The postexilic name of the twelfth Jewish lunar month of the sacred calendar, but the sixth of the secular calendar. (Esther 3:7) It corresponds to part of February and part of March. The name is thought by some to mean “dark” or “clouded.” It is after the month Adar that the intercalary month, called Veadar or Adar Sheni or Second Adar is added in leap years.—See VEADAR.
During this month, which came at the close of the winter season and led into spring, the carob trees began to blossom in parts of Palestine, and in the warm lowlands the orange and lemon trees were ready for harvesting.
By a royal decree of King Ahasuerus of Persia the thirteenth day of Adar was to mark the destruction of all the Jews in the jurisdictional districts of his domain, this at the instigation of his prime minister, Haman. A new decree, issued through Queen Esther’s mediation, enabled the Jews to gain a victory over their would-be assassins, and thereafter Mordecai ordered the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar to be celebrated in commemoration of their deliverance. (Esther 3:13; 8:11, 12; 9:1, 15, 20, 21, 27, 28) This Jewish festival is known as “Purim,” a name derived from “Pur, that is, the Lot.”—Esther 9:24-26; see PURIM.
Adar is also the month in which Governor Zerubbabel finished the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 6:15) Elsewhere in the Bible it is mentioned only as the “twelfth month.”—2 Ki. 25:27; 1 Chron. 27:15; Jer. 52:31; Ezek. 32:1.