Hebrew Calendar

Hebrew Calendar: The Second Month (“Ziv”/”Iyar”)

Shalom everyone! The Second Month of the Hebrew calendar is first named “Ziv” in the Tanakh, where it is mentioned as the month during which King Solomon began building the Holy Temple in Jerusalem:

“In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left the land of Egypt, in the month of Ziv—that is, the second month—in the fourth year of his reign over Israel, Solomon began to build the House of the LORD,”~ 1 Kings 6:1

“Ziv” is a Hebrew word which has multiple meanings including “light” or “glow.”

After the Babylonian Exile, the month of Ziv became known as “Iyar” and the eighth month of the civil year on the post-Exilic Hebrew calendar. The word “Iyar” is from the Akkadian word ayyaru meaning “Rosette” or “blossom.

Ziv/Iyar has 29 days and typically occurs in Spring during the months of April to May on the Gregorian calendar.

The following are the holidays and special events that occur during the Second Month also known as Ziv/Iyar:

The following are some of the significant events in Israelite history which occurred during the Second Month also known as Ziv/Iyar:

Pre-Babylonian Exile

  • 10 Ziv (circa 2870/2871 BC) Death of Eli the High Priest and his two sons.
  • 14 Ziv (1312 BCE) – “Second Passover” – an additional opportunity to offer the paschal sacrifice, for individuals who were impure on the main Passover holiday. (Numbers 9:2-14).
  • 28 Ziv (circa 1020 BCE) – Death of Samuel the Prophet, marked by pilgrimages to his tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Many Jews consider this a Ta’anit Tzadik and fast.

Post-Babylonian Exile



Categories: Hebrew Calendar

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