Month of the Aviv
He has made known the end from the beginning…
The following article was written by Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and author Nehemia Gordon and was originally published in The Astronomically and Agriculturally Corrected Biblical Hebrew Calendar in the spring of the year 2000. Based on the restoration of the Creator’s original method of reckoning time and on Mr. Gordon’s scientific observation of the aviv barley that spring, Michael Rood calculated that Isaiah’s prophesied violent annulment of “the covenant with death” (Isaiah 28) would occur before sundown September 28, 2000. Six months after the calendar was published and the annulment of the Oslo Accords was calculated, Ariel Sharon ascended the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, opened the book of Ezekiel, and read the prophecy concerning the reuniting of Israel and Judah.
Violence erupted on the Temple Mount, and the bloodshed began the “Second Intifada” just before sundown on September 28, 2000. This prophesied act of violence annulled the United Nation’s seven years of peace and safety rhetoric. For the first time in modern history, an ancient prophecy has been called on the very day of its fulfillment, thereby proving that the Creator runs the universe according to His reckoning of time – regardless of whether we recognize it or not.
This precise calculation was possible because there were Israelites who were serious enough about the restoration of the Creator’s original calendar to actually do the labor of tilling the fields, planting the barley, and watching for the day that the barley would mature to the stage of aviv. Ten years later, numerous armchair critics continue to justify the calculated calendar systems of men’s imaginations, while a few watch and wait for the early and latter rains to be sent from heaven to ripen the barley according to the Creator’s times and seasons. The following article is an important moment in the calendar restoration process that many missed because they were not yet awakened. As with the ripening of the barley, flax, wheat, and vine, each one awakens and is brought to maturity in his own season.
The Month of the Aviv
The biblical year begins at the sighting of the first new moon after the barley in the land of Israel reaches the stage in its development that the Bible calls aviv. Only by checking the state of the barley crop can we fulfill the biblical commandment to “Keep the month of the aviv” (Deuteronomy 16:1). Only by fixing the calendar in harmony with the barley crop can we fulfill the commandment to celebrate Hag HaMatzot (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) “at the time of the month of the aviv, because in the month of the aviv you went out of Egypt” (Exodus 34:18).
A commitment of Jewish Karaites throughout the generations has been to observe the biblical precept to “keep the month of the aviv.” To this very day, every Karaite takes an oath at the time of his marriage “to keep the Holy Days of YHWH according to the observation of the aviv in the Holy Land of Israel.” Throughout the Middle Ages, a great effort was made to send messengers to Israel to check on the state of the barley crop. It was not uncommon for Karaitic Jews to celebrate the Holy Days one month after the Rabbinic Jews. As late as 1641, we learn from a Crimean Karaite pilgrim that the Karaites of the Middle East still followed the biblical calendar, and in 1641 they celebrated all the Holy Days one month after the “Rabbinites.”
The “nineteen year cycle” has been adopted by the majority of Jewish people instead of fixing the first month according to the barley crop. This cycle was invented at a time when reliable reports of the barley crop in the land of Israel were difficult to obtain. It added the occasionally necessary thirteenth month (seven times every nineteen years), which keeps Passover in the spring of the year in a logical, yet biblically unauthorized pattern. The Rabbinites recognize that the state of the barley crop determines the date of Passover (Sanhedrin 11a); however, since our return to the land, observation of the barley crop has proven that the rabbinic cycle is often in error and now obsolete. Over the past decade, several Israelites have investigated the state of the barley crop at the time that the modern Jewish calendar declared the month of Aviv (Nissan) and discovered that the barley was not yet aviv. It is a common occurrence for Rabbinic, Messianic, and even Karaitic Jews to celebrate the biblical Holy Days one month too early!
“...Whoever will not go up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem to prostrate to the King, YHWH Tzevaot, there shall be no rain upon them... this will be the plague with which YHWH smites the nations that will not go up to celebrate Hag Ha-Sukkot (Tabernacles).” (Zechariah 14:18-19)
Tuesday, November 9, 1999 at sunset, Michael Rood, Bruce Brill, Devorah Gordon, and I sighted the eighth new moon of the year from Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. A second group of observers on the nearby Mount of Olives, including Dr. Roy Hoffman of the Israeli New Moon Society, Baruch Ben-Yosef, and David Pisanti, also concurred with the first sighting at 16:51. That evening, just as in ancient Israel, about forty witnesses enjoyed the festive tradition of a campfire barbecue to honor the “two witnesses.”
Because of the rarity of occasions when the modern Jewish calendar corresponds with the biblical new month, the new moon sighting festivities were rehearsed on the correct day for the first time in nearly 2,000 years. Michael Rood distributed native Israeli barley seed to the participants, and in accordance with the ancient practice of the Levites, we sowed barley on the side of the Mount of Olives at the appearance of the eighth new moon. In the deepening twilight, seeds of hope were scattered on the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount – the future location of the Third Temple. Within the next few days, eight barley fields were planted in the land of Israel for the express purpose of determining the month of the aviv barley the following spring. This upcoming spring of the year 2000 is the first opportunity for all of us to be on the Creator’s calendar by the beginning of the biblical new year - Aviv 1.
We sincerely appreciate the work of Nehemia Gordon, who has diligently sought to restore the scriptural definition of the ancient Hebrew agricultural term aviv. After over a decade of linguistic and scientific research that has taken him from dusty manuscripts to barley fields in armored vehicles, rabbinic scholars, who themselves had been on the trail of restoring the Creator’s calendar, now acknowledge the essential research and field observations of Mr. Gordon and his team. Rabbinic scholars in Jerusalem are satisfied that our Astronomically and Agriculturally Corrected Biblical Hebrew Calendar is accurately based on the very method of reckoning time that governed the Temple service of the first century. This is the calendar by which Yahshua “went up” to fulfill the Feasts in Jerusalem, and it is the only calendar reckoning that allows the accurate decoding of The Jonah Code and a clear understanding of the Gospel chronology.
In his work of restoration, Mr. Gordon has been viciously attacked by those who claim to be followers of Yahshua while rabidly defending the Pharisee calendar that was invented over 300 years after Yahshua adamantly warned his followers in word and example, “Do not follow the takanot and ma’asim of the Pharisees” (Hebrew Matthew 23:3). Nehemia has been incessantly cursed by new age lunar sabbatarians; the neo-pagan Babylonian equinox adherents; the brown kippah society, which insists that the Pharisees were given the authority to “change the times and the Torah”; and the papists, who insist that Constantine had the heavenly calling to reestablish Nimrod’s sun calendar. To each his own.
The heated debates over the calendar all boil down to the question: “Who is your authority?” Nehemia, a Karaite Jew who does not (at the time of this publication) believe in Yahshua as Messiah, believes that he should follow the Hebrew Scriptures only. In these Scriptures Moses promised the coming of a prophet whom we must obey – and that if we ignore that prophet, it will be to our own demise. Michael Rood believes that we should follow the Torah as Moses received it and as Yahshua interpreted it and lived it. He has very little conflict with Nehemia, who lives the Torah according to the dictates of his own conscience. Michael has a great deal of conflict with those who say, “Yahshua is Lord,” yet do not lift a finger to do what Yahshua instructs his disciples to do. Which is actually doing “the will of the Father”?