The ‘new year’ designation isn’t confusing when understanding there are 2 calendars
Q. Isn’t it confusing and misleading when rabbi’s designate their “new year” on Rosh Ha Shana instead of when the Torah says to begin a new year, which is by sighting of the new moon and aviv barley in the spring?
A. It’s not confusing or misleading when one understands that the Bible operates on two calendars.
There is the civil calendar that counts the years from creation and the religious calendar that sets the feast days.
One begins in the fall and the other in the spring. Let’s deal with the civil calendar first. Gen 1.14 says that the sun and the moon were to be for signs and seasons, which means they were used to set feast days. From Gen 1 to Exodus 12.1, all the dates given were according to the civil calendar but after that the dates are according to the religious calendar.
The civil calendar starts on Tishri 1 and goes to Tishri 1 of the next year.
The religious year starts with the New Moon of Aviv and goes to the next New Moon of Aviv. In Exodus 12.1-3, the Lord says that the month of Aviv is the beginning of months for you.
But, He is not negating the civil calendar but stating that the religious festivals would begin in the month of Aviv, beginning with Passover.
Now the months were to begin on a New Moon (Gen 1.14).
Now, Aviv means “green ear” so we have an instruction here.
The barley must be aviv (green) and the next new moon will begin the month of Aviv (green ear).
How can you have the month of Aviv if the barley isn’t “green” yet?
So you must have green barley and a new moon sighted.
The current Jewish calendar doesn’t go by these rules.
They calculate it ahead of time and that is not biblical, but that is another issue for another time.
So, when Exodus 12 says that Aviv would be the beginning of months it means in setting the religious festivals.
You have to have the first month before you know what days the festivals fall on, with each succeeding month starting on a visible new moon.
The fall festivals are in the seventh month (or “moon”) so you have to know when the first one is.
The Bible uses two calendars then, one civil and the other religious.
There are several verses where you will see both of them in use at the same time.
In Exodus 23.16 it says that we should celebrate the “Feast of In-gathering (Sukkot) at the end of year.”
Now, to know when the Feast of In-gathering is you have to have the religious calendar starting in the spring with the month of Aviv.
The phrase “end of the year” is referring to the civil year, in the fall.
A similar verse can be found in Exodus 34.22 and the end of the year carries the meaning of “the turn of the year” meaning the civil year.
So, you can see both calendars in use. Knowing this will help interpret many verses in the Scriptures and even give you a clue about the coming of the Messiah. Joel 2.23 says “So rejoice, O sons of Zion and be glad in the Lord your God; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication and He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as in the first month.” Now, there is a lot here and you must know that the Bible goes by two calendars.
First, where it says the early and latter rain it means “teacher of righteousness” in Hebrew and it is a clear reference to the Messiah. Hosea 6.1-3 and James 5.7 both equate these rains with the coming of the Lord. But, how can you have the early and later rains in the first month? They are seven months apart during the agricultural season in Israel! Well, you can if there are two calendars.
So, if the teacher of righteousness is the Messiah and His coming is like the early and latter rain, then His first coming will happen in the spring and his second coming in the fall. Yeshua came during the FIRST month of the religious calendar (and the seventh month of the civil calendar) called Aviv and fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread and First fruits. If the Lord holds true to the types and shadows of the festivals, that means His second coming will come during the FIRST month of the civil calendar (and the seventh month of the religious calendar) called Tishri.
Tishri 1 is Rosh Ha Shana and the day of the Rapture, and His second coming will be Yom Kippur and the Kingdom begins with Sukkot, all of which occur during the month of Tishri. So, here is a clear reference to two calendars being used in the same verse or else how can these comings be “in the first month.” It can happen when you realize that there are two calendars and two “first months” used in the Scriptures.