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Frank W. Nelte

October 2023



(This is the concluding article dealing with the things God hates.)

There are two passages in the Bible that on the surface are somewhat similar regarding things that God hates. But these two passages actually have some clear distinctions between them. And they in fact refer to completely different things. One passage is found in Amos 5 and the other is found in Isaiah 1. Both passages express God’s very strong hatred for certain things.

Note! In both passages God’s hatred is not focused on people. In both passages God’s hatred is focused on certain activities. It is specific activities that God hates. And we need to take heed that we don’t get involved in those activities.

Let’s start by looking at the Book of Amos. This is a prophetic book that concerns “Israel” (see Amos 1:1). “Judah” is only mentioned very briefly in two verses (i.e. Amos 2:4-5) amongst a number of other countries who would be punished by God. But the book of Amos as a whole is directed at the northern 10-tribe Kingdom of Israel, and not at the southern Kingdom of Judah.

To come to our context, let’s start with Amos 5:20.

Shall not the Day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:20)

The context in this verse is “the day of the LORD”, i.e. the context is the time leading up to Jesus Christ’s second coming. The context is not the time at which Amos himself happened to live. No, the context in verse 20 is the period immediately before Jesus Christ’s second coming.

That is important to keep in mind!

In the context of the time just before Christ’s second coming God then expresses an intense hatred in the very next verse! That hatred has nothing to do with what Israel did in Old Testament times. That hatred refers to something God hates in our age today, just before “the day of the LORD”. Here is the very next statement from God, after referring to the Day of the Lord.

I hate (“sane”), I despise (“ma’ac”) your feast days (“chag”), and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies (“atsarah” or “asara”). (Amos 5:21)

For a start, the two Hebrew verbs for “I hate” and “I despise” are here joined without any conjunction. That is, God did not say “I hate and I despise”. By presenting these two Hebrew verbs without a conjunction between them, this intensifies the hatred that is being expressed. It is a way of saying in biblical Hebrew “I absolutely and emphatically hate something”.

[Comment: The Hebrew verbs for hate (i.e. “sane”, “ma’ac”, etc.) are discussed in Part 1 of this series. See that article for explanations.]

Next, in the Hebrew there is no word for “days” in the expression “feast days”. The Hebrew word “chag” means “feast” and not “feast day”! With the Hebrew noun “chag” God is not focusing on any specific days, but on specific occasions, irrespective of whether those occasions are only one day long, or whether those occasions involve more than one day. And “chag” is the correct Hebrew word for “a feast”.

Next, the plural suffix for “your” is used twice in the Hebrew text of this verse, and that has been translated correctly into our English text. Thus the focus is on “your feasts” and on “your assemblies”. This focus makes clear that God is not in any way referring to “His” feasts. In this verse God is not in any way referring to any of the days or occasions God commanded Israel to observe in Leviticus 23. That is what the use of the pronoun “your” here tells us.

So Amos 5:21 presents an implied contrast between “My feasts”, which God’s people should be observing, and “your feasts”, which God hates. In other words, this verse tells us that people have replaced God’s feasts with their own feasts, and that is the source of God’s intense hatred in this verse.

Next, the Hebrew word “atsarah” has been translated as “solemn assemblies”. This Hebrew word simply means “assembly”. The word “solemn” is based on Latin translations, and should not be used when translating “atsarah”. This word “atsarah” is also used for Baal worship by Jehu in 2 Kings 10:20, where it is also translated as “a solemn assembly”. Thus this word “atsarah” is also used for pagan religions.

And lastly, the meaning of “I will not smell” in this verse is “I will not accept”.

So a correct translation of Amos 5:21 should read:

I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not accept your assemblies.”

God’s rejection of their feasts and assemblies is expounded in the next two verses. Verse 22 shows that God rejects all their sacrifices and offerings; and verse 23 shows that God also rejects all their religious songs at those occasions (“the noise of your songs”).

Right, now we have a clear statement for God’s intense hatred in the time leading up to “the day of the LORD”. This hatred is not focused on activities of the Jewish people, but on activities amongst the people of Israel.

So what does it mean?

What are the main “feasts” amongst the (non-Jewish) people of Israel in our age today, in the time just before “the day of the LORD”? Why, by far the most observed “feasts” amongst the people of Israel today are Christmas and Easter, and to a lesser degree Good Friday and Valentine’s Day and Lent and All Saints Day, etc.

Every year for six weeks and more we are exposed at every turn to all the crappy Christmas decorations; and the same goes for all the crappy Easter decorations that are displayed for weeks on end. Theoretically Christmas and Easter only involve one day each. But in practice in our world today we are confronted by Christmas decorations for weeks on end, and the same goes for Easter. All shopping malls and merchants and individual shop owners feel compelled to put up their Christmas stuff every year.

Far above anything else, it is Christmas and Easter that identify “your feasts” amongst the people of Israel.

And the activities surrounding those two days (giving gifts, feasting on an abundance of special foods, decorating some dead tree, having kids hunting around for colored eggs, celebrating, etc.) make very clear that they are both treated as “feasts”! They are not really treated like “holy days”. No, they both represent festive occasions. And so they are appropriately described by the Hebrew word “chag”. The Hebrew word “mow’ed” would be less appropriate for these two days, and “mow’ed” isn’t used for Christmas or Easter. “Chag” is the better word to identify these two observances.

God’s statement “Take you away from Me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your viols” in verse 23 refers to the scores of yucky Christmas songs that blare out in shopping malls and on the radio and on TV during the weeks leading up to Christmas. God hates all of those songs!

The expression “your assemblies” covers all the other religiously inspired celebrations amongst the people of Israel in our world today. Collectively, all these days are basically a modern version of “the deeds of the Nicolaitanes” (also at times spelled as “Nicolaitaines”).

So why does God hate Christmas and Easter so intensely? For a start, both of these observances make a mockery of Jesus Christ! What does a Christmas tree bedecked with all sorts of junky trinkets have to do with Jesus Christ? What does some fat Santa Claus in a red clown suit and a fake white beard have to do with Jesus Christ? What does an “easter bunny” have to do with Jesus Christ? And what do painted “easter eggs” have to do with Jesus Christ?

None of these things have anything at all to do with Jesus Christ. All of them have come straight out of pagan customs. Both of these observances put Jesus Christ to an open shame! They both represent insults to Jesus Christ! Both are extremely offensive to God. It is no wonder that Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, expresses such an intense hatred for “your feasts”.

The principle of Paul’s explanation regarding meats offered to idols is also applicable to Christmas and Easter. Paul did not really want God’s people to eat meats offered to idols. But some people may not be able to recognize that. At the start of discussing meats offered to idols Paul said “we know that an idol is nothing in the world” (1 Corinthians 8:4). He then continued to say “neither if we eat are we the better, neither if we eat not are we the worse” (1 Corinthians 8:8). From these statements it is easy to assume that Paul is here saying “it’s no big deal to eat meat sacrificed to idols because those idols don’t really exist”.

But that is not what Paul is saying at all.

After a somewhat lengthy discussion Paul eventually presents his main concern. That’s in chapter 10.

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with demons. (1 Corinthians 10:20)

That is also the exact problem with Christmas and Easter!

All the religious observances in this world are inspired by demons. It doesn’t matter how harmless some custom may seem to be. Any involvement with Christmas or Easter, etc. amounts to “having fellowship with demons”. And that is what we are to rigorously avoid. Don’t underestimate God’s intense hatred for these modern religious pagan observances.

That is what Amos 5:21 spells out. Right, so now let’s look at Isaiah 1.


In the opening verse of the Book of Isaiah we are told that the prophet’s vision is “concerning Judah and Jerusalem”. Unlike Amos, this book is not addressed to “Israel”; it is only addressed to Judah. A few verses later God says:

Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:10)

God had hated Sodom and Gomorrah, to the point of destroying them with a firestorm from heaven. So referring to the civil leaders amongst the Jews as “rulers of Sodom”, and calling the general population “people of Gomorrah” isn’t a good start, is it? These references to Sodom and Gomorrah already tell us that these people are hated by God. These statements express God’s intense anger with the Jewish people. And this is only the introduction.

The expression “hear the word of the LORD” tells us: pay very careful attention to what God is about to tell us. And this verse, together with the following verses, is addressed to the Jewish people in our age. The comparison to Sodom and Gomorrah is today more fitting than it has been at any time during the past 2000 years.

Today many governments not only accept homosexuality as legal (i.e. like Sodom and Gomorrah); today governments in many cases bend over backwards to please the homosexual lobby, usually at the expense of moral, law-abiding citizens. Add to that governments encouraging “sex changes”, so that men can pretend to be women, and encouraging the sexual mutilation of little boys and little girls, and general immorality on a massive scale ... and references to Sodom and Gomorrah are no longer merely theoretical comparisons. We have arrived! Sodom is all around us. Today we are inundated by Sodom’s perverse way of life. So the following verses are squarely directed at the Jewish people in our age today.

This is the setting for God’s hatred for something amongst the Jewish people, that we are now going to look at. The next two verses talk about making a show of being pious and religious, by performing any number of rituals. Then verse 13 says:

Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons (“chodesh”) and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies (“qaro miqra”), I cannot away with; it is iniquity (or “wickedness”), even the solemn meeting (“atsarah”). (Isaiah 1:13)

Let’s start by clarifying some things.

In the Hebrew text of this verse the definite article for “the” is not used with any of the nouns. And secondly, the nouns are all in the singular case. Thus technically speaking it should be:

        - vain oblation, not “vain oblations”,

        - new moon, not “the new moons”,

        - Sabbath, not “Sabbaths”,

        - calling of assembly, not “calling of assemblies”,

        - meeting, not “the solemn meeting”.

So the grammatically correct text for this verse would theoretically read:

Bring no more vain oblation; incense is an abomination unto Me; new moon (“chodesh”) and Sabbath, calling of assembly, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even meeting. (Isaiah 1:13, corrected according to the Hebrew text)

However, while in the Hebrew these things are all stated in the singular, as I have presented here, each noun in this list actually represents a category of things. And in English we would more commonly state a list of categories of things by using the plural. And that is why the translators opted to present these things in the plural, to identify that they all represent categories of things.

I mention this because people should not try to draw different conclusions when they discover that the Hebrew nouns in this verse are actually in the singular case.


        - vain oblation refers to the category of “vain oblations”,

        - incense we only use in the singular,

        - new moon refers to the category of “new moons”,

        - Sabbath refers to the category of “Sabbaths”,

        - calling of assembly refers to the category of “calling of assemblies”,

        - meeting refers to the category of “meetings”.

For the sake of consistency the translators could equally well have used the plural for the category “meetings”, as they have done with the other items in this list. So as far as the meaning that is conveyed by this verse is concerned, stating these things in the singular or in the plural does not change the meaning that is expressed.

Now let’s look at this verse more closely.

The word translated as “even” in “even meetings”, represents a common Hebrew construction used for adding another item to a list that is not intended to be exhaustive. It is essentially the same construction which Solomon used in Proverbs 30:18, 21, 29 (“there are three things ...yes four”, and “for three things ... and for four”, and “there be three things ... yea four”).

So Isaiah 1:13 lists six different things: vain oblations, incense, new moons, Sabbaths, calling of assemblies, and meetings. All six things represent things which make God angry. Let’s look at them more closely.

1) “Vain oblation” refers to worthless offerings. They may or may not have a great monetary value, but they are worthless when they come from rebellious people.

2) “Incense” refers to prayers. So the prayers that are offered disgust God! They are “an abomination” to God. Have you ever considered that some prayers actually disgust God? We certainly need to make sure that this statement does not apply to our prayers to God. And to do this we need to understand this verse very clearly ... lest our prayers also end up disgusting God! God is speaking about the prayers of people to whom the other statements in this verse will apply. We need to be on guard.

3) “I cannot away with” means “I hate those things; I can’t stand them”! So there are five things here that God dislikes intensely: the worthless offerings, the prayers from certain people, the new moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies. All five of these are wicked (or “iniquity”).

4) In addition, their “meetings” (“atsarah”) are also wicked. We have already seen this Hebrew word “atsarah” in Amos 5:21. And the word “solemn” needs to again be omitted.

Now because the translators already translated “miqra” as “assemblies”, therefore they here translated “atsarah” as “meeting”. But these two Hebrew words “miqra” and “atsarah” have fairly similar meanings.

Since both these words are used in Isaiah 1:13, I suspect that in this specific context one word may refer to religious meetings, and the other may refer to secular meetings and conferences and conventions ... the ones that are supposed to solve all of the world’s problems (think meetings in Davos, Switzerland, etc.), without looking to God for answers.

Important to note is that in this verse God has not used the possessive pronoun “your”! In this verse God has only referred to “new moons” and “Sabbaths” and “calling of assemblies” and “meetings”. Since all these things are iniquity or wickedness, they all make God angry.

The questions that arise are: Why are the new moons iniquity? Why are the Sabbaths iniquity? Why are the meetings and assemblies wickedness? Specifically, what is there about the new moons and the Sabbaths that angers God?

The answers here are: how the Jews “keep” the Sabbath is total hypocrisy. And how they “establish” the new moons is also total hypocrisy.

Keep in mind that new moons as a category have no religious significance whatsoever, none! God has not commanded us to observe new moons. Only one very specific new moon in the year is to be observed as a religious Holy Day, and that is the seventh new moon after the spring equinox, Northern Hemisphere. That specific new moon is the Holy Day of Trumpets.

But none of the other 11 or 12 new moons in the year have any religious significance. None of them are different from any other ordinary day of the week in the year. If any of those other new moons fall on a weekly Sabbath, then they are obviously to be observed as Sabbath days. But otherwise new moons are not to be observed in any way.

So why does God refer to the category “new moons” as iniquity, if all but one of them are not different from any other regular day in the year?

The next verse will answer some of our questions.

Your new moons (“chodesh”) and your appointed feasts (“mow’ed”) My soul hates (“sane”): they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them. (Isaiah 1:14)

In this verse God now uses the possessive suffix “your” twice. Now we have some answers to our questions. This is an extremely important verse for understanding the mind of God. Here are some things to consider:

1) “Appointed feasts” is a mistranslation for the Hebrew word “mow’ed”. This word “mow’ed” commonly refers to “Holy Days”. It does not refer to “feasts”. The correct Hebrew word for “feast” is “chag”. “Chag” is used in Amos 5:21, but not here in Isaiah 1:14. And the word “mow’ed”, which is used here in Isaiah 1:14, is not used in Amos 5:21. That should already tell us that these two verses are speaking about different days.

[Shortly we’ll take a closer look at the Hebrew word “mow’ed”.]

Furthermore, while Isaiah 1:14 mentions “new moons”, Amos 5:21 does not mention “new moons” at all. The point is that Isaiah 1:14 and Amos 5:21 refer to two completely different sets of days, even though both of these verses use the possessive suffix “your” for certain occasions.

Keep in mind that these two verses are addressed to two different groups of people. Amos 5:21 is addressed to the people of Israel, while Isaiah 1:14 is addressed to the people of Judah. The people of Israel and the people of Judah don’t keep the same days at all. So the pronoun “your” in these two verses also refers to two different groups of people.

2) Unlike verse 13, this verse is restricted to just two things. This verse focuses on only “new moons” and “mow’ed days”. “Sabbaths” don’t feature in this verse, and “assemblies” and “meetings” likewise don’t feature in this verse. And “feasts” don’t feature either, once we correct the mistranslation. Verse 14 is only about “new moons” and “mow’ed days”.

Why? Why the focus on just these two things?

3) Regarding God expressing His feelings in a very emphatic way, consider the following things. In the Hebrew text of verse 14 the word sequence is: object of the verb, followed by the verb, followed by the subject of the verb. This is a fairly common sentence structure in Hebrew, which is an inflective language (i.e. word order is not a deciding criterion for establishing the correct meaning in inflective languages). So the Hebrew text word order says: “your new moons and your mow’eds hates My soul ...”. In Hebrew this structure is also quite suitable for emphatic statements.

But English is a syntactic language (i.e. word order is extremely important for establishing the correct meaning), and in English this Hebrew word order could easily be misunderstood. So the translators made it clearer by placing the verb after the subject instead of in front of it, as in “your new moons and your mow’eds My soul hates ...”.

As a translation, that is not incorrect. However, that format is not very suitable for emphatic statements in English. When we want to make a forceful statement in English, then we start with the subject, followed by the verb, and then we state the object of the verb.

Now here in Isaiah 1:14 God is making a very forceful statement. To convey the force of God’s statement, we really need to get away from the word order of the inflective Hebrew text, and use the word order we use in English to convey force and emphasis.

So instead of saying “your new moons and your mow’ed days My soul hates”, we really should say “My soul hates your new moons and your mow’ed days”! That’s the typical grammatical structure in the English language for very emphatic statements. And in Isaiah 1:14 God is indeed making a very forceful statement.

4) So, as with Amos 5:21, we once again have an implied contrast. Here the focus is on “your new moons” and on “your mow’ed days”. It should be clear that God is not referring to “His new moons” or to “His mow’ed days”. So here the implied contrast is between “God’s new moons”, which God’s people need to be aware of in order to establish the correct calendar, and “your new moons”, which God hates.

Understand this implied contrast!

When God expresses hatred for “your new moons”, then the new moons God Himself recognizes must be different from “your new moons”. Or God would not express hatred for their new moons.

Now note the following point!

God does not say “you have polluted My new moons”! In other words, God does not lay claim to the new moons He hates, i.e. God does not use the pronoun “My” in this context.

Now God claims the Sabbath! It is never a case of “your Sabbaths”. And so six times in the Book of Ezekiel God says that Israel polluted His Sabbaths.

But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness: they walked not in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. (Ezekiel 20:13; also Ezekiel 20:16,21,24; 22:8; 23:38)

The point is: God claims all the things that are His. And when the things that belong to God are polluted by people, then God states that we human beings have polluted something that belongs to God.

Here is the point: if the Jewish people had the correct new moons, the ones that God has established, and they were doing something wrong on those correct new moons, then God would say something like “... and My new moons you have greatly polluted”.

But God does not say anything like that! God does not claim any ownership of “their new moons”. Rather than claiming ownership of their new moons, God distances Himself from those new moons by calling them “your new moons”, you own them!

This means that the source of God’s hatred for “their new moons” has nothing to do with any of their theoretical actions or activities on those new moon days. The source of God’s hatred is not how they may keep those new moons, if they even keep them at all in any specific way, because God has not commanded any keeping of new moons.

The source of God’s hatred is that God does not claim ownership of the new moons they determine. God does not accept “their new moons” as valid new moons. God has distanced Himself from their new moons.

That is a vital key to understanding this verse correctly.

God wants no part, none whatsoever, of “your new moons”. What they proclaim as “new moons” God simply does not accept or recognize. It’s got nothing to do with what the people may or may not be doing on the new moons.

Now let’s remember that as a category new moons have no religious significance whatsoever. So as far as observing in a religious way specific days is concerned, it makes no religious difference whether you call today “the new moon day”, or whether you call tomorrow “the new moon day”, because either way there is nothing to observe “today” or “tomorrow”. This is true for every new moon day in the year except for the seventh new moon in the year, the Holy Day of Trumpets. God has not given any instructions for observing any of the other new moon days.

5) God expresses the intensity of His hatred for their new moons by expressing His hatred in three different ways! To express His hatred God says:

                - My soul hates ...,

                - they are a trouble to Me,

                - I am weary to bear them.

The Hebrew word translated as “a trouble” refers to “a burden”. And the verb translated as “I am weary” refers to “being grieved and offended”. So in plain terms, God certainly hates the things that are “an offensive burden” to God.

So how are new moons and mow’eds an offensive burden to God?

The new moons which are determined by the Jews are not real new moons at all! In fact, they are less accurate than the new moons that are determined today by human astronomers. Attributing the wrong calculations, which are used for determining the new moon of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, to God is a perverse insult. Frequently getting the date for the new moon wrong by one day too late or too early, which is what happens in the Jewish calendar, is offensive to God.

When the flawed results of their incorrect calculations happen to produce “an inconvenient day”, then they just “postpone it”. Here are some quotations from the Talmud, which reveal this quite clearly.


Here is a lengthy quotation plus one of the Footnotes, which reveals a number of things about the Jewish calendar “new moons”. The text is exactly as it appears in the Talmud, with the bold text for emphasis being the only change I have made. The superscript numbers in the text refer to Footnotes. I am only including Footnote 14, as the other Footnotes don’t add anything to our discussion.

Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 20a

        Is all this correct,14 seeing that Rabbah b. Samuel has learnt: I might think that just as the year is prolonged in case of emergency,15 so the month may be prolonged to meet an emergency; therefore it says, This month is for you the head of months,16 [which implies], See [the moon] like this and then sanctify!17 " Raba replied: There is no contradiction: in the one case we speak of prolonging the month, in the other of sanctifying it,18 and what [the above teaching] meant is this: I might say that just as the year is prolonged to meet an emergency, so the month may be sanctified to meet an emergency, therefore it says, ‘This month is for you’; See [the moon] like this, and then sanctify. This is illustrated by the dictum of R. Joshua b. Levi: ‘Witnesses 19 can be intimidated [to withhold the report of] the new moon which has appeared in its due time 20 in order that the month may be prolonged,21 but they may not be intimidated into reporting the new moon which has not appeared in its proper time in order that a New Moon may be sanctified [on the thirtieth]’. Is this so? Did not R. Judah the Prince 22 send to R. Ammi a message saying: Know that when R. Johanan was alive he used to teach us that witnesses may be intimidated into reporting [on the thirtieth day] the new moon which has not appeared in its due time, in order that the New Moon may be sanctified, and even though they have not seen it they may say, We have seen it? " Abaye said: There is no contradiction: the one rule 23 holds good for Nisan and Tishri, the other for the other months of the year.24 Raba said: This teaching which Rabbah b. Samuel learnt follows the ‘Others’, as it has been taught: ‘Others say that between one Pentecost and another and between one New Year and another there are always four days [of the week] difference, or, if it was a leap year, five’.25 R. Dimi from Nehardea reports the teaching in the reverse form: ‘Witnesses can be intimidated to report [on the thirtieth day] the appearance of the moon which has not appeared in its proper time, in order that the month may be sanctified, but they may not be intimidated to withhold the report of the new moon which has been seen at its proper time in order that the month may be prolonged. What is the reason?


(14) That a month may be prolonged to prevent inconvenience to the public. Lit. ‘It is not so?’

My Comments:

The above text was written before Hillel II introduced the present Calculated Jewish Calendar in 359/360 A.D. This quotation reveals the calendar that was used by the Jews during New Testament times and up into the 300s A.D. So let’s examine some of these statements.

1) Footnote 14 shows that the actual new moons were easily manipulated. A month could be prolonged, meaning that Day 1 of the next month could be postponed by one day, “to prevent inconvenience to the public”. In other words, even before the present postponement rules were established, the principle of postponing to avoid inconvenience was already in use amongst the Jews during the 200s and 300s A.D.

The references “to meet an emergency” refer to only one specific type of “emergency”, the “emergency” of having certain Holy Days fall on “inconvenient days of the week”. So, for example, having the Holy Day of Trumpets fall on a Friday or on a Sunday would create “an emergency” for the writers of the Talmud. Viewing such situations as “emergencies” has nothing whatsoever to do with any instructions from God. That is, it is not God who describes such situations (a potential double Sabbath) as “an emergency”. No, it is nothing other than human reasoning that seeks to avoid such “inconvenient days of the week” for certain Holy Days.

For all those people who seek to justify the postponement rules of the Jewish Calendar: this lengthy quotation from the Talmud clearly exposes the utter hypocrisy of the postponement rules! There is not one shred of support from God for these rules! God hates the postponement rules! This quotation all by itself destroys any possible justification for postponements!

2) The statement “see the moon like this and then sanctify”, made twice in this quoted passage, shows quite clearly that the calendar in use was based on seeing the new moon crescent. It was based on observation, and not on any calculated formula. References to “witnesses” make the same point.

This was written well before Hillel II established the present calendar. The Footnote also shows that no calculations were involved for prolonging any specific month beyond the time of the first new crescent. Postponements were used to avoid inconvenience for the public, meaning avoiding inconvenient days of the week for certain Holy Days.

3) The repeated reference to “witnesses can be intimidated” is intended to justify rejecting the dates of the actual visual observations. In other words, when the Jewish leaders wanted to postpone the start of the next month, even though witnesses had seen the new crescent, they simply claimed that the witnesses had been intimidated to give a false report.

There is never any attempt to provide some possible motive for wanting to intimidate witnesses. Who might have wanted to intimidate witnesses to give a false report for the new moon? Why would someone possibly try to “intimidate” witnesses regarding the new moon? References to “intimidating witnesses” to give a false report are obviously hypocritical. They are never challenged by anyone, because everybody is quite happy when “more convenient days” are established for certain Holy Days.

4) A significant statement is the following: “between one Pentecost and another and between one New Year and ‘another there are always four days [of the week] difference, or, if it was a leap year, five’”. This statement helps to identify the calendar in use before Hillel II.

Here is the point:

When correctly determined, the Day of Pentecost always falls on the same day of the week, a Sunday. So this quotation that claims there is a difference of 4 or 5 days in the week in successive years for the date of Pentecost proves that the Jewish calendar had already accepted Sivan 6 as the fixed date for Pentecost, well before Hillel II established the present Calculated Jewish Calendar. It is Sivan 6 that fluctuates to different days in the week, not the correct date for Pentecost.

However, this quotation regarding a 4 or 5 day difference, in days of the week, also shows that the present Calculated Jewish Calendar was not yet in use when this quotation was written. How can we know this?

In the present Jewish Calendar Sivan 6 (“Pentecost”) can only fall on four different days in the week: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Sivan 6 can never fall on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, because of the postponement rules. Now had this Calculated Calendar already been in use at the time of writing this statement in the Talmud, then the people concerned would assuredly not have spoken about a 4 or 5 day difference in days of the week.

They would have known that Sivan 6 in successive years is sometimes on the same day of the week (e.g. 2018 & 2019 = a Sunday), sometimes only 3 days apart (e.g. 2020 & 2021 = a Friday followed by a Monday), sometimes 6 days apart (e.g. 2021 & 2022 = a Monday followed by a Sunday), sometimes 4 days apart (e.g. 2017 & 2018 = a Wednesday followed by a Sunday), and fairly often 5 days apart (e.g. 2023 & 2024 = a Friday followed by a Wednesday).

The point is that these patterns for Sivan 6 for the present Calculated Jewish Calendar have been known since the year that the present postponement rules were adopted. That is, this has been known since 359 A.D. So if the present Calculated Calendar was already in use when this was written in the Talmud, then the writers would have known that Sivan 6 could sometimes be on the same day of the week in successive years, and at other times 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 days later in the weekly cycle than in the previous year.

The fact that they refer to only a 4 or 5 day difference proves that the men involved were not familiar with the present Calculated Jewish Calendar and its formally established postponement rules.

Let’s look at a Talmud quotation that freely admits that Atonement used to be observed on both Fridays and Sundays.

Talmud - Mas. K'rithoth 19a


Footnote (10): I.e., when the Day of Atonement fell upon Friday or Sunday.

My Comments:

The first part of this quotation refers to a rather sordid matter, and is not of interest to us. But the statement “IF SABBATH AND THE DAY OF ATONEMENT [FOLLOWED EACH OTHER]” cannot really be misunderstood. And so Footnote 10 spells out that at times the Day of Atonement was observed on both Fridays and Sundays. But this is not possible with the present Calculated Jewish Calendar, because of the postponement rules.

This quotation shows that there were two or more centuries when those postponement rules did not yet exist. They came into existence when the custom “see the new moon and then sanctify” was rejected in favor of the Calculated Calendar. That was in 359 A.D.

I could add dozens of pages of quotations from the Talmud that show these same points:

1) Visual observations and not calculations were used for centuries after Jesus Christ’s ministry.

2) The Day of Atonement commonly fell on both Fridays and Sundays, again proving that the Calculated Calendar was not being used (i.e. it did not yet exist).

3) Even when the calendar was still based on visual observances, the authorities already resorted to postponing the start of the next month to avoid inconvenient days. They referred to such situations as “emergencies”. They did this before the postponement rules were even established. They did this by claiming that the witnesses had been intimidated to give a false report. No actual proof was needed for them to make this assertion.

In this situation leaders who had not made any effort to look for the new moon themselves rejected the evidence of people who actually had seen the new crescent, for no other reason than that they didn’t want the new month to start, because it would have created some inconveniences.

4) When Hillel II established the postponement rules for the Calculated Calendar, he was simply codifying a practice that had already been used for well over a century, to manipulate the dates obtained from the visually observed new moon crescents. It was always for the purpose of avoiding “inconveniences”.

The above quotations from the Talmud should suffice. And they also expose the utter hypocrisy involved in the Jewish Calendar. They illustrate why God views that calendar as “an offensive burden”, and why God very strongly hates that calendar.

So much for “new moons”. And that brings us to the second thing in Isaiah 1:14 that God hates intensely. God also hates “their mow’ed days”.


The Day of Atonement is one of God’s mow’ed days, as listed in Leviticus 23. Let’s consider an extremely offensive Jewish custom regarding this Holy Day, a widespread Jewish custom very few people in the churches of God are aware of.

The Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906, has an article on “Kapparah” (plural is “Kapparot”). This encyclopedia is now in the public domain, and can easily be searched on the internet. Information about Kapparot is also available on the website of Brandeis University in Massachusetts, a university sponsored by the Jewish community in Massachusetts. Their website features a 2021 article by Lawrence Goodman titled “Kapparot: The Yom Kippur Tradition of Chicken Twirling”.

Here is some information about “Kapparot” from these two Jewish sources.

KAPPARAH: An animal used as a sort of vicarious sacrifice on the day previous to the Day of Atonement. As a rule, a cock is taken by a male, and a hen by a female person, and after the recitation of Ps. cvii. 17-20 and Job xxxiii. 23-24 the fowl is swung around the head three times while the right hand is put upon the animal's head. At the same time the following is thrice said in Hebrew: "This be my substitute, my vicarious offering, my atonement. This cock [or hen] shall meet death, but I shall find a long and pleasant life of peace!" After this the animal is slaughtered and given to the poor, or, what is deemed better, is eaten by the owners while the value of it is given to the poor. (Jewish Encyclopedia, my own emphasis throughout)

The ritual appealed especially to cabalists, such as Isaiah Horowitz and Isaac Luria, who recommended the selection of a white cock with reference to Isa. i. 18, and who found other mystic allusions in the prescribed formulas. Consequently the practice became general among the Jews of eastern Europe ... (Jewish Encyclopedia)

For some 1,000 years, many Jews have observed the same ritual every Yom Kippur Eve " waving a chicken over their head. (Lawrence Goodman article)

According to Professor of Classical Rabbinic Literature Reuven Kimelman, kapparot involves swinging a living chicken three times around your head while reciting a prayer. Traditionally, men use roosters and women hens, though pregnant women use both in case they're having a boy. After the ceremony, the animal is slaughtered according to Jewish law. (Lawrence Goodman article)

Today, kapparot runs afoul (pun intended) of animal rights activists, who argue it's inhumane; they have sued in court and supported laws to stop the practice. With some 50,000 chickens killed every year in New York City for kapparot, protesters tried in 2019 to get the ceremony halted. Instead, city health department officials said kapparot posed no public health threat and was important to Jewish community members. (Lawrence Goodman article)

Yes, there are Jewish authorities who reject this custom. But when 50,000 chickens are killed every year in New York alone, then this custom is pretty widespread amongst Jewish communities. It has been around for 1,000 years already.

God instituted a ceremony with two goats, one for Jesus Christ and one for Azazel, for the Day of Atonement. And the Jews have replaced that ceremony with a chicken.

A chicken?!? Swinging a chicken around your head three times?!?

Talk about insulting Jesus Christ!

This Jewish custom makes a total mockery of the sacrifice Jesus Christ brought for us human beings. Can anyone deny that God assuredly has an intense hatred for this perverse Jewish Day of Atonement custom?

Consider the magnitude of this insult:

First they replace two goats, representing two different individuals, with one chicken. So which of the two goats is the one chicken supposed to represent ... the one for Christ or the one for Satan? Replacing two goats with a chicken is absolutely abominable and disgusting. It is extremely offensive to God because chickens are simply not acceptable for any “sacrificial offering” to God. Offering a chicken is on the same level as Cain’s unacceptable offering to God.

Next, the Atonement ritual was not permitted to be performed by anyone other than the High Priest. Each Jewish household performing this kind of ritual for themselves is just as presumptuous as was King Saul’s decision to perform a sacrifice himself (see 1 Samuel 13:9-14). They totally bypass the stringent procedure the High Priest had to follow before he was even eligible to perform this ritual on the Day of Atonement. So this chicken ritual makes a mockery of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Next, they decide to eat the chicken they have “sacrificed”, when nothing was to be eaten from the sacrifice God had instituted. And lastly, they have moved their “Atonement ritual” to one day before their Day of Atonement “observance”, since they are not supposed to eat anything on the Day of Atonement itself. So they have moved one more biblical instruction (i.e. their perverted interpretation of God’s instructions) away from the day which God has appointed.

Here is why I have taken some time to discuss this particular Jewish ritual. This activity, which is supposed to apply to God’s instructions for the Day of Atonement, reveals how totally and completely and how thoroughly clueless the Jewish religion is about God’s actual teachings in the Old Testament! Baal worship in Old Testament times wasn’t all that much worse than this chicken ritual for Atonement. What this ritual tells us is that we cannot trust the Jewish religion to be correct on anything that affects any doctrinal understanding. They are just as ignorant of God’s truth as are all the other religions of this world. That is what this offensive chicken ritual tells us. The only thing we can look to them for is the meaning of Hebrew words.

Now consider this:

If the Jews were doing this on the day determined by the calendar that God accepts, then God would surely say something like “My mow’ed day they greatly polluted”, because this chicken ceremony is a gross perversion of the Day of Atonement ceremony.

But God does not say that.

Instead, God says that He hates “their” mow’ed days. So again God does not claim ownership for the day on which they perform this perverted ceremony. It is “their mow’ed day”. More on this later.

Let’s move on.


Here in Isaiah 1:14 God says “My soul hates your mow’eds”. Therefore we need to have a clear understanding of this Hebrew word “mow’ed”.

The noun “mow’ed” is formed from the primitive root verb “ya’ad”. This verb “ya’ad” means: to appoint, to set, to assemble, to meet. There is nothing in this verb that would imply feasting or festivities. Neither is there anything that would imply something being holy or sacred or sanctified. This verb also does not inherently imply any specific subject.

So this verb “ya’ad” is then used to form the noun “mow’ed”. So what does this noun mean? The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) says the following about “mow’ed”:

“This masculine noun occurs 223 times. It frequently designates a determined time or place without regard to the purpose of the designation.” (TWOT on “mo’ed” (sic))

In other words, this Hebrew word applies to both secular things and activities, and also to holy things and activities. It is not inherently a religious word. Here is what this word “mow’ed” means in the Old Testament.

1) An appointed place. So together with the word for “tabernacle” it is translated as “the tabernacle of the congregation”. It is in fact translated this way in 127 verses in the Old Testament. The tabernacle of the congregation was the place God had appointed for specific meetings. This meaning is in full agreement with the root verb “ya’ad”.

2) An appointed time. That appointed time can be for religious purposes, and it can also be for secular purposes. So, for example, God appointed that the sun and the moon would be used to regulate the passage of time, to determine the passage of days, months, seasons and years. See Genesis 1:14. Appointed times can consist of one single day, or they can consist of several days. The only criterion is that they have been “appointed” by someone.

3) Now when God combines this noun “mow’ed” with the word for “holy”, then that “appointed time” is a Holy Day! But when the word for “holy” is not used to describe a particular “mow’ed”, then that “mow’ed” is also not a Holy Day. So there are appointed times that are Holy Days (e.g. Trumpets, Atonement, etc.), and there is also one specific “mow’ed” that is not a Holy Day (i.e. the Passover), because God has not designated that specific “mow’ed” with the word “holy”. The word “mow’ed” alone does not make any day a Holy Day.

However, the word “mow’ed” can readily be used on its own to refer to a Holy Day when that specific “mow’ed” has already at an earlier time been identified as a “holy mow’ed”. For example, the Day of Trumpets has already been identified as “a holy convocation” in Leviticus 23:24. Therefore any references to the Day of Trumpets after the time of Leviticus 23 can describe Trumpets simply as a “mow’ed” without including the word for “holy”. The status that has been established for all the days listed in Leviticus 23 is permanent, and, where applicable, the word for “holy” need not be repeated every time in subsequent references.

4) Appointed meetings and assemblies. When such appointed meetings are identified as “holy convocations”, then such meetings are Holy Days. And when they are designated only as “convocations”, without the word for “holy”, then they could also serve a secular non-religious purpose, such as a “a meeting” for some or other club or convention.

5) An appointed sign or signal. Mow’ed is only used once with this meaning, in Judges 20:38, where one group of soldiers sent a signal to the rest of the Israelite army, which was fighting against the tribe of Benjamin. This signal meant that the city of Gibeah had been defeated. This category of “mow’ed” clearly does not have any religious significance.

People may establish a sign to indicate that something has happened or should happen. That sign can well be called a “mow’ed”, because someone has set it to be a sign. But there is nothing holy about this use of “mow’ed” by itself.

To summarize the word “mow’ed”:

“Mow’ed” always refers to something that has been appointed by someone. In most cases in the Bible it refers to God having appointed something. But human beings can likewise appoint things for specific purposes. A specific location can be appointed, a period of time can be appointed, and specific activities can be appointed.

Now let’s get back to Isaiah 1:14.

God says in very clear terms “I hate your mow’eds”. What is God here referring to? God is not referring to “an appointed place”, and neither is God referring to “an appointed sign or signal”.

The only thing God can be referring to is “appointed times” and “appointed meetings”. Now if it could be established that God was referring to times and meetings that have already in Leviticus 23 been identified as “holy”, then “mow’ed” would have to be a reference to Holy Days established by God, and for which God would claim ownership.

However, that is not the case!

God very clearly distances Himself from the mow’eds (appointed days) that He hates, by identifying them as “your mow’eds”. God is saying: these are not My mow’eds. No, they are your mow’eds, and that is why I hate them. I hate them because you pretend that they are My mow’eds!

How could they pretend that their own mow’eds are God’s mow’eds?

Simple! Do what Jeroboam did long before them. Jeroboam established counterfeit feasts on different days from the days God had established. That’s recorded in 1 Kings chapter 12.

And Jeroboam ordained a feast (“chag”) in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast (“chag”) that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. (1 Kings 12:32)

This was Jeroboam’s counterfeit “Feast of Tabernacles”. The “chag” of Tabernacles included the “mow’ed day”, the first day of this Feast, and it also included the “mow’ed” of the 8th day attached to the end of this Feast. Jeroboam’s counterfeit feast was “like the Feast in Judah”. So the first day of Jeroboam’s counterfeit feast would also have been “his mow’ed day”. I mention this because, while this is a reference to the 7-day “chag” of Tabernacles, it also included a mow’ed day for the first day.

Now Jeroboam did two things: he changed the time of the feast by one month, and he also turned it into an idolatrous activity. Because Jeroboam had appointed it, therefore it was “his chag” and “his mow’ed”.

Now even if Jeroboam had not introduced any idolatry, it would still have been “his chag” and “his mow’ed”, and not “God’s chag or mow’ed”. And even if Jeroboam had only changed the timing by one single day, instead of changing it by one whole month, it would still only have been “his chag and his mow’ed”, a time that he had appointed. It would not have been a chag or mow’ed for which God would have claimed ownership.

[Comment: What Jeroboam did involved both a chag and a mow’ed, whereas in Isaiah 1:14 God has only focused on mow’ed, and not on chag.]

God only claims ownership for those mow’eds that God Himself has appointed, as revealed in Leviticus 23.

Changing the time for any of God’s commanded mow’eds (or chags) removes those mow’eds (or chags) from God’s ownership. Why? God has identified all of the days in the year that He has appointed as mow’ed occasions. If we move any of those appointed times by even one single day, then that automatically makes those days “your mow’eds” of Isaiah 1:14. It makes those days into something God hates intensely!

[Comment: In Hebrew the plural of “mow’ed” is “mow’edim”. I use “mow’eds” here for the benefit of English-speaking readers, who may identify this more readily as the plural form. Elsewhere I have at times just used “mow’edim”.]

For example, when Mr. Armstrong originally kept Pentecost (simultaneously a chag and a mow’ed) on Sivan 6, and then in the 1930s changed to always keeping Pentecost on a Monday, right up to 1973, then the Church was keeping “your mow’ed” as far as Pentecost was concerned. And God most certainly did not approve of us keeping Pentecost on a Monday, let alone on Sivan 6. God hated our keeping of Pentecost on a Monday. Isaiah 1:14 makes this quite clear!

However, before God there is a difference between when we do something wrong in ignorance, and when we do something wrong when we know better, when the information for knowing better is readily available. That’s the principle of Acts 17:30. Mr. Armstrong and all of us before 1973 kept Pentecost on the wrong day “in ignorance”. And upon repentance God forgave our keeping Pentecost on the wrong day. So now we keep Pentecost on the correct day (i.e. always a Sunday) which God has appointed.

So when God says to Judah in Isaiah 1:14 that He intensely hates “your mow’eds”, then this tells us that they have moved God’s mow’eds to different dates!

That is exactly what has happened!

They no longer keep the Passover on the 14th day! They have moved their “Passover” to the 15th day. That makes the Passover “your mow’ed”.

They also no longer keep Pentecost on the right day! The have moved their “Pentecost” to Sivan 6, for convenience. That also makes Pentecost “your mow’ed”.

In Exodus 12:2 God clearly established Nisan 1 as “New Year’s Day”, thereby designating Nisan 1 to be “Rosh Hashanah” (i.e. “the head of the year”). But the Jewish religion rejects this instruction, and instead insists on calling Tishri 1 “Rosh Hashanah”, or “New Year’s Day”. This is another brazen rejection of an instruction from God. The fact is that Tishri 1 is not the start of a new year. And we should not attempt to justify this Jewish custom.

And we haven’t even come to “postponement rules to avoid inconvenient days”. What do postponement rules do? Why, they move established dates to different dates. That is exactly what God hates ... moving the dates God has established to different dates.

The Jewish way of keeping Passover and Pentecost is already sufficient to explain God’s intense hatred in Isaiah 1:14. Those changed dates are not just “a little thing”! They evoke intense hatred from God!

So note!

The Jewish observance of Passover and Pentecost is indisputable proof that they have moved God’s appointed mow’ed days to different dates. If there was nothing else, this is already sufficient to explain God’s intense hatred for their mow’ed days.

But there is more.

So regarding the Passover and Pentecost we can now say: we understand why God hates “their mow’eds”. God hates them because “their mow’eds” (i.e. “their appointed times and assemblies”) are no longer on the actual days that God has appointed.

But why does God hate “their new moons”?

If the new moons as a category of days don’t have any religious significance, what is there for God to hate? And why does God single out these two things (new moons and mow’eds) for His hatred? Do they have anything in common?

Yes, they do!

For the Jewish religion all the mow’eds in the year depend on the date for one specific new moon in the year. If the date for that specific new moon is postponed to one day later (i.e. later in the solar cycle), then all the mow’eds in the year also move to one day later in the solar cycle. And then they are no longer on the days that God has appointed. [Comment: Occasionally they appoint a new moon that is one day before the actual new moon day, and then all the mow’eds in the year are one day too early.]

In plain terms: in the Jewish calendar all the mow’eds in the year depend 100% on one specific new moon. That one new moon actually controls the dates for all their mow’eds in the year.

So when there is a problem with the dates for the mow’eds being wrong, it means that there is a problem with the dates for the new moons; or to be more precise, there is a problem with the date for one specific new moon in the year.

Notice that here also it is “your new moons” that God hates. This means that God also rejects ownership of the new moons that are the issue. Implied is that their new moons are on different days than the new moons God recognizes. But how can that be?


2100 and more years ago (i.e. before Julius Caesar) there was no word for the concept of “a calendar”. Instead, all the countries in the Mediterranean area and in the Middle East relied on new moons to record the passage of years. Their record of the passage of years was defined by new moons. But the lunar cycles do not really fit smoothly into the annual solar cycle.

If a calendar depends on only 12 lunar months for a year, then the months will drift fairly rapidly into different seasons, as is the case today with the present Islamic Calendar. For example, the Islamic month of Ramadan was in December in 2000, in August in 2010, and in May in 2020.

To avoid this type of drifting, ancient calendars would add a 13th month to some years, with different nations using different systems for adding such a 13th month. This was also the case in Rome.

So then along came Julius Caesar.

To avoid the irregularities involved in every few years having to add a 13th month, Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. installed a totally new calendar, which was based entirely on the solar cycle, and which totally ignored the movements of the moon. This Julian calendar was later reformed by the Gregorian calendar, which we still use today. It avoids the need of ever having to add a 13th month to any year, to keep the months constant with the seasons.

But people still needed a word for “calendar”, a word which comes to us from the Latin language.

The principle of a calendar is that it establishes the first day for every month in the year. So people needed a word that means “the first day of every month in the year”. And there the Romans were able to oblige.

The ancient Latin verb “calare” means “to call out”. Prior to Julius Caesar the first day of every month was “called out”, based on the new moon having been seen, the same system that was used by the Jews. And so the first day of every month in Roman times became known as “kalendae”, because it was “called out”.

In other words, in Roman society the word “kalendae” had the same meaning as the Hebrew word “chodesh” had in Israelite society. In Israelite society “chodesh” means “new moon”, but in practice this word “chodesh” identified the first day of every month, like “kalendae” for the Romans. (“Kalenda” is singular, and “kalendae” is plural, and the plural was usually used to identify the first day of the month.)

(Comment: The letters c and k are pronounced the same in Latin, and so it is not unusual to see some Latin words spelled with a c, which words are then spelled with a k in other writings. These c or k spelling variations are inconsequential to us.)

Now in Roman society accounts and debts were settled and paid on the first day of every month, on the “kalendae” of the month. And so the financial account books that recorded debts and credits and expenditures, etc. became known as “calendarium”. This Latin word was then accepted in a slightly modified form first into French, and then into Middle English, and then into Modern English, to mean “an annual calendar”. That’s how we have come to have the word “calendar” in English.

So here is the point:

The word “calendar” refers to “the first day of every month”. And in Israelite society the word “chodesh” means “new moon”, but the “chodesh day” was also the first day of every month in the year. So in biblical Hebrew the only possible word for “calendar” is “chodesh”. There is no other biblical Hebrew word that even comes close.


It was the “kalendae” in ancient Rome that established the annual cycle. And it was the new moons in ancient Israel (and in all other nations in the Middle East) that established the annual cycle. The calendar consists of a succession of new moons, with each new moon starting a new monthly cycle.

So when in Isaiah 1:14 God says “I hate your new moons”, God is really saying “I hate your calendar”. That is so because there is nothing to hate about the actual correct new moons themselves; there were no specific religious instructions of any kind for new moons, that the Jews could possibly have violated. So there was nothing to hate about the new moons themselves.

But “I hate your new moons” was the only possible way in biblical Hebrew to say “I hate your calendar”. So God is saying “I hate your new moons which establish the annual cycle for your calendar”.

Now why does God hate the present Jewish calendar?

God hates it because the present Jewish calendar, which was only established by Hillel II in 359/360 A.D., moves all the mow’ed days away from the dates in the solar cycle that God has established. The present Jewish calendar, even without postponements, rejects real new moon conjunctions in favor of antiquated and slightly flawed calculations established by ancient Greek astronomers.

The evidence for this is irrefutable! The quotations from the Talmud prove this. The Talmud also irrefutably proves that the present Jewish Calendar did not exist prior to Hillel II establishing it in 359/360 A.D. It only came into existence centuries after the ministry of Jesus Christ.

What the Jews have done with shifting the Passover and the Feast of Pentecost to different dates, the present Jewish calendar even without postponement rules does with all of God’s other commanded annual observances. It does it by rejecting the real new moon dates in favor of flawed traditional calculations.

The postponement rules then compound this transgression. All the people in the churches of God who defend the use of the present Jewish calendar are simply defending the use of flawed ancient Greek calculations.

To those people who claim that God gave “the calendar calculations” to Israel, thereby supposedly making them a part of “the oracles of God” (first asserted by Dr. Herman Hoeh in the 1980s), the facts are:

The calculations for the Jewish calendar have nothing to do with God. God has never at any time given any human beings “a set of calculations”, needed to figure out something, anything. “Calculations” are something that God has always left up to us human beings to figure out for ourselves. God has never at any time given any human beings instructions in mathematics. Any such thought is absurd.

The algorithms underlying the calculations of the Jewish Calendar are 100% non-Israelite in origin. That is, the lengths of a month, and of a solar year, and of 19 solar years, were all figured out by Greek astronomers, although not totally correctly. Hillel II then used that somewhat flawed information from Greek astronomers and adapted it to the Jewish system of recording time (i.e. dividing every hour into 1080 halakim, as opposed to our system of having every hour consist of 3600 seconds), to establish the calculations for his calendar. But the data underlying the Jewish Calendar is readily traced back to ancient Greek astronomers. That is well known to Jewish scholars. Nothing in those calculations can be led back to God, nothing!

The real problem is:

The present Jewish calendar pretends to calculate real new moon conjunctions. And if those flawed calculations then produce some “inconvenient days of the weeks” for certain Holy Days, then they promptly ignore the results of their intricate, but flawed, calculations, and just move all the mow’ed days to one day or even two days later in the solar cycle.

That is exactly the same as moving the Passover from the 14th day to the 15th day! It is exactly the same as moving Pentecost to Sivan 6. And if they do this for two annual observances, what is to stop them from doing it to all the other annual observances as well? Talk about hypocrisy!

Is it any surprise that God emphatically says “I hate your calendar”?

The postponement rules are nothing more than a mechanism for manipulating the results of their flawed calculations. They manipulate their calendar away from “inconvenient days”. For people in the churches of God to claim God’s approval for such manipulations is perverse! The Jews themselves don’t claim any input from God in the establishment of their present calendar, none whatsoever. But ignorant Church of God ministers do make such claims.

Here is the point about the postponement rules of the Jewish calendar:

The underlying intent is to manipulate God’s instructions for His commanded annual observances in such a way that those observances fall on more “convenient” days for the Jewish people. It is exactly the same motivation as we here in the USA have, in wanting to place our public holidays on either Mondays or Thursdays ... to create the convenient potential for “a long weekend”. The postponement rules serve a similar purpose, to make God’s commanded Feasts and Holy Days “more convenient”.

There are two possible ways to implement such a manipulation in the fixed Jewish calendar.

One way would be to say: this year we will observe all of God’s commanded days one or two days later than God has instructed. In this situation Passover would be the 15th or 16th day, Feast of Unleavened Bread would be either the 16th - 22nd days or the 17th - 23rd days of Nisan, Trumpets would be the 2nd or 3rd of Tishri, Atonement would be the 11th or 12th of Tishri, and Tabernacles plus Last Great Day would be 16th - 23rd or 17th - 24th of Tishri.

But using this approach would look too obvious to be accepted by most people. This manipulation would simply be too blatantly obvious.

The other way to achieve the identical manipulation, while still retaining the appearance of complying with all of God’s instructions, would be to simply postpone the start of the year by one or two days. In that way we can, for example, have the Feast of Unleavened Bread from the 16th - 22nd or even from the 17th - 23rd of Nisan, but still call it the 15th - 21st of the month. Likewise we can also have Trumpets on the 2nd or 3rd of Tishri, but still call it the 1st of Tishri. That is what we can achieve by starting the whole year one or two days later.

In other words, we can make the 2nd or 3rd day of the first month (i.e. of Nisan) the start of the new year ... by simply making the previous year one or two days longer. Now that is really clever, isn’t it? And nobody can accuse us of not keeping all the days that God commanded. And thanks to our postponements, the real Nisan 2 or 3 is now called Nisan 1, etc.

Can you see that “Approach #2" does exactly the same thing as “Approach #1"? Both approaches achieve the identical dates in the solar cycle. But where “Approach #1" is openly in conflict with God’s instructions, “Approach #2" gives the false appearance of being in compliance with God’s instructions. “Approach #2" is a carnal human reasoning way to achieve the results desired by “Approach #1".

Let’s keep in mind that postponements were always for the purpose of achieving “convenient” days of the week, even before the fixed calendar was established by Hillel II.

Before the fixed calendar of Hillel II, the Jews had for centuries used “Approach #1" to achieve “convenient” days. The only difference at that time was that they didn’t do it for the whole year all at once. No, back then they did it piecemeal, on a month-by-month as-needed basis. They did it by claiming that eyewitnesses of the new moon crescent “had been intimidated” to give a false report. And then they would select “the chodesh day” that would give them the “convenient” results they desired.

This approach Hillel II then incorporated into the fixed calendar by means of the four postponement rules.

Now considering these two different approaches to achieving the days of the week that they personally want to achieve for the observance of God’s commanded days, here is what we have:

“Approach #1" would obviously make God extremely angry! Is there anyone who doubts that? But then “Approach #2" is supposed to have God’s total approval and blessing??? Is God really going to be fooled by such devious manipulations? Isn’t God going to hate this perverse way of manipulating the instructions He had given? Isn’t this manipulation going to make God extremely angry?

“Approach #2" is nothing other than a “sanitized” version of “Approach #1". “Approach #2" simply disguises the manipulation of the extremely blunt “Approach #1". “Approach #2" is quite subtle. But both approaches achieve the identical results. And God obviously knows that and hates it!

Most people in the churches of God have never understood that informed Jewish people themselves will, in most cases, freely acknowledge that the sole purpose of the postponement rules is for purpose of convenience, and that is all it is. It is extremely hypocritical for any minister in the churches of God to attempt to find some supposed astronomical justification for the postponement rules (as some have tried in the past).

It is easy to shoot down in flames any such appeals to astronomy! The postponement rules have no astronomical significance, none whatsoever. Anyone who attempts to find some astronomical justification for postponements is brazenly lying! And we have liars like that amongst us!

The postponement rules are solely for convenience, nothing else. And there are none so blind as those who don’t want to see, i.e. Church of God ministers who refuse to acknowledge the evidence of informed Jews, Jews who freely admit that “convenience” has always been the sole purpose for the four dechiyot (the postponement rules).

And lastly, Jewish writers never claim that God was in any way involved in the development of their calendar. Jewish authorities emphatically reject the idea that their Calculated Calendar is in any way a part of “the oracles of God” which they have been used to preserve. They know that their calendar does not trace its origins back into the B.C. era. It is only ignorant people in the various churches of God who make such absurd claims, claims for which they cannot provide any proof, because no proof exists for such claims.

So much for postponements. No wonder God hates the modern Jewish calendar! It really is a wicked piece of work.


The proof that the present Calculated Jewish Calendar did not exist prior to 359/360 A.D. is clear beyond question. Yet the majority of the churches of God today vigorously defend the use of this calendar, claiming it existed in both Old Testament and New Testament times. All such claims are blatant lies!

Now note one important point:

If ministers in the various churches of God are willing to lie about the origin of the Jewish Calendar, that raises a question: what else are they willing to lie about?

How can anyone who lies about the origin of the Jewish Calendar, in order to defend an unbiblical tradition, possibly have any integrity of character? Willing ignorance in this matter is an extremely serious and dangerous matter! And yet there are many ministers who refuse to acknowledge the facts, facts which prove that the present Jewish Calendar didn’t exist in biblical times, that it was only established in 359/360 A.D.

Consider a theoretical situation:

Let’s suppose you were born in 1980, and now in 2023 you are 43 years old. You know your age, your parents know it, and your birth certificate confirms it.

Then someone comes along and says: “you weren’t born in 1980 at all; you were actually born 50 years earlier, in 1930. And you are now 93 years old.”

At first you might think that this is some kind of sick joke. But the person is serious and insists, and keeps telling everyone that you are now 93 years old, and not only 43 years old. So you say: look, here’s my birth certificate; ask my mother how old I am; and I obviously don’t look like a 93-year old man, because I am only 43 years old.

But the person rejects every form of evidence that you present as meaningless, and insists that you are 93 years old. There is nothing you can say or do to persuade that person to accept the truth, that you are only 43 years old.

What would you call such a person ... a hypocritical liar who deliberately refuses to acknowledge any facts that he doesn’t like? Well ...

That is precisely what the ministers who defend the use of the present Calculated Jewish Calendar are like!

The “birth certificate” for the Jewish Calendar states quite clearly “359/360 A.D.”. The “parents” (i.e. Jewish sages through the ages) of the Jewish Calendar state quite clearly that their “child” (i.e. the Jewish Calendar) was only born in 359/360 A.D. The “looks” of the Jewish Calendar reveal a young person, and not someone who existed in Old Testament times; i.e. the calculations of the Jewish Calendar absolutely cannot be made without the existence of the Julian Calendar, which only came into existence in 46 B.C.

On top of that, the fictitious starting date of 3761 B.C. for the Jewish Calendar calculations is absolutely based on the Seder Olam, which was only produced in the 2nd Century A.D. The Seder Olam  is an ancient book compiled in Hebrew by Babylonian Talmudists about 160 A.D., and this book invented the date 3760 B.C. as the supposed date for Adam’s creation. So the date for 3761 B.C. in the calculations is supposed to represent the molad of Tishri for the year before the creation of Adam. This is what informed Jewish authorities will tell you ... that 3761 B.C. represents the supposed year before the creation of Adam.

Does that sound like something God would use to establish a calendar ... appeal to the year before He created Adam, the year before “the first day”? Appealing to “the molad of Tishri” of the year before Adam was created is just so incredibly stupid! But that is the foundation date for the Jewish calendar. And many ministers will blithely defend that absurd starting date.

The point is: using the year 3761 B.C. as the starting date for the Jewish Calendar calculations proves that those calculations could not have been established before around 160 A.D. I have discussed this in other articles.

But all this proof means nothing to those ministers who insist on claiming that a 43-year old man is supposedly 93 years old. No amount of evidence can shake their belief in this matter.

Factual evidence means nothing to such ministers! They are willingly ignorant. That means they are hypocrites, because the evidence is freely available. But they themselves have to open their eyes and look. And that they are not willing to do.


The most important criterion for establishing a Feast of Tabernacles site is that God has placed His name there! This is made clear in Deuteronomy 14:23-24 and in Deuteronomy 16:11,16.

If God has not placed His name in a specific location, then that location cannot possibly be a Feast of Tabernacles site that God will recognize. God’s name being placed there is what makes a specific location a Feast site.

A year ago I wrote an article entitled “BEWARE OF KEEPING GOD’S FEAST OF TABERNACLES IN A WRONG WAY”. That article explains the differences between going to a Feast of Tabernacles site and taking a Laodicean Vacation.

Now here is the point:

Once we clearly understand that God hates the manipulative Jewish Calendar, then it should also be quite clear that there is no way that God will place His name at any so-called “Feast site” that is organized in accordance with the calendar God hates! I’ll repeat that.

There is no way that God will place His name at any site that is based on the calendar that God hates!

So if you, whoever you are, understand that in Isaiah 1:14 God is expressing His intense hatred for the manipulative Calculated Jewish Calendar, then you will attend any “Feast site” that complies with that calendar at your own peril. I use quotation marks around “Feast site” because any site that is based on the Jewish Calendar is not a real Feast site in the eyes of God. Rather, it is something that God hates! And that is true even when those Jewish calendar dates just happen to be correct. The motivation for selecting certain dates is far more important than the dates themselves. That’s why God will “wink at the times of ignorance”.

How can you go to a site that is based on the calendar God hates? Or is Isaiah 1:14 still too vague to allow you to reach a clear understanding of what it is that God hates?

This means that the overwhelming majority of “Feast sites” around the world, which are all based on the present Calculated Jewish Calendar, are not real Feast of Tabernacles sites at all! They are all places where God will not place His name, you know, like Jeroboam’s “Feast site”. Why? Because God has told us in Isaiah 1:14 that He hates that particular calendar.

Can you read Isaiah 1:14 and reach a different conclusion? So next year will you again go to a site that is organized according to the calendar that God hates? Will you again go to one of “Jeroboam’s Feast sites”? What will you do?


I most assuredly am not looking for more people to attend with me. Absolutely not. I can deal with an attendance of between 10 and 30 people. Above that number it becomes too large for me.

So if you can’t come to keep the Feast with me, what can you do. What do I suggest?

I believe that dozens and hundreds of people in the various churches of God should go to their ministers with honest questions and say:

1) Explain to me exactly what Isaiah 1:14 means. And don’t tell me what it does not mean, because that is the usual cop-out. First tell me what it does mean, and then what it doesn’t mean will become obvious. There are things here that God clearly hates intensely. Tell me what they are. Saying that you don’t know is a very serious cop-out, because we have a responsibility before God to earnestly establish the things God hates, so that we may avoid being involved with those things.

2) We in the Church of God have always understood that the Jewish religion has changed the dates for two of God’s annual observances listed in Leviticus 23, have we not? We’ve always known that they have changed the dates for the Passover (from 14th to 15th) and for Pentecost (to Sivan 6). So these two changes, all by themselves, already explain why in Isaiah 1:14 God intensely hates their mow’ed days, do they not? And when they change the dates for two annual observances, explain to me why should they be faithful with all the other commanded observances in the year.

3) Explain to me how the present Jewish Calendar could possibly have existed before 150/160 A.D., when that calendar’s starting date is based on a document that was only produced in the middle of the 2nd century A.D.

4) Explain to me why the Day of Atonement must always be postponed away from a Friday and a Sunday, when the Jews themselves freely acknowledge that for centuries the Day of Atonement frequently fell on Fridays and Sundays.

5) Explain to me why the Jewish Calendar sometimes starts the year in the winter (e.g. in 2026 Nisan 1 will be on March 19, a full day before the spring equinox)? Why is that acceptable? Does it matter to God whether we always start the year in the spring, or whether we sometimes start the year “just a teeny weeny little bit” in the winter? Could starting the year in the winter perhaps be something that God hates? Tell me!

6) Explain to me why God chose somewhat flawed ancient Greek calculations to establish a calendar for His people Israel, and for His Church? Why would God endorse such flawed calculations, when today far more accurate calculations are readily available? The Jewish Calendar is clearly recognized as one of their traditions. So was Jesus Christ favorably impressed by Jewish “traditions” (see Mark 7:9-13), or did Jesus Christ emphatically reject Jewish traditions? One of their traditions is called “the Calculated Jewish Calendar”.

7) Explain to me why God would endorse postponements, so that inconvenient days of the week may be avoided, when God Himself is the One who established the dates for those Holy Days in the first place. Can God not recognize postponements as a very devious way to manipulate God’s instructions?

8) The concept of a calendar very clearly existed in Old Testament times. So if for any reason God had wanted to say “I hate the Jewish Calendar”, how would God have said that in biblical Hebrew? If you tell me “I don’t know”, then I must assume that you have no desire to find out how God could have made such a statement. You will in effect be saying “I don’t want to find out if God ever made such a statement. Therefore I am not willing to even look into it.” Tell me how God could have said this in biblical Hebrew. God telling us that He hates their chodesh is surely getting pretty close, isn’t it?

9) Tell me what are the things God hates in Amos 5:21. Is God speaking about the same days in Isaiah 1:14 and in Amos 5:21, or is God speaking about different days in these two Scriptures? Can you tell me why God used the Hebrew word “chag” in Amos 5:21, while using the word “mow’ed” in Isaiah 1:14? Why didn’t God use the same Hebrew word in both of these verses?

10) Tell me what the Hebrew word “tekufah”, as used in Exodus 34:22 means. Is it a vague term, with an undefined beginning? When God says that the Feast of Tabernacles is to be observed “at the tekufah of the year”, what does that mean? What meaning do the Jews attach to this Hebrew word? Does the meaning of “tekufah” have any influence on the dates when we are to keep this Feast?

[Comment: For the record, the Hebrew word “tekufah” has two specific meanings. Firstly, it refers to exactly four days in the year, the two equinoxes plus the two solstices. Secondly, it refers to the four annual seasons which all start on those four days. That is parallel to the two meanings of “chodesh”, which are: first the actual new moon occurrence, and secondly the new moon day, the first day of a new month. Now in the same way that a new month cannot start before the actual chodesh day, so likewise a new season cannot start before the actual tekufah day. According to Exodus 34:22 the Feast of Tabernacles may not start in the wrong tekufah (season) of the year. But with the Jewish Calendar the Feast of Tabernacles has started in the summer many dozens of times in the past almost 1,700 years, since 359/360 A.D., and it still does so occasionally today.]

Those questions should do for a start.

But we need to face the fact that in most cases the ministers are simply not going to change of their own volition. In this regard they are just like Mr. Armstrong. For several years before 1973 it was known that Mr. Armstrong’s reasoning for a Monday Pentecost was seriously flawed. But when confronted, Mr. Armstrong was simply not prepared to change.

In the end Mr. Armstrong had to be pressured into accepting that his way of counting was wrong. He still didn’t accept that it was his mistake. Instead, he put the blame on the translators of the Bible. He claimed that in Leviticus 23:15 the translators made a mistake by using the word “from”. Where they translated this text as “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath ...”, Mr. Armstrong claimed that they should really have said “And you shall count unto you beginning with the morrow after the Sabbath ...”. That would have made it clearer to Mr. Armstrong.

Mr. Armstrong believed that “from” meant that we must not include the Sunday in the counting, whereas “beginning with” means that the Sunday must be included in the counting. It was a face-saving excuse for Mr. Armstrong. But at least Mr. Armstrong was then willing to change from a Monday Pentecost to the correct Sunday Pentecost observance.

Now unfortunately I cannot think of any face-saving reasoning for all the ministers who have refused for over two decades to reject the calendar that God hates. But even as 50 years ago a few ministers pressured Mr. Armstrong to honestly examine the evidence for a Sunday Pentecost, so today the only way ministers, who keep the calendar God hates, are going to be persuaded to change is if large numbers of their members challenge them to answer the above questions.

[Comment: On a sad note, I might add that from then onwards Mr. Armstrong really disliked the man who had pointed out Mr. Armstrong’s error in counting incorrectly for Pentecost, and he would only refer to that man in mildly disparaging terms. The man then left the Church. That was that man’s particular test.]

If large numbers of their members confront the ministry with: “look, I will not in good conscience be able to attend any of our church’s ‘Feast sites’ from now onwards, because it is clear to me from Isaiah 1:14 that God intensely hates the calendar on which those ‘Feast sites’ are based”, then they may listen, and actually examine the evidence. Who knows? But it’s worth trying, isn’t it?

Mr. Armstrong changed, albeit reluctantly. And if large numbers of members make clear that their conscience will not allow them to attend all the Feasts and all the Holy Days (because that’s what the calendar involves) organized by their church, because of the calendar those observances are based on, then the ministers may also reluctantly look at the evidence they have thus far refused to look at.

So I don’t want you coming to me for the Feast. I would like you in large numbers to respectfully ask your ministers to openly examine all the evidence against God’s people using the Calculated Jewish Calendar. We never have anything to fear from the truth, do we?

Your approach should not be confrontational; it should simply be a sincere desire to receive honest, open answers to questions that have thus far always been avoided. And the facts should be readily acknowledged. Facts are stubborn things.

Over 20 years ago I presented solid evidence against the Jewish Calendar to one minister who has since died. When in my presence he examined what I had given him, he admitted that he hadn’t found any flaws “so far”, i.e. as far as he had read at that point what I had given him. But after examining all the evidence I had given him, he then looked around and asked “how many other Church of God groups will also accept this evidence?” Once he concluded that no other group would change away from the Jewish Calendar, he rejected all the evidence he had not been able to disprove, and he stayed with the Jewish Calendar till the day of his death.

And that’s pretty well the case for most of the Church of God groups, that they look around and ask themselves: which other groups will also accept the evidence against the Jewish Calendar? Will other groups also change?

It is the membership in large numbers that needs to politely “pressure” the ministry, an approach that one minister in the 60s in Bricket Wood referred to as “the smiling, leaning-elephant approach”, to at least openly and honestly examine all the evidence against us using the Jewish Calendar to establish the dates for our annual observances. That evidence is freely available. And only after openly examining all the evidence are the ministers in the various organizations then in a position to respond. Responding without even examining the evidence against the Jewish Calendar (e.g. evidence as presented in this article, etc.) calls integrity into question.

It is hypocritical to sweep evidence against the Jewish Calendar under the table, by appealing to something else to supposedly endorse the present Jewish Calendar. So far, ministers have refused to face the evidence squarely. Instead they always appeal to supposed “other evidence” to justify not looking at the facts that disprove their own position. Politicians use exactly the same approach, and almost never honestly examine the evidence that contradicts their own positions. Appealing to “the oracles of God” or to an elaborate attempt to date events in John 8, etc. in no way tells us what Isaiah 1:14 means.

        Other Scriptures cannot make Isaiah 1:14 go away.

So unless you in large numbers respectfully ask your minister some serious questions, which demand honest answers, there may well be one hundred or more “Feast sites” around the world next year, but at the overwhelming majority of those sites God will not place His name. Why not? Because those sites will all be based on a calendar that God hates intensely. Oh yes, they may give some “beautiful messages” at those sites, but “beautiful messages” will not persuade God to place His name there.


That about covers this subject of the things God hates. All of the things God hates are sin, because they all “miss the mark” of what God wants to achieve. And so it should be quite clear that the present Jewish calendar is also sin!

It is sin to move the Passover to the 15th Day, and it is sin to fix the date for Pentecost to be Sivan 6. It is sin to refer to the Holy Day of Trumpets as “Rosh Hashanah”, because no way has God appointed Trumpets to be “the head of the year”. It is sin to start the year in the winter. And it is sin to start the Feast of Tabernacles before the end of summer.

The Jewish Calendar is sin even when it is wrong by only one day. And that is also true even when the Jewish Calendar accidently achieves the correct dates, just like when the correct Pentecost date accidently happens to fall on Sivan 6. When correct dates are achieved accidently, God will still not place His name there!

Achieving the correct dates based on a calendar that God hates is not worth anything. Why not? When the human mind is opposed to God’s ways, then a right result coincidently achieved by a wrong frame of mind has no value before God. The correct frame of mind must be the guiding light for establishing the right dates.

Now there are very many ministers in the various Church of God groups today who very eagerly defend this sin called the Jewish Calendar. How about you? Do you also defend this sin?

So back to our original question: What does God hate more: the Jewish Calendar or Christmas?

In these two articles we’ve looked at a lot of things that God hates. And for the things that God hates most, I believe that it could well be a dead heat for the Jewish Calendar and Christmas. Or perhaps the Jewish Calendar has edged out Christmas “by a nose” in the “being hated by God” stakes.

The Jewish Calendar misleads the people of God, who earnestly seek to observe all of God’s commanded annual observances. By comparison, Christmas observance involves far more people around the world, but the vast majority of them are likely to be in the second resurrection, to then have an opportunity for salvation. So acceptance of the Jewish Calendar has far more serious consequences than spiritually ignorant people keeping Christmas. So perhaps the Jewish Calendar does come ahead “by a nose”?

Let’s also keep in mind that with these two hatreds God Himself is speaking in the first person. That makes it very personal to God. And on top of that these two hatreds are described with three individual expressions of hatred each.

For the hatred for pagan holidays God says: 1) I hate, 2) I despise, 3) I will not smell. For the hatred for the Jewish Calendar God says: 1) I hate, 2) they are a trouble to me, 3) I am weary to put up with these things.

We need to be aware of all the things that God hates, but especially these two hatreds. And we need to avoid getting involved with any of the things God hates.

Frank W Nelte