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15. Purim the second, or the Great Feast of Lots. (Est. ix. v. 18.) An account of these festivals is given in a subsequent part of this volume.
The dedication of the temple of Zorobabel (Ez. vi. 16.) was made in this month, but the day is not known.
18. Now is read from Exod. xxxviii. 21. to the end of the book; and from 1 Sam. vii. 50. to 1 Sam. viii. 21.
20. A fast in memory of the rain obtained of God, by one Onias Hammagel, in a time of great dearth.
25. The lessons were the five first chapters of Leviticus, and from Isa. xliii. 21. to Isa. xliv. 24.
28. A feast. The Grecian edict, which forbad the Jews the use of circumcision, recalled.
The intercalary month was inserted here, when the year was to consist of thirteen lunar months; and the month so added was called Ve-Adar, that is, the second Adar.
7. ABIB, OR NISAN.
The SEVENTH month of the civil year, the FIRST month of the ecclesiastical year; it has thirty days, and corresponds with part of our March and April.
1. The new moon. A fast on account of the death of the children of Aaron. Levit. x. 1.)
3. The lessons were from Lev. vi. 1. to Lev. ix. 1. and from Jer. vii. 21. to Jer, viii. 4.
10. A fast on account of the death of Miriam. (Numb. xx. 1.) On this day every one provided himself with a lamb against the fourteenth.
12. The lessons were from Lev. ix. 1. to Lev. xii. 1. and from 2 Sam. vi. 1. to 2 Sam. vii. 17.
14. The passover. The Jews now burn all the leavened bread they have in their houses.
15. The feast of unleavened bread.
16. The morrow after the feast of the passover. On this second day the Jew's offered up to God the Omer, that is, the sheaf of the new barley harvest, which was cut and carried into the temple with much ceremony. The fifty days of Pentecost were reckoned from this day.
19. The lessons were from Lev. xii. 1. to Lev. xiv. 1. and from 2 Sam. iv. 42. to 2 Sam. v. 20.
21. The last day of the feast of unleavened bread.
26. A fast for the death of Joshua. (Josh. xxiv. 29.)
27. The lessons were from Lev. xiv. 1. to Lev. xvi. 1. and 2 Sam. vii. 3. to the end of the chapter.
29. Genebrard observes, that the Jews in this month prayed for the spring rain, or the latter rain, which was seasonable for their harvest. (Deut. xi. 14. Zech. x. 1.) This is that rain which the Hebrews call Malkosh, that is, the rain which prepares for the harvest, and makes the grain swell.
8. JYAR, OR ZIF.
The EIGHTH month of the civil year, the SECOND month of the ecclesiastical year; it has only twenty-nine days, and corresponds with part of our April and May.
1. The new moon.
3. The lessons were from Lev. xvi. 1. to Lev. xix. 1. and 17 verses of Ezek. xxii. 10. A fast for the death of Eli, and the taking of the ark. (1 Sam. iv. 18.)
11. The lessons were from Lev. xix. 1. to Lev. xx. 1. and from Amos ix. 7. to the end; or else from Ezek. xx. 2. to Ezek. xxi. 21.
14. The second passover (Numb. ix. 10, 11.) in favour of those who could not, or were not suffered to celebrate the passover the last month.
19. The lessons were from Lev. xxi. 1. to Lev. xxv. 1. and from Ezek. iv. 15. to the end of the chapter.
23. A feast. Simon takes Gaza, according to Scaliger.
26. The lessons were from Lev. xxv, 1. to Lev. xxvi. 3. and from Jer. xxxii. 6. to Jer xxxii. 28.
28. A fast for the death of Samuel, who was lamented by all the people. (1 Sam. xxv. 1.)
9. SIVAN, OR SIUVAN.
The NINTH month of the civil year, the THIRD month of the ecclesiastical year; it has thirty days, and corresponds with part of our May and June.
1. The new moon.
3. The lessons were from Lev. xxvi. 3. to the end of the book, and from Jer xvi. 19. to Jer. xvii. 15.
6. The feast of Pentecost, which is also called the feast of weeks, because it fell just seven weeks after the morrow after the feast of the passover.
10. Numbers is begun and read to ch. iv. v. 21. and from Hosea ii. 10. to Hosea ii. 21.
13. A feast in memory of the victories of the Maccabees over the Bathsurites, 1 Mac. v. 52.
17. A feast for the taking of Cæsarea by the Asmonæans.
19. The lessons were from Num. iv. 21. to Numb. viii. 1. and from Judg. ii. 2. to the end of the chapter.
23. A fast, because Jeroboam forbad the ten tribes, which obeyed him, to carry up their first fruits to Jerusalem. (1 Kings xii. 27.)
25. A fast, on account of the murder of the Rabbins, Simon the son of Gamaliel, Ishmael the son of Elisha, and Ananias the Sagan, that is, the high priest's vicar.
26. The lessons were from Num. viii. to Num. xiii. 1. and from Zech. ii. 10. to Zech. iv. 8.
27. A fast, because Rabbi Hanina, the son of Tardion, was burnt, and with him the book of the law.
10. THAMMUZ, OR TAMMUZ.
The TENTH month of the civil year, the FOURTH month of the ecclesi astical year; it has only twenty-nine days, and corresponds with part of our June and July.‘
1. The new moon.
3. The lessons were from Num. xiii. 1. to Num. xvi. 1. and the second chapter of Joshua.
10. The lessons were from Num. xvi. 1. to Num. xix. 1. and from 1 Sam. xi. 14. to 1 Sam. xii. 23.
14. A feast for the abolition of a pernicious book of the Sadducees against the oral law and tradition.
The fast of the fourth month, because the tables of the law were broken, the perpetual sacrifice ceased, Epistemon burned the law, and set up an idol in the temple. (Exod. xxxii. 19.)
19. The lessons were from Num. xix. 1. to Num. xxii. 2. and the eleventh chapter of Judges to the 34th verse.
26. The lessons were from Numb. xxii. 2. to Numb. xxv. 10. and from Mic. v. 7. to Mic. vi. 9.
29. The lessons were from Num. xxv. 10. to Num. xxx. 2. and from 1 Sam. xviii. 46, to the end of the chapter.
The ELEVENTH month of the civil year, the FIFTH month of the ecclesiastical year; it has thirty days, and corresponds with part of our July and August.
1. The new moon. A fast on account of the death of Aaron the high-priest. (Num. xxxiii. 38.)
1 See Prideaux's Con. p. 1. b. 1. under the year 588.
3. The lessons were from Numb. xxx. 2. to Numb. xxxiii. 1. and from Jer. i. 1. to Jer. ii. 4.
9. The fast of the fifth month, because the temple was first burnt by the Chaldees, and afterwards by the Romans, on this day; and because God on this day declared in time of Moses that none of those who came out of Egypt should enter into the land of promise. (Num. xiv. 29. 31.)
12. The book of Numbers is now finished; and from Jer. ii. 4. to Jer. ii. 29. is also read.
18. A fast, because in the time of Ahaz the evening lamp went out. Genebrard calls this lamp the Western Lamp.
20. Deuteronomy is begun and read from i. 1. to iii. 23. and the first chapter of Isaiah to verse 28.
21. Selden asserts that this was the day that all the wood which was wanted in the temple was brought into it; but others think that this was done in the next month.
24. A feast for the Maccabees having abolished that law of the Sadducees whereby sons and daughters inherited alike.
28. The lessons were from Deut. iii. 23. to Deut. vii. 12. and Isa. xl. to verse 27.
The TWELFTH month of the civil year, the SIXTH month of the ecclesiastical year; it has but twenty-nine days, and corresponds with part of our August and September.
1. The new moon.
3. The lessons were from Deut. vii. 12. to Deut. xi. 26. and from Isa. xlix. 14. to Isa. li. 4.
7. The dedication of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah.
12. The lessons were from Deut. xi. 27. to Deut. xvi. 18. and from Isa. liv. 11. to Isa. lv. 4.
17. A fast, because of the death of the spies who brought up the evil report of the land of promise. (Numb. xiv. 36, 37.)
20. The lessons were from Deut. xvi. 18. to Deut. xxi. 10. and from Isa. li. 12. to Isa. lii. 18.
21. The festival of wood offering (xylophoria).
22. A feast in memory of the punishment of the wicked and incorrigible Israelites.
28. The lessons were from Deut. xxi. 10. to Deut. xxvi. 1. and Isa. liv. to verse 11. 29. This is the last day of the month, on which the Jews reckoned up the beasts that had been born, the tenths of which belonged to God. They chose this day to do it in, because the first day of the month Tisri was a festival, and therefore they could not tithe a flock on that day.
VI. In common with other nations, the Jews reckoned any part of a period of time for the whole, as in Exod. xvi. 35. An attention to this circumstance will explain several apparent contradictions in the sacred writings: thus, a part of the day is used for the whole, and part of the year for an entire year.
In Gen. xvii. 12. circumcision is enjoined to be performed when a child is eight days old, but in Lev. xii. 3. on the eighth day; accordingly, when Jesus Christ is said to have been circumcised when eight days were accomplished (Luke ii. 21.), and John the Baptist on the eighth day (Luke i. 59.), the last, which was the constant usage, explains the former passage. Abenezra, an eminent Jewish commentator (on Levit. xii. 3.), says, that if an infant were born in the last hour of the day, such hour was counted for one whole day. This observation critically reconciles the account of our Lord's resurrection in Matt. xxvii. 63. and Mark viii. 31. "three days after," with that of his resurrection "on the third day," according to Matt. xvi. 21.
Luke ix. 22., and according to fact; for, as our Lord was crucified on Good Friday, about the sixth hour, or noon, the remainder of that day to sunset, according to the Jewish computation, was reckoned as one day. Saturday, it is universally admitted, formed the second day; and as the third day began on Saturday at sun-set, and our Saviour rose about sun-rise on the following morning, that part of a day is justly reckoned for the third day so that the interval was "three days and three nights," or three calendar days current, not exceeding 42 hours, and consequently not two entire days.1 This observation also illustrates 2 Chron. x. 5. 12.
In like manner, in some parts of the East, the year ending on a certain day, any portion of the foregoing year is taken for a whole year; so that, supposing a child to be born in the last week of our December, it would be reckoned one year old on the first day of January, because born in the old year. If this mode of computation obtained among the Hebrews, the principle of it easily accounts for those anachronisms of single years, or parts of years taken for whole ones which occur in sacred writ: it obviates the difficulties which concern the half years of several princes of Judah and Israel, in which the latter half of the deceased king's last year has hitherto been supposed to be added to the former half of his successor's first year.
"We are told," (1 Sam. xiii. 1. marg. reading) "a son of one year was Saul in his kingdom: and two years he reigned over Israel," that is, say he was crowned in June: he was consequently one year old on the first of January following, though he had reigned only six months, the son of a year. But, after this so following first of January he was in the second year of his reign; though, according to our computation, the first year of his reign wanted some months of being completed; in this, his second year, he chose three thousand military, &c. guards.
"The phrase (aro dierns) used to denote the age of the infants slaughtered at Bethlehem, (Matt. ii. 16.) "from two years old and under," is a difficulty that has been deeply felt by the learned. Some infants two weeks old, some two months, others two years, equally slain! Surely those born so long before could not possibly be included in the order, whose purpose was to destroy a child, certainly born within a few months. This is regulated at once by the idea that they were all of nearly equal age, being recently born; some not long before the close of the old year, others a little time since the beginning of the new year. Now, those born before the close of the old year, though only a few months or weeks, would be reckoned not merely one year old, but also in their second year, as the expres sion implies; and those born since the beginning of the year, would be well described by the phrase "and under," that is, under one year old;-some, two years old, though not born a complete twelvemonth
1 Dr. Hales, to whom we are partly indebted for the above remark, has cited several passages from profane authors, who have used a similar phraseology. (Anaof Chronology, vol. i. pp. 121, 122.) Similar illustrations from Rabbinical are collected by Dr. Lightfoot (Hor. Heb. in Matt. xii. 40.) and by Reland Heb. lib. iv. c. 1.)
(perhaps in fact barely six months); others, under one year old, yet born three, four, or five months, and therefore a trifle younger than those before described: according to the time which Herod had diligently inquired of the wise men, IN their second year and UNDER."
VII. Besides the computation of years, the Hebrews first and the Jews afterwards, were accustomed to reckon their time from some remarkable æras or epochas. Thus, 1. From Gen. vii. 1. and viii. 13. it appears that they reckoned from the lives of the patriarchs or other illustrious persons: 2. From their departure out of Egypt, and the first institution of their polity (Exod. xix. 1. xl. 17. Numb. i. 1. ix. 1. xxxiii. 38. 1 Kings vi. 1.): 3. Afterwards, from the building of the temple (1 Kings ix. 10. 2 Chron. viii. 1.), and from the reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel: 4. Then from the commencement of the Babylonian captivity (Ezek. i. 1. xxxiii. 21. xl. 1.); and perhaps also from their return from captivity, and the dedication of the second temple. In process of time they adopted, 5. The æra of the Seleucida, which in the books of Maccabees is called the æra of the Greeks, and began from the year when Seleucus Nicanor attained the sovereign power, that is, about 312 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. This æra the Jews continued to employ for a thousand years. They were further accustomed to reckon their years from the years when their princes began to reign. Thus, in 1 Kings xv. 1. Isa. xxxvi. 1. and Jer. 1, 2, 3. we have traces of their antiently computing according to the years of their kings; and in later times, (1 Macc. xiii. 42. xiv. 27.) according to the years of the Asmonæan princes. Of this mode of computation we have vestiges in Matt. ii. 1. Luke i. 5. and iii. 1. Lastly, ever since the compilation of the Talmud, the Jews have reckoned their years from the creation of the world."
1 Calmet's Dictionary, 4tc. edit. vol. ii. Supplementary Addenda.
2 Schulzii Compendium Archæologiæ Hebraica, lib. i. c. 11. pp. 94–107. Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, book i.ch. 5. vol. i. pp. 138-154. Calmet's Dictionary, articles Day, Week, Month, Year. Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, pp. 34-38. 156-162. Jennings' Jewish Antiquties, book iii. ch. i. pp. 296-308. See also Waehner's Antiquitates Hebræorum, part ii. p. 5. et seq.