Exo 12.2 says, “This month (Aviv/Nisan) shall be the beginning of months for you, it is to be the first month of the year to you.” This is referring to the beginning of the religious calendar. Up to this point, all dates in the Scriptures were according to the civil calendar. From now on, all dates will be according to the religious calendar.
We are going to talk about one of the most controversial area’s among the believers in Yeshua today. We are going to talk about the plagues, without going into the plagues. By Exo 12, we have had nine plagues, now we are in preparation for the 10th plague. In the nine other plagues, Israel was protected from them. However, in the 10th plague they will not be exempted from it.
The number 10 is a significant number in Scripture. For example, we have the Ten Commandments, 10 is needed for a minyan (congregation), we have the ten virgins, 10 talents and the last 10 kings of Judah. We have Tishri 10 and Yom Kippur, we have the Yamim Noraim (ten days of awe), we have the 10 horns and 10 crowns. We also have the 10 kingdoms of the false messiah, the 10 sons of Haman. Nabal turns away from helping David and dies 10 days later and the 10 men with Ishmael who killed Gedaliah. We could go on and on. This number has positive and negative aspects to it, just like certain words in Hebrew. For instance, a “nevel” is a harp used in the Temple. A “naval” is a “rasha” or a “wicked one.” Matt 5.22 says we are not to call someone a “fool” and we all have done that. But, the word is “rasha” and we are not to call someone a rasha because that is to say they are so bad they will never have their name written in the Book of Life, and we don’t know that. That is not up to us to decide.
Now, the 10th of Nisan is when a lamb was to be taken from the flock for Passover. We have two dates in the festivals that are on the 10th and they are very significant. Exo 12.1 is a controversial verse in the non-Jewish Torah world and the topic of the calendar has created quite a stir. We have a rule already, Nisan will be the beginning of months, and we will expand on this later.
Exo 12.3-4 says that each person is to be counted. Deut 16.1-3 is going to be linked to this verse. A second animal can be used if the amount of people will be too much for one lamb. It can be from the herd of the flock, and it is called the “Chagigah” (festival offering). The lamb is called the “Pesach” (Passover). At a Passover Seder you could only have a maximum of 20 people. Why? Because you could only have two animals, based on Deut 16. If you had less than 10, you had to register (be counted) at another house. Including you, you could have no more that 20 people. You are required to be full from eating those animals. If you had up top 15 people, you only had a lamb. If you had more than 15 people, you added the chagigah.
Exo 12.5-6 says they kept the lamb till the 14th day, so we had an interval of 4 days (10th to the 14th) to investigate the lamb to make sure it had no blemish. The 4 days allude to 4000 years. The lamb is brought forth on the 4th day (10th to the 14th). This alludes to Yeshua coming from the 4th tribe (Judah), and he appears on the 4th day from creation (4000 years). Yeshua is called “Son of God” and “King of Israel” on the 4th day of the 7 days alluded to in John 1.19 to 2.1.
Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on Nisan 10 and he was inspected for 4 days by the people, the Romans, the Jewish priests and even the High Priest, and they found no blemish in him Now, one of the things that cause us problems is we don’t read the Scriptures the same way an Orthodox Jew would. They would come away with a totally different take on a scripture than a Christian would. We have been raised in a Christian culture, and that is why we don’t see the things they do.
For example, Matt 17.1 says, “Six days later” and then there was a transfiguration. Luke 8.9.28 says, “And some eight days after these sayings” and it is talking about the same event. The difference is perspective. After 6000 years of the Olam Ha Zeh we enter the Atid Lavo. Some will have glorified bodies during the Messianic Kingdom. After 7000 years, we enter into the “Eighth Day” or the Olam Haba when everyone will be transfigured. Rather than a contradiction, this is alluding to the Jewish understanding of eschatology.
Time is reckoned differently biblicaly that what we have been taught. One can be in the Olam Ha Zeh but also in the Olam Haba. These time periods or ages are thought of in two categories, chronological and state of being. For example, when Yeshua died, he was in the Olam Ha Zeh (this present age). After the resurrection he had a glorified body. He was in the Olam Haba as far as state of being, but he appeared in the Olam Ha Zeh chronologically when he appeared to Mary. She was still in the Olam Ha Zeh, but he was in the Olam Haba, appearing in the Olam Ha Zeh. Again, the ages are going to relate to two things, chronological and state of being.
So, moving on, we have heard that some believe that Rosh Ha Shannah is not biblical and that it was a festival that was picked up while the Jews were in Babylon. Also, the calendar that is used today is a calendar they picked up in Babylon. First of all, how many deportations did Nebuchadnezzar use to bring the Jews into captivity? There were three different deportations. Form the time of the last dispersion to the time of the return was 39 years, not even one generation. From the time of the first dispersion to the time of the first return was 70 years. So, people in the last dispersion had a good memory of things if they came back in the first return.
Judges 21.25 is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. It says, “Everyone did what is right in his own eyes.” It describes what is happening today. This can include Jews and non-Jews. Some in the non-Jewish Torah world will say that Judges 21.25 is the greatest verse in the Bible because it means we all can read the word of God for ourselves and decide what to do. But, that view leads to confusion and walls of division between believers.
In the Mishnah, Rosh Ha Shannah 1.1 it says there are four days called a “new years day.” It says, “There are four ‘New Year’ days: on the 1st of Nisan is the New Year for kings and feasts; on the 1st of Elul is the New Year for the tithe of cattle (R.Eleazar and R. Simeon say:the 1st of Tishri); on the 1st of Tishri is the New Year for the reckoning of the years (of foreign kings) of the Years of Release and Jubilee years, for the panting of trees and for vegetables; and the 1st of Shevat is the New Year for fruit trees (so the School of Shammai; the School of Hillel say; on the 15th thereof.”
The calendar was not written for us in the United States, it was written for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Not knowing this leads to different Torah-based groups to set calendars, years, and festivals in error. They will see this Mishnah as “rabbinical” and not biblical. In Exo 23.14-17 it says “the feast of the In-gathering at the end of the year.” This also means “the turning of the year.” Exo 12.2 says that Nisan (Aviv) “shall be the beginning of months for you” and it looks like this. The first month is Nisan, then Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishri, Chesvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat and Adar. This is the religious calendar when the festivals were set. The festivals will be in two categories, joyous and solemn.
The joyous festivals are Hag Ha Matzah, Shavuot and Sukkot. The solemn festivals are Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur. The three joyous festivals are called the “Shelosh Regalim (three foot festivals). These verses speak of the festivals when all males will appear before the Lord. They are Hag Ha Matzah, the feast of Harvest (Shavuot) and the feast of In-gathering (Sukkot) Then we have the term “end of the year.” In this verse, we are after Exo 12 and our “beginning of the year is Nisan. But Sukkot is in Tishri, so how could it call Tishri “the end of the year” when we haven’t gotten to Adar yet?
The answer is they are using more than one calendar. There are several passages like this. Now to us, that seems foreign but it really isn’t. We use several calendars in the United States, most countries do. We have a calendar year, a fiscal year, a school year, a planting year and so on. More than one calendar does not wipe out the others. Deut 14.29 says, “At the end of every third year” and it refers to the second tithe, brought at Sukkot. 1 Kings 8.8 says that all Israel assembled before Solomon in the month of Ethanim. That is another name for Tishri, the seventh month, and this was for Sukkot (1 Kings 8.65-66). Here is a concept we need to remember. To calculate dates between Gen 1 to Exo 12, you use the civil calendar, with the first month being Tishri, then Cheshvan, Kislev and so on. After Exo 12, the biblical dates are calculated by using the religious calendar beginning in Nisan, then Iyar, Sivan and so on (already listed).
In Part 13 we will pick up here.