Iyyar is the second month of the biblical calendar year. The name "Iyyar" is the Babylonian name of the month. The older biblical (or Canaanite) name of the month is "Ziv," as in 1 Kings 6:1, "In the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."
In the land of Israel, Iyyar is the first month of the dry season, but it certainly is not spiritually dry. The month of Iyyar is full of spiritual nourishment for believers.
In the year that Israel left Egypt, they spent the month of Iyyar in the wilderness traveling toward Mount Sinai. It was during the month of Iyyar that they witnessed miracles like the manna and the water from the rock.
On the biblical calendar of appointed times in Leviticus 23, the entire month of Iyyar is dedicated to the mitzvah of counting off the days until Pentecost. The counting of the days (referred to as the counting of the omer) began on the day after the first Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. The Torah commands us to count off forty-nine days.
On the fiftieth day, we celebrate the feast of Shavuot, also called Pentecost. (Pentecost will be June 9 this year.) In Judaism, Shavuot is regarded as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah.
Therefore, the month of Iyyar represents part of the journey from Passover to Shavuot, the journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai. As we count the omer, we should be on a spiritual journey of preparation, getting ready for the appointed time of Shavuot.
In the year the Master suffered, the apostles went through a spiritual journey during the month of Iyyar—the journey from Yeshua's resurrection on the first day of the counting of the omer to His ascension on the fortieth day of the counting of the Omer. For forty days the resurrected Messiah appeared in Jerusalem and in the Galilee and to all the apostles. He ate with them, taught them and fellowshipped with them. Those were the most precious days of all. As we count the omer and go through the days of Iyyar, we should concentrate our intentions in prayer and worship to feel the presence of risen Messiah in our midst.
On the 26 of Iyyar, He ascended to the heavenly Tabernacle of his Father (Acts 1:3; Hebrews 9:11). As believers, Iyyar is precious to us because it is the month of the Ascension, the month when the Master ascended to the right hand of the Father. Don't forget to do something special to celebrate Ascension day this year with your brothers and sisters in the Master.
Happy Iyyar from First Fruits of Zion