How Many Days in a Biblical Month?

The Hebrew word most often translated as “month” in the Tanakh (Old Testament) is “chodesh” (H2320), and it is always used when a date is given. Scripture clearly states there are 12 chodesh in a year, but only infers there are 30 days in each chodesh. We see this first in the Genesis account of the flood.

The Flood

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month (chodesh), on the seventeenth day of the month (chodesh), on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month (chodesh), on the seventeenth day of the month (chodesh), the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. (Gen 7:11-12, 17-24; 8:1-4 ESV)

If there are 150 days from the 17th day of the 2nd chodesh until the 17th day of the 7th chodesh, that is an average of 30 days per chodesh over five chodesh. The only other indication of how many days are in a month that I have found in Scripture are references to a future event.

Two Witnesses

Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Rev 11:1-3)

If this is speaking of the same time frame, then 42 months = 1,260 days or 30 days/month.

Woman in the Wilderness

She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Rev 12:5-6)

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. (Rev 12:13-14)

This clearly refers to the same time period when the woman is in the wilderness where she is nourished.

1260 days = a time, times & half a time (commonly thought to be 3.5 years)

Little Horn or Beast

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (Dan 7:23-25)

And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (Rev 13:4-8)

This is speaking of the same time period where the beast/king/horn shall speak words against the Most High and wear out or make war on the saints.

42 months = a time, times, and half a time (commonly referred to as 3.5 years)

These two scenarios equal time, times and half a time. Therefore, 1260 days is equal to 42 months. This averages out to be 30 days per month, which confirms the figure determined from the flood account in Genesis 7-8.

Given this and the fact that there are 12 chodesh in a year, it appears Scripture is telling us that there are 360 days in a year. But is that it? I was taught my whole life that there are 365 days in a year (with an extra day every four years). Did something change? Are we missing something?

I’m not sure if something has changed, but I do believe we are missing something, maybe several things. The Book of Enoch, I believe, provides us with some very interesting clues.

About Messyanic

Homesteading Wife, Homeschooling Mom and perpetual Bible student, continually taking the road less traveled. (@messyanic)
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2 Responses to How Many Days in a Biblical Month?

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