God's Timekeeping, God's Calendar
Gods calendar is given in the Bible and reflects things that are important to Him. Just as many people do things according to a calendar, so God gives out his timeline and calendar and does things on his schedule. I believe it's wise to know, understand, use and observe His calendar. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1 that the sun, moon and stars were made for signs, season, days and years.
Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
When I was a child, I thought as a child. I thought everybody in the world used the calendar that we had in our home as a kid. I thought there was no option to use any other calendar or any other reason to use any calendar. Later I learned about other ways of reckoning hours, days, months and years. When I started computer programming with PHP, I found that the programmers based time on the number of seconds since the Unix epoch (Jan 1st, 1970 GMT). This was new to me and opened my eyes up to options. Later when trying to understand why some worshiped on Sundays and some worshiped on Saturdays, then I began to read the Bible to search out God's time keeping. And because my heart is after obeying God (including following his commands of when and how to worship), my mind was changed about which calendar to live by. Initially I had no idea about how important it is to follow God's calendar.
God's calendar is made of evenings, mornings, days (today, morrow), 6 days, 7th day, week, 7 weeks (49 days), 50th day, months, years, 7th year and 7 periods of 7 years (49 years) and 50th year.
The relevancy of God's calendar along with the sun, moon and stars is shown by scripture:
From the books of Exodus and Leviticus we read that all feasts of the LORD are determined by new year, the number of the month and the day of the month. New months are determined by a full moon. Interesting enough, there is not even a mention of the words Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc from the pagan Gregorian calendar (used in Western world), made by the Roman Catholic Church Pope Gregory.
Importance of God's Calendar
We can ask, "How important is it for us to use God's calendar?" The apostle Paul answers this question really well:
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Jesus taught us to pray that his will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. The sun, moon and stars are doing God's will in heaven, so should we.
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
What are Sun, Moon and Stars for?
Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
So on the fourth day, the lights in the firmament of the heaven were for signs. Also they were for seasons, days and years. Also it was for light on the earth. There are lights for ruling over the day and lesser lights to rule over the night. We know the sun rules the day for most of the world most of the time, and the night lights are the moon reflecting the sun's light, planets reflecting the sun's light and a countless number of stars. The word "season" is translated from a word that means "appointments". Certainly God does things in his seasons or appointed times. His feasts days / appointments are done according to his timing of his years, months and days.
Sun, Moon and Stars as Signs
I think it's important to recognize that the first thing that God mentions the lights were for were for signs. It was the wise men from the East that followed the star to come worship Jesus Christ."Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.," the wise men said.
There were signs in heaven when Jesus Christ was crucified. Since it was the middle of the month, the moon was nowhere near the sun. Even if it was on the first or end of the month when the sun and moon are close, it would not be explained by a solar eclipse because solar eclipses don't last three hours. The Bible says the darkness was 3 hours, from the sixth hour to the 9th hour in Mark 15:33.
John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
God has established that in a day, the evening comes first, Gen 1. God is also very specific, as you can see in the scripture below, to specify which day when things will happen and he also mentions many things that are to start in the evening.
God's Calendar Day - The Evening and the Morning
On the first day, light was created, and evening and morning were the first day. It is obvious from early on in the Bible, Genesis 1:3, that God created light first and established that the evening came first and then the morning. This pattern continues throughout the first chapter of Genesis, going through the seven days, and this example of evening first and morning second continues without exception throughout the Bible.
God's Calendar Week
From the very beginning, God establishes the week, with 6 days and then a day of rest. The day of rest is called the sabbath, the holy day of God, the Lord's day. Jesus Christ said "Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." To pollute the sabbath is to disrespect Jesus Christ, the Lord of the sabbath.
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Deuteronomy 16:8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.
Six Day Work Week of God
Exodus 23:12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 34:21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
Exodus 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
Deuteronomy 5:13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
Notice how the Bible talks about working six days and resting the seventh. It does not say the 7th day of the Roman calendar (used during Jesus time and had 10 days in a week in it), but it says the 7th day (the day after six days of working). The Bible must be understood in context and nothing added to it (which would change it's meaning).
You won't find any mention of pagan days of week in the Bible: Sunday, Monday etc are never used because they are not part of God's calendar. There are different man-made calendars such as Greek, Roman, Julian and Gregorian. They have different ways of time and don't match God's calendar.
God has based months on the moon and its cycle. The month goes through a full cycle every 29.5 days. This is a lunar month.
Our word "month" comes from the word "moon".
Some scientists call the black moon (fully dark), the conjunction. The conjunction precedes the new moon. The new moon (and God's calendar month) begins in the evening when the first sliver of moon (crescent sliver) shows.
As the days in God's month progress, the moon waxes fuller and brighter. On the 8th day of the month, the moon is overhead at sunset and is half full.
You can see the moon during the evening until about the 15th. As you get closer to the 15th, the moon rises in the East later and later into the day.
On the 15th day of God's lunar month, the moon is full and rising on the Eastern horizon at sunset. It is very large on the horizon due to the curvature of the earth - a beautiful sight.
The moon will travel through the sky all night. The middle of God's months have all the nights lit by a full moon. You will not be able to see the moon during the day because it is on the other side of the earth.
On the 16th through the 29th of God's month, if you went outside you would have to wait 1 hour, 2 hours after sunset for the moon to rise enough above the horizon to see it. Or if you go out early enough in the morning while it is still dark, you could see the sun before it sets in the West.
The best times to see the stars is on the 16th through the 29th of God's month because the sun has set and the moon has not risen yet so the sky is black except for the stars.
On the 22nd, if you go out in the evening, the moon will not be there. It will take about 6 hours before it rises over the Eastern horizon. When you get up at first light, the moon will be in the West, heading towards the horizon in the West.
God's months may have 29 or 30 days depending on when the first crescent of the moon is visible in the evening.
It is amazing how the sun, moon and stars are amazing timepieces doing God's work - marking the passage of time and being used by God for signs, seasons, days and years.
The references to and given names of the months in the Bible are as follows. Please note that I am taking names straight from the Bible, not from current Jewish custom.
Here is a table that shows Bible months, current Jewish names for months and approximate corresponding Julian months.
Also mentioned is the month Elul in Neh 6:15. I don't know from the Bible specifically which number of month that is, but currently according to Jewish custom, this is used as the name of the sixth month.
The first Jewish month today is called "Nissan" (Bible calls "Abib") and is in March or April on the Gregorian Calendar system used by the United States and much of the "Western" world. The middle of Abib is kept near the spring equinox (equal times of light and darkness).
Three Solemn Annual Feasts - Holy Days of the LORD
There are three solemn feasts a year that people presented themselves to the Lord. There are commandments of God regarding these feasts and how they relate to the calendar.
Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
Passover - Feast of Unleavened Bread - First Feast
The passover is in the first month from the evening of the 14th to the evening of the 21st day. There are seven days of eating unleavened bread. This is an ordinance forever.
Sin is the breaking of the commandment of God. Blood is required to cover the transgression. And so from Adam to Jesus Christ, there have been sacrifices. These sacrifices reminded people of their sin. Men of faith believed in God and knew God would provide the perfect sacrifice to clear their conscience of sin.
Abraham prophesied of Jesus Christ, "Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." and later "Behold the Lamb of God".
The Passover was a special time for the Jews, reminding them of their sin and how God delivered them out of the house of bondage. The Passover brings to mind the first commandment of God.
Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 5:6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 6:12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
The Passover reminded the Jews of their deliverance from Egypt and how God saved them. It pointed them to God, their Saviour, Jesus Christ. But because the Jews did not know God, and did not keep his commandments, many failed to realize that Jesus Christ was God.
Jesus Christ was crucified around the Passover Feast by the Romans at the bidding of the Jews. This shows the relevancy of God's calendar with God's timing and how it affects us.
When people were hindered from keeping the passover in the first month, they were able to keep it in the second month from the evening of the 14th to the evening of the 21st day. This happened to large numbers of people in Nehemiah's day.
Feast of Harvest - Feast of Weeks - First Fruits
The feast of Harvest happened when the first fruits were gathered in.
Deuteronomy 16:9 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.
Deuteronomy 16:10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
Feast of Tabernacles - Feast of Booths - Feast of Ingathering - Year's End
Leviticus 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
Deuteronomy 16:13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:
Deuteronomy 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, when all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
Zechariah 14:18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Yearly Feasts of the LORD and Events on His Calendar
Here are events that I've found in scripture and the days on which they occurred.
God's First Month - The Beginning of Months - The month Abib
Exo_12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
All the feasts of the LORD happen on the same month and same day of the month each year. All the feasts continue to be on the same day of the month year after year after year without change.
Abib 1 - The First month, the first day of the month
Exo 40:2-16 On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail. And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof. And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle. And thou shalt set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. And thou shalt set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and shalt put water therein. And thou shalt set up the court round about, and hang up the hanging at the court gate. And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy. And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it. And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he.
Exo 12:7-11 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover.
Exo_12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.
Exo 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
Num 33:3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.
2nd month - Zif
1Ki_6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
Third Month, Month Sivan
Est_8:9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
7th month, 1st day, a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, no servile work
Lev 23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Num 29:1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram, And one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:
Lev 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
Lev 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
Lev 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
Eighth month of Year - Month Bul
1Ki_6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.
Time is divided into years by God. There are many references to years in the Bible, specifically the genealogies.
The Seventh Year - Land Rest - Sabbath of Rest for the Land
Lev_25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
Exo 23:11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.
You may wonder if the Jews kept the 7th year of rest for the land. They did not and God sent them into captivity in Babylon to let the land rest for the 70 years that they did not let the land rest. Yes, God does care if people do what He commands.
Jer_29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
The Hour Unaware
Luk_12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
New Moon Day
7th day Sabbath
How To -Time Keeping
Feast of Tabernacles
Days of Week
|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|