Ancient Calendars, Feast Days, & Daniel 12:11: Part 3 :: By Randy Nettles

The feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, is the 5th feast of the Lord. It occurs on the 1st day of the 7th month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar, when the new moon of autumn first becomes visible (crescent). In ancient times, Tishri 1 was the first day of the New Year. Later, during the Exodus times, God instructed Moses to change the timing of the New Year from Tishri 1 to Nisan 1, so the calendar year would start in the spring and not the fall.

As soon as the crescent moon of Tishri arrived and was observed by two or more witnesses, the watchers would trumpet the signal from hill to hill. Not much is known about this feast other than the fact that it was New Year’s Day in the past. The Bible first mentions it in Leviticus 23:23, “In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.”

I believe the first fulfillment of the feast of Trumpets occurred when Joshua led the people of Israel against Jericho. Here are the instructions God gave to Joshua regarding Jericho:

“And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. This shall you do for six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, the people shall ascent up every man straight before him” (Joshua 6:3-5).

This was a great victory for the newly formed nation of Israel and began the conquest of Canaan, the Promised Land. Many Bible students of eschatology believe the 2nd Coming of Jesus to the battle of Armageddon will occur on a future feast of Trumpets, thus ultimately fulfilling this 5th Feast of the Lord. Jesus will not appear as a gentle lamb in a mortal body, but as the lion of Judea in all of his glory. The trumpets will signal the King of kings’ arrival and His ensuing great victory against Satan and his evil legions. Shortly after, his perfect 1,000-year reign on earth will begin.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the 6th feast of the Lord and is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when all Israel mourns for their sins. On the 10th day of the 7th month of Tishri, in the wilderness, the high priest Aaron sacrificed for the sins of his people. This was the first time God commanded the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. Here is how it is described in Leviticus 23:27-32:

“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and you shall afflict your souls. And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it is that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls…”

The Day of Atonement was to be observed every year on the 10th day of Tishri. Every 7th year on the Day of Atonement, Israel was to allow a Sabbath of rest for the land, whereas there was to be no planting of crops. This was so the land could be rejuvenated and yield greater crops. It was also to be a year of rest for the people and work animals.

Every fiftieth year, a jubilee was to be proclaimed on the Day of Atonement. Here is how it is described in Leviticus 25:8-12:

“And you shall number 7 Sabbaths of years unto you, 7 times seven 7 years: and the space of the 7 sabbaths of years shall be unto you 49 years. Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the 10th day of the 7th month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all you land. And you shall hallow the 50th year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and you shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that 50th year be unto you; you shall not sow, neither reap that which growth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: you shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.”

Number 7 is God’s perfect and complete number. Pentecost cannot come until 7 sabbaths of days occur. The Jubilee cannot come until 7 sabbaths of years occur. There is no proof that the Jews ever let the land rest for a year or celebrated a Jubilee. There can be no Jubilee year unless the Day of Atonement is observed every year and the people allow the land to rest every 7 years. God promised the Israelites that if they did not obey his commandments that the following would happen:

“And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, and you be in your enemies; land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths, As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your Sabbaths, when you dwelt upon it” (Leviticus 26:33-35).

God always keeps His word. In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem, pillaged Judah, and carried away many inhabitants to serve him in Babylon. Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were among those taken into exile. Many citizens of Jerusalem were taken back to Babylon again in 597 B.C. In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar’s army besieged Jerusalem. They broke down the walls and destroyed the city and the Temple, slaughtering many inhabitants of the city. Large groups of captives were taken back to Babylon again at this time.

Cyrus, the king of Persia, issued a decree in 538 B.C. allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple of the Lord. It wasn’t totally completed until 515 B.C.

In A.D. 70, General Titus of Rome laid siege against Jerusalem for 143 days before finally breaking through the walls and decimating the city and the 2nd Temple. Finally, in A.D. 135, the revolt against Rome, led by Simon ben Kosiba (Bar Kokhba), was met with disaster as Bar Kokhba was killed and his troops were completely decimated. The entire Jewish population of Judea was deported and replaced with Gentiles. The province’s name was changed from Judea to Syria-Palestine.

Israel never fully recovered as a nation until May 14, 1948, when David Ben Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence. For the first time in more than 2,000 years, there was an independent Jewish state of Israel. Jerusalem was not totally under Israel’s control until 1967.

The ultimate fulfillment of Yom Kippur will occur at the Second Coming when the remnant of believers in Israel will mourn for their Messiah, whom they rejected.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon” (Zechariah 12:10-11).

The feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, is the last of the 7 Feasts of the Lord and the most joyous. It occurs on the 15th day of Tishri and lasts for 7 days. The purpose of this feast is recorded in Leviticus 23, verses 33-34 and verses 42-43:

“And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord… You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

During this celebration, the people were to live in booths for 7 days that were made of sticks or branches in remembrance of when their ancestors lived in the wilderness for 40 years. The day after the 7th day (the 8th day) is designated as a “solemn assembly” for the children of Israel. The feast of Tabernacles is one of 3 feasts that all Jewish men were required to attend in Jerusalem every year. The other two are the feast of Unleavened Bread (combined with Passover), and Pentecost.

The feast of Tabernacles will ultimately be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus when He establishes His millennial kingdom of peace on the earth.

“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one… And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” ( Zechariah 14:9, 16).

Although there is no clear, scriptural proof of the exact date of the birth of Christ, John’s gospel uses the unusual word ‘tabernacled’ to describe the birth of Christ, suggesting, possibly, that he was born on the feast of Tabernacles.

“The Word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us” (John 1:14).

The most favored view amongst Bible scholars is that Jesus was born in 5 B.C. We agree with this timeline due to Herod the Great’s death occurring in 4 B.C. If Jesus was born on the feast of Tabernacles, he could have been conceived 9 months earlier on approximately December 25. This is the date that we celebrate his birth…not his conception. I guess it all boils down to when you think life begins.

Jesus died on Nisan 14 of the Hebrew calendar on a feast of Passover…but what year? And what day of the week was it?  The most common belief is that it happened on a Friday. The most common belief for the year is A.D.32. It couldn’t have been A.D. 32 because Nisan 14 fell on a Sunday that year. Jesus actually was crucified on a Thursday, not Friday. For more evidence of this, read Jack Kelley’s excellent article titled “Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery.” {7}

The only appropriate time frame for that period is Thursday, March 31, A.D.33 on the Gregorian calendar or Thursday, April 2, A.D. 33 on the Julian calendar.

As mentioned before, ‘7’ is God’s perfect and complete number. Multiples of 7, such as 49, 70, and 490 also signify completeness. 490 years (7 X 7 X 10) is mentioned in the book of Daniel. It is often referred to as the prophecy of 70 weeks or seventy 7’s, and occurred in about 539 B.C.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27).

These verses of Daniel are perhaps some of the most discussed prophetic passages in the Bible. We know that a week means 7 years. 7 weeks amount to 49 years, and threescore and two weeks amount to 434 years for a total of 483 years. The total time from the commandment to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem until Jesus the Messiah was “cut off” on Palm Sunday was 483 years.

Some of the most asked questions are: 1) When was the starting date for this prophecy regarding the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem?  2) When did the Messiah come? 3) Has the last “week” occurred yet? 4) Is there a gap between the 69th and 70th week? 5) What calendar was used for calculating the time frames for the first part of this prophecy?

According to our calculations, in Daniel 9 verse 25, the starting point is the year 444 B.C when King Artaxeres Longimanus of Persia issued the decree for the Jews to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. We know Artaxeres was the king by reading Nehemiah 2. We also know it happened in the 20th year of his reign. Artaxeres Longimanus took his place as King of Persia in the year 464 B.C. This is known by secular sources such as cuneiform tablets that were found in archeological digs in Persia.

So the 20th year of his reign would have occurred in the year 444 B.C. Nehemiah 2 states that the conversation between the king and Nehemiah regarding the rebuilding of Jerusalem occurred in the 1st month of Nisan.

Verse 6 says: “And the king said unto me, For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.”

We know the year but we don’t know the exact date. However, Nisan 1, 444 B.C. occurred on March 27th (Gregorian calendar) of that year.

We also know that Jesus Christ was crucified in A.D.33. The only calendar that can work within these time frames is the original 360-day prophetic calendar. The Hebrew calendar, 40-year calendar, and Egyptian calendars, with their intercalary months added, all coincide eventually with our modern-day solar Gregorian (solar) calendar of 365.2422 days. These calendars would all be about 7 years shy of the required 483 years necessary for the duration of the first 483 years (seven weeks and threescore and two weeks) of Daniel’s prophecy.

The number of days from March 27, 444 B.C. to March 29 (Nisan 10), A.D. 33 is exactly 173,860 days. This is 20 days shy of being 173,880 days in duration (360 days x 483 years = 173,880 days). Counting backwards from March 29, A.D. 33, the actual 173,880th day would have occurred on Veadar 10 (modern Jewish calendar) 444 B.C. Veadar is the intercalary 13th month on the modern Jewish calendar.

Nowhere in the Bible does it mention a 13th month. I believe the Jews that returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity referred to the intercalary month as the “month of Nisan” (Nehemiah 2:1), even though it wasn’t the actual ‘abib’ 1st month of Nisan. Abib was when the crops were ready for harvesting.

The true ‘abib’ first month of the calendar year was referred to as “the first month” (Ezra 6:19) or “the first month, the month of Nisan” (Esther 3:7), thus distinguishing it from the non-abib month (month of Nisan). The “month of Nisan” was actually the 13th month; however the number 13 has always represented “rebellion/apostasy.”

A 13-month calendar would never have been used by the ancient Hebrews. The intercalary “month of Nisan” was an independent month that wasn’t counted in the 12- month Hebrew calendar but was reconciled with the solar calendar of 365.2422 days every two or three years. The number 12 is one of God’s perfect numbers especially dealing with calendars and the “sons of Jacob.”

The remaining seven years of Daniel 29:7 will be fulfilled by the Tribulation spoken of in Revelation and other books of the Bible. So far there has been a gap of 1,985 years between the 69th ‘week’ and the 70th “week.” The 7-year Tribulation will last for 2,520 days (360 x 7), and will be completed when Jesus returns to the earth to initiate His Millennium Kingdom.

The Angel Gabriel gave the prophecy of Daniel 9:26-27 to Daniel in order that we (the applicable generation) would understand where this “he” (the prince to come) would come from. He is the one who confirms this covenant. has exhaustive analysis on this particular topic and the different perspectives for it. For brevity’s sake, this is a paraphrase of the main points as to why the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is NOT referring to Christ, but rather, Antichrist.

1) The last person mentioned (by title) is not Messiah the Prince, but the prince who is to come. The Last Antecedent Rule should apply here so as not to damage the context of the connected passages. 2) This cannot be referring to Christ’s finished work on the cross, since the New Covenant in Christ’s blood is an everlasting one, not confined to seven-years. 3) Christ did not come from out of the Roman Empire, but from out of Israel. 4) When did Christ make a seven-year covenant with the many? 5) How did Christ cause the sacrifices to cease? They continued for another 40 years after His crucifixion in A.D.33.

So this should remove any confusion; the “he” in Daniel 9:27 is not Jesus, but this unknown, shadowy figure commonly referred to as The Antichrist. We note that he by strength confirms a covenant with the many. He then breaks this covenant at the mid-point, and from there, we know that this begins the time of the Great Tribulation. {8}

Daniel 9:27 is clearly referring to the last 7 years on earth (also known as Jacob’s Trouble) before Jesus’ 2nd Coming. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Does the term “in the middle” mean the exact middle or could it mean ‘near the middle’? There are 269 times in the Old Testament that uses that terminology…very few of them refer to the exact middle…most of them mean ‘near the middle’ or ‘close to the center’.

For example, in 1 Samuel 16, Samuel the prophet went to the house of Jesse of the tribe of Judah to anoint one of his sons as the king who would eventually replace Saul. Jesse had 8 sons counting David. God informed Samuel that he was to anoint David, the youngest son:

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren…” (1 Samuel 16:13).

With 7 brothers, there is no exact middle, for there is 4 on one side of David and 3 on the other side of David. If there would have been 9 sons; then yes, David would have been in the exact ‘midst’ of them.

What if Daniel 9:27 is for 1,230 days instead of 1,260 days? Isn’t that also “in the midst” of 2,520 days?

Daniel 12:11 is specifically referring to the last part (3.5 years) of the Tribulation. Have you ever wondered why Daniel 12:11 (“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand and ninety days”) is for 1,290 days instead of 1,260 days?

To get a better perspective on the amount of days, consider the earlier words of Daniel:

“Then I Daniel looked, and behold, there stood two others (besides the angel messenger), the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen (Jesus), which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, and all these things shall be accomplished” (Daniel 12:5-7).

Later in Daniel 12:11, Jesus specifically informs Daniel of the exact amount of days that are in the term “time, times, and a half” (3.5 years). He said, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” It could be that the first part of the Tribulation is for 1,230 days and the last part is for 1,290 days.

There are two theories on the duration of the two half’s of the Tribulation. Let us look at these as theory A (1,260–1,260 days) and theory B (1,230–1,290 days). Theory A starts 30 days before theory B.  Both theories have the same date for the “in the midst” event known as the Abomination of Desolation. Theory B ends 30 days later than theory A. Both theories agree that The Tribulation will last for 2,520 days.

Theory A is similar to theory B in that they both believe that the Anti-Christ’s total power over the Tribulation saints will last for exactly 1,260 days or forty two months (Revelation 13:5-7).

Both theories believe that after the Abomination of Desolation, the remnant of Israel will flee into the wilderness of Jordan (Petra) where God will supernaturally protect them and sustain them for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6).

Both theories agree that after the seals, trumpets, and vials judgments from God, Jesus Christ returns on the Feast of Trumpets at the battle of Armageddon. Daniel’s 70th seven ends there with theory A and does not really address the 6th and 7th Feasts of the Lord. They happen after the Tribulation is over.

With theory B, the end of the Tribulation does not end with the battle of Armageddon, but rather 30 days later. This takes into account enough time for the Day of Atonement and the feast of Tabernacles to be fulfilled after Jesus’ return to the Earth. The feast of Tabernacles lasts for eight days until Tishri 23rd. Seven (7) days later the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus Christ will commence. According to Daniel 9:24, the end of the 7-year Tribulation will not occur until six things happen:

1) to finish the transgression, 2) to make an end of sin, 3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, 6) to anoint the most Holy.

With theory A, there is no time for all of this to happen if the Tribulation is over when Jesus returns at Armageddon. With theory B, there is sufficient time for the before-mentioned six results to occur. Also, there is still time for Jesus to fulfill the prophecies of Matthew 24:30-31 as well as Matthew 25:31-46 (judging the nations).

As for the last part of Daniel’s prophecy, “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate,” we understand that at the mid-point, this man (Antichrist), who comes from out of the boundaries of the old Roman Empire, desolates the newly rebuilt Temple and causes the newly reinstituted sacrifices to cease.

We know this was not the case in the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70 by General Titus and his legions, because the temple was destroyed before they could defile it. Historically, we know the Jews were familiar with the type of desecration Daniel is referencing here because Antiochus Epiphanes had committed a similar event around 167 BC, which subsequently triggered the Maccabean Revolt and why we have the feast of Hanukkah. Antiochus did not try to destroy the temple; he slaughtered a pig (considered unclean) on the altar in the Holy of Holies, thus desecrating it.

We also know this prophecy (Dan. 9:27) has not yet been fulfilled, because a Jewish temple has not existed since it was destroyed in AD 70. This only leaves us the option of a future temple that will, at the mid-point, be ceremonially desecrated. Jesus warned those Jews who saw this to flee when this happens.

In Luke’s Gospel, his accounting of the Olivet Discourse also records an additional warning by Jesus for the Jews to flee Jerusalem when it was surrounded the first time (Luke 21:20-24). We know this part of the passage was referring to the 70 AD event because Jesus caps it off with a “prophetic bookmark,” if you will, that separates it from the context of the last days. “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).

Of course, we should all be familiar with the Six-Day War and the recapturing of Jerusalem by the Jews in 1967. While the Gentiles still “trample” the Temple Mount via the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque, the city has become unified under Jewish rule for the first time since 70 AD.{9}

When the final 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) has been completed, the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus Christ will begin. Life, as Adam and Even knew it during the period of the Garden of Eden, will resume for mankind, the animal kingdom, and the Earth itself. The Earth will become the paradise that it was always meant to be (before man sinned).

After the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ, 7,000 years will have elapsed. God’s perfect creation will come to an end on the last day…the 7th day of the Sabbath Millennium. God will then create a new Heaven and Earth, and Eternity will begin. In Eternity, time will lose its meaning and will have no significance. A calendar or clock will no longer be needed by humankind, and time will eventually fade into the “dustbins of history.”

Even so, come Lord Jesus.