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 The first instance on record is thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people of Lydda while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.)
And Moses hath gone up unto God, and Jehovah calleth unto him out of the mount, saying, 'Thus dost thou say to the house of Jacob, and declare to the sons of Israel, Ye -- ye have seen that which I have done to the Egyptians, and I bear you on eagles' wings, and bring you in unto Myself. read more. And now, if ye really hearken to My voice, then ye have kept My covenant, and been to Me a peculiar treasure more than all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and ye -- ye are to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation: these are the words which thou dost speak unto the sons of Israel.' And Moses cometh, and calleth for the elders of the people, and setteth before them all these words which Jehovah hath commanded him; and all the people answer together and say, 'All that Jehovah hath spoken we do;' and Moses returneth the words of the people unto Jehovah. And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Lo, I am coming unto thee in the thickness of the cloud, so that the people hear in My speaking with thee, and also believe in thee to the age;' and Moses declareth the words of the people unto Jehovah. And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Go unto the people; and thou hast sanctified them to-day and to-morrow, and they have washed their garments, and have been prepared for the third day; for on the third day doth Jehovah come down before the eyes of all the people, on mount Sinai. And thou hast made a border for the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, going up into the mount, or coming against its extremity; whoever is coming against the mount is certainly put to death; a hand cometh not against him, for he is certainly stoned or shot through, whether beast or man it liveth not; in the drawing out of the jubilee cornet they go up into the mount.' And Moses cometh down from the mount unto the people, and sanctifieth the people, and they wash their garments; and he saith unto the people, 'Be ye prepared for the third day, come not nigh unto a woman.' And it cometh to pass, on the third day, while it is morning, that there are voices, and lightnings, and a heavy cloud, on the mount, and the sound of a trumpet very strong; and all the people who are in the camp do tremble. And Moses bringeth out the people to meet God from the camp, and they station themselves at the lower part of the mount, and mount Sinai is wholly a smoke from the presence of Jehovah, who hath come down on it in fire, and its smoke goeth up as smoke of the furnace, and the whole mount trembleth exceedingly; and the sound of the trumpet is going on, and very strong; Moses speaketh, and God doth answer him with a voice. And Jehovah cometh down on mount Sinai, unto the top of the mount, and Jehovah calleth for Moses unto the top of the mount, and Moses goeth up. And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Go down, protest to the people, lest they break through unto Jehovah to see, and many of them have fallen; and also the priests who are coming nigh unto Jehovah do sanctify themselves, lest Jehovah break forth on them.' And Moses saith unto Jehovah, 'The people is unable to come up unto mount Sinai, for Thou -- Thou hast protested to us, saying, Make a border for the mount, then thou hast sanctified it.' And Jehovah saith unto him, 'Go, descend, then thou hast come up, thou, and Aaron with thee; and the priests and the people do not break through, to come up unto Jehovah, lest He break forth upon them.' And Moses goeth down unto the people, and saith unto them: --
'Remember the Sabbath-day to sanctify it; six days thou dost labour, and hast done all thy work, read more. and the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah thy God; thou dost not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy handmaid, and thy cattle, and thy sojourner who is within thy gates, -- for six days hath Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and resteth in the seventh day; therefore hath Jehovah blessed the Sabbath-day, and doth sanctify it.
'And six years thou dost sow thy land, and hast gathered its increase; and the seventh thou dost release it, and hast left it, and the needy of thy people have eaten, and their leaving doth the beast of the field eat; so dost thou to thy vineyard -- to thine olive-yard.
And thou -- thou dost command the sons of Israel, and they bring unto thee pure beaten olive oil for the light, to cause the lamp to go up continually;
And this is that which thou dost prepare on the altar; two lambs, sons of a year, daily continually; the one lamb thou dost prepare in the morning, and the second lamb thou dost prepare between the evenings; read more. and a tenth deal of fine flour, mixed with beaten oil, a fourth part of a hin, and a libation, a fourth part of a hin, of wine, is for the one lamb. And the second lamb thou dost prepare between the evenings; according to the present of the morning, and according to its libation, thou dost prepare for it, for sweet fragrance, a fire-offering, to Jehovah: -- a continual burnt-offering for your generations, at the opening of the tent of meeting, before Jehovah, whither I am met with you, to speak unto thee there,
'And Aaron hath made perfume on it, perfume of spices, morning by morning; in his making the lamps right he doth perfume it, and in Aaron's causing the lamps to go up between the evenings, he doth perfume it; a continual perfume before Jehovah to your generations. read more. 'Ye do not cause strange perfume to go up upon it, and burnt-offering, and present, and libation ye do not pour out on it;
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying,
'Three times in a year do all thy males appear before the Lord Jehovah, God of Israel; for I dispossess nations from before thee, and have enlarged thy border, and no man doth desire thy land in thy going up to appear before Jehovah thy God three times in a year.
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is a law of the burnt-offering (it is the burnt-offering, because of the burning on the altar all the night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar is burning on it,) read more. that the priest hath put on his long robe of fine linen, and his fine linen trousers he doth put on his flesh, and hath lifted up the ashes which the fire consumeth with the burnt-offering on the altar, and hath put them near the altar; and he hath stripped off his garments, and hath put on other garments, and hath brought out the ashes unto the outside of the camp, unto a clean place. And the fire on the altar is burning on it, it is not quenched, and the priest hath burned on it wood morning by morning, and hath arranged on it the burnt-offering, and hath made perfume on it with the fat of the peace-offerings; fire is continually burning on the altar, it is not quenched. And this is a law of the present: sons of Aaron have brought it near before Jehovah unto the front of the altar, and one hath lifted up of it with his hand from the flour of the present, and from its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the present, and hath made perfume on the altar, sweet fragrance -- its memorial to Jehovah. And the remnant of it do Aaron and his sons eat; with unleavened things it is eaten, in the holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting they do eat it. It is not baken with any thing fermented, their portion I have given it, out of My fire-offerings; it is most holy, like the sin-offering, and like the guilt-offering. Every male among the sons of Aaron doth eat it -- a statute age-during to your generations, out of the fire-offerings of Jehovah: all that cometh against them is holy.' And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying, This is an offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they bring near to Jehovah in the day of his being anointed; a tenth of the ephah of flour for a continual present, half of it in the morning, and half of it in the evening; on a girdel with oil it is made -- fried thou dost bring it in; baked pieces of the present thou dost bring near, a sweet fragrance to Jehovah. And the priest who is anointed in his stead, from among his sons, doth make it, -- a statute age-during of Jehovah: it is completely perfumed; and every present of a priest is a whole burnt-offering; it is not eaten.'
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, after the death of the two sons of Aaron, in their drawing near before Jehovah, and they die;
'And this hath been to you for a statute age-during, to make atonement for the sons of Israel, because of all their sins, once in a year;' and he doth as Jehovah hath commanded Moses.
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, Appointed seasons of Jehovah, which ye proclaim, holy convocations, are these: they are My appointed seasons: read more. six days is work done, and in the seventh day is a sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye do no work; it is a sabbath to Jehovah in all your dwellings.
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying, Only -- on the tenth of this seventh month is a day of atonements; ye have a holy convocation, and ye have humbled yourselves, and have brought near a fire-offering to Jehovah; read more. and ye do no work in this self-same day, for it is a day of atonements, to make atonement for you, before Jehovah your God. 'For any person who is not humbled in this self-same day hath even been cut off from his people; and any person who doth any work in this self-same day I have even destroyed that person from the midst of his people; ye do no work -- a statute age-during to your generations in all your dwellings. It is a sabbath of rest to you, and ye have humbled yourselves in the ninth of the month at even; from evening till evening ye do keep your sabbath.'
'Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, When ye come in unto the land which I am giving to you, then hath the land kept a sabbath to Jehovah. 'Six years thou dost sow thy field, and six years thou dost prune thy vineyard, and hast gathered its increase, read more. and in the seventh year a sabbath of rest is to the land, a sabbath to Jehovah; thy field thou dost not sow, and thy vineyard thou dost not prune; the spontaneous growth of thy harvest thou dost not reap, and the grapes of thy separated thing thou dost not gather, a year of rest it is to the land. 'And the sabbath of the land hath been to you for food, to thee, and to thy man-servant, and to thy handmaid, and to thy hireling, and to thy settler, who are sojourning with thee; and to thy cattle, and to the beast which is in thy land, is all thine increase for food.
And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying, 'Command the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, My offering, My bread for My fire-offerings, My sweet fragrance, ye take heed to bring near to Me in its appointed season. read more. And thou hast said to them, This is the fire-offering which ye bring near to Jehovah: two lambs, sons of a year, perfect ones, daily, a continual burnt-offering; the one lamb thou preparest in the morning, and the second lamb thou preparest between the evenings; and a tenth of the ephah of flour for a present, mixed with beaten oil, a fourth of the hin; a continual burnt-offering, which was made in mount Sinai, for sweet fragrance, a fire-offering to Jehovah; and its libation, a fourth of the hin for the one lamb; in the sanctuary cause thou a libation of strong drink to be poured out to Jehovah. And the second lamb thou dost prepare between the evenings; as the present of the morning, and as its libation thou preparest -- a fire-offering, a sweet fragrance to Jehovah.
'And in the beginnings of your months ye bring near a burnt-offering to Jehovah: two bullocks, sons of the herd, and one ram, seven lambs, sons of a year, perfect ones; and three-tenth deals of flour, a present, mixed with oil, for the one bullock, and two-tenth deals of flour, a present, mixed with oil, for the one ram; read more. and a several tenth deal of flour, a present, mixed with oil, for the one lamb; a burnt-offering, a sweet fragrance, a fire-offering to Jehovah; and their libations are a half of the hin to a bullock, and a third of the hin to a ram, and a fourth of the hin to a lamb, of wine; this is the burnt-offering of every month for the months of the year; and one kid of the goats for a sin-offering to Jehovah; besides the continual burnt-offering it is prepared, and its libation.
'And in the seventh month, in the first of the month, a holy convocation ye have, ye do no servile work; a day of shouting it is to you; and ye have prepared a burnt-offering, for sweet fragrance to Jehovah: one bullock, a son of the herd, one ram, seven lambs, sons of a year, perfect ones; read more. and their present, flour mixed with oil, three-tenth deals for the bullock, two-tenth deals for the ram, and one-tenth deal for the one lamb, for the seven lambs; and one kid of the goats, a sin-offering, to make atonement for you; apart from the burnt-offering of the month, and its present, and the continual burnt-offering, and its present, and their libations, according to their ordinance, for sweet fragrance, a fire-offering to Jehovah. 'And on the tenth of this seventh month a holy convocation ye have, and ye have humbled your souls; ye do no work; and ye have brought near a burnt-offering to Jehovah, a sweet fragrance, one bullock, a son of the herd, one ram, seven lambs, sons of a year, perfect ones they are for you, and their present, flour mixed with oil, three-tenth deals for the bullock, two-tenth deals for the one ram, a several tenth deal for the one lamb, for the seven lambs, one kid of the goats, a sin-offering; apart from the sin-offering of the atonements, and the continual burnt-offering, and its present, and their libations.
and sacrificed peace-offerings, and eaten there, and rejoiced before Jehovah thy God,
And Nehemiah -- he is the Tirshatha -- saith (and Ezra the priest, the scribe, and the Levites who are instructing the people) to all the people, 'To-day is holy to Jehovah your God, do not mourn, nor weep:' for all the people are weeping at their hearing the words of the law. And he saith to them, 'Go, eat fat things, and drink sweet things, and sent portions to him for whom nothing is prepared, for to-day is holy to our Lord, and be not grieved, for the joy of Jehovah is your strength.' read more. And the Levites are keeping all the people silent, saying, 'Be silent, for to-day is holy, and be not grieved.' And all the people go to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great joy, because they have understood concerning the words that they made known to them.
because Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, adversary of all the Jews, had devised concerning the Jews to destroy them, and had caused to fall Pur -- that is the lot -- to crush them and to destroy them; and in her coming in before the king, he said with the letter, 'Let his evil device that he devised against the Jews turn back upon his own head,' and they have hanged him and his sons on the tree, read more. therefore they have called these days Purim -- by the name of the lot -- therefore, because of all the words of this letter, and what they have seen concerning this, and what hath come unto them, the Jews have established and received upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all those joined unto them, and it doth not pass away, to be keeping these two days according to their writing, and according to their season, in every year and year; and these days are remembered and kept in every generation and generation, family and family, province and province, and city and city, and these days of Purim do not pass away from the midst of the Jews, and their memorial is not ended from their seed. And Esther the queen, daughter of Abihail, writeth, and Mordecai the Jew, with all might, to establish this second letter of Purim, and he sendeth letters unto all the Jews, unto the seven and twenty and a hundred provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus -- words of peace and truth -- to establish these days of Purim, in their seasons, as Mordecai the Jew hath established on them, and Esther the queen, and as they had established on themselves, and on their seed -- matters of the fastings, and of their cry. And a saying of Esther hath established these matters of Purim, and it is written in the Book.
And his parents were going yearly to Jerusalem, at the feast of the passover,
After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,