Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. The pipes [were played sometimes on] five [days], and [sometimes on] six days. This means, the pipes [music] played on during the water-drawing, which does not supersede either the Sabbath or the festival. They [the sages] said, "He who has not witnessed the rejoicings at the water-drawing, has, throughout the whole of his life, witnessed no [real] rejoicing."
§ 2. At the expiration of the first holy day of the festival they descended into the women's court, where great preparations were made 1 [for the rejoicing]. Four golden candelabras were [placed] there, with four golden basins to each; and four ladders [were put] to each candelabra, [on which ladders stood] four lads from the rising youth of the priesthood, holding jars of oil, containing 120 lugs, with which they replenished [fed] the basins.
§ 3. The cast-off breeches and belts of the priests were torn into shreds for wicks, which they lighted. There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not illuminated by the lights of the water-drawing.
§ 4. Pious and distinguished men danced before the people with lighted flambeaux in their hands, and sang hymns and lauds before them;, and the Levites accompanied them with harps, psalteries, cymbals, and numberless musical instruments. On the fifteen steps which led into the women's court, corresponding with the fifteen
songs of degrees, 2 stood the Levites, with their musical instruments and sang. At the upper gate, which leads down from the court of the Israelites to the court of the women, stood two priests, with trumpets in their hands. When the cock [first] crowed they blew a blast, a long note and a blast. 3 This they repeated when they reached the tenth step, and again [the third time] when they got into the court. They went on, blowing [their trumpets] as they went, until they reached the gate that leads out to the east. When they reached the gate that leads out to the east, they turned westward [with their faces towards the Temple], and said, "Our ancestors, who were in this place, turned their backs on the Temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east; for they worshipped the Sun towards the east: 4 but we lift our eyes to God." R. Jehudah saith, they repeated again and again, "We belong to God, and raise our eyes to God."
§ 5. In the Temple they never blew the trumpet less than twenty-one times a-day, nor oftener than forty-eight times, They daily blew the trumpet twenty-one times:—thrice at opening the gates, nine times at the continual [burnt-offering] of the morning, and nine times at the continual [burnt-offering] in the evening. When additional offerings [מוםפין] were brought, they blew nine times more. On the eve of the Sabbath, they blew six times more:—thrice to interdict the people from [doing] work, and thrice to separate the holy day from the work day. But on the eve of the Sabbath, during the festival [of succoth], they blew forty-eight times:—thrice at the opening of the gates, thrice at the upper gate, thrice at the lower gate, thrice at the water-drawing, thrice over the altar, nine times at the continual [burnt-offering] of the morning, nine times at the continual [burnt-offering] in the evening, nine times at the additional offerings, thrice to interdict the people from [doing] work, and thrice to separate the holy day from the work day.
§ 6. On the first holy day of the festival there were thirteen bullocks, two rams, and one goat [to be offered]; there then remained fourteen lambs for eight orders of priests. 5 On the first day of the
festival six [of these orders] offered two lambs each, and the other [two orders] one lamb each. On the second [day] five [of the orders] offered two lambs each, and the remaining [four orders] one lamb each. On the third [day] four [orders] offered two lambs each, and the remaining six [orders] one lamb each. On the fourth [day] three [orders] offered two lambs each, and the remaining [eight orders] one lamb each. On the fifth [day] two [orders] offered two lambs each; and the remaining [ten orders] one lamb each. On the sixth [day] one [order] offered two lambs, and the remaining [twelve orders] one lamb each. On the seventh day they were all equal. On the eighth day they cast lots, as on other festivals. It was so regulated, that the order which offered bullocks one day were not permitted to offer bullocks the next day; but it went in rotation.
§ 7. Three times in the year 6 all the twenty-four orders of priests were alike entitled to share in the offerings of the festival, and in the shewbread; and on the feast of weeks the distributors say to each priest, "Here is leavened bread for thee, and here is unleavened bread for thee." 7 The order [of priests], whose regular time of service occurs in the festivals, offer the continual offerings, vows, and free-will offerings, and all public services, and every sacrifice [that does not belong to the festival]. If a festival fall next to a Sabbath, either preceding or succeeding it, all the [twenty-four] orders share alike in the shewbread.
§ 8. But if a day intervene between the Sabbath and the festival, the order [of priests] whose regular turn [of service] it was, received ten of the shewbread, and the loiterers 8 received two shewbread. At other times of the year the order which entered [on their duty] received six [shewbread]; and that which went off duty also received six. R. Jehudah saith, "That [order] which enters [on duty]
receives seven [shewbread], and that which goes off receives five [shewbread]." Those who entered, shared them on the north side; and those who went out, on the south side [of the Temple court]. The order Bilgah 9 always divided [their share] on the south side; their slaughter ring was fastened down, and the window [of their chamber] blocked up.
140:1 Galleries were erected for the women, while the men occupied the space below.
141:2 שיר המעלות. (Ps. cxx. to cxxxiv. inclusive.)
141:3 This was the signal for drawing water.
141:4 In the days of the first Temple. (Vide Eze. viii. 15, 16.)
141:5 The priesthood was divided into twenty-four orders, each of which, in rotation, ministered one week in the Temple. (Vide 1 Ch. xxiv. 7–19.) But, during the festival, the whole of the twenty-four orders ministered. On the first day, thirteen bullocks, two rams, and one goat were offered by sixteen orders, and the fourteen sheep by the other eight. As each day one bullock less was offered, p. 142 one more order of priests joined in offering the fourteen lambs in the manner mentioned in the text. On the seventh day, seven bullocks, two rams, one goat, and fourteen lambs, furnished one beast a-piece for each of the twenty-four orders.
142:6 At the three annual festivals.
142:7 If the feast of weeks fell on the Sabbath, the unleavened shewbread, and the two leavened wave loaves, had to be divided. (Vide Levit. xxiii. 17.)
142:8 Various explanations are given as to the meaning of this word. It seems to apply to the priests, whose regular turn of service it was, but who were in no hurry to attend; as, during the festival, they had to share the perquisites with the whole priesthood.
143:9 The order Bilgah was the fifteenth. (Vide 1 Ch. xxiv. 14.) Each order had an iron ring of its own, to which the head of the animal was fastened, so as to slaughter it with greater ease. Each order also had a chamber or store-room of its own. The order Bilgah was deprived of these, and otherwise stigmatised, through an occurrence that took place during the persecution under Antiochus. Miriam, a daughter of Bilgah, renounced her faith, and married a Syro-Grecian chieftain. When the Greeks took possession of the Temple, she struck the altar with her shoe, exclaiming, "Thou insatiable wolf, how much longer art thou to consume the wealth of Israel, and canst not help them in their hour of need." This conduct was imputed to the bad example she must have seen in her father's house; and a stigma was cast on the whole order, which was degraded, as related in the text.