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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

Adar

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A´dar (Esther 3:7) is the sixth month of the civil and the twelfth of the ecclesiastical year of the Jews. The name was first introduced after the Captivity. The following are the chief days in it which are set apart for commemoration:—The 7th is a fast for the death of Moses (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). On the 9th there was a fast in memory of the contention or open rupture of the celebrated schools of Hillel and Shammai, which happened but a few years before the birth of Christ. The 13th is the so-called 'Fast of Esther.' Iken observes (Antiq. Hebr. p. 150) that this was not an actual fast, but merely a commemoration of Esther's fast of three days (Esther 4:16), and a preparation for the ensuing festival. Nevertheless, as Esther appears, from the date of Haman's edict, and from the course of the narrative, to have fasted in Nisan, Buxtorf adduces from the Rabbins the following account of the name of this fast, and of the foundation of its observance in Adar, that the Jews assembled together on the 13th, in the time of Esther, and that, after the example of Moses, who fasted when the Israelites were about to engage in battle with the Amalekites, they devoted that day to fasting and prayer, in preparation for the perilous trial which awaited them on the morrow. In this sense, this fast would stand in the most direct relation to the feast of Purim. The 13th was also, 'by a common decree,' appointed as a festival in memory of the death of Nicanor (2 Maccabees 15:36). The 14th and 15th were devoted to the feast of Purim (Esther 9:21). In case the year was an intercalary one, when the month of Adar occurred twice, this feast was first moderately observed in the intercalary Adar, and then celebrated with full splendor in the ensuing Adar. The former of these two celebrations was then called the lesser, and the latter the great Purim.

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Adar'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/a/adar.html.

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