Sukkot Water-pouring Ceremony and Month Names
The Prophets and Writings record "Babylonian" names for the months in addition to the Torah's almost exclusive use of numbered months. The Prophets and Writings used non-ordinal names such as Kislev, Ziv, Bul, Tishrei, Etanim, Nisan, Adar, Tevet, etc. Those month-names are not in the Torah, but they are common sense language connections. Babylon has negative connotations, but it was also a place of refuge for the Jews in more than one period of their history. Ancient Semitic languages were, and still are, very similar.
The month of Nissan is closest to the Hebrew word
nis (#5211), from
nus #5127, meaning to escape, flee, or save. The First Month of the Hebrew year is the month of Passover when the Israelites escaped from Egypt and were saved. This is also the "green month," Aviv. If the Torah plants a Seed of having an actual month name associated with its theme, the greening of agriculture and firstfruits, then this may explain the later use of names of months in addition to numbers.
The Eighth Month came to be called Bul, which means produce, outgrowth; its root is from
yaval (watercourse, stream, carry along). What happens in the Eighth Month is the outgrowth of the Yovel (Jubilee), which is celebrated in the Seventh Month along with the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. The Seventh Month, when the rains begin in Israel, is known by the names Tishrei or Etanim. Etanim is a perpetually flowing stream, so it makes sense that the Eighth Month of Bul is the continuation of a stream that flowed through the Seventh Month of Etanim/Tishrei.
A beautiful connection is made in the dedication of the First Temple in the Seventh Month, which is called Etanim, in 1 Kings 8 at the Feast of Sukkot. Etanim, "a perpetually flowing stream," holds the secret of Messiah's declaration during the Feast of Tabernacles in the Second Temple:
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast [of Tabernacles/Sukkot], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" (
The feasts, especially the traditional Jewish water-pouring at the feast of Tabernacles, is a perfect tradition that shadowed the work of Messiah, the River of Life bringing restoration of the Spiritual Torah and growing much good fruit.
Truth, Tradition, or Tare?: Growing in the Word (BEKY Books Book 7)
Readers of the New Testament can find its treatment of tradition confusing. Many of the customs in its pages are Jewish, and therefore foreign to non-Jewish believers. Yeshua (Jesus) sometimes corrected those observing religious customs, yet at other times he said they SHOULD have observed them. Paul appears to do the same in his letters, for twice he instructs non-Jewish believers to keep the Jewish customs he passed on to them. Is there some way to determine which customs are "good" and which are "bad"?
The methods used by the prophets of the Older Testament (TANAKH) as well as the writers of the Newer Testament did leave readers guidelines to divide seeds of truth from tradition, and then to separate a tradition grown from truth from a "taredition" grown from a different seed. The most important consideration in the prophets', Yeshua's, and the apostles' instructions is the sincere heart that holds justice, mercy, and faithfulness as the weightier matters of any religious custom.