Years and years

by André Piet
March 7th, 2013

From a lady-visitor to my website, I received the following email:

Lately, many believers are showing a special interest in the 2,000 years that will elapse between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ. In the studies posted on this site of Good News, you regularly make mention of this detail, as well. The expectation is that Christ, after (approximately) two days of 1,000 years or after 2,000 years will return to the Mount of Olives in Israel and then, after the judgments, the 1000-year kingdom will begin.

If this is a correct given-detail and it is assumed that around the year 30-33 Christ ascended into heaven, then His return will approximately be around the year 2033; that will take another 20 years. In any case, the second coming, according to the Bible, will not happen before the year 2033. Only after 2 days, on the 3rd day.

However, if you go by the Hebrew calendar, which, after all, is used in the Bible and on which the 2,000 biblical years are based, then a year, according to the lunar calendar, has 12 x 30 days = 360 days. Measured against our sun-calendar, this means a difference of five days per year. 5 days x 1980 (2013-33) years is 9900 days or about 27 years. In that case, we are now in the year 2040, or seven years beyond 2033. And the 3rd day, in the meantime, has already arrived???

I would very much like to hear from you, if this reasoning is correct or if I'm missing something? It involves quite a difference, whether the second coming can only happen a minimum of 20 years from now, or whether it can happen now, at this time, according to the given data of the "2000 years" (leaving aside, other relevant biblical details, in connection with this).

Interesting question! The Hebrew calendar is indeed based on the moon, i.e., one month corresponds to the lunar cycle, which is very close to 30 days. A new month begins, by definition, at a new moon, and on the fourteenth or fifteenth of the month it is always full moon. That means that a period of twelve months, which is 12×29.5 days, is eleven days shorter than a solar year.

But that is only half of the story. The Hebrew months are indeed based on the moon, but the high-days of the year, in contrast, are linked to the sun and the seasons. Thus, Passover is expressly a spring-feast. The day of the firstfruits sheaf-offering, "on the morrow after the Sabbath," corresponds to the beginning of the barley harvest. And the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), seven weeks later is connected to the wheat harvest. And the feasts in the seventh month are associated with the harvest of the vine and the olive. And that is the reason why the Hebrew calendar, seven times per nineteen years, adds a thirteenth month. As we have a leap day, once every four years, so the Hebrew calendar deals with leap months; the so-called second Adar. If that would not be done, then, before long the Passover would be celebrated in the autumn.

This means that a Hebrew year varies in its length. Sometimes it takes twelve and sometimes thirteen months. But on average, the annual length is exactly equal to ours: 365.24 days. This makes a period of two thousand years on the Hebrew calendar equal to our two thousand years.

In short: when the Lord "after two days" (of a thousand years; 2Petr.3: 8) returns to Israel, as Hosea 6:1-3 speaks of it, according to my understanding, it refers to two thousand solar years, counted from the time He ascended.


Translation: Peter Feddema

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