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I'm doing some research into the names of the months in the Phoenician calendar. I have a theory that all but three of the names have ties to the Phoenician pagan practices, but don't have evidence yet for all nine remaining months.

The months are1:

  1. זבח שמש - Zevach Shemesh - sacrifice to the sun

  2. מרפא - Merapeh - after Baal Merapeh, a Canaanite god

  3. חיר - Khir - per the name Khiram (Hiram), it may be deduced that Khir is the name of a god (as it seems the name means "Khir [is] great")

  4. בול - Bul - clump or rain

  5. פעלת - Po'elet or Pe'ulot - [fem.] acting or acts

  6. פגרם - Pegarim - probably referring to cultic stelae (and there might have also been a Baal Pegarim)

  7. אתנים - Etanim - Hurrian for fathers/patriarchs

  8. זו - Ziv - splendor

  9. מתן - Matan - gift

  10. מפע - Mofiah - appearing

  11. מפע לפני - Mofiah Lifnei - appearing before

  12. כרר - Karar - Karar, a Phoenician god

I'm stuck on Matan (gift) and Po'elet/Pe'ulot ([fem.] acting or acts).

Matan - I know Matan was a common Phoenician name, together with variants such as Matanbaal (gift from/to Baal) but the word itself has a neutral connotation in Hebrew, both ancient and modern.

Po'elet/Pe'ulot - If the correct reading is Po'elet, it might be deduced that it's referring to the acts of a goddess, perhaps Astaroth. However, if it's simply Pe'ulot, acts, the word has a neutral connotation.

Is there any evidence that the intent behind the names of these months was for something related to the Phoenician mythology or worship practices? Are there any scholars that hold such views?


1 List based off of Prof. Robert Stieglitz's essay "The Phoenician-Punic Menology" (can be read in preview mode here) and Claude Reignier Conder's essay "The Hebrew Months". Karar is thought to be the name of a god because there were Phoenicians named Evedkarar (servant of Karar).

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