Publication date
2/1/08
Volume
29
Number
3
The WatchTower
The Passover in the First Month
/../literature/watchtower/1908/3/1908-3-1.html
 
 
VOL. 
XXIX 
ALLEGHENY, 
A., 
FEBRUARY 
1, 
1908 
No.3 
1st 
day 
of 
Passover 
are 
the 
fasts 
of 
Tamuz 
and 
Ab. 
2nd 
day 
of 
Passover 
is 
the 
first 
day 
of 
Sebuot 
and 
Hosana 
Raba. 
3rd 
day 
of 
Passover 
is 
the 
first 
day 
of 
New 
Year 
and 
Taber­ 
nacle. 
4th 
day 
of 
Passover 
is 
the 
Rejoicing 
of 
the 
Law. 
5th 
day 
of 
Passover 
is 
the 
Kippur, 
the 
day 
of 
Atonement. 
THE 
PASSOVER 
IN 
THE 
FIRST 
MONTH 
one 
month 
29 
and 
the 
following 
30 
days. 
When 
month 
has 
30 
days, 
the 
last 
day 
of 
the 
month 
and 
the 
following 
day 
ar~ 
both 
kept 
as 
New 
Moon, 
on 
the 
principle 
that 
holiday 
can· 
not 
be 
kept 
part 
of 
day. 
The 
30th 
day 
being 
half 
in 
the 
preceding 
month 
and 
half 
in 
the 
new 
moon, 
the 
whole 
day 
is 
made 
holiday, 
and 
the 
following 
as 
matter 
of 
course, 
trom 
its 
being 
the 
first 
whole 
day 
of 
the 
new 
moon. 
That 
this 
rule 
was 
followed 
in 
ancient 
times, 
is 
to 
be 
seen 
in 
Sam. 
20 
:5, 
27. 
"It 
will 
have 
been 
seen 
that 
by 
this 
arrangement 
there 
is 
yet 
deficiency 
every 
month 
of 
44 
min., 
3* 
sec., 
making 
nearly 
hours 
in 
years 
of 
12 
months. 
To 
make 
up 
this 
de­ 
ficiency 
one 
day 
is 
added 
to 
Hesvan 
every 
second 
or 
third 
year, 
by 
which 
that 
month 
then 
consists 
of 
30 
days. 
When 
Hesvan 
has 
30 
days, 
Kislev 
invariably 
has 
the 
same. 
Without 
Hesvan 
having 
30 
days, 
Kislev 
is 
sometimes 
made 
30, 
which 
is 
done 
to 
prevent 
Passover 
happening 
on 
Monday, 
Wednesday 
or 
Friday, 
for 
as 
that 
festival 
regulates 
all 
the 
other 
holidays, 
it 
is 
ar­ 
ranged 
that 
none 
may 
fall 
on 
days 
on 
which 
they 
could 
not 
be 
properly 
observed. 
On 
the 
same 
day 
of 
the 
week 
as 
the 
Considerable 
difficulty 
is 
experienced 
by 
many 
in 
harmoniz· 
ing 
our 
solar 
calendar 
with 
that 
of 
the 
Jews, 
which 
is 
built 
upon 
an 
association 
of 
lunar 
and 
solar 
time. 
We 
tender 
assistance 
to 
such 
by 
quoting 
an 
extract 
from 
Smith's 
Bible 
Dictionary 
on 
the 
subject-followed 
by 
an 
extract 
from 
the 
Hebrew 
chronologist. 
Lindo 
on 
the 
same 
subject. 
Smith's 
Bible 
Dictionary 
says:- 
'The 
characteristics 
of 
the 
year 
instituted 
at 
the 
Exodus 
can 
be 
clearly 
determined, 
though 
we 
cannot 
absolutely 
fix 
those 
of 
any 
certain 
year. 
There 
can 
be 
no 
doubt 
that 
it 
was 
essentially 
tropical, 
since 
certain 
observances 
connected 
with 
the 
produce 
of 
the 
land 
were 
fixed 
to 
particular 
days. 
It 
is 
equally 
clear 
that 
the 
months 
were 
lunar, 
each 
commencing 
with 
new 
moon. 
It 
would 
appear, 
therefore, 
that 
there 
must 
have 
been 
some 
mode 
of 
adjustment. 
To 
decide 
what 
this 
was, 
it 
was 
necessary 
first 
to 
ascertain 
when 
the 
year 
commenced. 
On 
the 
16th 
of 
Abib 
ripe 
ears 
of 
corn 
were 
to 
be 
offered 
as 
first­ 
fruits 
of 
the 
harvest. 
(Lev. 
2:14; 
23:10, 
11.) 
The 
rel&ping 
of 
the 
barley 
commenced 
the 
harvest 
(2 
Sam. 
21:9), 
the 
wheat 
following. 
(Ruth 
:23.) 
It 
is 
therefore 
necessary 
to 
find 
when 
the 
barley 
becomes 
ripe 
in 
Palestine. 
According 
to 
the 
ob· 
servation 
of 
travelers, 
the 
barley 
is 
ripe, 
in 
the 
warmest 
parts 
of 
the 
country, 
in 
the 
first 
days 
of 
April. 
The 
barley 
harvest, 
then, 
commences 
about 
half 
month 
after 
the 
vernal 
equinox, 
so 
that 
the 
year 
would 
begin 
at 
about 
that 
tropical 
point, 
were 
it 
not 
divided 
into 
lunar 
months. 
We 
may 
conclude 
that 
the 
nearest 
new 
moon 
about 
or 
after 
the 
equinox, 
but 
not 
much 
before, 
was 
chosen 
as 
the 
commencement 
of 
the 
year. 
The 
method 
of 
intercalation 
can 
only 
have 
been 
that 
which 
obtained 
after 
the 
Captivity-the 
addition 
of 
thirteenth 
month 
when· 
ever 
the 
twelfth 
ended 
too 
long 
before 
the 
equinox 
for 
the 
first· 
fruits 
of 
the 
harvest 
to 
be 
offered 
in 
the 
middle 
of 
the 
month 
following, 
and 
the 
similar 
offerings 
at 
the 
times 
appointed." 
Extracts 
from 
IAndo: 
"The 
Jewish 
year 
is 
luni·solar, 
for 
although 
the 
months 
are 
lunar, 
our 
calculations 
being 
founded 
on 
the 
lunar 
cycle, 
every 
19th 
year 
we 
come 
to 
the 
same 
date 
in 
the 
solar 
year. 
The 
cycle 
contains 
235 
lunations, 
which 
we 
divide 
into 
twelve 
years 
of 
12 
months, 
and 
seven 
(termed 
Embolismic) 
of 
13 
months. 
"The 
celebrated 
mathematician 
Meton 
of 
Athens, 
who 
flourished 
B. 
C. 
432, 
which 
was 
in 
the 
reign 
of 
Zedekiah. 
A.M. 
3328, 
made 
the 
same 
division 
of 
time, 
but 
by 
making 
every 
third 
year 
embolismic, 
the 
18th 
and 
19th 
were 
both 
of 
13 
months; 
by 
our 
arrangement 
the 
solar 
and 
lunar 
years 
are 
better 
equalized. 
"Consequently, 
were 
the 
first 
day 
on 
Monday, 
Purim 
would 
be 
on 
Saturday 
and 
Kippur 
on 
Friday, 
days 
on 
which 
neither 
could 
be 
observed. 
If 
it 
were 
on 
Wednesday, 
Kippur 
would 
be 
on 
Sunday, 
on 
which 
it 
could 
not 
be 
kept; 
the 
reason 
is 
that 
as 
Kippur 
has 
the 
same 
strict 
ordinances 
as 
Sabbath, 
it 
cannot 
precede 
or 
follow 
the 
Sabbath. 
If 
it 
were 
on 
Friday, 
Hosana 
Raba 
would 
be 
on 
Saturday, 
day 
on 
which 
the 
cere· 
monies 
of 
it 
could 
not 
be 
observed. 
By 
the 
above 
regulation, 
it 
will 
be 
seen 
that 
Rosh 
Ashana 
can 
never 
fall 
on 
Sunday, 
Wednesday 
or 
Friday. 
"This 
holiday 
is 
to 
be 
observed 
on 
the 
day 
of 
the 
con­ 
junction, 
with 
the 
following 
exceptions:- 
"1. 
If 
the 
conjunction 
takes 
place 
on 
Sunday 
Wednesday 
or 
Friday, 
the 
holiday 
is 
to 
be 
kept 
on 
the 
following 
day, 
as 
in 
5604. 
"2. 
If 
the 
conjunction 
should 
happen 
after 
noon, 
the 
fol­ 
lowing 
day 
is 
to 
be 
observed, 
and 
if 
that 
should 
happen 
to 
be 
· 
Sunday, 
Wednesday 
or 
Friday, 
the 
next 
is 
to 
be 
kept, 
as 
in 
ays 
rs. 
m. 
ec. 
5601. 
19 
years, 
according 
to 
Rab 
Ada 
.•. 
6939 
16 
33 
3% 
"3. 
If 
the 
conjunction 
takes 
place 
in 
an 
ordinary 
year 
on 
235 
lunar 
months 
6939 
16 
33 
3% 
Tuesday, 
on 
or 
after 
9h., 
11m., 
20s. 
A.M., 
it 
is 
not 
to 
be 
ob- 
"The 
year 
is 
of 
three 
kinds, 
perfect, 
common 
and 
imperfect. 
served 
thereon, 
and 
as 
it 
may 
not 
be 
kept 
on 
Wednesday, 
it 
The 
perfect 
has 
355 
days, 
and 
is 
when 
the 
months 
of 
Hesvan 
will 
be 
observed 
on 
Thursday, 
as 
in 
5616. 
An 
objection 
may 
and 
Kislev 
have 
each 
30 
days. 
The 
common, 
354 
days, 
when 
be 
made 
to 
this, 
as 
New 
Year 
should 
be 
observed 
on 
the 
day 
Hesvan 
has 
29 
and 
Kislev 
30. 
The 
imperfect, 
353 
days, 
when 
of 
conjunction, 
but 
were 
it 
to 
be 
so 
kept, 
the 
preceding 
month 
both 
have 
only 
29. 
The 
embolismic 
year 
is 
formed 
by 
the 
intro· 
of 
Elul 
would 
only 
be 
of 
27 
or 
28 
days, 
and 
month 
can 
never 
duction 
of 
an 
intercalary 
month, 
immediately 
after 
Adar, 
which 
be 
less 
than 
29. 
is 
called 
Ve-adar, 
or 
Second 
Adar. 
The 
year 
then 
consists 
"4. 
The 
conjunction 
being 
on 
Monday, 
on 
or 
after 
3:30:52 
of 
385, 
384, 
or 
383 
days, 
according 
to 
the 
rule 
above. 
The 
P.M., 
in 
year 
immediately 
following 
an 
embolismic, 
the 
holi­ 
reason 
of 
the 
introduction 
at 
that 
period 
is 
that 
the 
Passover 
day 
is 
to 
be 
kept 
on 
Tuesday, 
as 
in 
5617. 
This 
occurs 
but 
may 
be 
kept 
in 
its 
proper 
season, 
which 
is 
the 
full 
moon 
of 
seldom. 
the 
vernal 
equinox, 
or 
after 
the 
sun 
has 
entered 
Aries; 
it 
is 
"Our 
embolismic 
years 
are 
Nos. 
3, 
6, 
8, 
11, 
14, 
17, 
19 
of 
indifferent 
at 
what 
period 
of 
it 
the 
full 
moon 
happens, 
but 
each 
cycle. 
it 
must 
be 
kept 
while 
the 
sun 
is 
in 
that 
sign. 
That 
time 
"Although 
the 
Gregorian 
calculations 
have 
been 
made 
with 
was 
fixed 
for 
its 
observance 
is 
shown 
in 
Numbers 
:2, 
'Let 
great 
nicety 
they 
are 
still 
imperfect, 
and 
other 
alterations 
the 
children 
of 
Israel 
also 
keep 
the 
Passover 
at 
its 
appointed 
must 
take 
place 
in 
future 
ages. 
As 
proof 
the 
Council 
season. 
of 
Nice 
ordered 
that 
Easter 
should 
not 
be 
kept 
on 
the 
same 
"That 
our 
months 
have 
always 
been 
lunar 
is 
shown 
by 
day 
as 
the 
first 
day 
of 
Passover, 
in 
order 
that 
there 
might 
Kings 
:38, 
'And 
the 
eleventh 
year 
in 
the 
month 
Bul, 
which 
is 
be 
no 
appearance 
of 
Judaism 
in 
it; 
'Ne 
videantur 
Judaizare, 
the 
eighth 
month,' 
etc. 
By 
reference 
to 
the 
Hebrew 
text 
to 
prevent 
which 
they 
ordered 
its 
observance 
on 
the 
Sunday 
it 
will 
be 
seen 
that 
the 
two 
words 
translated 
month 
are 
dif- 
after 
the 
full 
moon, 
Passover 
being 
always 
kept 
on 
the 
day 
ferent, 
the 
first 
being 
derived 
from 
the 
word' 
moon,' 
the 
latter 
of 
the 
full 
moon; 
and 
yet 
in 
1825 
both 
were 
kept 
on 
the 
same 
from 
'innovation.' 
Our 
months 
are 
the 
following:- 
day." 
~isri 
29" 
.~~ 
~ays 
-W. 
isan 
30 
days 
From 
the 
foregoing 
it 
will 
be 
seen 
that, 
with 
every 
en. 
esvan 
or 
ays 
lar 
29 
days 
deavor 
to 
reach 
exactly 
the 
date 
specified 
in 
their 
Law 
for 
the 
Kislev 
29 
or 
30 
days 
Sivan 
30 
days 
Passover, 
the 
Jews 
have 
difficulty, 
and 
often 
there 
is 
of 
neces- 
Tebet 
29 
days 
Tamuz 
29 
days 
sity 
choice 
between 
two 
days 
equally 
appropriate. 
However, 
Sebat 
30 
days 
Ab 
30 
days 
they 
follow 
the 
guidance 
of 
their 
leaders 
in 
this 
matter 
and 
Adar 
29 
days 
Elul 
29 
days 
t' 
ave 
um 
orml 
ce 
ra 
lOn, 
ms 
ea 
eac 
one 
trymg 
"In 
the 
embolismic 
years, 
Adar 
has 
30, 
and 
the 
inter· 
to 
fix 
the 
date 
and 
celebrating 
according 
to 
his 
personal 
knowl- 
calary 
month 
Ve-adar 
29. 
edge, 
convenience 
or 
preference. 
And 
this 
measure 
of 
sub· 
"As 
lunation 
from 
one 
conjunction 
to 
another, 
termed 
serviency 
to 
leaders 
was 
endorsed 
by 
our 
Lord, 
who 
said, 
"The 
synodical 
month, 
has 
29:12:44:3%, 
being 
29% 
days 
and 
Scribes 
and 
Pharisees 
sit 
in 
Moses' 
seat; 
whatsoever 
there­ 
about 
%, 
hour, 
it 
could 
not 
be 
better 
arranged 
than 
by 
making 
fore 
they 
bid 
you 
observe, 
that 
observe 
and 
do." 
(Matt. 
23 
:3.) 
[4127] 
(35-3 
6) 
Vou. XXIX ALLEGHENY, PA., FEBRUARY 1, 1908 No. 3 THE PASSOVER IN THE FIRST MONTH Considerable difficulty is experienced by many in harmonizing our solar calendar with that of the Jews, which is built upon an association of lunar and solar time. We tender assistance to such by quoting an extract from Smith’s Bible Dictionary on the subject—followed by an extract from the Hebrew chronologist. Lindo on the same subject. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says:— “The characteristics of the year instituted at the Exodus can be clearly determined, though we cannot absolutely fix those of any certain year. There can be no doubt that it was essentially tropical, since certain observances connected with the produce of the land were fixed to particular days. It is equally clear that the months were lunar, each commencing with anew moon. It would appear, therefore, that there must have been some mode of adjustment. To decide what this was, it was necessary first to ascertain when the year commenced. On the 16th of Abib ripe ears of corn were to be offered as firstfruits of the harvest. (Lev. 2:14; 23:10, 11.) The reaping of the barley commenced the harvest (2 Sam. 21:9), the wheat following. (Ruth 2:23.) It is therefore necessary to find when the barley becomes ripe in Palestine. According to the observation of travelers, the barley is ripe, in the warmest parts of the country, in the first days of April. The barley harvest, then, commences about half a month after the vernal equinox, so that the year would begin at about that tropical point, were it not divided into lunar months. We may conclude that the nearest new moon about or after the equinox, but not much before, was chosen as the commencement of the year. The method of intercalation can only have been that which obtained after the Captivity—the addition of a thirteenth month whenever the twelfth ended too long before the equinox for the firstfruits of the harvest to be offered in the middle of the month following, and the similar offerings at the times appointed.’’ Extracts from Lindo: ‘‘The Jewish year is luni-solar, for although the months are lunar, our calculations being founded on the lunar cyele, every 19th year we come to the same date in the solar year. The cycle contains 235 lunations, which we divide into twelve years of 12 months, and seven (termed Embolismic) of 13 months, ‘‘The celebrated mathematician Meton of Athens, who flourished B. C. 432, which was in the reign of Zedekiah, a.m. 3328, made the same division of time, but by making every third year embolismic, the 18th and 19th were both of 13 months; by our arrangement the solar and lunar years are better equalized. Days Hrs. Min. See. 19 years, according to Rab Ada..... -- 6989 16 33 38% 235 lunar months.............0.005- 6939 16 33 3% ‘*The year is of three kinds, perfect, common and imperfect. The perfect has 355 days, and is when the months of Hesvan and Kislev have each 30 days. The common, 354 days, when Hesvan has 29 and Kislev 30. The imperfect, 353 days, when both have only 29. The embolismic year is formed by the introduction of an intercalary month, immediately after Adar, which is called Ve-adar, or Second Adar. The year then consists of 385, 384, or 383 days, according to the rule above. The reason of the introduction at that period is that the Passover may be kept in its proper season, which is the full moon of the vernal equinox, or after the sun has entered Aries; it is indifferent at what period of it the full moon happens, but it must be kept while the sun is in that sign. That a time was fixed for its observance is shown in Numbers 9:2, ‘Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at its appointed season.’ ‘*That our months have always been lunar is shown by 1 Kings 6:38, ‘And the eleventh year in the month Bul, which is the eighth month,’ etc. By a reference to the Hebrew text it will be seen that the two words translated mouth are different, the first being derived from the word ‘moon,’ the latter from ‘innovation.’ Our months are the following:— Tisri .......e eae, 30 days Nisan ............ 30 days Hesvan ...... 29or30 days Yiar .............. 29 days Kislev ....... 29 or 30 days Sivan ............. 30 days Tebet ..........6.- 29 days Tamuz ............ 29 days Sebat ............- 30 days Ab ............... 30 days Adar ....c.ceeeaee 29 days HElul .............. 29 days ‘In the embolismie years, Adar has 30, and the intercalary month Ve-adar 29. ‘As a lunation from one conjunction to another, termed & synodical month, has 29:12:44:314, being 2914 days and about % hour, it could not be better arranged than by making [4127] one month 29 and the following 30 days. When a month has 30 days, the last day of the month and the following day are both kept as New Moon, on the principle that a holiday cannot be kept part of a day. The 30th day being half in the preceding month and half in the new moon, the whole day is made a holiday, and the following as a matter of course, from its being the first whole day of the new moon. That this rule was followed in ancient times, is to be seen in 1 Sam. 20:5, 27. “‘It will have been seen that by this arrangement there is yet a deficiency every month of 44 min., 344 sec., making nearly 9 hours in years of 12 months. To make up this deficiency one day is added to Hesvan every second or third year, by which that month then consists of 30 days. When Hesvan has 30 days, Kislev invariably has the same. Without Hesvan having 30 days, Kislev is sometimes made 30, which is done to prevent Passover happening on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, for as that festival regulates all the other holidays, it is arranged that none may fall on days on which they could not be properly observed. On the same day of the week as the 1st day of Passover are the fasts of Tamuz and Ab. 2nd day of Passover is the first day of Sebuot and Hosana Raba. 3rd day of Passover is the first day of New Year and Tabernacle. 4th day of Passover is the Rejoicing of the Law. 5th day of Passover is the Kippur, the day of Atonement. ‘*Consequently, were the first day on Monday, Purim would be on Saturday and Kippur on Friday, days on which neither could be observed. If it were on Wednesday, Kippur would be on Sunday, on which it could not be kept; the reason is that as Kippur has the same strict ordinances as Sabbath, it cannot precede or follow the Sabbath. If it were on Friday, Hosana Raba would be on Saturday, a day on which the ceremonies of it could not be observed. By the above regulation, it will be seen that Rosh Ashana can never fall on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday. ‘«Phis holiday is to be observed on the day of the conjunction, with the following exceptions:— ‘*1. If the conjunction takes place on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, the holiday is to be kept on the following day, as in 5604. *¢2, If the conjunction should happen after noon, the following day is to be observed, and if that should happen to be Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, the next is to be kept, as in 5601. **3, If the conjunction takes place in an ordinary year on Tuesday, on or after 9h., 1lm., 20s. A.M., it is not to be observed thereon, and as it may not be kept on Wednesday, it will be observed on Thursday, as in 5616. An objection may be made to this, as New Year should be observed on the day of conjunction, but were it to be so kept, the preceding month of Elul would only be of 27 or 28 days, and a month can never be less than 29. *¢4, The conjunction being on Monday, on or after 3:30:52 P.M., in a year immediately following an embolismie, the holiday is to be kept on Tuesday, as in 5617. This occurs but seldom. “Our embolismie years are Nos. 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, 19 of each cycle. ‘Although the Gregorian calculations have been made with great nicety they are still imperfect, and other alterations must take place in future ages. As a proof the Council of Nice ordered that Easter should not be kept on the same day as the first day of Passover, in order that there might be no appearance of Judaism in it; ‘Ne videantur Judaizare,’ to prevent which they ordered its observance on the Sunday after the full moon, Passover being always kept on the day of the full moon; and yet in 1825 both were kept on the same ? day. s 8 From the foregoing it will be seen that, with every endeavor to reach exactly the date specified in their Law for the Passover, the Jews have difficulty, and often there is of necessity a choice between two days equally appropriate. However, they follow the guidance of their leaders in this matter and have a uniformity of celebration, instead of each one trying to fix the date and celebrating according to his personal knowledge, convenience or preference. And this measure of subserviency to leaders was endorsed by our Lord, who said, ‘‘ The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; whatsoever therefore they bid you observe, that observe and do.’’ (Matt. 23:3.) (35-36)

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