Prolegomena to the History of Israel
Julius Wellhausen

Part 3 out of 13

which in the first a he-goat or a she-goat is required as _hattath_
(iv. 22, 27). The third section has indeed in form greater
similarity to the second, but cannot be regarded as its true
completion, for this simple reason, that the latter does not
distiguish between _hattath_ and _asham_. If Leviticus v. 13-16,
20-26 be followed simply without regard being had to vers. 17-19,
the _asham_ comes in only in the case of voluntary restitution of
property illegally come by or detained, more particularly of
the sacred dues. The goods must be restored to their owner
augmented by a fifth part of their value; and as an _asham_ there
must be added a ram, which falls to the sanctuary. In Num v. 5-10
the state of the case is indeed the same, but the language employed
is different, for in this passage it is the restored property that
is called _asham_, and the ram is called )YL HKPRYM. Comp. Leviticus
xxii. 14.


The turning-point in the history of the sacrificial system was
the reformation of Josiah; what we find in the Priestly Code is
the matured result of that event. It is precisely in the
distinctions that are characteristic of the sacrificial law as
compared with the ancient sacrificial praxis that we have evidence
of the fact that, if not all exactly occasioned by the
centralisation of the worship, they were almost all somehow at
least connected with that change.

In the early days, worship arose out of the midst of ordinary
life, and was in most intimate and manifold connection with it.
A sacrifice was a meal, a fact showing how remote was the idea of
antithesis between spiritual earnestness and secular joyousness.
A meal unites a definite circle of guests, and in this way the
sacrifice brought into connection the members of the family, the
associates of the corporation, the soldiers of the army, and,
generally speaking, the constituents of any permanent or
temporary society. It is earthly relationships that receive
their consecration thereby, and in correspondence are the natural
festal occasions presented by the vicissitudes of life. Year
after year the return of vintage, corn-harvest, and sheep-shearing
brought together the members of the household to eat and to drink
in the presence of Jehovah; and besides these there were less
regularly recurring events which were celebrated in one circle
after another. There was no warlike expedition which was not
inaugurated in this fashion, no agreement that was not thus
ratified, no important undertaking of any kind was gone about
without a sacrifice! /1/

1. Sacrifice is used as a pretext in 1Samuel xvi. 1 seq.;
1Kings i. 9 seq. Compare Proverbs vii. 14.

When an honoured guest arrives, there is slaughtered for him a calf,
not without an offering of the blood and fat to the Deity.
The occasion arising out of daily life is thus inseparable
from the holy action, and is what gives it meaning and character;
an end corresponding to the situation always underlies it.
Hence also prayer must not be wanting. The verb H(TYR, to "burn"
(fat and _minha_), means simply to "pray," and conversely BQ# )T
YHWH, "to seek Jehovah," in point of fact not unfrequently means
to "sacrifice." The gift serves to reinforce the question
or the request, and to express thankfulness; and the prayer
is its interpretation. This of course is rather incidentally
indicated than expressly said (Hos. v. 6; Isaiah i. 15; Jeremiah
xiv. 12; 1Kings viii. 27 seq.; Proverbs xv. 8); we have a specimen
of a grace for the offering of the festival gift only in Deuteronomy
xxvi. 3 seq.; a blessing is pronounced when the slaughtering takes place
(1Samuel ix. 13). The prayer of course is simply the expression
of the feeling of the occasion, with which accordingly it varies
in manifold ways. Arising out of the exigencies and directed
to the objects of daily life, the sacrifices reflect in themselves
a correspondingly rich variety. Our wedding, baptismal, and funeral
feasts on the one hand, and our banquets for all sorts of occasions
on the other, might still be adduced as the most obvious comparison,
were it not that here too the divorce between sacred and secular
destroys it. Religious worship was a natural thing in Hebrew antiquity;
it was the blossom of life, the heights and depths of which it was its
business to transfigure and glorify.

The law which abolished all sacrificial seats, with a single
exception, severed this connection. Deuteronomy indeed does not
contemplate such a result. Here, in marked opposition to what we
find in the Priestly Code, to eat and be merry before Jehovah is
the standing phrase for sacrificing; the idea is that in
concentrating all the worship towards Jerusalem, all that is
effected is a mere change of place, the essence of the thing
remaining unaltered. This, however, was a mistake. To celebrate
the vintage festival among one's native hills, and to celebrate it
at Jerusalem, were two very different things; it was not a matter
of indifference whether one could seize on the spot any occasion
that casually offered itself for a sacrificial meal, or whether it
was necessary that one should first enter upon a journey. And it
was not the same thing to appear by oneself at home before Jehovah
and to lose oneself in a large congregation at the common seat of
worship. Human life has its root in local environment, and so also
had the ancient cultus; in being transplanted from its natural
soil it was deprived of its natural nourishment. A separation
between it and the daily life was inevitable, and Deuteronomy
itself paved the way for this result by permitting profane
slaughtering. A man lived in Hebron, but sacrificed in Jerusalem;
life and worship fell apart. The consequences which lie dormant in
the Deuteronomic law are fully developed in the Priestly Code.

This is the reason why the sacrifice combined with a meal,
formerly by far the chief, now falls completely into the
background. One could eat flesh at home, but in Jerusalem one's
business was to do worship. Accordingly, those sacrifices were
preferred in which the religious character came to the front with
the utmost possible purity and without any admixture of natural
elements, sacrifices of which God received everything and man
nothing,--burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings.

If formerly the sacrifice had taken its complexion from the
quality of the occasion which led to it, it now had essentially
but one uniform purpose--to be a medium of worship. The warm
pulse of life no longer throbbed in it to animate it; it was no
longer the blossom and the fruit of every branch of life; it had
its own meaning all to itself. It symbolised worship, and that was
enough. The soul was fled; the shell remained, upon the shaping
out of which every energy was now concentrated. A manifoldness
of rites took the place of individualising occasions; technique
was the main thing, and strict fidelity to rubric.

Once cultus was spontaneous, now it is a thing of statute. The
satisfaction which it affords is, properly speaking, something
which lies outside of itself and consists in the moral satisfaction
arising out of the conscientiousness with which the ritual
precepts, once for all enjoined by God on His people, are
fulfilled. The freewill offering is not indeed forbidden, but
value in the strict sense is attached only to those which have
been prescribed, and which accordingly preponderate everywhere.
And even in the case of the freewill offering, everything must
strictly and accurately comply with the restrictions of the
ordinance; if any one in the fulness of his heart had offered in
a _zebah shelamim_ more pieces of flesh than the ritual enjoined, it
would have been the worse for him.

Of old the sacrifice combined with a meal had established a
special relation between the Deity and a definite society of
guests; the natural sacrificial society was the family or the
clan (1Samuel i. 1seq., xvi. 1 seq., xx. 6). Now the smaller sacred
fellowships get lost, the varied groups of social life disappear in
the neutral shadow of the universal congregation or church [(DH,
QHL]. The notion of this last is foreign to Hebrew antiquity, but
runs through the Priestly Code from beginning to end. Like the
worship itself, its subject also became abstract, a spiritual
entity which could be kept together by no other means except
worship. As now the participation of the "congregation of the
children of Israel" in the sacrifice was of necessity always
mainly ideal, the consequence was that the sacred action came to
be regarded as essentially perfect by virtue of its own efficacy
in being performed by the priest, even though no one was present.
Hence later the necessity for a special sacrificial deputation,
the _anshe ma'amad_. The connection of all this with the Judaising
tendency to remove God to a distance from man, it may be added,
is clear. /1/

1. It is not asserted that the cultus before the Iaw (of which
the darker sides are known from Amos and Hosea) was better
than the legal, but merely that it was more original; the standard
of judgment being, not the moral element, but merely the idea,
the primary meaning of worship. Nor is it disputed further that
the belief in the dependence of sacrifices and other sacred acts
upon a laboriously strict compliance with traditional and prescriptive
rites occurs in the case of certain peoples, even in the remotest
antiquity. But with the Israelites, judging by the testimony of the
historical and prophetical books, this was not on the whole the
case any more than with the ancient Greeks; there were no
Brahmans or Magians in either case. Moreover, it must be carefully
noted that not even in the Priestly Code do we yet find the same
childish appreciation of the cultus as occurs in such a work as the
Rigveda, and that the strict rules are not prescribed and
maintained with any such notion in view as that by their
observance alone can the taste of the Deity be pleased; the idea
of God is here even strikingly remote from the anthropomorphic,
and the whole cultus is nothing more than an exercise in piety
which has simply been enjoined so once for all without any one
being in any way the better for it.

Two details still deserve special prominence here. In the Priestly
Code the most important sacrifice is the burnt-offering; that is
to say, in point of fact, the _tamid_, the _holocaustum juge_,
consisting of two yearling lambs which are daily consumed upon
the "altar of burnt-offering," one in the morning, another
in the evening. The custom of daily offering a fixed sacrifice
at a definite time existed indeed, in a simpler form, /2/

2. See Kuenen, Godsdietzst van Israel, ii. 271. According to 2Kings
xvi. 15, an (LH in the morning and a MNXH in the evening were daily
offered in the temple of Jerusalem, in the time of Ahaz. Ezekiel also
(xlvi. 13-15) speaks only of the morning (LH. Compare also Ezra
ix. 4; Nehemiah x. 33. In the Priestly Code the evening _minhah_ has
risen to the dignity of a second _`olah_; but at the same time
survives in the daily _minhah_ of the high priest, and is now
offered in the morning also (Leviticus vi. 12-16). The daily _minhah_
appears to be older than the daily _`olah_. For while it was a
natural thing to prepare a meal regularly for the Deity, the
expense of a daily `olah was too great for an ordinary place of
worship, and, besides, it was not in accordance with the custom of
men to eat flesh every day. The offering of the daily _minhah_ is
already employed in 1Kings xviii. 29, 36, as a mark of time to
denote the afternoon, and this use is continued down to the latest
period, while the tamid, ie., the `olah, is never so utilised. The
oddest custom of all, however, was doubtless not the daily
_minhah_, but the offering of the shewbread, which served the same
purpose, but was not laid out fresh every day.

even in the pre-exilian period, but alongside of it at that time,
the freewill private offerings had a much more important place,
and bulked much more largely. In the law the _tamid_ is in point
of fact the fundamental element of the worship, for even the sacrifices
of Sabbaths and feast days consist only of its numerical increase
(compare Numbers xxviii., xxix.). Still later, when it is said
in the Book of Daniel that the _tamid_ was done away, this is equivalent
to saying that the worship was abolished (viii. 11-13, xi. 31, xii. 11).
But now the dominant position of the daily, Sabbath day, and festival
_tamid_ means that the sacrificial worship had assumed a perfectly
firm shape, which was independent of every special motive and of
all spontaneity; and further (what is closely connected with
this), that it took place for the sake of the congregation,--the
"congregation" in the technical sense attached to that word in the
Law. Hence the necessity for the general temple-tax, the
prototype of which is found in the poll-tax of half a shekel for
the service of the tabernacle in Exodus xxx. 11 seq. Prior to the
exile, the regular sacrifice was paid for by the Kings of Judah,
and in Ezekiel the monarch still continues to defray the expenses
not only of the Sabbath day and festival sacrifices (xiv. 17
seq.), but also of the _tamid_ (xlvi. 13-15). /1/

1. Compare LXX*. The Massoretic text has corrected the third person
(referring to the princes) into the second, making it an address
to the priests, which, however, is quite impossible in Ezekiel.

It is also a mark of the date that, according to Exodus xxx.,
the expenses of the temple worship are met directly out of the poll-tax
levied from the community, which can only be explained by the fact
that at that time there had ceased to be any sovereign. So completely
was the sacrifice the affair of the community in Judaism that
the voluntary _qorban_ of the individual became metamorphosed
into a money payment as a contribution to the cost of the public
worship (Mark vii., xii. 42 seq; Matthew xxvii. 6).

The second point is this: Just as the special purposes and
occasions of sacrifice fall out of sight, there comes into
increasing prominence the one uniform and universal occasion--that
of sin; and one uniform and universal purpose--that of
propitiation. In the Priestly Code the peculiar mystery in the
case of all animal sacrifices is atonement by blood; this appears
in its purest development in the case of the sin and trespass
offerings, which are offered as well for individuals as for the
congregation and for its head. In a certain sense the great day
of atonement is the culmination of the whole religious and
sacrificial service, to which, amid all diversities of ritual,
continuously underlying reference to sin is common throughout. Of
this feature the ancient sacrifices present few traces. It was
indeed sought at a very early period to influence the doubtful or
threatening mood of Deity, and make His countenance gracious by
means of rich gifts, but the gift had, as was natural then, the
character of a tentative effort only (Micah vi. 6). There was no
such thought as that a definite guilt must and could be taken away
by means of a prescribed offering. When the law discriminates
between such sins as are covered by an offering and such sins as
relentlessly are visited with wrath, it makes a distinction very
remote from the antique; to Hebrew antiquity the wrath of God was
something quite incalculable, its causes were never known, much
less was it possible to enumerate beforehand those sins which
kindled it and those which did not. /1/

1. When the wrath is regulated by the conditions of the "covenant,"
the original notion (which scorns the thought of adjustment) is
completely changed. What gave the thing its mysterious awfulness
was precisely this: that in no way was it possible to guard against
it, and that nothing could avail to counteract it. Under the pressure
of Jehovah's wrath not only was sacrifice abandoned, but even
the mention of His name was shunned so as to avoid attracting
His attention (Hos iii. 4, ix. 4; Amos vi. 10).

An underlying reference of sacrifice to sin, speaking generally,
was entirely absent. The ancient offerings were wholly of a joyous
nature,--a merrymaking before Jehovah with music and song,
timbrels, flutes, and stringed instruments (Hos. ix. 1 seq.; Amos
v. 23, viii. 3; Isa xxx. 3). No greater contrast could be conceived
than the monotonous seriousness of the so-called Mosaic worship.

["But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied".
Romans 5:20 NRSV)]

In this way the spiritualisation of the worship is seen in the
Priestly Code as advancing _pari passu_ with its centralisation.
It receives, so to speak, an abstract religious character; it
separates itself in the first instance from daily life, and then
absorbs the latter by becoming, strictly speaking, its proper
business. The consequences for the future were momentous. The
Mosaic "congregation" is the mother of the Christian church; the
Jews were the creators of that idea.

We may compare the cultus in the olden time to the green tree
which grows up out of the soil as it will and can; later it
becomes the regularly shapen timber, ever more artificially
shaped with square and compass. Obviously there is a close
connection between the qualitative antithesis we have just been
expounding and the formal one of law and custom from which we set
out. Between "naturaliter ea quae legis sunt facere" ["do
instinctively what the law requires" Romans 2:14 NRSV] and
"secundum legem agere" there is indeed a more than external
difference. If at the end of our first section we found
improbable precisely in this region the independent co-existence
of ancient praxis and Mosaic law, the improbability becomes
still greater from the fact that the latter is filled with a quite
different spirit, which can be apprehended only as Spirit of the age
(Zeitgeist). It is not from the atmosphere of the old kingdom,
but from that of the church of the second temple, that
the Priestly Code draws its breath. It is in accordance with this
that the sacrificial ordinances as regards their positive contents
are no less completely ignored by antiquity than they are
scrupulously followed by the post-exilian time.


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.

III.I.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 _hag_:
"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" (Exodus xxiii. 14, 17, xxxiv. 23; Deuteronomy xvi. 16).
"The feast of unleavened bread (maccoth) shalt thou keep; seven days
shalt thou eat _maccoth_ 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 (qasir),
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 (Exodus xxiii. 15, 16).
The Law of the Two Tables (Exodus 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 Deuteronomy 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 (maccoth) 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 _maccoth_, 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-senant, 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 (hag ha-maccoth,--
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). _Qacir_ 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 _pesah_ and the maccoth points to a twofold
character of the feast. The _hag_, properly so named, is called not
_hag ha-pesah_, /1/ but hag ha-maccoth,

1. The original form of the expression of Exodus xxxiv. 25 has been
preserved in Exodus xxiii. 18 (XGGY not XG HPSX). In Deuteronomy,
although PSX is more prominent, it is called XG HMCWT in xvi. 16.

and it is only the latter that is co-ordinated with the
other two _haggim_; the name _pesah_ 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
_maccoth_ can be taken into account for purposes of comparison
with _qasir_ and _asiph_. As to the proper significance of _maccoth_,
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 _maccoth_; 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 Exodus xxxiv. (comp Jeremiah v. 24). Now
"seven weeks after Easter " (Deuteronomy 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 _maccoth_ 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 classicum_ is a great festal season rounded
off by the two festivals. We gain further light from Leviticus xxiii.
9-22. /1/

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 Leviticus 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 Leviticus 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.

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 (Leviticus xxiii. 14; Josh. v. 11);
at the end they are prepared in the form of common bread.
Thus the _maccoth_ 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 (1Sam. 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 maccoth. 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) `acereth, /1/ of the seven

1. Haneberg, Alterhuemer, 2d edit., p. 656. In Deuteronomy Pentecost
as _`acereth_ lasts for only one day, while Easter and the feast
of tabernacles each ]ast a week.

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
_pesah_? 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 _maccoth_, from sunset until the following morning. In point of
fact, the _pesah_ points back to the sacrifice of the firstlings
(Exodus xxxiv. 18 seq., xiii. 12 seq.; Deuteronomy 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
Exodus 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,
Jebovah 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 _maccoth_ (Exodus 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 Exodus 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 P+R RXM is contrasted with P+R #GR, and for the first the
expression H(BYR, 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 (Exodus x. 9); Deuteronomy xvi. 7; comp. Isaiah
xxx. 29). 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

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 ZBXY )DM 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.

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 (Jeremiah vii. 31, xix. 5; Ezekiel xx.
26). In harmony with this is the fact that the law of Exodus
xiii. 3-16 comes from the hand of the latest redactor of the
Jehovistic history.

III.I.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

*[first-fruits; firstlings for sacrifice or offering]*

yearly seasons is indeed assumed rather than expressly stated in
the Jehovistic and Deuteronomistic legislation. Yet in Exodus
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/

1. Deuteronomy 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.

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
(Exodus 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 (Exodus 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
(Exodus xxiii. 18; Genesis iv. 4, WMXBLHN). For the
first-fruits of the field Exodus prescribes no measure at all,
Deuteromony 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 Deuteronomy 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 maccoth
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 maccoth
was taken into the regular cycle of the _haggim_, 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 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
(Deuteronomy 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 Aramaean 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 ]ehovah 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.

III.II. 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

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 (1Samuel xxv. 2 seq.;
Genesis 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).

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 (Exodus 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
2Kings 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
1Samuel 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

1. LTQPT HYMYM (i.e., at the new year) 1Samuel i. 20; Exodus
xxxiv. 22. In this sense is also to be understood MYMYM YMYMH
Judges xxi. 19, 1Samuel i. 3. Comp. Zechariah xiv. 16.

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/

2. 1Kings xii. 32 is, it must be owned, far from trustworthy.
1Kings viii. 2 is difficult to harmonise with vi. 38, if the
interpretation of Bul and Ethanim is correct.

This was at that period the sole actual _panegyris_. [national festivall
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 YNQPW of xxix. I, and the TQPT of Exodus
xxxiv. 22, 1Samuel 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
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 (Isaiah
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 (Host ix. 1).
But the Jehovistic legislation makes no distinction of local and
central, for it ignores the great temples throughout. /1/ Possibly,

1. Exodus xx. 24-26 looks almost like a protest against the arrangements
of the temple of Solomon,--especially ver. 26.

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
"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/

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.

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 [23]). 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

1. For Y(RBW (ix. 4) read Y(RKW, and LXMM for LXM. See Kuenen,
National Religions and Universal Religions (1882), p. 312 seq.

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
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

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. Ezekiel iv. 13.

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 (Leviticus xxiii; Numbers 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

III.III.1. The festal celebration, properly so called, is exhausted
by a prescribed joint offering. There are offered (I.) 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 (1Samuel i. 4 seq.) and in the law
(Exodus 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 (Exodus xii. 7; comp. Ezekiel 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 (Leviticus 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 Leviticus xxiii. are taken
over from an older legislation, and for the most part are passed
over in silence in Numbers 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
first born 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 Numbers xxviii.,
falls, according to Leviticus 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 _maccoth_
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_ [vigil]
(Exodus xii. 42 [LYL #MWRYM]) 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 (Leviticus 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 Exodus 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 (Exodus 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 (Exodus xii. 1 seq.),
and the difficuity 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/

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 between the PSX MCRYM and
the PSX HDWRWT 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.

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
epochmaking. 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 Leviticus 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

III.III.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,--_pesah, 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
Deuteronomy 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. Leviticus xxiii. 6; Numbers xxviii. 17;
Exodus xii. 18). The beginning of the festival week being
thus distinctly indicated, there arises in this way not merely
an ordinary but also an extra-ordinary 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/

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 (Leviticus
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 (Exodus xii. 18). When the MXRT H#BT: is made to
refer, not as in Josh. v. 11 to the 14th, but as in Jewish
tradition (LXX on Leviticus xxiii. 11) to the day following the
15th of Nisan, thee 16th of Nisan is added to the 14th and 15th
as a special feast day.

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 _miqra qodesh_ 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 _`acereth_ to the
principal feast, which indeed still appears to be wanting in the
older portion of Leviticus 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 (Exodus 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 (2Kings 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 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 " (Nehemiah 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
Exodus 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 (1Kings viii. 66); Solomon dismisses
the people on the eighth day. On the other hand, in the parallel
passage in Chronicles (2Chronicles vii. 9) the king holds
the _`acereth_ 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
(Nehemiah 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 maccoth 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 Leviticus xxiii., Numbers 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 _minha_ 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 Leviticus xxiii. and Numbers
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
pence 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

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 Leviticus 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.

III.III.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 Leviticus xxiii.
and Numbers 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 kippur_ 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 (Exodus xxiii. 16, xxxiv. 22; 1Samuel i. 21, 21;
Isaiah 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_ (Leviticus xxiii 24, 2;;

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.

Numbers xxix. 1 seq.) falls on the first new moon of autumn,
and it follows from a tradition confirmed by Leviticus xxv. 9, 10,
that this day was celebrated as new year [R)# H#NH). 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

1. In Exodus 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).

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 (Deuteronomy 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/

2. Kuenen, Hist.-Krit. Onderzoek (1863), ii. pp. 197, 214.

then in Ezekiel and the author of the Book of Kings, who
explains the names he found in his source by giving the numbers
(1Kings 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 (Nehemiah 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 _regime_ 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 2Samuel 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 Exodus xxx. 13 with Ezekiel 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 (Leviticus xxv. 9; Ezekiel 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

1. The tenth of the month is to be taken in Ezekiel as strictly new
year's day; for the designation R)# H#NH 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 Leviticus 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.

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 YWM TRW(H 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 B#B(Y BXD#, "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 (Jeremiah xxxix. 2); on the seventh of the fifth
the city and the temple were burnt (2Kings xxv. 8); in the seventh
month Gedaliah was murdered, and all that remained of the Jewish state
annihilated (Jeremiah xli.); in the tenth the siege of the city by
Nebuchadnezzar was begun (2Kings 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 (Nehemiah 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

1. "If Leviticus 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 Leviticus 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.

partly fixed, following Ezekiel, by reference to the old new
year's day (Leviticus 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
(1Kings xxi. 9, 12; Jeremiah xiv. 12, xxxvi. 6, 9; Joel i. 14,
ii. 12, 15). In the exile they began to be a regular custom (Isaiah
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 Holy Land. /l/

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.

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."

III.IV. [.1?]

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 2Kings
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

2 George Smith, Assyrian Eponymn Canon, pp. 19, 20. "Among
the Assyrians the first twenty-eight days of every month were
divided into four weeks of seven days 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
$bbh means the week, just as among the Arabs _sanba_
and _sanbata_ (Pl. _sanabit_), 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 _Tag al 'Arus_, 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 (ta sabbata) in the New Testament) with the
Hebrew is guaranteed by the twofold Arabic form.

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; /1/

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.

the 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/

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 _hilal_ (new

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 1Samuel xx. 5, 6; ~2Kings iv. 23;
Annos 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; 2Kings 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 (Isaiah i. 13;
Ezekiel 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 2Kings 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 (Exodus xx. 10, xxiii. 12, xxxiv. 21; Deuteronomy 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.; Numbers xv.), not even to kindle a fire or cook
a meal (Exodus xxxv. 3); this rest is in fact a sacrifice of
abstinence from all occupation, for which preparation must already
begin on the preceding day (Exodus 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/

1 The contradiction is indubitable when in Genesis 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.

Tendencies to such an exaggeration of the Sabbath rest as would
make it absolute are found from the Chaldaean 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 (Isaiah 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 [)WT Genesis xvii.
10, 11; Exodus xxxi. 13] which also continue to subsist under
circumstances where as in the exile the conditions of the Mosaic
worship are not present (Genesis 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.

III.IV.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 (Exodus 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
(#M+), 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 Deuteronomy xv. 1-6:
"At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release
(surrender, s*m+h), 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 Exodus xxiii. 10, 11, is shown
by the word #m+h~; 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 Leviticus xvii.-xxvi. In Leviticus
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 Exodus 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 Exodus xxiii. 11, as has been conjectured by Hupfeld, a surrender
of the _fruit_ of the land has been construed into a surrender of tbe
land itself--a general fallow year (Leviticus xxv. 4). The
misunderstanding, however, is not accidental, but highly characteristic.
In Exodus 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 Leviticus 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

In the Priestly Code the year of jubilee is further added to
supplement in turn the sabbatical year (Leviticus xxv. 8 seq.).


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