Chis'leu (Hebrews Kislev´, כַּסלֵו, according to some, from Arabic, l. q. lethargic; according to others [Benfey, Mozatsnamen,. Berl. 1836], of Persic origin; and as it appears on the Palmyrene Inscription [ed. Swinton, Philos. Transactions, 48, tab. 29] in the form כסלול, i. c. Kislul, it probably represents the name of the third of the Amshaspands or celestial genii [Bournouf, Commnenaire sur le Yasna, p. 146, 151, 174]; Sept. Χασελεῦ, Anglicized "Casleu" in 1 Macc. 1:54; 4:59; Chaldee כִּסלֵיו, Targ. on Ec 11:3; Josephus Χασλεῦ or Χασλέβ, Ant. 3:5, 4; 7, 6), the name adopted from the Babylonians, after the Captivity, by the Jews for the third civil or ninth ecclesiastical month (Ne 1:1; Zec 7:1), corresponding to the Macedonian month Apellaeus (Α᾿πελλαῖος; see Spanheim in Havercamp's Josephus, 2:407), and answering mainly to the moon of November. SEE MONTH. The following were the days specially memorable for religions exercises: On the 3d, a feast in memory of the idols which the Asmonaeans cast out of the Temple; on the 7th, a fast instituted because king Jehoiakim burned the prophecy of Jeremiah, which Baruch had written (Jer 36:23). Scaliger believes that it was instituted on account of Zedekiah's having his eyes put out, after his children had been slain in his sight. This fast Prideaux places on the 29th of the month; but Calmet, with the modern Jews, makes it the 6th, and places on the 7th a festival in memory of the death of Herod the Great, the son of Antipater. There is also some dispute whether this fast was not observed on the 28th of the month. It is an argument in favor of the earlier day that the other would fall in the middle of the eight days' Festival of the Dedication.
On the 25th, the Chanuca, or feast of Dedication (q.v.), so called (Joh 10:22), and kept as a minor festival in commemoration of the dedication of the altar after the cleansing of the Temple from the pollution of Antiochus by Judas Maccabaeus, by whom it was ordered to be observed (1 Macc. 4:59). This feast lasted eight days. A prayer for the world in general is offered up on the eighth day of the feast. In this month the winter prayer for rain commences; the precise day is sixty days after the autumnal equinox, by the calculations of Rab Samuel, which varies from the 2d to the 6th, but is generally on the 4th of December. SEE CALENDAR.