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mode by which they done this. The Divine faithfulness, in lengthening the days of King Hezekiah fifteen years, was confirmed by the miraculous throwing back fo the shadow on the sun-dial of Ahaz, ' ten degrees, And though it does not appear by whom, and when this sun-dial was first brought into use : yet, query, with whom so probable as with the astronomical “children of Issachar * * That Tribe, in the numbering of Israel, stands next in order to that of Judah.” The insignia of Issachar was that of the “strong ass, crouching down between two burdens.”” Upon their entrance into Canaan, Issachar was one of the six Tribes appointed to stand on Mount Ephraim to bless the people; * and the princes or Issachar were with Deborah, in her war against Jabin and Sisera.”” Now, to this conspicuous Tribe, and to no other, can the learned Prideaux refer, when, speaking of the measurement of Jewish time “while they lived in their own land,” he says, they “might easily receive notice of what was ordained in this matter by those who had the care and ordering of it.” But this carries us back, if not to the time of Moses, yet certainly to that of Joshua, his immediate successor. But if, as Dean Prideaux terms it, the “inartificial” mode of reckoning time by the Hebrews, can be shown to have commenced in the time of Moses, it is then evident that the Jewish year, from the period of his mission down to the time of Solomon, could not have been reckoned exclusively by a year of twelve months, each of thirty days.
1. Kings xx., 9. Isa. xxxviii., 8. 2. Num, i., 29; ii., 5. 3. Gen. xi., 14. 4. Deut. xxvii., 12. 5. Judges iv.; — v., 1, 5. 6. Prid. Con: vol. i., p. 98. 1. J. Bicheno, A. M. Signs of the Times. Fleming, appendix, p. 143.
We deem it, however, indispensable to our subsequent inquiries, that we enter into this matter somewhat in detail: in doing which, in order to fix in the mind what we conceive to be the true nature of Jewish time, and to show its harmony with our Julian solar year, we shall lay down the following rule, viz.:
“THAT THough THE JEw Is H or DINARY YEAR IS TO BE ATTENDED TO WIHEN BUT FEW YEARS ARE UNDER CONSIDERATION ; YET, IN A LONG SUCcEssion of TIME THEY ARE NOT TO BE NOTICED ; FOR BY INTER CALATIONS THEY AMOUNT TO THE SAME witH sola R. TIME.” "
I. Of the post-diluvian sacred year from the Flood to the mission of Moses, the Hebrews no doubt computed time by the ante-diluvian solar year of three hundred and sixty days. During their bondage in Egypt, they were probably regulated in their mode of reckoning by the Egyptian calendar. “But that the Israelites made use of (either) after their coming out of Egypt can never be made consisting with the Mosaical Law.” ” For,
2. Prid. Con, vol. i., p. 100.
II. At the time of the ExoDE, “the Lord spake unto Moses and AARON in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the BEGINNING of months : it shall be THE FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR to you.” And again, “And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years, and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound in all your land ; and ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a JUBILEE unto you : and ye shall return every man wnto his possession, and ye shall return every man wnto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be wnto you ; ye shall not sow, neither reap, that which groweth of itself in it ; neither gather the grapes in it of the vine undressed.”.” These two passages constitute the basis of sacred time, according to the Jewish reckoning. From the first is formed their Ecclesiasti cal year, which takes its rise from the observance of the PAssover, instituted in the month of Nisan, near the time of the vernal Equinox. From the second, the Civil year, or the period of the Jubilee, which restored to every individual Jew his civil rights and forfeited possessions, and which was celebrated in the month of Tisri, about the time of the autumnal Equinox. While, therefore, the former year was used to adjust the observance of their fasts, festivals, and other ecclesiastical times and concerns, the latter formed the basis of all their computations in the regulation of their Jubilees and Sabbatical years, and other civil matters, such as contracts, obligations, &c. The month Nisan, in which commenced the Jewish ecclesiastical year, is also called Abib." The PAssover, instituted under Moses in this month, was their principal festival, appointed as a perpetual memento of their Exode from Egypt. The time of its observance was fixed by a divine command.” This direction very naturally led to the measurement of time by months; in doing which (in the absence of a more perfect knowledge of astronomical science) they could only determine the length of the year by marking the phasis, or appearance of the moon. From one new moon to the other, therefore, they could tell the number of days in each month by the number of days of their week. * Hence, at the appearance of the new moon they began their MonTHs. But the course of the moon, i.e., from one new moon to another, consisting of twenty-nine days and a half, to avoid the confusion, otherwise arising from this circumstance, they made their months to consist of twenty-nine and of thirty days, alternately; “and of twelve of these
1. Exod., xii., 1, 2. 2. Lev. xxv.; 8 — 11.
1. Deut. xvi., 1. 2. Exod. xii., 2; Lev. xxiii., 5; Num. ix. 2–5; xxviii., 16, 17. 3. Exod. xx, 8–11.
Iyar, or Tziv, ...... 30 days Bul, or Marchesvan, 30 days , Sivan, ... . . . . . . . . . 29 days Cisleu, . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 days Tamuz, . . . . . . . . . . 30 days Tebet, . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 days Ab. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 days Shebat, ........ ... 29 days Elul, ........ ------ 30 days Adar, . . . . . . . . .... 30 days
But their ecclesiastical year commencing with Nisan, or Abib, as above, and including these twelve months, made up a lunar year of only three hundred and fiftyfour days, which, in one year, fell eleven days short of the solar year; in consequence of which, the second lunar year commenced earlier than the solar by eleven days; and this, “in thirty-three years time, would carry back the beginning of the year (lunar) through all the four seasons to the same point again, and get a whole year from the solar reckoning.” Hence, independently of some medium to harmonize lunar and solar time, it were impossible to adhere to the Divine command as to the time of observing the Passover.
To remedy this defect, the Hebrews had recourse to the following expedient. Their Paschal Festival, “the first day of which was always fixed to the middle of their month Nisan;” their Pentecost fifty days after; * and their feast of Tabernacles, on the fifteenth of Tisri,
1. Exod. xii., 3–20; Lev. xxiii., 4–8; Num. xxviii., 16, 17. 2. Lev. xxiii., 15–17; Deut. xvi., 9.