|munth (Chodhesh) new moon)
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Among the Egyptians the month of thirty days each was
in use long before the time of the Exodus, and formed the basis of their calculations.
From the time of the institution of the Mosaic law the month among the Jews was
lunar. The cycle of religious feasts depended on the moon. The commencement of
a month was determined by the observation of the new moon. The number of months
in the year was usually twelve ( 1 Kings 4:7 ; 1 Chronicles 27:1 - 15 ); but every
third year an additional month (ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months
coincide with the seasons.
"The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save 'moon,' and only saved
their calendar from becoming vague like that of the Moslems by the interpolation
of an additional month. There is no evidence at all that they ever used a true
solar year such as the Egyptians possessed. The latter had twelve months of thirty
days and five epagomenac or odd days.", Palestine Quarterly, January 1889.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
From the time of the institution of the Mosaic law downward
the religious feasts commencing with the passover depended not simply on the month,
but on the moon; the 14th of Abib was coincident with the full moon; and the new
moons themselves were the occasions of regular festivals. ( Numbers 10:10 ; 28:11
- 14 ) The commencement of the month was generally decided by observation of the
new moon. The usual number of months in a year was twelve, as implied in ( 1 Kings
4:7 ; 1 Chronicles 27:1 - 15 ) but since twelve lunar months would make but 354
1/2 days, the years would be short twelve days of the short twelve days of the
true year, and therefore it follows as a matter of course that an additional month
must have been inserted about every third year, which would bring the number up
to thirteen. No notice, however, is taken of this month in the Bible. In the modern
Jewish calendar the intercalary month is introduced seven times in every nineteen
The usual method of designating the months was by their numerical order, e.g.
"the second month," ( Genesis 7:11 ) "the fourth month," ( 2 Kings 25:3 ) and
this was generally retained even when the names were given, e.g. "in the month
Zif, which is the second month." ( 1 Kings 6:1 ) The names of the months belong
to two distinct periods. In the first place we have those peculiar to the period
of Jewish independence, of which four only, even including Abib, which we hardly
regard as a proper name are mentioned, viz.: Abib, in which the passover fell,
( Exodus 13:4 ; 23:15 ; 34:18 ; 16:1 ) and which was established as the first
month in commemoration of the exodus, ( Exodus 12:2 ) Zif, the second month, (
1 Kings 6:1 , 6:37 ) Bul, the eighth, ( 1 Kings 6:38 ) and Ethanim, the seventh.
( 1 Kings 6:38 ) and Ethanim, the seventh. ( 1 Kings 8:2 ) In the second place
we have the names which prevailed subsequent to the Babylonish captivity; of these
the following seven appear in the Bible: Nisan, the first, in which the passover
was held, ( Nehemiah 2:1 ; Esther 3:7 ) Sivan, the third ( Esther 8:9 ) Bar. 1:8;
Elul, the sixth, ( Nehemiah 6:15 ) 1 Macc. 14:27; Chisleu, the ninth, ( Nehemiah
1:1 ; Zechariah 7:1 ) 1 Macc. 1:54; Tebeth, the tenth, ( Esther 2:16 ) Sebat,
the eleventh, ( Zechariah 1:7 ) 1 Macc. 16:14; and Adar, the twelfth. ( Esther
3:7 ; 8:1 ) 2 Macc. 15:36. The names of the remaining five occur int he Talmud
and other works; they were, Iyar, the second, Targum; ( 2 Chronicles 30:2 ) Tammuz,
the fourth; Ab, the fifth; Tisri, the seventh; and Marcheshvan, the eighth. The
name of the intercalary month was Ve-adar, i.e. the additional Adar. The identification
of the jewish months with our own cannot be effected with precision on account
of the variations that must inevitably exist between the lunar and the solar month.
Nisan (or Abib) answers to March; Zif or Iyar to May; Sivan to June; Tammuz to
July; Ab to August; Elul to September; Ethanim or Tisri to October; Bul or Marcheshvan
to November; Chisleu to December; Tebeth to January; Sebat to February; and Adar
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
munth (chodhesh, yerach; men):
Chodhesh is strictly the "new moon," the appearance of which marked the beginning
of the month, commonly indicated by ro'sh ha-chodhesh. Yerach is derived from
yareach, "moon," which comes from the verb that means "to wander," "to make a
circuit." Thus the month was lunar, the period of the moon's circuit. The Greek
men also meant "moon," from the Sanskrit ma, "to measure," the Latin mensis and
our "moon" being derived from the same root.
See CALENDAR; TIME; ASTRONOMY.
Chodhesh, or rather ro'sh ha-chodhesh, was observed as a festival (1 Samuel 20:5
, 18 , 24 ; Isaiah 1:14).
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