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Sabbatical Cycles


Every 7th year the Israelites were to let the land keep a "sabbath of rest" by not sowing their crops (Lev. 25:2-7). This sabbatical year was called "the year of shemitah" or "release" (Deut. 15:9; 31:10), since all debts were remitted that year. Sabbatical years began with the seventh Jewish month in the fall, commonly called Tishri, corresponding roughly with our month of October (Lev. 25:9).

Which years were sabbatical years? For periods after the Israelites returned from Babylon, there are basically two proposals that differ by a single year:

  • Around 1856 Benedict Zuckermann published a table of sabbatical years in ancient times. His table represents what has been considered by scholars to be the standard position.(Note that the current rabbinical calendar is based on this theory).

  • In 1973 Ben Zion Wacholder published a table of sabbatical years, his sabbatical dates being one year later than Zuckermann's ("The Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles During the Second Temple and the Early Rabbinic Period," Hebrew Union College Annual 44 (1973), pp. 153-196). While he was not the first to advocate such dates, his name is commonly associated with this position. (My gut feeling is that Wacholder is correct in his theory, which would mean that the current rabbinical calendar is off by one year. So to make it simple this year which began on Yom Teruah, September 20th 2009 at sundown began the hebrew year 5769 instead of 5770. If this is correct then biblecode software which uses the rabbinical calendar is off by one year. The year 5770 will not start until Yom Teruah, September 9th 2010 beginning at the siting of the crescent of the new moon).



2009 YEARS divided by 49 (7 X 7) equals 41 JUBILEE CYCLES exactly. In this case we have completed the 41ST CYCLE of 7x7 year periods since the Birth of Jesus as of this coming Fall 2009 (TISHRI 5770), that is, if you begin the cycle count at 1AD/1BC using Wacholder's method. If you are using Zucheman's method the 41st cycle ended Fall of 2008 (TISHRI 5769) and the 42nd cycle has already begun.

Check out for the number 42

42 - The Appearing of Messiah - The Life of Messiah-in-you to bring Resurrection and salvation / deliverance - in spirit, soul, and then in bodily resurrection from the earth - same as 3 x 14.

Forty-Two is a number connected with Antichrist. An important part of his career is to last for 42 months (Revelation 11:2, 13:5), and thus this number is fixed upon him. Another number of Antichrist is 1260, and this is 30 x 42.

Its factors are six and seven (6x7=42), and this shows a connection between man and the Spirit of God, and between Christ and Antichrist:

  • Forty-two stages of Israel's wanderings mark their conflict with the will of God.

  • Forty-two young men* mocked the ascension of Elijah to Elisha, 2 Kings 2:23, 24.

Being a multiple of seven, it might be supposed that it would be connected with spiritual perfection. But it is the product of six times seven. Six, therefore, being the number of Man, and man's opposition to God, Forty-two becomes significant of the working out of man's opposition to God.

Jesus was forty two generations from Abraham. (Matthew 1). He was also seventy seven generations from Adam. (Luke 3)

Forty Two, 3½ and 1260. This is the amount that is given to the wicked or for people to bear fruit. Judgment occurs at the end. It is based on the law that God only expects results after the third year of planting (Leviticus 19: 23-25). This time period appears in many prophecies as 1260 days, 42 months or 3½ years. It is the period that God allows the beast to operate. Notice that this is equal to 6 x 7 months. It is man's portion of the jubilee cycle. Notice that it is also 3 x 2 x 7. Three for punishment, two for double punishment and seven for complete punishment.

Supporting Evidence

Sir Robert Anderson provided a good foundation that pointed to the crucifixion occurring on April 11, AD 32. His viewpoint was originally given in the book, "The Coming Prince" that was published about 1884. Sir Robert Anderson did not have the Elephantine papyri to use in his research. However, an in-depth study of the Elephantine papyri provides evidence that supports Sir Robert Anderson's viewpoint. And it is important to note that this is true despite recent problems found with Sir Robert Anderson's original work.

Sir Robert Anderson's viewpoint recently was found to be faulty due to missing 3 full days. According to Anderson's calculations, the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem as recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-6 came from King Artaxerxes on Nisan 1, which was thought to have occurred on Friday, March 14, 445 BC. By adding 173,880 days to this date, we are taken forward in time to April 6, AD 32, which is thought to be the date on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem with crowds proclaiming him to be the Messiah. (The 173,880 days are based on Daniel's prophecy that foretells of a period of 69 cycles of 7 years. When the time frame of 360 days per year are used, the value evolved comes from attaining the number of days by multiplying 69 x 7 x 360 = 173,880 days). If you need or want to review Sir Robert Anderson's viewpoint, please click here.

To resolve the issue of the 3 missing days, the solution would be to simply move the date for Nisan 1 forward to Sunday, March 16, 445 BC. By doing this, the 173,880 days fit perfectly to April 6, AD 32.

But is it realistic to move the date for Nisan 1 forward to Sunday, March 16, 445 BC?

The Elephantine papyrus dated November 18, 446 BC gives supporting evidence that the decree 

issued by King Artaxerxes to restore and rebuild Jerusalem most likely did occur on March 16, 445 BC. In addition, the book of Nehemiah offers more evidence that the decree would have occurred on Sunday (not on the Sabbath).

Now consider the scientifically dated papyrus dated to November 18, 446 BC. This date happens to be Kislev 2 in the Hebrew calendar. By adding the appointed days of each month, the earliest date for Nisan 1 would be Saturday, March 15, 445 BC, at 6:00 PM. Based on this logic, it is very probable that Nisan 1 began at Sundown on Saturday, March 15 and came to an end at 6:00 PM, Sunday, March 16, 445 BC.

he logical conclusion from the papyrus supports that the decree from King Artaxerxes occurred on Sunday, March 16, 445 BC. Biblical evidence that would support this conclusion comes from the book of Nehemiah. It is certain that Nehemiah would not have done work for King Artaxerxes on the Sabbath (Saturday) based on Nehemiah 13:15-22, which reads as follows:

"In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is this wicked thing you are doing--desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn't your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.

When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. But I warned them and said, "Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you." From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy" (Nehemiah 13:15-22).

Based on how Nehemiah lived his life, he would not have showed up for work on Saturday, the Sabbath.

The scientifically dated papyrus of November 11, 446 BC, supports that Nisan 1 occurred on Sunday, March 16, 445 BC. King Artaxerxes issued the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to Nehemiah on a Sunday. (Even if the date is moved back 24 hours earlier, it is unlikely that Nehemiah stood before King Artaxerxes on a Saturday as the cupbearer. The Persian kings honored Jewish beliefs as supported by the book of Esther. The final events written in the book of Esther occurred about in February to March, 473 BC. King Artaxerxes would have been very familiar with the story of Esther).

By moving the decree forward to March 16, 445 BC, the issue of 3 missing days is eliminated based on solid evidence. There are exactly 173,880 days from Sunday March 16, 445 BC to Sunday, April 6, AD 32. The Elephantine papyri provide solid evidence that the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued on Sunday, March 16, 445 BC.

Since the beginning of Sir Robert Anderson's work is based on solid evidence, let's move forward to the year of the crucifixion. Did the crucifixion of Jesus Christ actually occur on Friday, April 11, AD 32?

The Elephantine papyri provide supporting evidence that the crucifixion appears to have occurred in the year AD 32.

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