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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

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We meet with constant mention in the Bible concerning the months; but it is remarkable, that the Israelites had no particular names for their months until alter their connection, with Egypt. We read in Genesis 7:11 of the second month, when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the ark rested on the seventh month upon the mountains of Ararat, (Genesis 8:4) —and the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. After the Exodus took place, and Israel went out of Egypt, we find names first began to be given by the Hebrews to their months, though still numbering them as before. Thus for example—"This day came ye out, in the month Abib." (Exodus 13:4) And so again, (Deuteronomy 16:1) "Observe the month Abib, (Chodeseh Abib) the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night."But they did not lose sight of their numbering their months, and calling them by their numbers. The children of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month, after their departing out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 16:1. So again, Exodus 19:1) In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they unto the wilderness of Sinai. And we find mention of months by numbering through all the Old Testament, and even in the New. (See Numbers 1:1; Ezra 3:8; Jeremiah 36:9; Ezekiel 31:1; Haggai 1:1; Hag 1:15; Zechariah 8:19; Luke 1:26; Luk 1:36)

In Solomon's days we find names more particulary given to their months, yet still preserving the ancient method of speaking of their months after their numbers. Thus 1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass, in the four hundred and eighteenth year, after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord." So again, 1 Kings 6:37-38 "in the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif; and in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished..." So 1 Kings 8:2 Solomon held a feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. But it was only in the time of Solomon that the months were named, for we do not meet with the mention of the months by names, except that of Abib in Exodus and Deuteronomy, either before or after Solomon, until the Babylonish captivity. But whether the name Abib, which signifies green fruit, or ears of corn, and which was the spring answering to our March, was so particularly called in Egypt, and the Hebrews borrowed the name from thence, or Solomon learnt the names of Zif and Bul from the Phenicians When trading with them, is not easy to determine, neither perhaps is it important to know.

It is probable, however, that the Jews learnt in Babylon, the custom of the Chaldeans, to mark their months as they did by names, and from thence (or the Persians, under whom for a time they dwelt when the monarchy of Babylon was destroyed), they formed the following to all the months in the year.

The names of the months.

1. Nizan, which answers to March.

2. Jiar which answers to April..

3. Sivan which answers to May..

4. Thammuz which answers to June..

5. Ab which answers to July.

6. Elul which answers to August.

7. Tizri which answers to September.

8. Marschevan which answers to October.

9. Casleu which answers to November.

10. Thebet which answers to December.

11. Sebat...which answers to January.

12. Adar. which answers to February.

The Hebrews observed a distinct order in the calculation of their time as it related to holy seasons and ordinary concerns. The holy year, as they termed it, began in the month Nizan, corresponding to our March, called in the Exodus Abib; no doubt, in obedience to that precept—"This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year unto you." (Exodus 12:1-2) The ordinary year for concerns commenced with the Hebrews in the month Tizri, answering to our September.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Month'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​m/month.html. London. 1828.
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