Bet Yeshurun Video:
Understanding the Appointed Times of our Heavenly Father
Here is a recent five-part illustrated video series on the Divine Calendar, as recorded at our Sabbath worship services. Read the in-depth explanatory article on this page also!
Part 1: Yahuah's Calendar (1:48)
Part 2: Monthly Appointed Times (1:23)
Part 3: Annual Appointed Times (1:30)
Part 4: Weekly Appointed Times (1:42)
Part 5: Question and Answer with Workshop (:56)
YAHUAH's Moedim (Appointed Times)
Worshipping our Heavenly Father on His Appointed Holydays!
Bet Yeshurun Messianic Assembly keeps all of the Biblical Holydays commanded by the Divine Word. We invite you to join with us in worship! Read about these days of Divine appointment below.
The Divine Calendar
(Genesis 1:14-16) Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night. Let them be for signs, 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 Elohim made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”
Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) has prepared an in-depth five part illustrated video teaching series on “Understanding the Appointed Times of YAHUAH” and posted it both on this page and on our YouTube channel. The first part in this series of talks focuses on the Divine Calendar that Elohim established in creating the sun, the moon, and the stars. This article gives some highlights from the presentation on celestial lights and Elohim's Calendar. So, please join BYA as we seek scriptural answers to questions such as.....
Why did Elohim create points of light in the sky? They are to serve as “signs” “for seasons“ as well as “for days and years.” In Strong's Concordance, the Hebrew “owth” means “signs” and “a banner, distinguishing mark, remembrance, a proof, an omen, a warning, a token, ensign, a sign, a miracle.” The Hebrew word for “seasons” is “moedim” and it means “congregations, assemblies, feasts, appointed times”. Thus, Elohim miraculously established a sun (“the greater light”), a moon (“the lesser light”) and the stars to be signs of His Feasts, and for measures of time.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines “calendar” as: (1) “a system of determining the beginning, length and divisions of a year and for arranging the year into days, weeks, and months;” (2) “a table, chart, register, etc. that shows such an arrangement, usually for a single year” and (3) a schedule as of pending court cases, bills coming before a legislature, planned social events, etc.” Thus, a calendar serves as a measure of time and schedules appointments.
Elohim's heavenly bodies have served mankind for marking the days, weeks, months, and years since ancient times.Remember, people didn't have glossy calendars hanging on their refrigerators, or pocket planners, or wrist watches. To know the time or the season, they looked up at the heavens. Even today, over 50 calendars use Elohim's signs, such as national ones from China, India, Armenia, Ethiopia, Ireland, and many other countries. Religious ones used today include: Buddhist, Hindu, Kurdish, Mayan, and many other religions. You probably have heard of school, tax, and fiscal calendars. Ancient civilizations had calendars, too, like the Aztecs, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, etc.
Many in the world use one of these calendars today: Islamic, Jewish, Julian, and Gregorian. All four calendars use the astronomical cycles of the heavenly signs that Elohim created. For example: days are based on the earth’s rotation on its axis; months are based on the moon’s revolution around earth; and years are based on earth’s revolution around the sun. These three time periods all tie directly to Elohim's signs “in the firmament of the heaven.”
Established in 682 AD, the Islamic Calendar is lunar based, meaning it uses the moon's relationship to the earth as its basis for days, months, and years. Each month begins with the sighting of a lunar crescent and has 29 or 30 days (the time for the moon to revolve completely around earth). Each year has 12 months (moons) with a total of 354 to 355 days. So, the start of its calendar new year systematically shifts forward. Thus over a 33-year Islamic cycle, the start of the new year goes through the four seasons (spring, summer, winter, fall). For Islamic religious purposes, Friday is a weekly day for rest and prayer.
The Jewish Calendar is lunar and solar based, meaning it uses the earth's relationship to the moon and sun as its basis for days, months and years. Each day begins and ends at sunset (the time for the earth to make one complete spin). Used for religious purposes in Judaism today, this calendar sets festival dates based on rabbinic traditions. For example, the mathematical model of rabbi Hillel from the 4th century AD calculates calendar dates instead of using actual astronomical observations. That means the start of months may not coincide with the arrival of new moons. In other words, months are assigned 29 or 30 days no matter when a new moon occurs. Originally aligned with Biblical commands, over many centuries Talmudic and Babylonian influences crept into the Jewish Calendar, which was codified in the 11th century AD. It regards Saturday as a weekly day for rest and worship and begins the new year (“Rosh Hashanah”) in the fall.
In 45 BC, Roman emperor Julius Caesar introduced his Julian Calendar, It is solar based, meaning it uses the earth's relationship to the sun as its basis for days, months and years. Each year has 12-months with 365 or 366-days (the time for earth to revolve completely around the sun). A “leap year” rule added one day each year on every 4th year. This adjustment tried to keep the date of March 21 aligned with a day of equal daylight and darkness (“spring equinox”). While unsuccessful at precisely matching a solar year, the calendar met society's needs for nearly 16 centuries. In fact, some still use it today.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed his Gregorian Calendar was replacing Julian's Calendar because the March 21 date no longer aligned with the spring equinox. For a sense of how much drift occurred, The equinox on the Julian Calendar had become March 11. The March 21 date was being used for the purpose of scheduling a feast day that celebrates the Messiah's resurrection (Easter is fixed as the first Sunday following a full moon that occurs after March 21). Julian's Calendar drift had the festival sometimes occurring in the winter instead of the spring. So by adding 10 days and by adjusting the leap year rule, Gregory brought the festival back into spring on his calendar. It took many centuries for the Gregorian Calendar to be accepted worldwide. Today, it serves internationally as a global standard for communication, transportation and commerce. It also is recognized by institutions like the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union. A Gregorian Calendar is sometimes referred to as the Christian Calendar. Its days begin in the middle of the night. It regards Sunday as a weekly day of rest and worship and starts a new year in the winter. It also names certain days and months after various pagan deities like its predecessor. (“Introduction to Calendars, United States Naval Observatory”)
Are not the calendars of men complex? For example, the following can happen: new years can start in fall, winter, spring, or summer. Days can start at dusk, or in the middle of the night. A man can nullify a calendar, then add 10 days to its replacement to accommodate religious dogmas. Still, all calendars use the heavenly signs that Elohim established in the sky. Plus, calendars are being used to schedule religious festivals (“social events” per Webster's 3rddefintion).
Elohim's Divine Calendar is a lunar and solar based calendar that uses the sun and moon as a basis for days and years. All of man's calendars came after the Divine Calendar, which was established at the creation of time: (Genesis 1:17-19) Elohim 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. Elohim saw that it was good. The evening and the morning were the fourth day.
From the creation of time, on the Divine Calendar day begins at sunset and ends at the next sunset, which is a period of about 24-hours, or the time for the earth to make one complete spin on its axis. (Genesis 1:5) Elohim called the light Day and the darkness He called Night. The evening and the morning were the first day.
In the Divine Calendar, years begin in the spring:(2 Samuel 11:1) “It came to pass, after the year (shaneh) was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. They destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah, but David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
The leaders of nations embarked on war activities “after the year expired” (in spring). Ancient kings did not start wars when fall began (rainy season), or in the middle of winter (short daylight hours). Spring brought longer hours of daylight and summer's dry weather assisted their endeavors. Here's further scriptural evidence:(Exodus 12:1-3) YAHUAH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month (moon) shall be to you the beginning of moons (rosh chodesh). It shall be the first moon (chodesh) of the year (shaneh) to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel saying, 'In the tenth day of this chodesh, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house.'”
That Hebrew word for "year" is “shaneh.” It is derived from a Hebrew root word “shanah,” which means “to fold, that is, duplicate, repeat, do again, change, alter, double, etc.” An “equinox” is a physical sign in YAH’s heavenly creation that occurs twice a year; once in spring and once in fall. Webster definesit as “the time when the sun in its apparent annual movement along the elliptic crosses the celestial equator, making night and day of equal length in all parts of the earth.”
In other words, that is when we can see a length of night (720 minutes from sunset to sunrise) that equals the length of day (720 minutes from sunrise to sunset). “Equinox” is the only revolution of time that "folds, doubles, is duplicated in a year" during the earth's revolution around the sun. There's another Hebrew word in Scripture which describes that, too. It is "tequpha" and it means “a revolution of the sun’s course” (Exodus 34:22) “You shall observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end (tequpha).”
Although humans can redefine time and create multiple calendars to serve their agendas and purposes, they cannot alter the signs in the heavens, or improve on the Appointed Times that YAHUAH designates. HIS Divine Calendar needs no revisions or amendments. It is perfect and a remnant people still use it to obediently gather when and how HE instructs. (Jeremiah 31:35-36) Thus says YAHUAH, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divides the sea when the waves thereof roar. YAHUAH of hosts is His name. If those ordinances depart from before me, says YAHUAH, the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.”
May Yah's mercy and grace be upon us all. Shalom, Elder Curt