Torah Calendar: 5th Day Start vs 4th Day

About a year ago I had an “Aha!” moment about the calendar put forth in Torah.  At the time I was of the understanding that there were 12 “chodesh” in a year and 30 days in each “chodesh” based on what the Bible says.

I read in the Book of Enoch that there were precisely 364 days in a year. The extra days were quarterly divider days that come between the 3rd & 4th chodesh, the 6th & 7th chodesh, 9th and 10th chodesh, and the 12th and 1st chodesh of the next year. Enoch describes them as what we might commonly refer to as the solstices & equinoxes.

With a 364-day year, it is divisible by seven, thereby making a particular day of the year fall on the same day of the week (or 7-day pattern), from year to year. My question at that point was,  “Which days of the year were Sabbath days?

My initial thought was, “the seventh day of the year would have been the first Sabbath day.” That sounded logical to me, but it didn’t sit right in my spirit.

Then I came across the discovery of the Qumran calendar found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. This calendar supposes the first day of the year to be on the 4th day of the 7-day pattern because it is on that day the luminaries were put into the heavens to be “for days and years”.

That sounded even more logical to me, but that meant the first Sabbath of the year was on the 4th day (of the year). Again, that didn’t sit right with me in my spirit.

Please understand I had been studying the calendar for several years at that point…I looked at every reference of “day”, “night”, “week”, “shabbath”, “chodesh” and “year”. I paid attention to the enumerated days in Scripture…I mean I studied them, not just noticed them.

Don’t get me wrong, there was still more for me to learn about each of these things, but my point is that I wasn’t a novice when it came to these terms being used throughout the Bible. This is why I say, these “logical” notions didn’t sit right in my spirit.

Then about this time last year, a friend posted a blog about when he thought the Sabbath day was in the year, and I found several holes in his premise that jumped out at me at the offset of his article. I began to seek the Father about this matter again, after having pushed it aside temporarily.

My Aha! Moment

Shortly thereafter, I had my “aha!” moment in the parking lot of the EW Thomas Grocery. My husband ran into the store to get a few items and the thought hit me, “What if the Day of Atonement was a 7th day Sabbath?” My next thought was, “When did the ark come to rest on Mt Ararat?

I quickly turned in my Bible to the account in Genesis 8, and sure enough it was on the 17th day of the 7th chodesh…7 days after the date for the Day of Atonement!

So I grabbed a scrap of paper and began to sketch out a 7-column grid and started filling in the numbers, starting with the Day of Atonement in the 7th column. Using the format that Enoch testifies to: 30,30,30,1,30,30,30,1,30,30,30,1,30,30,30,1, I filled in the days of each chodesh going backwards in the year.

By this time my husband was back in the car, and I was getting excited because I saw that the 22nd day of the 2nd chodesh fell out in the 7th column…which is the day I believe Exodus 16 refers to as a Sabbath day. And then, bam! the clincher for me: When I went all the way back to the first chodesh, this model revealed the first Sabbath of the year was on “the 3rd day“!

Bells went off in my head (figuratively, of course), and I was so excited to get back home and look at the spreadsheet on my computer where I had been mapping all this stuff out in my studies. You see, “the third day” is the second most popular enumerated day in Scripture (next to the 7th day being the first). So many significant events happen “on the third day”. They don’t ever say “the third day of the week” or even “the third day of the month”, it’s typically just used as “the third day” from a particular event.

Anyway, I started plopping into this model various dates given in Torah, and I found some rather significant things…well, I thought they were significant anyway. The more I tested this model, the more I became convinced *this* is the model used in Torah. This meant the first day of the year was the 5th day of the 7-day pattern.

I have since come in contact with several folks who hold to the calendar model found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls, believing the first day of the year falls on the 4th day of the 7-day pattern. So I put together a .pdf to demonstrate these two calendar models side by side, along with every reference of a date given in Torah.

Check it out for yourself. Please pray about it before drawing any concrete conclusions. Look at the passages in their fuller contexts and try to consider these two possibilities objectively. Also, read through the account of the Exodus, starting back when Moses was to ask Pharaoh to “let my people go…on a 3-days journey…” all the way up through Deuteronomy when Moses speaks to the next generation right before they were to enter the promised land. See if anything pops out at you, like it did for me.

I have found this particular part of my journey very thrilling because all of a sudden many of these dates that once just seemed like insignificant markers in time really did matter. The chronology of events took on more life for me. Very cool, I think. The answer to “When is the Sabbath day?” has been there all along. 😉

Torah Calendar: 5th Day Start vs 4th Day Start

Questions or Comments? Please share them below.

About Messyanic

Homesteading Wife, Homeschooling Mom and perpetual Bible student, continually taking the road less traveled. (@messyanic)
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5 Responses to Torah Calendar: 5th Day Start vs 4th Day

  1. Shawn & Amy chapin says:

    Todah for the great info on your site ! we are very thankful for finding it! we have been on the same path for a few years now, and have to say its been very lonely and trying as most seem to want to come against you when you truly take the step of faith to come out of Babylon and to walk the narrow path of truth…. its a blessing to find others of like mind and seeking ABBA’S truth over mans opinions of it ! much shalom upon your home !!!!

    • Isha says:

      Thank you Shawn and Amy for your comment! I’m sorry I had not responded sooner to you. I think it’s awesome to find people walking along the same path when you know they came from a different direction than you. Shalom to you and yours as you continue to seek out our Father’s ways and walk in them. 😉

  2. Ricardo Rousseau says:

    and here i thought i was the only one that felt the first weekly Sabbath of the year fell on the 3rd day of Abib ! This is what i have been stressing to my brothers and sisters for the LONGEST but they are so set on the Dead Sea Scroll’s “Gregorian interpretation” on the weekly count ! Now the next question is is your calendar in line with the luminaries or is it adjusted to the Gregorian Calendar system ? I personally align the 5th day start with the luminaries. This pushed the weekly Sabbath to Sunday evenings. This method also fell in line with the Blood Moons. 1st Day of Un. Bread fell on a blood moon and the Day of Atonement was on a weekly Sabbath which was the second blood moon. Both Holy days are symbolically and prophetically connected with the shedding of “Blood”. Not attacking your method, just curios to know.

    • Isha says:

      Thanks for commenting, Ricardo! First, I want to point out that *I* don’t have a calendar, but I understand the sentiment behind your question. We’ve been rebooting our count for the Sabbath at the start of each year (*and* at the fall equinox). I don’t know if we should have rebooted at the fall equinox, though. I’m still trying to understand how each of the twelve chodeshim (“months”) are determined. (I don’t believe the moon plays a role in determining *each* “chodesh”) I think it has something to do with the sun in conjunction with the stars, but I don’t know how exactly yet.

      • Ricardo Rousseau says:

        I appreciate the response !
        Can I email you a sample of the calendar i’m using ? It’s an excel file.

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