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4 Ex. xxxi. 14 f. ; xxxv. 2 ; Num. xv. 32-36.

5 Gen. ii. 2 f. ; Ex. xxxi. 17 ; xx. 11.

6 Dillmann on Ex. xx. 11. '' History, p. 115.



THIRD PERIOD. — § 31. LEVITISM. 295

It appears that even anciently sacrifices were offered,
and people gathered in religious assemblies on the
Sabbath day,^ although the old documents hardly speak
of it. Ezekiel, on the contrary, gives us to under-
stand that sacrifices must be offered on this day.^
Document C describes the character of these sacrifices ; ^
it also ordains that the shewbread be renewed on this
day,^ and a holy convocation gathered.^ Thus we see
that the Sabbath gradually lost its primitive character,
and took a more Levitical color. When Leviticus, in
the last passage cited, seems to require cessation from
labor on the Sabbath day, that there may be leisure for
worship and religious edification, this is another new
view, a view too spiritual for remote antiquity, one
that can only have been formed at a comparatively
recent date.^

The Chronicler supposes that the legislation of doc-
ument C was known and observed from the remotest
antiquity.''' Nehemiah was obliged to take energetic
measures to secure the observance of the Sabbath, for
it was violated in the grossest fashion. ^ In the time
of the Maccabees the Jews, on one occasion, allowed
themselves, with their wives and children, to be massa-
cred rather than take arms on the Sabbath; but after
this first sad experience they decided not to do so in
the future.^ "Based on the sacerdotal legislation, the
celebration of the Sabbath in the midst of Judaism was
logically developed, and continually approximated to

1 Isa. i. 13. 2 xlv. 17. ^ Num. xxviii. 9 f . ^ Lev. xxiv. 5-8.
5 Lev. xxiii. 3. ^ Dillmann on Ex. xx. 9 f.

7 1 Chron. xxiii. 31 ; 2 Chron. ii. 4 ; viii. 13 ; xxxi. 3 ; Neh. x. 33.

8 Neh. xiii. 15-22, ^ 1 Mace. ii. 32-41 ; ix. 43 ft



296 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

the ideal of absolute rest; so that the most rigid party
among the Pharisees thought the entire week necessary
to preparation for the holy day, and that, if possible,
the half of human life was to be devoted to it. ' From
Sunday onward think of the Sabbath, ' says Shammai." ^

2. The Sabbatical Year. — Thus far we have not
spoken of the sabbatical year, though it is mentioned
even in document A. But since, outside of some legal
passages, it does not appear in the early history of
Israel, it may be concluded that it did not play an
important part.

Document A confines itself to saying that every
seven years the land shall remain fallow, that the spon-
taneous product of the fields shall be left to the poor
and to the animals, and that it shall be so even with the
vine and the olive. ^ The sabbatical year, then, has
here an essentially humanitarian character, like the
weekly Sabbath. In Deuteronomy it preserves this
character though it is presented in a new light. It
there appears as a year of release, in which Israelitish
debtors shall not be required to pay their debts. ^
Moreover, during the feast of tabernacles of this year,
the law shall be read to all Israel gathered at the sanc-
tuary.* For Ezekiel also this year is chiefly a year of
release.^

Document C takes exactly the same view of the sab-
batical year as of the weekly Sabbath. Every seven
years the country must rest, that this may be a Sabbath
to Jehovah.^ The fields are not to be sowed, and the

1 Weimausen, History, p. 116. 2 Ex. xxiii. 10 f.

3 Deut. XV. 1 ff. •* Deut. xxxi. 10 f. ^ xlvi. 17.

6 Lev. XXV, 2 ff.



THIRD PERIOD. — § 31. LEVITISM. 297

vine is not to be pruned, the spontaneous products are
not to be harvested, but they are to be gathered as there
is need of them.^ The product of the soil is therefore
no longer left to the poor and the beasts of the field,
as document A prescribes ; the owner is himself author-
ized to harvest for his own support and the support of
his house, what the soil spontaneously produces. In
order to induce the people to observe this law Jehovah
promises to grant a particularly abundant harvest the
sixth year.*^ The idea of the weekly Sabbath then is
here extended to an entire year, and to the soil of the
whole country, which is to celebrate a Sabbath in honor
of Jehovah, the real owner of the soil, who has given
it to Israel.^

This thought, that the land of Canaan belongs to
Jehovah,* who gives it to his people,^ always existed
in Israel ; but the institution of the sabbatical year, as
it is represented in document C, on the basis of this
thought, seems to be of recent date. We see even from
this document as well as others, that before the Exile,
the sabbatical year was not observed in conformity with
these regulations.^ Riehm declares that in reality it
was impossible to observe it thus ; that, moreover, in
the legislation of document A, it is presented in an-
other and more reasonable form; that there the com-
mand is not that all the Israelitish lands shall remain
fallow the same year, but only that each field shall be
so treated once in seven years, so that thus they could

1 Lev. XXV. 3-7. 2 Lev. xxv. 18-22. 3 Lev. xxv. 2, 23.

* Hos. ix. 3 ; Josh. xxii. 19 ; Jer. ii. 7 ; Ps. x. 16.

5 Gen. XV. 18-21 ; xxvi. 3 f. ; Ex. xxiii. 20-31 ; Lev. xiv. 34 ; xx.
24 ; xxiii. 10 ; Num. xiii. 2 ; Ps. cxxxv. 12.

6 Lev, xxvi, 34 f., 43 j S Chroii, xxxvi. 21.



298 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

be allowed to rest successively instead of simultane-
ously.^ Reuss and Wellhausen take the same view of
the matter. 2

We know also that, in the time of Nehemiah, it was
agreed to observe this year as a year of release,^ and that
in the days of the Maccabees, it was observed as a
sabbatical year, but not without danger of scarcity.*

3. The Year of Jubilee. — The year of jubilee, of
which mention is made in document C, is very analo-
gous to the sabbatical year. It is only the develop-
ment, and as it were complement, of the latter. It is
in reality a sabbatical year, which, however, occurs
only every fifty years, after every seventh sabbatical
year.^ It is, besides, a year of liberty, of release, a
year when every one recovers possession of his own
estate, and returns to his own family.^ In the year of
jubilee, in fact, all alienated property must be restored
to the original owner, '' and every Israelite, whom pov-
erty has reduced to servitude, must regain his liberty.^
What is the reason for this twofold requirement?

Jehovah is the real owner of the country, and the
Israelites are with him as strangers and guests.^ None
of them has the right to alienate what he has received
from his God; he can sell only the usufruct, and that
only until the year of jubilee, when all property returns
to its lawful owner. But if Jehovah is sole proprietor
of the land of Canaan, he is also the sole master of the
Israelites ; they became his servants from the day when

1 Handwdrterhuch^ pp. 1813 ff.

2 Reuss, Hist. Sainte, I. p. 176 ; Wellhausen, History, pp. 116 ff.

3 Neh. X. 31. 4 1 Mace. vi. 49, 53. ^ ^ev. xxv. 8 f., 11 f.

6 Lev. xxv. 10. 7 Lev. xxv. 14-17, 23-24. » Lev. xxv. 39-55.

» Lev. xxv. 23.



THIRD PERIOD. — § 31. LEVITISM. 299

he brought them forth from the land of Egypt. ^ They
can therefore no longer be the slaves of any one ; they
can only, in case of necessity, make themselves hire-
lings until the year of jubilee, when they will once
more recover their liberty.

This year must be sanctified by the Israelites or be
holy for them,^ i.e. it must be distinguished from the
other years as a year apart, having a sacred character.

We nowhere find that the year of jubilee was cele-
brated. This fact is easy to understand. It would
have been necessary to leave the fields fallow two con-
secutive years, since the year of jubilee must always
follow a sabbatical year. But it was difficult to ob-
serve even the latter. How could the other be cele-
brated after it? Here, as elsewhere, appears the theo-
retical tendency of document C. A theory was formed
without an}^ anxiety about the facts, the practical life.
The systemizing spirit is allowed free rein, without
regard to Avhat is humanly possible.

4. The Neiv Moon. — We know that, from early
times, the new moon was a holiday in Israel. Docu-
ment C presupposes the existence of it (and this is the
case wherever there is reference to it throughout the
Old Testament) ; it does not speak of its institution as
it does of that of most of the other Israelitish festivals.
It mentions this festival only to ordain that its solem-
nity shall be enhanced by the sound of the trumpet,^
and to describe the sacrifices that must be offered when it
occurs.* The Chronicler speaks of it in the same way.^

1 Lev. XXV. 42, 55. 2 Lev. xxv. 10-12.

3 Num. X. 10. 4 Num. xxviii. 11-15.

5 1 Chron. xxiii. 31 ; 2 Chron. ii. 4 ; viii. 13 ; xxxi. 3 ; Neli. x. 33.



300 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

Document C, however, institutes a festival for the
first day of tlie seventh month, with directions to cele-
brate it more solemnly than the other new moons, as a
great feast-day on which there shall be a summons by
trumpets, a holy convocation, and special sacrifices,
besides the sacrifices of the other new moons. ^

This enhanced solemnity of the seventh new moon
proves that the idea of the Sabbath is applied to the
months as to the years, and that the seventh month of
the year is in a sense a sabbatical month. But every-
thing favors the belief that this festival, like the year
of jubilee, is introduced into document C simply that
the sabbatical system may be more complete, and may
extend to the months as well as to the years and the
days. In the early documents no trace of it is to be
found.

5. The Pilgrim Feasts. — We have already, under the
first period, considered the essential features of these
great pilgrim feasts. It remains for us to notice here
some features peculiar to the documents of our period.

a. Ezekiel, in his proposed legislation, speaking
of the feast of the passover, describes especially the
number of sacrifices that the prince is to offer every
day, during the paschal week.^ Document C gives
much attention to this feast. ^ It differs in certain
respects from the earliest codes. Thus it ordains that
the paschal victim shall be eaten in every house, and
that all shall partake of it,* while the older codes
prescribed that the passover should be sacrificed and

1 Lev. xxiii. 23-25 ; Num. xxix. 1-6. 2 xlv. 21-24.

3 Ex. xii. 1-20, 43-49 ; Lev. xxiii. 5 ff. ; Num. ix. 1 ff. ; xxviii.
16-25. 4 Ex. xii. 3 ff., 46.



THIRD PERIOD. — § 31. LEVITISM. 301

eaten at the sanctuary, whither only the male and
adult Israelites resorted. It also requires that the flesh
of the paschal victim be roasted and not boiled, ^ that
not only the seventh but also the first day be a holiday, ^
and that sacrifices be offered every day during the pas-
chal week ; ^ this last feature we found only in Ezekiel.
It declares that the stranger who wishes to partake of
the passover must allow himself to be circumcised,*
and that every Israelite is obliged to celebrate it every
year; that he who neglects to do so shall be punished
with death, and that he who is prevented from celebrat-
ing it at the date fixed must celebrate it a month later. ^

Here again we can trace the influence of document
C upon the author of Chronicles. It is only necessary
to compare 2 Kings xxiii. 21 ff. with 2 Chron. xxxv.
Both passages speak of the celebration of the passover
under Josiah, as it had not been celebrated from time
immemorial. But the second account differs from the
first, in that it introduces all sorts of details, for the
purpose of representing this celebration in a way to
make it conform to the regulations of document C. On
one point, however, the author seeks to reconcile this
lattei with Deuteronomy. While, according to the one,
the flesh of the paschal victim is to be roasted and
according to the other it is to be boiled, the Chronicler
causes to be prepared for the passover both roasted and
boiled meats. ^

h. Respecting the feast of weeks it is in order to

1 Ex. xii. 8 f .

2 Ex. xii. 12, 16 ; Lev. xxiii. 7 f. ; Num. xxviii. 18, 25.

3 Num. xxviii. 19-24. * Ex. xii. 44-48. & Num. ix. 10-13.
6 2 Chron. xxxv. 13,



302 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

make a preliminary observation on the name that it
bears in the three principal documents of the Penta-
teuch, ^ and on the number of weeks, seven, that must
separate it from the feast of the passover.^ Must we
not conclude from this name and number that this
feast had an astronomical, before it took an agricultural,
character, and that it was first the feast of the seven
weeks before becoming the feast of the end of the har-
vest, or the day of the first-fruits?^ This period of
seven weeks recalls, moreover, the feast of the seventh
new moon, the sabbatical year, and the year of jubilee.
And it is clear that the same system that underlies the
week of seven days with its Sabbath is extended to all
the other divisions of time: the seventh day of the
week is the Sabbath, the seventh week counting from
the passover is closed by the feast of weeks, the seventh
new moon is celebrated in a peculiarly solemn way, the
seventh year is a sabbatical year, and finally, after seven
sabbatical years, occurs the year of jubilee; then the
cycle is complete.

Beyond these general observations we have little to
say of the feast in question, which, moreover, never had
the importance of the other two pilgrim feasts. Thus
the prophet Ezekiel does not even mention it in his
proposed Levitical legislation, complete as that is.
And in the earliest literature there is never any refer-
ence to it outside of the legal passages of documents A
and B.

The few new points on this subject, contained in
document C, are the following : The feast of weeks shall

1 Ex. xxxiv. 22 ; Deut. xvi. 10, 16 ; Num. xxviii. 26.

2 Deut. xvi. 9 f.j Lev. xxiii. 15 f. ^ Num. xxviii. 26.



THIRD PERIOD. — §31. LEVITISM. 303

be consecrated to rest, and on this day there shall be a
holy convocation ; i the offerings to be made, far from
being left to the inclination of each worshipper, or pro-
portioned to the divine blessing received, as in Deuter-
onomy, are strictly regulated ; 2 it is prescribed among
other things that an expiatory sacrifice shall be offered,
and certain fixed contributions paid to the priests, ^
while Deuteronomy makes this feast a joyful feast and
urges that the Levites be invited to the public meal
with the poor; the special offering at this feast, which
best expresses its agricultural character, is the offering
of two loaves.*

c. According to the early documents, the date of the
feast of tabernacles had to be regulated solely by the
autumn harvests, which vary from one year to another.
Ezekiel is the first to mention the fifteenth day of the
seventh month as a fixed date for this feast ; he main-
tains the duration of the feast at seven days, but he
prescribes expiatory sacrifices, which hardly agree with
the joyous character that this feast seems always to
have had before the Exile. ^

Document C here introduces innovations more nu-
merous and more important. According to it the feast
of tabernacles must last eight days instead of seven,
and on the first as well as the last day there must be
a holy convocation and a day of rest.^ More than this,
document C inclines to rob this feast of its agricultural
character, and impress upon it a theocratic one. It

1 Lev. xxiii. 21 ; Num. xxviii. 26.

2 Lev. xxiii. 16 ff.; Num. xxviii. 26 ff.

3 Lev. xxiii. 19 f.; Num. xxviii. 30. * j^gv. xxiii. 17.
* Ezek. xlv. 26. 6 Lev. xxiii. 33-36, 39 ff.



304 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

ordains that it be celebrated forever in honor of Jeho-
vah, in order that all future generations may know that
he caused the children of Israel to dwell in tents after
having freed them from the land of Egypt. ^ But the
booths of branches, which are evidently of rural char-
acter, thus lose their primitive significance. We see
that the benefits of nature, which so deeply impressed
the ancient Israelites, no longer had the same value for
the Jews, who more highly prized theocratic advan-
tages. Document C prescribes that at this feast a
much larger number of sacrifices be offered than at the
others ; moreover, according to its custom, it regulates
everything, and leaves nothing to the inclination of the
individual. 2 In the time of Ezra these regulations
began to be observed, but it was well known that pre-
viously this feast had not been celebrated in the same
manner.^

6. TJie Day of Atonement. — The day of atonement
seems to be an innovation of document C. There is
not to be found the slightest trace of it in earlier docu-
ments. Ezekiel offers at most a few hints that may
have suggested such a festival.* The need of celebrat-
ing a great day of fasting and atonement was undoubt-
edly suggested by the catastrophe of the Exile, which
made the feeling of the guilt of the entire people weigh
heavily upon the conscience, and led, as we have seen,
to the institution of several days of fasting.

The day of atonement, or of the great propitiation,
must be the tenth day of the seventh month, and a day
of rest and fasting; it must be celebrated by a holy

1 Lev. xxiii. 41-43. 2 ;^T^^m. xxix. 12-39.

3 Ezra iii. 4 ; Neli. viii. 13-18. ^ xlv. 18-20.



THIRD PERIOD. — § 31. LEVITISM. 30r>

convocation, and a series of sacrifices. i It should be
observed that this is the only occasion for which the
law ordains fasting, and here it is undoubtedly meant
to be an expression of the feelings of contrition and
humility that should fill the heart on that day. The
special regulations for this festival are enumerated at
length in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus which
treats especially of this subject. We there learn that
on the day of atonement the high-priest, in fulfilling
his functions, must put on, not his ornaments, but a
simple robe of linen, as a sign of humiliation, and this,
after having taken a bath in token of purification; that
he must offer an expiatory sacrifice for himself and his
house, and another for the people, sprinkling some of
the blood of each of the victims before the mercy seat
in the holy of holies, and putting their sins upon the
scapegoat, that it may bear them into the desert; that
he must make atonement even for the sanctuary and the
altar, on account of the uncleanness of the children of
Israel. This day is therefore essentially a day of gen-
eral and complete purification, on which Israel must be
purified from all their sins and all their stains. 2 This
purification, as we have just seen, must be effected by
humiliation and atonement.

Israel must be pure and holy to enjoy the covenant
with Jehovah, the pure and holy God. When their
holiness is sullied it must be restored. For individ-
ual stains and sins the law prescribes special expiatory
and purifying processes. But these processes do not
suffice to restore the entire people to purity and holi-

1 Lev. xvi. 29, 31 ; xxiii. 26-32 ; Num. xxix. 7-11.

2 Lev. xvi. 16, 19-21, 30, 34.



306 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

ness. This end is only attained by the great day of
atonement. This festival, annually repeated, restores
every year the holiness of Israel, and thus renders pos-
sible the maintenance of their covenant with the holy
God. That the purification may be complete the high-
priest must first purify himself, and then the entire
priesthood, the people, and even the sanctuary with the
altar. The people must participate in the act of puri-
fication by observing a day of rest and fasting. This
expiatory festival, which was celebrated a few days
before the feast of tabernacles, the last of the annual
festivals, became as it were a day of preparation for this
holy week, purifying Israel from their sins that they
might afterward give themselves to rejoicing.^

7. The Feast of Purim. — According to Esther ix.
17-32, the feast of purim was instituted in the days
of Ahasuerus by Mordecai, in memory of the defeat
that Haman suffered in his murderous plans against
the Jews, and the victory that the latter won over their
enemies. But it is now generally admitted that the
narrative of the book of Esther is not historical. And
since we have no other means of discovering the actual
origin of this festival, it remains surrounded with great
obscurit}^ If there is one thing clearer than another it
is that this has nothing in common with the other
Israelitish festivals. It is not brought into relation
with the sanctuary, to say nothing of God, whose
name even does not once appear in the book in
question.

1 Bibel-Lexikon, V. p. 599 ; [Ewald, Antiquities, p. 361].



THIRD PERIOD. — § 31. LEVITISM. 307

IV. Religious Rites,

We shall not here speak again of all the religious
ceremonies, to which reference was made in the first
period, for the simple reason that we have exhausted
all that concerns most of them. But we must return
to the subject of sacrifices, on which there remains a
number of observations to be made.

We have seen that, according to document A, the
practice of making sacrifices is as old as humanity.
Document C, on the contrary, represents matters in
such a way as to induce the belief that Moses first insti-
tuted sacrifices and Israelitish worship in general. In
the earlier history, in fact, it never speaks of sacrifices,
and does not allow us to suppose that they were offered.
This is but one instance of a divergence of which a
more striking example must here be noticed.

Until toward the Exile the important thing in Israel
was that the sacrifices be offered to Jehovah, and not to
other gods ; the ceremony in itself considered, and the
persons fulfilling the sacerdotal functions when sacri-
fices were offered, were secondary matters. Document
C, on the contrary, presents an entirely different view
of the subject. All that concerns worship is there reg-
ulated in the strictest and minutest manner, and all the
acts of worship must be performed in harmony with
these regulations. The sons of Aaron alone, after hav-
ing received the required consecration, have the right
to offer sacrifices, and to offer them according to the
lawful ritual. Any transgression of these ritualistic
laws is punishable with death. According to this doc-
ument, therefore, it is not to be supposed that the



308 THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAJVIENT.

patriarchs, those men of God, offered sacrifices at will,
as document A narrates ; it is not to be supposed that
faithful Israelites or their ancestors performed relig-
ious rites that were not in strict conformity to the
regulations of the Mosaic and divine law. This is the
reason why it does not describe the patriarchs as per-
forming religious rites such as sacrifices.

In its legal portion this document gives much space
to sacrifices. Besides the numerous passages that reg-
ulate the special ones, seven chapters, Lev. i. -vii.,
are exclusively devoted to this subject. There is men-
tion of burnt-offerings, which were entirely consumed
on the altar, and which therefore best express the idea
of entire consecration to God;i of bloodless sacrifices,
of which only a part was burned on the altar, while the
rest fell to the priests ;2 of peace-offerings or thank-
offerings, of which certain portions were consumed on
the altar, while others fell to the priests, or were eaten
by those who offered them;^ finally, of two kinds of
expiatory sacrifices, the blood from which was used in
making atonement, and the fat was burned on the altar,
while the flesh, in certain cases, was burned outside the
camp, and in other cases was used as food by the priests.*

Before the Exile only the first three kinds of sacri-
fices were known; at least there is never in the old
documents any reference to a special class of expiatory
sacrifices. Ezekiel is the first to make mention of
them.^ There is only one older passage that speaks,
not of an expiatory sacrifice, but of a guilt-offering, or a

1 i. ; vi. 8 ff. 2 ii. . vi. 14 ff. s iji. . yii, 11 ff.

4iv. f.; vi. 24 ff.; vii. Iff.

^ xl. 39 ; xlii, 13 ; xliii. 19 ff. ; xliv. 29 ; xlv. 15, 17 ff. ; xlvi. 20,



THIRD PERIOD. — § 32. FORGIVENESS, ATONEMENT. 309

species of fine that the Philistines believed themselves
bound to pay to the God of Israel, when restoring the
ark of the covenant, that they might stop the plagues
that it had brought upon them.^ In another passage,
which, however, is perhaps not older than the Exile,
mention is also made of guilt money and sin money,


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