The Jewish Pharisee Lunar Calendar is Babylonian and Pagan

January 31, 2017
Appointed Times

The Lunar calendar (whether calculated or sighted by the new moon) of the Jews is nothing but an invention by the Pharisees and adopted from Babylon. In this post I'll bring to your attention the pagan origin of the Lunar calendar of the Pharisees, listing many sources to prove this point. I'm not going to add much commentary as the quotes speak for themselves. You may want to read my related article about the New Moon.

The discourse of a godly man is always with wisdom; but a fool changeth as the moon.

- Sirach 27:11

And the sun and the stars bring in all the years exactly, so that they do not advance or delay their position by a single day unto eternity; but complete the years with perfect justice in 364 days. In 3 years there are 1092 days, and in 5 years 1820 days, so that in 8 years there are 2912 days. For the moon alone the days amount in 3 years to 1062 days, and in 5 years she falls 50 days behind: [i.e. to the sum (of 1770) there is to be added (1000 and) 62 days.] And in 5 years there are 1770 days, so that for the moon the days in 8 years amount to 2832 days. 16. [For in 8 years she falls behind to the amount of 80 days], all the days she falls behind in 8 years are 80.

- Book of Enoch 74:12-16

For there will be those who will assuredly make observations of the moon--now (it) disturbeth the seasons and cometh in from year to year ten days too soon. For this reason the years will come upon them when they will disturb (the order), and make an abominable (day) the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the holy with the unclean, and the unclean day with the holy; for they will go wrong as to the months and sabbaths and feasts and jubilees. For this reason I command and testify to thee that thou mayest testify to them; for after thy death thy children will disturb (them), so that they will not make the year three hundred and sixty-four days only, and for this reason they will go wrong as to the months and seasons and sabbaths and festivals, and they will eat all kinds of blood with all kinds of flesh.

- Book of Jubilees 6:36-38

Pharisees reinventing Judaism

The following excerpts from a great article by Prof. Rachel Elior speaks for themselves.

the radical restructuring of Jewish religious thought and practice that followed the destruction of the Temple in 70CE. According to Prof. Rachel Elior of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the rabbis were involved in nothing less than "a reinvention of Judaism... They were closing an old world based on prophecy and angelic revelation and opening the sacred canon to human reinterpretation..."..
To many of the Jews of the first millennium BCE, all the texts had been equally holy," she says. "The [excluded] Book of Enoch or Book of Jubilees were certainly not considered less sacred than the[canonical] Book of Judges or Esther or Daniel." Yet the excluded texts - close to a dozen major works - were notjust abandoned but excised as if they were a malignant growth. "Whoever reads them," declared Rabbi Akiva,one of the foremost sages involved in the process, "will have no place in the world to come."..
HALF A century ago another lost library with a mystery attached surfaced on the shores of the Dead Sea, this one having been literally lost for 1,900 years after being hidden in the caves of Qumran. Many of these Dead Sea Scrolls would have been suppressed, says Elior, for the same reasons that the previously known apocryphal books were suppressed...
The short reason for the canon/Apocrypha divide, she suggests, was a disputeover the calendar...
The more profound explanation involves a power struggle between the old priestly order that believed its rulings to be divinely inspired and an emerging class of rabbis espousing a different narrative, one which gave human reason and laws a role in shaping the religion...
For centuries the Israelites had marked time according to a solar calendar drawn up by the priestly caste but regarded as divinely inspired...
These scholars, who would become known as rabbis or sages, were unhappy about the exclusiveness of the priests and the power they had accrued through their claims to esoteric knowledge as confidants of angels. In a game-changing move, the rabbis declared that the age of prophecy had long since ended and that the priesthood had been severed from ongoing access to higher authority. According to one rabbinic tradition, prophecy had ended with the destruction of the First Temple in the sixth century BCE...
The rabbis favored a lunar calendar, says Elior, because they saw it symbolically freeing the nation from dependence on a closed priestly caste locked into the solar calendar and claiming divine authority. They wanted to symbolize instead man's share in the determination of time and of his own fate. "They declared that human understanding of sacred writings was a legitimate source of authority." The month would now not commence according to a solar calendar precalculated for eternity but by mortals scanning the sky for the new moon, perhaps disagreeing about the sighting among themselves, perhaps even erring...
They not only discarded the apocryphal texts but, according to Elior, probably amended some passages in the books they would include in the Bible to minimize references to the solar calendar, to angels and to the story of Enoch...

- Jerusalem Post

No month 13

In the whole Scripture there is no mention of month 13. Yet we can read about month 7, month 10, month 1 and so on. Why is it that Month 13 is nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures? Could it be that there's no month 13 according in the Scriptural calendar?

You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahuah your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 4:2

I recommend you watch this video by Nehemiah Gordon, he explains what is a Pharisee. 

The Jews accepted a new calendar

“The Jewish calendar is the result of long development; its present form is not of great antiquity."

- Encyclopedia Britannica

The supposed calendar is never referred to in the Talmud, which received its final redaction at the end of the 5th century. Nothing whatever is said there about the length of the month or the nineteen year cycle, or anything else of the kind. It is psychologically improbable that the Patriarch Hillel II would of his own initiative divest himself of his highest privilege, and likewise of his most powerful means of influence amongst the Jewish communities both in Palestine and beyond it. Moreover, from the early post-Talmudic age we have dates, which cannot be reconciled with the regular calendar in use today. In point of fact, everything goes to indicate that the calendar, like all other productions of the kind, passed through developing series of forms and that it assumed its final shape in the schools of the official representatives of Judaism (called Geonim) in Babylonia.”

- Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics

...the time of the transition from the reckoning of the day as beginning with morning to the reckoning of it as beginning with evening... that in the earlier calendar and in the literature which records this the day was reckoned from the morning, presumably from sunrise, while in the later calendar and the literature pertaining thereto the day was reckoned from the evening... Elsewhere we have presented quite a mass of evidence which establishes conclusively that the earlier practice in Israel during the biblical period was to reckon the day from sunrise to sunrise... That in the earliest period of Israelite sojourn in Palestine, under calendar 1, the day was reckoned from morning to morning is established by a superabundance of evidence... This in turn, together with other important considerations, would point to a time approximately about the beginning or the first half, of the third century B.C. as that of the introduction of the new system of reckoning the day."

- Supplementary Studies in The Calendars of Ancient Israel (page 1-148)

He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.

Daniel 7:25

The Passover controversy

“It is a question of astronomy; for the Jewish calendar ceased to be any trustworthy guide after the destruction of Jerusalem...The ancient Jews could only have celebrated the Passover after the vernal equinox,”

McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, page 722

“Many of the church fathers are of the opinion that according to the original calculation of the Jews up to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, the 14th of Nisan had always been AFTER the spring equinox, and that it was only in consequence of a miscalculation of the later Jews that the 14th Nisan occasionally fell BEFORE the equinox. As the Christians could now no longer rely on the Jewish calendar, they had to make their own calculations of the time of Easter.”

- Paschal Controversy,” CBTEL, (vol. 3, page 13)

“This produced a confusion; for whereas the equinox belonged to the solar year, the Passover-day being the 14th of the month, was governed by the lunar; and thus if in a particular year Nisan 14 was reckoned as falling before the equinox, and therefore Passover was kept before a new solar year had begun, there would be two Passovers in one solar year, one after the vernal Equinox, and the other just before the next...Epiphanius said that ‘the Jews did not care to be exact at this point’...But a certain number of Christians followed the prevailing Jewish custom, although, says Socrates, they admitted it was not accurate.”

- The Age of the Father by William Bright (vol. 1 p. 100)

“Insignificant as these differences may appear, they will cause a considerable divergence in the relations between Nisan, and spring as time goes on, and may require a Pan-Judaic Synod to adjust,”

- The Jewish Encyclopedia

But if they knew Him who sent, and His who was sent, there is no reason to doubt but that they have been ignorant of the Passover as prescribed by the law, so as not merely to err in their choice of the place (they were now looking to Tiberias and Usha instead of Jerusalem) but also in reckoning the beginning of the 14th day of which, being accurately observed after the equinox, the ancients celebrated the Passover according to the Holy Command: whereas the men of the present day now celebrate it before the equinox, and that altogether through ignorance and error, being ignorant how they celebrate it in its season...”

- Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 6

“Before A.D. 70 Jews followed Sadducean reckoning, which regulated the Temple services. Afterwards, the Pharisaic system became the norm. It is apparent from John 18:28 that the calendar kept by the Jewish leaders and the one used by [Yahshua] and his disciples were not the same, as Passover was being celebrated on different days...”

- Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary

This month, being the seventh both in number and order, according to the revolutions of the sun, is the first in power; (151) on which account it is also called the first in the sacred scriptures. And the reason, as I imagine, is as follows. The vernal equinox is an imitation and representation of that beginning in accordance with which this world was created. Accordingly, every year, God reminds men of the creation of the world, and with this view puts forward the spring, in which season all plants flourish and bloom; (152) for which reason this is very correctly set down in the law as the first month, since, in a manner, it may be said to be an impression of the first beginning of all, being stamped by it as by an archetypal seal. 6

- Philo

The introduction of the lunar calendar

The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.

Leviticus 7:15

The above verse is discussed by the sources below:

“Must be eaten upon the day upon which it is sacrificed, and that nothing of it must be allowed to remain over until morning”.
Obviously the implication here is that the next morning is no longer a part of the day upon which the sacrifice was offered, but marked the beginning of the next day... The day was at one time reckoned from sunrise to sunriseThe later practice was to reckon the day from sunset to sunset... It is impossible to tell exactly when this change in the mode of reckoning the day took place in Israel, and what causes brought it about. Possibly it may have had something to do with the introduction of the lunar calendar instead of the solar, for the lunar calendar naturally presupposes a reckoning of the day from nightfall to nightfall...
It most likely coincided with the revision of the festival calendar, which took place in the period after the time of Ezra, and was, in all probability, the work of the soferim (scribes) or of the Great Synod (council) in the fourth century B.C. This may also be inferred from the statement in the Talmud (Berachoth 33a) that the men of the Great Synod instituted the ceremonies of Kiddush and Havdalah, the solemn sanctification of the Shabbat on Friday eve, and its equally solemn ushering out on Saturday eve, in other words, ceremonies specifically marking the beginning and close of the Shabbat as at sunset. These were ceremonies for the Jewish home instead of the Temple. This coupled with the fact that in the second Temple the old system of reckoning the day from dawn to dawn continued to be observed, as we have seen, may perhaps indicate that this entire innovation was the work of an anti-priestly group or party in the Great Synod..."

- The Sources of the Creation Story - Gen. 1:1- 2:4 (page 169-212)

"The original meaning of the word "Day" is the period of the Daylightfrom sunrise to sunset, as distinct from the night, the period of darkness ...in this sense the "Day" is said to "decline" (Jer.6:4) or to "be far spent" (Lk. 24:29 in the late afternoon, and is followed by Night . Hence the earlier sequence, "Day and Night... The flesh of the thanksgiving sacrifice shall be eaten on the day it is offered; none of it may be kept till the next day" (Lv. 7:15), the Nighttime is considered as belonging to the preceding period of Daylight. From this there developed the meaning of "day" in the sense of the cycle made up of one period of daylight and one period of darkness, or according to our modern reckoning, twenty-four hours... from he natural viewpoint the twenty-four hour day begins at sunrise...However, beside this conception there arose another idea of the twenty-four hour day, according to which this daily period began at sunset. It was no doubt the lunar calendar of the Jews which gave rise to this viewpoint...Although the earlier computation did not die out completely, the custom of considering the Day as beginning at sunset became general in later Jewish times..."

- Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (page 497)

The new calendar from Babylon

Thou has dared to fix intercalation’s and new moons, by which great inconformities have arisen between the brethren in Babylon and Palestine.’ ‘So did Rabbi Akiba,’ said Hananiah, ‘when in Babylon.’ ‘Akiba,’ they rejoined, ‘left not his like in Palestine.’”... The legates produced their second letter, which ran in these mysterious words, ‘That which thou leftest a kid, is grown up a strong-horned goat;’ is meant that the Sanhedrin, which we left without power, had regained all its authority. Hananiah was struck dumb. R. Isaac, one of the deputies, saw his time; he mounted the tribute from which the Law was usually read. ‘These,’ he said, naming them, ‘are the holy days of Hananiah!’ An indistinct murmur ran through the synagogue. R. Nathan, the second deputy, arose and read the verse of Isaiah, ‘Out of Babylon goeth forth the Law, the Word of [Yahweh] from Nahas-pakod!’ [Actual reading is: Out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of Yahweh from Jerusalem...Isa. 2:3]   “The assembly was in an uproar. ‘Alter not the word of [Yahweh],’ was the universal cry. The legates followed up their advantage and produced their third letter, which threatened excommunication against the factious opponents of their authority. They added these emphatic words, ‘The learned have sent us, and commanded us thus to say, ‘If he will submit, well; if not, utter at once the interdict. So likewise set the choice before our brethren in foreign parts. If they will stand by us, well; if not, let them ascend their high places; let Ahia build them an altar, and Hananiah [he was of Levitical descent] sing at the sacrifice; and let them at once set themselves apart and say, ‘We have no portion in the Israel of [Yahweh].’”   “From all sides an instantaneous cry arose, ‘Heaven preserve us from heresy! We have still a portion in Israel of [Yahweh].’

- History of the Jews, Milman’s second volume

“After the exile more accurate methods of determining the months and seasons came into vogue, and calculation was employed to supplement and correct observations and the calendar was regulated according to the Babylonian system, as is evidenced by the names of the months which are derived from it. In later times the calendar was fixed by mathematical methods...”

- The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) (vol. 1

“To reconcile the lunar month with the solar year, Babylon had a sophisticated system where seven months would be added to the calendar over a 19 year cycle, resulting in an error of only two hours and four minutes by the end of the cycle. This is remarkable accuracy for that day. Israel must have adjusted her calendar in a similar fashion by adding a ‘Second Adar’ month whenever necessary.”

- Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 200-201)

"...early in the Old Testament period, when Canaan was under Egypt's influence, the day started at sunrise... later, perhaps under Babylonian influence, the calendar seems to have changed. The day began at moonrise (1800 hrs) and a whole day became an evening and a morning..."

- The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible (page 163)

"Later Jewish calendar: Following the reign of King Josia (c. 640-609), and especially after the Babylonian exile a number of significant and enduring changes occurred in the Israelite calendar showing that the Jews gradually adopted the Babylonian calendar of the time...The seven day week persisted despite its failure to divide evenly either the month or the year. The Day however, was counted from Evening to Evening, after the Babylonian fashion..."

- New Catholic Encyclopedia -Volume 11 (page 1068)

Babylonian calendar inspired the calendar of Orthodox Judaism

"Obviously the Jews in exile in Babylonia knew the calendars of the temples there; they knew the myths of the months. So effective was the Influence of Babylonia upon them that they abandoned their own names for the months and accepted the Babylonian names."

- Babylonian Menologies and the Semitic Calendars (page 21)

"When Rabbis in the academies of Babylonia declared that because of the uncertainty of the calendar (It was not always possible to fix precisely when the New Moon of Tishri had appeared and the month had actually begun), Rosh Hashana should be celebrated as a two-day holiday...Since the Bible specified that Rosh Hashana should be a one-day holiday, the Rabbis had to justify the change to a two-day holiday. This was done by means of a legal-fiction: they began referring to the two days of Rosh Hashana as Yoma Arichta, meaning "One long day" of forty-eight hours... Tishri is a Babylonian word and was not used to designate the seventh month in the Jewish calendar until after the Babylonian exile, when the Jews returned to Palestine. The name Tishri is never mentioned in the Bible."

- This is The Torah (page 315, 386)

"In addition to the decimal system familiar to Western culture (which uses powers of 10), Babylonian scholars also used a sexagesimal system (employing powers of 60) originally devised by the Sumerians and coming down to us in the form of the 60-minute hourand the 360-degree circle...This innovation directly inspired the calendar of Orthodox Judaism."

- Peoples of the Old Testament World (page 71)

"So far as we know, the Babylonian calendar was at all periods truly lunar...the month began with the evening when the new crescent was for the first time again visible shortly after sunset. Consequently, the Babylonian day also begins in the evening..."

- The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (page 106)

I hope this is clear that we have a vast amount of evidence that confirms the current Jewish and Lunar calendar to be a pagan Babylonian construct. Let me close with the words of Peter

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

- Acts 5:29

Barnabas Nagy
Barnabas Nagy

I’m Barnabas, a servant of Yahuah, who loves writing songs and blogging about the truth. Together with my lovely wife I run a small homestead where we raise free range organic chicken, ducks and turkey. We also have a garden where we grow seasonal vegetable. As you can tell, I'm keen on healthy living, self-expression and creativity. Continue reading