Reference: Festivals, Religious
(1.) The septenary festivals were,
(2.) The great feasts were,
(a) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c) The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering.
On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded "to appear before the Lord" (De 27:7; Ne 8:9-12). The attendance of women was voluntary. (Comp. Lu 2:41; 1Sa 1:7; 2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Ex 34:23-24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of Tabernacles, A.D. 66."
These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered in.
Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast of Dedication (Joh 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of Purim" (q.v.), Es 9:24-32, was also instituted after the Exile. (Cf. Joh 5:1.)
Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain: "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and declare to the sons of Israel, "You saw what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. read more. And now if you carefully obey me and keep my covenant, you are to be my special possession out of all the nations, because the whole earth belongs to me, but you are to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to me.' These are the words you are to declare to the Israelis." When Moses came, he summoned the elders of the people and told them everything that the LORD had commanded him. All the people answered together: "We'll do everything that the LORD has said!" Then Moses reported all the words of the people back to the LORD. The LORD told Moses, "Look, I'm coming to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may listen when I speak with you and always believe you." Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD. The LORD told Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes, and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You are to set boundaries for the people all around: "Be very careful that you don't go up on the mountain or touch the side of it. Anyone who touches the mountain is certainly to be put to death. No hand is to touch that person, but he is certainly to be stoned or shot; whether animal or person, he is not to live.' They are to approach the mountain only when the ram's horn sounds a long blast." When Moses went down from the mountain to the people, he consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes. He told the people, "Be ready for the third day; don't go near a woman." When morning came on the third day, there was thunder and lightning, with a heavy cloud over the mountain, and the very loud sound of a ram's horn. All the people in the camp trembled. Moses brought the people from the camp to meet God, and they stood at the base of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the LORD had come down in fire on it. Smoke went up from it like smoke from a kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the ram's horn grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer with thunder. When the LORD came down on Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain, he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. The LORD told Moses, "Go down and warn the people so they don't break through to look at the LORD, and many of them perish. Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves. Otherwise, the LORD will attack them." Moses told the LORD, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai because you warned us: "Set boundaries around the mountain and consecrate it.'" The LORD told him, "Go down, and come back up with Aaron, but the priests and the people must not break through to go up to the LORD. Otherwise, he will attack them." So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.
"Remember the Sabbath day, maintaining its holiness. Six days you are to labor and do all your work, read more. but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You are not to do any work neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your livestock, nor any foreigner who lives among you because the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days. Then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
"You are to sow your land and gather its crops for six years, but you are to let it rest the seventh year, leaving it unplanted. The poor of your people may eat from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. You are to do the same with your vineyards and olive groves.
"And you are to command the Israelis to bring you pure olive oil, extracted by hand, for the light in order to keep the lamp burning continuously.
"This is what you are to offer on the altar continually: two one year old lambs each day. "You are to offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight, read more. and there is to be a tenth measure of choice flour mixed with one fourth of a hin of oil extracted by hand, and one fourth of a hin of wine as a drink offering for one lamb. You are to offer the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and drink offering as in the morning. You are to offer it as a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD. It is to be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway to the Tent of Meeting in the LORD's presence, where I'll meet with you to speak to you there.
Aaron is to offer fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he trims the lamps he is to offer it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he is to offer it as a continual incense offering in the LORD's presence throughout your generations. read more. You are not to offer strange incense, a burnt offering, or a grain offering on it, nor are you to pour out a libation on it.
The LORD told Moses,
Three times during the year all your males are to appear in the presence of the LORD God of Israel, since I'm going to drive out nations before you, and enlarge your borders, and no one will covet your land, when you go up to appear in the presence of the LORD your God three times a year.
The LORD told Moses, "Deliver these orders to Aaron and his sons concerning the regulations for burnt offerings: The burnt offering is to remain on the hearth of the altar throughout the entire night until morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning along with it. read more. The priest is to clothe himself with a linen robe and undergarments. Then he is to take the ashes of the burnt offering on the altar that had been consumed by the fire and set them beside the altar. Then he is to change his clothes, dressing himself with a different set of clothes, and take the ashes to a clean place outside the camp. The fire on the altar is to be kept burning continuously without being extinguished. The priest is to burn wood on it every morning, arrange burnt offerings over it, and then burn the fat contained in the peace offerings over it. The fire is to continue to burn on the altar and is never to be extinguished." "This is the law concerning grain offerings: Aaron's sons are to offer them in the LORD's presence, in front of the altar. He is to take a handful of fine flour for a grain offering, some olive oil, and all of the frankincense for the grain offering, and make a sacrifice of smoke on the altar as a memorial portion, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. Aaron and his sons are to eat what remains of the unleavened offering at this sacred place the court of the Tent of Meeting. It is not to be baked with leaven. I've given it as their portion out of my offerings made by fire. It's a most holy thing, like the sin and guilt offerings. Every male of Aaron's sons is to eat it as a portion continually allotted for your generations from the offerings made by fire to the Lord. Anyone who touches them is to be holy." Then the LORD told Moses, "This is the offering that Aaron and his sons are to offer to the LORD the day he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of flour is to be offered throughout the day, half in the morning and half in the evening. It is to be prepared with olive oil on a griddle. Once it has been mixed thoroughly, bake it, bring it in pieces, and offer it like a grain offering of broken pieces, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. The anointed priest who succeeds him from among his sons is to offer it. As a permanent statute, it is to be offered whole and made to smoke in the LORD's presence. Every grain offering from a priest is to be burned whole. It is not to be eaten."
The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron's two sons when they had approached the LORD and died.
This will be a perpetual statute for you as you make atonement once a year for the Israelis on account of all their sins." So Moses did just as the LORD had commanded him.
The LORD told Moses, "Tell the Israelis that these are my festival times appointed by the LORD that you are to declare as sacred assemblies: read more. Six days you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a sacred assembly. You are not to do any work. It's a Sabbath to the LORD wherever you live.
The LORD spoke to Moses, "However, on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It's a sacred assembly for you. Humble yourselves and bring an offering made by fire to the LORD. read more. You are not to do any work that same day. It's the Day of Atonement, because your atonement is made in the presence of the LORD your God. Anyone who doesn't humble himself that same day is to be eliminated from contact with his people. I'll eliminate anyone who does work that day from among his people. You are not to do any work. This is to be an eternal ordinance throughout your generations, wherever you live. It's a Sabbath of rest for you on which you are to humble yourselves starting the evening of the ninth day of the month. You are to observe your Sabbath from evening to evening."
"Tell the Israelis that when you enter the land that I'm about to give you, you are to let the land observe a Sabbath to the LORD. For six years you may plant your fields, and for six years you may prune your vineyard and gather its produce. read more. But the seventh year is to be a Sabbath of rest for the land a Sabbath for the LORD. You are not to plant your field or prune your vineyard. You are not to gather what grows from the spilled kernels of your crops. You are not to pick the grapes of your untrimmed vines. Let it be a year of Sabbath for the land. You may take the Sabbath produce of the land for your food you, your male and maid servants, your hired laborers, and the resident alien with you. The cattle and the wild animals in your land everything it produces are for your food.
The LORD told Moses, "You are to command the Israelis about my offerings that they are to be sure to bring edible offerings to me, presented by fire, and a pleasing aroma to me, at their appointed time. read more. Tell them that this is the offering, presented by fire, that you are to offer to the LORD: two one year old lambs, offered daily every day. Offer the first lamb in the morning and the second toward the evening, accompanied by one tenth of an ephah of fine flour for grain offering, mixed with one fourth of a hin of pure olive oil. This burnt offering, which was prescribed at Mount Sinai, is to be offered every day as a pleasing aroma made by fire to the LORD. "The drink offering is to be one fourth of a hin for each lamb. You are to pour out a drink offering of strong wine to the LORD in the Holy Place. You are also to offer the second lamb toward the evening. Just like the morning sacrifice, you are to present the grain offering, accompanied by its corresponding drink offering, as a presentation made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD."
"On the first day of each month, you are to offer a burnt offering to the LORD consisting of two young bulls, one ram, and seven one year old lambs, all of them without any defects, along with three tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with olive oil, for each bull, two tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with olive oil, for the one ram, read more. and one tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering for each lamb. This burnt offering will be a pleasing aroma, incinerated as an offering to the LORD. Their drink offerings are to be half a hin of wine for each bull, one third of a hin for the ram, and one fourth of a hin for each lamb. This burnt offering is to be presented each and every month throughout the year. One goat is to be offered at regular intervals as a sin offering to the LORD, accompanied by its corresponding drink offering."
"You are to hold a sacred assembly on the first day of the seventh month of each year. No servile work is to be done. It's a day of blowing trumpets for you. "You are to bring these burnt offerings as a pleasing aroma to the LORD: a one year old young bull, one ram, and seven one year old lambs, all without any defects, read more. along with their corresponding grain offering of fine flour mixed with olive oil three tenths of an ephah for the young bull, two tenths of an ephah for the ram, and one tenth of an ephah for each lamb of the seven lambs, accompanied by one goat for a sin offering to make atonement for you. This is to be separate and apart from the burnt offering for the New Moon, with its corresponding grain offering, the regular burnt offering with its corresponding grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their respective ordinances, as a pleasing aroma, an incinerated offering made to the LORD. "You are to hold a sacred assembly on the tenth day of this same seventh month. You are to humble yourselves, and no servile work is to be done. You are to bring these burnt offerings to the LORD for a pleasing aroma: one young bull, one ram, and seven one year old lambs, all without any defects, for you, along with these corresponding grain offerings of fine flour mixed with olive oil: three tenths for the bull, two tenths for the one ram, and one tenth for each of the seven lambs, then one male goat for a sin offering, in addition to the sin offering, to make atonement, along with the regular burnt offering and its corresponding grain and drink offerings."
Offer a burnt offering there, then eat and rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God.
Because all the people were weeping as they listened to the words of the Law, Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the descendants of Levi who taught the people told everyone, "This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." He also told them, "Go eat the best food, drink the best wine, and give something to those who have nothing, since this day is holy to our Lord. Don't be sorrowful, because the joy of the LORD is your strength." read more. The descendants of Levi also calmed all the people by saying, "Be still, for the day is holy. Don't be sorrowful!" So all the people went to eat, to drink, to send something to those who had nothing, and to celebrate with great joy, because they understood the words that were being declared to them.
since Hammedatha's son Haman, the enemy of the Jewish people, had plotted against the Jewish people to destroy them, and he had cast the (that is, the lot) to determine when to confuse and destroy them. But when Esther came before the king, he ordered through a letter that the evil plot that Haman had devised against the Jewish people be rescinded, and that he and his sons be hanged on poles. read more. Therefore these days were called , from the word . Because of all that was written in this letter, because of what they experienced in this matter, and because of what happened to them, the Jewish people established this celebration, making it a tradition for themselves, for their descendants, and for all who joined with them that they should not fail to observe these two days each year, based on the written instructions, and at the prescribed time. These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by each family in every province and town. These days of Purim should not be neglected by the Jewish people, and that they should not be forgotten by their descendants. Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority confirming this second letter about Purim. Letters containing wishes for peace and stability were sent to all the Jewish people, to the 127 provinces of Ahasuerus' kingdom, establishing these days of Purim at the prescribed time, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established, and just as the Jewish people had established for themselves and for their descendants. The letter included instructions for their fasting and lamentations. The order of Esther established these instructions for Purim, and it was officially recorded.
Every year Jesus' parents would go to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival.
Later on, there was another festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.