[b-hebrew] Hebrew calender?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Jul 27 05:02:03 EDT 2005

Just an interesting item I hapened to come across: I. Eph'al and J. Naveh,
in their Aramaic Ostraca of the Fourth Century BC from Idumea (Jerusalem:
Magnes Press), p. 30, list an ostracon that mentions a delivery of pegs,
dated to the 15 of second Adar. There is no year mentioned, but the ostraca
are from around 350 BCE.

Does anyone know of an earlier mention of second Adar?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 12:07 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Hebrew calender?

> This is only a partial explanation. The calendar used by the Israelites
> the same as that used throughout the near east - a lunar calendar, in
> the new month was set by the appearance of the new moon (about 29.5 days
> the average). Since twelve such months make up only 354 day (average), the
> calendar "loses" about 11 days, compared to the 365-day solar calendar.
> Originally, the extra month was added "ad-hoc", when the authorities
> (usually the temple) decided that the month were falling out of sync with
> the seasons. Much later, this intercalary month was pre-calculated,
> in 7 out of every 19 years.
> The names Nisan, Iyyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Ab, Elul, Tishri, Maeheshvan (often
> shortened to Heshvan), Kislev, Tebeth, Shebat, Adar are, indeed,
> and were adopted by the Jews during the Babylonian Exile. The pre-exilic
> books of the Bible use numbers (first month, second month etc.). The names
> Ziv, Ethanim and Bul are used ONLY in the context of Solomon's building of
> the Temple with the help of Sidonian workmen, so they might be
> Canaanite/Phoenician, or they might be the pre-exilic Hebrew names. We
> don't know.
> "Bib" is not properly the name of a month. It means "ripened barley", and
> "the month of Abib" means "the month of ripened barley". According to
> Exodus, the Passover must be held during "the month of ripened barley".
> month is later identified with Nisan.
> "Veadar" is not a name. It means "and Adar". At some point, it became the
> standard to add a second Adar in intercalary ("leap") years, because Adar
> was considered to be the last month of the year.
> Some neareastern cultures celebrated the new year in Nisan, in the spring,
> others in Tishri, in the fall. Ex. 12 commands the Israelites to clebrate
> "this month" (of the redemption from Egypt, later identified with Nisan)
> the first month, and all subsequent dates comply with this. Actually,
> though, the Bible does not spell out a New Year holiday, and there is much
> debate over whether the Israelites actually celebrated one. There is,
> however, a holiday on the first day of the seventh month (later Tishri),
> which, during the Second Temple period, became know (as it still is) as
> "Rosh Hashanah", the New Year (at some point it was expanded into a
> holiday, though Reform Jews have gone back to one).
> (Some Jews during the Second Temple Period used a solar calendar. This has
> lead some scholars to speculate that the "original" biblical calendar was
> actually solar, and that they adopted the lunar calendar along with the
> Babylonian month names.)
> In practice, it would seem that Israel and Judah counted at least their
> regal years from either Nisan or Tishri at different times. This
> exists in the Jewish calendar to this day. The Mishnah actually counts
> "new years" (think of a different tax year, school year etc.). In general,
> Jews today count years from Tishri, and holidays from Passover (Nisan).
> At some point in the early Middle Ages, Jews "calculated" that the world
> created in 3760 BCE, and began using that date as "year one". So the
> year is 2005+3760=5765. But you should remember that the Jewish new year
> Tishri) falls in September or October, so that the first 3-4 month of 5765
> were still in 2004. Yes, 1 Tishri 5765 was on 16 Sept. 2004. Since 5765
> a "leap year", it "gained" 19 days (that is, it gained the 30 days of
> Adar and lost the usual 11 days), so that 1 Tishri 5766 will be on 4
> 2005.
> Yigal
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Read, James C" <K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk>
> To: "Stephen" <stephen4yeshua at yahoo.com>
> Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Friday, July 22, 2005 11:04 PM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Hebrew calender?
> >
> > As far as I know the months were Nisan (Abib), Ivyar (Ziv), Sivan,
> >  Ab, Elul, Tishri (Ethanim), Heshvan (Bul), Chislev, Tebeth, Shebat,
> &
> > Veadar.Each month was 29/30 days and thus a 12 month year
> > fell approx 11 days short of a complete solar cycle (ie year).
> > Additional days were added to pad out the year. In post times
> > the 13th month veadar (or 2nd adar) was introduced to make the year fit
> > a solar cycle.
> > You are right in thinking that Nisan was the first month of the year
> > established by Yah and this is logical really because spring is when
> > everything springs to life and so is a logical way to start the year.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Stephen
> > Sent: Fri 7/22/2005 9:19 PM
> > To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > Subject: [b-hebrew] Hebrew calender?
> >
> >
> > I am curious about the original Hebrew calender.
> >
> > The gregorian calender, used by most western nations today, was
> established by pope gregory VII in 1582. It is a solar calender.
> >
> > In Jewish calender the months are determined by the moon, and year by
> sun, as far as I can tell?
> >
> > In think there are 12 months with 29 or 30 days, in the Jewish calender?
> >
> > Over the years it is clear the names of the months and the process of
> establishing the calender has changed, following babylonian exile in 586
> 516 BC, and now the Jewish calender refelcts babylonian names, as these
> names still appear in the Jewish calender.
> >
> > I am curious if first, I am off base on these predicates, and second, if
> am not off,  then what are the original Hebrew Jewish names for the
> calender?
> >
> > I know today the new moon is called Rosh Hodesh (head of months) and is
> marked in the synagogue with prayers, Torah readings, and special
> >
> > I know in Exodus Elohiym established the order of months. This, as I
> believe, was the first calender used to determine the holy days.
> >
> > Could (Nisan) be the original Hebrew name of the first month and marks
> redemption of Yisrael from Egypt?
> >
> > By the time of Y'shua, there was a second calender used for civil
> This calender began with the month Tishri. The first Tishri was the civil
> new year, Rosh HaShanah. The second calender I believe is still in use?
> >
> > If these predicates are true, then what was the first calender?
> >
> > Is it true, in determing the Jewish calender year, add 3761 to western
> calender year?
> >
> > The Jewish year  5765 begins on Sept 16 of the gregorian year 2004?
> >
> > Answers would be much appreciated.
> >
> >
> >
> >
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