Metonic Cycle

I’d like to provide some background information about the Jewish calendar that may prove helpful for those who are trying to figure out the visions of Daniel.  This information is widely available on the internet but if you don’t know you need it, you’ll never look for it.  Besides I tend to be a one stop shopper and I like it when things are neat and tidy in one place.

Originally, God planned for His people to monitor the changing of the months by the sighting of the new moon.  The sighting of the crescent new moon signals the ending of the first day of every month on the Hebrew calendar; the time of the conjunction when the moon is fully dark is the first day of the month. The conjunction marks the first day of the year and thereby the count of the dates of the holy days.  The moon goes through several phases (new crescent, waxing crescent > waxing quarter > half > full > half  > waning quarter >  waning crescent > invisible/old) as it reflects sunlight over a period of 29.5 days.  If you observe the month each evening, you can see this for yourself.

Biblically, the new moon ends at the appearance of the crescent moon; it begins when it is invisible (not reflecting light from the sun).  My position on this has changed. 119 Ministries has a good explanation on this on their web site; see their video:  Time Our Creator’s Calendar – The Foundation – Part 2.  They do discard the Hillel calendar used in this post; if I ever change any other positions on this post, I will make appropriate updates.  There are other seemingly valid reasons for the new moon being at the sighting of the sliver so the debate continues on.

Phases of the moon

As God’s people were spread throughout the world, it became impossible for everyone to know when the sighting of the crescent moon took place in Israel; it ensured that the conjunction or new moon had taken place.  The sighting of the new moon is important because it insures the feasts of the Lord are celebrated on the correct days of the year.

Two or three witnesses are required to confirm the presence of the crescent moon in Jerusalem.  A calendar day actually begins at sundown and changes to the next calendar day when the sun goes down the following day.  This is consistent with the pattern of creation–darkness followed by light.

The Hebrew calendar used today is based on a 19 year cycle called the Metonic cycle.  The Hebrew calendar normally has 12 months each year but sometimes it is necessary to add a 13th month (an embolismic month called Adar II) if the barley is not ripe.  This ensures that Passover is always celebrated in the month of Nissan when the barley is ripe (in the state of “Abib”).  The new moon which marks the beginning of Nissan must come on or after the spring (vernal) equinox.

An embolismic month (Adar II) takes place 7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle.  Adar II is added in the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the Metonic cycle.  This pattern is sometimes described as 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2.  It is possible to determine which years in the past and in the future had/will have an embolismic month (30 intercalary days); however, Hebrew date converters (found on the internet) which convert Gregorian calendar dates that we use to Hebrew dates warn us that results for year 1752 C.E. and before may not be accurate when calculating date conversions.  This is an important tool for those interested in prophecy and in celebrating the feasts of the Lord because Gregorian dates calculated for Hebrew dates vary from year to year.  This is the next best thing to the sighting of the new moon.

Originally, the months of the year were numbered like the days of the week but eventually they were given names while the Jews were living in Babylon.  Tishrei begins the civil calendar year which is when the number of the year changes.  Nissan begins the religious calendar year which begins the counting of the months of the year and the spring feasts (Ex.12:2).  The months of the Jewish year are:

  1. Nissan (30 days)
  2. Iyar (29 days)
  3. Sivan (30 days)
  4. Tamuz (29 days)
  5. Av (30 days)
  6. Elul (29 days)
  7. Tishrei (30 days)
  8. Cheshvan (29 or 30 days)
  9. Kislev (29 or 30 days)
  10. Tevet (29 days)
  11. Shevat (30 days)
  12. Adar I (29 or 30 days)
  13. Adar II (29 days)

There can be either 354, 355, 356, 383, or 384 days in a Jewish year.  I’ve looked at lots of theories and by now I’m pretty sure the idea of using a 360 day year for Daniel’s visions is worthless.

A shavuah (7 year period) can be either 86 moons (months) or 87 moons (months).  The times and seasons of Daniel center around  the Feasts of the Lord because they are His appointed times.  For the timing of the 70th week of Daniel to be right, we’re probably looking at a shavuah with 86 moons.  For those interested in the times related to Daniel’s visions, Nissan 11, 5785 (September 7, 2021) through Elul 29, 5788 (September 20, 2028) is 1260 days…the next day being Tishrei 1, 5789.  There are exactly 42 moons between those dates as well.  I haven’t checked but this can probably happen in more than one shavuah with 86 moons but I am partial to this particular shavuah.

As we look for Yeshua’s return, know that it must be during a conjunction when all is in darkness:

Isaiah 13:9-10 says, “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.” and Mark 13:23-27 says, “But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;  25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.  27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”

 

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75 thoughts on “Metonic Cycle

    • Thank you but the credit must really go to the Lord for showing me such things. I pray He will continue to show me more! May many people be blessed! Please be sure to share with friends and family…

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    • Make sure you have the latest Power Point update because I had to correct some errors… at one point I’d lost everything and had to recreate with a bad file…I may still not be error free so I’ll check again and make corrections if needed.

      My goal was to make it as easy as possible. Basically, know this: The metonic cycle gives us the correct number of days and their breakdown for the entire shavuah so we can see that the remaining Fall Feasts of the Lord can be fulfilled according to prophecy.

      There are definitely 44 appearances of the new moon from the beginning of the final shavuah through the appearance of the moon for Nissan in the middle of the shavuah and definitely 42 appearances of the new moon from the middle of Nissan which is in the middle of the shavuah to the remainder of the shavuah. The latter half of the shavuah completes the 1260 days or 42 moons (months) prophesied in Daniel and Revelation. Christ should return right after the completion of the 1260 days — which is the next day (the Day of Trumpets). This shavuah ends in a year of Jubilee to fulfill prophecy as well.

      There are 9 days of overlap (Nissan 11-19, 5785) between end of the 1290 days and the beginning of the 1260 days that are most likely the time the Beast will set up an abomination of desolation in the temple and perform a blood sacrifice similar to what Antiochus IV Epiphanes did in 10 days (Kislev 15th – 25th).

  2. Good an very informative post. I will come back to your blog regullary. One thing: I do not exactly know what do you mean in the second paragraph. Could you please exmplain your opinion?

  3. Good an very informative post. I will come back to your blog regullary. One thing: I do not exactly know what do you mean in the second paragraph. Could you please exmplain your opinion?

    • About every 29.5 days the appearance of the moon changes as it orbits the earth. The new moon, as far as the Bible is concerned (which is the original meaning), is when we first see the appearance of a crescent shape moon. As each night of the month passes, more of the moon appears until it is a half moon and later a full moon. At this point, the moon is between the sun and the earth. After the full moon, we see less of the moon each night until it’s a half moon again and eventually we can’t see it at all. This is when the old month ends and the process starts all over again with the new month.

      I’ve edited the post to include this information since more than one person has asked for clarification. Hopefully, this will help.

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    • Thanks. I love free stuff and lamented for years while living overseas in Eastern Europe that I didn’t have access and funds for everything I wanted to know. Some stuff is abundant but this kind of thing is not. Publishing is not cheap either. I don’t have $2300 or more to publish a single book and I don’t know if I could sell enough to cover the publishing cost. For now, the Lord has shown me that “those who seek will find.” As far as I know, those are the only kind of people that come to my blog. What I say goes against the majority of scholars anyway so I don’t know if I could make a fortune on what I write.

  5. Thank you a lot for your interesting text. I have been looking for such message for a really long time. Not all your content is completely clear to me, but it is definitely interesting and worth reading.

  6. Thank you for another informative site. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

    • I don’t know any one site that discusses the metonic cycle and Feasts of the Lord exactly as I’ve done. Just Google metonic cycle and see what comes up. Most just define it or discuss its creation. Other attempts have been made to see how the Feasts of the Lord fit into the scheme of things but they don’t take into account the year of Jubilee so they are probably not correct. They also do not count the exact number of days based on a particular shavuah and the Hebraic calendar. As far as I know, this is the only one that does. Sites that discuss the feasts usually discuss the prophetic significance and go no further. Are you wanting to see the break down of the days in the shavuah I’m proposing? What is your project?

    • I’ve tried again to make the second paragraph clearer…maybe the addition of this photo will help. Our monthly calendar today is not based on the appearance of the new moon but the Hebraic calendar is. This is how God intended for us to know when the Biblical year begins, each month on the Biblical calendar officially begins, and when the Feasts of the Lord should be celebrated.

      If we want to know when to expect Jesus to return, we need to observe the Biblical calendar and the Feasts of the Lord. Jesus’ return is dependent on the appearance of the new crescent moon so know one can know the exact day until it arrives. I believe we can get an exceptionally close idea based on the metonic cycle, Scripture, and the Feasts of the Lord.

  7. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!

    • There is a lot of information on the internet about the metonic cycle and the Hebraic calendar but everyone uses it in a slightly different manner. I’ve learned bits of the basic information over several years and God has revealed to me how it all fits into prophecy and the feasts of the Lord. This has been confirmed by counting out the days for the most likely final shavuah. God is amazing! This is only a small part of His awesome tapestry.

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    • Even though I’m now home in America, I am accustomed to differences in English language ability since I once lived overseas. I enjoy hearing from people from other countries very much. When I read the Bible, I ask myself what it reminds me of…sometimes only a word or phrase makes me think of something else. I look at both passages side by side to see if a true parallel exists. It takes a lot of time. Sometimes I have to look at something for days and I often have to begin writing before the Holy Spirit shows me more. Only then am I able to post on-line.

      Ecclesiastes 1:9 explains what is has already been and will be again in the future…this is especially true of prophecy.

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