Scheduling Jesus: Torah Calendar

Apr 23 2020

Jesus was a devout first-century Jew. Thus, the calendar from the Torah (or Moses’ Law) in the Hebrew Bible established his yearly rhythm.

Holidays (or holy-days) restricted Jesus’ activity or required travel.

The following are key days and weeks.

  • Sabbath, the seventh day of the week
  • New Moon, the first day of the month
  • Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread in Jerusalem, seven days during the first month, spring barley harvest
  • Feast of Weeks in Jerusalem, seven weeks after Passover, third month, spring wheat harvest
  • New Year, the first day of the seventh month
  • Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month
  • Feast of Huts (or Tabernacles) in Jerusalem, seven days during the seventh month, fall fruit harvest

On Sabbath and New Moon the Torah ruled that businesses were closed and people could travel only a limited distance.

The Day of Atonement included Sabbath-limits on work and a fast from food.

All adult males had to attend the three major festivals in Jerusalem.

Jesus was an itinerant Rabbi who lived by the rules of the Torah. The Torah’s schedule including travel destinations and activity limitations establish guidelines through which we better understand Jesus’ experience.

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