Ezekiel’s 13th Month


Have you ever wondered about the Biblical definition of time?  Most scholars trace the origins of Biblical time to Genesis 1:14:

Genesis 1:14  14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

From this verse we see the origins of the daily and yearly cycles. The verse also indicates that the “lights in the firmament” are for “signs” and “seasons”.  The word “signs” comes from the Hebrew ‘owth {oth}  which means sign, signal or remembrance.  The word “season” comes from the Hebrew mow’ed {mo-ade’} which means an appointed place, appointed time, sacred season, or appointed meeting.   The first usage of mow’ed after Gen. 1:14 is when YHWH promises Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son the following year at the mow’ed or set time. After that mow’ed is used to describe the Biblical holy days as given by YHWH to Moses and Israel. In the book of Exodus, we learn these holy days or mow’ed are counted based upon the lunar cycle.


So in summary Genesis specifically identifies the “lights in the firmament” as the means by which the daily and yearly cycles are regulated. These “lights” are for “signs” and “seasons” which further defines Biblical time in terms of the lunar cycles.

Having said that, did you know there is no place in the Scripture which specifically spells out the relationship between the lunar/solar cycle and their intercalations as they relate to the Biblical calendar? While this may seem confusing to us it is important to remember the context. I dare say many of us have never looked up at the moon in the night sky and thought of it in terms of where it was at in its lunar cycle.  Back during the Biblical era it was known intuitively. Everyone back then knew there were 13 or 14 days of waxing light followed by 13 or 14 days of waning light. The moon was their calendar! It was such a part of their existence it didn’t have to be explained. That is the real reason you will not find the lunar/solar cycles explained in relation to the Biblical calendar. In order to find any evidence of the relationship between the lunar cycle and solar year we have to look beneath the surface of the Biblical record.

The only place (that I am aware of) which gives any evidence for an intercalated lunar/solar cycle is found in the book of Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 1-4, YHWH uses the prophet Ezekiel to give Israel and Judah an object lesson. YHWH instructs Ezekiel to lay on his side 390 days for the sins of Israel. He goes on to instruct him to lay on his other side for 40 days for the sins of Judah. These unusual instructions provide us a rare opportunity to define the lunar/solar calendar and its intercalations.

In the 5th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity, in the 5th day of the 4th month, Ezekiel was given commanded to lay on his left side for 390 days for the iniquity of Israel.  Following this he was commanded to lay on his right side for 40 days for the house of Judah.  This was a total of 430 days.

In the 6th month of the following year after completing his object lesson Ezekiel was sitting in his house with some of the elders of Judah.   From this gathering YHWH physically took Ezekiel and showed him the departure of the Shekinah from Jerusalem. (Eze. 8-10)  There are three possible ways to calculate the amount of time between the 4th month of Ezekiel’s 5th year and the 6th month of his 6th year. They are listed in the chart below:

Ezekiels 430 Days


Only the 3rd option allows for the necessary time given the chronological evidence provided in the text. In order for Ezekiel to have lain on his side for 430 days, the 5th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity must have had an intercalary or 13th month.  Incidentally this is of great value to the chronologist who is interested in synchronizing the lunar/solar cycle in terms of the macro chronological record.  As far as I know this is the only place in the Scripture which provides evidence of an intercalary month.  Contextually, this shows that during the captivity period the Jewish people understood time in the sense of an intercalated lunar/solar calendar.  Their religious calendar was normally 12 lunar months of 29.53 days each followed by an intercalary or 13th month every 2 or 3 years.

In a symbolic sense the rising and setting of the sun regulated man’s labor and rest throughout the solar year. The lunar cycle on the other hand regulated the religious calendar and its mow’eds (appointed times). These two cycles were synchronized by the 13th Month.

Authors note: On the subject of time and calendars, some today claim the 30 day months of Genesis shows that a different calendar was used pre-flood. Some even suggest that the length of the lunar or solar cycles were substantially different that they are today.  Based on my own research I do not believe this to be the case. There is evidence which shows that ancient Egypt did in fact have a 30 day month in their calendar. Here is the catch. Their records indicate they realized they were 5 days short of a complete solar cycle. This they called “5 days over the year”.   Some of their dynasties intercalated this 30 day monthly calendar and added an additional month every 5 or 6 years.  Others made no intercalations and from them we get a “wandering” calendar where their months began to wander in the solar cycle,  no longer rooted in the reality of the seasons. 

For those who use this 30 day month to calculate the Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy weeks it would be good to keep the above information in mind.

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More Articles related to the prophecy of 70 Weeks and 2nd temple era chronology:
The “Artaxerxes” Assumption – The best kept secret of Old Testament chronology.
The Fifth Command – Why do prophecy teachers ignore it?
Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part I – Defining “Artaxerxes” in the context of Ezra.
Ezra: Priest & Scribe – Part II – Ezra, Darius even “Artaxerxes”.
Nehemiah: The Governor– Nehemiah’s place in the 2nd temple chronology
Queen of Persia – Part I – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
Queen of Persia – Part II – Defining Esther is the context of the 2nd Temple era.
A New Testament Cipher – The key to unlocking the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.
Ezekiel’s 13th Month– Key to understanding Biblical “time” in the 2nd Temple era
6 milestones – Seventy Weeks – Defining the purpose of the Messiah within Daniel’s 70 “weeks”.
The Messiah Factors (Part I): Decoding 13 & 14 – Symbolism of the Messiah
The Messiah Factors (Part II): The Countdown – Proving Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah promised in Daniel 9.


Ezekiel 4:4-6  4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.  5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.  6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

Ezekiel 1:1-3  Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.  2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity,  3 The word of YHWH came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of YHWH was there upon him.

Ezekiel 8:1  And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord YHWH fell there upon me.

25 thoughts on “Ezekiel’s 13th Month

  1. William Struse Post author

    Thanks Amram, but I can’t take credit for the initial idea. Read something years ago which stuck in my mind. Didn’t mean anything to me then, but later when it did, I research it out and sure enough there was a 13th month.

    There are some pretty neat treasures when you dig below the surface in the pages of the Scripture.

    Warm Regards and thanks for your comments. They are appreciated.


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  10. Harry Wiebe

    This is a very interesting topic and I agree to most of it. So sad, that nowadays the book of Enoch ist counted no more as part of bible, because there is more evidence for your theory.
    My friend and I studied about the timeline of Daniel. We found it intersting also to learn, that the month of AdarII is the reason, that the 7 years tribulation can only take place twice in a 19-year cycle. Bible tells us, that one half of the seven year period will have 1290 days and the other half 1260 days. Pleace follow the link below, to learn more. There is a whole PDF-file, in both German and Englisch, which could be interesting for you. God bless you!

  11. William Struse Post author

    Hi Harry,

    Thank you for the great information. I’ve read through it this morning and found it very interesting. I can see we have reached a similar conclusion, albeit from slightly different perspectives. I know how much effort and time has gone into your research. You might appreciate the follow charts.
    http://www.countdowntothemessiah.com/Epic_Cycles_Mankind_1500.gif and this one which is the basis for all the dates: http://www.countdowntothemessiah.com/Chronology/Scriptural_Chronology/Chronology_6030_Full.pdf

    Let’s keep in touch.

    Warm Regards,
    William Struse

  12. Alan Johnson

    This an interesting article. The intercalary month is also see in the fulfillment of Daniels 2300 mornings and evenings at the time of the Maccabees.

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  14. Silah

    Have you considered the information given in Luke 1 in regards to the priestly order? I believe this also points to evidence that a 13th month was necessary, hence the schedule changes to the priests service.

  15. Paul Thompson

    I had an experience with the Lord in which He prepared me for 13 months for the actual experience. Yours is the only site I have found that can begin to help me see a reason for the 13 month period. Thanks.

  16. John Holsti

    Good post. Have you considered 1Kings 4 as a second witness of a 13th month? Verses 8-19 in the LXX name 12 governors for the 12 months plus one unnamed governor in Judah. In Masoretic, citing Sanhedrin 12a, John Gill resolves the 2 different governors of Gillead by assigning one to the intercalculary month. There is something suspicious going on here to make the intercalculary case using two different understandings of the same text from two different sources. Shabbat Shalom.


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