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BIBLICAL


BIBLICAL


to have been its originators, although among the Hebrews it developed on altogether different lines. It was celebrated on the 7th, 14th. 21.st . and 2Sth day of the lunar month. It is doubtful whether it was known and observed in patriarchal and pre-Mosaic times. Moses, in instituting — or rather in modi- fying — the old institution of the Sabbath, connects it with the seventh day of the Creation period, on which God is said to have rested. By the ancient Babylonians it was looked upon as an unlucky day, on which it was unlucky to do any public work, and consequently was a day of rest.

The .\'ew Moon Festival consisted in celebrating the reappearance of the moon, and as such it was universally practised by all Semitic nations. Hence, in all probability, it was an acknowledged pre-Mosaic Hebrew institution. On this day the law enjoined only the offering of special sacrifices and the blowing of trumpets. Abstinence from work was not oblig- atorj-. On the day of the new moon of the seventh month the festival in question was more solemnly and more elaborately celebrated. After the Babylon- ian exile, however, the festival assumed a new char- acter, similar to that of the New Year Celebration.

The Feast of Trunijjets is the New Moon Festival of the seventh, or Sabbatical, month of the year.

The Sabhalical Year occurred every seventh year, and in it fields were not to be tilled.

The Year of Jubilee occurred every fifty years, i. e. at the end of seven Sabbatic years, just as Pentecost occiu-red on the fiftieth day after the Passover Festival. Its principal features were the emancipa- tion of the Hebrew slaves and the return of mort- gaged property to its hereditary owners.

The great Hebrew Fast Festival was the "Day of Atonement", or Yom Kippur. It was celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month, on which day atoning sacrifices were offered for the sins and uncleannesses of the people of Israel as a whole, and for the piu-ification of the temple in all its parts and appurtenances. It is significant that the earliest mention of it in the Bible occurs in such post-Exilic writings as Zech. (D. V. Zach.) , iii, 9; Nehemiah, vii, 73; ix, 38; and Sirach, 1, 5 sqq. A ceremony connected with the Day of Atonement is the so- called For Azazel. It consisted in sending into the wilderness the remaining goat (the "emissarj' goat"), the sins of the people of Israel having first been placed symbolically upon its head.

Treatises on Biblical Archwology by J.vhn (Vienna, 1817); Rose.smCi.ler (Leipzig. 1823-31); De Wette (Leipzig, 1864): Ew.^LD (Gottingen. 1866); H.4_seberg (Munich. 1869); Ros- KEFF (Vienna. 1857); Kixzler (Stuttgart. 1884); Schegg (Freiburg, 1886). For English readers the best and most available works are Keil, Manual of Biblical Archirotogy (tr., 2 vols.. Edinburgh. 1887); Bissell, Biblical Antiguities (Philadelphia. 1888): Fenton. Early Hebrew Life (London, 1880); D.^y. The SockU Life of the Hebrews in the Semitic Series (New York. 1901); THn.MBULL. The Blood Covenant: Id.. The Threshold Covenant: Id.. The Salt Covenant: various articles in SMrrH. Dictionary of the Bible: Kitto. Biblical Cyclopedia: ViGOCROCx, Diet, de la Bible; HvisTrNGS. Diet, of the Bible: and Jewish Encyclopedia. The m05t recent and authoritative works on the subject, however, are Ben'ZIGER, Hebrdische .irchaologie (Freiburg im Br., 1894); Now.vck, Lehrbiuch dcr hebrdischen Archaologie (Freiburg im Br.. 1894); BcHl,, Die socialen Verhdllnisse der Israeliten (Berlin, 1899), tr. into French by Cintre (Paris, 1904); Levy, La famille dans I'anti- quite Israelite (Paris, 1905). Of great value, especially for later Old Testament times, are also the classical works of Schi-rer, Geschichte des judischen Volkes im Zeitaiter Jesu Christi (3 vols., 1898-1901), tr. from the 2nd ed. (5 vols.. London and New York); Edersheim, The Riles and Worships of the Jews (New York, 1891): Id., The Temple, its Ministry and Seriice (London, 1874); Id.. Life and Time.^ of Jesus the Messiah (London and New York). GaBRIEL OrsSANI.

Biblical Cominission, The, a committee of cardi- nals at Rome who, with the assistance of consultors, have to .secure the observance of the prescriptions contained in the Encyclical Provident issimus Deus" for the proper interpretation and defence of Saored Scripture. Its official name is "Commissio Pontificia de re biblica". It was formally established by the


Apostolic letter of Leo XIII, "Vigilantiae", 30 Octo- ber, 1902.

Constitution. — The Commission was first appointed in August, 1901, with three cardinal members and twelve consultors. After the formal establisliment two cardinals and twenty-eight consultors from vari- ous parts of the world w-ere added to the first list. There is no limitation to the nimiber of consultors. In June, 1907, the Commission was made up of five cardinals, RampoUa, SatoUi, Merry del Val, Segna. and Vives y Tuto. The consultors were forty-three: Amelli, O.S.B. (Rome), Balestri, O.S.A. (Rome),Bar- denhew-er (Mimich), Cereseto, Cong. Orat. (Genoa). Ceriani (Milan), Chauvin (Laval), Comely, S.J. (Rome), Delattre, S.J. (Tronchiennes), Diisterwald (Cologne), Esser, O.P. (Rome), Fillion, P.S.S. (Paris), Fleming, O.F.M. (England), Fracassini (Perugia), Genocchi, M.S.C. (Rome), Gismondi, S.J. (Rome), Gonfalonieri (Florence), Grannan C^Vashington), Gutberlet (Fulda), Hoberg (Freiburg im Br.), Hopfl (Rome), \an Hoonacker (Louvain), von Hum- inelauer, S.J. (Valkenburg), Janssens, O.S.B., Second Secretary (Komel, Torio (Palencia), Kaulen (Bonn), Lagrange, O.P. (Jerusalem), Lamy (Louvain), Legendre (.\ngers), Lepicier, S.M. (Rome), Lepidi, O.P. (Rome), Lesetre (Paris), Mansenot (Paris), M^chineau, S.J. (Rome), Mercati (Rome), Molini, O.F.M. (Rome), Xikel (Breslau), Poels (Washington), Prat, S.J. (Rome), B. Schaefer (Vienna), Scheil, O.P. (Paris), Talamo (Rome), Vigourou.x, P.S.S., First Secretary (Rome), and Weiss (Braimsberg).

Method of Procedure. — The Commission is con- stituted on the lines of an ordinarj' Roman Congrega- tion. The consultors in Rome hold meetings twice a month, at which the secretaries preside. The re- sults of their deliberations are presented by the secretaries to the cardinals, who also meet twice a month, on the second and fourth Sund;iys. It be- longs to the cardinals to propose the questions for the study of the Commission and they alone have a vote in determining the answers. They may sanction or modify the judgments of the consultors, or send back the entire question for further study, or may commission one or other consultor to make a special report. After the meeting, the secretaries report to the Holy Father, who may ratify the decision or remand the question for further consideration. Papers sent by consultors who live at a distance from Rome are read at the meetings of the consultors, when relevant to the subject imder discussion,

Scoj>e of the Commission. — It is the duty of the Commission: (1) to protect and defend the integrity of the Catholic Faith in Biblical matters; (2) to further the progress of exposition of the Sacred Books, taking account of all recent discoveries; (3) to decide controversies on grave questions which may arise among Catholic scholars; (4) to give answers to Catholics throughout the world who may consult the Commission; (.5) to see that the Vatican Librarj' is properly furnished with codices and necessary books; (6) to publish studies on Scripture as occasion may demand. It was the wish of Leo XIII that ;. periodical bulletin of Biblical studies should be pub- lished at Rome, and a special Institute for higher Biblical studies established. Lack of funds has made such an establishment impossible for the present, but the idea has not been abandoned. To the Commission has been entrusted the awarding of an annual prize, founded by Lord Hraye, for the best essay on a Biblical topic. In ,\pril, 1907, the Commission, with the approval of the sovereign pontiff, invited the Benedictine Order to undertake a collection of the variant readings of the Latin Vulgate as a remote preparation for a thoroughly amended edition.

Degrees in Sacred Scripture. — On 23 February, 1904, Pius X empowered the Commi.ssion to confer the degrees of Licentiate and Doctor in the faculty of