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Essene Solar Calendar
as prescribed by the Book of Enoch and used at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls)
showing a 31st day added every three months giving a year of 364 days
that is divisible by seven and thus preserving the days of the week.

© 2009-2013 Dylan Stephens

(See the Calendar of Noah that confirms the early Jewish calendar as being a solar calendar.)

The year begins on Wednesday according to Genesis 1:14-19
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: the stars.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
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.
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.."

(Enoch Book 5: Epistle of Enoch Chapter 93:10)
"And at its close (the seventh week - verse 9) shall be elected
the elect righteous of the eternal plant of righteousness (i.e. the Essenes),
to receive sevenfold instruction concerning all His creation."

Since a year is 365 1/4 days, it is assumed that this calendar would be intercalated by some method
to make up the loss of 1 1/4 days a year and to realign it to the equinox.

Josephus' writings come to the rescue: "And as the siege was drawn out into length by this means, that year on which the Jews used to rest came on; for the Jews observe this rest every seventh year, as they do every seventh day" (Antiquities of the Jews 13:8:1)" "And as the siege was delayed by this means, the year of rest came on, upon which the Jews rest every seventh year as they do on every seventh day." (Wars of the Jews 1.2.4)
This process of adding one week every 7 years catches up on the shortfall of 8.75 (1.25 x 7) days, but there is still a shortfall of approximately 1.75 days every seven years. This could have been resolved by adding an extra week (total of two weeks) onto year 28 (4x7) when the extra shortfall accumulation of 1.75 days (1.75 x 4) equals approximately one week.

However, I must defer to James D. Dwyer's excellent website that demonstrates a precise method using sevens. The jubilee cycle of 49 would clearly be more appropriate, but even with that there is still a minor shortfall. Thus another week must be added every 10 sets of seven or 70 weeks of years according to:
DSS: Ages of Creation 4Q180 "The Pesher is concerning the ages made by God, all the ages for the accomplishment [of all events, past] and future. Before ever He created them, He determined the works of ... age by age. And it was engraved on [heavenly] tablets ... the ages of their domination. This is the order of the cre[ation of man from Noah to Abraham, un]til he begot Isaac; ten [weeks of (years)]. (tr: Geza Vermes)"
and also according to:
RSV 2Chronicles 36:21: "to fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfil seventy years."

To review this process, the Essene day calendar below can be intercalated as follows:
  • Adding one week every 7 years
  • Adding one week every 49 years
  • Adding one week every 70 years
"This gives a precision 365.2429 days in a year (364 + 1.00 + 0.1429 + 0.10) versus the actual solar year of 365.2422 days.
(thus less than 1 minute per solar year.)"

Another possible solution for intercalation could be Dr. Barbara Thiering's method showing the intercalation that gives Good Friday.



(Enoch Book 3: Astronomy Chapter 72)
(That this section of the book was relevant to Qumran is shown by the existence of fragments 4Q208-211)
The book of the courses of the luminaries of the heaven ...
And I saw six portals in which the sun rises, and six portals in which the sun sets ...
4th GateWhen the sun rises ... thirty mornings ... And during this period the day becomes daily longer and the night nightly shorter to the thirtieth morning.(i.e.the first month of 30 days contains the spring equinox) ...
5th Gatethe sun ... returns to the fifth portal of the east thirty mornings(i.e. second month has 30 days) ...
6th Gateand rises and sets in the sixth portal one-and-thirty mornings(i.e. third month has 31 days) ...
6th GateAnd the sun mounts up to make the day shorter and the night longer, and ... rises from it and sets thirty mornings(i.e. fourth month of 30 days contains the summer solstice) ...
5th GateAnd the sun ... rises in the fifth portal for thirty mornings(i.e. fifth month has 30 days) ...
4th Gate(the sun) rises in the fourth portal for one-and-thirty mornings(i.e. sixth month has 31 days) ...
3rd GateOn that day the day is equalized with the night ... And the sun ... rises thirty mornings(i.e. the seventh month of 30 days contains at the fall equinox) ...
2nd GateAnd the sun rises ... for thirty mornings(i.e. the eighth month has 30 days)
1st GateAnd the sun rises ... for one-and-thirty mornings(i.e. ninth month has 31 days) ...
1st GateAnd on that day the night becomes longer ... the sun ... enters that portal thirty mornings(i.e. tenth month of 30 days contains the winter solstice) ...
2nd GateAnd the sun for thirty mornings, rising and setting.(i.e. the eleventh month has 30 days) ...
3rd Gatethe sun ... rises in the third portal for one-and-thirty mornings(i.e. the twelve month has 31 days) ...
and the year is exactly as to its days three hundred and sixty-four.

Enoch Book 3: Astronomy Chapter 82:4-5
Blessed are all the righteous, blessed are all those who walk in the way of righteousness and sin not as the sinners, in the reckoning of all their days in which the sun traverses the heaven, entering into and departing from the portals for thirty (30) days with the heads of thousands of the order of the stars, together with the four (4) which are intercalated which divide the four portions of the year, which lead them and enter with them four days ...

Jubilees 6:23
"And on the 1st (chodesh Hebrew mistranslated as new moon) of the first month, and on the 1st of the fourth month, and on the 1st of the seventh month, and on the 1st of the tenth month are the days of remembrance, and the days of the seasons in the four divisions of the year. These are written and ordained."

See the bottom section of "The Calendar of Noah" for more details of moon mistranslations.
Jubilees 6:29
"Each one of them is thirteen weeks from one to another (91 days) of the rememberances, from the 1st to the second, and from the second to the third, and from the third to the fourth, and all the days which will be commanded will be fifty-two weeks of days, all of them are a complete year."




I (Spring) II III
Sun
5 12 19 26
3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29
Mon
6 13 20 27
4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30
Tue
7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 1 8 15 22 29
6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26
Fri 3 10 17 24
1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27
Sat 4 11 18 25
2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28

IV (Summer) V VI
Sun
5 12 19 26
3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29
Mon
6 13 20 27
4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30
Tue
7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 1 8 15 22 29
6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26
Fri 3 10 17 24
1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27
Sat 4 11 18 25
2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28

VII (Autumn) VIII IX
Sun
5 12 19 26
3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29
Mon
6 13 20 27
4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30
Tue
7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 1 8 15 22 29
6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26
Fri 3 10 17 24
1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27
Sat 4 11 18 25
2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28

X (Winter) XI XII
Sun
5 12 19 26
3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29
Mon
6 13 20 27
4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30
Tue
7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 1 8 15 22 29
6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26
Fri 3 10 17 24
1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27
Sat 4 11 18 25
2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28

Essene Solar Calendar in its normative Day position with
MMT A(Dead Sea Scrolls 4Q394 1-2, 4Q394 3-7 i) inserted in corresponding places

translation from "The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English", Geza Vermes, Penguin Books, 1962 page 221-222

4Q394 1-2
I. [On the sixteenth of it (of the second month): sabbath]
I.5 On the twenty-third of  it: sabbath
On the thirtieth of  it: sabbath
I.10 [On] the seventh of the third month: sabbath
On the fourteenth of  it: sabbath
I.15 On the fifteenth of it:Feast of Weeks
On the twenty-(II.) [f]irs[t] of  it: sabbath
II.5 [On] the twenty-eighth of  it: sabbath
The first of the sabbath (=Sunday) and the second day (=Monday) and the third are to be added
II.10 And the season is complete: ninety-one days

II.15 On the first of the fourth month: Memorial Day On the fourth III. of  it: [sabbath]
On the e[leventh] of  it: sabbath
III.5 On the eighteenth of  it: sabbath
On the twenty-fifth of  it: sabbath
III.10 On the second of  the fift[h] month: sabbath
On the third of it: Feast of Wine, first of sabbath(Sunday)
IV. [On the ninth of  it: sabbath]
On the sixteenth of  it: sabbath
IV.5 On the twenty-third of  it: sabbath
On the thirtieth of  it: sabbath
IV.10 On the seventh of  the six month sabbath
On the fourteenth of  it: sabbath
On the twenty-first of  it: V. sabbath
V.5 On the twenty-second of it: Feast of Oil, fir[st of sab]bath (Sunday)
Afterwards: offering of Wood

4Q394 3-7 i
(19) the twenty-eight of it [of the twelfth month]:sabbath
The fir[st of the] s[abbath (=Sunday)] and the second day (=Monday) and the third are to be added
(20) And the year is complete: three-hundred and si[xty-four] days



I (Spring)
Sun
5 12 19 26
Mon
6 13 20 27
Tue
7 14
(Day of Preparation*)
21 28
Wed 1 8 15
(Passover*)
22 29
Thu 2 9 16
(Unleavened Bread*)
23 30
Fri 3 10 17 24
Sat 4 11 18 25
*Passover is missing in this fragment, but can be deteremined from these texts:
  • Exodus 12:6,17 - Take care of them until the 14th day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them (the lambs) at twilight
  • Lev 23:5-8 - 'In the first month, on the 14th day of the month at twilight is the LORD's Passover
  • Eze 45:21 - "In the first month, on the 14th day of the month, you shall have the Passover
However, Passover can be extrapolated from the Mishmarot Calendar (4Q320 Fr. 4) set out by Barbara Thiering which gives "second year 3rd day Sedrim(4): the Passover" thus I/14 and also Waving of the Sheaf I/26, Second Passover II/14, Festival of Weeks III/15, Day of Memorial VII/1, Day of Atonement VII/10, and Feast of Tabernacles VII/15.

Passover is the 14th day beginning at sunset so really on the 15th. If one uses the logic that
Wednesday is an important day like the Pentecost on the 15th and that Jesus followed the Essene calendar,
the expression: "The Preparation of the Passover" in John 19:14 for "the day of the Crucifixion (Good Friday on the Julian calendar)"
is saying that Passover is the next day (Nissan 15) in contradiction to the traditional Nissan 14 being Passover.

This traditional method is confirmed by John 18:28 "They led, therefore, Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium, and it was early, and they themselves did not enter
into the praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover."
(The 'they' are the Pharisees, non-Essene calendar followers and were celebrating Passover on the 14th day.)

(The issue of the calendar contradictions with this and the Synoptic Gospels would need to be a whole other discussion.)

II
Sun
3 10 17 24
Mon
4 11 18 25
Tue
5 12 19 26
Wed
6 13 20 27
Thu
7 14 21 28
Fri 1 8 15
22 29
Sat 2 9 16
I. On the sixteenth of it (of the second month): sabbath
23
I.5 On the twenty-third of  it: sabbath
30
On the thirtieth of  it: sabbath


III
Sun 1 8 15
Pentecost
I.15 On the fifteenth of it:Feast of Weeks
22
29
Mon 2 9 16 23 30
Tue 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 4 11 18 25The first of the sabbath (=Sunday) and the second day (=Monday) and the third are to be added
Thu 5 12 19 26
Fri 6 13 20 27
Sat 7
I.10 On the seventh of the third month: sabbath
14
On the fourteenth of  it: sabbath
21
On the twenty-(II.) first of  it: sabbath
28
II.5 On the twenty-eighth of  it: sabbath
II.10 And the season is complete: ninety-one days


IV (Summer)






Sun
5 12 19 26
Mon
6 13 20 27
Tue
7 14 21 28
Wed 1
II.15 On the first of the fourth month: Memorial Day
8 15 22 29
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
Fri 3 10 17 24
Sat 4
On the fourth III. of  it: sabbath
11
On the eleventh of  it: sabbath
18
III.5 On the eighteenth of  it: sabbath
25
On the twenty-fifth of  it: sabbath



V






Sun
3
On the third of it: Feast of Wine,
first of sabbath (Sunday)
10 17 24
Mon
4 11 18 25
Tue
5 12 19 26
Wed
6 13 20 27
Thu
7 14 21 28
Fri 1 8 15 22 29
Sat 2
III:10 On the second of  the fifth month: sabbath
9
IV. On the ninth of  it: sabbath
16
On the sixteenth of  it: sabbath
23
IV.5 On the twenty-third of  it: sabbath
30
On the thirtieth of  it: sabbath

VI






Sun 1 8 15 22
V.5 On the twenty-second of it: Feast of Oil,
first of sabbath (Sunday)
29
Mon 2 9 16 23 30
Tue 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 4 11 18 25
Thu 5 12 19 26
Fri 6 13 20 27
Sat 7
IV.10 On the seventh of  the six month sabbath
14
IV.15 On the fourteenth of  it: sabbath
21
On the twenty-first of  it: V. sabbath
28
Afterwards: offering of Wood

VII (Autumn) VIII IX
Sun
5 12 19 26
3 10 17 24 1 8 15 22 29
Mon
6 13 20 27
4 11 18 25 2 9 16 23 30
Tue
7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 1 8 15
Tabernacles
22 29
6 13 20 27 4 11 18 25
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
7 14 21 28 5 12 19 26
Fri 3 10
Atonement
17 24
1 8 15 22 29 6 13 20 27
Sat 4 11 18 25
2 9 16 23 30 7 14 21 28

X (Winter) XI
Sun
5 12 19 26
3 10 17 24
Mon
6 13 20 27
4 11 18 25
Tue
7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26
Wed 1 8 15 22 29
6 13 20 27
Thu 2 9 16 23 30
7 14 21 28
Fri 3 10 17 24
1 8 15 22 29
Sat 4 11 18 25
2 9 16 23 30

XII
Sun 1 8 15 22 29
Mon 2 9 16 23 30
Tue 3 10 17 24 31
Wed 4 11 18 25The first of the sabbath (=Sunday) and the second day (=Monday) and the third are to be added to it.
Thu 5 12 19 26
Fri 6 13 20 27
Sat 7 14 21 28
(19) the twenty-eight of it (of the twelfth month): sabbath
(20) And the year is complete: three-hundred and sixty-four days
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