I avoid calendar discussion and debates like the plague. Seriously. I HATE them, so usually when the topic comes up, I bow out or ghost… Just. Not. Interested.
But, like a stone in my shoe, some things in the Hillel have bothered me to the point that I asked Abba to give me a heart for the calendar discussion and I asked Him to help me understand what HE wants. This has not been easy, but over the last few months I’ve been digging and increasingly finding peace with a few changes.
Besides general discontent with so much variance in the calendars, I was troubled by the fact that the calendar should be discernible from anywhere on the planet. If the heavens are telling the glory of Yah and pouring forth speech to all of creation, and the heavenly lights are to control signs, seasons, days, and years, then why so many differences? My first foray into the topic of calendars was expressing publicly that I had come to the place that I believe the aviv barley was overrated.
What is interesting is that nearly a year before I wrote the barley article I had a desire in my heart to begin studying and learning the constellations. As my wife can attest, we’ve spent many early evenings and a few very early morning stargazing in an effort to ‘see’ what the very average farmer in Melek David’s time would have known. I’m a long way from proficiency, but the experience began to make me acutely aware of how very important the stars and planets are in Yah’s creation and His order.
I began to recognize that He is so incredibly precise and ordered, therefore His calendar, based on the heavenly hosts (Gen 1:14), must be incredibly precise…. and visible from any remote location or isle in the South Pacific or North Atlantic. The moon and barley combo is quite imprecise and able to be manipulated by man. That’s when I questioned the barley and Hillel.
While I have not reached a final conclusion, I have a strong lean based on a pile of evidence that I’ll share along with multiple resources for your personal investigation. So, not in any particular order, here are a few things to consider and then sources for you to ‘hear the other side.’ Please do your own due diligence. And, if this is a journey you are on or have already walked, I’d love to hear your thoughts, positively or negatively as I continue weighing the evidence.
- The Tanak covers roughly 4000 years of history. If 7 out of every 19 years has 13 months (Adar II), why is there not a single example of a 13th month in Scripture?
- Shlomo, the wisest man who ever lived, only had divisions for 12 months worth of provisions for his palace. (1 Kings 4:7ff)
- ‘Months’ are not mentioned in Genesis 1:14. Why not?
- Hebrew has a word for ‘moon,’ – yareach. And, it has a word for ‘month’ that is often understood as ‘moon’ – chodesh. Modern scholarship, in light of word use in the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) has largely changed their understanding of the word ‘chodesh’ to not mean ‘moon’ and instead mean ‘month.’ Because the rabbinic calendar has been lunar based for so long, this is a difficult paradigm to break IF/WHEN we are reading into the text a wrong calendar understanding.
- Jubilees, much older than the Aleppo Codex, specifically excludes the moon from setting the calendar. The LXX, contemporary to Jubilees, seems to include it, however the LXX was likely translated by adherents to the lunisolar calendar adherents that became the Hillel calendar after the fall of the Temple. Remember as well, the Greek calendar was lunar and the LXX is translated into/for Greek(s).
- It is well known that there was a pretty good calendar kerfuffle going on during Yeshua’s time and He seems to be operating on a calendar that is different than the Pharisees. I addressed this last year, but wrote it off as Him keeping the calendar as Israel did before leaving Egypt while the Jews were keeping the memorial dates… Now, I’m seeing that He, as well as a not insignificant number in Israel, was likely on a different calendar.
- The DSS find at Qumran happened in the same month that the UN declared that Israel would become a nation. Coinkydink, or significant?
- The Qumran community, more than 100 years before Yeshua, referred to themselves as ‘The Way’ and they were centered in a desert community south east of Jerusalem that was called Damascus!! Now, go back and reread Acts 9:2 and 24:14… Hmmm…. Very interesting… This adds a whole new layer to the complexity of Paul, but also may answer a dozen questions…
- The Qumran community were descendants of the Zadok priestly line that had either abandoned or been driven out of the Temple due to corruption in the civil and religious governance. The Zadokites at Qumran referred to themselves as ‘sons of light’ and the corrupt Pharisees and Sadducees as the ‘sons of darkness.’ Consider the language of Yeshua and the Apostles re: sons of light/darkness…
- The Hillel II calendar is allegedly Yah’s calendar, but Rabbinically the rabbis reserve the right to assign feast days based on some, er, interesting rules… Research ‘lo adu rosh’ and ‘lo bedu pesach’. Two sources are here and here. The point is, Torah never makes such a ruling. The question this creates is ‘Whose hands is the calendar in? The heavenly lights (Yah’s) or the lights plus rabbinic ruling?’
- The year of Noach’s flood says he was on the water 5 months, 150 days (Gen. 8:3-4), but that is not remotely possible with the lunar 29/30 day variations. However, it is easily doable with the Zadok or Enochian calendar.
- Timing in Daniel and Revelation make much more sense when using either Enoch or Zadokite calendars than the Hillel II…
There are more pieces to what I have seen and or studied, but the bottom line is that I find Hillel II and the lunisolar system with the moon in charge to be incredibly suspect.
What I have found that makes much more sense and fits so much better is the Zadokite calendar. I’m still digging, but I want to share these resources with you for your own perusal.
Here is the first of a four part series that assembles pieces very well. This was my first stop.
Next, someone pointed me to a 17 part, yes… long but very good and very detailed, podcast by Avi ben Mordecai. He immediately followed that up with a seven part series considering Yeshua’s Passion Week in light of the Zadokite calendar. Very interesting stuff… Start on Nov. 13, 2021 for his complete series.
During that series, I found this two part series that has a pile of information clearly explained…
Then yesterday I listened to this one… twice! It is super loaded with information. Very, very interesting…
I don’t have one… yet. I’m still exploring, studying, digging, etc… At this point, I am convinced that the Hillel II is wrong. I am leaning toward the Zadokite but still have questions that need answers, or I have a few answers that are as yet untested. But, I do want to share this journey with you and look forward to what your thoughts are.