[b-hebrew] Gezer Calendar and 6-Month "Year"
torythrp at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 23 18:08:11 EDT 2007
It does not appear that you understood what was said. Where are you
getting "TWO measure" from? It does not matter when the Gezer
Calendar starts. It does not matter when the Qumran community started
their 364-day solar calendar. It does not matter when the Torah
starts its calendar. All of these calendars measure "years" in 12
month increments, not 6. In any 12-month calendar a New Year that
begins in the fall will not end until the next fall, and a New Year
that begins in spring will not end until the next spring. The Jewish
calendar has several New Year dates. None of these "years" are
shorter than 12 months. If you want to consider the 9th month in the
Gezer Calendar the start of a New Year that "year" does not end until
month 8 twelve months later. There is no evidence within GC that it's
"year" is 6-months.
On Oct 23, 2007, at 5:26 PM, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:
> Thank you for that important clarification.
> 1. You wrote: "Even if we were to take /kl/ in line 5 in the
> sense of "to
> as Lemaire does by assuming a base /klh/…."
> That reading is even better for my point of view than Albright's
> reading of
> "feasting". Both readings fit my theory perfectly that one 6-
> month "year"
> would end at the beginning of May, as the first 6-month "year" was
> That would be the occasion for "feasting" in honor of the new New
> which begins in early May and ends in September or so.
> So "complete" or "to terminate" or "to end" or "feasting" or
> "festival" are
> all wonderful translations for me.
> It's the 1909 translation of "two measure" that causes me some
> 2. You continued: "…you still would have no
> support for a 6-month year in the 10th century BCE."
> We've got the Gezer Calendar starting the New Year in the fall.
> We have the
> Qumran Calendar, that S. Talmon views as relating truly ancient
> starting the New Year in the spring. And we have the Hebrew
> calendar, which
> though heavily influenced later by the Babylonians regarding the
> names of the
> months and some other issues, nevertheless has some truly ancient
> roots in
> Canaan. The Hebrew calendar starts the New Year in the fall, with
> the first
> day of the New Year, and 6 months later the Hebrew calendar starts
> the New Year
> in the spring, with the first month of the New Year.
> All of that is redolent of a 6-month "year" concept in my book.
> The New
> Year starts in the spring, and/or in the fall, in Canaan.
> 3. You wrote: "Albright may have
> rejected a 1909 proposal from Ronzevalle, but new data coming to
> light since Albright's time suggests Ronzevalle was right all along
> and line 5 should be read /kl/ from a base /kyl/ ("measuring"), a
> reduction of the diphthong /ay/ to /e/ (see Gibson, Textbook of
> Syrian Semitic Inscriptions I [Oxford, 1973], p. 2). The "month of
> harvest and measuring" (yrh qsr wkl)…."
> If the 1909 translation is correct, then a lot would depend on how
> interprets "two measure" or "harvest and measuring". Is the word
> there referring solely to counting how much barley and wheat had
> been harvested?
> Or does "measure" have a calendar meaning there, meaning that the
> of one 6-month "year" has now been taken and completed, and it's
> time to
> begin "measuring" another 6-month "year"?
> What would 'two measure' mean? Would it mean that the first 6-
> month "year"
> has now been measured, and now it's time to start measuring a
> second 6-month
> "year" in this 12-month period: a "two measure"? Or is "two
> limited to having a specific agricultural meaning of some sort?
> 4. You continued: "…or Albright's "harvest and
> feasting" (he restored a gimmel to /wgl/ and rejected kaph /wkl/), is
> the 9th month enumerated in the GC."
> Of course, a translation of "harvest and feasting" would be great
> for my
> theory of the 6-month "year". One New Year starts in the fall, at
> the beginning
> of the Gezer Calendar, and another New Year starts in the late
> spring, at
> the time of "harvest and feasting", with "feasting" meaning a New
> Year festival
> and each such "year"/New Year being a 6-month "year".
> 5. You wrote: "Regardless of the precise season
> month 9 corresponds to in Israel the GC is a calendar which measures
> time using more than 6 months. For your theory you need to bring
> forward evidence of a calendar with 6 and only 6 months in it. That
> just can't be done with the GC."
> But that is not my theory of the case at all. The calendars of
> ancient Ur
> had 12 different month names. But they celebrated a multi-day New
> festival every 6 months. That's a 6-month "year" concept.
> The Gezer Calendar probably is describing the agricultural activities
> throughout the course of the year. I agree with S. Talmon's
> suggestion that the
> Gezer Calendar probably does not list any formal names of any
> months. Rather,
> the Gezer Calendar chronicles 8 agricultural seasons.
> Nobody would have a calendar of six 30-day months, and then start
> year with six more months having the very same names. That would
> make no sense
> at all, since the winter is very different from the summer in
> Canaan. So
> the names of the winter months will not be the same as the names
> of the summer
> months. But the question is whether the winter months are in one
> "year", and the summer months are in a different 6-month "year".
> I do not see the number of the names of months as being a key
> factor at all,
> one way or the other.
> No, what counts is whether a New Year is celebrated both in the
> fall and in
> the spring. From the Gezer Calendar a New Year must have been
> celebrated in
> the fall, because the Gezer Calendar starts in the fall. The
> question then
> becomes whether there was a "festival" or a "feasting" or a
> "termination" or
> an "end" or "to be complete" that occurred in early May. If so,
> that sure
> sounds like a 6-month "year" concept to me. But if what happened
> in May was a
> 'two measure", per that old 1909 translation, then it would all
> depend on
> what "two measure" means. If "two measure" means to take the
> measure of two
> 6-month "years", the one that is ending and the one that is just
> beginning, that
> of course would be great. The only bad translation I can see for
> my view is
> if "two measure" has some very specific agricultural meaning, such as
> measuring both barley and wheat, or measuring barley or wheat in
> accordance with two
> different measures, etc. Otherwise, all the other translations I
> have seen
> fit my view nicely.
> 6. You cannot realize how greatly I appreciate the fact that you
> have raised
> these issues concerning the Gezer Calendar. All such issues are very
> important in trying to decide if the author of the Patriarchal
> narratives could
> possibly have had a 6-month "year" concept in mind in setting
> forth all the ages
> of everyone in the text. If so, then every such age makes
> perfect sense,
> as is, with not a single age being miraculous.
> 7. I myself see nothing in the Patriarchal narratives as being
> In particular, no age of any person in the text is nonsensically
> too old to
> be believed.
> Moreover, many people knew the "secret" of how the ages of people
> were being
> expressed in the Patriarchal narratives, in ancient times and
> through the
> Middle Ages. It is only modern analysts who have lost the
> knowledge of how each
> person's age is set forth in the Patriarchal narratives.
> The Gezer Calendar is one good clue to help us on our way to
> the ages of all persons in the Patriarchal narratives.
> Thanks so much for raising these issues concerning the Gezer
> Calendar. I
> myself have found the Talmon article to be particularly helpful in
> understanding the Gezer Calendar.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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