How did year end became seventh month?

In the book of Exodus, we read the feast of Tabernacles on the seventh month as feast of Ingathering occurring on year end. Here we will investigate the reason for this change.

Exod 23:15-16 “You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Exod 34:22 “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.

Deut 16:16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

Lev 23:34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD.

If we can understand how and when the feast of Ingathering at year’s end becomes the feast of Tabernacles in seventh month, we can precisely date the book of Exodus.

Exod 12:2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. … Exod 13:4 “On this day you are going out, in the month Abib.

It is also important to note that God is changing the beginning of the year. However, we don’t know what month was Abib prior to becoming the first month.

Exod 9:31-32 Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops. (NKJV)

Exod 9:31-32 (The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed [H24 אָבִיב ‘abiyb (aw-ɓeeɓ’)] and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.) (NIV)

The NKJV translation of late crops is wrong because Egyptians divide their year into three seasons namely Inundation, Emergence and Harvest, and grow crops based on Nile flooding and not based on rain. Hence, there are no late crops in Egypt. In ancient Egypt, all crops were planted simultaneously in the Emergence Season after the Nile had receded and fertile land had emerged. The final season is the harvest.

Below are the three Egyptian Seasons. Each season has 4 months with each of 30 days.1

  • Inundation or Flood (Ꜣḫt or Akhet)
  • Emergence (Prt or Peret)
  • Low Water or Harvest (Šmw or Shomu)

Below are the days it takes for the mentioned crops to ripe and be ready for harvest.

  • Barley ripens in 40 to 55 days 2
  • Flax ripens in 90 days to 120 days 3
  • Wheat ripens in 120 days 4
  • Spelt (days to harvest): 110-130 days 5

If all the 4 crops were simultaneously planted in the first month of Emergence, when did hail happen if we have the following clues?

  • barley had headed (ready to be cut)
  • Flax was in bloom

The hail happened approx. 40 days after the beginning on the Emergence Season. In other words, this was the 6th month of Egyptians.

Exod 9:31-32 (The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed [H24 אָבִיב ‘abiyb (aw-ɓeeɓ’)] and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.) (NIV)

Exod 12:2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. … Exod 13:4 “On this day you are going out, in the month Abib.

Now the name Abib means ready to be cut and here it is referring to wheat harvest. Hence, this must be 120 days after the Emergence season. In other words, Abib is the beginning of the Low Water or Harvest season for Egyptians to harvest wheat. Abib must be 9th month for Egyptians, which God changed to 1st month.

Exod 34:22 “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.

In ancient Israel, wheat harvest begins in the 3rd or 4th month.6 This means, Feast of Weeks must be sometime around 5/6th month (after 7 Sabbaths) and Feast of Ingathering must be at the end of the harvest season (3 months later) which is 6/7th month.

So, why is Feast of Ingathering mentioned as year end when it is actually on 7th month by name Feast of Tabernacles in other books of the law? The answer is simple. The feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles occurs on 7th month in the calendar given by God based on seasons in ancient Israel. However, the feast of Ingathering occurs at year end in Egyptian calendar based on the seasonal cycles of river Nile. This is because, the book of Exodus was written immediately after coming out of Egypt with scribes familiar with Egyptian calendar.


Wikipedia Contributors. “Egyptian calendar.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 18 Sept. 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_calendar. Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

Heirloom Organics. “How to Grow Barley | Guide to Growing Barley.” Heirloom-organics.com, http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingbarley.html. Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

Heirloom Organics. “How to Grow Flax | Guide to Growing Flax.” Heirloom-organics.com, http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingflax.html. Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

Heirloom Organics. “How to Grow Wheat | Guide to Growing Wheat.” Heirloom-organics.com, http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingwheat.html. Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

Heirloom Organics. “How to Grow Spelt | Guide to Growing Spelt.” Heirloom-organics.com, http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingspelt.html. Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

Reader’s Digest Association. Jesus and his times. Readers Digest, 1987, pp. 100-101