Is Thanksgiving in the Bible? - Thanksgiving 2020 - History, Meaning, Quotes, Message, Food
So here's a timely question, is Thanksgiving in the Bible? If you're looking for insights into the Bible, faith, and history in ways that engage your brain regardless of your faith stance. Now, if you're reading this from the United States, you might be a little confused. 

After all, Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. Well, in the United States it is. But north of the border, we also have a holiday that is called Thanksgiving. That is on the second Monday in October.

The fact is the snow comes a little bit early here, so we have to do it sooner. Now, there are some differences between the two holidays and why they fall where they do. But the same question still applies. 

Is Thanksgiving in the Bible

Is Thanksgiving in the Bible? 


Well, no, but yes, the two holidays bearing the same name in the United States, Canada, and other places around the world are nationally designated. They're not tied to any particular celebration found within traditional Christian or Jewish calendars. 

Their government-designated holidays based around the harvest. But they do get attention in places of worship. Why? Because while the specific holiday of Thanksgiving is not in the Bible, the act of giving thanks and various festivals related to ours. 

Harvest festivals are common in almost every religious tradition and have existed since before the invention of writing, societies have organized and built themselves around the Earth seasons, including when to plant and when to harvest. 

And this was true of the cultures and the empires that emerged in Mesopotamia and Egypt and everywhere in between, including the eastern Mediterranean where Israel would emerge.

This interrelationship between humanity and the world around them was so infused into the culture because empires literally rose and fell with the harvest, being good stewards of the earth was intrinsic to the rhythm of life. 

And with that came celebrations to remind them of that harvest. Festivals are well known in Hebrew scripture showing that they were part of the culture from early on, even though the written sources that we have for these festivals date to the time following the Babylonian exile. 

There are enough clues to suggest that these practices existed well before then. In particular, two of the three major pilgrimage festivals were based around giving thanks for the harvest. Pilgrimage festivals were celebration centered around the temple in Jerusalem and where possible. 

Those participating in them would make their way there. All three of these festivals remain a central part of religious life in Judaism today, quite often in Christian worship services. Around Thanksgiving, the text from the various harvest festivals are used in worship, and there's a good reason for this.

So let's take a closer look


The first of them came early in the season representing the beginning of the wheat harvest, this was called First Fruits and was a festival of Thanksgiving in late spring where the growing season was still in force. 

But the first of what was grown could be harvested, particularly wheat. It showed that growing and harvests overlapped. But most of the practice is found in the 26 chapters of Deuteronomy. 

It involved bringing in the first yields of the field to the temple, presenting them, and then reciting an abbreviated story of God's deliverance of the people from slavery in Egypt. And then this, of course, was followed by a party, but they weren't done yet growing and harvest overlapped. 

But there was another celebration that came at the end of the season, the festival of Booths. If there is a straight-up biblical parallel to harvest Thanksgiving, this one would be it Ebor, a comparable theme to both Passover and First Fruits. 

The festival booths recalled the path from slavery to freedom and God's generosity reflected in the year-end. Harvest as a close parallel to the festival of Booths is to our modern celebrations of Thanksgiving. 

It was still quite different. Instead of a single day, this festival was seven to eight days long. Not only that, but there was also a reminder of the kinds of conditions their ancestors experienced when wandering in the wilderness.

People were called on to create makeshift shelters and live in them throughout the festival as a reminder to what it was like to be homeless. In some respects, there are some who might prefer that than having the relatives over for an awkward dinner. 

The common thread with these two celebrations, as well as Passover, is one of giving thanks, and this was very much part of the development of Israel's faith. From what we can tell, these celebrations all predated the exile in some form. 

Although their current shape was fixed with the first five books of Hebrew scripture crystalizing in the years following the exile. It showed that Thanksgiving wasn't just about a single day, but rather an orientation towards life. 

Everything is in response to God's generosity, and living life with a sense of gratitude can be powerfully freeing. So in this sense, is Thanksgiving in the Bible will in this light?

It absolutely is. It may not have all the trappings of turkey and horns of plenty and all that stuff, but a sense of gratitude is foundational to our faith. If there is one tip that may help us reading large portions of the Hebrew Bible.

It is to remember to view it through the Thanksgiving lens. It's something that we lose sight of when we get bogged down in the debates about doctrine, rules, and other tangents.

So in light of this, what is Thanksgiving to you? Was any of this new let me know in the comments section below.

Is Thanksgiving in the Bible?

So here's a timely question, is Thanksgiving in the Bible? If you're looking for insights into the Bible, faith, and history in ways that engage your brain regardless of your faith stance. Now, if you're reading this from the United States, you might be a little confused. 

After all, Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. Well, in the United States it is. But north of the border, we also have a holiday that is called Thanksgiving. That is on the second Monday in October.

The fact is the snow comes a little bit early here, so we have to do it sooner. Now, there are some differences between the two holidays and why they fall where they do. But the same question still applies. 

Is Thanksgiving in the Bible

Is Thanksgiving in the Bible? 


Well, no, but yes, the two holidays bearing the same name in the United States, Canada, and other places around the world are nationally designated. They're not tied to any particular celebration found within traditional Christian or Jewish calendars. 

Their government-designated holidays based around the harvest. But they do get attention in places of worship. Why? Because while the specific holiday of Thanksgiving is not in the Bible, the act of giving thanks and various festivals related to ours. 

Harvest festivals are common in almost every religious tradition and have existed since before the invention of writing, societies have organized and built themselves around the Earth seasons, including when to plant and when to harvest. 

And this was true of the cultures and the empires that emerged in Mesopotamia and Egypt and everywhere in between, including the eastern Mediterranean where Israel would emerge.

This interrelationship between humanity and the world around them was so infused into the culture because empires literally rose and fell with the harvest, being good stewards of the earth was intrinsic to the rhythm of life. 

And with that came celebrations to remind them of that harvest. Festivals are well known in Hebrew scripture showing that they were part of the culture from early on, even though the written sources that we have for these festivals date to the time following the Babylonian exile. 

There are enough clues to suggest that these practices existed well before then. In particular, two of the three major pilgrimage festivals were based around giving thanks for the harvest. Pilgrimage festivals were celebration centered around the temple in Jerusalem and where possible. 

Those participating in them would make their way there. All three of these festivals remain a central part of religious life in Judaism today, quite often in Christian worship services. Around Thanksgiving, the text from the various harvest festivals are used in worship, and there's a good reason for this.

So let's take a closer look


The first of them came early in the season representing the beginning of the wheat harvest, this was called First Fruits and was a festival of Thanksgiving in late spring where the growing season was still in force. 

But the first of what was grown could be harvested, particularly wheat. It showed that growing and harvests overlapped. But most of the practice is found in the 26 chapters of Deuteronomy. 

It involved bringing in the first yields of the field to the temple, presenting them, and then reciting an abbreviated story of God's deliverance of the people from slavery in Egypt. And then this, of course, was followed by a party, but they weren't done yet growing and harvest overlapped. 

But there was another celebration that came at the end of the season, the festival of Booths. If there is a straight-up biblical parallel to harvest Thanksgiving, this one would be it Ebor, a comparable theme to both Passover and First Fruits. 

The festival booths recalled the path from slavery to freedom and God's generosity reflected in the year-end. Harvest as a close parallel to the festival of Booths is to our modern celebrations of Thanksgiving. 

It was still quite different. Instead of a single day, this festival was seven to eight days long. Not only that, but there was also a reminder of the kinds of conditions their ancestors experienced when wandering in the wilderness.

People were called on to create makeshift shelters and live in them throughout the festival as a reminder to what it was like to be homeless. In some respects, there are some who might prefer that than having the relatives over for an awkward dinner. 

The common thread with these two celebrations, as well as Passover, is one of giving thanks, and this was very much part of the development of Israel's faith. From what we can tell, these celebrations all predated the exile in some form. 

Although their current shape was fixed with the first five books of Hebrew scripture crystalizing in the years following the exile. It showed that Thanksgiving wasn't just about a single day, but rather an orientation towards life. 

Everything is in response to God's generosity, and living life with a sense of gratitude can be powerfully freeing. So in this sense, is Thanksgiving in the Bible will in this light?

It absolutely is. It may not have all the trappings of turkey and horns of plenty and all that stuff, but a sense of gratitude is foundational to our faith. If there is one tip that may help us reading large portions of the Hebrew Bible.

It is to remember to view it through the Thanksgiving lens. It's something that we lose sight of when we get bogged down in the debates about doctrine, rules, and other tangents.

So in light of this, what is Thanksgiving to you? Was any of this new let me know in the comments section below.

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