Happy New Year? 2015

 

         Today is the day we celebrate the beginning of a brand new year. In that regard, may 2015 be a blessed year for all.

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         In reality, though, this particular day is essentially meaningless regarding actual new beginnings.

         Even though the civil calendar we presently use (the Gregorian), contains 365 days, it otherwise has little cyclical bearing on celestial events. Nevertheless, it begins today, January 1.

         Ancient calendars were originally based on such celestial events, primarily the time it takes planet Earth to travel around the Sun. Yet within that cycle was an earlier calendar—smaller cycles regarding the time it takes the Moon to travel around the Earth.

         The former is referred to as a solar calendar and the latter a lunar calendar. Their significance is that one can actually refer to something tangible, and in the above cases, something very powerfully tangible, to order the passing of time.

         Though our current calendar is divided into twelve months and fifty-two weeks, it remains a mere abstract construct in relation to the actual celestial cycles. Hence, January 1 is largely meaningless from a celestial perspective.

         Regarding the actual first day of the calendar, common sense tells us that the year, divided up into four seasons, would naturally begin with the season of new life, the spring. The end of winter and the beginning of spring constitutes the actual beginning of a new solar cycle from our perspective, though this differs regarding on which side of the equator one lives.

         The ancients had figured out that a year lasted 365 days. They figured out that lunar cycles, or months, lasted 29-30 days. We now know that such cycles can be calculated further to 365.2422 days and 29.53 days respectively.

         The late Sumerians and later Babylonians managed to combine both of these cycles into a single calendar, a lunisolar calendar. This calendar was later adopted by the Hebrews during their Babylonian exile after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586BC.

         It was discovered that 235 lunar cycles fit almost perfectly into 19 solar cycles. This results in 12 years of 12 months, and 7 years of thirteen months. By installing an additional month every third year or so during the 19 years, one arrives at an overall cycle (19 years) encompassing both the solar and lunar cycles and what is essentially a perfect calendar based on celestial events, in which one can mark time by the actual movements of the sun and moon.

         For example, the actual current lunar cycle or month began with the new moon of December 21, 2014 at 8:36pm EST. There will be a full moon on January 4 which constitutes the exact middle of the lunar cycle. Therefore, like the solar cycle, one can see that January 1 also has no bearing on the lunar cycle.

         The present Hebrew calendar is lunisolar, but does not actually line up perfectly with exact lunar cycles since it is calculated based on when a new moon is sighted with respect to “evening and morning.”

         For example, today, January 1, is represented on the Hebrew calendar as the 10th day of Tevet. Tevet is the fourth month, since the Hebrew calendar begins in the autumn of the year. And rather than the full moon of January 4, 2015 (11:53pm EST) falling correctly on the 15th day of the lunar cycle, it is shown as falling on the 14th of the month on the official Hebrew calendar (after sunset).

         Calendars based specifically on celestial cycles used to matter very much. They were necessary for the right times regarding planting and harvesting.

         Spiritually speaking, could it be the same? Remember, pure astronomy is not astrology. God created celestial events and cycles. The Universe in this sense runs like clockwork. The more one studies such cycles, the more one discovers an absolutely perfect system which demands an extremely brilliant intelligence. These are not just random cycles, but cycles within cycles to the effective infinite degree.

         Also, because we know that God, in His Word, makes thousands of references to time and cycles, as well as numbers, He no doubt has a reason for it. But if that reason is to be discovered, it can only be discovered by using His actual calendar rather than a man-made abstract.

         Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth;” and it was so.

         God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. [Genesis 1:14-18] [1]

            © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[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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