Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Appointed Times

image via google
My husband and I have been studying about the Biblical calculation of time. We've found some very interesting things, that have changed our convictions. In the past I had heard that people used the moon to determine when the moedim {appointed times} were. But I didn't fully understand it, and truthfully didn't have the desire to figure it out. But after some reading and studying I see that it's actually very important. Especially now that were are gearing up for the spring feasts. 

Let's start from the beginning. In Leviticus 23 YHVH establishes His set-apart moedim "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts." -Lev 23:2 

As we read on we learn exactly what these feasts are, and when they are to be kept. We read about: 

  • Shabbat {the sabbath}
  • Pesach {passover}
  • HaMatzot {unleavened bread}
  • HaBikkurim {first fruits}
  • Counting the OmerShavuot {pentecost}
  • Yom Teruah {day of trumpets}
  • Yom Kippur {day of atonement}
  • Sukkot {tabernacles}

All of these feasts are important and we are commanded to keep them at the time set by YHVH. This is why figuring out when to keep them is so important. In psalm 104:19 we see that "He {YHVH} appointed the moon for seasons." The Hebrew word translated as seasons is moed which is the singular of moedim, meaning appointed time(s). 

So now that we have that figured out the next thing is determining when does a month begin? A month starts at the first sighting of the new {or renewed} moon. Now this isn't the non-existent moon but rather the very first sliver of a crescent moon. At the first sighting of it, in Israel, we know all over the world that it is time for a new month!

Now I know your probably thinking why do I have to do all of that when I have a calendar? Our modern calendars are Gregorian and therefore they are not accurately lined up with scripture. So when we see in scripture that something is to be in the first month on the fifth day, that is not saying January 5th. The Gregorian calendar is based on the sun, and the Biblical calendar is based on the moon.

Back to Leviticus 23. In verse 5 we read "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover." The word translated month is chodesh which means new moon.  Now we know that every month starts with a new moon. This means that the most efficient way to tell time and to make sure that you are meeting with YHVH is to go by the moon. There are many sites that provide information on moon sightings and on the search for aviv/abib barely, which is part of determining a new year, if you'd like to read more about it in detail. 

In Exodus 34:18 we learn when Passover is supposed to happen. " The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt." The significance of this isn't so much a month being called aviv/abib but rather the condition of the barely. Aviv/abib is simply when the barely is ripe, but not fully matured. So this in conjunction with the new moon is how the first of the year is determined. 

Having to do research, versus just looking at a calendar, takes some getting used to but it's awesome to know that you are in line with the Creator! Today is the first day of the potentially last month of the year. If the aviv barley is spotted then we know that next month Passover will be 14 days after the new moon! I'm very excited because this will be the first year we have other families to fellowship with. I believe this year will be a great year for my family!  

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. -Psalm 1:1-3


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