All creation sings …in the Hebrew calendar

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. – King David,

Usually people look at these verses and say “Hey! Here’s God’s handiwork in nature! Rabbits reproduce according to the Fibonacci sequence; dittos for pineapple rinds and daisies. See! Nature is showing us God’s handiwork, just like says”. While that’s all fine and good, I propose that “the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiworks” can be safely taken to an all new level. And I’m not alone in this aspiration: If I’m reading him right, when Paul quotes this passage in , he’s using it to say that the heavens declare the Gospel to the whole world. That’s not the same as pointing to evidence of Intelligent Design — so what on earth could Paul mean?

Some Loopy Background Notes

I have a theory, but to get to the significance of this point, a little background information is necessary. Take a look at the following diagram and let’s discuss the following items.


(if your eyes glaze over, just jump to the last paragraph of this blog):

  • The Moon’s orbit (synodic) is 29.5 days. In other words, we see the moon’s cycle repeating and we get a new moon (or a full moon) every 29.5 days. We call this a “lunar month”. Do this twelve times and you get a “lunar year”.
  • The earth’s orbit around the sun is 365.25 days, giving us 4 seasons across the year. We call this a “solar year”.
  • Each solar year (365.25 days) is slightly longer than 12 lunar months (12 months x 29.5 days = 354 days), so the lunar year is 11-ish days shy of a solar year.
  • Western countries (actually, most all countries in the world) arrange their calendar based on the solar year. This is called a “solar calendar”. It entails a system of months (of arbitrary lengths, usually around 30 days), and adds leap years as needed so that seasons stay fixed on the calendar. (Without the leap year, in ~240 years or so, summer would be in January in the northern hemisphere. Not good.) The solar calendars don’t pay any attention at all to the lunar month, so the New Moon could happen at any time of the month – who knows, who cares. Geeks, astronomers and astrologers (the only ones who do care) can look it up on a chart or on their iPhone app if they want to know about lunar cycles.
  • Ancient cultures based their months (and years) on a lunar calendar (New Moon = New Month) and in many cases, didn’t pay attention to the season that the month happened in. These “lunar calendars” make it awkward to talk about seasons because the month names have no correlation to the seasons. Around 500 BC, Greeks and other civilizations made mathematical corrections for this by reconciling the solar and lunar calendar with necessary leap years so that if Month #1 was in the winter, the leap years would always ensure that it happened in the winter. This is called a “lunisolar calendar”. (Muslim cultures, for example, were quite late to the party and updated their calendar systems to be lunisolar only as recently as the 5th century AD, almost 1,000 years after the Greeks and Babylonians changed theirs!)

For all this calendar fun, there’s one culture that stands separate from all the rest: the Hebrews.

The ancient Hebrew calendar, established in over 700 years before the Greeks, is the only luni-solar calendar that reconciles both the solar calendar and the lunar calendar through the first of its required religious feasts: Passover. (Actually, it’s the combination of the Passover, Unleavened and Firstfruit feasts). You  can read all about their feasts in , but you’d never realize that the implementation of these feasts automatically reconciled the solar and lunar calendars unless you put 2 and 2 together using extra-Biblical information. Whereas our leap year consists of an additional day every 4 years, their process of leap years added an additional month every 2-3 years.

Here’s how it worked:  The Feast of Firstfruits required a fresh, ripe bushel of barley to be presented to the priest on the 17th day of the first month of the year (Nisan). If the barley harvest wasn’t ripe enough by the 17th, then instead of calling that month the 1st month of a new year, it was called the 13th month (Adair II) of the previous year, thereby postponing the new year (and its required feasts) for another month. This would force Passover (and the Unleavened Feast and the Firstrfuits Feast) to always be in the first month of the year (Nisan) and simultaneously keep the seasons in sync with their calendar.

An Extra-Biblical Metaphor

If the reconciliation of these calendars based on a sacrifice doesn’t seem amazing to you (yeah, I know – it’s pretty geeky), consider this possible metaphor:

  • The sun is the source and giver of energy, light and life. Without exception, all life on earth is directly or indirectly sustained by the sun.
  • The moon is apart from the sun, spinning on its own random orbit, indifferent to the sun. It is dead, has no life, gives no light, gives no energy. The only light it does give is merely a reflection of the living sun. (The Bible does not get into symbolism of the sun and moon representing God or Man, but the natural parallel is available nonetheless.)
  • The required feasts () which reconciles the (dead) moon calendar to the (living) sun calendar is the combination of the Passover Feast, the Unleavened Bread Feast and the Firstfruits Feast. These 3 feasts happened in the first month of the year (Nisan), in the middle of the month, all within a 3 day period, on the same weekend each year. If you’ll recall from your Sunday School classes as a kid, the Passover symbolizes substitutionary atonement (ultimately through Christ), the Unleavened Bread Feast symbolizes the removal of sin (due to Christ’s substitutionary atonement), and the Firstfruits Feast symbolizes new life and resurrection from the dead (where Christ is resurrected first, and we who believe in Him will be likewise resurrected). These 3 feasts, in combination, when performed as prescribed by God, forced the Jewish lunar calendar to be reconciled with the solar calendar.

Imagine that: death (moon) reconciled to life (sun) because of Christ! And it’s choreographed in the heavens! Whoda thunk it?

Music To My Ears

Let’s take this calendar fun to a whole new level.

  • In our solar calendar, we use a 4 year pattern of 3 regular years (365 days) and one leap year (366 days) to reconcile our four seasons with the 365.25 day solar calendar.
  • In the Hebrew lunisolar calendar, the necessary leap years create a 19-year pattern of leap years, where every 2-3 years was a leap year (the Feast of Firstfuits regulated when those leap years would take place).  This specific 19-year arrangement of 12 years and 7 leap years is called a “Metonic cycle”.Let’s change tracks for a sec and talk about music theory.
  • In Western music, we have each octave subdivided into 12 notes. Within these 12 notes are 7 notes of a major scale. For example, on a piano, when using the key of C, the 7 notes of the major scale are the white keys.
  • However, music doesn’t have to have 12 notes to an octave. There are alternate tunings (5, 7, 10, 15, etc notes to an octave), each with its own mathematical series of major notes, but most of them sound like junk, and their music doesn’t sound particularly appealing.
  • Of the variety of alternate tunings, one particularly excellent tuning is one with 19 notes per octave. Commonly referred to as “19-Equal Temperament”, it’s used in some Asian cultures and is capable of reproducing many (if not all) of the tones of the 12-note octave, and more. In fact, some 19-ET pianos have been made in the 16th and 17th centuries, featuring two rows of black keys (sharps and flats) as depicted on the above diagram.
    . . .
  • Here’s the amazing thing: It “just so happens” that in this 19-note octave, the 7 notes of a major scale exactly correspond to the 7 leap years in the 19-year Hebrew Calendar!!

19-ET Scale and the 19-Year Metonic Cycle. Leap years are in blue, corresponding to the major notes of the 19-ET scale

 

Putting the Ducks in a Row

Imagine for a minute that you’re a shepherd boy lounging out in the fields tending your flocks. To pass the time, you’ve got a harp in hand, and you possess such a mastery of the instrument that you’re in demand to play before kings. You like to write songs and have a growing collection of them. You also like to speculate about creation, heavens, music and God’s glory. So let’s say you decided to write down a song that took into consideration the glory of God, the 19-year celestial dance of the metonic calendar, and the 19-et scale and how the whole thing clicks together in one big joyful harmony. Just thinking out loud.. what number would you assign to the song?

? Maybe?

To sum it all up… This is the only calendar that has a specific tie in to the sun, the moon and music, all brought into harmonious unity in the symbolism of what the death, burial and resurrection of Christ does for believers!

So let’s revisit this song by David, a skilled musician, and ask ourselves what he might have been thinking.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. – King David,

Now consider this: Read , and you’ll see that when Paul quotes this psalm, he’s using it to talk about the Gospel, not just the idea of ‘Intelligent Design’, going out to all the world. Now why on earth would Paul choose this passage to explain how/why the Gospel goes out to the whole world? (The ‘Gospel’ is essentially this: Christ’s death, burial and resurrection atoning for the sins of those who believe in Him).

Kinda makes ya wanna say “Hmmmmmmmmm”.


Here are some links to some 19-et music:

http://www.parnasse.com/jh/blog/microtonal-index.html
http://www.io.com/~hmiller/music/index.htm

Here are some links on music theory:

http://www.skytopia.com/project/scale.html

living

19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun, (ESV)


19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (ESV)


10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (ESV)


12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, (ESV)


23:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.

“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”

33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.

39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord. (ESV)


23:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.

“These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.

22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”

33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work.

37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.

39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord. (ESV)


19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (ESV)


19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (ESV)


10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (ESV)

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8 comments to All creation sings …in the Hebrew calendar

  • Could you contact me on the above email address please? I’m interested to find the connection between 19-Equal Temperament and the Hebrew calendar here. I discovered the connection independently in 2009 and you’ll find it on my website. I’d be interested to know how you found it, whether you got it from some other source, how well-known it is etc.

    • admin

      Eric – thanks so much for your comments.
      My journey down this path started in 2010 when I was studying the notion of “Lamb of God” from an OT perspective. I decided to trace the topic of sacrifices through the OT, starting from the first sacrifice (which I thought was Cain and Abel, but later realized it was the sacrifice that God did for Adam and Eve to clothe them). As you might imagine, much of my study eventually came to focus on the Passover. At the beginning of the first Passover, we see this seemingly random move to rearrange the Hebrew calendar: [+] This month is to be the beginning of months for you; it is the first month of your year. (Exod 12:2).
      About the same time, someone at church was teaching on themes in the OT and happened to point out that Pentecost (Acts

      2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

      He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

      12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

      17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

      25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (ESV)

      ) had a lot of similarities to the day the Law came down at Mt. Sinai (http://www.linearconcepts.com/theology/jewish-feasts/pentecost-ot-nt). This got me to wondering if all 7 of the feasts had Messianic significance and not just the Passover. I was quite thrilled to find that the feasts are actually quite rich in Messianic significance. I write briefly about it here: http://www.linearconcepts.com/theology/jewish-feasts, and with a bit more detail here: http://www.linearconcepts.com/bibletimeline/MessiahInTheHebrewFeasts.pdf

      All of this got me rather fascinated with the Hebrew calendar, especially when I saw that specific events of Christ’s death matched exactly on the calendar with the specific events of the Passover and with FirstFruits. I realized that if their first month was called “Abib” (meaning “First ear of corn/crop”), then they had to have some event that regulated when and how to insert leap days/weeks/months so that the seasons didn’t slide across the calendar and the name of the month (“First Ear”) always corresponded to the right season of the year. I happened across some old Jewish book on the Internet that charted Hebrew years to the Gregorian calendar. Quite by luck, I noticed in the intro of the book, a brief blurb about how the ancient Hebrews used the FirstFruits celebration to let them know when to insert an extra month in their year. When the farmer went to bind his firstfruit, if there was no firstfruit, he would call off everything and postpone Passover for a month. The Messianic ramifications of the FirstFruit celebration triggering the re-syncing of the lunar and solar calendar was quite tantalizing. Far too “conspiratorial minded” for my blood – but… it fits, so I don’t mind running with it.

      And it was also during this time that I found an article on Wikipedia that casually mentioned the Hebrew calendar matched a 19-et octave. I thought it was casually brilliant, but not much else. …until shortly thereafter I was doing a study in

      10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

      For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

      14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

      18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

      “Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
      and their words to the ends of the world.”

      19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

      “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
      with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

      20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

      “I have been found by those who did not seek me;
      I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

      21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (ESV)

      and couldn’t help but notice that Paul was insisting that the Gospel went out to all the world, courtesy of

      19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
      and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
      Day to day pours out speech,
      and night to night reveals knowledge.
      There is no speech, nor are there words,
      whose voice is not heard.
      Their voice goes out through all the earth,
      and their words to the end of the world.
      In them he has set a tent for the sun,
      which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
      and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
      Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
      and its circuit to the end of them,
      and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

      The law of the Lord is perfect,
      reviving the soul;
      the testimony of the Lord is sure,
      making wise the simple;
      the precepts of the Lord are right,
      rejoicing the heart;
      the commandment of the Lord is pure,
      enlightening the eyes;
      the fear of the Lord is clean,
      enduring forever;
      the rules of the Lord are true,
      and righteous altogether.
      10 More to be desired are they than gold,
      even much fine gold;
      sweeter also than honey
      and drippings of the honeycomb.
      11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
      in keeping them there is great reward.

      12 Who can discern his errors?
      Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
      13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
      let them not have dominion over me!
      Then I shall be blameless,
      and innocent of great transgression.

      14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
      be acceptable in your sight,
      O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (ESV)

      . And this time, when I saw the 19 number, something clicked.

      Normally, if I get 2 or 3 things that click into place, I’ll write an article.
      But this was far more than just 2 or 3 things clicking into place. Too bizarre.

      I think I need to re-write this article. I’m trying to cover too many points in too short a time and really need to spend more time developing each of the points here.
      Perhaps someday.

  • Thanks admin – what’s your name please?

    In 2009, when I discovered the connection between 19-ET and the Hebrew Calendar, I put a brief account of it on the Wikipedia articles on 19-ET and on the Hebrew Calendar, under my Wikipedia username, Prim Ethics (an anagram of Eric P Smith). My contribution on the 19-ET article was soon reverted by another user who found it to be in the nature of an “eccentric personal essay” – fair comment, and I didn’t challenge the reversion. Wikipedia however stores the entire history of every page, and you can find my contribution on the 12 August 2009 revision of that page. My contribution on the Hebrew Calendar page was just a brief cross-reference to the 19-ET page and it is still there, though it is now cryptic since my explanation to which it linked was reverted. It reads, “This connection with the major scale is more remarkable in the context of 19 equal temperament.”

    Am I right in guessing that that is the “article on Wikipedia that casually mentioned the Hebrew calendar matched a 19-et octave” that you found? If so, I think we’ve come full circle!

    The article on my own website is here.

    • admin

      Eric – I sent you an email with a bit more detail, but…

      So you’re an eccentric, eh? Well, at least you’re not alone 😉

      IIRC, Wikipedia was the first place where I saw the connection between the Hebrew calendar and the 19-et octave. If I recall correctly, it was a brief blurb at the end of a somewhat short article. The Wikipedia article today that mentions ” This connection with the major scale is more remarkable in the context of 19 equal temperament” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar) is a much longer Wikipedia article than I remember. Perhaps it’s changed over time. But I think you’re right – we’ve come full circle in that your original comment was what got me looking at the relationship between the two.
      It’s no surprise to me that God arranged it thusly.

      I did quite a bit of googling on it back then and I’m pretty sure I recall seeing this website as well:
      http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm
      And there was a book I found on Google Search that pointed to the FirstFruits as regulating when the Jews would insert the intercalary month.

      In my googling, I also came across a musician who claimed to have sheet music for the Psalms as they were originally recorded. I forget how/why he thinks he’s correct, but he sounded like he knew a lot more about music theory than I did, so I was content to take his word for it. I bounced my idea off him about a 19-et octave for Hebrew music. He wrote a rather lengthy email response, and downplayed it as just my imagination. I think I have it somewhere in one of my older backups. I know some Indian music uses 19-et, as well as some older classical music from the 12th century(?). So if they were using 19 notes in their octave, I don’t know why David couldn’t. Idle speculation I’m sure.

      Also, although Menton is credited with calculating the Mentonic cycle, I believe the Feast of Firstfruits (implemented in 1446BC – Lev (23), Deut (26), etc) when fully followed, automatically adjusted the Hewbrew calendar to follow the 19-year cycle. And this was 1,000 years before Menton came along.

      (I’m of the opinion that Greeks and Chinese got a lot of information from the world via the Babylonian conquest of the 6th century BC. Babylon served as a melting pot of world information. Various cultures gleaned information from Babylon and took it back to their homelands and documented it in such a way that historians would find it centuries later. I think this spread of information coming/going through Babylon can be traced through both Greek and Chinese history. So although the Jews never bothered recording the math of their calendar till Hilel II, their practice – due to their feasts – took care of their calendar calculations for centuries.).

  • Dick Baker

    you state”For ancient calendars, a year consisted of 12 months of 30 days. Every 2-3 years, an intercalary month was added to keep the seasons on track”. My calculation (assuming earth constant spin of 365.25 days/rotation) is that the ancient year was 360 days (=12*30) so a correction of a correctional month would be needed every 6 years (i.e. after 6 years error would be 31.5 days [6*(365.25-360)]) to need such a “skipped month” adjustment. Not the 2-3 years you state.

    But thanks for your artistry on the charts which I regard as very helpful. Would be great to see equivalent last-times visualisation (perhaps several to satisfy the pre/post-millenial interpretations). Kudos!

    • admin

      Thanks, Mr. Baker.
      Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than simply tabulating 30 day months.

      * When counting days with respect to months, each month was based on a new moon. The orbit of the moon is 29.5 days, so their annual calendar had months that were 29 days and 30 days long. Each month alternated between 29 and 30. Counting it this way, each year was 354 days. That’s roughly 11 days shy of a 365.25-day solar calendar. Do that for 3 years, and you’ll be one “month” shy of a full year – hence the need for an intercalary month every 2-3 years.

      * However, when counting long spans of times (3-1/2 “weeks” in Daniel, etc), Biblical authors would round off the month to 30 days. You can see an example of this in Revelation

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      where the time the prophets spend on the earth is tabulated both as 1,260 days and 42 months. If you divide 1260 by 30, you get 42.

      As for last-times visualizations of various eschatologies … maybe I’ll get around to it. Someday.

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