Iyar (אַייָר; Ι᾿άρ, Josephus, Ant. 8, 3, 1; the Macedonian Α᾿ρτεμίσιος) is the late name of that month which was the second of the sacred, and the seventh of the civil year of the Jews, and which began with the new moon of May. The few memorable days in it are the 10th, as a fast for the death of Eli; the 14th, as the second or lesser Passover for those whom uncleanness or absence prevented from celebrating the feast in Nisan (Nu 9:11); the 23rd, as a feast instituted by Simon the Maccabee in memory of his taking the citadel Acra, in Jerusalem (1 Macc. 13:51, 52); the 28th, as a fast fox the death of Samuel. SEE CALENDAR.
Gesenius derives Iyar from the Hebrew root אור, to shine; but Benfey and Stern, following out their theory of the source from which the Jews obtained such names, deduce it from the assumed Zend representative of the Persian bahar,; spring" (Monatsnamen, p. 134). The name Iyar does not occur in the O.T., this month being always described as the second month, except in two places in which it is called Zif (1Ki 6:1,37). SEE ZIF.