An Introduction to Jewish Feasts in Biblical Worship

A feast is a sign of the divine in history. Israel celebrated three kinds of feasts: pilgrimage feasts, solemn or repentance feasts, and lesser feasts not mandated by the Torah. All of these commemorated God’s action in the life and history of the community.

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Features of Davidic Worship

During the period of the tabernacle of David, regular psalmic worship was offered at the tent on Zion that housed the ark of the covenant. (The Mosaic sanctuary with its sacrifices remained at Gibeon.) There are no biblical rubrics for this worship, as there are for the sacrificial cult. The structure of the Zion festivals and the worshiper’s acts must be inferred from the relevant Psalms and historical accounts, such as 1 Chronicles 16. These materials reflect a festival celebrating the Lord’s ascension as King and the renewal of the covenant.

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