Keith Hunt - THE OT CALENDAR? Part 6: MAIMONIDES: SANCTIFICATION OF THE NEW MOON, cont'd   Restitution of All Things
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THE CODE OF MAINMONIDES
SANCTIFICATION OF THE NEW MOON
  
CONTINUED:
  
  
  10. The messengers sent out to verify the New Moon Day of Nisan
and Tishri could leave only on the first day of the month, after
sunrise, and after they had heard the court pronounce the
Mekuddas formula. If, however, the court had sanctified the new
moon at the end of the 29th day, as we have explained above (ii,
9), and the messengers had heard the court pronounce Mekuddas,
they could leave in the evening (of the same day). The
messengers, however, who were sent out to verify the
sanctification for the other months could leave in the evening,
after the new crescent had been observed, even if the court had
not yet sanctified the new moon. Once the new phase had been
observed, they were permitted to leave, inasmuch as the court was
certain to sanctify the new moon the next day.
  
  
  11.In places that the messengers could reach in good time, each
of the (annual) holidays was observed one day only, as prescribed
in the Law. In remote places, however, which the messengers could
not reach in time, it was customary to observe the holidays for
two days, since the people were in doubt as to the exact day (the
29th or the 30th) which the court had declared as New Moon Day.
  
  
  12. There were places that the Nisan messengers could reach in
time, while the Tishri messengers could not. By law the people of
these places should have observed the Passover feast one day
only, since the messengers had reached them in time and they knew
which day was declared as New Moon Day; whereas they should have
observed the feast of Tabernacles for two days, because the
messengers had not reached them in good time. However, in order
not to make a distinction between the festivals, a law was
enacted by the Sages that in all places which could not be
reached by the Tishri messengers, the people should observe all
the holidays, including even the feast of Pentecost, for two
days.
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [So far, we have seen laws enacted within the calendar that have
no scripture against them.  Here we see a partial law enacted for
some that technically could be said to have a law of God against
it, yet under Judah's situation of being scattered, and no mass
communication that we enjoy today, it could be argued that even
this law had the interest of God's law at the heart of it. I'm
sure the intent and attitude of those who undertook to teach this
law, did it to safeguard the observance of God's annual Sabbath
law.]
  
  
  13. The difference in travelling time between the messengers of
Nisan and those of Tishri is two days; for the messengers of
Tishri could not travel on the first day of Tishri, because it is
New Year's Day, nor on the tenth, because it is the Day of
Atonement (above, Sec. 8).
  
  
  14. It was not necessary to send out two messengers; even one
was considered trustworthy. Nor did he have to be a messenger of
the court; even an ordinary tradesman from among the people, who
came along on his customary journey and said: "I have heard the
court pronounce the sanctification of the new moon on such and
such a day," was considered trustworthy, and the festivals were
set on the strength of his testimony.
For such a matter (as the announcement of the New Moon Day) was
something that was certain to be divulged in public, and in a
matter of this kind one worthy witness was sufficient.
  
  
  15. If the court had been sitting the entire 30th day and no
witnesses arrived, and the court then arose early in the morning
and declared the old month to be full, as pointed out above in
this chapter (Sec. 7), but after the lapse of four or five days
witnesses came from a remote part of the country and testified
that they had seen the new moon in its "proper time," which is
the night of the 30th day, or they even came at the end of the
month, the rule was as follows: The court tried to intimidate the
witnesses by strong methods of intimidation, confuse them with
questions, annoy them with investigations, and examine the
testimony minutely; in short, the court did its utmost to avoid
having to sanctify this new moon retrogressively, since the old
month was now generally known to have been declared as a full
one.
  
      
  16. If, however, the witnesses persisted in their asseveration;
and were found to be in complete agreement with one another; if,
moreover, the witnesses were known to be reputable and
intelligent men, and their testimony was tested by proper cross
examination - the court had no choice but to sanctify the 30th
day retrogressively, and to readjust the counting of this month
from the 30th day on, seeing that the moon had been observed on
the night of that day.
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [The new month day had obviously been observed and sanctified by
the court, that could not be taken back, but the month and its
days could still be adjusted towards the coming new month day yet
ahead. The calendar at this time was fluent to a degree, and was
under the authority of the court that could determine to adjust
it when needed.
  Jesus lived under this system and did not object or speak
against it.]
  
  
  17. If, however the court, for reasons of expediency, referred
to leave the old month full, just as it was before the appearance
of these witnesses, it could do so. And this is what the Sages
mean in saying: "One may declare the month full for reasons of
expediency." Some of the great Sages, however, disagreed and said
that one must never make the month full for reasons of
expediency, and that the court is obliged to sanctify the new
moon if proper witnesses come forward, and that they must not be
intimidated.
  
  
  18. It occurs to me that this controversy among the Sages
refers only to the months other than Nisan and Tishri, or even to
witnesses of Nisan and Tishri if they came after the expiration
of the holidays, so that the time of the sacrifices and other
festival observances had already passed and everything had
become an accomplished fact. If, however, witnesses came
in Nisan and Tishri before the middle of the month, their
testimony was accepted and they were not intimidated in any way,
for the court was not allowed to intimidate witnesses who came to
testify that they had observed the new moon in its "proper time,"
merely in order to keep the old month a full one.
  
  
  19. The court, however, did intimidate witnesses in the
following case: If their testimony had been impaired, and the
evidence appeared doubtful, and if the court considered it a
humiliation not to sustain their testimony but to declare the old
month full; under such circumstances the witnesses were
intimidated in order to sustain their testimony and to make the
sanctification of the new moon in its "proper time" prevail.
Similarly, if witnesses testified that they had seen the new
crescent in "proper time," but after the court pronounced the
sanctification, other witnesses came forward to refute this
testimony and to claim that it was false, the court did
intimidate the refuting witnesses, so that their refutation might
not be sustained and that the new moon might be sanctified in its
"proper time."
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [All this back and forth, carefulness, intimidation,
re-adjusting, bringing in laws for the circumstances of the day,
witnesses, calculations, legal formula to announce the new month,
and all the rest of what we have seen so far, was being carried
out by the court of authority in Jerusalem WHEN JESUS LIVED ON
EARTH, and He did not try to set up His own calendar, nor did He
tell His disciples to so do after He returned to heaven.  The
entire NT is silent on any calendar issue. The NT Church of God
continued to let the court of mainstream Jewish scholars govern
the calendar and the announcing of the new month days. Yet some
today think the tidy and unifying calendar of mainstream Jewish
scholars has no authority, and would want you to return to the
messy and old ways of yesterday, that served their purpose for a
time, for a people basically within a small area of the globe. 
Even among those who would have you return to the old, there is
not unity, as they cannot agree among themselves (different
groups) how to govern the calendar, hence dis-unity and
confusion.]
  
        
    
    
  CHAPTER 4
  
  1. An embolismic year is a year to which a (13th) month has
been added. Such an extra month is never any other month but an
added Adar. Hence the embolismic year has two months of Adar, a
First Adar and a Second Adar. And why is just this month added?
Because of the season of the barley harvest-that is, in order
that Passover be celebrated in that season. For it is said: "Heed
the month of the ripening ears" (Deut.16:1), which means, give
heed that this month (of Nisan) fall in the season of the
ripening ears. Without the addition of this month (of Adar),
however, Passover would fall sometimes in the summer and
sometimes in the winter.
  
  2. Intercalation of the year depended upon the following three
criteria: the "tekufah," the barley harvest, and the blooming of
the tree fruits. Namely, if the court ascertained by calculation
that the tekufah of Nisan would fall on the 16th day of Nisan, or
later, it intercalated the year and declared the Nisan of this
year to be a Second Adar, so that Passover might fall in the
season of the barley harvest. This criterion alone was sufficient
to rely upon for the intercalation of the year, and no attention
was paid to any other criterion.
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [Again we see that "calculation" of the calendar was known and
more than that was used at times, if not all the time. Here is
one more instance where calculation was deemed necessary to fix
the Passover within the barley harvest. If you will, this was a
type of "postponement" and expediency rule. You will notice this
postponement was not introduced with just mere "observation" but
often could be calculated in advance. 
  
  3. Similarly, if the court found that the barley crop was not
yet ripe, being retarded, and that such tree fruits as usually
sprout during the Passover season had not yet produced buds, it
took these two conditions as a criterion and proceeded to
intercalate the year -  even if the tekufah was to take place
prior to the 16th day of Nisan - in order that the barley crop
might be available for the offering of the Sheaf of Waving on the
16th day of Nisan, and in order that the fruits might sprout as
usual during the season of the barley harvest.
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [Remember, the author Maimonides, was a spiritual (if not
literal) descendant of the Pharisee religious group of Jesus'
day, who (along with scribes, elders, and the Sadducees) were in
charge of the calendar functions and regulations.  Above, he
speaks according to the Pharisee teaching of Sheaf Waving on the
16th of Nisan, and hence the start of their count towards the day
of Pentecost. The Sadducees did not agree with this practice or
theology, but started to count from the first day of the week
after the Sabbath that fell within the feast of Unleavened Bread. 
This difference between the two leading theological sects had no
direct bearing on the sanctification of the new month days. It
was a theological difference between the two parties INSIDE the
calendar, and had nothing to do with determining the calendar's
new month days.]
  
  
  4.With regard to the barley harvest the court took into
consideration the following three regions: Judea, TransJordan,
and Galilee. If the barley crop was ripe in two of these regions
but not in the third, the year was not intercalated; if, however,
the barley crop was ripe in one of them but not in the other two,
and if the fruit of the trees had not yet sprouted, the year was
intercalated. These were the three main grounds for intercalation
- in order that the years (of months) coincide with the solar
years.
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [The court of mainstream Judah at Jerusalem had the authority to
ADJUST the calendar as needed to keep the festivals within their
proper seasons. This has ever been the case, and the festivals of
the Lord, from the time of Moses, have always been observed
within the boundaries of the correct seasons. Never has Passover
been observed in the summer or winter, in Palestine, and it is
from Palestine, not Australia, that the feasts are to be set
within the seasons.]
  
  
  5. There were, however, additional grounds of expediency for the
sake of which a year was intercalated by the court and these were
as follows.  If the roads were not in good order and the people
could not travel (to Jerusalem), it was desirable to intercalate
the year  (and thus retard the Passover until the rain should
cease and the roads be in good condition). If bridges were
destroyed, so that the rivers formed barriers across the
pilgrimage roads, impeding travel and endangering people's lives,
the year was intercalated to provide time for repairing the
bridges. If (in Jerusalem) the ovens for the Paschal lambs were
destroyed by rain and the pilgrims had no facilities for roasting
their Paschal lambs, it was desirable to intercalate the year,
so that there might be time to rebuild the ovens and allow them
to dry.  And, finally, if the Jews of the Dispersion had set out
on their pilgrimage but could not possibly reach Jerusalem in
time (owing to the conditions of travel), it was necessary to
intercalate the year in order to enable them to arrive in season).
  
     
     
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [Now, read all the above point 5 again! Do you understand the
significance of what has been stated? It is obvious the calendar
at the time of Christ was not set in concrete on certain points.
Rules and expediencies could be added or taken away from year to
year depending on the situation and the needs of the people.
There was some latitude given and allowed by the Lord in
regulating the calendar. The festivals had to be observed within
the bounds of the correct seasons, but that in itself did allow
for some give and take, some movement, some rules to be added or
given or taken away. The rules mentioned above cannot be looked
upon in any other way by the honest mind, other than POSTPONEMENT
rules. Hence, we see that the calendar has always had and has
always allowed for rules of "postponement" that many today seem
to hate, and claim are not sanctioned by the Eternal. Here we
clearly see that such is not the case. Here we find some of the
reasons the Jewish court could POSTPONE the spring festival for a
month. These postponements were under the calendar as it
pertained to a people who were within a relatively small area of
the world, and it worked well under the conditions of God having
a central location (Jerusalem) to observe His festivals. Such is
not the situation today. The WORLD is now God's central location
for observing His feasts.  Any rules of postponement in the
calendar today would have to take into account the whole world.
And if the calendar is to govern people all over the world, then
to unify then in observing God's feasts, then a type of "fixed"
or "perpetual" calendar would be the answer, even including rules
of postponements. This form of calendar, based on calculation
only (which was always a part of the calendar of Israel), God
inspired the Jewish court to formulate. The festivals have always
been within the correct seasons, and for a round earth, with
people observing the Sabbath and Feasts of the Lord everywhere on
this earth, the Jewish perpetual calendar can keep those people
in unity.]
  
  
  6. However, it was not customary to intercalate the year on
account of snow, or cold, or on account of such Jews of the
Dispersion as had not yet set out on their pilgrimage, or on
account of uncleanness. Thus, if the majority of the community or
of the priests had become ritually unclean, the court was not
bound to intercalate the year in order to give them time to
become clean and to sacrifice the Passover in condition of
cleanness; rather, the people were allowed to perform the
sacrifice while in defilement.  However, if the court did
intercalate the year on account of uncleanness, the intercalation
was valid.
  
  
  7. There were considerations in themselves insufficient to
justify intercalation but they could be given as supporting 
reasons if the year required intercalation either on account of
the tekufah or on account of the conditions of the barley harvest
and of the fruit of the trees. Those additional reasons were as
follows: if the kids and lambs had not yet been born, or were
still too young, or if the pigeon squabs were still unfledged.
Although it was not permissible to intercalate a year merely in
order that (properly aged) kids and lambs might be available for
the Passover sacrifice, or in order that (properly aged) pigeon
squabs might be available for the pilgrims' burnt offering or for
those who were obliged to bring a sacrifice of fowl, yet the
court could consider these things as additional support in favor
of intercalation.
  
  
  8. How did the court state these additional reasons for
intercalation? By putting it thus: This year requires
intercalation on account of the lateness of the tekufah, or
because of the lateness of the barley harvest and the unripe
condition of the tree fruits; moreover, the kids are too young,
and the pigeon squabs too tender.
  
  
  9. Only those who were appointed (to sit in the Council of
Intercalation) might decide whether a year should be
intercalated. How was this done? The Chief of the Supreme Court
would say to certain members of the Synedrium: "You are appointed
to come to such and such a place to calculate, consider, and
ascertain whether or not this year requires intercalation." And
only those who were thus invited might decide about the
intercalation of the year.

As for the number of those who took part in the Council, the
procedure was as follows: The deliberations began with three
ordained judges chosen from among the members of the Great
Synedrium. If two of them said, "We need not meet to consider
whether or not the year requires intercalation," and the third
said, "We should meet and examine the matter" - then the single
member, as a minority, did not count. If two of them said, "We
should meet and deliberate the matter," and the third said,
"We need not meet," two more members were added from among those
who had been invited, and the deliberations did begin.
  
                                             
  
  10. If two of the five said, "The year requires intercalation,"
and three said, "It does not require it," the two, being a
minority, did not count. If three members said that it required
intercalation and two said that it did not require, two members
were again added from among those who had been invited, and the
deliberations were continued and concluded with a panel of seven.
If all seven of them unanimously decided to intercalate or not to
intercalate, their decision prevailed; but if they disagreed, the
opinion of the majority was followed, whether to intercalate or
not to intercalate. But it was necessary that the Chief of the
Supreme Court, who was also the Chief of the College of
Seventy-One, be among the seven. However, if it so happened that
there were only three members in the council and they decided to
intercalate the year, the intercalation was valid, provided that
the Nasi was one of them, or that he approved of their decision.
In the deliberations concerning intercalation of the year, the
vote of the side bench was taken first; in those concerning the
sanctification of the new moon, the vote of the senior judge was
first taken.
  
  
11. Neither a king nor a High Priest could be appointed a member
of the Council on the Intercalation of the year. A king was not
eligible for fear that he was primarily concerned with his armies
and military campaigns, and that his concern for things would
influence his opinion on whether or not the year should be
intercalated. A High Priest was not eligible because he might be
concerned about the (beginning of the) cold season, for he was
obliged to take five baths of purification on the Day of
Atonement; hence he might wish not to intercalate the year, so
that the month of Tishri should not fall in the cold season.
  
          
  12. If the Chief of the Supreme Court - it is he who bore the
title of Nasi - was away on a distant journey, the year could be
intercalated only on condition that the Nasi would give his
consent: if upon his return he consented, the intercalation was
valid; if he did not consent, the intercalation was not valid.
The year could be intercalated only in Judea, for the Sekinah
resided there; as it is said: "Even unto His habitation shall ye
seek" (Deut. 12:5). However, if it so happened that intercalation
was decided upon in Galilee, it was valid.
Again, a year could be pronounced as intercalated in daytime
only; and if it happened that the pronouncement was made at
night, the intercalation was not valid.
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [We see from the above and from everything so far read, that the
Court tried its very best to make sure things were done properly
and that no personal preferences of one man or another was
enacted for personal gain or theological independence.]
  
  
  13. The court had the authority to ascertain by calculation and
to determine which year was to be intercalated. It could do so
whenever it pleased, even many years in advance. However, the
court might not announce the intercalation of a year before that
year had begun. Only after New Year's Day could the court
announce that this year was to be intercalated, and even this was
only permitted in a case of emergency. When there was no
emergency, announcement of the intercalation was not to be made
prior to the month of Adar. Only in Adar could the court
announce that this year had been declared intercalated, and that,
accordingly, the following month was not to be Nisan but Second
Ajar. If the court did announce before New Year's that the coming
year was to be intercalated, the intercalation did not take
effect on the strength of this (premature) announcement.
  
  
  14. If the 30th day of Adar had arrived and the court had not
yet come to a decision concerning intercalation, it could no
longer do so; for this day might prove to be the first day of
Nisan; once, however, the month of Nisan had begun, and the year
had not been declared intercalated, it could not be so declared.
However, if the court did intercalate the year on the 30th day of
Adar, the intercalation was valid. If after the intercalation of
the year on the 30th day of Adar had been announced, witnesses
arrived and testified that they had seen the new moon, the court
sanctified the new moon on that day, which thus became the first
day of Second Adar. Had the court sanctified the new moon before
announcing the intercalation, it could no longer have decided to
intercalate the year, for they were not allowed to intercalate in
Nisan (and the new moon would have been sanctified as the moon of
Nisan).
  
  
  15. The court might not intercalate the year in a year of
famine; for then everyone hastened to the granary to get food for
the preservation of his life, and it was improper to prolong the
time in which the new crop of the field was prohibited for
consumption. Nor was it proper to intercalate a Sabbatical year,
for then everyone had to depend upon the aftergrowth, and thus
there would not have been enough left for the offering of the
Sheaf and the two Wave Loaves. It was customary, however, to
intercalate (if need be) the year preceding a Sabbatical year.
  
  
  16. It occurs to me that the statement of the Sages that no
intercalation should be declared in a year of famine or in a
Sabbatical year refers only to cases in which intercalation was
indicated by reasons of expediency, as, for example, the state of
the roads and bridges or similar considerations. If, however, the
year required intercalation on account of the tekufah or on
account of the barley harvest and the fruits of the trees, the
court was obliged to intercalate the year at all events.
  
  
  
  17. Whenever the court intercalated a year, letters were sent
out to all distant places, announcing the intercalation and
giving the reasons for it. And these letters were written in the
name of the Nasi, as follows: "This is to notify you that I and
my colleagues have agreed to add to this year so and so many
days," either 29 or 30 days. For the court had the authority to
declare the month of intercalation in advance as either full or
defective to the  people who lived in distant places and were
kept informed by letters. The court itself, however, depended on
observation of the new crescent as to whether the intercalated
month was to be made full or defective.
   
    
  CHAPTER 5
  
  
  1. All that we have said above concerning the fixation of New
Moon Days on the basis of observation of the new crescent, and
concerning intercalation of the year because of the season or be-
cause of other reasons of expediency, applies only to the
Synedrium in Palestine or to a Palestinian court of judges 
ordained in Palestine, to whom the Synedrium had delegated the 
authority to do so. For Moses and Aaron were thus ordered: "This
new moon shall be unto you the beginning of months" (Exod. 12:
2), and the Sages have learned from an oral tradition going back
to our Teacher Moses that the meaning of this verse is: The
authority over the evidence is vested in you and in your duly
qualified successors. In times, however, when no Synedrium
existed in Palestine, fixation of New Moon Days and intercalation
of years was effected only by such methods of calculation as we
are using today.
  
  
  2. It is thus a Mosaic tradition from Sinai that in times when 
there was a (Palestinian) Synedrium, declaration of New Moon Days 
was based on visual observation, while in times when no Synedrium
existed, this declaration was based on calculations such as we
are using today and no attention was paid to observation of the new
crescent.  Rather, the day established by calculation might well
coincide with the day in which the new moon became visible, but
it might sometimes be the day before it or the day after it.
The latter case, however, when the calculated New Moon Day
happened to be the day after the new moon became visible,
occurred only rarely, and then only in the countries west of
Palestine.
  
  
  3. Since when did all of Israel begin to employ these  
methods of calculation? Since the time of the last Sages of the
Gemara; that was the time when (the Jewish community of)
Palestine was destroyed and no regularly established court was
left. In the times of the Sages of the Mishnah and also of the
Gemara, however, up to the days of Abbayyi and Raba (ca. A.D.
325) the people depended upon the Palestinian courts for the
determination (of the calendar).
  
  
  COMMENT (Keith Hunt):
  [The last Sages of the Gemara was around 500 A.D. Sages of the
Mishnah about 70 to 200 A.D. Here we see that after 70 A.D. there
was still a court in Palestine established for the governing of
the calendar. This we also fully saw in our last, part four,
study in this series on the calendar. The truth of the matter is
that the Jewish court for regulating and governing the calendar
has never disappeared. Through the process of time, and
expediency of keeping all people everywhere on a round earth, in
unity, as to the observation of the Festivals of the Lord, this
court of authority over the calendar, was led to produce the
so-called Jewish perpetual calendar.]
  
  
  
  4. In the time of the Synedrium, when New Moon Days were
determined by observation, the rule was as follows: the people in
Palestine and in places that could be reached in ample time by
the messengers of Tishri, celebrated (each of) the holidays one
day only, while those living in more distant places that could
not be reached by the messengers of Tishri used to celebrate the
holidays for two days, because they were in doubt, inasmuch as
they did not know which day the Palestinian court had declared as
Mew Month Day.
  
  
  5. But in our times, when no Synedrium exists and the
Palestinian court itself determines the calendar by calculation,
it might seem proper that the Jews of all countries, even of the
more distant countries of the Dispersion, need celebrate the
holidays one day only, just as the Jews of Palestine do
- seeing that all follow the same method in determining the
calendar...
  
  
               
  End of quotes and my comments from the Code of Maimonides

  You have now seen the MANY rules and regulations by which the
calendar at the time of Christ was governed.  You have seen that
that calendar DID CONTAIN "postponements" for the expediency and
benefit of the circumstances and for the people. Hence the 
postponements in the perpetual Jewish calendar that eventually came
into being, should not seem out of place, and should not be
looked upon as something strange. There is NOTHING in the word of
the Lord that says such postponements as used in Jesus' time and
those used today in the Jewish calendar, are NOT permitted. As we
have seen in this study, there is just about NOTHING (only a very
few things mentioned) recorded in the Word, as to the governing
of the calendar. The Jewish court had a great deal of freedom and
movement within the boundaries of governing a solar/lunar
calendar, and keeping the festivals of God within their seasons. 
  We have seen that it was the Jewish court that had authority
over the calendar and the declaring of the New Month Days. Jesus
did not argue or disagree with them on that particular topic and
issue. And I guess not, for He, as the God of the Old Testament,
was the one to give the leaders and court of Israel that
authority in the first place. He never took it away from them
during His life time on earth. He never instructed that the NT
Church of God would have authority over the setting of the new
month days. And it was never revealed to the NT apostles via the
Holy Spirit that they and the Church would have authority over
declaring the new month days.
  The Jewish court has authority only over announcing the new
month days in the manner and with the rules and regulations they
so deem necessary for the situation of the time and age. They
have no authority over declaring double holy days (i.e. two holy
days for the feast of Trumpets) and today mainstream Jewish
religion does not observe double holy days. The principle is:
Where God speaks clearly and plainly on the matter, let man keep
silent and obey.  
  The argument used today with "postponements" to throw away the
Jewish calendar is INVALID, for reasons mentioned above, but also
because God does not utter one single word in His Word, saying
postponements CANNOT be used. Those who try to tell you
otherwise, are either lacking in knowledge, have stopped reading
the Bible, or are just plain deceivers seeking a following and
wanting to set up their own calendar.
  There are many today who have and who desire to rule the
calendar. They will claim that they are correct, and other
calendar setters are incorrect (such is the vanity of human
nature), yet one clear thing emerges from them all. They do NOT
AGREE among themselves as to governing the calendar, hence
CONFUSION upon confusion arises. And one more clear fact is
evident, it is written that God is not the author of confusion.
  We are not under the Old Covenant today, but a New Covenant,
founded upon better promises, not in the letter and the physical,
but especially in the SPIRIT. The physical crescent moon watching
was practiced under the Old system, as we have seen, but the
Eternal even had the Jews (who rejected Christ and the NT) move
from the physical moon sighting to the spirit of complete
calendar calculation, for the UNITY on a round earth, for all
Festival observers in every nation.
  If the Lord should reveal to anyone the truth of observing His
festivals and weekly Sabbath day, all they would need ask is
"where is the nearest Jew, so I can know when the new month days
are" and they would be able to observe the feasts of God in their
seasons. One reason why the Jews have preserved the OT, why they
had the calendar court, and why they were scattered into all
nations, is so that no one can claim "time is lost" or "it's not
possible to know when to observe those festivals outlined in
Lev. 23." The Eternal God has used the Jews to preserve His OT
word, His weekly Sabbath day, His new month days, and His
festivals (which can then be easily worked out from the new month
days so announced and sanctified).
  The Jews have no authority to CHANGE the date of a festival.
They cannot say we will now observe Trumpets on the 3rd day of
the 7th month. For the DAY is specifically SET by the Lord as the
FIRST day. They only have authority over setting the new month
days of each calendar month.  The Jews have no authority in
setting the feast of Pentecost on Sivan (the 3rd month) 6th. For
such a date is nowhere to be found in the Bible. God has
instructed that Pentecost be COUNTED each year. And so that date
must be set by a correct understanding of HOW God informs you
within His word, as to counting to Pentecost. Hence the Pharisees
and Sadducees disagreed as how to count to Pentecost. The Jews
have authority to set the new month day for the 3rd month of the
year, but have no authority to claim the feast of Pentecost is
always on the 6th day of that month.
  I hope you are clearly seeing WHERE and HOW MUCH authority
over the calendar the Jews have. It is LESS than what some think
they have, but MORE than what others believe they have or should
have.

  The perpetual Jewish calendar is a fine piece of workmanship
in preserving the Festivals of God within their seasons, and for
keeping in UNITY on a round globe all who desire to observe
those festivals, wherever they may be in every nation on this
globe.
  The Eternal is not the author of confusion, but of peace, so
it is written, and so should it be.
                       
             ....................................
  
Written April 1998

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