"Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron."
It is not surprising that the book of beginnings has something to say about the invention of ancient crafts. We might wonder, upon reading these brief examples, if other arts besides farming, music and metal craft, could have also been mentioned? Apparently there was. In the book of Jubilees, an extra-biblical writing found among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, comes this additional claim:
"Enoch was the first among men that are born on earth who learnt writing and knowledge and wisdom and who wrote down the signs of heaven according to the order of their months in a book, that men might know the seasons of the years according to the order of their separate months ..." (Book of Jubilees 4:17)
So, to Enoch son of Jared, is credited the honour of inventing the calendar. Now, this is no small matter because Enoch was only six generations from Adam and calendar astronomy involves advanced understanding that was not perfected (we assume) until the Gregorian reforms in the 16th century. Until Qumran it was generally thought the earliest calendar was an Egyptian one, and inaccurate at that. Not so, says Jubilees; Enoch was the 'father' of the calendar!
Dead Sea Scrolls Reveal Hidden Calendar
The scrolls then go on to produce information showing Enoch's calendar to be in advance of anything operating today. First of all, it was what purists call a 'permanent' calendar. Event days, birthdays, festival days never changed from one year to the next. For example, American Independence Day took place on Thursday, 4th July, 1776. In this system it would fall on Thursday forever. The same would be true of important religious festivals.
Secondly, it was soli-lunar following both Sun and Moon. Thirdly, it tracked the solar cycle of 365.24 days with stunning accuracy over unlimited time by means of a Sabbatic leap-year formula. There is new evidence concerning this which has emerged only recently.
Those who make a casual reading of para-biblical literature might write it off as unlikely. So what if they were found preserved with Old Testament fragments? That only makes them older than originally thought, penned by a minority sect about two-hundred years before Christ. 'Jubilees' was probably the work of Essenes, written to explain the older 'book of Enoch' which itself was probably the imagination of Jewish mystics from the inter-testament era.
However, a more reasonable theory would be that some portions of the book of Enoch were ancient indeed, preserved by priest-astronomers and prophets like Daniel but corrupted with additions. The astronomical portions of the book should not be written off as fable.
Of course, it would be better if scripture confirmed the non-canonical accounts so to Genesis we return. The life spans of those who lived before the flood were rarely less than nine-hundred years but Enoch was a conspicuous exception. We are told that he did not die, but God "took him." Clearly, God was in control as to when he "took him," so would it be when Enoch was 500? 600? 700? No; but by some extraordinary coincidence it was when Enoch was 365 years old! (Genesis 5:21-24) It would be even more interesting to know if his departure was three months into his final year because that would make him 365.25 - one year for every day in the solar cycle! In any case, Enoch's final age was a 'sign.' The hidden calendar of Qumran is surely indicated here. Yes, Enoch was the father of the calendar.
Concerning the Modern Jewish Calendar
A common area of confusion concerning the biblical calendar arises from an assumption that the modern Hebrew calendar is the same as the ancient one. It isn't. The misunderstanding is not helped by rabbinic experts either, who make the same assumptions as everyone else. It's a good calendar, it's soli-lunar, and it works. Why look for another? Also, a false credibility bolsters the assumption since the modern Hebrew calendar is not really modern. It is similar to, and can be traced back to the Babylonian captivity. Now, that is old.
But it is not as old as the one of which the Dead Sea scrolls speak. Moses set up a calendar eight hundred years before the Babylonian empire existed. Genesis speaks of a calendar before Egyptian civilization. There are other clues concerning this matter too. For example, the all-important month of Abib (Deuteronomy 16:1) reappears after the captivity as 'Nisan,' a Babylonian name. (Nisanu) Was it just an innocuous name change? Not according to the Essenes it wasn't! The Qumran community rejected the post-Babylonian calendar and the temple authority's festival dates because they believed the true calendar had been abandoned by the priests and replaced with an alternative system. Their scrolls show instead a calendar that operated with a unique Sabbatical formula. This, they believed to be the original and those who departed from it were apostate. They said:
"All the children of Israel will forget and will not find the path of the years, and will forget the new moons, and seasons, and Sabbaths and they will wrongly determine all the order of the years. For this reason the years will come upon them when they disturb (misinterpret) the order, and make an abominable day the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the holy with the unclean, and the unclean day with the holy; for they will go wrong as to the months and sabbaths and feasts and jubilees." (Book of Jubilees 6:33-37)
So, the Essenes were claiming their calendar was the real one and the modern one was not! Before examining their claim more closely we need to ask, "Why have Jewish authorities not noticed the earlier system?" At the very least, Hillel should have been aware of it, but he chose to ignore it and proceed with the one we now know - a Judaized Babylonian calendar with an added month every three years and a reset cycle after nineteen years. The answer is partly the fault of the Essenes themselves. They antagonised the Sadducees with their fanaticism to the point that the temple authorities excommunicated them and their writings were suppressed. The Christian church also rejected a key book, Enoch. That was a pity. Not to say it should have been canonised, in the opinion of this author, but it contained valuable astronomical information that should not have disappeared from circulation like it did.
Then three copies of the book of Enoch turned up in Abyssinia in 1773. After that came the Dead Sea scroll discovery in 1946. That's when people started asking questions about the true biblical calendar.
360, 364 or 365 Days?
The existence of a hidden calendar has always been suspected by those who follow biblical chronologies and timelines. So when ancient scrolls were found Bible students scrambled to see if anything confirmed their theories. They were disappointed. The scrolls stated in no uncertain terms that a year was to be 364 days, no less.
"The book of the courses of the luminaries of heaven, the relations of each, according to their name, origin, and months (dominion and seasons) which Uriel, the holy angel who was with me, who is their guide, showed me ... the year is exactly as to its days three hundred and sixty-four." (Enoch 72:1,32)
The Bible, on the other hand, speaks of 360 divided by 30-day months. (Revelation 11:2-3) There are no references to 364 in scripture - either Old Testament or New. Moreover, it takes 365.242 days for the Earth to get around the Sun. As long as planet Earth remains, nothing is going to change that. So, more excitement was generated by Qumran's archaeological significance than its astronomy which seemed to be out of step.
However, the 'Enochian' calendar is not what it seems. It is in its primary form three-hundred and sixty days just as the biblical one is. The difference is that it is presented in its first stage of intercalation with the rotation of planet Earth. Four of its days were additions - intercalory days. The four seasons, each consisting of three 30-day months, had a leap day added at the end of the third month so that each quarter increased from ninety to ninety-one days. In so doing, the year increased from three hundred and sixty to three hundred and sixty-four.
"In the numbering of all their days in which the sun traverses heaven, entering into and departing from the doors for thirty days ... together with the four which are added within the calendar which divide the four portions of the year ... and the year is completed in three hundred and sixty-four days." (Enoch 82:4-6)
Here is a simple diagram of the Enochian year. The reason why we failed to notice it on its first stage of intercalation from 360 is because leaps are usually applied every so many years. We do not expect to see them inside of each year. However, for reasons known only to God, there is an underlying 360-day calendar in the Bible which can be expanded to synchronise with earthly astronomy. It has been called a 'prophetic' calendar in its basic form because scripture employs it that way in prophetic scenarios.
When studying the Enochian calendar one cannot help but notice a strict sabbatic emphasis. There are seven days in the week and there are 52*7=364 days (exactly) in the year. Any deviation from this pattern is strongly condemned and that is the clue to additional intercalations. There would be no add-hoc leap-year additions whenever it suited unless the days were in multiples of seven and applied according to a pre-defined sabbatic formula. I believe we can now make a credible reconstruction of that formula.
One more thing worth thinking about: Through the 20th century have been proposals aired in scientific journals for what is called a 'permanent calendar'. These reforms would make changing calendars each year unnecessary because every high day and holiday would fall on the same day of the week forever. They would require a leap week of seven days to the calendar every six or so years to keep the calendar in step with the solar cycle and to do this, the years would consist of 364 days (52 weeks) or 371 days (53 weeks) on intercalory years. These ideas are advanced concepts - so much so that some have suggested we should even replace our Gregorian calendar. Since it is of such sophistication, isn't it amazing that cave dwellers at the Dead Sea knew about it? And isn't it amazing that it was written in a book that was reputed to be even older than they?
Synchronising with Planet Earth
We have seen how the Bible's 360-day calendar is expanded to 364 days and how a relationship appears between ancient time-keeping and the number seven. This has led some scholars to wonder if further intercalations might follow a sabbatical pattern. Some scroll experts have mooted the idea, not the least of whom was Jean Carmignac, a French scholar (one of the translators), who proposed that 7-day additions be made on the 7-year shmita - the religious cycle commanded by Moses.
Such an idea would cause discomfort to evolutionists who squirm at examples of intelligent design because nature's cycles are random are they not? Hence leap-years must be ad-hoc, but this suggestion follows a precise mathematical design with increments of seven days coinciding with and taking place on Sabbath years!
The book of Jubilees also indicates it might be so. Like the earlier book of Enoch, the days were 364, but Jubilees adds another dimension - a relationship between the weekly Sabbath and the longer term sabbatic year. 'Jubilees', referring to the former book, says:
"Enoch was the first among men that are born on earth who learnt writing and knowledge and wisdom and who wrote down the signs of heaven according to the order of their months in a book, that men might know the seasons of the years according to the order of their separate months ..."
Notice how Enoch is credited with being inventor of the calendar but please continue ...
"... And he was the first to write a testimony and he testified to the sons of men among the generations of the earth, and recounted the weeks of the jubilees, and made known to them the days of the years, and set in order the months and recounted the Sabbaths of the years." (Book of Jubilees 4:17-18)
Here is the clue to the problem of our solar year being 365.24 days. Ancient Hebrew astronomy extended beyond an annual count of days to the 'Sabbath of years' suggesting that further intercalations were made at special sabbatic intervals. So let us attempt a reconstruction to see if it tracks the solar cycle. Here is the proposition. Each seventh year had an additional seven days added.
Hence the total number of days per 'week of years' (seven years) was:
Now, please divide 2555 days by seven years. The figure is now equivalent to 365 days per year! That is very close and the question begs to be asked, “Can further sabbath adjustments complete the solar cycle without losing the divine pattern and without losing time?” If so, Enoch’s calendar would be the most advanced system ever known.
The Jubilee Cycle
There is no such thing as a 'decade' in the ancient calendar. It is a 'weeks of years,' in other words, seven. Likewise, there is no such thing as a 'century.' It is a 'Jubilee,' which is forty-nine years long. Two Jubilees equal ninety-eight years - not one hundred. This is made obvious in the calendar writings of the Dead Sea scrolls. For example, in Jubilees 23:8 (cf. Genesis 25:7) we find the age of Abraham described as follows: "He lived three jubilees and four weeks of years, one hundred and seventy five years." Please do the math: (3*49) + (4*7) = 175 years.
This cycle is demonstrated in the prophecy of Daniel 9:24. The 'Seventy Weeks Prophecy' as it is so famously known, is equivalent to ten jubilees. Please do the math: 70*7 = 10*49 = 490 years. Notice; if the Jubilee cycle had been fifty, the length of term would have been five-hundred years.
A misunderstanding exists concerning this matter because Leviticus 25:8-11 speaks of a fiftieth year and the Jubilee cycle is thought by some to step in multiples of fifty. Others argue that the fiftieth year must be part of the forty-nine; otherwise the Jubilee cycle would get out of phase with the Sabbath. Divide seven into fifty and see? Try seven into one hundred? It doesn't work!
The answer is as follows: Sabbaths began 1st Nisan just like every year did, but the fiftieth year was announced with fanfare of trumpets on the seventh month of the forty-ninth year. It started 10th Tishri straddling the last half of the forty-ninth and first half of the first year of the next Sabbatic cycle. The attached diagram demonstrates how it worked.
The point being made here is that the time cycles are strictly sabbatical and always divisible by seven. So, let us continue with our reconstruction of the Enochian calendar based on this pattern. Leap years would have been added at special sabbatic intervals - 7 extra days every seven years and 14 extra days every forty-nine years. Now let us calculate the number of days in the Jubilee cycle.
Now, please divide 17892 days by forty-nine years. The figure is now equivalent to 365.14 days per year! There is only one small adjustment to go.
The problem with our reconstruction of a Sabbath-based year is that, although close, a gradual slippage occurs over time. Our formula produces a solar year of 365.14 days but it is fractionally short of the 365.24 required, resulting in a loss of one day every ten years. Now this could be rectified by simply adding a day but to do so would defeat the calendar's sabbatical character. As explained earlier, leap years would have expanded in groups of seven.
The answer lies in a yet longer Jubilee cycle of four hundred and ninety years. This 'Grand Jubilee' occurred on every ten regular jubilees and when intercalations are made to this cycle the years remain perfectly divisible by seven, progressing from one era to the next without losing time or disturbing the pattern of days.
No, the term 'Grand Jubilee' is not mentioned in ancient writings but has been coined to describe a very real division in ancient time keeping. Daniel's 70 weeks is the classic case in point but there are other examples too. And it cannot help but be noticed how four separate 490-year eras traverse the Bible's history of Israel. So, it isn't surprising that another Dead Sea scroll fragment, known as the 'Melchizedek Scroll' (DSS11Q13), has been found placing special importance on the tenth Jubilee. Like the biblical examples it indicates a longer term unit of time.
Continuing our previous calculations to the end of four hundred and ninety years results a slippage of 49 days but it is rectified as follows: add another 7 days after seventy years. Repeat this leap year every seventy until the Grand Jubilee — a total of seven extra intercalations of seven days each — a total of 49 days. Please notice how our formula now resets the solar cycle accurately once every four hundred and ninety years with a total count of 178,969 days. Check this out by multiplying the solar year, 365.242 days*490 and the comparison is interesting to say the least. The calendars synchronise; the numbers stack to within a fraction of a day!
Yes, there is evidence that the Enochian calendar synchronised with the solar cycle producing an advanced permanent calendar. Here is the evidence in summary:
Find related information in Christian Gedge's book, 'THE ATONEMENT CLOCK'. See the calendars synchronise with mind-boggling accuracy over hundreds of years!
* Yes, there was a timeline running beneath the scriptures!
Could it be a clock was behind history counting down toward a destiny which had already been written?