Throughout history, the Jews have followed a different calendar than the rest of the world, going off of the cycles of the moon as opposed to the sun’s revolutions. This calendar still follows a normal 12 month rotation for the most part, but every once in a while, they are to add a 13th month, a leap month. Yep, you heard it right. With our calendar, we have a leap day to balance out time, but every once in a while, God adds a whole lunar month to the Jewish calendar, but only if they are watching and obeying Him, and that’s the key.
- ““Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that the Lord will choose, to make his name dwell there. ” Deuteronomy 16:1-2
- “2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.[a]” Exodus 12:2-6
- “3 Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 4 Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. ” Exodus 13:3-4
- “13 “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.14 “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep the Feast of Harvest (Feast of First Fruits), of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering (Feast of Tabernacles) at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. ” Exodus 23:13-16
- “18 “You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. 19 All that open the womb are mine, all your male[b] livestock, the firstborn of cow and sheep. 20 The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed.” Exodus 34:18-20
Oddly, abib is not the actual name of the month, though it would seem to state that in Deuteronomy. The word abib or aviv means a stage of barley growth (barley is planted in the winter and is the first spring harvest of the year for Israel – and the barley harvest in Scripture is representative of the bride of Christ, and Christ Himself, as the first fruits harvest). God does not actually define the names of months in the Bible as the Jews later named the months based on Babylonian names while they were being held in captivity. God only defines the months by numbers.
“31 (The flax and the barley were struck down, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the emmer[b] were not struck down, for they are late in coming up.) ” Exodus 9:31-32 – The barley had reached the stage of abib and so was ripe enough to be destroyed by the plague in Egypt just prior to the Exodus.
In the month where the barley reaches the abib state of growth, this is when the next new moon (seeing the sliver of the moon after it had gone to darkness and had been hidden for several days) dictates the first month of the new year and thus Passover is to be celebrated that month. The priest was the one to go out into the fields and check the barley at that time and he would determine the stage of the barley. If the barley was not abib, then they would need to wait a whole additional month, or moon cycle, (the leap month), and check it again the following month. In this way, God had complete control over when the new year would begin and would cause Israel to rely on Him totally for their calendar days. It is thus a requirement for Israel to understand agriculture if they are to understand God’s calendar and His feast days, or holy appointed days. The reason why the barley had to be in the state of abib is that it needed to be mature enough in order for the grain offering to be waived on its designated feast day, Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:10-11). One couldn’t wave half-grown barley. God wouldn’t accept a non-ripe crop. This needed to be true for the entire nation and not just one spot-checked field.
“14 “If you offer a grain offering of firstfruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits fresh ears, roasted with fire, crushed new grain. 15 And you shall put oil on it and lay frankincense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 And the priest shall burn as its memorial portion some of the crushed grain and some of the oil with all of its frankincense; it is a food offering to the Lord.” Leviticus 2:14-16 (Barley offering)
If the Jews are not following this agriculture plan that God laid out, then their calendar gets ‘out of whack.’ This calendar became ‘out of whack’ in 2016 and again in 2017. Why? Because the Jews are now doing something in their planning that was never in the plan of God. They are now pre-planning the calendar for the following year and they are basing it not off the Word and agriculture, but are instead using the worldly book, “Astronomical Phenomena for the year xxxx.” This book calculates moon cycles on mathematics and man’s predictions based off of when the new moon is estimated to be sited, rather than when it is actual sited (which was a requirement for Biblical times). In fact, when planning their calendar for the upcoming year, they no longer open the Bible, but instead open the astronomical projection book. How they do it is they search the astronomical books to find when the closest new moon is to the Passover, set the date (as this is the religious new year), and with that, they set up the feast days based on their estimated calendar and so they are no longer waiting to hear from God. Why do they do this? For convenience. They want to be able to plan their work weeks and their vacation schedules. So, we have an obvious problem! By ‘jumping the gun’ and pre-planning the upcoming year, if the Lord wants to add in the leap month, the Jewish calendar will not reflect this month and now all of the feasts are being celebrated in the wrong months. The other item they’ve pre-planned is the leap month. They no longer wait on God to see if He desires a leap month, but they instead have calculated it 7 times in every 19 year cycle (years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, 19). Bam, God is taken out of both the new year and leap month calculations because of the desired convenience of man.
The 2016 calendar was determined a leap year, as the barley was not in abib in March, so the Passover got moved to April: http://triumphpro.com/aviv-barley-report-leap-year-and-holy-days-for-2016.pdf: ; however, when we view several other reports of the abib, it is clear that abib was ‘spotty’ and not truly almost ready for the harvest (http://www.eliyah.com/newyear2016.html). Most of Israel must be in abib in order for the offering to be presented by the whole nation. So, 2016 was determined the leap year (as this was also the pre-planned 19 year cycle), but seems like it really wasn’t. And, in 2017, since the leap year was declared in 2016, could not be a leap year, so the crop was determined abib in March, but all documents found online stated that it was not in abib in March, so 2017 should have been designated as the leap year, which moves all of the feast dates one month out from their pre-planned timing. 2017 report, it was not in abib and ready and should have been the leap year: https://www.abibofgod.com/aviv-search
This may seem minor to us to have to move the feasts one month out, but God has set these feasts to appear at His appointed times, not at our estimated times. They are feasts that He has designated in His Word, and He chooses when they should be celebrated and was very specific on their timing. Breaking His feast days has some significant repercussions for them as they are no longer following Torah. The reason why this really matters is because in the year starting the Messianic reign, aka when Jesus comes back for His bride, and thus when the Tribulation starts, they will be expecting and celebrating their future Messiah in the wrong months and so, as Jesus says, He will come as a thief in the night. They missed Jesus the first time because they weren’t interpreting their prophetic books correctly, and they will miss Him again because they are not following it still.
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,[a] you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
The Jews will not be expecting their Messiah when He actually comes because their feast days are off, and so they will be confused again for a period of time (God will open their eyes eventually though). God has set it in His plan that Jesus is to fulfill the 7 feast days exactly as defined on His calendar. Jesus fulfilled the first 4 at His first coming for the Jews (being born as a man) and will fulfill the last 3 in order on the exact days at His second coming for them as well (The fulfillment of the feasts appear to be for signs for the Jews, though they don’t recognize them. We, as believers in Jesus, are aware of the fulfillment, but they are not necessarily for us):
- Feast of Trumpets – Announcement of the arrival of the King
- Day of Atonement – Sin covering & forgiveness, and the opening the judgement books
- Feast of Tabernacles – the final gathering and celebration of those saved
Because of their lack of obeying, their calendar was off in the year 2016 and is now off in 2017, as they no longer have been following God’s calendar laid out in the Bible, but instead have modified it to pre-plan the following year one year a head of time and are pre-planning the leap year (19 year cycle). This causes problems when God has the leap month in mind for a certain year, and they don’t listen. God wants them to fully depend on Him each year, so planning out to the following year takes God out of their equation and puts the mathematical equations of man as priority.
So, as we’ve determined, the pre-planning is done out of convenience by the Jews so that they can establish a routine, normalness to life and can be like the rest of the world. However, God does not want them to be like the rest of the world, and wants them to depend on Him for their calendar. Where have we seen this before? One example is when they did this same type of thing in the period of the Judges. God had established Himself as their King and set up Judges to help manage. The Israelites wanted to be like the rest of the world and have kings, so God gave them over to kings and thus the true battle began. In conclusion, God has once again given them the desires of their hearts and has turned them over to the calendar of man. There is now a pending problem that should show its face in this final generation in Israel as they will miss the signs of the coming of their King & Messiah once again. And, instead, they will accept a false Messiah (temporarily), the rule and reign of the Anti-Christ.
“28 “From the fig tree [Israel] learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves [Israel coming back into its land in 1947], you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place [the birth pangs described prior], you know that [it – the final coming of Jesus to reign] is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation [70 years – 2017] will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Mark 13:28-31
If in fact we are now in God’s designated leap year, 2017, when the calendar is off by one month. The new feast days should be moved to the following month, so instead of next week being the completion of the Feast of Tabernacles (the last feast), we need to back up a month and start over with celebrating first, the Feast of Trumpets, on Oct 20-21, 2017 (depending on the new moon siting), 10 days later the Day of Atonement (the covering for sin), and the Feast of Tabernacles, 5 days after that. So, why not celebrate again!
Father God, Please help our brothers and sisters in Israel to be awakened to your true calendar and true timing. Bring them back to the Scriptures and back to the foundations of their roots in you. Set them apart from the world once again so that they go back to fully relying on you, and not on the ways of man. And, open their eyes to their Messiah in the Old Testament Scriptures and show them a link to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In His Name. Amen.