Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Maintaining the set cycles and appointed seasons of the Creator
Anvayel Ben Ephraim
14 And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;
19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2 And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God in creating had made.
Men have always gazed in wonder at the skies throughout our presence on the earth, and for good reason; the wonders of the skies were placed there by the Creator to elicit that response, to capture man’s imagination and awe towards the source of their creation! The scripture clearly tells us that the lights of the skies were also placed there for an additional 4 specific purposes; for signs, for seasons, for days and for years, and these 4 purposes were delineated on the 4th day of the creative cycle. Everything created after this day is governed within these cycles. The cycle of evening/darkness and day/light for man is governed by the sun, as are the seasons of nature, spring, summer, autumn and winter, 4 seasons.
The whole of the creative cycle lasted 6 days, after which the 7th day was sanctified, for on this day the Creator ceased all His creative activity. This forms a 7 day cycle of 6 days of creative activity and one day wherein no creative activity is done. Today, this cycle is referred to in many societies as a “week”, and the root of the Hebrew word for a week, שבועה, is שבע, or 7.
Many societies have also recognized what is called in English a “month”, a period of time that reflects the cycle of the lesser light, i.e., the moon, as it moves from “new/dark”, to “full/fully illuminated”, and back to “new”, a period of 30 days approximately. These two cycles were used as basis for calendars that recorded the cycle of days in a “year”. A “year” is broadly defined as “the time taken by the earth to make one revolution around the sun.”. The period of time has been found to be between 365-366 days by nearly all civilizations throughout history. We are here in concerned with how the ancient Hebrew Israelites viewed this cycle.
Abraham, the progenitor of the family of Hebrew Israelites, was born in Ur of the Chaldeans, a people closely related to the ancient Sumerians.
“The ancient Sumerian calendar divided a year into 12 lunar months of 29 or 30 days. To keep the lunar year of 354 days in step with the solar year of 365.25 days, an extra, intercalary month was added every three years or so, much like a Gregorian leap year. Each month began with the sighting of a new moon.”
Calendarworld – The Ancient Sumerian Calendar
This is the calendar Abraham, Isaac and the family of Jacob/Israel would most likely have been familiar with going into Egypt. After sojourning in Egypt for many generations the Children of Israel left Egypt with new instructions:
“2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”
Whichever month they had been celebrating as the beginning of their year was replaced with a new month:
“4 This day ye go forth in the month of spring/Aviv.”
“1 Preserve/protect the month of the spring/ Aviv and keep the Passover unto YHWH thy God; for in the month of the spring/Aviv YHWH thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt.
They were to “preserve/protect the month of the spring”, i.e., Aviv. This is seen more clearly in the Hebrew of Exodus 13 and Deuteronomy:
ד הַיּוֹם, אַתֶּם יֹצְאִים, בְּחֹדֶשׁ, הָאָבִיב.
א שָׁמוֹר, אֶת-חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, וְעָשִׂיתָ פֶּסַח, לַיהוָה
אֱלֹהֶיךָ: כִּי בְּחֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, הוֹצִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִמִּצְרַיִם
The Hebrew word אביב, is transliterated in the English as though it is a proper name, when actually it should be translated like the rest of the verse to its English equivalent, spring. The Children of Israel left Egypt in the spring and were to keep/preserve/protect the month that was the first month of that season!
“Spring - Joy and Love…Themes of rebirth and renewal often use symbols from the spring season. Spring also refers to love, hope, youth and growth.”
This is a time of joy for liberation from oppression, love for YHWH -who answered the cries of His people- and hope for a brighter future. It is a season of renewal of old relationships and the rebirth of that which has been dormant. The importance of this season is also seen in its Hebrew numerology:
אָבִיב = 1+2+10+2 = 15 = יה
Additionally, the Israelites began leaving Egypt the morning of the 15th day!
In light of the obvious importance of this season to the Creator, I propose that this reflects the season of the Genesis creative process and that the New Year for the Israelites should begin the evening of the spring equinox and that the solar calendar should consist of 13 months of 28 days. This sets the calendar in a permanent relationship with the cycles of the seasons as determined by the sun and further means that the Sabbath day is always the same!
The Israelites went into Egypt observing the Sumerian calendar, based on the cycles of the moon with 12 months. They also went into Egypt with a family of 12 sons, each set to receive a portion in inheritance from their father, Jacob/Israel, 1 portion to each one of 12 sons. However, this changed while they were in Egypt:
“21 And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Behold, I die; but God will be with you, and bring you back unto the land of your fathers.
22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.'”
12 became 13. The size of the inheritance didn’t change, but the whole was now divided into 13 portions instead of 12. The significance of the number 13 can also be seen when we look at this verse:
“1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with his household:
5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls; and Joseph was in Egypt already.”
70 souls came out of the loins of Jacob, but Joseph and his two sons were in Egypt already, which means that 67 people left Canaan with Jacob and entered Egypt: 67=13! We also began the return to Israel in our dispensation in ’67! Clearly, 13 is important; the Sumerians added an extra month every three years in order to keep their lunar centric calendar in harmony was the solar year. To me it makes more sense to keep the calendar solar with 13 months and only adjust it by adding one day each year and two days every fourth year.
But why 13 months of 28 days? Because just as YHWH changed when the year begins for the Israelites, He also gave them the 7th day Sabbath:
“12 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying:
13 'Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily ye shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am YHWH who sanctify you.
14 Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you; everyone that profaneth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbatical Sabbath, holy to YHWH; whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep/protect the Sabbath, to do/perform the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and was refreshed.'
We saw in Genesis and again here in Exodus that YHWH sanctified the 7th day, the Sabbath, and it was given to the Children of Israel as a sacred reminder of their relationship with their God, it is sacred/set aside just for them. Violating this day was to result in the offending soul being cut off from the family of Jacob, which surely indicates how seriously YHWH viewed maintaining its sanctity.
"13 If thou turn away thy foot because of the Sabbath, from pursuing thy business on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy of YHWH honorable and shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, nor pursuing thy business, nor speaking thereof,
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in YHWH, and I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of YHWH hath spoken it."
13 months of 28 days keeps the Sabbath always on the same day of the week; the seventh day is, thereby, always the 7th day relevant to the vernal equinox/the spring, i.e., the beginning of the season of liberation and renewal. A month is then not based on the cycles of the moon but set relevant to the cycles of the sun. Passover always is the evening of the 2nd Sabbath of the first month of spring and Yom Kippur never falls on the Sabbath!
A 13 month calendar is not a new concept:
“Momentum behind the International Fixed Calendar, a 13-month calendar with 28 days in each month and a leftover day at the end of each year (it also followed the Gregorian rules with regards to Leap Years), was never stronger than in the late 1920s.”
The 13 month calendar was not a bad idea, just not one that was convenient for most of the world, much as America doesn’t find it convenient to switch to the metric system of measurement, even though it makes more sense! This calendar is not intended for everyone; just as YHWH gave the 7th day Sabbath specifically to the Children of Israel as a reminder of the source of their blessings, so too is this calendar offered to that same people.
With this calendar we take back control of our time, a New Calendar for a New Covenant!
"30 Behold, the days come, saith YHWH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;"
It also eliminates situations like this year, 2021, where the Passover was determined by using the new moon which occurred before the vernal equinox, and therefore before the spring of the year. This means that for 2021 the lunar year starts in winter according to the Jewish calendar!
Until this point in this writing we have used the term “month” in the sense it was defined as earlier. However, because this word is a cognate of “moon” and thus implies that what we are speaking about has a connection to that heavenly body- which is not the case- we herein define a new term for this 28 day period in the new Israelite calendar: a “Quodash”, plural “Quodashim”, in Hebrew “קודש/קודשים”. The word means “holiness, sanctity; holy place or thing”. Thus, when we use it in reference to the new Israelite calendar it is defined as:
A period of 28 days that is divided into 4 weeks with a seventh day Sabbath ending each week. 13 such periods with the addition of one day after the 52nd Sabbath comprise a year, with the first day of the first Quodash of the following year falling the first day after the spring equinox. An additional day is added every fourth year, meaning 2 additional days after the 52nd Sabbath of that year.
This is the ideal year for introducing the calendar, as the vernal equinox falls on the seventh day of the week according to the Gregorian calendar, which means that the calendars will be in-sync for the first year. For those who find the idea of an Israelite calendar of 13 Quodashim appealing, I welcome you on board!
Names of the Months
1. Obedience – משמעת
2. Humility – ענווה
3. Love – אהבה
4. Dedication – מסירות
5. Faith – אמונה
6. Blessings – ברכות
7. Discernment/Judgment - הבחנה
8. Mercy - רחמים
9. Zeal - קנאות
10. Patience - סבלנות
11. Protection - הגנה
12. Counsel - עצה
13. Peace – שלום
High Holydays 2021 according to the New 13 Month Israelite Calendar
Passover – 14th day of the first month at dusk _ 3/4 Gregorian
Feast of Unleavened Bread –15/1-21/1 _ 4/4 Gregorian
Shavuot – 15/3 _ 30/5 Gregorian
Shabbaton Zichron Thruah – 1/7 _ 5/9 Gregorian
Yom Kippur – 10/7 _ 14/9 Gregorian
Succoth – 15/7-21/7 _ 19/9 Gregorian
The Assembly of the Eighth Day – 16/7 _ 20/9 Gregorian