Calendar Pieces

The Traditional Jewish Lunar/Solar Calendar

by Professor Vendyl Jones

The story behind the Jewish lunar/solar calendar


This Calendar was adopted during the Hasmonean period. It was introduced by the High Priest Hannan, or Annias. He changed the months from the simple Biblical numerical designations of the 1st month, the 2nd month, and so on, to the names of the Babylonian months. The names of the Babylonian months were the names of the pagan Babylonian gods. We have like designations for the pagan names of the months and days of the week in the Christian System.

Hannan also changed Rosh HaShanah (New Year) from the first month that begins at Aviv, the Spring month, to the seventh month at the Autumn Equinox. The word, 'equinox' means equidistant, halfway or middle. The 7th month, Tishri, is the beginning month half way through the year from the 1st month of Aviv in the Spring. Therefore, the New Year in the Jubilee Calendar is 6 months after the New Year in the Lunar Calendar.

The MMS document found at Qumran brings 24 charges against the Upper Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Several of these charges relate to the use of the Lunar rather than the Solar Jubilee Calendar which was used in biblical times.. Among those charges is the allegation that the Torah is very specific that the first day and the first month of the year is the Spring Equinox, or the month of Aviv (Spring) is the beginning of the year to the Nation of Israel. Exodus 12:2;

"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months.
The first month of the year [Rosh HaShanah] shall it be unto you."

One can easily see the point of dissension that the writer of the MMS Document made against the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The Lunar system requires the addition of 7 extra months in each 19 year cycle to keep it at least close to the Solar system.

In Genesis 1:14-18 and 8:22 the sun, moon and stars were set in their order to govern the earth.

* The Sun was set to determine days and years. The sun is called the "Day Star". Since the sun is a star in the Galaxy, it is also sequenced to the Zodiac.

* The Moon was consigned to govern the night, seed-time and the harvest.

* The Stars, [Zodiacs or the 12 constellations] were designated to govern the signs and seasons. In Genesis 8:22, [after the flood], the Zodiac also controlled "Heat and Cold" which literally means "Warmth and Cool", [Spring and Autumn] and "Summer and Winter."

Babylon and many other contemporary cultures reckoned the Autumn Equinox as the first day of the 7th month, as the beginning of the year. Other more ancient calendars, however, agreeing to that stated in Exodus 12:2, reckoned the Spring Equinox as the New Year. March 22, starting at sunset at the end of March 21st, the Zodiac Sign of Aries (the Lamb) having fully entered into the Gate of the Sun, is the beginning of the Torah Jubilee year.

Annias [Hannan] changed Rosh HaShanah to the 1st day of the 7th month as it remains until today. This was the disputation between the writer of the MMS Document found at Qumran against the ruling Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

One might ask "Why do the Rabbis not go back to the Original Jubilee Torah Calendar?" The answer is, that the Lunar Calendar was established by the recognized Sanhedrin of that day. No rabbi or group of rabbis have the authority to change a decision of that Sanhedrin. They cannot change it even if that Sanhedrin was wrong! Today, many rabbis do hold that when the Messiah comes and the Temple and Sanhedrin are reestablished, that the Torah Jubilee Calendar will be restored.

There is one thing certain--Vendyl Jones is not going to tell the rabbis what they should do! Yet, for my own research, when we try to understand prophecy and the Torah Codes, we have to subject those dates to the Jubilee Torah Calendar and sequence of events that the Torah and prophets used.