The first month of the Israelite year, called Nisan in Nehemiah 2:1; Esther 3:7, is Abib in Exodus 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; compare Deuteronomy 16:1. Abib is not properly a name of a month, but part of a descriptive phrase, "the month of young ears of grain." This may indicate the Israelite way of determining the new year (Exodus 12:2), the year beginning with the new moon nearest or next preceding this stage of the growth of the barley. The year thus indicated was practically the same with the old Babylonian year, and presumably came in with Abraham. The Pentateuchal laws do not introduce it, though they define it, perhaps to distinguish it from the Egyptian wandering year.
Willis J. Beecher
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