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When Does The First Month Of The Year Begin?

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The month IN WHICH the Vernal equinox "takes  place" is the first month of the year


First of all let me say, most scholars, if not all, agree that the first Hebrew month of the year is the month of ABIB and that it BEGINS in March.

 

We do not have to take the scholars word for it because Nature itself teaches that March is the month in which the barley is abib in the northern part of Egypt and Israel.

 

The Scripture specifically teaches to watch for and observe the full moon of Abib, NOT the new moon, Exodus 23:15, and Exodus 34:18 i.e. the full moon of abib barley, which will ALLWAYS be in March, at the season they left Egypt. If you have abib barley to put the sickle to and a full moon, you are good to go, I see nothing else to even consider. We know when there will be abib barley in Israel and a full moon, without going there!

 

The Scripture requires nothing more than abib barley and a full moon in order to keep the feast, we must NOT add to or take away from the word of the Almighty in His specific command in Exodus 23:15 and 34:18. If I were to take the full moon of abib barley out of the equation or add the equinox, constellations, or anything else into the equation, I feel like I would be adding to or taking away from the Almighty's specific command in Exodus 23:15 and 34:18.

It reads, "seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed, [15th/Full Moon] of the month Abib: for in it thou camest out of Egypt:"

The above instructions is easy to understand.

 

The month/moon of abib barley, which the Almighty Himself introduced, DOES NOT take away from Genesis 1:14, which teaches the great lights are for appointments, but rather lets us know which one of the 12 moons of the year is the first! If he had not mentioned the full moon of green ears/abib, we would not have as much conclusive proof, from Scripture, which of the 12 full moons he is referring to as being the first full moon of the year.

 

There is also another way to find the first month.

The above Scriptures are in perfect harmony with Philo, an Israelite from the tribe of Levi, who actually lived during the time of our Savior. Philo certainly knew when the first month of the year began, as did all feast keepers of that day, and he specifically teaches that the month in which the traditional March 20 equinox occurs, is the first month of the year, i.e. March.

 

 No one has to look for the abib barley, anymore than anyone has to look for the spring equinox, and that because we know when they are. The barley is in the month in which the equinox occurs/March. It's that simple. Finding the first month of the year is very important and the Almighty did not make it hard. As a matter of fact he made it so simple that the Hebrew slaves, who were farmers, could understand it.

 

It is very important to note that, since creation until now, there has never been a new moon cross the traditional March 20 equinox. The first new moon of the first year, in creation, came BEFORE the March 20 equinox, see 8 days in creation at http://www.lunarsabbath.info/id48.html, and it would drift backwards from the traditional equinox by about 11 days each year. After three years, the new moon would be over 30  days away from the equinox which is over a month away from the spring season where it originally began the year.

In order to keep the first month/moon of the year in line with the original season in creation, the 13th month is no longer the 1st month and you leap forward 30 days and BEGIN the next new moon of the next new year but the new moon NEVER passes the traditional equinox.

In other words the new moon ALWAYS begins the new year, same as in creation, and NEVER COMES AFTER THE TRADITIONAL YEAR HAS ALREADY BEGUN! It comes after the Ancient year, which I will give proof in a minute, but the new moon has to stay between February 19 and March 20 in order to be the month in which the traditional equinox occurs, as spoken of by Philo, who was there, and this will keep the FULL moon feast closest to the equinoxes and barley harvest, as you can get.

 

You can never have a new moon before February 19 or after March 20 or you will get out of the season of the first month of the year in which they left Egypt, and you will not be in the month in which the equinox occurs or takes place as Philo clearly states. The above happens over and over again since creation and the new moon has never passed the sun.

 

The new year must always mimic the original one in creation which has the new moon before the traditional equinox.  A new moon that comes after the traditional year has already begun is not the first month of that year because it did not begin it as was the case in creation. Same is true for the Sabbaths, they also must mimic the ones in creation.

 

The question will then arise, when does the year end and spring begin?

 

Before they thought to change the seasons, Daniel 7:25, springtime and the ancient year originally began 60 days after the winter solstice, February 19, when the swallows appear, instead of 90 days after it. There is positive proof of this in the writings of Hesoid, Works and Days, who lived during the time of Daniel the prophet. And also Hippocrates (460 BC-c.370 BC) who believed, quote:

 

 Spring…  was often popularly dated from the appearance of swallows and the acronychal rising of Arcturus in February." Hippocrates Collected Works I. Hippocrates. W. H. S. Jones. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1868.

National Library of Medicine History of Medicine Division provided support for entering this text.

This text was converted to electronic form by Data Entry and has been proofread to a high level of accuracy.” http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:2007.01.0074:chapter=intro&highlight=spring  more on this later.

 

From the above we see that the idea of spring beginning at the end of February when the swallows appear, instead of end of March is nothing new. I have much to say on the ancient year which you can access at http://www.lunarsabbath.info/  at any rate the ancient year ended 60 days after the winter solstice but now ends 90 days after it.

There's other calendar evidence showing that the month of January and February was added at the end of December, causing the year to end in February. My point was the new moon of the new year should begin the new year as the year starts
and not a new moon after the year has already started. If the March 20 equinox starts a new year, then the new moon should come before it as it did in creation!

The adjustments always come before the traditional equinox and the new moon will never pass it. The sun is portrayed as a he in Scripture and the moon as she. He always leads the way as a perfect gentleman and she always follows his lead as a perfect lady. She cannot stay up with him but she is allowed to leaps forward 30 days approximately every third year and the process of drifting begins anew. It never drifts forward.


Certainly, a first-century Israelite feast keeper, from the tribe of Levi known as Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD), knew how to determine when the first month of the year occurred. He matter-of-factly wrote that the first month is the month in which the equinox occurs!

According to Philo, a Levite who lived during the time of our Savior, believed the traditional equinoxes take place in the first and seventh months. This means he believed that the new moon BEFORE the traditional equinox is the first month of the year!                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 He even goes on to say that “the month IN WHICH the autumnal equinox occurs is first in sequence according to the orbit of the sun, it is not considered first in the law.” Philo writes,


THE SPECIAL LAWS, II, (153) page 582 THE FIFTH FESTIVAL XXVIII. (153) “Although the month “in which” the autumnal equinox occurs is first in sequence according to solar orbits, it is not considered first in the law.

(Notice he is saying that the month IN WHICH the Autumnal equinox occurs in is the first month of the year according to the solar orbit but not considered first in the law i.e. the month/moon the Autumnal equinox happens in is the seventh month, the first according to the solar orbit. The month in which the Vernal equinox occurs in is the first month of the year according to the law, but seventh according to the solar orbit. This is what he believed!
 

He calls the vernal euinox the seventh month and teaches that the equinox takes place in the seventh month. That means he believed that the new moon BEFORE the equinox or the month IN WHICH the equinox occurs in is the first month. The new moon had to come BEFORE the equinox!

He also writes, ON THE CREATION (116) Page 17 

“And the sun, the ruler of the day, making two equinoxes every year, both in spring and autumn. The spring equinox in the constellation of Aries, and the autumnal one in Libra, gives the most evident demonstration possible of the divine dignity of the number seven. For each of the equinoxes takes place “in” the seventh month," snip:

Notice, according to Philo, both of the equinoxes takes place “IN” the seventh month. This means that the seventh month/moon CAME “BEFORE” THE EQUINOX and the equinox came AFTER the new moon! The same thing in creation week!

Some things are hid in simplicity. Meditate on this, how can an equinox take placein” the seventh month unless the month/moon THAT IT IS “IN” BEGINS FIRST???
 

Philo specifically says that the feasts are celebrated in the seventh month and he states that the equinox takes place in the seventh month and the feast takes place at the equinox.  This proves the new moon comes before the feast and the equinox. Here’s what he said,

“For each of the equinoxes takes place “in” the seventh month, at which time men are expressly commanded by law to celebrate the greatest and most popular and comprehensive festivals;”

( men are especially commanded by law to celebrate the feast in the seventh month, the month in which the equinox takes place! (i.e. the month/moon in which the equinox occurs, which is the seventh month, that is the month in which to keep the feast. There are several ways to say what Philo says but you cannot say that he says the feasts are to be observed in the new month after the equinox.)
    -- at which time men are expressly commanded by law to celebrate the greatest and most popular and comprehensive festivals;" snip – (the time men are expressly commanded, by law, to keep the feast is in the month in which the equinox occurs, not after it. The reason all of this is important is because Philo was an Israelite, from the tribe of Levi, and lived during the time of our Savior and kept the same feast! )  "since it is owing to both these seasons, that all the fruits of the earth are engendered and brought to perfection; the fruit of corn, and all other things which are sown, being owing to the vernal equinox; and that of the vine, and of all the other plants which bear hard berries, of which there are great numbers, to the autumnal one.”

 The above states that they were expressly commanded by law to keep Tabernacles at the equinox, which is harvest time and taking the month in which the equinox takes place, will always put you as close to the spring equinox as you can get. This next quote shows they did. 

FLACCUS page 735 chapter 14 verse 116 states  “This was the unexampled misfortune which befell Flaccus in the country of which he was governor, being taken prisoner like an enemy on account of the Jews, ...the time of his arrest, for it was the general festival of the Jews at the time of the autumnal equinox, during which it is the custom of the Jews to live in tents;” 

From the above, Philo’s readers would have understood this to be around September 22 that they live in tents! Notice he is also saying that the law teaches them to live in tents, or keep Tabernacles at this time, around September 22 equinox. He is obviously referring to Exodus 34:22, which says “in the middle of the year”, according to the Septuagint, or at the year’s end, according to the Hebrew text. September 22 is in the middle of the year with five months in between each equinox!

Here’s another one that teaches the equinox takes place in the seventh month, and is actually referring to the first month/Passover.  

THE SPECIAL LAWS, 1, (181) and (182) page 551 “In the first season--he calls springtime and its equinox the first season--he ordered that a feast which is called "the feast of unleavened bread" be celebrated for seven days…. (182) For he thought that the same reason governed the relation of the new moon to the month which governed the relation of the seven days of the feast to the equinox that took place in the seventh month."

Again, notice he mentions the new moon and says the equinox took place IN the seventh month; therefore the new moon/month had to have begun BEFORE THE EQUINOX, according to Philo. F. H. Colson’s translation of verse 182, page 203,  which says, “the seven days of the feast bore the same relation to the equinox which “falls” in the seventh month”

 you cannot have an equinox outside of the first or seventh month. The equinox has to fall in that particular month according to Philo’s writings. He also connects the 7 days of the feast to the 7th new moon in that same paragraph! This shows he is speaking of a scriptural month in which the equinox occurs!

"
As a result he declared sacred both the beginning of each month and the beginning, consisting of the same number of days as the new moons, of the aggregate seven months. (183) In the middle of spring the harvest takes place during which season thank offerings are offered to God from the field because it has produced fruit in abundance and the crops are being harvested. This feast is the most publicly celebrated feast and is called "the feast of the first produce," named etymologically from the circumstance that the first of the produce, the first fruits, are dedicated at that time.” (The seventh month is referring to the first month according to the law/Passover--. Here’s another one teaching the same thing. 

THE SPECIAL LAWS, 1, (186 -- page 551 (186)  “When the third season takes place “in” the seventh month at the autumnal equinox, (notice again, the equinox IS AFTER the new moon, or how else could the equinox be in the seventh month/moon and not be after the new moon of the seventh month??? -- at the beginning of the month, the feast which begins the sacred month named "the feast of trumpets" and which was discussed earlier is celebrated. On the tenth day the fast takes place which they take seriously--not only those who are zealous about piety and holiness, but even those who do nothing religious the rest of the time.”

Here’s another one that teaches the feast are to be observed at the equinoxes.

THE DECALOGUE (161) page 532, “But to the seventh day of the week he has assigned the greatest festivals, those of the longest duration, at the periods of the equinox both vernal and autumnal in each year; appointing two festivals for these two epochs, each lasting seven days; (the two festivals are for the two equinoxes/epochs, March 20 and September 22. -- the one which takes place in the spring being for the perfection of what is being sown, and the one which falls in autumn being a feast of thanksgiving for the bringing home of all the fruits which the trees have produced. And seven days have very appropriately been appointed to the seventh month of each equinox, so that each month might receive an especial honour of one sacred day of festival, for the purpose of refreshing and cheering the mind with its holiday.”

 If you take the new moon that the equinox happens in, it will always put your feast closest to the traditional equinoxes! Here’s another one, 

THE SPECIAL LAWS, II, page 582 THE FIFTH FESTIVAL XXVIII. (150) "And there is another festival combined with the feast of the passover, having a use of food different from the usual one, and not customary; the use, namely, of unleavened bread, from which it derives its name. … This month, being the seventh (scriptural month) both in number and order, according to the revolutions of the sun, is the first in power; (151) on which account it is also called the first in the sacred scriptures. And the reason, as I imagine, is as follows. The vernal equinox is an imitation and representation of that beginning in accordance with which this world was created.

(Notice again, he connects the Vernal equinox with the first month of the year, same as the first month of the year in creation, when you had the equal division of light and darkness AFTER THE NEW MOON. This was a month by the moon.— Accordingly, every year, God reminds men of the creation of the world, and with this view puts forward the spring, in which season all plants flourish and bloom; (this would also include barley, which is always Abib around the equinox -- (152) for which reason this is very correctly set down in the law as the first month, since, in a manner, it may be said to be an impression of the first beginning of all, being stamped by it as by an archetypal Seal. (153) Although the month “in which” the autumnal equinox occurs is first in sequence according to solar orbits, it is not considered first in the law.

(Notice he specifically is saying that whatever SCRIPTUAL month the Autumnal equinox occurs in is the first month of the year according to the solar orbit but not considered first in the law i.e. the month/moon the Autumnal equinox happens in is the seventh month, the first according to the solar orbit. The month in which the Vernal equinox occurs in is the first month of the year according to the law, but seventh according to the solar orbit. This is what he believed! And a new moon on or after February 20 will always be the month in which the traditional equinox occurs! –

The reason is that at that time, after all the crops have been harvested, the trees lose their leaves and everything that springtime produced in the height of its glory is withering under dry winds after it has been made dry by the flaming heat of the sun. (154) Therefore he thought that to apply the name "first" to the month in which the hill country and the plain become barren and infertile, was incongruous and unfitting. For it is necessary that the most beautiful and desirable phenomena belong to those things which are first and have received the position of leadership, those phenomena through which the reproduction and growth of animals and fruit and crops take place, (including barley -- but not the ominous destructive forces. (155) And this feast is begun on the fifteenth day of the month, in the middle of the month, on the day on which the moon is full of light, in consequence of the providence of God taking care that there shall be no darkness on that day. …(160) Since, therefore, the vernal festival is a commemoration of the creation of the world,

(the first month in creation of the world happened also at the equinox, and there was a new moon BEFORE the equinox in that first month! HE equally divided the light from darkness, after the dark moon in creation, see Genesis 1. –
 There are more, such as the example of the 12 loaves of the showbread which were placed into 2 rows representing the equinoxes. Philo also teaches the same principle with the 12 loaves of showbread. He writes in,   

THE SPECIAL LAWS, I {Yonge's title, A Treatise on Circumcision.} XXXV. (172) “And loaves are placed on the seventh day on the sacred table, being equal in number to the months of the year, twelve loaves, arranged in two rows of six each, in accordance with the arrangement of the equinoxes; for there are two equinoxes every year, the vernal and the autumnal, which are each reckoned by periods of six months. At the vernal equinox all the seeds sown in the ground begin to ripen; about which time, also, the trees begin to put forth their fruit. And by the autumnal one the fruit of the trees has arrived at a perfect ripeness; and at this period, again, is the beginning of seed time. Thus nature, going through a long course of time, showers gifts after gifts upon the race of man, the symbols of which are the two sixes of loaves thus placed on the table.”

You can draw the 12 circles in two rows, six circles in each row, and ewas Philo says,  in accordance with the arrangement of the equinoxes; for there are two equinoxes every year,” these equinox circles has five circles/months in between and the middle circle is the September 22 equinox.

A new moon or month on or "after" the equinox is NOT the month IN WHICH the equinox takes place or occurs! This is true no mater if Philo is speaking of a lunar or solar month or both, or Julius Ceser's month. A new moon on or AFTER the equinox, no mater what month, IS NOT the month in which the equinox takes place! The new moon, in which the equinox occurs, must come before the equinox in order for the equinox to be in THAT moon or month. I.e. the new moon between Febuary 20 and March 20. I believe he has to be refering to the scriptural new moon BECAUSE he refers to the month in which the equinox takes place as the first and seventh month and in the Roman month September is the ninth and march is the third months.

 

 

 Antiquities of the Jews - Book III

 CHAPTER 10. CONCERNING THE FESTIVALS; AND HOW EACH DAY OF SUCH FESTIVAL IS TO BE OBSERVED.  5. “In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, Notice the year began with the month/moon.  

 

Antiquities of the Jews - Book I

CHAPTER 3. CONCERNING THE FLOOD; AND AFTER WHAT MANNER NOAH WAS SAVED IN AN ARK, WITH HIS KINDRED, AND AFTERWARDS DWELT IN THE PLAIN OF SHINAR, 3. This calamity happened in the six hundredth year of Noah's government, [age,] in the second month, (14) called by the Macedonians Dius, but by the Hebrews Marchesuan: for so did they order their year in Egypt. But Moses appointed that · Nisan, which is the same with Xanthicus, should be the first month for their festivals, (the first month of their festival is equal to our March/April, NOT April/May --because he brought them out of Egypt in that month: so that this month began the year as to all the solemnities they observed to the honor of God, although he preserved the original order of the months as to selling and buying, and other ordinary affairs.But at the beginning of the second year, on the month Xanthicus, as the Macedonians call it, but on the month Nisan, as the Hebrews call it, on the new moon, they consecrated the tabernacle, and all its vessels, which I have already described.”

Notice again, where he says, “beginning” of the second year, on the month Xanthicus, as the Macedonians call it, but on the month Nisan as the Hebrews call it,” the month Nisan and Xanthicus is equal to our March/April and he calls it the beginning of the year! It appears that they also believed that the new year began lunar, with the moon, not the equinox but at any rate the first month of the year was equal to our March/April NOT April/May.

It appears that Philo and Hesiod believe the year ended the same time.  Philo used the traditional equinox as a reference point in describing when to keep the feast and when the first month/moon of the year begins.  Philo teaches to keep the feast AT the traditional equinox. By taking the month in which the equinox occurs, as the first month of the year, the beginning of your feast will never be over about 14 days away from traditional equinox the other way, taking the new moon after the traditional equinox, as much as 45 days from the traditional equinox, which is not AT the equinox or even the month in which the equinox occurs.

In other words, the extreme for both, would be when a new moon falls one day before the traditional equinox, or about 14 days from the equinox, for Philo, who claims the month in which the equinox occurs is the first month of the year, and about 45 days away from the equinox for those who has to wait another month/new moon and in 15 days to the full moon which is a total of 45 days away from the equinox.

This certainly would not square with Philo and the feast keepers during our Savior’s time, who kept the feast AT the equinoxes.
 If you take the first new moon after the true equal light and darkness AFTER February 19, the full moon feast would be around March 7, at the extreme, only 13 days from the traditional March 20 equinox and the 7th day of the feast about 6 days from touching the equinox.

The seven-day feast would actually reach down to March 14 which is only six days from the spring equinox, this is AT the equinox. This is the extreme, in one direction, but using the new moon after the equinox the extreme will be as much as 45 days at the beginning of the feast and about 52 days from the equinox at the end of the feast! Using the new moon after the equinox, the closest you will ever be to the vernal equinox is about 16 days. You will NEVER be AT IT.

  Philo teaches the month IN WHICH the equinox occurs is the first month of the year. He also says the EQUINOX TAKES PLACE in the seventh month, i.e. the seventh month is the month in which the equinox takes place. This is in perfect harmony with taking the first new moon after THE TRUE EQUINOX, year’s end, spoken of by Hesiod, because the new moon after the true equinox, (February 19) and the month in which the traditional equinox occurs is one and the same month!!! Meditate on that for a moment.  Philo says both the equinoxes TAKE PLACE in the seventh month. What month would you say the equinoxes take place in???  

Remember, the equinox is the beginning of the year solar year. Acording to Philo, who was an eye witness, should we take the new moon that the equinox occurs in, as the first month of the year, or a New moon AFTER the year has ALREADY begun as the first month of the year?

There seems to be as much problem one way as the other. How is calling the month in which the equinox occurs, the first month of the year, anymore ridiculous than if you call the new moon 25 days after the year has already begun, the first month of the year?

If the spring equinox is the beginning of the solar year, then whatever month that takes place in, is the first month of the year, if you think about it, it makes more sense than the other. I know it can be argued either way but it is obvious, from the writings of Philo, they took the month in which the equinox occurred as the first month of the year.
 

The month in which the traditional equinox takes place is the new moon BEFORE the traditional equinox and it is also the new moon AFTER the true equal light and darkness equinox. They are one and the same. The new moon that happens after the true equal light and darkness equinox, which occurs around February 20, according to Hesiod, who lived at the time of Daniel, is the same new moon that happens before the traditional equinox, spoken of by Philo. It seems they both had something in common.

Hesiod WORKS AND DAYS (ll. 564-570) see lines 536-570

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0132%3Acard%http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0132%3Acard%



Observe all
this until the year is ended and you have nights and days of equal length, and Earth, the mother of all, bears again her various fruit. When Zeus has finished sixty wintry days after the solstice, then the star Arcturus leaves the holy stream of Ocean and first rises brilliant at dusk. (25) February to March. After him the shrilly wailing daughter of Pandion, the swallow, appears to men when spring is just beginning.  Before she comes, prune the vines, for it is best so.”

60 days from the winter solstice is February 19
 
 See my notes on the true equinox at http://www.lunarsabbath.info/id43.html  

Here is another way to look at whether or not the new moon that occurs just before the equinox can be called the chief or first moon of the year or the chief month of the solar revolution which begins and ends at the vernal equinox.  The solar year has 12 complete lunar months within it according to Scripture, and one of them has to be chief. The 12 lunar months will end before the solar year/revolution ends and the beginning of the next lunar month is the chief month/moon of that solar revolution, even though the solar revolution hasn’t ended yet, it is still the chief month of that revolution because it took place within that revolution. It is the first month of another lunar cycle/year of 12 lunar months.  

He could have said the third lunar month of the solar year is chief or first and the third month would be the chief month of the year or solar revolution. Of course we know that the third lunar month is not chief or first in the solar year but we do know that the lunar month that comes after the 12th lunar month is chief or first! My point is that the new moon before the traditional equinox is designated as the chief month WITHIN the solar revolution/year, according to Philo!  We know there are 12 lunar months in a year.

One could ask, how can the new moon that occurs after the solar year/revolution has ended, be the chief month of the year, when it don’t even happen till after the solar revolution/year has ENDED???
 Philo states that Moses put down the beginning of the equinox, not after it.

ON THE LIFE OF MOSES, II (222) “Moses puts down the beginning of the vernal equinox as the first month of the year,”
The month IN WHICH the Vernal equinox takes place is the first month of the year, NOT the new moon after the year has already begun or ended!

THE SPECIAL LAWS, II (153—page 582 “Although the month in which the autumnal equinox occurs is first” The chief/first lunar month within a solar year is the lunar month in which the solar equinox occurs. This would be the chief month of that year/revolution, according to Philo.

See also
ON THE CREATION (116) Page 17“.. each of the equinoxes takes place “in” the seventh month, at which time men are expressly commanded by law to celebrate the greatest and most popular and comprehensive festivals;”click here for first day of the month debate. https://www.freeconferencecallhd.com/playback.html?n=aryMN/jBUr4

 

 

 

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