We have just entered the Jewish month of Adar, the last month of the Biblical year. This is a significant month in the life of the children of YHVH. In both the physical and spiritual realms, Adar is a month of great transition. The transitions are miraculously positive for those who choose to embrace God’s instruction for this season and run with it. For those who will step into this season, this is a time to proclaim, “My fear shall turn to laughter!”
A Month of Darkness turns to Joy
Adar usually falls on the Greco/Roman calendar in late February, early March. For those in the northern hemisphere, spring is just a few weeks away. The thoughts of many turn to the greening of the grass, budding of the trees, and the joyful sight of the first flowers of the spring. New life is just about ready to burst forth around us! The depressing long winter days of darkness are leaving us, and hope is being reborn.
Adar is also the month the Netzarim (little branches; Hebrew-minded followers of Yeshua) begin to plan and prepare for the Biblical New Year & the celebration of the Spring Feasts. These joy-filled days in the Kingdom of YHVH are Pesach, Chag Ha Matzot, and Yom HaBikkurim: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Day of First Fruits/Harvests. Many will travel to Jerusalem for this 7-day period as it is the first of the three annual pilgrimage weeks in Father’s instructions (the Torah).
In Israel, schools and businesses are preparing for vacation time. Hotels and recreation sites are preparing for an onslaught of travelers from around the world. Synagogues are preparing for special services and crowded attendance. Around the world, families of Biblical faith are making every effort to use up the last of any products containing leavening. Once the celebration of Purim passes on Adar 14 & 15 spring cleaning begins! Every room, closet, cupboard, coat pocket and purse are meticulously purged to be rid of crumbs or specks of anything containing leavening. Adar is indeed a month filled with Passover Week anticipation!
Adar in Hebrew History
Historically, the month of Adar has brought to us as God’s Set-Apart People some truly dark days that miraculously turned to brilliant days of abundant light and joy.
- Moses was born in Egypt on Adar 7, 1393 BCE during a time when Pharaoh of Egypt decreed that all male Hebrew babies were to be killed.
- Plague of Darkness The 9th plague of the ten plagues YHVH released on Egypt took place on Adar 1, 1313 BCE, six weeks before the Exodus. A thick darkness blanketed the land so that “no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place”. (Exodus 10:23)
- Adar 1313 BCE is the last month that the Israelites spent in slavery in Egypt. They would leave Egypt the following month in mid-Nissan after the dreadful night of the 10th plague, the death of the firstborn.
- Shortly before sundown on the 29th of Adar, 1313 BCE, God commanded Moses regarding establishment of the Hebrew lunar calendar. The first month is Aviv, the month of the Passover, and the beginning of each month is established by the crescent of the new (renewed) moon. (Exodus 12:1-2) In following generations, each new month was ushered in when two witnesses testified before the elders of Israel that they had seen the new moon. After the formation of the Sanhedrin, two witness would testify before them that they had seen the new moon and a new month would be declared. The Sanhedrin dissolved at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. In the 4th century CE, Hillel II and other Jewish leaders the foresaw that the Jews would no longer be able to follow a Sanhedrin-based calendar. They established a Jewish calendar, which is both lunar and solar – the months by the moon, the year by the sun – adding a 13th month when needed to keep the feast days attached to the seasons of agriculture. This is the Jewish calendar followed today and though not 100% accurate does remarkably coincide well with the actual arrival of new moons. Hillel II believed that when Mashiach (Messiah) comes He will reestablish the Sanhedrin and thus a return to the required sighting of the new moon confirmed by the testimony of two witnesses.
- Seven “days of training” for the Wilderness Tabernacle took place during the week of Adar 23-29, 1312 BCE. Six months after their exodus from Egypt, the Children of Israel began building the Tabernacle. They had completed preparing all the portable building construction elements and Tabernacle holy items on the 25th of Kislev, 1314 BCE. However, the Divine command to erect the tabernacle came three months later, on the 23rd of Adar, when Moses was instructed to begin a 7-day training period. The Tabernacle was erected each morning and dismantled each evening. Moses served as the High Priest, training and consecrating Aaron and his four sons into the priesthood. Then, on the eighth day — the 1st of Aviv– the Tabernacle was assembled to stand until the Divine command would come to journey on. Aaron and his sons fully assumed the priesthood and YHVH’s presence came to dwell in the Tabernacle in the midst of His people.
- In 1273 BCE Moses transferred leadership of the Israelites to Joshua on Adar 5 and then died on the 7th of Adar at the age of 120. Even though the joy of entering the Promised Land lay directly before them, the grief of the Hebrew people at the loss of their mighty deliverer and leader was immeasurable.
- The celebration of Purim falls in Adar (sometimes in Adar II). This is the season when God used Queen Esther to deliver the Israelites from pending annihilation by the hands of Haman under the rule of Artaxerxes. The Fast of Esther took place on the 13th of Adar 357 BCE as she prepared to confront the King about the Royal Decree fostered by Haman to which he had given approval. One year later, Adar 13-14 356 BCE, the Jews in the Persian Empire fully defended themselves against Haman’s decree and won mighty victories over those who sought to destroy them. From that year on, Adar 15 became and official day of remembrance and celebration for Jews around the world.
- On Adar 3, 349 BCE a joyous dedication of the 2nd Holy Temple in Jerusalem, was celebrated. Under the decree of Darius l, Governor Zerubbabel oversaw it’s construction, which took four years of work. The building of this modest temple was also assisted by the leadership Jeremiah and Ezra.
- Herod’s Temple Dedicated – Adar 12, 11 BCE After decades of great re-dedication under regained Jewish independence by the Maccabees and their descendants, Israel came under Roman rule and the 2nd Holy Temple in Jerusalem fell into disrepair. In the year 19 BCE, King Herod I undertook the task of rebuilding and renovating the Temple. The renovation was completed in eight years later and the new structure was truly magnificent. Within the gates and walls of this Temple, Messiah Yeshua taught and ministered. Rome would destroy this temple in 70 CE following the Bar Kochba Jewish rebellions that began in 66 CE.
- Adar is believed to be the month in which Yeshua multiplied the fish and the loaves at Tabgha on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. John the Baptist had been beheaded and Messiah’s ministry and identity began to increase.
- Earthquake Saves Jews – Adar 22, 1430 CE The Roman Catholic church and the government of Rome set Wednesday, Adar 22 (March 6), 1430, as the day when all the Jews of Rome must convert or face death. On that day a great earthquake shook Rome and many of the archbishops and priests who conceived the decree were killed. Following the earthquake, Pope Martin V annulled the decree.
- The Spanish Inquisition began on Adar 7, 1481 BCE The Inquisition as a worldwide Roman Catholic effort began in the twelfth century to find Christians who were still adhering to Hebrew Biblical practices and thus labeled “heretics”. Such persons failing to abandon such practices would be punished or killed. Jews too were open to such charges of heresy, simply for being Jewish; and torture was routinely used to extract “confessions.” In 1481 the Inquisition began to function in Spain to expose the secret Jews, known as the Marranos (pigs). The first public sentencing and burning alive of six marrano men and one woman by the Spanish Inquisition was held on this date in Seville in Southern Spain.
- Sinking of Struma (1942) – Adar 7 (February 24), 1941 BCE On December 12, 1941, the Struma set sail off from the port of Constanta, Romania, carrying 800 Jewish Romanian refugees headed for British Mandatory Palestine. The ship was detained at Istanbul, where British authorities refused to allow the ship to continue to its destination. On Adar 6 (February 23), 1942, Turkish authorities towed the ship out to the Black Sea, where it drifted aimlessly due to a failed engine. The next day, the ship was sunk by a Soviet submarine. Only one passenger survived.
Biblical and Prophetic significance of Adar: The month of preparation and anticipation.
Actions to pursue in this month!
- Plan and Prepare for the New Year. Biblically, the coming springtime is a season for war (battling to establish your future). The first spring harvests of the year start coming in. It is also a time of planting for the rich, full harvests of autumn. The Biblical Kingdom New Year arrives on Aviv 1, so now is the time for reviewing what was achieved in the past year AND setting priorities, goals and plans for the year ahead.
- Choose to hold on to hope. In your journey with Father this month, focus your thoughts, words, and actions on all that brings you hope. Speak forth Scriptures that speak of hope. Sing songs of praise and hope in your worship. Make bold plans for positive actions in the New Year. Ask Father to extend His mighty arm and move in your behalf—and expect Him to do that!
- Choose to release from bitterness. As the Israelites moved through the last few weeks of their bondage in Egypt, the disappointments and pain of the past had to be released. Search your heart for bitterness and choose to forgive those who have disappointed you and caused you pain.
- Choose to laugh and engage in expressions of joy. Adar is the month of increasing joy and laughter. In the face of your struggles, choose to take joy in your Messiah. Look for the humor in life and choose to laugh – even at yourself!
- Focus on honest communication & identity. Just as it was required of Queen Esther, it is time to remove every facade and mask. Whether you are aware of it or not, your future and the future of those around you depends on you stepping into your full identity, both in God’s Kingdom and in the world that He is trusting you to impact.
- Time to overturn worry through the release of YHVH’s supply. Like the fish and the loaves in the hands of Yeshua, anticipate that your supply in the hidden/unseen world will manifest in the seen world.
- Allow YHVH to develop your strategy against the anti-Messiah. Remember that anti-Messiah type people and the things of that spirit appear to be of God’s Kingdom…but they are not. The Accuser’s plans to destroy you will be thwarted as you receive Father’s discernment, stay in His Word, and listen to His instructions of strategy and wisdom.
- Time to overturn non-valid, evil-devised decrees and curses. Mordecai and Queen Esther had to work quickly and with precision to counter the evil curses and decree spoken by Haman. His plot to destroy God’s people had to be revealed to King Xerxes as it would be only through the protocols of earthly authority the Jews would have a chance to rise and defend themselves. As you become aware of plots, decrees and curses that have been spoken against you and against God’s people by anyone in a place of authority over you, speak and act boldly and wisely, for you were born “for such a time as this”.
- Anticipating the Season of Deliverance. The King is making ready for the Passover season. Are you? Be diligent in planning to fully engage in celebrating Pesach, the Feast of Matzah and the Day of the First Fruits of the New Year. How will your household celebrate? What dates and times is your congregation planning for special holy assemblies? What will you bring as an offering for this first Kingdom Feast of the year?
- Guard yourself from idolatry. Keep your eyes open for the things of other gods that so brilliantly surround us in these weeks leading to the Passover remembrance and celebration of the death and resurrection of Yeshua. Make a commitment in your household to not let the paganism of the Feast of Ishtar (Easter) pollute the purity of God’s Appointed Time.
Adar is the month to decree “MY FEAR SHALL TURN TO LAUGHTER!”