Page images



at 3, for a burnt-offering. These were offered as a national confession of sin and of the need of an atonement. (Numb. xxviii. 3, &c.) The weekly The weekly sacrifices were two young

lambs every Sabbath morning and evening, accompanied with double meat and drink-offerings. (Numb. xxviii. 9, 10.) The monthly The monthly sacrifices were offered

on the day of the new moon. They consisted of two bullocks, one ram,

and seven lambs for a burnt-offering, together with a kid for a sin-offering The yearly Yearly sacrifices were offered on the

five great annual festivals, viz. : (1.) The Feast of the Passover (Easter time) ; (2.) The Feast of Pentecost (Whitsuntide); (3.) The Feast of Tabernacles; (4.) The Feast of Trumpets; and in Autumn

S (5.) The Day of Atonement.

Besides these five festivals, two others were instituted afterwards, though not by divine appointment: The feast of Purim, and the feast of Dedication.

The feast of Purim (or lots) was instituted (B.c. 510) to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from the plot of Haman, recorded in the Book of Esther. It was so called because Haman enquired by lots for the fittest time to put into execution his infamous scheme for the extirpation of the Jews.

The feast of Dedication was instituted (B.c. 160) by Judas Maccabæus, to commemorate the re. dedication of the temple to the service of God after it had been profaned by Antiochus Epiphanés. This feast is still held annually on the 25th of December.





When the Passover
Was instituted.

How observed

The Feast of the Passover was

instituted the night before the Israelites departed from Egypt. On this feast the Paschal Iamb was slain and eaten.

Christians celebrate, at the same by Christians.

time of the year, the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who was crucified at this very festival, and at the same identical hour (3 o'clock).

The Feast of Pentecost was held 50 days after the Passover. It continued one day, and was instituted : (1) to commemorate the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; and (2) to thank God for the fruits of wheat-harvest. Its original It was originally called The FEAST

OF WEEKS, because it was held seven weeks, or a week of weeks after the Passover.

When held.

were offered.

The Feast of

Why observed It is observed by Christians, who by Christians.

term it Whit-Sunday, because the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles in the shape of cloven tongues of fire on this festival. What sacrifices The sacrifices offered on the Feast

of Pentecost were seven lambs, one calf, and two rams for a burnt-offering; two lambs for a peace-offering; and a goat for a sin-offering

The Feast of Tabernacles was held Tabernacles.

in September; it lasted eight days, during which time the people dwelt in booths or tabernacles in commemoration of their sojourn in the wilderness.

The sacrifices offered on this feast

were—for the first day 13 calves, 2 rams,

and 14 lambs. The number of calves was diminished by one for each subsequent day; and on the last day of the feast there were sacrificed only 1 calf, 1 ram, and 7 lambs.

On this feast, branches of trees, fruits, and flowers were carried in procession. It was customary to carry in the right hand branches of palm, willow, and myrtle tied together, and in the left a branch of citron with its fruit. These branches were called Hosanna, and on the last or great day, Hosanna in the highest. This will explain why the people shouted these words when our Lord made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the anniversary of this very festival.

What sacrifices were offered.

the “

most solemn.

The feast of The Feast of Trumpets was held in trumpets.

September, and lasted two days. It was so called because the priests blew the sacred trumpets in the temple to announce the commencement of the civil year. *

Tradition says that this feast was observed to commemorate the creation of the world, when all

sons of God shouted for joy.” At this feast was offered for a burnt-offering, one bullock, one ram, and seven lambs, in addition to the usual daily and monthly sacrifices. The sacred trumpets were rams' horns in memory of the ram substituted by Abraham for his son Isaac on

Mount Moriah. (Num. xxix, 1–6.) Which festival the The Day of Atonement, held the

day after the Feast of Trumpets, was the most solemn of all the Jewish festivals.

It was no feast, but a most solemn

fast, in which all the people abstained from work, took no food, and “afflicted their souls on account of sin.” (Lev. xxiii. 27—30.)

The most remarkable ceremony able ceremony.

of this great national fast was that of the Scape Goat. The scape goat,

The Scape Goat was so called bewhy so called.

cause the high-priest, having tied round its head a scarlet fillet, and having

* The Ecclesiastical year began in the month Abib (our Easter term). The civil year began in the month Îisri (September).

How it was observed.

The most remark

When the Jewish

transferred to the creature by means of confession the sins of the whole nation, sent it into the wilderness, where it was suffered to escape.

Isaiah alludes to the scarlet fillet in the words : “ Though their sins be as scarlet," &c. In allusion to the scape goat bearing into the wilderness the sins confessed over its head, it was said of our Lord that “he beareth away the sins of the world.” The scape goat was called by the Jews Azaz'el.

All the feasts began at sunset, on feasts began.

what we term the EVE of the day, and terminated on the feast-day at night-fall. What the great On the three great feasts, called feasts required.

the Feast of the Passover, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, all the male population of the Jews were obliged to appear before God at some given place. The place. This place was at first the spot where the Tabernacle stood, but after the temple was built, it was Jerusalem. How they They went not empty-handed, but

each man took with him the first-born of all his cattle, and the tithe of all his corn, wine, and oil.

God promised the people that no thieves or spoilers should molest them on their way, or injure their property during their absence. The

« PreviousContinue »