Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:05 pm

Enoch too.
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Ged
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Re: Dead Sea Scrolls Reveal Hidden Calendar

Post by Ged » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:43 pm

iskander wrote: There seemed to have existed a conflict between the supporters of a solar based calendar and a moon based calendar.
DCHindley wrote: Now it should be theoretically possible to intercalate this with a Luni-Solar calendar such as was used in Macedon, Babylon, and by the Judean High Priests, but we really don't know if it actually was. I believe that there are DSS fragments that attempt to equate them, at least for a three year period (before breaking off), but whether this was a developed system or just a sample period (some historical names are mentioned) used pesher style I do not know.
No doubt, the Qumran calendar was a serious attempt to rediscover something that existed in earlier times. They attribute it to none other than Enoch, but DSS scholars say it was invented in the 3rd century BC. I have tried to intercalate it but couldn't. Anyway, here is my next post. More arithmetic sorry but please bear with me.
The science of arranging time in periods and ascertaining the dates and historical order of past events.

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Re: Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:46 pm

The Pentateuch chronology can only be reconciled assuming the author used both lunar and solar calculations.
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Division of the Week

Post by Ged » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:26 pm

Every luni-solar system, be it Hebrew, Greek or Babylonian, realises that the lunar year needs adjustment about every third year. Therefore it is not by coincidence that the Hebrew heptad of years was divided in half and called, a 'time, times and half a time.' This term is mentioned in the Bible often enough, but usually in a 'prophetic' setting. That aspect has been abused by end-time 'crazies' and 'date setters', so I'll limit our discussion of the division of the week to its function in the calendar.

The division occurred; it seems, on Israel's all-important festival, the Day of Atonement. The D.of A. was the 10th of the seventh month, but it should not be supposed an arbitrary date of religious significance only. When we count 3½ years from the beginning of a Sabbatical cycle, it comes to a total of 1278 days to the start of the D.of A. in the middle year. Now, this is interesting, because the number of days in 3½ solar years is the same; so the 10th of Tishri must have been a marker showing where the lunar calendar intersects with the solar.

That is not all. When we count from the end of the Day of Atonement 1260 days, it resets itself, as mentioned before, to the start of the next Sabbatical cycle. So, the special festival in the middle year is actually a 'fulcrum' between two significant counts. Each 'time, times and half a time' had an additional month added to the 'base' 42 months, making 43 lunar months on both sides - a total of 86 lunar months altogether. Please examine the diagram taking note that the Day of Atonement stands independently between the two counts.

Image

Old Testament scripture alludes to the division of the week by Daniel's term, 'midst of the week' although, in this case, it referred loosely to the sacred festival period of the middle year. It also mentions an extra leap month, expanding the 1260 days to 1290 days. By understanding how the number of days count to New Year’s Day, we are provided with part of the answer to what the prophet meant when he said: "From the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days." (Daniel 12:11) 1290 days to what? The sentence doesn't seem to lead anywhere, and yet the answer is what the reader is looking for! However, Daniel would have expected his original readers to have known that he meant from the Day of Atonement to New Year's Day.

Indeed, when we follow the moon over extended periods, we find the ancient Sabbatical cycle alternating between 86 and 87 months until seven 'weeks of years' completed the Jubilee of forty-nine years. In the case of the alternate 87 months, the equation would show a 'time, times and half a time' of 1278 days on one side, and 1290 days on the other. In other words, a total of three months were added in those cases.

I have checked this model over hundreds of years, and come to the conclusion that by combining the formula with actual sightings of New Moon, the calendar would have been virtually mistake-proof. For a recent example, let us take the 1st of Nisan, 2000 AD and add 1278 days. It comes to the 10th of Tishri 2003 AD. If we count this hypothetical 'day of Atonement' then add another 1260 days, it returns to the 1st of Nisan, 2007 AD. The system is no longer in use of course, but it works just as well today as it did in biblical times! (I'll provide a link to actual dates later)
Last edited by Ged on Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Post by DCHindley » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:03 am

Ged,

Thanks for posting something using the svg file, which I had never heard of before. When I first saw your test posting of it in the "Nowhere" board I was intrigued by the calculations, which I know are pretty difficult to pull off when I've attempted to do them.

Even so, I wonder if the results are not due to the usual waves and oscillations (the calculus) found in complex applied mathematics. These can be tricky, as advocates of various systems are, by means of them, able to develop interpretive systems to detect "Bible codes," and find in the Bible all sorts of moral lessons and "prophecies."

Anyways, wouldn't intercalated years affect your calculations? Maybe I am wrong, but how could we reasonably get the exact same number of days in any given 7 year period when the intercalation scheme that synchronizes the Luni-Solar calendar with the true solar year is based on a 19 year cycle? And why measure from Ab to Ab?

Can we apply this to the reconstructed Babylonian calendar of Parker & Dubberstein, where the range covered stretches from 626 BCE to 75 CE? If we were to take samples (the size of which is to be determined) from that 701 year pool of years (or about 100 sample seven year cycles) times each of the 7 possible starting years for the sample periods, (626-619 BCE), and successfully apply your rule to a significant degree, then you can accept it as a given, but I suspect that there will be variances caused by intercalation that will cause the significance test to fail.

DCH

If you like, I can supply you with a poorly scanned copy of the 1956 2nd edition that I found on the internet under the name Babylonian Chronology by Richard Parker and Waldo Dubberstein.

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Re: Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Post by Ged » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:44 am

DCHindley wrote:I wonder if the results are not due to the usual waves and oscillations (the calculus) found in complex applied mathematics.
Lunar cycles are accurate over hundreds of years. I use Peter Meyers 'Hermetic Systems Lunar Calendars and Eclipse Finder' for converting dates between Lunar and Julian dates.
DCHindley wrote: Wouldn't intercalated years affect your calculations? Maybe I am wrong, but how could we reasonably get the exact same number of days in any given 7 year period when the intercalation scheme that synchronizes the Luni-Solar calendar with the true solar year is based on a 19 year cycle? And why measure from Ab to Ab?
Leap years are already included in my calculations. I'll get up another svg diagram showing intercalation over 49 years. As for the 19-year Metonic cycle, this is the point of my topic; they didnt use it. I believe we have evidence for a sabbatical cycle producing the same results, but with another way of going about it.
DCHindley wrote:Can we apply this to the reconstructed Babylonian calendar of Parker & Dubberstein, where the range covered stretches from 626 BCE to 75 CE? If we were to take samples (the size of which is to be determined) from that 701 year pool of years (or about 100 sample seven year cycles) times each of the 7 possible starting years for the sample periods, (626-619 BCE), and successfully apply your rule to a significant degree, then you can accept it as a given, but I suspect that there will be variances caused by intercalation that will cause the significance test to fail.
Ive heard that Parker & Dubberstein have the best chronology of the inter-testament period, but their book is out of print. Yes, I'd like to see their dates. The Sabbatical cycles are known during that era, except by that time the Jews had switched their New Year to 1st Tishri. When my calculations are taken from 1st Nisan the system should still work. Ill try to put some examples in a chart.
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Placement of Intercalary Months

Post by Ged » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:08 pm

When seven ‘weeks’ as described are spread over one Jubilee, a pattern of eighteen intercalary months appears that can be repeated indefinitely in each subsequent Jubilee cycle. Please examine the next diagram showing fifty years divided into blocks of seven. The seventh year (Sabbath) is indicated by a red square and the position of leap-months indicated by green dots. The fiftieth year is shown in purple; and notice how it is superimposed over the forty-ninth year and first year of the following cycle. A typical pattern of leap-months may be summarised as follows:

1st 7 years has 1+2 leap months
2nd 7 years has 1+1 leap months
3rd 7 years has 1+2 leap months
4th 7 years has 1+1 leap months
5th 7 years has 1+2 leap months
6th 7 years has 1+1 leap months
7th 7 years has 1+2 leap months

TOTAL 18 leap months

Image

As can be seen, the eighteen intercalary months added over forty-nine years created the same overall effect as our modern Metonic system does, but it had a different way of going about it. The Metonic cycle moves gradually through each year, adding seven months over nineteen years, whereas the Hebrew method was 'Sabbatical' and avoided adding to Sabbath years. It is mentioned in the Rabbinic writings, (Tos. Sanhedrin 2:9) because a 13th month would have increased the seventh year, extending the Sabbath planting restrictions and creating an unnecessary burden on the people.

When compared with modern calendars, a few intercalary months are offset by one year but never did it wander off the seasons. The calendar given to Moses all those years ago worked. Moreover, it worked as well as, if not better, than any system we have today!

There are implications here for liberal scholars, such as Finklestein, and their theories of a primitive Israelitish nation evolving out of Canaan, whose knowledge of astronomy was only copied from the 'sophisticated' cultures around about. On the contrary; not only was the Hebrew calendar superior to Egypt's wandering year, but it predated Meton by a thousand years. From what I can find on the subject, there was nothing anywhere else quite like it.
Last edited by Ged on Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Fiftieth Year

Post by Ged » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:27 am

This brings us to the second synchronisation. In addition to the 'week', the Bible reveals a 49-year Sabbatic cycle starting New Year, 1st of Abib, following the previous block of forty-nine. They would have intercalated months as explained using the short cycle, until it reached the 7th month of the 49th year Then on the tenth day, a special 50th year was announced. This might seem strange but another astronomical formula is at work. The gap between the two events comes to 17718 days - a figure equalling exactly 600 lunar months. This gap never alters; it is always the same.

Now, 600 months equal 50 lunar years which explains why the Jubilee fiftieth year is superimposed over the other years. It takes 48½ solar years to equal 50 lunar years, so the 'overlaid' Jubilee is a device that equalises the solar and lunar cycles to 50 years each, after which the new cycle began afresh. Let us take another hypothetical example from modern times. If we say 1st Nisan AD 1950 was the start of a cycle and count to the 7th month of the 49th year, it comes to 1st Tishri AD 1998, and 17718 days. Here are the dates:
1st Nisan .................. to .................. 1st Tishri
(19th March) ..... = 17718 days ....... (21st September)
1950 AD .......................................... 1998 AD
This formula is very precise, and may be observed from ancient times until now. I am not suggesting that we should continue to observe the old system or festivals. I'm just noticing that the calendar formulas still work. They works just as well today as they did in biblical times!

In summary, the pre-Metonic Hebrew calendar was a 7-year cycle of alternating 86 / 87 months, crosschecked by a long cycle of 600 months after 48½ years. Its distinguishing mark was a Sabbatical 'stamp' making it unique from every other national calendar.
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Re: Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Post by Ged » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:53 am

That's me done :goodmorning: but we can discuss some more if you like.

Full paper submitted here:

Related video on Jubilee year:
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Re: Ancient Hebrew Calendar

Post by DCHindley » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:37 pm

Ged wrote:That's me done :goodmorning: but we can discuss some more if you like.

Full paper submitted here:

Related video on Jubilee year:
Ged,

I was misunderstanding where you were coming from with the calendar. So, if my take from an initial skim of the paper is correct, you think you have come up with the manner by which a 364 day calendar was kept in tune with the seasons.

The paper has been downloaded & I will take a closer look later.

DCH

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