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A year is the orbital period of the Earth moving around the Sun. In astronomy, the Julian year is a unit of time, defined as 365.25 days of 86400 SI seconds each.[1] The years have a duration of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 48 seconds approximately.

Year in the Bible

Old Testament

Symbolic food of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah (literally "head of the year")

The OT uses the word Hebrew: שָׁנָה, shanâ, which means "revolution" of time. The OT calendar contained two different years: the sacred year, that began in the spring, in the month of Nisan, and the civil year that began in the fall, in the month of Tishri.[2] To the israelites the months began with the new moon, but the first month of the year was fixed.[3]

Roman period

The ancient Roman year was composed of twelve lunar months of 29 days or 30 days alternately, totaling 354 days. However a day was added to the sum resulting in an odd number of 355 days.[3] Julius Caesar fixed the civil year in 46 BC to 365¼ days.[2] The ordinary year consisted of 365 days divided into twelve months.


  1. International Astronomical Union "SI units" accessed July 18, 2013. (See Table 5 and section 5.15.) Reprinted from George A. Wilkins & IAU Commission 5, "The IAU Style Manual (1989)" (PDF file) in IAU Transactions Vol. XXB
  2. 2.0 2.1 Douglas, J.D.; Tenney, Merril C, ed. (1987). The New International Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. p. 184. ISBN 0-310-33190-0. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Unger, Merrill F (1988). Harrison, R. K.. ed. The New Unger´s Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press. p. 194. ISBN 0-8024-9037-9.