|Sons To Glory Newsletter #19||
Tabernacles - September 28, 2013
God's Hebraic Calendar
by Paul Jablonowski
Different calendars have abounded throughout the millenniums, but does God have a calendar?
We have been honoring the LORD's New Moon celebrations since Pentecost of this year. By now, at the feast of Tabernacles, it has become apparent that there are many calendars, both secular and Jewish, that claim to be the authority on what day to celebrate the "new moon." While I believe that God uses many calendars, it seems the Hebrew calendar has a special emphasis in the Scriptures.
The Scriptures must be our source, and the foundation for God's way of keeping time is found in the first chapter of Genesis verse 14 which says:
"God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.""
This word "seasons" in Hebrew is "moedim" which is more than just spring/summer/autumn/winter. This word means "appointed times" and is also interpreted in the Scriptures as "feasts" because it is an appointed time to meet (feast) with God. The feasts of the LORD, including new moons, are appointed seasons (times). Our heavenly Father desires to meet with us in intimacy like a friend or like a bridegroom. He DOES appoint times for us to come and be with Him, and we can either ignore them or ask Him what to do.
If we know the courses of the moon and the sun in their trek through the heavens, then we can follow the Biblical patterns to know when God is waiting to meet with us. Like any "appointment" on a calendar, we want to be on time, in the right places and at the right dates when God is waiting to show us things about His kingdom on earth. These patterns are extremely regular, and while we can debate the interpretation of what to do on them, the orbits of the moon and sun as seen from the earth are not debatable and can be determined as a matter of fact.
The modern Jewish calendar currently sets the new Hebrew months based on calculations from Rabbi Hillel who lived around 350 AD. The problem is that they are calculated based on the "dark moon" and not the "new moon." In other words, their month starts when the conjunction of the earth, moon and sun occur. But the Biblical New Moon is when the first sliver of the waxing moon can be seen from the earth as someone views it. Hence the term "new." This is how the patriarchs always calculated a "new moon."
The "dark moon" is not even visible in the sky because it is directly in the sun! So while the exact Biblical new moon usually starts on the same day as the modern Jewish calendar new month, it can often be the day after, or sometimes even two days after it based on when the moon emerges out from the sun and can be seen from a particular location on the earth. Since the earth has 24 time zones, there will be different days around the globe as to when the New Moon can be seen locally.
Watching and witnessing is an important aspect of Biblical time keeping used by the patriarchs. There is something important about waiting on and watching the signs in the heavens (and the moon) on a personal basis in the locality of where you live. The current modern Jewish calendar is a pretty good basic calculation of the new moon but it does not take into account our observable vantage point from this earth. An exact New Moon is within ~48 hours of it.
The Torah Calendar website has done the astronomical homework for the exact visible New Moon from the particular location of Jerusalem.
However, in our new moon celebrations here in Harvest Alabama we have learned to be flexible and be led by the Spirit on the exact dates each month to honor the Father for His new moon celebrations. He desires to meet with us around the new moon as an example of "new beginnings." The new moon is a faithful witness serving us an example. As His bride, we need to be faithful in asking for His direction each month!
"Like the moon, it shall be established
forever, a faithful witness in the skies." Psalm 89:37
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