Feast As a mark of hospitality (Gen 19:3; Sa2 3:20; Kg2 6:23); on occasions of domestic joy (Luk 15:23; Gen 21:8); on birthdays (Gen 40:20; Job 1:4; Mat 14:6); and on the occasion of a marriage (Jdg 14:10; Gen 29:22). Feasting was a part of the observances connected with the offering up of sacrifices (Deu 12:6, Deu 12:7; Sa1 9:19; Sa1 16:3, Sa1 16:5), and with the annual festivals (Deu 16:11). "It was one of the designs of the greater solemnities, which required the attendance of the people at the sacred tent, that the oneness of the nation might be maintained and cemented together, by stately congregating in one place, and with one soul taking part in the same religious services. But that oneness was primarily and chiefly a religious and not merely a political one; the people were not merely to meet as among themselves, but with Jehovah, and to present themselves before him as one body; the meeting was in its own nature a binding of themselves in fellowship with Jehovah; so that it was not politics and commerce that had here to do, but the soul of the Mosaic dispensation, the foundation of the religious and political existence of Israel, the covenant with Jehovah. To keep the people's consciousness alive to this, to revive, strengthen, and perpetuate it, nothing could be so well adapted as these annual feasts." (See FESTIVALS.)
Felix Happy, the Roman Procurator of Judea before whom Paul "reasoned" (Act 24:25). He appears to have expected a bribe from Paul, and therefore had several interviews with him. The "worthy deeds" referred to in Act 24:2 was his clearing the country of bandits and impostors. At the end of a two years' term, Porcius Festus was appointed in the room of Felix (A.D. 60), who proceeded to Rome, and was there accused of cruelty and malversation of office by the Jews of Caesarea. The accusation was rendered nugatory by the influence of his brother Pallas with Nero. (See Josephus, Ant. xx. 8, 9.) Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa, having been induced by Felix to desert her husband, the king of Emesa, became his adulterous companion. She was seated beside him when Paul "reasoned" before the judge. When Felix gave place to Festus, being "willing to do the Jews a pleasure," he left Paul bound.
Fellowship (1.) With God, consisting in the knowledge of his will (Job 22:21; Joh 17:3); agreement with his designs (Amo 3:2); mutual affection (Rom 8:38, Rom 8:39); enjoyment of his presence (Psa 4:6); conformity to his image (Jo1 2:6; Jo1 1:6); and participation of his felicity (Jo1 1:3, Jo1 1:4; Eph 3:14). (2.) Of saints with one another, in duties (Rom 12:5; Co1 12:1; Th1 5:17, Th1 5:18); in ordinances (Heb 10:25; Act 2:46); in grace, love, joy, etc. (Mal 3:16; Co2 8:4); mutual interest, spiritual and temporal (Rom 12:4, Rom 12:13; Heb 13:16); in sufferings (Rom 15:1, Rom 15:2; Gal 6:1, Gal 6:2; Rom 12:15; and in glory (Rev 7:9).
Fence (Heb. gader ), Num 22:24 (R.V.). Fences were constructions of un-mortared stones, to protect gardens, vineyards, sheepfolds, etc. From various causes they were apt to bulge out and fall (Psa 62:3). In Psa 80:12, R.V. (see Isa 5:5), the psalmist says, "Why hast thou broken down her fences?" Serpents delight to lurk in the crevices of such fences (Ecc 10:8; compare Amo 5:19).
Fenced Cities There were in Palestine (1.) cities, (2.) unwalled villages, and (3.) villages with castles or towers (Ch1 27:25). Cities, so called, had walls, and were thus fenced. The fortifications consisted of one or two walls, on which were towers or parapets at regular intervals (Ch2 32:5; Jer 31:38). Around ancient Jerusalem were three walls, on one of which were ninety towers, on the second fourteen, and on the third sixty. The tower of Hananeel, near the north-east corner of the city wall, is frequently referred to (Neh 3:1; Neh 12:39; Zac 14:10). The gateways of such cities were also fortified (Neh 2:8; Neh 3:3, Neh 3:6; Jdg 16:2, Jdg 16:3; Sa1 23:7). The Hebrews found many fenced cities when they entered the Promised Land (Num 13:28; Num 32:17, Num 32:34; Jos 11:12, Jos 11:13; Jdg 1:27), and we may estimate the strength of some of these cities from the fact that they were long held in possession by the Canaanites. The Jebusites, e.g., were enabled to hold possession of Jerusalem till the time of David (Sa2 5:6, Sa2 5:7; Ch1 11:5). Several of the kings of Israel and Judah distinguished themselves as fortifiers or "builders" of cities.
Ferret Lev 11:30 (R.V., "gecko"), one of the unclean creeping things. It was perhaps the Lacerta gecko which was intended by the Hebrew word (anakah, a cry, "mourning," the creature which groans) here used, i.e., the "fan-footed" lizard, the gecko which makes a mournful wail. The LXX. translate it by a word meaning "shrew-mouse," of which there are three species in Palestine. The Rabbinical writers regard it as the hedgehog. The translation of the Revised Version is to be preferred.
Ferry Boat (Sa2 19:18), some kind of boat for crossing the river which the men of Judah placed at the service of the king. Floats or rafts for this purpose were in use from remote times (Isa 18:2).
Festivals, Religious There were daily (Lev. 23), weekly, monthly, and yearly festivals, and great stress was laid on the regular observance of them in every particular (Num 28:1; Exo 29:38; Lev. 6:8-23; Exo 30:7; Exo 27:20). (1.) The septenary festivals were, (a) The weekly Sabbath (Lev 23:1; Ex. 19:3 - 30; Exo 20:8; Exo 31:12, etc.). (b) The seventh new moon, or the feast of Trumpets (Num 28:11; Num 29:1). (c) The Sabbatical year (Exo 23:10, Exo 23:11; Lev 25:2). (d) The year of jubilee (Lev 23:35; Lev 25:8; Lev 27:16). (2.) The great feasts were, (a.) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c.) The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering. On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded "to appear before the Lord" (Deu 27:7; Neh 8:9). The attendance of women was voluntary. (Compare Luk 2:41; Sa1 1:7; Sa1 2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Exo 34:23, Exo 34:24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of Tabernacles, A.D. 66." These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered in. (3.) The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev 16:1, Lev 16:34; Lev 23:26; Num 29:7). (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF.) Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast of Dedication (Joh 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of Purim" (q.v.), Est 9:24, was also instituted after the Exile. (Cf. Joh 5:1.)
Festus, Porcius The successor of Felix (A.D. 60) as Procurator of Judea (Act 24:27). A few weeks after he had entered on his office the case of Paul, then a prisoner at Caesarea, was reported to him. The "next day," after he had gone down to Caesarea, he heard Paul defend himself in the presence of Herod Agrippa II. and his sister Bernice, and not finding in him anything worthy of death or of bonds, would have set him free had he not appealed unto Caesar (Act 25:11, Act 25:12). In consequence of this appeal Paul was sent to Rome. Festus, after being in office less than two years, died in Judea. (See AGRIPPA.)
Fever (Deu 28:22; Mat 8:14; Mar 1:30; Joh 4:52; Act 28:8), a burning heat, as the word so rendered denotes, which attends all febrile attacks. In all Eastern countries such diseases are very common. Peter's wife's mother is said to have suffered from a "great fever" (Luk 4:38), an instance of Luke's professional exactitude in describing disease. He adopts here the technical medical distinction, as in those times fevers were divided into the "great" and the "less."