First-fruit offerings are designated in the Law by a threefold name: Bíkkûrîm, Reshîth, and Terûmôth

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia First-Fruits
    The practice of consecrating first-fruits to the Deity is not a distinctly Jewish one (cf. Iliad, IX, 529; Aristophanes, "Ran.", 1272; Ovid, "Metam.", VIII, 273; X, 431; Pliny, "Hist. Nat.", IV, 26; etc.). It seems to have sprung up naturally among agricultural peoples from the belief that the first — hence the best — yield of the earth is due to God as an acknowledgment of His gifts. "God served first", then the whole crop becomes lawful food. The offering of the first-fruits was, in Israel, regulated by laws enshrined in different parts of the Mosaic books. These laws were, in the course of ages, supplemented by customs preserved later on in the Talmud. Three entire treatises of the latter, "Bíkkûrîm", "Terû-môth", and "Hállah", besides numerous other passages of both the Mishna and Gemarah, are devoted to the explanation of these customs.
    First-fruit offerings are designated in the Law by a threefold name: Bíkkûrîm, Reshîth, and Terûmôth. There remains much uncertainty about the exact import of these words, as they seem to have been taken indiscriminately at different epochs. If, however, one considers the texts attentively, he may gather from them a fairly adequate idea of the subject. There was a first-fruit offering connected with the beginning of the harvest. Leviticus, xxiii, 10-14, enacted that a sheaf of ears should be brought to the priest, who, the next day after the Sabbath, was to lift it up before the Lord. A holocaust, a meal-offering, and a libation accompanied the ceremony; and until it was performed no "bread, or parched corn, or frumenty of the harvest" should be eaten. Seven weeks later two loaves, made from the new harvest, were to be brought to the sanctuary for a new offering. The Bíkkûrîm consisted, it seems, of the first ripened raw fruits; they were taken from wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomogranates, olives, and honey. The fruits offered were supposed to be the choicest, and were to be fresh, except in the case of grapes and figs, which might be offered dried by Israelites living far from Jerusalem. No indication is given in Scripture as to how much should be thus brought to the sanctuary. But the custom was gradually introduced of consecrating no less than one-sixtieth and no more than one-fortieth of the crop (Bíkk., ii, 2, 3, 4). Occasionally, of course, there were extraordinary offerings, like that of the fruit of a tree the fourth year after it bad been planted (Lev., xix, 23-25); one might also, for instance, set apart as a free offering the harvest of a whole field.
    No time was, at first, specially set apart for the offering; in later ages, however, the feast of Dedication (25 Casleu) was assigned as the limit (Bíkk., i, 6; Hállah, iv, 10). In the Book of Deuteronomy, xxvi, 1-11, directions are laid down as to the manner in which these offerings should be made. The first-fruits were brought in a basket to the sanctuary and presented to the priest, with an expression of thanksgiving for the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the possession of the fertile land of Palestine. A feast, shared by the Levite and the stranger, followed. Whether the fruits offered were consumed in that meal is not certain; Numbers, xviii, 13, seems to intimate that they henceforth belonged to the priest, and Philo and Josephus suppose the same.
    Other offerings were made of the prepared fruits, especially oil, wine, and dough (Deut., xviii, 4; Num., xv, 20-21; Lev., ii, 12, 14-15; cf. Ex., xxii, 29, in the Greek), and "the first of the fleece". As in the case of the raw fruits, no quantity was determined; Ezechiel affirms that it was one-sixtieth of the harvest for wheat and barley and one-one hundredth for oil. They were presented to the sanctuary with ceremonies analogous to those alluded to above, although, unlike the Bíkkûrîm, they were not offered at the altar, but brought into the store-rooms of the temple. They may he looked upon, therefore, not so much as sacrificial matter as a tax for the support of the priests. (See ANNATES.)
    SMITH, The Religion of the Semites (2d ed., London, 1907): WELLHAUSEN, Prolegomena to the History of Israel, tr. BLACK AND MENZIEB (Edinburgh, 1885), 157-58; PHILO, De festo cophini; ID., De proemiis sacerdotum; JOSEPHUS, Ant. Jud., IV, viii, 22; RELAND, Antiquitates sacrœ; SCHÜRER, Geschichte des jüd. Volkes im Zeit. J. C. (Leipzig, 1898), II, 237-50.
    Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • FIRST FRUITS — FIRST FRUITS, that portion of the fruits of each year s harvest that following the biblical injunction was to be taken to the Temple in Jerusalem. In the Bible The Hebrew term bikkurim and related terms for the first fruits derive from the same… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • First Fruits — are a religious offering of the first agricultural produce of the harvest. In classical Greek, Roman, Hebrew and Christian religions, the first fruits were offered to the temple or church. First Fruits were often a primary source of income to… …   Wikipedia

  • First fruits — First First (f[ e]rst), a. [OE. first, furst, AS. fyrst; akin to Icel. fyrstr, Sw. & Dan. f[ o]rste, OHG. furist, G. f[ u]rst prince; a superlatiye form of E. for, fore. See {For}, {Fore}, and cf. {Formeer}, {Foremost}.] 1. Preceding all others… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • first-fruits — firstˈ fruitˈ or first fruitsˈ noun 1. The fruits first gathered in a season 2. First products or effects of anything 3. Payment in the form of first crops of a season, or annates, to a superior • • • Main Entry: ↑first first fruits see under… …   Useful english dictionary

  • first fruits — n [plural] BrE the first good result of something first fruits of ▪ the first fruits of the government s privatization policy …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • first fruits — noun plural the first successful results of an activity …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • first fruits — first′ fruits′ n. pl. 1) agr. the earliest fruit of the season 2) the first products or results of anything • Etymology: 1350–1400 …   From formal English to slang

  • first fruits — n. [orig. transl. of Vulg. primitiae: see Ex. 23:16] 1. the earliest produce of the season 2. the first products, results, or profits of any activity …   English World dictionary

  • First-fruits —    The first fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the first born of man and animals.    The law required,    1) That on the morrow after the Passover Sabbath a sheaf of new corn should be waved by the priest before the altar (Lev.… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • first fruits — 1. the earliest fruit of the season. 2. the first product or result of anything. [1350 1400; ME] * * * first fruits UK US noun [plural] the first successful results of an activity Thesaurus: general words for results and outcomessynonym * * *… …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”