Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

A Calendar Of Weeks In Biblical Texts 

The Sabbath period which formally occurred at either the new-month interval, or at the mid-month interval, can seemingly be identified through the use of a term called "Sabbatwn" (a plural form of Sabbath time). The Greek word "Sabbatwn" (in the complete context of its Second-Temple usage) can largely be demonstrated to have been a formal lunar-cycle term. The plural Sabbaths (or "Sabbatwn") seem to refer to two specific lunar-quarter-phase events. This plural term ("Sabbatwn") for two specific phases of the lunar-cycle (perhaps appearing exclusively at the middle-half, or at the beginning-half of the lunar cycle) can also be found in the Hebrew Old Testament -- where in Hebrew the term seemingly corresponds to the word "Shabbathown"

by James D. Dwyer

Based upon a definition of the Sabbath cycle (as contained in the Hebrew Old Testament and in the Greek New Testament), there is hardly any question but that this definition equates to a reoccurring 7-day interval:

"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:9-11)

"Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed." (Exodus 23:12).

"Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD... " (Exodus 31:15).


"Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest." (Exodus 34:21).

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD..." (Exodus 35:2).


"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings." (Leviticus 23:3).


"Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou." (Deuteronomy 5:13-14).

Based upon the biblical passages (as cited above) it isn't exactly evident that the early observed Sabbath cycle of 7 days was additionally based upon the reoccurring lunar cycle. 

The current section will then attempt to minimally show that the biblical cycle of 7 days (unlike the modern week which is based upon a reoccurring cycle of 7-days) was periodically interrupted by a singular day (an 8th day). This section will also attempt to show that this singular day was specially celebrated (perhaps as a renewal of the Sabbath cycle). 

 

The most compelling evidence to substantiate the possibility that the seven-day count of the Bible was a periodically interrupted count can perhaps be recited from certain biblical texts which show that both singular and plural Sabbaths were once practiced. 

This evidence is most graphic from New Testament references to the Sabbath cycle -- as more fully shown in Appendix C (where Appendix C includes an exhaustive compilation of all forms and usage of the word Sabbath in the Greek New Testament).

It seems that the Greek Version of the New Testament uses six different words in association to the Sabbath cycle: (1) Sabbasin; (2) Sabbatw; (3) Sabbaton; (4) Sabbatou; (5) Sabbatwn; and: (6) Sabbata.

Note that Greek and Hebrew words -- as frequently cited throughout this analysis -- can be verified through the use of an exhaustive concordance (such as Strong's) or found in Interlinear Greek and Interlinear Hebrew Bibles.

 

Easy to use, computerized, Bible text is now available to help bridge this -- seemingly difficult -- language barrier. Specifically, 'The Online Bible' is currently available for PC DOS, for Windows, and for Macintosh computers, and at a very modest cost. 'The Online Bible' can even be downloaded for no cost from the Internet. (Search for sites which offer the 'The Online Bible', either for sale on CD, or for sites which offer the free download version).

 

Based upon parsed New Testament text (put out by CCAT at the University of Pennsylvania), the following singular and plural forms of the noun Sabbath (or Greek: Sabbaton) occur -- as follows:

 

                Plural       Singular
               __________   _________
          1.   Sabbasin     Sabbatw
          2.   Sabbata      Sabbaton
          3.   Sabbatwn     Sabbatou
 

In deriving the early understood definition of the Sabbath cycle, it then seems significant that throughout the New Testament, both a singular usage, and a plural usage (as well as different forms) of the respective Greek noun 'Sabbaton' can be found.  

 

Specifically, the noun 'Sabbaton' can be recited from the Greek New Testament in 70 total instances -- as follows: 

 

      .  A plural form 'Sabbasin' is used in 15 instances 
      .  A plural form 'Sabbata' is used in 1 instance
      .  A plural form 'Sabbatwn' is used in 12 instances
      .  A singular form 'Sabbatou' is used in 13 instances
      .  A singular form 'Sabbaton' is used in 14 instances
      .  A singular form ' Sabbatw' is used in 15 instances
 

All of the 70 instances of the usage of the word 'Sabbaton' is listed in Appendix C.

 

It should be noted that 'Sabbata' (a plural form of 'Sabbaton') is used only one time in the Greek New Testament (as cited) but this plural form is used numerous times in the Greek OT Septuagint.

 

In addition to the above 70 instances, a closely related word 'Sabbatismos' is used once in the New Testament.

 

Another important part of the original definition of the Sabbath concerns the omission of a day descriptor. (The expression Sabbath day, or the expression Sabbath days, is seldom used). Essentially, the original texts -- when expressing Sabbath time -- consistently leave off a day descriptor. Consequently, Sabbath time is invariably expressed as belonging within either the Sabbath, or the Sabbaths

 

The Luke/Acts author occasionally uses the word 'day' in association with Sabbath time. In general, the New Testament authors -- for some reason -- avoided using the 'day' descriptor in reference to Sabbath time (perhaps because the routinely appearing Sabbath -- as it would have appeared amid stages of the lunar cycle -- can not adequately be described as occurring on only one day). (For additional information, refer to Appendix C and to Appendix D).

The next several paragraphs will set forth additional detail of the early definition of the Sabbath by citing the rather prevalent New Testament usage of plural Sabbath time. Based upon the original usage of a plural Sabbath interval, it becomes clearer that the early week -- as it would have been understood in the early Christian Era -- was rather different from the definition of the week (as used and understood in this modern era).

A good example of the early Sabbath week (which included more than one Sabbath interval) can perhaps be recited from the Book of Luke as follows:

"And it came to pass, on the Deuteroprotos Sabbatw [or the 'Second-First Sabbath'], as he is going through the corn fields, that his disciples were plucking the ears, and were eating, rubbing with the hands, And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbasin [or Sabbaths]?" (AV Text of Luke 6:1-2 with selected Greek word substitutions).

This interesting passage refers to an interval which seems to involve plural Sabbaths ('Sabbasin'), and -- in addition -- this peculiar interval contains a single Sabbath termed as Second-First Sabbatw (or 'Deuterprotos Sabbatw'). 

A cross-reference to this same time interval is recorded in the Book of Matthew as follows: 

"At that time Jesus went on the Sabbasin [Sabbaths] through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbatw. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

 

“Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbasin [Sabbaths] the priests in the temple profane the Sabbaton, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbaton.

“And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbasin [Sabbaths]? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbasin [Sabbaths], will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbasin [Sabbaths]. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.". (AV Text of Matthew 12:1-13 with selected Greek word substitutions).

This passage from Matthew is in common context with the same account in Luke. Both accounts refer to the same interval of 'Sabbasin' (or plural Sabbaths); however, Luke provides additional detail of this common date by describing one of the Sabbaths as 'Deuteroprotos Sabbatw' (or the Second-First Sabbatw).

 

Notice, from the Matthew account that the incident of the man with the withered hand seems to have also occurred completely within the framework of this same date (the 'Sabbasin', or plural Sabbaths). This is of additional interest because the date can then be cross-referenced back to the account in Luke, as follows:

"And it came to pass, on the Deuteroprotos Sabbatw [or the 'Second-First' Sabbatw], as he [Jesus] is going through the corn fields, that his disciples were plucking the ears, and were eating, rubbing with the hands, And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbasin [or Sabbaths]?…

 

“… [verse 6] And it came to pass also on heteros Sabbatw [the other Sabbatw], that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbatw; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbasin [Sabbaths] to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?" ( AV Text of Luke 6:1-9 with selected Greek word substitutions).

Luke shows the incident of the man with the withered hand occurring following or on the 'Second-First Sabbatw' (as does Matthew by implication), but Luke additionally states that the withered hand event occurred 'on heteros Sabbatw' [or perhaps 'the other Sabbatw']. The cross-referenced detail reveals the appearance of a singular Sabbath (heteros Sabbatw) as it appeared seemingly in-line with at least one other Sabbath. 

 

Then, the two accounts (Matthew and Luke) significantly reveal an interval of more than a single Sabbath (or 'Sabbasin' which means plural Sabbaths). This respective interval included a singular date termed the 'Deuteroprotos Sabbatw ' (or the Second-First Sabbath), and the interval also included a singular date termed the 'heteros Sabbatw' (or the other Sabbath).

 

The interesting 'Second-First' Sabbath date seemingly occurred in alignment with one of the specific lunar-phases -- as further detailed in chapters above. This date probably occurred at the mid-month, or the new-month point--when the second Sabbath arrived. The reference to 'the other Sabbath' probably occurred in this same time frame…perhaps in the extended Sabbath interval (as also further detailed in subsequent paragraphs). 

Another interesting combination of plural Sabbath time is recorded in the Book of Acts as follows:

"…Paul and his company…went into the synagogue on the Sabbatwn [a date which signifies an extended Sabbath time]…And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them Metaxu Sabbaton ['the Between Sabbath']…. And the Erchomai Sabbatw [the appearance of the coming Sabbatw] came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." (AV Text of Acts 13:13-14 with selected Greek word substitutions).

The reference to the date Sabbatwn (or plural Sabbath time) aligned with Metaxu Sabbaton (or the Between Sabbaton) is unusual. The Metaxu Sabbaton in the narrative seems to be exactly equivalent to the arrival of the Sabbatw (when the whole city assembled).

 

This date -- which occurred at 'Sabbatwn' -- reflects a period of extended Sabbath time which aligned with either the full or new phase of the lunar month cycle ( or also possibly with the appearance of a Sun's Day, as more fully explained in Appendix D).

There are a number of additional instances of the New Testament usage of plural Sabbaths (as shown in Appendix C). 

An early understood connection between the weekly Sabbath and the lunar cycle is seemingly manifest from a number of texts (either biblical texts, or closely associated to biblical texts):

“[Christian converts have their own part in observing]...an Holyday,... the New Moon,... [and] the Sabbatwn…(Colossians 2:16)

 

“[Peter] inferred thus: "Neither worship as [some] Jews…[for] if the moon be not visible, they do not hold the Sabbath, which is called the first; nor do they hold the new moon, nor the feast of unleavened bread, nor the feast, nor the great day." (Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, or Miscellanies, Chapter 5).

“And in periods of seven days the moon undergoes its changes. In the first week she becomes half moon; in the second, full moon; and in the third, in her wane, again half moon; and in the fourth she disappears.(St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, or Miscellanies, Chapter 16).

 

“…the Moon gives the sign for the festival... (Sirach, Chapter 43:7).

“…let all the festivals and sabbaths and new Moons….be days of exemption...(1 Maccabes, Chapter 10:34); 

“…the festival of weeks...(2 Maccabes, Chapter 12:3) [as perhaps a festival standing out from the weeks] 

“…[Feasting] occurs at...'Sabbatwn', and at...'noumhniwn' (or the New Moons)…" (Judith 8:6). (For additional information concerning this verse, refer to subsequent sections)

1 Samuel 20:5-6,18,24,27; 21:5.

 

Some researchers postulate that the Israelite Shabbath (an acknowledged lunar-based cycle) must have originated in association with the Babylonian Sabatu (also lunar based). Here, it is evident that the "the Babylonian…seven-day week...was the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of every [lunar] month…" (Encyclopedia Of Religion and Ethics, by Hastings, "Sabbath: Babylonian").

 

Others scholars disagree -- at least in part -- with the premise that the Babylonian Sabatu is the origin of the Israelite Shabbath, and instead, they prefer a slightly different hypothesis: "the Babylonian sabattu and the Israelite Sabbath, sprang from a common [Semite] source.…" (Interpreters Dictionary: "Sabbaths").

 

This indicated original lunar-based definition of the Sabbath cycle seems to indeed be detectable in a number of biblical texts -- where calendar terms: new moons (or technically: new beginnings) and Sabbaths are chronologically linked together:

"And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon [chodesh], nor Sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. "(AV text of 2 Kings 4:2).

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon [chodesh] to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. "(AV text of Isaiah 66:23).

"Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon [chodesh] it shall be opened." (AV text of Ezekiel 46:1).

"Saying, When will the new moon [chodesh] be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?" (AV text of Amos 8:5).

Here, it is pertinent to take into account that a lunar-based Sabbath count is required to have included a singular day or days (or lunar stages, as documented in Chapter Three). This is because a 28 day cycle (or four repeating Sabbath cycles) -- as an uninterrupted count -- does not quite interface with the lunar cycle (which contains 29 ½ days). Essentially, it is fully necessary that the Sabbath cycle (as an interface with the moon cycle) be an interrupted count -- where a periodic additional day (a singular day not belonging amid the cycle of weeks) is periodically intercalated.

 

Some of the biblical texts seem to indicate the special celebration of the 'new moon', or 'chodesh' , or 'new beginnings'. This unique intermission interval was celebrated with special sacrifices -- as follows:

"Blow in the month a trumpet, In the 'chodesh', at the day of our festival." (Psalms 81:3, based upon YLT).

"And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the 'chodesh', and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat…" (AV text of 1 Samuel 20:5).

"And in the beginnings of your 'chodesh' ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every 'Chodesh' [throughout each] 'Chodesh' of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the LORD shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering." (AV text of Numbers 28:11-15).

Thus, the Bible indicates a specially celebrated 'chodesh' or 'new beginnings' event (synonymous with a routinely appearing feast which required sacrificial offerings). 

 

In exploring the early celebration of 'chodesh', it seems significant that the meaning of the word 'chodesh' is akin to the meaning of 'renewal' or 'new beginning' (where the root meaning of this word is not specifically linked to the meaning of new moon). (The root of the word 'chodesh' -- in fact -- is identical to the root of the biblical word: 'chadash' (which is frequently translated as 'new'). 

 

Here, it seems pertinent to consider that the biblical word for the Moon itself is 'Yerach'

 

Throughout biblical texts, the word for the literal Moon or 'Yerach' is never directly mentioned in association with the formal sacrificial schedule (as is both 'the chodesh and the Sabbaths'). 

 

The following paragraphs will set forth additional detail to more clearly delineate that the biblical 'New Beginnings' or 'Chodesh' Feast was probably celebrated at a formal calendar division. 

 

The following list shows almost every occurrence of the word 'yerach' -- as it chronologically is used throughout biblical texts (but the list omits verses which contain miscellaneous usage, such as the proper names of individuals, etc.):

 

[AV text (with selected Hebrew word substitutions):]

 

Genesis 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

 

Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

 

Deuteronomy 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;

 

Deuteronomy 21:13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

 

Joshua 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

 

1 Kings 6:37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:

 

1 Kings 6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month [yerach] Bul, which is the eighth month [chodesh], was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.

 

1 Kings 8:2 And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month [yerach] Ethanim, which is the seventh month [chodesh].

 

2 Kings 15:13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.

 

2 Kings 23:5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

 

Ezra 6:15 And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

 

Job 25:5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.

 

Job 31:26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;

 

Psalms 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

 

Psalms 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.

 

Psalms 72:7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

 

Psalms 89:37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

 

Psalms 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

 

Psalms 121:6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

 

Psalms 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

 

Psalms 148:3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

 

Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

 

Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

 

Isaiah 60:20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

 

Jeremiah 8:2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

 

Jeremiah 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

 

Ezekiel 32:7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.

 

Joel 2:10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

 

Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

 

Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

 

Habakkuk 3:11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.

 

Zechariah 11:8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.

 

Throughout all of the biblical verses which do use the word Moon or 'Yerach', there isn't any instruction concerning the event of a literal new yerach or a new moon (a time when a Moon Festival would be routinely celebrated). In addition, there is no biblical mention of a sacrifice schedule in exclusive association with the Moon or 'Yerach'.

 

Here, it becomes a bit of a puzzle that biblical texts never refer to the Moon or 'Yerach' and the Sabbaths (in any combination whatsoever).

 

This omission of festival sacrifices in association with the 'Yerach' may be due to the underlying meaning of the Hebrew word: 'yerach', which aptly means the physical appearance of the literal Moon (as an observable shining object). In some instances of biblical usage, however, 'yerach' is found to pertain to the literal time-cycle of the lunar period. (This secondary usage as a specific time-period is evident in the above listing).

 

To the converse of the seemingly unobserved 'Yerach', the 'chodesh' or 'new beginnings' does clearly seem to have an association with the Sabbath cycle (as noted above). Consequently, it may be that the chodesh (or the renewal) in early times had a somewhat different meaning from the classic modern meaning of the period of the moon, or also of the literal Moon (as an object).

 

Here, it is of special interest that among all of the biblical texts which do refer to the literal Moon (or 'Yerach'), only two passages use a date consisting of both the Moon (or 'Yerach') and the 'chodesh' (or 'new beginnings'):

[AV text (with selected Hebrew word substitutions):]

 

"In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the 'Yerach Zif'… And in the eleventh year, in the 'Yerach Bul', which is the 'eighth chodesh, was the house finished… So was he seven years in building it." (1 Kings 6:37-38).

"And all the men of Israel assembled…in the 'Yerach Ethanim', which is the 'seventh chodesh'…And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him…seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away…" (1 Kings 8:2-66). 

In only these two passages of the entire Bible, the physical Moon (or 'Yerach') is listed along side of a respective new beginnings or 'chodesh'. In two of the three instances, the 'chodesh' listed is provided with a respective number (8 and 7). In all three of the instances, the 'yerach' is supplied with a word adjective (which word may correspond to a label or to a month name). The three adjectives tacked onto the physical Moon are as follows: 1. 'Zif Moon', which possibly means 'brightness of the Moon'; 2. 'Bul Moon', which possibly means ' increasing Moon'; and: 3. 'Ethanim Moon', which possibly means 'enduring Moon'. 

 

It is possible that these adjectives are month names, and they may relate to the Canaanite or Phoenician Calendar (as some believe). However, two of the dates: 1. 'Brightness Moon' (or Zif Moon); and; 2. 'Increasing Moon' (or Bul Moon), could logically be interpreted as specific phases of the Moon -- where the two dates simply refer to: 1. The waning-half of the Moon cycle when more of the time it appears in the bright part of the day; and: 2. The waxing-half of the Moon cycle when more of the time it appears during the nighttime (perhaps exactly as detailed in Chapters Three and Four). The 'Enduring Moon' may likewise relate to an entire half-month festival cycle (from Shabbathown to Shabbathown -- as noted in Chapters Four and Five). 

 

The biblical usage of the 'Yerach' and the 'chodesh' -- both together in a presumably same calendar (as noted in 1 Kings shown above) has two possible meanings: 1. The 'chodesh' as a cycle is equivalent to the period of 'Yerach' (in the sense of being a time-cycle which equals the lunar-period); or: 2. The 'chodesh' pertains to a time-cycle which is at least relative to the phases of 'Yerach' (in the sense that a time-span of phases of the Moon ultimately comprises a 'chodesh' cycle). 

 

Ultimately, it seems that the calendar of 1 Kings -- which shows the usage of 'chodesh' -- may not exactly be equivalent to a calendar of lunar periods (according to the classic definition). Essentially, a renewal ('chodesh') may more appropriately have been relative to the lunar phases. 

Thus, the indicated calendar usage of the combined Sabbath and chodesh cycle was almost surely rooted in a calendar of lunar phases. (For additional information, refer to Chapters Three and Four).

The calendar usage of a combined Sabbath-chodesh cycle is very evident from the Bible Book of Ezekiel as follows: 

"Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the 'chodesh' [the day of the new beginnings] it shall be opened." (Ezekiel 46:1).

Here, it seems very clear that the early definition of the Sabbath week was directly relative to the definition of the chodesh (or the new beginnings). 

 

Composite biblical information indicates that the Sabbath cycle was periodically interrupted by a specially celebrated 'Chodesh' Feast.

 

It is additionally noteworthy that a time of renewal ('chadash') is similarly indicated amid the pentecontad cycle:

"...And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new [or chadash]…offering unto the LORD." (Leviticus, Chapter 23:10-23).

Thus, the cycle of the Sabbath was seemingly routinely interrupted by a specially celebrated 'Chodesh' Feast (which was routinely held amid the reoccurring lunar cycle). In a circle of 7 Sabbaths an additionally celebrated 'Chadesh' Feast was seemingly held. 

An Indicated Renewal In The Sabbath Cycle

If a special singular date did periodically appear amid a cycle of weeks then it should be very easy to identify amid the original biblical texts. 

 

An easy to spot instance of a special singular date (a 'ONE') can be recited from the prophetic book of Ezekiel -- where a calendar which contains a unique renewal (standing out from a cycle of weeks) is referenced as follows: 

"…in the 'ONE to Chodesh' [or 'ECHAD' to Chodesh] you shall take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary…and so thou shalt do the 'SEVEN to Chodesh' [or Sheba to Chodesh] for every one that erreth…so shall ye reconcile the house." (Ezekiel, Chapter 45:18-20).

This verse is significant because it seemingly mirrors certain ceremonial practices under the First Temple. Of particular interest is the celebration of 'ONE to Chodesh' (or 'ECHAD to Chodesh'), a routinely celebrated feast in the early used religious schedule. This peculiar 'ONE' seems to equate to a unique single renewal (a time-unit which seemingly stood completely apart from the weekly sequence -- as further noted below). 

 

Seemingly in chronology with the ceremonious feast (which appeared at the 'ONE' or 'ECHAD'), the early used calendar also is indicated to have contained a feast which was celebrated on 'SEVEN to Chodesh'. This second respective festival event possibly equates a sequence of Sabbath weeks (or 7 + 7 stages of the Moon waxing and waning (as documented in Chapter Three).

 

Of special interest is the fact that both of these feast dates (the 'ONE' and the 'SEVEN') were uniquely special in the regard that a sanctification ceremony was observed on both of these events (and with special sacrifices performed on both dates). 

 

The biblical texts -- as listed below -- are arranged chronologically in an attempt to depict the ancient usage of a single…or ONEor ECHAD date (a date frequently used in association with the 'chodesh' or 'new beginnings'). It is logical to believe that this single date, the ECHAD (as listed below), was originally significant in a lunar-based calendar (where a cycle of Sabbath weeks was continuously counted in close correspondence with the phases of the Moon): 

 

[In order to improve recognition of the original words, each instance of the word 'echad' is shown as 'ONE' (see remarks below), and each instance of 'chodesh' is shown as 'chodesh']

 

Genesis 8:5 … on the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', were the tops of the mountains seen… 

Genesis 8:13 … in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', the waters were dried up from off the earth…

Leviticus 23:24 … in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh' shall ye have a Shabbathown...

Numbers 1:1 … on the 'ONE' to the second 'chodesh' in the second year…

Numbers 1:18 … on the 'ONE' of the second 'chodesh', and they declared their births…

Numbers 29:1 … on the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', ye shall have an holy convocation…

Numbers 33:38 … in the 'ONE' of the fifth 'chodesh' (Aaron died).

Deuteronomy 1:3 … in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', Moses spake unto the children of Israel…

2 Chronicles 29:17 … on the 'ONE' of the first 'chodesh' they began to sanctify…

Ezra 3:6 … on the 'ONE' Day of the seventh 'chodesh' began they to offer burnt offerings…

Ezra 7:9 … from the 'ONE' of the first 'chodesh' began he to go up from Babylon,

Ezra 7:9… and by the 'ONE' of the fifth 'chodesh' came he to Jerusalem… 

Ezra 10:16 … from the 'ONE' Day of the tenth 'chodesh'….

Ezra 10:17 … by the 'ONE' Day of the first 'chodesh'.

Nehemiah 8:2 … upon the 'ONE' Day of the seventh 'chodesh'…

Ezekiel 26:1 … in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', the word of the LORD came unto me…

Ezekiel 29:17… in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', the word of the LORD came unto me…

Ezekiel 31:1 … in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', the word of the LORD came unto me…

Ezekiel 32:1… in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh', the word of the LORD came unto me…

Ezekiel 45:18 … in the 'ONE' to the 'chodesh'… cleanse the sanctuary…

Haggai 1:1 … in the 'ONE' Day to the 'chodesh', came the word of the LORD by Haggai… 

 

As further explained below, each of these cited 'ONE' (or 'ECHAD') dates may have been essential in marking off a specific segment or number of weeks -- where each chodesh cycle was formal and corresponded to specific set of weeks. 

 

The Hebrew word 'echad' is used 952 times throughout biblical texts. The King James translators correctly translated 'echad' to have a singular meaning in most instances (as it appears in the authorized Bible). 'echad' is translated as 'one' in 687 instances, 'another' in 35 instances, 'other' in 30 instances, 'any' in 18 instances, 'once' in 13 instances, 'eleven' (or 1 + 10) in 13 instances, 'every' in 10 instances, 'certain' in 9 instances, 'an' in 7 instances, and 'some' in 7 instances. Unfortunately, the translators chose to translate 'echad' as 'first' in 36 (of the 952) instances -- and this choice appears to be very unsatisfactory in that the singular meaning is lost. Essentially, there is a distinctly different nuance of meaning between a 'one' and a 'first' (as shown in the 21 instances listed above). Clearly, 'echad' should unilaterally be translated in favor of a singular meaning (not as a 'first'). This necessary correction in the translation of 'ecahd' becomes quite significant in the documentation of an ancient calendar of weeks -- which did contain a periodic single date…a single renewal which was not a week day. 

 

The calendar date: the 'ECHAD' (or the 'ONE') was obviously special, and it may have been ceremoniously observed. Its appearance could have heralded a renewal, or a new beginning. It seems that the arrival of this singular date was both a terminal delimiter, as well as a beginning delimiter for a new count of weeks. 

 

The calendar date of the special 'ONE' (the 'ECHAD') appears to be uniquely different from another ancient calendar term: 'rosh' or 'rishon' (which does mean 'first', and is duly used to describe a 'first day', or a 'first chodesh'). 

 

The special singular date -- as used in the Hebrew Bible -- is seemingly referred to a number times in other Hebrew (and early Christian) texts. (Sometimes, this date was referred to -- not as a 'ONE' -- but in association to an extra whole-day…or an eighth day…or as the occurrence of a day which cyclically exists beyond the week days). (For additional information, refer to Appendix C and to Appendix D).

Extended Sabbath Time

The Sabbath period which formally occurred at either the new-month interval, or at the mid-month interval (refer to Chapter Three), can seemingly be identified through the use of a term called 'Sabbatwn' (a plural form of Sabbath time). An example of the usage of this monthly term can be found in the New Testament Book of Colossians as follows:

"[Christian converts have their own part]...in respect of an Holyday,... the new moon, [and]... the 'Sabbatwn' " (Colossians 3:16).

Note the Greek word 'Sabbatwn', as used in this passage, is a plural form of Sabbath time.

 

From this passage it is clear that early Jews and Christians were -- at least -- holding a feast in association with the time of the appearance of the new moon

 

The cited passage also refers to a celebration held at a time interval referred to as 'Sabbatwn' (a plural form of Sabbaton)

 

Ultimately, the Greek word 'Sabbatwn' (in the complete context of its Second-Temple usage) can largely be demonstrated to have been a formal lunar-cycle term. The plural Sabbaths (or 'Sabbatwn') seem to refer to two specific lunar-quarter-phase events. The two respective Sabbaths (or lunar-quarter-phases) routinely appeared opposite to the half-month phases. (For additional information concerning the 'Sabbatwn', refer to Chapter Three, Appendix C and Appendix D).

 

This 'Sabbatwn', as noted in the Book of Colossians above, would have routinely reoccurred twice in each lunar cycle. The two Sabbaths would specifically have appeared at alternate lunar-quarter phases, or in opposite halves of the lunar cycle. (Refer to the subsequent diagram) .

 

In some instances of usage it is perhaps evident that the first half of the lunar cycle, up to the time of (perceptually) the full-Moon reverse, may have formally been referred to as Sabbatwn (Greek), a plural term. Then the last half of the lunar cycle, up to the time of (perceptually) the new-Moon reverse, may formally have been referred as Noumhniwn (Greek), also a plural term.

 

     A Formal Count Of Lunar-Stages (Used Under The Second Temple)
     _______________________________________________________________
 
     Week cycle 1 = 1st stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    2nd stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    3rd stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    4th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    5th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    6th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    7th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
     Week cycle 2 = 8th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                    9th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                   10th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                   11th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                   12th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                   13th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
                   14th stage of Moon waxing (nighttime + daytime)
     Full Moon evening (½ stage)      *      (nighttime          )
     Week cycle 3 = 1st stage of Moon waning (daytime + nighttime)
                    2nd stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                    3rd stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                    4th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                    5th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                    6th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                    7th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
     Week cycle 4 = 8th stage of Moon waning (daytime + nighttime)
                    9th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                   10th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                   11th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                   12th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                   13th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
                   14th stage of Moon waxing (daytime + nighttime)
      New Moon daylight (½ stage)    **      (daytime            ) 
     _______________________________________________________________
      * -- The Moon "rules all night… " on this evening.
     ** -- The Moon "rules all the day… " on this day.
 

Scroll 4Q317 (as also previously cited in Chapter Three) additionally shows the occurrence of 'Echd BShbt' (or literally, ECHAD to Sabbath, or the 'ONE of the Sabbath') in correspondence with the waxing and waning stages of the Moon:

 

This peculiar reoccurring date, the 'ONE to the Sabbath', is oddly shown to reappear in seeming correspondence to a span of time 14 ½ days in length (specifically in correspondence with the intervals lunar-cycle phase changes). 

 

While it is clear from Scroll 4Q317 that the 'ONE to the Sabbath' corresponds to two specific lunar-quarter phases (spaced at opposite halves of the lunar cycle, and thus spaced 14 and ½ days apart), it isn't fully or exactly clear -- from the cited scroll -- whether the ' ONE to the Sabbath' should refer to the first-phase (or first quarter) and to the third-phase (or third quarter), or to the new-phase and to the full-phase. Essentially, the moon (of perceptually 29 total parts) could commence 'entering the day' after the third quarter (14 ½ parts revealed) and it could begin 'entering the night' after the first quarter (14 ½ parts obscured), etc., etc..

 

The early understanding of the term ECHAD to Sabbath, or 'ONE to the Sabbath', (as shown on Scroll 4Q317) can hardly have been that of the first day of the literal seven-day week. Instead, the reoccurring date 'ONE to the Sabbath', spaced at 14 ½ day intervals, is indicated to distinctly pertain to the two nodes of the lunar-half-cycle (similar to the above shown diagram). 

 

This early understood distinction between the two specific waxing and waning halves of the lunar cycle can seemingly be found in The Stromata as follows:

 

[Peter] inferred thus: "Neither worship as Jews…[for] if the moon be not visible, they do not hold the Sabbath, which is called the first [or the Sabbaths which first appear opposite the new moon phases]; nor do they hold the new moon [or the Sabbaths which last appear opposite the 'first' Sabbath phases]...." (Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, or Miscellanies, Chapter 5). [Note that brackets have been inserted into the quote to help improve the probable original meaning.]

 

From this indicated formal distinction in the quarter-divisions of the lunar cycle -- as seemingly was understood under the Second Temple -- it is probable that the first half of the lunar cycle specifically corresponded to the Sabbatwn interval (or the lunar-phases opposite to the new moon), while the last half of the lunar cycle corresponded to the new moon (or the lunar-phases opposite to the Sabbatwn). It is also probable that the Sabbatwn and new moon intervals were counted across quarter-phases (as an alternating sequence). 

This early recognition of a formal division in the lunar cycle can seemingly be identified in the Book of Luke:

"And it came to pass, on the Deuteroprotos Sabbatw [or the 'Second-First Sabbath'], as he is going through the corn fields..." (AV Text of Luke 6:1).

A mid-month festival-interval (also formally referred to as 'Sabbatwn') can explicitly be recited from the Apocryphal Book of Judith as follows:

"[Feasting occurs at]…'Sabbatwn' [or at quarter-cycle intervals]...and 'Noumhniwn' [or the new month intervals]…" (Judith 8:6).

As in other texts from this time in history, the verse from Judith also seemingly verifies that the Sabbatwn intervals were understood to appear on opposite sides to the new moon intervals. 

 

The Judith verse also seems to refer to the quarter-interval Sabbaths (which were understood to appear between or before the 'Sabbatwn' intervals, and between or before the 'Noumhniwn') as follows:

"…[Feasting occurs] at 'pro-Sabbatwn' (or routinely before the mid-month intervals), and at the 'Sabbatwn' (or the mid-month intervals)), and at 'Pro-noumhniwn' (or routinely before the New Moon intervals), and at the 'Noumhniwn' (or the new moon intervals), and on the solemn days…" (Judith 8:6).

Interestingly, the Book of Judith seems to describe four specific lunar-cycle intervals as times for Sabbath feasting (extraneous to the solemn days). It is possible that the early understood meaning of these four Sabbath intervals was relative to the four formally spaced Sabbath divisions of the lunar cycle. (Refer to the diagram shown above).

 

It is of further interest that the cited solemn feasts were probably originally celebrated at the 'atsrah' (or in correspondence to seven formally spaced pentecontad divisions of the annual solar circuit -- as cited in previous chapters).

 

A related date: prosabbaton (a singular form of Sabbath) can be found in the Bible Book of Mark 15:42-43. This respective usage (while the date is actually located in the 'first-half' of the lunar cycle) seems to more specifically relate to the 'preparation' (and more logically seems to mean the time-interval occurring immediately before the 'Sabbaton' (as a singular event).

 

It is additionally significant that the recorded resurrection of Jesus -- in all New Testament instances -- is unilaterally noted to have occurred at the 'ONE' of the Sabbatwn (as fully detailed in Appendix C, and in Appendix D).

 

A date of Sabbatwn is also noted in the Book Of 1Corinthians (as shown in Appendix D).

 

A special festival interval -- at the Sabbatwn -- is graphically recorded twice in the Book of Acts -- as follows:

1. "…on the Sabbatwn…the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them Metaxu Sabbaton [the middle Sabbath]….And the Erchomai Sabbatw [the coming Sabbath] came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God." (AV Text of Acts 13:13-14).

2. "And upon the 'ONE' of the Sabbatwn when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached…and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together…When he….had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed." (AV Text of Acts 20:7)

This plural term ('Sabbatwn') for two specific phases of the lunar-cycle (perhaps appearing exclusively at the middle-half, or at the beginning-half of the lunar cycle) can also be found in the Hebrew Old Testament -- where in Hebrew the term seemingly corresponds to the word 'Shabbathown'

 

A probable instance of Sabbath time appearing in correspondence with a specific phase of the moon can be recited from the Bible Book Of Leviticus 23:24 (as translated in: The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament)

"…on the 7th month, on the ECHAD-to-the-chodesh, will be to you Shabbathown…".

In this passage, a date termed 'Shabbathown' is used. This Hebrew word appears to be a variation of a word more commonly used for the standard 7th Day Sabbath (which in the original language is the word: 'Shabbath').

 

Here, it seems significant to point out that the original Hebrew word used is: 'Shabbathown' (not necessarily a standard Sabbath)…and this original term seems to have association to: 1-to-the-lunar-cycle or 'ECHAD to chodesh' (and technically seems to correspond to something more than a 7th day of the week).

 

It ultimately seems significant that the Hebrew terms Shabbath and Shabbathown can be recognized to refer to not just a single Shabbath, but perhaps to specific phases of the lunar cycle. (The time of Shabbathown -- as cited above -- is shown to coincide with the 'ECHAD-to-the-chodesh'). Thus, instead of a generic meaning of Sabbath (as only a time of special rest)--the originally understood definition of the two terms Shabbath and Shabbathown seems to very simply refer to specific quarter-phases of the lunar cycle (perhaps to opposite quarters).

 

A special time for the renewal of the Sabbaths -- if it did exist as a feature of the ancient calendar -- is indicated to have been celebrated as a time of assembly. 

 

An example of this can be recited from the Book of Leviticus (in reference to the times of assembly). This book uses a unique term: 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' in association with these fixed-times of special assembly (or mowed):

"…Six days shall work be done; [otherwise], the Seventh Day Shabbath-Shabbathown [require] sacred assembly…". (Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament, Leviticus 23:3)

This double usage of the two nouns: 'Shabbath' and 'Shabbathown' is somewhat unusual, and is used six additional times in the Hebrew Bible as follows:

 

Exodus 16:23 'Shabbathown-Shabbath' is holy to Jehovah…
Exodus 31:15 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' is holy to Jehovah; …

Exodus 35:2 … holy 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' to Jehovah; …

Leviticus 16:31 it is to you 'Shabbath-Shabbathown',

Leviticus 23:32 It is 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' to you…

Leviticus 25:4 and in the seventh year 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' is to the land…

 

From amid all of the biblical passages which use the double noun 'Shabbath-Shabbathown', it is of peculiar interest that in a single instance (Exodus 16:23) the order of the two nouns is reversed:

"...[after] the fifteenth day of the second month...[for six days] they gathered [food. Moses] said unto them...To morrow is 'Shabbathown-Shabbath'...". (Exodus 16:1-23).

Notice carefully, that in the respective single instance (as quoted above) that a Sabbath interval is mentioned to have occurred in the second half of the lunar-month cycle.

 

Ultimately, it can be rather well understood that the interval of 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' probably does relate to the lunar-period, and this term specifically refers to the half-lunar-cycle.

 

SHABBATH + SHABBATHOWN = one-half of a lunar cycle (to its opposite reverse)

 

The biblical usage of 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' seems to encompass the specific definition of an entire half-month cycle. The order of the nouns may indicate the order of the day count (whether from sunset of from sunrise). 

 

It is possible that the term Shabbathown connotes plural Sabbaths (or extended Sabbath time), as it may refer to, or may additionally refer to, the indicated 'ECHAD' interval (as cited above).

A Calendar Of Weeks

The biblically indicated cycle of Sabbath weeks (Shabbath-Chodesh cycle) seems to be significant as an astronomical definition, both as an interface with the lunar-cycle, as well as an interface with the solar circle, or the annual cycle (as cited in Chapter One). 

The location of the Passover and the Feast-Of-Unleavened-Bread seems to be identifiable amid a cycle of lunar weeks (as documented). 

Other significant festivals can also be identified from within the biblical record.

Like the Passover, all the remaining festivals seem to be identifiable within a cycle of lunar-based weeks. 

One particular biblical festival -- the Day of Atonements -- does not initially seem to belong within the cycle of weeks.

Interestingly, in two diverse passages of scripture, the Day of the Atonements is stated to have occurred relative to 'Shabbath-Shabbathown', and the reference of this date to 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' seems to point to its existence as a date which does belong amid the weekly cycle.

The association between the Day of Atonements and the Sabbath cycle is seemingly related to an early used method of lunar-calendar intercalation (where intercalation was probably performed twice in 3 years, as explained in Chapters 4 and 5). 

A glimpse of this early used method of intercalation is perhaps mirrored in the early Mesopotamian calendars: 

"The year attested in Kultepe texts...every three years [required] the insertion of 15...days called shapattum...Throughout the [3 years] Assyrians counted ten-day periods...For three years, these [counts] ran congruently with the months and the years. Then, after the insertion of a 15-day shapattum period, they overlapped from one month into the next, returning to congruency with the months after the next shapattum...." (From Britannica, 1972, Calendar, Babylonian And Assyrian Calendars). 

The Kultepe Calendar, as cited, may represent a model which was used in other early Semite calendars. (In the Kultepe Calendar, it is apparent that a three-year cycle was once counted, and also a half-month cycle was intercalated). 

According to the Kultepe method or model of counting three years, it seems that the orientation of the month (if it was a lunar month, or even if it was a solar month) would have become reversed to the alternate half of the month upon the intercalation of each half-month count (the shapattum or 15-day period).

 

It is interesting to take into account that in certain early calendars the cited half-month interval (shapattum) would always have occurred at a time of 'TEN'. The count of 'TEN' ultimately terminated at the time of the intercalated half-month (shapattum) -- where the half-month was either overlapped, or exactly coincided with 'TEN', on an alternating basis). Thus, the terminal of the monthly count ultimately signified the intercalary time of a shapattum (which heralded a unique time of completion/renewal).

 

Here it seems of related significance that a peculiar 'TEN' , specifically relative to the a 3-year cycle, can be located in the Hebrew Bible:

"At the end (or 'qetseh') of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase…" (De. 14:28).

"When you have make an end of tithing ['TEN'] all the tithes of your increase the third year which is the year of tithing ['TEN'] " (De. 26:12).

In returning to the identification of the time of Atonements (and the time of Shabbath-Shabbathown), the biblically described time for this event seems to be at 'TEN'.

 

Actually, the composite biblical description of this date seemingly indicates a meaning more than just a 'TEN' count. This is partially evident in the fact that the Hebrew Bible uses a special form of 'TEN' relative to computing the date for the Atonments. The Hebrew word consistently used in association with the time for the Atonements is 'AWSOR'

 

In biblical texts, the word 'AWSOR' can be found 16 times (in the original texts), where the respective word is unilaterally translated as the English word 'TEN'. (A similar word is much more frequently translated as also 'ten').

 

The rather unique form of the word 'TEN', or the 'AWSOR', appears in the construction of a date in 8 total instances. (The Bible Book of Ezekiel has 3 of these 8 instances). Interestingly, 4 of the remaining 8 instances in the Hebrew Bible are exclusively used to describe the date for the 'Day of Atonements' (or an 'AWSOR' at the 7th month'):

"On 'AWSOR' at the seventh month is the Day of Atonements….It shall be unto you a 'Shabbath Shabbathown'." (Leviticus 23:27)

The consistency of the syntactical usage of the unique word 'AWSOR' indicates that this word (when used as a date) almost undoubtedly equates to some kind of a special calendar term (perhaps not exactly a numeric quantity). 

 

The calendar term ('the AWSOR') is invariably used as a noun (without ever being coupled with other nouns such as 'day' or 'month'.


It is especially unusual that the calendar term, the 'AWSOR', is seemingly relative to the coincidence of the 50th year of the Jubilee Calendar.

"And you shall number 7 Sabbaths of years unto you, 7 times 7 years; and the space of 7 Sabbaths of years shall be unto you 49 years. Then shall you cause the trumpet 'loud of sound' on the 'aswor' at the seventh month in the Day of Atonements shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land." (Leviticus 25:8-9).

Thus, it is rather evident that an original celebration of a special event at the 'AWSOR' (a 'Shabbath-Shabbathown' at the seventh month) probably was in association with a unique intermission interval between the 6th and 7th month (signifying termination and renewal at the time of 'TEN'). 

 

In yet one other passage of scripture, there is possible confusion concerning the biblical usage of a calendar of weeks. Essentially, in the account of the flood in the time of Noah, it can be inferred that the ancient calendar might have contained 30 days per-month -- where a peculiar count of 150 days extends between the 17th day of the second month, and the 17th day of the seventh month.

 

Biblical passages (as well as the Book of Jubilees) show the date for the beginning of the great flood:

"And it came to pass after seven days…in the second month the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the great fountains of the deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth…" (Gen. 7:10-12).

The number: seventeen also shows up in a subsequent date of the flood account:

"And the ark rested in the seventh chodesh, on the seventeenth day of the chodesh upon the mountains of Ararat." (Gen. 8:4).

It is interesting to note that Josephus, the Jewish historian, records the beginning of the flood as occurring in the second month and the twenty-seventh day, and not on the seventeenth (Antiquities 1:3:3). The Josephus account also records the ark coming to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month (the same as in Genesis 8:4). 

 

The number: twenty-seven is also recorded by Genesis as the final date of the flood account: "And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month was the earth dried." (Gen. 8:14). (Josephus does not give a final date). Here it is interesting to note that the Book of Jubilees differs slightly in that "…on the seventeenth day in the second month the earth was dry", and then "… on the twenty-seventh thereof he opened the ark, and sent forth from it beasts, and cattle, and birds, and every moving thing."

 

An interesting additional date: the second month and the seventeenth day, can be located in Jubilees 3:17-18, where: "…And after the completion of the seven years, which he [Adam and Eve] had completed there [in Eden], seven years exactly, and in the second month, on the seventeenth day (of the month), the serpent came...". Here the location of this interesting date immediately follows "seven years exactly". 

 

It is then significant -- and oddly so -- that the numbers: seventeen, and: twenty-seven show up throughout all of the historical accounts of Noah's flood (Genesis, Jubilees, and Josephus). 

 

Among this array of similar numbers it is not completely logical that the earth dried abruptly on the twenty-seventh (or seventeenth?) day of the month (especially following an extremely long wet spell). It is obvious that the twenty-seventh (or seventeenth?) day of the chodesh (or renewal) is significant as a specific calendar boundary (not as an instantaneous dry spell -- which makes no sense). 

 

Because the number seven is common throughout all of the number dates for the flood account (17, 17, and 27 in Genesis; and 27, 17 in Josephus, and 17, 27, 17 in Jubilees), then it is possible that the numbers require a better modern understanding… and specifically, in the context of the calendar to which they apply. 

Ultimately, it is not fully logical to attempt to interpret a 30-day month from these first two numbers (which are either 17 or 27 depending upon which account is used).

One very reasonable explanation for the indicated 30-day month can perhaps be learned from certain early astronomers (who are indicated to have used intercalation in association with normalized month counts to track-time with). In general, the count of the lunar month was truncated to a count of 28 (as shown on Scroll 4Q317, and as shown on other Scrolls). It appears that another popular normalized lunar-month count was used throughout the ancient Middle East. The use of this count involved rounding-up the lunar month to a count of 30. (For additional information of this normalized month count, refer to Appendix B).

 

The account of the flood also has an extremely strange calendar term: 'forty days and forty nights':

1. "And the Lord said unto Noah….For yet seven days and I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights…" (Gen. 7:1-4). 

2. "And it came to pass after seven days, that the flood waters were upon the earth…And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights…" (Gen. 7:10-12).

3. "And it came to pass at the end of forty days that Noah opened the window of the ark which he made…And he stayed yet other seven days …" (Gen. 8:6-10). 

 

The interesting context (seven days plus forty days and forty nights, and forty days plus seven days) must mean that the term: forty days and forty nights has some association to a period of 'seven days'. It is very clear that the term: forty days and forty nights is in direct chronological alignment with a period of seven days (both before and after). But exactly why, and how, could this alignment with seven days be possible?

 

To possibly improve the definition of the term: forty days and nights, notice carefully that this expression refers to a time interval which exceeds, or is greater than a literal period of forty days. This is evident in Genesis 7:10 through Genesis 8:6 where the actual end of the 'forty-day' period seems to traverses a quite lengthy interval: "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights…and the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days…and it came to pass at the end of [the] forty days that Noah… sent forth a dove…". (The focus here is that in the complete context of the ancient account, the archaic term: forty days and forty nights, refers to a time interval which either occurs more than one time, or exceeds a literal forty days. This is evident between the beginning date and the ending date which contains a time interval of at least 150 days.)

 

Then the archaic expression: forty days and forty nights, can not be understood to be the time span for the duration of the flood. Instead, the strange term: arbaiym (or forty) days seems to indicate that the calendar of the flood contained a significant boundary or boundaries at that time interval. 

Ultimately, it is not illogical to interpret the usage of a calendar of weeks throughout the account of the flood, where a span of 7 days is cited (both at the beginning as well as after the flood).

It is of further interest to speculate that the record of the great flood might have been recorded (perhaps partially) in terms of pentecontads. For example, it seems that a span of three pentecontads, or a recorded period of 150 days, applies to an initial period of the waters prevailing, or increasing.

"…the waters prevailed [gabar, or to be stronger] and were increased greatly… and the waters prevailed [gabar] exceedingly … and the waters prevailed [gabar] upon the earth an hundred and fifty days" (Gen. 7:18,19,24). 

The account seems to also refer to a possible additional 150 day period when the waters were receding:

"…and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the water asswaged [shakak, or appease]: The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped and the rain from heaven was restrained: And the water returned [shuwb] from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated [chacer, or lessened] (Gen. 8:1-3).

Then, at what might have been the seventh pentecontad, the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4). This date occurred 150 days, or three pentecontad cycles after the waters began to abate. It is then logical (from a chronological standpoint) that throughout the first 150 days, or for three pentecontads, that the waters were increasing; and throughout a subsequent period of three pentecontads that the waters were decreasing. Then at the seventh pentecontad the ark rested on the mountains. The total number of elapsed pentecontad cycles adds up to the seventh pentecontad (three pentecontads plus three pentecontads extends to the seventh pentecontad).

 

For possible verification of this respective interpretation, refer to the Septuagint Version of Genesis 8:4 which shows two forms of the word hebdoma. What is of particular interest is that the two respective forms of the word 'seven' appear in tandem, or in duet ('ebdomw ebdomh'). This double usage in the Septuagint implies that (instead of 7th chodesh 17th day) the original understanding of this unique date was that the ark rested at a Renewal of '7-times-7' -- or at the respective pentecontad boundary (following a three pentecontad period of the waters decreasing).

 

Some scholars interpret a specific style of dating amid biblical texts. This different format is sometimes referred to as the priestly style of dating (Calendars In The Dead Sea Scrolls, Vanderkam). 

 

The priestly format is seemingly reflected in Genesis Chapter 8:5 where: "the tenth, on the 'ONE' of the Renewal" (the tops of the mountains were seen). 

 

This same distinct style is also recognizable in Chapter 8:13: "… at the first [or beginning] in the ' ONE ' of the chodesh [or renewal]…[and on this date] Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry".

 

Interestingly, both of these peculiar dates reveal lunar dating amid a calendar which also indicates the usage of a cycle of weeks--or at least a calendar which contained sequences of seven-days. (Refer to the Book Of Geneses, Chapters7:1-4; 7:10-12; and 8:6-10).

 

 

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Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
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www.hope-of-israel.org

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