1 March 2011 (Shleshi/Bikkurim)|
Day #350, 5934 AM
The Sabbath Day at Jericho
Important Clues from a Famous Battle
Continued from Part 1
I am indebted to the insights of Troy Miller whose impelling research work I am going to share with you today along with my own comments on the very important subject of the divine calendar, a subject I have been broaching recently and which I feel needs to be carefully and thoroughly addressed as we approach the end of the current biblical year and seek to correctly establish Yahweh's correct moedim or appointments for the coming one.
Yesterday we looked at the importance of being purified like silver - that must inevitably embrace our connections and assemblies in time too. And one thing we absolutely must get right is the Sabbath Day because it is one of the 10 Commandments and in a way sets the precendent for all the other moedim - for the way we observe the sabbath will determine the way we observe the annual festivals too.
Now there is something very strange about this Yahweh-directed battle if we are to believe in the Roman calendar of endless consecutive seven-day weeks with the end of the week being Saturday and the beginning of the next one being Sunday ad infinitum. For if the Roman calendar we use is simply a continuation of the ancient one but with Roman names of the days substituted, then what the Battle of Jericho tells is us that Yahweh ordered the children of Israel to sin and violate the Fourth Commandment:
"Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And Yahweh said to Joshua: 'See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valour. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him'" (Josh.6:1-5, NKJV).
It is a sin punishable by death to break the sabbath by either doing work on it or waging aggressive war (self-defence is another matter). And yet in the instructions given by Yahweh He orders Israel to go to war for seven days marching around with armed soldiers on each of those seven days. And they do a lot more work on the seventh day! Irrespective of which day you believe the 'sabbath' was on (it could have been on any of the seven days, if you believe the Roman system), they were still in violation of it if the Roman calendar is true, and Yahweh was ordering His people to violate a commandment that would require their death. If you believe in the Roman calendar you are unnecessarily giving atheists ammunition with which to discredit the inspiration of the Bible as well as leading yourself into serious error. As Troy Miller notes in an email that I received:
"And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to Yahweh. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed''" (Ex.31:12-17, NKJV).
And that is undeniable if you know your Torah. He continues:
"The battle of Jericho was a seven consecutive day event. Every able-bodied Israelite male took with him every available weapon at his disposal. The priests even carried with them the sacred Ark of the Covenant. War is work."
The trouble is, if you insist on using a Roman calendar you will never figure it out, just as there were many other 'mysteries' I couldn't figure out because I was unaware of the nature of the true biblical calendar. I, like everyone else (to different degrees), was brought up and trained at school to think like a Roman and imitate Roman ways. I had a Classical (Roman/Greek) education and so was taught to see everything through its lenses. Those who have read Part 1 know the answer to the question I am asking but for those who do not, let me take you to the Book of Jasher (mentioned in the Bible at Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18) which gives us the missing information that explains why Joshua was not commanded by Yahweh to break His Sabbath and why there was no Sabbath on any of those seven marching days:
"In this battle/siege, Israel was on the offensive, they were the aggressors. Read the account in Joshua 6. Only Joshua knew it would be a 7 day affair, the men were told they would attack when Joshua gave them the signal. These soldiers were marching around Jericho for seven days in attack mode, on a full tilt adrenalin rush, not knowing for sure when the signal would come. Did [Yahweh] ever send Israel into battle on the Sabbath? The battle of Jericho is more a calendar statement than it is about the conquest of Canaan. Israel had JUST come out of the wilderness after a 40 year sojourn, having to re-learn the Torah (Law) (including the Sabbath) of [Yahweh]. Do you suppose that the VERY first thing [Yahweh] commanded Israel to do would be to break the Sabbath with a 7 day siege? You think about this. If you are interested in knowing how they took Jericho WITHOUT breaking the Sabbath, see below. It is so simple a child can figure it out."
Now the first day of the month is what? Rosh Chodesh or the Festival of the New Moon, Israel's monthly moed or appointment with Yahweh. It's a time to assemble to hear the prophets. According to the Biblical calendar, the Sabbath is reset each new moon so that there are four consecutive weeks of seven days long preceeded by Rosh Chodesh which is not a Sabbath but a day differently set-apart to Yahweh - the First Day of the Month. At the end of the four 7-day weeks an extra day is occasionally added (because of the moon's orbit of less than exactly 29 days)or is directly followed by Rosh Chodesh. The Book of Jasher tells us that the first day Israel marched around Jericho was the beginning of the Second Month so the following six days would have been the ordinary 'week days' before the sabbath, the Sabbath Day always falling on the eighth day after the New Moon. Thus the day after the fall of Jericho was the Sabbath on which they rested - the first Sabbath of that month.
"And it was in the second month, on the first day of the month, that Yahweh said to Joshua, 'Rise up, behold I have given Jericho into thy hand with all the people thereof; and all your fighting men shall go round the city, once each day, thus shall ye do for six days.
And on the seventh day they went round the city seven times, and the priests blew upon trumpets'" (Jasher 88:14,17).
Even if we hadn't got the Book of Jasher, we would still be forced to the inevitable conclusion that the Battle of Jericho took place at the beginning of a month because that is the only time when there are seven full days between two Sabbaths, with the first being a Sabbath-like day, Rosh Chodesh.
The Battle of Jericho is not, of course, the only piece of direct evidence that a solar-lunar calendar was followed by the Israelites and commanded by Yahweh in perpetuity. Consider the story of the battle fought between King Ben haDad of Syria and King Ahab of Northern Israel and what Yahweh directed His prophet to tell the Israelite king:
Teshuvah haShanah was the first day of the biblical New Year in the first month of Aviv (also known as Nisan). That day is also Rosh Chodesh or 'New Moon Day'. Every lunar month begins with a Rosh Chodesh, including the first which marks the beginning of the New Year (around March/April in the Roman system). Ahab received a prophecy that Ben haDad would return on the first day (Rosh Chodesh) of the following year.
"Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest; for at the teshuvah haShanah (the turn of the year, springtime) Melech Aram (the King of Aram/Syria) will come up against thee" (1 Ki.20:22, OJB).
Troy Miller explains:
"And it came to pass at the teshuvah hsShanah (the turn of the year, new Year's Day, Aviv 1), that Ben haDad mustered Aram (Syria) and went up to Aphek, to war against Yisra'el (Israel). And the Bnei Yisrael (Sons of Israel) were mustered, and were all outfitted as battle-ready, and marched out to meet them; and the Bnei Yisra'el (Sons of Israel) encamped opposite them like two little flocks of izzim (goats); but Aram (the Syrians) filled ha'aretz (the country). And there came an Ish haElohim (man of God), and spoke unto Melech Yisra'el (the King of Israel), and said, Thus says Yahweh, because Aram (the Syrians) have said, Yahweh is Elohei Harim (God of Hills) but not Elohei Amakim (God of Valleys) therefore will i deliver all this hamon haGadol (vast multitude) into thine yad (hand), and ye shall know that I am Yahweh. And they encamped these opposite those shivat yammim (seven days). And so it was, that in the yom haShevi'i (seventh day) the milchamah (battle) was joined; and the Bneu Yisr'el (Sons of Israel) slaughtered Aram (the Syrians) a hundred thousand foot soldiers in yom echad (one day)" (1 Ki.20_26-29, OJB).
This is irrfutable evidence that Saturday is not the Creation Sabbath inaugurated by Yahweh and that this same Creation Sabbath, which we are supposed to still be observing "forever" is not part of an unbroken Roman cycle of seven-day weeks. Rosh Chodesh or New Moon Days interrupt the seven day count every month after four seven-day weeks.
"Here, we have another 'skirmish' for six days, before the battle was joined in ernest on the seventh day. Seventh day of WHAT? The seventh day of the first month. The seventh day of the month is the 6th day of the work week (see my diagram above). All this was done that the Sabbath of Creation might be preserved ALIVE for believers everywhere. You simply CANNOT have a Sabbath on a repeating seven day cycle and have these seven consecutive day battles in Scripture. [Yahweh] is not a Mighty One (Elohim/God) of confusion, and [Yahweh] was with Israel during BOTH of these seven day battles."
Now you could argue that this was a battle of self-defence and not an aggressive war like that waged against Jericho, and that the Israelites fought seven days simply because they had to. This criticism ignores one very important fact: Yahweh set the date and terms of the battle through a prophet, ensuring that it would take place at the New Year starting at Rosh Chodesh, knowing it would take seven days to win. This battle was not fought in this way and at this time because Israel was 'righteous' as it was in Joshua's days - far from it. Israel was steeped in apostacy. But as the text tells us, the reason Yahweh decided to fight this war was not because Israel was anything special but because the Syrians had claimed He was not omnipotent - they claimed He was Master of the hills and mountains but not the valleys. This battle was therefore staged and fought by His proxies to preseve Yahweh's esteem before the pagan Syrians as well as to show Israel what was possible if she would but repent - sadly she would not. It was so ordered that it would be fought like Jericho, because Yahweh assumed full control and responsibility for this battle, and He cannot break His own commandments. He made sure it was fought from Aviv 1-7, starting with a New Moon, and ending just before the Sabbath on the eighth day, to show what can be done when He is in command of people's lives. Let us not miss this testimony given to us by Him!
This is to demonstrate also - to us and to every generation - that is is possible to live Yahweh's commandments if He is the absolute Sovereign of our lives. I realise that the Solar-Lunar Sabbath doctrine will pose serious challenges to those of us locked into the Roman calendar (whether as Saturday- or Sunday-observers) which is why it really is only livable by those who have authentic faith. It will shake a lot - some will refuse to look at it and go into close-down mode, others will be very upset and find every excuse imaginable (I know I have), and a few will respond in faith.
I am not saying this is going to be easy. I, too, am challenged, as we have not switched to this calendar yet, and will hold back until we have had all our doubts ironed out. The evidence is, however, mounting and is proving very, very hard to deny. As a ministry we plan to have this ordered by the next New Year or Aviv 1. We understand if people feel they need time to search this out and be satisfied so we are not pressuring anyone. For both Evangelicals and Sabbatarians this will be a huge question, given how set we tend to b stuck in our ways, but it is nothing that Yahweh cannot see us through. With possibly the last Rosh Chodesh of the year coming in two day's time (unless there is a 13th month this year), may this be a time for serious study and prayer. One thing is sure, though: the emet (truth) will set us free!
Continued in Part 3
The Battle of Jericho as a Violation of the Sabbath
(Supplement, 22 September 2013)
Was Jericho an Act of Warfare?
The Battle of Jericho is a huge thorn in the side for false calendar systems, whether Gregorian, Rabbinical (Talmudic) or Enochian, because it requires that the seventh day of the siege - when the walls came tumbling down - be a set-apart sabbath day. When I pointed out to a friend of mine, who had recently converted from the Rabbinical to the Enochian calendar system, that if Joshua and his men had marched around Jericho on a sabbath he would been in violation of the Torah for waging war on the sabbath, and seven times so on the seventh march day, his reply was "taking a walk around the Jericho city limits is not warfare. It had the results of warfare, BUT it in and of itself was not warfare".
No Nannies' Stroll Through the Park
Well, it was a hardly a casual nannies' stroll through the park either. The entire army - the whole male population of military age - was attired in full military garb, making it clear to everyone that they were waging war or (on at least the first six days) were intending to. And even though they didn't use their swords or bows and arrows in the beginning - even though it was not a battle waged by orthodox means - they did 'use', 'utilise' or 'make use of' an offensive weapon, the power of Yahweh, which had precisely the same effect as warfare, only more devastatingly so.
If this had just been stroll around the city, of 'not waging war', then why didn't the woman and children come too? Why just the priests and men "marching as to war" in full military regalia? Even as a parade it would have violated sabbath. But as we will see, their swords did not remain sheathed that day.
"You shall march around the city, all you men of war" (Josh 6:3, NKJV).
Defensive vs. Offensive Warfare
There were, in any case, no women or children on the march so if it had been a sabbath activity, it was a men-only affair. Remember, Israel was permitted to defend itself if attacked on the Sabbath but not to wage offensive war. If the seventh day of the Jericho siege had been a sabbath, they would have disobeyed the mitzvah (commandment) not to leave their camp:
It was No Worship Assembly
"See! For Yahweh has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day" (Ex.16:29, NKJV).
It cannot be argued remotely that Joshua's army and the priests were going for a praise and worship meeting around Jericho's walls, and certainly not in full military garb. And even if we were to stretch credulity and argue that this was a worship service consisting of trumpet-blasting and an almighty shout to end it, what followed immediately after the collapse of the city's walls was a clear violation of the Sabbath. What happened? They burned the place to the ground, plundered it, and slaughtered the survivors, hardly a leisurely sabbath activity!
A bloody, exhausting sabbath with lots of work having been done that would have been!
"And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword" (Josh.6:20-21, NKJV).
A Break Between the Wall-Collapse and Plundering?
No one of any intelligence would, of course, try to wriggle out of that impossibility by arguing that the all soldiers and priests went home right after their 'worship service' after the walls collapsed, had a good bath to get all the dust off them, and then returned after the sabbath to put the inhabitants to the sword?
An Early Morning Start
We know that "they rose early" (Josh.6:15, NKJV), probably at the crack of dawn, and let us be generous and say that it took them all morning to march around the city seven times. Jericho is not a very big city by modern standards, its perimiter being no more than a third to half a mile. It would have taken an average human being 10 minutes to do the circuit. In other words, with a break, it would have taken less than two hours to march round seven times and pause to shout. So if the crack of dawn was, say 6 a.m., it would all have been over by, say, 9 a.m. - let's say 10 a.m. to include getting from the camp to the city.
Was There an Intermission for the Sabbath?
But let's be generous. Let's say it took all morning and the walls were lying in a heap in the dusty plain by noon. Irrespective of whether you believe the sabbath begins at sunset or sunrise, does anyone really believe that the inhabitants of the city would have hung around for the next six eighteen hours with their animals and possessions waiting for the Israelites to come and destroy them? Would the Israelits have gone home, had lunch, sharpened their swords, and returned to the fray after the sabbath was over? The text does not so much as hint that there was a break between the collapse of the walls and the final plunder of the city. No conquering army in history that I know of has ever paused for a break at the fall of a city, gone away for a snack, and then returned to plunder it later at their leisure. And had such a remarkable thing been done by Joshua, it would have been recorded in Scripture for sure as an example of faithfulness to the mitzvot (commandments).
Even the Creator Was a Transgressor??
No matter at what angle you look at this seventh day battle, either Israel was in gross violation of the sabbath and should have been put to death to a man, but the Creator who ordered the battle on the seventh day would have been held up in contempt as One who broke His own mitzvot (commandments) like the pagan gods and Israel would never have trusted Him.
Was One of the Other Days a Sabbath?
You could argue that one of the other seven days was the sabbath but there is really no evidence for that and the city march would still have been a sabbath violation. The only explanation that makes any sense at all is that the first day of the Battle was Rosh Chodesh, which is not a Sabbath Day and does not forbid non-commercial work such as marching around a city and that the seventh day of this march was the sixth day of the week of the new month, the sabbath following immediately after the fall and sack of Jericho. Resting after this miraculous victory would, moreover, have been perfectly consistent with the sabbath principle of rest and thanksgiving to Yahweh for a week's work well done.
The Book of Jasher
The apocryphal Book of Jasher (Yashar) , held in high esteem - and even canonised - by some messianic groups, makes it clear that the first day of the siege was the first day of the month which perfectly accords with the Sabbath following on the eighth day of that month - the seventh say of the battle of Jericho was, in fact, the sixth day of the regular week: the seven day affair around the Canaanite city began on the first day of the month and included the first six days of the week that proceeded it in full accordance with the Creation Calendar model.
The Battle of Jericho is one of the most powerful witnesses to the emet (truth) of the Luni-solar Sabbath and leaves no loopholes for Enochian or other solar calendars. The fact that the soldiers were killing people after the walls fell proves they were waging war and that they could not have done this on the sabbath day without violating the covenant, one they had taken so seriously some days before by getting circumcised. The Battle of Jericho is therefore a powerful witness of Yahweh's true Sacred Calendar and an indictment of all the rest.
 It is the belief of this ministry that the Book of Jasher is not the one mentioned in the Bible - see The Book of Jasher and the Sabbath Controversy
- but that it likely contains some authentic historical material together with embellishments and legend
 The Jericho Devotionals
Comments from Readers
 "You are forcing your assumptions into this story... 1. The fall came on the 7th day of marching around, not the 7th day of the week. The word is Shebbee, not Shabbot. 2. To march around this city that was declared to be thier rightful place would not violate the Sabbath Laws to "stay in your place", according to your claim that it would have been only a half mile around allows for it to even be within talmudic Sabbath Day's journey distance. One thing that you lunar sabbath teachers need to do is remove yourselves from teaching because you are now teaching completely against what you once claimed to be the gospel truth -- this disqualifies your credibility and I have not seen one who admits they were a fraud. Sorry to be blunt, but it is what it is" (RJ, USA, 22 September 2013).
 "In the matter of the seventh day being the Sabbath - if you had read my article properly, you would have seen that I intimated that any of the seven days could have been the claimed 'sabbath' and that either way none of them could have been. The reason I picked up on the seventh day in particular was not because I made a simpleton's mental association between 'sevens' but because my friend has been arguing the position that the seventh Jericho day was actually the Sabbath. The idea, though, that because Yahweh had declared a city like Jericho to be "their rightful place" did not give them the right to break commandment like the Sabbath on any of the seven days in order to obtain it. By the same convoluted logic, we can correctly say that Yahweh had "marked" Canaan as Abraham's decendants' "rightful place" but this did not give any of them to conquer it whenever it fancied them. The failed attempt at Kadesh-barnea is one such example. Following your logic, Joshua would have been allowed to wage aggressive warfare against any part of Canaan every day of the week and month, sabbath or no sabbath. Years ago Yahweh showed me a vision of the house that was given to me by Him but I would never have dreamed of assuming that that gave me the right to purchase it on the Sabbath.
"As far as your second remark, which was an attack on my person rather than on what I said, I will say only this to you: If you were to apply the same standards of harshness ubiquitously you would find everyone alive who claims to be a believer and a teacher who has moved from one set of beliefs to another as they have repented of the traditions of their fathers. Are all such people "frauds"? When I became Torah-obedient I went to Messianic Jews for instruction because I assumed they were telling the emet (truth). If a person is a fraud for having once taught sincerely based on inherited tradition then there would never be any opportunity for anyone to repent. That harsh 'standard' of yours will one day, if it hasn't already done so, come and bite you in the rear. I frankly hope I am more generous when it comes to others repenting of error and coming into emet (truth) but I suspect your attitude has more to being annoyed with a position you don't like than with any certain knowledge on your part that I am a "fraud", much as my attitude was, I'm ashamed to admit, when once when I resisted (sometimes uncharitably) those who taught the Creation Calendar becaused it jarred against my satyrday idolatry and challenged my whole temporal way of life. Hopefully I can treat with grace the same abuse being directed at me as those who once patiently dealt with me and others when we decried them as 'looney' or apostate.
"For your information, I have frequently and publicly repented for having been in error but to call myself a "fraud" would have to mean I had been promulgating a "deliberate deception". I for one know my own heart in what I have taught in the past, as does Elohim, and I have never set about to willingly deceive anyone, any more than any of us generally with the gift of teaching have done so because we were once ignorant. Your lack of charity does not, however, intimidate me - rather you must be more concerned about falsely accusing people you don't actually know - it is not a good place to be in.
"I am beginning to remember why I used to find so many messianics obnoxious in the past when I unwisely debated them. I sincerely hope no one will level the accusation of "fraud" against you when you are exposed for having innocently taught erroneous teachings yourself (Lev, 22 September 2013).