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Time

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(the proper and usual rendering of עֵת, eth [later זְמָן, 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. וְחֵצַי מוֹעֵד מוֹעֲדַים, Daniel 12:7; Chald. וּפְלִג

עֵדָּן וְעַדָּנַין, 7:25; Gr. καιρὸς καὶ καιροὶ καὶ ἣμισυ , Revelation 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 שְׁנֵי 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 (Exodus 23:16), to add a month occasionally, so as to make it on the average coincide with the solar year (Rabbinical שְנִת 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 (2 Chronicles 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. jü d. 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 (Leviticus 23:34; Leviticus 25:9; Numbers 9:11; 2 Kings 25:8; Jeremiah 39:2; comp. 1 Maccabees 4:52; 1 Maccabees 10:21), with Abib or Nisan (see Esther 3:7), subsequent to and in accordance with the Mosaic arrangement (Exodus 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 Rosenmü ller, on Exodus 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 Ezekiel 40:1), which was an accommodation to the time of the arrival of returned exiles in Palestine (Ezra 3:1 sq.; Nehemiah 7:73; Nehemiah 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 Maccabees 4:52; 1 Maccabees 10:21; 2 Maccabees 15:37). Yet this has little countenance from the enactment of the festival of the seventh new moon (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 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" (בְּצֵאֹת הִשָּׁנָה ), with reference to the Feast of Tabernacles (Exodus 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 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 (Exodus 19:1; Numbers 33:38; 1 Kings 6:1), usually from the accession of the kings (as in Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah), later from the beginning of the exile (Ezekiel 33:21; Ezekiel 40:1). Jeremiah reckons the Captivity according to the years of Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 25:1 sq.), but Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1) otherwise. The post-exilian books date according to the regal years of the Persian masters of Palestine (Ezra 1 Maccabees 4:26; 1 Maccabees 6:15; 1 Maccabees 7:7 sq.; Nehemiah 2:1; Nehemiah 5:4; Nehemiah 13:6; Haggai 1:1; Haggai 2:11; Zechariah 7:1). But as Syrian vassals the Jews adopted the Greek (1 Maccabees 1:10) or Seleucid era ( מַנַיִן שְׁטָרוֹת, 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 Maccabees 6:16 with 2 Maccabees 11:21; 1 Maccabees 6:20 with 2 Maccabees 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 Maccabees 1:57; 1 Maccabees 4:52; 1 Maccabees 4:59; 1 Maccabees 7:43; 1 Maccabees 14:27; 1 Maccabees 16:14), and these are computed from Nisan (1 Maccabees 10:21; 1 Maccabees 16:14)-the second book likewise counts by Jewish months (1 Maccabees 1:18; 1 Maccabees 10:5; 1 Maccabees 15:37 : on the contrary 1 Maccabees 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 Maccabees 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 (Gö tting, 8:5). (See YEAR).

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 2 Kings 25:27, Jeremiah 52:31; Ezekiel 29:1; comp. 1 Kings 4:7); yet we find also the following names: Earn-month (חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבַיב, Exodus 13:4; Exodus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:1, etc.), corresponding to the later Nisan; Bloom- month ( זַו [or זַיו ] חֹדֶשׁ, 1 Kings 6:1; 1 Kings 6:37), the second month; Rain- month (יֶרִח בּוּל, 1 Kings 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 alten Vilker [Berl. 1836], p. 2). After the exile the months received the following names (Gemara, Pesach. 94:2; Targ. Sheni on Esther 3, 7 sq.; comp. Mishna, Shekal. 3, 1): 1. Nisan (נַיסָן, Nehemiah 2, 1; Esther 3, 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 2 Chronicles 30:2); 3. Sivan ( סיון Est, Esther 8:9; Σειουάλ, Bar. 1, 8); 4. Tammuz תּמּוּז ); 5. Ab.( אָב ); 6. Elul (אלֵוּל, Nehemiah 6:15; Ε᾿λούλ, 1 Maccabees 14:27), the last month of the civil year in the post-exilian age (Mishna, Shebiith, 10:2; Erubin, 3, 7); 7. Tishri (תְּשְׁרַי.), in which the festivals of Atonement and Tabernacles fell (also the autumnal equinox); 8. Marcheshvdn (מִרְחֶשְׁוָן, Μασουάν or Μαρσουάνη, Josephus, Ant. 1, 3, 3); 9, Kislev (כַּסְלֵו, Nehemiah 1:1; Zechariah 7:1; Χασλεῦ, 1 Maccabees 1:54); 10.Tebeth (טֵבֵת, Esther 2:16); 11. Shebat (שְׁבָט, Zechariah 1:7; Σαβάτ , 1 Maccabees 16:14); 12. Addr (אֲדֶר, Esther 3:7; Esther 8:12; Ἀδάρ, 2 Maccabees 15:37); 13. Ve-A ddr (וַאָדָר ; strictly Va-Adar, וִאֲדָר ), or second Adar (שֵׁנַי אָדָר . or בִּתְרָאָה ). Occasionally, however, the months were newly numbered in the post-exilian period likewise (Haggai 1:1; Haggai 2:1 sq.; Zechariah 1:1; Zechariah 8:19;: Nehemiah 7:73; Nehemiah 8:3; Nehemiah 8:14; Daniel 10:4; 1 Maccabees 9:3; 1 Maccabees 9:54; 1 Maccabees 10:21; 1 Maccabees 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 Leviticus 12:5; Daniel 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. (Mark 16:2; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; see Epiphan. Hcer. 70, 12; so also in Chald. with שִׁבְּתָא 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 (Daniel 7:24-27), as also among the Romans such annorum hebdomnades were known (Gell. 3, 10; Censorin. De Die Nat. 14). (See WEEK).

4. Day (יוֹם, so called from its heat; ἡμέρα ). The civil day (νυχθήμερον, 2 Corinthians 11:25) was reckoned by the Hebrews from sundown to sundown (Leviticus 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, Genesis 43:16; Deuteronomy 28:29; comp. חום הִיּוֹם, Genesis 18:11 Samuel 11:11; and נְכוֹן הִיּוֹם, Proverbs 4:18), and evening (עֶרֶב . comp. also נֶשֶׁ, 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 ) (Daniel 4:16; Daniel 5:5; 2 Esdras 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 (John 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 (Matthew 20:3; Acts 2:15) 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, Acts 2:15); the end of the sixth hour (Matthew 20:5; John 19:14) to midday; with the eleventh hour (Matthew 20:6; Mark 15:34) the day inclined to a close and labor ceased (see also John 1:40; John 4:52; Acts 3, 1; Acts 10:3). There were three daily hours of prayer morning, noon, and night; besides, there is occasionally mention of prayer four times a day (Nehemiah 9:3); but a quarterly division of the day (as inferred by Lü cke, 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. é ρα ). 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, Isaiah 38:8; comp. 2 Kings 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 (Gö tt. 1786); Hincks, Ancient Egyptian Years and Months (Lond. 1865); id. Assyro Babyloniain Measures of Time (ibid. eod.). (See CALENDAR).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Time'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/t/time.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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