[b-hebrew] Re: Hebrew month names

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon Aug 30 01:26:26 EDT 2004

In the book of Ezra-Nehemiah, the "Nehemiah Memoirs" in Ezra-Nehemiah use
the Babylonian names (Adar, Kislev etc.), while the "Ezra source" uses the
"old" ordinal numbers (first month, second month etc.).As Aaron Demsky and
others have pointed out, Ezra, the Priest and "Scribe" of the Torah uses the
Torah names, while Nehemiah, the Persian-trained official, uses the names
that where in use in the Persian administration.

My understanding of the process is that the names were not so much borrowed
directly from the Babylionians, as from the Aramaic scibal practices that
were so much a part of life in the Persian Empire. Very much like the shift
from the Paleo-Hebrew (actually Canaanite) script to the Aramaic "square"


----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 5:36 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Re: Hebrew month names

> Marianne:
> The modern “Hebrew” month names are taken from the Babylonians. I have
found four month names in Tanakh and not one of the names are the same as
the Babylonian names. That the ancient Hebrew names are not used today (even
Nehemiah used the Babylonian month names) and except for the four months
named in Tanakh, I have not found any list of Hebrew month names, I have
come to the conclusion that they were forgotten, at least by Jews after the
Babylonian Captivity.
> As for why ancient Jews forgot their month names? Any answer I could give
would be speculation with a probability that it is wrong.
> Karl W. Randolph.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: MarianneLuban at aol.com
> > In a message dated 8/29/2004 6:06:02 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> > kwrandolph at email.com writes:
> >
> >
> > > True, the only month I’ve found named in Torah was )BYB [Exodus 13:4,
> > > 23:15, 34:18 Leviticus 2:14 Deuteronomy 16:1 ]. However, the month of
ZW was
> > > mentioned in 1 Kings 6:1, )TNYM in 1 Kings 8:2 and BWL in 1 Kings 6:28
> > > that the Hebrew months had names that were forgotten during the
> > > Exile. That they were named shows that the names were in use.
> >
> > I thought the months of the Hebrew calendar were taken from the
> > So, if that is so, why would the names of the months be forgotten during
> > Babylonian exile?
> --
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