The feast of unleavened bread to be kept seven days, &c. All firstlings to be the Lord's.
The suggestion has been made by Wellhausen and Robertson Smith that the Passover was, in its original form, connected with the sacrifice of the firstlings, and the latter points to the Arabic annual sacrifices called Atair, which some of the lexicographers interpret as firstlings.
But the real Arabic sacrifice of firstlings was called Fara`; it might be sacrificed at any time, as was also the case with the Hebrews (Exod.
The suggestion of Wellhausen and Robertson Smith confuses the offering of firstlings (Arabic Fara') and that of the first yeanlings of the year in the spring (Arabic Atair).
In Egypt the Israelites, as a pastoral people, sacrificed the firstlings of their flocks in the spring, and, according to tradition, it was a refusal to permit a general gathering for this purpose that caused the Exodus.
At the time of the reformation under Josiah, represented by Deuteronomy, the attempt was made to turn the family thank-offering of firstlings into a sacrificial rite performed by the priests in the Temple with the aid of the males of each household, who had to come up to Jerusalem but left the next morning to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in their homes.
From Meroe to Memphis the commonest subject carved or painted in the interiors of the temples is that of some contemporary Phrah or Pharaoh worshipping the presiding deity with oblations of gold and silver vessels, rich vestments, gems, the firstlings of the flock and herd, cakes, fruits, flowers, wine, anointing oil and incense.
Thus the firstlings, first-fruits and vows are still the free gift of the individual which no human authority exacts, and which every householder presents and consumes with his circle in a sacrificial feast without priestly aid.
They prohibit (1) the worship of other gods, (2) the making of molten images; they ordain (3) the observance of the feast of unleavened bread, (4) the feast of weeks, (5) the feast of ingathering at the end of the year, and (6) the seventhday rest; to Yahweh belong (7) the firstlings, and (8) the firstfruits of the land; they forbid also (9) the offering of the blood of sacrifice with leaven, (io) the leaving-over of the fat of a feast until the morning, and (r1) the seething of a kid in its mother's milk.
29), (c) firstlings of animals (xxii.
(4) Bekoroth (" first-born "), on firstlings (Ex.
26-29 (on firstlings and devoted things) are supplementary restrictions to vv.