32 On that day the night decreases and amounts to nine parts, and the day to nine parts, and the night is equal to the day and the year is exactly as to its days THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FOUR. 33. And the length of the day and of the night, and the shortness of the day and of the night arise–through the course of the sun these distinctions are made.
- Begins on the 4th day of the week corresponding with the creation of the luminaries in Genesis 1:14 (which are the basis of all calendars)
- There are 12 months containing 30 days. 12×30 = 360
- There are 4 additional intercalary days marking the seasons at the ends of the 4th, 8th and 12th months. 360+4=364
With this calendar the year always contains precisely 364 days. Each year consists of twelve months of thirty days each, plus four additional days, one of which is intercalated at the end of each three-month period. Thus the first and second months are 30 days long, while the third month totals 31 days; then the pattern repeats. New Year’s Day and the first day of each three-month period always fall on a Wednesday.
Wednesday is the day mandated as the first day by the creation order, since the heavenly lights – sun, moon and stars, the basis of any calendar – were created on the fourth day (Gen. 1:14-19).
Consistency and Order
- Fixed dates for the major festivals cannot fall on a Sabbath, keeping them separate and distinct, thereby avoiding worrisome difficulties affecting sacrifices.
- A particular day of any given month will always fall on the same day of the week every year.
The great advantage of the Zadok calendar over its lunisolar rival is that it results in fixed dates for the major festivals.
They cannot fall on a Sabbath, thereby avoiding worrisome difficulties affecting sacrifices. In fact, this calendar guarantees that a particular day of any given month will always fall on the same day of the week every year.
Since the solar calendar totaled 364 days to the year and the lunisolar calendar alternated months of 29 and 30 days, the lunisolar calendar would ‘fall behind’ by ten days per year, which is exactly what Jubilees warns us about. After three years, the lunisolar calendar required intercalation with an additional 29 or 30 days, bringing the two versions once again into harmony (364 X 3 = 354 X 3 + 30). Without the intercalation of the lunisolar calendar, the Feasts would not be observed in their seasons as commanded by Yah. This is not a problem with the Zadok calendar since it is based upon the vernal equinox.
And all the children of Israel will forget and will not find the path of the years, and will forget the Months, and Seasons, and Sabbaths and they will go wrong as to all the order of the years. For I know and from henceforth will I declare it unto thee, and it is not of my own devising; for the book (lies) written before me, and on the heavenly tablets the division of days is ordained, lest they forget the feasts of the covenant and walk according to the feasts of the Gentiles after their error and after their ignorance. For there will be those who will assuredly “MAKE OBSERVATIONS OF THE MOON −how (it) DISTURBS THE SEASONS and comes in from year to year TEN DAYS TOO SOON.
For this reason the years will come upon them when they will Disturb (the order), and make an Abominable (Day) the Day of Testimony, and an Unclean Day a Feast Day, and they will confound all the days, the holy with the unclean, and the unclean day with the holy; for THEY WILL GO WRONG AS TO THE MONTHS AND SABBATHS AND FEASTS AND JUBILEES. For this reason I command and testify to thee that thou mayst testify to them; for after thy death thy children will disturb (them), so that THEY WILL NOT MAKE THE YEAR THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY−FOUR DAYS ONLY, and for this reason they will go Wrong as to the Months and Seasons and Sabbaths and Festivals, and they will eat all kinds of blood with all kinds of flesh.
Basic Calendar format
Below is a basic Zadok Calendar outline. Once established the pattern never changes.
As mentioned above the feast days are always on the same day of the year, and even the same day of the week. This pattern makes determining the Feast days very simple..
In Scripture the months are rarely referred to by name. For instance rather than saying “in the month of Bul“, the authors would say “in the eighth month“. Nevertheless there are times that they do in fact call them by name. The reason for this is not entirely clear. However, there is a theory that I believe may help us unlock some of the calendar mystery. The theory is that when the full moon landed on the Chodesh or the beginning of the month, the month was called by a name rather than its number. This actually corresponds with many ancient civilizations and even the Native American Indians. In fact we still call full moons by name today. We have the “Wolf Moon”, “Strawberry Moon”, “Harvest Moon” etc. all of these moons fall within a given time of the year thus we can see how keeping track of the lunar patterns may have been important to those in Qumran.
Above I have compiled a list of the ancient names that were often applied to the months and their meanings along with scripture reference where they can be found in the cannon. As you can see the ancient names correspond to the season in which they occur unlike the post exile names that were later applied after the Jews returned from Babylon.
This takes us to John 10:22-23
John 10:22-23 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
This is a verse that many in the messianic movement use to justify participating in Hanukkah because it says that Yashua was at the dedication which is essentially what the word Hanukkah means, and it goes on to say that it was “winter”. However, lets look into the Greek for a moment.
The word translated “dedication’ is Strong’s 1456. ἐγκαίνια enkainia which simply means “renewal“.
The word used for “winter” is Strong’s 5494. χειμών cheimon which means “a storm (as pouring rain); by implication, the rainy season” it can also mean winter or tempest but the main meaning is just stormy.
So giving this information above, could it be that rather than Yeshua keeping the paganized “Festival of Lights” or what many know as Hanukkah, or could He have simply been at the temple walking around Solomon’s Porch on the “renewal” of the 7th month during the raining season as the name of the 7th month ˀAytanīym (Perpetual streams) implies? According to the Torah, the beginning of the 7th Month was the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah, followed closely by Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. It makes far more sense that Yeshua would have been at the temple during this time of the year rather than during the winter when there is literally nothing going on in the temple or on Yah’s biblical calendar.
Passover – 14th of the 1st month
Unleavened Bread – 15th – 21st of the 1st month
First Fruits of Barley – 26th of the 1st month
Shavuot (First Fruits of Wheat) – 15th of the 3rd month
First Fruits of New Wine – 3rd of the 5th month
First fruits of New Oil – 22nd of the 6th month
Wood Offering – 22nd – 27th of the 6th month
Trumpets – 1st of the 7th month
Atonement – 10th of the 7th month
Tabernacles – 15th – 21st of the 7th month
The 8th Day – 22nd of the 7th month
Details regarding the First Fruits of New Wine and Oil along with the offering of wood are not readily found in the Torah that we have in our modern cannon. However, they are mentioned as tithes in Numbers 18:12, Deuteronomy 12:17, 14:23, 18:4, 2 Chronicles 2:15, 31:5 & Nehemiah 10:37, 10:39, 13:5. The wood offering is also mentioned in Nehemiah 10:34 & 13:31. So it is clear to see that they had an established method or means of bringing these particular tithes and offerings in their respective seasons.
These offering along with the Biblically mandated feasts are further laid out for us in the Temple Scroll found in the Qumran documents.