X. (39) The next commandment is that concerning the sacred seventh day, in which are comprehended an infinite number of most important festivals. For instance, there is the release of those men who by nature were free, but who, through some unforeseen necessity of the times, have become slaves, which release takes place every seventh year. Again, there is the humanity of creditors towards their debtors, as they forgive their countrymen their debts every seventh year. Also there is the rest given to the fertile ground, whether it be in the champaign or in the mountainous country, which also takes place every seventh year. Moreover, there are those ordinances which are established respecting the fiftieth year. And of all these things the bare narration (without looking to any inner and figurative signification) is sufficient to lead those who are well disposed to perfect virtue, and to make even those who are obstinate and stubborn in their dispositions more docile and tractable. (40) Now we have already spoken at some length about the virtue of the number seven, explaining what a nature it has in reference to the number ten; and also what a connection it has to the decade itself, and also to the number four, which is the foundation and the source of the decade. And now, having been compounded in regular order from the unit, it in regular order produces the perfect number twenty-eight; being multiplied according to a regular proportion equal in all its parts, it makes at last both a cube and a square. I also showed how there is an infinite number of beauties which may be extracted from a careful contemplation of it, on which we have not at present time to dilate. But we must examine every one of the special matters which are before us as comprehended in this one, beginning with the first. The first matter to be considered is that of the Festivals.{6}{yonge’s translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: To Show That the Festivals Are Ten in Number. This “treatise” begins with roman numeral I (= XI in the Loeb), enumerates each of the ten festivals individually, and extends through Loeb number 214. The publisher has elected to follow the Loeb numbering.}

XI. (41) Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down.

The first is that which any one will perhaps be astonished to hear called a festival. This festival is every day.

The second festival is the seventh day, which the Hebrews in their native language call the sabbath.

The third is that which comes after the conjunction, which happens on the day of the new moon in each month.

The fourth is that of the passover which is called the passover.

The fifth is the first fruits of the corn–the sacred sheaf.

The sixth is the feast of unleavened bread, after which that festival is celebrated, which is really

The seventh day of seventh days.

The eighth is the festival of the sacred moon, or the feast of trumpets.