The course of priests started at month Av

Schedule of course of priest has an important role in investigating Jesus birth of date.

Ezra 7: 8-10 indicates that schedule of course of priest started at month Av, instead of Nisan.

8. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.

9. For upon the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.

10. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD and to do it and to teach in Israel his statutes and judgments.
(Ezra 7: 8-10, KJV 2000 translation)

Bulan kelima kalender Nisan adalah bulan Av.

Month Hebrew Transliteration
1 נִיסָן Nīsān
2 אִיָּר / אייר ʼIyyār
3 סִיוָן / סיוון Sīwān
4 תַּמּוּז Tammūz
5 אָב ʼĀḇ
6 אֱלוּל ʼĔlūl
7 תִּשׁרִי Tišrī
8 מַרְחֶשְׁוָן / מרחשוון Marħešwān
9 כִּסְלֵו / כסליו Kislēw
10 טֵבֵת Ṭēḇēṯ
11 שְׁבָט Šəḇāṭ
12 אֲדָר א׳
12 אֲדָר / אֲדָר ב׳ ʼĂḏār

The book of Ezra implies that the course of priests served from month Av without mentioning the date.

Even so, we can narrow the range of dates on the assumption that they were normal persons and performing normal daily activities, while studying Bible with regard to daily animal sacrifice ritual.

  • Arrived in Jerusalem.
  • Took a rest. Four-month overland journey from Babylon (Iraq) to Jerusalem on food and riding animals was normally making them tired. They needed to take a rest once they arrived in Jerusalem.
  • Normal people who arrive at the destination of a trip would tidy up the luggage and prepare a place for normal daily activities (taking a rest, sleeping, eating, washing, bathing, etc).

    Old-testament altar
    Old-testament altar
  • Intensive learning on animal sacrifice ritual.
  • Building and preparing altar.
  • Making the necessary equipment (priest clothing, etc.).
  • Gathering descendant of Aaron and forming and organizing the course of priest.
  • First course served the people.

Bearing this in mind, the possible date can be narrowed to the first half of Av.

More specifically, Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (± 150 AD) said that the first course of priest served in 9th day of Av, Hebrew Calendar.


  1. Ezra 7: 8-10 implies that first course of priests started in the first half of Av (approximately, between 1 and 15 Av).
  2. Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (±150 Masehi) said that first course of priests served in 9th day of Av.
  3. The course of priests start at month Av, instead of Nisan.



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