Metonic Cycle

I have published The New Moon Series on this blog which you will not want to miss. Look for it in a separate tab across the top of the page.  In the meantime, I want to explain a few basics about the Metonic cycle, which is a calculation based on CONJUNCTION, not new waxing crescent. You need to be aware that this post was made years ago. Since that time, I’ve recently discovered unacceptable issues with the Hillel II calendar.

Originally, this post was written to provide some background information about the Jewish calendar (Hillel II calendar) that may prove helpful for those who are trying to figure out the visions of Daniel.  This information is widely available on the internet but if you don’t know you need it, you’ll never look for it.  Besides I tend to be a one stop shopper and I like it when things are neat and tidy in one place.

There is a problem with the term “new moon.” It can mean either conjunction of the moon (astronomical definition) or new waxing crescent. Debate exists within the Hebraic Roots community as to which is really correct to use as the 1st of the month. This is addressed in The New Moon Series.

Originally, God planned for His people to monitor the changing of the months by the sighting of the new moon.  The peoples of the Ancient Near East all sighted the new waxing crescent, but that doesn’t mean doing so is pagan. They were still sighting the new waxing crescent moon in Yeshua’s day. Eventually, in addition to sighting the new moon, they used calculations to determine conjunction so that they would know when to hear witnesses of the new moon sightings. During the period that they continued to receive witnesses of the new crescent moon. If these witnesses came before the appointed time, they knew they were false witnesses. They finally quit having witnesses of the new crescent moon and were only going by conjunction since there was no Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. So, there were a total of 3 time periods in history regarding sighting and use of calculations that are discussed in The New Moon Series.

Hillel II (330-365 CE) is considered the creator of the Hebrew calendar that is being used today. By the 12th century, calculations were codified by Maimonides (Rambam) in the Mishneh Torah (See Kiddush HaChodesh in Sefer Zemanim; check This gives full details of the actual calculations. It is a bit hard to follow. I will not explain the actual calculations.)

The sighting of the crescent new moon originally signaled the beginning of the first day of every month on the Hebrew calendar; however, the Jews now use the Metonic Cycle of the Hillel II calendar to determine the time of the conjunction when the moon is fully dark and use it as the first day of the month instead. This conjunction is based on the outdated Ptolemaic model of epicycles for planetary motion. There can be 0-3 days difference between the conjunctions of the Hillel II calendar and conjunctions based on Kepler’s laws of planetary motion (elliptical orbits), which are posted by NASA.

The conjunction marks the first day of the year and thereby the count of the dates of the holy days.  The moon goes through several phases (new crescent, waxing crescent > waxing quarter > half > full > half  > waning quarter >  waning crescent > invisible/old) as it reflects sunlight over a period of 29.5 days.  If you observe the month each evening, you can see this for yourself.

The ASTRONOMICAL new moon (conjunction) immediately begins to wax after conjunction to the point in which it can be seen with the naked eye.  There are other seemingly valid reasons for the new moon being the sighting of the sliver of the new waxing crescent (YOUNG – BELOW) so the debate continues on. See my presentations on The Significance of the New Moon and Historical Practice and Debate of the New Moon before making your decision of where you stand.

Phases of the moon

As God’s people were spread throughout the world, it became impossible for everyone to know when the sighting of the crescent moon took place in Israel. At first, bonfires were lit to notify those at great distances away. This ceased because the Samaritans started lighting fires and it caused confusion. Instead messengers were sent.  It is not really necessary to do this since the moon phases are the same throughout the world, although the light appears on the opposite side in the Southern Hemisphere when compared with that of the Northern Hemisphere.

The sighting of the new waxing crescent moon is important because it insures the feasts of the Lord are celebrated on the correct days of the year.

Two or three witnesses were required to confirm the presence of the new crescent moon because that’s how matters are confirmed.  A calendar day actually begins at sunset and changes to the next calendar day when the sunsets the following day.  This is consistent with the pattern of creation–darkness followed by light.

The Hillel II calendar used today is based on a 19-year cycle called the Metonic cycle.  This calendar normally has 12 months each year but sometimes it is necessary to add a 13th month (an embolismic month called Adar II) if the barley is not ripe and if the fruit trees had not bloomed.  This ensured that Passover was always celebrated in spring, in the month of Nissan. Passover, Nisan 14, must take place on or after the spring (vernal) equinox, because the Jews left Egypt in spring.

An embolismic month (Adar II) takes place 7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle of the Hillel II calendar.  Adar II is added in the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the Metonic cycle.  This pattern is sometimes described as 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2.  It is possible to determine which years in the past and in the future had/will have an embolismic month (30 intercalary days); however, Hebrew date converters (found on the internet) which convert Gregorian calendar dates that we use to Hebrew dates warn us that results for year 1752 C.E. and before may not be accurate when calculating date conversions.  This is an important tool for those interested in prophecy and in celebrating the feasts of the Lord because Gregorian dates calculated for Hebrew dates vary from year to year.  This is the next best thing to the sighting of the new moon. Bear in mind that there has been a seasonal drift. These leap years are not correct anymore.

Originally, the months of the year were numbered like the days of the week but eventually they were given names while the Jews were living in Babylon.  Tishrei begins the civil calendar year which is when the number of the year changes.  Nissan begins the religious calendar year which begins the counting of the months of the year and the spring feasts (Ex.12:2).  The months of the Jewish year are:

  1. Nissan (30 days)
  2. Iyar (29 days)
  3. Sivan (30 days)
  4. Tamuz (29 days)
  5. Av (30 days)
  6. Elul (29 days)
  7. Tishrei (30 days)
  8. Cheshvan (29 or 30 days)
  9. Kislev (29 or 30 days)
  10. Tevet (29 days)
  11. Shevat (30 days)
  12. Adar I (29 or 30 days)
  13. Adar II (29 days)

There can be either 354, 355, 356, 383, or 384 days in a Jewish year.  I’ve looked at lots of theories and by now I’m pretty sure the idea of using a 360 day year for Daniel’s visions is worthless. You should be aware that the number of these days are set by the calendar but they do not coincide with what actually happens each month, although each month will be either 29 or 30 days. You should also be aware that the differences in 29 or 30 days in Cheshvan and Kislev are due to postponements built into the calendar for Tishrei 1.

A shavuah (7 year period) can be either 86 moons (months) or 87 moons (months).  The times and seasons of Daniel center around  the Feasts of the Lord because they are His appointed times.  For the timing of the 70th week of Daniel to be right, we’re probably looking at a shavuah with 86 moons.  For those interested in the times related to Daniel’s visions, Nissan 11, 5785 (September 7, 2021) through Elul 29, 5788 (September 20, 2028) is 1260 days…the next day being Tishrei 1, 5789.  I haven’t checked but this can probably happen in more than one shavuah with 86 moons but I am partial to this particular shavuah. Of course, I can’t accurately predict Yeshua’s return, especially since I believe it will be on a new waxing crescent. We have to see the signs of the times. Still I like to speculate what is approximate and keep my eyes open.

As we look for Yeshua’s return, we know that the time preceding it must be during a conjunction when all is in darkness:

Isaiah 13:9-10 says, “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.” and Mark 13:23-27 says, “But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;  25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.  26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.  27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”



    1. Thank you but the credit must really go to the Lord for showing me such things. I pray He will continue to show me more! May many people be blessed! Please be sure to share with friends and family…


    1. Check out “Sarai Will Be Called Sarah” which I just posted. Are you from the Czech Republic? I try to publish on Friday or Saturday each week if possible.


  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!


    1. Make sure you have the latest Power Point update because I had to correct some errors… at one point I’d lost everything and had to recreate with a bad file…I may still not be error free so I’ll check again and make corrections if needed.

      My goal was to make it as easy as possible. Basically, know this: The metonic cycle gives us the correct number of days and their breakdown for the entire shavuah so we can see that the remaining Fall Feasts of the Lord can be fulfilled according to prophecy.

      There are definitely 44 appearances of the new moon from the beginning of the final shavuah through the appearance of the moon for Nissan in the middle of the shavuah and definitely 42 appearances of the new moon from the middle of Nissan which is in the middle of the shavuah to the remainder of the shavuah. The latter half of the shavuah completes the 1260 days or 42 moons (months) prophesied in Daniel and Revelation. Christ should return right after the completion of the 1260 days — which is the next day (the Day of Trumpets). This shavuah ends in a year of Jubilee to fulfill prophecy as well.

      There are 9 days of overlap (Nissan 11-19, 5785) between end of the 1290 days and the beginning of the 1260 days that are most likely the time the Beast will set up an abomination of desolation in the temple and perform a blood sacrifice similar to what Antiochus IV Epiphanes did in 10 days (Kislev 15th – 25th).


  2. Good an very informative post. I will come back to your blog regullary. One thing: I do not exactly know what do you mean in the second paragraph. Could you please exmplain your opinion?


  3. Good an very informative post. I will come back to your blog regullary. One thing: I do not exactly know what do you mean in the second paragraph. Could you please exmplain your opinion?


    1. About every 29.5 days the appearance of the moon changes as it orbits the earth. The new moon, as far as the Bible is concerned (which is the original meaning), is when we first see the appearance of a crescent shape moon. As each night of the month passes, more of the moon appears until it is a half moon and later a full moon. At this point, the moon is between the sun and the earth. After the full moon, we see less of the moon each night until it’s a half moon again and eventually we can’t see it at all. This is when the old month ends and the process starts all over again with the new month.

      I’ve edited the post to include this information since more than one person has asked for clarification. Hopefully, this will help.


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    1. Thanks. I love free stuff and lamented for years while living overseas in Eastern Europe that I didn’t have access and funds for everything I wanted to know. Some stuff is abundant but this kind of thing is not. Publishing is not cheap either. I don’t have $2300 or more to publish a single book and I don’t know if I could sell enough to cover the publishing cost. For now, the Lord has shown me that “those who seek will find.” As far as I know, those are the only kind of people that come to my blog. What I say goes against the majority of scholars anyway so I don’t know if I could make a fortune on what I write.


  5. Thank you for another informative site. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.


    1. I don’t know any one site that discusses the metonic cycle and Feasts of the Lord exactly as I’ve done. Just Google metonic cycle and see what comes up. Most just define it or discuss its creation. Other attempts have been made to see how the Feasts of the Lord fit into the scheme of things but they don’t take into account the year of Jubilee so they are probably not correct. They also do not count the exact number of days based on a particular shavuah and the Hebraic calendar. As far as I know, this is the only one that does. Sites that discuss the feasts usually discuss the prophetic significance and go no further. Are you wanting to see the break down of the days in the shavuah I’m proposing? What is your project?


    1. I’ve tried again to make the second paragraph clearer…maybe the addition of this photo will help. Our monthly calendar today is not based on the appearance of the new moon but the Hebraic calendar is. This is how God intended for us to know when the Biblical year begins, each month on the Biblical calendar officially begins, and when the Feasts of the Lord should be celebrated.

      If we want to know when to expect Jesus to return, we need to observe the Biblical calendar and the Feasts of the Lord. Jesus’ return is dependent on the appearance of the new crescent moon so know one can know the exact day until it arrives. I believe we can get an exceptionally close idea based on the metonic cycle, Scripture, and the Feasts of the Lord.


  6. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!


    1. There is a lot of information on the internet about the metonic cycle and the Hebraic calendar but everyone uses it in a slightly different manner. I’ve learned bits of the basic information over several years and God has revealed to me how it all fits into prophecy and the feasts of the Lord. This has been confirmed by counting out the days for the most likely final shavuah. God is amazing! This is only a small part of His awesome tapestry.


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    1. Welcome to my blog! I’m glad you liked it. Feel free to browse. Let me know if there’s a question on your mind that is not addressed here and I’ll try to see what the Bible says about it.


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    1. Even though I’m now home in America, I am accustomed to differences in English language ability since I once lived overseas. I enjoy hearing from people from other countries very much. When I read the Bible, I ask myself what it reminds me of…sometimes only a word or phrase makes me think of something else. I look at both passages side by side to see if a true parallel exists. It takes a lot of time. Sometimes I have to look at something for days and I often have to begin writing before the Holy Spirit shows me more. Only then am I able to post on-line.

      Ecclesiastes 1:9 explains what is has already been and will be again in the future…this is especially true of prophecy.

      As for my blog site, it is one from


  13. Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!


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  20. Am wondering how your information compares to “endtimepilgrims”. I found that site years ago and just come across your site today. You state 42 moons, Gavin Finley cites 86 and 87 moons.


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