Biblical Astronomy

May 2005


Editor – Robert Scott Wadsworth <> P.O. Box 2272, Oregon City, OR 97045

Phone (503) 655-7430 <> e-mail – <> Website –





Nehemia Gordon from Jerusalem, Israel compiled the following New Moon Reports for the months of April and May, and the beginnings of the Second Month and Third Month on the corrected Hebrew Calendar.


April -  “On Sunday April 10, 2005, the new moon was sighted with ease from Jerusalem by Devorah Gordon at 19:07 followed by Ferenc Illesy and Nehemia Gordon.  No one reported sighting the moon from Israel on the previous evening, April 9, 2005.  Because visibility was uncertain on April 9, 2005 from Israel, the sighting on Sunday April 10, 2005 should be considered New Moon of the 2nd biblical month.”


According to Roy Hoffman of the New Moon Society, the atmosphere was hazy throughout Israel on the evening of April 9.  This would have made it impossible to sight the very thin crescent on that evening.


May – “On Monday May 9, 2005 the New Moon was sighted by many observers across Israel.  The moon was sighted by: *Magdi Shamuel at 19:32 from Ashdod; *Bethany Rose (12 years old) at about 19:34 from Golan Heights followed by about 50 more observers; *Nehemia Gordon at 19:38 from Jerusalem (Talpiot) followed by Ferenc Illesy at 19:46; *Melekh Ben Ya’aqov at 19:40 followed by Rivka Ben Ya’aqov at 19:40 and Nahman Guttman at 19:41 from elsewhere in Jerusalem (Ein Karem); *Dina Marcus at 19:56 from elsewhere in Jerusalem.”


It is expected that the next New Moon, which will start the Fourth Month on the corrected Hebrew calendar, will to be sighted near sunset on June 8, 2005 with a slight possibility that it may be spotted near sunset on June 7.


I have had a number of inquiries of late about the corrected Hebrew Calendar and why Biblical Astronomy uses it instead of the popular or Jewish Talmudic calendar. 


I came to the understanding about three decades ago that the Jewish Talmudic calendar that is in use today is not the same as the calendar system that was used during the time of the first appearing of Yahshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).  The calendar system used at that time was very simple and easy to understand by the common man.  In that system Yahweh the Almighty determines when the Biblical year begins and thus when His feasts occur.  


By contrast, the calendar that is in use today in the world, the Jewish Talmudic calendar, is a calendar system that is calculated by man and includes various calculations of the lunar/solar conjunctions (molad) as well as the time for the Vernal Equinox and includes certain postponements.  It would take me at least 15 pages to cover the various calculations used to determine when the Biblical year and various months during the year begin according to that system and leave the readers in a state of confusion.  Man set up that system.  On the other hand, I can explain how the original system that Yahweh set up is determined in one paragraph.   Yahweh Elohim is not the author of confusion.


The Hebrew calendar is a lunar-solar calendar and can have as many as 13 months in one year.  If a 13th month is to be added in any particular year is dependent on the state of the barely crops.  If at the end of the 12th month the barley is found in the Abib stage, then the next new moon begins the first day of the first month of the new year.  If the barley is not Abib, then a 13th month is added and the following month becomes the first month of the new Biblical year.  This calendar system is self- correcting to keep on track with the solar year.


In the Torah the months of the calendar are numbered and the only two months that are named are the first month (Aviv or Abib) and the seventh month (Ethanim).  The name Abib has to do with the state of the barley crops, that is why the first month was named Abib, because the barley is in the Abib stage in the land of Israel at the first part of the month and is ready for the wave offering during the Feast of Unleavened bread shortly after the middle of the month.


After the Babylonian captivity, different names were given to the Hebrew months.  These came from man, not Yahweh.  The first month became Nisan, and the seventh month became Tishri.  These names came from Babylon and are after their gods, especially the month named Tammuz.  Also, many of the calculations used to determine the molad and Vernal Equinox came from Babylon, though the Jews did not use them until about 350 AD when Hillel II and the Sanhedrin introduced the Jewish Talmudic calendar that is in popular use today.  In this system, the new moons are determined by the lunar-solar conjunction and not by the sighting of the first crescent light of the moon.  When the moon is in conjunction with the sun it cannot be seen except during an occasional solar eclipse.  It is mentioned in Genesis 1:14 that the luminaries, which includes the moon, are for signs.  A sign is something that one sees with one’s eyes such as the first crescent light of the moon, which is given as a sign that a new month has begun and is an especially important sign in the months of Yahweh’s feasts.  Except for the rare occasion of a solar eclipse, the conjunction of the sun and the moon or the molad cannot be seen.  How can something that cannot be seen be a sign?


As it was on the first day of creation when the Almighty called forth light and separated it from the darkness so it is with the first day of each month when light is cast upon the moon that is coming out of its darkness as is visible from Earth.


It is the sign in the Earth with the Aviv barley and the sign in Heaven with the first crescent light of the new moon that determines when the Biblical year begins and when Yahweh’s feasts for that year occur.  It is Yahweh who set the planets and the moon in motion and it is Yahweh who gives or withholds rain for the crops.  It is Yahweh who ultimately determines when the Biblical year begins and when His feasts occur.  It is not by man’s calculation.  Though we can take our best-calculated guess of when these signs might occur, it is ultimately up to the Almighty.  This year I happened to guess correctly that Aviv 1 would begin at sunset on March 11.  But I could just as well have been wrong.  If the barley in the land of Israel were not found in the Abib stage when it was found, then Abib 1 would have started on April 10.


Some felt that the March 25/26 date was too early for Passover/First Day of Unleavened Bread and that the Talmudic calendar was more in season and therefore is the correct calendar to go by.  But even the Talmudic calendar has Passover/First Day of Unleavened Bread on March 25/26 in the year 2013.  The only reason that it didn’t have it on those dates this year was because of certain postponements that are used that have nothing to do with what is written in Torah (God breathed word) but is based on what is written in the Talmud (man’s commentary). 


The Talmudic calendar is also in error because as with the Julian calendar (not the corrected Gregorian calendar) it overestimates the length of the tropical year, but about by half the amount.  It has the Vernal Equinox shifting later in the year by about 1 day every 400 years.  Eventually (in about ten thousand years), the Talmudic calendar set up by Hillel II will have Passover exclusively in June.  Since its creation, this calendar has slipped ahead by about four days.  When it was first created, the earliest Passover could occur was the day after the sun reaches the Vernal Equinox point, which is also the way it is now, except the Vernal Equinox on that calendar is equivalent to our March 24/25 not March 20/21. 


By basic rule of thumb, when no postponements were involved, the new moon that determined when the first month was to begin was the new moon closest to the date (before or after) that the sun reached the Vernal Equinox point.  In most years (at least 95 percent of the time) this is also when the barley is Aviv.  But since the Vernal Equinox slipped forward in the Talmudic system, the earliest date that this new moon can occur is four days later than it originally was.


The Vatican came up with a similar system but they use the corrected Gregorian solar calendar.  In their calendar the Paschal full moon is the first full moon after the sun reaches the Vernal Equinox point.  This gives the same date as the new moon closest to the Vernal Equinox.  Ironically, this calendar is much more aligned with Yahweh’s calendar and is correct in determining the correct month for Passover at least 95 percent of the time, while the Talmudic calendar calculates the correct month only about 60 percent of the time. Of course, Yahweh’s calendar is correct 100 percent of the time.


For those who have Internet access, the following link is to the Hebrew Calendar Science and Myths website which shows how the Talmudic calendar calculates the months and feasts.  I will let the reader decide which system is more confusing.


The following two websites are good sources for more information on Yahweh’s Sacred Calendar.


Stewarton Bible School, Scotland


Karaite Korner





On May 24, 2005 the full moon will occult (pass in front of) the star Antares in the constellation Scorpio (the Scorpion).  The Hebrew name for this constellation is Akrab which means the conflict or war.  The star name Antares means the wounding, which is the wounding of the enemy.


This occultation will be visible throughout much of North America.  The illustration below shows Antares coming out from behind the moon at the end of the occultation on May 24.



As seen from Portland, Oregon Antares will disappear behind the eastward or left limb of the moon at 11:58 pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time on the evening of April 23 and will reappear on the other side of the moon at 1:05 am on April 24.  The occultation will last for 67 minutes.  The occultation as seen from Mountain DST will be from 10:58 pm to 12:07 am, and from Central DST from 9:58 pm to 11:07 pm.   In the Eastern Time Zone it will not be dark enough to see the occultation until it is finished at 10:07 pm Eastern DST.


Chart 393 shows the position of the moon in the Scorpion at the time of the occultation.  This is the only foreseeable celestial event that is notable to mention in May other than the new moon sighting. 


Chart 393 – Lunar occultation of Antares on May 24, 2005





I did not intend to do this article until the June issue of Biblical Astronomy but since I have received a number of inquiries by those who seem to be alarmed by this event, I decided to push it up a month in order to give you the facts and to assure you that there is nothing to be alarmed about.


In January NASA launched a spacecraft that is to rendezvous and collide with Comet Tempel 1  on July 4, 2005.  The following is an excerpt from a Washington Post article written by Guy Gugliotta on January 11, 2005 and sent to me by a Biblical Astronomy subscriber concerned with this event.


Probe to try to puncture comet


“When it comes to space exploration, where scientists often measure their needs in milli-this and micro-that, Deep Impact, as its name suggests, has all the subtlety of a punch in the mouth.


Barring unforeseen delays, NASA will launch Wednesday a 1,325-pound spacecraft from Cape Canaveral on a one-way trip to the comet Tempel 1.  On July 3, the spacecraft will jettison an 820 pound copper projectile in the comet’s path and get out of the way as comet and projectile meet at a relative speed of 23,000 mph.


This perhaps not surprisingly, will happen on July 4, and if you are somewhere in the Pacific between Australia and the United States, you might be able to see it in the constellation Virgo, within a few degrees of Spica (see Chart 394), for this ordinarily invisible-to-the-naked eye comet is going to light up like a Roman candle.      



Chart 394 – Position of Comet Tempel in Bethulah (Virgo) at the time of impact on July 4, 2005


During a recent news conference to introduce Deep Impact, Project Manager Rick Grammier predicted ‘great fireworks,’ and telescopes on the spacecraft, in space and on the ground are going to be watching closely and recording every second of the event and its aftermath.


Deep Impact is the first human-made probe designed to hit a comet and penetrate to its nucleus.  The size of the crater and the material that spews from it will give scientists their best-ever information about what comets are made of and how they formed.


‘The biggest uncertainty is what (will happen) at the time of impact,’ said University of Maryland astronomer Michael A’Hearn, the mission’s lead scientist. ‘It is this uncertainty that makes it important to do this conceptually simple experiment.’


Comets date from the origin of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago, forming from the whirling detritus of dust and gas that spread outward from the young sun to the chill nether reaches of space beyond the planets.


Because of their relatively pristine state, comets offer the opportunity to glean new clues about the formation of the solar system itself.  Volcanic activity, erosion and sunshine have given Earth and the other rocky planets and moons multiple geological makeovers, but comets, except for the surface layer, are pretty much the same as they were at the dawn of time.


Tempel 1 is a potato-shaped comet about 5 and one-half miles long and perhaps two miles across, according to Don Yeomans, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a member of the Deep Impact team.


It is a ‘short period’ comet that has migrated in from the Kuiper Belt, a ring of objects that orbit the sun beyond Pluto.  Tempel 1 remains mostly between Mars and Jupiter in a 5.5-year elliptical orbit about the sun.


A’Hearn described Tempel 1 as a ‘typical’ comet, believed to be composed mostly of dark carbon and hydrogen compounds, rocky material and water ice, the prototypical ‘dirty snowball.’


The basic question that Deep Impact hopes to address is how Tempel 1 is put together.  The size and shape of the projectile crater and its debris trail will provide important clues.”


Some are concerned about the explosion that will occur when the projectile impacts with the comet and are under the impression that it is going to occur very close to Earth above the Pacific Ocean and will cause havoc on this planet.  As mentioned in this article, the explosion may be visible from areas of the Pacific Ocean.  This is because that is the side of the earth that is pointed toward the comet at the time of impact.  The comet will be about 83 million miles from Earth at the time of the impact.  The distance from the earth to the sun is about 93 million miles.


Furthermore, the force of the explosion caused by the impact will be equivalent to about 4.5 tons of TNT.  The blast from the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was about 4,000 times more powerful than this explosion will be.  Hydrogen bombs with the explosive force 200 times greater that the Hiroshima bomb were tested in the Pacific in the early 50’s.  There are explosions constantly occurring on the surface of the sun that are thousands of times more powerful than the bombs tested in the Pacific in the 1950’s, and hundreds of billions times more powerful than the explosion caused by the comet impact.  Again, the sun is 93 million miles from Earth and the comet will be 83 million miles from Earth at the time of the impact.  This explosion will not cause any immediate harmful effects to Earth.  It is somewhat equivalent to someone setting off a firecracker 100 miles from your front porch.




I am pleased to announce that for the past six months or so I have been working on a project with Artist Michele Abraham to restore the constellation pictures closer to their ancient form and with more of a Hebrew form than the Greek and Roman forms that now prevail. 


Michele Abraham will be doing all 48 constellations of the Mazzaroth and they will be in color.  Enclosed is a draft of Bethulah that she has done.  I will be putting more of Michele’s pictures in upcoming newsletters and there will be more info on this project in next month’s newsletter, which will be the last newsletter for the 2004/2005 subscription year.


To subscribe to the 2005/2006 subscription year, please send a check or money order to Biblical Astronomy in the amount of $25.00 for domestic, $30.00 for Canada, and $35.00 for overseas.


Biblical Astronomy Seminar in Vancouver, WA

Renewed Hope Ministries in Vancouver, Washington, will host “A Voice Crying In The Heavens” with Biblical Astronomer and Author Robert Scott Wadsworth at 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday May 21st. 2005.

1. No registration is required and everyone is welcome.
2. A Free will offering will be received.
3. No child care provided.

Biblical Astronomy
A Voice Crying In The Heavens
Robert Scott Wadsworth

Biblical Astronomer and Author Bob Wadsworth will reveal the ancient biblical names given to the constellations and the planets using computer digital imagery projected onto a giant nine foot screen, as he narrates about the following subjects; The Bible references that actually name the constellations and planets; Biblical Astronomy versus Astrology; Where the constellations came from; The Biblical meanings of the constellations; Who named the stars; The prophetic meaning of the names of the stars in light of the first and second coming of the Messiah; Recent celestial events that point to the second appearing of Yahshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).

Session 1: The Biblical meaning of the constellations and planets. The 48 constellations of the Mazzaroth will be covered in their relationship to the first and second appearing of the Messiah and their relationship to Israel and the called out of God.

Session 2: The Fall of Adam, The Great Flood, The birth of Abraham; The birth of Moses; Dates for the Exodus; The Assyrian captivity of the Ten Northern Tribes; The Babylonian captivity of Judah; The birth of Jesus Christ; The Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension of Jesus Christ and Pentecost.

Session 3: This session will discuss very rare celestial events that occurred from 1995 to the present which are pertinent to the Second Coming of the Messiah. More rare celestial events, which portray the Second Advent, have occurred in the past decade than at any other particular time in history.

This is a fascinating journey of biblical truth that every Christian should experience.


Travel Directions.

Traveling North or South on I-5 take exit 2 (SR 500 east) travel 1 mile east to St. Johns Blvd. (first light) turn left and travel 1 mile to 49th. Street. We are on the right side of the street.  Minnihaha Grange at 4905 NE St. Johns Road.

Traveling North or South on I-205 take the Vancouver Mall west exit, go west on SR 500 past Vancouver Mall for 1.5 miles to St. Johns Blvd. Take a right at St. Johns Blvd. And travel 1 mile to 49th Street.  We are on the right side of the street.  Minnihaha Grange at 4905 NE St. Johns Road.


We hope to see you there.