THE JEWISH LUNI-SOLAR CALENDAR
The Jewish lunar calendar is essentially created as being canonized by Hillel II between 320-365 CE which is why it is called the Hillel II calendar.
In 197 BCE Judea became a province Seleucid Empire (the Greeks) which was ruled by the Syrian successors of Alexander the Great. Many Jews weren’t upset over this, in fact they became known as “Hellenistic” Jews because they eagerly wished to embrace everything that the Greek culture had to offer. This results in an intense cultural battle between some of the Hellenistic Jewish leaders and the Temple priests over the calendar.
The Hellenistic Jews wanted to conform “timekeeping” with the Greek’s lunar calendar while the Zadok priests believed that this calendar was pagan and shouldn’t be mixed with the true worship of YAHUAH ELOHIM.
While the priests controlled the Temple and worship system there was a civil system in place called the Assembly which functioned directly under the leadership of the priests.
We also see this in the wilderness, Aaron and the Levites in the Temple and the 70 elders which represented each of the 12 tribes in civil matters.
The High Priest as the “Nasiy” or Prince/leader since Aaron’s rod had budded as a sign that YAHUAH gave the Aaronic priesthood sole authority over the 12 tribes in religious matters.
And YAHUAH said unto Moses, Bring Arron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.”
In 191 BCE some powerful Jewish leaders essentially voted that they had no confidence in the Priests and they wanted this power removed which they had healed since Moses’ Tabernacle in the wilderness.
It was simply put, another Korah’s rebellion.
A position was created within the Sanhedrin for a single leader who would now carry the title “Nasi” and represent the supreme authority of the Sanhedrin. Thus the divine mandate of Nasi became a political and elected position. Like the House of Israel had done previously, Judah now did more wickedly than her sister by electing their own High Priest and leaders and rejecting the son’s of Aaron in the Temple at Jerusalem.
By 187 BCE the last Aaronic High Priest, Onias III, began to lead a resistance by the Zadokite priests to try to stop the Hellenistic infiltration. But in 175 BCE Anitiochus Epiphanes deposed him from his position and replaced him with his brother Jason, a Hellenistic sympathizer. Onias III and the Zadok Priests kept fighting but eventually Onias III had to flee for his life and was murdered in 171 BCE.
Powerful Jews began to systematically hunt down and kill their opposition, the Zadok priest, and most of them fled for their lives.
Much of this history is well known today. But what isn’t as well known is that Abraham was called the “Nasiy” and so were his sons.
Aaron, the High Priest, was the chief “Nasiy” before the title was solely given to the elected leader of the Sanhedrin, of which Hillel II was the 19th or 20th elected Nasiy in 320 CE.
The High Priests were solely responsible for the proper observance of the Biblical calendar but after they were replaced the leader of the Sanhedrin, the elected Nasiy, took over this position. While the word Nasiy in Hebrew means “Prince, leader,” and its root word “nasa” (H5375) means “exalted, lift up” it has a different meaning in Aramaic but which still closely related. In Aramaic the word “nasiy” means “to intercalate.” Naturally after the title of Nasi was transferred to the Sanhedrin, the elected Nasiy began to dictate the intercalation based on the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar. However, we can still see in the Aramaic that the High Priest, the chief Nasiy of Levi and Israel, is directly related to the process of “intercalation” and the Biblical calendar.
We all know the system of intercalation used in the Jewish lunar calendar which makes it a luni-solar calendar using two different systems, observance of the moon and the unbroken 7th day weekly Sabbath. Not even the Hellenized Jews dared to break the cycle of the 7 days which represents YAHUAH’S covenant oath.
The Jewish lunar calendar system uses the vernal equinox as a guide for them to add 30 days, a 13th month called Adar II, at the end of every 3rd year which is why it is referred to as a luni-solar calendar. A 13th month is required because the lunar (moon) cycle falls behind the vernal equinox around 10 days every year. 10X3=30 days.
The Zadok priests called the Hellenized Jews who change the Biblical calendar from the solar to lunar observance “The Son’s of Darkness” and they themselves “The Son’s of Light.”
In the Hebrew the word “hillel” often translated as “praise” comes from the root word “halal” which means “to shine.” Halal occurs in 140 verses in the Tanahk.
I believe that the word “halal: although it can represent any “shining” luminary is more specifically referring to the sun and the stars because it is applied directly to them.