Jacob is the name used in the New Testament wherever the Greek name Iakob appears in the text. Iakob is as close as the Greek language can come to the Hebrew Yaakov. English Bibles and Bibles translated to another language from those English Bibles are the only ones not spelling Iakob in their language. Tradition has other English translations using James, but this translation uses the English spelling of Iakob. That is Jacob, with the J introduced by the Saxons when they came to the British Isles from what is now Germany. The German J is pronounced like the Hebrew Yod and Greek I.

Jesus: See Y’shua elsewhere in this Glossary.

Jewish Calendar is based on the phases of the moon, meaning that the beginning of each month coincides with the appearance of the new moon. This lunar calendar has twelve months of twenty-nine or thirty days, with about 354 days in a year. Leap year thus comes often, at least every third year and sometimes after just two years.

In the fourth century AD, Hillel II established a fixed calendar based on mathematical and astronomical calculations. This calendar, still in use, standardized the length of months and the addition of months over the course of a nineteen-year cycle, so that the lunar calendar realigns with the solar years. Adar II is added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the cycle. October 2, 1997 began a new cycle in Jewish year 5758.

Before this schedule was set the leap year was determined each year by examining the barley crop on the first of Adar. If the crop was not going to be ready to harvest in two weeks, then a second month of Adar was called for, because the barley harvest was needed for the First Fruits of Unleavened Bread. Also the spring equinox always fell in the month Adar.

The only holiday in Adar is Purim, celebrating the book of Esther, and in a leap year that is celebrated in Second Adar to keep its proper perspective four weeks before Passover. Purim as a feast exposes persecution, with Haman representing those trying to destroy the Jewish people. Est. 9:24, Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them; At Purim the Book of Esther is read to recount God’s miraculous works that saved the Jewish people from certain death.

The New Year of the Jewish calendar begins on the first of the month Tishrei, the seventh month, which comes sometime in late August to mid September. It is called Rosh HaShannah, meaning New Year, but the Holy Day is the Day of Remembrance. This is the anniversary of the creation of the world and the day that is set aside to remember all that God has done for each one of us. It is a call to repentance in preparation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Even though the year begins six months earlier with Tishrei, the months are counted from Nisan, because when God spoke to Moses commanding the Passover and Exodus He said This month will be the beginning of months for you: it will be the first month of the year for you. 3. Speak to the whole congregation of Israel saying, On the tenth day of this month every man will take a lamb for them, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house. (Exod. 12:2, 3)

The natural assumption is that this means the first of Nisan is New Year’s Day. Not so. There is a Scriptural basis for the New Year at Rosh Hashannah, in Exod. 23:16 ..the Feast of Ingathering (Sukkot), in the end of the year and 34:22 ..the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end identify it as such. No matter when you celebrate New Year’s, Passover at sundown is the anniversary of Y’shua’s Last Seder (Last Supper). The Feast of First Fruits starts at sundown the second day after Passover, and is the anniversary of His resurrection. This day starts what Scripture calls the counting of the Omer, seven weeks plus one day until Shavuot. The Greek name for Shavuot is Pentecost, meaning fifty (days), and the English name is Weeks, the meaning of the Hebrew word Shavuot.

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