The name of the second lunar month of the sacred calendar, but the eighth of the secular calendar of the Israelites. (1 Ki. 6:1, 37) It corresponds to part of April and part of May. In commenting on 1 Kings 6:1, the Soncino Books of the Bible (Volume of First and Second Kings, p. 39) says concerning the month of Ziv: “Now known as Iyyar, the second month after Nisan. It was called Ziv (brightness) because it falls at the time of the year when the earth is ‘brightened’ with blossoms and flowers.” The name “Iyyar” is found in the Jewish Talmud and other postexilic works.
By this month the barley harvest has reached up into the hill country and the wheat harvest is under way in the lowlands. The hills of Galilee are ablaze with flowers. The dry season begins during this month, and the early morning clouds soon disappear in the heat of the day. During this time the plants depend upon the nightly dews that form, and await the end of the dry season in October.—Hos. 6:4; Isa. 18:4.
The fourteenth day of Ziv provided a second opportunity for the Israelites to celebrate the Passover in the event they had been prevented from doing so on Nisan 14, owing to absence or ceremonial uncleanness.—Num. 9:9-13; 2 Chron. 30:2, 3.
It was in the month of Ziv that Solomon began the construction of the temple, and nearly five hundred years later in the same month, Zerubbabel initiated the work of rebuilding the temple.—1 Ki. 6:1; Ezra 3:8.