Overview of the Jewish Year


The Jewish Calendar


The Year

In first century Israel there was a Sacred year, and a Civil year. The Sacred year began in late March, and Nisan was the first month. The Civil began in October, and Tishri was the first month. The 7th Sacred month was the 1st Civil month. The year was divided into 12 lunar months, with an Intercalary month (a 13th month 7 times in every 19 years).


The Day

The natural day was from sunrise to sunset and the natural night was from sunset to sunrise. The Civil day was from sunset to sunset. Every hour was counted from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening. There were 4 watches in the evening from 6 pm to 6 am:

The First Watch - 6 to 9 pm.

The Second Watch - 9 to 12 pm.

The Third Watch - 12 to 3 am.

The Fourth Watch - 3 to 6 am.


The Farming Year

The people of Israel originally adapted the agricultural skills of the ancient Canaanites, who lived in the land of Israel before God gave the land to the Jews.


The most common cereals that the Israelite farmers grew were wheat and Barley. They also grew fruit trees, olives, vines and figs.


The early rains (former rains), came in late September and early October. They softened up the hard, dry soil and allowed ploughing to begin.


After the ploughing they sowed their seed, with the grain ploughed in.


The winter rains would assure that the harvest would be plentiful, if not there would be famine.


In April the barley in the lowland areas would ripen first, then the wheat. By May the crops ripened in the highlands and harvesting began. The feast of Pentecost (weeks) was the festival of harvest when the people of Israel gave their thankfulness to the Lord for the year’s produce.


June through September were the hot summer months and it rarely rained in Israel.

The Sacred Year of Israel
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The Sacred Year of Israel in New Testament Times (Click around the Image)


Nisan - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Iyyar - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Sivan - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Tammuz - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Av - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Elul - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Tishri - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Cheshvan - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Chislev - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Tebeth - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Shebat - Season, Feasts and Festivals

Adar - Season, Feasts and Festivals


The Sacred Year of Israel



Intercalary Month

Latter Rains

Early Rains

The Dry and Hot Seasons

The Cold Season

The Rainy Season


The Sacred Year of Israel
Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible

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