THE EARLY SACRED CALENDAR In this chapter evidence is presented that leads to a rather startling conclusion. The full answer to the problem is not yet available. Questions: Does the Sacred Calendar with its 19-year lunar-solar pattern go back only to the Exodus? Or does it go back to Creation? The Jews consider that it goes back to Creation.
What of the 360-day year that is apparent in Noah's account of the Flood and in prophecy? Did the moon actually go around the earth in 30 days? Or did both Abraham and Moses ignore the moon and use the Egyptian system until the Exodus? More questions are asked than answered by the material presented. The conclusion reached is to be considered tentative. It is intended to provoke further study by those who have specialized in the various areas.
Type of Passover Before Exodus? Was the Sacred Calendar in existence prior to the Exodus? Or did it only begin when God said to Moses, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you." How then could it be said, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years. And it came to pass at the end of the 430 years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Eternal went out from the land of Egypt"? (Exodus 12:40, 41.)
How could the children of Israel leave Egypt 430 years (from the date of the covenant with Abraham when he was 99) even to the selfsame day, unless a very careful count of days as well as years had been kept? Which calendar was used for the count of days and years? The Egyptian solar calendar? Then would we assume a that even Abraham 430 years earlier counted time apart from the lunar months which Egypt's calendar lacked?
Weigh the significance of the following calculations carefully. If 430 tropical years were meant, the product would be 157,054.1484 days or (divided by 29.5300588) 5,318.4501442 synodic months. The .45 of a month is about 13 1/3 days, meaning that the trial of Abraham (and of Isaac) would have been a few days after a new moon, and thus not near the 15th day of a lunar-solar calendar.
Suppose the Julian calendar year of 365.25 days is used. The result is 157,057.5 days and 5,318.5637408 synodic months. The .56 of a month would be about 16 3/4 days, putting the event of the offering of Isaac a few days before the new moon.
If on the other hand Moses was referring to the Egyptian calendar year of 365 days (with no leap year) then the product is 156,950 days. The number of months now is 5,314.9233824 bringing us close to another full moon but the .92 is about 27 1/3 days, not the required 29 or 30. And what is worse is that the too-short Egyptian calendar has allowed this date to drift 2 1/2 months away from the spring equinox, certainly an untenable result. And it would imply that the patriarchs used this pagan Egyptian calendar to record two of the most vital moments in the history of Israel.
Only a lunar-solar calendar would bring us to another full moon (15th day of the month) close to a spring equinox 430 years earlier: The fact that 430 is not evenly divisible by 19 proves this conclusively.
We know Israel left Egypt the night of the 15th of Nisan in the light of the full moon and that every Passover since has been held at the time of the full moon. Only a lunar-solar calendar would put the time of Abraham's trial on the 15th day of a lunar month.
Geology and Golgotha Consider the time and place of the Crucifixion. What does Golgotha look like today? How did it appear nineteen hundred years ago? thirty-eight hundred years ago? Where was Isaac offered "in the land of Moriah... upon one of the mountains which I tell thee of." (Genesis 22:2.)
The Place of the Skull The crucifixion of Christ took place at the "place of a skull" or Golgotha. (Matthew 27:33.) The location of Golgotha north of the temple area seems rather obvious today for it still has the appearance of a skull. Geology (and some quarrying) has had 1900 years to alter the appearance, yet it remains basically unchanged. Why?
The erosion and weathering of this geological formation depends on the structure and the hardness of the rocks that constitute it. If we were to look 1900 years into the future, would it still have the shape of a skull? Probably so. Unless some unknown geological event were to take place, we would expect the appearance to be basically the same.
"The Latin calvaria ("a bare skull") is a translation of the word kranion, which the Greek Evangelists used to interpret the Hebrew Golgotha." (The Universal Standard Encyclopedia, article "Golgotha.")
What then was the appearance of Golgotha 1900 years prior to the crucifixion? Assuming a measure of uniformity, it might have had the appearance of a skull then too. It could have been selected for that very reason. Quarrying has been done in this region. Had early inhabitants of Jerusalem obtained building stone here?
The Mosque of Omar Muslims today claim that Abraham offered Isaac on the spot where the temple was later built. They have built the Mosque of Omar on this place. It had originally been a threshing floor on the outskirts of the original city of Jerusalem. Abraham saw this city as he passed by on the way to Egypt.
Was Isaac actually offered on the site of the Mosque of Omar? Was Isaac offered on this hill and Christ on a hill to the north? Would any threshing floor be used for a sacrifice? Did Abraham spill the blood Ľof a ram on this area set aside to accommodate grain, human food?
Set Aside on the Tenth Consider that Abraham went a 3-day journey and saw the place from afar. (Genesis 22:4.) To be seen from afar a place must have a distinctive appearance. Abraham made camp and left his servants (verse 5), then took Isaac and went to this appointed place. Was it Golgotha? The alternatives are other nearby hilltops. The Mosque of Omar is visible from Golgotha today even with buildings between. Both are elevations above the surrounding area.
Was Isaac selected as a type of the "Passover Lamb" on the tenth day of Nisan? If so, then we have direct evidence of the Sacred calendar before the time of Moses. We can also understand how Israel left Egypt 430 years, "even to the selfsame day," from the time of the covenant with Abraham. The day referred to was the time of Isaac's sacrifice, not the time 24 years earlier when God said to Abraham, "Walk before me and be perfect." (Genesis 17:1.)
Alternative Locations We then question whether Isaac was selected on the 10th day of the month, spent three days traveling with Abraham to the vicinity of Jerusalem, then was offered on the 14th day of the month as a type of Christ. Nineteen centuries later the same scene is re-enacted. Christ is selected by the people as the Passover Lamb on so-called "Palm Sunday" (which was really a Sabbath). Christ's crucifixion took place on the 14th of Nisan.
The alternative is to believe without evidence that the offering of Isaac by Abram was not at the site of the crucifixion, and that it was not on the 14th of Nisan. The evidence in favor is that God does not change.
A Feast of Tabernacles for Egypt The children of Israel had been slaves under the Egyptian 360-day calendar, enjoying no Sabbath and no pattern of festival observance other than a 5-day festive period held prior to the June 21 appearance of Sirius. Consider the reasons for this Egyptian calendar pattern. Weigh also the fact of prophecy that it is Egypt that will hesitate to "come up to Jerusalem... to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
The flood time of the Nile made a solar calendar ideal. Irrigation rather than rainfall waters the Nile valley. Egypt does not depend upon seasonal rainfall today! The rainfall predicted for many areas is zero! And the building of dams has ensured a continual supply of water.
But note Zechariah 14:17, 18. "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."
Egypt is singled out and threatened with "plague" as well as "no rain." Egypt doesn't depend on rainfall in Egypt but the Nile waters are certainly the result of rain. Earthquakes and climatic change accompany Christ's arrival.
What if the mountains were pushed down and the heavy rains in Abysinnia which cause the Nile to flood fell elsewhere? What if earthquakes changed the course of the Nile before it reached Egypt?
So long as the Nile floods on time and dams can be built, rainless Egypt is not going to want to keep any Feast of Tabernacles tied to a lunar-solar calendar.
(See picture in Original PDF, Page 18a) The Egyptians used their eastern horizon and the heliacal rise of stars (especially Sirius) to indicate the time of year. Had they used the celestial meridian (as we do to indicate whether the sun is A.M. or P.M.) the fluctuating declination (due to the precession of the equinoxes) would have been of far less consequence. The rise of Sirius (and other stars) heliacally with the sun would then have approximated the sidereal year (365.256304) rather closely.
Because they used the eastern horizon and (at Heliopolis) were situated at 30 degrees north latitude, their Sirius year was measurably shorter during the year -2500 to - 1000 during which time it followed the length of the Julian calendar (365.25) closely. The Nile rise however averaged 365.2422 (the length of the tropical year) in that the rise is caused by the return of the seasons.
For the next two millennia the Sirius year approximated the sidereal year. Declination reached a minimum in the seventh century and has been increasing since that time. The length of the Sirius year since the year 1000 has been longer than the sidereal year by about the same amount it had previously been too short.