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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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The Hebrews months were lunar months, that is, from one new moon to another. These lunar months were each reckoned at twenty-nine days and a half; or rather, one was of thirty days, the following of twenty-nine, and so on alternately: that which had thirty days was called a full or complete month; that which had but twenty-nine days was called incomplete. The new moon was always the beginning of the month and this day they called new-moon day, or new month. The Hebrews usually designated the months only as first, second, etc.; and the names by which they are now known are believed to be of Persian origin, and to have been adopted by the Jews during the captivity. At the exodus from Egypt, which occurred in April, God ordained that that month-the seventh of the civil yearshould be the first of the sacred year, according to which the religious festivals were to be reckoned; and from that time both these modes of numbering the months continued to be employed.

As the Jewish months were governed by the moon, while ours entirely disregard it, the two systems cannot wholly coincide. It is generally agreed, however, that their month Nisan answers most nearly to our April, Iyar to our May, etc.

Twelve lunar months making but three hundred and fifty-four days and six hours, the Jewish year was short of the Roman by twelve days. To recover the equinoctial points, from which this difference of the solar and lunar year would separate the new moon of the first month, the Jews every three years intercalated a thirteenth month, which they called Veadar, the second Adar. By this means their lunar year nearly equaled the solar. See YEAR .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Month'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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