[b-hebrew] Hebrew calendar

Schmuel schmuel at escape.com
Mon Aug 30 09:19:31 EDT 2004

Hi b-hebrew,

Karl Randolph
> 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 showing  that the Hebrew months had names that were forgotten 
> during the Babylonian Exile. That they were named shows that the names were in use.

Thank you Randolph, just for completion, 1Kings 6:38 for Bul, not 6:28, and a lexicon search finds Exodus 9:31 using Abib, (however not in its monthly sense, but in the harvest/green ears usage).  Ziv is also mentioned in 1 Kings 6:37 

The Yashanet calendar information in the link below agrees with your list, four names given as by name in Tanach.  To say the other months had names as well that were forgotten is an understandable conjecture.  (Hmmm.. how do you find evidence to prove that which is forgotten ?)  Is this issue discussed in any early sources, like the Talmud ? 

Yigal also raised the interesting issue of whether Aviv was a month or the season.  Yet it is always referred to as "chodesh Abib", so I do wonder how chodesh would have to be redefined from its normal new-moon/month usage ?  

Marianne Luban
> I thought the months of the Hebrew calendar were taken from the Babylonians.  So, if that is so, why > would the names of the months be forgotten during the Babylonian exile? 
>This is an interesting site about the Hebrew calendar:

Nice charts and information, although they bypass the question of the distinction between the current Hebrew names and those in Tanach.

"Ezra chose the Hebrew month names from the names of the months in the Babylonian calendar in Babylonia where Ezra and many other Hebrews had been exiled following the Babylonian conquest of the Kingdom of Judah in 587 B.C.E."

This gives the impression that all the current Hebrew month names come from Ezra (including tammuz).

It is interesting to note that the one babylonian name that is a direct reference to a pagan deity, tammuz, is not used in the Tanach as a name for a month.  However, the name appears in rabbinical talmudic judaism as a month name.  Especially for those who accept or respect the concept of Inspiration of the scripture text, this cold be considered a consequent difference.

Eze 8:14
Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

Recently I looked up some of the better links on the Hebrew calendar, when we were discussing the question of whether these month names referenced pagan deities or not. 

This one is especially interesting because it makes the distinction between months 
referenced by name in Scripture and the months given names outside of Scrpiture.
Hebrew Day and Month Names 
-- Nice chart comparing original Biblical and Babylonian names, month by month

Months, Festivals and Seasons
Additional information about the festivals and the etymology of each month name.

The Jewish Calendar
Detailed calendar information

Mail.Jewish Mailing List (2/2003) - (2 Threads, 8 posts, "Names of Months")
This forum  has series of posts, threads and references about Hebrew month names.  
And mentions discussions - volume 33 numbers 79, 80, 81 and 84.  

The Qumran Calendar by Vendyl Jones (some caution advised)

Jewish Calendar 


> There is no evidence of any connection between the Hebrew "Abib" and the Akkadian Ab-bi.

Yigal, doesn't everybody just love to rewrite Hebrew word meanings based on dubious and
conjectural supposed Akkadian cognates ?  You mean you have some reservations with same ? :-)

And I also found your post defending the long-term continuous usage of a luni-solar calendar to 
be very informative.  Thanks.

Steven Avery

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