The Jewish Calendar

Recently, a friend asked me when the 7 Feasts occured in the Jewish
Calendar. The question came up because we were taking a look at the Day
of Pentecost and how long Christ was on Earth. We’ve both been in
enough meetings where we knew that 50 days after the Passover was the
Day of Pentacost….but what did that mean? It meant we had assimilated
information without verifying the facts.

Thus began the hunt and of course we sought the Bible:


Exo 23:15 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 no
one shall appear before Me empty.

Lev 23:5-8 In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the
evenings, is Jehovah’s Passover, and on the fifteenth day of the same
month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Jehovah. You must eat
unleavened bread seven days. On the first day you shall have a holy
convocation. You shall do no work of labor, but you shall offer a fire
offering to Jehovah seven days. In the seventh day is a holy
convocation. You shall do no work of labor.

From there we gain the understanding that The Month of Abib is the
first month of the Jewish year and this was the month where the
passover was to be taken. What immediately caught our attention was the
amount of Jews saying “Happy New Year” sometime in September which as
far as we knew (based on Easter) the new year actually started in
Mar/April.

We looked up some information on the Passover and this certain book
stated it was celebrated in the Month of Nissan. Immediately we
wondered, “Where’s Abib?” We jumped back into the word:

Exo 34:22 And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the
first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the
year’s end.

Since we know nothing about farming, we were seriously confused. In
this passage it refers to the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) as the feast
of the first-fruits of the wheat harvest. In Leviticus it refers to
this as the day when the sickle first touches the ground, the following
Sabbath, then the day after is declared the Feast of Weeks! When is
wheat and barley grain gathered?

About Wheat from http://www.indiancommodity.com/grain/wheat.htm

The stages of life of the wheat plant vary somewhat depending upon the variety being grown:

Planting: Planting of winter wheat usually occurs in
September or early October when the soil has sufficient moisture to
germinate the seed. The germinated seed lies dormant during the winter.
Spring wheat is planted as early in the spring as temperatures allow.

Growing: The winter wheat plant resumes its growth
in the spring. The head of the wheat plant, which contains the kernels,
develops at the tip of the stem. The stem grows rapidly, pushing the
head up and out of the top leaf sheath. After the head emerges,
flowering occurs and the kernels begin to develop. After the kernels
have developed fully and filled, the leaves and stem lose their green
color and the kernels quickly dry.

Harvest: Combines harvest the crop once the kernels have dried to 15 percent moisture or less. Harvesting of winter wheat starts in May and usually is completed by late July. Harvesting of spring wheat begins in late July and is completed by late August.

About Barley from http://www.indiancommodity.com/grain/barley.htm

Barley is planted either as a winter or summer crop.

Planting: In the northern states, where winters are
severe, barley is planted in April or May as a summer crop. In the
warmer regions, barley is planted between mid-September and November.

Dormancy: Fall-planted barley lies dormant during the winter months.

Harvesting: Spring-planted barley is harvested in the
fall. Fall-planted barley is harvested in June. A combine is used to
harvest the crop.

So we find that we’re left with a time frame of first laying
down the sickle on wheat or barley to be sometime in the spring months
(around May)

Then why do Jews call Yom Kippur the new year when the Bible
explicitly states it as the First month being Abib? After finding a
Jewish Calendar I was puzzled to see no month of Abi and also two ways
of numbering. Another site compared it to how we in America have a New
Year and a School Year that starts in September.

The Jews used two kinds of calendars: Civil Calendar: official calendar of kings, childbirth, and contracts
Sacred Calendar: from which festivals were computed
Names of
Months
Corresponds
with
No. of
Days
Month of
Civil Year
Month of
Sacred Year
Tishri
Heshvan
Chislev
Tebeth
Shebat
Adar
Nisan
Iyar
Sivan
Tammuz
Ab
* Elul
Sept-Oct
Oct-Nov
Nov-Dec
Dec-Jan
Jan-Feb
Feb-Mar
Mar-Apr
Apr-May
May-June
June-July
July-Aug
Aug-Sept
30
29 or 30
29 or 30
29
30
29 or 30
30
29
30
29
30
29
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
*
Hebrew months were alternately 30 and 29 days long. Their year, shorter
than ours, had 354 days. Therefore, about every 3 years (7 times in 19
years) an extra 29-day-month, VEADAR, was added between ADAR and NISAN.
The Jewish Day was from sunset to sunset, in 8 equal parts:
First Watch
Second Watch
Third Watch
Fourth Watch
First Watch
Second Watch
Third Watch
Fourth Watch
Sunset to 9 P.M.
9 P.M. to Midnight
Midnight to 3 A.M.
3 A.M. to Sunrise
Sunrise to 9 A.M.
9 A.M. to Noon
Noon to 3 P.M.
3 P.M. to Sunset

Looking up the word “Abib” we get this definition: green, that is a young ear of grain; Not only that, we see the word used again in this passage:

Exo 9:31-32 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear [Abib], and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up.

So the month of Abib is actually referring to a phase in the
crops when the barley or wheat “is young in the ear of grain”. It’s a
time when the farmers are looking to start farming and indeed put the
sickle to the ground. 49 days later is the Feast of Firstfruits where
the firstfruits of these farmer’s labor was brought in, offerings made
to God and much rejoicing. At the end of the farming year would be the
Feast of Ingathering!

Check this Link out with an insane amount of information some of which quoted below:

In summation, barley which is in the state of Abib has 3 characteristics:

It is brittle enough to be destroyed by hail and has begun to lighten in color (it is not “dark”).

The seeds have produced enough dry material so it can be eaten parched.

It has developed enough so that it will be harvest-ready 2-3 weeks later.

So why the name? Why are the months named the way they are?
Apparently it goes back to the Babylonian captivity where the names
were assimilated by the Jewish Culture although they kept they’re
sacred days according to what God had stated..

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2 thoughts on “The Jewish Calendar

Mr. Reynoso,
Thank you for this information. It was just what I was looking for. I was amazed at the relationships between Christ birth, resurrection, crucifixtion and the passover. The people of Isreal were released from bondage in the same time frame as that of our release from the bondage of sin by Christ’s sacrifice. If I read this right, Isreal was freed from Egypt the same day as Christ’s resurrection. Which was the exact same day, only 430 years earlier, as when Jacob and his family arrived in Egypt. WOW! God does have a plan and it works as He decides. Can’t get any cooler than this.
Thanks Again,
Mike

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