CHINESE AND JEWISH CALENDAR SIMILARITIES

Sunday, 04 May 2003 @ 10:33 AM SGT

Contributed by: Anonymous

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All Bible quotations are from the New King James Version
except for my own translations, or as otherwise indicated.

A similarity exists in the Biblical calendar of the Jews, and in the traditional Chinese calendar; they both are lunar-solar.

This is the only correct calendar from the requirement of Genesis 1:14. In a lunar calendar each month begins at new moon, the narrowest half-circle of moonlight in the sky. Each month is actually 291/2 days so the months alternate 30 days, 29 days, 30 days, etc. The lunar year has 3543/8 days in twelve months, but the solar year has 3651/4 days, (the time the earth makes one orbit of the sun). Chinese and Jewish calendars equalise the lunar and solar year lengths the same way, by a thirteenth month added whenever needed. This works out practically in the nineteen-year cycle wherein twelve years of every nineteen years have 12 months and seven years have 13 months. Nineteen years contain 235 lunar months; so in this way the moon keeps time, and the sun keeps time, and the years keep to the seasons.

Every new moon is set apart as a holiday or special day in both traditions. In the Bible, new moons are sabbaths (rest days) and feast days, for family or friends. New moon observance will be in effect in God’s kingdom; Eze. 46:1,3.

In both calendars New Year Day is at a new moon and set apart as special. The Bible merely speaks about the “beginning of months.” In the Oriental and Jewish traditions the month chosen as first month was sometimes changed by custom or by decree; but God told Moses to begin counting the months at the month ABÌB (springtime), also called NISÀN; Ex. 34:18; Lev. 23:5; Est. 3:7. The present Jewish custom has New Year Day in the autumn, six months later than the Law of Moses. The existing Chinese custom has it two months earlier than the Law of Moses, but eventually all peoples in the New Earth will observe the ‘beginning of months’in accordance as God told to Moses;

Passover begins at 14 ABÌB (Joshua 5:10) and is two weeks after the Biblical New Year Day. Passover is a full moon holiday. Full moons are 14 or 15 days following new moons. In some years Ching Ming holiday comes at Passover; in former times it probably was a full moon holiday and then would always be exactly at Passover. There may be a connection. Ching Ming has a tradition about plague, in which many people suddenly died. This may commemorate the first Passover night in Egypt wherein all of Egypt’s firstborn died—anyone not protected by the blood of the lamb. The Passover of the Jews is followed by seven more days, “the feast of unleavened bread.”

SUKKÒT (Feast of Tabernacles) is another full moon holiday, the fifteenth of the seventh month—the same day in autumn as Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. SUKKÒT is very festive, a day to rejoice with an abundance of grain and fruits from autumn harvests. All nations will celebrate this holiday in God’s kingdom (Zech. 14:16-19) and already the Chinese observe it in part. (But SUKKÒT has seven days more.) This is the last holiday of the year as ordered by Moses.

The Fast of Esther is 13 ADÀR (Esther 9:1,15-19), the same day as Yuen Siu (Chinese Lantern Festival). The Jews also keep the following two days, called PÙRIM; Est. 9:21-22. This is another full moon holiday, a time of light-hearted mirth and street parades amongst the youth. It began with the Jews of Persia, and they certainly would have brought it with them, when they came to China.

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