium Palestini by William Carpenter, page 32, we read about the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread: "It was celebrated on the 14th day of the moon next AFTER the VERNAL EQUINOX and continued seven days." (written in 1825) Furthermore, we know that Ezra the priest (Ezra 7:11-12) and Nehemiah both used the BABYLONIAN names for the months of the calendar (Neh.1:1; 2:1; 6:15). By all indications, they actually used the BABYLONIAN CALENDAR itself and knew no other. God was with them (Ezra 5:1-2; 7:27-28). We know that the BABYLONIAN CALENDAR used visible crescents and DIDN'T ALLOW the first month of the year to come BEFORE the VERNAL EQUINOX for hundreds of years. No less an authority than Otto Neugebauer knew of no archaeological evidence to doubt the claim that the Babylonian and Biblical Calendars are the same. Also, "The 1st of Nisan seems to have been KEPT ... from MOVING EARLIER than the VERNAL EQUINOX" (2:121, SDABC). This vernal equinox almost always occurs on March 20 or 21, but it is possible for it to occur on March 19 (Encyc. Brit., 4:618, 1973).
Seventh, according to the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, p.49, we read that "Our rabbis taught, a year may be intercalated (a 13th month added) on three grounds: on account of the premature state of the corn crops (barley crops), or that of the fruit trees, or on account of the LATENESS of the TEKUFAH (spring equinox). Any two of these reasons can justify intercalation. But not one alone. All however are glad when the state of the spring crop is one of them (barley crop). Rabbon Simeon Ben Gamaliel (Paul's teacher -- Acts 22:3) says, on account of the LATENESS of the TEKUFAH.... Did he mean to say, on account of the LATENESS of the TEKUFAH being one of the two reasons, they rejoined, or that of the TEKUFAH alone was adequate reason for intercalating the year. The question remains undecided." (Gamaliel didn't reply because he knew the inventions of the Pharisees were not in harmony with the Bible -- but he did state that the TEKUFAH was most important.)
Tekufah Means Equinox
Can the tekufah be linked to the Spring without twisting the Scriptures? Yes. See 2 Samuel 11:1.
In the King James Version we plainly find that the Biblical year ends at tekufah. It reads, "And it came to pass, after the year was expired (tekufah), at the time when kings go forth to battle..." (2 Samuel 11:1). The connection to Spring is found in more modern versions like the Revised Standard Version. In the RSV, this text reads, "In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle..." Thus we see biblically that tekufah (called the vernal equinox in modern times) is indeed the end of the Biblical year.
Most Christians have heard of the significant finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls (largely found in Qumran). But, many have not heard of a small, equally significant limestone device found along with the scrolls. Archaeologists have determined that this Qumran Sundial was used for the purpose of determining the Spring tekufah (vernal equinox). [Uwe Glessmer and Matthias Albani, "An Astronomical Measuring Instrument from Qumran", The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Technological Innovations, New Texts, and Reformatted Issues, edited by Donald W. Parry and Euguene Ulrich (Boston: Brill, 1999), p. 442.]
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1944 edition, Vol. 4, states under "Calendar - Ecclesiastical Calendar" that "The Jews celebrated their Passover on the 14th day of the first month, that is to say, the lunar month of which the 14th day either falls on or next follows the day of the vernal equinox." Later in this same volume, under "Calendar - Jewish", it is stated that "The Feast of Passover, on 14 Nisan (Abib) could not begin before the spring Tequfah." The term Tequfah is defined as "the mean beginning of the seasons" - so the "spring Tequfah" referred to here is the vernal equinox. The Biblical year starts with the lunar month in which Passover (the 14th day of the month) falls on or after the spring equinox."
Tekufot in the Encyclopedia Judaica confirms this. It states, "The equinox occurs because of the (apparent) action of the sun. The earth, which is tilted 23.5 degrees, circles the sun, creating our seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter). The equinox occurs when the sun "crosses" the equator. The Hebrew word is tekufah, and refers to the solstices as well as to the equinoxes."
Additional historical confirmation for tekufah being the end of the Biblical year is found in the writings of Flavius Josephus and Philo Judaeus. Both of which were Jews contemporary to Christ.
“In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover; and so we do celebrate this passover in companies, leaving nothing of what we sacrifice till the day following. The feast of unleavened bread succeeds that of the passover, and falls on the fifteenth day of the month, and continues seven days, wherein they feed on unleavened bread...” -- Flavius Josephus
The time "when the sun is in Aries" is the tekufah or vernal equinox.
"Moses puts down the beginning of the vernal equinox as the first month of the year, attributing the chief honour, not as some persons do, to the periodical revolutions of the year in regard of time, but rather to the graces and beauties of nature which it has caused to shine upon men; for it is through the bounty of nature that the seeds which are sown to produce the necessary food of mankind are brought to perfection … Now wheat and barley are among the things which are very necessary…" Philo Judaeus. Translated by C.D. Yonge. "A Treatise on the Life of Moses, Book II, XLI." The Works of Philo Complete and Unabridged. Hendrickson Publishers, 1995.
Does The Bible Specifically Mention
The Hebrew word "TESHUBAH" (#8666 of Strong's) means "a recurrence (of time or place)," a "return," or to "be expired." Second Samuel 11:1 says, "after the year was expired (TESHUBAH), at the time when kings go forth to battle." First Kings 20:22 says, "at the return (TESHUBAH) of the year, the king of Syria will come up against thee." First Kings 20:26 says, "it came to pass at the return (TESHUBAH) of the year, that Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel." First Chronicles 20:1 says, "after the year was expired (TESHUBAH), at the time that kings go out to battle." Second Chronicles 36:10 says, "when the year was expired (TESHUBAH), King Nebuchadnezzar brought him to Babylon."
The Hebrew word "YATSA" (#3318 of Strong's) means "to go out." Exodus 23:16 says, "in the feast of ingathering, which is in ("right after" -- Living Torah) the end (YATSA) of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field."
The Hebrew word "TEQUPHAH" (#8622 of Strong's) means "a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse: -- circuit, come about, end." Exodus 34:22 says, "And thou shalt observe ... the feast of ingathering at the year's end" (TEQUPHAH). The Living Torah gives a better translation of this important verse as follows: "Also keep the Harvest Festival soon after the year changes" (TEQUPHAH).
Although the Feast of Ingathering can occur as many as 44 days after the equinox (29 days from equinox to crescent plus 15 days from crescent to Feast of Ingathering), or as few as 15 days after the equinox (equinox and crescent coincide the same day), it would still be correct to say that the Feast of Ingathering is "after," not "at" the feast as the KJV states. In fact, the word "at" is not even in the original Hebrew (p.79, Green's Interlinear Bible). This scripture agrees with the calendar principles we have already established regarding the relationship of the equinox to the fall festivals.
First Samuel 1:20 says, "Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about (TEQUPHAH) after Hannah had conceived, that she bore a son, and called his name Samuel." This scripture could refer to Hannah conceiving on a solstice and giving birth on one of the equinoxes nine months later during either the spring or fall festivals.
Thus, she passed through three "TEQUPHOT" in her pregnancy. This scripture implies that Samuel was born on a feast day.
Second Chronicles 24:23 says, "And it came to pass, at the end (TEQUPHOT) of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him." This event may have coincided with the Feast of Trumpets or with Abib one.
Psalm 19:6 says, "His (the sun's) going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit (TEQUPHAH) unto the ends of it" (from the perspective of a person who observes sunrises for a year) (cp. Eccl.1:5-6).
In other words, at the solstices the sunrise occurs in the extreme southwest or northwest ends of the horizon, but at the equinoxes occurs directly east. The sun was made visible "for ... years" (Gen.1:14) which are determined by the equinox.
According to page 46 of volume 5 of the Encyclopedia Judaica the word "TEKUFA" refers to the four seasons, especially to the four beginnings of the four seasons. In other words, the spring equinox of the first month, the summer solstice of the fourth month, the autumnal equinox of the seventh month and the winter solstice of the tenth month.
How To Find The Equinox Using The Sun Or Stars
Why is the vernal equinox called the "First Point of Aries" when the Sun is actually in Pisces on this date? The Sun used to be "in" the constellation Aries on the first day of Spring, otherwise known as the vernal equinox. Greek astronomer Hipparchus of Nicea (190-120 BCE) introduced the term "First Point of Aries" (or "Cusp of Aries.") when he observed that the Sun was within the constellation Aries during the vernal equinox. However, the Sun's apparent vernal equinox position has continuously shifted along the ecliptic by about 1 degree every 73 years due to precessional wobbling. The wobbling, caused primarily by interactions with the Sun and Moon, causes our planet's pole to describe a 47 degree circle through the sky every 26,000 years. Consequently, the thirteen zodiac constellations will all "host" the vernal equinox point during this 26,000 year cycle. According to astronomer Jean Meeus, the vernal equinox point crossed the Aries-Pisces border in 68 BCE. Ironically, this shift occurred less than a century after Hipparchus' death. The vernal equinox point has been moving westward through Pisces ever since. In AD 2597, the vernal equinox will move into Aquarius the Water Bearer.
Another method is to cut tick-marks on a sunset-sighting device (a long wooden board lying 90 degrees across the line of sight from viewer to sunset) to observe when the SUN REACHES the MIDPOINT between the north and south extremes calibrated during the year.
Of course, today most people merely reckon equinoxes by looking in an ALMANAC or NEWSPAPER to determine whether it is March 20 or 21. But ancient Israel didn't have a Roman calendar or an almanac. It should also be pointed out that some ministers believe we should use MARCH 17th since at the latitude of Jerusalem (31.8 degrees N.) the day and night are equal on that date. But the ancients DIDN'T HAVE ACCURATE CLOCKS (p.15, Solinsky).
Some ministers believe we should use MARCH 17th since, in the spring, day and night are equal several days before the true equinox. In the fall, day and night are equal several days after the true equinox. The true equinox is the moment when the SUN CROSSES THE EQUATOR. Equal day and night (by the clock) is only the apparent equinox, because of the refraction of sunlight in our atmosphere. The ancients didn't have the accurate clocks we have and so had no way of determining when day and night were exactly equal in length. (p.13, Israel's Calendar by Voy Wilkes; emphasis mine).
"Atmospheric refraction is the bending of light rays as they pass through the atmosphere. When the sun's rays are perpendicular to the surface of the earth there is no refraction. The further away from perpendicular the rays, the more the refraction.... Because of the refraction by the earth's atmosphere, at United States' latitudes the DAYTIME EXCEEDS the NIGHTTIME by about TEN MINUTES on the days of the equinoxes .... The days of equal daytime and nighttime precede the vernal equinox and follow the autumnal equinox by a few days. The latitude of Jerusalem is 31.8 degrees north, so appendix 1 indicates that the days of equal daytime and nighttime in Jerusalem do not coincide with the equinoxes. About 3000 years ago there were NO CLOCKS capable of measuring 12 hours accurately to within a few minutes, so precise equality between day and night was not the ancient method for determining the equinoxes" (pp.14-15, Solinsky & Anderson's The Calendar God Gave To Moses; emphasis mine ).
We can observe the STAR or CONSTELLATION locally which appears each year on the equinox to determine the new year's day. Josephus says Passover always fell "in Aries" (the Ram Constellation appeared at 6:30 p.m. on the western horizon on Nisan 14) (Ant.3:10:5). But because of the "precession of the equinoxes" the sun is in Pisces on March 21 and Nisan 14 today. The Hayden Planetarium of New York as reported in the New York Times, March 20, 1988, p.39, shows that the people of antiquity easily knew the spring equinox by ARCTURUS -- a bright, first-magnitude star which appears shortly after sunset/twilight (the handle of the Big Dipper points to it) -- which always appears March 21st after the previous evening's sunset in the northern hemisphere. About 7:15 p.m. it rises above the eastern horizon on March 21 at 40 degrees North Latitude. The Egyptian new year was calculated by the star SIRIUS. This star rises in the east, and seems to be dogging the steps of Orion, hence the dog star. The Egyptians started their new year the night Sirius rose in the east and was visible at 9:00 o'clock. Practically every temple in ancient Egypt had its main axis lined up with the sunset or sunrise or a prominent star such as Sirius or Canopus (Job 4:19). Incidentally, we can't "guide Arcturus (in Bootes) with her young" (KJV & Amp. of Job 38:32). But how did Job know this? Arcturus is 40 light years away and has no apparent movement in the sky. It has barely moved visibly since the time of Job. Her planets are too far away to ever be seen in any telescope but measurements made in 1966 proved that she has at least one planet and probably more. Arcturus is moving 257 miles a second -- more swiftly than most other stars. Our sun only travels ten miles a second. Arcturus is also about 1000 times larger than our sun and since velocity times weight equals momentum, Arcturus is very difficult to "guide." Unlike all other stars in our astronomical neighborhood, Arcturus has a velocity of over ten times the velocity of escape of our galaxy. But to determine all this requires a powerful telescope fitted with a micrometer.
What's Wrong With The Hebrew Calendar? Is the Hebrew Calendar an "Oracle of God" Committed to the Jews?
Our present Gregorian Calendar relies strictly on the motions of the sun and pays no attention to the moon whatsoever. The biblical calendar, however, combines both lunar and solar motions in its scheme. But the present Hebrew calendar is entirely CALCULATED without actual reference to the motions of the sun or moon. The present Hebrew calendar can be TRACED BACK NO FURTHER THAN 359 A.D. (4119 A.M.) when Hillel II introduced it. Some people claim that the "ORACLES" committed to the Jews (Rom. 3:2) include more than the Hebrew Scriptures. They believe the Hebrew Calendar is also an ORACLE. But we find that the Jews did NOT even preserve the DATE from creation correctly. For example 2017 is the year 5777 A.M. since creation according to them. But that must be off by over 200 years! The return of Christ is imminent which means we are at the 6000-year mark now.
Their Hebrew Calendar is also inaccurate. This man-made calendar is not the biblical calendar because its MONTHS DON'T BEGIN WITH THE VISUAL NEW MOONS. Also, if the new moon is calculated on the modern calendar to occur ON OR AFTER THE HOUR OF NOON, it is the NEXT DAY that becomes the first of the month. But if this day is a PROHIBITED DAY, the month is further POSTPONED ANOTHER DAY. The present Hebrew calendar prohibits the first day of each month from occuring on certain days of the week. It will NOT ALLOW the first day of Tishri to occur on a SUNDAY, WEDNESDAY or FRIDAY. This unbiblical rule prevents the weekly Sabbaths in the Autumn from occurring next to holy days. The Mishnah (composed about the beginning of the third century) DOESN'T USE this rule. Festival days could then occur in tandem with the weekly Sabbath (Erubin 3:6). We find the Feast of Trumpets occurring on Sunday (Shabbath 19:5), and Atonement occurring on a Friday (Shabbath 114b; Menachoth 100b). Furthermore, the "POSTPONEMENT RULE" is INCONSISTENT since Pentecost has always fallen on Sunday after the weekly Sabbath. God ordained this back-to-back configuration. Also, the month of ELUL is NEVER ALLOWED to have MORE THAN 29 DAYS (p.125, Danby's Mishnah). The Hebrew calendar, therefore, keeps the wrong days 60 percent of the time by its own admissions.
The Hebrew calendar is NOT ASTRONOMICALLY CORRECT. The assumed length of the YEAR is TOO LONG by six minutes, thirty-nine and one third seconds. This discrepancy causes the whole Hebrew calendar to creep forward on the true seasons one day in every 216 years. The Passover of the present calendar is now almost eight days ahead of the seasons as regulated by the sun from its beginning in 359 A.D. If this process is allowed to continue, the Jewish Passover will move from spring to summer; then to fall and winter. But Passover is a spring festival (Ant.3:10:5).
Furthermore, there is an ORDERLY SUCCESSION of intercalated months (30-day months) and intercalated lunar years (383 to 385-day years) BASED ENTIRELY ON CALCULATIONS -- not the crescent or equinox. The problem with this scheme is that it excludes the possibility of having as many as three 29-day months or five 30-day months in a row if a person uses the crescent as his guide (p.42, Solinsky & Anderson). Lunar years of either 12 or 13 months don't fall into any orderly pattern either. Every two or three years an extra month is added.
"During the Second Commonwealth down to the fourth century C.E. the festival of Passover could fall on ANY DAY of the week including Friday." (Dr. Solomon Zeitlin, "The Judean Calendar During the Second Commonwealth and the Scrolls," Jewish Quarterly Review, July 1966). The "postponement rules" of the modern Hebrew calendar don't allow this. PASSOVER (Nisan 14) CAN ONLY FALL on a MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY or SABBATH.
Also, "It is uncertain what the calendar of Hillel originally contained when it was generally adopted. In the Talmud there is NO TRACE of it" (Jewish Encyclopedia, art. "Calendar").
Those who support the Hebrew Calendar state that the "oracles of God" were committed to the Jews (Rom.3:1-2), implying that we should obey the Hebrew calendar even if it is WRONG. Yet the very same people who make this claim refuse to follow the Jews into the SIVAN 6 PENTECOST ERROR or the ABIB 15 PASSOVER ERROR. The oracles committed to the Jews were the SCRIPTURES of the Old Testament known as the MASORETIC TEXT and this text contradicts the calculated Hebrew calendar, so the calculated Hebrew calendar must NOT be an "oracle of God." Our Lord who told us to OBEY the scribes and Pharisees who "sit in Moses' seat" (Matt.23:1-3) also condemned their "traditions of the elders" (Matt. 15:3-6). It was the custom of the Jewish doctors to SIT while they expounded the law and prophets (chap.5:1; Luke 4:20-22) and to STAND up when they read them. We should obey them as long as they agree with SCRIPTURE. Christ is our only master in the doctrinal context (Matt.23:8). Daniel warns us about those who would "seek to change times and laws" (Dan.7:25). "To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to THIS WORD [THE SCRIPTURES], there is NO LIGHT in them" (Isaiah 8:20)."HOWBEIT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, teaching for doctrines the commandments of MEN" (Mark 7:7). "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the traditions of men" (Mark 7:8-13). Jews have rejected the entire New Testament, and have added to the word of God through their oral laws. They do not even keep the commandments contained in the Torah. The Jews also consider Feast of Trumpets to be the “new year” when God says the month of Passover is His new year.
How To Calculate Festivals From Scratch Using The Almanac
First, buy a copy of The Old Farmer's Almanac sometime in January and write down on a separate piece of paper the sunset and moonset times (given from around page 60 to 83) of the astronomical new moon as well as the three days after it for all twelve months of the year.
Second, write down the letter (in the key column) which is next to each sunset time and each moonset time. Now turn to the Time Correction Tables and find the city that you live in. Use the numerical values given for your city to convert the letters to numbers (around pages 198 to 202).
Third, before turning to the Moonset Correction Table (about page 34), first write down the longitude of your city given in these Time Correction Tables. Now use the Moonset Correction Table to determine how many minutes, if any, must be added or subtracted from moonset times you already wrote down in order to make them accurate for your city.
Fourth, figure the difference between sunset and moonset, including all corrections in your figuring, for each of the dates you wrote down. If the difference is over 48 minutes, the new moon crescent will be visible in your city on that date definitely. If the difference is less than 30 minutes, the new moon crescent will definitely be invisible in your city on that date. If the difference is from 30 to 48 minutes, the new moon crescent is a possibility in your city on that date. Circle those dates which are possibilities and those dates which are definite visibility dates and write beside them the actual difference in minutes between sunset and moonset. Remember that The Old Farmer's Almanac is "accurate within 5 minutes for latitudes north of 35 degrees, 10 minutes for latitudes 30 to 35 degrees, and 15 minutes for latitudes 25 to 30 degrees" (p.34). This information should be taken into account when using the 30-minute minimum and the 48-minute maximum.
Fifth, turn to the month of March and look on the right-hand side of the book to determine whether the Vernal Equinox is on March 20 or 21 that year.
Sixth, take the new moon crescent on or after the vernal equinox and label that date the first day of the year -- Roman time (12 to 12).
Seventh, use Leviticus 23 to determine the dates of the festivals based on the new moon crescents and new year's day already determined. There may be two possibilities for some of the months. Remember that we see the crescents after sunset. Therefore, since a new biblical day begins at sunset, the year begins one day later than step six indicates if we use Bible time (sunset to sunset). The Feast of Trumpets, first day of the seventh month, will also be one day later, Bible time, than the new moon of the seventh month in Roman time. (Credit for several of the points above belongs to John Trescott.)
The Seventh Year
The biblical definition of the Seventh Year Land Sabbath is that period of time AFTER the LAST HARVEST of the SEVENTH SACRED YEAR (autumn) till the SAME TIME in the EIGHTH SACRED YEAR. Since it is the AGRICULTURAL YEAR that is banned, it would make no sense to start and end the ban on Abib one (spring) of the seventh sacred year since that would prohibit seed-planting in the fall and winter for the agricultural year to follow the land sabbath as well as makingh seed-planting useless for the fall and winter of the sixth sacred year. The land must WORK SIX YEARS BEFORE IT RESTS FOR ONE YEAR.
The last agricultural harvest of the year in Israel occurred BEFORE the Feast of Tabernacles because we read, "Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, AFTER that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine" (Deut.16:13). Also, Exodus 34:22 says, "And thou shalt observe ... the feast of ingathering at ("AFTER") the year's end" (after the agricultural year). That is why it is called the feast of ingathering. Grapes, olives, figs, pomegranates and other fruits were gathered into the barns and root cellars just BEFORE this feast. Deuteronomy 31:10 says, "At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles ... thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing." All the fall festivals occurred "AT THE END" of the AGRICULTURAL YEAR (Tishri one). So the Seventh Year Land Sabbath must be from TISHRI ONE in the SEVENTH SACRED YEAR to TISHRI ONE in the EIGHTH SACRED YEAR -- just as the sacred year is from Abib one to Abib one six months earlier. The AGRICULTURAL YEAR BEGINS and ENDS on TISHRI ONE.
As Exodus 23:10 says, "six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits of it; But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy olive yard." In other words, counting from TISHRI ONE as new year's day, it is the SEVENTH year. (Rosh Hashanah means "The head of the year.") But counting from ABIB ONE as new year's day, it starts HALF WAY THROUGH the SEVENTH year and ends HALF WAY THROUGH the EIGHTH year.
As Leviticus 25:3-7 says, "Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Eternal: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: it is a year of rest unto the land. And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you: for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, And for thy cattle, and for the beasts that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat." Once again, the seventh agricultural year is what is described here -- not the seventh religious year.
According to Jonathan Cahn, for the forty-year period beginning from 1973, to 1980, to 1987, to 2000, to 2007, every single one of these five greatest financial and economic peaks and collapses have converged around the Shemitah. The three greatest percentage crashes in Wall Street history bear either the name "Black Monday" or "Black Tuesday." "Black Monday" and "Black Tuesday" 1929 occurred on Tishri 24 and Tishri 25. "Black Monday" 1987 occurred on Tishri 26. The greatest stock market wipe out in history occurred on Sept. 17, Elul 29 2001. It was the greatest point crash in American history up to that time. On Sept. 29, Elul 29, 2008 another stock market crash occurred. That morning the opening bell was struck to begin the trading day at the New York Stock Exchange -- but the bell refused to ring. Observers took it as an omen. It was the greatest stock market point crash in American history -- 777 points. The next Shemitah is Sept. 13, Elul 29, 2015. It occurrs on a Sunday. Please prepare by purchasing at least six months of food and other necessities in advance.
In modern agriculture, farmers have found that letting part of their land lie fallow after years of work increases the long-run productivity. It restores nutrients to the soil. But if farmers are to follow the Bible perfectly, they need to know which specific years on our calendar today are seventh year land sabbaths. The answer to this mystery will be found by studying the Jubilee Year.
The Jubilee Year
The biblical definition of a Jubilee Year is the "FIFTIETH YEAR" (Lev.25:10). But the fiftieth year doesn't disturb the seven-year cycle of Sabbatical years since, after seven sevens, or 49 years, the Jubilee is considered year number ONE of the next 49-year cycle as well as year number 50 of the previous cycle. See Josephus "Dissertation V," section 39, p.700. Daniel's 70-Weeks' Prophecy also confirms the 49-year cycle, since no 50th years are ever counted there. Further evidence in the Book of Jubilees shows that the cycle is 49 years rather than 50. Also, in the official count of Sabbatical years in the Maccabean and post-Maccabean periods the Jubilee is left out of the cycle entirely -- the seven-year succession is uninterrupted (Interp. Dict. of the Bible, 2:1002).
Christ was quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2 when he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (economically) ... to preach deliverance to the captives (economically indebted bondservants) ... to set at liberty ("Jubilee" means "liberty" -- Ant.3:12:3; cp.Lev.25:50) (Ez.46:17 says "year of liberty") them that are bruised (by cancelling their debts and returning their land to them -- Lev.25:10,39-40; 27:24), To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (the Jubilee Year)."
Leviticus 25:8-16 says, "And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a Jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.... ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather in it the grapes of thy vine undressed.... ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this Jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buy ought of thy neighbor's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: According to the number of years after the Jubilee thou shalt buy of thy neighbor, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee. According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it; for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee" (see also Deut.15:1-11).
Thus, the land was leased, not sold, based on the number of years till the Jubilee. The period of 49 solar years is a complete cycle astronomically, because the sun and moon return nearly to their original positions relative to eachother since 49 solar years are 606 lunar months with an error of only 32 hours.
There is certainly an economic penalty for failure to observe the Jubilee Year. October 28th, 1929, the stock market dropped 12.8% and the United States experienced the Great Depression. October 19th, 1987, the stock market dropped 508 points, a 22.6% drop (New American, Nov.9, 1987, p.13). This is a foretaste of the coming financial collapse.
According to page 221 of War Cycles Peace Cycles by Richard Kelly Hoskins, we read that "In 50 years all mortgagable property has been mortgaged and consequently there is none left to mortgage in order to borrow money into existence. Therefore the system collapses. The usurer takes newly foreclosed property and lends money to a new debt-free borrower to enable him to buy it."
According to page 184 of Jubilee on Wall Street by David Knox Barker, we read that "Loans would not be made with maturities beyond The Year of Jubilee because they would not be repaid. Debt was unable to snowball and be refinanced as we see in our system today. There would be a tendency for more debt early in the cycle in a Jubilee system whereas you have more debt late in the free-market system of today. Outstanding debt was constantly decreasing in a Jubilee system as production prices decreased.... Slavery was a form of indebtedness so all slaves were freed in the Year of Jubilee."
According to pages 52 and 53 of The New American (March 14, '88), article "Robertson's Year of Jubilee," we read about Nikolai D. Kondratieff, who published findings in 1926 showing that in capitalist countries the prices, interest rates, and production followed distinct "long wave" patterns. This boom-and-bust business cycle varied from 45 to 60 years, with the average being 50 years. When the accumulation of debt becomes insupportable, the inefficiencies are purged by a depression (prices fall with over-capacity) which redistributes the wealth as banks fail and debtors go into bankruptcy. As debtors are released, credit is contracted, debt diminished, and businesses change hands. Our economy is based on contracts and credit. Everything from home mortgages to national debts are based on prevailing market interest rates, investor confidence, and contractual agreements. Thus, if we were to observe the Jubilee, we would need a 50-year advance warning to avoid shattering investor confidence in bond markets. Loans, land leases and indentured servant agreements were negotiated and discounted based on the number of years remaining till the Jubilee Year.
In 1751, Isaac Norris suggested that the words "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof" (Lev.25:10) be put on the first Liberty Bell. He was chairman of the committee which ordered the bell from London. When the bell arrived in Philadelphia in August, 1752, and was wrung, it BROKE at the first stroke of the clapper. It was melted down, and a second bell was cast in April, 1753, but this one was also DEFECTIVE. A third was cast in June of that year. On June 7, 1753, the third bell was hung in the tower of Independence Hall most of the time, except when the British threatened that city. It was wrung at every important event in the history of the colonies, and after 1776 in the history of our republic. It also tolled the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835 and CRACKED AGAIN, never to be heard since (27:685 Encyc. Brit. 11th ed.)
America failed to follow this economic law of the Bible and so the Liberty Bell could not ring out true liberty in the economic context. It must be melted down once more and recast just as our nation must be melted down in the "furnace of affliction" (Isa.48:10) and recast into God's mold.
Now we know Christ said in Matthew 18:21-22 that we should forgive our brothers when they sin against us "Until seventy times seven." 70 x 7 = 490 times of forgiveness. Forgiveness is terminated at that point. But what point is that? Daniel also talked about "Seventy weeks" of years, or 490 years, "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity" (Dan.9:24). In other words, a period of 490 Sabbatical years or 3430 regular years or 70 Jubilee cycles is the period of time during which we should forgive debts, return lands and set captives free. Since sins have not yet come to an end, we must conclude that the 490 times are 490 Sabbatical years -- not literal years -- in this context. The Sabbatical years were years when debts were released, not regular years, so it is only proper to count Sabbatical years as the 490. Then forgiveness will end.
We should observe SUNSETS LOCALLY in the WESTERN SKY to determine the Sabbath day. We should observe LUNAR CRESCENTS LOCALLY in the WESTERN SKY to determine the new month day. We should observe the STAR CONSTELLATION LOCALLY which
appears each year on the equinox to determine the new year's day. It is PISCES. The LUNAR CRESCENT on or after the equinox (Marchy 20-21) is New Year's Day. "God
said, Let there by lights in the firmament (expanse) of the heaven...
and let them be for signs (of the zodiac), and for seasons (literally
"feasts" from the Hebrew "moedim"), and for days (holy
days), and years" (Gen.1:14). (Jeremiah 31:35 tells us specifically
that these lights are the sun, moon and stars, (see also Ps.136:7-9).)
The sun makes the barley begin ripening, not the other
way around. First, from Adam to Noah (1656 years), "GREEN EARS" could not have been used since PERPETUAL SPRINGTIME existed. A water-vapor canopy covered the entire earth (Gen.1:6-8) creating
a warm tropical greenhouse of springtime the whole year. As Ovid said,
"SPRING WAS FOREVER" (Meta.1:88-108).