Clear Cut Proof Why Barley is Not the Parameter for the start of the Year
By Don Esposito
click link here for PDF reading Clear Cut Proof Why Barley is Not the Parameter for the start of the Year (1)
I have lived in Israel for the last almost 15 years or so, and have studied the Biblical calendar for
almost 20 years. I would like to show quite conclusively that Barley in Israel was never the
biblical mandate to start the New Year.
First of all there is nothing in the bible about starting the year based on the barley harvest. This
was too arbitrary and how would Noah have known when barley was seen in Israel on the ark or
any biblical person for that matter before Israel entered the Promised Land in 1443 B.C.? Also,
barley grows quite different from place to place and even in Egypt where Israel came out from
the barley harvest there is in late January or early February depending on the year and weather.
Clearly the sun, moon and stars were given to calculate the biblical calendar.
And Elohim said, Let light sources be in the expanse of the heavens, to divide
between the day and the night.
And let them be for signs and for (Holy day) seasons, and
for days and years.
Also, clearly, the Holy Days of Yahweh had to be kept in their season and not at any time of the
year as each Holy Day depended on the harvest of its particular season associated with it.
And you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time (in its season), from year to year.
This month (Aviv) shall be the head of months for you. It shall be the first of the
months of the year for you.
So, the question is not whether to add a 13th month but when to add the 13th month. Since
Exodus 12:2 clearly states that Aviv 1 and not simply Passover is the dividing line between the
old year and the New Year, it would not be correct to start the New Year 10 or 11 days into Aviv,
to simply have the Passover fall in the New Year, but have the other 10 days in the old year.
Also, according to the biblical reckoning you cannot have Sukkot start before the autumn equinox.
And you shall observe a Feast of Weeks for yourself, the first-fruits of the harvest of wheat; also the Feast of Ingathering
after the turn of the year.
The Hebrew word for turning of the year is “Tekufah” and is the word used for equinox for a
revolution of the sun. If you start your year before the spring equinox you will not have your Holy
Days fall after the autumn equinox. Also, every Holy Day needs the harvest fruits for whichever
feast celebration is being done. In the spring you need the new grain for the wave sheaf offering
on the feast of firstfruits, and in the fall you need the 7 harvest fruits for the Sukkot celebration. If
you start your year too early in the winter while the old year is still going on many years you will
not have ripe harvest grain or fruits in the spring or fall. In the year 2013 the Jewish feast of
Sukkot started September 19th, but the turning of the year (tekufah, equinox) is not until September 22nd; clearly proving the Jewish calendar in 2013 was incorrect. Even look at the
following quote from the Rabbis own writings in the Talmud stating that if Sukkot fell before the
autumn equinox than a 13 month must be added to avoid this.
Should the Tekufah of Tammuz extend till after the Succoth Festival, or the Tekufah of Tebeth
till the sixteenth of Nisan, the year would be intercalated,
so that the festivals might fall in
their due seasons, viz., Passover in Spring, Succoth in Autumn (after the equinox
The reason to wait until after the tekufah (equinox) or turning of the year for Sukkot is quite
simple; not only does the fall harvest have to be ripe before Sukkot, but it has to be harvested
as this is the main reason of the feast. That reason being to take the harvest fruits of the dates,
and the pomegranates, and the figs, and the wine and the olives. That is why it is called the
feast of “
ingathering”. It is inconceivable that Israelites would have went to Jerusalem for Sukkot
empty handed, as it would be about a month trip turnaround from the time leaving until
returning, while their harvest fruits would have ripened and fell and rotted while they were away.
If one biblically waits until after the tekufah (equinox) to start the year, then they will always have
Sukkot after the autumn tekufah and the fruits will be ripened and harvested.
Calculating Aviv only by Barley is not scriptural and has actually turned out to be a major scam
by some elements hoodwinking brethren for control and money. I have checked for barley
almost every year here from Israel and except for it taking a day of my time and gasoline, there
are no other costs involved. However, some of these so-called barley hooligans have websites
up with paypal links collecting much money for this so-called barley hunt.
The problem with only using barley to try to calculate the month of Aviv is that it makes the
calendar dependent on man’s assessment, which is at times flawed and at times outright
deceitful. As I mentioned, the barley in Israel does not ripen at the same time throughout the
country and is actually a two month harvest starting around the beginning of April until late May
or early June.
The people who come here to try to pervert the New Year according to their own agenda will
either ignore barley in some years as 2014 if they don’t want to call Aviv yet, or they will try to
create a perception of over ripe barley that isn’t there.
I have said before that if barley and the firstfruit omer on the feast of firstfruits is a direct
reflection of Yahshua as the firstfruit born of the dead to Yahweh, then it stands to reason that
there would have to be representation of barley throughout Israel and the harvest would have to
be more than 50 to 60% harvestable by the feast of firstfruits.
Last year there was minimal (probably only about 10%) barley available by the Jewish incorrect
feast of firstfruits, and yet the barley hunters claimed it was Aviv. This year is like last year and
there is a small early harvest and small minimal Aviv barley just like last year and probably even
a little more, and yet the barley hunters did NOT claim it was Aviv.
So what was the difference from last year to this year? The difference is that if they called the
New Moon that just happened the month of Aviv, not only would they have their year start in
winter of the old year before the equinox, but they would also have their Passover commence
before the equinox and have 2 Passovers in the same year, clearly against scripture.
So they simply claim there is no barley to avoid this problem. This clearly shows why Yahweh
would never leave His sacred Holy Day calendar to be dependent on a few rogue barley hunters
in Israel that have no authority from him or His ordained elderhood.
By living here for the last some-odd 15 years I can attest that the barley hunters on several
occasions have not been honest about the barley harvest. It doesn’t matter that they send a few
pictures as I mentioned the harvest happens over 2 months throughout the land, so if they want
to call Aviv, they will sent pictures in the area that there may be barley, and if they don’t want to
call Aviv yet, they will simply go to areas that haven’t turned Aviv yet.
Yahweh would never have such a confusing way to start His sacred Biblical calendar. He clearly
stated in Gen 1:14- that
the moon, and sun and stars are for calculating days, and months
It says nothing about barley.
Barley as well as other harvest fruits are simply an earthly sign to the heavenly calendar, but
they do not signify the start of the year, the biblical tekufah, or in English, the equinox, does
according to scripture. For full information on the start of the biblical year and timing please read
our book called “The Biblical calendar” on-line at www.coyhwh.com .
Passover and the Calendar
By Brick Parrish
One of the most divisive issues facing most Messianic and Hebrew Roots
believers is the controversy over the calendar. Which calendar do you use to
observe the biblical Feasts of YHWH? When does the New Year begin and when
is the New moon?
I have spent considerable time studying these issues and often find myself in
disagreement with many of my close brethren and most Messianic believers as to
the timing of Passover, beginning of the month and the New Year.
Most Messianic believers look to unbelievers for guidance in regards to the
calendar. They look to the Karaites, who do not believe in Yahshua, to find a
handful of barley around Jerusalem to signal the start of the New Year. Then they
look for the closest New Moon, regardless of whether if falls before or after the
Vernal Equinox. Beginning the year before the vernal equinox can lead to the
Feasts being out of their seasons. About 3 years ago I received some pictures
from Jerusalem showing unripe fruit on many fruit trees during the time most
Jews and Messianic believers were celebrating Sukkot. Sukkot is a harvest festival
in which the harvest is supposed to be reaped so that you can then enjoy the
fruits of your labor during the Feast. The green fruit still remaining on the trees
proved that they had begun the New Year a month too early.
On another occasion, before I began to look into the calendar issue, I found that
we had observed 2 Passovers in the same year. Even the Jews make sure that
So where do we start? Let’s begin with scripture to tell us what determines the
days, years and seasons.
Gen 1:14 And Elohim 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,
If you go by the barley and the sighted sliver of the moon to determine the New
Year, what roll does the sun play in it? Where is barley mentioned above? I
maintain that the barley has nothing to do with when the New Year begins.
The New Year only begins in the month in which the barley ripens, that’s all. The
word “Abiv” means “ripening, completing development” according to the
Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew. The first crop to be harvested was
flax in March and April, then barley and wheat in April and May (The Lion Ency.
of the Bible p.221). This shows various stages of Abiv (grain crops ripening)
lasting over a period of 2-3 months.
1Also, when the commandment was given, that this time was the beginning of
months and the first month of the year to Israel, they were in Egypt which has a
ripening season of up to two months earlier than in Israel. Was Israel to use the
presence of ripe barley in Egypt to begin the New Year? Obviously not! YHWH
knew He would lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land where the
harvest was later than in Egypt. He was just stating a principle to them that the
New Year would begin during the time of the year when grain ripened. But it does
not specifically say barley. Only because Barley ripened first, was it used for the
wave sheaf offering of the first fruits of their harvest.
We are also told that Israel observed at least one Passover one year after they had
left Egypt (Num 9:5). Did Moses carry around a little cart of barley in order to
know when it was Abiv and when to start the New Year? No, Moses was educated
in the house of Pharaoh and would have been well acquainted with how to
determine the equinoxes and the solstices. The equinoxes occur when the sun
passes over the equatorial plane. The two solstices occur when the sun reaches its
position farthest from the equator. Each solstice lies halfway between the two
equinoxes. Some will argue that the word for equinox or solstice does not exist in
the bible, but there is a word that is used which means a turning or a revolution.
That word is Tekufah and its root (naqaf) means a circle or cycle. This word is
found 4 times in scripture and pertains to the calendar all of those times. The
tekufot (pl) mark the seasons of the year.
The Hebrew word for year comes from the idea of change or repeated action.
Thus the year expresses the concept of “a complete cycle of change” (Nelson’s
Illustrated Bible Dictionary p. 200)
Herb Solinsky in his article “The Hail Plague and the First Biblical Month
states” The moon determines the months, but not which month is the first. Only
the sun remains to be considered. The only repeatable time points involving the
sun are the two equinoxes and the two solstices. Considering that the barley and
wheat in Yisrael are harvested in the spring, the vernal equinox is the only
logical candidate to consider that involves the lights in the heavens on the direct
basis on Gen 1:14.”
The four intermediate cycles (equinoxes and solstices) determine the seasons of
Exo 34:22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest,
and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
Here the word ‘end’ is the word tekufah. The phrase “At years end” are the words
“tekufat Ha shanah,” which indicates a revolution in time. This can only refer to
the “equinox”. This ‘turning cycle’ would be autumnal equinox which marks the
end of the summer and the beginning of fall.
Frank Nelte expresses it this way:
2Jewish encyclopaedias, the Talmud and many other Jewish reference works will freely
acknowledge that this word “tekufah” has exactly TWO meanings. Firstly, it refers to
the only FOUR “TURNING DAYS” in the solar year that can be predicted in advance,
the two equinoxes and the two solstices. Secondly, it refers to THE FOUR SEASONS
which start on those four “turning days”. It has no other meanings, and certainly not
the meaning “end”.
He goes on to say:
It is well-known that in Exodus 34:22 the expression “tekufat ha-shanah” is a specific
reference to the autumn equinox (on September 23), and therefore this Scripture makes
quite clear that the Feast of Tabernacles can NEVER start before the autumn
The Feast of tabernacles is a fall Feast and must never start in the summer just as
the New Year must never start in the winter of the old year before the vernal or
The other 3 scriptures that use the word “tekufah” are:
1Sa 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had
conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have
asked him of YHWH.
The words translated ‘was come” is tekufah. This could also be translated
“Wherefore it came to pass when the day had come around, after Hannah had
Young translated it this way:
And it cometh to pass, at the revolution of the days, that Hannah conceiveth, and
beareth a son, and calleth his name Samuel, `for, from Jehovah I have asked him.’
Here again we are presented with the idea of a revolution (cycle) of days or
seasons. The next verse that contains the word “tekufah” is:
2Ch 24:23 And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up
against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes
of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of
Kings would go out to wage war in the spring of the year according to 2 Sam 11:1,
so this is likely after the vernal equinox or the beginning of spring.
The last reference to tekufah is found in Psalms 19:6.
Psa 19:6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends
of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
The word tekufah here is translated as “circuit” and the language implies that it is
talking about the sun by referring to nothing being hidden from its heat. This
would be the suns passage through the equinoxes and solstices to make a yearly
I think I have presented sufficient evidence that the word “tekufah” means the 4
turning points of the year, the equinoxes and solstices. Most Messianic believers
would agree with this, but the real problem is that they have no problem
beginning the New Year while still in the old one. Most follow the Karaites barley
3hunt and when found, use the closest New Moon to the vernal equinox to begin
the New Year. Many times they select the New Moon before the equinox which
causes them to begin the year in the old one. Common logic dictates that this is
Another problem with the Karaite barley hunt is that it is only for barley around
the Jordan valley. There is up to a month’s difference between the barley harvest
in the highlands and the lowlands of Israel. Scripture is clear that each man is to
bring in the first fruits of his harvest to the priest at the temple to be waved
Lev. 23:10 Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When you come in
to the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have
brought in the sheaf, of the beginning of your harvest, to the priest,
Lev. 23:11 and (then) he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance;
on the morrow of the sabbath the priest shall wave it (Greens literal translation).
Notice, when you have reaped the harvest, THEN you bring a sheaf of the first
fruits. You don’t scour the country side looking for a handful of ripe barley. Each
of the sons of Israel had to bring in a sheaf (omer) of his harvest. The barley has
to be ripe all over the land, not just around Jerusalem. The reply given by the
Karaites to this problem is that they are offering the omer of first fruits of the
harvest for all of Israel. This shows a lack of understanding the scriptures from a
Messianic perspective. Don Esposito explains it this way:
Each person had to cut his own sheaf, as each one of us need to have the wave sheaf (a
type of Messiah’s sacrifice for our sins) accepted by Yahweh, and the people could not
bring the offering themselves, only the priest (type of Yahshua) could bring the
sacrifice on behalf of the people and then wave the sheaf up to heaven. The wave sheaf
could not be issued on behalf of one or two fields, or even one area, of only one tribe,
because Yahshua is the wave-sheaf of “all 12 tribes of Israel”.
Also, since the wave sheaf represented Yahshua as the first-fruit of those born from the
dead, then, it would have to be completely mature, as Yahshua was not an immature or
imperfect sacrifice (Esposito).
Another problem with the finding of a handful of Jerusalem barley is that if the
year is started based upon barley being ripe in the Jordan valley, the time when
the wave sheaf offering is to be presented might be before the harvest in the
highlands. The highlanders would be forbidden, according to scripture, to eat of
The solution to this problem is to do away with the barley hunt altogether; there
is nothing in scripture that instructs us to start the New Year in this way. If the
New Year is always started on the first New Moon AFTER the equinox, the barley
will always be ripe when needed in all areas. Those harvesting first would store
their omer of first fruits and continue to eat their old grain until the offering
could be made. No one is going to starve because they can’t eat the new grain
until it is harvested all over. They simply continue to eat the stored grain of the
previous year as they were doing up until this time.
4Conjunction vs Sighted Sliver of the Moon.
Here is another area of controversy. When the Jews were in Babylon, they
adopted many of the practices of the Babylonians including the lunar-solar
calendar, naming their months after pagan gods, and their method of sighting the
first sliver of the moon to determine the New Moon.
Chart used by permission of http://www.moonconnection.com/
The above chart should help one to visualize what occurs during a New Moon. It
is YHWH’s reset button for the New Month. It occurs in a moment of time when
the sun, moon and earth are in a straight line, with the moon being between the
earth and sun. The New Moon will be invisible to the inhabitants of the earth at
this time. No where in scripture are we told to “sight” the New Moon.
You can readily see that the New Moon is the direct opposite of a Full Moon.
There are two Full Moon Feasts, the first day of Unleavened Bread and the first
day of Sukkot. If the New Moon is determined by the first sighted sliver of the
5waxing moon, these two full moon Feasts will never occur on a Full Moon, but
will always be slightly off.
The Hebrew word for “moon” (yerach) is used only 4 times in the Law or Torah of
Moses. The first occurrence is in Gen. 37:9 where Joseph had a dream in which
the sun represented his father, the moon represented his mother and the stars
were his brothers.
The next two times we find this word in the Torah of Moses is where we’re told
not to worship it.
Deu 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun,
and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to
worship them, and serve them, which YHWH thy Elohim hath divided unto all
nations under the whole heaven.
Deu 17:3 And hath gone and served other elohim, and worshipped them, either the sun,
or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
The last occurrence is in Deut. 33:14, which is dealing with a blessing of Joseph
by Moses. The only reference to the moon in the Torah is the warning against
The word that was translated “month/monthly” 221 times in scripture is the
word חדש “Chodesh” Strong’s # 2320. Another 20 times it was translated “New
Moon”. Strong’s concordance gives the meaning of this word as “new moon,
month, monthly.” However, he also gives the exact word another number #2318”
and gives the meaning as “to be new, renew or repair”. Clearly, this is Mr.
Strong’s personally biased interpretation as the two Hebrew words are identical.
This is why most people think the meaning of Chodesh is “New”. A look at the
“Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew” by Clark gives the primary
definition of the word “chodesh/Chadash” as to “renew”. You don’t have a brand
new moon each month, but a renewal of the old one. This renewal begins at the
time when the moon is dark to our view. When the crescent is sighted, the
renewed, or we’ll continue to use the terminology most are familiar with, the New
moon is already from 16 to 42 hours old. This doesn’t seem to be the precision
with which YHWH operates. Common sense in the absence of any scripture to
the contrary will tell you that a 16 to 42 hour old crescent moon is not the New
Moon. And as I mentioned above, all the Feast dates will be off by at least a day.
Rav Samuel Thompson in his article “When is Rosh Chodesh” demonstrates that
there is a perfectly good Hebrew word that does mean “crescent” that was not
used anywhere to refer to determining the New Moon. That word is “saharon”.
This word is used to describe crescent shaped ornaments in Isa. 3:18; and Jdg
8:21, 26. The Hebrew word “yarech saharon” was not used at all to describe the
Is there evidence in scripture that Israel did not use a sighted crescent after the
conjunction to determine the New moon? Yes, there is. How did David know that
the following day was to be a New Moon?
61Sa 20:5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I
should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in
the field unto the third day at even.
1Sa 20:18 Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt
be missed, because thy seat will be empty.
How did David and Jonathan know that the next day was to be the New Moon?
They simply could have observed the last sliver of the waning moon and knew the
following day there would be no visible moon at all and hence, the New moon.
There is evidence that ancient Israel did not use a lunar-solar calendar at all, but
we will leave that for another time. It is certain that there were two calendars in
use at the time of Yahshua. A calculated lunar-solar calendar was used primarily
by rabbinic Judaism and a solar calendar was commonly used by others. The
discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls gives us the information that the Essenes
Community at Qumran used a solar calendar as did the Sadducees, the priestly
authority of the day, and the Jews at Masada.
The Encyclopedia of Religion And Ethics records that even into the 9th Century
C.E. remaining Zaddikim observed Solar months of 30 days, similar to this
Egyptian Solar Calendar. The Zaddikim (called the Sadducees in the English
Bible) were a sect formed of Priests, merchants, and aristocrats. Their name
derives from Zadok, the high priest in the days of King David.
The Qumran community began the month when the new moon was invisible
According to The Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol 5 C-DH: “The present Jewish
calendar (Hillel II – 358-59 AD) is lunarsolar, the months being reckoned
according to the moon and the years according to the sun. A month is the period
of time between one conjunction of the moon with the sun and the next
conjunction. The conjunction of the moon with the sun is the point in time at
which the moon is directly between the earth and the sun (but not on the same
plane) and is thus invisible.
In the Book of Jubilees, we find a prophecy and warning that addresses the
observing of the moon.
Jub. 6:34 And there will be those who will make observations of the moon, for
this one (the moon) corrupts the stated times and comes out earlier each year
by ten days.
Jub 6:35 And in this way they will corrupt the years and will observe a wrong
day as the day of testimony and a corrupted festival day, and everyone will mix
holy days with unclean ones and unclean with holy; for they will err as to
months and Sabbaths and festivals and jubilees.
New Testament evidence shows us that Yahshua observed Passover a full day
before the Pharisees did. He was operating on the solar calendar that was also
used at Qumran. It is also a fact that Hillel the Elder re-instituted the conjunction
to start the month in 10 B.C. right before Yahshua’s birth.
7 Don Esposito points out that in 30 A.D., the conjunction occurred on the vernal
equinox. And Passover occurred on a Wednesday 14 days later. Yahshua was
crucified on a Wednesday afternoon and rose from the dead at the end of the
Sabbath, exactly 3 days and 3 nights later. The closest you could get to a
Wednesday crucifixion by sighting a “crescent” was in 34 A.D., but that is only
provided you could see it 10 hours after the conjunction, which is almost
Some try to prove that Yahshua did not eat a Passover meal with his disciples by
trying to resolve the discrepancies in the New Testament. Let’s examine those:
Mat 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to
Yahushua , saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the
Mat 26:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Rabbi
saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
Mat 26:19 And the disciples did as Yahushua had appointed them; and they
made ready the passover.
This is a mistranslation as we see in the Aramaic. The Aramaic has “Now the first
day of unleavened bread drew near.” The word “protos”, that is translated in almost
every translation as “first” can also be translated more correctly here as “prior or before”.
It would correctly read “Now prior to the Feast of Unleavened Bread…” The word “day” is
not in the Greek text.
This next verse in Mark’s gospel is also in error.
Mar 14:12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his
disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest
eat the passover?
The Passover lamb is never killed on the first day of Unleavened Bread. Again,
this should read “And prior to the Feast of Unleavened Bread….”
Mar 14:14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The
Rabbi saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my
Mar 14:18 And as they sat and did eat, Yahushua said, Verily I say unto you, One
of you which eateth with me shall betray me.
Clearly, Yahshua did observe the Passover. Some try to use the following
scripture to indicate that Yahshua didn’t really eat the Passover, but just said he
Luk 22:13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made
ready the passover.
Luk 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with
Luk 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover
with you before I suffer:
Luk 22:16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in
the kingdom of YHWH.
Luk 22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it
8Luk 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the
kingdom of YHWH shall come.
Luk 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them,
saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Luk 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament
in my blood, which is shed for you.
Only someone with an agenda to prove that the Rabbinic Passover is on the
correct day would try to read into this something that is not there. They even say
this wasn’t really a Passover that Yahshua observed, but a graduation ceremony
for his disciples. I wouldn’t have personally been able to come up with a more
The reality is that Yahshua did observe Passover with his disciples on the correct
day or he would be in violation of Torah. He plainly said it was a Passover he was
eating with his disciples as per the portions I have underlined and bolded in the
scriptures above. If he didn’t eat the Passover as he said, then he lied about it.
Others, ignoring the accounts in the other 3 gospels, argue that the account in
John shows that Yahshua did not have a Passover with his disciples, but a plain
reading of the text in John 13 shows this to be in error for the following reasons.
Passover is not called a “Feast”. John is referring to the Feast of Unleavened
Bread which the Jews had been calling Passover since the Babylonian captivity.
Yahshua was crucified the following day. The Jews had not yet observed their
Passover on the first day of Unleavened Bread. Yahshua was taken down from
the cross before sundown which began the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a high
Sabbath. Passover is the 14th
of Abiv and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the
15th. Yahshua kept Passover on the correct date; the Jews did not.
When is the Correct Day for Passover?
The Pharisees and Sadducees had a dispute as to the time when the
slaughtering of the lamb should take place. The FORMER held it should be in
the last 3 hours before sunset (and therefore at the end of the 14
th day), the
LATTER, between sunset and nightfall (and therefore AT THE BEGINNING of
th day!) – Universal Jewish Encyclopedia.
Apparently, Yahshua agreed with the Sadducees and the solar calendar. He
observed Passover on Abiv 14 whereas the Jews observed theirs in the month of
Nissan during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yahshua did have a dispute with
the Pharisees over their oral traditions. He said they had made the law of none
effect with their oral traditions. He told us to beware of the Leaven of the
Pharisees which was their false doctrine. Yet, today many blindly follow
unbelieving Jews in their observance of Passover.
To determine the correct date for Passover, let’s go to the original Passover
account. The lamb was taken from the flock on the 10th
of Abiv and kept 4 days
while each family inspected their lamb to make sure it was free of blemishes.
9Exo 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the
whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
The Hebrew word translated “evening” is Ha Arbayim, which means “between the
evenings”. This is what is disputed by the Rabbinic (Pharisee) Jews and the
Sadducees as described in the paragraph from the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
above. It is obvious that Yahshua agreed with the Sadducees and also the
Samaritans as he conducted his Passover at the beginning of the 14th
whereas as the Jews did theirs at the end of it.
The Book of Jubilees also seems to agree when it says “ And it is not permissible
to slay it during any period of the light, but during the period bordering on the
evening, and let them eat it at the time of the evening, until the third part of the
night, and whatever is left over of all its flesh from the third part of the night
and onwards, let them burn it with fire.” (Jubilees 49:12)
The Targum of Onkelos also rendered “between the evenings” in Exo. 12:6 as
“between the two suns” and explained this was the time between sunset and the
coming out of the stars.
Let’s continue with the original account.
Exo 12:7 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.
Exo 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened
bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
Exo 12:9 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.
Exo 12:10 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.
We see that the blood was put on the door posts of the houses that night. They
were to eat the Passover lamb that night and any that remained until morning
shall be burned with fire. Also see Exo 34:25.
Exo 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the
firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the elohim of
Egypt I will execute judgment: I am YHWH.
Exo 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and
when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to
destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
We are told that the death angel would pass through the land and kill the first
born of every household that did not have the blood on the door posts. Now
notice what the next verse said’ “When I see the blood, I WILL PASS OVER you.
Do you suppose that this act is where the term “Passover” comes from? Clearly, it
was on the 14
th of Abiv that this took place and the only night time portion of the
was at the beginning of it. Passover is on the 14
th of Abiv, not the 15th. (Lev
23:5; Num 9:5; 28:16).
Israel was also cautioned to stay indoors all night and only go out in the morning
to burn the remainder of the Passover lamb.
Exo 12:22 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
1bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the
So if they couldn’t even go out of their houses until morning, how could they
leave that same night? The truth is they didn’t. We are told when they left in the
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.
The Hebrew word translated “morrow” is the word “mochorath” which means
“the next day or the day after”. They left on the 15th of Abiv, the day after Passover
which was on the 14th
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is clearly the day AFTER Passover.
Exo 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame
day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe
this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
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.
The word translated “evening” here is B’ereb which is correctly translated. It is
not “between the evenings” as we saw earlier. This simply means to observe the
Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning at sundown on the 14
th of Abiv, which is the
beginning of the 15th. Remember, the Hebrew day begins at sundown and ends at
sundown of the following day. You begin eating Unleavened Bread on the 15th and
eat it until the evening of the 21
, a period of 7 days.
This “selfsame” day is the 15th of Abiv, not the Passover on the 14th
Another thing to consider too is the logistics of moving such a large number of
people. Obviously, Moses rehearsed the plan with them before hand. There were
about 3 to 4 million of them scattered out all over Goshen. It would have been
sometime after midnight on the 14th
that Pharaoh became aware of the deaths of
the first born of Egypt, including his own firstborn. He had to send a chariot for
Moses about 10 miles away, bring him to Pharaoh and then take him back again.
It would likely have been around dawn when Moses was returned. They most
likely blew the shofar with a pre-arranged signal to move out. They then had to
round up their herds and flocks, take down their tents, pack up their belongings,
borrow from the Egyptians, who would have given them anything to get rid of
them, and then they had to walk to the meeting place at Rameses. There is no way
that the Passover could have occurred on the night of the 15th
as the Jews allege.
This flatly contradicts scripture. Besides, scripture tells us the came out at noon.
Exo 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this “b’eZTeM
haYom haZeH” (selfsame day) have I brought your armies out of the land of
Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for
“Selfsame day” literally translates as “bone or essence of the day” which would be
the middle of the day or at noon. However, Deut 16:1 says it was at night that
YHWH brought them out of Egypt. I think with such a large number of people,
1they began leaving Egypt at night (15th) and continuing on into the following
daytime portion of the 15th.
There has been a lot of tampering with scripture which makes it hard to unravel
all these traditions. It was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in 1947
that allowed us to see where some of the changes to scripture were made by the
Masoretic scribes. Many of the changes were made in an attempt to obliterate any
possible reference that would point to Yahshua as the promised Messiah.
Thankfully, we have two witnesses that show us some of the alterations in the
Masoretic text, the DSS and the Septuagint.
There are other scriptures that I believe have been forged, but will not address
these at this time even though they do have a bearing on the timing of the
Passover, which contradicts other scripture. Analyze carefully Deut 16:1-7. These
verses are actually referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, not Passover.
Remember, the Jews while in Babylon began calling the combined 8 day
observance of Passover and Unleavened bread, by the term Passover. You see that
reflected in the confusion over Passover in the Brit Chadashah.
The correct determination of the date for Passover is to start the Abiv 1 count on
the first new moon after the vernal equinox and then count 14 days from that
point. Passover will be at the beginning of the 14th
of Abiv rather than at its end as
observed by the Pharisees, the Karaites and most Messianic believers. The barley
will be ripe when needed for the wave sheaf offering as per historical evidence.
The first day of Unleavened Bread will be on a full moon as will the first day of
Sukkot. Otherwise, they will not.
Herd Mentality Thinking
It is hard for us to break out of the common mold in our thinking if we hear
something often enough. We had been taught all our lives that Sunday was the
Sabbath and never questioned it. We celebrated Easter and Xmas without ever
questioning that either. And when these sacred cows were challenged, we bowed
up and got stubborn. It was only when solid evidence was shown to us that these
were false that we began to break out of the common mold. This is the same
problem we’re having today. Just because the majority believes something does
not make it true.
This is the same problem we have with the calendar and the timing of Passover.
The herd mentality is in full operation in this calendar controversy. Most simply
observe Passover when the Karaites tell them to. And on some occasions, they are
a month off. The ancient Israelites did not use the sighted sliver of the moon
prior to going into the Babylonian captivity. They may have used the ancient
Egyptian solar calendar of 30 days each month with 5 supplementary days added
at the end of the year. Or the months may have corresponded to the Mazzaroth
(Zodiac). There are 12 signs of the Zodiac and there are 360 degrees in a circle.
Each 30 degrees roughly corresponds to each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. If the
1month began each time the earth entered a new sign of the Mazzaroth, you would
have months of varying lengths of 29 to 31 days each. The ancients would know
what month they were in by simply looking up at the stars at night. Why use a
lunar-solar calendar each month and then correct it by adding a 13
th month to get
it to agree with the solar calendar? Why not just use the solar calendar instead?
I have decided to use a bit of logic along with the scriptures in determining these
calendar issues. If things don’t make sense, it is usually because they are wrong.
One thing is sure, the Passover did not occur on Abiv 15th, the first day of the
Feast of Unleavened Bread….. Else what was Passover on the 14th