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TorahTimes Messianic Ministry

Teaching Truths about Torah, Time, and Messiah

The Rabbinic Calendar System

Question: Why this year (AD 2016) are some Torah observant Christians observing Tabernacles “a month early”?

Short Answer. It is all a matter of understanding false teaching we have inherited and how to correct it. Those of us who are observing in in September 2016 consider the majority to be observing “a month late.” Among calendar scholars it is a well known fact that the Rabbinic Calendar, used by most feast keepers, is drifting forward with respect to the seasons. Every few years this drift causes a second Adar to be added to the end of the old year at a wrong time. This year should not have had a second Adar in the spring of AD 2016. The second Adar will be correctly in the spring of AD 2017.

The second Adar in the Rabbinic calendar in the spring of 2016 causes the two feast months, Nisan and Tishri, to be a month late, as well as all other traditional observances. This may be detected by looking at the date of second Adar 15 in the Rabbinic Calendar for 2016. This date also called “Shushan Purim” or the second day of Purim, and it fell on 25 March, which is after the Spring Equinox. But the rule is that the second Adar is only added when the 15th of the month is still in the winter season. But this year it was March 25th, which is after the spring equinox. This means that 15 Adar II (March 25th, Rabbinic Calendar) should have been 15 Nisan (March 25th). So the first day of unleavened bread this year fell on 25 March.

Rabbinic 2016        Corrected 2016    15th of Moon
XIII Adar II        I     Aνiν              25 March
  I  Nisan          II    Ziv
 II  Iyyar          III   Sivan
III  Sivan          IV    Shoshanim
 IV  Tammuz         V     Aν
  V  Ab             VI    Elul
 VI  Elul           VII   Tishri            
VII  Tishri         VIII  Bul
VIII Ӈeshvan        IX    Kislev
 IX  Kislev         X     Teνet
  X  Tebeth  2017   XI    Sheνat  2017
 XI  Shebat         XII   Adar I
XII  Adar           XIII  Adar II
  I  Nisan          I     Nisan

The cause of this error was an incorrect assumption over a thousand years ago about what the length of a year was compared to the length of a month. It was assumed that 235 lunar months was exactly equal to 19 solar years. The Rabbis built their calendar to depend on this human assumption. What is obvious when one observes where heaven ordains the sun to go does not exactly agree with the human assumption. If 235 lunar months were exactly 19 solar years, then yes, II Adar 15 in the Rabbinic calendar would still be falling aways before the beginning of the solar year at the spring equinox, but since 235 lunar months is 2 hours longer than 19 solar years, it is starting to fall after the spring equinox.

Observation vs. Human Assumptions

Why is the matter so complicated and controversial? This is because the Rabbis have departed from the simplicity of the scripture. The sun and moon were created as time keepers (cf. Gen. 1:14). In order to make them useful one has to watch the sun and moon. That is, a person must observe their movements in order to know what time it is. Ancient Israel was content to do this for most of its history. But then the Rabbis wished to predict in advance just how the sun and moon would move. Since the coming of Messiah was also based on the primitive observational system, they also wished to substitute a different calendar which could bear no witness to Yeshua. Since the Church calculation of Easter retained some elements of the primitive calendar, they also wished to avoid any agreement with it where possible. The opposite was true also. The Church wished to avoid agreeing with the primitive calendar. Since also the Rabbis wished to be the authorities that all Jews were supposed to listen to they wanted a calendar based on something they alone could calculate. Therefore they made it complicated and added a host of rules to it that a layman cannot understand.

Here are the proleptic Rabbinic dates from AD 30 to 34 for Nisan 14 in two systems:

Proleptic                 Proleptic     Proleptic           Julian       Rabbinic       Observed
Year        Julian        Gregorian     R. Year             Corrected    Cycle
AD 30       WED 4/5       WED 4/3       3790 Nisan 14       FRI 4/7      9    12 months  12 
AD 31       MON 3/26      MON 3/24      3791 Nisan 14       TUE 3/27     10   12 months  12    
AD 32       MON 4/14      MON 4/12      3792 Nisan 14       MON 3/14     11   13 months  13       
AD 33       FRI 4/3       FRI 4/1       3793 Nisan 14       FRI 4/3      12   12 months  12      
AD 34       MON 3/22      MON 3/20      3794 Nisan 14       WED 3/24     13   12 months  12  

Column 1: The AD year.
Column 2: The Rabbinic date of Nisan 14 in terms of the Julian Calendar.
Column 3: The same Rabbinic date of Nisan 14 in terms of the Proleptic Gregorian Calendar.
Column 4: The Rabbinic year.
Column 5: Nisan 14 according to the first sighted new moon.
Column 6: Year in a 19 year cycle.
Column 7: What the length of the year was by observation of equinox.

For the year of the crucifixion, the Rabbinic Calendar proposes Monday, when in fact, the correct day for Nisan 14 is Wednesday. For AD 30 the Rabbinic Calendar proposes Wednesday for Nisan 14 when in fact the correct day for Nisan 14 was on a Friday. By accident the Rabbinic calendar hits on the right weekdays for AD 32 and AD 33. The corrected days are according to the observation of the first visibility of the new moon. It is plainly obvious that the Rabbinic Calendar cannot reproduce the week day of the crucifixion, except by accident in the wrong year (AD 30 instead of AD 34).

It is obvious that the vast majority of Messianic Jews and Messianic non-Jews are following the calendar of the Rabbis and are unwittingly ignoring the calendar of Scripture. The expressed reason for this is to express solidarity with the Jews or things Jewish because religious Jews are supposed to be the authorities on how to keep the Law. Christians often become disenchanted with non-Jewish Christianity, and understandably so, and then they become enchanted with Judaism. So the one pit looks dangerous to them. Meanwhile they climb down into the other pit. Christians need to beware that they loose their ability to discern the truth and error in these systems because of their need to belong to a group or whatever other fleshly emotional or psychological reason it may be.

What is not obvious to them is that this Rabbinic calendar is not only incorrect Scripturally speaking. It is also Anti-Messiah (Anti-Christ). It is in the guise of the divine Law, but it is not the divine Law. This article will prove the point that the Rabbinic Calendar and Chronology are based on a deliberate sabotage of the book of Daniel and Messiah’s fulfillment of the Daniel 9 prophecy. The circumstantial evidence is so strong that sabotage is the only reasonable explanation.

There are many who observe the Rabbinic Calendar who know quite well that it was not the one used by Yeshua or other Jews at his time. Yet they feel it is more important to follow what Jews think the calendar is today. But this is more than just a simple violation of the divine Law. It is showing support for a system that was invented to deny the Messiah.

According to the Rabbinic calendar this year (2016) is Hebrew year of creation 5776 until Tishri 1, which will occur on the Rabbinic calendar on October 3, 2016. That is, on Tishri 1 this year (10/3/2016), the Rabbinic year will will advance to Hebrew year of creation 5777. This year 5776 has a story to tell. Let us decode the meaning of the number.

The Rabbinic Calendar is based on a repeating cycle of 19 years in which 7 of the years have a leap month (Adar II). The leap month makes a 12 month year 13 months, or a leap year. This concept of a leap month is biblical, but how the Rabbinic calendar implements it isn’t, as we shall see. A Leap year has 13 months. An ordinary year has 12 months. Years 3, 6, 8, 11,14, 17, and 19 of the cycle are leap years with 13 months. That means they have a second Adar. So out of every 19 years there are 7 with 13 months. According to the way the Rabbinic calendar was set up, dividing the year of creation by 19 and taking the remainder tells us which year of the cycle the calendar is on. If the division is even then it is the 19th year of the cycle. So if this year is 5776, then 5776 divided by 19 is exactly 304. The remainder is 0. This means this year is a leap year with Adar II because it is the 19th year of the cycle.

The Rabbinic calendar is calculated by using an average month length of 29.5305941 days. In the 19 years of the cycle there are 12 x 12 + 7 x 13 = 235 months. This amounts to 235 * 29.5305941 = 6939.689 days. Since this is supposed to be 19 years, the implied length of a year is 6939.689 / 19 = 365.2468 days. The actual year length is 365.24219 days. The difference is 0.0046 days. And in 19 years the difference accumulates to 0.0046 * 19 = .08800 days, or 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 44 seconds. After 5776 years the accumulated error is .088 days x 304 cycles, i.e. 26.752 days. So we see that the Rabbinic calendar has drifted out of synchronization with the true year almost a whole month since the Rabbinic date of creation. In fact the error centers on the equinox sometime in the 4th to 8th centuries, so that most of the error is in proleptic calculation and only up to seven days of the error are pushed forward from then.

The Rabbinical dates for Biblical Festivals are based on counting years from Tishri 1, 3761 BC. It is also based on adding 19 year cycles from that date. That is how the year 5776 is arrived at in AD 2016. The position in the 19 year cycle determined from 3761 BC determines if the year has a leap month, that is, an Adar II. So this year (AD 2016) the position is the 19th year of the cycle. That is why there was an Adar II this year.

Now we ask on what basis is the year 5776, and on what basis does the first year of the cycle start in 3761 BC? The answer is found in the chronology of the Talmud vs. the chronology of Scripture. Scripture puts creation in 4139 BC.1 The Rabbinic date is 3761, or 378 years less. Let’s find out why. First the Rabbinic chronology makes a 60 mistake between Terah and Abraham.2 Then it omits 134 years from the judges.3 It omits about 18 years from kings and 166 years between the destructions of the two temples.

It is the last error that concerns us, because it is the figure that can be ascribed to sabotage and not just mere miscalculation. I will not prove the other errors here which were likely unwitting. The Rabbinic chronology (and hence calendar start date for the 19 year cycle) omits 165 years between the end of Solomon’s Temple and the end of the Second Temple. The first temple was destroyed in 587 BC and the second in AD 70.4 The time enumerates 657 years. This time period was reduced by the Rabbis to 491 years, composed of 70 years of exile and 420 years of the second Temple, and then after the 420th year, the second temple is destroyed, i.e. 491 years. That was so that they could calculate the seventy sevens of Daniel 9:24-27 between the destructions of the two Temples.

                   HISTORY VS. THE RABBIS
  Historic             Rabbis                Biblical Names         Rabbinic         Corrected
Kings of Persia      Kings of Perisa yrs     Kings of Persia yrs    Contemporaries   Contemporaries
Cyrus           9    Darius the Mede 1       Darius the Mede  x     Daniel           Daniel
Cambyses        8    Cyrus           3       Cyrus            3+    Daniel           Daniel
Smerdis        7m    Ahasuerus       14      --no mention--   x     Esther
Darius I       36    Darius           7      Darius           6+    Ezra             Joshua HP
Xerxes         21    Artaxerxes      32      Ahasuerus       14+    Nehemiah         Esther-Joiakim HP
Artaxerxes     41     --omitted      0       Artaxerxes      32+                     Nehemiah-Eliashib HP
Darius II      19     --omitted      0     Darius the Persian x                      Johanan HP
Artaxerxes II  46     --omitted      0       Artaxerxes       7+                     Ezra-Johanan
Artaxerxes III 21     --omitted      0       --no mention--   x
Arses          2      --omitted      0       --no mention--   x
Darius III     4      --omitted      0       --no mention--   x                      Jaddua HP
             207                    52
Alexander            Alexander               The Goat

The Rabbinic (Seder Olam) Version of Daniel 9:

First Temple destroyed   423/422 BCE         1   9 Aν
Cyrus the Great          369 BCE                          Seven Sevens to this point
Second Temple Decree     353/352 BCE        71
Alexander the Great      318 BCE
Second Temple destroyed  68/69 CE          491   9 Aν     Tishri 67/68 = 70th seven.

The standard Jewish history reduces the Persian Period to just 52 years, (369-318 + 1 = 52), so that the time covered between Cyrus and Alexander is just 52 years.6 Furthermore, Alexander himself is placed 14 years too late in 318 BC. The correct year is 332 for his conquest of Judea ending Persian rule. Also the time between the destruction of the first Temple and Cyrus’ taking of Babylon is 423-369 = 54 years, which is 6 years too many (587-539 = 48). These account for most of the differences with history. An exact figure of the differences is 587 BC + AD 70 -1 = 656. Then 656 - 491 = 165.

                     Seder Olam
Time Segment         Loss/gain
587 to 539           +6
539 to 332           -155
Alexander            -14          
The difference of 2 year from -165 is because we did not take
account of endpoint errors which requires charts.									 

But Daniel 9 predicts Messiah’s death. If Daniel 9 ends in AD 69 or 70 as the Rabbis claim by their calendar, and by their 19 year cycle beginning in 3761 BC, then they have built denial of Messiah into their calendar calculations. The Rabbinic Calendar is scientifically inaccurate and worse, it is theologically motivated against Yeshua. This calendar did not exist in the time of Messiah. It was invented afterward and forced on the Jewish people by the proselytizing zeal of Rabbinic Judaism, which corrupted history and shortened the Persian period to teach a false theory of Daniel 9 so that Jews would not see the truth about Daniel 9. They have slammed the door of the kingdom of heaven in the faces of the Jewish people and have caused them to be bitter against Messiah.

A Better Way

In the time of Messiah the new moon was visibly sighted. Also the beginning of the year was determined by observing when the sun set due west. This spring equinox determined the start of the year. And the first month was fixed so that a 13th month was not added unless the beginning of the year fell on or after the 16th day of the month.5 Such a calendar will never drift through the seasons, and will never put Passover a month late. It does not depend on an artificial 19 year cycle inherited from the Greeks and Babylonians that causes the calendar to drift. And above all it is not dependent on finding a position in the 19 year cycle by dividing the Rabbinic year by 19 to determine if it has an Adar II. In other words, the Scriptural calendar is not inextricably tied to a Rabbinic year of creation that denies Messiah.

It would not be wise to participate in a calendar whose year and cyclic positions are based denying Yeshua is the Messiah, and which is historically inaccurate, and also astronomically inaccurate. An important reason that Messianic Jews and non-Jewish Messianic Christians who follow Rabbinic customs are apostatizing to Judaism is the uncritical acceptance of the Rabbinic Calendar. Turning back to the correct calendar proves:

The date of Messiah’s birth
The date of his crucifixion
The date of his resurrection
Daniel 9:24-26.


1 See the Scroll of Biblical Chronology, where this date is exactly explained. However, the argument does not depend on the solution presented by the Scroll. Even an inaccurate chronology dating creation at 4004 BC will prove the point.

2 Terah died at age 205 and then the same year, at age 75, Abraham left Ӈaran. See Acts 7:4 for confirmation. Gen. 11:32 speaks of Terah’s death, and then this is followed by Gen. 12:1-4. It should be noted that Gen. 11:32 is dislocated from the usual position of a death notice when the life of a person is simply being summarized. The dislocation must be considered deliberately done to indicate exactly where Terah died in the sequence of events. So Terah died at 205, and then Abraham left Ӈaran at 75. This reduces to Abraham being born when Terah was 130. The Rabbis, on the other hand, assume that Abraham was born when Terah was 70, but this assumption is proved unlikely by Noah and his three sons. Clearly Shem was not born when Noah was 500, since he was 100 years old 2 years after the flood! The age listed with multiple children was the age the first born was born. But the child at the head of the list is the one most important to the narrative. So the Rabbis have ignored two clues, first the case of Noah, and second the moved death notice. All this is confirmed by Acts 7:4. The result is that the Rabbis have shortened the time line by (130-70 = 60) sixty years.

3 This mistake comes from misinterpreting 1Kings 6:1. The period in question was much longer than 480 years. The text does not say it was 480 years, but it does say in the 480th year since the going out from Egypt. It means the 480th year of an era of independence, which was celebrated at Passover. This era does not count the 134 years Israel was subjugated by other nations. Now since they were only entering the 480th year, i.e. at the start of it, there were 479 years complete. And the 134 years are 134 years complete of foreign oppression. The total years is 613. That this is correct is proved by synchronous Jubilee periods which are mapped in the Scroll of Biblical Chronology. It is also confirmed by astronomical synchronisms prior to the period in question, which would not work out if it were not 613 years. (It may be noted that Antsey and Cooper calculated 114 years and a total of 593 or 594 years, but they failed to count 20 years of the 2nd Philistine Oppression.)

4 The alternative date, 586 BC, makes no difference to this argument. Nor does the Talmudic date of 69 CE for the second destruction make any difference. These one year end point errors do not change the fact that a massive number of years were deleted from the Persian period. There are doubters that 587 BC marked the first destruction. But this is unlikely since Neo-Babylonian Chronology is confirmed by numerous historic astronomical observations which have been confirmed by calculations to fall around that time. A large number of Jewish scholars agree that 587 BC (or 586 BC) is correct. And a significant number of other Jewish scholars still deny that their traditional chronology can be wrong.

5. The rule may also be stated that Nisan 15 must not fall in the winter season or it may be stated that a second Adar 15 may not fall in the spring season. If II Adar 15 were to fall in the spring then it only means that there should have been no II Adar added to the year that year. Many people prefer to use barley searches to make the determination, but this is a traditional Karaite method and it is not mandated by Scripture. Nevertheless, barley always turns up ripe before the spring equinox in Israel. And in all cases where it has been claimed not to, either other witnesses were contradicted or there were not enough witnesses to come forward.

6. See Mitchell First, Jewish History in Conflict: A Study of the Major Discrepancy between Rabbinic and Conventional Chronology. 1997. This book is published by Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, and Jerusalem. It describes the problem. It then cites the position of Rabbis who agree it was an error and say Seder Olam is wrong, and then the Rabbis that say Seder Olam is correct and history is wrong. It also tallies Rabbis who think both are correct, and then other minor categories.