What Is the Biblical Calendar?

The Biblical calendar pulses in a steady beat from creation into eternity. Revealed through the Old and New Testaments, the Biblical calendar unveils divine patterns that shape the rhythm of life, from the beginning of creation to the culmination of history. In its fullness, the annual cycle ordained by God tells the eternal story of the testimony of Yeshua's (Jesus') Gospel, is an invitation into His ways, and provides a framework for worship.


The Biblical Day

To understand the Biblical calendar, one must first grasp the notion that, according to the biblical worldview, a day begins not at midnight but at sunset. This ancient perspective is deeply embedded in the sacred texts, carrying profound implications for how time is perceived and lived.

In Genesis 1, the account of creation unfolds with a rhythmic cadence, punctuated by the pattern first seen in Genesis 1:5: "And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day." This refrain echoes through the subsequent days of creation, emphasizing the evening as the starting point of each new day. This paradigm is reinforced throughout the Bible, in examples such as the Passover and the resurrection of Christ, underscoring the nature of the evening and the subsequent daylight hours constituting a Biblical "day."

Implicit in the daily rhythm of darkness then light, we see the supremacy of the Creator. Into the void of dark chaos, the Word of God resounded and light shined in the darkness. The first day of creation foreshadowed the redemptive plan of God. The Apostle John, in revelation of the divine source and order of the universe, attributes all things to Yeshua and says, "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (John 1:4-5).


The Biblical Year

While most of the modern world revolves around the Gregorian calendar, the Bible presents a completely divergent annual calendar. The Gregorian calendar consists of 12 months of arbitrary lengths. In contrast, the Biblical calendar is lunisolar, with each year being solar and each new month following the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon in Jerusalem. Due to the lunar frequency, each Biblical month is approximately 29 days in length.

As with all ancient customs, and the simple fact that new moons are not consistently viewable in all regions of the earth, there's a diverse array of theories as to how the Biblical calendar should be implemented today. The most widely adopted interpretation of the Biblical calendar is the Jewish Hebrew calendar. Due to the fact that the 12 lunar months are shorter than the solar year, the Hebrew calendar occasionally has an intercalary leap month added to the end of the year.

In Exodus 12:2, Yahweh states that the springtime month of Aviv (also called Nisan) “shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” This distinction starts the year near the first harvest of the year, the barley harvest, and two weeks before the first of the annual Biblical Feasts; Passover.


The Biblical Sabbath

At the heart of the Biblical calendar stands the Sabbath, a day set apart for rest, reflection, and worship.  Instituted at the dawn of creation, the Sabbath echoes God's completion of the cosmic symphony: "By the seventh day, God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day, He rested from all His work" (Genesis 2:2).

The Sabbath is the glory of creation. It sets in motion the seven-day week, which has no other origin apart from it. The Sabbat is a sacred pause, a rhythmic appointment in time where creation and Creator commune. Its observance is a testimony to humanity's dependence on God, acknowledging that ceaseless toil and relentless pursuits yield to a divine invitation to rest. The commandment to honor the Sabbath is enshrined in the Ten Commandments: "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8).

Throughout Biblical history, the Sabbath stands as a sacred sign of the covenantal relationship between God and His people. In the Ten Commandments, it serves as a distinctive mark — His divine signature on the covenant stones. In Exodus 31:16-17, the Sabbath is explicitly identified as a perpetual sign: "The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day, he rested and was refreshed." Thus, the Sabbath not only signifies rest but serves as an enduring emblem of the covenant, a weekly reminder of God's creative power and His redemptive relationship with His people.

In the Gospels, Yeshua, as the Lord of the Sabbath, brings a profound reinterpretation of its significance. In Mark 2:27, he declares, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," emphasizing the restorative and liberating purpose of the Sabbath. Christ's actions, such as assembling, teaching, prophesying, healing, and casting out demons on the Sabbath, challenge legalistic interpretations, restoring the Sabbath to its original intent, as a gift for humanity's wellbeing.

For more on why Christians keep the Biblical Sabbath, click here.


The Biblical Annual Festivals

While Leviticus 23 presents the Sabbath as a weekly "festival of the LORD," the rhythmic weekly beat is interspersed with crescendos of annual holidays. In these annual appointed times, God beckons His people to gather in celebration and worship. These festivals punctuate the annual calendar, each with its unique significance, pointing to historical events, prophetic promises, and spiritual realities.



Passover is the first of the annual feasts. It originally marked the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, a foreshadowing of Christ as the ultimate Passover Lamb. In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Paul draws a connection between the Passover lamb's sacrifice and Christ's redemptive work: "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed."


The Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread reveals the sanctity of life in Christ. The Biblical feast of Unleavened Bread, originates in the Old Testament's Exodus narrative. In Exodus 12:15, God commands the consumption of unleavened bread for seven days, signifying purity and haste. This ritual extends to the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, draws parallels between the feast and Christian living. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, observed immediately following Passover, symbolizes the removal of sin and corruption, linking the Old Testament's physical practice to the spiritual significance found in Christ's sacrifice.


The Feast of Firstfruits

The Feast of Firstfruits, marks the offering of the first grain to God. In Leviticus 23:10-11, God instructs Israel to present the firstfruits of their harvest as a symbol of gratitude and acknowledgment of His provision. In the New Testament, this feast finds fulfillment in Christ's resurrection, which occurred on this annual Holy Day, with Christ Himself as the offering that is presented to God. In 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, Paul declares Christ as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, emphasizing Yeshua's resurrection and the hope of all believers pertaining to their resurrection into eternal life. The Feast of Firstfruits is a profound symbol of hope and the promise of new life in Christ.



Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks, celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and finds fulfillment in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. In this momentous event, the promise of a new covenant, written not on tablets of stone but on hearts, is initiated. The link between the old and new covenants is underscored by the subsequent acts that occurred in those stories. At Mount Sinai, the broken old covenant results in the immediate death of 3,000 people. In Acts 2, the New Covenant results in the immediate salvation of 3,000 people.


The Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets inaugurates the Biblical civil and economic new year with the sounding of trumpets. Also known as Rosh Hashanah ("the Head of the Year"), it signifies a time of reflection, repentance, and anticipation of God's judgment. The shofar's blast serves as a call to spiritual awakening. In the New Testament, the concept of a trumpet sounding carries eschatological weight. In 1 Corinthians 15:52, Paul speaks of the last trumpet when the dead will be raised imperishable, connecting the ancient practice to the future climax of God's redemptive plan in Christ. The Feast of Trumpets thus intertwines temporal reflection with eternal anticipation.


The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement stands as a pivotal moment in the Biblical sacrificial system. On this day, the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of the people. Leviticus 16:30 highlights its significance: "because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins." In the New Testament, the essence of this solemn day finds ultimate fulfillment in Yeshua, who, as the perfect High Priest, offers Himself as the atoning sacrifice, securing eternal redemption for believers (Hebrews 9:11-14). The Day of Atonement prophetically signifies the coming Judgment Day, when the reward of Christ will be given to His followers and the wages of sin will be fully realized.


The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles commemorates God's provision in the wilderness and anticipates the eschatological reality of God dwelling among His people. In John 7, Yeshua stands at the climax of this feast, proclaiming, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:37-38). The Feast of Tabernacles' central theme is dwelling in the presence of God. It foreshadows the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the coming Millennial Kingdom of Yeshua.



The Biblical calendar, with its evening-started days, sacred Sabbaths, and appointed feasts, unveils a divine order that transcends mere chronological time. It invites humanity to participate in a rhythm established by the Creator, a rhythm that echoes through creation, redemption, and consummation.

In the footsteps of eternity, the Biblical calendar guides believers to encounter God in the sacred moments of rest, celebration, worship, and communion with Him and His people. It is a testament to the eternal design woven into the fabric of time, beckoning us to align our lives with the divine symphony that resounds from Genesis to Revelation. May our experiences with the Creator's rhythm inspire a deeper appreciation for the divine cadence that beckons us to walk in step with Yeshua.