The True Date of Chag Yeshua
James Scott Trimm
The International Nazarene Beit Din has officially recognized that each year the 12th through the 18th of Elul shall be celebrated as CHAG YESHUA, The Feast of Deliverance. The festival of Chag Yeshua was enacted from the 8th to the 14th of the Egyptian month of Epeiph (2Macc. 6:37-40). The Egyptian calendar was a Solar Calendar and these days correspond to 19 August 217 BCE on the Julian Calendar (Aug. 23rd Gregorian) and this was 12th Elul 3544 on the Hebrew calendar.
Is the True Date Starting Sivan 27?
Many year ago my earliest attempt to date the first Chag Yeshua gave me an incorrect result (fortunately I was able to correct the issue within a day or two).
The Oxford Annotated Bible has a footnote to 3rd Maccabees placeing the initial date of the feast on July 2nd. Now in 217 BCE this would place the initial day of Chag Yeshua on the 27th of Sivan.
How did this incorrect date end up in the Oxford Annotated Bible? The answer is to be found in a similar footnote to 3rd Maccabees in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume 2 which indicates that the Egyptian month of Epiphi is equivalent to June 25-July 24 (which would support the July 2nd date given in the Oxford Annotated Bible).
The problem is that Epiphi might generally be said to corespond to June 25- July 24 on our calendar, that is an
The ancient Egyptian Calendar had 365 days in a year, however a true year is 365.25 days. The difference might seem negligible, however the ancient Egyptian calendar was used for thousands of years, and would lose a day every four years. After a hundred years the Egyptian Calendar would lose nearly a month. Many adjustments were made throughout history in an attempt to compensate for this drift, and the result is that it is to simplistic to say that Epiphi is equivalent to June 25-July 24, as the date would shift around in history. For example, according to Roman writer Censorinus the first of Thoth (the Egyptian New Year's Day) fell on July 20 in the Julian Calendar in 139 CE however in 25 BCE it had fallen on August 30th.
If one wants to properly convert a date on the ancient Egyptian Calendar to the actual Julian or Gregorian date,
and then to the Hebrew date for that year, one must know the actual year of the events and know what the Julian date was for that year. In this case 3rd Maccabees opens with the battle of Raphia and we know that was the year was 217 BCE. In that year the 8th to the 14th of the Egyptian month of Epeiph fell on 19 August 217 BCE on the Julian Calendar (Aug. 23rd Gregorian) and this was 12th Elul 3544 on the Hebrew calendar.
Is the True Date Nisan 7-14?
Since Chag Yeshua was restored another individual has begun proclaiming that the true date is Nisan 8-14. this theory is based on the presumption that when 3rd Maccabees says "Epiphi" it really means "Abib" (Abib being the more ancient name for Nisan).
The basis for this claim is that in Arabic the Egyptian month of "Epiphi" is called "Abib". The connection may be linguistic (Epiphi is also pronounced "Epip" linguisticly similar to "Abib") and it may also be that at some point the months did occur at the same time, because the Ancient Egyptian calendar did drift. However they did not occur at the same time in 217 BCE.
Now th fact that Arabic speakers called Epiphi "Abib" does not mean that Jews called Abib "Epiphi", especially
since "Abib" was by this time Jews commonly called Abib "Nisan" and not "Abib".
Also if we assume that Egytianized Jews were calling the Hebrew month of Abib "Epiphi" then this leads to a problem with 3Macc. 6:38 which names the month 40 days earlier as the Egyptian month of "Pachon" and not as the Hebrew month of "Sh'vat" and there is no reason to believe that Egyptianized Jews called the Hebrew month Sh'vat "Pachon".
Finally there is the problem of Passover. The Passover offering is made on the 14th of Nisan/Abib and the 15th thru the 21st of Nisan/Abib are the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Now if the true date of Chag Yeshua was the 8th thru the 14th of Nisan/Abib, then it would be unbelievable that the account in 3rd Maccabees makes no mention whatsoever of the fact that the last day of the new feast was the day of the Passover offering, or that the new feast ran concurrently with Unleavened Bread immediately following it. (For example when the Feast of Nicanor was established on the 13th of Adar in 2Macc. 15:36 mention is made that it immediately preceded Purim.) (Also this would create an unbelievably long 14 days of celebration).
While the Oxford Annotated Bible and Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume 2 place the Feast on an incorrect day, they still place the feast in the Summer, and not in the Spring.
There is just no serious basis to place Chag Yeshua in the Hebrew month of Abib, or even in the Spring.
Now when we recognize that Chag Yeshua ran from the 12th of Elul to the 18th of Elul, then something amazing happens with the dates surrounding 3rd Maccabees.
According to 3rd Maccabees, Ptolemy IV began registering the Jews on the 25th of Pachon 217 BCE on the Egyptian Calendar (3Macc. 3:38). This was July 7th 217 BC on the Julian calendar and July 3rd 217 BC on the Gregorian calendar. On the Hebrew calendar this was the 28th of Tammuz 3544.
This is very interesting because the 28th of Tammuz seems to be a recurring date for anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish people:
28 Tammuz 5213 - 1453:
The Church burned 41 Jews at the stake in Breslau, Germany, Hy"d, and then expelled the remaining Jews.
28 Tammuz - 1571:
The ghetto in Florence, Italy was established.
28 Tammuz 5476 - July 18, 1716:
The Jews of Brussels, Belgium were given notice of expulsion.
28 Tammuz 5595 - July 25, 1835:
Arabs rampaged against Jews in Chevron / Hebron, Hy"d.
28 Tammuz 5638 - July 29, 1878:
German elections resulted in the reactionary element having a dominant voice in the Reichstag. This date is considered the birthday of modern German anti-Semitism.
28 Tammuz 5682 - July 24, 1922:
The League of Nations confirmed Britain’s mandate to administer Palestine, territory, taken from the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate charged Britain with securing the establishment of the Jewish national home, and safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine. Just a few months later, Britain decided to lop off 77% of the land and use it to establish the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (today called Jordan). In ensuing years, Jewish immigration to Palestine created much Arab resentment, and the British responded by placing strict limitations on Jewish immigration. This policy had lethal consequences for Jews fleeing Hitler's ovens. When the British continued to placate the Arabs, for example by restricting Jewish land purchases, a revolt was organized by Zionist groups. By 1948 this pressure had forced the British out of Palestine, clearing the way for an independent State of Israel.
28 Tammuz 5702 - July 13, 1942:
The Nazis killed 5,000 Jews in Rovno, Polish Ukraine, Hy"d.
Now we also know that the 28th of Tammuz was the day that Ptolemy began registering the Jews in Egypt with the intention of killing every last one of us.
Now on the Jewish calendar there are Fasts on the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av. The 17th of Tammuz traditionally marks the first breach in the walls of the Second Temple during the Roman occupation. The ninth of Av is a fast day that commemorates two of the saddest events in Jewish history that both occurred on the same date — the destruction in 586 BCE of the First Temple, and destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Other calamities throughout Jewish history are said to have taken place on the 9th of Av, including King Edward I's edict compelling the Jews to leave England (1290) and the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492.
The days between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av are called "The Three Weeks and the Nine Days". These are days of mourning, on account of the collapse of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation which occurred during this time framework. Weddings and other joyful occasions are traditionally not held during this period. A further element is added within the three weeks, during the nine days between the 1st and 9th day of Av — the pious refrain from eating meat and drinking wine, except on Shabbat or at a Seudat Mitzvah (a Mitzvah meal, such as a Pidyon Haben — the recognition of a firstborn male child — or the study completion of a religious text.) In addition, one's hair is not cut during this period.
Now the 28th of Tammuz occurs right in the middle of the Three Weeks and the Nine Days.
According to 3rd Maccabees the Extermination of the Jews would have begun on the 5th of Epiphi which that year was the 9th of Elul.
The 9th of Elul also has some notorious history:
9 Elul 5109 - August 24, 1349:
The largest Jewish city in Germany was destroyed during the Black Death massacres. 6,000 Jews lost their lives in the city of Mainz, Hy"d.
9 Elul 5151 - 1391:
Jews of Gerona, Spain, were massacred, Hy"d.
9 Elul 5698 - Sept. 5, 1938:
Jewish teachers and students were barred from all Italian schools.
9 Elul 5701 - September 1, 1941 -
Jews who were living in the German Reich were forced to wear the Judenstern (yellow star).
Finally the Feast of Chag Yeshua itself falls during the month of Elul. The month of Elul is called in Judaism the "Month of Mercy". this month plus the first ten dats of Tishri form forty days leading up to Yom Kippur which are known as the "Days of Awe." Additionally it was during the month of Elul that Rabbi Kaduri wrote his famous note declaring Yeshua to be the Messiah.
The festival of Chag Yeshua was enacted from the 8th to the 14th of the Egyptian month of Epeiph (2Macc. 6:37-40). The Egyptian calendar was a Solar Calendar and these days correspond to 19 August 217 BCE on the Julian Calendar (Aug. 23rd Gregorian) and this was 12th Elul 3544 on the Hebrew calendar.
This is simple to check. Go to http://egypt.online-resourcen.de/Ptolemaic_Kings and enter:
Reign: Ptolomy Philopator
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