Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Navigation

Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access

Collections

1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room
RSS Feeds RSS

Curricula

Apologetics
Art
Catechetics
Christology
Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Education
Ethics
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Patrology
Philosophy
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture
Science

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Preface
Contributors
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Articles:11,552
Images:42,348
Links:183,872
Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Pentateuch Pentateuch Diocese of Peoria next: Diocese of Peoria

Feast of Pentecost

The second in importance of the great Jewish feasts

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Feast of Pentecost:
———————————

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!


————
* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Pentecost (OF THE JEWS), FEAST OF, the second in importance of the great Jewish feasts. The term, adopted from the Greek-speaking Jews (Tob., ii, 1; II Mac., xii, 32; Joseph., "Ant.", III, x, 6; etc.) alludes to the fact that the feast, known in the Old Testament as "the feast of harvest of the firstfruits" (Exod., xxiii, 16), "the feast of weeks" (Exod., xxxiv, 22 Deut., xvi, 10; II Par., viii, 13), the "day of firstfruits'; (Num., xxviii, 26), and called by later Jews 'asereth or asartha (solemn assembly, and probably "closing festival", Pentecost being the closing festival of the harvest and of the Paschal season), fell on the fiftieth day from "the next day after the sabbath" of the Passover (Lev., xxiii, 11). The interpretation of this passage was early disputed and at the time of Jesus Christ two opinions touching the exact day of the feast were held. Most doctors (and the bulk of the people) understood (on the force of Lev., xxiii, 7) the sabbath spoken of in verse 11 to be the first day of the unleavened bread, Nisan 15; whereas the Sadducees (later also the Karaites) held that the weekly sabbath falling during the Passover festivities was meant (Talmud, Treat. Menach., x, 1-3; Chagiga, ii, 4). Which opinion is more in accordance with the natural meaning of the passage, we shall leave undecided; the dissent is long since over, all Jews celebrating the Pentecost on the fiftieth day after Nisan 16. As the offering of a sheaf of barley marked the beginning of the harvest season, so the offering of loaves made from the new wheat marked its completion. This is no proof that Pentecost was originally a mere nature-festival; but it shows that the Mosaic legislation had in view an agricultural population, to whose special needs and disposition it was perfectly adapted. Since the close of Biblical times, an entirely new significance, never so much as hinted at in Scripture, has been attached by the Jews to the feast: the Pentecost is held to commemorate the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, which, according to Exod., xix, 1, took place on the fiftieth day after the departure from Egypt. This view, admitted by several Fathers of the Church (St. Jer., "Epist.", lxxviii, 12, P.L., XXII, 707; St. August., "Cont. Faust", xxxii, 12, P.L., XLII, 503; St. Leo, "De Pent. Serm.," I, P.L., LIV, 400), has passed into some modern Jewish liturgical books, where the feast is described as "the day of the giving of the Law" (Maimon. More Neb., iii, 41).

In accordance with this interpretation, modern Jews pass the eve in reading the Law and other appropriate Scriptures. Among them the feast lasts two days, a tradition dating from the difficulty which the Jews of the Diaspora found in ascertaining exactly what day the month begins in Palestine (Talmud, Treat. Pesach., lii; Rosh hashsh., v, 1). On the day of Pentecost no servile work was allowed (Lev., xxiii, 21). The oblation consisted of two loaves of leavened bread made from two-tenths of an ephah (about seven quarts and a fifth) of flour from the new wheat (Lev., xxiii, 17; Exod., xxxiv, 22). The leavened bread could not be placed on the altar (Lev., ii, 11), and was merely waved (D. V., "lifted"; see Offerings); one loaf was given to the High Priest, the other was divided among the priests who ate it within the sacred precincts. Two yearling lambs were also offered as a peace-offering, and a buck-goat for sin, together with a holocaust of seven lambs without blemish, one calf, and two rams (Lev., xxiii, 18-19). According to Num., xxviii, 26-31, the number of victims to be offered in holocaust on that day differs from the above. The Jews of later times regarded the two enactments as supplementary (Jos., "Ant.", III, X, 6; Talmud, Treat. Menach., iv, 2, 5). The feast was an occasion for social and joyful gatherings (Deut., xvi, 11) and we may infer from the New Testament that it was, like the Passover, attended at Jerusalem by a great homecoming of the Jews from all parts of the world (Act., ii, 5-11).

CHARLES L. SOUVAY


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Feast of Pentecost'











prev: Pentateuch Pentateuch Diocese of Peoria next: Diocese of Peoria

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field
Severity:

Featured

Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A


Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"Guilty."
-- John Southworth, Venerable, priest, English martyr; tried at the Old Bailey, his response to the accusation of being a Catholic priest, whereupon he was condemned to death and sent to the gallows at Tyburn

Donations

Latest OCE Discussion



Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2014, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013