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Jewish Feasts & Farming: New Testament

John Hepp, Jr.

Jewish Feasts & Farming: New Testament

March-AprilNisan2Nisan 14: Passover (Firstfruits later3)

Nisan 15-21: Unleavened Bread
latter rains4

no rain
April-Mayno rainbarley

May-JuneSivanSivan 6: Pentecost

(50 days after Firstfruits)
no rainwheat
June-Julyno rain
July-Augustno raingrapes, dates, and other summer fruits
August-Septemberno rainsummer fruits
September-OctoberTishri5Tishri 1: Trumpets

Tishri 10: Day of Atonement

Tishri 15-21: Tabernacles
no rainolives
October-Novemberearly rains

early rains
November-DecemberKislevKislev 25: Dedication (Hanukkah)rain

1 The Jewish year adapted lunar months to the solar cycle. Each month began with a new moon and lasted 29 or 30 days. But twelve lunar months total only 354 days. In order to make up the difference to a solar year of 365 days, an extra month was added to seven out of nineteen years.

2 Nisan was the first month of the religious year (Exodus 12:2). The civil year, however, began six months later with Trumpets (Rosh hashana, head of the year) on the first day of the month Tishri.

3 Firstfruits of barley were offered “on the morrow after the sabbath” after Passover (Leviticus 23:11).
Apparently, “sabbath” meant the weekly Sabbath, though some leaders insisted it meant Passover itself.

4 The beginning of the rainy season (“early rains” ) varied from year to year. After the ground was moistened, it could be plowed and seeds sown. Intermittent rains continued for months. “Latter rains,” which swelled the grain before harvest, were a greatly desired extension of the rainy season. Barley harvest began on the day of Firstfruits. Olive harvest was done as convenient, before and/or after the fall plowing.

5 See the footnote that begins with the word “Nisan.”

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