The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2012 (Part 1)

         According to the lunar-solar Hebrew calendar of modern Rabbinic Judaism, last Saturday, March 24, was the first day of the month of Nisan. Historically, this is a very important month and, coinciding with the season of spring, denotes a new beginning.

         Nisan is the first month of the festival, or ecclesiastical year.

         It is the seventh month of the civil year.

         (In an intercalary year, when there are thirteen months, it is the eighth month.)

         The name Nisan is Babylonian, and was named during the 70 year captivity in Babylon in the sixth century BC. In the Old Testament, in the Torah, this month was originally known as Abib in most Bible versions. The word Abib means, “fresh, young barley ears,” and refers to the time of the year when the barley first becomes ripe.

         Each Hebrew month begins and ends with the new moon. But because the official rabbinic calendar is predetermined, technical problems arise. The calendar is not dynamic but fixed to allow for the setting of dates decades or even centuries in advance.

         For example, the actual new moon which began the current lunar month took place in the USA on Thursday morning, March 22, at 9:38 Central Daylight Time, though the official Hebrew calendar did not start the new month of Nisan until Friday evening, March 23 (Hebrew days always begin at evening, in keeping with the account in Genesis 1:5: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day”).

         So, technically, Nisan 1 began in the USA at sunset on Thursday, March 22. You’ll have to check your own lunar cycle wherever you may live in the world to discover when Nisan 1 began in your area.

         The following list of dates includes the happenings of this time of year in relation to the days of the ancient calendar of the Hebrews. Many believe that God still honors His calendar and therefore, these days are very important. Each feast day carries prophetic overtones. The spring feasts were all fulfilled two-thousand years ago when Messiah Jesus arrived the first time, and the fall feasts will be fulfilled when He returns at some point in the near future.

         To eliminate confusion, the listed dates are according to the official rabbinic calendar.

         Regarding the month of Nisan:

         Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” [Exodus 12:1-2]

         There are several significant events in Biblical history that took place on Nisan 1, the above passage of Scripture being one of them. God still pays close attention to His calendar, and His timing for personal events in our lives often involves calendar dates. Many of us are feeling a new spiritual beginning of some sort at this time.

         What follows is a sampling of important dates to orient us to the beginning of this new season.       

Nisan 1 / March 24, 2012 (Began at sunset on March 23):

         It was on this date that the Mishkan was set up for the first time:

         Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. [Exodus 40:17]

         The nation of Israel had left Egypt after the first Passover almost one full year before this event. The people had been in the Sinai since the Exodus from Egypt, and because of their lack of faith, they denied themselves entry into the Promised Land many months before and were destined to wander in the desert a full forty years. In that time the design was revealed, and the elements needed for the tabernacle were built, including the Ark of the Covenant. It was on this date that the tabernacle in the wilderness was set up for the first time in its history.

         This is indicative of a new spiritual start and a new beginning. It is indicative of the beginning of a new ministry. Since the Great Awakening in America is on course, though in the early stages, the beginning of a new chapter is undoubtedly taking place now. We are in transition to a greater fulfilling of this process, and individual believers are sensing this in their own lives and walking it out. Many are feeling a strong tug on their hearts to get closer to the Lord, whatever that may involve.

         The next section is dedicated to two different eras: (1) The nation of Israel entering into the Promised Land for the first time thirty-nine years later, and (2) The events of Passion Week almost fifteen hundred years after that.

         The Mishkan had repeatedly been set up for ministry and taken down in various locations as the nation of Israel traveled about the Sinai. At the end of their wanderings, Israel stood at the precipice of destiny. The prophecy was about to be fulfilled. They were now on the threshold of entering the Promised Land and would soon partake of their first Passover in the new land.

         Notice the similarity of events when compared to Passion Week, to be discussed in Parts 2 and 3, when our Lord first entered Jerusalem as the officially recognized and honored Messiah. Is there any doubt that God creates new beginnings and fulfills prophecy on a specific timetable according to certain dates?

Nisan 7 / March 30, 2012 (Begins at sunset tonight on March 29):

         While the nation of Israel was camped on the eastern side of the Jordan, two spies, or scouts, were sent out by Joshua across the Jordan River to Jericho to gather intelligence for the first battle of the conquest of the Promised Land.

         Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it.’”[Joshua 1:10-11]

         Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. [Joshua 2:1] [1]

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 3] [Part 2 will be posted on April 1]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on March 29, 2012, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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