A Calendar Discussion
Calendar Yahweh Gave To Moses...by Herb Solinsky and Rob Anderson
The Calendar Of Yah Revealed In The Bible...by David R. Kenders.
Chronology of the Exodus Passover...by John Trescott
Is Barley Used to Determine the 1st Month?
Is the Equinox Scriptural?
Life and Death of Yahshua
Whose Calendar, Yahweh's Or The Jews?...by John Trescott
Yahweh's Calendar vs Roman-Jewish Calendar...by Church of God, Knoxville, Tn.
Yahweh's Calendar And The Sign Of Jonah...by Church of God, Knoxville, Tn.
*Calendar Seminar...by Herb Solinsky (Seven Hour Video with support material)
Biblical Calendar Research by Herb Solinsky
Our Books (see booklist here when done) Set-Apart Days
STATE OF ISRAEL
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
FIELD CR0PS DEPARTMENT Hakirya, Tel-Aviv June 8, 1983
Mr. V.E. Richard Baravalle
Canada, VIL 5P6
I received your letter of May 12, in which you asked for some data about barley. It is real coincidence that recently I have been receiving two other letters from different countries, all dealing with the same subject. Well first of all, I want to give you some general information about barley growing today in our country, which may use as a background for better understanding. As a matter of fact, barley has been diminishing steadily in our country for the last 10-15 years and covers today no more than approximately 10% of the total small grain production. This trend is due to the much lower prices for barley in compare with wheat prices, whereas the yields of both grains are more or less at the same level. The main region for barley growing is in the Negeb (South) between Beer Shebah and the Gaza strip. In the Jordan Valley there is hardly any barley left to day. Among the Arab farmers in the vicinity of Jericho there can still be found some small patches of barley.
This year was a very exceptional one, from climatic point of view. We have had an extreme wet and cold winter and therefore there was a great delay in the ripening of wheat and bailey. Both are sown as a rule in , November and the harvest starts around the end of April - the beginning of May. As stated I this year, the first wheat and barley have been harvested not before mid of May in the Jordan Valley. However, it is not right of course to make a comparison between to-day and the Ancient time, not as far as concerns the variety of barley and not the way of harvesting. To-day we have to wait with the harvest until the grain is entirely dry which means a moisture content of 12-13% only. Otherwise the mechanical harvester does not perform a clean threshing and the grain cannot be stored without further drying. In the Ancient times and even to-day with primitive methods the barley and Wheat were harvested with a sicle and left on the land in sheaves for further drying. Therefore the crop could be harvested a couple of weeks earlier even if the barley would have been harvested with 20% moisture content. As you probably may know, at the Passover the first omer of barley was brought as sacrifice to the Temple and before this day, the new barley was not allowed to be consumed neither for the animals. New wheat was not allowed to be consumed before Pentecost or at least as long as old wheat was still available. In the Talmud, it is mentioned that there were years that the barley was not yet ripe at Passover. In order to be able to bring the omer sacrifice of barley in time to the Temple, they used to sow barley upon some flat roofs in the Jericho valley, which would be ready and apt to the Sacrifice on the Passover. The Omer is not a big quantity of grain. I guess that this rather extended answer will satisfy you but in case that there is still any information required, don't hesitate to write again.
Director Field Crops Dept.
Editor's Note: This letter was written to a believer who keeps the Feasts of Yahweh in 1983. The concern was that if an early moon was used prior to the equinox, would their be an Omar to wave. Notice that they do not harvest till late April to early May. If they need a wave sheaf, they force the grain on house tops. Solinsky has studies this grain factor and found that there are eight different varieties of barley in Israel. None of them ripen any earlier than the middle of April. That means a moon prior to March 21-22 would not allow an Omar to be available for fulfillment of the scripture requirement. See Solinsky and Anderson: The Calendar Yahweh Gave to Moses, 9/23/82, p 54.
Biblical Calendar Research by Herb Solinsky
(OR, WHAT IS THE BARLEY DOING?)
The following study and findings relate to the practice of using the closest new moon to the change of the year, equinox, or tequphah. Many times not until two weeks prior to estimated Abib one (1), can one tell if the barley will be ripe for the wave sheaf. This creates thee problems. First, it is not consistent with the time of Yahshua's death. ( See previous article) Second, believers of the time of Yahshua would not have enough warning to travel to Jerusalem for the Feast. If the timing was an equal distance to the equinox to after the equinox, it almost became an arbitrary call. This is not how Yahweh works. His Kodesh things are very clear and not confusing. It is as clear as the difference between light and darkness. Another problem that some create is that they say, there is no such thing as EQUINOX. Yahweh makes it clear that through the solstices, there is a clear division between spring and summer, summer and fall, and fall and winter. He states this concept in the scriptures by calling it seed time and harvest. Other scriptures describe the turning of the year by the sun returning to it's place. Please read on...
Biblical Calendar Research by Herb Solinsky
CRESCENT ON OR AFTER THE EQUINOX
Many assemblies 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. This 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.
l.) 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 23:16 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).
2.) If Nisan one can fall before the spring equinox, then Passover will always fall in spring but Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and Last Great Day 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 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).
3.) 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 the 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. And 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 couldn't even calculate the equinox to the nearest day, let alone hour or minute. The equinox might fall at noon on the 20th.
4.) The requirement of ripe barley for the wave sheaf (Lev. 23:11), limits Nisan 15 to 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.) But if we use crescents 14 days before the equinox, Passover can fall as early as March 19th.
5.) According to one source, Messiah's last Passover was observed in a year when the crescent before the equinox was closer than the one after and yet Messiah used the one after. Only 28, 31, and 34 A.D. had Wednesday Passover dates, and only 31 A.D. is likely among these three (Solinsky, p.63). That being the case, the only Wednesday Passover of 31 A.D. was on April 23rd. 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 Yahweh Gave To Moses, See book list).
6.) 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 Eza and Nehemiah used the Babylonian names for the months of the calendar. By all indications, they actually used the Babylonian calendar itself and knew no other. We know that the Babylonian calendar used visible crescents and also it did not 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 the contrary that the Babylonian and Biblical calendars are the same. Also, according to the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, pp. 46 to 51, we find that Rabbon Simeon Ben Gamaliel (Paul's teacher) intercalated a month on three grounds: tequphah, barley, and roads. He said the most important method was tequphah. When they asked if the other two matter, Gamaliel made no reply because he would have been persecuted by the Pharisees if he had contradicted them.
Biblical Calendar Research by Herb Solinsky
CRESCENT OR CONJUNCTION?
Is the biblical new moon the first faint visible crescent or the invisible astronomical lunar conjunction? Here are a number of reasons why we must use the crescent rather than the invisible conjunction:
1.) The ancient Hebrews had no almanacs or telescopes to figure out when the lunar conjunction would occur. The discoveries of Newton were millennia away. They had no choice but to use the visible crescent.
2.) The Hebrew words "yerach" and "lebanah," translated "moon," are never used to describe the first day of the month. The Hebrew word "chodesh" is translated "new moon." In Gesenius' Hebrew/Chaldee Lexicon we find that the term "hodesh" (#2320) which comes from #2318 and means to be new, or to polish a sword. In other words, it appears as a scimitar, or curved sword. It is not invisible.
3.) Psalm 81:3 says, "blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed (Heb. "keseh" meaning "full moon"), on our solemn feast day." Since we know that the new moon and feast of the full moon must be the first and fifteenth days of the month respectively, it naturally follows for us to ask whether or not there can be a full moon fifteen days after a crescent. Or must we use the lunar conjunction in order to come out right? The truth is that "The necessary time for full moon varies from 13.73 to 15.80 days after conjunction" (over two days--depending on how the ellipse is oriented with respect to the sun and earth since it is off center) (The Calendars Of Ancient Egypt by Richard A. Parker). So from crescent to full moon would have even greater variability than this. When 200 such months were fed into a computer at random, it was found that the full moon proper occurred the 12th day after the crescent only one; 13th day after, 44 times; 14th day after, 94 times; 15th day after, 60 times, and 16th day after, once. In other words, the full moon proper doesn't always fall on the 15th day, so Psalm 81:3 means just basically round--not hair-splitting.
4.) Revelation 12:1-5 says that "there appeared a great wonder in heaven--a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet ... And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to he delivered...And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.'' If an astronomer were to read this passage, he would automatically think of the constellation Virgo at the point in time when the sun's path in the heavens crosses through here body. This event always occurs in mid-October, the exact time of the Feast of Trumpets in many years. If Messiah's first coming was on this feast, as we think his second coming will be, then we know it was a new moon that was visible to John. Trumpets can occur as many as 29 days after September 23rd (Autumnal equinox) or as few as the same day if the equinox and the crescent occur on the same day. Since John saw the moon under her feet, it couldn't have been a lunar conjunction.
5.) The historical precedent is visible crescents. As Hastings Dict. of the Bible, art. "New Moon," p.522 says, "There was no fixed calendar till the 4th century-and the New Moon was declared from actual observation. The eye-witnesses were carefully examined on the 30th day of each month ... If no witnesses were available, then the following day was New Moon." As the Jewish Encyc., art. "New Moon," p.243, says, "The Sanhedrin was assembled in the courtyard ("bet ya'azek") of Jerusalem on the 30th of each month from morning to evening, waiting for the reports of those appointed to observe the new moon." (See also Mishnah R.H.i.7, ii.5-7; Sanh.102) The article "Calendar, History of," p.498 says, "The history of the Jewish calendar may be divided into three periods--the biblical, the talmudic, and the post-talmudic. The first rested purely on the observation of the sun and the moon, the second on observation and reckoning, the third entirely on reckoning." As the Encyclopedia Judaica, art. "New Moon," p.1039 says, "Originally, the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculations, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. On the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court (Sanhedrin) assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, named Belt Ya'azek, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses; they then sanctified the New Moon. If the moon's crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day."
6.) Each month is 29 or 30 days. This is why Saul held a two-day festival (I Sam. 20:27. 34). David and Jonathan knew in advance that there would be a new moon festival the next day (I Sam. 20:5, 18), and the day after that, because of their mentioning waiting until the third day (I Sam. 20:5,12,19). But they didn't know in advance whether the crescent would appear the first day or the second. The very fact that two days were celebrated rather than just one is proof of their inability to predict with certainty the new moon day. But, calculating the lunar conjunction is precise and unambiguous. Only one day is needed using that method, with the help of tables. However, using the conjunction is not biblical.
Reference: Calendar Yahweh Gave To Moses, by Herb Solinsky and Rob Anderson 1982. Biblical Calendar Research by Herb Solinsky