Friday, February 12, 2016

How many Shabbats and Holy Meetings are there in a Hebrew year?

Let's see how many Shabbats and Holy Meetings there are in a Hebrew year.

As you know, per Exodus 12:2, Hebrew year begins in the month of Aviv (Passover month). Torah defines days, months and years by sun-moon system (Genesis 1:14).

Click here to view my calendar.

According to my calendar, there are exactly 60 Shabbats every Hebrew year. This corresponds to 60 pillars of the Courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle. 55 pillars (11 months) represent the Courtyard itself, while 5 remaining pillars (1 month) were reserved for the gate of the Courtyard and had different fabric on them. This confirms my theory that Pillars of the Tabernacle Courtyard are related to time somehow. Please see more details in this post. Here is the image of the Courtyard:


As you can see, this is much better number than traditional meaningless number of 52 Shabbats per year in traditional calendar.

There are exactly 12 month in a Hebrew Lunar year, but 13th month is added just like in traditional system, depending on equinox and the ripening of barley/wheat of the Land of Canaan.

Let's count Holy Meetings now. Holy Meetings are ALWAYS Shabbats. For example, 7th of Passover and 50th of Omer fall on Shabbats. Offerings would be added up, as it says numerous times in Num 28:10, Num 29:6 e.t.c

Let's take a look at Leviticus 23 and Number 28-29:

Leviticus 23 (Holy Meetings):
  1. Lev 23:3 - Shabbat
  2. Lev 23:7 - 1st of Passover
  3. Lev 23:8 - 7th of Passover
  4. Lev 23:21 - 50th of Omer
  5. Lev 23:24-25 - Yom Teruah / 1st of 7th Month (Day of the Blast)
  6. Lev 23:27 - Yom Kippur
  7. Lev 23:35 - 1st of Sukkot
  8. Lev 23:36- 8th of Sukkot
Numbers 28-29(Moedim/Offerings)
  1. Num 28:3-4 - Morning Daily Offering
  2. Num 28:3-4 - Evening Daily Offering
  3. Num 28:9 - Shabbat Offering
  4. Num 28:11 - 1st of the Month / New Moon Offering
  5. Num 28:18 - 1st of Passover
  6. Num 28:25 - 7th of Passover
  7. Num 28:26 - 50th of Omer
  8. Num 29:1 - 1st of the 7th Month / Yom Teruah (Day of the Blast)
  9. Num 29:7 - Yom Kippur
  10. Num 29:12 - 1st of Sukkot
  11. Num 29:35 - 8th of Sukkot
As you can see, Leviticus 23 excludes New Moon for some reason. Most likely, it is a textual inconsistency. In my calendar New Moon is the Shabbat so it does not really matter to me if it says in the text that it is a holy meeting or not, because it is the Shabbat (which is already a holy meeting per Lev 23). I think, however, that New Moon was in Lev 23 and was a holy meeting with work of a slave restrictions. This, of'course can't be answered until we have an older witness of the Torah that shows these omissions. Unfortunately, there are no significant differences between Leviticus and Numbers in the Samaritan Pentateuch and Dead Sea Scrolls, so no help there.

Secondly, as you can see from the count, there are total of 11 "moedim" (Num 28:2), some of which are also called "miqra qodesh"(Holy Meetings) in Lev 23:2. So it means that New Moon Offering in Num 28:11 was a Holy Meeting that is currently omitted from the count in our text of the Torah. But because it is listed separately from all other offerings (i.e daily offering, shabbat offering or 1st of 7th month offering) in Numbers 28-29, it means that New Moon was a separate Holy Meeting. That is my best interpretation of these inconsistencies.

Thirdly, 1st of Omer most likely was also a Holy Meeting because it is a Shabbat and because we bring Grain Sheaf offering to the High Priest.

And last but not least, 8th of the 1st month when we take a Passover Lamb for safekeeping until the 14th evening. This is a Shabbat and most certainly a Holy Meeting.

So, reconstructed list for Leviticus 23 should look like this(listed in order of moedim):
  1. Lev 23:3 - Shabbat
  2. missing - New Moon / 1st of the Month
  3. missing - 8th of the 1st Month / Taking of Passover Lamb for safekeeping.
  4. Lev 23:7 - 1st of Passover
  5. Lev 23:8 - 7th of Passover
  6. missing - 1st of Omer / Grain Sheaf offering - First Bread.
  7. Lev 23:21 - 50th of Omer
  8. Lev 23:24-25 - Yom Teruah / 1st of 7th Month (Day of the Blast)
  9. Lev 23:27 - Yom Kippur
  10. Lev 23:35 - 1st of Sukkot
  11. Lev 23:36- 8th of Sukkot
Total of 11 Holy Meetings.

This is because 11 Holy Meetings (11 "moedim") correspond to 11 pillars of the Tent of the Tabernacle. I did suspect that Corner Boards of the Tent of the Tabernacle refer to Shabbat (see this post) so I guess this confirms my theory. Here is the diagram that shows Pillars of the Tent of the Tabernacle:

So 5 of the front pillars probably symbolize 5 major Holidays (Passover, Omer, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot), not sure what other pillars may mean. But the number of the pillars fits with the numbers of "moedim" / Holy Meetings. But definitely, each pillar represents a "moedim" and a "holy meeting".

As you can see, everything has meaning and is interconnected in the Written Torah, especially in the Tabernacle structure.

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