The postexilic name of the third Jewish lunar month of the sacred calendar, but the ninth of the secular calendar. (Es 8:9; 1Ch 27:5; 2Ch 31:7) It corresponds to part of May and part of June. The meaning of the name is uncertain.
Sivan comes at the end of the spring when the intense heat of summer is approaching. This was the time of the wheat harvest and also the early part of the dry season, which would continue until about mid-October or the lunar month Bul. (Ex 34:22; Pr 26:1) This was doubtless the month when the prophet Samuel prayed to Jehovah and an unseasonal rainstorm occurred, causing great fear among the people. (1Sa 12:16-19) By now the “early figs” that came on the trees toward the close of the winter months were fully ripe. (Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2) In the coastal area of the Mediterranean, apples were also in season.—Ca 2:3; compare Joe 1:10-12.
The Festival of Weeks, or Pentecost, was celebrated on the sixth day of Sivan, accompanied by the offering of the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, on the 50th day after the offering of the firstfruits of the barley harvest. (Ex 34:22; Le 23:15-21) It was on this sixth day of Sivan, in the year 33 C.E., that the holy spirit was poured out on the group of about 120 disciples assembled in the upper room at Jerusalem. From the crowds gathered at the city for the feast came the 3,000 persons who were baptized on that day.—Ac 1:15; 2:1-42.
It was in the month of Sivan that King Asa celebrated a grand feast following his reform activity in eradicating false religion from Judah, Jerusalem, and other areas. (2Ch 15:8-10) The swift couriers sent by King Ahasuerus to deliver the message granting the Jews the right to defend themselves on the 13th day of Adar were dispatched almost nine months earlier, on the 23rd day of Sivan, to the 127 jurisdictional districts of the Persian Empire extending from India to Ethiopia.—Es 8:9-14.