Feast of Tabernacles


feasts repudiated by Jesus

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"Every Jew was expected to pay a tax to the Temple each year. The amount was set at half a shekel of silver, the amount laid down in the Law of Moses for the atonement of every Israelite (Exodus 30:11-16). In the first century half a shekel was reckoned the equivalent of two Greek drachmas or two Roman denarii. A laborer could earn that amount in two days, according to Jesus' parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). - Alan Millard, Discoveries From the Time of Jesus, p. 82

"The priests decreed that payment should be made in coins of the purest silver. Only one sort was acceptable, the silver coins of the city of Tyre."

"The most common coin from Tyre is the shekel (stater or tetradrachm - four drachms); half-shekels are less often found. This suggests that Jews paid the Temple tax in pairs."- Alan Millard, Discoveries From the Time of Jesus, pp. 82, 91

The money traders installed in the Temple allowed visitors to exchange their currency for the silver shekels.

"...The prophet Zechariah...after describing the festival of Tabernacles in his fourteenth chapter, closed his prophetic work by stating that when the Lord returned to inaugurate the kingdom of God and to reclaim his Temple:" - John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels, p. 234

The first century Feast of Tabernacles had been turned into a musical festival much like the fertility rituals imposed by the Greeks and other foreign powers. Psalms said that Judas would not
triumph over Messiah. And, guess what, the bag Judas carried, because he was a thief, was a bag for carrying mouthpieces of wind instruments. This was the musical rejoicing when the people were gathered for instruction condemned in Nu. 10:7. This is the festival some of the revivalistic Jubilee movements want to restore. Most of this comes out of Fuller's John Wimber's Third Wave where "the end justifies the mean."

You need the founding fact that because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai God turned the nation over to worship the starry host. This was the same "new wineskin" worship of Dionysus they had practiced in Egypt.  Click for the Mount Sinai Fall from Grace confirmed throughout the Bible including Acts 7

Perseus posts Demosthenes, Speeches

[260] In day-time you marshalled your gallant throng of bacchanals through the public streets, their heads garlanded with fennel and white poplar; and, as you went, you squeezed the fat-cheeked snakes, or brandished them above your head, now shouting your Euoi Saboi! now footing it to the measure of Hyes Attes! Attes Hyes!--saluted by all the old women with such proud titles as Master of the Ceremonies, Fugleman, Ivy-bearer, Fan-carrier; and at last receiving your recompense of tipsy-cakes, and cracknels, and currant-buns. With such rewards who would not rejoice greatly, and account himself the favorite of fortune?

The Ivy Covered Cross

"I believe that even the feast of the Sabbath is not completely unrelated to Dionysos. Many even now call the Bacchantes 'Saboi' and utter the cry when celebrating the God. Testimnoy of this can be found in Demosthenes and Menander.

The Jews themselves testify to a connection with Dionysos when they keep the Sabbath by inviting each other to drink and enjoy wine; when more important business interferes with this custom, they regularly take at least a sip of neat wine.

Now thus far one might call the argument only probable; but the oppposition is quite demolished, in the first place by the High Priest, who leads the procession at their festival wearing a miter and clad in a gold-embrodered fawnskin, a robe reaching to the ankles, and buskins, with many bells attached to his clothes and ringing below him as he walks. All this corresponds to our custom. In the second place, they also have noise as an element in their nocturnal festivals, and call the nurses of the God 'bronze rattlers.' The carved thyrsos in the relief on the pediment of the Temple and the drums provide other parallels. All this surely befits no divinity but Dionysos." (Quaestiones Convivales 4.6.1-2)

This is why God ordained that the Sabbath be a day of rest and not of worship.

Tacitus said that Dionysos Liber was the God of Jerusalem in former times, but a different God had replaced him, a God with less attractive characteristics: "Liber established a festive and cheerful worship, while the Jewish religion is tasteless and mean." (660)

Plutarch of Chaeronea held that the God of the Jews was none other than Dionysos. "First the time and character of the greatest, most sacred holiday of the Jews clearly befit Dionysos. When they celebrate their so-called Fast, at the height of the vintage, they set out tables of all sorts of fruit under tents and huts plaited for the most part of vines and ivy. They call the first of the two days Tabernacles.

A few days later they celebrate another festival, this time identified with Bacchos not through obscure hints but plainly called by his name, a festival that is a sort of 'Procession of Branches' or 'Thyrsos Procession' in which they enter the Temple each carrying a thyrsos.

What they do after entering we do not know, but it is probable that the rite is a Bacchic revelry, for in fact they use little trumpets to invoke their God as do the Argives at their Dionysia.

Others of them advance playing harps; these players are called in their language Levites, either from 'Lysios' or better, from 'Euois.'

Hislop notes:

No wonder that it came at last to be firmly believed that the Messiah, on whom the hopes of the world depended, was Himself the "seed of the serpent"! This was manifestly the case in Greece; for the current story there came to be,

that the first Bacchus was brought forth in consequence of a connexion on the part of his mother with the father of the gods, in the form of a "speckled snake." *

* OVID, Metam. So deeply was the idea of "the seed of the serpent" being the great World-king imprinted (marked) on the Pagan mind, that when a man set up to be a god upon earth, it was held essential to establish his title to that character,

that he prove himself to be the "serpent's seed."

Thus, when Alexander the Great claimed divine honours, it is well known that his mother Olympias, declared that he was not sprung from King Philip, her husband, but from Jupiter, in the form of a serpent. In like manner, says the authoress of Rome in the 19th Century, the Roman emperor,

"Augustus, pretended that he was the son of Apollo, and that the god had assumed the form of a serpent for the purpose of giving him birth." Hislop

Ancient religious festivals are restored -- even the legalistic Jubilee in order to attract the masses with theatrical performance.

The phrase "eat, drink, and be merry" was part of a religious ritual common throughout the region--

"The traditional founder of Tarsus was Sardanapalus, who was worshipped, along with Semiramis, with licentious rites which resembled those of the Feast of Tabernacles. Paul had probably witnessed this feastival, and had seen, at the neighboring town of Anchiale, the statue of Sardanapalus, represented as snapping his fingers, and with the inscription upon the pedestal, 'Eat, drink, enjoy thyself. The rest is nothing." (Vincent, p. 278)

The phrase, like many examples of music, shows disrespect for the will of God--

And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' Luke 12:19

Clement in Pedagogue sheds more light on the nature of the priests in Jerusalem which is identified by John in Revelation as Egypt and Sodom:

For they must not do as some, who, imitating the acting of comedy, and practising the mincing motions of dancers, conduct themselves in society as if on the stage, with voluptuous movements, and gliding steps, and affected voices, casting languishing glances round, tricked out with the bait of pleasure.

"For honey drops from the lips of a woman who is an harlot; who, speaking to please, lubricates thy throat.

But at last thou wilt find it bitterer than bile, and sharper than a two-edged sword.
For the feet of folly lead those who practise it to hell after death."

The noble Samson was overcome by the harlot, and by another woman was shorn of his man hood. But Joseph was not thus beguiled by another woman. The Egyptian harlot was conquered. And chastity, assuming to itself bonds, appears superior to dissolute licence. Most excellent is what has been said:-

"In fine, I know not how
To whisper, nor effeminately,
To walk about with my neck awry,
As I see others-lechers there
In numbers in the city, with hair plucked out."

But feminine motions, dissoluteness, and luxury, are to be entirely prohibited. For voluptuousness of motion in walking, "and a mincing gait,"as Anacreon says, are altogether meretricious.

"As seems to me," says the comedy, "it is time to abandon meretricious steps and luxury." And the steps of harlotry lean not to the truth; for they approach not the paths of life. Her tracks are dangerous, and not easily known. The eyes especially are to be sparingly used, since it is better to slip with the feet than with the eyes. Accordingly, the Lord very summarily cures this malady: "If thine eye offend thee, cut it out," He says, dragging lust up from the foundation. But languishing looks, and ogling, which is to wink with the eyes, is nothing else than to commit adultery with the eyes, lust skirmishing through them. For of the whole body, the eyes are first destroyed. "The eye contemplating beautiful objects (kala/), gladdens the heart; "that is, the eye which has learned rightly (kalw=j) to see, gladdens. "Winking with the eye, with guile, heaps woes on men."

Such they introduce the effeminate Sardanapalus, king of the Assyrians, sitting on a couch with his legs up, fumbling at his purple robe, and casting up the whites of his eyes.

Women that follow such practices, by their looks offer themselves for prostitution. "For the light of the body is the eye," says the Scripture, by which the interior illuminated by the shining light appears. Fornication in a woman is in the raising of the eyes.

According to Herodotus, in The Histories, we understand the musical event at Mount Sinai as a musical fertility rituals. "Osiris is he who is called Dionysos in the Greek tongue." This Osiris represented by the bull Apis and the cow-eared woman Hathor was the "golden calf" worshipped with musical "play" at the foot of Mount Sina. Among the Jewish women the dying and resurrecting figure was Tammuz whose mother-wife was Ishtar was worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8) while the males held thier sun-rise service as they turned their back upon the temple. See below and explained further here. Therefore, Dionysus was intimately associated with the Jews from their exodus when they were sentenced to destruction because their musical idolatry replaced the covenant of grace.

When Israel "rose up to play at Mount Sinai" they were singing, dancing, playing instrumental music and, like David who repeated it, stripped naked. They were worshipping Apis or another form of "dionysus." In First Corinthians 10 Paul warned Corinth against the same musical ritual. In Romans 10:5f he warned Rome against "sending across the sea" to get an expert to teach them when they had the Word of God with them and in their hearts. He warned the Ephesians against the worship of Dionysus by demanding that they put away the wineskins (which were the heart of various musical instruments including the familiar spirit) and fill up with the once for all times revealed Word of God.

The Jews were afflicted with Hellenism and therefore lusted for Bacchus or Dionysus to come and be their God. Their lust of course demanded a god whose initiation, like most "gods" and priesthoods, demanded sodomy as the MARK. JUSTIN MARTYR in Baruch notes:

In the Garden of Eden:

27. I Solomon said unto him: "Beelzeboul [Beelzebub], what is thy employment?" And he answered me: "I destroy kings. I ally myself with foreign tyrants. And my own demons I set on to men, in order that the latter may believe in them and be lost.

And the chosen servants of God, priests and faithful men, I excite unto desires for wicked sins, and evil heresies, and lawless deeds; and they obey me, and I bear them on to destruction.

And I inspire men with ENVY, and {desire for} MURDER, and for WARS and SODOMY, and other evil things. And I will destroy the world."

Hippolytus V notes the common view that the the TREE in the garden was NAAS who used the serpent or Nachash as a musical enchanter to seduce Adam and Eve into homosexuality.

Elohim the father, seeing these things, sends forth Baruch, the third angel among his own, to succour the spirit that is in all men. Baruch then coming, stood in the midst of the angels of Edem, that is, in the midst of paradise-for paradise is the angels, in the midst of whom he stood,-and issued to the man the following injunction:

"Of every tree that is in paradise thou mayest freely eat, but thou mayest not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, [Gen. ii. 16, 17. ] which is Naas.
Now the meaning is, that he should obey the rest of the eleven angels of Edem, for the eleven possess passions, but are not guilty of transgression.
Naas, however, has committed sin, for he went in unto Eve, deceiving her, and debauched her; and (such an act as) this is a violation of law.
He, however, likewise went in unto Adam,
and had unnatural intercourse with him; and this is itself also a piece of turpitude, whence have arisen adultery and sodomy.
Finally "in the days of king Herod"

[Luke 1:5], Baruch was sent again by Elohim, and he came to Nazareth [Luke 1:26]

and found Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary, feeding sheep, a boy of twelve years [Luke 2:42], and he told him everything which had taken place from the beginning, from Eden and Elohim and everything which will take place after this. He said,

"All the prophets before you were seduced; but, Jesus, son of man, try not to be seduced but proclaim this message to men and tell them about the Father and about the Good and ascend to the Good and sit there with Elohim, the Father of us all."

And Jesus obeyed the angel; he said, "Lord, I will do all things," and he made the proclamation. Naas wished to seduce him too, but he was not able to do so for Jesus remained faithful to Baruch.

All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Matthew 4:9

Pipto (g4098) pip'-to; a redupl. and contr. form of peto +tx pet'-o (which occurs only as an alt. in cert. tenses); prob. akin to 4072 through the idea of alighting; to fall (lit. or fig.): - fail, fall (down), light on
"...Osiris is the same as Dionysos, and who should know better than you, Clea, since you are at once the leader of the Thyades [female initiates who celebrated on sacred sites the nocturnal orgies of Bacchus] at Delphi and have been consecrated in the Isirian rites by your father and mother?" - Plutarch, Isis and Osiris

"The Ptolemies, Greek successors of Alexander the Great and rulers of Egypt, established the cult of Sarapis, a name which derives from that of Osorapis, a god who combined the attributes of Osiris and the sacred bull god Apis. Apis was supposedly transformed into Osiris after death, thus gaining the kind of divine immortality which was open to the human devotees of Osiris. The cult center of Osorapis was at Memphis in Lower Egypt. The liturgy of the new worship of Sarapis was a combination of Egyptian and Greek, and the popularity of the god grew quite rapidly. By the first century A.D. it became officially recognized in Rome. The ritual was chiefly concerned with the three figures of Osiris (or Sarapis), Isis, and Horus their son, but the dominant member of the triad was the goddess." - Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience of Mankind

The Alexandrian Jew Philo "developed a doctrine of ecstasy or ek-stasis, which means standing outside oneself.' This is the highest form of piety which lies beyond faith. This mysticism unites prophetic ecstasy (prophesying as in Corinth) with 'enthusiasm', a word which comes from en-theos-mania, meaning to possess the divine. From this there comes finally the fully developed mystical system of the Neo-Platonists, for example, of Dionysus the Areopagite. In this mystical system the ecstasy of the individual person leads to a union with the One, with the Absolute, with God." (Tillich, Paul, A History of Christian Thought, Touchstone, p. 13).

When the Israelites made a golden calf at Mount Sinai as they violated the Covenant they had just agreed to obey, they worshipped as they had worshipped Osiris (Dionysus) in Egypt with fertility rituals. The law with all of its rituals such as the Feast of Tabernacles was law based:

"Despite the differences between the Mosaic and the Egyptian cults, it can hardly be denied that Egyptian influence on Jewish musical practices were quite significant. They would stand to reason because of the high quality of egyptian cultic music.

The tambourine or timbrel, a hoop of bells over which a white skin was stretched, came from Egypt. Miriam used this instrument to accompany the singing and dancing on the shores of the Red Sea (Ex. 15).

The trumpet blown for decampment, at the gathering of the people and on different cultic occasions, especially during sacrifices (2 Chron. 30:21; 35:15; Num 10:2), was the signaling instrument of the Egyptian army.

The sistrum, according to 2 Sam 6:5, was used by the Israelites and bor the name mena'aneim. It was the same as the Egyptian kemkem which was employed in the cult of Isis.

The solemnity celebrated on the occasion of the transferring of the Ark to Sion, as well as the dances of the daughters of Israel at the annual feast of the Lord of Shiloh (Judg 21:21), were similar in thier musical embellishments to Egyptian customs in the liturgy and at parades. As Herodotus reports,

women sang the praises of Osiris while likenesses of the gods were born about and, during the festival of Diana at Bubastis,

choirs of men and women sang and danced to the beating of drums and the playing of flutes." (Quasten, Johannes, Music and Worship in Pagan and Christian Antiquity, p. 65)

Most of the Israelites and Jews never abandoned this idolatry of trying to "carry along" or "lift up" their God. The worship of Osiris (Dionysus) at Mount Sinai and the Worship in Israel were identical:

So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings;
Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria" (Amos 6:1). (The complacent do not fully observe God's Law).
and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play (Exod 32:6). (Play includes musical instruments)
Woe to those who sing idle songs to the viol and who improvise upon instruments like David" (Amos 6:1a, 5)
But he said, 'It is not the sound of the cry of triumph, nor is it the sound of the cry of defeat; but the sound of singing I hear (Exod. 32:18)
they drink wine in bowls (and their singing was part of the pagan Marzeach- a feast with and for dead ancestors. See also Isaiah 5)
They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and worshiped it (Exod. 32:8a).
You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves (Amos 5:26)
Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them, that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation (Exod. 32:10)
Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles (Amos 6:7a)
The worship of the Jews was always blended with paganism. For instance, many of the musical instruments and musical terms are derived from Greek. While the clergy tried to control the situation there was always pressure from without and within to turn the festivals ordained by God into entertainment festivals where the "talent" of men and women became the God. Where musical or performing talent is involved in "religion" you have fertility rituals.

"During the fourth century the Jews came under the influence of Greek Rationalism. In 332 BC Alexander of Macedonia defeated Darius III of Persia and the Greeks began to colonize Asia and Africa. The founded city-states in Tyre, Sidon, Gaza, Philadelphis (Amman) and Tripolis and even in Shechem.

The Jews of Palestine and the diaspora were surrounded by a Hellenic culture which some found disturbing,

but others were excited by Greek theater, philosophy, sport and poetry. They learned Greek, exercised at the gymnasium and took Greek names. Some fought as mercinaries in the Greek armies.

"Thus some Greeks came to know the God of Israel and decided to worship Yahweh (Iao) alongside Zeus and Dionysus.

Some were attracted to the synagogue... There they read scriptures, prayed and listened to sermons (explanations).

The synagogue was unlike anything else in the rest of the ancient religous world.

Since there was no ritual or sacrifice, it must have seemed more like a school of philosophy, and many flocked in the synagogue if a well-known Jewish preacher came to town...

"By the second century BC this hostility was entrenched: in Palestine there had even been a revolt when Antiochus Epiphanes, the Selucid governor,

had attempted to Hellenize Jerusalem and introduce the cult of Zeus into the temple....

"In the second century BC Jesus Ben Sira...

made Wisdom (Sophia) stand up in the Divine Council
and sing her praises:
she had come forth from the mouth of the Most High as the Divine Word by which God had created the world...

Wisdom leaving God to wander through the world in search of humanity, it is hard not to be reminded of the pagan goddesses such as Ishtar, Anat and Isis, who had also descended from the divine world in a redemptive.

"When monotheists fell in love with Greek philosophy, they inevitably wanted to try to adapt its God to their own." (Armstrong, Karen, A History of God, p. 67f)

While the Feast of Tabernacles had been turned into a competitive "performance" display of fertility rituals, the pure tone of the silver trumpets or the ram's horn "gave a clear signal" (1 Cor 14) so that people would understand life-threatening events. Always under a Hellenistic or similar influence, the trumpet (reserved for the clergy) was not permitted to be polluted or pierced to alter the tone:

"The Shofar is the ritual instrument of the ancient and modern Hebrews, the only Hebrew cultural instrument to have survived until now. Of martial origin, the shofar was a priestly instrument in Biblical times. According to the Mishna, two different forms of shofar were used in the Temple: one made of ibex horn, its bell ornamented with gold, was sounded at New Year and during the Yovel Days; one made of ram's horn, with silver ornamentation, was sounded on fast days. We learn from the Mishna and the Talmud that

in the Hellenistic period no improvements or modifications that might affect the tone were permitted: no gold-plating of its interior, no plugging of holes, no alteration of its length (the minimum permissible length of a ritually approved horn was 3 handbreadths); the shofar tone was to be preserved unaltered. See Photos HERE.

The Wisdom of Solomon shows the conflict between the Jewish clergy and the growing popularity of Greek religion (50 BC). Sophia and her daughter, ZOE, were the dominant powers who took the male, who attempted to rule over God, and taught him how to organize musical worship teams. This is probably derived from the common belief that Satan taught mankind how to play musical instruments and organize mixed choirs to excite people and move them away from the Word.

Within the Greek world, which had gone to Babylon in the person of Pythagoras and others to learn mathematics and religion, Jesus was replaced as the Mediator by Sophia and ZOE who used the fallen Satan figure to control the world with musical worship teams.

As a result of the Jews association with Tammuz - Ishtar in Ur, to the Jews planting shrubs around the tomb of Jesus long after His death and treating Him as Adonis (Tammuz) they were always under the influence of the key "gods" which under different names were similar in Babylonia, Greece, Rome, Egypt and Cannan.

By the time of Christ, the Feast of Tabernacles had been turned into a fertility ritual much like that practiced in Egypt, at Mount Sinai and even in Jerusalem.

The unbelieving brothers of Jesus wanted Him to go up to the opening ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernacles.  They understood that He had magical powers which would set Him aside from the other performers.  This would get Him crowned "hero of the festival" and He could become a "man of note" and perhaps get on the lecture circuit.

Jesus refused to go up with them but went up secretly.  He knew, with Job, Amos Isaiah and Ezekiel, that the musical performance meant that the Jews were not interested in listening even to God Incarnate.  He knew that as they listened to Him the "men of note" were looking for a pagan-like king to to crown as king for one hour with the beast so that he could be ritually murdered in their ancient fertility cult.

This "game or play worship" is not unexpected because the fertility cult among the Jews crops up throughout the Old Testament. For instance, in describing the Marzeah festival practiced in Israel and condemned by Amos, Karen Armstrong wrote:

"Not surprisingly, most Israelites declined the prophet's invitation to enter into a dialog with Yahweh.  They preferred a less demanding religion of cultic observance either in the Jerusalem Temple or in the old fertility cults of Canaan.  This continues to  be the case: the religion of compassion is followed only by a minority; most religious people are content with decorous worship in synagogue, church, temple and mosque.

"The ancient Canaanite religions were still flourishing in Israel... the Israelites were still taking part in fertility rites and sacred sex there, as we see in the oracles of the prophet Hosea, Amos' contemporary.  (Armstrong, Karen, A History of God, p. 47).

The First Century Feast of Tabernacles:
"As at the Passover and at Pentecost, the altar of burnt-offering was cleansed during the first night-watch, and the gates of the Temple were thrown open immediately after midnight. The time till the beginning of the ordinary morning sacrifice was occupied in examining the various sacrifices and offerings that were to be brought during the day.

While the morning sacrifice was being prepared, a priest, accompanied by a joyous procession with music, went down to the Pool of Siloam, whence he drew water into a golden pitcher, capable of holding three log (rather more than two pints). But on the Sabbaths they fetched the water from a golden vessel in the Temple itself, into which it had been carried from Siloam on the preceding day.

As soon as the wine and the water were being poured out, the Temple music began, and the 'Hallel' (Psa 113-118) was sung in the manner previously prescribed,

and to the accompaniment of flutes,
except on the Sabbath and on the first day of the feast, when flute-playing was not allowed, on account of the sanctity of the days.

When the choir came to these words (Psa 118:1), 'O give thanks to the Lord,' and again when they sang (Psa 118:25), 'O work then now salvation, Jehovah'; and once more at the close (Psa 118:29), 'O give thanks unto the Lord,' all the worshipers shook their lulavs towards the altar. When, therefore, the multitudes from Jerusalem, on meeting Jesus, 'cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way, and...cried,

saying, O then, work now salvation to the Son of David'! (Matt 21:8,9; John 12:12,13)
they applied, in reference to Christ, what was regarded as one of the
chief ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernacles,

praying that God would now from 'the highest' heavens manifest and send that salvation in connection with the Son of David, which was symbolized by the pouring out of water.

For though that ceremony was considered by the Rabbis as bearing a subordinate reference to the dispensation of the rain, the annual fall of which they imagined was determined by God at that feast, its main and real application was to the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as predicted--probably in allusion to this very rite--by Isaiah the prophet (Isa 12:3). Alfred Edersheim, Chapter 14

The Feast of Tabernacles is defined in terms quite similar to the modern Jubilee 99 religious festival. The symbols make it certain that they were involved in fertility rituals.

The Musical Feast of Tabernacles in the Court of the Women
"At the close of the first day of the feast the worshipers descended to the Court of the Women, where great preparations had been made.

Four golden candelabras were there, each with four golden bowls, and against them rested four ladders; and four youths of priestly descent held, each a pitcher of oil, capable of holding one hundred and twenty log, from which they filled each bowl. The old, worn breeches and girdles of the priests served for wicks to these lamps.

There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not lit up by the light of 'the house of water-pouring.'

The 'Chassidim' and 'the men of Deed' danced before the people with flaming torches in their hands, and sang before them hymns and songs of praise;

[Note: The Instruments of David] and the Levites, with harps, and lutes, and cymbals, and trumpets, and instruments of music without number,

stood upon the fifteen steps which led down from the Court of Israel to that of the Women, according to the number of the fifteen Songs of Degrees in the Book of Psalms.

They stood with their instruments of music, and sang hymns.

[The trumpets commanded by God] Two priests, with trumpets in their hands, were at the upper gate (that of Nicanor), which led from the Court of Israel to that of the Women. At cock-crowing they drew a threefold blast. As they reached the tenth step, they drew another threefold blast; as they entered the court itself, they drew yet another threefold blast;

and so they blew as they advanced, till they reached the gate which opens upon the east (the Beautiful Gate).

As they came to the eastern gate, they turned round towards the west (to face the Holy Place), and said:

'Our fathers who were in this place, they turned their back upon the Sanctuary of Jehovah, and their faces toward the east, and they worshipped towards the rising sun;

but as for us, our eyes are towards the Lord.'

For Lamenting for Tammuz to define the "worship of the fathers" CLICK HERE.

The First Century Feast of Tabernacles Perverted
The Catholic Encyclopedia notes of the Feast of Tabernacles:

"After the Exile, the feast was protracted to the twenty-fifth of the month, and two new rites were added to the old ceremonial.

Every morning of the celebration a priest went down to the Siloe Fountain, whence he brought in a golden ewer of water which was pored on the alter of holocausts

amidst the singing of the Hallel (Pss, cxii-cxvii) and the joyful sound of musical instruments.

It was possibly the performance of this ceremony (the institution of which may have been suggested by Is., xii, 3) which afforded to Our Lord the occasion to compare the action of the Holy Ghost in the faithful to a spring of living water (John, vii, 37-39).

"The other new feature added to the ritual of the feast was the illumination of the women's court, together with the singing of the Psalms of the Degrees (Pss. cxix-cxxxiii) and the performance of dances or processions in the sacred precincts. On the eighth day a procession went seven times around the alter, the people carrying myrtle-boughs and palms and shouting: "Hosannah!" in memory of the fall of Jericho.

"The archetypes of performance constituted the usual temple ritual. Yet there was one annual event which served as pretext for all kinds of extravagances in music and dance. Again we must, to a certain extent, rely upon the Talmudic description, which however, in this case is confirmed by passages of early rabbinic literature and extensive descriptions by Josephus."

"This, the merriest of all the festivals, was the 'Feast of Drawing water.' It was the most joyous and the most musical of the temple's festivities. Its description in the Mishna text opens with the significant words: 'Whosoever has not seen the joy of the House of Water-drawing has never seen real joy in his life' (M. Suk. 5.1). After the preparations, which occupied the entire afternoon of the first day of Tabernacles, the 'men of good deeds' began to dance before the people in the temple court with burning torches. The Levites having stationed themselves upon the fifteen steps leading from the women's court to the Inner Court, took up their harps, lyres, cymbals, trumpets, pipes, flutes, clarinet, etc., all instruments greatly augmented in number, and intoned the fifteen 'Songs of Ascent.' Thus, the night passed in dancing, singing, and general merrymaking. At the sound of the first cockcrow, the priests intoned the triple blast upon their ritual trumpets. These signals ended the general frolicking, and the crowd ranged itself into an orderly procession to the well of Siloah. (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 463, Abingdon).

"water drawing festival, was celebrated during the week of Tabernacles with popular games and dances in which even the elders took part, and the streets were so brilliantly illuminated with torches that scarcely an eye was closed in Jerusalem during the week." (Int. Std. Bible Ency., p. 1104)

"Today, this music and dance festival is understood as the one remnant of the old Canaanite fertility rituals, which, in the monotheistic pseudomorphosis of the temple ceremonies, was to ensure an abundant crop of plants, animals, and even human beings."

"This was perhaps the only occasion where popular music-making was allowed to mix with the otherwise sternly guarded prerogative of Levitical music.

Consequently, secular, superstitious, even popular licentious elements were here introduced in the performance of the temple's liturgical music." (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 460, Abingdon).

The right-side up world of Paul is shown by William Barclay who explained what it meant to reject the Word and seek knowledge or gnosis from a direct operation of the spirit in the music and wine induced charismatic rituals.  He informs us that in many nations a perverted Feast of Tabernacles-like fertility rituals took place:

"They made their voices sweet with musical cadences and modulations of tone and echoed resonances. They thought not of what they were saying, but of how they were saying it.

Their thought might be poisonous so long as it was enveloped in honeyed words.; Philostratus tells us that Adrian, the sophist, had such a reputation in Rome, that when his messenger appeared with a notice that he was to lecture, the senate emptied and even the people at the games abandoned them to flock to hear him.

"You might hear many poor wretches of sophists, shouting and abusing each other, and their disciples, as they call them, squabbling; and many writers of books reading their stupid compositions, and many poets singing their poems, and many jugglers (buffoons) exhibiting their marvels, and many soothsayers giving the meaning of prodigies, and then a thousand rhetoricians twisting lawsuits, and no small number of traders driving their several trades. (William Barclay)

"The Greeks were intoxicated with fine words; and to them the Christian preacher with his blunt message seemed a crude and uncultured figure, to be laughed at and ridiculed rather than to be listened to and respected. (Barclay, William, First Corinthians, p. 19-20)

"Perhaps professor would be a rough modern equivalent to Sophist.  It has a similar range from Professors of Greek to Professors of Phrenology and

although some Professors research, all teach, and all are paid which was a great reproach to the Sophists. 

Some of them were serious philosophers, educators or scholars; others only cheap-jacks, who professed to teach only the sublime art of getting on.  Did you want to improve your memory: Did you want to be a 1,000-a-year man?  Some Sophist would teach you--for a fee.  Sophists went from city to city, lecturing on their particular subject,

some indeed undertaking to lecture on any subject, but always for a fee. (Kitto, The Greeks, p. 168).

The Feast of Tabernacles was looking for their Messiah when He was in their midst. He refused to participate in the opening fertility rituals because He knew that He could not teach with all of the noise and that the clergy would be looking for Him to murder Him.

Kenneth Sublett

Musical Worship Index

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