Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel, by Julius Wellhausen, , at sacred-texts.com
The feasts, strictly speaking, belong to the preceding chapter, for originally they were simply regularly recurring occasions for sacrifice. The results of the investigation there made accordingly repeat themselves here, but with such clearness and precision as make it worth while to give the subject a separate consideration. In the first place and chiefly, the history of the solar festivals, that of those festivals which follow the seasons of the year, claims our attention.
1. In the Jehovistic and Deuteronomistic parts of the Pentateuch there predominates a rotation of three great festivals, which alone receive the proper designation of ḥag: "Three times in the year shalt thou keep festival unto me, three times in the year shall all thy men appear before the Lord Jehovah, the God of Israel" (Exod. xxiii. 14, 17, xxxiv. 23; Deut. xvi. 16). "The feast of unleavened bread (maççoth) shalt thou keep; seven days shalt thou eat maççoth as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib, for in it thou camest out from Egypt; and none shall appear before me empty; and the feast of harvest (ḳaçir), the first-fruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field; and the feast of ingathering (asiph), in the end of the year, when thou gatherest in thy labours out of the field." So runs the command in the Book of the Covenant (Exod. xxiii. 15, 16). The Law of the Two Tables (Exod. xxxiv. 18 seq.) is similar: "The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out of Egypt. All that openeth the womb is mine; every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. The firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons shalt
thou redeem. And none shall appear before me empty. Six days shalt thou work; but on the seventh day shalt thou rest: even in ploughing time and in harvest shalt thou rest. And the feast of weeks (shabuoth) shalt thou observe, the feasts of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering (asiph) at the change of the year." Minuter, on the other hand, and of a somewhat different character, are the precepts laid down in Deut. xvi.: "Take heed to the month Abib, and keep the passover unto Jehovah thy God, for in the month Abib did Jehovah thy God bring thee forth out of Egypt by night. Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto Jehovah thy God, of the flock or of the herd, in the place which Jehovah shall choose for the habitation of His name. Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread (maççoth) therewith, the bread of affliction, for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in anxious haste, that all the days of thy life thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt. There shall no leavened bread be seen with thee in all thy border seven days, and of the flesh which thou didst sacrifice on the first day, in the evening, nothing shall remain all night until the morning. Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, but at the place which Jehovah thy God shall choose for the habitation of His name, there shalt thou sacrifice the passover, in the evening, at the going down of the sun, at the time of thy coming forth out of Egypt. And thou shalt boil and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and in the morning shalt thou return to thy home. Six days shalt thou eat maççoth, and on the seventh day shall be the closing feast to Jehovah thy God; thou shalt do no work therein" (ver. 1-8). "Seven weeks thenceforward shalt thou number unto thee; from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn shalt thou begin to number seven weeks, and then thou shalt keep the feast of weeks (shabuoth) to Jehovah thy God, with a tribute of freewill offerings in thy hand, which thou shalt give, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. And thou shalt rejoice before Jehovah thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow that are among you in the place which Jehovah thy God shall choose for the habitation of His name. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and thou shalt observe and do these statutes" (ver. 9-12). "The feast
of tabernacles (sukkoth) thou shalt observe seven days after thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine; and thou shalt rejoice in thy feast,—thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto Jehovah thy God in the place which Jehovah shall choose, because Jehovah thy God cloth bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thy hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. Three times in a year shall all thy men appear before Jehovah thy God in the place which He shall choose: in the feast of unleavened bread, of weeks, and of tabernacles (ḥag ha-maççoth,—shabuoth,—sukkoth), and they shall not appear before me empty; every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of Jehovah thy God, which He hath given thee" (ver. 13-17).
As regards the essential nature of the two last-named feasts, these passages are at one. The sukkoth of Deuteronomy and the asiph of the Jehovistic legislation do not coincide in time merely, but are in fact one and the same feast, the autumnal ingathering of the wine and of the oil from the vat and press, and of the corn from the threshing-floor. The name asiph refers immediately to the vintage and olive-gathering, to which the word sukkoth seems also to relate, being most easily explained from the custom of the whole household, old and young, going out to the vineyard in time of harvest, and there camping out in the open air under the improvised shelter of booths made with branches (Isaiah i. 8). Kaçir and shabuoth in like manner are only different names for the same reality, namely, for the feast of the corn-reaping, or, more strictly, the wheat-reaping, which takes place in the beginning of summer. Thus both festivals have a purely natural occasion. On the other hand, the spring festival, which always opens the series, has a historical motive assigned to it, the exodus—most expressly in Deuteronomy—being given as the event on which it rests. The cycle nevertheless seems to presuppose and to require the original homogeneity of all its members. Now the twofold ritual of the pesaḥ and the maççoth points to a twofold character of the feast. The ḥag, properly so named, is called not ḥag ha-pesaḥ, 1 but ḥag ha-maççoth, and
it is only the latter that is co-ordinated with the other two ḥaggim; the name pesaḥ indeed does not occur at all until Deuteronomy, although in the law of the two tables the sacrifice of the first-born seems to be brought into connection with the feast of unleavened bread. It follows that only the maççoth can be taken into account for purposes of comparison with ḳasir and asiph. As to the proper significance of maççoth, the Jehovistic legislation does not find it needful to instruct its contemporaries, but it is incidentally disclosed in Deuteronomy. There the festival of harvest is brought into a definite relation in point of time with that of maççoth; it is to be celebrated seven weeks later. This is no new ordinance, but one that rests upon old custom, for the name, "feast of weeks," occurs in a passage so early as Exod. xxxiv. (comp Jer. v. 24). Now "seven weeks after Easter" (Deut. xvi. 9) is further explained with greater elaborateness as meaning seven weeks after the putting of the sickle to the corn. Thus the festival of maççoth is equivalent to that of the putting of the sickle to the corn, and thereby light is thrown on its fixed relation to Pentecost. Pentecost celebrates the close of the reaping, which commences with barley harvest, and ends with that of wheat; Easter its beginning in the "month of corn ears;" and between the two extends the duration of harvest time, computed at seven weeks. The whole of this tempus clausum is a great festal season rounded off by the two festivals. We gain further light from Lev. xxiii. 9-22. 1 The Easter point is here, as in Deuteronomy, fixed as being the beginning of harvest, but is still more definitely determined as the day after the first Sabbath falling within harvest time, and Pentecost follows the same reckoning. And the special Easter ritual consists in the offering of a barley sheaf; before this it is not lawful to taste of the new crop; and the corresponding Pentecostal rite is the offering of ordinary wheaten loaves. The corn harvest begins with barley and ends with wheat; at the beginning the first-fruits are presented in their crude state as a sheaf, just as men in like
manner partake of the new growth in the form of parched ears (Lev. xxiii. 14; Josh. v. 11); at the end they are prepared in the form of common bread. Thus the maççoth now begin to be intelligible. As has been already said (see p. 69), they are not, strictly speaking, duly prepared loaves, but the bread that is hurriedly baked to meet a pressing emergency (1 Sam. xxviii. 24); thus they are quite correctly associated with the haste of the exodus, and described as bread of affliction. At first people do not take time in a leisurely way to leaven, knead, and bake the year's new bread, but a hasty cake is prepared in the ashes; this is what is meant by maççoth. They are contrasted with the Pentecostal loaves precisely as are the sheaf and the parched ears, which last, according to Josh. v. 11, may be eaten in their stead, and without a doubt they were originally not the Easter food of men merely, but also of the Deity, so that the sheaf comes under the category of the later spiritual refinements of sacrificial material.
Easter then is the opening, as Pentecost is the closing festivity, or (what means the same thing) ‘açereth, 1 of the seven weeks’ "joy of harvest," and the spring festival no longer puzzles us by the place it holds in the cycle of the three yearly festivities. But what is the state of the case as regards the pesaḥ? The meaning of the name is not clear; as we have seen, the word first occurs in Deuteronomy, and there also the time of the celebration is restricted to the evening and night of the first day of maççoth, from sunset until the following morning. In point of fact, the pesaḥ points back to the sacrifice of the firstlings (Exod. xxxiv. 18 seq., xiii. 12 seq.; Deut. xv. 19 seq., xvi. 1 seq.), and it is principally upon this that the historical character of the whole festivity hinges. It is because Jehovah smote the first-born of Egypt and spared those of Israel that the latter thenceforward are held sacred to Him. Such is the representation given not merely in the Priestly Code but also in Exod. xiii. 11 seq. But in neither of its sources does the Jehovistic tradition know anything of this. "Let my people go, that they may keep a feast unto me in the wilderness with sacrifices and cattle and sheep: "this from the first is the demand made upon Pharaoh, and it is in order to be suitably adorned for this purpose, contemplated by them from the first, that the departing Israelites borrow
festal robes and ornaments from the Egyptians. Because Pharaoh refuses to allow the Hebrews to offer to their God the firstlings of cattle that are His due, Jehovah seizes from him the first-born of men. Thus the exodus is not the occasion of the festival, but the festival the occasion, if only a pretended one, of the exodus. If this relationship is inverted in Exodus xiii, it is because that passage is not one of the sources of the Jehovistic tradition, but is part of the redaction, and in fact (as is plain from other reasons with regard to the entire section xiii. 1-16) of a Deuteronomic redaction. From this it follows that the elaboration of the historical motive of the passover is not earlier than Deuteronomy, although perhaps a certain inclination to that way of explaining it appears before then, just as in the case of the maççoth (Exod. xii. 34). What has led to it is evidently the coincidence of the spring festival with the exodus, already accepted by the older tradition, the relation of cause and effect having become inverted in course of time. The only view sanctioned by the nature of the case is that the Israelite custom of offering the firstlings gave rise to the narrative of the slaying of the first-born of Egypt; unless the custom be pre-supposed the story is inexplicable, and the peculiar selection of its victims by the plague is left without a motive.
The sacrifice of the first-born, of the male first-born, that is to say—for the females were reared as with us—does not require an historical explanation, but can be accounted for very simply: it is the expression of thankfulness to the Deity for fruitful flocks and herds. If claim is also laid to the human first-born, this is merely a later generalisation which after all resolves itself merely into a substitution of an animal offering and an extension of the original sacrifice. In Exod. xx. 28, 29 and xxxiv. 19 this consequence does not yet seem to be deduced or even to be suspected as possible; it first appears in xxxiv. 20 and presents itself most distinctly in the latest passage (xiii. 12), for there פטר רחם is contrasted with פטר שגר, and for the first the expression העביר, a technical one in the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel for child sacrifice, is used. The view of some scholars (most of them mere casual visitors in the field of Old Testament research) that the slaying of the first-born male children was originally precisely the main feature of the passover, hardly deserves refutation. Like the other festivals, this also, apart from the view taken of it in the Priestly Code, has a thoroughly joyous character (Exod. x. 9); Deut, xvi. 7; comp. Isa. xxx. 29).
[paragraph continues] There are some historical instances indeed of the surrender of an only child or of the dearest one, but always as a voluntary and quite exceptional act; the contrary is not proved by Hosea xiii. 2. 1 The offering of human first-born was certainly no regular or commanded exaction in ancient times; there are no traces of so enormous a blood tax, but, on the contrary, many of a great preference for eldest sons. It was not until shortly before the exile that the burning of children was introduced on a grand scale along with many other innovations, and supported by a strict interpretation of the command regarding firstlings (Jer. vii. 31, xix. 5; Ezek. xx. 26). In harmony with this is the fact that the law of Exod. xiii. 3-16 comes from the hand of the latest redactor of the Jehovistic history.
2. "Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a husbandman. And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord; and Abel also brought an offering of the firstlings of his sheep." It is out of the simplest, most natural, and most wide-spread offerings, those of the first-fruits of the flock, herd, and field, the occasions for which recur regularly with the seasons of the year, that the annual festivals took their rise. The passover corresponds with the firstlings of Abel the shepherd, the other three with the fruits presented by Cain the husbandman; apart from this difference, in essence and foundation they are all precisely alike. Their connection with the aparchai of the yearly seasons is indeed assumed rather than expressly stated in the Jehovistic and Deuteronomistic legislation. Yet in Exod. xxiii. 17-19, xxxiv. 23-26 we read: "Three times in the year shall all thy men appear before the Lord Jehovah; thou shalt not mingle the blood of my sacrifice with leaven, neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning. The best of the first-fruits of thy land shalt thou bring into the house of Jehovah thy God; thou shalt not seethe the kid in the milk of its mother." It is forbidden to appear before Jehovah empty, hence the connection between the first general
sentence and the details which follow it. Of these, the first seems to relate to the passover; doubtless indeed it holds good of all animal sacrifices, but in point of fact these are offered in preponderating numbers at the great festival after the herds and flocks have produced their young. The remaining sentences relate to the feasts of harvest and ingathering, whose connection with the fruits of the field is otherwise clear. As for Deuteronomy, there also it is required on the one hand that the dues from the flock and herd and field shall be personally offered at Jerusalem, and made the occasion of joyous sacrificial feasts; on the other hand, that three appearances in the year shall be made at Jerusalem, at Easter, at Pentecost, and at the feast of tabernacles, and not with empty hands. These requirements can only be explained on the assumption that the material of the feasts was that furnished by the dues. Clearly in Deuteronomy all three coincide; sacrifices, dues, feasts; other sacrifices than those occasioned by the dues can hardly be thought of for the purpose of holding a joyous festival before Jehovah; the dues are, properly speaking, simply those sacrifices prescribed by popular custom, and therefore fixed and festal, of which alone the law has occasion to treat. 1 It results from the very nature of the case that the people come together to offer thanks for Jehovah's blessing, but no special emphasis is laid upon this. In the Jehovistic legislation (Exod. xxiii., xxxiv.) the terms have not yet come to be fixed, so that it is hardly possible to speak of a "dies festus" in the strict sense; festal seasons rather than festal days are what we have. Easter is celebrated in the month Abib, when the corn is in the ear (Exod. ix. 31, 32), Pentecost when the wheat is cut, the autumn festival when the vintage has been completed,—rather vague and shifting determinations. Deuteronomy advances a step towards fixing the terms and intervals more accurately, a circumstance very intimately connected with the centralisation of the worship in Jerusalem. Even here, however, we do not meet with one general festive offering on the part of the community, but only with isolated private offerings by individuals.
In correspondence with this the amount of the gifts is left with considerable vagueness to the good-will of the offerers. Only the firstlings are definitely demanded. The redemption allowed in Deuteronomy by means of money which buys a substitute in Jerusalem has no proper meaning for the earlier time; yet even then the offerer may in individual instances have availed himself of liberty of exchange, all the more because even then his gift, as a sacrificial meal, was essentially a benefit to himself (Exod. xxiii. 18; Gen. iv. 4, ומחלביהן). For the first-fruits of the field Exodus prescribes no measure at all, Deuteronomy demands the tithe of corn, wine, and oil, which, however, is not to be understood with mathematical strictness, inasmuch as it is used at sacrificial meals, is not made over to a second party, and thus does not require to be accounted for. The tithe, as appears from Deut. xxvi., is offered in autumn, that is, at the feast of tabernacles; this is the proper autumn festival of thanksgiving, not only for the wine harvest, but also for that of the threshing-floor (xvi. 13); it demands seven days, which must all be spent in Jerusalem, while in the case of maççoth only one need be spent there. It is self-evident that there is no restriction to the use of vegetable gifts merely, but sacrifices of flesh are also assumed—purchased perhaps with the proceeds of the sale of the tithe. In this way the special character of the feasts, and their connection with the first-fruits peculiar to them, could easily disappear, a thing which seems actually to have occurred in Deuteronomy, and perhaps even earlier. It is not to be wondered at that much should seem unclear to us which must have been obvious to contemporaries; in Deuteronomy, moreover, almost everything is left to standing custom, and only the one main point insisted on, that the religious worship, and thus also the festivals, must be celebrated only in Jerusalem.
Leaving out of account the passover, which originally had an independent standing, and only afterwards through its connection with maççoth was taken into the regular cycle of the ḥaggim, it cannot be doubted, generally speaking and on the whole, that not only in the Jehovistic but also in the Deuteronomic legislation the festivals rest upon agriculture, the basis at once of life and of religion. The soil, the fruitful soil, is the object of religion; it takes the place alike of heaven and of hell. Jehovah gives the land and its produce; He receives the best of what it yields as an expression of thankfulness, the tithes in recognition of His seigniorial right. The relation between
[paragraph continues] Himself and His people first arose from His having given them the land in fee; it continues to be maintained, inasmuch as good weather and fertility come from Him. It is in Deuteronomy that one detects the first very perceptible traces of a historical dress being given to the religion and the worship, but this process is still confined within modest limits. The historical event to which recurrence is always made is the bringing up of Israel out of Egypt, and this is significant in so far as the bringing up out of Egypt coincides with the leading into Canaan, that is, with the giving of the land, so that the historical motive again resolves itself into the natural. In this way it can be said that not merely the Easter festival but all festivals are dependent upon the introduction of Israel into Canaan, and this is what we actually find very clearly in the prayer (Deut. xxvi.) with which at the feast of tabernacles the share of the festal gifts falling to the priest is offered to the Deity. A basket containing fruits is laid upon the altar, and the following words are spoken: "A wandering Aramæan was my father, and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, a few men strong, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians evil-entreated them and oppressed them, and laid upon them hard bondage. Then called we upon Jehovah the God of our fathers, and He heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labour and our oppression. And Jehovah brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs and with wonders, and brought us unto this place, and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow!. And now, behold, I have brought the best of the fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me." Observe here how the act of salvation whereby Israel was founded issues in the gift of a fruitful land.
With this account of the Jehovistic-Deuteronomistic legislation harmonises the pre-exilic practice so far as that can be traced or is borne witness to in the historical and prophetical books.
Ancient festivals in Israel must have had the pastoral life as their basis; only the passover therefore can be regarded as belonging, to the
number of these. 1 It is with perfect accuracy accordingly that precisely the passover is postulated as having been the occasion of the exodus, as being a sacrificial feast that has to be celebrated in the wilderness and has nothing to do with agriculture or harvest. But it is curious to notice how little prominence is afterwards given to this festival, which from the nature of the case is the oldest of all. It cannot have been known at all to the Book of the Covenant, for there (Exod. xxii. 29, 30) the command is to leave the firstling seven days with its dam and on the eighth day to give it to Jehovah. Probably through the predominance gained by agriculture and the feasts founded on it the passover fell into disuse in many parts of Israel, and kept its ground only in districts where the pastoral and wilderness life still retained its importance. This would also explain why the passover first comes clearly into light when Judah alone survives after the fall of Samaria. In 2 Kings xxiii. 21 seq. we are told that in the eighteenth year of King Josiah the passover was held according to the precept of the law (Deut. xvi.), and that for the first time,—never until then from the days of the Judges had it been so observed. If in this passage the novelty of the institution is so strongly insisted on, the reference is less to the essence of the thing than to the manner of celebration as enjoined in Deuteronomy.
Agriculture was learned by the Hebrews from the Canaanites in whose land they settled, and in commingling with whom they, during the period of the Judges, made the transition to a sedentary life. Before the metamorphosis of shepherds into peasants was effected, they could not possibly have had feasts which related to agriculture. It would have been very strange if they had not taken them also over from the Canaanites. The latter owed the land and its fruits to Baal, and for this they paid him the due tribute; the Israelites stood in the same relation to Jehovah. Materially and in itself, the act was neither heathenish nor Israelite; its character either way was determined
by its destination. There was, therefore, nothing against a transference of the feasts from Baal to Jehovah; on the contrary, the transference was a profession of faith that the land and its produce, and thus all that lay at the foundations of the national existence, were due not to the heathen deity but to the God of Israel.
The earliest testimony is that which we have to the existence of the vintage festival in autumn,—in the first instance as a custom of the Canaanite population of Shechem. In the old and instructive story of Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal we are told (Judges ix. 27) of the citizens of Shechem that "they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and celebrated hillulim, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech." But this festival must also have taken root among the Israelites at a tolerably early period. According to Judges xxi. 19 seq. there was observed yearly at Shiloh in the vineyards a feast to Jehovah, at which the maidens went out to dance. Even if the narrative of Judges xix. seq. be as a whole untrustworthy as history, this does not apply to the casual trait just mentioned, especially as it is confirmed by 1 Sam. i. In this last-cited passage a feast at Shiloh is also spoken of, as occurring at the end of the year, that is, in autumn at the time of the asiph, 1 and as being an attraction to pilgrims from the neighbourhood. Obviously the feast does not occur in all places at once, but at certain definite places (in Ephraim) which then influence the surrounding district. The thing is connected with the origin of larger sanctuaries towards the end of the period of the Judges, or, more properly speaking, with their being taken over from the previous inhabitants; thus, for example, on Shechem becoming an Israelite town the hillulim were no more abolished than was the sanctuary itself.
Over and above this the erection of great royal temples must have exerted an important influence. Alike at Jerusalem and at Bethel "the feast" was celebrated from the days of Solomon and Jeroboam just as previously at Shechem and Shiloh, in the former place in September, in the latter perhaps somewhat later. 2 This was at that period
the sole actual panegyris. The feasts at the beginning of summer may indeed also have been observed at this early period (Isa. ix. 2), but in smaller local circles. This distinction is still discernible in Deuteronomy, for although in that book the feast of tabernacles is not theoretically higher than the others, in point of fact it alone is observed from beginning to end at the central sanctuary, while Easter, on the other hand, is for the most part kept at home, being only during the first day observed at Jerusalem; moreover, the smaller demand is much more emphatically insisted on than the larger, so that the first seems to have been an innovation, the latter to have had the sanction of older custom. Amos and Hosea, presupposing as they do a splendid cultus and great sanctuaries, doubtless also knew of a variety of festivals, but they have no occasion to mention any one by name. More definite notices occur in Isaiah. The threatening that within a year's time the Assyrians will be in the land is thus (xxix. 1) given: "Add ye year to year, let the feasts come round, yet I will distress Jerusalem," and at the close of the same discourse the prophet expresses himself as follows (xxxii. 9 seq.): "Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Days upon a year shall ye be troubled, ye careless women; for the vintage shall fail, the ingathering shall not come. Ye shall smite upon the breasts, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine." When the two passages are taken together we gather that Isaiah, following the universal custom of the prophets in coming forward at great popular gatherings, is here speaking at the time of the autumn festival, in which the women also took an active part (Judges xxi. 19 seq.). But this autumn festival, the joyous and natural character of which is unmistakably revealed, takes place with him at the change of the year, as may be inferred from a comparison between the ינקפו of xxix. 1, and the תקפת of Exod. xxxiv. 22, 1 Sam. i. 20, and closes a cycle of festivals here for the first time indicated.
2. The preceding survey, it must be admitted, scarcely seems fully to establish the alleged agreement between the Jehovistic law and the older praxis. Names are nowhere to be found, and in point of fact it is only the autumn festival that is well attested, and this, it would appear, as the only festival, as the feast. And doubtless it was also the oldest and most important of the harvest festivals, as it never ceased to be the concluding solemnity of the year. What has been prosperously brought to
a close is what people celebrate most rightly; the conclusion of the ingathering, both of the threshing and of the vintage, is the most appropriate of all occasions for a great joint festival,—for this additional reason, that the term is fixed, not, as in the case of the joy of reaping, by nature alone, but is in man's hands and can be regulated by him. Yet even under the older monarchy the previous festivals must also have already existed as well (Isa. xxix. 1). The peculiarity of the feast of tabernacles would then reduce itself to this, that it was the only general festival at Jerusalem and Bethel; local celebrations "at all threshing floors "—i.e., on all high places—are not thereby excluded (Hos. ix. 1). But the Jehovistic legislation makes no distinction of local and central, for it ignores the great temples throughout. 1 Possibly, also, it to some extent systematises the hitherto somewhat vaguer custom; the transition from the aparchai to a feast was perhaps in practice still somewhat incomplete. In the paucity of positive data one is justified, however, in speaking of a substantial agreement, inasmuch as in the two cases the idea of the festivals is the same. Very instructive in this respect are two sections of Hosea (chaps. ii. and ix.), which on this account deserve to be fully gone into.
In the first of these Israel is figured as a woman who receives her maintenance from her husband, that is, from the Deity; this is the basis of the covenant relationship. But she falls into error as to the giver of her meat and drink and clothing, supposing them to come from the idols, and not from Jehovah. "She hath said, I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. Doth she then not know that it is I (Jehovah) who have given her the corn and the wine and the oil, and silver in abundance, and gold—out of which she maketh false gods? Therefore will I take back again my corn in its time, and my wine in its season, and I will take away my wool and my flax that should cover her nakedness; and now will I discover her shame before the eyes of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of my hand. And I will bring all her mirth to an end, her festival days, her new moons and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig-trees whereof she saith, 'They are my hire, that my lovers have given me,' and I will make them a wilderness, and the beasts of the
field shall eat them. Thus will I visit upon her the days of the false gods, wherein she burnt fat offerings to them and decked herself with her rings and her jewels, and went after her lovers and forget me, saith the Lord. Therefore, behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and there I will assign her her vineyards: then shall she be docile as in her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. Thereafter I betroth thee unto me anew for ever, in righteousness and in judgment, in loving kindness and in mercies. In that day, saith the Lord, will I answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the corn and the wine and the oil, and these shall answer Jezreel" (ii. 7-24 [5-22]). The blessing of the land is here the end of religion, and that quite generally,—alike of the false heathenish and of the true Israelitish. 1 It has for its basis no historical acts of salvation, but nature simply, which, however, is regarded only as God's domain and as man's field of labour, and is in no manner itself deified. The land is Jehovah's house (viii. 1, ix. 15), wherein He lodges and entertains the nation; in the land and through the land it is that Israel first becomes the people of Jehovah, just as a marriage is constituted by the wife's reception into the house of the husband, and her maintenance there. And as divorce consists in the wife's dismissal from the house, so is Jehovah's relation to His people dissolved by His making the land into a wilderness, or as in the last resort by His actually driving them forth into the wilderness; He restores it again by "sowing the nation into the land" anew, causing the heavens to give rain and the earth to bear, and thereby bringing into honour the name of "God sown" for Israel (ii. 25 ). In accordance with this' worship consists simply of the thanksgiving due for the gifts of the soil, the vassalage payable to the superior who has given the land and its fruits. It ipso facto ceases when the corn and wine cease; in the wilderness it cannot be thought of, for if God bestows nothing then man cannot rejoice, and religious worship is simply rejoicing over blessings bestowed. It has, therefore, invariably and throughout the character given in the Jehovistic legislation to the feasts, in which also, according to Hosea's
description, it culminates and is brought to a focus. For the days of the false gods, on which people adorned themselves and sacrificed, are just the feasts, and in fact the feasts of Jehovah, whom however the people worshipped by images, which the prophet regards as absolutely heathenish.
Equally instructive is the second passage (ix. 1-6). "Rejoice not too loudly, O Israel, like the heathen, that thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, and lovest the harlot's hire upon every threshing-floor. The floor and the wine-press shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them. They shall not dwell in Jehovah's land; Ephraim must return to Egypt, and eat what is unclean in Assyria. Then shall they no more pour out wine to Jehovah, or set in order sacrifices to Him; like bread of mourners is their bread, 1 all that eat thereof become unclean, for their bread shall only be for their hunger, it shall not come into the house of the Lord. What will ye do in the day of festival and in the day of the feast of the Lord? For lo, after they have gone away from among the ruins, Egypt shall keep hold of them, Memphis shall bury them; their pleasant things of silver shall nettles possess, the thornbush shall be in their tents." It need not surprise us that here again the prophet places the worship which in intention is obviously meant for Jehovah on the same footing with the heathen worship which actually has little to distinguish it externally therefrom, being constrained to regard the "pleasant things of silver" in the tents in the high places not as symbols of Jehovah, but as idols, and their worship as whoredom. Enough that once more we have a clear view of the character of the popular worship in Israel at that period. Threshing-floor and wine-press, corn and wine, are its motives,—vociferous joy, merry shoutings, its expression. All the pleasure of life is concentrated in the house of Jehovah at the joyous banquets held to celebrate the coming of the gifts of His mild beneficence; no more dreadful thought than that a man must eat his bread like unclean food, like bread of mourners, without having offered the aparchai at the festival. 2 It is this
thought which gives its sting to the threatened exile; for sacrifice and feast are dependent upon the land, which is the nursing-mother and the settled home of the nation, the foundation of its existence and of its worship.
The complete harmony of this with the essential character of the worship and of the festivals in the Book of the Covenant, in the law of the Two Tables, and in Deuteronomy, is clear in itself, but becomes still more evident by a comparison with the Priestly Code, to which we now proceed.
In the Priestly Code the festal cycle is dealt with in two separate passages (Lev. xxiii; Num. xxviii., xxix.), of which the first contains a fragment (xxiii. 9-22, and partly also xxiii. 39-44) not quite homogeneous with the kernel of the document. In both these accounts also the three great feasts occur, but with considerable alteration of their essential character.
1. The festal celebration, properly so called, is exhausted by a prescribed joint offering. There are offered (1.) during Easter week and also on the day of Pentecost, besides the tamid, two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs as a burnt-offering, and one he-goat as a sin-offering daily; (2.) at the feast of tabernacles, from the first to the seventh day two rams, fourteen lambs, and, in descending series, from thirteen to seven bullocks; on the eighth day one bullock, one ram, seven lambs as a burnt offering, besides one he-goat daily as a sin-offering. Additional voluntary offerings on the part of individuals are not excluded, but are treated as of secondary importance. Elsewhere, alike in the older practice (1 Sam. i. 4 seq.) and in the law (Exod. xxiii. 18) it is precisely the festal offering that is a sacrificial meal, that is to say, a private sacrifice. In Deuteronomy it has been possible to find anything surprising in the joyous meals only because people are wont to know their Old Testament merely through the perspective of the Priestly Code; at most the only peculiar thing in that book is a certain humane application of the festal offering, the offerer being required to invite to it the poor and landless of his acquaintance. But this is a development which harmonises much more with the old idea of an offering as a communion between God and man than does the other self-sufficing general churchly sacrifice. The passover alone continues in the Priestly Code also to be a sacrificial meal, and participation therein to be restricted to the family or a limited
society. But this last remnant of the old custom shows itself here as a peculiar exception; the festival in the house instead of "before Jehovah" has also something ambiguous about it, and turns the sacrifice into an entirely profane act of slaughtering almost—until we come to the rite of expiation, which is characteristically retained (Exod. xii. 7; comp. Ezek. xiv. 19).
Of a piece with this is the circumstance that the "first-fruits" of the season have come to be separated from the festivals still more than had been previously the case. While in Deuteronomy they are still offered at the three great sacrificial meals in the presence of Jehovah, in the Priestly Code they have altogether ceased to be offerings at all, and thus also of course have ceased to be festal offerings, being merely dues payable to the priests (by whom they are in part collected) and not in any case brought before the altar. Thus the feasts entirely lose their peculiar characteristics, the occasions by which they are inspired and distinguished; by the monotonous sameness of the unvarying burnt-offering and sin-offering of the community as a whole they are all put on the same even level, deprived of their natural spontaneity, and degraded into mere "exercises of religion." Only some very slight traces continue to bear witness to, we might rather say, to betray, what was the point from which the development started, namely, the rites of the barley sheaf, the loaves of bread, and the booths (Lev. xxiii.). But these are mere rites, petrified remains of the old custom; the actual first-fruits belonging to the owners of the soil are collected by the priests, the shadow of them is retained at the festival in the form of the sheaf offered by the whole community—a piece of symbolism which has now become quite separated from its connection and is no longer understood. And since the giving of thanks for the fruits of the field has ceased to have any substantial place in the feasts, the very shadow of connection between the two also begins to disappear, for the rites of Lev. xxiii. are taken over from an older legislation, and for the most part are passed over in silence in Num. xxviii., xxix. Here, again, the passover has followed a path of its own. Even at an earlier period, substitution of other cattle and sheep was permitted. But now in the Priestly Code the firstlings are strictly demanded indeed, but merely as dues, not as sacrifices; the passover, always a yearling lamb or kid, has neither in fact nor in time anything to do with them, but occupies a separate position alongside. But as it is represented to have been instituted in order that the Hebrew firstborn
may be spared in the destruction of those of the Egyptians, this connection betrays the fact that the yearling lambs are after all only a substitute for the firstlings of all animals fit for sacrifice, but in comparison with the cattle and sheep of the Jehovistic tradition and Deuteronomy a secondary substitute, and one for the uniformity of which there is no motive; and we see further that if the firstlings are now over and above assigned to the priests this is equivalent to a reduplication, which has been made possible first by a complete obscuration, and afterwards by an artificial revival of the original custom.
A further symptom also proper to be mentioned here is the fixing of harvest festival terms by the days of the month, which is to be found exclusively in the Priestly Code. Easter falls upon the fifteenth, that is, at full moon, of the first, the feast of tabernacles upon the same day of the seventh month; Pentecost, which, strange to say, is left undetermined in Num. xxviii., falls, according to Lev. xxiii., seven weeks after Easter. This definite dating points not merely to a fixed and uniform regulation of the cultus, but also to a change in its contents. For it is not a matter of indifference that according to the Jehovistic-Deuteronomic legislation Easter is observed in "the month of corn ears" when the sickle is put to the corn, Pentecost at the end of the wheat harvest, and the feast of tabernacles after the ingathering; as harvest feasts they are from their very nature regulated by the condition of the fruits of the soil. When they cease to be so, when they are made to depend upon the phases of the moon, this means that their connection with their natural occasion is being lost sight of. Doubtless the accurate determination of dates is correlated with the other circumstance that the festivals are no longer kept in an isolated way by people at any place they may choose, but by the whole united nation at a single spot. It is therefore probable that the fixing of the date w as accomplished at first in the case of the autumn festival, which was the first to divest itself of its local character and most readily suffered a transposition of a week or two. It was hardest to change in the case of the maççoth festival; the putting of the sickle to the corn is very inconvenient to shift. But here the passover seems to have exerted an influence. For the passover is indeed an annual feast, but not by the nature of things connected with any particular season of the year; rather was it dependent originally on the phases of the moon. Its character as a pannychis (Exod. xii. 42) points in this direction, as also does the analogy of the Arab feasts.
The verification of the alleged denaturalisation of the feasts in the Priestly Code lies in this, that their historical interpretation, for which the way is already paved by the Jehovistic tradition, here attains its full development. For after they have lost their original contents and degenerated into mere prescribed religious forms, there is nothing to prevent the refilling of the empty bottles in any way accordant with the tastes of the period. Now, accordingly, the feast of tabernacles also becomes historical (Lev. xxiii.), instituted to commemorate the booths under which the people had to shelter themselves during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. In the case of Easter a new step in advance is made beyond the assignation of its motive to the exodus, which is already found in Deuteronomy and in Exod. xiii. 3 seq. For in the Priestly Code this feast, which precisely on account of its eminently historical character is here regarded as by far the most important of all, is much more than the mere commemoration of a divine act of salvation, it is itself a saving deed. It is not because Jehovah smote the firstborn of Egypt that the passover is afterwards instituted on the contrary, it is instituted beforehand, at the moment of the exodus, in order that the firstborn of Israel may be spared. Thus not merely is a historical motive assigned for the custom; its beginning is itself raised to the dignity of a historical fact upon which the feast rests,—the shadow elsewhere thrown only by another historical event here becomes substantial and casts itself. The state of matters in the case of the unleavened cakes is very similar. Instead of having it as their occasion and object to keep in remembrance the hasty midnight departure in which the travellers were compelled to carry with them their dough unleavened as it was (Exod. xii. 34), in the Priestly Code they also are spoken of as having being enjoined beforehand (xii. 15 seq.), and thus the festival is celebrated in commemoration of itself; in other words, not merely is a historical motive assigned to it, it is itself made a historical fact. For this reason also, the law relating to Easter is removed from all connection with the tabernacle legislation (Exod. xii. 1 seq.), and the difficulty that now in the case of the passover the sanctuary which elsewhere in the Priestly Code is indispensable must be left out of sight is got over by divesting it as much as possible of its sacrificial character. 1
In the case of Pentecost alone is there no tendency to historical explanation; that in this instance has been reserved for later Judaism, which from the chronology of the Book of Exodus discerned in the feast a commemoration of the giving of the law at Sinai. But one detects the drift of the later time.
It has been already pointed out, in what has just been said, that as regards this development the centralisation of the cultus was epoch-making. Centralisation is synonymous with generalisation and fixity, and these are the external features by which the festivals of the Priestly Code are distinguished from those which preceded them. In evidence I point to the prescribed sacrifice of the community instead of the spontaneous sacrifice of the individual, to the date fixed for the 15th of the month, to the complete separation between sacrifices and dues, to the reduction of the passover to uniformity; nothing is free or the spontaneous growth of nature, nothing is indefinite and still in process of becoming; all is statutory, sharply defined, distinct. But the centralisation of the cultus had also not a little to do with the inner change which the feasts underwent. At first the gifts of the various seasons of the year are offered by the individual houses as each one finds convenient; afterwards they are combined, and festivals come into existence; last of all, the united offerings of individuals fall into the back ground when compared with the single joint-offering on behalf of the entire community. According as stress is laid upon the common character of the festival and uniformity in its observance, in precisely the same degree does it become separated from the roots from which it sprang, and grow more and more abstract. That it is then very ready to assume a historical meaning may partly also be attributed to the circumstance that history is not, like harvest, a personal experience of individual households, but rather an experience of the nation as a whole. One does not fail to observe, of course, that the festivals—which always to a certain degree have a centralising tendency—have in themselves a disposition to become removed from the particular motives of their institution, but in no part of the legislation has this gone so far as in the Priestly Code. While everywhere else they still continue to stand, as
we have seen, in a clear relationship to the land and its increase, and are at one and the same time the great days of homage and tribute for the superior and grantor of the soil, here this connection falls entirely out of sight. As in opposition to the Book of the Covenant and Deuteronomy, nay, even to the corpus itself which forms the basis of Lev. xvii.-xxvi., one can characterise the entire Priestly Code as the wilderness legislation, inasmuch as it abstracts from the natural conditions and motives of the actual life of the people in the land of Canaan and rears the hierocracy on the tabula rasa of the wilderness, the negation of nature, by means of the bald statutes of arbitrary absolutism, so also the festivals, in which the connection of the cultus with agriculture appears most strongly, have as much as possible been turned into wilderness festivals, but most of all the Easter festival, which at the same time has become the most important.
2. The centralisation of the cultus, the revolutionising influence of which is seen in the Priestly Code, is begun by Deuteronomy. The former rests upon the latter, and draws its as yet unsuspected consequences. This general relation is maintained also in details; in the first place, in the names of the feasts, which are the same in both,—pesaḥ, shabuoth, sukkoth. This is not without its inner significance, for asiph (ingathering) would have placed much greater hindrances in the way of the introduction of a historical interpretation than does sukkoth (booths). So also with the prominence given to the passover, a festival mentioned nowhere previously—a prominence which is much more striking in the Priestly Code than in Deuteronomy. Next, this relation is observed in the duration of the feasts. While Deuteronomy certainly does not fix their date of commencement with the same definiteness, it nevertheless in this respect makes a great advance upon the Jehovistic legislation, inasmuch as it lays down the rule of a week for Easter and Tabernacles, and of a day for Pentecost. The Priestly Code is on the whole in agreement with this, and also with the time determination of the relation of Pentecost to Easter, but its provisions are more fully developed in details. The passover, in the first month, on the evening of the 14th, here also indeed begins the feast, but does not, as in Deut. xvi. 4, 8, count as the first day of Easter week; on the contrary, the latter does not begin until the 15th and closes with the 21st (comp. Lev. xxiii. 6; Num. xxviii. 17; Exod. xii. 18). The beginning of the festival week being thus distinctly indicated, there arises in this way not merely an ordinary but also an extraordinary
feast day more, the day after the passover, on which already, according to the injunctions of Deuteronomy, the pilgrims were required to set out early in the morning on the return journey to their homes. 1 Another advance consists in this, that not only the passover, as in Deuteronomy, or the additional first day of the feast besides, but also the seventh (which, according to Deuteronomy xvi. 8, is marked only by rest), must be observed as miḳra ḳodesh in Jerusalem. In other words, such pilgrims as do not live in the immediate neighbourhood are compelled to pass the whole week there, an exaction which enables us to mark the progress made with centralisation, when the much more moderate demands of Deuteronomy are compared. The feast of tabernacles is in the latter law also observed from beginning to end at Jerusalem, but the Priestly Code has contrived to add to it an eighth day as an ‘açereth to the principal feast, which indeed still appears to be wanting in the older portion of Lev. xxiii. From all this it is indisputable that the Priestly Code has its nearest relations with Deuteronomy, but goes beyond it in the same direction as that in which Deuteronomy itself goes beyond the Jehovistic legislation. In any case the intermediate place in the series belongs to Deuteronomy, and if we begin that series with the Priestly Code, we must in consistency close it with the Sinaitic Book of the Covenant (Exod. xx. 23 seq.).
After King Josiah had published Deuteronomy and had made it the Book of the Covenant by a solemn engagement of the people (621 B.C.), he commanded them to "keep the passover to Jehovah your God as it is written in this Book;" such a passover had never been observed from the days of the judges, or throughout the entire period of the kings (2 Kings xxiii. 21, 22). And when Ezra the scribe introduced the Pentateuch as we now have it as the fundamental law of the church of the second temple (444 B.C.), it was found written in the Torah which Jehovah had commanded by Moses, that the children of
[paragraph continues] Israel were to live in booths during the feast in the seventh month, and further, to use branches of olive and myrtle and palm for this purpose, and that the people went and made to themselves booths accordingly; such a thing had not been done "since the days of Joshua the son of Nun even unto that day" (Neh. viii. 14 seq.). That Josiah's passover rests upon Deuteronomy xvi. and not upon Exodus xii. is sufficiently proved by the circumstance that the observance of the festival stands in connection with the new unity of the cultus, and is intended to be an exemplification of it, while the precept of Exod. xii., if literally followed, could only have served to destroy it. We thus find that the two promulgations of the law, so great in their importance and so like one another in their character, both take place at the time of a festival, the one in spring, the other in harvest; and we also discover that the festal observance of the Priestly Code first began to show life and to gain currency about two hundred years later than that of Deuteronomy. This can be proved in yet another way. The author of the Book of Kings knows only of a seven days’ duration of the feast of tabernacles (1 Kings viii. 66); Solomon dismisses the people on the eighth day. On the other hand, in the parallel passage in Chronicles (2 Chron. vii. 9) the king holds the ‘açereth on the eighth, and does not dismiss the people until the following day, the twenty-third of the month; that is to say, the Deuteronomic use, which is followed by the older author and by Ezekiel (xiv. 25) who was, roughly speaking, his contemporary, is corrected by the later writer into conformity with that of the Priestly Code in force since the time of Ezra (Neh. viii. 18). In later Judaism the inclination to assert most strongly precisely that which is most open to dispute led to the well-known result that the eighth day of the feast was regarded as the most splendid of all (John vii. 37).
On this question also the Book of Ezekiel stands nearest the Priestly Code, ordaining as follows (xiv. 21-25):—"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall keep the passover, ye shall eat maççoth seven days; on that day shall the prince offer for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering, and during the seven days he shall offer a burnt-offering to the Lord, seven bullocks and seven rams daily for the seven days, and a he-goat daily for a sin offering; and he shall offer as a meal-offering an ephah for every bullock and every ram and a hin of oil for the ephah. In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, in the feast shall he do the
like for seven days, according to the sin-offering, according to the burnt-offering, and according to the meal-offering, and according to the oil." Here indeed in details hardly any point is in agreement with the prescriptions of the ritual law of Lev. xxiii., Num. xxviii., xxix. Apart from the fact that the day of Pentecost is omitted (it is restored in the Massoretic text by an absurd correction in ver. 11), in the first place there is a discrepancy as to the duration of the feasts; both last seven and not eight days, and the passover is taken for the first day of Easter, as in Deuteronomy. Further, the offerings differ, alike by their never-varying number and by their quality; in particular, nothing is said of the passover lamb, but a bullock as a general sin-offering is mentioned instead. From the minḥa the wine is wanting, but this must be left out of the account, for Ezekiel banishes wine from the service on principle. Lastly, it is not the congregation that sacrifices, but the prince for himself and for the people. But in spite of all differences the general similarity is apparent; one sees that here for the first time we have something which at all points admits of correlation with the Priestly Code, but is quite disparate with the Jehovistic legislation, and half so with that of Deuteronomy. On both hands we find the term fixed according to the day of the month, the strictly prescribed joint burnt-offering and sin-offering, the absence of relation first-fruits and agriculture, the obliteration of natural distinctions so as to make one general churchly festival. But Ezekiel surely could hardly have had any motive for reproducing Lev. xxiii. and Num. xxviii. seq., and still less for the introduction of a number of aimless variations as he did so. Let it be observed that in no one detail does he contradict Deuteronomy, while yet he stands so infinitely nearer to the Priestly Code; the relationship is not an arbitrary one, but arises from their place in time. Ezekiel is the forerunner of the priestly legislator in the Pentateuch; his prince and people, to some extent invested with the colouring of the bygone period of the monarchy, are the antecedents of the congregation of the tabernacle and the second temple. Against this supposition there is nothing to be alleged, and it is the rational one, for this reason, that it was not Ezekiel but the Priestly Code that furnished the norm for the praxis of the later period.
For, as the festival system of the Priestly Code absolutely refuses to accommodate itself to the manner of the older worship as we are made acquainted with it in Hos. ii., ix. and elsewhere, in the same degree
does it furnish in every respect the standard for the praxis of post-exilian Judaism, and, therefore, also for our ideas thence derived. No one in reading the New Testament dreams of any other manner of keeping the passover than that of Exodus xii., or of any other offering than the paschal lamb there prescribed. One might perhaps hazard the conjecture that if in the wilderness legislation of the Code there is no trace of agriculture being regarded as the basis of life, which it still is in Deuteronomy and even in the kernel of Lev. xvii.-xxvi., this also is a proof that the Code belongs to a very recent rather than to a very early period, when agriculture was no longer rather than not yet. With the Babylonian captivity the Jews lost their fixed seats, and so became a trading people.
3. No notice has as yet been taken of one phenomenon which distinguishes the Priestly Code, namely, that in it the tripartite cycle of the feasts is extended and interrupted. In the chronologically arranged enumeration of Lev. xxiii. and Num. xxviii., xxix., two other feast days are interpolated between Pentecost and Tabernacles: new year on the first, and the great day of atonement on the tenth of the seventh month. One perceives to what an extent the three originally connected harvest feasts have lost their distinctive character, when it is observed that these two heterogeneous days make their appearance in the midst of them;—the yom kippurim in the same series with the old haggim, i.e., dances, which were occasions of pure pleasure and joy, not to be named in the same day with fasts and mournings. The following points demand notice in detail.
In the period of the kings the change of the year occurred in autumn. The autumn festival marked the close of the year and of the festal cycle (Exod. xxiii. 16, xxxiv. 22; 1 Sam. i. 21, 21; Isa. xxix. 1, xxxii. 10). Deuteronomy was discovered in the eighteenth year of Josiah, and in the very same year Easter was observed in accordance with the prescriptions of that law—which could not have been unless the year had begun in autumn. Now the ecclesiastical festival of new year in the Priestly Code is also autumnal. 1 The yom teruah (Lev. xxiii 24, 25; Num, xxix. 1 seq.) falls on the first new moon of autumn, and it follows from a tradition confirmed by Lev. xxv. 9, 10,
that this day was celebrated as new year (ראש השנה). But it is always spoken of as the first of the seventh month. That is to say, the civil new year has been separated from the ecclesiastical and been transferred to spring; the ecclesiastical can only be regarded as a relic surviving from an earlier period, and betrays strikingly the priority of the division of the year that prevailed in the time of the older monarchy. It appears to have first begun to give way under the influence of the Babylonians, who observed the spring era. 1 For the designation of the months by numbers instead of by the old Hebrew names, Abib, Zif, Bul, Ethanim and the like,—a style which arises together with the use of the spring era,—does not yet occur in Deuteronomy (xvi. 1), but apart from the Priestly Code, and the last redactor of the Pentateuch (Deut. i. 3) is found for the first time in writers of the period of the exile. It is first found in Jeremiah, but only in those portions of his book which were not committed to writing by him, or at least have been edited by a later hand; 2 then in Ezekiel and the author of the Book of Kings, who explains the names he found in his source by giving the numbers (1 Kings vi. 37, 38, viii. 2); next in Haggai and Zechariah; and lastly in Chronicles, though here already the Babylonio-Syrian names of the months, which at first were not used in Hebrew, have begun to find their way in (Neh. i. 1, ii. 1; Zech. i. 7). The Syrian names are always given along with the numbers in the Book of Esther, and are used to the exclusion of all others in that of Maccabees. It would be absurd to attempt to explain this demonstrable change which took place in the calendar after the exile as a mere incidental effect of the Priestly Code, hitherto in a state of suspended animation, rather than by reference to general causes arising from the circumstances of the time, under whose influence the Priestly Code itself also stood, and which then had for their result a complete change in the greater accuracy and more general applicability of the methods by which time was reckoned. A similar phenomenon presents itself in connection with the metric system. The "shekel of the sanctuary," often mentioned in the Priestly Code, and there only, cannot possibly have
borne this name until the most natural objects of the old Israelite régime had begun to appear surrounded by a legendary nimbus, because themselves no longer in actual existence. Over against it we have the "king's weight" mentioned in a gloss in 2 Sam. xiv. 26, the king being none other than the great king of Babylon. It is an interesting circumstance that the "shekel of the sanctuary "spoken of in the Priestly Code is still the ordinary shekel in Ezekiel; compare Exod. xxx. 13 with Ezek. xliv. 12.
During the exile the observance of the ecclesiastical new year seems to have taken place not on the first but on the tenth of the seventh month (Lev. xxv. 9; Ezek. xl. 1), and there is nothing to be wondered at in this, after once it had come to be separated from the actual beginning of the year. 1 This fact alone would suffice to bring into a clear light the late origin of the great day of atonement in Leviticus xvi., which at a subsequent period was observed on this date; for although as a ceremonial of general purification that day occurs appropriately enough at the change of the year, the joyful sound of the new year trumpets ill befits its quiet solemnity, the יום תרועה in the Priestly Code being in fact fixed for the first of the seventh month. Notwithstanding its conspicuous importance, there is nothing known of the great day of atonement either in the Jehovistic and Deuteronomic portions of the Pentateuch or in the historical and prophetical books. It first begins to show itself in embryo during the exile. Ezekiel (xiv. 18-20) appoints two great expiations at the beginning of the two halves of the year; for in xiv. 20 the LXX must be accepted, which reads בשבעי בחדש, "in the seventh month at new moon." The second of these, in autumn, is similar to that of the Priestly Code, only that it falls on the first and new year on the tenth, while in the latter, on the contrary, new year is observed on the first and the atonement on the tenth; the ritual is also much simpler. Zechariah towards the end of the sixth century looks back upon two regular fast days, in the fifth and the seventh month, as having been in observance for seventy years, that is, from the beginning of the exile (vii. 5), and to these he adds (viii. 19) two
others in the fourth and in the tenth. They refer, according to the very probable explanation of C. B. Michaelis, to the historical days of calamity which preceded the exile. On the ninth day of the fourth month Jerusalem was taken (Jer. xxxix. 2); on the seventh of the fifth the city and the temple were burnt (2 Kings xxv. 8); in the seventh month Gedaliah was murdered, and all that remained of the Jewish state annihilated (Jer. xli.); in the tenth the siege of the city by Nebuchadnezzar was begun (2 Kings xxv. 1). Zechariah also still knows nothing of the great day of atonement in Leviticus xvi., but only mentions among others the fast of the seventh month as having subsisted for seventy years. Even in 444 B.C., the year of the publication of the Pentateuch by Ezra, the great day of atonement has not yet come into force. Ezra begins the reading of the law in the beginning of the seventh month, and afterwards the feast of tabernacles is observed on the fifteenth; of an atoning solemnity on the tenth of the month not a word is said in the circumstantial narrative, which, moreover, is one specially interested in the liturgical element, but it is made up for on the twenty-fourth (Neh. viii., ix.). This testimonium e silentio is enough; down to that date the great day of the Priestly Code (now introduced for the first time) had not existed. 1 The term is partly fixed, following Ezekiel, by reference to the old new year's day (Lev. xxv. 9); partly, following Zechariah, by reference to the fast of Gedaliah, which indeed was still observed later as a separate solemnity.
Even before the exile general fast days doubtless occurred, but they were specially appointed, and always arose out of extraordinary occasions, when some sin was brought home to the public conscience, or when the divine anger threatened, especially in connection with calamities affecting the produce of the soil (1 Kings xxi. 9, 12; Jer. xiv. 12, xxxvi. 6, 9; Joel i. 14, ii. 12, 15). In the exile they began to be a regular custom (Isa. lviii.), doubtless in the first instance in remembrance of the dies atri that had been experienced, but also in a certain measure as a surrogate, suited to the circumstances, for the joyous popular gatherings of Easter, Pentecost, and Tabernacles which were possible only in the
[paragraph continues] Holy Land. 1 At last they came into a position of co-ordination with the feasts, and became a stated and very important element of the ordinary worship. In the Priestly Code, the great fast in the tenth of the seventh month is the holiest day of all the year. Nothing could illustrate more clearly the contrast between the new cultus and the old; fixing its regard at all points on sin and its atonement, it reaches its culmination in a great atoning solemnity. It is as if the temper of the exile had carried itself into the time of liberation also, at least during the opening centuries; as if men had felt themselves not as in an earlier age only momentarily and in special circumstances, but unceasingly, under the leaden pressure of sin and wrath. It is hardly necessary to add here expressly that also in regard to the day of atonement as a day sacred above all others the Priestly Code became authoritative for the post-exilian period. "Ritual and sacrifice have through the misfortunes of the times disappeared, but this has retained all its old sacredness; unless a man has wholly cut himself adrift from Judaism he keeps this day, however indifferent he may be to all its other usages and feasts."
A word, lastly, on the lunar feasts, that is, new moon and Sabbath. That the two are connected cannot be gathered from the Pentateuch, but something of the sort is implied in Amos viii. 5, and 2 Kings iv. 22, 23. In Amos the corn-dealers, impatient of every interruption of their trade, exclaim, "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn; and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat?" In the other passage the husband of the woman of Shunem, when she begs him for an ass and a servant that she may go to the prophet Elisha, asks why it is that she proposes such a journey now, for "it is neither new moon nor Sabbath;" it is not Sunday, as we might say. Probably the Sabbath was originally regulated by the phases of the moon, and thus occurred on the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first (and twenty-eighth) day of the month, the new moon being reckoned as the first; at least no other explanation can be discovered. 2 For that the week should
be conditioned by the seven planets seems very barely credible. It was not until after people had got their seven days that they began to call them after the seven planets; 1the number seven is the only bond of connection between them. Doubtless the week is older than the names of its days.
Lunar feasts, we may safely say, are in every case older than annual or harvest feasts; and certainly they are so in the case of the Hebrews. In the pre-historic period the new moon must have been observed with such preference that an ancient name for it, which is no longer found in Biblical Hebrew, even furnished the root of the general word for a festive occasion, which is used for the vintage feast in a passage so early as Judges ix. 27. 2 But it is established by historical testimonies besides that the new moon festival anciently stood, at least, on a level with that of the Sabbath. Compare 1 Sam. xx. 5, 6; 2 Kings iv. 23; Amos viii. 5; Isa. i. 13; Hos. ii. 13 (A.V. 11). In the Jehovistic and Deuteronomic legislation, however, it is completely ignored, and if it comes into somewhat greater prominence in that of Ezekiel and the Priestly Code (but without being for a moment to be compared with the Sabbath), this perhaps has to do with the circumstance that in the latter the great festivals are regulated by the new moon, and that therefore it is important that this should be observed. It may have been with a deliberate intention that the new moon festival was thrust aside on account of all sorts of heathenish superstition which readily associated themselves with it; but, on the other hand, it is possible that the undersigned
preponderance gained by the Sabbath may have ultimately given it independence, and led to the reckoning of time by regular intervals of seven days without regard to new moon, with which now it came into collision, instead of, as formerly, being supported by it.
As a lunar festival doubtless the Sabbath also went back to a very remote antiquity. But with the Israelites the day acquired an altogether peculiar significance whereby it was distinguished from all other feast days; it became the day of rest par excellence. Originally the rest is only a consequence of the feast, e.g. that of the harvest festival after the period of severe labour; the new moons also were marked in this way (Amos viii. 5; 2 Kings iv. 23). In the case of the Sabbath also, rest is, properly speaking, only the consequence of the fact that the day is the festal and sacrificial day of the week (Isa. i. 13; Ezek. xlvi. 1 seq.), on which the shewbread was laid out; but here, doubtless on account of the regularity with which it every eighth day interrupted the round of everyday work, this gradually became the essential attribute. In the end even its name came to be interpreted as if derived from the verb "to rest." But as a day of rest it cannot be so very primitive in its origin; in this attribute it presupposes agriculture and a tolerably hard-pressed working-day life. With this it agrees that an intensification of the rest of the Sabbath among the Israelites admits of being traced in the course of the history. The highest development, amounting even to a change of quality, is seen in the Priestly Code.
According to 2 Kings iv. 22, 23, one has on Sabbath time for occupations that are not of an everyday kind; servant and ass can be taken on a journey which is longer than that "of a Sabbath day." In Hos. ii. 13 (11) we read, "I make an end of all your joy, your feasts, your new moons and your Sabbaths," that is to say, the last-named share with the first the happy joyousness which is impossible in the exile which Jehovah threatens. With the Jehovist and the Deuteronomist the Sabbath, which, it is true, is already extended in Amos viii. 5 to commerce, is an institution specially for agriculture; it is the day of refreshment for the people and the cattle, and is accordingly employed for social ends in the same way as the sacrificial meal is (Exod. xx. 10, xxiii. 12, xxxiv. 21; Deut. v. 13, 14). Although the moral turn given to the observance is genuinely Israelitic and not original, yet the rest even here still continues to be a feast, a satisfaction for the labouring classes; for what is enjoined as a duty—upon the Israelite rulers, that
is, to whom the legislation is directed—is less that they should rest than that they should give rest. In the Priestly Code, on the contrary, the rest of the Sabbath has nothing at all of the nature of the joyous breathing-time from the load of life which a festival affords, but is a thing for itself, which separates the Sabbath not only from the week days, but also from the festival days, and approaches an ascetic exercise much more nearly than a restful refreshment. It is taken in a perfectly abstract manner, not as rest from ordinary work, but as rest absolutely. On the holy day it is not lawful to leave the camp to gather sticks or manna (Exod. xvi.; Num. xv.), not even to kindle a fire or cook a meal (Exod. xxxv. 3); this rest is in fact a sacrifice of abstinence from all occupation, for which preparation must already begin on the preceding day (Exod. xvi.). Of the Sabbath of the Priestly Code in fact it could not be said that it was made for man (Mark ii. 27); rather is it a statute that presents itself with all the rigour of a law of nature, having its reason with itself, and being observed even by the Creator. The original narrative of the Creation, according to which God finished His work on the seventh day, and therefore sanctified it, is amended so as to be made to say that He finished in six days and rested on the seventh. 1
Tendencies to such an exaggeration of the Sabbath rest as would make it absolute are found from the Chaldæan period. While Isaiah, regarding the Sabbath purely as a sacrificial day, says, "Bring no more vain oblations; it is an abominable incense unto me; new moon and Sabbath, the temple assembly—I cannot endure iniquity and solemn meeting," Jeremiah, on the other hand, is the first of the prophets who stands up for a stricter sanctification of the seventh day, treating it, however, merely as a day of rest: "Bear no burden on the Sabbath day, neither bring in by the gates of Jerusalem nor carry forth a burden out of your houses, neither do ye any work" (xvii. 21, 22). He adds that this precept had indeed been given to the fathers, but hitherto has not been kept; thus, what was traditional appears to have been only the abstinence from field work and perhaps also from professional pursuits. In this respect the attitude of Jeremiah is that which is taken also by his
exilian followers, not merely by Ezekiel (xx. 16, xxii. 263 but also by the Great Unknown (Isa. lvi. 2, lviii. 13), who does not otherwise manifest any express partiality for cultus. While according to Hos. ii. 13, and even Lam. ii. 6, the Sabbath, as well as the rest of the acts of divine worship, must cease outside of the Holy Land, it in fact gained in importance to an extraordinary degree during the exile, having severed itself completely, not merely from agriculture, but in particular also from the sacrificial system, and gained entire independence as a holy solemnity of rest. Accordingly, it became along with circumcision the symbol that bound together the Jewish diaspora; thus already in the Priestly Code the two institutions are the general distinguishing marks of religion (אות: Gen. xvii. 10, 11; Exod. xxxi. 13) which also continue to subsist under circumstances where as in the exile the conditions of the Mosaic worship are not present (Gen. ii. 3, xvii. 12, 13). The trouble which in the meantime the organisers of the church of the second temple had in forcing into effect the new and strict regulations is clear from Nehemiah xiii. 15 seq. But they were ultimately successful. The solemnisation of the Sabbath in Judaism continued to develop logically on the basis of the priestly legislation, but always approximating with increasing nearness to the idea; of absolute rest, so that for the straitest sect of the Pharisees the business of preparing for the sacred day absorbed the whole week, and half man's life, so to speak, existed for it alone. "From Sunday onwards think of the Sabbath," says Shammai. Two details are worthy of special prominence; the distinction between yom tob and shabbath, comparable to that drawn by the Puritans between Sundays and feast days, and the discussion as to whether the Sabbath was broken by divine worship; both bring into recognition that tendency of the Priestly Code in which the later custom separates itself from its original roots.
2. Connected with the Sabbath is the sabbatical year. In the Book of the Covenant it is commanded that a Hebrew who has been bought as a slave must after six years of service be liberated on the seventh unless he himself wishes to remain (Exod. xxi. 2-6). By the same authority it is ordained in another passage that the land and fruit-gardens are to be wrought and their produce gathered for six years, but on the seventh the produce is to be surrendered (שׁמט), that the poor of the people may eat, and what they leave the beasts of the field may at (xxiii. 10, 11). Here there is no word of a sabbatical year. The
liberation of the Hebrew slave takes place six years after his purchase, that is, the term is a relative one. In like manner, in the other ordinance there is nothing to indicate an absolute seventh year; and besides, it is not a Sabbath or fallow time for the land that is contemplated, but a surrender of the harvest.
The first of these commands is repeated in Deuteronomy without material alteration, and to a certain extent word for word (xv. 12-18). The other has at least an analogue in Deut. xv. 1-6: "At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release (surrender, שמטה), and this is the manner of it; no creditor that lendeth aught shall exact it of his neighbour or of his brother, because Jehovah's release has been proclaimed; of a foreigner thou mayst exact it again, but that which is of thine with thy brother, thy hand shall release." That this precept is parallel with Exod. xxiii. 10, 11, is shown by the word שמטה; but this has a different meaning put upon it which plainly is introduced as new. Here it is not landed property that is being dealt with, but money, and what has to be surrendered is not the interest of the debt merely (comparable to the fruit of the soil), but the capital itself; the last clause admits of no other construction, however unsuitable the regulation may be. A step towards the sabbatical year is discernible in it, in so far as the seventh year term is not a different one for each individual debt according to the date when it was incurred (in which case it might have been simply a period of prescription), but is a uniform and common term publicly fixed: it is absolute, not relative. But it does not embrace the whole seventh year, it does not come in at the end of six years as in Exodus, but at the end of seven; the surrender of the harvest demands the whole year, the remission of debts, comparatively speaking, only a moment.
The sabbatical year is peculiar to the Priestly Code, or, to speak more correctly, to that collection of laws incorporated and edited by it, which lies at the basis of Lev. xvii.-xxvi. In Lev. xxv. 1-7 we read: "When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath to Jehovah. Six years shalt thou sow thy field and prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall the land keep a Sabbath of rest unto Jehovah: thy field shalt thou not sow, thy vineyard shalt thou not prune; that which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest shalt thou not reap, neither shalt thou gather the grapes of thy vine undressed; the land shall have a year of
rest, and the Sabbath of the land shall be food for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy cattle, and for all the beasts that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be food." The expressions make it impossible to doubt that Exod. xxiii. 10, 11 lies at the foundation of this law; but out of this as a basis it is something different that has been framed. The seventh year, which is there a relative one, has here become fixed,—not varying for the various properties, but common for the whole land, a sabbatical year after the manner of the Sabbath day. This amounts to a serious increase in the difficulty of the matter, for it is not one and the same thing to have the abstinence from harvest spread over seven years and to have it concentrated into one out of every seven. In like manner a heightening of the demand is also seen in the circumstance that not merely harvesting but also sowing and dressing are forbidden. In the original commandment this was not the case; all that was provided for was that in the seventh year the harvest should not fall to the lot of the proprietor of the soil, but should be publici juris,—a relic perhaps of communistic agriculture. Through a mere misunderstanding of the verbal suffix in Exod. xxiii. 11, as has been conjectured by Hupfeld, a surrender of the fruit of the land has been construed into a surrender of the land itself—a general fallow year (Lev. xxv. 4). The misunderstanding, however, is not accidental, but highly characteristic. In Exod. xxiii. the arrangement is made for man; it is a limitation, for the common good, of private rights of property in land,—in fact, for the benefit of the landless, who in the seventh year are to have the usufruct of the soil; in Lev. xxv. the arrangement is for the sake of the land,—that it may rest, if not on the seventh day, at least on the seventh year, and for the sake of the Sabbath—that it may extend its supremacy over nature also. Of course this presupposes the extreme degree of Sabbath observance by absolute rest, and becomes comprehensible only when viewed as an outgrowth from that. For the rest, a universal fallow season is possible only under circumstances in which a people are to a considerable extent independent of the products of their own agriculture; prior to the exile even the idea of such a thing could hardly have occurred.
In the Priestly Code the year of jubilee is further added to supplement in turn the sabbatical year (Lev. xxv. 8 seq.). As the latter is framed to correspond with the seventh day, so the former corresponds
with the fiftieth, i.e., with Pentecost, as is easily perceived from the parallelism of Lev. xxv. 8 with Lev. xxiii. 15. As the fiftieth day after the seven Sabbath days is celebrated as a closing festival of the forty-nine days' period, so is the fiftieth year after the seven sabbatic years as rounding off the larger interval; the seven Sabbaths falling on harvest time, which are usually reckoned specially (Luke vi. 1), have, in the circumstance of their interrupting harvest work, a particular resemblance to the sabbatic years which interrupt agriculture altogether. Jubilee is thus an artificial institution superimposed upon the years of fallow regarded as harvest Sabbaths after the analogy of Pentecost. Both its functions appear originally to have belonged also to the Sabbath year and to be deduced from the two corresponding regulations in Deuteronomy relating to the seventh year, so that thus Exod. xxiii. would be the basis of Lev. xxv. 1-7 and Deut. xv. that of xxv. 8 seq. The emancipation of the Hebrew slave originally had to take place on the seventh year after the purchase, afterwards (it would seem) on the seventh year absolutely; for practical reasons it was transferred from that to the fiftieth. Analogous also, doubtless, is the growth of the other element in the jubilee—the return of mortgaged property to its hereditary owner—out of the remission of debts enjoined in Deut. xv. for the end of the seventh year; for the two hang very closely together, as Lev. xxv. 23 seq. shows.
As for the evidence for these various arrangements, those of the Book of the Covenant are presupposed alike by Deuteronomy and by the Priestly Code. It seems to have been due to the prompting of Deuteronomy that towards the end of the reign of Zedekiah the emancipation of the Hebrew slaves was seriously gone about; the expressions in Jer. xxxiv. 14 point to Deut. xv. 12, and not to Exod. xxi. 2. The injunction not having had practical effect previously, it was in this instance carried through by all parties at the same date: this was of course inevitable when it was introduced as an extraordinary innovation; perhaps it is in connexion with this that a fixed seventh year grew out of a relative one. The sabbatical year, according to the legislator's own declaration, was never observed throughout the whole pre-exilic period; for, according to Lev. xxvi. 34, 35, the desolation of the land during the exile is to be a compensation made for the previously neglected fallow years: "Then shall the land pay its Sabbaths as long as it lieth desolate; when ye are in your enemies’ land then shall the land rest
and pay its Sabbaths; all the days that it lieth desolate shall it rest, which it rested not in your Sabbaths when ye dwelt upon it." The verse is quoted in 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21 as the language of Jeremiah,—a correct and unprejudiced indication of its exilic origin. But as the author of Leviticus xxvi. was also the writer of Lev. xxv. 1-7, that is to say, the framer of the law of the sabbatic year, the recent date of the latter regulation also follows at once. The year of jubilee, certainly derived from the Sabbath year, is of still later origin. Jeremiah (xxxiv. 14) has not the faintest idea that the emancipation of the slaves must according to "law" take place in the fiftieth year. The name דרור, borne by the jubilee in Lev. xxv. 10, is applied by him to the seventh year; and this is decisive also for Ezek. xlvi. 17: the gift of land bestowed by the prince on one of his servants remains in his possession only until the seventh year.
85:1 The original form of the expression of Exodus xxxiv. 25 has been preserved in Exodus xxiii. 18 (חגּי not חנ הפסח). In Deuteronomy, although פסח is more prominent, it is called הנ המצות in xvi. 16.
86:1 Against this there is of course possible the objection that the passage at present forms part of the Priestly Code. But the collection of laws embraced in Lev. xvii.-xxvi, it is well known, has merely been redacted and incorporated by the author of the Priestly Code, and originally was an independent corpus marking the transition from Deuteronomy to the Priestly Code, sometimes approximating more to the one, and at other times to the other, and the use of Lev. xxiii. 9-22 in this connection is completely justified by the consideration that only in this way do the rites it describes find meaning and vitality.
87:1 Haneberg, Alterthümer, 2d edit., p. 656. In Deuteronomy Pentecost as ‘açereth lasts for only one day, while Easter and the feast of tabernacles each last a week.
89:1 "They make them molten images of their silver, idols according to their fancy. To them they speak, men doing sacrifice kiss calves!" The prophet would hardly blame human sacrifices only thus incidentally, more in ridicule than in high moral indignation; he would bring it to prominence the horrible and revolting character of the action much more than its absurdity. Thus זבחי אדם means most probably, "offerers belonging to the human race." At the same time, even if the expression did mean "sacrificers of men," it would prove nothing regarding regular sacrifices of children.
90:1 Deut. xii. 6 seq., 11 seq., xiv. 23-26, xvi. 7, 11, 14. In the section xiv. 22-xvi. 17, dues and feasts are taken together. In the first half (xiv. 22-xv. 18) there is a progression from those acts which are repeated within the course of a year to those which occur every three years, and finally to those which occur every seven; in the second half (xv. 19-xvi. 17) recurrence is again made to the principal, that is, the seasonal dues, first to the firstlings and the passover feast, and afterwards to the two others, in connection with which the tithes of the fruits are offered.
93:1 The ancient Arabs also observed the sacrifice of the firstlings as a solemnity in the sacred month Rajab, which originally fell in spring (comp. Ewald, Ztschr. f. d. Kunde des Morgenlandes, 1840, p. 419; Robertson Smith, Prophets, p. 383 sq). A festivity mentioned among the earliest, and that for pastoral Judah, is the sheep-shearing (1 Sam. xxv. 2 seq.; Gen. xxxviii. 12); but it does not appear to have ever developed into a regular and independent festival. Aparchai of wool and flax are mentioned in Hosea (ii. 7, 11 [A.V. 5, 9]) as of wool alone in Deuteronomy (xviii. 4).
94:1 לחקפת הימים (i.e., at the new year) 1 Sam. i. 20; Exod. xxxiv. 22. In this sense is also to be understood מימים ימימה Judges xxi. 19, 1 Sam. i. 3. Comp. Zech. xiv. 16.
94:2 1 Kings xii. 32 is, it must be owned, far from trustworthy. 1 Kings viii. 2 is difficult to harmonise with vi. 38, if the interpretation of Bul and Ethanim is correct.
96:1 Exod. xx. 24-26 looks almost like a protest against the arrangements of the temple of Solomon,—especially ver. 26.
97:1 Comp. Zech. xiv. 16 seq. All that are left of the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship Jehovah of hosts and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And whoso of the families of the earth shall not come up unto Jerusalem to worship Jehovah of hosts, upon them shall be no rain. But for the Egyptians—who on account of the Nile are independent of rain—another punishment is threatened if they do not come to keep the feast of tabernacles.
98:1 For יערבו (ix. 4) read יערכו, and לחמם for לחם. See Kuenen, National Religions and Universal Religions (1882), p. 312 seq.
98:2 Times of mourning are, so to speak, times of interdict, during which intercourse between God and man is suspended. Further, nothing at all was ever eaten except that of which God had in the first instance received His share;—not only no flesh but also no vegetable food, for the "first-fruits" of corn and wine represented the produce of the year and sanctified the whole. All else was unclean. Comp. Ezek. iv. 13.
102:1 The ignoring of the sanctuary has a reason only in the case of the first passover, and perhaps ought to be regarded as holding good for that only. The distinction p. 103 between the פסח מצרים and the פסח הדורות is necessary, if only for the reason that the former is a historical fact, the latter a commemorative observance. When it is argued for the originality of the passover ritual in the Priestly Code that it alone fits in with the conditions of the sojourn in Egypt, the position is not to be disputed.
105:1 It is impossible to explain away this discrepancy by the circumstance that in the Priestly Code the day is reckoned from the evening; for (1.) this fact has no practical bearing, as the dating reckons at any rate from the morning, and the evening preceding the 15th is always called the 14th of the month (Lev. xiii. 27, 32); (2.) the first day of the feast in Deuteronomy is just the day on the evening of which the passover is held, and upon it there follow not seven but six days more, whereas in the Priestly Code the celebration extends from the 14th to the 21st of the month (Exod. xii. 18). When the מחרת השבת is made to refer, not as in Josh. v. 11 to the 14th, but as in Jewish tradition (LXX on Lev. xxiii. 11) to the day following the 15th of Nisan, the 16th of Nisan is added to the 14th and 15th as a special feast day.
108:1 In this way Tabernacles comes not before but after new year; this probably is connected with the more definite dating (on the fifteenth day of the month), but is quite contrary to the old custom and the meaning of the feast.
109:1 In Exod. xii. 2 this change of era is formally commanded by Moses: "This month (the passover month) shall be the beginning of months unto you, it shall be to you the first of the months of the year." According to George Smith, the Assyrian year commenced at the vernal equinox; the Assyrian use depends on the Babylonian (Assyrian Eponym Canon, p. 19).
109:2 Kuenen, Hist.-Krit. Onderzoek (1863), ii. pp. 197, 214.
110:1 The tenth of the month is to be taken in Ezekiel as strictly new year's day; for the designation ראש השנה occurs in no other meaning than this, and moreover it is by no mere accident that the prophet has his vision of the new Jerusalem precisely at the new year. But according to Lev. xxv. 9 it is the seventh month that is meant, on the tenth day of which the trumpets are blown at the commencement of the year of jubilee.
111:1 "If Lev. xvi. belongs to the original of the Priestly Code, and the entire Pentateuch was published by Ezra in the year 444, and yet the day was not then celebrated, then it has ipso facto been conceded that it is possible that there can be laws which yet are not carried into effect." So writes Dillmann in his introduction to Lev. xvi. (1880, p. 525); every one will grant him that the law, before it could attain public currency, must have been previously written and promulgated.
112:1 After the second destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the system of fasts received such an impulse that it was necessary to draw up a list of the days on which fasting was forbidden.
112:2 George Smith, Assyrian Eponym Canon, pp. 19, 20. "Among the Assyrians the first twenty-eight days of every month were divided into four weeks of seven days p. 113 each, the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eight days respectively being Sabbaths; and there was a general prohibition of work on these days." See further Hyde, Hist. Rel. Vet. Pers., p. 239. Among the Syrians שׁבּא means the week, just as among the Arabs sanba and sanbata (Pl. sanábiṭ, dim. suneibita) mean a period of time (Lagarde, Ps. Hieronymi; p. 158), and in fact, according to the lexicographers, a comparatively long one. But in the sole case cited by the Tág al’ Arús, it means rather a short interval. "What is youth? It is the beginning of a sanbata," meaning something like the Sunday of a week. According to this it would appear as if the sabbath had been originally the week itself, and only afterwards became the weekly festival day. The identity of the Syriac word (τὰ σάββατα) in the New Testament) with the Hebrew is guaranteed by the twofold Arabic form.
113:1 The peculiar order in which the names of the planets are used to designate the days of the week makes this very clear; see Ideler, Handb. d. Chron. i. 178 seq., ii 77 seq.
113:2 Sprenger (Leben Moh. iii. 527) and Lagarde have rightly correlated the Hebrew hallel with the Arabic ahalla (to call out, labbaika, see, for example Abulf. i. p. 180). But there is no uncertainty as to the derivation of ahalla from hilál (new moon)
115:1 The contradiction is indubitable when in Gen. ii. 2 it is said in the first place that on the seventh day God ended the work which He had made; and then that He rested on the seventh day from His work. Obviously the second clause is an authentic interpretation added from very intelligible motives.