[b-hebrew] Gezer Calendar and 6-Month "Year"

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Tue Oct 23 11:42:15 EDT 2007

1.  Yaakov (J) Stein  wrote:  "It is interesting that in the Gezer  
inscription there are two months with an extra W at the end of the word month -  the 
first and sixth.
Could this extra W mean 'start of new  year'?" 
When I look at the Gezer Calendar, however,  I see four periods, not two 
periods, having a W at the end.  The first three periods, each of which  is 
considered a two-month period, all have a W.  Then the 7th period, which is  
considered the other two-month period, also has a W.  The other four periods do not 
have a W  and are considered to each be a single  month. 
2.  Note that the Gezer Calendar starts the year in the fall.  By contrast, 
the four seasons enumerated  in the Dead Sea Scrolls start the year in the 
spring.  In Canaan, a year starts either in the  fall (Gezer Calendar), or in the 
spring (Qumran calendar), or both:  the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, where the  
first day of the New Year is in the fall, but the first month of the New Year is  
in the spring.  All of this is  redolent of a 6-month "year" concept in 
ancient Canaan.   
3.  Note also that the only mention of feasting in the Gezer Calendar is in  
late spring.  Is that a celebration  of a New Year in the spring?  Certainly 
the beginning of the year in the fall in the Gezer Calendar  would have meant a 
New Year celebration in the fall.  So the Gezer Calendar seems consistent  
with the possibility of there possibly having been a New Year festival in  
ancient Canaan about every 6 months or so, which is a 6-month "year"  concept. 
Jim  Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois  

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