Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
(Assyro-Babylonian, Nisanu) (29 Days)
March/April (Beginning of the barley harvest)
Neh 2:1; Esther 3:7; 2 Macc 11:30, 33
1st month of the religious calendar.
7th month of the civil calendar.
Nisan 1 – New Moon
Nisan 10 – Selection of a lamb for Passover (Ex 12:3)
Nisan 14 – Passover lamb killed (Ex 12:6)
Nisan 14 – Passover begins in the evening (Num 28:16)
Nisan 15 – First day of Unleavened Bread
Nisan 15 – Firstfruits (Lev 23:10)
Nisan 16 – The second day of Passover, the Hebrews offered a sheaf of barley as the firstfruits of the harvest for that year. On that same day began the reckoning (Sefirot) of the seven weeks.
Nisan 17-20 are the "middle days", or the "hol ha-mo’ed."
Nisan 21-22 – Passover and unleavened bread closes.
This month had much sunshine but very heavy winds. The rains of March and April are known in Scripture as the "latter rains", which supplied nourishment to the barley and wheat crops before they are "white for harvest." Sometimes this month would receive the heaviest rainfall, the apricot and almond trees would show off their beauty.
Note: Before the Babylonian captivity this month was referred to as Aviv (Ex 12:2).
In the earlier Old Testament Books this month was referred to as "Hodesh ha-Aviv (the month of the harvest). It was considered a sacred month because tradition taught that the Yahweh lit the fire of the burnt offering in this month. Public mourning and public fasts were not allowed during Nisan’s 29 days.
The Megillat Ta’anit recognizes these fast days in Nisan:
Nisan 1 – Commemorates the deaths of Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron who brought strange incense into the house of God.
Nisan 10 - Commemorates the death of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron.
Nisan 26 - Commemorates the death of Joshua.
The Story of the Bible
© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)