In This Article:
- The Exiled Zadok testimony of the formula for identifying the biblical Sabbath is as follows:
- The Rabbinical Calendar in The Talmudic and Post Talmudic Years:
- No Historical Trace Record Exists Of The Actual Changes Hillel II Made To The Rabbinical Calendar (??)
- But Is There Circumstantial Evidence?
- Why Did The Rabbinic Pharisees Focus on Procuring A Charge Of Blasphemy Against Yahushua, Above Any Other Interpreted Breach Of The Law?
- When The Redeemed “Messianics” Left Judea in 68 CE , Then The Rabbinics Would Have Increased Their Hegemony Over Remaining Judeans
- The Effect of Cumulative Error in the Rabbinical Calendar’s Measurement of Time
- So What Of The “Hidden” Work That Hillel II Actually Carried Out On Judaism’s Religious Calendar?
The Exiled Zadok testimony of the formula for identifying the biblical Sabbath is as follows:
With the observation of the vernal equinox, Day 1 of Month 1 of the New Biblical Year is identified. In regards to the weekly Sabbath, that identified day (Day 1 of Month 1 ) is to be counted as the fourth day of the week. Thus in the Zadok solar calendar both the days, seasons and appointed times AND the weekly Sabbath days are all readily revealed by YHVH’s Laws of Creation as specifically found in the Law of the earth’s orbit around the sun.
This identification of the weekly Sabbath when examined does not synchronize nicely with the Gregorian calendar as does the Rabbinical Sabbath, which always occurs on the Gregorian Saturday.
Before we jump to any conclusions that this identification of the weekly Sabbath is not plausible, we do well to be reminded of the Mosaic prophecy against Israel for her rebellion against YHVH – that Israel would be sent into exile where they would be unable to keep YHVH’s set apart times because they would have to serve the gods of the nations (Deut 28:64), whom the patriarchal Fathers of Biblical Israel did not know. In addition YHVH declared he would hide His “Face” (Deut 31:17) from Israel when she was in the exile – which means He would hide His biblical calendar of appointed times where His relationship with the nation is communed. In the day of redemption and return of the Redeemed Remnant of the Two Houses of Jacob to the promised land, the Prophet Ezekiel foretold that YHVH would once again restore His biblical calendar to His people and then He will again reveal His “Face” to the Remnant:
27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
28 Then shall they know that I am YHVH their Elohiym, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the King Elohiym.
Thus a waking up to the fact that try as we might to grasp the full revelation of YHVH’s calendar, it is prophesied to be impossible as yet because YHVH’s people are yet in slavery in the exile of the nations and the Two Houses – the two branches of the “Olive Tree” – have not yet been restored and brought back to the promised land.
Finding that Gregorian calendar of the exile is actually moving around the Biblical Sabbath makes us realize that YHVH’s prophetic Word is true. A biblical Sabbath that does not fall consistently on a Gregorian Saturday makes it very difficult to observe, for all are faced today with the Gregorian working week which predominates the world today. And while we may be able to take our annual leave for the biblical festivals, there is not enough leave we could take to enable us keep the biblical Sabbath while we are yet dominated by the Gregorian Calendar of the Nations.
Thus according to Moses’ declaration we now begin to see how it is that while we are seeking His calendar to worship Him in these days, it is only when we are brought into “Goshen” in the soon coming days and our Great Redeemer begins to complete YHVH’s promise to redeem us from slavery in the last days through the greater “second exodus” from “Egypt”, that will then be blessed to completely take hold and be restored to His Covenant calendar – and what a day of outpouring of His Spirit, blessing and a rejoicing that time will be!
The Rabbinical Calendar in The Talmudic and Post Talmudic Years:
History reveals that under the Roman Empire exile, Judah was forced to observe the Roman calendar days, and the Sabbath was forbidden in the empire under persecution (much like what Constantine did with the council of Nicea in 325 when Sunday was ruled into the empire by decree as the Christian Sabbath.
From study of the biblical calendar controversies in the context exiled Zadok testimonies of the Qumran, it is plausible to conclude that it may well have been Hillel II around 330-365, who was responsible for reorganizing the Rabbinic lunar calendar to harmonise optimally with the Roman Empire calendar, for reasons as to avoid ongoing Roman persecution of Rabbinical Jews, who were under great duress and persecution at that time, and that it is somewhere around this historical era of Hillel II that the Rabbinical “Sabbath” made to be co-incident with the Roman pagan religious day of Saturnalia.
No Historical Trace Record Exists Of The Actual Changes Hillel II Made To The Rabbinical Calendar (??)
Can I prove this with historical sources – no. But what we do know is that the Rabbinical lunar calendar was significantly adjusted and reorganized at this time with its festivals to coincide more effectively with the accuracy of the Roman calendar over a 19 year cycle. However information that directly indicates that the introduction of a change to the position of the Rabbinical Sabbath is lacking since according to The Jewish Encyclopedia, “Calendar, History of”, pp. 502-503, Funk and Wagnalls, 1903, “It is uncertain what the calendar of Hillel originally contained, and when it was generally adopted. In the Talmud there is no trace of it.”
In other words – all the details of the changes that were made by Hillel II to the Rabbinical Calendar, which were then presented to all of Judah across the Diaspora, a calendar which has pervaded Judaism to this day, have been hidden from the record! Only the method of calculation was obviously available to the Rabbis in the exile.
But Is There Circumstantial Evidence?
However – we now find circumstantial evidence from the testimony of the existence of conflicts over the solar versus the lunar base of the existed in the historical days immediately preceding Yahushua Messiah. The epistles of the ancient the exiled Zadok priesthood give strong testimony to A Divine solar based calendar and the formula of how the weekly Sabbath day was to be identified.
Yet Zadok’s appear to be silent as to the existence of any conflict with the position of the day of the weekly Sabbath was being observed in Judea at that time (when they were in their exile, between 130BCE and Yahushua’s days). This immediately seems very odd and raises some questioning of just why this could be so.
We also note that Josephus recorded that the “Essenes” communities were of a very significant proportion of the overall population of Judea in those days and their communities existed throughout all the cities of Judea, especially at the time of Yahushua Messiah, who were not following the Pharisee Rabbinics.
Consider also that from the Gospel accounts, that we also again see no significant conflicts mentioned in the Gospels between Yahushua and the Rabbis on the position of the celebration of the Sabbath day.
How could it be that the Zadok’s testify as to how the Sabbath is identified, which when put to the test does not relate in prefect sychronicity to the Saturday in the Gregorian calendar, but yet today we see the Jewish Sabbath linked directly to every Gregorian calendar Saturday?
Something needs explaining…
From the Qumran documents we see the Zadok testimony is directed at the solar calendar vs the lunar calendar polemic and the profanement of the temple priesthood and the Temple. Later in Yahushua Messiah’s case wee see two incidents in the Gospels, indicating Yahushua observed a different calendar in relation to the timing of 1) His last Passover which occurred the day before the Passover lamb was slaughtered in the temple, and the 2) His statement in John 7:8 that it was not His time to go up to attend the Feast of Tabernacles at the temple at that time that it was being observed by the Temple.
At the same time, in the face of both of these incidents, John 7:8’s testimony is that the Rabbinics were already seeking a way of justification to kill Yahushua Messiah. Thus the question arises – if the Rabbinics had really had full and total hegemonic religious control over population of Judah and consequently total control over the Jewish calendar at that time, the Rabbis should have been quite able to take Yahushua to the Sanhedrin on an accusation of being against the Law of Moses in regard to His behaviour towards the calendar of the Temple, given His day early Passover and His declaration formally not to go up to the temple at Tabernacles, and they would have grounds to try Yahushua.
Why Did The Rabbinic Pharisees Focus on Procuring A Charge Of Blasphemy Against Yahushua Above Any Other Interpreted Breach Of The Law?
However, rather we see the Rabbis politically not taking up any such calendar issues against Yahushua (explainable because they would have had to put their own calendar up against the greater proportion of the “Essene” communities who would not have been in agreement with them) but rather worked their strategy to carefully find a way to trap Yahushua into a charge of blasphemy against YHVH. The reason they did this is because it was a most serious charge that was completely outside of the existing sectarian theological conflicts in that day, which were centered on the calendar differences of the sects (the Pharisees, Sadducees and the “Essenes” – the Zadok priesthood remnant) and the related power struggles. Politically any charge around calendar issues did not present them with any jurisprudence that would be accepted by all)
So this points to some historical evidence that, in the light of Josephus testimony that the communities of the “Essenes” were well represented to be a significant proportion of the Jewish population in Yahushua’s day. And in the matters of the calendar of the weekly Sabbaths, as apposed to the control the Rabbis had over the appointed times at the Temple, the Rabbis control over the whole population of Judea at that time was incomplete as compared to how as it exists over Judaism today.
This being the case, especially in regard the position of the Sabbath day, even though the Rabbinics had control over the Temple through their lunar calendar and thus control over the Sanhedrin, it would appear that the identification and observance of the day of the sabbath was most probably in the very position that we can now see is described by the testimony of the epistles of the exiled Zadok priesthood. A significant proportion of the people were of the Essene communities according to Josephus and they would have kept the Sabbath as identified by the Zadok remnant. And while the Pharisees had gained political control over the temple and its calendar, it would have been quite another matter to have superseded the masses away from a weekly Sabbath calendar that was solar-equinox based and had been determined for centuries by the ancient formula of the Zadok priesthood formula.
When The Redeemed “Messianics” Left Judea in 68CE , Then The Rabbinics Would Have Increased Their Hegemony Over Remaining Judeans
This being the case then it would have been only once the Zadock community had dispersed after Yahushua’s advent, because many followed John the Immerser, and then the many followed Yahushua Messiah and then finally the Apostles and then finally the entire messianic congregations left Judea in 68 CE in response to Yahushua’s coming prophetic signs of the imminent judgment of Jerusalem.
After that the Rabbis would have grasped the opportunity for greater political and religious control and the need to consolidate what was left of the nation of Judea, to defend Judea against Rome.
After Jerusalem was destroyed and the surviving Judeans were taken into slavery by the Romans in 70 CE, in the subsequent decades following the Rabbis would further work to consolidate their complete hegemonic control over Judaism through the codification of their “oral law into the “Jerusalem Talmud” and finally their later work on the revision of the religious calendar to be able to co-exist within the framework of the Roman Empire’s weekly calendar. This would finally serve to ensure the Rabbis were able to govern Judaism to this day and to successfully recast the ancient religious memory of Judah.
The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia records that, under the Roman Empire and the reign of Constantius (CE 337-361) the persecutions of the Jews reached such a height that all religious exercises, including the computation of the calendar, were forbidden under pain of severe punishment. The Sanhedrin was apparently prevented from inserting the intercalary lunar month in the spring; and it accordingly then placed it after the month of Ab (July-August). It seems the Roman intent was to completely obliterate the lunar calendar of the Rabbinical Jews.
Furthermore, according to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, the persecutions under Constantius grew to such a point that finally decided the (Rabbinical patriarch), Hillel II. (330-365), to publish rules for the computation of the Rabbinic calendar, in CE 359, which had hitherto been regarded as a secret science. But how Hillel II may have changed the calendar is not known.
The political difficulties attendant upon the meetings of the Sanhedrin became so numerous in this period, and the consequent uncertainty of the feast-days were so great, that apparently Rabbi. Huna b. Abin made known the following secret of the calendar to Raba in Babylonia: “Whenever it becomes apparent that the winter will last till the 16th of Nisan, make the year a leap-year without hesitation”.
This statement reveals something of this failure has been something of a perennial problem throughout the centuries of its existence, and is an increasing headache today as previously discussed.
However, the testimony of the Zadok’s, together with the growing exposure of the inaccuracies of the Rabbinical calendar formula that have accumulated over the centuries, now invites a real question of just when did the Rabbinical calendar, as we now see it today with its Saturday synchronised Sabbath, really come into existence?
The promulgation of significant changes to the calendar, by Hillel II, which served to adjust the rabbinical calendar to the Roman empire’s calendar and week days as in the case of the Sabbath, was apparently historically seen by many Jews of the time to be destroying the hold of the patriarchs (here they were referring to the Jewish Sanhedrin as the patriarchs) on the scattered Judeans, but at that time the Rabbi’s were successful in their attempts to fix the celebration of the Rabbinical Jewish feasts upon the same days wherever Jews were scattered in the world. Today, Jewish writers agree that Hillel II fixed the calendar, but as stated previously there are no details or records that leave any trace that would tell us of precisely what he changed…
The Effect of Cumulative Error in the Rabbinical Calendar’s Measurement of Time
Over the past century the Rabbis have increasingly recognized specifically by the way the calendar has appointed Passover, that there is a cumulative error in the calculation methods of time in the Rabbinic calendar. It has been asserted by a number of writers that this is due to inaccuracies in the calculated lengths of both the lunar and the solar years upon which it is based.
I have seen occasional Internet news reports posted on the Rabbis concerns and research endeavors in this matter over the past 5 years, indicating that the concern of Rabbinic scholars is that the calendar requires an increasingly urgent redress soon.
Today it is only because of the Qumran epistles becoming available that we are alerted to the central concern, that the Pharisees / Rabbis had profaned the biblical calendar and the Temple by the Rabbinics choosing their human reasoning to identify the calendar, which the Zadok’s proclaimed was forbidden and a rebellion against YHVH’s authority. Rather their view was that biblical calendar commanded by Moses was one based on solar calendar and on observation of the testimony of creation and its laws – the “circuit of the sun” and its consequent given seasons on the earth.
It is also interesting to note the following quote from contemporary Judaism that is very deeply concerned about its calendar:
“The rebirth of the state of Israel rekindles in us the hope that a new Sanhedrin, recognized by the whole people of Israel, will be established again in our time. It will be the task of the Sanhedrin to make a decision as to when and how the sanctified calendar of Hillel II is to be modified in accordance with the requirements of astronomy and the Torah.” (Arthur Spier, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, p.227).
(sourced from the article “Admissions on the Calculated Rabbinical Calendar” that http://www.truthontheweb.org/admit.htm).
Since the time of Hillel II’s re-formulation (or re-creation?) of Judaism’s calendar, of which the details are hidden from the historic record to this day, it is now well recognized by Rabbinical theologians that their calendar needs urgent reconsideration because it is increasingly resulting in a divergence in the relations between Nisan and Spring, with the clear signal of the Rabbinical Passover being celebrated at times in the winter and before the occurrence of spring.
So What Of The “Hidden” Work That Hillel II Actually Carried Out On Judaism’s Religious Calendar?
So the questions now arising as to what Hillel II actually did to reforming Judaism’s religious calendar, given that there is no historical source records whatsoever of what was done (which is very suspicious to say the least), causes us to recall Yahushua Messiah’s prophetic Words concerning the last days which we now find ourselves in:
Luke 11:53- 12:3
53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:
54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
1 ¶ In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Increasing questions are emerging these days concerning the crisis of the religious calendars observed at this time amongst those who identify with the “Israel” of the scriptures – just as they did in the time of Yahushua Messiah…and full revelation by YHVH’s Spirit to His remnant elect cannot now be far off.
All praise and glory to our Glorious Redeemer Yahushua, who declared His people will know the Truth and the Truth shall set them free!