Prophetic Calendar

One thing you must learn is that the dates, times and appointments God has provided for us in the Bible are based on the Jewish calendar. If you fail to get a grasp on this calendar, you will never understand prophecy. Whenever you study prophecy, try to think of things from a Jewish perspective.

From the beginning of recorded history, the calendar has been used to keep records and predict the time for the changing of the seasons. The calendar provided a framework in which man could plan his work. It was an effective timetable for marking various religious festivals that were to be celebrated at regular intervals.

The “Day” The Bible’s timetable, and thus the festival days, are confusing at first since the calendar has been changed multiple times. The Hebrew calendar is determined by the moon’s position (the “new moon” of scripture), while the current Gregorian calendar is based on the movements of the sun. Unfortunately, this confusion has made predicting the date of Christ’s return impossible. We cannot know the year of Christ’s future appointments but we can know the days and the season. In fact, those who know scripture will understand when the season is… even when it is ‘at the door’. The Bible also states that if you are one of light (believer) the day will not overtake you like a thief in the night as it will to those in darkness (unbelievers). In fact, we CAN know the days of prophetic events but we do not know the year ….yet!

God originally designated Nisan (Abib) as the first month of the year. Later, God made Tishri 1 the Jewish “New Years Day”. This was in preparation for the fall feasts yet to be fulfilled. It’s also important to know how the “day” differs:

 

Prophecy is still based on the biblical months, so an understanding of that calendar is a must. The 12 thirty day months you should become familiar with are given below. You may want to purchase a Jewish calendar which allows you to follow these months along with our current calendar. For example, the year 2015 on the Jewish calendar says 5775.

Unfortunately (for a short period) Jews in the past only counted years that had favorable kings or rulers… go figure! You can begin to see why the margin of error results in a problem with date setting. The accurate current year is somewhere between 5985 and 5999. Review the months below:

 

  • Month 1 Nisan (Abib) March-Ap
  • Month 2 Zif April-May
  • Month 3 Sivan May-June
  • Month 4 Tammuz June-July
  • Month 5 Ab (Av) July-August
  • Month 6 Elul August-September
  • Month 7 Tishri September-October
  • Month 8 Bul October-Nov
  • Month 9 Chisleu Nov-Dec
  • Month 10 Tebeth Dec-January
  • Month 11 Sebut January-February
  • Month 12 Adar February-March

 

To further complicate things, God changed the 1st month of the year to Tishri later in the Bible, so simply start with that month and proceed forward to understand the new sequence. This was changed to prepare for the coming fall festivals which are to be fulfilled in the near future. Everything God does has a purpose, even though we might not understand it.

The first 4 festivals (or appointments with man, if you will) were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. There was then scheduled a 2000 year period (The age of Grace, or the “church age”) and then the clock will resume ticking, and the last 3 feasts will be fulfilled.

The Jewish (or biblical) calendar is composed of 12 months of 30 days each for a total of 360 days per year. There was also an extra month in the 7th year to allow for a correction due to the sun’s rotation. This is why man changed the calendar on more than one occasion to reflect a 365 day year. While this has been beneficial for man, it has provided a great deal of confusion among those who study prophecy.

This makes it impossible to know the current biblical year we are in! It also means we cannot know the year these events will begin (that is until Tishri 1, 6000 is here!). At that point, God gives us the exact number of days until His return! We’ll be covering these things in detail if you feel a bit lost.

 

Dan 12:11 11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. (NIV)  

In biblical years, 2015 would actually be 6015. However, as we mentioned above, we don’t know the exact year and we may be off as much as 12 years. The seven year period we are talking of should occur in the next few years if you consider all possible errors in our calendar. It is indeed very close!

Example Calendar: Here is a sample calendar. Not all of the Jewish events are listed on it, but you can see how the dates of November and December correlate to the Religious calendar of Kislev. Also note that all months have 30 days. This is essential to understanding Biblical prophecy.

Once we have been able to obtain information on the Jewish festivals, we see (as did all believers in the 1st century) that God kept His promise. He said these festivals were holy. He also said they were rehearsals of His appointments with man. Jesus was sent to fulfill those appointments. And Jesus did so, down to the exact minute. However, no human could be born, live a life, and die on the exact dates (down to the minute) as the Festivals without supernatural direction and advance knowledge of time. Jesus was God in the flesh.

The Jewish day begins and ends at sundown. Thus, all holidays begin at sundown of the day preceding the date shown and end at sundown of the (last) day shown.

Since the Jewish calendar begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish year always straddles two years from the civil calendar. In other words, spring holidays (such as Pesach and Shavuot) occur in the civil year following Rosh Hashanah.

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