Gospel of God




When the Biblical new year begins

by Bill Wong

God’s calendar vs. today’s calendar

During the centuries after the ascension of Messiah Yahusha (or Yahushua/Yeshua) or Jesus back to heaven, the Roman Empire and its Church did its best to do away with the teachings in the Bible and those who followed it.  Though most Christians do not know or are loathe to admit, during this time God-given Biblical truth was replaced with Roman-based doctrines and traditions, thereby creating believers who followed the teachings of Rome above those in the Bible --- and these were then passed down to Christians today.  The calendar God gave all mankind in the Bible was just one of the many things that were attacked.  And so to this day, most people in the world do not even know what the true Biblical calendar is, or that it exists, or even care.  But we should care.  To this day, most people in the world have been deceived to follow a false man-made calendar instead.

The calendar which most of the world today observes is a Roman calendar based in paganism, having its origin from the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church.  It is called the Gregorian calendar (with the 12 months January through December) and was created by the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Gregory XIII in the 16th century CE to correct and replace the previous Julian calendar, from Roman emperor Julius Caesar in the 1st century BCE. 


The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar which differs from God’s calendar in the Bible which is both solar and lunar.  The Roman calendar is based entirely on the sun and hence has approximately 365 days (earth revolution around the sun) and its months do not follow the moon’s phases (in contrast, the Islamic calendar is based entirely on the moon and therefore the months shift/move through the seasons/year; note that the god of Islam is a moon god that comes from paganism).  God’s calendar is based on both the sun (a year) and the moon (a month begins with a new moon and contains all the phases of the moon until the next new moon/month).  One way we can easily see the difference is when we look at a Gregorian calendar, you will notice that the lunar phases do not match the calendar months (for example: a new moon appears in the middle of the calendar month) – even though the word ‘month’ comes from ‘moon’.  


The Gregorian calendar comes complete with its own man-made religious holidays and observances created by the Roman Catholic Church.  Some of these holidays are:  Ash Wednesday/Lent; Easter; the Assumption of Mary; All Saints’ Day (the day before is All Hallows’ Evening – Halloween); and Christmas.  All of these days are pagan in nature, deriving from the customs of pagans and their worship of pagan gods and the heavens (sun god, fertility goddess, mother goddess, etc.).


This Roman calendar and its religious holidays and observances is a false counterfeit calendar that has done away with and replaced God’s true calendar and holy feast days which He gave in the Bible.  The Roman calendar is based on sun/sun god worship as seen by: the creation of Christmas which comes from celebrating the winter solstice and the sun/sun god overcoming the darkness as the days began to get longer again (assimilating the pagan festival of “Saturnalia” and others); the creation of Sunday (Day of the Sun) to replace the 7th day Sabbath (in the Bible, the 7th day is the only day named (Sabbath) while all others are numbered); the creation of Lent (mourning the death of Tammuz, son of the sun god and sun a god himself); as well as Easter (Ishtar/Ashtoreth, the “Queen of Heaven” fertility goddess and mother of Tammuz; Ezekiel 8:12-16) with its sunrise worship to replace Passover/Pesach and the count to Pentecost/Shavuot. 

The Biblical holy days outline the entire salvation plan of God with Messiah being at the center of it – as He lives out each holy day (just as He died on the Passover as the Passover Lamb of God), and prophecy continues to unfold and the plan is fulfilled toward the Kingdom of God and a new heavens and new earth.  So yes, we should care very much about what God’s true calendar is.


Another example of the pagan nature of the Roman calendar is how it has the day beginning in the middle of the night (midnight) while the Biblical day begins with the nighttime (at sunset) followed by daytime (at sunrise), mirroring the darkness before God let there be light.  Also, the Roman calendar has the new year beginning on January 1st in the middle of winter (January honors Janus, the god of beginnings/endings and gateways) while the Biblical calendar begins around Spring based on when the new moon is and the state of barley crops. 


Evidence of God’s calendar beginning in the Spring is found in the Roman calendar itself and is actually hidden in plain sight.  The Roman calendar has most of its months named after pagan gods or Roman emperors; for example: January honors Janus, the god of beginnings/endings and gateways, and August honors Caesar Augustus). However, only the first 8 months are named this way (January to August).  The last 4 months do not have specific names, but just generic names signifying what the number of month it is: September = 7th month; October = 8th month; November = 9th month; December = 10th month.  When we count backwards from the 7th month of September to when the 1st month must be, we find that it is in March – the Spring.  The existence of the numbered months still in today’s Roman calendar is a leftover from God’s calendar which begins in the Spring.  In the Bible, just as only the 7th day of the week is named while all others are numbered, the only month that is named is the 1st month while all others are numbered (note that the modern Hebrew calendar names the months based from their Babylonian captivity).  So we can clearly see that the first calendar – God’s calendar, began in the Spring and was overlaid with the Roman calendar which began in January, the middle of winter.


God declares that the month of the Abib is the first month of the year, occurring in March or April.  The month of the Abib sets the course of God’s sacred calendar with the beginning of His holy feast days which are special appointed times for the children of God to observe.  These holy feast days outline the salvation plan of God with the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus as the central focus in all of them.  Abib is when we observe Passover or Pesach (Abib 14) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Chag HaMatzot (Abib 15-21):


Exodus 12:

2    "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 


Exodus 13:

4    "On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth.    (NASB)


Deuteronomy 16

1 "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.   (NKJV)


Exodus 23

15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty);   (NKJV)

Exodus 34:

18   "You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.    (NASB)



Note #1: The Bible does not indicate that the beginning of the year in God’s calendar starts on the 1st day of the 7th month of Tishri which Jews today call ‘Rosh Hashanah’ (“head of the year”), which should really be called ‘Yom Teruah’ (“day of shouting/blast”) or more commonly, ‘the Feast of Trumpets’.  


Note #2:  The first month of the Abib is sometimes called Nisan which is the Babylonian name used for it when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon.  The custom of calling it Nisan instead of Abib is used in the vast majority of Jews today.




The first month of the Abib and barley

So what does ‘abib’ mean? 


Strong's Hebrew dictionary word #24 defines ‘abib’ as:


-    green, young ear of grain  


According to the definition of ‘abib’, the first month of the Abib is when there are green ears of barley grain which will produce the firstfruit offering (Wavesheaf Offering or ‘omer’, Strong’s Hebrew dictionary word #6016) from the barley harvest for the Biblical feast day called the Beginning of the Harvest (Reishit Katzir) or the Day of the Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim).  This feast day occurs the day after the weekly Sabbath of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread (therefore all three are in the month of the Abib – Passover is on the 14th day of Abib) when the people of Israel must give their firstfruit offerings to the High Priest to wave/offer to God.  The location of this 'abib' barley is to be found in Israel.


Sometimes ‘abib’ is also referred to as the stage of grain when it is “tender”.  However, while the definition given of ‘abib’ is a young or green early stage of maturity of grain (barley), the Bible’s descriptions of barley in the month of the Abib are consistently of a more mature stage and not of a young or green stage of barley. 

For instance, during the 7th plague upon Egypt during the time of Moses which shortly preceded the 1st Passover on Abib 14, the barley was described as ‘abib’ as follows – translated as “in the head” and “in the ear”; two translations are given: 


Exodus 9:

31   Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.

32   But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.    (NKJV)


31   (Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud.

32   But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they ripen late.)    (NASB)



This passage tells us in two ways that the stage of barley was not actually young or green, but more mature and not green, but yellow. 


Firstly, the fact that the barley was ruined indicates that the barley was in a more mature and brittle state that can be damaged (whereas an earlier stage would be tender/soft and not be destroyed by the hail). 

Secondly, when we compare verse 31 with verse 32, the juxtaposition of the two verses show that the stages of the crops mentioned are opposite of one another.  In verse 31, the barley and flax were struck, because they were in a later ripening state; but in verse 32, the wheat and spelt were not struck, because they were in an early state and not ripening (“for they are late crops” / “for they ripen late”).   This supports the first point. 

So the barley was not young or green at all during the 7th plague.  We see that even before Passover, the barley was already in a ripening or early ripened stage.  The reason why the Bible mentions barley at a later more mature stage (not young/tender/green), is because barley is necessary for the Wavesheaf Offering which occurs on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the days of Passover/Unleavened Bread (in other words, the Beginning of the Harvest/Reishit Katzir will fall on one of these days: Abib 15-21).  A firstfruit offering of the barley harvest is required for the Wavesheaf Offering which means much of the barley has to be ripe enough (in ‘abib’ state) for the people to start reaping the harvest and from it obtain the firstfruit offering to bring to the High Priest:

Leviticus 23:

10   "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.

11   'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12   'Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD.

13   'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.

14   'Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.     (NASB)



In verse 14 we see more evidence that the barley being described is not young, tender or green, but more mature and yellow instead.  God says that when Israel goes into the Promised Land, Israel cannot eat of the land or parch/roast barley grain (which is also a common practice of Israel), until after they bring in the Wavesheaf Offering.  What is stated in verse 14 was performed by Joshua when he led Israel to cross over the Jordan to the Promised Land; they offered the Wavesheaf of the barley firstfruit harvest and then were able to eat and parched/roasted barley grain:


Joshua 5:

11   On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.    (NASB)



The stage of barley which enables it to be roasted is a later and non-green, but yellow stage (some material available in the grain that can be roasted though it is not quite ripe).  This later stage is described further in the grain offering with grain that can be crushed or beaten from full heads (the fully ripe stage); two translations follow:


Leviticus 2:

14   "If you offer a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits fresh ears, roasted with fire, crushed new grain.    (ESV)


14   'If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads.    (NKJV)



The ESV translation calls it new or fresh grain.  But the NKJV translation calls the grain “green” heads which contradicts the fact that they can be roasted and beaten.  Green or young tender heads cannot be roasted nor beaten, because their consistency is too delicate/soft and fluid, and they would be destroyed.  However, only the later more brittle stage (as we first saw in the 7th plague in Exodus 9) can be roasted or, if later/fully ripe, can be crushed (and be made into flour).  So we see in Leviticus 2:14 that there is a range of time where the state of barley is ‘abib’ and acceptable: when it has enough material to be roasted to when it is fully ripe and can be crushed and ground into flour. 

This raises the question of whether the definition of ‘abib’ is correctly defined as green, young ears of grain.  As we have seen, it is not correct and cannot be green or tender which is still wet, because the stage of barley at the time preceding and for the Wavesheaf Offering is fairly ripe and can be parched in fire, being well past green/tender and would be yellow in color instead. However, this much we know:  the barley must be ripe enough (in the stage of ‘abib’) to reap the harvest which begins with the firstfruit offering on the Day of the Firstfruits/Yom HaBikkurim --- and Abib is the month where this occurs.  This is the day when the High Priest waves the sheaf of firstfruit barley at the beginning of the barley harvest and is why the name of the day is also the Beginning of the Harvest/Reishit Katzir:

Deuteronomy 16:

9   "You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.    (NKJV)

This day is the beginning of the harvest (“put the sickle to the grain”) and begins the count to the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)/Shavuot.

This means at the end of the previous year, we have to see if there is a sufficient amount of barley at the ‘abib’ stage which can begin the barley harvest in about 2-3 weeks into the next new month (and gather the firstfruits of this harvest for the Wavesheaf Offering that will fall during Abib 15-21) – and only then we will know that the next month, which starts with the new moon will be the month of the Abib and the beginning of the Biblical new year.  The month of the Abib gets its name from the month that 'abib' barley is harvested and it begins with the Day of Firstfruits.


The New Moon

This leads into another important aspect of Abib which will help us identify the meaning of Abib.  In other words, we should be able to see if the month of the Abib can be rightly described as the month of green young ears of barley or the month of a later ripening and non-green stage of barley.  Besides the stage of barley during the feast days this month, the other importance of Abib is the time aspect:  it is the first month and therefore the beginning of the year. 

Early in the Bible, we are told that God created the lights in the heavens to be used as signs to determine points of time such as days, years and for the seasons (or ‘moedim’ (Strong’s #), God’s appointed times or feasts:


Genesis 1:

14   Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;

15   and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.

16   God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.

17   God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

18   and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.    (NASB)


In the Bible, the moon is the sign that determines a month; a month begins with a new moon.  And the first month of the year really means first new moon of the year.  The start of the Biblical calendar is determined by the new moon of Abib over Israel. 


So how is the beginning of a month or ‘new moon’ determined? 

There are three differing views of what a new moon (which lunar phase is considered the new moon) is and they are: 


a)  conjunction – when the moon is totally dark, blocked by shadows;


b)  the visible sliver/crescent – when the moon is barely seen again coming out of conjunction;


c)  the full moon – when the moon is at maximum visibility and brightness.



We should let the Bible tell us which one it is.  The word for ‘new moon’ used in Holy Scripture is ‘chodesh’, Strong’s #2320.


Strong's Hebrew dictionary word #2320 defines ‘chodesh’ as:


-    from ‘chadash’; the new moon; by implication, a month. monthly, new moon



Brown-Driver-Briggs defines ‘chodesh’ as:


-    1)   the new moon, month, monthly  

     1a) the 1st day of the month

     1b) the lunar month



The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (pg. 266) says of ‘chodesh’:


-    Although this word properly means “new moon”, it is commonly used as an equivalent to our word “month” because the month began when the thin crescent of the new moon was first visible at sunset. 




For the word ‘chadash’ (from which ‘chodesh’ derives), Strong’s #2318 defines the word ‘chadash’ as:


-    A primitive root; to be new; causatively, to rebuild. Renew, repair



Brown-Driver-Briggs defines ‘chadash’ as:


-    renew, make anew, repair



Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines ‘chadash’ as:


-    to produce something new; primary sense of cutting or polishing;

     the significance of newness appears to proceed from that of a sharp polished

     splendid sword; comp. 2 Samuel 21:16



We can see that the definition of new moon, ‘chodesh’, indicates a renewing, rebuilding – a growing again from something that was not there.  In other words, it indicates something is visible.


This definition of new moon tells us that there is visibility of the moon involved in determining the beginning of a new month, which is supported by what God Himself calls the moon: it is a sign in the heavens.  The Hebrew word for ‘sign’ used in Genesis 1:14-18 where we get our instructions to look to the moon to determine God’s appointed times/feasts and the new month, is the word ‘oth’, Strong’s #226. 


Strong's Hebrew dictionary word #226 defines ‘oth’ – sign, as:


-    probably from 225 (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.:--mark, miracle, (en-)sign, token.


Brown-Driver-Briggs defines ‘owt’ as:

-    1) sign, signal

          1a) a distinguishing mark

          1b) banner

          1c) remembrance

          1d) miraculous sign

          1e) omen

          1f) warning

       2) token, ensign, standard, miracle, proof



The word ‘owt’ or ‘sign’ is something that can be seen; for example, the rainbow is a visible sign just as circumcision is a visible sign:


Genesis 9:

12   And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13   I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.

14   It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;

15   and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16   The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

17   And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."    (NKJV)


Genesis 17:

10   This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;

11   and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.    (NKJV)



Therefore, the Biblical meaning of a new moon or new month (‘chodesh’) is not a conjunction (where the moon is totally dark and cannot be seen; the moon is exactly aligned between the earth and sun with the shadow/dark part facing earth and sun-lit part on the other side). The new moon indicated in the Gregorian calendar is a conjunction (sometimes called “astronomical new moon”), and is not the same as a Biblical new moon.  Note:  The calendar most Jews today observe is the calculated (not observed) conjunction (all dark, cannot be seen) invented by Hillel II in the 4th century CE; this calendar also uses postponements as part of its date calculations.


And neither is the new moon a full moon (the moon is at its peak of brightness/luminescence; the earth is between the moon and sun).  This is because neither of these phases indicate a rebuilding, renewing, or repairing phase of the moon.  For a conjunction/dark moon, there is no rebuilding at all and nothing can even be seen.  For a full moon, the renewing has reached the maximum point and it is no longer rebuilding.


The Biblical new moon is determined by the time when the moon begins to rebuild, renew, repair --- the time the moon begins to slowly show its light again.  The Biblical new moon is determined by the observation of the moon becoming visible again, which is a slender, crescent rising above the horizon during sunset.  This action/motion of the moon while it gathers more light and becomes visible again is the only thing which holds true to both being a visible sign and the meaning of “rebuilding, renewing, repairing”. 


And it is no accident that this sliver of the new moon appears at the same time and same place the sun goes down, signifying that the beginning of this day at sunset is also the beginning of the month.  The observable sliver of the new moon rises in the west just as the sun goes down in the west.

The solar and lunar years working together


As mentioned earlier, God’s calendar is both a solar and lunar calendar combined.  The sun will indicate when the year approximately begins (about when the first month will be) and the moon will indicate specifically when the year begins (the actual first day of the first month). 

In the Bible, a month is 30 days and a year is 360 days.  We see this in the prophecies of Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 where 42 months is the same as 3.5 years or 1260 days, which comes out to 30 days a month.  We also see this during the times of Noah.  The passage of time is recorded as 30 days per month as part of a 12 month 360-day year.  The waters came forth on the 17th day of the 2nd month and prevailed for 150 days – exactly 5 months (5 x 30), stopping on the 17th day of the 7th month:


Genesis 7:

11   In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.


24   And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.


Genesis 8:

1    But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

2         Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;

3    and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.

4    In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.    (NKJV)



God’s calendar of 30-day months and a 360-day year was likely followed by early civilization at least up to the time of Noah and his sons.  Sometime after this, the days and years changed.  Where the 12 30-day months once fit perfectly into His 360-day year, now there are differences, because the lunation period of the moon is now shorter and is either 29 or 30 days, averaging as 29.5 days, and the solar year is now longer with 365 days instead of 360 days.  Therefore, the shortest length of time a 12-month lunar year can be is 354 days (12 months x 29.5 days) and the longest is 360 days (12 months x 30 days).  These lunar totals are 11 and 5 days shorter, respectively, than the current solar year of 365 days.


As we mentioned earlier, this means an extra 13th month is intercalated (added) to a year from time to time to keep the lunar and solar years in synchronization with each other so the year always begins around the Spring season.  And when this 13th month is added is determined by the stage of 'abib' barley.

The beginning of God’s new year

How does everything previously discussed tie in with the definition of Abib and when is the month of the Abib to proclaim the Biblical new year?  This is where whether ‘abib’ means young/green ears or later/ripened non-green ears of barley is determined by when the new moon of the Abib begins.  What the Bible means is this:

At the time of the end of the 12th new moon/chodesh, we must ask/see: is much of the barley at the ‘abib’ stage where we can put the sickle to the grain to begin the barley harvest (with its firstfruits Wavesheaf Offering) 2-3 weeks later?  If the answer is yes, then the next new moon will be the month of the Abib and the beginning of months/the year.  If the answer is no, then the next new moon is an intercalated (added) 13th month (Adar 2 coming after the 12th month of Adar) and the first month of the Abib comes after this.

In other words, when the barley is ready to be harvested, the state of the barley is non-green and is a more mature yellow – and this tells us that ‘aviv’ does not mean green at all.

If there are sufficient amounts of Biblically ‘abib’ barley (remember: not young/tender/green, but actually brittle enough to be damaged by hail, can be parched and even crushed) at the end of the 12th month towards the time of the next new moon, then the harvest will come in 2-3 weeks’ time and the next new moon is the first month of the Abib.  If not, we add a 13th month and it is the following new moon that is the Abib.  In other words, does the stage (‘abib’) and amount of barley at the end of the 12th month tell us that the barley harvest can begin in 2-3 weeks on the Day of Firstfruits with putting the sickle to the grain (as we read earlier in Deuteronomy 16:9).

There might be an explanation as to why ‘abib’ was incorrectly defined as green, young/tender grain.  While green young barley may be seen any time in the month before the first month of the year, it is not yet in the stage of ‘abib’, but the green young barley may be mixed in with some more mature ‘abib’ grain.  As we said, the more mature ‘abib’ barley is firmer and can be damaged by hail, can be parched and crushed.  So the month before which determines whether the next new moon is the beginning of the year will have a mix of stages of barley.  However, it is the amount of barley being ‘abib’ in this previous month which will determine when the barley will be ready to harvest – and this will occur the next month.  It is actually this next month which harvests all the 'abib' barley that is called the month of the Abib and is the start of the new year. 

Spring is when the barley is naturally in this stage of 'abib' and is the season when Passover (Abib 14) and the Wavesheaf Offering shortly afterwards (on one of these days: Abib 15-21) occurs.

We also see the stage of barley having a significant role for another very important reason: in determining the start of the year, whether the stage of barley is in ‘abib’ also tells us when to intercalate/add a 13th month to synchronize the lunar year with the solar year (seasons – specifically the Spring).


So does the Biblical new year itself, Abib 1 always have to be in the Spring as well – that is, on or after the vernal (Spring) equinox (equinox is Latin and means “equal day/night” when the sun crosses the equator)?  There is a view which states Abib 1 must occur on or after the vernal equinox and cites as evidence Genesis 1:14-18, as we read earlier, where God made the sun, moon and stars for day and night, days and years, signs and seasons, and to give light. 

The word ‘tekufah’ which occurs 4 times in the Bible (1 Samuel 1:20; 2 Chronicles 24:23; Psalm 19:6; Exodus 34:22) is thought to mean equinox or the Spring (vernal equinox) and that is how the word is used today in modern Hebrew.  However, this is not what it meant long ago.  In ancient and Biblical Hebrew, the word ‘tekufah’ means a complete or end of a course or circuit; it is Strong’s Hebrew dictionary word #8622 which means: a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse: - circuit, come about, end.  

We can see it means at the end of a span of time, whether it be the end of a pregnancy, year, day, etc. and does not mean equinox at all.  The English translation of ‘tekufah’ is underlined:

1 Samuel 1:

20   It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked him of the LORD."  (NASB)

2 Chronicles 24:

23   At the end of the year the army of the Syrians came up against Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.    (ESV)

Psalm 19:

6   Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.    (NKJV)

Exodus 34:

22   "And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end.    (NKJV)

To make the word ‘tekufah’ mean equinox in the Bible is an example of an anachronism: we are taking a modern thing and putting it into the past --- it is out of its time and out of place. 

One of the arguments the equinox belief brings up is that the month of the Abib cannot be half in winter (if Abib 1 is before the vernal equinox and during the winter solstice) and half in Spring (Passover on Abib 14 is after the vernal equinox) with the possibility of two winters in a year.  The problem with this argument is that if Abib 1 is always after the vernal equinox, then there is a problem the other way – then the month before Abib, the last month in winter (Adar or Adar 2), will have the same problem.  In other words, this month before Abib will then always be half in winter and half in Spring if Abib is always after the equinox.  So no matter how we look at it, the last or first month of the year will always be in-between two seasons.  Also, if Abib is timed after the Spring equinox then this means years will almost always have two Spring seasons: one at the beginning of the year and one at the end.

The only time this will not happen is if the new moon of 'abib' barley is exactly at the time of the vernal equinox – only then will the last winter month be entirely in winter and the first month entirely in Spring and there will be only one Spring per year.  This is impossible, because the time of equinox occurs at any time of the day. 

So the real question is whether the Bible tells us that the vernal equinox is a determining factor for when “the beginning of months” (Abib), the new year, is.  The answer to this question is no.  The Bible only tells us in in Exodus 12:2, 13:4, etc. that the beginning of months for the year is when the month (new moon) occurs at the time barley is in the ‘abib’ stage.  Since the Bible only gives these two conditions, we cannot just add a third condition no matter how good we might think it sounds.  And there is another reason why we should not just go by the strict time of year of an equinox for the start of the year.   


What is the logic and implication behind using the stage of barley as the determinant for when the year begins? It is this: the barley will literally tell us when it will be ‘abib’ for the offering – and when the barley will be ready depends on several factors, one of which is sunlight.  This means ‘abib’ barley is indirectly affected by the vernal equinox as an indicator of the sun getting stronger, because of how sunlight impacts its growth.  However, we cannot say that the beginning of the month/new year “must” occur on or after the equinox, because the specific time range when the sun gets stronger to more directly impact barley maturity can occur days before or after the equinox.  This is how the sun in Genesis 1:14 impacts when the year begins and the stage of barley, but as we saw, it is not set by the equinox or ‘tekufah’. 

Rather, the Bible says it is the state of the barley being in ‘abib’ which shows us when the new year begins.  Many times the beginning of the new year occurs after the vernal equinox, but it does not have to – we must let the stage of the barley tell us which can be days before the equinox.    Consider the time of the new moon and the barley being ‘abib’ could occur just hours before the equinox; does this mean that we cannot declare the beginning of months/the year, but must wait another whole month? 

For example, what if the new moon occurred the day before the vernal equinox, but the barley is in the stage of ‘abib’ already so it can be harvested in three weeks time during the Beginning of the Harvest (Reishit Katzir) or the Day of the Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim)?   If we determine the beginning of the year by the vernal equinox then this means the month of the Abib will be pushed off a month and the entire ‘abib’ barley harvest will be completely lost.  Would this not throw off the entire barley firstfruit harvest and therefore Passover and the holy feast days dependent on it?  Yes, it would.  This would mean for many years that there will be no barley firstfruit Wavesheaf Offering for the High Priest to present. 

We must not forget that Passover/Pesach, the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Chag haMatzot and Day of Firstfruits/Yom HaBikkurim all occur in the month of the Abib which means they all must occur when the barley is in ‘abib’ to be harvested.  If we have situations where the barley is ‘abib’ but yet the new moon occurs just before the equinox and we do not declare the new year until a month later, then there will be no harvest at all left – ‘abib’ barley or otherwise.  But the Bible says the new year must begin in the month of the Abib which contains Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits centered around the ‘abib’ barley harvest.

And this is why the Bible only says the barley stage at the time of the new moon is when the new year begins.  The start of the month of the Abib will be close to the time of the vernal equinox.  However, what the Bible seems to say is this: just let the barley tell us when it is ready.  It will tell us when to add a 13th month and when the year begins; it is all about the 'abib' barley – and having the Wavesheaf Offering ready in its correct time.  And therefore, why God calls the first month, the month of the Abib. 

So in the Bible, God’s calendar year begins with the appearance of the slim visible crescent and when the barley is in the condition of ‘abib’ (will always occur near beginning of Spring), and mature enough to put the sickle to the grain and begin the harvest on the Day of Firstfruits/Yom HaBikkurim, also called the Beginning of the Harvest/Reishit Katzir with its barley firstfruit wavesheaf offering. When these two conditions are met, this is when the first month of the Abib, the beginning of the year is declared.  And if these two conditions are not met, because there will not be enough ‘abib’ barley in the last month of the previous year to be ready to begin the harvest in 2-3 weeks’ time into the new moon/month, then the 'abib' barley also tells us there will be an intercalated/added 13th month for the end of that year.

It all begins with Christ our Passover

God’s year, which should also be our year, begins with the month of the Abib which is the month of the sacrifice of His Passover on Abib 14.  His Passover is Our Passover, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world:


1 Corinthians 5:

6    Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

7    Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

8    Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.     (NKJV) 


John 1:

29   The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!     (NKJV)

And He is not just our Passover, but within the outline of God’s salvation plan in His Biblical feast days, He is also the firstfruit wavesheaf offering of 'abib' barley; please see the article about ‘The Wavesheaf Offering (Beginning of the Harvest/Reishit Katzir)’.


Everything starts with Messiah Yahusha (Yahushua/Yeshua/Jesus).




Please also see 'God's Salvation Plan in the Biblical Feast Days' which outlines the work of God and Christ in the fulfillment of past, present and future events.

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