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TorahTimes Messianic Ministry

Teaching Truths about Torah, Time, and Messiah


Dedication of the Temple

Deuteronomy 18:6-8 and 2 Chronicles 5:11 taken together show that the T1A system is unbiblical. T1A proposes that the divisions under both Temples began so that the New moon of Tishri 1 fell into the week of the first division. And indeed, if T1A had been established in the first Temple, then it would have been the system used in the Second Temple. It follows then that evidence against the use of T1A in the First Temple is also evidence against the use of T1A in the Second Temple.

The Priests cannot properly serve in the Temple before they are sanctified to do so. The Law said that they had to stay near the door of the Sanctuary for seven days during their ordination (Exodus 29:35; Lev. 8:33-35). Now the Ark had been captured by the Philistines in 1142 BC. Shiloh was destroyed then or in the next 20 years, but the Tabernacle had been removed before the destruction of the city. We are not told how it escaped destruction. When the Ark was returned after seven months among the Philistines, it was not reunited with the Tabernacle. It was never put in the Tabernacle again, but when David brought it up to Jerusalem in 1053 BC, it was kept separated from the Tabernacle. The reasons why are not mentioned, but we may well guess that the curse on the house of Eli was the reason they were never again entrusted with the Ark. Although the tabernacle was used at Nob and Gibeon (1 Samuel 21:1; 1 Chronicles 16:37-39), the Ark was not there. It was David’s lifelong policy not to lay a hand on Yahweh’s Anointed, even when the Anointed was under a curse. The Anointed High Priest was Abiathar, a descendant of Eli, and he was treated with every respect until he conspired with Adonijah against Solomon. Then the king deposed him from the High Priesthood, and put Zadok in his place.

The new Temple was for the Ark. The Ark had gone from 1142 BC to 1012 BC without a house for it, 131 years by the inclusive count. The last priest to be properly ordained at the door of the tabernacle, wherin the sanctuary was sanctified and graced by the holiness imparted to the Ark and the presence of Yahweh would be over 160 years old. Priests were ordained at the age of 30. No doubt priests were ordained in that period of time, but every priest ordained without the Ark in the Tabernacle and the glory of Yahweh there would know the inadequacy of such an ordination. They all knew the glory had departed (1 Samuel 4:21). So they were all reordained when the First Temple was dedicated, For all the priests being found had consecrated themselves, none watching to divisions (2 Chronicles 5:11). And the glory of Yahweh filled the new Temple (2 Chronicles 5:13-14). And fire came down from heaven to burn the first offerings in the Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1). No priest, and no division of priests had the honor of burning the first offerings. Not only that, they could not enter the Temple to serve (2 Chronicles 7:2). The feast was a feast of dedication (2 Chronicles 7:5). Now 2 Chronicles 7:6 says, And the priests over their watches stood. This does not mean the regular rotation had begun, because it was all of the priests who were being sanctified for seven days along with the altar, which according to Law had to be sanctified for seven days. The watches of the priests in this case means that they stayed in the Temple for the required seven days, and did not go out of it (2 Chronicles 7:9).

During that first week, all the priests stood their watches of seven days, to be sanctified with the altar (2 Chronicles 7:6). And it says, they sanctified themselves without keeping to divisions (2 Chronicles 5:11). The meaning of “watches” in 2 Chronicles 7:6 is confirmed by Leviticus 8:35, And at the door of the tent of appointment you will remain daytime and night, a seven of days, and you will have kept watch, the watch of Yăhwēh, and will not die, because thus I have been made to be commanded!

Under this threat of death, no priest would want to engage in the regular service until he had done this. It was only in the week of Yom Kippur, the week between the dedication feast and the feast of Tabernalces, which they also kept, that the first division of priests would be put on duty. For it was on the 8th day after the dedication feast that everyone was sent home, that is, everyone except those priests who would take the first duty.

Month: VII ETHANIM, 1012 BC 3128 A.M. Sab. Cyc: 7. Jub. Cyc: 42 Cycle No: 63
Q1: 0.677 A Q2: -0.320 F LG:  61m W: 1.125' AL: 22.6 AV: 12.3               
New Moon calculated for longitude: 35.17 and latitude 31.77                 
Location of calculations: Jerusalem Author: Daniel Gregg                    
                                                                            
                 TISHRI - ETHANIM   1012 BC Temple Dedication               
                                                                            
        I        II        III       IV         V        VI        VII      
~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
 ↑   │   1     │   2     │   3     │   4     │   5     │   6     │   7     │
 NM  │ Oct 7   │         │         │         │         │         │         │
  Dedication of the Altar & Consecration of the Priests for Seven Days     │
     │         │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀██╫██
     │  8th    │   9     │  10     │  11     │  12     │  13     │  14     │
     │         │         │Y. Kippur│         │         │         │         │
 The First Division serves during the second week of Tishri      │         │
     │         │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀██╫██
     │  15     │  16     │  17     │  18     │  19     │  20     │  21     │
     │Sukkot   │         │         │         │         │         │         │
 The Second Division serves during the third week of Tishri      │         │
     │         │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │  22     │  23     │  24     │  25     │  26     │  27     │  28     │
     │8th Day  │         │         │         │         │         │         │
 The Third Division serves during the fourth week of Tishri      │         │
     │         │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒                                                  
     │  29     │  30 ↑   │                                                  
     │         │         │                                                  
 The Fourth Division serves....(Rotations continue to 24 and then repeat    
     │         │         │      perpetually)                                

It was the plan of David to institute the rotations of 24 divisions with the new Temple. 1 Chronicles 28:13 states that the divisions were part of the plan for the new Temple. We see that that the first week of Tishri, in 1012 BC, was spent sanctifying the altar and all the priests for seven days. Also seen is that all the priests had to remain in the Temple for seven days. And no priest was more special than another. But it says that all the priests that were found were consecrated without keeping to their divisions. For this reason T1A is not Scriptural. The first division would serve during the second week of Tishri, and not the first week. Roger Beckwith states that counting back from 9 AV, AD 70 to the first week of Tishri matches with the first division. If there ever had been a T1A system, then that first week of Tishri, AD 69, should have matched with the 24th division, and the second week of Tishri with the 1st division. Beckwith’s claimed match is really a disconfirmation. According to Scripture, we should expect T1A to land the 24th division in AD 69 like this (as marked with asterisks).

Month: VII ETHANIM, AD 69   4208 A.M. Sab. Cyc: 2. Jub. Cyc: 44 Cycle No: 85
Q1: 0.052 B Q2: -0.765 G LG:  46m W: 0.483' AL: 14.9 AV: 9.5                
New Moon calculated for longitude: 35.17 and latitude 31.77                 
Location of calculations: Jerusalem Author: Daniel Gregg                    
                                                                            
        I        II        III       IV         V        VI        VII      
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     1st Division              ↑   │   1     │   2     │   3     │   4     │
       ETHANIM                     │New Moon │         │Fast Ged │         │
     *24th Division*               │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │   5     │   6     │   7     │   8     │   9     │  10     │  11     │
     2nd Division        │         │         │         │Y. Kippur│         │
     *1st Division*      │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │  12     │  13     │  14     │  15     │  16     │  17     │  18     │
     │         │         │         │Sukkot   │         │         │         │
     │         │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │  19     │  20     │  21     │  22     │  23     │  24     │  25     │
     │         │         │         │8th Day  │         │         │         │
     │         │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒                    
     │  26     │  27     │  28     │  29     │  30 ↑   │                    
     │         │         │         │         │         │                    
     │         │         │         │         │         │                    
     │         │         │         │         │         │                    

If the 1st division begins anew every Tishri, then it should be expected to begin anew starting with the first Sabbath in Tishri, which is according to the Scripture, because the first division did begin regular service just after the First Sabbath in Tishri when the First Temple was dedicated. This arrangement is only expected at the inception of the cycle. Now Beckwith has proposed T1A so that the first division ends its service on the first Sabbath of Tishri. His match, however, is only as good as his assumption that the first division started service then. Since it did not, counting back from 9 Av, AD 70 to Tishri, AD 69 is disconfirmation the T1A system, and confirms the CRT system.

I have to note again, that per Deuteronomy 18:6-8, the CRT system is the only way to treat all the priests with equity. T1A causes two divisions to serve three times every year, and sometimes seven divisions to serve three times in a year, leaving divisions 8-24 at a disadvantage in eating their portions of the offerings. To recap, 2 Chronicles 5:11 states that the first week of Tishri, all the divisions were sanctified without keeping to their divisions. There was no T1A at the inception of Solomon’s Temple, and therefore no precedent for T1A in the Second Temple. The discovery that rotating back (from 9 Av, AD 70 (first division) to Tishri AD 69, and the first week, for the first division ) does not line up with the inception point is proof of CRT and disproof of T1A. Beckwith’s theory missed by one week. And a near miss is as good as a mile when one builds a theory on happenstance instead of Scripture.

I have mentioned the hazards of astronomically dating 4Q320. But I alluded to something else. There is something in 4Q320 that is not “open to interpretation.” And it is admitted by both Beckwith and Finegan. The 4Q320 text begins the 364 day solar year with the 22nd division of Gamul. And where does that leave the 1st division? It puts it into the second week of the seventh month! Let us map this out according to the Qumran Calendar:

DV        SUN        MON        TUE        WED        THU        FRI        SAB       MON     
22                                         1          2          3          4         XII/I   
23        5          6          7          8          9          10         11        I       
24        12         13         14         15         16         17         18        I       
1         19         20         21         22         23         24         25        I       
2         26         27         28         29         30         1          2         I/II    
3         3          4          5          6          7          8          9         II      
4         10         11         12         13         14         15         16        II      
5         17         18         19         20         21         22         23        II      
6         24         25         26         27         28         29         30        II      
7         1          2          3          4          5          6          7         III     
8         8          9          10         11         12         13         14        III     
9         15         16         17         18         19         20         21        III     
10        22         23         24         25         26         27         28        III     
11        29         30         31         1          2          3          4         III/IV  
12        5          6          7          8          9          10         11        IV      
13        12         13         14         15         16         17         18        IV      
14        19         20         21         22         23         24         25        IV      
15        26         27         28         29         30         1          2         IV/V    
16        3          4          5          6          7          8          9         V       
17        10         11         12         13         14         15         16        V       
18        17         18         19         20         21         22         23        V       
19        24         25         26         27         28         29         30        V       
20        1          2          3          4          5          6          7         VI      
21        8          9          10         11         12         13         14        VI      
22        15         16         17         18         19         20         21        VI      
23        22         23         24         25         26         27         28        VI      
24        29         30         31         1          2          3          4         VI/VII  
1         5          6          7          8          9          10         11        VII     
2         12         13         14         15         16         17         18        VII     
3         19         20         21         22         23         24         25        VII     
4         26         27         28         29         30         1          2         VII/VIII
5         3          4          5          6          7          8          9         VIII    
6         10         11         12         13         14         15         16        VIII    
7         17         18         19         20         21         22         23        VIII    
8         24         25         26         27         28         29         30        VIII    
9         1          2          3          4          5          6          7         IX      
10        8          9          10         11         12         13         14        IX      
11        15         16         17         18         19         20         21        IX      
12        22         23         24         25         26         27         28        IX      
13        29         30         31         1          2          3          4         IX/X    
14        5          6          7          8          9          10         11        X       
15        12         13         14         15         16         17         18        X       
16        19         20         21         22         23         24         25        X       
17        26         27         28         29         30         1          2         X/XI    
18        3          4          5          6          7          8          9         XI      
19        10         11         12         13         14         15         16        XI      
20        17         18         19         20         21         22         23        XI      
21        24         25         26         27         28         29         30        XI      
22        1          2          3          4          5          6          7         XII     
23        8          9          10         11         12         13         14        XII     
24        15         16         17         18         19         20         21        XII     
1         22         23         24         25         26         27         28        XII     
2         29         30         31                                                    XII/I   

DV = Division. Each quarter of the 364 day Qumran year has 91 days, composed of two 30 day months and a 31 day month. The first day of each quarter is a Wednesday. The first year of their six year cycle is set so that division 22 falls in the first week of the first month. Why did they start counting from 22? Anyone with a blank slate would begin counting with 1! The reason they began with 22 is that they were handed a tradition from the Temple in Jerusalem. And that tradition was CRT in which the first division had begun after the first Sabbath of Tishri at the inception of the first Temple. And they did not even need to learn this from the tradition. They could learn it by reading the Chronicles passages I have just discussed. If they had been inventing their calendar with nothing to go on, then they would have begun their anachronistic counting from the 4th day of creation with the 1st division on duty, and not the 22nd. Counting from 22 is a smoking gun. And the smoke points straight to where #1 begins in the first year of their cycle: the sabbath after Tishri 1.

The Qumran sect matched their cycles to the cycles as counted in the Second Temple. But of course, with continuous rotations, the cycles will rematch the luni-solar calendar used in Jerusalem. So let us revisit John Pratt’s calculation of 4Q320 for 42 BC, and see just were the 1st division lands in the LUNAR Tishri. We already knows that it comes in the second week of the Solar Tishri. So let’s check the lunar year:

XII.25  22     II.1   3     III.6    8    IV.5   12    V.3   16    VI.1   20
I.2     23     II.8   4     III.13   9    IV.12  13    V.10  17    VI.8   21
I.9     24     II.15  5     III.20  10    IV.19  14    V.17  18    VI.15  22
I.16     1     II.22  6     III.27  11    IV.26  15    V.24  19    VI.22  23
I.23     2     II.29  7                                            VI.29  24
                                                                            
VII.7   1                                                                   
VII.14  2                                                                   
VII.21  3                                                                   
VII.28  4                                                                   
                                                                            
Month: VII ETHANIM, 42 BC   4098 A.M. Sab. Cyc: 4. Jub. Cyc: 32 Cycle No: 83
Q1: 0.149 B Q2: -1.015 G LG:  40m W: 0.922' AL: 19.4 AV: 8.0                
New Moon calculated for longitude: 35.17 and latitude 31.77                 
Location of calculations: Jerusalem Author: Daniel Gregg                    
                                                                            
        I        II        III       IV         V        VI        VII      
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
           ↑   │   1     │   2     │   3     │   4     │   5     │   6     │
      1706347  │SEP 23   │         │Fast Ged │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │   7     │   8     │   9     │  10     │  11     │  12     │  13     │
     │ First Division    │         │Y. Kippur│         │         │         │
     │1706354  │         │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │  14     │  15     │  16     │  17     │  18     │  19     │  20     │
     │         │Sukkot   │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~██╫██▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~█████▀▀▀▀▀▒▒▒▒▒
     │  21     │  22     │  23     │  24     │  25     │  26     │  27     │
     │         │8th Day  │         │         │         │         │         │
~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒~~~~~▒▒▒▒▒                                        
     │  28     │  29     │  30 ↑   │                                        
     │         │         │         │                                        

I have put in the Julian date for the second week of Tishri: 1706354. Now for the Second Temple the formula for finding the division from the Julian date is: ((((JD + 1) / 7 ) + 3) mod 24) + 1.

JD = 1706354                              
Formula: ((((JD + 1) / 7) + 3) mod 24) + 1
                                          
Add 1:          1706355                   
Divide by 7:    243765                    
Add 3:          243768                    
Mod 24:         0                         
Add 1:          1                         

The first division serves after the Sabbath of Tishri 1.

Now there is no reason to start counting from 22 unless the cycle has been intelligently synchronized at a different point, namely with the first division starting with the Sabbath after Tishri 1, according to the Scripture passages. Qumran presupposes a CRT system. Deuteronomy 18:6-8 requires a CRT system. The CRT system for the First Temple and the CRT for the Second Temple mesh together, the Second Temple picking up where the first left off. Counting back from 9 AV, AD 70 agrees with a sensible astronomical fix for 4Q320, disconfirms T1A, N1A, and N1AS. The internal evidence of 4Q320, apart from the astronomical fix (with the uncertainties of terms in 4Q320), disconfirms T1A, N1A, and N1AS.

And most importantly of all, CRT agrees perfectly with the data in Luke. It was historically calculated by Thomas Lewin, who though he had the wrong year, at least put the birth of Messiah in the fall. The agreement with Luke is to the exact day in 2 BC. Taking the CRT rotations and Luke’s timing, and the most parsimonious assumptions about the conception dates leads directly to Tishri 1, 2 BC. This is a solution that is much better than Beckwith’s shoddy argument that CRT would fall into confusion for lack of an annual renewal date, and his outlandish claim that the Jews would need a perfect knowledge of astronomy to keep their counting in order.