We have been looking again at the schedule of holidays. In this post I review what we know and what it would look like to add Christmas and Easter to the list of inspired holidays.
As we began to focus on the problems of Acts 15 we started viewing most of these holidays as trouble. What did the editors do to the text that defines these holidays? How many of them are inspired?
The problem is that Acts 15 calls out sacrifice as an important topic added by editors. Sacrifice, especially, started at Solomon. Many of the holidays are sacrifice related. Solomon was the first and most ancient editor, so these holidays could have been added at a very early time.
This is not really a solvable problem without inspired text. So, I added an option in the calendar app to hide/show holidays that could be reasonably disputed given the rules from Acts 15. That option has been active for some time. We left the problem of understanding these holidays as a future to-do.
Since about September I have been working heavily on 3d modeling topics. In that work the 'river case' has returned and become a potent tool for looking at inspired passages. I covered Jacob's Blessings in the 2022-11-25 blog as an example.
Ryan has been using that River Case series as a tool to recheck many of the passages he's been looking at for years. All sorts of great things are coming from it. I will be returning to more examples in future blogs.
This past week Ryan took that letter pair list to the holidays to see if it would reveal anything new. Wow!
Except for Purim, which I will get to below, all the other holidays appear to have been defined in a much shorter inspired passage. Those holidays appear to be following the 'River Case' letter pair order.
Ancient editors, when they were reworking Leviticus, appear to have spread those definitions out by adding material around a mostly simpler holiday definition list.
This helps tie that order, via the holidays, to the tribal order in Revelation 7. So we are getting more confident in this order as the interpretive key to lists of 12. It might be the only key for such lists, but give us more time to explore.
The following headings include the date as a month/day pair, the river case letter pair, the tribe name from Revelation 7, and the name of the holiday. Each is followed by brief notes. At the bottom we return to the question of Christmas.
1/10: Dot/Colon, Judah, Selection Day
Selection day starts the series. The day for selecting the lamb for Passover dinner. Dot/Colon are usually introductory, setting up for a story to come. Selecting the main course for a meal 4 days later is a fine match.
1/14: Wa/Ze, Reuben, Passover
Importantly this meal starts at Sunset and is not a Sabbath so the meal can be prepared on this day. So the meal begins when the stars (Wa) come out. It is celebrated behind locked (Ze) doors.
Jacob said of Reuben that he is the first sign of his strength. But Reuben would not excel because of what he did to Jacob's other wife. This holiday is first, but it is not a day of rest. The day is a work day to prepare a special dinner at sunset.
1/15: Ve/Pe, Gad, Unleavened Bread Opening Assembly
Celebrates leaving Egypt by pulling up tent pegs (Ve). The night that the firstborn died is at the start of this calendar day. The Ve sometimes represents a weapon. See the story of Jael and Sisera in Judges 4:21+. The day is to be used for listening to the retelling of the story (Pe).
Of Gad, Jacob mentions going forth, which is what this date commemorates.
1/21: Ku/Qu, Asher, Unleavened Bread Closing Assembly
See Ex. 13:8, tell the young (Ku) about the history, memory (Qu).
Of Asher, Jacob mentions good land and food for a king. Land is where sprouts (Ku) grow. A king is supposed to think (Qu) for the people. After unleavened bread, Asher can start baking with yeast again.
By Observation: Jo/Yo, First Fruits, Naphtali
This holiday does not have a fixed calendar date. It is to be scheduled by observation. It marks the start of a 50 day harvest season. A measured (Jo) handful (Yo) as a sample starts the harvest season. For many crops like wheat, samples (Yo) are still used to test (Jo) for yield, moisture and protein. Costs for harvest and market value of the grain can be set from these tests.
Almost all small businesses have harvest seasons of their own. So this is not always tied to crops. People working for regular pay are skirting with living in slavery and may not see this holiday at all.
Of Naphtali, Jacob said he is a swift messenger with attractive sayings. Swift matches here because it is just a sample, with no weight to carry. The hope, of course, is the sample will test well and become an attractive message.
50 Days Later: Lu/Sa, Manasseh, Weeks
Like First Fruits, this holiday does not have a fixed calendar date. These holidays will locally synchronize to the solar year. The north and south hemispheres of Earth will generally observe these roughly 6 months apart. Distance from the equator matters too. Grains are harvested earlier in the solar year when grown closer to the equator.
This date is timed to end after a crop harvest cycle. Nearly all farms growing crops can be harvested within 50 days. The measured distance of time is like a measuring reed, Lu, applied to time. The crop itself is supply, Sa.
In particular teachers, who are shepherds especially of children (Lu) are to be provisioned (Sa). Manasseh is the double portion tribe and has the extra means to provision generally. This is corrupted in modern Manasseh.
The term priest is used in the definition of this holiday. As a worker in a temple of animal sacrifice this is a problem. The spelling, KuFeN, might point the inspired function into the realm of teaching the young. Ku (Young) are Fe (plowed/prepared) for Ne (seed/writing). Secondary definition is Lu (Shepherd) the Ze (unlocking/revealing) of The (time/history).
In any case people working in these jobs need to be provisioned.
7/1: Ge/Fe, Simeon, Trumpets
Trumpets are blown to gather (Ge) an assembly that will be called a few days later (Fe). Note this is on day 1 of month 7. It suggest that if there are any inspired new month holidays that those days are the last day of the previous month.
Note there is no particular assembly on this date. The Ge is a scythe that reaches out to a harvest. The Fe is a rake that also reaches out and prepares for later sowing and harvesting. This date is reaching out to events later in the month.
Jacob said over Simeon that he would not enter their council. There is no specific instruction on this date, a match to Simeon.
7/10: Mo/Re, Levi, Atonements
This holiday is normally a date for a sacrifice. Acts 15 prevents this from being inspired, or at least an inspired function for the day. This is part of why we listed holidays as disputed, especially this one.
This is also the date, normally once every 50 years, for forgiving debt.
Could editors have narrowed an inspired purpose by shunting it to the 50th year?
If this is what the editors did, then the inspired purpose is to force a day, once each year, when debt is canceled. No one is to go into Tabernacles with any outstanding debt.
Levi is the traditional tribe for banking, the Bank of International Settlements is in Basel. For all product flows, money flows in the reverse direction. There is some need for this function in international trade.
Currency is in 3 forms, copper, silver and gold. Copper is the merchant's money. Silver is the tool makers money and gold is the land money. It could be different forms of debt are canceled on different years. Copper each year, Silver every 7 and then Gold every 50. But, this is speculation.
Mo is water. It symbolizes water of the womb or origins. Crossing the sea at the Exodus is symbolic of birth. All debt was canceled when leaving Egypt, which is the origin (Mo) for faith communities. (Remember, Abraham did the same in his day, leaving Ur.)
The Re is a head, as in cattle. Bowing down, or head to ground, is pictured in the 3d model. Borrowers and lenders must do this to each other on this date. They must return to being equals.
Jacob also said of Levi that he would not enter his council. There is no instruction implied on this date, a match to this tribe.
7/15, Ha/Sha, Issachar, Tabernacles Opening Assembly
Tabernacles is a week of camping, usually away from home. This date starts the week. The campsite is a special place (Ha) for reading/receiving (Sha) the text.
Of Issachar, Jacob said he will see how good his land is. This is like observing the campground upon arrival. Some years it might be good, some not so good. If you have camped anywhere you know how fussy people can be over a good campsite.
7/22, The/Ne, Zebulun, Tabernacles Closing Assembly
This is the last day of Tabernacles week. Because of different distances home, everyone came on their own schedule.
At this closing date, everyone leaves at the same time. The letter, The, is a wheel. It represents travel. The Ne is seed, but is often symbolic of the letters of the inspired text. So carrying home what was read is captured in the Ne on this date.
Of Zebulun, Jacob said he would be a haven for ships. Those ships also travel and carry goods in a similar way to breaking camp after Tabernacles.
12/14: Ba/Oo, Joseph, Purim I
This is the first troubling holiday. It celebrates the killing your enemies. See discussion below. The Jews and Babylon joined forces.
Jacob gives a long blessing over Joseph. Retribution is not needed when Joshua is our source of provision.
12/15: Du/Ta, Benjamin, Purim II
This is the 2nd day of this troubling holiday. See discussion below.
Purim I and II
Purim has a double problem. First, it is not given early in the text, it was introduced around 1500 years after Moses. So for most of history Purim did not exist. None of the 24 inspired writers of the OT knew Purim as an annual holiday. The inspired account of Mordecai who writes about Purim sees him as a villain, not a hero.
Problem #2 is how it was introduced. Esther is the story of how Jewish (banking/religion) wedded the Babylonian royal family. This marriage is on display when the Jews threaten Pilate with an escalation to Caesar if he would not crucify Joshua. This same marriage is seen in 4000 page spending bills, but I digress.
Purim is not a holiday focused on Joshua. Mordecai is the editor/villain in the story and he is credited as the writer who invents Purim.
So the question is layered. Does the calendar want the 2 dates that bring the annual holiday schedule to 12? If so, might there be 2 NT holidays instead of Purim?
For about 2000 years the Christian world has had candidates for those 2 holidays, Christmas and Easter. Should these drop into the calendar instead of Purim? Indeed, the gift giving of Christmas, and the general time of year are already a match. Christians are basically doing this already.
I am asking this in a textual sense. If Purim is NOT in the inspired set, while the other 10 holidays ARE inspired, then we need to find 2 more in the text in order to fill out a complete set of 12.
Joshua's birthday, or 'incarnation day' and his 'resurrection day' are the 2 days with serious textual support and historical support from Church history.
Christmas is the holiday when the Christian world celebrates the birth of Joshua. More technically, the incarnation of Joshua. The start of the time when Joshua God became a man and lived among us.
Luke has the best written account and that is usually used in large formal celebrations of the day. The best single visual memory peg for the holiday is the manger with baby Joshua, Mary, Joseph, the animals and other various visitors.
This blog is scheduled to be released on December 23, 2022, and Christmas is 2 days later, December 25, 2022. So I am staring at this question given the holiday next weekend.
Christmas was not a holiday from the earliest times. The date was chosen to be exactly 9 months after New Years Day, March 25. March 25 was the date for Resurrection Sunday, which we will get to below. The Christmas date was also chosen to, in part, deflect and repurpose the Roman celebration of Saturnalia.
Saturnalia already had many of the trappings we today associate with Christmas, including gift giving, feasting, and the wreaths that mark the rings of Saturn. (Yes, people in ancient times knew Saturn had rings, history generally degenerates.)
Saturnalia was celebrated on the winter equinox, a few days ahead of modern Christmas. Saturn itself is the planet with a moon containing Eden. The rings of Saturn mark the Rainbow Covenant of Noah. That place is Joshua' primary home when in this solar system. So there is strange beauty in repurposing this holiday.
Christmas as we know it was not celebrated in the early centuries of the Christian Era. In the early centuries of the Christian Era Joshua' birthday was celebrated differently.
It was done on what we know now as Ash Wednesday, about 40 days ahead of Easter. So the celebration goes back 2000 years, if not on the same date nor celebrated exactly the same way. Those 40 days will matter. Keep reading.
All of this is to say that the 11th inspired holiday driven by inspired text is likely a celebration of Joshua's birth.
The correct date, by the way, would be the 8th month, 29th day, on the calendar we use around here for prophetic headlines. The link here is to the Bible Time article that narrows down on the specific day.
Important to the structure of the calendar, this is AFTER tabernacles in the 7th month. So it naturally synchronizes to the earlier holidays. It follows in order and would be the 11th holiday of the year.
So the final holiday, the 12th in the series of holidays would be Resurrection Sunday.
You might debate me and offer Joshua's crucifixion date instead. The modern church does focus more on the Crucifixion, so you would have support. BUT, the empty tomb, and Joshua' eternal nature and power over death, even his own, is best seen on resurrection morning.
That morning he shifts from being seen as an interesting man to being seen for what he is, god in the flesh. He does not appear in public much more because anyone who would see him in his resurrected form is without excuse for how they respond to him.
This date has been celebrated in various forms of synchronization with Jewish Passover for the better part of 2000 years. This is because the events of the proceeding week were tied to Jewish Passover.
Of course Jewish Passover hits the Acts 15 rules. Moses' form involved getting out from Pharaoh' grip. In any case, Passover is already on the calendar.
Also importantly, the Jewish Passover, when all this happened, was dated on the Pagan, Lunar, Jewish calendar of the day. Along with the Roman calendar of the day, those calendars were tied to the seasons of Earth.
That resurrection morning was in the 10th month when we link it back to the calendar used by Moses.
The link given here is to the simplest way to find the date for resurrection Sunday. It is in a series of other articles that go in to detail and triangulate that date. (For math challenged readers, that same date can be established in different ways. This is just the easiest to remember.)
The important day to know is not the Roman calendar dates, but the 10th month and the 11th day. This date is on the same calendar as the rest of the text was written on.
So you should notice immediately that this is following the birth date late in the 8th month. Indeed, the crucifixion day is the 40th day after Joshua's birthday.
These 2 dates are forming a pair in the 2nd half of the annual calendar. That pair, at 40 days, is similar to the First Fruits and Weeks that form a pair in the early half of the calendar year. That earlier pair is 50 days.
If we pushed a week out, to the doubting Thomas date, we would get 2 holiday pairs at 50 days each, very curious. In any case Thomas is not that interesting.
Both holiday pairs may be considered by observation, also curious.
The letter pairs we're checking holidays against puts Ba/Oo on Joseph's holiday and thus on Joshua's birthday, Christmas.
Joshua was born to Mary and Joseph. Joshua was named for Joshua son of Nun, a more distant relative, who was of the tribe of Ephraim, a sub-tribe of Joseph. These line up very well with Joshua's birthday aligning with Joseph on the holiday by tribe.
Jacob's blessings over Joseph have some echos in Joshua, so this is also a match.
From a letter pair perspective, Ba, a Tent, is important. Remember, there was no room at the inn (Ba), so a manger (animal's Ba) was used instead. Then everyone came to see (Oo). The Oo on the ground is often a telescope for looking at stars. Both of these are very nice letter matches to themes surrounding Joshua's birth.
The final holiday in the calendar goes with Benjamin. Benjamin we know for the seal date that identifies modern Israel (and perhaps Arabs) as the lost tribe of Benjamin.
Benjamin is the son of trouble, whose mother died at his birth. Paul, the main NT writer, was from this tribe. Benjamin is the tribe most associated with the Jews of Joshua's day, the cause of that last holiday.
Of Benjamin, Jacob called him a plundering wolf. Jacob makes specific reference to dividing spoil. This was done over Joshua's garments at the crucifixion.
The letter pair for this last holiday is Du/Ta. The Du is a purse, or place of special things. The verb is to open. This purse is 3d modeled as closed. On resurrection morning the tomb was open (Du). There was important cloth found within (Ta). Again, all very nice symbolic matches.
In any case this seems to be the inspired way to round out the annual holiday calendar with 12 holidays. 10 holidays described in Moses' day and then 2 more from NT times. We will see if this plays out going forward with our textual work.
The Church world does not celebrate these events on very good dates. But, in both cases they fell on dates historically decreed by political figures and governors, not by dates given on the calendar.
So why not use the same dating technique to celebrate these holidays now too? If so, this weekend is as good as any.