Inspirations

Archive for the ‘Easter Paschal Season’ Category

MY EVOLVING POSITION ON DETERMINING THE NEW YEAR

by Beth PiepenburgEcliptic

I have enjoyed watching in anticipation every year when the Aviv barley is ready in the land of Israel. On that day or soon after, the New Moon would be sighted and the New Year would begin. Two weeks later, Passover could be observed. As I studied and watched how the ancient Hebrew calendar functioned, it led to further research. I discovered how the Feasts also tied with the nighttime sky in conjunction with the appointed times of the work of Christ. What I found was an astronomical-agricultural based calendar. However, some of my original understanding of how the New Year was determined began to change. The sighting of the Aviv barley as an agricultural marker was now dovetailed by the Vernal Equinox as an astronomical marker.

A small sect of Jews, called the Karaites, have maintained for centuries that the Aviv barley had to be sighted on or before the New Moon, in order to start the New Year and for Passover to be observed fourteen days later. In Exodus, the barley was in the Aviv prior to Moses’ establishing the New Year. However, the Karaites have maintained that Rabbinical Judaism had changed the sighting of the Aviv barley for the Babylonian system of using the Vernal Equinox and also had changed the calendar in other ways. As a result of these differences, Passover could be celebrated a month apart by each group. Now if the Jews can’t seem to agree in determining the Passover date, the Western and Eastern Christians fair no better having two separate systems in determining Easter.

From the time of Moses, the Israelites have used the Aviv barley, the Vernal Equinox, and the New Moon to determine the New Year. As the Egyptian Sphinx was aligned to the Vernal Equinox, Moses, having been educated in the courts of Pharaoh, would have known about the Vernal Equinox. However, the ancient Egyptian calendar was based on the heliacal rising of Sirius, and the New Year began in July. When Moses commanded the Israelites to begin the New Year on the evening of Aviv 1, the moon was a New Moon and the Vernal Equinox was just beginning. This particular day in history, the calendar was naturally aligned to both the moon and the sun. Thus, the Israelite calendar is a lunisolar calendar, and begins in the spring. Passover and the other Feasts would be aligned to the proper constellations, which were pointing to the Savior.

Along with finding new insights of the importance of the nighttime sky, I also began to see problems with the Aviv method pointing to the New Moon to usher in the New Year. Sightings of the Aviv barley differed in respect to the grain, location, time, etc. Did ancient barley grown naturally ripen sooner or later than the modern methods of growing new strains of barley? Because of the micro climates in Israel, which micro-climate was more suited for maturation? If the Aviv barley was not quite ready when the New Moon appeared, then how could one preserve the Aviv barley during an intercalary month? The integrity of checking the Aviv barley was maintained by the Levitical priests, but how can one know now when one group claims they have found the Aviv a little too early for comfort? Does the Scripture say, one must see the Aviv first? In Egypt, the Aviv barley would have naturally occurred much earlier than in the land of Israel. As far as the nighttime sky, the importance of the sun and moon being in the right constellations during Passover was important for the Feasts to correlate with the sky.

Since I follow the ancient Israelite lunisolar calendar in my personal life, I look forward to starting the New Year in the Spring rather than in the dead of Winter. While I can follow the lunisolar calendar with ease, this ancient calendar should coincide fairly well with the Jewish Passover and the Western Church observance of Easter. Most important, I will view the nighttime sky with the Feasts in mind along with the significance of Christ. While the New Moon and the Vernal Equinox will determine the New Year, yet the sighting of the Aviv barley will add purpose to the meaning calendar. As I follow the lunar months throughout the year, I hope to understand further how astronomy worked in connection with the agricultural seasons in ancient Israel.

 

Copyright by Beth Piepenburg, 2017. All rights reserved.

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DNA of Eve’s Seed

by Beth PiepenburgSeed2

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall lie in wait for your head,
And you shall lie in wait for His heel.”
(Gen 3:15)

Clearly, Eve and Adam had disobeyed the command of the LORD to not eat of the Tree of Life, knowing that the consequences would be death. The LORD told the Serpent, which had tempted Eve to disobey the LORD, that his seed would face an enemy, her Seed. Therefore, the LORD had a specific plan to set mankind free from the grip of the enemy.

While Scripture refers to women possessing seed, the scientific fact was not discovered until 1928 by Edgar Allen. Mankind had thought that the seed only came via the male, and most societies set up the family and tribal units with the patriarchal ties, which has its importance. In traditional Judaism, land and family ties are connected to the male, but Jewishness is passed down through the mother.

Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from the mother through her seed, since any mitochondrial DNA from the father is destroyed during the fertilization process. Eve’s mitochondrial DNA would pass through the female line all the way from Eve to Mary, the mother of Jesus!

mtDNAY-DNA

While the X-chromosome of the mother is inherited by her sons and daughters, the X-chromosome of the father is inherited only by his daughters. Only the sons inherit the Y-chromosome of their father. Although Mary would not receive a Y-chromosome from her father, she would receive an X-chromosome from him that had originated with Adam. She also would receive an X-chromosome from her mother that had originated from both Adam and Eve.

Therefore, the importance of Eve’s seed was the ability to transfer human mitochondrial DNA and the X-chromosome to successive generations, which would guarantee redemption for the entire human race through Jesus Christ. Although Adam’s X-chromosome would be handed down to Mary, his Y-chromosome would not. Mary’s would be dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit to produce a Y-chromosome for her Godly Seed, and for the healing of her human DNA.

The battle of the two seeds pertain to the head, which represents source of nurturing, and the feet, which represents authority. The serpent’s seed would lie in wait to attack the authority of Christ, but Christ, the Seed of the woman, would attack the source of the Antichrist, that is, Satan. God has put all things under Christ’s feet (authority), and gave Him to be the head (nurturing source) of all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. (Eph. 1:22-23)

Copyright by Beth Piepenburg, 2015. All rights reserved.

Did the Father turn His face from His Son?

Christ on the Cross, by Carl Heinrich Blochby Beth Piepenburg

Does the Bible really imply that the Father could not look at Jesus on the cross because he was carrying all of our sins? After all Jesus cried out the Hebrew words, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” Translated from the Hebrew[1] these words mean, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Yet, God has been looking at humanity’s sins from the time of Adam and Eve. If God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient then how could he not have seen his Son carrying our sins on the cross? If we understand the context of these words, we will see that the Father never lifted his eyes off his Son.

Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Yet while dying, Jesus, in his humanness, felt very forsaken by the Father. Was it true? No, Jesus’ statement was an emotional response of what he felt at the moment. Then why did Matthew and Mark record this emotion? Besides being prophesied in Psalms 22:1, the answer lies in the Epistle of Hebrews 4:15, which tells us that we have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who was touched with the same feelings of our infirmities. Have we never felt like God has forsaken us? We know that our Savior has already experienced that feeling of being forsaken because of being made to be sin for us.

A second reason that God did not forsake Jesus while on the cross is understood in the sacrifices. A priest took special care in handling the sacrificial animal, because of its worth in terms of its life being given for the sin of a person or people. A Messianic Jewish friend, Adrian Ze’ev Bernal, PhD, shared with me that a priest would not have turned his back on the sacrificial animal during the ceremony. Therefore, would the Father turn his back on the Messiah, the ultimate sacrifice?

These words spoken by Jesus are taken from Psalms 22:1, which is a prophecy of the crucifixion of the Messiah. The Psalm gives us the imagery of the crucifixion scene. Yet in verse 24, the answer to the question is stated. “For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard.” (NKJV) Now we know from Scripture how the Father would have responded.

As mentioned in the Old Testament scriptures, covenants were important. One such covenant was the Royal Grant[2] which was a gift from the Suzerain. Ratification of a Royal Grant Covenant happened when the sovereign party would walk alone between the pieces of the sacrifice. We see God performing this act in the Covenant between Him and Abraham (Genesis 15:12-18) when He passed between the sacrifices as a smoking furnace and a burning lamp after the sun had gone down. How silly would it be to presume that God was absent from his role as Suzerain with the most important Covenant that Heaven and Earth would witness! In fact, the Father passed through at this point because of the darkness that miraculously came over the land evidenced by the earthquake and the Temple veil being rent in two.  In Luke 23:46, Jesus confirms this with his final cry, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (NKJV)

Some may argue that according to Jn. 9:31 God does not hear sinners, and according to Isaiah 59:1-2 our iniquities separate us from God and our sins have caused God to hide his face from us and not to hear us. True, for the one who commits sin. However, Jesus who was sinless, took on our sin, which is not the same as committing sin or taking on the nature of Satan as some would propose. Since God made Christ to be sin for us, so we might be made the righteousness of God, then how could the Father not look on his own work and call it good?

By looking at the context of Scripture, the emotional response of Christ would be a reflection of our own inner turmoil we face because of our sins, and that Jesus took on sin for us for a redemptive purpose. Understanding Hebrew culture of the Old Testament era, the foreshadow of the ultimate sacrifice was carried out with skill and care by the priest who represented the Father, and the foreshadow of the Royal Grant Covenant was carried out by YHWH who personally was an active part of the Covenant with Abraham. However, the most important point is that David had prophesied the words of Christ and the Father’s response centuries before.

[1] http://www.douglashamp.com/eloi-eloi-lama-sabachthani/

[2] http://neopuritan.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/suzerain-treaties-and-royal-grants/

Copyright by Beth Piepenburg, 2014. All rights reserved.

MOEDIM – APPOINTED TIMES by Beth Piepenburg

Image

If the Hebrew word, moed(im), is used in Gen 1:14[1] to mean appointed times, which is translated as seasons, then what are the appointed times that are mentioned in Scripture? By the way, the pictograph symbols for moed are the eye and the door. Together, they may mean “to see the door”. The word can mean to come and enter the tent of meeting, or it can mean a time that is to be repeated. So, what events bring us toward the tent of meeting or to a time that is repeated?

SPRING:

barley The first one is Rosh HaShanah, which means “head of the year”. God had instituted that this New Year start after the aviv, the green barley, was seen in the fields. Once the new moon was sighted, then Rosh HaShanah would begin. Not only would the barley soon be harvested at this time, but springtime does represent the newness of life. Besides the beginning of the year, several important events began on Rosh HaShanah: Creation, Noah opened the ark because the waters were dried up from off the earth (Gen 8:13), and the Tabernacle was erected (Ex. 40:2). [Ex. 9:31, 12:2, 13:4; Num. 28:11-15; Deut. 16:1]

passoverlamb2

The Passover Lamb
Courtesy to C. Malcolm Powers

The second one is Pesach, which means to “pass over”. The Passover Lamb was sacrificed on the fourteenth day of the first month, and was eaten at twilight between the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the month. Although the story in Exodus of the first Passover is about the death angel passing over the homes that had the lamb’s blood on the lintel and doorposts of their homes, the Passover is really centered upon the sacrifice. [Ex. 23:18, 34:25; Lev. 23:5; Num. 28:16]

matzahThe third one is the Chag HaMatzah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Celebrated from the fifteenth day of the first month until the twenty-first day, the Israelites ate the first unleavened bread along with the Passover Lamb at twilight. Remember, the new day began at sunset for the Israelites. So, Passover was ending and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was beginning.  [Ex. 12:17, 13:6, 23:15, 34:18; Lev. 23:6; Num. 28:17-25; Deut. 16:16]

firstfruitsThe fourth one is the Reishit Katzir, the Firstfruits of Harvest. Celebrated on the day after the Sabbath during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the firstfruit of the barley harvest was dedicated and waved in praise to God. [Ex. 34:26; Lev. 23:9]

einkornThe fifth one is the Chag Shabua, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Harvest. The Hellenistic Jews called it Pentecost. Counting seven Sabbaths or fifty days from the Sabbath after Passover, the celebration pertained to the wheat harvest with the waving of two leavened loaves of bread before the Lord. [Ex. 23:16, 34:22; Lev. 23:15, 17, 20; Num. 28:26-31; Deut. 16:10, 16]

END OF SUMMER:

shofar smThe sixth one is Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets. Celebrated on the first day of the seventh month, the trumpet signaled for those working in the field to come to the Tabernacle to worship the Lord. [Lev. 23:23; Num. 29:1-6]

040_01_0009_BSTD scapegoat2The seventh one is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month, the day was dedicated to afflicting one’s soul, confession, and prayer in the form of personal and national repentance. Crying, wearing sackcloth and ashes, or fasting were ways to afflict one’s soul. [Lev. 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11]

sukkahThe eighth one is Chag Sukkah, the Feast of Tents (Tabernacles or Booths) and is also known as the Feast of Ingathering. Celebrated from the fifteenth day of the seventh month for eight days, the Israelites lived in booths to remember how their ancestors had lived in booths after leaving Egypt. Not only was the Torah read, the feast was a time of rejoicing and thankfulness of the final harvests. [Ex. 23:16, 34:22; Lev. 23:33-36, 39-43; Num. 29:12-38; Deut. 16:13, 16:16, 31:10]

TWO OTHERS:

110_06_0208_BiblePaintings shewbread2Sabbath, is to stop activity to rest, and was observed on the seventh day every week. The purpose is to rest in the Lord, yet not to make the day an idol in itself. In Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:11, God gives us an example of God resting in Himself. From thence, God blessed and made holy the Sabbath. [Num. 28:9-10]

Rosh HaShanah - Chodesh Abib - 3/23/2012

Chodesh, is the new moon, and was observed once a month after the moon was barely sighted. Its purpose is to help keep the timing of the special appointed times on track. [Ex. 12:2; Num. 28:11-15; Ps. 81:3]

SUMMARY:

Although much more information is available and many questions to ask and discuss about each appointed time mentioned, this brief summary should give an overall idea of when each moed took place and its significance.


[1] Gen 1:14-19 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (NKJV)

MARY OF BETHANY PPT

Please join me in my endeavors of Ancient and Biblical studies as I travel the paths of the Savior during the Passion Week.

FROM JERICHO TO JERUSALEM

Please join me in my endeavors of Ancient and Biblical studies as I travel the paths of the Savior during the Passion Week.

Rosh HaShanah 2012

Rosh HaShanah - Chodesh Abib - 3/23/2012

Rosh HaShanah (new year) has arrived here in Wyoming. The new month is Chodesh Abib. It’s been cloudy today, but we had less than a minute to snap a picture of the new moon.

žThe early Israelites determined a new month, not by astronomical calculations, but by sighting the new moon when the first sliver of the crescent was observed.

žBlow the trumpet in the new moon… (Ps. 81:3)