WHEN DOES THE MONTH ABIB BEGIN?
This article was written because the new moon appointed Passover and the seven Days of Unleavened Bread to start one month earlier than usual this year, 2011, because the Jerusalem, Israel equinox date in March divided by the sun and moon was used instead of the equator equinox date to start the new solar year. Some people think we should follow the Karaite Jews tradition of using barley to determine which new moon to use to start their first month. In Matthew 15:1-14 and Mark 7: 1-13, Jesus did not approve the Jewish traditions and called them commandments of men.
Exodus, chapter 12, is where the LORD begins to instruct Moses and Aaron concerning the feasts of the Lord. Exodus 12:1-2. 1 "And the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you." The words month and months in verse 2 are Strong's #2320, the Hebrew word chodesh, from 2318; the new moon; by implication a month: -- month, new moon, monthly. (The Hebrew word chodesh means new moon or month. A month is the period of time from one dark new moon date until the following dark new moon date, 29 or 30 days.) From 2318, chadash, a primitive root; to be new; causative to rebuild: -- renew, repair. The word year in verse 2 above, and in Genesis 1:14 is Strong's #8141, shanah; a year (as a revolution of time): -- year, yearly).
From the above definitions of month, months and year, we can understand that the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron on the date of the new moon that was the beginning of months of the festival year that placed Passover and the seven Days of Unleavened Bread in the new solar year. God's feast calendar is referred to as a lunar solar calendar because God used the new moon or the beginning of months to place Passover and seven Days of Unleavened Bread in the first month of the new solar year. When we read Exodus 12: 3 - 20, where the Lord gave the first instructions for Passover and the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, the first instructions for the Passover was to select the lambs on the tenth day and keep them up until [Strong's #5704, as far (or long, or much) as] the fourteenth day of the first month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill the lamb in the evening. (Strong's #6153, ereb; from 6150; dusk: -- even, evening. From 6150, arab; a primitive root; to grow dusky at sundown: -- evening.) Note: the lambs were killed in the evening at the beginning of the fourteenth day at dusk, at sundown.
God set a solar year and a lunar year in His creation. They were independent but in correlation with each other. The solar is agricultural [seedtime and harvest] and the lunar is festival dating. The tender, green ears of barley [in the month of Abib] will usually begin to mature after the March equinox date. The barley matures in direct ratio to the heat of the sun and the length of the day and does not affect the date of the new moon. The 14th day of the new moon [Passover] will move in the number of days from the equinox each year [either closer or further away] depending on the date of the beginning of the dark new moon which is day one of the month. If we are out of step with creation we profess ourselves to be wise and become fools, (Romans 1: 20-22).
The solar year is also the time it takes the earth to make a revolution of time around the sun, 365 or 366 days. The solar year begins when the sun and moon divides night and day 12 hours in length on March 16th or 17th. For more details about the equinox date at Jerusalem, Israel location, read the article titled THE PURPOSE OF THE SUN AND MOON. Also read the article titled THE CONCEALED FULL MOON which proves the dark new moon is what starts the month; not the beginning of the crescent moon which follows the dark new moon phase.
We are also instructed in Psalms 104:19: "He appointed the moon for seasons (#4150): the sun knoweth his going down." (Seasons, Strong's #4150, moed; from 3259; properly an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension. The place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand). Note: these definitions are usually condensed to mean the Lord's appointed times, set feasts. 4150 is also the number for seasons in Genesis 1:14, and are translated feasts in Leviticus, chapter 23, verses 2 - 4.
God appointed the new moon or beginning of months to determine the Lord's appointed times, set feasts; not barley. Exodus 13:3-4, is where Moses named the first month Abib. 3 "And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day (15th day, Num. 33:3), in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. 4 This day came ye out in the month of Abib." (Strong's #24, abiyb; from an unused root (meaning to be tender); green, i.e. a young ear of grain; hence, the name of the month Abib or Nisan.) Notice when and how Moses described the stage of growth of Abib barley on the 15th day of the first month; Abib: abiyb, meaning to be tender); green, i.e.; a young ear of grain. This is describing "green ears" of barley, not a stage of growth when the barley is developing golden streaks.
The 15th day of the first month Abib is the first day of the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. The wave sheaf offering was to be offered after the weekly Sabbath on Sunday during the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. That Sunday date is very important because the Feast of Weeks, also called Pentecost in the New Testament, is counted from the morrow after the Sabbath (Sunday), from the day that ye brought the sheaf (6016, omer, from 6014; properly a heap, i.e. a sheaf; also an omer, as a dry measure: -- sheaf, omer.) of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete. Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days . . . . (Lev. 23:15-16).
Moses description of Abib barley is different from the Karaite Korner tradition of Abib barley. The Karaite Korner (http://www.karaite-korner.org/abib.shtml) article titled "Abib (Barley)" states "it is important to check the state of the Barley crops at the end of the 12th month. If the barley is Abib at this time, then the following New Moon is Hodesh Ha-Aviv ("New moon of the Abib"). If the barley is still immature, we must wait another month and then check the barley at the end of the 13th month."
At the end of the 12th or 13th month, the Karites defines Abib barley as "the stage in its ripeness called Abib. In contrast, the barley had reached the stage of Abib at which time it was no longer "dark" (green) and at this point it probably had begun to develop golden streaks."
The above Karaite Korner tradition of Abib barley is different from Moses description of Abib barley. Moses describes Abib barley on the 15th day of the first month "to be tender, green, i.e. a young ear of grain; hence, the name of the month Abib or Nisan."
The following quote is from the Karaite Korner Newsletter #500. Date: Sun, 06 Mar. 2011. "On March 6, 2011 the barley we examined in the Judean Desert and Jordan Valley was nowhere near Aviv. These are locations the barley is known from previous years to ripen earliest. The barley was mostly in the vegetative state but we also found large amounts of barley that had just flowered (cotton-stage). This is consistent with our findings on Friday March 4, 2011 in the northern Negev. The lack of Aviv barley means the new moon on April 4, 2011 will be the beginning of the Hebrew year and Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) will begin at sunset on April 18, 2011.
A report has been going around that someone found "green ears" in the Negev. He has posted four photos of green ears of WHEAT here: http://yahwehstruth.net/galleries/abib11/index.htm
While these pictures of wheat obviously don't have any relevance for Aviv barley, I can confirm that there are "green ears" of barley in Israel (see my photos on Facebook). However, "green ears" are not the same thing as Aviv as I explain at (and in the associated FAQ): http://www.karaite-korner.org/abib.shtml
There are green ears of barley in Israel but no Aviv barley."
On Sunday March 6, 2011, the Karaite Korner Newsletter #500 did confirm that there are "green ears" of barley in Israel as Moses described. We are correct in using Moses description of Abib barley on the 15th day of the first month; rather than the stage of Aviv barley described by Karaite tradition.
Now, to answer the question: WHEN DOES THE FIRST MONTH ABIB BEGIN? When the dark new moon appoints Passover to occur on or after the date of the new solar year in March. The new solar year began on March 17, 2011, the date of the equinox when the sun and moon divided night and day with 12 hours of darkness and daylight at Jerusalem, Israel location; not at the man devised invisible equator. The Abib 1 dark new moon date is March 4, and it appointed the Passover date, March 17, 2011, to begin in the beginning of the fourteenth day at evening or dusk, at the setting of the sun.
God appointed the new moon or beginning of months to determine the Lord's appointed times, set feasts; not barley. (Psalms 104:19)
Art Ryan, 5-15-11.