Thursday, April 10, 2014

How the Jewish Calendar Works

Yesterday we talked about signs from God in the moon and the four lunar eclipses, the first of which is coming next week. These four lunar eclipses coming in 2014 and 2015 will fall on major Feasts of the LORD. (Tweet that!) We're going to talk about the Feasts of the LORD tomorrow, but first we need to lay some ground work about the Jewish calendar and how it works.

In the United States and in most western countries, we use the Gregorian calendar which is based on the sun (solar). The Muslim calendar goes strictly by the moon (lunar). The Hebrew or Jewish calendar is based on both: the lunar cycle defines months and the solar cycle defines years.

The calendar used in most of the west, including the United States, is called the Gregorian calendar and it came from Pope Gregory. He tweaked the previous calendar a bit regarding our leap year, which occurs every four years (on presidential election years in the United States) where we add one day, February 29th, to keep us in sync with the sun. Before the Gregorian calendar there was the Julian Calendar from Julius Caesar, the Roman. The Julian calendar dates from around 70 B.C.

The Jewish or Hebrew calendar is what God uses and what the Bible goes by. On the Jewish calendar, months are 29 or 30 days, corresponding to the 29½ day lunar cycle. There are twelve or thirteen months in the Jewish year. In order to keep the yearly cycle on track so that the Feasts of the LORD stay in their appointed seasons, occasionally a thirteenth month, or leap month, is added creating a leap year. Seven leap years occur in a 19-year cycle.

The first of a Jewish month always begins on a "new moon." In America that means when no moon is visible, however on the Jewish calendar "new moon" means the first sliver of moon sighted.

Why is understanding the Jewish calendar important?
  • It's important for understanding when Jewish holidays occur, such as the seven Feasts of the LORD
  • It may also be important to understanding prophecies in the Bible like those in Daniel 12:11-12 and Revelation 11:3 and 12:6.
  • And it might be significant when eclipses—which can only occur during full moons—fall on Feasts of the LORD
Since the first of the month on the Jewish calendar always falls on a new moon, this means that the 15th of the Jewish month is always on a full moon.

Thanks to 
Two Feasts begin on the fifteenth of the month or full moons: the first Feast and the last, which are Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (also called Sukkot).

What does that have to do with lunar eclipses? Lunar eclipses only occur during full moons.

As we've talked about, there are four total lunar eclipses on the horizon, with the first occurring only a few days from now. Here are the dates on our calendar and Hebrew calendar for these four lunar eclipses, as well as the Feast they will occur on: (Tweet that!)

  • Gregorian Date           Hebrew Date     Feast of the LORD
  • April 15, 2014             Nissan 15          Passover
  • October 8, 2014          Tishrei 14/15     Sukkot
  • April 4, 2015               Nissan 15          Passover
  • September 28, 2015    Tishrei 15          Sukkot

Please come back tomorrow for a very important discussion of the seven Feasts of the LORD and their prophetic significance. 

And please invite someone you know who might be interested in the things of the Lord to join us.

If you are enjoying these posts and would like to learn more, you can find much more in depth information on these same topics in my "Prophecies Fulfilled" books. (Tweet that!) The soon-coming book, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus, contains information about the Feasts of the LORD, these lunar eclipses, and more. I don't yet have a release date from the publisher for this book, but it should be released within a few weeks. To see if it's available or to order, you may check Dianne's Amazon Author Page

Special Note:

In anticipation of the first of the four lunar eclipses occurring next week, we're covering some prophecies concerning red moons and other information important to understanding their significance. (Tweet that!) Here is the schedule of these posts. Please invite your friends or your entire church to join us:

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