Enoch Calendar Testifies of Christ

by John P. Pratt

Reprinted from Meridian Magazine (Sept. 11, 2001)
©2001 by John P. Pratt. All rights reserved.

Index, Home

Contents
1. Christ Quotes Enoch
2. Enoch's Astronomy
3. Enoch Calendar
4. Life of Christ
5. Enoch Fixed Calendar
5.1 Mercury Witness
5.2 Modern Witnesses
6. Conclusion
Notes
Jesus Christ quoted often from the Book of Enoch, indirectly testifying of its authenticity. Now it has been discovered that Enoch returns the favor because the key dates in the life of Christ are "holy days" on the Enoch Calendar. Thus, Enoch, who prophesied of the Elect One, indirectly witnessed that the Messiah would be none other than Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ and his apostles quoted from the Book of Enoch (also called 1 Enoch) as authentic scripture. It was once in the Bible and was accepted as having been written by Enoch himself, the majestic antediluvian prophet who was translated into heaven without tasting death (Heb. 11:5). During the Third and Fourth Centuries AD the book fell into disfavor and was removed from sacred canon, destined to become one of the "lost books" of the Bible. It was rediscovered in 1773 in Ethiopia and is now readily available in English, but is still largely unappreciated. Before looking at the calendar it describes, let us briefly review how it contains doctrines or phrases of the Savior, which are apparently examples of the Savior quoting Enoch.

1. Christ Quotes Enoch

The one direct quote in the New Testament is by Jude, a brother of Jesus Christ:

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
"To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14-15, quoting Enoch 1:9 {2:1} [1].)
While that is the only referenced quotation in the Bible, there are many indirect references which involve striking similarities. The scholar and translator R.H. Charles declared, "The influence of 1 Enoch on the New Testament has been greater than that of all the other apocryphal and pseudepigraphical books taken together."[2] Another expert noted that "Its influence is apparent in no less than 128 places in the New Testament."[3] The following table compares a few from the introduction to Archbishop Richard Laurence's original translation [4], in which the Savior apparently alludes to the Book of Enoch.

Jesus ChristEnoch
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Mat 5:5)The elect shall possess light, joy and peace, and they shall inherit the earth. (Enoch 5:7 {6:9})
the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son (John 5:22).the principal part of the judgment was assigned to him, the Son of man. (Enoch 69:27 {68:39})
shall inherit everlasting life (Mat. 19:29)those who will inherit eternal life (Enoch 40:9 {40:9})
"Wo unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. (Luke 6:24)Woe to you who are rich, for in your riches have you trusted; but from your riches you shall be removed. (Enoch 94:8 {93:7}).
Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Mat. 19:28)I will place each of them on a throne of glory (Enoch 108:12 {105:26})
Woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born. (Mat. 26:24)Where will the habitation of sinners be . . . who have rejected the Lord of spirits. It would have been better for them, had they never been born. (Enoch 38:2 {38:2})
between us and you there is a great gulf fixed. (Luke 16:26)by a chasm . . . [are] their souls are separated (Enoch 22: 9,11{22:10,12})
In my Father's house are many mansions (John 14:2)In that day shall the Elect One sit upon a throne of glory, and shall choose their conditions and countless habitations. (Enoch 45:3 {45:3})
that ye may be called the children of light (John 12:36)the good from the generation of light (Enoch 108:11 {105:25})
the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)all the thirsty drank, and were filled with wisdom, having their habitation with the righteous, the elect, and the holy. (Enoch 48:1 {48:1})

History. The Book of Enoch was dropped from the Jewish scriptures shortly after Christ, most likely because it apparently referred to him as the Messiah. It was quoted as scripture by the early Christian Church fathers until the middle of the third century AD, accepted as a divine work having been written by Enoch himself.[5] It then fell into disrepute and was banned from the canon of scripture in the fourth century, partly because it didn't agree with how Christianity came to be redefined after the death of the apostles.

The book also doubtlessly raised questions with its unusual imagery, referring to things such as "the stone which supports the corners of the earth" and "the four winds, which bear up the earth" (Enoch 18:2 {18:2-3}). That may have sounded primitive to the sophisticated science of the fourth century, but that is the same imagery used by many great prophets. For example, John the Revelator states, "I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth" (Rev. 7:1; compare imagery of Isa. 11:12, Jer. 49:36, Ezek. 37:9, Dan. 7:2, Mat. 24:31). As is discussed later in this article, often what appears to be primitive science in the scriptures turns out to be the sophisticated concepts of God simplified for us. Note that the prophets have 100% chance of success when predicting the weather, so those angels may have more to do with the wind than we might suppose.

Thus, for a variety of reasons, the Book of Enoch was systematically purged from the scriptures until it became a "lost book" of the Bible. In 1773 the famous explorer James Bruce discovered it in Ethiopia (then called Abyssinia), and brought back three copies. Fortunately, the Ethiopians had kept it in their Bible, where it was located immediately after the Book of Job.[6]

One of the three copies was presented to the Oxford library. The first English translation was published in 1821 by Archbishop Richard Laurence, who had been a Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. Later translations included that of George Schodde in 1881, of R.H. Charles in 1913, and by E. Isaac in 1983.[7] The first three translations are now available on the internet. Quotations and links in this article are to the original Laurence translation, because it still appears to be the best overall translation.

Date of Origin. Modern scholars, beginning with Laurence, all date the origin of the book to the first or second century before Christ, hence it is assigned to the "pseudepigrapha," meaning it is not believed to have been written by the named author. It is dated using standard "scholarly" methods. One rule of dating used by modern scholars, is that if anything is prophesied which turns out to be correct, it must have been written after the event, because otherwise the author would really have to have been a prophet! This complete rejection of the entire concept of revelation forced Laurence to put the authorship of the Book of Enoch extremely late because he saw that it prophesied not only the existence of Parthia (250 BC), but even the reign of King Herod the Great, which began in 37 BC. On the other hand, it was quoted by the Savior and his apostles so it must have been written before their time. Thus Laurence inferred that the book had been written "before the rise of Christianity; most probably at an early period of the reign of Herod."[8] More modern scholarship has concluded that the book was probably written by several authors over the period of about 180-64 BC.[9] This extremely recent authorship date of course raises the question of how such a late forgery could have been so totally accepted as genuine in just a few decades, which has never been adequately explained.

In this article, let us consider the outrageous possibility that the work was actually originally written by the prophet Enoch long before the Great Flood and contains many genuine revelations.[10] It probably also contains some interpolations of men, and has suffered from mistakes introduced by the many hand-made transcriptions. But for the purposes of this article, when it says that an angel revealed to Enoch a divine calendar, those statements will be taken at face value. One scientific way to test a hypothesis is to assume it is true and examine the consequences. Let us now apply that method to the astronomy contained in the Book of Enoch.

2. Enoch's Astronomy

To my knowledge there has been no thorough study published of the astronomy contained in the eleven chapters of the Book of Enoch referred to as "Book III: The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries" (chapters 72-82 {71-81}). The reason appears obvious: the astronomy therein appears to be hopelessly primitive. Perhaps the most glaring error is that the angel reveals to Enoch that the solar year only contains 364 days. That calendar of 364 days is claimed to keep synchronized with the seasons. It doesn't take much calculation to determine that if a calendar is 1 1/4 days short of a year, it would very quickly drift through the seasons. In only 32 years it would be already be 40 days short, which would be noticeable by everyone. Thus, the calendar is usually dismissed in a footnote reminding us that the author must surely have been aware even at that time that the year has 365 1/4 days[11]. The idea that an angel could be so far in error has discredited the "scientific" portion of the Book of Enoch.

In 45 BC Julius Caesar introduced the "Julian" calendar which averages 365.25 days per year. The Savior and his apostles lived in the Roman Empire where the Julian calendar had been used for decades and was known to be accurate. How could any book be accepted as authentic scripture by them when it contained such a glaring error?

And yet the calendar of Book of Enoch was taken very seriously indeed. Both the Qumran Calendar described in the Dead Sea Scrolls and also the calendar of the Book of Jubilees had 364 days. The Book of Jubilees, dating to about the 2nd century BC, strongly emphasizes that the calendar is to have exactly 364 days.[12]

Could a calendar with 364 days actually be useful? Could it be more sophisticated than our modern-day Gregorian calendar? Could it really be a calendar which God might use?

3. The Enoch Calendar

The calendar described in the Book of Enoch has many excellent features. One of the best is that it has a very simple, elegant pattern. My understanding of the text is that it has twelve months of 30 days and 4 other days which are quarter-year markers for the four seasons. Thus it totals exactly 364 days.[13] The names of the months are not given, but it is clear that each season is to be reckoned as the three months following the day heralding that season. Figure 1 illustrates the pattern, complete with suggested names.

Figure 1. The Enoch Calendar.
There are several appealing aspects to such a scheme. Not only is it very structured with the same number of days every month, but every quarter-year contains 91 days, which is exactly 13 weeks. That would mean that every quarter would start on the same day of the week. It would also mean that a year would comprise exactly 52 weeks, instead of being one or two days in excess.

Modern Calendar Reform. It turns out that the biggest complaint against our modern Gregorian calendar is that the commercial community would much prefer that every quarter start on the same day of the week. The big feature of the so-called World Calendar which was proposed from 1931-1955 was that every quarter has 91 days, just like the Enoch Calendar. The difference was that the World Calendar adds one or two extra days annually which were simply not reckoned in the week or year at all, in order to attain the needed average of 365.24 to keep aligned with the seasons. That was unacceptable to Christians, Hebrews, and Muslims alike, all of whom believe that the week is sacred and should be an unbroken cycle. Hence the World Calendar was not adopted.[14]

Thus, modern calendar reform has been advocating the very features of the calendar of Enoch. The only problem is that the Enoch Calendar purports to keep aligned with the seasons, even describing the place of sunrise during different seasons and also specifying the amount of the lengthening of the day in summer months and its shortening during the winter months.

Astronomers would also like the calendar of Enoch because it emphasizes the four natural divisions of the year. The phrases "first day of spring," summer, autumn and winter are commonly used to denote what astronomers call the spring and autumn equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. The equinoxes are the two days each year on which the sun rises most nearly due east, making the days and nights of equal length. The solstices occur when the sun rises at the farthest point north or south, causing the longest and shortest days of the year. Surely the idea of having those four days be emphasized on the calendar would be appealing to astronomers who would like to keep the public aware that the calendar is indeed tied to astronomy.

Intercalation. So what about those extra days needed to keep aligned with the seasons? Nowhere does the Book of Enoch forbid intercalation, meaning inserting extra "leap days" into the year to keep it aligned with the seasons. It does, however, seem to imply that the week should be an unbroken cycle, because surely one of the main reasons for choosing a 364-day year length is that it is exactly 52 weeks. Thus, the possibility arises of inserting an entire extra week every few years to bring the average to the needed 365.24 days. That would fulfill both the purpose of keeping aligned with the seasons and yet keeping the week an unbroken cycle of 7 days.

Actually, the Book of Enoch does appear to suggest an intercalation method which has been largely overlooked.[15] In discussing the motion of the moon, the angel tells Enoch what I believe to be the secret of when to insert the extra weeks:

"The moon brings on all the years exactly, that their stations may come neither too forwards nor too backwards a single day; but that the years may be changed with correct precision in 364 days. In three years the days are 1,092; . . . To the moon alone belong in three years 1,062 days . . . So that the moon has thirty days less than the sun and stars. . . . The year then becomes truly complete according to the station of the moons and the station of the sun . . ." (Enoch 74:11-17 {73:13-14, 12, 16})
In other words, it is the moon which "brings on all the years exactly," meaning that intercalation is to be done such that the new year (at the spring equinox) approximately aligns with the new moon. That will only be possible in certain years, but it provides a guideline for when to insert the extra one-week intervals. The angel seems to be pointing out that, in addition to its primary goal of aligning with the seasons of the sun, a secondary purpose of the Enoch Calendar is to keep aligned with the moon also. That makes it surprisingly similar to the Hebrew calendar, which has the primary goal of aligning with the moon, and a secondary goal of aligning with the sun.

Note also that the angel points out another excellent reason for the choice of 364 days. The lunar year of 354 days is 10 days short of 364 days, so in three years the lunar cycle is 30 days short of three 364-day Enoch years. The Hebrew calendar inserts an extra 30-day lunar month about every three years to keep aligned with the sun. Thus, during many three year intervals, the Hebrew and Enoch year align perfectly with no intercalation.[16] There is an excellent example of this very alignment of Hebrew and Enoch calendars during the life of Christ, discussed below.

An unexpected feature of the 364-day year is that it results in an average year length even more accurate than our modern Gregorian calendar. The actual length of the year is now 365.2422 days. The Gregorian calendar averages 365.2425 days which is much closer than the former Julian calendar which averaged 365.25 days. But if 52 weeks are intercalated every 293 years into the calendar of Enoch, then it averages 365.2423 days which is extremely accurate. It is very surprising that such accuracy can be obtained by intercalating an entire week at a time over so short a time period. In contrast, our Gregorian calendar intercalates one day at a time over a 400-year cycle and achieves less long-term accuracy.[17] A 364-day calendar based on an intercalated Enoch calendar has been proposed.[18]

Alignment with Week. Because every quarter of the Enoch Calendar will always begin on the same day of the week, we need to know what weekday begins each quarter. One big clue is that this calendar is holy, having been revealed by an angel, and therefore most likely tied to days which God has declared holy. Both the first and last day of the week have been declared holy: the seventh day (Saturday) was the sabbath day before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, after which the first day of the week (Sunday) became the day of worship for those who accept him as the Messiah (Acts 20:7).

The most obvious alignment is that each quarter should begin on a Sunday just as each week begins on a Sunday. Let us try that hypothesis and see what fruit it bears.[19]

Beginning of Day. Another important point is to define when each day begins. The Book of Enoch is apparently mute on this subject, but it may imply that the day begins at dawn for several reasons. First, the description of the solar calendar begins with the sun rising. Second, day is consistently mentioned as occurring before night, as opposed to Genesis where the evening always precedes the morning (as in the Hebrew day). And finally, as a rule, calendars usually begin both days and years on the same part of the light/dark cycle. That is, calendars on which the year begins in the spring also have the day begin at dawn; if the day begins in the evening, then the year begins in the fall. Even on our Gregorian calendar, the day begins at midnight and the year in mid winter. Thus, let us proceed with the tentative proposal that the day on the Enoch calendar begins at dawn.

4. Key Dates in the Life of Christ

Now let us see if this definition of the Enoch Calendar has any usefulness for events that an angel would consider important. The first obvious target in searching for such a date is to consider the key dates in the life of Jesus Christ. Over the last two decades, this author has published his proposed dates for four major events in the life of Jesus Christ: his birth, baptism, beginning of public ministry, and resurrection.[20] In preparation for appreciating the coincidences with the Enoch Calendar, let us review the symbolism of those dates.

The proposed dates in the life of the Savior were calculated from the Judean calendar, which was the version of the Hebrew calendar used at that time in Jerusalem. It is now clear after the fact to Christians that many of the rites of the law of Moses were symbolic of the events in the life of Christ. For example, the Passover lamb symbolized Christ who would be sacrificed (John 1:29, 1 Cor. 5:7). It is important to note that the very time at which the Savior was being crucified on Fri 1 Apr AD 33, the Passover lambs were also being slaughtered according to the Judean calendar. On the next day, Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the captive Israelites from Egypt at the Exodus, Jesus Christ was in the spirit world preaching liberation to the captives there (1 Peter 3:18-20, Isa. 61:1). Similarly, there is the Sheaf Offering of the firstfruits from the ground that was made on Sun 3 Apr AD 33, shortly after the Redeemer was resurrected and became the firstfruits of them that slept (1 Cor 15:20). One correlation which has not been so obvious is that the feast of the Passover, that is, the joyous celebration, was really the Savior's birthday party, who would be liberated from the captivity of the womb and be born on the same day that the nation of Israel was born. Thus the timing of the various rites of the law of Moses all pointed to Christ as being the Messiah (Gal. 3:24).

Those dates, along with the dates of the Savior's baptism (on the day of Atonement) and the beginning of his public ministry (on Passover) are illustrated in Figure 2. Note the perfection of the astronomical timing. The Savior began his ministry exactly on his 30th birthday, even as the Levites began their temple service at age 30 (Num. 4:3). His public ministry lasted exactly three years, so that his life from birth to death was within a few hours of exactly 33 Hebrew years, having been born at 15 Nisan began and died as 14 Nisan ended. Thus it appears that his life was planned according to the Hebrew calendar, including the day of his death. Because of the foreknowledge of God, the Israelites had been commanded to sacrifice lambs for well over a thousand years on the very day each year on which the Lamb of God would also be slain.

Figure 2. Key events in Christ's life occurred on ritual days on the Hebrew Calendar.

Now let us consider those same dates on the Enoch Calendar, remembering that the dates were derived by fitting to the ritual days on the Hebrew calendar. First, let us just consider the intervals between the dates. The period from the Savior's baptism to the beginning of his ministry was 182 days, exactly half a year on the Enoch calendar. Moreover, from his public ministry beginning on Sat 6 Apr AD 30 to his resurrection was exactly 3 Enoch years of 364 days. That is the very interval alignment already quoted from the Book of Enoch, namely, that after a three year period the Hebrew and Enoch calendars align with each other. Note that on our calendar the separation of those two dates is four days short of three years, but on the Hebrew calendar it is exactly three years, both days occurring on the Hebrew day 15 Nisan (Passover). Those two dates are also separated by exactly 1,092 days as described in the Book of Enoch, both days being the same day on the Enoch Calendar. Thus, the mathematical coincidence which allows these two dates in the life of Christ to fall on the same days on both the Hebrew and Enoch Calendar is explicitly stated in the Book of Enoch.

Correlation. Let us now consider the precise correlation of the Enoch calendar during the life of Christ to our calendar. The goal of the Enoch Calendar is to have the day of the Spring Equinox day (always a Saturday) fall near the new moon (1 Nisan or New Year on the Hebrew Calendar) and also near the actual spring equinox (20/21 March). The two years AD 30 and AD 33 are ideal models of the desired positions because 1 Nisan fell on Sat 23 Mar AD 30 and Sat 19 Mar AD 33, each only two days away from the equinox. Thus, although we don't know just when the Enoch Calendar would be intercalated, we can be sure that it would not be in, nor between, these two years because they are already perfectly aligned. To see how unusual that is, note that in the years within two decades of AD 30 and 33, there is not even one other year in which 1 Nisan falls on a Saturday between 17 Mar and 25 March. Thus, it is ideal that these two dates are so centered around the true equinox.

Enoch Calendar Holy Days. No holy days are specified in the Book of Enoch, but the same ones can be proposed to fall on days on the Enoch Calendar which are equivalent to the Hebrew. For example, Passover is supposed to be on the night of the full moon of spring, being 14 days after the new moon on or after the spring equinox. On the Hebrew calendar, that is the evening beginning the day 15 Nisan. On the Enoch Calendar, the equinox occurs on the day 0 Spring, so 14 days later is 14 Spring. Similarly, the feast of Tabernacles (15 Tishri on Hebrew) would be on 14 Autumn, both of which would always fall on a Saturday. The Sheaf Offering (Hebrew equivalent of Easter) would always fall on Sun 15 Spring and Pentecost would always fall on Sun 4 Late Spring.[21]

Now consider the key dates for the Savior on the Enoch Calendar. Because the Hebrew and Enoch calendars are perfectly aligned during the Savior's entire ministry, the day he began his public ministry was Passover on both the Hebrew and Enoch calendars. Similarly, the day of his resurrection was the Sheaf Offering on the Hebrew calendar, and either on Passover or Sheaf Offering on the Enoch calendar, depending on the time of the beginning of the Enoch day. The day of his baptism was on the day of Atonement on the Hebrew calendar (Sat 10 Tishri) and on the feast of Tabernacles on the Enoch calendar (Sat 14 Autumn).[22] So three of the four key dates in the Savior's life fell on holy days on both the Enoch and Hebrew Calendars.

Savior's Birth. But what about the Savior's birth date after sunset on Wed 5 Apr 1 BC.? In the year 1 BC., the day 1 Nisan did not fall on a Saturday as in AD 30 and 33, so the Enoch Calendar was not aligned with the Hebrew. While Christ was born right at the time of the Passover Feast on the Hebrew Calendar (the evening preceding Passover, Thu 6 Apr), it would have been either 11 Spring or 18 Spring on the Enoch calendar, depending on when the intercalation week is added. Thus, the Savior's birth date does not appear to fit the pattern.[23] Let us consider an alternate symbolism.

5. The Enoch Fixed Calendar

If three of the four key dates in the Savior's life are holy on the Enoch calendar, and if it really was revealed by an angel, the we would expect a pattern to be fulfilled that the Savior's birthday would also be represented. The day of the Savior's birth was more important than that of his baptism or public ministry, for even a star had heralded his birth. A little research reveals that there is a very likely substitute "birth date" on a variation of the Enoch calendar.

Note that intercalating 52 extra weeks over the period of 293 years as described above amounts to adding exactly one extra year of 364 days in that interval. That would be the same as 294 fixed 364-day years, which happens to equal 6 jubilees of 49 years each (6 x 49 = 294). [24] This suggests that there may actually be two different calendars implied by Enoch. The first, which could be called simply the "Enoch Calendar" would intercalate 52 weeks every 293 years and would keep aligned with the seasons as described in the text. The second could be called the "Enoch Fixed Calendar" and would consist of a straight 364-day count, never having any leap days or weeks added. It would rotate through the seasons; that is, its "first day of spring" would sometimes occur in summer, autumn or winter, but it would serve the purpose of accurately keeping track of the total number of weeks which had passed. After every 293 Enoch years (or 294 Enoch fixed years), the two calendars would again be perfectly aligned for a few years. Let's consider it more closely both because it is simpler and also because it appears to explain how the birth of Jesus Christ ties to the Enoch Calendar.

Presentation at the Temple. As noted above, during the 33-year life of the Savior, the Enoch Fixed Calendar would fall short of the usual solar year by 40 days. The law of Moses required that on the fortieth day after the birth of a son, the mother should present the child and an offering to the priest at the temple (Lev. 12:2-4). The boy's birthday was counted as the first day, so the offering was actually made 39 days after the birth. That means that the day of presentation at the temple fell on Sunday, 14 May 1 BC. Because the Savior lived 33 years, that means the time from the presentation at the temple to his death was very close to 33 Enoch fixed years. When we do the calculation precisely, we see that it is exactly 33 years of 364 days from the Savior's presentation at the temple not to his death, but to his resurrection.

Correlation. We have seen that the Enoch Calendar and the Hebrew Calendar were aligned during the years of the Savior's public ministry and resurrection. The question arises of how to align the proposed 364-day Enoch Fixed Calendar with the other calendars. After all, it rotates through the seasons and so we need to determine where it was on at least one day in history in order to determine it for all time. The most obvious choice is to choose to align it to be identical with the seasonal Enoch Calendar during the three years of the Savior's ministry. If we do that, then the date of the offering of the firstborn of God at the temple would fall right on the day of the offering of the sheaf of firstfruits to God (15 Spring). That is such a symbolic match that it confirms our hunch that the choice of alignment is correct. So it is proposed that the Enoch and Enoch Fixed calendars were identical during the three years of the Savior's ministry. These relationships are illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Key events in Christ's life occurred on holy days on the Enoch Fixed Calendar.

Let us now consider some witnesses that this 364-day calendar actually exists, and might still be used by angels. After all, from what we've seen so far, it was only suggested to explain the birth like event for the Savior on the Enoch calendar.

5.1 Mercury Calendar Witness

Mercury Calendar. The "birth" symbolism of the presentation at the temple finds a second witness in the Mercury calendar, which has been described elsewhere.[25] The "birth" of the planet Mercury occurs when it rises as an evening star, on the day "1 Birth" on the Mercury calendar. That day always occurs exactly 39 days after the day "1 Creation" on that calendar, which is the beginning of the Mercury cycle. The Savior was born on the day 1 Creation on the Mercury calendar. Sun 14 May 1 BC was the day 1 Birth on the Mercury calendar, a second witness to the birth symbolism of that day.[26]

Moreover, there is another witness that this 40-day interval (counting inclusively) on the Mercury calendar is indeed important in the Savior's life. The other 40-day interval mentioned during the life of Jesus Christ is his 40-day fast which commenced at his baptism (Mat. 4:2, Mark 1:12-13). The proposed date for the Savior's baptism, Sat 6 Oct AD 29 was the last day of the Mercury cycle (called 0 Creation), so 40 days later, Thu 15 Nov AD 29, again fell right on 1 Birth on the Mercury calendar. The fact that both of the 40-day periods in the life of Christ occurred during the exact same interval on the Mercury calendar attests both of the correctness of the dates as well as of the importance of the precise 40-day intervals. Perhaps that day could be considered the beginning of the Savior's preparatory ministry.[27]

Three and a half years. One more alignment ties the Mercury calendar to the calendar of Enoch. The period of the evening/morning star cycle of the planet Mercury averages 115.88 days. That means 11 Mercury cycles equals 1274 days which is exactly three and a half Enoch fixed years (3.5 x 364 = 1274). The three and a half year interval from the Savior's baptism until his resurrection exactly fits the Mercury cycle, with the resurrection occurring on the day 1 Creation of the Mercury cycle. Note that the Savior's birth also occurred on the day 1 Creation on the Mercury cycle, so that from birth to resurrection spanned exactly 104 Mercury cycles. (See Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Key events in Christ's life occurred on holy days on the Mercury Calendar.

Table 1 summarizes the multiple holy day alignments during the life of Jesus Christ.

EventGregorianHebrew<>Sacred RoundVenus MercuryEnoch Fixed
BirthWed 5 Apr 1 BC pm*Passover
(15 Nisan)
1 Reed1 Creation1 Creation 
Temple OfferingSun 14 May 1 BC 1 Grass  1 BirthSheaf
(15 Spring)
BaptismSat 6 Oct 29Atonement
(10 Tishri)
13 Water 0 Prime0 CreationTabernacles
(14 Autumn)
Preparatory MinistryThu 15 Nov 29 1 Water  1 Birth 
Public MinistrySat 6 Apr 30Passover
(15 Nisan)
13 Monkey  Passover
(14 Spring)
ResurrectionSun 3 Apr 33 am*Sheaf
(16 Nisan)
13 Temple1 Resurrection1 CreationPassover
(14 Spring)
Table 1. Celestial Timing of the Life of Christ. The proposed dates of key events in the life of Jesus Christ occurred on holy days on five different sacred calendars. Only holy days on those calendars are listed.

5.2 Modern Day Witnesses

So far we have only seen examples from the life of Jesus Christ indicating that there may indeed be a fixed calendar of 364 days which angels might actually employ. Is there any reason that we should believe that such a calendar has actually been used over a long period of time? Are there any events from modern history that could attest that this calendar is still actually used?

What are some events in our time that might qualify as being interesting to angels? There are some, but not a huge variety to choose from. The following two examples, chosen from the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not offered as proof, but only as supporting evidence for such a calendar.

L.D.S. Day of Pentecost. There was one day in the history of the L.D.S. Church which has sometimes been called the L.D.S. "Day of Pentecost" because of the similarity to events which occurred on the Day of Pentecost shortly after the Savior's resurrection. It was the day on which the temple at Kirtland, Ohio was dedicated: Sun 27 Mar 1836. In order to appreciate the similarity, let us first review the events of the archetypal Day of Pentecost, which occurred on Sun, 22 May AD 33. That day was the day of Pentecost on the Hebrew, the Enoch, and the Enoch Fixed calendars, so it was a triple pentecostal alignment.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
Thus, there was a great outpouring of spiritual events, which were witnessed by many people who had gathered according to the law of Moses from many nations for this annual feast. Note three features in particular: the sound of a mighty wind, cloven tongues of fire, and the gift of tongues.

Now compare these events to those at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Here is what one L.D.S. authority includes in his entry under the heading "Day of Pentecost":

"On Sunday, March 27, 1836, in the dedicatory service itself, an almost exact repetition of the events of the New Testament day of Pentecost took place. 'Brother George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy,' the prophet recorded, 'when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place.'" (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 428.)[28]

This was surely a great outpouring of spiritual events. Note that it included all three of the distinguishing characteristics of the former Pentecost, namely, the sound of the mighty wind, the cloven tongues of fire and the gift of tongues. Moreover, angels were actually seen by many, so there is no question that this was an event which might have been a red-letter day on their calendar. Until now, no mention has been made of the calendrical significance of that day, other than the fact that the events of the week beginning that day seemed to parallel the last week of the Savior's life.[29]

Let us consider the date of the L.D.S. Day of Pentecost on the Enoch Fixed Calendar. It turns out that it occurred on the very of Pentecost on that calendar, being 4 Late Spring. That is the same day that the Pentecost of Sun 22 May AD 33 also occurred on that calendar.[30] This coincidence seems significant because it was not just any holiday on the Enoch Fixed Calendar, but on the very one on which a similar experience occurred.

After this article was supposedly completed, it occurred to me that the power of a scientific theory is found in its ability to predict new results that were not known at the time the theory was developed. We have seen that the most important days on the Enoch fixed calendar during the Savior's life occurred on its Passover feast day. So let's see what happened in L.D.S. church history on Sat 6 Feb 1836, which was 14 Spring (Passover) on the Enoch Fixed Calendar in the year of the above Pentecost experience. This was a date that was entirely new to me. Here is what the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded for that day:

"Called the anointed together to receive the seal of all their blessings. . . . to bring them to the order which God had shown me, . . . all the quorums were to shout with one accord a solemn hosanna to God and the Lamb . . . and if any obtain a prophecy or vision, to rise and speak that all may be edified and rejoice together.
". . . the quorum of the Seventy enoyed a great flow of the Holy Spirit. Many arose and spoke, testifying that they were filled with the Holy Ghost, which was like fire in their bones, so that they could not hold their peace, but were constrained to cry hosanna to God and the Lamb, and glory in the highest. . . . And others were filled with the Spirit and spake in tongues and prophesied. This was a time of rejoicing long to be remembered. Praise the Lord." (History of the Church, 2:391-2)
The reader can judge how well these events qualify as events appropriate for a holy day on a calendar of God. It appears that a thorough study of dates using the Enoch Fixed Calendar might prove very interesting.

Gathering of Israel. The day on which President Brigham Young led the L.D.S. people into the valley of the Great Salt Lake was Sat 24 Jul 1847. That day is celebrated as a Utah state holiday every year, and is very important to members of the L.D.S. Church. It turns out that the day was also the Feast of Tabernacles on the Fixed Enoch Calendar (14 Autumn). Again, the particular holiday involved may be significant, because the Feast of Tabernacles is associated with events of the latter-days. It is also called the Feast of Ingatherings and seems to be symbolic of the gathering of scattered Israel in the last days. Indeed, the L.D.S. people believed they were to gather Israel to that area, and it commenced at that time. Thus these dates serve as two witnesses that the Enoch Fixed Calendar really exists and is still in use.

6. Conclusion

The Book of Enoch contains some advanced astronomical descriptions of calendars which merit further investigation. The volume was accepted as scripture by the Savior and still appears to be authentic. The combined witness of many calendars shows us how the birth, atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ had been carefully scheduled long ago and that a "record in heaven" has been kept for us in the motion of the sun, moon and planets. This is a strong witness of the correctness of these dates and that at least some of these calendars were important in the timing of key events in the life of Jesus Christ.

Notes

  1. Quotations in this article from the Book of Enoch are from the original translation of Richard Laurence, The Book of Enoch the Prophet (reprinted by Wizards Bookshelf, Minneapolis, 1976) because he translates astronomical text the best. Since his time many other manuscripts have been discovered and the chapter/verse notation is now different. Laurence's notation is included in braces { }, complete with internet links.
  2. Charles, R.H., The Book of Enoch (London: Oxford U. Press, 1913), p. xcv. His chapter and verse notation is the first one listed in quotations in this article. The entire text is easily accessible on the internet.
  3. Nibley, Hugh, "A Strange Thing in the Land: The Return of the Book of Enoch," The Ensign (Oct. 1975), reprinted in Hugh Nibley, Enoch the Prophet, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS), 1986, p. 95.
  4. Laurence, pp. xxv-xxxiii.
  5. The introduction to the Laurence translation summarizes: "Reverting to the second century of Christianity, we find Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria citing the Book of Enoch without questioning its sacred character. . . . Tertullian, who flourished at the close of the first and at the beginning of the second century, . . . speaks of the author as 'the most ancient prophet, Enoch' an of the book as the divinely inspired autograph of that immortal patriarch, preserved by Noah in the ark. . . . Tertullian adds [that it was] 'disavowed by the Jews like all other scripture which speaks of Christ.' . . . Origen (AD 254) assigns to the Book of Enoch the same authority as to the Psalms [but] affirms that the work of the antediluvian patriarch was not accepted in the Churches as Divine." (Laurence, pp. iv-v). Thus, by the third century the work was beginning to be questioned. R.H. Charles notes that "from the fourth century of our era onward it fell into discredit; and under the ban of such authorities as Hilary, Jerome and Augustine, it gradually passed out of circulation, and became lost to the knowledge of Western Christendom . . ." (The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1913, vol. 2, p. 163.)
  6. Laurence, p. vii.
  7. Laurence and Charles are referenced in footnotes 1 and 2. The translation by George H. Schodde, (Andover: Warren R. Draper, 1881) is also on the internet. Isaac's translation is in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth, (New York, Doubleday, 1983), vol I, pp. 5-89.
  8. Laurence, p. x.
  9. Charlesworth, p. 7.
  10. Nibley also suggests this possibility: "Instead of ever seeking for sources to Enoch, which never turn up, why not do the sensible thing and accept Enoch himself as the source, as the writers of Jubilees and the XII Patriarchs do?" (Nibley, p. 123).
  11. As does Charles in footnote 8 on p. 238.
  12. Jubilees 6:36-38. (Charles, p. 23).
  13. The four season markers are technically the 31st day of the last month of each quarter (Enoch 72:19 {71:17}), but Enoch tells us not to count them as such, but to consider them as special seasonal markers (Enoch 82:5 {81:5}), on which the sun rises with the star which will rule for 91 days. Hence that day is counted as part of the season it heralds. That makes sense astronomically because the season marker would be the day of the actual equinox or solstice, and the first day of the new month and quarter would be the first full day of the new season. The transition day is counted in the season it begins, hence it would seem improper to number it as the 31st day in the last season. I propose the notation "0 Spring" for the spring equinox, the 0 emphasizing it is really the last day of the last month, and Spring emphasizing the quarter to which it belongs.
  14. A good discussion of six variations of the World Calendar can be found in Mapping Time, E.G. Richards (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1998), pp. 177-120.
  15. The author is indebted to John Lefgren for sharing his discovery that the Qumran calendar used this method, contrary to a common interpretation that no days were intercalated into that 364-day calendar (personal communication of 12 Feb 2000). He had not, however, noticed that this very procedure is described in the Book of Enoch. It only became apparent to me after the first draft of this article was complete, so this section was rewritten to include this discovery.
  16. In support of this interpretation, note that the text quoted from Enoch also speaks of alignments in five and eight years. Those are both intervals in the Hebrew calendar which approximately align with the solar year, and also with the fixed Enoch year. In those intervals, however, the agreement is not to the very day, as with the three-year period, suggesting that those might be good intervals for intercalating one full week to achieve both years which average 365.24 years and also approximately align with the moon. An extra week is needed on the average every 5.6 years.
  17. Our Gregorian Calendar intercalates a leap day in years evenly divisible by four, but skips years divisible by 100, unless they are also divisible by 400. Thus 1896 was a leap year, 1900 was not (divisible by 100), 1904 was, 1996 was, and 2000 was (divisible by 400).
  18. Pratt, John P., "Mapping Time," American Mathematical Monthly (Jan. 2000), pp. 92-99, (section 6). The scheme proposed in that article is not very clever because it sometimes intercalates two weeks in a row, which means it gets unreasonably out of sync with the seasons. It was suggested only as an example of how accurate the calendar is.
  19. The Qumran calendar is based on the first day of each quarter beginning on a Wednesday, because the greater light appeared on the fourth day of creation.
  20. The proposed Resurrection date was published in "The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 1: Dating the First Easter,"Ensign 15, No. 6 (June, 1985), pp. 59-68. Dates for the Savior's birth and beginning of public ministry were published in " Passover: Was it Symbolic of His Coming,"The Ensign 24, 1 (Jan, 1994), pp 38-45. The date of his baptism is in "What Every Mormon Should Know About Astronomy," Meridian Magazine (12 May 2000).
  21. The date of the Sheaf Offering was a point of contention between the Pharisee and Sadducee sects at the time of Christ, based on different interpretations of Lev. 23:11. The text says the waving of the sheaf (of barley) should occur on the day after the sabbath. The Sadducees interpreted that to mean that the offering should always be on a Sunday, the day after Saturday, the weekly sabbath. That is the same as we now celebrate the equivalent Christian holiday: Easter always occurs on a Sunday. But the Pharisees interpreted "sabbath" to mean the special holy day of Passover (15 Nisan). Thus they offered the sheaf on 16 Nisan, no matter what day of the week it was (the same as on the modern Hebrew Calendar). In the year AD 33 of the Resurrection, both agreed because 16 Nisan fell on Easter Sunday. These results also affect the date of Pentecost (Feast of Firstfruits or Feast of Weeks) because that festival always fell exactly 7 weeks after the Sheaf Offering (Lev. 23:15). Thus the Pharisees held it on 6 Sivan and the Sadducees held it seven Sundays after the Sheaf Offering. Again, both agreed in AD 33 because 6 Sivan was on Sun 22 May. (See Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan, 1977, pp. 83-4). On the proposed Enoch Calendar, there would be no debate because Passover would always be on a Saturday, and hence the Sheaf Offering would always be Sun 15 Spring and Pentecost on Sun 4 Late Spring.
  22. The reason that the date is on 10 Tishri, rather than 15 Tishri, is that it falls half a solar year before the public ministry, but the Hebrew calendar uses lunar years of an average of 354 days. Thus, half a solar year (182 days) is five days more than half a lunar year (177 days), so it fell five days earlier than 15 Tishri.
  23. The day 10 Nisan is a minor holy day on the Hebrew calendar, the day on which the Passover lamb is chosen (Ex. 12:3). It could possibly correspond to 11 Spring, but that seems unlikely, and would need more evidence to justify declaring that 11 Spring was the day to set apart the lamb on the Enoch Calendar.
  24. The jubilee is a Hebrew unit of 7 "weeks" of years, or 7 x 7 = 49 years. It is often mistakenly thought to have been a fifty year cycle, because the fiftieth year was celebrated (Lev. 25:10). But the fiftieth was the same as the first, so there were only 49 years in the cycle.
  25. Pratt, John P. " A Native American Easter: How the Ancient American Calendar Testifies of Christ," Meridian Magazine (28 Mar 2001), section 3.
  26. Another witness of the date Sun 14 May 33 being correct is that it was 1 Grass on the Sacred Round of the Native Americans (discussed in the article referenced in footnote 25). Grass was the symbol of the Resurrection (grass growing out of a skull), which was a symbol of the Savior. An important feature of these many calendrical alignments is not only that they were holy days (all days numbered 1 were holy on the Sacred Round) but also the meaning of the specific day seems to be important. This is a very difficult area to quantify for statistical studies, but it is still possible.
  27. Note also that the Native American Sacred Round emphasizes the importance of the 40-day interval by even having a special name for it, the "foot." When one counts by feet on the Sacred Round, the day name advances by one on the 13-day trecena count. For example, 40-days after the day 1 Water, is 2 Water. The Savior was baptized on the day 13 Water on the Sacred Round. Forty days later was the day 1 Water, on Thu 15 Nov AD 29. The day 1 Water seems to support the proposal that the day began the preparatory ministry because "water" may represent "living water."
  28. McConkie, Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1966) "Day of Pentecost", p. 182.
  29. Pratt, John P., "The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 2: Symbolism of Passover and of Elijah's Return," Ensign 15, No. 7 (July, 1985), p. 64 (section 4.3).
  30. Astronomers employ what is called the Julian Day, which is simply a continuous day count, to facilitate such calculations. The Julian Day number of 22 May AD 33 was 1,733,255 and of 27 Mar 1836 was 2,391,731. The difference between them of 658,476 days is exactly 1,809 years of 364 days each.