EXODUS HAPPENED ON APRIL 12, 1260 BCă

 

Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader

 

 

When did the children of Israel led by Moses depart from Egypt?  When did Exodus really happen?  Historians and theologians place the year sometime in 1250 BC or 1,250 years before the birth of Jesus.  They also agree that it was in spring when this happened, in the month of Abib.

 

Using the Aristean Cycle, the most likely date when this Exodus happened was on April 11, 1,259 years before the birth of Jesus or 1,292 years before His crucifixion.  Tables 1 and 2 are summaries of how the Exodus date was determined using the Aristean cycle and based on a crucifixion date of 1 BCA.  The years 1 BC and 1 BCA are the same year and used as the reference year.  The difference is that the former is from the birth of Jesus Christ and the latter is from His crucifixion.

 

The Aristean cycle consists of 12 Metonic cycles totalling 228 lunisolar years or 235 lunar years or 228 solar years + 1 day with the Jewish month of Tishri as the first month of the cycle.  Details about the Aristean Cycle are found at http://www.geocities.com/peacecrusader888/aristeancycl.htm. 

 

The reference Aristean Cycle, referred to herein as Cycle 0, starts on October 6, 171 BCA.  Assuming that the Israelites had been using a lunar calendar since their Exodus from Egypt until the time of Jesus (actually, until 358/359 AD), we can repeat this cycle to go back in time.  Hence, Cycle-1 starts on October 6, 399 BCA which is 228 solar years and one day earlier; Cycle-2, October 8, 627 BCA; Cycle-3, October 9, 855 BCA; Cycle-4, October 9, 1083 BCA; and Cycle-5, October 9, 1311 BCA.  To know the start of the lunar year of each of the 235 lunar years of the Aristean Cycle, we refer to http://www.geocities.com/peacecrusader888/235yrcycle.htm. 

 

Exodus happened in March or April, in the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar.  Nisan may start from March 13 to April 11.  So we pick lunar years 18, 19, 52, 53, 85 and 86 of the said webpage when the lunar year started in Nisan.  Why use only these years?  Because, using http://www.geocities.com/peacecrusader888/235yrdatebc.htm, these were the lunar years that occured during the 13th century BC. Although this webpage can give the estimated new moon date by adding 3 to the date, we can use the Stellafane Moon Phase Calculator at http://www.stellafane.com/ to give the exact date.

 

Table 1. The start dates of the Aristean Cycle used to determine when Exodus happened showing the number of years from the birth and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Date from 1 BCA crucifixion of Jesus*

Years from crucifixion of Jesus

Years from birth of Jesus

Jewish year

Remark

Oct 9, 1311 BCA

1,310

1,277

2451 AM

Start of Aristean cycle (Cycle –5)

Apr 12, 1293 BCA

1,292

1,259

2469 AM

Determined year of Exodus

Circa 1284 BCA

1,283

1,250

2478 AM

Estimated year of Exodus

Oct 9, 1083 BCA

1,082

1,049

2679 AM

Start of Aristean cycle (Cycle –4)

Oct 9,

855 BCA

854

821

2907 AM

Start of Aristean cycle (Cycle –3)

Oct 8,

627 BCA

626

593

3135 AM

Start of Aristean cycle (Cycle –2)

Oct 6, 399 BCA

398

365

3363 AM

Start of Aristean cycle (Cycle –1)

Oct 6,

171 BCA

170

137

3591 AM

Reference start of Aristean cycle (Cycle 0)

May 23,

34 BCA

33

0

3727 AM

Birth of Jesus

Aug 17,

1 BCA

0

33

3760 AM

Crucifixion of Jesus

* - BCA means Before the Crucifixion of Jesus using the Aristean Cycle

 

Table 2 lists the possible times in April when Exodus could have happened.  From Cycle –5 of the Aristean Cycle which started on October 9, 1311 BCA or Tishri 1, 2451 AM, all possible instances from 1,261 to 1,195 years from the birth of Jesus were included in the table for comparison.  These selected dates have the first day of the first month of the lunar year falling just after March 21 (Vernal Equinox), and on or before April 11.

 

Table 2.  Possible start of lunar month in about March or April during the 13th century BCA (Before Crucifixion) when Exodus might have happened using the Aristean Cycle.

 

New moon date from the crucifixion of Jesus

Years from birth of Jesus

Assumed
full moon

date from the crucifixion of Jesus

Lunar

year in

Aristean Cycle

Solar years from start of cycle

Start of the Aristean cycle (Cycle –5)

Oct 9, 1311 BCA

1,278

Oct 25, 1311 BCA

1

0

First time for the first day of the first month of lunar year to start just after March 21 (vernal equinox)

Apr 8, 1294 BCA

1,260

Apr 23, 1294 BCA

18

17

Second time

Mar 28, 1293 BCA

1,259

Apr 11, 1293 BCA

19

18

Third time

Apr 2, 1261 BCA

1,229

Apr 18, 1261 BCA

52

50

Fourth time

Mar 23, 1260 BCA

1,228

Apr 7, 1260 BCA

53

51

Fifth time

Apr 9, 1229 BCA

1,195

Apr 23, 1229 BCA

85

82

Sixth time

Mar 29, 1228 BCA

1,194

Apr 13, 1228 BCA

86

83

 

Which of the above dates is most likely the time when Exodus happened? 

It is generally believed that Exodus happened in the 13th century BC, i.e. between 1201 BC and 1300 BC. This is based on a 1 BC birth of Jesus.  The number of years from the birth of Jesus in the third column could become the year by just adding 1 + “BC”.  Hence, we may assume that the first time when the first month of the lunar year fell sometime in spring of March/April was in 1261 BC; the second time, 1260 BC; the third time, 1228 BC; and so forth.  This being the case, the fifth and sixth times are eliminated because 1196 BC and 1195 BC are in the 12th century BC and are too far off the estimated Exodus date.  This leaves us with four possibilities. 

 

Dividing these four possibilities into two groups, Group 1 comprises the first and second times, and Group 2, the third and fourth times.  The year of Group 1 is about 1,259 years from the birth of Jesus while Group 2 is about 1,229 years.  The generally accepted estimate when Exodus happened was about 1,250 years from the birth of Jesus.  Group 1 therefore differs only by nine to ten years from 1250 BC while Group 2, by 21 to 22 years.  Choosing between these two groups, the better choice would be Group 1.  And in this group, when could the month of Abib have started -- on March 28 or April 8? 

 

The month of Abib

The Bible mentions the month of Abib only six times in four verses.  The four verses (from the Holy Bible, King James Version) are as follows:

 

Exodus 13:4 – This day came ye out in the month Abib.

Exodus 23:15 – Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)

Exodus 34:18 – The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep.  Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

Deuteronomy 16:1 – Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.

 

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron (Exodus 12:2), “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”  The month that the Lord was referring to was the month of Abib.  Except in the above verses, the first month of the year was never called Abib.  It was simply called the “first month of the year.”

 

Between April 8, 1261 BC and March 28, 1260 BC, which could be the start of the month of Abib?  Abib, a Hebrew word, literally means “fresh ear” of grain.  It refers to the time or the lunation or the season when the barley was being in the ear or the barley shoots into ear.  In Egypt, this can be expected to occur in March, a little before or after the Vernal Equinox (March 21).  Barley, like many winter grasses, has a cytochrome enzyme system that is very active that measures daylight accurate to the minute.  Hence, when the daylight reaches a specific length, flowering is triggered.  This is what is called plant circadian (about a day) rhythm.   The time of Abib therefore is a very specific solar clock.  This leads us to choose March 28, 1260 BC as the most likely start of the month of Abib when Exodus happened.  The actual departure, however, did not occur on the first day of that month but on the 15th day.  That 15th day was April 11, 1260 BC (1,259 years before the birth of Jesus) or April 11, 1293 BCA (1,292 years before the crucifixion of Jesus).  The Jewish date was Nisan 15, 2469 AM.

 

Exodus on the 15th day of month

Note in the following verses from the Holy Bible, King James Version, that the departure occurred on the 15th day of the month and not on the first day or on the 14th day:

 

Exodus 12:3 – Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house:

Exodus 12:6 – And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Exodus 12:12 – For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

Exodus 12:29 – And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle.

Exodus 12:39 – They (the Israelites) baked unleavened bread from the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for they had been driven out of Egypt so suddenly that they did not have time to get their food ready or to prepare leavened dough.

Numbers 33:3 – And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

 

The lamb that the Lord commanded to be eaten were still alive until the 14th day (Exodus 12:6).  The animals were killed in the evening of the 15th day when the congregation of Israel assembled.  The Jews start the day at sunset or at 6 PM.  At midnight, the Lord smote all the first-born male in Egypt, both man and beast (Exodus 12:29), which led to the Israelites being driven out of Egypt so suddenly that same night (Exodus 12:31).  This deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt over 3,000 years ago has been celebrated eversince in the festival of Passover or Pesach. 

 

Exodus date:  April 11, 1260 BC or April 12, 1260 BC

The April 11, 1260 BC or April 11, 1293 BCA Exodus date was derived as an offshoot of a revelation that Jesus was crucified on the 17th of August, 2,003 years ago this year (2003) and using the Aristean Cycle. 

 

Joe Kress, a member of the calendar discussion group, CALNDR-L, pointed out that the calculated date I got off Stellafane is the astronomical new moon and not equal to the Jewish ‘new moon’.  The latter is one day after the former because the Jewish day starts after sunset.  The Jewish ‘new moon’ heralds the first day of a Jewish month.  This occurs at the earliest visible sighting of the crescent moon above the western horizon just after sunset. 

 

Back then, the astronomical new moon occurred at 11:43 hours or 11:43 am of March 28, 1260 BC.  The Jewish ‘new moon’ was observed the next day, March 29, 1260 BC.  This was the first day of the month, equivalent to Nisan 1, 2469 AM.  Nisan 15, 2469 AM would then be on April 12, 1260 BC.   

 

I replied to Joe Kress that even if the Stellafane time is between 5:30 pm and maybe 7pm, then the Stellafane date (which is proleptic Julian) could not be the same date as the start of the Jewish month because by then, a new Jewish day had already began after the sun had set.  I acknowledged and thanked him for that.  He is right that the date has to be adjusted by one day.  One day difference but significant in order to be exact technically.

 

The ‘new moon’ in the Jewish calendar would have occurred on March 29, 1260 BC and the fifteenth day when exodus happen would be April 12, 1260 BC.

 

 

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