MEMORIAL – COMPREHENSIVE – 01_Introduction
We, the Berean Bible Fellowship, welcome you to our more in-depth study of the Remembrance, or Commemoration or Memorial, of our Lord and Redeemer Yeshua Messiah’s (Jesus Christ) Ransom Sacrifice, in joyful obedience of His command:
Luke 22:19 YLT (Young’s Literal Translation)
(19) And having taken bread, having given thanks, he brake and gave to them, saying, ‘This is my body, that for you is being given, this do ye-to remembrance of me.’ QUESTION:
Why do I use Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)?
Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible was first translated in 1862 by Robert Young, a Scottish publisher who was self-taught and was fluent in various ancient languages.
Young also compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance and Concise Critical Comments on the New Testament.
A revised version of the YLT was published in 1887 and a new revised version in 1898, a year after Young’s death.
It is an extremely literal translation that attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Greek and Hebrew writings.
Young was very concerned that many English translations changed the tenses of the Greek and Hebrew verbs, and he insisted on using the more accurately translated present tense in places in which most other translations used the inaccurately translated past tense.
In the Preface to the Second Edition, Young wrote:
“If a translation gives a present tense when the original gives a past, or a past when it has a present; a perfect for a future, or a future for a perfect; an a for a the, or a the for an a; an imperative for a subjunctive, or a subjunctive for an imperative; a verb for a noun, or a noun for a verb, it is clear that verbal inspiration is as much overlooked as if it had no existence. THE WORD OF GOD IS MADE VOID BY THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.” [Emphases in original.]
YLT also consistently translates the Hebrew Tetragrammaton throughout the Old Testament as “Jehovah,” instead of the traditional practice of representing the Tetragrammaton in English as “LORD” in all capitals.
NOTE: The early translators generally substituted ‘Lord’ for ‘YHWH’. The Reformers preferred Jehovah, which first appeared as Iehouah in 1530 A.D., in Tyndale’s translation of the Pentateuch (Exodus 6:3), from which it passed into other Protestant Bibles.
Very likely, YLT is the most strictly literal English translation ever developed.
It correlates quite well with dictionaries and concordances normaly keyed to the KJV. There are printed versions of YLT keyed to Strong’s numbers.
Strong’s numbers are from The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, which is widely regarded as the most accurate concordance for Bible word study.
The Hebrew and Greek dictionaries have been augmented with definitions from the classic reference work Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.
Aspects and nuances that could only be understandable to those who can read and understand the original Greek are clarified in the YLT.
On the down side, the strictly literal translation method can make YLT somewhat difficult to casually read and in some instances very unnatural sounding in English.
But then, our Berean Bible Fellowship seeks accurate knowledge and understanding of YHVH’s Word – we are not a literary society.
John 19:30 YLT
(30) when, therefore, Yeshua received the vinegar, he said, ‘It hath been finished;’ and having bowed the head, gave up the spirit. We’ll allow the Word of YHVH in His Holy Bible to answer the questions:
What was Yeshua referring to when, with His last words before His death, He said, “It hath been finished”?; and,
Why does “It hath been finished” matter to us today?
Before we begin our study, please offer a short prayer and ask YHVH to bless your efforts in this study in accordance with His only begotten Son’s promise:
Matthew 18:20 YLT
(20) for where there are two or three gathered together-to my name, there am I in the midst of them.’
John 16:23 YLT
(23) and in that day ye will question me nothing; verily, verily, I say to you, as many things as ye may ask of the Father in my name, He will give you;
For those who may be unfamiliar with our Fellowship, we study YHVH’s Word as closely as possible in the same manner as the Church of Berea, as reported by the Apostle Paul:
Acts 17:11 YLT
(11) and these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, they received the word with all readiness of mind, every day examining the Writings whether those things were so;
In keeping with our commitment to study as closely as possible as the Bereans’ studied, all parts of this study consist primarily of Scriptures with narration only as required for continuity.
The one glaring example of an exception to this is in discussing Hebrew and Christian traditions, which may or may not correlate to Scripture, but which, nonetheless, have infiltrated their way into many teachings and beliefs.
The traditions are explained to help in understanding how they have affected people’s understanding of the Bible.
A Word About the English Translations
There are many words and phrases in any language that do not translate well, or even at all, into another language.
Every translator often supplies words in his language to help the reader “understand better” what the translator thinks – or wants – that translation to say.
In reputable translations, the reader will see these words identified by being in italics or inside brackets.
1 Corinthians 15:45 IGNT+ (Interlinear Greek New Testament with Strong’s Numbers)
(45) G3779 SO G2532 ALSO G1125 [G5769] IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN, G1096 [G5633] BECAME οG3588 THE G4413 FIRST G444 MAN G76 G1519 ADAM G5590 A SOUL G2198 [G5723] LIVING; οG3588 THE G2078 LAST G76 G1519 ADAM G4151 A SPIRIT G2227 [G5723] QUICKENING.
1 Corinthians 15:45 YLT
(45) so also it hath been written, ‘The first man Adam became a living creature,’ the last Adam is for a life-giving spirit,
Notice the word “is” in italics in the YLT.
That word was supplied by the translator to make the sentence more “understandable”.
Whenever you read a Scripture with italicized words, the best thing is to read that verse in an interlinear Hebrew or Greek translation to arrive at the most accurate true understanding.
Also, almost all of the Scriptures in this text are quoted from the Young’s Literal Translation for the reasons mentioned earlier.
In our public observation of the Memorial Night Remembrance, we use the King James Version (KJV) because that is still the translation most people have in their homes, and for the sake of continuity with cross references and concordances.
However, on that night, Not only is our Memorial presentation condensed due to time constraints, but also you will hear the Scriptures being read from other translations using different English words than either the Young’s Literal or the King James translations of the Hebrew and Greek.
If you investigate the definitions of the differing words using a concordance such as Strong’s, you’ll discover the words are similar, but not necessarily the same, in definition.
In our condensed online Memorial Observation, you will hear the Scriptures read from the following versions:
The Young’s Literal Translation (YLT);
The Authorized King James Version (KJV);
New American Version, St. Joseph Edition (NAB);
New American Standard Version (NASV);
New American Standard Updated Edition;
New King James; (NKJV);
English Standard Version (ESV);
Concordant Literal Version (CLV);
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB);
Hebrew Names Version (HNV); and,
For example, you will read in this study, and may have heard the Creator, the Heavenly Father, referred to by His title, God, or by various translations of His personal name:
Psalms 83:18 YLT
(18) And they know that Thou-(Thy name is Jehovah-by Thyself,) Art the Most High over all the earth! Psalms 83:18 KJV
(18) That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. JEHOVAH H3068
(the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord.
Psalms 83:18 CLV (Concordant Literal Version)
(18) So that men may realize that You, You, Whose Name is Yahweh, Yours alone, Are the Supreme over all the earth.
The name of God in the Jewish Scriptures is an enigmatic mystery. Exodus 3:13-15 CLV
(13) Now Moses said to the One, Elohim: Behold! When I am coming to the sons of Israel, and I say to them, The Elohim of your fathers sends me to you, then they will say to me, What about His name? What shall I say to them?
(14) Then Elohim spoke to Moses: I shall come to be just as I am coming to be. And He said: Thus shall you say to the sons of Israel, I-Shall-Come-to-Be has sent me to you.
(15) And Elohim said further to Moses: Thus shall you say to the sons of Israel, Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name for the eon, and this the remembrance of Me for generation after generation.
While people often pronounce God’s name as “Yahweh”, “Jehovah” or “Yehhovah”, the god of the Israelites, His name was revealed to Moses as four Hebrew consonants (YHWH) called the tetragrammaton (the term to designate the sacred name of Jehovah, in four letters, יהוה .).
The truth is that we don’t really know how to say it.
In most Bibles the tetragrammaton is translated as “the LORD”.
After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century BCE on, Jews ceased to use the name that is believed to be, Yahweh, apparently for two reasons:
As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning “God,” tended to replace “Yahweh” to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others.
At this same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be spoken; it was replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (“My Lord”), which was translated as Kyrios (“Lord”) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Masoretes, who from about the 6th to the 10th century worked to reproduce the original text of the Hebrew Bible, replaced the vowels of the name YHWH with the vowel signs of the Hebrew words Adonai or Elohim.
Latin-speaking Christian scholars substituted the Y (which does not exist in Latin) with the letters “I “or a “J” (even though the sound, “Jay” was not invented yet, instead it was pronounced in Latin as a variant form of “I”).
Thus, the tetragrammaton became the artificial Latinized name, “Jehovah”.
As the use of “Jehovah” spread throughout medieval Europe, the initial letter “J” was pronounced according to the local vernacular language rather than Latin.
How did the letter “J” get the sound we use today?
Both “I” and “J” were used interchangeably by scribes to express the sound of both the vowel and the consonant.
It wasn’t until 1524 when Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian known as the “father of the letter J”, made a clear distinction between the two sounds, giving “J” the sound we use today.
Although Christian scholars after the Renaissance and Reformation periods used the term “Jehovah” for the tetragrammaton, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars again began to use the form “Yahweh”.
Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used a form like “Yahweh”, and this pronunciation of the tetragrammaton was never really lost.
Many Greek transcriptions also indicated that the tetragrammaton should be pronounced “Yahweh”.
Now we come to the name of Jesus:
Yeshua and His disciples were all Jewish and so they had Hebrew names – although they would likely have spoken Aramaic.
The “J” sound used to pronounce Jesus’ name does not exist in Hebrew or Aramaic, which is strong evidence that Jesus was called something entirely different by his contemporaries.
Jesus’ original Hebrew name is Yeshua, which is short for Yehōshu’a.
It’s a version of Joshua, and it means “Jehovah-saved”.
The name Jeshua was known and used in Jewish history – you can find men called Yeshua in the roll calls of teams serving in the temple
(1Ch_24:11, 2Ch_31:15, Ezr_2:2). Luke 1:30-31
(30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
(31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus G2424 . Jesus G2424
Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Yeshua (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Yeshua.
יְהוֹשֻׁ עְ יְהוֹשוּ עְ
Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader: – Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua.
Since not every language shares the same sounds, people have historically adapted their names so as to be able to pronounce them in various languages.
Even in modern languages, there are differences in the pronunciation of “Yeshua”.
In English, the name is pronounced with a hard “J” sound while in Spanish, even though the spelling is the same, the name is pronounced with what would be an “H” sound in English.
It is precisely this type of transliteration that has evolved “Yeshua” into the modern “Jesus.”
The New Testament was originally written in Greek (hence, the “Greek Scriptures”), which not only uses an entirely different alphabet than Hebrew but also lacks the “sh” sound found in “Yeshua.”
The Greek Scriptures translators decided to use the Greek “s” sound in place of the “sh” in Yeshua and then added a final “s” to the end of the name to make it masculine in the language.
When, in turn, the Bible was translated into Latin from the original Greek, the translators rendered the name as “Iesus.”
John 19:19-20 YLT
(19) And Pilate also wrote a title, and put it on the cross, and it was written, ‘Yeshua the Nazarene, the king of the Jews;’
(20) this title, therefore, read many of the Jews, because the place was nigh to the city where Yeshua was crucified, and it was having been written in Hebrew, in Greek, in Roman.
This inscription has been a standard part of depictions of the crucifixion in Western Christianity for centuries as “INRI,” an abbreviation for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (pronounced: eye-ee-sus Naz-uh-ree-nuss Rex eye-oo-day-oh-rum), or “Iesus the Nazarene King of the Jews.”
Since Latin was the preferred language of the Catholic Church, the Latin version of “Iesus” was the name for Christ throughout Europe.
Even the 1611 publication of the King James Bible used the “Iesus” spelling.
In Swiss, the “J” is pronounced more like an English “Y”, or the Latin “Ie” as in “Iesus”.
When the Catholic Queen, “Bloody” Mary I took the English throne in 1553, droves of English Protestant scholars fled, and many ultimately found refuge in Geneva.
It was there that a team of some of the most devout English Christian minds of the day produced the Geneva Bible that used the “Jesus” with a “J”, Swiss spelling.
The Geneva Bible was an enormously popular translation and was the version of the Bible quoted by Shakespeare and Milton.
Eventually, it was brought over to the New World on the Mayflower.
By 1769, most English translations of the Bible were using the “Jesus” spelling popularized by the Geneva Bible.
Thus, the name used by English-speakers today is an English adaptation of a German transliteration of a Latin transliteration of a Greek transliteration of an originally Hebrew name.
Though His name may actually be Joshua, the name “Jesus” wasn’t born out of creativity but of translation.
When “Yeshua” is translated into Greek, from which the New Testament is derived, it becomes Iēsous, which in English spelling is “Jesus.”
Overall, the difference in names is due to translation.
While any particular religious group may prefer one of the other, the Bible doesn’t explicitly deem one translation more respectful than any other.
Whether identified as Jesus or Yeshua, the story of His life and mission remains consistent.
About the Jewish Understanding of Time:
Please bear in mind that EVERYTHING in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament) is based on the Jewish concept of TIME.
For that reason, an understanding of how the Jews during Yeshua’s lifetime understood time will be most helpful.
The way Jews refer to a day or days, or a year or years is not always specific, in fact, it is hardly ever exact.
For example, if a king is said to have served for seven years, this is a round number representing a period of about 7 years but certainly not to the day.
For example, when Paul went up to Damascus for three years, he very well could have been there for only one year and six months by our modern reckoning.
He may have started his count in the last month of the year (Year 1),
Then counted the entire next year (Year 2), and lastly,
Stayed only 5 months into the next year (Year 3).
Each period was counted as a year but is only actually 1.6 contiguous years.
The same applies to days.
A person could say that he or she spent three days on the road but actually may have started driving Monday at 9 p.m. and drove all day Tuesday and returned home Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Technically the person was only on the road about two days and not 72 whole hours but could say it was three days.
Begin with the Jewish Calendar, both Scripturally and traditionally.
The celebration of the first of Nisan as the beginning of the new year is rooted both in Biblical and Talmudic sources.
Compiled around 200 CE by Judah the Prince, the Mishnah, meaning ‘repetition’, is the earliest authoritative body of Jewish oral law. It records the views of rabbinic sages known as the Tannaim (from the Aramaic ‘tena’, meaning to teach).
Exodus 12:1-2 states that Nisan is the first month in the intercalation of the new year,
The Mishnah in Tractate Rosh Hashanah 1:1 describes the First of Nisan as one of the four beginnings of the Jewish New Year:
“There are four new years.
On the first of Nisan is the new year for kings and for festivals.
On the first of Elul is the new year for the tithe of cattle. …
On the first of Tishrei is the new year for years, for release and jubilee years, for plantation and for [tithe of] vegetables….
On the first of Shevat is the new year for trees…”
The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 2:7 describes how the Sanhedrin, the high religious court of Talmudic-era Israel, consecrated the new month by declaring “it is sanctified”, at which point the entire assemblage would respond in kind, “it is sanctified, it is sanctified”.
This declaration was performed with pomp and publicity in order to make it clear that the final word in the intercalation of the Jewish calendar belonged to the rabbis of Eretz Yisrael and no one else.
In the context of the Seder al-Tahwid, this ritual serves to highlight Nisan’s role as the first month of the Jewish lunar year, the beginning of this process of sanctifying the new moon.
The Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was abolished in the 5th century by Byzantine decree.
Its various successors could not recapture its prestige and the Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael gradually lost their power to sanction the new moon.
In Palestine, however, the Jewish community, based in Jerusalem, continued to follow the Minhag Eretz Yisrael, which also exerted influence on other Near Eastern Jewish communities such as Egypt.
The heads of the Jerusalem academy still often insisted that the right to intercalate the year rested solely with them.
As late as the 11th century, Rabbi Evyatar Ha-Kohen, the head of the Palestinian Academy (partially in exile in Cairo) would declare:
“The land of Israel is not part of the exile such that it would be subject to an Exilarch (a title often applied to the head of the babylonian academy) and furthermore one may not contradict the authority of the Prince (a title at times applied to the head of the palestinian academy), on the word of whom [alone] may leap years be declared and the holiday dates set according to the order imposed by God before the creation of the world. For this is what we are taught in the secrets of intercalation.”
Not only is Nisan 1 the Biblical New Years Day, the start of the month of the Exodus from Egypt and the beginning of Jewish national history, but also it is the first month used for counting the festivals (mo’edim) of the Hebrew Calendar and for reckoning the years of reign of the Kings of Israel.
The Biblical New Year begins at the appearance of the first “new moon” of spring, that is, when the waxing crescent of the moon is first sighted.
Biblically, this new moon is called called Rosh Chodashim, “the chief [head – KJV] of the months,” and its observance is considered the very first commandment given to Israel before the great Exodus from Egypt took place:
Exodus 12:2 YLT
(2) ‘This month is to you the chief of months-it is the first to you of the months of the year;
In the Scriptures and Jewish tradition there are various names given to “this month,” including the following:
1. Rosh Chodashim – the “head of the months.” The month of Nisan is counted as first for the purpose of counting the days, months, and holidays of the Hebrew calendar.
2. Chodesh Ha-Aviv – “the month of spring,” so named because it marked the time of the Exodus from Egypt
Exodus 13:3-4 YLT
(3) And Moses saith unto the people, ‘Remember this day in which ye have gone out from Egypt, from the house of servants, for by strength of hand hath Jehovah brought you out from this, and any thing fermented is not eaten;
(4) To-day ye are going out, in the month of Abib. Exodus 23:15 YLT
(15) the Feast of Unleavened things thou dost keep; seven days thou dost eat unleavened things, as I have commanded thee, at the time appointed in the month of Abib; for in it thou hast come forth out of Egypt, and ye do not appear in My presence empty; Exodus 34:18 YLT
(18) ‘The feast of unleavened things thou dost keep; seven days thou dost eat unleavened things, as I have commanded thee, at an appointed time, the month of Abib: for in the month of Abib thou didst come out from Egypt. Deuteronomy 16:1 YLT
(1) ‘Observe the month of Abib-and thou hast made a passover to Jehovah thy God, for in the month of Abib hath Jehovah thy God brought thee out of Egypt by night; From the translation Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB),
Deuteronomy 16:1 OJB
(1) Be shomer of the month of Aviv [springtime, i.e., Nisan], and perform the Pesach offering unto Hashem Eloheicha; for in the month of Aviv Hashem Eloheicha brought thee forth out of Mitzrayim by lailah.
From this, the sages inferred that an additional month (of Adar) should be inserted into the calendar when necessary to ensure that the holiday of Passover would always occur in the spring.
3. Chodesh Ha-rishon – “the first month,” so named because the other months are named in relation to it, similar to the days of the week in the Hebrew calendar (i.e., the first day, the second day, etc.). This is the most frequent designation of this month in Scripture. The Ramban (Nachmanides) wrote: “By counting every month from Nisan, we constantly commemorate the miracle that God performed when He took us out of slavery.”
4. Chodesh HaGeulah – “the month of the redemption.” This is an inferred name from the Scriptures, since the redemption from Egypt took place during the month of Nisan. The Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 11a) states: “In Nisan our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt and in Nisan we will be redeemed.” In that sense, Nisan is also Chodesh ha-Yeshuah, the “month of the salvation,” both in terms of the physical deliverance from Egypt, but more profoundly in terms of the spiritual salvation given at Zion/Moriah through the Messiah.
5. Chodesh Nisan – “the month of Nisan,” the name given to the first month after the Babylonian Exile:
Esther 3:7 YLT
(7) In the first month-it is the month of Nisan-in the twelfth year of the king Ahasuerus, hath one caused to fall Pur (that is the lot) before Haman, from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth, it is the month of Adar. Nehemiah 2:1 YLT
(1) And it cometh to pass, in the month of Nisan, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, wine is before him, and I lift up the wine, and give to the king, and I had not been sad before him;
Some think that the word Nisan derives from a Sumerian word that means “first fruits” (indicative of aviv, or spring), though most Jewish commentators think Nisan derives either from the word nissim (“miracles”), suggesting a link to the miracles of the Exodus, or to the word nitzan , meaning “bud”.
Song of Solomon 2:12 YLT
(12) The flowers have appeared in the earth, The time of the singing hath come, And the voice of the turtle was heard in our land,
Still others suggest that Nisan comes from the verb ñus H5127 , meaning “to flee, escape” both in relation to Israel’s flight from Egypt and Egypt’s flight from Israel (i.e., when the pursuing Egyptian cavalry fled before the sea closed upon them:
Exodus 14:25 YLT
(25) and turneth aside the wheels of their chariots, and they lead them with difficulty, and the Egyptians say, ‘Let us flee H5127 from the face of Israel, for Jehovah is fighting for them against the Egyptians.’ Exodus 14:27 YLT
(27) And Moses stretcheth out his hand towards the sea, and the sea turneth back, at the turning of the morning, to its perennial flow, and the Egyptians are fleeing H5127 at its coming, and Jehovah shaketh off the Egyptians in the midst of the sea,
According to the sages, after the Babylonian Exile and the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled:
Jeremiah 16:14-15 YLT
(14) Therefore, lo, days are coming, An affirmation of Jehovah, And it is not said any more: ‘Jehovah liveth, who brought up The sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’
(15) But, ‘Jehovah liveth, who brought up The sons of Israel out of the land of the north, And out of all the lands whither He drove them,’ And I have brought them back to their land, That I gave to their fathers.
The Jews began to call the months by the names commonly used in exile as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
7. Chodesh Yehudah – “the month of Judah.” Jewish tradition assigns the month of Nisan to the royal tribe of Judah, in whose merit both the Holy Temple was built and from whom the Messiah Yeshua would descend. The tribe of Judah was divinely favored because:
7a. Judah was functionally the “firstborn” son of Israel (Reuben, Shimon, and Levi had been disqualified).
7b. Judah saved Joseph from death.
Genesis 37:26 YLT
(26) And Judah saith unto his brethren, ‘What gain when we slay our brother, and have concealed his blood? 7c. Judah saved Tamar from death and disgrace Genesis 38:26 YLT
(26) And Judah discerneth and saith, ‘She hath been more righteous than I, because that I did not give her to Shelah my son;’ and he hath not added to know her again. 7d. Judah had interceded on behalf of his father Jacob to preserve Benjamin’s freedom at the cost of his own
Genesis 44:16-34 YLT
(16) And Judah saith, ‘What do we say to my lord? what do we speak? and what-do we justify ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants; lo, we are servants to my lord, both we, and he in whose hand the cup hath been found;’
(17) and he saith, ‘Far be it from me to do this; the man in whose hand the cup hath been found, he becometh my servant; and ye, go ye up in peace unto your father.’
(18) And Judah cometh nigh unto him, and saith, ‘O, my lord, let thy servant speak, I pray thee, a word in the ears of my lord, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant-for thou art as Pharaoh.
(19) My lord hath asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father or brother?
(20) and we say unto my lord, We have a father, an aged one, and a child of old age, a little one; and his brother died, and he is left alone of his mother, and his father hath loved him.
(21) ‘And thou sayest unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, and I set mine eye upon him;
(22) and we say unto my lord, The youth is not able to leave his father, when he hath left his father, then he hath died;
(23) and thou sayest unto thy servants, If your young brother come not down with you, ye add not to see my face.
(24) ‘And it cometh to pass, that we have come up unto thy servant my father, that we declare to him the words of my lord;
(25) and our father saith, Turn back, buy for us a little food,
(26) and we say, We are not able to go down; if our young brother is with us, then we have gone down; for we are not able to see the man’s face, and our young brother not with us.
(27) ‘And thy servant my father saith unto us, Ye-ye have known that two did my wife bare to me,
(28) and the one goeth out from me, and I say, Surely he is torn-torn! and I have not seen him since;
(29) when ye have taken also this from my presence, and mischief hath met him, then ye have brought down my grey hairs with evil to sheol.
(30) ‘And now, at my coming in unto thy servant my father, and the youth not with us (and his soul is bound up in his soul),
(31) then it hath come to pass when he seeth that the youth is not, that he hath died, and thy servants have brought down the grey hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to sheol;
(32) for thy servant obtained the youth by surety from my father, saying, If I bring him not in unto thee-then I have sinned against my father all the days.
(33) ‘And now, let thy servant, I pray thee, abide instead of the youth a servant to my lord, and the youth goeth up with his brethren,
(34) for how do I go up unto my father, and the youth not with me? lest I look on the evil which doth find my father.’
This last quality, in particular, is known as mesirat nefesh, “self sacrifice,” and reveals Judah’s role as Israel’s intercessor.
7e. When Jacob blessed his sons on his deathbed, he prophesied that Judah would be praised by his other brothers and ultimately be the source of the Messiah of Israel Genesis 49:8-10 YLT
(8) Judah! thou-thy brethren praise thee! Thy hand is on the neck of thine enemies, Sons of thy father bow themselves to thee.
(9) A lion’s whelp is Judah, For prey, my son, thou hast gone up; He hath bent, he hath crouched as a lion, And as a lioness; who causeth him to arise?
(10) The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till his Seed come; And his is the obedience of peoples. 7f. According to Jewish tradition, at the time of the Exodus from Egypt, it was a descendant of Judah – Nachshon ben Aminadav
Numbers 1:7 YLT
(7) ‘For Judah-Nahshon son of Amminadab.
Numbers 1:16 YLT
(16) These are those called of the company, princes of the tribes of their fathers; they are heads of the thousands of Israel.
– who initiated the parting of the Sea of Reeds by walking into the waters until the sea split (Shemot Rabbah).
7g. The name Judah includes the Name YHVH with the insertion of the letter Dalet, suggesting that Judah would be the “door” or “gate” into the presence of YHVH (Yeshua was from the tribe of Judah who described Himself as ha- sha’ar – “the gate”, or, “the door”.
John 10:9 YLT
(9) I am the door G2374 , through me if any one may come in, he shall be saved, and he shall come in, and go out, and find pasture. door G2374
– Strong’s: Apparently a primary word (compare door); a portal or entrance (the opening or the closure literally or figuratively): – door gate).
The arrangement of the tribes placed Judah directly in front of the door into the Mishkan H4908 (“Tabernacle”, “residence” or “dwelling,”)
Numbers 2:3 YLT
(3) And those encamping eastward towards the sun-rising, are of the standard of the camp of Judah, by their hosts; and the prince of the sons of Judah is Nahshon, son of Amminadab;
Indeed, according to Jewish tradition, the dedication and inauguration of the Mishkan also occurred on Nisan 1: “Rabbi Yossi used to say, ‘When did the Inauguration of the Mishkan occur? It began on the twenty third of Adar, and concluded on the first of Nisan. And on all of the first seven days, Moses used to set up the Mishkan and take it apart at the end of the day. On the eighth day, he set it up, and did not take it apart. And that eighth day was Shabbat, and it was the Rosh Chodesh of Nisan” (BaMidbar Rabbah).
Rebirth of Creation
According to the Jewish sages, there are two orders of creation: the natural and the supernatural.
The natural order of creation refers to the physical creation of the heavens and the earth, whereas the supernatural refers to spiritual re-creation, or rebirth.
On the Jewish calendar, the natural order of creation is celebrated during Rosh Hashanah (i.e., Tishri 1), whereas the supernatural is celebrated on Rosh Chodashim (i.e., Nisan 1).
The midrash states: “When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, He established the beginning of months and years (i.e., Rosh Hashanah), but when He chose Ya’akov and his children for service, He established Nisan as the month of redemption and rebirth” (Shemot Rabbah).
According to the medieval Jewish sage Nachmanides (i.e., the Ramban), the Egyptian belief in the zodiac implied that God had abandoned the affairs of the natural world by consigning them under the forces of the stars and constellations.
In response, YHVH chose the month of Nisan (the constellation of the lamb) for the Passover sacrifice in order to demonstrate that Israel did not leave on account of the influence of the stars but entirely because of the power of YHVH God.
The Torah designates the month of Nisan (Scripturally called aviv, or “spring”) as the first month of the year (Exodus 12:2).
Originally, then, the Hebrew calendar was lunar and observational.
When the first sliver of a crescent of the new moon was sighted, a new month begun.
Since the Torah also identified Sukkot as “in the outgoing of the [harvest] year, in thy gathering thy works out of the field” (Exodus 23:16), the sages of the Mishnah later identified the Fall month of Tishri (i.e., the “seventh month”) as the start of a new year.
During the Babylonian exile (6th century BC), Babylonian names for the months (e.g., Tammuz) were adopted.
This might harken back to the earlier Summerian Calendar of Abraham’s day.
By the time the Mishnah was compiled (200 AD), the sages had identified four new-year dates for every lunar-solar year (the modern Jewish calendar was apparently ratified by Hillel the Elder in the 3rd century AD):
1. Nisan 1 (i.e., Rosh Chodashim) marks the start of the month of the Exodus from Egypt and the beginning of Jewish national history. As such, it represents the start of the Biblical year for counting the festivals (Exodus 12:2). Note that the month of Nisan is also called Aviv since it marks the official start of spring.
2. Elul 1 marks the start of the year from the point of view of tithing cattle for Temple sacrifices. Since the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the rabbis decreed that this date should mark the time of Seiichot, or preparation for repentance before Rosh Hashanah. Elul 1 marks the start of the last month of summer.
3. Tishri 1 was originally associated with the agricultural “Feast of Ingathering” at the “end of the year” (Exodus 23:16, Exodus 34:22), though after the destruction of the Second Temple, the sages decided it would mark the start of the civil year in the fall. Tishri 1 was therefore called Rosh Hashanah (“the head of the year”) which begins a ten-day “trial” of humanity climaxing on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
4. Shevat 15 originally marked the date for calculating the tithes of the harvest (ma’aserot) that farmers would pledge to the priests of Israel. This was the start of the year from the point of view of tithing of fruit trees. Today it represents a national Arbor Day in Israel, with tree planting ceremonies in Israel.
Unlike the other three “new years,” Shevat 15 begins in the middle of the month, during a full moon in winter.
In practical terms, however, there are two “New Years” in Jewish tradition.
The first occurs two weeks before Passover (Nisan 1) and the second occurs ten days before Yom Kippur (the other two “new years” are not regularly observed, except by the ultra-orthodox).
The first New Year marks the month of the redemption of the Jewish people – and it is also the month in which Yeshua was sacrificed upon the cross (or, stake, if you prefer) at Moriah to redeem us from our sins.
The second marks the month of Israels’ corporate salvation that will be fulfilled in the End of Days.
Jews reason that “New Years Day” really should be celebrated in the spring; certainly not in “January.”
All of this is in striking contrast, however, with the most widely used calendar in the world today – the “Gregorian Calendar” – named after Pope Gregory XIII who reigned over the Catholic Church in the 1500’s.
The New Moon of Nisan is the most significant of the “new moons” of the Jewish calendar since it initiates the first month of the Biblical Calendar – and therefore represents the Biblical “New Year’s Day.”
Of all the various Rosh Chodesh celebrations, then, Rosh Chodesh Nisan is foundational, since it presents the starting point for the cycle of the yearly festivals (mo’edim) that reveal prophetic truths about the LORD God of Israel, YHVH, and His beloved Son, Yeshua the Mashiach.
The timing of Rosh HaShanah is critical, as it establishes the calendar year.
If Rosh HaShanah is timed correctly, the rest of the feasts will line up correctly with the other crop harvests.
However, if it is timed incorrectly, the rest of the feasts will not line up with the other crop harvests.
The timing of Rosh HaShanah is based on the first full sheaf of barley to come ripe in the land of Israel.
That is because 15-21 days after Rosh HaShanah is declared, the very first sheaf of barley firstfruits must be cut, and present it to YHVH on what is called Yom HaNafat HaOmer (the Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering). You can read more about this at:
The Shabbat preceding Nisan 1 is called HaChodesh and is one of the four special Shabbatot (special Sabbaths) intended to ready oneself for the holiday of Passover (which begins two weeks later on Nisan 15).
In addition to the regular Torah reading for Shabbat, Exodus 12:1-20 is read and Ezekiel 45:16 through Ezekiel 46:18 is recited as Haftarah (a series of selections from the books of Nevi’im (“Prophets”) of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) that is publicly read in synagogue as part of Jewish religious practice).
There are several interesting facts about Nisan:
1. Nisan Is in the Spring
Nisan is one of the few months mentioned in the Torah by name. YHVH refers to it as Chodesh HaAviv, the Month of Spring. Ensuring that Nisan remains in spring forms the backbone of the entire intricate Jewish calendar, including the leap year. 2. It Is the First Month of the Jewish Calendar
YHVH told Moses:
Exodus 12:2 YLT
(2) ‘This month is to you the chief of months-it is the first to you of the months of the year;
Curiously, it is one of four “chief of months” listed in the Talmud (as mentioned above).
3. YHVH Delivered Israel Out of Egypt in Nisan
After 210 years of suffering in exile, YHVH took His nation out of Egypt. This took place in the month of Nisan.
Psalms 68:6-8 YLT
(6) God-causing the lonely to dwell at home, Bringing out bound ones into prosperity, Only-the refractory have inhabited a dry place.
(7) O God, in Thy going forth before Thy people, In Thy stepping through the wilderness, Selah.
(8) The earth hath shaken, Yea, the heavens have dropped before God, This Sinai-before God, the God of Israel.
Exodus 13:3-5 YLT
(3) And Moses saith unto the people, ‘Remember this day in which ye have gone out from Egypt, from the house of servants, for by strength of hand hath Jehovah brought you out from this, and any thing fermented is not eaten;
(4) To-day ye are going out, in the month of Abib.
(5) ‘And it hath been, when Jehovah bringeth thee in unto the land of the Canaanite, and of the Hittite, and of the Amorite, and of the Hivite, and of the Jebusite, which He hath sworn to thy fathers to give to thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou hast done this service in this month.
4. Passover Begins on the 15th
Passover, held annually on the anniversary of Israel’s Exodus, begins on the 15th of Nisan. Possibly the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday, Passover is observed by eating matzah and maror (bitter herbs) and drinking four cups of wine, during a special meal called a Seder, in which Jews recount the miracles of Exodus.
5. It’s Also a Name
Nisan is one of only two Jewish months whose names are also given names. Nisan is a fairly common name for boys, and Aviv and Aviva are fairly common male and female given names in Modern Hebrew. The only other month that is a name is Sivan, which is a common name for girls in Israel. Interestingly, Pesach (Passover) is the only Jewish holiday that is also given as a (male) name. 6. It Is a Miracle Month
The word “nes” means “miracle,” making Nisan a month of miracles. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, would say that seeing “Nisan” in a dream portends to “miracles of miracles” in the future. 7. Education and Sharing Day Is in Nisan
To emphasize the vital role of education in society, the United States annually marks “Education and Sharing Day USA.” Established in 1978 by a joint Congressional resolution, it is timed to coincide with Nisan 11, the anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson’s birth in 1902. 8. There Is a Blessing to Be Said Over Fruit Trees
If one sees a budding fruit tree during the month of Nisan, there is a special blessing to be said:
“Blessed are You … Who has made nothing lacking in His world, and created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees to give mankind pleasure.”
Many people visit botanical gardens during this time, so as to avail themselves of an opportunity to observe this beautiful mitzvah. 9. Nisan 1 Took 10 Crowns
The sages say that the first day of Nisan of that year “took 10 crowns:”
(1) the first day of the week;
(2) the first day the princes brought their offerings;
(3) the first day the Aaronic priesthood was put into effect;
(4) the first day of the Temple sacrifices;
(5) the first time a fire descended from heaven onto the altar; (6) the first time that sacred foods were eaten in the Tabernacle;
(7) the first time that the Divine Presence rested amidst the people;
(8) the first day the priests conferred the priestly blessing;
(9) the first time it was forbidden to sacrifice to YHVH on ad hoc altars; and finally,
(10) it was the first month of the new year. 10. The Princes Brought Sacrifices for 12 Days
Nearly a year after the Exodus, the Tabernacle – the traveling sanctuary that the people built for YHVH – was inaugurated in time for Nisan 1. On each of the first 12 days of the month, another of the 12 princes of Israel brought inauguration offerings. Now, on each of these days Jews read a special Yehi Ratzon prayer along with the Torah portion detailing the gifts brought on that day. 11. Jews Don’t Say Tachanun All Month
Because the first 12 days commemorate the joyous offerings of the princes, Jews don’t say Tachanun (confession of sins) and similar prayers. Neither do they say it during the festival of Passover. Since the majority of the month passes without saying Tachanun, they don’t say it for the balance of the month, even after Passover. 12. Nisan Has 30 Days
In the current (fixed) Hebrew calendar, Nisan has 30 days, and the following month, Iyar, has 29. The months then continue to alternate until Cheshvan and Kislev, which can each have either 29 or 30 days, depending on the year. Interestingly, the Talmud questions whether the Nisan of Exodus was 29 or 30 days long, which would open up the possibility that the Giving of the Torah (which was 50 days after the Exodus) was on a different day than it is currently observed on the holiday of Shavuot.
Nisan-years is an ancient calendar system used around Mesopotamia.
Its beginning was from the prehistorical era.
Ever since Mesopotamia had historical writings, even before the First Babylonian dynasty of Hammurabi, its calendar used the Nisan-years.
Nisan-years is a lunisolar calendar system, in which the lunar years and the solar years are synchronized by adding in an intercalary month (Intercalation or embolism in timekeeping is the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.) in seven of nineteen years (called the Metonic cycle).
Since a tropical year is 365.2422 days, and a synodic month is averaged 29.53059 days, in nineteen years the solar and the lunar calendars will only differ by about two hours, or 1 part in 80,000.
Nisan-years begin in the Spring season.
Technically, its New Year’s Day is the day after the New Moon closest to (within fifteen days before or after) the Spring equinox, when the day and the night is of equal length, set at March 21 in the Gregorian Calendar).
It begins the first month, named Nisanu/Nisan/Abib.
In Israel, Nisan-years is often called the Jewish religious calendar, in contrast to Tishri-years, which is often called the Jewish civil calendar.
The month of Nisan is important since it begins the Spring Feasts of Israel.
The way to determine whether or not an intercalary month should be added was by agricultural observation in Israel.
If by the end of a Nisan-year barley did not grow spikes a month was added so that barley can be harvested in the month of Nisan.
You can read more about this at:
Jewish tradition fixed Nisan 16, the second day after Passover (Nisan 15), as the wave offering or omer offering in Israel, when a portion of the harvested barley is dedicated to God as a Thanksgiving.
The Torah, however, fixed it on the first day after the Shabbat.
Leviticus 23:9-14 YLT
(9) And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying,
(10) ‘Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, When ye come in unto the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, the beginning of your harvest unto the priest,
(11) then he hath waved the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the sabbath doth the priest wave it.
(12) ‘And ye have prepared in the day of your waving the sheaf a lamb, a perfect one, a son of a year, for a burnt-offering to Jehovah,
(13) and its present two tenth deals of flour mixed with oil, a fire-offering to Jehovah, a sweet fragrance, and its drink-offering, wine, a fourth of the hin.
(14) ‘And bread and roasted corn and full ears ye do not eat until this self-same day, until your bringing in the offering of your God-a statute age-during to your generations, in all your dwellings. Calendar
Month Jewish Hebrew Gregorian
First Nisan Abib MAR-APR
Second Iyyar Ziv APR-MAY
Third Sivan MAY-JUN
Fourth Tammuz JUN-JUL
Fifth Av JUL-AUG
Sixth Elul AUG-SEP
Seventh Tishri Ethanim SEP-OCT
Eighth Heshvan/Macheshvan Bul OCT-NOV
Ninth Kislev NOV-DEC
Tenth Tevet DEC-JAN
Eleventh Shevat Tsakh JAN-FEB
Twelfth Adar FEB-MAR
The observation of the New Moon may be influenced by the weather condition, so the Rosh Chodesh may be delayed for one or two days.
But over all the errors cancel each other, and the calendar system remains accurate.
The intercalary month could be a second Sixth Month (Ululu II), as often practiced in Mesopotamia, or a second Twelfth Month (Adar II, Adar Sheni, or ve-Adar) as consistently practices in Israel.
The Jewish Calendar (SUMMARY)
During the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, one fruit and branches from three plants are waved during a special ceremony that represents service to YHVH.
The current definition of the Jewish calendar is generally said to have been set down by the Sanhedrin president Hillel II in approximately C.E. 359. The original details of his calendar are, however, uncertain.
The Jewish calendar is used for religious purposes by Jews all over the world, and it is the official calendar of Israel.
The Jewish calendar is a combined solar/lunar calendar, in that it strives to have its years coincide with the tropical year and its months coincide with the synodic months. This is a complicated goal, and the rules for the Jewish calendar are correspondingly fascinating.
Lunisolar calendars use months to approximate the tropical year.
Examples are the Jewish and Chinese calendars.
Since 12 months are about 11 days shorter than the tropical year, a leap month (also called intercalary month) is inserted about every third year to keep the calendar in tune with the seasons.
The big question is how to do this.
A simple method is to just base it on nature.
In ancient Israel, the religious leaders would determine the date for Passover each spring by seeing if the roads were dry enough for the pilgrims and if the lambs were ready for slaughter.
If not, they would add one more month. An aboriginal tribe in Taiwan would go out to sea with lanterns near the new moon at the beginning of spring.
If the migrating flying fish appeared, there would be fish for New Year’s reunion dinner.
If not, they would try their luck next month. What does a Jewish year look like?
An ordinary (non-leap) year has 353, 354, or 355 days.
A leap year has 383, 384, or 385 days.
The three lengths of the years are termed, “deficient,” “regular,” and “complete,” respectively.
An ordinary year has 12 months, a leap year has 13 months.
Every month starts (approximately) on the day of a new moon.
The months and their lengths (in days) are:
Name Deficient year Regular year Complete year
Tishri 30 30 30
Heshvan 29 29 30
Kislev 29 30 30
Tevet 29 29 29
Shevat 30 30 30
Adar I 30 30 30
Adar II 29 29 29
Nisan 30 30 30
Iyar 29 29 29
Sivan 30 30 30
Tammuz 29 29 29
Av 30 30 30
Elul 29 29 29
Total: 353 or 383 354 or 384 355 or 385
NOTE: The month Adar I is only present in leap years. In non-leap years Adar II is simply called “Adar.”
Notice that in a regular year the numbers 30 and 29 alternate; a complete year is created by adding a day to Heshvan, whereas a deficient year is created by removing a day from Kislev.
The alteration of 30 and 29 ensures that when the year starts with a new moon, so does each month.
What years are leap years?
A year is a leap year if the number year mod 19 is one of the following: 0, 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, or 17.
The value for year in this formula is the ‘Anno Mundi’ described below.
What years are deficient, regular, and complete?
That is the wrong question to ask. The correct question to ask is: When does a Jewish year begin?
Once you have answered that question (see below), the length of the year is the number of days between 1 Tishri in one year and 1 Tishri in the following year. When is New Year’s day?
Jews have several different days to choose from. The most important are:
1 Tishri: Rosh HaShanah. This day is a celebration of the creation of the world and marks the start of a new calendar year. This will be the day we shall base our calculations on in the following sections.
1 Nisan: New Year for Kings. This is also the start of the religious year. Nisan is considered the first month, although it occurs 6 or 7 months after the start of the calendar year.
When does a Jewish New Year begin?
The Jewish New Year begins on 1 Tishri, known as Rosh Hashana. Since medieval times, apples and honey have been served at celebratory meals to symbolize a sweet New Year. When does a Jewish day begin?
A Jewish-calendar day does not begin at midnight, but at either sunset or when three medium-sized stars should be visible, depending on the religious circumstance.
Sunset marks the start of the 12 night hours, whereas sunrise marks the start of the 12 day hours. This means that night hours may be longer or shorter than day hours, depending on the season.
How does a Jewish year begin?
The shofar is used to announce the new moon, Rosh Hashana, and holidays. A shofar is made from the horn of an animal – typically a ram. When does a Jewish year begin?
The first day of the calendar year, Rosh HaShanah, on 1 Tishri is determined as follows:
Rule 1. The new year starts on the day of the new moon that occurs about 354 days (or 384 days if the previous year was a leap year) after 1 Tishri of the previous year.
Rule 2. If the new moon occurs after noon on that day, delay the new year by one day. (Because in that case the new crescent moon will not be visible until the next day.)
Rule 3. If this would cause the new year to start on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday, delay it by one day. (To avoid that Yom Kippur (10 Tishri) falls on a Friday or Sunday, and that Hoshanah Rabba (21 Tishri) falls on a Sabbath (Saturday)).
If two consecutive years start 356 days apart (an illegal year length), delay the start of the first year by two days.
Rule 4. If two consecutive years start 382 days apart (an illegal year length), delay the start of the second year by one day.
Note: Rule 4 can only come into play if the first year was supposed to start on a Tuesday. Therefore a two day delay is used rather than a one day delay, as the year must not start on a Wednesday as stated in rule 3.
When is the new moon?
A calculated new moon is used.
In order to understand the calculations, one must know that an hour is subdivided into 1080 ‘parts’.
The calculations are as follows:
The new moon that started the year AM 1, occurred 5 hours and 204 parts after sunset (i.e. just before midnight on Julian date 6 October 3761 B.C.E.).
The new moon of any particular year is calculated by extrapolating from this time, using a synodic month of 29 days 12 hours and 793 parts.
Note that 18:00 Jerusalem time (15:39 UTC) is used instead of sunset in all these calculations.
How does one count years?
Years are counted since the creation of the world, which is assumed to have taken place in the autumn of 3760 B.C.E. In that year, after less than a week belonging to AM 1, AM 2 started (AM = Anno Mundi = year of the world).
In the year C.E. 2023, the start of Hebrew year AM 5783, should be Gregorian March 23, if the new crescent moon can be seen that night in Jerusalem.
For 2023, the date of Passover can be calculated as:
Rosh Chodesh Nisan (Start of month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar) for Hebrew Year 5783, Gregorian year 2023, begins at sundown the evening of Gregorian April 5, 2023, to the evening of Gregorian Thursday, April 13, 2023. The “first month of the year” (Exodus 12:2), began on Gregorian March 23rd.
Thus, the ‘fourteenth day of the same month” (Exodus 12:6) falls on Gregorian April 5th. As followers of Yeshua Messiah, all this is important because our attendance at a Remembrance, Observation or Memorial, was commanded by Yeshua, Himself:
Luke 22:14-20 YLT
(14) And when the hour come, he reclined (at meat), and the twelve apostles with him,
(15) and he said unto them, ‘With desire I did desire to eat this passover with you before my suffering,
(16) for I say to you, that no more may I eat of it till it may be fulfilled in the reign of God.’
(17) And having taken a cup, having given thanks, he said, ‘Take this and divide to yourselves,
(18) for I say to you that I may not drink of the produce of the vine till the reign of God may come.’
(19) And having taken bread, having given thanks, he brake and gave to them, saying, ‘This is my body, that for you is being given, this do ye-to remembrance of me.’
(20) In like manner, also, the cup after the supping, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that for you is being poured forth.
From the months on the calendar, now consider first century Jewish understanding of a DAY and a Sabbath Day.
Genesis 1:3-5 YLT
(3) and God saith, ‘Let light be;’ and light is.
(4) And God seeth the light that it is good, and God separateth between the light and the darkness,
(5) and God calleth to the light ‘Day,’ and to the darkness He hath called ‘Night;’ and there is an evening, and there is a morning-day one.
Notice how the darkness preceeds the light in defining when a Day begins.
Yeshua alludes to there being twelve hours in a day.
John 11:9 YLT
(9) Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day? if any one may walk in the day, he doth not stumble, because the light of this world he doth see; The Romans had 12 day-hours and 12 night-hours.
Their next day began at midnight.
The first daylight hour (hora prima) began at sunrise, noon was the sixth hour (hora sexta), and the last hour (hora duodecima) ended at sunset.
There were no minutes or seconds. The Jewish day begins at sunset and ends at the next sunset, roughly 24 hours later.
Depending on the time of year there may be more or less hours in the daytime and nighttime.
Yeshua mentioning “twelve hours in a day” was typical of the average amount of sunlight during a day depending on the season.
The length of each hour was relative.
The Jewish daytime (light) always had twelve hours and the night (darkness) twelve hours.
It was the hours themselves that would be shorter or longer to fit into the season of the year. Not really an issue when you don’t have a clock controlling
your every moment.
Ancient Jewish writings always refer to hours in a relative sense.
The Romans were similar in their reckoning as well.
Genesis 1:5 should ultimately be our authority and was likely Yeshua’s, as well:
“and there is an evening, and there is a morning-day one. ”
Each new day had an evening and a morning, or a sunset followed by a sunrise, and lasting until the next sunset.
Scripturally, one day is approximately twenty-four hours: twelve hours in daylight and twelve in darkness, but this is relative because in Christ’s time on earth it is the sunset that determines when it starts and finished – not hands on a clock as in modern times.
YHVH’s clock is the master clock.
For followers of Yeshua Messiah, why is this important?
Matthew 12:40 YLT
(40) for, as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17 YLT
(17) And Jehovah appointeth a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah is in the bowels of the fish three days and three nights. With this understanding, just when was Yeshua slain and then placed in the tomb, in order for:
“the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”?
On a Friday?
How long was he really in the tomb?
Tradition – but this time, Christian Tradition!
Modern Christian tradition is that Yeshua was in the tomb from Friday just before dark until Sunday sunrise but no matter how you twist and squeeze the logic, it just simply is not three days and three nights.
If Yeshua was not being specific but was speaking idiomatically then it sorta, kinda fits, but the supporting Scriptures indicate He was being specific as shown in the way to reckon time Scripturally.
Let’s look at YHVH’s Moedim (“appointed times” – the Three Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot) and how Yeshua has fulfilled them perfectly thus far.
Leviticus 23:4-5 YLT
(4) ‘These are appointed seasons of Jehovah, holy convocations, which ye proclaim in their appointed seasons:
(5) in the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, between the evenings, is the passover to Jehovah;
It is vital to understand the full meaning of the Sabbath in order to make sense of this whole situation.
To the Jews, Sabbath is a foundational teaching in the Bible.
The Sabbath is a continual reminder of creation and of the YHVH of creation as mankind is commanded to work six days a week and rest one day as YHVH did (Genesis 2:1-3).
The Sabbath is also foundational to understanding all of the Biblical Holidays (or the appointed times of YHVH):
The First Fruits,
The Feast of Weeks (Shavuot),
Rosh Hashannah (The Feast of Trumpets),
Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), and
The Feast of Tabernacles.
All of these Jewish Holidays incorporate some aspect of a Sabbath day, meaning a day when work is forbidden and a day when rest is commanded.
The Scriptures are clear regarding how the Sabbath principle is related to the Passover:
Leviticus 23:4-8 YLT
(4) ‘These are appointed seasons of Jehovah, holy convocations, which ye proclaim in their appointed seasons:
(5) in the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, between the evenings, is the passover to Jehovah;
(6) and on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast of unleavened things to Jehovah; seven days unleavened things ye do eat;
(7) on the first day ye have a holy convocation, ye do no servile work;
(8) and ye have brought near a fire-offering to Jehovah seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye do no servile work.’
The first and seventh days of the week of Passover are considered to be “Sabbaths,” days of rest.
The first day of Passover is considered one of the highest Sabbath days of the year because the Passover is the first holiday on the Jewish calendar and it is the event that defines the Jewish people even until today (Exodus 12:1-20; Exodus 34:18; Numbers 28:16-25).
It’s about time something is said about Biblical time keeping.
We move into a different time-world from our modern day when we open the Bible.
We find ourselves in a much more leisurely atmosphere, where exact time-measurements are unknown and the calendar a very casual affair.
A modern city-dweller, living in this computerized age when gigaseconds are important and when speed contests and smartphones have accustomed us to split-second timing, may be surprised to learn that the words “minute” and “second” are not found anywhere in the Bible.
The patriarchs of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and even the disciples of Yeshua were time-wealthy and had no use for such small change.
When hours, days, weeks, months and years are mentioned in the Scriptures, they seldom correspond exactly to our divisions of time with the same names.
Neither the word “calendar” nor the word “clock” is used in the Bible.
Only one sun-dial is mentioned, and that belonged to a king.
It was on this dial of King Ahaz that the prophet Isaiah is said to have caused the shadow to move backward 10 degrees as a sign to King Hezckiah.
2 Kings 20:11 YLT
(11) And Isaiah the prophet calleth unto Jehovah, and He bringeth back the shadow by the degrees that it had gone down in the degrees of Ahaz-backward ten degrees. Isaiah 38:8 YLT
(8) Lo, I am bringing back the shadow of the degrees that it hath gone down on the degrees of Ahaz, by the sun, backward ten degrees:’ and the sun turneth back ten degrees in the degrees that it had gone down.
The story itself bears eloquent testimony to the naive ideas about time which then prevailed.
Nobody in Isaiah’s day realized that the earth would have to reverse its motion if the shadow on the dial were to move backward.
No one even dreamed that the result of such a reversal, without YHVH’s intervention, would have been a tidal wave that would have wiped Isaiah, King Hezekiah, the sun-dial, and all the inhabitants of Palestine out of existence!
Today “time marches on” inevitably by regular measured steps, but in Bible days, for all that even the wisest men knew, time might loiter, stop altogether, or even go backward.
There was nothing inconsistent to them in the thought of Joshua commanding the sun to stand still until Israel was avenged of her enemies.
Joshua 10:12-14 YLT
(12) Then speaketh Joshua to Jehovah in the day of Jehovah’s giving up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he saith, before the eyes of Israel, ‘Sun-in Gibeon stand still; and moon-in the valley of Ajalon;’
(13) and the sun standeth still, and the moon hath stood-till the nation taketh vengeance on its enemies; is it not written on the Book of the Upright, ‘and the sun standeth in the midst of the heavens, and hath not hasted to go in-as a perfect day?’
(14) And there hath not been like that day before it or after it, for Jehovah’s hearkening to the voice of a man; for Jehovah is fighting for Israel.
They were blissfully unaware of the catastrophe to the whole solar system which would have ensued, again without YHVH’s intervention.
Indeed, the very idea of measuring time with precision was
Greek, Roman and Jewish ideas of time-measurement were prevalent in Palestine at the same time.
The word “hour” comes from the Hebrew word “Sha’ah” H8160 (brief time, moment) and the Greek word “hora” G5610 (day, hour, instant, season).
The “Horae” were the three mythological goddesses of the seasons – spring, summer and winter. This was before autumn was recognized as a season. Their names were Eunomia, Dike and Eirene, meaning Good Order, Justice and Peace, guardians of the orderly succession of the processes of nature.
“Hora” therefore meant “season” in a very general sense, almost synonymous with “a time.” It was simply a measurable lapse of time with a beginning and an end but with no uniform length of duration.
That ancient Greek meaning of the word persisted into Greek Scriptures (New Testament) times even after “hora” came to be used also to mean a division of the day.
Consequently, when the translators came across the word “hora,” apparently they found it very difficult to determine what English word to use.
Several times they translated “hora” as “day”; several other times they rendered it “season,” and they were correct in so doing.
But in some verses where “hora” should have been translated “moment” or “instant,” they rendered it “hour.”
Even in the many places in the Greek Scriptures where the word “hora” is used to indicate a period of time somewhat corresponding to our modern hour, we should understand that the Greek Scriptures hour varied greatly in length.
There were astronomers then, to be sure, who had carefully worked out the exact length of the day from their observation of the stars and the equinoxes, and had divided the day into 24 equal parts or hours, like the ones we use today.
These they measured by a clever mechanical device which they called the clepsydra, literally the water-stealer, a primitive forerunner of the clock, used by the Greeks and Romans, which measured time by the discharge of a certain quantity of water.
But the common people of Yeshua’s time, in their homes and in business, knew nothing of the day of 24 equal hours.
To them the day was the period between sunset and the next sunset, and that was divided into 12 equal parts called hours.
Of course, the hours were much longer in summer than in winter.
In midwinter their hour was equal to only three-fourths of one of today’s hours and in midsummer was as long as our hour and a quarter.
But in their leisurely method of living, they did not worry about such small matters.
Practically, too, Yeshua’s contemporaries did not even bother very much with separate hours.
They used mostly the “third”, “sixth” and “ninth” hours, meaning mid-forenoon, noon and mid-afternoon.
As a matter of fact, the “first”, “second”, “fourth”, “fifth”, “eighth” and “twelth” hours are never mentioned in the Greek Scriptures at all.
The “eleventh” hour is referred to twice, but in the same story (the Laborers in the Vinyard, Matthew 20:1-16); and the “seventh” and “tenth” hours are mentioned but once each (John 4:52, John 1:39, repectively).
And in half the places where any hour is mentioned, it is prefaced by the word “about.”
“About the ninth hour” is a common phrase, and seems to mean, “along some time in the afternoon.”
The night was divided into “watches”.
In Hebrew Scriptures times there were three – the “evening watch”, the “middle watch” and the “morning watch”.
That usage carried over into the Greek Scriptures, but the Roman four-watch night was also coming into use.
There is an interesting example in Mark 13:35, where all four watches are named,
Mark 13:35 YLT
(35) watch ye, therefore, for ye have not known when the lord of the house doth come, at even, or at midnight, or at cock-crowing, or at the morning;
In MEMORIAL – COMPREHENSIVE – 02_Foundation, foundational events leading up to Yeshua’s last Passover will be discussed.