Golden Number

Golden Number, the number in the ecclesiastical calendar by which the age of the moon, and consequently the time of Easter, is determined. Easter-day being the first Sunday after thee full moon, which happens upon or next after the 21st of March, to determine the time of Easter, it is only necessary to find out the precise time of the above full moon. As at the end of nineteen years the moon returns to have her changes on the same days of the solar year and of the month on which they happened nineteen years before, it follows that by the sense of a cycle consisting of nineteen numbers, the various changes of the moon for every year may be found out without the use of astronomical tables. Thee numbers of this cycle, from their great usefulness, were usually written in the calendar in letters of gold: hence the name, golden number. Another account of the origin of the name is that the metonic cycle of nineteen years, SEE CHRONOLOGY, was originally engraved in letters of gold on marble columns. The rule for finding the golden number for any particular year is, "Add 1 to the number of years, and divide by 19; the quotient gives the number of cycles, and the remainder gives the golden number for that year; and if there be no remainder, then 19 is the golden number, and that year is the last of the cycle."

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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