Feast Date Confusion Explanation

Shalom Brothers and Sisters,

Many of you have been asking about why
lots of people are not in unity this year when
it comes to the dates of the Feast Days.

As you probably know the calendar issues
are not cut and dry and a lot of people have
different interpretations of how it works. I
will attempt to give you a quick overview of
the details of the calendar. If you have not
already done so, please view this video on
the calendar first, before reading the rest of
this answer.

The Jewish sages, during the time from
200AD to 600AD, changed from using the
sightings of the New Moon to using the
calculated calendar for the purposes of
convenience and worldwide ease of being
able to determine the new moon anywhere
in the world. This newer teaching of the
calendar was stated in the Talmud. Some
people stick to the Scriptures and determine
a new moon only by sighting it. Most of the
Jewish people follow the calculated new
moon calendar today.
The biblical way of sighting the “new moon”
is by looking for it around sunset at the
appointed time 29 days after the last new
moon. If you see the sliver of the new moon,
it is the new moon, the first day of the next
month. If you do not see the new moon, the
next day is the 30th day of that month and
the new moon or first day of the next month
is automatically declared for the evening of
the 30th. (There are only 29 or 30 days in each
Hebrew month, depending on the sighting
of the new moon).

The New Moon for this month is
first expected to be sighted on the evening
of September 6th, making the 7th the first
possible day of the next month; If it is not
sighted on the evening of the 6th, then the
evening of the 7th and day of the 8th will be
the declared first day of the next month.
(which is most likely to occur this month).

The next very important question is; now
which month is it? Simply put, the people
who go by the calculated New Moon date
believe that the September new moon is the
beginning of the 7th month (Tishri). Others
believe it is the beginning of the 6th month
(Elul). Why the difference? It has to do with
when the year is started. Some people
believe the New Year is declared by
calculation, some declare the new year
when the New Moon is sighted when the
barley is ripe. This year, they started the year
in March (2013), before spring, when the
New Moon was still in the winter. With this
March starting date, this September New
Moon became for them, the beginning of
the 7th month (Tishri) which will be still in
the summer.  The question is, should the “new year”
start in the winter?

The other way of determining when the new
year starts is by using the sun, as described
in Genesis 1:14. It clearly states that Years
are to be determined using the Sun and
Moon. There is an event called the equinox
which is where the sun moves directly east
to west. It is the determining factor of when
it changes from being winter to being
spring. In order for the New Year to start, the
new moon must be after the spring equinox,
hence in the spring. In 2013, the first New
Moon after the spring equinox occurred in
April. With an April new moon being the
month of the Biblical New Year, the 7th
month would then be at the new moon
occurring in October in the fall.

Since we believe that according to the
Scriptures, the sun, moon and stars are to
determine the “days and the years”. it is my
understanding that for 2013, the first
expected New Moon date for the 6th month
(Elul) as stated above is the evening of
September 6th. If it is not sighted, the
evening of September 7th will be declared
the New Moon. The first expected sighting
of the New Moon for the 7th month (Tishri)
will be the evening of October 6th making
October 7th the first day of the month which
is also Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets).
If it is not sighted, then the evening of the
7th and the 8th of October will be the
declared new moon and Yom Teruah (The
Feast of Trumpets).
I hope I have helped to answer your
questions. If you have any further questions,
please feel free to contact me. Either leave a
comment here on this post, or you can email
me AT:

Brother Mark Harris

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