Exodus 12:2,Month. It is the Hebrew word chodesh (Strong’s H2320/TWOT 613b) meaning “the new moon, month, monthly, the first day of the month, the lunar month.” It is found in the Tanakh (Old Testament) 276 times and is translated in the King James Version as “month” 254 times, “new moon” (20 times), and “monthly” (1 time). We see that from these definitions that the terms “month” and “new moon” are synonymous. It has been understood for millennia that ancient Israelites began their month with the new moon.
Why was it important for the Israelites to know when the new moon occurred and when the month began? The dates of the annual biblical festivals that YHVH gave to Israel and instructed them to observe were determined based on when the new moon occurred (Lev 23:5, 6, 24, 27, 34).
The next question to answer is this: when does the biblical month begin? As we noted above, for modern astronomers the term “new moon” means something different than it did to the ancients, including those who YHVH inspired to write the Bible. Ancient calendars were determined by the moon, while modern ones are not. Some biblical expositors teach that the new moon begins when the moon is in conjunction or in line with the earth and the sun and is in its dark phase. Others believe that the month begins just after the moon has moved out of its dark phase and begins to show a sliver of light, which is called the visible or crescent new moon. Who is right?
Some Bible teachers claim that there is no place in the Scriptures that specifically states that the new moon begins at the first visible sliver after being dark for several days. Therefore, they reason, it is an assumption to say that it does (even though, as we will see below, this was the understanding of the ancient Israelites), and therefore, the new moon Continue reading →
This year there has been some confusion as to whether the barley in the land of Israel was really aviv (or abib) or not. Some aviv barley search groups say yes, and some say no. Why the confusion, and who is right? Eventually each person has to make up their own mind, but below we will present the reasons why we agree with those who say that the barley isn’t aviv yet.
At this point, some of you may be saying, “Huh?” when it comes to the term aviv barley. What is aviv barley and what does that have to do with anything that pertains to me? So let’s quickly review some basic truths regarding the biblical calendar. It all has to do with when to keep the biblical feasts.
The Bible stipulates that months on the biblical calendar begin when the new moon is sighted. (I’ve already written several article on this subject, so I won’t give all the Scripture references here. For that info, go to http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast.) To know the dates of the biblical feasts, one must know when the months begin. To know this, one must know when the biblical new year begins—that is, when the first day of the first month of the biblical new year is.
On our modern Roman calendar, determining new year’s day each year easy to do. But this is not the case with the biblical calendar. This is why. The Roman calendar is based on the solar cycle, which is 365 1/4 days long. By contrast, the biblical calendar is a luni-solar calendar. This means it’s based on the solar cycle AND the lunar cycle. The latter is only 354 days long, or roughly 11 days shorter than the Continue reading →
And YHVH spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:1–2)
Abib barley has been found in the land of Israel. Today the new moon was sited from the land of Israel. This marks the beginning of the biblical new year — the first day of the month of the Abib (or Nisan).
Fourteen days from today (Saturday, March 4) will be Passover. Fifteen days from today (Sunday, March 5) will be the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Exodus 9:31, The barley was in the head. Barley was cultivated as a grain crop in ancient Egypt, as well as in Israel, and grows wild like a weed throughout the region to this day. Several passages in the Scriptures witness to the fact that the barley was the indicator of which month was to be the first month of the year for the Israelites, so that they could determine when the biblical feasts were to be observed.
Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto YHVH your Elohim: for in themonth of Abib YHVH your Elohim brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. (Deut 16:1, emphasis added)
Please notice, the definite article the proceeding the phrase “month of Abib.” The state of the barley indicates a specific month in the spring. Months in the biblical Hebrew calendar have always been determined by the first visible sliver of the new moon from antiquity. This specific month is to be the beginning the biblical new year (Exod 12:2). The month of the Abib is not so much the name of a monthas it is a description of the month. Below are listed the other three places in the Scriptures where this phrase is found.
This day came you out in the month Abib. (Exod 13:4)
You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread: (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it you came out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty). (Exod 23:15)
The feast of unleavened bread shall you keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. (Exod 34:18)
What does the word abib in the phrase “the month of the Abib (or Aviv)” mean? Continue reading →
Have a blessed and fruitful new year abiding in Yeshua the Messiah our Vine and our Doorway to life. May you remain steadfastly and passionately in the River of Life of His Word and Spirit under the covering of His blood and under the shelter of His wings!
By the way, for fun, go to Google and in the search window, type in “Rosh Chodesh” and then click on Google images. The photo on the left will pop up near the top of the page. This image has been “borrowed” by many people, and we have seen it appear on other people’s websites and in at least one book.
Want to know the truth about it? That’s a picture my wife took of me blowing my shofar about three years ago on the Oregon coast in the town of Canon Beach. We were staying in a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it happened to be Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the month). From the motel room window I could see the sliver of the new moon, so I grabbed my shofar and went outside to blow it to signal the new month’s arrival as per Psalm 81:3. She snapped this photo and added the wording. This graphic now permanently resides on the home page of our website (http://www.hoshanarabbah.org).
As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”