Kevin Heckle (9 Aug 2011)
"RE: Jean Stepnoski - 21 days of Daniel in Nisan, the First Month"


Dear Jean,


Your analysis of the 21 days of Daniel’s fast led you to the conclusion that somehow, the ‘FIRST’ month is anything but the month of Nisan.  While I often enjoy your posts, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion on this. 


The Babylonian and the Hebrew calendar were the same at the time.  Biblically, the only two options for Daniels’s FIRST MONTH are the first month of the ecclesiastical year (Nisan) or the first month of the civil year (Tishri).  Both month beginnings are marked by some sort of feasts, Nisan by Passover and Unleavened Bread, and Tishri by Tabernacles.  The text clearly says Daniel ate no ‘pleasant’ bread (leavened), flesh or wine, nor did he anoint himself.  ‘No pleasant bread’ would point to the feast of Unleavened Bread, however Passover demands the consumption of the sacrificial lamb in accordance with the celebration of escaping the captivity of the Egyptians.  Daniel ate no ‘flesh’, so that would seem to negate Nisan as the 1st month.  Tishri of course is the Jewish New Year, a time of feasting and celebration.  So both Nisan and Tishri seem problematic.  If it were Tammuz-Av however as you surmise, the date could only be in the 4th-5th month (from Nisan) or the 10th-11th month (from Tishri) and is an impossibility as the interpretation of the text


To understand Daniel’s fast ‘in the FIRST MONTH’, which could Biblically and historically ONLY be in Nisan or Tishri, you have to understand that the children of Israel were IN CAPTIVITY in BabylonThey could not sacrifice the Passover lamb, the Temple had been DESTROYED by the Babylonian King, thus the three weeks of mourning and fasting each year of their exile.  The Jews were ONLY allowed to sacrifice the Passover lamb at the place where God chose (Deut. 16:1-6), which was the Temple in Jerusalem.  No Temple = no sacrifice = mourning and fasting by Daniel in the 1st month, Nisan.


In the Book of Ezra 3:1-4, we can see what eventually happens to the children of the captivity as they begin to rebuild:


Ezra 3:1 KJV - And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel [were] in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.. .


Ezra 3:4 KJV - They kept also the Feast of Tabernacles, as [it is] written, and [offered] the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;


Ezra 3 clearly places the seventh month with the Feast of Tabernacles and the Babylonian exiles.  


We then see the restoration of the exiles to the Passover feasts in Ezra 6:19-22.  Notice Passover is on the 14th day of the FIRST MONTH.


Ezr 6:19 KJV - And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth [day] of the FIRST MONTH.

Ezr 6:20 KJV - For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them [were] pure, and killed the Passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Ezr 6:21 KJV - And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,

Ezr 6:22 KJV - And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.


Biblically then, it can only be concluded that at the time of Daniel, Tishri is the 7th month (Tabernacles), leaving Nisan as the only possibility as the 1st month (Passover).  Scripture interprets Scripture. 


The timing of the sun, moon and stars confirms it also.  The date Daniel speaks of specifically is Nisan 24, 3225 or Julian Day 1525759.5 or April 15, 535 BC (Gregorian).  While the Hebrew Metonic calendar did not come into existence until later, retrospectively it is accurate in 3225.  Nisan 1 should occur on the new moon following the sun passing the spring equinox.   Within hours of the sun passing the spring equinox that year, the new moon eclipsed the sun.  Nisan 1, 3225 then would be on Julian Day 1525736.5 or March 23, 535 BC (Gregorian).  The 21 day fast then would have began the 4th of Nisan through the 24th of Nisan (inclusive of the first and last day).


Incidentally, 2625 lunar years (1290 + 1335) from that date in Daniel’s vision until February 14, 2012.  It is also 1000 x 9 months (human gestation) x 3.5 (times, times and a half) to the same date (birth pangs). 


A Friend in Christ,

Kevin Heckle