We have spoken of the places nearest the city, the mention of them taking its rise from the triumph of Christ sitting upon the ass, and the people making their acclamations: and this awakens the remembrance of that pomp which accompanied the bringing of the firstfruits from places also near the city. Take it in the words of the masters, in the place cited in the margin:
"After what manner did they bring their firstfruits? All the cities which were of one station" (that is, out of which one course of priests proceeded) "were gathered together into a stationary city, and lodged in the streets. In the morning, he who was the first among them said, Arise, let us go up to Zion, to the house of the Lord our God."
"An ox went before them with gilded horns, and an olive crown upon his head" (the Gloss is, that ox was for a peace-offering); "And the pipe played before them until they approached near to Jerusalem. When then they came to Jerusalem, they crowned their firstfruits" (that is, they exposed them to sight in as much glory as they could), "and the chief men, and the high officers, and treasurers of the Temple came to meet them, and that to do the more honour to them that were coming; and all the workmen in Jerusalem rose up to them" (as they were in their shops), "and saluted them in this manner, 'O our brethren, inhabitants of the city N., ye are welcome.'"
"The pipe played before them till they came to the Mount of the Temple. When they came to the Mount of the Temple, even king Agrippa himself took the basket upon his shoulder, and went forward till he came to the court; the Levites sang, 'I will exalt thee, O Lord, because thou hast exalted me, and hast not made mine enemies to rejoice over me' (Psa 30:1). While the basket is yet upon his shoulder, he recites that passage (Deut 26:3), 'I profess this day to the Lord my God,' &c. R. Judah saith, When he recites these words, 'A Syrian ready to perish was my father,' &c. verse 5, he casts down the basket from his shoulders, and holds its lips while the priest waves it hither and thither. The whole passage being recited to verse 10, he placeth the basket before the altar, and adores, and goes out."