Time (the proper and usual rendering of עֵת, eth [later זמָן, zemdna]. a general word, Gr. χρόνος, space of duration; while מוֹעֵד, moed, Katpoe, signifies a fixed time, either by human or divine appointment, or the natural seasons). A peculiar use of the term occurs in the phrase "a time, times, and a half" (Heb. וחֵצַי מוֹעֵד מוֹעֲדַים, Da 12:7; Chald. עֵדָּן ועַדָּנַין וּפלִג, 7:25; Gr. καιρὸς καὶ καιροὶ καὶ ἣμισυ, Re 12:14), in the conventional sense of three years and a half (see Josephus, War, 1, 1). The following are the regular divisions of time among the Hebrews, each of which invariably preserves its strict literal sense, except where explicitly modified by the immediate context. We here treat them severally but together, in the order of their extension, and refer to the several articles for more detailed information. SEE CHRONOLOGY.

1. Year (שָׁנָה , so called from the change of the seasons). The years of the Israelites, like those of the modern Jews, were lunar (Rabbinical שׁנֵי הִלַּבֵנָה), of 354 d. 8 h. 48 min. 38 sec., consisting of twelve (unequal) lunar months; and as this falls short of the true year (an astronomical month having 29 d. 12 h. 44 min. 2.84 sec.), they were obliged, in order to preserve the regularity of harvest and vintage (Ex 23:16), to add a month occasionally, so as to make it on the average coincide with the solar year (Rabbinical שנִת הִחִמָּה), which has 365 d. 5 h. 48 min. 45 sec. The method of doing this among the very ancient Hebrews is entirely unknown (see a conjecture in Ideler, Chronol. 1, 490; another in Credner, Joel, p. 218). The Talmudists find mention of an intercalation under Hezekiah (2Ch 30:2; see Mishna, Pesach. 4:9), but without foundation (see, however, on the reconcilement of the lunar with the solar year, Galen, Comment. 1, in Hippoc. Epidem. [Opp. ed. Kihn. 13:23]). Among the later Jews (who called an intercalated year שנה מעיברת, in distinction from a common year, or שנה משוטה), an intercalary month was inserted after Adar, and was hence called Vedar (ואדר), or second Adar (אדר שני) (Mishna, Eduyoth, 7:7; see the distinctions of the Gemarists in Reland, Antiq. Sacr. 4:1; comp. Ben David, Zur Berechn. u. Gesch. d. jüd. Kalend. [Berl. 1817]; Ideler, ut sup. p. 537 sq.; Anger, De Temp. in Act. Ap. Ratione, 1, 31 sq.). The intercalation (עיבור) was regularly decreed by the Sanhedrim, which observed the rule never to add a month to the sabbatical year. It usually was obliged to intercalate every third year, but occasionally had to do so in two consecutive years.

The Israelitish year began, as the usual enumeration of the months shows (Le 23:34; Le 25:9; Nu 9:11; 2Ki 25:8; Jer 39:2; comp. 1 Macc. 4:52;'10:21), with Abib or Nisan (see Es 3; Es 7), subsequent to and in accordance with the Mosaic arrangement (Ex 12:2),'which had a retrospective reference to the departure out of Egypt (9, 31; see Baihr, Symbolik, 2, 639). Yet as we constantly find this arrangement spoken of as a festal calendar, most Rabbinical and many Christian scholars understand that the civil year began, as with the modern Jews, with Tisri (October), but the ecclesiastical year with Nisan (Mishna, Rosh Hash-shanah, 1, 1; comp. Josephus, Ant. 1, 3,3. See also Rosenmüller, on Ex 12:2; Hitzig, Jesa. p. 335; Seyffarth, Chronol. Sacra, p. 34 sq.). But this distinction is probably a post-exilian reckoning (Havernick argues against its inference from Eze 40:1), which was an accommodation to the time of the arrival of returned exiles in Palestine (Ezr 3; Ezr 1 sq.; Ne 7:73; Ne 8:1 sq.), and later fell into harmony with the Seleucid era, which dated from October (see Benfey, Monats-nam. p. 217; and comp. 1 Macc. 4:52; 10:21; 2 Macc. 15:37). Yet this has little countenance from the enactment of the festival of the seventh new moon (Le 23:24; Nu 29:1-6), which has in the Mosaic legislation certainly a different import from the Rabbinical ordinance (see Vriemoet, Observ. Misc. p. 284 sq.; Gerdes, De Festo Clangoris [Duisb. 1700; also in his Exercit. Acad.]). SEE NEW MOON. Nor does the expression "in the end of the year" (בּצֵאֹת הִשָּׁנָה), with reference to the Feast of Tabernacles (Ex 23:16), favor this assumption (see Ideler, p. 493). Other passages adduced (Job 29:4; Joel 2, 25), as well as the custom of many other nations (Credner, ut sup. p. 209 sq.), are a very precarious argument. Nevertheless, it is clear that even in the pre-exilian period of the theocracy, the autumn, as being the close of the year's labor, was often regarded among the agrarian population as a. terminal date (Ideler, Chronol. 1, 493 sq.; see Dresde, Annus Jud. ex Antiq. Illust. [Lips. 1766; merely Rabbinic]; Selden, De Anno Civili Vett. Hebr. [Lond. 1644; also in Ugolino, Thesaur. 17] Nagel, De Calendario Vett. Ebr... [Altdorf, 1746]). Seyffarth maintains that even prior to the destruction of Jerusalem the Israelites reckoned by lunar months (Zeitschr. d. deutsch. morgenl. Gesellsch. 2, 344 sq.). The prevailing belief, however, that they had from the first such a year has been of late combated by Bottcher (Prob. alttest. Schrifterkldr. p. 283; De Inferis, 1, 125) and Credner (Joel, p. 210 sq.), and most stoutly by Seyffarth (Chronol. Sacra, p. 26 sq.). Credner holds that the Israelites originally had a solar year of thirty-day months, and that this was exchanged for the lunar year when the three great festivals were accurately determined, i.e. about the time of king Hezekiah and Josiah (on the contrary, see Von Bohlen, Genes. p. 105 sq.; Benfey and Stern, Ueber

"Time." topical outline.

die Monatsnamen, p. 5 sq.). Seyffarth, however, ascribes the solar year to the Jews down to about 200 B.C.

A well-defined and universal era was unknown among the ancient Hebrews. National events are sometimes dated from the departure out of Egypt (Ex 19:1; Nu 33:38; 1Ki 6:1), usually from the accession of the kings (as in Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah), later from the beginning of the exile (Eze 33:21; Eze 40:1). Jeremiah reckons the Captivity according to the years of Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 25:1; 52:12, 28 sq.), but Ezekiel (1, 1) otherwise. The post-exilian books date according to the regal years of the Persian masters of Palestine (Ezr 4:24; Ezr 6:15; Ezr 7:7 sq.; Ne 2:1;, 5, 4; 13:6; Hag 1:1; Hag 2:11; Zec 7:1). But as Syrian vassals the Jews adopted the Greek (1 Macc. 1, 10) or Seleucid era (מַנַיִן שׁטָרוֹת , cera contractum, since it was used in contracts generally, Arab. karyakh ahu-ikerfin), which dated from the overthrow of Babylon by Seleucus Nicator I (Olymp. 117, 1), and began with the autumn of B.C. 312 (see Ideler, Handb. d. Chronol. 1, 448). This reckoning is employed in the books of the Maccabees, which, however, singularly differ by one year between themselves, the second book being about one year behind the first in its dates (comp. 1 Macc. 6:16 with 2 Macc. 11:21; 1 Macc. 6:20 with 2 Macc. 13:1); from which it would seem that the author of 2 Macc. had a different epoch for the ser. Seleuc. from the author of 1 Macc., with the latter of whom Josephus agrees in his chronology. Inasmuch as 1 Macc. always counts by Jewish months in the Seleucid sera (1, 57; 4:52, 59; 7:43; 14:27; 16:14), and these are computed from Nisan (10, 21; 16:14)-the second book likewise counts by Jewish months (1, 18; 10:5; 15:37: on the contrary 11:21)we might suppose that the former begins the Seleucid sera with the spring of B.C. 312, while the latter begins it with the autumn of the same year (Petav. Raionar. 10:45; Prideaux, 2, 267, etc.), a conclusion to which other circumstances likewise point (Ideler, ut sup. p. 531 sq.; Wieseler, Chronol. Synopsis, p. 451 sq.). What Wernsdorf objects'(De Fide Maccab. p. 19 sq.) is not of much importance; but we cannot thence infer that the Babylonians began the Seleucid sera with the autumn of 3) 1 (Seyffarth, Chronol. Sacra, p. 20). See Hosmann, De AEra Seleucid. et Regum Syriae Successione (Kil. 1752). Still another national reckoning is given in 1 Macc. 13:41 sq., namely, from the year of the deliverance of-the Jews from the Syrian yoke, i.e. seventeen era Seleuc., or from the autumn of B.C. 143 (Josephus, Ant. 13:6, 6), and this era appears upon Samaritan coins (Eckhel, Doctrina Numor. Vett. I, 3, 463 sq.). On other Jewish eras see the Mishna (Götting, 8:5). SEE YEAR.

Bible concordance for TIME.

2. Month (חֹדַשׁ, lit. new, sc. moon; seldom and more Aramaic יָרֵחִ, the moon). The months of the Hebrews, as stated above, were lunar (as appears from the foregoing names), and began from the new moon as ocularly observed (the [synodic] lunar month has 26 d. 12 h. 44 min. 3 [strictly 2.82] sec. [Ideler, Chronol. 1, 43]). This is certain from the post- exilian period (Mishna, Rosh Hash-shanah, 1, 5 sq.), but for pre-exilian times various conjectures have been hazarded (see above). The length of the lunar month in the later period depended upon the day when the appearance of the new moon was announced by the Sanhedrim (see a similar reckoning in Macrob. Sat. 1, 15, p. 273 ed. Bip.), which thus made the month either twenty-nine days (חֹדֵשׂ חָסֵר, i.e. short) or thirty days (חֹדֶשׁ מָלֵא, i.e. full), according as the day was included in the following or the preceding month. The general rule was that in one year not less than four nor more than eight full months could occur (Mishna, Arach. 2, 2). The final adjustment of the lunar to the solar year was by intercalation (עיבור), so that whenever in the last month, Adar, it became evident that the Passover, which must be held in the following month, Nisan, would occur before harvest, i.e. not at the time when the sun would be in Aries (Josephus, Ant. 3, 10, 5), an entire month (Vadar) was interjected between Adar and Nisan, constituting an intercalary year (שׁנה מעוברת, which, however, according to the Gemara, did not take place in a sabbatic year, but always in that which preceded it; nor in two successive years, nor yet more than three years apart). See Anger, De Teps. in Act. Ap. Ratione, p.30 sq.

Prior to the exile the individual months were usually designated by numbers (the twelfth month occurs in 2Ki 25:27; Jer 52:31; Eze 29:1; comp. 1Ki 4:7); yet we find also the following names: Earn-month (חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבַיב, Ex 13:4; Ex 23:15; De 16:1, etc.), corresponding to the later Nisan; Bloom- month (זַו [or זַיו] חֹדֶשׁ, 1Ki 6:1,37), the second month; Rain- month (יֶרִח בּוּל, 6:38), the eighth (connected by Benfey, p. 182, with the word בִּעִל בֵּל; see the Talmudic interpretation cited by him, p. 16); Freshet-month (יֶרִח הָאֲתָנַים , 8:2), the seventh; all of which seem to be mere appellatives (see. Benfey and Stern, Ueber die Monatsnamen einiger

Definition of time

alten Vilker [Berl. 1836], p. 2). After the exile the months received the following names (Gemara, Pesach. 94:2; Targ. Sheni on Es 3; Es 7 sq.; comp. Mishna, Shekal. 3, 1): 1. Nisan (נַיסָן, Ne 2; Ne 1; Es 3; Es 7), the first month, in which the Passover (q.v.) was held (and in which the vernal equinox fell, Joseph us, Ant. 3, 10, 5), corresponding, in general, to our April (Ideler, Chronol. 1. 491), and answering (Josephus, Ant. 3, 10, 5; War, 5, 3, 1) to the Macedonico-Syrian Xanthicus, also (Ant. 2, 14, 6) to the Egyptian month Pharmuthi, which last, however, was March 27-April 25 of the Julian calendar (Ideler, ut sup. 1, 143); 2. lydr (אַיָּי, Targ. on 2Ch 30:2); 3. Sivan (סיון Est, Es 8:9; Σειουάλ, Bar. 1, 8); 4. Tammuz תּמּוּז); 5. Ab.( אָב); 6. Elul (אלֵוּל, Ne 6:15; Ε᾿λούλ, 1 Macc. 14:27), the last month of the civil year in the post-exilian age (Mishna, Shebiith, 10:2; Erubin, 3, 7); 7. Tishri (תּשׁרַי.), in which the festivals of Atonement and Tabernacles fell (also the autumnal equinox); 8. Marcheshvdn (מִרחֶשׁוָן, Μασουάν or Μαρσουάνη, Josephus, Ant. 1, 3, 3); 9, Kislev (כַּסלֵו, Ne 1; Ne 1; Zec 7:1; Χασλεῦ, 1 Macc. 1, 54); 10.Tebeth (טֵבֵת, Esther 2, 16); 11. Shebat (שׁבָט, Zec 1:7; Σαβάτ , 1 Macc. 16:14); 12. Addr (אֲדֶר, Es 3; Es 7; Es 8:12; Α᾿δάρ, 2 Macc. 15:37); 13. Ve-A ddr (וַאָדָר; strictly Va-Adar, וִאֲדָר), or second Adar (שֵׁנַי אָדָר. or בִּתרָאָה). Occasionally, however, the months were newly numbered in the post-exilian period likewise (Hag 1:1; Hag 2:1 sq.; Zec 1:1; Zec 8:19;: Ne 7:73; Ne 8:3,14; Da 10:4; Da 1 Macc. 9,-3, 54; 10:21; 13:51).'On the origin and signification of those names, see Benfey, op. cit. p. 24 sq.; Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 702, 947. From the fact that the second book of Maccabees and Josephus reckon according to the Syro-Macedonian months (Dioscurus, Xanthicus, etc.) it does not follow that the Jews adopted this calendar in the Seleuciderm. In 2 Macc. the Egyptian months (Epiphi, Pachon) are named. See Pott, in the Hall. Lit. —Zeit. 1839, No. 4650; Carpzov, Appar. p. 356 sq.; Michaelis, Comment. 1763-68, Oblat. p. 16 sq.; Langhausen, De Maense Vett. Hebr. Lunari (Jen. 1713; also in Ugolino, Thesaur. 17); Ideler, Chronol. 1, 448 sq. 509 sq. SEE MONTH.

3. Week (שָׁבוּעִ, lit. sevened). This division of the synodal lunar month into seven days (whence the Heb. name) early prevailed among the Israelites, as among other Shemitic people and the Egyptians (Ideler, Chronol. 1, 178; 2, 473); but only among the Israelites was this arrangement associated with cosmogony, with law, and with religion itself, so as to enter into real civil life and form the basis of the whole cycle of festivals. SEE SABBATH. But ordinarily, days rather than weeks (as also among the Greeks and Romans) constituted the conventional mode of computing time (but see Le 12:5; Da 10:2 sq.). In the post-exilian period the reckoning by weeks became more customary, and at length special names for particular week-days came into use, enumerated after the formula ἐν μιᾶ'/, or πρώτῳ σαβ βάτων, or σαββάτου, etc. (Mr 16:2,9; Lu 24:1; Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:2; see Epiphan. Hcer. 70, 12; so also in Chald. with שִׁבּתָא or שִׁבִּתָּא ; see Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 273. The word ἑβδομάς does not occur in the New Test.; see also Ideler, Chronol. 1, 481). The astronomical derivation of the week naturally grows out of the obvious fact (Chronol. 1, 60) that the moon changes about every seven (properly seven and three eighths) days, so that the lunar month divides itself into four quarters. Hence nations which have no historical relation in this respect nevertheless agree in the observance (Chronol. 1, 88). The days of the week were named long before the Christian era on regular astrological principles from the seven planets (Lobeck, Aglaopham. p. 933 sq.), which (according to Dion Gass. 37:18) was an Egyptian invention. They began with Saturn's day (Saturday), inasmuch as Saturn was the outermost planet; but among the Jews this day (the Sabbath) was the last of the week, and so the Jewish (and Christian) week commences with Sunday. But these heathenish names were never in general use among the Jews (see Bahr, Symbol. 2, 585 sq.). Weeks or heptads of years belong, among the Jews, to prophetical poetry; but in one instance they occur in a literal sense in prose (Da 7:24-27), as also among the Romans such annorum hebdomnades were known (Gell. 3, 10; Censorin. De Die Nat. 14). SEE WEEK.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

4. Day (יוֹם, so called from its heat; ἡμέρα). The civil day (νυχθήμερον, 2Co 11:25) was reckoned by the Hebrews from sundown to sundown (Le 23:32); most other ancient nations computed time according to the moon's course (Pliny, 2, 79; Tacit. Germ. c. 11; Caesar, Bell. Gall. 6:18; Isidore, Orig. 5, 30; Censorin. De Die Nat. 23); but before the exile they seem not to have divided the day into special or well- defined portions beyond the natural divisions of morning (בֹּקֶר; see the definition for the Temple-service in the Mishna, Tamid, 3, 2), noon (צָהַרִיַם , Ge 43:16; De 28:29; comp. חום הִיּוֹם, Ge 18:11 Samuel 11:11; and נכוֹן הִיּוֹם, Pr 4:18), and evening (עֶרֶב. comp. also נֶשֶׁŠ, the morning and evening breeze), which were in general use, as among the modern Arabs (Niebuhr, Bedouin, p. 108 sq.). During the exile theJews appear to have adopted the division into regular hours (Chald. שָׁעָה) (Da 4:16; Da 5; Da 5; Da 2 Esdr. 6:24), as (according to Herod. 2, 109) the twelve hours of the day originated among the Babylonians; and in the New Test. the hours are frequently enumerated. As, however, every natural day of the year was divided into twelve hours (Joh 11:9; see Ideler, Chronol. 1, 84 sq.), they must have been unequal at different seasons of the year, since in the latitude of Palestine the longest summer day lasts from about four A.M. to eight P.M. (Mayr, Reis. 3, 15), being about four hours longer than the shortest. The hours of the day (for those of the night, SEE NIGHT-WATCH ) were naturally counted from sunrise (cock-crowing, קריאת הגבר, was a designation of time observed in the Temple, Mishna, Tamid, 1, 2); whence the third hour (Mt 20:3; Ac 2; Ac 15) corresponds about to our nine o'clock A.M. (the time when the market-place was full of men, πλήθουσα ἀγορά; see Kype, Observat. 1, 101 sq.; also the first hour of prayer, Ac 2; Ac 15); the end of the sixth hour (Mt 20:5; Joh 19:14) to midday; with the eleventh hour (Mt 20:6; Mr 15:34) the day inclined to a close and labor ceased (see also John 1, 40; 4:52; Ac 3; Ac 1; Ac 10:3). There were three daily hours of prayer morning, noon, and night; besides, there is occasionally mention of prayer four times a day (Ne 9:3); but a quarterly division of the day (as inferred by Lücke, Joh. 2, 756) is not certain in the New Test. Yet it is somewhat doubtful whether the evangelists, John at least, always reckon according to the Jewish hours (Clericus, Ad Joan. 19:14; Michaelis, in the Hamb. verm. Bibliothek, 3, 338 sq.; Rettigin the Stud. u. Krit. 1830, 1, 101 sq.; Hug, in the Freiburge Zeitschr. 5, 90 sq.). SEE DAY.

5. Hour (Chald. שָׁעָה Gr. éρα). The Oriental Asiatics, especially the Babylonians (Herod. 2, 109, Vitruv. 9:9), had from early times sundials (horologiasolaria) or shadow-measures (Pliny, 36:15); and hence, from the intercourse with Babylon, this useful contrivance may have been introduced into Palestine even before the exile. At all events, something of the kind seems to be meant by the "degrees of Ahaz'" (מִעֲלוֹת אָחָז, Isa 38:8; comp. 2Ki 20:9), either an obelisk which cast its shade upon the steps of the palace, or perhaps a regular gnomon with degrees marked on it (Targ. Jonath. אבן שעיא It; Symmachus, ὡρολόγιον; Jerome, horoloqium ; see Salmas. Ad Solin. p. 447 sq.; Martini, Abhandl. v. d. Sonnenuhren der Alten [Leips. 1777]; alsoDe Haeroloogiis Vett. Sciothericis [Amst. 1797]). The Romans after U. C. 595 used water-clocks (clepsydrae, Vitruv. 9:9, Pliny, 7:60) for the watch room of post-courses (Veget. Mil. 3, 8) and for regulating the continuance of speaking (Philo, Opp. 2, 597; Becker, Gallus, 1, 187). Whether this practice prevailed among the Jews in the time of Christ, we know not (Zeltner, De Horologio Caiaphae [Altdorf. 1721], does not: touch the point); but they could not have been ignorant of some means of measuring time, whether dials or water-clocks, since the latter are in frequent use in the modern East (Niebuhr, Reis. 2, 74). For a peculiar device for dividing the hours mentioned by the Talmudists, see Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 282; see also Ideler, Chronol. 1, 230 sq. SEE HOUR.

See, generally, Ulmer, De Calendario Vett. Hebreor. (Altdorf. 1846); Walch, C(lendarium Palcestince (Economicum (Gött. 1786); Hincks, Ancient Egyptian Years and Months (Lond. 1865); id. Assyro Babyloniain Measures of Time (ibid. eod.). SEE CALENDAR.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.