This Shabbat

Observe the month of Aviv 

Shabbat Shalom, friends!

The new Biblical year is upon us again, this weekend. I wrote a very brief post with this interesting picture last year:

nisan.JPG

In the Torah, the first month of the Biblical Year is called Aviv (הָֽאָבִ֔יב) and in the Writings section of the TaNakH (Old Testament), the name was changed to Nisan ( נִיסָן).

We find a couple of references to the month of Aviv in the Torah and I’ve listed these below:

Exodus 12: 

1 ADONAI spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said,

2 “You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you.

Exodus 13:

1 ADONAI said to Moshe,

2 “Set aside for me all the firstborn. Whatever is first from the womb among the people of Isra’el, both of humans and of animals, belongs to me.”

3 Moshe said to the people, “Remember this day, on which you left Egypt, the abode of slavery; because ADONAI, by the strength of his hand, has brought you out of this place. Do not eat hametz.

4 You are leaving today, in the month of Aviv.

Exodus 23:15:

15 Keep the festival of matzah: for seven days, as I ordered you, you are to eat matzah at the time determined in the month of Aviv; for it was in that month that you left Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

Exodus 34:18: 

18 “Keep the festival of matzah by eating matzah, as I ordered you, for seven days during the month of Aviv; for it was in the month of Aviv that you came out from Egypt.

Deuteronomy 16: 

1 “Observe the month of Aviv, and keep Pesach to ADONAI your God; for in the month of Aviv, ADONAI your God brought you out of Egypt at night.

2 You are to sacrifice the Pesach offering from flock and herd to ADONAI your God in the place where ADONAI will choose to have his name live.

 

As mentioned above, just before the New Covenant / New Testament era, the name of the first month was changed to “Nisan” which is still in use today.

Esther 3:7: 

7 In the first month, the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of Achashverosh, they began throwing pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman every day and every month until the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

Nehemiah 2:1:

1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of Artach’shashta the king, it happened that I took the wine and brought it to the king. Prior to then I had never appeared sad in his presence.

I must admit that while I was reading up about the month of Aviv in the Torah, I was surprised to read the first section of Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Aviv” (emphasis added). I don’t recall focusing on the word “observe” before. As we are required to observe the month of Aviv and this being the 1st month of the Biblical year, the idea of “Rosh Hashanah” (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה) being the new year in the 7th month is then biblically incorrect as the Torah is very clear in Exodus 12:2. Also, the first day of the 7th Month (called “Etanim”( הָאֵתָנִים) in 1 Kings 8:2) is Yom Teruah ( The day of blowing of the Shofar / Trumpets as instructed in Leviticus 23:24: דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר:  בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ, יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שַׁבָּתוֹן–זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ.).

Furthermore, Aviv / Nisan is obviously also a special month because of the next part of Deuteronomy 16:1 which commands us to keep Pesach / Passover.

When I read up about Biblical Truth and compare it to all of the misinformation being taught (in some cases for centuries and millennia such as Rosh Hashanah), it makes me think of these 2 verses:

Proverbs 30:5:

Every word of God’s is pure; he shields those taking refuge in him

Psalm 119:151:

You are close by, ADONAI; and all your mitzvot are truth.

I hope that you will observe the month of Aviv and Pesach/Passover as we have been instructed by ADONAI, The Almighty Living God of Israel to keep these. On a personal note, I always look forward to Pesach as it always reminds me of when my mother and I attended our first messianic Seder together hosted by the Jews for Jesus organisation many years ago. (Please note: I’m not affiliated with this organisation nor any other organisation).

I hope you and your family will have a blessed and peaceful Shabbat!

The Aaronic Blessing:

22 ADONAI said to Moshe, 
23 “Speak to Aharon and his sons, and tell them that this is how you are to bless the people of Isra’el: you are to say to them, 
24 ‘Y’varekh’kha ADONAI v’yishmerekha. [May ADONAI bless you and keep you.] 
25 Ya’er ADONAI panav eleikha vichunekka. [May ADONAI make his face shine on you and show you his favor.] 
26 Yissa ADONAI panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom. [May ADONAI lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]’ 
27 “In this way they are to put my name on the people of Isra’el, so that I will bless them.”

 

This Shabbat

Joshua

Shabbat Shalom, friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. I hope you and your family have been well!

I’m currently reading through the Book of Joshua. This book records the history of the people of Israel as enter and take possession of the Land of Israel. Joshua is their new leader, ADONAI leads them victory as long as they obey HIM. I follow the Kehilat haKarmel congregration in Haifa, Israel on Youtube. This congregration is currently reading through the entire book. These sermons are both in Hebrew and English; and definitely worthwhile listening to (in my humble opinion). I’ve include the video from last Shabbat’s sermon below:

 

As I was reading, I was drawn to Joshua Chapter 5  verses 13 – 14:

 13 One day, when Y’hoshua was there by Yericho, he raised his eyes and looked; and in front of him stood a man with his drawn sword in his hand. Y’hoshua went over to him and asked him, “Are you on our side or on the side of our enemies?” 14 “No,” he replied, “but I am the commander of Adonai’s army; I have come just now.” Y’hoshua fell down with his face to the ground and worshipped him, then asked, “What does my lord have to say to his servant?” 15 The commander of Adonai’s army answered Y’hoshua, “Take your sandals off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy.” And Y’hoshua did so.

After I’ve read these verses, I thought of the following: Firstly, this could be seen as Joshua’s “burning bush”  experience as Moses was also asked to remove his sandals. Secondly, it also reminds me of when Yeshua successful completed his testing by the adversary and the angels came to take care of Him (Matthew 4:11). Yeshua also mentioned that ADONAI would sent armies of angels to protect him, but He had to die for our sins. (Matthew 26:53).

We might not always think about this, but we have the best protection. Psalm 91: 11- 12 really describes it very well:

11 for he will order his angels to care for you
and guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their hands,
so that you won’t trip on a stone.

As long as we obey and trust, ADONAI’s protection and grace will never fail us.

I hope you have a peaceful Shabbat!

Eitan