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Moon as the Earliest Calendar
by Clark Nelson
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I AM speaks to people through His Word, the Holy Bible. Historical, inspirational and supernatural, the Bible has been with us since calendar recording began. Readers of the Holy Bible can understand the records of ancient times. We discern what the numbered ages in the Old Testament actually mean by using three oldest calendars. The three calendar systems that help our study of Bible times are the Jewish calendar, the Mesoamerican calendars and the Egyptian calendar. These three calendars allow us to trace back into remote prehistory. The word prehistory includes the “before time”, and the compound of “His” and “story.” Scientists who have worked with these very early cultures can provide the basic calendar methods that were once used to measure time. We need to review the Lord's units of main time keeping to see the way ancient humanity dealt with time observation.

Early parts of the Old Testament mention days and years together. Time and the Biblical Creation include major fundamental concepts known to the ancient Jewish people. The Old Testament provides our first realistic ideas about time reckoning and recording. The Lord defines the day and night in the book of Genesis. The very first calendar of one day had begun. Description of the seven-day Creative Week further defines basic operation of the calendar. The sacred seven-day week is a fundamental religious idea. Four phases of the moon marked four weekly intervals during the month. Approximate lunar phases are attached to the origins of the calendar Sabbath week. Seven-day weeks and lunar months create the lunar-side of the lunar/solar calendars.

We are discovering ancient days when timekeepers watched the sun, moon and stars. The Jewish calendar is simple when you understand the numbers used. The Jewish Calendar is based on the sun and moon together and measures chronology in numbered years from the Creation year 1. Modern recorded dates denote this era as B.C.E. for “Before Common Era”. Christianity dates according to the birth of Christ. The same B.C.E. initials mean “Before Christian Era” or simply B.C. for “Before Christ.” Time reckoning after Christ applies the A.D. marking of Anno Domini, which stems from the Latin meaning: “After Divinity” in the year of our Lord.

Calendar systems map world chronology according to different beginnings. Some follow Jewish tradition and put the Creation date at 5,766 years ago or about 3,761 years B.C.E. Others credit Archbishop Ussher with calculating in 1,701 A.D. that Creation took place in 4,004 B.C. The Egyptian Calendar begins between 4,236 B.C.E. and 4,241 B.C.E., along with Egyptian mythology explaining the world's creation. Starting dates depend on star observation in Egypt, since that is the only way primal society had to mark calendar years. Another plan estimates the starting Mayan Calendar date to be 3,113 B.C.E. Shared calendar characteristics enable deeper inspection of prehistoric time reckoning. Sacred texts and current science provide clues needed to reconstruct the oldest Biblical history. Important traits gathered from past calendar time streams become woven together to obtain hybrid insight. Three ancient calendar systems form the world's oldest trunk line of calendar science. God used a lunar/solar calendar to write listed ages for the Antediluvian Patriarchs. The family of Adam heralds new discovery from the earliest time.

Ages of Adam will aid you through better understanding of the Old Testament and significant calendar information. This work stresses time reckoning and recording. We return to the origins of day and night that lead up to the sacred seven-day week to explore this affinity between God above and calendar times.

Genesis 1:4

"And God saw the light, that it was good: and
God divided the light from the darkness."

God was "between" the light, and the darkness in the literal Hebrew definition. This basic interlinear Bible definition establishes a slightly different thought of God being between or separating, daylight on the one hand, and darkness on the other. This meaning sets the precedence for identifying day and night.

Genesis 1:5

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he
called Night. And the evening and the morning were
the first day."

The Lord put two great lights in heaven, one to rule the day and one to rule the night. The light of the sun measured the day and the light of the moon measured time greater than a day. The greater light is, of course, the sun. Everything we call solar deals with the sun. The lesser light, or luminary, is the moon. The word lunar relates to the moon or the month. The sun and moon identify as luminaries.

This work of God, of dividing, separating or coming between daylight and darkness to measure time is the basic premise of the original Jewish calendar. Calendars, time, and the sacred seven-day week have inspired the purest of time references to the Holy Bible. We must examine formative religions and ideas about time. In chapter 5 of Genesis, a correlation exists between the “begat” genealogy following Adam and numerical ties to ancient calendars. Adam and his descendants through Noah are the Antediluvian Patriarchs. Antediluvian tells us they were before the great flood of Noah and all were Patriarchs, or fore fathers of humanity. The Holy Bible provides our greatest treasure of calendar history and early theology. The Master of the Universe, He who sits upon the throne of glory and grace, stretches forth His right hand to give us time.

We become one human race when you put man and woman together. There are two literal Hebrew definitions involved here. Adam meant “the man,” in the literal Hebrew sense of the word. Adam, the word, differs from a personal pronoun name like Bob or John. Adam is the human being, the generic man or a breathing creature. Adam in this work refers to the universal, generic meaning for man. The man is a derivative form of the root word that describes reddish clay, soil or dust. Literal word searches furnish meanings that aid our calendar study. A synthesis of faiths and mythology sharpen initial views regarding civilization. People have always marked birth and death by the calendar. Calendars are united with the spiritual afterlife in memorials. Early religions recognized conceptions of the spirit and soul after death by burial and by saying “from dust unto dust.” The lifetime of Adam is given precise lunar/solar years in chapter 5 of Genesis.

Eve is the woman in literal Hebrew. She is the life-giver, mother to the living, or child-bearer. The feminine fertility issue has always been associated with lunar observation. The lunar month has been forever etched on humanity right alongside with the moon -- mother perceptions of ancient times. Cycles of new moons were the basic time reckoning ingredients for lunar/solar calendars. Where Eve represented the feminine side of human order according to lunar observation, Adam represented the masculine, solar side, according to solar positioning on the horizon. In other words, Adam's male image also implied meaning toward the rising and setting positions of the sun through all four seasons during the year. Adam and Eve have embedded connections with primitive cosmology.

Clarification of God resting on the seventh day defines a separation between successive time frames. God again divides, separates or is between the light and darkness of the moon. Repeated instances in a theme show a holy relationship is present between specific divisions of calendar times. Transition from one lunar phase ending to commencement of the next lunar phase is the most revered unit of time measurement known. God set aside the Sabbath Day as holy. God consecrated the Jewish Shabbat for all time to come. The sacred Jewish significance of the seven-day week and the number seven elsewhere support religious observance of the moon as an early calendar.

The lunar/solar calendar begins to emerge with a variety of ultimate connotations. Day unto night, between the weeks as Sabbath, new moon crescents and finally intercalary days all continue divine providence upon Earth. Time steps in the lunar/solar calendar accumulate for longer time cycles. Years and then multiple of years exhibit the same religious notions to vast proportions.

Changes in the appearance of the moon at night provide the seven-day week. Divisions of seven-days separate the four basic lunar phases noted in figure 1. Starting with a new moon crescent, the moon gradually comes into view on following nights. The first half of the moon is visible in about seven-days. The moon waxes until full moon at the end of two weeks. Lunar light reverses progression in the third week, waning to half visibility. A fourth week completes the month and visibility diminishes toward a new moon. Completion of four lunar phases comprises the month. The true lunar month measures 29.53-days. Ancient calendar makers recorded approximations according to actual observation. Whole lunar months of 29-days or 30-days were the common practice in lunar/solar calendar systems. The average lunar month of 29.5-days repeats upon sighting the new moon crescent. Light and darkness classify lunar phases in the lunar-side of lunar/solar calendars. Original interpretations of lunar time place God between the weeks on Sabbath Days.

Lunar/solar calendar foundations of the Jewish calendar extend from the earliest verses of scripture. Natural, uniform motions of the heavenly spheres are the pivotal markers of time reckoning. The list of ancient characters mentioned in the Old Testament used this lunar/solar calendar system of time recording. Observation of lunar phases coupled with solar positioning graduated the lifetime ages of Adam and his descendants. Well over ten thousand years ago, proto-historical calendar makers had developed advanced sciences such as mathematics and astronomy. Intercalary days were added to the lunar year of twelve-moon-months in order to complete our modern solar year of 365-days. The necessary intercalary days are best described as lunar/solar separation time by "coming between" lunar and solar times.

There are 12 finished lunar months during the current 365-day-solar-year. Since day one, that has never changed. An average lunar month is about 29-and-one-half days long, and is measured against a starry nighttime background. There are four quarters during one-lunar-month. From new moon, which shows no moonlight, to the first phase of the moon, or half the lighted moon, about one week has passed. In two weeks, the moon's light waxes to full-moon stage. Reversing the pattern, the third week of the month wanes visibility to diminish the moon's light back to halfway again. The fourth weekly period continues the waning retreat of moonlight until again repeating the new moon. Twelve lunar months multiply by 29.5-days each for 354-days to approximate the lunar year (Eqn. 1).

Time Equations

Time differences between lunar and solar calendar years provide lunar/solar calendar adjustments, or intercalations. Twelve mature lunar months multiply by 29.5-days per lunar month for 354-days to approximate the lunar year (Eqn. 1). Subtraction yields 11 days of lunar/solar separation time between the lunar year of 12 moon months, and the solar year of about 365-days (Eqn. 2). Eleven days of difference every year were the staple for lunar/solar calendars. During 19-years, 11-days of lunar/solar separation time every year multiply this division between lunar years and solar years (Eqn. 3). Lunar/solar separation time measures 209-days of difference after 19-years have passed. Therefore, any 19-year lunar/solar calendar cycle had to incorporate these remaining 209-days of separation as intercalary days in order to catch up the lunar-side of the calendar, with the solar-side of the calendar. Intercalary systems varied between cultures to compensate calendar recording.

Throughout this text, 'lunar/solar' denotes calendar terminology that pertains to lunar and solar time. Variations include 'lunar/solar separation time' to indicate time between lunar years and solar years. Occasionally the phrase is abbreviated 'l/s'. Lunar-side specifically addresses time measured according to lunar, or moon reckoning. Solar-side addresses time that depends on solar, or sun reckoning. Lunar/solar calendar time is the most important approach to survey ancient calendars.


1. 29.5 Days per Lunar Month
x 12 Lunar Months
= 354 Days per Lunar Year

2. 365 Days per Solar Year
- 354 Days per Lunar Year
= 11 Days of Lunar/Solar Separation Time per
Lunar/Solar Calendar Year

3. 11 Days of Separation per Lunar/Solar Calendar Year
x 19 Years per Lunar/Solar Calendar Cycle
= 209 Days of Separation per
19-Year Lunar/Solar Calendar Cycle
Approximates to 210 Days of Separation
per 20-Year Lunar/Solar Calendar Cycle

Lunar/solar calendars were common throughout the ancient world. Different calendar systems employed the 19-year cycle with slight variations. Study of the Jewish Calendar provides the necessary understanding that is fundamental to lunar/solar calendar cycles. Equally important, the Jewish Calendar was the mainstay time recording plan found throughout the Old Testament.

More information regarding Jewish Calendar festival and holiday celebrations is available from the timeemits.com website. The scope of this work is primarily the treatment of l/s intercalations. Ancient and modern versions of the calendar vary slightly. A true comparison is possible only through supplementary reading in Judaism.

Clark Nelson is webmaster for www.timeemits.com/Get_More_Time.htm, author of Ages_of_Adam and sequel, Holy_of_Holies. Copyright 2006 Clark Nelson and timeemits.com All Rights Reserved. URL http://www.timeemits.com/AoA_Articles/Moon_as_the_Earliest_Calendar.htm

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