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DidGodGiveaCalendar - Did God Give a Calendar If you reject...

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Reprinted from United News, www.ucg.org © 2000 United Church of God Did God Give a Calendar? If you reject the Hebrew calendar, what have you got? Does the Bible give enough information to construct a calendar? by Leon Walker There are those who advocate that the Bible provides us with all of the specific elements of the calendar that God wants us to use to keep His Holy Days. These individuals reject the Hebrew calendar, some claiming that it has its origin in Babylon and that it is a calendar of men. Several of these individuals have created their own calendars, each one claiming that his calendar is the one that is revealed in the Scriptures. However, these calendars differ from one another in certain respects. They are not identical, even though they all claim to come from the Bible. The rules of postponement, which are an essential element in the Hebrew calendar, come under special attack since these individuals assume that they are merely the rules of men and are in opposition to the will of God. The Hebrew calendar, these individuals claim, should only be used as long as it conforms to the calendar given by God in the Bible. The elements of the Hebrew calendar that are not in the Bible, including the rules of postponement, must be rejected. If God indeed has provided us with a calendar, then we should be able to see clearly from the Bible alone the specific definitions and elements needed. The fundamental question, then, is: Does the Bible provide us with the specific elements needed for a calendar? Let us look at the elements that are required and see if we can find them in the Bible. Genesis 1:14 states: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.’” However, these elements are not specific enough for a calendar. This scripture does not tell us when a month begins (new moon, full moon, etc.); in which season a year begins (spring, summer, etc.); how many days there are in a month or year; nor even at which point the day is divided from the night (sunset, darkness, etc.). It is important that we understand the fundamental characteristics and elements of a calendar. A calendar is made up of days, weeks, months and years. Does the Bible give us a calendar with these elements specifically defined? A day is defined in the Bible (Genesis 1:5; Leviticus 23:32). It is from sunset to sunset (Hebrew: ereb, even, evening, sunset). A week is also defined as a period of seven days, by the Sabbath being the seventh day of the week (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 34:21). However, sunset is not a very specific point in time as long as it is dependent upon observation. (We must remember that the modern scientific methods of astronomical calculations were not available for most of man’s history.) Individuals in the same area will see sunset at different times, based on their different perspective of the precise moment the sun sets.
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