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    Feast in Easton's Bible Dictionary as a mark of hospitality (Gen. 19:3; 2 Sam. 3:20; 2 Kings 6:23); on occasions of domestic joy (Luke 15:23; Gen. 21:8); on birthdays (Gen. 40:20; Job 1:4; Matt. 14:6); and on the occasion of a marriage (Judg. 14:10; Gen. 29:22). Feasting was a part of the observances connected with the offering up of sacrifices (Deut. 12:6, 7; 1 Sam. 9:19; 16:3, 5), and with the annual festivals (Deut. 16:11). "It was one of the designs of the greater solemnities, which required the attendance of the people at the sacred tent, that the oneness of the nation might be maintained and cemented together, by statedly congregating in one place, and with one soul taking part in the same religious services. But that oneness was primarily and chiefly a religious and not merely a political one; the people were not merely to meet as among themselves, but with Jehovah, and to present themselves before him as one body; the meeting was in its own nature a binding of themselves in fellowship with Jehovah; so that it was not politics and commerce that had here to do, but the soul of the Mosaic dispensation, the foundation of the religious and political existence of Israel, the covenant with Jehovah. To keep the people's consciousness alive to this, to revive, strengthen, and perpetuate it, nothing could be so well adapated as these annual feasts." (See FESTIVALS -T0001325.)

    Feasts and Fasts in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE fests (mo`edh, "an appointed day" or "an assembling," chagh, from chaghagh, "to dance" or possibly "to make a pilgrimage"; tsom, "fast," ta`anith, "a day of affliction"): I. PRE-EXILIC A) Annual 1. Passover, 15th-22d Nican 2. Pentecost, 6th Ciwan ) Pilgrimage 3. Tabernacles, 15th-22d Tishri ) Festivals 4. Shemini `Atsereth, 23d Tishri 5. New Year, Feast of Trumpets, 1st Tishri 6. Atonement, 10th Tishri B) Periodic 1. Weekly Sabbath 2. New Moon 3. Sabbath Year 4. Jubilee Year II. POST-EXILIC 1. Feast of Dedication, 25th Kiclew 2. Fast of Esther, 13th 'Adhar 3. Feast of Purim, 14th 'Adhar 4. Fast of the Fourth Month, 17th Tammuz 5. Fast of the Fifth Month, 9th 'Abh 6. Fast of the Seventh Month, 3rd Tishri 7. Fast of the Tenth Month, 10th Tebheth 8. Feast of Acra, 23d Iyar 9. Feast of Nicanor, 18th 'Adhar 10. Feast of Woodcarrying, Midsummer Day, 15th 'Abh 11. New Year for Trees, 15th ShebhaT 12. Bi-weekly Fasts, Mondays and Thursdays after Festivals 13. Second Days of Festivals Instituted 14. New Modes of Observing Old Festivals Instituted The Nature of the Hebrew Festivals: The Hebrews had an abundance of holidays, some based, according to their tradition, on agriculture and the natural changes of times and seasons, some on historical events connected with the national or religious life of Israel, and still others simply on immemorial custom. in most instances two or more of these bases coexist, and the emphasis on the natural, the agricultural, the national, or the religious phase will vary with different writers, different context, or different times. Any classification of these feasts and fasts on the basis of original significance must therefore be imperfect. We should rather classify them as preexilic and post-exilic, because the period of the Babylonian captivity marks a complete change, not only in the kinds of festivals instituted from time to time, but also in the manner of celebrating the old. I. Pre-exilic. The pre-exilic list includes the three pilgrimage festivals, the Passover week, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, together with the Eighth Day of Assembly at the conclusion of the last of these feasts, and New Year and Atonement Days, the weekly Sabbath and the New Moon. 1. Observances Common to All: The preexilic festivals were "holy convocations" (Lev 23; Nu 28). Special sacrifices were offered on them in addition to the daily offerings. These sacrifices, however, varied according to the character of the festival (Nu 28; 29). On all of them trumpets (chatsotseroth) were blown while the burnt offerings and the peace-offerings were being sacrificed (Nu 10:10). They were all likened to the weekly Sabbath as days of rest, on which there must...

    Feasts in Naves Topical Bible Ancient customs at Men alone present at Ge 40:20; 43:32,34; 1Sa 9:22; Es 1:8,9; Mr 6:21; Lu 14:24 -Men and women attend Ex 32:6; with 32:2,3; Da 5:1-3 -Riddles propounded at Jud 14:12 -Marriage feasts provided by the bridegroom Jud 14:10,17 -Guests arranged according to age Ge 43:33 -Rank 1Sa 9:22; Lu 14:8-10 -Reclined on couches Am 6:4,7; Lu 7:38; Joh 13:25 -Served in one dish Mt 26:23 -Were presided over by a master of ceremonies Joh 2:8,9 -Host served Ge 18:8 -Wine served at Es 5:6; 7:7 -Music at Isa 5:12; Am 6:4,5; Lu 15:25 -Dancing at Mt 14:6; Lu 15:25 -Given by kings 1Sa 20:5; 25:36; 2Sa 9:10; 1Ki 2:7; 4:22; 18:19; Es 1:3-8; Da 5:1-4 -Drunkenness at 1Sa 25:36; Es 1:10; Da 5:1-4 -Covenants ratified by Ge 26:28-30 -Celebrations by Birthdays Ge 40:20; Mr 6:21 Coronations 1Ki 1:25; 1Ch 12:38-40 National deliverances Es 8:17; 9:17-19 -FIGURATIVE Mt 22:1-14; Lu 14:16-24; Re 19:9,17 -ANNUAL FESTIVALS -(Instituted by Moses) Designated as SOLEMN FEASTS Nu 15:3; 2Ch 8:13; La 2:6; Eze 46:9 SET FEASTS Nu 29:39; Ezr 3:5 APPOINTED FEASTS Isa 1:14 HOLY CONVOCATIONS Le 23:4 First and last days were SABBATIC Le 23:39,40; Nu 28:18-25; 29:12,35; Ne 8:1-18 Kept with rejoicing Le 23:40; De 16:11-14; 2Ch 30:21-26; Ezr 6:22; Ne 8:9-12,17; Ps 42:4; 122:4; Isa 30:29; Zec 8:19 Divine protection given during Ex 34:24 The three principal were: PASSOVER, PENTECOST, TABERNACLES All males were required to attend Ex 23:17; 34:23; De 16:16; Ps 42:4; 122:4; Eze 36:38; Lu 2:44; Joh 4:45; 7 Aliens (non-Jews) were permitted to attend Joh 12:20; Ac 2:1-11 Attended by women 1Sa 1:3,9; Lu 2:41 Observed By Jesus Mt 26:17-20; Lu 2:41,42; 22:15; Joh 2:13,23; 5:1; 7:10; 10:22 By Paul Ac 18:21; 19:21; 20:6,16; 24:11,17 For full treatment of annual feasts See PASSOVER See PENTECOST See PURIM See TABERNACLES See TRUMPETS

    Feasts Scripture - 2 Chronicles 31:3 [He appointed] also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, [to wit], for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as [it is] written in the law of the LORD.

    Feasts Scripture - Ezekiel 45:17 And it shall be the prince's part [to give] burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.

    Feasts Scripture - Ezekiel 46:9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.

    Feasts Scripture - Ezra 3:5 And afterward [offered] the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.

    Feasts Scripture - Lamentations 2:6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as [if it were of] a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.

    Feasts Scripture - Leviticus 23:37 These [are] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:

    Feasts Scripture - Nehemiah 10:33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy [things], and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and [for] all the work of the house of our God.

    Feasts Scripture - Numbers 15:3 And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock:

    Feasts Scripture - Numbers 29:39 These [things] ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings.

    Feasts Scripture - Zechariah 8:19 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth [month], and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

    Festivals in Smiths Bible Dictionary I. The religious times ordained int he law fall under three heads: 1. Those formally connected with the institution of the Sabbath; 2. This historical or great festivals; 3. The day of atonement. 1. Immediately connected with the institution of the Sabbath are-- a. The weekly Sabbath itself. b. The seventh new moon, or feast of trumpets. c. The sabbatical year. d. The year of jubilee. 2. The great feasts are-- a. The passover. b. The feast of pentecost, of weeks, of wheat-harvest or of the first-fruits. c. The feast of tabernacles or of ingathering. On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded to "appear before the Lord," that is, to attend in the court of the tabernacle or the temple, and to make his offering with a joyful heart. De 27:7; Ne 8:9-12 The attendance of women was voluntary, but the zealous often went up to the passover. On all the days of holy convocation there was to be an entire suspension of ordinary labor of all kinds, Ex 12:16; Le 16:29; 23:21,24,25,35 but on the intervening days of the longer festivals work might be carried on. The agricultural significance of the three great festivals is clearly set forth int he account of the Jewish sacred year contained in Le 23:1 ... The times of the festivals were evidently ordained in wisdom, so as to interfere as little as possible with the industry of the people. The value of these great religious festivals was threefold. (1) Religious effects. --They preserved the religious faith of the nation and religious unity among the people. They constantly reminded the people of the divinely- wrought deliverances of the past; promoted gratitude and trust; and testified the reverence of the people for the temple and its sacred contents. Besides this was the influence of well-conducted temple services upon the synagogues through the land. (2) Political effects. --The unity of the nation would be insured by this fusion of the tribes; otherwise they would be likely to constitute separate tribal states. They would carry back to the provinces glowing accounts of the wealth, power and resources of the country. (3) Social effects. --They promoted friendly intercourse between travelling companions; distributed information through the country at a time when the transmission of news was slow and imperfect; and imported into remote provincial districts a practical knowledge of all improvements in arts and sciences. 3. For the day of atonement see that article. II. After the captivity, the feast of purim, Es 9:20 seq., and that of the dedication, 1Macc 4:56, were instituted.

    Harvest Time HARVEST HOME In the Orient, the harvest time is always a time of great festivity. To the Jews of Bible days, it was also a time of great joy. The prophet said, "They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest" (Isaiah 9:3). The law provided two feasts that were harvest festivals (Exodus 23:16). The first of these was called at one time The Feast of the Harvest, and later named The Feast of Pentecost. This feast was celebrated after the grain harvest. It was designated to express thanksgiving to GOD for the harvest that had been gathered. It was a time of rest from labor (Exodus 34:21). Also it was a time of feasting (Exodus 23:16). The second of these feasts was sometimes called The Feast of Ingathering, being held after all the grain, fruit, wine and oil had been gathered in. It, too, was a time of thanksgiving and joy over the harvest. It was also called the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:39-43), because they dwelt in booths to remind them of the wilderness days of the past. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Musical Celebrations SPECIAL OCCASIONS FOR THE USE OF MUSIC Among the Hebrews, vocal and instrumental music together with dancing were employed on most occasions of great joy. Victories in battle were thus celebrated. In this way the women of Israel ce1ebrated the victory of young David and the army of Saul over the Philistines. "And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick" (I Samuel 18:6). At the coronation of the boy King Joash, music was prominent. "And all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise" (II Chronicles 23:13). Music was also part of the entertainment at banquets. "And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts." Thus wrote Isaiah about the feasts of his day (Isaiah 5:12). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Passover Lamb The offering of the Passover Lamb was the most important religious act of the year. This lamb had to be a male, which was selected after minute examination, in order that it be free from any blemish, and it was to be a first year lamb. It was killed on the fourteenth of the month Abib (after the Babylonian captivity Nisan, about the equivalent of our April), and the blood was sprinkled with hyssop. In Egypt the blood was sprinkled on the lintels and doorposts of the houses, but in Canaan it was sprinkled on the altar. The meat was roasted with fire, rather than boiled, and not a bone was broken, as was customary when it was boiled. It was eaten by the entire household in the spirit of haste, as if a journey was being started. Anything left of it was burned with fire, and not left over for the next day. The Feast of the Passover was the most important of all the Jewish annual feasts, and formed the background for the Christian ordinance of the LORD's Supper.(cf. Exodus 12; Leviticus 23:5 ff.; Matthew 26:17-29). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Religious Festivals in Easton's Bible Dictionary There were daily (Lev. 23), weekly, monthly, and yearly festivals, and great stress was laid on the regular observance of them in every particular (Num. 28:1-8; Ex. 29:38- 42; Lev. 6:8-23; Ex. 30:7-9; 27:20). (1.) The septenary festivals were, (a) The weekly Sabbath (Lev. 23:1-3; Ex. 19:3-30; 20:8-11; 31:12, etc.). (b) The seventh new moon, or the feast of Trumpets (Num. 28:11-15; 29:1-6). (c) The Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:10, 11; Lev. 25:2- 7). (d) The year of jubilee (Lev. 23-35; 25: 8-16; 27:16-25). (2.) The great feasts were, (a) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c) The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering. On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded "to appear before the Lord" (Deut. 27:7; Neh. 8:9- 12). The attendance of women was voluntary. (Comp. Luke 2:41; 1 Sam. 1:7; 2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Ex. 34:23, 24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of Tabernacles, A.D. 66." These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered in. (3.) The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev. 16:1, 34; 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11). (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast of Dedication (John 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of Purim" (q.v.), Esther 9:24-32, was also instituted after the Exile. (Cf. John 5:1.)

    Seasonal Journeys to the Temple FAMILY PILGRIMAGES TO THE SANCTUARY A very important part of Hebrew family life was the pilgrimage made to the place of the sanctuary. "Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel" (Exodus 34:23). The whole family could go, but the male members were required to go on this pilgrimage. The feasts of the LORD came at these three seasons of the year. The element of thanksgiving was largely emphasized in most of them. the LORD made a special promise to those going on such a pilgrimage to GOD's house. "Neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD" (Exodus 34:24). With so many of the menfolks gone from their homes, GOD promised to look after these homes against any possible attack from an enemy while the family was away on this pilgrimage. The family of Elkanah was in the habit of making such pilgrimages. "And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord God of hosts in Shiloh" (I Samuel 1:3). It was while on such a pilgrimage that Hannah prayed for a baby boy, and in due time Samuel was born. The most famous example of a family pilgrimage to Jerusalem is of course that of Joseph, Mary, and JESUS. Luke reports it: "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast" (Luke 2:41-42). We can scarcely imagine how much that trip to the Holy City must have meant to the boy Jesus. The journey alone would be thrilling to any child, but to JESUS it was being in his Father's House that gave him the biggest thrill of all (Luke 2:49). Some Bible readers have been perplexed because Luke says that Joseph and Mary went a day's journey before discovering that JESUS was absent from them. But the present-day Syrian customs of family religious pilgrimages throw light on what actually took place. Luke says: "They sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance" (Luke 2:44). On such pilgrimages, kinsfolk and acquaintances travel together in large groups, and the young people of the party are considered to be perfectly safe as long as they are with this group. On these trips parents often go for hours at a time without seeing their sons. It is quite probable that JESUS was with the caravan when it started out, and then was detached from his kinsfolk and returned to the city and to the temple. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Wedding Feast THE WEDDING FEAST Every guest that attended the feast was required to wear a wedding garment (Matthew 22:12). The wedding banquet was presided over by the ruler of the feast (John 2:8,9). It was his duty to take care of the preparations, and during the feast he would get around among the guests, and see to it that they lacked nothing. He instructed servants in carrying out all the necessary details. The expression, "children of the bridechamber", (Matthew 9:15), used by JESUS, simply means the guests at the wedding. The governor or ruler of the feast returned thanks at the dinner and pronounced benedictions at appointed times. He also blessed the wine. It was customary to tell riddles at these feasts like Samson did at his wedding (Judges 14:12-18). During the meal mirthfulness prevailed. and the guests were expected to exalt the bride. There was no religious ceremony at the feast. In place of this were the benedictions of relatives and friends. The benediction of those who witnessed wedding arrangements for Ruth and Boaz is a good example of what would be included in such a benediction (Ruth 4:11). It corresponds to the well wishing of Western wedding guests. After the wedding feast was over the husband was escorted by his friends into the apartment where his wife had previously been conducted. These wedding festivities with relatives and friends lasted for a whole week (cf. Judges 14:17), but the entire number of what was called "the days of the marriage" was thirty. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]