What were Stonehenge astronomers searching for? That would depend upon who they were. Personal discussions with historians point out the possibility that they were Israelites in the time of Joshua. If this is the case we should thoroughly search early British history for the accomplishments of "Hugh the Great," whom some consider to be the Joshua of Scripture. If Israelites under Joshua did indeed build Stonehenge, the motives to be considered are limited to a fairly narrow range. Pagan motives (human sacrifice, fear of eclipses, sun worship, moon worship) are immediately cancelled. We know Israel had now begun keeping a seven-day week ending with the Sabbath, that they followed lunar months with the month beginning with tpe appearance of the crescent of a new moon, a lunar-solar calendar with holy days kept "in their season," and that they almost certainly had a knowledge of the 19-year Metonic cycle.
They would have known from Egypt the approximate length of the year to be 365¼ days thus giving a length of 6939 3/4 days to the 19-tropical-year period of the Metonic cycle. Could we assume that Moses and Joshua were attempting to relate 19 years very carefully to the length of 235 synodic months, which we now set (about an hour and a half shorter) at 6939 days, 16 hours, 33 minutes and 3 1/3 seconds? (See reprint article "How to prove the Crucifixion was NOT on Friday:" by Dr. Herman L. Hoeh.) The difference amounts to 1 hour, 26 minutes, 56 2/3 seconds.
Still Earlier Evidence
It was God who revealed to Moses, "this month shall be the beginning of months, it shall be the first month of the year to you. Was this a change from the Egyptian way? Yes, the Egyptian year began at the summer solstice, near June 21, with the rise of the Nile, and the heliacal rise of Sirius. There are only three seasons in Egypt, the inundating, the planting and the harvest season. Any delay in planting would delay the harvest, which would then be endangered by both the rise of the Nile and the hot drying winds which preceded it. A successful agricultural economy in Egypt was closely tied to the proper beginning of a year. The correct beginning of the agricultural year was a critical item in Egypt. It had to be timed precisely. Tourists normally visit Egypt when it is green or in harvest but...
"through the summer... those same fields (are) parched and burned under a pitiless sun... dust devils driving across the arid surface... the muddy yellow river giving an almost sinister aspect... then see the country again with water across the whole land... the dark-red river running bank high; then the sinking of the flood and almost incredibly swift burst of verdure." (Page xxii; The Splendor that was Egypt by Margaret A. Murray.)
Pharaohs began their year of reign counting from the date of heliacal rise of Sirius and the rise of the Nile. A five-day festival preceded this rise. The harvest was over and thus any celebration was certainly a harvest festival. The 360-work days of the year were conveniently divided into 3 seasons of 120 days, then into 4 months of 30 days each. The 30-day month could be divided evenly into sixths, fifths, thirds, and tenths. A ten day "week" was used. The suggestion of Egyptologist today that the 360-day year was allowed to progress through the seasons without the addition of five days at the end is an insult to the intelligence of the men who built Egypt, and the fellah as well who tilled the soil of Egypt. Five and sometimes (every fourth year) six days had to be added to keep this 360-day agricultural year in step with the Nile and Sirius as well.
A Lunar-Solar Calendar before the Exodus?
The Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt took place 430 years after the covenant with Abraham when he was age 99. This covenant was a year prior to the birth of Isaac. Historians point out that Isaac was about 25 years old at the time his father placed him upon the altar as a sacrifice. Jewish tradition states that this event took place on the same day the Passover was later instituted! Arab tradition holds that he was offered at the site of the temple. Now note the amazing statement from Scripture. The children of Israel left Egypt 430 years "even to the selfsame day"! We now have four events; the covenant with Abraham, the offering of Isaac, the Passover in Egypt and Exodus, and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ all apparently on the 14th and 15th of Nisan. Yet the events cover almost two millennia. Does a single calendar span the entire time? The following excerpts from Scripture emphasize a strong similarity between events long separated in time. Are they to be dated one. on an Egyptian system and the other two on a God-given Sacred Calendar? Or all events on one Calendar? First, Abraham (and Isaac)'s trial:
"...Take now thy son,... into the land of Moriah: and offer there... upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here... I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you... My son, God will provide himself a lamb... Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son... the angel of the LORD called unto him... behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham... offered him up... instead of his son." Genesis 22:2-13.
Second, the Exodus:
"...In the tenth day of this month they shall take every man a lamb... without blemish a male... ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month." Exodus 12:3-6.
Third, the Crucifixion:
"And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." John 19:17, 18. "And many women were there beholding afar off which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:" Matthew 27:55. "The soldiers... when they came, to Jesus... saw that he was dead already.. one of the soldiers with a spear (had) pierced his side... that the scripture should be fulfilled, a bone of him shall not be broken." John 19:32-36.
Four days earlier on the tenth of Nisan, on the weekly Sabbath, Christ had been selected by the people of Jerusalem hopefully as their deliverer from Roman bondage, yet in reality as their Passover Lamb. Geology fills in additional details of these events of these days. Golgotha, the site of Christ's crucifixion, today has the appearance of a skull. It was called the "place of the skull" 1900 years ago at the time of the Crucifixion. While the original rock surface has slowly eroded away, the appearance remains rather constant because it is due to the geologic structure in the limestone beneath.
A Sacrifice on a Threshing Floor?
Arab tradition is that Isaac was offered on the site of the Mosque of Omar, on the rock, the threshing floor that was in use prior to the use of the site for the temple of Solomon. But is Arab tradition correct? Would Isaac have been offered here and Jesus Christ half mile to the north? The Scriptures supposedly say he was offered on Mount Moriah. But do they? A closer examination shows Abraham was to take his son to the mountains of Moriah, to the place "which I will tell thee of." Consider that they went a three-day journey, then camped, where they "saw the place" and leaving the servants behind went further to that place. How many days does three plus an additional move make? If Isaac was offered by Abram on the 14th of Nisan, then on what day was he, in type, selected to be sacrificed? Obviously on the tenth. They travelled three days, camped possibly near the site of the present Mosque of Omar, then after sunset in the early evening on the fourteenth day of the month, Abraham and his son, Isaac, were on Golgotha. The time and place were the same as those 1900 years later when God the Father saw His Son being offered as the Passover Lamb. Why not on the site of the temple? Would a human sacrifice be asked on a threshing floor where human blood would mix with human food? Would even a lamb be offered and its blood allowed to run on a rock surface that grain would later cover? The answer seems obvious. Any sacrifice would be made outside the camp. But the significance with regard to the calendar is also startling.
Even to the Selfsame Day
How could a 430-year period pass and time be counted to the selfsame day unless the timekeeping system Abraham used was identical to that revealed to Moses at the time of the Exodus? Now the mystery of the Stonehenge will solve itself. Leaving the stone temples of Egypt where the heavens could be watched closely and compared with earlier alignments, the children of Israel were going out into the desert into a new land. The agricultural seasons were going to be different. There would be four seasons instead of three. The year would begin in spring as Abraham had previously observed it. A week with a seventh day of rest would be observed. The 360-day year of the Egyptians would be discarded. The original lunar-solar calendar would displace the solar calendar of Egypt. Praise given the New World Calendar with its neat four seasons, each 91 days in length, with its 12 months each with the same number of working days, its disregard for the continuity of the seven-day week and the Sabbath, is turning our nation back once more to the calendar of Osiris. The New World Calendar is merely a modification of the original 360-day work year with a five-day period of festivities. Yet the "spirit" behind it is the same. A week with a rest period on its first day has been added. That day was observed in honor of the sun by the Babylonians. Was it also observed in Egypt? Thus we complete the picture, one calendar dating at least back to Abraham. The other with its origin in Egypt and going back to Cush and Nimrod.