And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto King
Solomon at the feast
Not of tabernacles, as the Targum on ( 2 Chronicles 5:3 ) and so Jarchi; though that was in the same month next mentioned, and began on the fifteenth of it, and held seven days; wherefore this must be the feast of the dedication of the temple, and which was kept before that; since both lasted fourteen days, and the people were dismissed on the twenty third of the month; now not only the above principal persons convened, but a vast number of the common people came to see the solemnity of removing the ark, and of dedicating the temple, and to attend the feast of it, and the more, since in a few days was the time for all the males in Israel to appear there:
in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month;
it was, as the Targum says, originally the first month; but upon the children of Israel coming out of Egypt in Ab or Nisan, that became the first month, and this was the seventh from that; and is the same with Tisri, which answers to part of September, and part of October, here called Ethanim; which some render the month of the ancients, others of strong ones; either because of the many feasts that were in it, as some say; or because it was the time of ingathering all the increase and fruits of the earth, which strengthen and support man's life; or rather of "never failing", i.e. waters, showers falling in this month, and the rivers full of water F12; so September is "septimus imber", according to Isidore F13, and the three following months are alike derived; this, by the Egyptians, was called Theuth, and was with them the first month in the year F14; so Porphyry says F15, with the Egyptians the beginning of the year was not Aquarius, as with the Romans, but Cancer; and so the month of September was the first with the Ethiopians F16, and with most people F17; though with the Chinese about the middle of Aquarius F18. Now, though the temple was finished in the eighth month, ( 1 Kings 6:38 ) , it was not dedicated until the seventh in the following year; it required time to finish the utensils and vessels, and put them in their proper place, and for the drying of the walls
F12 Vid. Hackman. Praecidan. Sacr. p. 130, 131.
F13 Origin. l. 5. c. 33.
F14 Lactant. de Fals. Felig. l. 1. c. 6.
F15 De Antro Nymph. prope finem.
F16 Ludolf. Lexic. Ethiopic. p. 65. & Hist. Ethiop. l. 3. c. 6.
F17 Julian. Opera, par. 1. orat. 4. p. 290, 291.
F18 Martin. Sinic. Hist. l. 1. p. 22.