On Av 29, 5759 (August 11, 1999), there will be a total eclipse of the sun, visible over Jerusalem. This is just two days before the beginning of the month of Elul. On Elul 1, we begin a forty (40) day period of repentance, culminating in Yom HaKippurim, The Day of Atonement. The last ten days are known as the awesome days, or Days of Awe. These ten days begin with Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah), The Feast of Trumpets. So, HaShem is going to warn the nations, concerning Jerusalem, just before we begin the intense time of repentance. Recall that the eclipse of the sun is a bad omen for the Gentiles, the nations:
Succah 29a It was taught: R. Meir said, Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel since they are inured to blows. This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished. Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when Lavanah (Moon) is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by Lavanah (Moon) and idolaters by the sun. If it is in eclipse in the east, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the east; if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world. If its face is red as blood, [it is a sign that] the sword is coming to the world; if it is like sack-cloth, the arrows of famine are coming to the world; if it resembles both, the sword and the arrows of famine are coming to the world. If the eclipse is at sunset calamity will tarry in its coming; if at dawn, it hastens on its way: but some say the order is to be reversed. And there is no nation which is smitten that its gods are not smitten together with it, as it is said, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. But when Israel fulfill the will of the Omnipresent, they need have no fear of all these [omens] as it is said, Thus saith HaShem,' Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them, the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed.
So, on Elul one, I’d suggest that you begin repenting. Go to your neighbors and brothers and confess your wrongs against them, and beg them for forgiveness. We can expect HaShem to forgive us only when we have made things right between ourselves and our fellow man. The only way to be ready for the judgment of Yom Teruah is to repent and return to HaShem.
Yom Teruah is the birthday of the world and day six of creation. It is the day when Adam was created. As such, this day contains the spiritual energy of creation. If we prepare ourselves correctly, and behave as we should on this day, then we have the opportunity to be born again. We have the opportunity to begin a new year infused with the energy of creation! This day is also known as Judgment Day. The whole world will be judged on this day, for the coming year. The books of the living and the dead will be opened. This is truly an awesome day!
Revelation 12:1 has fascinated Bible scholars for many years. A few years ago, I was examining the stars in the heaven with an astronomy software program which allows me to simulate what the stars will look like at any day, at any time, and at any place. I set the date for Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, September 12, 1999. I set the place to be Jerusalem, and I set the time to be just after sunset. The following picture was presented to me:
Revelation 12:1-5 "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days."
When I first saw the above picture, I immediately thought of the Revelation 12 sign. This celestial picture is for Yom Teruah, The Feast of Trumpets in 1999, which is 5760 on the Biblical Anno Mundo (A.M.) scale. This sign occurs on Shabbat, the Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown). The above picture does not show Draco, the Dragon, because it would make the picture curved and hard to relate to. If you had a larger picture you would see that Draco is poised above the woman, waiting to snatch the man-child. The moon is poised in the "birth canal" of the young woman who is lying down with her feet in the air. The word "Bethulah" is in the location where her head should be. The constellation of Coma Bernice is the crown of twelve stars above the young woman's head.
Remember that God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Bereshit (Genesis) 1:14
This sign, as depicted above, is how it looks from Jerusalem! Remember that HaShem's view is always from Jerusalem. Notice that the Chamah (Sun) is below the horizon so that this sign can be seen. This sign would not be visible if the sun were to be above the horizon. Because the sun is below the horizon, the constellation is literally clothed with the sun!
Please consider this paper as interesting speculation. Not as gospel truth. I do not yet know if this is how God will display this sign. It does seem to suggest that it might be the sign spoken of in Revelation 12:1-5. Those who celebrate Rosh Chodesh (the new moon) have learned that Messiah is represented by Lavanah (Moon) – Be aware, though, that the moon is also an Islamic symbol prominently displayed on many of their flags. The celebration for Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, includes the announcement of the new moon with the words:
David, King of Israel lives, lives and endures!
Lavanah, the moon, represents Mashiach, Messiah in this unique astronomical event. This particular positioning of the mazzaroth (constellation) Bethulah, the young woman, about to give 'birth' to the moon (the Mashiach), has never occurred before, and will never occur again, due to the precession of the equinoxes. Actually, if you believe that the earth is older than 26,000 years, then that is when this sign would have last occurred. If you believe that the earth will endure for another than 26,000 years, then that is when this sign will next occur.
The sun is just below the horizon such that Bethulah is 'clothed' with the sun. The sun must be below the horizon in order to have any possibility of seeing this 'sign'. The moon is 'new' and after 'birth', the moon will move directly to the feet of Bethulah (Virgo, the young woman) within 24 hours. Over Bethulah's head is the mazzaroth (constellation) known as 'Bernice's hair'. This is the crown of twelve stars! Higher and above her legs, we will find Draco, the Dragon, poised to devour Bethulah's child.
The Morning sacrifice.
The Evening sacrifice.
On this day, and this day alone is it possible to offer all of these sacrifices!
Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins. This is due to the fact that it begins on Rosh Chodesh (The New Moon). The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon and attest to it before the Bet Din Gadole (Sanhedrin) in the Temple. This sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when the witnesses come. Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no one knew when the Yom Teruah would start.
So, what does this sign mean? I think that it is important to note that the emphasis is on the woman, not on the man child. The sign seems to be telling us what the woman is going to do. The obvious question, then, is: Who is the woman?
For at least 2000 years, Jews have been reading special Torah readings with an accompanying reading from the Prophets called the Haftorah. The Torah Reading which is read when Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat is Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:9-15. The Haftorah is:
Yeshayah (Isaiah) 66:1-24 This is what HaShem
says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my
footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting
place be? Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?" declares HaShem.
"This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and
contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. But whoever sacrifices a bull is
like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb,
like one who breaks a dog's neck;
whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig's blood, and
whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They
have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations; So I
also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they
dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did
evil in my sight and chose what displeases me." Hear the word of HaShem, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers
who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have
said, 'Let HaShem be glorified, that we may see your
joy!' Yet they will be put to shame. Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple!
It is the sound of HaShem repaying his enemies all
they deserve. "Before she goes into labor, she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such
a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is
This passage from Yeshayah (Isaiah) 66, seems to be the closest match, in all of the Scriptures, to our passage in Revelation 12. I think that it is more than a coincidence that HaShem (HaShem is a Hebrew word meaning "The Name", it is how pious Jews refer to the yod-hay-vav-hay, the tetragrammaton, Name of God) chose this reading from the Prophets to be read specifically when Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat; as it will on Yom Teruah 5760 (September 12, 1999). HaShem, obviously, chose the readings so that His people would be informed before He takes any action. For those who are doing the right things, at the right time, and in the right way, this event will be no surprise. As the people finish reading the Torah portion, the Haftorah portion, and the readings from the Tehillim (Psalms), they will all be standing outside, looking at the moon as they recite the following blessing:
Blessed are You, HaShem our God, King of the universe whose word created the heavens, whose breath created all that they contain. Statutes and seasons He set for them, that they should not deviate from their assigned task. Happily, gladly they do the will of their Creator, whose work is dependable. To the moon He spoke: renew yourself, crown of glory for those who were borne in the womb, who also are destined to be renewed and to extol their Creator for His glorious sovereignty. Blessed are You, Lord who renews the months.
David, King of Israel, lives and endures.
The worshippers will then exchange these greetings:
Shalom Alechem (peace be with you!)
Alekhem shalom (peace be unto you!)
September 12, 1999 corresponds to: Sunday, Tishri 2, 5760
Torah: Bereshit (Genesis) 22:1-24 and Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-6
Bereshit (Genesis) 22:1-24 Some time later God
tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then
God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac,
whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice
him there as a burnt offering on one
of the mountains I will tell you about." Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.
He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told
him about. On the third day Abraham
looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants,
"Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy
go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood for the burnt
offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he
himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac
spoke up and said to his father Abraham,
"Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham
replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham
answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place
God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there
and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac
and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of HaShem called out to
him from heaven, "Abraham!
Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said.
"Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you
fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram
caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place HaShem
Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of HaShem it will be provided." The angel of HaShem called to Abraham from heaven a second time And said, "I swear by myself, declares HaShem, that because you have done this and have not
withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and
as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the
cities of their enemies, And through your offspring all nations
on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off
Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-6 "'On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. As an aroma pleasing to HaShem, prepare a burnt offering of one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. With the bull prepare a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, two-tenths; And with each of the seven lambs, one-tenth. Include one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for you. These are in addition to the monthly and daily burnt offerings with their grain offerings and drink offerings as specified. They are offerings made to HaShem by fire--a pleasing aroma.
Haftorah: Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:1-19
Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:1-19 "At that time,"
declares HaShem, "I will be the God of all the
I think it will be impossible for HaShem’s people to miss the obvious sign which will be right in front of their eyes! It won't be a matter of not noticing it, or forgetting to look up at the proper time. No, His people will be obeying His command! This will put His people, His Torah and Haftorah, and His sign all together at just the right time, in just the right way, with all the right words to make this sign communicate His plan. All of HaShem’s plans are communicated this way. Those who are obedient will know and understand.
So, I think this portion from
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) is indicating that the woman represents the people who come
in Revelation 12, seems to be the signal that the children of HaShem, living in
It is extremely important for us to be in right standing before HaShem. I can not emphasize this enough. We must do teshuva (repentance, returning to the state we had in the Garden of Eden). We must beg forgiveness from our brothers and from HaShem. If we are not in the right state, we will be ashamed when we stand before HaShem for judgment. It is the mark of HaShem’s people that they do teshuva before Yom Teruah so that they can stand tall when we crown the King of Kings!
For more information on the liturgy of Rosh Chodesh, look at the Artscroll Siddur. This publication is available from your local library, or from Mesorah Publications at 1-800-MESORAH.
For more information on the liturgy of Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashana), look at the Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashana. This publication is available from your local library, or from Mesorah Publications at 1-800-MESORAH.
This study was written by
Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David
Comments may be submitted to:
Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian
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Olympia, WA 98501
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 HaShem is Hebrew for “The Name”. It is how pious Jews refer to the YHVH name of God.
 Haftarah Rosh Chodesh - Yeshayahu 66 : 1-24
When Rosh Chodesh occurs on Shabbat, the regular Haftorah is replaced by a special Haftorah - the last chapter of the Book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah). This chapter was chosen because of its penultimate verse which links Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh: "And it shall be that, from New Moon to New Moon, and from Shabbat to Shabbat, all flesh shall come and prostrate themselves before Me, said HaShem. (66:23) This verse is also repeated after concluding the reading of the Haftorah.
Every New Moon is a summons to