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The End of the Age – From Firstfruits to Hanukkah: Part II

Updated: May 1, 2023

In my last article, The End of the Age – From Firstfruits to Hanukkah (rev310.net), I explained why I believe the last seven years of Daniel’s 70th Seven prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) will be based on the Jewish calendar and not a 360-day “prophetic” calendar. More on this later, but first, let’s review some basic facts regarding the Jewish calendar and some others as well. In our modern Gregorian calendar there are either 2556 or 2557 days in a seven-year span. The so-called prophetic year has 2520 days in a seven-year period. The Jewish calendar has either 2538-2541 days or 2568-2570 days in a seven-year time span, according to my research.

A lunar month, from new moon to new moon, is on average approximately 29.53 days in duration. The new moon I am talking about is the dark moon that cannot be seen, not a crescent moon. Most scholars believe the Jewish calendar in olden times was based on sightings of a crescent moon for the first day of the month/s. After the destruction of the second Temple and Jerusalem and the Jew’s later deportation from the land of Judah, the Jewish people eventually adopted the calculated 19-year Metonic cycle’s structure for their lunisolar calendar, where the phases of the moon are based on calculations and not by observation. With this calendar, the new moon is the dark moon, not the waning crescent moon. Regarding the Jewish lunisolar calendar, there are normally 353-355 days per year. Where an intercalary month of days is added, there will be 383-385 days per month. This is why there is such a discrepancy in the number of days per seven-year timeframes.

Our Gregorian solar calendar generally has 30 or 31 days per month. The Jewish calculated calendar has either 29 or 30 days per month. Nisan has 30 days, Iyyar has 29 days, Sivan has 30 days, Tammuz has 29 days, Av has 30 days, Elul has 29 days, Tishri has 30 days, Heshvan has 29 or 30 days, Kislev has 29 or 30 days, Teveth has 29 days, Shevat has 30 days, Adar has 29 days. If the intercalary month of Veadar is added, it has 30 days. The Jewish calendar was arranged in this manner in order to have some control over when the Feasts of the Lord, such as Passover, Trumpets, and the day of Atonement, occur. Basically, they don’t want to have two Sabbath days (weekly Sabbath and special high day Sabbath) occur back-to-back.

At this point, the major rules get a little complicated. There is a principle regarding the Jewish calendar system that says, "Lo Adu Rosh," meaning, the first day of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) cannot fall on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. Likewise, there is a principle known as "Lo Badu Pesach," which means that the first day of Passover (Pesach - Nisan 15 for the Jews) cannot fall on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. The reason why the Rabbis ordained that Pesach cannot fall on these days is that if Pesach would fall on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then the first day of Rosh Hashanah would fall on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday.

The Rabbis wanted to prevent these scenarios because of their ramifications regarding Atonement (Yom Kippur): if the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Wednesday, then Yom Kippur falls on Friday, and if Rosh Hashanah falls on Friday, then Yom Kippur falls on Sunday. Either situation – where Yom Kippur falls on Friday or Sunday – would pose considerable difficulty, and the Rabbis, therefore, arranged the calendar in such a way that this could never happen. The Jewish calendar based on the 19-year Metonic cycle is really ingenious in this regard. However, it’s not Biblical. The days of the months should be determined from new moon to new moon, regardless of what day of the week it falls on, especially now that the moon’s phases can be known beforehand. For more specifications, see On Which Days Do Jewish Holidays Begin? - Chabad.org.


As I mentioned in my previous article, I believe Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks/sevens (heptads) is based on the Jewish calendar with its Shemitah years every seventh year. There is no mention of Jubilee years, only “sevens” which refer to the Sabbath year of rest. There are several descriptions or terms for the duration of the last 3.5 years of Daniel’s 70 sevens prophecy, known as the Great Tribulation, such as “42 months,” or “time, times, and half a time,” but there are only three passages of scripture that record an exact number of days between biblical events. The Lord must have done this for a reason, otherwise, He would have kept the same terms for the specified timeframes.


The first passage of scripture is found in Revelation 12:6: “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. I believe these 1260 days are referring to the exact number of days between the Feast of Firstfruits and the Day of Atonement/Tishri 10 which occurs three and a half years later. The exact duration of 1260 days between these two Feast days only occurs on certain rare heptads. There is also another 1260-day timeframe between Nisan 10 and Tishri 1 (the Feast of Trumpets), three and a half years later. Nisan 10 is the date Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the King of the Jews but was not accepted as such. Tishri 1 will be the date Jesus returns to the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This time He will be accepted as The King.


The Feast of Firstfruits is not acknowledged as a separate Feast of the Lord for the Jews these days, it is simply known as the day the counting of the Omer begins. Firstfruits does not occur on Nisan 16 as most rabbinic Jews believe, but on the day after the weekly Sabbath following the Passover “He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Leviticus 23:11). Firstfruits and Pentecost are the two Feasts of the Lord where no specific dates were given for them in the Torah. That is because they are “day of the week” specific and thus can come on different dates within the Jewish calendar. If Firstfruits was meant to be on Nisan 16, the Lord would have said so. If Shavuot or Pentecost was meant to be on Sivan 6, the Lord would have said so.


The Jewish first day of Passover is Nisan 15 which is a special “sabbath” where no work is permitted. The Jews don’t consider Nisan 14 to be the actual day of Passover. The 1260 days mentioned in Revelation 12:6 will start on a future Feast of Firstfruits, a Sunday, and end three and a half years later on the Day of Atonement/Tishri 10, a Saturday Sabbath. In my last article, I mentioned the 1260 days were from Sunday to Sunday, but that is just the amount of days between these two Sunday dates. The Day of Atonement will end on a Saturday evening before Sunday begins.


The next verse of scripture regarding the exact number of days for the Great Tribulation timeline is found in the Book of Daniel. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11). The 1290 days of desolation are from Firstfruits to Heshvan 9, three and a half years later on the Jewish calendar. Actually, Heshvan 10 will be the first day of the Millennium, so Heshvan 9 will be the end of Daniel’s 70th Seven.


The next verse of scripture in Daniel describes the 45 days beyond the 70th seven. “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. These 1335 days are from Firstfruits to Kislev 25, otherwise known as Hanukkah. The event that occurs on the 1335th day from the desecration of the temple (or 45 days past the 1290 days) is not given, only that the people will be blessed on this day. Evidently, these 45 days will take place after the Tribulation is over. I believe the wedding feast of the Lamb will take place on this day, along with the cleansing of the Temple and the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom.


Seven out of nineteen years of the Metonic cycle have an extra month of 30 days. These embolismic years occur in the following years of the cycle: 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19. These particular years will consist of 383, 384, or 385 days. Currently, in the year 2023 AD, we are in the 8th year of the current cycle, an embolismic year. The year 2023 AD matches the first-century year of 28 AD in that they are/were both in the 8th year of their respective 19-year cycle/s. Whether or not this alignment is anything significant in regard to eschatological matters, I don’t know. It could be we are in the “season” of the Lord’s return.


The new and full moons of these twenty-first century years will not fall on the same dates as their current first-century counterparts as they have now advanced by 7-8 days. For example, in 28 AD, the new moon of Tishri 1 (the first day of the civic Jewish calendar) fell on September 7, 28 AD (according to NASA’s reckoning). In 2023 AD, the new moon of Tishri 1 will fall on September 15. The Metonic cycle’s moon phases and their dates are in harmony (every 19 years) for about 250-290 years until they drift apart by one day.


If these different era years are in alignment, regarding the Metonic cycle, then the Sabbath or Shemitah “weeks” (seven years) are in alignment as well. For example, the years 26 – 33 AD have a total of 2569 days (from Tishri to Tishri) just as its modern-day counterpart of 2021 – 2028 does. The Jewish Sabbath “weeks” are approximately 2540 or 2569 days in duration. I believe the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy (the 70th seven) will contain 2569 days.


The 69 “sevens” prophecy of Daniel 9:24-25 was from 444 BC to AD 33. Even though this timeline was from Nisan to Nisan, it still contained 69 sevens or Shemitah years. In other words, there are 69 sevens (Sabbath years) within the 476-year timeline of Daniel’s prophecy. Tishri 1 is the start of the new year on the Jewish civic calendar, where the year count changes. For this 476-year timeframe, there are 173,847 days in a Jewish calendar (Nisan to Nisan or Tishri to Tishri), and there are 173,856 days in a proleptic Gregorian calendar (January to January)… only nine days difference. The end date for the 69 sevens prophecy of Daniel 9:25 occurred when Jesus was “cut off” or crucified on Passover, Nisan 14 (or April 2, AD 33 on the Julian calendar).


I believe the reason the last seven years will be for 2569 days instead of 2540 days is to keep the Jewish calendar in line with the Gregorian calendar. If we add 2569 days to our previous total of 173,847 days then you have a total of 176,416 days. Likewise, if you were to add 2557 days (7 years of 365/366 days) to the previous total of 173,856 days in the Gregorian calendar then you have a total of 176,413 days. This is only a difference of 3 days.


In my last article, regarding the Great Tribulation, I showed the timing of the 1260 days of Revelation 12:6 would be from a future Feast of Firstfruits to a future Day of Atonement. “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” I also demonstrated that the timespan from that same Firstfruits to Heshvan 10 would amount to 1290 days, thus fulfilling Daniel 12:11. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Last, but not least, I showed how the timespan between that same Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, amounts to 1335 days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”


With these same requirements in mind, I did some research to determine how many other upcoming Jewish “heptad years” there are that have these qualifying characteristics. I researched 20 different heptads starting with 2023-2030, and continuing with 2024-2031, 2025-2032, 2026-2033, …2042-2049. I was looking for an exact match of 1260, 1290, and 1335 to occur between the two specified Jewish dates/Feast days. First I reckoned the duration (number of days) of the seven-year heptads by using the calculated Metonic cycle Jewish calendar (360calendar.com Calendar Converter). For these calculations, I used the civic new year of Tishri 1 to Tishri 1, as that is the day the new year count changes. Tishri 1 is also the first of the month and occurs on a new moon. I could have just as well used a Nisan 1 to Nisan 1 or even Heshvan 10 to Heshvan 10 as they would have all had the same amount of days.


Then, I double-checked these dates with NASA’s Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon (AstroPixels - Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon). These dates aligned for the most part, with the calendar converter being off by only a day or two in various places, due to the way the Metonic cycle is configured so the Feasts of the Lord will not occur on certain days. Let’s look at a couple of examples regarding the duration of upcoming seven-year timespans.


For the seven years of 2023-2030: The Tishri 1 to Tishri 1 timespan is September 15, 2023, to September 28, 2030 (2570 days). NASA’s new moon of September to new moon of September timespan is September 15, 2023, to September 27, 2030 (2569 days).


For the seven years of 2024-2031: The Tishri 1 to Tishri 1 timing is October 2, 2024, to September 17, 2031 (2541 days). NASA’s record shows the new moon’s timespan from October 2, 2024, to September 16, 2031 (2540 days).


For the seven years of 2025-2031: The Tishri 1 to Tishri 1 timespan is September 22, 2025, to September 5, 2032 (2540 days). NASA’s record shows the new moon’s timespan from September 21, 2024, to September 4, 2032 (2540 days).


Out of twenty heptads, only nine didn’t have the same number of days (from comparing Tishri 1 and NASA’s new moons), and they only differed by one or two days at the most. Where there was a difference, I used NASA’s dates for my reckoning of 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. Out of these 20 possible upcoming heptads, there were only four that matched perfectly. Only one had 2540 days. The other three had 2569 days between the two dates. The 1260, 1290, and 1335 days are all figured from the Feast of Firstfruits which is “in the midst” of Daniel’s 70th Seven. The abomination of desolation by the Antichrist in the new Temple in Jerusalem will begin the Great Tribulation, otherwise known as Jacob’s Trouble.


POTENTIAL DATES FOR JACOB’S TROUBLE

  1. 2023 – 2030 (2569 days). 1260 days between Firstfruits (Nisan 19/April 25, 2027) and the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10/Oct. 6, 2030). 1290 days between Firstfruits and Heshvan 10 (Nov. 5, 2030). 1335 days between Firstfruits and the start of Hanukkah (Kislev 25/Dec. 20, 2030). In this hypothetical example, if Jesus was crucified in 30 AD, He will return to the earth 2000 years later in 2030.

  2. 2026 – 2033 (2569 days). 1260 days between Firstfruits (Nisan 19/April 21, 2030) and the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10/Oct. 2, 2033). 1290 days between Firstfruits and Heshvan 10 (Nov. 1, 2033). 1335 days between Firstfruits and the start of Hanukkah (Kislev 25/Dec. 16, 2033). In this example, if Jesus was crucified in 33 AD, He will return to the earth 2000 years later in 2033.

  3. 2033 – 2040 (2540 days). 1260 days between Firstfruits (Nisan 21/April 5, 2037) and the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10/Sept. 16, 2040). 1290 days between Firstfruits and Heshvan 10 (Oct. 16, 2040). 1335 days between Firstfruits and the start of Hanukkah (Kislev 25/Nov. 30, 2040).

  4. 2040 – 2047 (2569 days). 1260 days between Firstfruits (Nisan 21/April 17, 2044) and the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10/Sept. 29, 2047). 1290 days between Firstfruits and Heshvan 10 (Oct. 29, 2047). 1335 days between Firstfruits and the start of Hanukkah (Kislev 25/Dec. 13, 2047).


Many Bible teachers, including myself, believe Jesus’ 3.5-year ministry began in the fall of 29 AD and he was crucified in 33 AD. So, if you start with this year of 29 AD and use the 19-year Metonic cycle to reckon comparative 21st-century dates, and add 101 nineteen-year time periods (which equals 1919 years) you get 1948 AD (a very significant year for Israel). If you add another 19 years, you get 1967 AD (another very significant year for Israel). If you add 3 more nineteen-year time periods (57 years), you get 2024 AD. Could 2024 be another “very significant” year for Israel (and the world) as well?

In 29 AD, Jesus began to preach and prophesy.From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). 1995 years later, in 2023-2024, Christians should have the same message of “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For Christians, the kingdom of heaven will begin at the Rapture. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21).

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:43).

Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Randy Nettles

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