Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month,
which is the month Sebat
Called Sabat in the Septuagint version, and in the Apocrypha: ``Now Simon was visiting the cities that were in the country, and taking care for the good ordering of them; at which time he came down himself to Jericho with his sons, Mattathias and Judas, in the hundred threescore and seventeenth year, in the eleventh month, called Sabat:'' (1 Maccabees 16:14) It is said by the Jews F7 to be the beginning of the months of the year for trees, of which they bring the first fruits. It answers to part of our January, and part of February. This is the first time that the name of a month is mentioned by any of the prophets; this prophet prophesying after the captivity in Babylon; from whence the Jews F8 say the names of months came along with the returning captives, as well as the names of angels; and we nowhere meet with them but in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, all wrote after that time; for before they used only to say, the first, second, or third month; for, as for Abib, Zif, Bul, and Ethanira, mentioned in ( Exodus 13:4 ) ( 1 Kings 6:1 1 Kings 6:37 1 Kings 6:38 ) ( 8:2 ) , they are thought to be appellatives, and not proper names; though it may be observed that the books of Kings are said by the Jews F9 to be written by Jeremiah; more likely by several prophets, and at last brought into the order in which they now stand by Ezra, according to Huetius F11; and which may be thought probable enough; and, if so, the above names may be reckoned proper names of months; and the original of them may be accounted for as before. There were two fasts appointed by the Jews in this month; one on the tenth day of it, for the death of the elders which succeeded Joshua, ( Judges 2:7 ) and another on the twenty third, on account of the Israelites making war with the Benjaminites, in revenge of what was done to the wife of the Levite, ( Judges 19:1-20:48 ) F12. This prophecy, and the visions following to the end of the sixth chapter, were three months after the former prophecy, or more, if that was on the first day of the eighth month; and just two months after the foundation of the temple was laid, ( Haggai 2:18 ) : "in the second year of Darius" (See Gill on Zechariah 1:1).
F7 Targum Sheni in Esth. iii. 7.
F8 T. Hieros. Roshhashanah, fol. 56. 4. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 48. fol. 48. 4.
F9 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1.
F11 Demonstr. Evangel. prop. 4. p. 203.
F12 Vid. Reland. Jud. Antiqu. par. 4. c. 13. p. 261.