This started out as a continuation on the theme of Why We Are So Screwed (see http://polination.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/democrats-hate-god-its-that-simple/) but ended up being a bunch of fun stuff about the Jewish calendar and Noah’s Ark.
I confess that I was pretty much totally creeped out when I realized that the FIRST full day of Obama’s SECOND term was the FORTIETH anniversary of Roe v. Wade. ONE, TWO and FORTY are all Big Important Numbers in the Bible. And there’s no question Obama is THE most rabidly pro-abortion president EVER.
I’ve talked about ONE (God) and TWO (complementary or contrasting pairs) before, but I haven’t explored FORTY in any depth, so I did that this morning during my Bible and Java time on the couch. (Fave part of the day!)
According to my Bible Dictionary, FORTY is associated with new developments in the history of God’s Big Plan, particularly with periods of TRIAL and CHASTISEMENT.
- TRIAL: Jesus was tempted by the Devil for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, and won the battle.
- CHASTISEMENT: The Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the desert because of the golden calf incident.
Funny how in the number FORTY, there is a SINGLE number with TWO meanings. And when you add the ONE number with the TWO meanings you get, tada, God’s Big Number, THREE.
I started looking up the FORTY incidents my Bible Dictionary listed, beginning with Noah and the Ark, when God sent FORTY days and FORTY nights of heavy rain and drowned everybody but Noah and those with him in the ark.
Obviously, mega CHASTISEMENT for the sinful earthlings who drowned, but I’m thinking it was no picnic being shut up on that boat with all those animals in all that humidity, so mega TRIAL for the righteous. Ew.
But Scripture provides a bunch of actual dates and time frames within the whole story that got me intrigued. I had so much fun researching, it took up the whole day! I never did get to any more of the FORTY incidents. LOL
The Jewish calendar is composed of TWELVE lunar months of twenty-nine or thirty days, for a total of 354 days. Like us, they use leap years to keep it from getting out of synch with the solar cycle. Below is a list of the common months and the major holidays with the 2013 dates for our calendar.
1. Tishrei (30 days)
- Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) Sept 5, 2013.
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Sept 14, 2013.
- Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles) Sept 19-25, 2013.
2. Marcheshvan (29 days)
3. Kislev (30 days)
- Hannukah Nov 28-Dec 5, 2013
4. Tevet (29 days)
5. Shevat (30 days)
- In leap years, they stick an extra month in between Shevat and Adar.
6. Adar (29 days)
- Purim February 23-24, 2013.
7. Nisan (30 days)
- Pesach (Passover) Always begins on Nisan 15, lasts 7 or 8 days and celebrates God freeing the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Mar 26 – Apr 2, 2013.
8. Iyar (29 days)
- Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) – Apr 16, 2013.
- Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) – May 7, 2013
9. Sivan (30 days)
- Shavuot (Pentecost) – May 15-16, 2013
10. Tammuz (29 days)
11. Av (30 days)
- Tisha B’av (The Ninth of Av) A fast day that commemorates two of the saddest events in Jewish history that both occurred on the ninth of Av – the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE and of the Second Temple in 70 CE. July 16, 2013.
12. Elul (29 days)
According to Genesis 7 and 8:
2/10: The Noahs got themselves and the animals on to the ark during the second month, Marcheshvan, which falls in October.
2/17: The rain started a week later “in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month.”
7/17: The ark “came to rest on the mountains of Ararat” one hundred and fifty days later “in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month.” This date is always the third day of Passover, which falls in the spring.
Can you imagine what it was like on the ark, with the animals and the humidity and the motion sickness and the relatives living in close quarters? I bet the Pilgrims had a whole new understanding of the Noah story after their arduous boat ride across the Atlantic in their itty bitty, mega crowded Mayflower!
10/1: The level of the water “continued to diminish” until “the first day of the tenth month” when “the tops of the mountains appeared.” The tenth month is Tammuz; it falls in June.
11/10 part one: “At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch of the ark that he had made.” FORTY days after the first of Tammuz is the tenth of Av.
Both destructions of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem happened on the 9th of Av. I love it that the hope-filled day when Noah first opened the hatch of the ark was the 10th of Av. It’s like God gave the Jews a sign of hope about the Temples centuries before they would even need it.
11/10 part two: On this day, Noah “released a RAVEN. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth. Then Noah released a DOVE, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.”
I was puzzled about the RAVEN and the DOVE, until I thought to surf a bird guide and learned that ravens live on mountains and eat almost anything, including carrion, while doves live among tall grasses or groves of trees and eat mostly seeds.
The RAVEN didn’t come right back, because it was comfortable spending time on the mountains that had been exposed. But it “flew back and forth” for a while, maybe because ravens are really smart and this one knew the people on the ark were good for a meal of something other than carrion (which I expect was plentiful, what with the way dead animals float) and a place out of the wind to catch some zzzs.
Noah released a DOVE to see if “the waters had lessened on the earth”, because the dove would not be comfortable staying out until there was dry land and seed-bearing plants down in the foothills and valleys.
11/17: “Noah waited yet seven days more and again released the dove from the ark. In the evening the dove came back to him, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! So Noah knew that the waters had diminished on the earth.” They’d have been in July more or less.
11/24: “He waited yet another seven days and then released the dove; but this time it did not come back.” That was a good sign, since it meant there was not only dry land, but also plants that had flowered and were now bearing seeds in the valleys below.
1/1: “In the first month, on the first day of the month, Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw that the surface of the ground had dried.”
I was puzzled why Noah waited five weeks after the dove took off before removing the “covering of the ark”, but then I went back to the instructions God gave him for building in Chapter Six. There were only two openings, one “for daylight” (the “hatch”) and “the entrance on its side” (the “covering of the ark”).
Obviously, opening the latter was a big deal, both mechanically and because the animals would have gotten very antsy to be let loose once it was opened. It makes sense that he waited until he was sure there was habitat available for them.
Can you IMAGINE what it meant for the Noahs to get that Big Door open and start sending the animals off the ark? And wow … on New Year’s Day, no less! Best New Year’s Ever!!
2/27: The journey ended in Marcheshvan, the same month it had started the year before. “In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah: Go out of the ark.”
SUMMARY: The Noahs boarded on Marcheshvan 10, the rain began on Marcheshvan 17 and they debarked the following year on Marcheshvan 27. Since the Jewish lunar calendar is about eleven days shorter than our solar calendar, it works out that they boarded with the animals ONE week before the rain started, which is kinda like the SEVEN days of Creation, then were on board for ONE solar year. That is so cool!
40s in the Bible. See a list @ http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/40.html
Lessons from the Olive Tree @ http://www.pray4zion.org/LessonsfromtheOliveTree.html
About ravens @ http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Raven/lifehistory
About doves @ http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Ground-Dove/id
Hebrew calendar @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar