(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