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Biblical New Year vs Jewish New Year

Biblical New Year vs Jewish New Year

During the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is Adonai’s Passover. On the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Matzot to Adonai. For seven days you are to eat matzahOn the first day you are to have a holy convocation and you should do no regular work. Instead you are to present an offering made by fire to Adonai for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation, when you are to do no regular work.”

Leviticus 23:5-8🔗 

For centuries, the Jewish people have observed the moedim of Adonai, gathering for times of fellowship and sacrifice to meet their established appointments with the God of their Forefathers. Outlined in Leviticus 23, we can find the seven appointed feasts of Adonai: Shabbat, Pesach, Matzot, Shavuot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Surprisingly, the traditional Jewish New Year holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the holiday we usually celebrate in September(ish) with apples and honey and wishes for a sweet new year, isn’t in the list of appointed feasts! And according to Leviticus 23, the first month of the biblical year is actually when we celebrate Pesach! Which means that the Jewish New Year and the Biblical New Year are different things. The Biblical calendar doesn’t start with Rosh Hashanah, which is on the same day as Yom Teruah, but rather it starts 14 days before Pesach (Passover).  

Historically, the Jewish New Year came into being to celebrate the beginning of the agricultural season. In Scripture, it’s mentioned as a part of the traditions that the Hebrew people brought back from exile. So, it’s not wrong to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, its just not exactly what most people think it is.  

So, with that in mind, how exactly are we supposed to observe the Biblical New Year? Honestly, there isn’t anything in Scripture telling us to observe it at all. But traditionally, the weeks leading up to Pesach are filled with one thing: cleaning.  


You are to sacrifice the Passover offering to Adonai your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place Adonai chooses to make His Name dwell. You are not to eat hametz with it. For seven days you are to eat matzot with it, the bread of affliction—for you came out from the land of Egypt in haste. Do this so that all the days of your life you will remember the day when you came out from the land of Egypt. No hametz should be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, and none of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day may be left overnight until the morning.

- Deuteronomy 16:2-4🔗


The command to have no hametz (leaven) in the entire territory has been a task that millions of Jewish mothers have taken very seriously. Every surface of the home is cleaned, swept, and cleared of hametz with a severity that can often resemble pest extermination, or at least that’s what it felt like in our house growing up. The militaristic discipline of crumb control, feverish consumption of all leavened foods, and intense inspection of every new food item that entered the house from the beginning of Aviv until Pesach was always memorable in the Greenberg house! But when everything was clean and clear, it felt like the cycle of our lives really was starting over once more.  

So, perhaps the best way to celebrate the Biblical New Year is with a little bit of Spring Cleaning! Shake out the rugs, triple-sweep the floors, deep clean the refrigerator. Whatever it takes for your space to feel new and fresh, that is a wonderful way to observe the Biblical New Year while preparing for the appointed time of Passover where we can meet Adonai and say thank you for our salvation!  


  • Thank you for sharing this. It was incredibly helpful to someone who is learning to celebrate the feasts.

    Marta on

  • This was a great article. As a gentile believer I did not grow up understanding the Jewish traditions, but I enjoy learning now. Which is why I enjoy reading the TLV bible translation. Again, great article.

    Kesha R. on

  • Thank you so very much. I’m a Christ follower and fascinated by Hebrew culture. Especially after I had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem.
    I love learning about your culture.
    Thank you,Again. 😊

    Kimberly Suzan on

  • Does your Biblical calendar start with Aviv?

    Susana Swigert on

  • Great stuff! Yes! Aviv and the new year is great time to clean and have a fresh start, with the sun shining and the flowers blooming!

    Greg Wilson on

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