The Hebrew Calendar

Main Index Index of Numbers Index of Dates
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1 "Abib" or "Nisan"

March–April. Passover (see Numbers 9)

2 "Ziv" or "Iyyar"

April–May (e.g. 1 Kings 6:37)

3 "Sivan"


4 "Tammuz"


5 "Ab"

July–August. Hottest weather

6 "Elul"


7 "Ethanim" or "Tishri"

September–October. Start of the Civil Year

8 "Marchesvan" or "Bul"

October–November (e.g. 1 Kings 6:38)

9 "Chislev"


10 "Tebeth"


11 "Shebat"

January–February. Coldest weather. End of the Autumn rains.

12 "Adar"

February–March. Purim (see Esther 9)

A number of calendars were in use in first century Judea. An interesting example is that used at Qumran, preserved in the Qumran Scrolls[2]. The community there divided the year into 364 days, a number which is conveniently divisible into 4 seasons or 52 weeks of 7 days. Using this system, each festival would fall on the same day of the week every year. It also accommodated a lunar calendar of alternating 29 and 30 day months, requiring a only one 30 day month as correction every 3 years. This calendar differed from those used by the temple and the state, so they would each record events as occcuring on different days and dates.


  1. Much of this information came from Harper's Bible Dictionary p.1073 and Scripture Union's Closer to God Bible reading notes.
  2. Eshbal Rantzen and Jonathan Ben-Dov "A Newly Reconstructed Cylindrical Scroll from Qumran in Cryptic Script", in Journal of Biblical Literature Vol 136 no 4 2017 (Atlanta, USA) p.905f

© David Billin 2005–2021