Why are there two New Years on God's calendar?
There are essentially two New Years on God’s calendar. I know this concept is hard to grasp,but I hope to be able to shed a little light on it!
The first New Year is in the fall and is based on the physical creation of the earth. This is known as Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year) in the month of Tishrei, It is also known as the new Civil Year- when the numerical year turns over. This past fall, the year turned over from 5781 to 5782.
Since this number is based on creation- we can estimate the age of the earth is about 5782 years old. This Physical New Year- or Physical Birth of the earth starts in Tishrei. (Fall)
The second New year is in the Spring and is based on our redemption at Passover - when Jesus died and rose again. This is known as Rosh Chodeshim (Head of the Months). God told Moses in Exodus 12- that this month -Nissan - would now be the beginning of months for you. This was a new beginning — a new or higher new year or new birth. This Spiritual New Year or Spiritual birth of the earth begins in Nissan. (Spring)
So — if you think about it as two births— a physical one and a spiritual one— it’s just like us. We have a physical birth when we are born— then are invited to a spiritual birth when we are born again. We have two New Years too!
Why are there constellations on God's calendar?
The heavens declare the glory of the Lord. Psalm 19:1. He has placed the stars in the sky and has called them by name. Psalm 147:4 The Lord created the heavens and the gospel is on circuit over our heads.
Remember— the wise men followed the star and found Jesus. Everything points to Him. Astronomy is the study of His heavenly handiwork. Astrology is the counterfeit and is NOT of the Lord— worshipping the creation - not the Creator. There is only one Zodiac and it is from the Lord's hand--- all to point hearts to Him.
Here are a few resources if you want to dive in deeper…
Why are Babylonian names still used on God’s calendar?
In Exodus 12, God instructed the Israelites to count months in numerical order. He instructed them to call Nissan the first month of the spiritual calendar, as this would be the month of their redemption out of Egypt. Thus, when someone referred to a month, they would in effect recall the great exodus out of Egypt by the mighty hand of God. This would be a constant reminder of their deliverance.
Later in history, during the Israelites captivity in Babylon, Babylonian names were also used for the months. Once Israel was delivered from captivity, the Babylonian names stuck. Not to honor Babylonian names- but to honor and remember the faithfulness of God, who once again redeemed them from exile.
When a month /day is mentioned in scripture— how can you can determine if it is referring to the physical or spiritual calendar?
When a month /day is mentioned in scripture, you can determine if it is referring to the physical or spiritual by seeing if it falls before or after Exodus 12. If it is before- it is based on the physical calendar- if after Exodus 12- it’s on the spiritual calendar. (Ex 12:1. -2)
For example, Genesis 7 refers to the flood occurring in the second month. The time of this account is before the Exodus 12, therefore it is referring to Cheshvan- the second month is of the physical year. It is not referring to second month of the spiritual year. Futhermore, Nehemiah 7 mentions the seventh month of the year. Again- if we look at the context of time - this is recorded after Exodus 12, hence it is referring to Tishrei , the seventh month is of the spiritual year. Attached is a chart from His Appointed Times to assist you further.
How are the "characteristics" of the month, such as the tribe, constellation and Hebrew letter determined?
The tribe of the month corresponds to the order in which they moved in the wilderness and in battle. For example, Judah was first and is therefore connected to Nissan- the first month in the spiritual calendar. Issachar followed second and is connected to the second month, Iyar, and so on.
The constellation for each month is as seen in the zodiac. The heavens declare the glory of the Lord and are each connected to their corresponding month and all point us to the Gospel.
Each month has two numbers which correspond to its order in the physical and spiritual calendar and each number is depicted in the Hebrew alphabet. For example, Tevet is the 10th month on the spiritual calendar and is related to the Hebrew letter Yod - which has a value of 10. In addition, Tevet is also the 4th month on the physical calendar and is related to the Hebrew letter Dalet- which has a value of 4.
Other characteristics such as the Hebrew letter, action and others often correlate to the appointed times, feasts and fasts and other events that happened within a particular month in Biblical history. These and other characteristics are said, by Rabbinical teachers, to be inherent characteristics of the month, through the study of the Talmud, Midrash and other writings.
As always, we want to emphasize, the His calendar is merely a tool to point us to Jesus and His great love for us. It is to serve as a guide and resource to bring awareness of His seasons and to keep us abiding in Him and His Word— for His words are Spirit and life.
What are some recommended sources for further study?
Personal Relationship With God Through Jesus
Hebrew Calendar/ Times & Seasons
Chuck Pierce, Robert and Linda Heidler
Barry L. Miller
Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal