The Apple Of God's Eye

February 28, 2009

What Is A 19 Year Time Cycle?

A brief comparison of the Gregorian and the Hebrew calendars will help us understand the 19 year time cycle. The calendar commonly used today is of Roman origin. It is based on the solar year. That is, it contains about 365 1/4 days. And though the word “month” means “moon,” the months are not governed by its phases. They are of arbitrary beginning and length.

On the other hand, the Hebrew calendar is based on both the sun and the moon. The length of the year differs significantly, and the months are directly related to the phases of the moon. In the Hebrew calendar, 12 lunar months result in a year that has about 354 days (about 11 days shorter than a solar year). Such common years, as they are called, are regularly balanced by leap years, which contain 13 months each. Leap years are about 384 days in length (about 19 days longer than a solar year). Notice how these lunar months are related to the solar year.

Every 19 solar years the moon revolves around the earth 235 times. In other words, 235 lunar months equals about 19 solar years. This remarkable astronomical relationship makes it possible to combine 12 common Hebrew years (of 12 months each) and 7 leap years (of 13 months each) together every 19 years. This means that the solar (Roman) calendar and the lunisolar (Hebrew) calendar very nearly coincide as the sun, moon and earth return to their approximate position of alignment with each other every 19 years.

Nineteen-year patterns can also be seen in history. For example, ancient Israel spent 38 (19 x 2) extra years wandering in the wilderness (Deut. 2:14; Num. 14:33-34).

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