The Jewish and Hebrew Calendar Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  537 Words
Date:  2022-09-05

A calendar has been used since time immemorial as a system to organize days for religious, administrative purposes and commercial. This is done by giving names to periods, generally days, weeks, months and years. The calendar is additionally a physical record usually written in a paper. There are popular and oldest calendars in history. The Egyptian and Hebrew calendars are known to date back to 2937 BCE and AD 359 respectively.

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The Egyptian calendar was the first to have a year that is comprised of 365 days which was similar to a solar year. In ancient Egypt, the second calendar was maintained based on the phases of the moon. The Egyptian calendar consisted of the older lunar calendar and civil calendar that was introduced later ("Egyptian calendar | dating system," 2017). Lunar calendar consisted of twelve months, and it varies in duration depending on the length of the lunar cycle which is 29 or 30 days. For every lunar month, it started with the new moon when the moon crescent has become invisible. New Year was marked by the appearance of the heliacal rising star observed in the eastern horizon in mid-summer, which will determine the employment of the intercalary month. The Egyptian civil calendar was more precise and used as an administrative and accounting tool. It had 365 days, which was made of 12 months of 30 days each. It had five additional days to attempt to introduce leap year for compensation of a day slipped every four years.

Jews use the Hebrew calendar for religious functions worldwide. The Hebrew calendar combined both lunar and solar calendar with the purpose of having its years coincide with tropical year and months coinciding with synodic months ("The Hebrew Calendar," 2018). For this purpose, it makes it complicated task making Hebrew calendar rules fascinating. A non-leap year has varied days that range between 353, 354 and 355 days. A leap year days ranges between 383, 384 and 385 days. The different length of years is named deficient, regular and complete respectively. During the ordinary year, the months are 12 and during leap year, the months are 13. A new moon approximately marks the beginning of the first day of the new month. Jews have different days to choose from that will mark the New Year ("The Hebrew Calendar," 2018). There two important day s which is Tishri, a celebration of the creation of the word and Nisan which is the year of kings. Nisan marks the beginning of the religious year, and Tishri marks the start of the new calendar.


The Hebrew and Egyptian calendar share similarities. The greatest similarity is that the Egyptian calendar was harmonized with the Julian calendar of 25 BCE. The Julian calendar facilitates cross-referencing of historical dates in Israel and Egypt. We can see that both calendars use phases of the moon to mark the start of every new month. The major difference is the purpose of both calendars; the Egyptian calendar was used for administration and accounting purposes while the Hebrew calendar was used for religious purposes. The months and days of the year also do not match as well the days of marking the New Year.


Egyptian calendar | dating system. (2017). Retrieved from

The Hebrew Calendar. (2018). Retrieved from

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