Today's Hebrew calendar is actually the Babylonian calendar. In the days of the First Temple, the months were called by names such as Eitanim and Bol
If we hold a kind of random street poll and ask passers-by what the Hebrew calendar is, compared to the foreign one for example, we will find at best and among a small public, references such as voting on the new years of the year, all or some of them, and not always according to any order.
On the other hand, if we present the question to the public - what about the Aramaic, Babylonian calendar? We will encounter skepticism, confusion, raised eyebrows, emotional rejection and more. And then we will reveal the "big secret": no, no, this is not a false maxim, the tablet that seems to us, that seems to us, so Hebrew, a kind of anti-Lozian, is nothing but the Aramaic, Babylonian tablet with very ancient historical roots, which underwent "Hebrization" ” certain.
We will present to you the Aramaic, Babylonian calendar, with its quasi-dotted pronunciation, and its beginning in the month of Nisan, and no, no, it is not a mistake, and for the phonetic relief I will present it with punctuation such as: Nisan, Aru (Fateh, Kobutz = Air), Siman (Sivan), Demez (Kobutz , Kobutz = Tammuz), Ab (Fateh, Kobutz, B. Dagosha = Father), Elel (Kobutz, Kobutz, Kobutz = Elul), Tishretam (Khirik missing, Sheva, Sheva, Kobutz = Tishrei), Saman (Fateh, Sheva, Kobutz = Hashvan), Keselm (Hirik missing, Sheva, Hirik missing, Kobutz = Kislo), Tebatam (Petah, Hirik missing, B. Degosha, Kobutz = Tevet), Shebat (Kemetz, Petah, Kobutz = tribe), Adar (Petah , Petah, Kobutz = Adar) And then we will agree that the beginning of the "Hebrew" tablet is rooted in pre-pre-biblical periods, probably already in the Sumerian era.
Among the ancient, authentic calendars, we mention the Gezer tablet, the dimensions of which are 11 cm long and 7.2 cm wide, which dates to the tenth century BC, that is, the beginning of the kingdom in Judah. This is an inscription that is considered the oldest in the ancient Hebrew language. The calendar lists months in the agricultural context only, with each month being called in Aramaic "Yarho" (Bashurok) or "Yarho" (Fateh, Sheva, and Kobutz). Keslo/Tabat), Lakash moon (two purples (=sowing in Shebat and Adar), moon (Fateh, Kobutz) Esed Pesht(e) (displacing the Peshtah in Nisan), Kets(Yi)er Sha(Varim) moon (Bayer), moon Katsho All (harvest of wheat kidneys in Sivan), Zamir moon (two purples) (Zamir) (monthly harvest in Tuz and Bab), Yahar Katz (Zira) (or summer) - (picking summer fruits, for example figs in Elul).
It should be noted in order to remove any doubt and confusion that the names of months do not appear in the Gezer calendar at all, but only the order of their appearance, so that according to the agricultural works highlighted in the text they can be assigned the appropriate months according to the calendar.
Whether this is some kind of study board for students, or a board as an exercise in writing, or perhaps the product of a bored farmer is unknown. In any case, the phenomenon of this board is interesting. It is worth noting that the calendar begins with a connection to the months of Tishrei-Hashvan, they are the months of Asif, without calling them by their later names. And this is to know that the calendar in question, dating from the tenth century BCE, corresponds to the days of the beginning of the monarchy, and has no trace, my writing of course, in the biblical literature, which clearly shows us that quite a few different calendars without nomenclature of the months of the year operated in the field, according to various natural phenomena, Mainly climatic.
Now we would like to make some kind of order in the chronological, historical context, although hypothetical, since the order of appearance of the books of the Bible and even the internal order in each book are not prepared according to a chronological table. I will try with the utmost care to make some kind of order about it.
The carrot calendar is undoubtedly the most ancient, and the names of the months, if at all, are not numbered, especially if we note that the year of agricultural work in the field, in the orchard and in the vineyard, extends over 8 agricultural divisions, including hidden, interpretive 12 months.
The ancient Hebrew year began in the month of Nissan, and according to the scripture: "This month (Nisan) (will be) the beginning of months for you. It is the first for you for the new year" (Exodus 2:4). In vain we will look for a cosmic-astronomical, agricultural, geological logic, beyond the fact that the Bible bothered to mention this month (Nisan) and perhaps precisely as the first of the months in the context of the exodus from Egypt (yes it was or was not and in what dimensions if at all). And this as a very important historical landmark, without a doubt foundational, between the generation of the desert and the generation of the biblical settlement. And what is the name of this month, known as the month of "Nisan"? Let's look and read - "Today you are leaving (Egypt) in the month of spring" (Exodus 1:XNUMX), and no, it is not a season but the name of a month - the month of "Spring", and if we ask for some kind of agricultural connection, then in the month of Nissan = month Spring the grain ripens and here you have a phonetic connection, alphabetic roots between "grain" and "spring". And later the scripture instructs: "Keep the month of spring...for in the month of spring Jehovah your God brought you out of Egypt" (Deuteronomy XNUMX:XNUMX). The month of "Aviv" appears a few times in the Bible, and it is not accidental, as it is with regard to the following months, and we will clarify this later.
It should be noted that in front of a carrot board that begins to number the year from the months of Tishrei-Hashvan, it seems that we are facing an interesting calendar revolution from the above founding reason.
Another month, as ancient as the previous one, appears in the Bible as follows: "And it came to pass in eighty and four hundred years that the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of the month of Ziv, which is the second month of Solomon's reign over Israel, and he built the house of Jehovah" (1 Kings XNUMX:XNUMX). Like its predecessor, it is also associated with the exodus from Egypt, and from its number - the second month (after Nissan) - that is, the month of Air.
Another month, as ancient as the previous one, appears in the Bible as follows: "And all the people of Israel called to King Solomon in the month of the stalwarts at the festival, which is the seventh month" (2 Kings XNUMX:XNUMX). The seventh month is the month of Tishrei for the Minyan of the year that begins in the month of Nissan.
Another month, apparently strange, hidden in the Bible is the month of Chesvan, and in its ancient name, probably from the period of the "spring month", it was the month of Bull (the second is stressed and the letter 38 is punctuated by a whistle), or the month of Bull in the biblical inscription - "And in the eleventh year in the month of Bull , is the eighth month, the house is complete (the building of the Temple by Solomon was completed) for all his words and all his judgments, and they built it seven years" (XNUMX Kings XNUMX:XNUMX). In this text, which appears in connection with the moon "Bull" only once in the Bible, very interesting information is hidden and our concern is the accuracy of the determination of the month, the month of Bull, as the eighth month, of course from Nissan, or in the biblical inscription from the month of Aviv. This orderly numerical determination perhaps indicates, on the one hand, the desire to accustom the public to the connection between the month and its share, and on the other hand, to indicate for the benefit of the following days exactly which month it is. There is an important allusion here regarding the numbering of the position of the months, probably long before the official reading of their names. And it can perhaps be assumed that before reading the months by their names, they used to mark them orally or in writing with some orderly sign, it is said in connection with the above verse in the eighth month. And of course, if we count eight months from Nissan, we will arrive at the month of Cheshon, which is the month of "Bull" as indicated above.
It can be assumed, as in relation to the month of Nissan, that the month "Bull" may have a phonetic origin from the word Yabul. Or a flood, due to it being a very rainy month.
Would it be far from placing the assumption that Solomon, he-he, in the sacred and constitutive connection to the building of the Temple, the House of Jehovah, who exhibited the ancient number, perhaps the fruit of his personal contribution to the ancient Hebrew calendar. Moreover, Solomon probably took advantage of the wide public gathering around the temple to formalize the appearance of this or that month and perhaps even in his name. And this public ritual connection will appear further on.
The paucity of the appearance and mention of the months "Aviv", "Ziv", "Eitanim" and "Bull", may perhaps be understood against the background of the later revolution as a result of the Jewish exodus from Babylon, the one who introduced and nationalized the Babylonian calendar, he-he who took the place of the king's revolution Shlomo. And we will also allude to this about an interesting assumption later on. And we should already note that of the four names listed above, only one, the month of Nisan, appears in the Bible along with some of the Babylonian names - with the exception of Tammuz and Av. And for that, as stated below.
And perhaps there is some kind of parallel between the above-mentioned four months and the four periods of the year engraved/painted to mark the four seasons from the mosaic of the ancient synagogue that was uncovered on the grounds of Kibbutz Beit Alfa, dating back to the fifth century AD, i.e. - "the period of Nissan", "the period of Tammuz" , "Tishrei Period" and "Tebet Period". Although not one-to-one, it is certainly close.
If we summarize up to this point, it is said that the Gezer tablet indicates "strange" month names, without a late parallel, although with an allusion to Babylon, and that the four months (Aviv, Ziv, Eitanim and Bol) appear in the biblical codex, only they alone and their presence is extremely poor. Forgotten, disappeared, hidden?! With the exception of "Aviv" which has a somewhat revolutionary historical association, in relation to the exodus from Egypt, "Ziv", "Eitanim" and "Bull" are involved in a historical revolution, no less fundamental. We were related to the temple that King Solomon initiated and built, as he had clear ambitions of uniting all the tribes of Israel and Judah.
Further - somewhere between the above mention of the months and the calendar revolution of the Return of Zion, probably at the initiative of Ezra and Nehemiah, hints appear in the Bible on the one hand and determinations on the other of a number of months without specifying their names precisely. such as in the following case:
"But in the tenth of this seventh month Yom Kippur is... at nine of the month in the evening, from evening to evening, you shall observe your Sabbath" (Leviticus 32:26-XNUMX). Let's count - from the month of Aviv, when the name Nissan, its late Babylonian counterpart, is omitted - is the first month, we count seven months and we will reach Tishrei, also in its Babylonian name, for the time of Yom Kippur. It should be noted that this quote is probably chronologically earlier than the ones that follow, because the name of the month, Tishri, in the numerical correlation, is not mentioned.
In the next, later case, the image changes as we see:
"And Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, to his royal house, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebat, in the seventh year of his reign" (Megillat Esther 16:XNUMX) Even here we count from the month of Aviv/Nisan ten months before we reach the month of Tebat. However, unlike its predecessor, this text indicates the name of the new, Babylonian month, i.e. Tevet, and its ordinal number. This is a late phenomenon from the previous source in fact that the name of the month was mixed up, the Babylonian month.
The following case, like the previous one, indicates the location of the Shebat month in the order of the 11th of the month of Nisan and Harihu before you:
"On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh (eleventh) month, which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Dervish, the word of Jehovah came to me, Zechariah son of Barachihu son of Idda the prophet said" (Zechariah 7:XNUMX). Here, as before, there is a chronological relation to the synchronization between the name of the month and its orderly, serial location. Probably during this period we will still have to present the numerical correlation between the place of the month and its name in order to ensure the spread of the affinity between the number and the public's awareness of it. It seems that we are facing an interesting historical development. And let's not forget that the prophet Zechariah, together with the prophet Haggai, were an integral part of the atmosphere of innovation and reform that Ezra led at the time with the arrival of the wave of immigration to Israel, when Ezra prevailed over the entire system of religious, ritual, social, economic and even political changes that were emerging in the Land of Israel at that time.
The next section, it seems, presents another step in the sinking of the name of the month among the population already without mentioning its orderly share in the sequence of the dozen months. Probably to accustom the population to use the Babylonian chronological calendar.
The following text, like the previous one, aims to achieve the same social, calendar goal.
"The words of Nehemiah son of Hechaliah, and it came to pass in the month of Kislu, the twentieth year, and I was in Shushan, the capital" (Nehemiah 1:15). Even here, as before, the name of the month is mentioned, as Selo, without any serial chronological association, to teach us about the settlement of the transition mask between the ancient Hebrew months and the synchronization between the serial number and the location of the particular month, and the end of the process, the settlement of all the Babylonian months of the year in Jewish society. And so in the following text: "And the Jews who were in Shushan also died on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar..." (Megillat Esther 1:15). And in the following text: "And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes..." (Nehemiah 15:XNUMX) In vain we will look for a synchronization and correlation to the order of the months, considering the setting and rising of the Babylonian calendar among Jewish society, as well as in the book of Ezra (XNUMX:XNUMX) - "And she shall bring forth her daughter It was discussed until the third (third) day of the month of Adar", as well as in Nehemiah XNUMX:XNUMX - "And the wall was completed (its construction was completed) on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, for (another) fifty-two days."
My assumption is that since the return to Zion, 538 BCE, after several decades of exile since the destruction of the First Temple, (586 BCE) and in particular since the two waves of immigration to the land, Ezra's immigration and Nehemiah's immigration, the dating of the Land of Israel underwent a significant change, when it received the number of months Aramaic-Babylonian, some of which originate from the ancient Sumerian tablet. It was a real revolution, and it was not without reason that it was associated, so it seems, with the building of the Second Temple in 516 BC, over which Ezra and Nehemiah triumphantly triumphed. Aviv, Bull, Ziv and Eitanim, considering a very important historical event, and the inauguration of the Second Temple, which is when the new calendar, the Aramaic-Babylonian calendar, began to be recorded, with the names known to this day, beginning not in the month of Aviv/Nisan, but in Tishri . And it is interesting to note that the monthly equivalents of the aforementioned four Hebrew months do not appear at all in the Bible, neither Tishrei, Iyer nor Cheshon.
It should be noted by the way, that the revolution of Ezra and Nehemiah did not operate exclusively on the calendar level, which it was, but it is similar to such an incidental symptom, seemingly of course. These, Ezra and Nehemiah, despite their small number and with them the group of immigrants from Babylon, in front of the Jewish population that remained in the land after the destruction, when they enjoyed the support of the Persian monarchy, instituted truly revolutionary regulations such as the order to expel the foreign women from the Jewish population that remained in the land, drawing a deep and significant dividing line between the population the Jewish and the Samaritan population, the gathering of the people for the public reading of the Torah, the making of the covenant, the covenant between the people and their God, the restoration of the enslaved fields to their owners, the liberation of slaves, the establishment of the High Priesthood and more. In the context of that political, economic, social and religious revolution, one can certainly understand the attempt, so similar, to organize and institutionalize the Hebrew/Babylonian calendar, and perhaps even considering a public signature for their entire enterprise in Israel.
And perhaps the sign of the absorption of the new, renewed date is found in the mention of the orderly book of the month, such as - "And she departed from the river Ahua on the twelfth day of the first month to go to Jerusalem..." (Ezra 31:9), or - "And all the people of Judah and Benjamin gathered in Jerusalem for the three days, it is a month The ninth of the twentieth of the month..." (Ezra XNUMX:XNUMX)
We speculated about when the board changed from Aramean-Babylonian, but something was missing and this is the "golden vision" for that move. The evidence was found, somewhat hidden between the pages of the Talmud from the mouths of Rabbi Hanina and Rabbi Yona. Immediately following the lecture.
Well, Nissan is still seen as the head of months, but this is a short-lived phenomenon, since today is not far away and the calendar received the debut of Tishrei as the first month of the year. However, the tablet with his Babylonian names has since been accepted as the official, "Hebrew" tablet, and it is not for nothing that the aforementioned Rabbi Hanina mentions the following sentence: "The names of the months came up in their hands (in the hands of the people of Zion) from Babylon" (Yerushalmi Talmud, Rosh Hashanah XNUMX, end of p. XNUMX), that is to say that the spelling of the names of the Babylonian months was part of the revolution of Ezra and Nehemiah's ascension/return to the land. And it is interesting that the same Rabbi Hanina bothers to remind his friends, his students, that the ancient months were Ziv, Eitanim, Bull and Aviv, and perhaps it is no coincidence that the Rosh Hashanah tractate in Sage literature is later than the Passover tractate. The mention of Rabbi Hanina is linked to the mention of Rabbi Yona, who emphasizes there in the Jerusalem text in front of his friends, his students, the following sentence: "From where (from here) and going (and onward) about new names are you many (arguing in front of me) about me?!", to teach us that the bearer of the names of the months and their location The siduri against earlier calendars, was the subject of their conversation, their debates and the matter of both the terms and the said. Perhaps also because of the Aramaic-Babylonian revolution of Ezra and Nehemiah. And in this context we also note the assumption, the assertion of the famous Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish (Rish Lakish) - "even the names of the angels came up in their hand from Babylon" (Yerushalmi ibid).
Even in the continuation of the aforementioned Talmudic text, it is hard not to be impressed by the statement that the exiles who immigrated from Babylon to the Land of Israel brought with them a heavy and long "inheritance".
Moreover, it is no secret that the Babylonian influence on the Jews and what is manifested both in the adoption of the Aramaic script, in fact the Babylonian, in the consideration of a move conceived and initiated by Ezra, and in the development of the Aramaic language especially in the literature of the Sages, does not need proof but is evident in none other than the book Ezra, chapters XNUMX-XNUMX, XNUMX. And perhaps according to the same spirit we can understand Ezra's instruction to avoid marriage with local, non-Jewish women. These moves are the result of Ezra's enterprises, including the calendar revolution.
Well, let's go back and return to the number of the months of the year, starting from Tishrei and ending with Elul, considering the calendar reversal of Ezra, although the Sodr number continued in the meantime from the month of Nissan onwards), and as evidence the month of Cheshon will come and "declare" that its name is Mr. Cheshon, which has led some commentators to claim that it is a month Absent holidays and therefore was called by the dubious title - "Mr." The truth is that there is no separation between Mer and Hashwan, and it should be said from Rahshwan, which is of Akkadian origin, "Varach (fatah, shawa) Sheman (fatah, shawa, kobutz)", to say the eighth month (Moon), that is, the eighth of the month of Nissan (= Hashwan). It therefore took a long time before the names of the Babylonian months beginning in the month of Tishrei were absorbed by the public. After all, the meaning of the word Tishrei in Akkadian (Tishrito) is - beginning. This is to know that the names of these months, Babylonian of course, hardly appear in the Bible except a few times.
It must be assumed that the display of the new months was done in consultation with Ada, when Ezra gathered the Jewish public to Jerusalem, with an explicit threat that anyone who was absent "will have all his possessions confiscated and he will be separated from the crowd of the exiles (we were from the captivity of Zion)" (Ezra 8:XNUMX).
From here we turn to later sources, although certainly in the ancient era, referring to the external books, to the writings of Yosef ben Mattathias and to the literature of the Mishna and the Talmud. It should be noted that these sources were not written and were not arranged in a defined pattern of a historical, chronological ruler, and therefore it is quite difficult to create and develop tested theories in relation to the topic of our discussion - the Hebrew tablet, the "Hebrew"? However, they can be edited, as I have just done, in a kind of very amorphous and problematic historical ruler, starting with the Hellenistic period, i.e. the external literature (fourth century BC onwards), the early Roman era, i.e. the works of Josephus (second century BC until the end of the first century CE) and finally the literature of the Sages, from the first century CE onwards).
In the outer books, and especially in the book of Maccabees 6, the Babylonian names such as Keslo, Tevet, Shebat and Alul are mapped, mainly in relation to the events related to the building of the temple and the return of the ritual work in it, as well as strengthening the status of Shimon the Hasmonean who gained the status of king even without an official royal crown, in terms of a kind of connecting link Between the biblical period (the days of Solomon for example) and the days of the Second Temple. It should be noted that the names of the months are the Babylonian names, but according to their names, they start from the month of Nisan as emphasized for example in the Book of Yehudit "and in the eighteenth year of the first month, in the twenty-second of the month..." (II 500). And in another place some event appears with a casual indication of the location of the month only, such as "... in the year 1, in the seventh month, on the fourth of the month..." (Book of Enoch XNUMX:XNUMX). It should be noted that relative to the size of the external books, the number of mentions of dates is extremely small, less than ten times. Which probably indicates that the holidays have not yet been absorbed by Jewish society.
From here we turn to the writings of Joseph ben Matthew - in his book "The Antiquities of the Jews", in parallel with the biblical descriptions from the book of Joseph ben Matthew - "... And Moses commanded to inform the people that they would have a sacrifice ready in their hands, and that they should prepare on the tenth of the month of Santicus (which is the month of Nisan) for the fourteenth day of it..." (Antiquities in 311). Joseph's book, originally written in Greek and titled "Judaica (the letter K is punctuated by an axis) Archeology"
In 94 AD, it was primarily intended for the Greek-speaking population, that is, the Roman aristocracy and even the Jewish aristocracy in the Land of Israel, and for which the dates appear according to the Greek calendar, and in Greek of course, and the author takes the trouble to number the location of the Hebrew/Babylonian month, such as "And Solomon began building the temple in the year The fourth of his reign..., in the second month called Artemisius by the Macedonians, and Iyer by the Hebrews" (Kademoniot 61:179). Sometimes the author indicates the ordinal position of the month in the calendar (ibid., 145 25), but in most cases, albeit a few, the author equates the Greek month with the Hebrew/Babylonian one, such as when Antiochus the Rabbi, Epiphanes, entered Jerusalem "in the year 153, On the 248th of the month called Keslau and Apalaius among the Macedonians, in the XNUMXrd Olympiad..." (ibid., XNUMX, XNUMX). And again, it is interesting to me, as in the Bible and external literature, the dates related to Jerusalem are mentioned, emphasized, such as the destruction of the temple and its rebuilding, and again, perhaps in the context of his belonging to a senior and highly privileged priestly family named Yehoirib, whose mother's side referred to the Hasmonean family.
And similarly in Joseph's great book - "The History of the War of the Jews in the Romans" - although one that preceded the "Cadonism of the Jews", according to his own words the first version was written in Aramaic, which he sent to the peoples in the east who spoke Aramaic, such as the Parthians and certainly to the Jews who lived in the Euphrates region. No trace of this version remains, and his last essay was translated into Greek, considering the advanced cultural language at the time. In this composition, the months do not appear by their names, neither in Hebrew nor in their Greek-Macedonian context
We therefore turn to the literature of the Sages, the Mishnah, the Tosefta and the Talmud. Well, the Mishnah mentions testing the leaven "light for fourteen" (Pesachim 1:1) but without mentioning the month of Nissan; "In Ahad in Adar from Shime'in about the shekels (donation of half the shekel)..." (shekels 3. XNUMX) without associating the serial number of the month; The mishna discusses four heads of months - one in Nisan, one in Elul, one in Tishrei and one in Shevat, and even here without the chronological position in the calendar; "At three in Marchashvan they ask (start praying for) the rains" (Ta'anit XNUMX:XNUMX). And it's interesting - the popular interpretation, until today, for the second month, after Tishrei, is "Marachashvan", because there are no holidays in it and therefore it was crowned with bitterness. The truth is, and for our purposes, it is very interesting that his original name was Merah (Fateh, Shwa, Shwa) Shon, and it means - the moon, the eighth month. Let us therefore count eight months from Nissan and we will indeed reach the month of Chesvan (the eighth month). Here is the idea for you to preserve the format of the months, starting with Nisan (or in its ancient Hebrew, biblical name, the month of "spring") and hinting at this through the somewhat original name of "Hashwan" as "Mareshwan", as the eighth month, and you have the key to the mystery. It should be noted that in the ancient Babylonian calendar the eighth month (Tishrei) is marked as "Seman" (Fateh, Sheva, Kobutz). And perhaps, over time, they sought to delete the beginning of the year that begins in the month of Nissan and adopt Tishrei, and therefore "Marachashvan" became "just" "Hashvan"?! By the way, we will see later the name of the month "Marachashvan" appearing in all its glory on the mosaic floor of the ancient synagogue in Tzipori.
A clear allusion to the beginning of the year in Nisan appears in the supplement, the one compiled towards the second half of the second century AD, in this language: "How to start new ones, even though in the first and second months they do not start counting except in Nisan, as it is said (in the Bible) - this month is a new beginning for you" ( Tosefta Rosh Hashanah 3 XNUMX). And Rabbi Yochanan bar Nefcha, one of the editors of the Jerusalem Talmud and its seals (second half of the third century AD) emphasizes that "there is no monin (the beginning of the year) but from Nisan" (Yerushalmi Talmud Rosh Hashanah chapter XNUMX XNUMX p. XNUMX) the year from the month of Mareshvan (Hashvan).
The debate between the sages of the Mishnah and the Talmud points out, beyond the way, the method and the vision of each speaker, that the overall fabric of the months of the calendar has not yet been determined and sealed, and especially in the context of the question - what is the "opening month" of the calendar. And as a result, the one and only pattern of the calendar has not yet been internalized and sunk among the public. Let's not forget that we are not dealing with the modern era, the state, organized and institutionalized by accepted constitutional factors, and as evidenced by the fact that the tablet case continued to accompany the community leadership throughout the Middle Ages and the modern era. The calendar known to us to this very day was officially established with the establishment of the State of Israel in XNUMX. In the ancient era, without a single leadership and for a long time, the Jewish public in Judea and the diaspora made a "Shabbat to itself" in connection with the external and internal arrangement of the board.
We will quote here as an interesting and instructive example, in terms of a condition that helps the subject of our discussion, the two mosaic floors from a pair of synagogues, one, dating from the fifth century AD in the area of Kibbutz Beit Alfa in Emek and the other from the sixth century AD from Zifori in the Galilee. In the center of the first appears the image of Helios, the mythological Greek god of the sun (and this is not the first time that the Jewish people and their ancient churches were burned with classical pagan symbols), and around it the zodiac, which is divided into four agricultural seasons each year (remember the carrot calendar?!) and indicated in Hebrew in the form of "period Tishrei", "Tamuz period", "Nisan period" and "Tebet period", with each period characterized by agricultural work and the corresponding agricultural output (and is probably mentioned in the above carrot tablet).
Another mosaic, dating back to the sixth century AD, was discovered in Zipuri, at the site of the ancient synagogue, and even has the sun in its center, riding a horse-drawn chariot and resembling Helios, the Greek sun god. The mosaic is indeed worn, but unlike its predecessor, there is an interesting parallel between the particular sign of the zodiac and the Hebrew month, such as a bow representing the month of Kislu, as stated in its name in Hebrew, and so for the rest, the scorpion symbolizes the month of Marchashvan (whose name we discussed above), Libra represents Tishrei, Pisces - Adar, Aries (worn) - Nisan and Taurus, the month of Ir (one Yod). This visual phenomenon indicates on the one hand the desire to teach and teach the names of the months in relation to the astrological zodiac and on the other hand reflects the linguistic knowledge in relation to the names of the months that has been naturalized in the public for a long time. It is not possible to know with certainty whether the year began in Nisan or in Tishri, however the phenomenon of the Aramaic-Babylonian calendar among the Jewish public in this period is also certain.
It will be emphasized in the context of the above that a late Midrashic source, Esther Rabbah (11:XNUMX) testifies that "He (Lehman) came to the sign of Pisces, which is used (pronounced, indicated) in the month of Adar..."
It should be noted that in this list I managed to create an interesting synchronization, which is not accidental in common and accepted studies, between literary sources, more ancient and less ancient, and archaeological sources.
In conclusion, it was said that the calendar known today as the Hebrew calendar is nothing but the Aramaic/Babylonian calendar, the foundations of which date back to the Sumerian period. There were probably many different calendars running around in Israel, ones that are not mentioned in the Bible such as the Gezer Tablet. Ancient Hebrew month names were found in the Bible such as Aviv, Bull, Eitanim and Ziv, considering a missing list.
The mention of the months and the particular precision of their days usually appears in connection with ritual actions and especially in the temple context, or even in the astrological context ("the zodiac" on the two mosaic floors of the Beit Alpha and Tzipori synagogues), or with the aim of commemorating one or another historical event. And the goal was probably to instill in the public the names of the months and their order in the annual minyan. This is undoubtedly a lengthy process.
A real revolution probably happened with the arrival of the waves of immigration from Babylon, which brought with them the Aramaic-Babylonian months of the year, although Nisan is still seen as the head of the months of the year, but this determination will also change to the "favor" of Tishrei. This revolution was an integral part of the overall revolution brought about by Ezra and Nehemiah in the religious-ritual, economic, social and cultural fields.
During the periods since then (the second half of the sixth century BC), until the Hellenistic and Roman eras, which is expressed in external literature, in the writings of Joseph ben Mattathias and in the literature of the Sages, the "Hebrew" tablet was still, apparently, not yet finally installed, and this will happen state by state with Establishment of the State.
More of the topic in Hayadan:
- The priesthood as you did not know it - part XNUMX: the return of his armyן
- The political status of the prophet Ezekiel
- Things that donors know: why exactly 5781?
- A divine staff with surprising decorations from about 3,200 years ago was uncovered in a Canaanite temple in Tel Lakish
- Rosh Hashanah and political rebellion