Really intense, complicated, and interesting! Every time I think I have started to grasp the Jewish calendar, that rapidly changes. With the Super Worm Moon and vernal equinox going on this week, I have been examining the Jewish calendar more, and have been learning many new things. Although they are rather complex, I will attempt to explain them here. First, sometimes Passover begins on the second Full-Moon after the vernal equinox. I did not realize this until now, minor changes to the book coming. This is because the Jewish calendar is lunar based, but the Jewish year solar based. 12 lunar months are shorter than a full solar year. These extra days, that becomes an extra month, are needed to keep the two calendars in sequence. Normally the 1st of Nissan (the 1st month of the Jewish calendar), a New Moon, falls before the vernal equinox, but this year, an intercalary year, it falls on April 6. Alright, that is a little clearer, but wait, the Jewish calendar also has totally different days for their equinoxes called tekufahs. The Jewish Encyclopedia neatly sums this up. It states,
The four teḳufot are: (1) Teḳufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21), when the sun enters Aries; this is the beginning of spring, or "'et hazera'" (seed-time), when day and night are equal; (2) Teḳufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), when the sun enters Cancer; this is the summer season, or "'et ha-ḳaẓir" (harvest-time), when the day is the longest in the year; (3) Teḳufat Tishri, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), when the sun enters Libra, and autumn, or "'et ha-haẓir" (vintage-time), begins, and when the day again equals the night; (4) Teḳufat Ṭebet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning ofwinter, or "'et ha-ḥoref"(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year. Each teḳufah, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours.
It will be noticed that the teḳufot fall from fourteen to eighteen days later than the true solar equinox or solstice; this, however, does not interfere with the calendar, which follows the figures of R. Ada.
What does this mean? It means that the Jewish equinox this year falls on March 27. Now comes the interesting part. A Dutch mathematician named R. H. van Gent has a very fascinating website. It has a Jewish calendar generator that list the Passovers and tekufahs for every year in the Jewish calendar all the way back past the time of Jesus. This verifies that Passover in 5 BCE began on March 23 (NASA agrees), one day after the vernal equinox, but the tekufat Nisan falls on March 25. For the past 5 years, I have been bothered by why some of the Church Fathers (St. Augustine, St, Cyprian, and Julius Africanus) seemed so fixated on March 25, and why they thought that is this was the vernal equinox, when it was not. It turns out they were right, it is the vernal equinox, but in the Jewish calendar, not the Gregorian. It proves that they were not just pulling dates out of thin air, but were using actual Pascal calendars from the time of Jesus’ birth. It also strongly indicates that these Church father believed 5 BCE to be the year Jesus was born it, not 7,6,4,3, or 2 BCE. This could be new groundbreaking information. I have yet to find this anywhere else. No one has investigated this. If so, please let me know so I can properly source it. More to come on this! My next post will examine more on the Magi’s meeting with Herod, and why Herod chose to kill the 2-year-old males of Bethlehem. I have some interesting thoughts on this topic. Until next week, GO WITH GOD, and celebrate his Gregorian birthday on March 25!
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest, I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.