The Feasts and the Equinox

Some of you may have seen the mail from a brother in Messiah who lives in Jerusalem and wants believers in other parts of the world to rethink the method they are using to determine when a Scriptural year actually begins, in the light of the Word, but also in the light of what they are experiencing in the land of Israel. I realize that this topic has been discussed and tossed around and laboured upon, many times in the past. Moreover, right now many believers are preparing for Yom Kippur and Sukkot and do not want to engage in a discussion about the timing of the feasts. But let me ask just a few moments of your time. I do not want anyone to alter their plans for this year’s feasts. Please enjoy every moment of what is still in the pipeline for this year, as far as the feasts are concerned. As for myself, I have no intention of taking a different stance on the feasts (in the years to come), unless I am convicted that this is what Yahweh is saying. What I have heard this brother saying, however, made me realize, almost immediately, that all serious believers should at least listen to his appeal and search Scriptures once again, and try to come to an informed, and Scripturally correct decision in this regard. Here are some extracts from the contents of this letter, and the letter in its entirety, including a number of Scriptural references, may be read here.

“As the Jewish New Year and Holy days are just a week away, I wanted to once again bring up the subject of our brother Judah incorrectly starting the year this year in winter, before the turning of the year to spring/summer, after the vernal equinox.”

“What happens living here in Israel is that when a mistake like that is made it will throw off the whole agricultural calendar, and being here we can clearly see the mistake. It is no doubt that it is still summer in Israel and harvest time is NOT here. The temperatures have been in the 90’s or higher and there is no harvest yet for pomegranates, dates, figs, or olives. Most of the above fruits do not even have up to 20% harvest at present. The only fruit that has been in harvest is the grapes which always come in mid to late August.”

“Since the harvest does not even begin until early September at the earliest, and lasts 3 to 4 weeks, and then it would take up to a week to even get to Jerusalem from many places in Israel, it stands to reason that the feast would have to be after the equinox, which is the changing point of the seasons. It is inconceivable that people would leave their harvest to fall off the trees and rot while they come empty handed to Jerusalem for an almost month’s journey roundtrip.”

“When you put on a Hebraic mindset you will clearly see that Yahweh’s biblical calendar is both celestial and agriculture and fully revolves around the harvest of Israel. The feast in the spring and fall could only occur AFTER the harvest is in, which is AFTER the equinox. This is the way it was observed in biblical times … I encourage each of you to pray to Yahweh and with a sincere heart and ask Him to guide you into the truth, which we all seek. Please know I am only writing this to try to help the brethren get a more full understanding of Yahweh’s biblical calendar from Israel and I am not criticizing or judging those who keep a different calendar.”

I am posting this on our Blog so that we can begin with a process, here in South Africa, of discussing the matter openly and freely, trusting Yahweh to guide our minds and guard our hearts, in order for many of us to gain understanding in this regard.

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Rina

I just quickly want to make an observation, may be it is also something that should be considered. Due to the whole change in global weather, wouldn’t it also contribute to the fact that the seasons are changing and that we have an earlier winter/earlier summer some years? Just a thought. I have noticed here in Gauteng that we jumped from winter straight into summer in less than a week. There wasn’t even the remotest sign of spring. Wouldn’t that also contribute to the fact that fruit/vegetables that do work on the seasons/weather patterns would be off cycle as well?

Ya'acov

Shabbat Shalom

The moment I see the word “equinox”, I see a mindset that does not agree with me. My gut feeling says that I cannot combine a Greek Astronomy concept with a Scriptual way of searching for the truth.

But reading the letter of this Achi in Jerusalem, I realize that there could be practical problems with the Calendar I believe is the correct Scriptual Calendar and then my question is, where is the error. Me, Scripture, could it be YHWH?

I KNOW the error is NOT on YHWH’s side, so where do one start to search the solution?

I don’t have the solution, except to say (as John puts it) that I will be obedient to Elohim.

Three points that determine my train of thoughts:
a) I am convinced that the method of determining the beginning of months (http://www.chabad.co.za/library/article_cdo/aid/526874/jewish/Months.htm) and the beginning of the year that was used way back (let’s say in Melech Dawid’s time), is by using the visible renewed moon and the aviv barley.
b) I realize that this method was changed due to the Sadducees and how it was changed (it is brilliant), but that the situation in (a) above can be restored (with the existence of good communication channels from Jerusalem)

How could an error possible slip in (did it?).

A friend of mine in England once remarked that the modern world used genetic manipulation techniques and natural selection to change the yield and the timing of produce, in order to make the harvest time earlier and also lengthen the harvest time, in order to make more money.

So if some barley ripens three weeks earlier that it should be, could it introduce an error into a calendar depending on the ripening of barley?

If so, how can one manage the situation?

Amanda

Hallo John, dit sal goed wees as jy jou siening van hierdie epos aan ons kan deurgee. Verder – watter kalender gebruik julle en n.a.v. my vraag – watter dag vier julle Yom Kippur?

Amanda

Ekskuus, John, het nou na jul kalender gekyk en besef my vorige kommentaar was kortsigtig. Sal egter nog steeds jou siening oor die epos wil he wat jy vir ons aangestuur het. Shalom

Rob H

I think it is good to be always examing our understanding of Torah. Knowledge puffs up but Wisdom is from the Almighty, and so we need to have wisdom in dealing with these things and not be too proud to re-examine what we think we know or teach with a haughty attitude.

A few points on the Feasts;
1. these are appointed times of YHWH
2. we are to “practise” them so are ready for the millennial kingdom
3. we are not all in “The Land”
4. they are community events to celebrate with each other.

So let us remember to follow the greatest commands …
Love your Elohim ….
Love your neighbour ….

Rob H
Durban