Restricted [Holy] Days in the Qumran Calendar


Sunset on the Bay courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sunset on the Bay courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Mankind is prone to leaving messages for the generations that follow, and calendars are a great place to write history large. If investigated logically and sequentially by those generations, the Qumran calendar is an entire history book overcoming the fragmentation of the messages done by wars and forced migrations. The sequence of the Qumran calendar takes us back through earth changes that have both added and subtracted days from the calendar across time.

The most recent forms of the calendar has intercalated days, weeks, and periods resulting from the increases of the number of days since the Great Flood, but there is strong indication that the initial change was a major decrease in that count.

The Jupiter Calendar

Using the most ancient calendars available to the public, it is possible to combine them into a composite of the original from which they were taken. Combining this with writings saying that at one time the earth had no rain, but that a mist came up from the ground and watered the earth, and that there was a “canopy” that was destroyed when rain first appeared on the earth, it is possible to construct a calendar that contains 12 months of 49 numbered days and one named day each, broken into 50 weeks of 6 days each. This gives a calendar of 300 days.

There are some who believe the year had this configuration, while others believe it was exactly double that number. A year of 120 weeks containing 5 days each produces a year of 600 days. This is the model of what is called the Pentecontad calendar. It places Earth as a moon of Jupiter. Being knocked out of that position into Earth’s current orbit would explain the first verse of Genesis, “and the Earth was a waste-land, covered with water.” Using this information, the following calendar was constructed for that time and location. Notice that each 50th day is a harvest festival as spoken of in Revelation, but no restricted days such as the Qumran calendar reflects. Also, notice that Friday is the end of the week as the Islamic calendar of today reflects.


Pentecontad Calendar

The oldest calendar identified as being used in the Middle East is the Pentecontad with its seven months of 50 days each and seventh-day Sabbaths. Each 50th day has been celebrated in all the cultures which used this calendar, and several versions of intercalations have been identified[1]. These two factors, the variety of versions, and the restricted 50th day, all mark it as an update from another model. The only days commonly marked as celebrations and named rather than numbered are intercalations, of which there were seven specifically marked and others added in a hap-hazard fashion to make the calendar stretch all the way to the next Spring equinox. These are witnesses to these days having been inserted at a date more recent than the calendar’s original deployment.

Further, it is most unusual to have only seven months. The Zodiac has been in existence since time began and the calendars always take their format from it, unless there is some compelling reason not to do so. This would indicate that the Pentecontad model originally had 12 months as is usual with most other models. Dropping the intercalated 50th days and adding the missing five months produces a very intriguing model.

The layout of this model is extremely interesting. First, it wraps around a cylinder without modification, one of the favorite modalities of early civilizations. Second, it has exactly seven weeks to each month, reflecting the strong proclivity toward using seven in calendaring by all societies immediately after the Great Flood.

It has a count of 588 days total, which would place the orbit of the earth just this side of Mars in relation to the sun. This last fact would serve nicely to explain the magnitude of the Great Flood in Noah’s day and the many cultures that place Jupiter, Venus and Mars together covering much of the sky opposite the sun, a location that would explain the long life expectancy of persons before the flood since we know that the harmful rays of the sun have some function in shortening the life expectancy of all creatures on earth as well as being involved in the mutation of pathogenic microbes that assault health. If the earth was as far away as Mars, Venus would be the second moon that appears in myths[2] around the globe causing night to be as bright as day. Further, if the earth had no tilt in its axis at that time there would be no seasons nor would there be rain, both of which are claimed for the time before the Great Flood.

The only changes necessary to support this theory are the locations of both Earth and Venus, another set of changes widely claimed in mythology. Whatever could have caused earth and Venus to be knocked out of their orbits could also have caused Venus’s backward spin to all the other planets as well as its unique axis angle. We simply do not know if these conditions, or the calendar that suggests them, were or were not reality in the misty distance of time. The Great Flood may simply have wiped every evidence of any such shift in orbital position from the earth.

The only surety is that the abbreviated, heavily intercalated calendar of 350 days was very common in the early history of the Middle East. Getting control of the many and varied intercalations and the desire to return to a 12-month year may have been what prompted the redesigned model that became known as the Enoch calendar.


The Enoch Calendar

The first and most obvious features of the Enoch calendar are the six intercalations. First, there are two entire weeks intercalated on each side of the year strongly suggesting an elliptical orbital path of the earth that did not exist prior to this model. These are to be taken as days of rest and social gatherings. Next, there are four named days intercalated to set off the four seasons. These suggest that changing seasons did not exist before this model was developed. These are days of remembrance in which no new work may be started, but work already in progress may be completed.

There was no mention of seasons in the Pentecontad model. Each end of the month simply marked the end of a particular kind of harvest similar to what is mentioned in the Book of Revelation concerning the trees on the banks of the stream originating from under the steps of the temple in Jerusalem, with 12 different harvests rotating through the year in a mundane manner.

Any time a day or week is intercalated it is marked off to be observed through a restriction on economic activities and an emphasis on social activities, usually an extended family gathering with food, fun, and music. Those associated with a temple or other religious building such as those found in Egypt or Israel are occupied with activities at that site on these days.

King David of Israel sets out the schedules of the 24 orders of priests, with each order serving for one week each half-year and all orders serving during the Spring and Autumn national festivals in an overlapping schedule in order to accommodate the heavy traffic through the temple at these times.

The Enoch calendar seems to have served very well from about the days of Abraham until the days of Moses, when we are specifically told of a calendar change at the time of the Exodus. Many children can list the frogs, the hail, and the death of humans and animals, but few are cognizant of the implications of the three days of darkness[3] accompanied by gravity so strong that no one could stand up. According to certain Hebrew documents, the darkness was so thick that a candle could not be seen. It actually had particulate matter that could be felt as well as the absence of light. A gravity so strong that “no man could rise from his place” is unknown today, allowing the reader to come to the “obvious” conclusion that since no one could see where they were going it was useless for them to get up and go, but this was not the case. The force of gravity was so strong that it was impossible to get up from a prone position for three days, with increasing gravitational pull for the three days prior and decreasing gravitational pull for the three days following for a total of nine days duration. This is a perfect description of a comet passing inside earth’s atmospheric sheath, and we have the confirmation for this being the case from the Egyptian records entitled The Kolbrin that names this comet “the Destroyer” and gives the description as a ball of molten iron covered with a thick coating of tar that began to burn in the oxygen, belching thick black smoke and sending a shower of iron oxide the color of blood down to earth from its bare belly that revealed the burning heat where the tar met the iron.

There was noise described as trumpets which was so loud that nothing else could be heard. This type of anomaly is known only during great upheavals of natural forces, the kind that changes the number of days in the year and sends calendars askew. And when it was over, the Enoch calendar was obsolete.

The Qumran calendar

Here is a curious piece of information given to Moses: “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you[4].” The first month of the year started on the Spring equinox from the time mankind was placed on earth until the time Pope Gregory XIII decreed that it would start in January 1 to coincide with the meeting of the Roman Senate in the year 1582. Calendars have been around since the beginning, so why would this statement concerning the beginning of the year be necessary?

The most likely answer is that the sun had been rising in the West and setting in the East prior to this day, and what should have been the start of Autumn was the start of Spring instead. This is not as unlikely as it seems, as the mechanism is quite simple. It can be seen quite clearly by taking a standard globe of the earth, such as can be found in libraries and schools, begin rotating it in such a manner that the sun would rise in the East and set in the West, then simply turn the globe up-side-down. With North America where South America was before, the sun will rise in the West and set in the East. And what would cause such an event? It could have been turned over on its axis by the Destroyer, or it could have been the result of the sun’s reversal of polarity, but this would not have created the conditions of gravity and thick darkness as described.

Egyptian records claim that the rising of the sun has reversed East-West on at least four occasions in their written history, evidenced by Egyptian temples that stand facing due West, as do some of the pyramids in South America as well.

Whether this possibility was fact or fiction remains to be proven. What is fact is that the calendar received an overhaul as to when the Spring equinox occurred during the year of the Exodus and that the descendants of Judah start their new year in the Autumn in the old manner to this day.

The Basic Jubilee Year

jubilee-yearThere are not a lot of innovations in the Qumran calendar. The feast of unleavened bread was celebrated in the Pentecontad calendar during the intercalated week of the Spring equinox and simply transferred intact into the Qumran calendar. The feast of barley was imported in like manner. It is named in the Dead Sea Scrolls as occurring on ONE 26, but could be delayed for one week by decree of the High Priest if the barley was not ready for harvest. There are exactly 50 day from the feast of barley to the feast of wheat. Exactly 50 days later is the feast of new wine. Exactly 50 days after the wine feast is the feast of new oil, all of these direct imports from the seven-month Pentecontad calendar observed by the occupants of the land before the Hebrews.

The celebration of the new year was simply re-labeled the Feast of Trumpets and retained intact, complete with the fanfares that had previously introduced the new year.

At this point we do come to something new. The Day of Atonement, a day of fasting and mourning, is peculiar to the Hebrews. If it was imported from a previous calendar, its source is unknown. It is followed in short order by the imported Autumn intercalation of a week, renamed the Feast of Booths. This is a “tell” that the Exodus occurred in what would have been the Autumn if earth’s orbit had not turned up-side-down, as this feast of booths celebrates (to the Israelites) their exodus from Egypt and the 40 years they spent living in tents and wandering in the desert, yet Passover is on the other side of the year. Strange. Why the separation between the two?

The day immediately following the intercalated days has an unusual history. When the captives returned from Babylon they intermarried with the local population in contradiction to the commands given by Moses. When Ezra found out about it, he realized that it was through ignorance of the laws that this took place. It had been the custom to read the law every Land Sabbath year during the additionally intercalated week, but neither the Land Sabbaths nor the Jubilees had been observed for 500 years, or the past 50 Jubilee cycles. To prevent this ignorance in the future, Ezra reduced the status of the barley feast to a Class C festival and instituted an additional day immediately following the seven days of the feast of Booths while the people were still assembled. He named it Addition because he had added it to the list of feasts.

Hebrew Prophecy in the Feasts

History writ large was combined with history written in advance for the Hebrews. Each of the feasts was given a prophetic interpretation of what would happen to the nation in the future. The feast at the beginning of the Spring intercalation represented the exodus from Egypt which began on a Wednesday, was interrupted by a sacrifice on Saturday at a temple “three day’s journey into the wilderness” as Moses had specified, but instead of returning to Egypt, the Hebrews did a forced march to the sea, which they crossed on the following Tuesday, the last day of the intercalation.

After wandering in the desert for a time, the Hebrews arrived at Mt. Sinai where Moses met with God on the day of the feast of wheat. While tradition says that the law was given at this time, that is questioned by others. This is followed by two months in which only the days of remembrance of Summer and Autumn are observed.

On the first numbered day of the month SEVEN the trumpets are blown. There were three types of trumpet calls in the camp. The war trumpet, a ram’s horn, was blown to call the men together to fight, while silver trumpets were used to call the elders into session for a governmental caucus, with a different signal to call the entire population together for instructions. The number and titles of the elders who gathered was dependent upon the number of trumpets blown. Prophetically, this was tagged to symbolize the returning of the tribes to the land after the dispersion that was revealed to Moses during his meeting on Mt. Sinai. That was only half fulfilled when Judah returned to the land of Israel in 1948. The other half remains hidden at this time. A separate post will be made giving the details of the regathering of the 10 tribes of Northern Israel into the inheritance of Joseph in 1800 Gregorian AD/CE, for that was the original significance of the Feast of Trumpets, for only a remnant – a very small number – will be returned to the Middle East.

The day of Atonement, the day of fasting and mourning, carried two meanings. It was a day to mourn the loss of Lucifer[5] to the position of Chief Steward [butler] in the presence of God, Who mourned the loss and allowed the angels to join in the mourning, and it prophesied a future event in the following manner.

On the day of Atonement two goats were taken into the temple. They must look so much alike that one cannot be specifically identified from the other. The High Priest drew two stones from his pocket without looking at them and placed one on the head of the one goat and the other on the head of the other goat. The one stone had the designation “To Azazel” written on it and the other had “To the Lord” written on it. The goat that received the stone with “To Azazel” written on it was taken into the desert where it was supposed to be let loose, but was usually backed over a cliff to its death instead. The other was slaughtered in the temple and presented on the altar. The interpretation is this: a goat always represents a king (the goat in Daniel represented Alexander the Great). The one goat represents the king of Israel at the end of days, and the other represents the opposer to the king (the anti-christ, which is translated properly as opposer of the anointed). Certain other prophets have written that the rightfully anointed king of Israel will be beheaded on the temple mount in the last days, and the opposer will take the throne in his place. The opposer will be revealed as fraudulent and driven into the wilderness where he will be hunted down and killed in the town of Bozra as he attempts to find a ship to take him out of the country. Within a very short time the reeling of the earth spoken of by Isaiah and the earthquakes spoken of in the Book of Revelation[6] will signal the end of the time of trouble and the beginning of an era of profound peace.

The next celebration, the Feast of Booths, [Tabernacles, or Tents] prophetically pictures a time when all people are living in such peaceful conditions that they can safely dwell in tents in remote places. This is the time when lambs and lions will dwell together in peace as prophesied. This is immediately followed by the day Addition which is not a part of the prophesying sequence as it was added much later and does not have the prophetic significance of the Feast of Tabernacles [tents].

Temple worship, services, and observances are not enjoined on any nation other than Israel due to Israel’s designation as “priests and kings to all nations on earth.” The seventh-day Sabbaths are times of rest and refreshment, and the intercalated days are times for family and community gatherings and feasting without fanfare or formality for the other nations on earth. Notice that there are no designated feast days except the weekly Sabbaths, which are given as family days to every person on earth. The named days are simply markers, with the Spring Break and Autumn Break not specifically marked off as restricted, nor the days marking the Land Sabbaths, but the rest for the land during the seventh year is required for everyone, for the sake of the land as well as the health of the people. There is no requirement to appear at any temple, gather at any meeting place, or participate in any observance. Just lay off the heavy work so your mind and muscles can rest and recuperate through the social activities with family, friends and neighbors.



The Land Sabbaths

calendar-for-the-nations-smallWorking with circles leaves messy remainders. In this case, these remainders add up to a full week every 7 years with yet another remainder, so in keeping with the extant custom of marking intercalations, the seventh year was declared a Land Sabbath. The land was not plowed, the vines were not pruned, the trees were not trimmed, no agricultural work beyond tending the livestock, which were not bred that year so they could rest as well, was done since agriculture was the primary business of those days. This permitted the bacteria in the soil to replenish, the trees and vines to set a full complement of leaves for the use of the plant instead of for the production of fruit, and allowed people to do something interesting other than agriculture.

The timing of this intercalation was not arbitrary, nor did it start the count from the Exodus. It was designated as every 50th year from when kingship was given to mankind. The starting point is also claimed for the creation of man or various other points in history, which can easily be disproved through archaeology. Mankind can be proven to have been on earth for hundreds of thousands of years, but only gathered together into organized societies with kings ruling over them 6,000 years ago, and this organization point was the starting point of the counting of the Qumran calendar years in the current sequential format[7]. Where or under what circumstances this occurred is openly debated, but the fact that it occurred around 6,000 years ago is well documented. On a side note, the year 6000 is also the 120th Jubilee as mentioned in Genesis 6 verse 3, “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty revolutions of time[8].”

Whatever the basis, the Jubilee year 6000 equates to the common year 2000[9] making it a Jubilee year. An interesting side note is that Israel’s leaders proclaimed the state of Israel in May of 1948, well past the start of the year, making it a reality in existence on Spring 1949, the start of the seventh Land Sabbath in the series to be followed by the 1950 Jubilee year.


The Jubilee Year

israel-jubilee-markedThe 50th year was named rather than numbered or counted in the counting common to the other 49 years, but still computed in the calculations by the astronomers, throwing mathematicians and common people alike into total confusion as to whether the 49th or the 50th year was the actual year of celebration. The fact that the coming of the Jubilee year was announced in the Autumn of the 49th year has not helped at all. The Jubilee year is the year after the seventh Land Sabbath. It is not the first year of the next seven-year count, which would only be six years duration if this was done. There are seven full years in each Land Sabbath count, seven full Land Sabbath counts in each week of years, and a full year separating the sets of Land Sabbaths. This full year is named Jubilee. It has no number.

Divergence of Restricted Days

The progression of the calendars follow the order of the Pentecontad, possibly a truncated version of the calendar in use before the Great Flood, followed by a completely redesigned model that took the name of the Enoch calendar. This model served well until the plagues of the Exodus, at which time it proved obsolete. The redesigned calendar retained the initial format of the Enoch calendar with the insertion of weeks at designated intervals. It took its name from the most radical of these intercalations, two weeks every 50 years into a year named Jubilee.

In the time prior to the Exodus all nations used the same Enoch calendar. At the time of the Exodus, the calendar was separated, as the nation of Israel was separated to become the priests and kings of the nations, into a set of restricted days for the nations and a different, more involved set of restricted days for Israel. The model used by Israel was mostly set aside during the Babylonian captivity in favor of the moon-based calendar in use at that location. The Qumran calendar was still in effect after the captivity by some elements in the temple complex, or at least in the community represented by the Dead Sea Scrolls who were assumed to still be active during the time of the Hasmoneans. With the loss of the temple, upon which many of the restricted days relied for their ceremonies, and the dispersion among the nations, the Israelite model was abandoned entirely in favor of the moon-based calendar as defined by Hillel II.

The Qumran calendar used by all mankind suffered a similar fate with the rise of military activities involving world domination, beginning with the Babylonians and Persians, continued by the Macedonians, and completely dominated by the Roman model still in effect today.

According to Hillel II, the Qumran calendar will be re-instituted when a new king is anointed in an Israel composed of the nation of Judah combined with a returning remnant of the northern 10 tribes. Until then, the “calendar controversy” is guaranteed to continue to cause major divisions and heated arguments among many and varied groups on this earth.


[1] See the various writings of Julian Morgenstern, James C. VanderKam and others. It is clear in Morgenstern’s “The Calendar Of The Book Of Jubilees, Its Origin And Its Character”; Vetus Tentamentum, (5)1 (Jan. 1955) pp. 34-76 that he is unclear of the structural differences between the Pentecontad and the Jubilee models, however.

[2] As an example, see the Kolbrin, Book of Creation, Chapter 3.

[3] Exo. 10:21.

[4] Exo. 12:1-2.

[5] Still another interpretation is astronomical. Lucifer was the ancient name for Venus. Jupiter was the ancient name for a God. This portrays the event that kicked Venus into its present orbit, away from its previous position very near Jupiter.

[6] More than one source has suggested that the Book of Revelation was written by Daniel and is the “sealed book” he was instructed to hide. This was found later by the Christian community, small insertions were made to “Christianize” it, and it was released as a new document, not without great controversy and resistance on the part of many persons and groups.

[7] Previously the count was made by the number of Jubilees past or future. For instance, “The year 2000 of the common era was the 120th Jubilee.” Today we would refer to it as 6000 AM (after mankind).

[8] This is the literal translation according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

[9] (a) Even the Roman Catholic Church openly declared the year 2000 as the Jubilee year with celebrations world-wide and in Jerusalem. The synchronization with the Hebrew calendar is too involved for this discussion, so must be left for a later date. (b) Dr. Charles (Chuck) Missler, one of the luminaries in Christian Bible study, wrote an explanation for why the two equate in his Personal Update of December 1999, p. 37. (c) Several web sites supporting various religious persuasions give still other reasons why this would be so.