Evidence for a Biblical Lunar Calendar
Gene Benjamin II
June 18, 2018
All Scriptures taken from the SOMB, the Son Of Man Bible, original work at www.unfoldingword.org. I used their Unlocked Literal Bible to make the SOMB.bblx for e-Sword Bible program. Sola Scriptura, my friends, Sola Scriptura!
Let’s look at the Holy Scriptures only for our doctrine of a biblical calendar. I had never noticed the word “chadash” before. Chadash, as “new”, Strong’s number 2319 only means new, but it’s root word is also Chadash, number 2318, that also means to renew or make new, which is exactly what Chodesh is, Strong’s number 2320 (TWOT1 # 613b), and it comes from this same root Chadash. These are LUNAR or MOON renewal terms in and of themselves, in their most basic meaning and usage.
But even more exciting than these terms is the Aramaic word YERACH or YERAH, Strong’s number 3391 (TWOT1 # 913b), which in its basic, foundational, plain literal meaning is LUNATION!! Lunation means the period between successive new moons. It literally means one lunar month. Merriam-Webster Dictionary, today, defines lunation as the period of time averaging 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds elapsing between two successive new moons. But we already know from Noah and his Great Flood that back in Genesis, the lunation was EXACTLY 30 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, or a perfect 360-day lunar, and a perfect 360-day solar, year. I believe the sun and moon were perfectly synchronized at the 360-day year. The planet Mars flyby in 701 BC altered the perfect biblical calendar to what we have today, a 365 1/4 day solar year and a 354 day lunar year. (http://www.creationism.org/patten/PattenMarsEarthWars/PattenMEW11.htm; http://www.trustbible.com/planetx.htm) But don’t despair, from prophecy, we know another planetary flyby or earth strike will re-adjust the earth calendar back to the perfect 360-day biblical calendar for at least the final seven year Tribulation. You can research that for yourself in Genesis, Daniel, and Revelation.
Complete or full month, or month of days, is just one phase of YERACH’S meanings, no pun intended, but this Hebrew word basicly means the complete lunar cycle, the moon’s lunation! Now here’s a word, YERACH, Strong’s number 3391, that we need to take a serious look at! Since this word is found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Dictionary, that means it’s found in the Holy Scriptures. This is a word we need to investigate only in the Holy Scriptures. We need not look at outside sources at all, but only look right inside our Holy Bible! We build our teachings, beliefs, doctrines, and theology from the Holy Scriptures, not from other books or websites, no matter how intriguing they may be. Sola Scriptura!
Of course, you know one of my primary ways of studying words is to find its “first use” in the Scriptures. Using this Bible study principle can save you a lot of headaches down the road of your believing life. So, where is this word found first? How about right at Moses’ birth, 80 years (c. 1563 BC) BEFORE the Exodus (c. 1484 BC)! Exodus 2:2, “The woman (Moses’ Mom) became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a healthy boy, she hid him for three lunations.” Well, there it is, folks, three lunar months tracked and counted by the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. The ancient Hebrew Israelites were enslaved in a sun-god worshiping nation, and were following a LUNAR calendar, the biblical lunar calendar, eighty years BEFORE the Exodus from Egypt. Folks, that demonstrates that the Hebrew children of Israel were fiercely holding to their beliefs in Yahweh, his word, and his biblical lunar calendar! Folks, that’s about 3,580 years ago, long before the aprocryphal books were ever written.
Let’s look at another example of the use of Yerah in Deuteronomy 21:13, the law regarding marrying female captives: “Then she will take off the clothes she was wearing when she was taken captive and she will remain in your house and mourn for her father and her mother a full lunation. After that you may make love to her and be her husband, and she will be your wife.” This is that month of days meaning, a lunation of days, the full lunar cycle, one lunar month!! And notice that this is Moses teaching the Torah to the children of Israel. I believe Moses learned the biblical lunar calendar from Yahweh and his Mom.
Another example is in Deuteronomy 33:13-15, where Moses is blessing the children of Joseph, “About Joseph, Moses said: May his land be blessed by Yahweh with the precious things of heaven, with the dew, and with the deep that lies beneath. 14 May his land be blessed with the precious things of the harvest of the sun, with the precious things of the produce of the lunations, 15 with the finest things of the ancient mountains, and with the precious things of the everlasting hills.” Food plants need the sun, but it is also important for the farmer or vinedresser to know how many lunations, or months, a plant needs for its growth and life cycle. That helps to know when to plant and harvest. Moses understood the agricultural importance of the moon’s lunations in relation to the harvest of crops! We must live by an agriculturally adjusted, luni-solar calendar. I will not delve further into that topic in this video.
The word is used twice, by none other than the wisest man in all of human history, King Solomon, in 1 Kings 6:37-38, “The foundation of the temple of Yahweh was laid in the fourth year (c. 967), in the lunation (yerach) of Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year (c. 960 BC), in the lunation of Bul, which is the eighth lunar month (chodesh), the temple was finished in all its parts and conforming to all its specifications. Solomon took seven years to build the temple.” Friends, sit back and re-read this passage as many times as you need to and understand that the wisest king in all of human history FOLLOWED A LUNAR CALENDAR WHILE BUILDING THE TEMPLE OF ALMIGHTY YAHWEH!!! Notice, Solomon uses the word year and lunation in the same sentence. We know our year is defined as one complete revolution of the earth around the sun. It doesn’t really matter how many lunar months are placed inside of a solar year. You could have 12 or 13 lunar months inside of a solar year. It does not matter, because Yahweh’s Feasts are held in the First, Third, and Seventh lunar months of the year. We can easily adjust the lunar calendar by intercalating a 13th month at the end of the lunar year to keep in sync with the solar seasons of the year. Meditate on 1 Kings 6:37-38 for as long as you need to, but let it soak into your spirit and help you settle your biblical calendar theology!
Our next example is in 1 Kings 8:2, “All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the feast, in the lunation (yerach) of Ethanim, which is the seventh lunar month (chodesh).” So, what does this verse reveal to us? It shows that the most-wise King Solomon celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, one of Yahweh’s commanded feasts, ACCORDING TO THE LUNAR CALENDAR! This was the day King Solomon had the priests place the Ark of the Covenant into the new Holy of Holies, the most holy place in the inner Temple. Are you now getting a biblical lunar calendar understanding? Notice, this has nothing to do with bowing down and worshiping the moon, it’s about using the moon to mark time, as your personal and national calendar! It’s not about using the moon to prognosticate about the future, it’s about using the moon as the timepiece Yahweh created it to be, so we can CELEBRATE HIS FEASTS ON HIS BIBLICAL LUNAR CALENDAR.
Our next example is found in 2 Kings 15:13, “Shallum son of Jabesh began to reign in the thirty-ninth year (c. 752 BC) of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned only one lunation in Samaria.” This is another example of the lunar month of days meaning for the word yerach. Shallum only survived as king in the northern kingdom of Israel for one lunar month, 30 days. Verse 14 shows that Menahem killed him and became king of Israel in his place. Notice, this is still before the Mars flyby and several hundred years BEFORE any Pharisee or Sadducee drew his first breath. The official civil government of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel marked events of the kings of Israel according to the biblical lunar calendar. This is what the Holy Bible reveals to us, not what any outside source teaches us.
Our next example is found in Job 3:6, Job is lamenting his own birth, “As for that night, may thick darkness seize it. May it not rejoice among the days of the year; may it not come into the number of the lunations.” Job was a famous, powerful, successful and influential believer in his day. He understood that the solar year and the lunar month were timepiece measurements of the days of his life. I believe he was wishing that he had never been born. He was in a very rough time of his life. Job counted his months by the moon, plain and simple.
Our next example is found in Job 7:3 where Job continues to speak about his seemingly hopeless life, “so I have been made to endure lunations of misery; I have been given trouble-filled nights.” Job’s plight did not last just a few days, it was months and lunar months of affliction.
Our next example is found in Job 29:2-3, where he summarizes his defense, “Oh, that I were as I was in the past lunations when the Almighty cared for me, 3 when his lamp shined on my head, and when I walked through darkness by his light.” Do you see Job’s play on words? The moon gave Job light at night; just as Yahweh always had been Job’s spiritual light; he wants to believe Yahweh is still his light! Of course, Yahweh is our eternal spiritual light. Isaiah and Revelation reveal he will also be our “physical” light in the kingdom, though, on this side of eternity, we may not understand what that reality will be like.
Our next example is from Job 39:2, where Yahweh himself answers and grills Job, “Can you count the lunations that they (goats and deer) gestate? Do you know the time when they bear their young?” What a humbling experience for Job. May we all humble ourselves like Job, before our great and awesome Yahweh, our Creator and King. Do you see it? Here, YAHWEH HIMSELF speaks of his very own personal biblical lunar calendar!!! Yahweh knows Job must use the biblical lunar calendar to count the lunar months of a mammal’s gestation period. Yahweh’s biblical lunar calendar was not and is not a one-time fluke in Scripture!! It is the calendar of the Bible and of our natural world.
Now, I’m going to skip ahead to Zechariah 11:8, “In one lunation I destroyed the three shepherds, for I ran out of patience with them, and they hated me as well.” Read the whole Chapter 11, this is Yeshua speaking in the Old Covenant, which on that day, he was breaking the covenant between himself and Israel! This is not a month of days meaning, exactly. The word one is echad, so this may be saying He destroyed the three shepherds in one lunar month or in the first lunar month of the year, either translation would work.
Now, let’s go back and look at our final example in Isaiah 60:19-20, where we see the future glory of Israel, “The sun will no longer be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon (yareach) shine on you; but Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and your Almighty your glory. 20 Your sun will no longer set, nor will your lunation wane to conjunction; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be ended.”
I was so excited when I came to this verse, I couldn’t sleep! Read verse 20 carefully. Research it for yourself. I truly believe Yahweh revealed to me the final locked state of the physical universe, when He reveals Yeshua to the world. There is a day coming when the sun will no longer set and the moon will no longer go through its lunations! When Yahweh and the Lamb are the light of the world, literally fulfilled at the end of days. This appears to be after the Great White throne judgment of Revelation 20. Revelation 21:22-24, “I saw no temple in the city, for Lord Yahweh El Shaddai and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or the moon in order to shine on it, because the glory of Yahweh shone on it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The ethno-linguistic nations will walk by the light of that city. The kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.”
That is the day we’re all looking for, when the universe will be locked in Yahweh’s glory forever! I chose the phrase in Isaiah 60:20, “wane to conjunction”, because the Hebrew word is “acaph” and can mean to take away, remove, withdraw, perish. When does the moon appear to do these things? When it goes into conjunction, once every lunation! One day soon, the moon’s lunations will cease. It will be locked into position for all eternity. There will be no more need for lunations, as we need now. We need the lunations now to know when to celebrate Yahweh’s feasts. Then, Yeshua himself will lead us to celebrate feasts when Yahweh desires! Until that glorious day, let’s use Yahweh’s biblical lunar calendar, so we can celebrate with him as biblically accurately as we can.
Now, for fun, let’s switch back to understanding how the Hebrews would have stated the “New Moon”. Contrary to what some teach, the Hebrews would not have said “Yareach Chadash” or “Chadash Yareach”, for New Moon. How do I know this? Well, thanks to my buddy priest and prophet Ezekiel, we know how the Hebrews stated the beginning of the New Year. Look at Ezekiel 40:1, “In the twenty-fifth year (c. 574 BC, Ezekiel’s Jubilee year) of our captivity at the beginning of the year (Rosh Hashanah) on the tenth of the lunar month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on that same day, the hand of Yahweh was upon me and he took me there.” As far as I know, from my research, this is the ONLY place in the Tanach, the Old Covenant, where the phrase Rosh Hashanah is found. I found this phrase about nine years ago while doing my biblical chronology studies. This verse is locked in and synchronized with Ezekiel 1:1, the 30th year of the Jubilee Cycle! Ezekiel 40:1 reveals Ezekiel’s Jubilee year in 574 BC!
Anyway, notice Ezekiel did not write chadash hashanah, but rosh hashanah, the beginning of the year. Is it possible we could find the new moon expressed with similar language? Why YES! Yes we can! Most biblical calendar students begin their teachings with Exodus 12:2, so let’s go there first, “For you, this new moon will be the start of lunar months, the first new moon of the year to you.” That phrase, “start of lunar months” is in Hebrew, “Rosh Chodesh”!!! Whoa, is that beautiful or what!?! Moses, the great prophet like Ezekiel, uses Rosh instead of Chadash! So, is that the only example? No, we can find a couple more, at least.
Numbers 10:10, “Also, at the times of celebration, both your appointment calendar festivals and at the beginning of the lunar months, you must blow the trumpets in honor of your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices for your fellowship offerings. These will act as a reminder of you to me, your Almighty. I am Yahweh your Almighty.” Again, that is the phrase Rosh Chodesh!! The Hebrews said Rosh Chodesh, not Chadash Yareach!
Numbers 28:11, “At the beginning of each lunar month, you must offer a burnt offering to Yahweh. You must offer two young bulls, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old without blemish.” Again, the phrase in Hebrew is “Rosh Chodesh”!!! You could just as easily translate these phrases as beginning of the new month(s), or beginning of the month(s), but I use lunar month(s) for emphasis. I do not see a solar calendar taught in the Scriptures as Yahweh’s biblical appointed Feasts calendar. It’s just not there in the Holy Scriptures, but a biblical lunar calendar is repeatedly taught and revealed.
Now, Psalm 104:19, makes more sense to me than it ever has: “He made the moon to mark the appointment calendar festivals; the sun knows its time for setting.” Now, this verse is a great confirmation verse to the biblical lunar calendar. Before today, to me at least, this verse stood out as a kind of oddity in the Scriptures. I had not found other Scriptures to help confirm and tie down a biblical lunar calendar. Well, I’m really convinced now, and I hope you are too. Yahweh did not have to create a moon and hang it out their in space just for us to use as a biblical calendar maker and marker, but he chose to do it, out of love for us. Is he the coolest Almighty Divine One or what? Yes, yes he is.
1Harris, R. Laird. Archer, Gleason L. Jr. Waltke, Bruce K. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1980: 407, 266.