The Biblical New Year

There are many New Years kept by humanity,  but only one which Yahweh Himself inaugurated.

We can read when this is in:   Exo 13:4 This day came ye out in the month Abib. (Abib=Heb. green ears i.e. Spring)

Exodus 12:2. ” This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” It couldn’t be clearer than that. It does make sense that the New Year should begin when new life begins, as in the Spring.  Scripturally this month of Nisan is called aviv, or ‘spring’.

Nisan 1 is the Biblical New Years Day, the start of the month of the Exodus from Egypt and the beginning of Jewish national history. It is also the first month used for counting the festivals (mo’edim) of the Hebrew Calendar.

Originally the Hebrew calendar was lunar . The Biblical New Year begins at the first ‘new moon’ of spring, in the month Nisan. This year this day has been observed by people all over the world as this day also fell on the day of the Vernal Equinox and we had a partial eclipse of the sun. 

‘Why’ you may ask, ‘do Westerners keep the first day of January as the New Year?’  Well, it is because they observe the most widely used calendar in the world today – the ‘Gregorian Calendar’ – named after Pope Gregory X111 who reigned over the Catholic Church in the 1582.  He adopted and refined the Julian calendar (which originated from  pagan Roman and Greek calendars) in order to change the date of Easter (which had been originally tied to the date of the Spring Equinox and therefore changed year by year) to the agreed date by the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

‘Why’ you may also enquire, ‘do Jews keep the fall month of Tishri (i.e. the seventh month) as the start of a new year’?  Since the Torah also identified Sukkot as ‘the end of the (harvest) year’ (Exod. 23:16), the sages of the Mishnah later identified the Fall month of Tishri (i.e. the ‘seventh month’ ) as the start of a new year….During the Babylonian exile (6th century BC), Also, Babylonian names for the months (i.e. Tammuz) were adopted. So, there are, in effect,  two ‘New Years’ in Jewish tradition. The first occurs two weeks before Passover (Nisan 1) which marks the month of the redemption of the Jewish people, and the second occurs ten days before Yom Kippur in the fall, which marks the month of Israel’s corporate salvation in the end of days .

So, which ‘New Year’ should we keep? Should we continue to follow pagan sources and keep January 1st.? Or should we change to the seventh month New Year observed by the Jews for their second New Year? Perhaps the best way to go would be to keep the Biblical New Year in Spring. That is, the first new moon on or nearest to the Vernal Equinox (this year of course it fell on the very same day!)

This is, after all, the one which Yahweh Himself inaugurated.

Read:  Exo 13:4 This day came ye out in the month Abib. (Abib=Heb. green ears i.e. Spring)

Read more on the Biblical calendar:  New Moons

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