Haphra'ïm (Hebrew Chaphara'yim, חֲפָרִיַם, two pits; Sept. Α᾿φεραϊvμ, Vulg. Hapharaim), a place near the border of Issachar, mentioned between Shunem and Shihon (Jos 19:19). Eusebius (Ononast. s.v.Αἰφαρααίμ,) appears to place it six Roman miles north of Leggio; the Apocrypha also possibly speaks of the same place as APHAEREMA (Α᾿φαίρεμα, 1 Macc. 11:34; com-pare 10:30, 38). Schwarz (Palestine, p. 166) was unable to find it. Kiepert ( Wandkarte von Palastina, 1857) locates it near the river Kishon, apparently at Tell eth Thorah (Robinson's Researches, new ed. 3:115). Dr. Thomson (Land and Book, 1, 502) imagines it may be the modern Shefa Amer (the Shefa Omar of Robinson, Researches, new ed. 3 103, "on a ridge overlooking the plain" of Megiddo), which, he says, "in old Arabic authors is written Shephram." SEE ISSACHAR.
(הִפטָרָה, dismislion, הִפטָרוֹת). This expression, which is found in foot- notes and at the end of many editions of the Hebrew Bible, denotes the different lessons from the prophets read in the synagogue every Sabbath, and festival of the year. As these lessons have been read from time immemorial in conjunction with sections from the law, and as it is to both "the reading of the law and the prophets" that reference is made in the N.T. (Ac 12:15, etc.), we propose to discuss both together in the present article.
1. Classification of the Lessons, their Titles, Signification, etc. — There are two classes of lessons indicated in the Hebrew Bible: the one consists of fifty-four sections, into which the entire law or Pentateuch (תורה) is divided, and is called Parshioth (פרשיות, plur. of פרשה from פרש, to separate); and the other consists of a corresponding number of sections selected from different parts of the prophets, to be read in conjunction with the former, and denominated Haphtaroth. As the signification of this term is much disputed, and is intimately connected with the view about the origin of these prophetic lessons, we must defer the discussion of it to section 4. The division of the Pentateuch into fifty-four sections is to provide a lesson for each Sabbath of those years which, according to Jewish chronology, have fifty-four Sabbaths (see sec. 2), and to read through the whole Pentateuch, with large portions of the different prophets, in the course of every year. It must be observed, however, that this annual cycle was not universally adopted by the ancient Jews. There were some who had a triennial cycle (comp. Megilla, 29, b). These divided the Pentateuch into one hundred and fifty-three or fifty-five sections, so as to read through the law in Sabbatic lessons once in three years. This was still done by some Jews in the days of Maimonides (compare JadHa- Chazaka Hilchoth Tephilla, 13, 1), and Benjamin of Tudela tells us that he found the Syrian Jews followed this practice in Memphis (ed. Asher, 1, 148). The sections of the triennial division are called by the Masorites Sedarim or Sedaroth (סדרים, סדרות), as may be seen in the Masoretic note at the end of Exodus: 'Here endeth the book of Exodus. it hath eleven Parshioth (פרשיות, i.e. according to the annual division), twenty- nine Sedaroth (סדרות, i.e. according to the triennial division), and forty chapters (פרקים)."Besides the Sabbatic lessons, special portions of the law and prophets are also read on every festival and fast of the year. It must be noticed, moreover, that the Jews, who have for some centuries almost universally followed the annual division of the law, denominate the Sabbatic section Sidra (סידרא), the name which the Masorites give to each portion of the triennial division, and that every one of the fifty-four sections has a special title, which it derives from the first or second word with which it commences, and by which it is quoted in the Jewish writings. To render the following description more intelligible, as well as to enable the student of Hebrew exegesis to identify the quotations from the Pentateuch, we subjoin on the two following pages chronological tables of the Sabbatical Festival and Fast Lessons from the Law and Prophets, and their titles. (See Clarke's Commentary, s. f. Deuteronomy.)
2. "The Reading of the Law and Prophets" as indicated in the Hebrew Bible, and practiced by the Jews at the present day. — As has already been remarked, this division into fifty-four sections is to provide a special lesson for every Sabbath of those years which have fifty-four Sabbaths. Thus the intercalary year, in which New Year falls on a Thursday, and the months Marcheshvan and Kislev have twenty-nine days, has fifty-four Sabbaths which require special lessons. But as ordinary years have not so many Sabbaths, and those years in which New Year falls on a Monday, and the months Marchesvan and Kislev have thirty days, or New Year falls on a Saturday, and the said months are regular, i.e. Marchesvan having twenty- nine days and Kinsley thirty, have only forty-seven Sabbaths-fourteen of the fifty-four sections, viz. 22 and 23, 27 and 28, 29 and 30, 32 and 33, 39 and 40, 42 and 43, 50 and 51, have been appointed to be read in pairs either wholly or in part, according to the varying number of Sabbaths in the current year. Thus the whole Pentateuch is read through every year. The first of these weekly sections is read on the first Sabbath after the Feast of Tabernacles, which is in the month of Tisri, and begins the civil year, and the last is read on the concluding day of this festival, Tisri 23, which is called The Rejoicing of the Law (שמחת תורה), a day of rejoicing, because on it the law is read through. SEE TABERNACLES, FEAST OF. According to the triennial division, the reading of the law seems to have been as follows: Ge 1:1; Ex 13:16, comprising history from the creation of the world to the Exodus, was read in the first year; Ex 13:17; Nu 6:27, embracing the laws of both Sinai. and the tabernacle, formed the lessons for the Sabbaths. of the second year; and Nu 7:1; De 34:12, containing both history (i.e. the history of thirty-nine years wanderings in the wilderness) and law (i.e. the repetition of the Mosaic law), constituted the Sabbatic lessons for the third year (compare Megilla, 29, b, and Volkslehrer, 2, 209).
3. The manner of reading the Law and the Prophets. — Every Sabbatic lesson from the law (קריאת התורה) is divided into seven sections (evidently designed to correspond to the seven days of the week), which, in the days of our Saviour and afterwards, were read by seven different persons (שבעה קרואים), who were called. upon for this purpose by the congregation or its chief Mishla, Megilla, 4, 2; Maimonides, Jad Ha- Chazaka) Hilchoth Tephilla, 12, 7). Great care is taken that the whole nation should be represented at this reading of the law and prophets. Hence a Cohen (כהן) or priest is called to the reading of the first portion, a Levi (לוי) to the second, and an Israel (ישראל) to the third; and after the three great divisions of the nation have thus been duly represented, the remaining four portions are assigned to four others with less care. "Every one thus called to the reading of the law must unroll the scroll, and, having found the place where he is to begin to read, pronounces the following benediction — 'Bless ye the Lord, who is ever blessed;' to which the congregation respond, 'Blessed be the Lord, who is blessed for evermore.' Whereupon he again pronounces the following benediction — 'Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast chosen us from among all nations, and hast given us thy law. Blessed art thou, O Lord, giver of the law;' to which all the congregation respond 'Amen.' He then reads the seventh portion of the lesson, and when he has finished, rolls up the scroll, and pronounces again the following benediction: "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast given us thy law, the law of truth, and hast planted among us everlasting life. Blessed art thou, O Lord, giver of the law" (Maimonides, ibid. 12, 5). The other six, who are called in rotation to the reading of the other six portions, have to go through the same formularies. Then the maphtir (מפטיר), or the one who finishes up by the reading of the Haphtarah, or the lesson from the prophets, is called. Having read the few concluding verses of the lesson from the law, and passed through the same formularies as the other seven, he reads the appointed section from the prophets. "Before reading it, he pronounces the following benediction 'Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast chosen good prophets, and delighted in their words, which were spoken in truth. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast chosen the law, thy servant Moses, thy people Israel, and thy true and righteous prophets' and after reading, 'Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Rock of all ages, righteous in all generations, the faithful God who promises and performs, who decrees and accomplishes, for all thy words are faithful and just. Faithful art thou, Lord our God and faithful are thy words, and not one of thy words shall return in vain, for thou art a faithful King. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God who art faithful in all thy words.' 'Have mercy upon Zion, for it is the dwelling of our life, and save speedily in our days the afflicted souls. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who wilt make Zion rejoice in her children. Cause us to rejoice, O Lord our God, in Elijah thy servant, and in the kingdom of the house of David thine anointed. May he speedily come and gladden our hearts. Let no stranger sit on his throne, and let others no longer inherit his glory, for thou hast sworn unto him by thy holy name that his light shall not be extinguished forever and ever. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the shield of David.' 'For the law, the divine service, the prophets, and for "this day of rest"[or of memorial], this goodly day of holy convocation which thou hast given to us, O Lord, for sanctification and rest [on the Sabbath], for honor and glory; for all this, O Lord our King, we thank and praise thee. Let thy name be praised in the mouth of every living creature forever and ever. Thy word, O our King, is true, and will abide forever. Blessed art thou, King of the whole earth, who hast sanctified the Sabbath, and Israel, and the day of memorial'"(Maimonides, ibid.). After the Babylonian captivity, when the Hebrew language became an unknown tongue to the common people, an interpreter (תורגמן מתורגמן) stood at the desk by the side of those who read the lessons, and paraphrased the section from the law into Chaldee verse by verse, the reader pausing at every verse, whilst the lesson from the prophets he paraphrased three verses at a time (Mishna, Megilla, 4,4); and Lightfoot is of opinion that St. Paul, in 1Co 14:22, refers to this circumstance (Horce Hebraicae in loco). The lesson from the law was on these occasions rendered into Chaldee quite literally, owing to the fear which both the interpreters and the congregation had lest a free explanation of it might misrepresent its sense, whilst greater freedom was exercised with the lesson from the prophets. Hence loose paraphrases and lengthy expositions were tolerated and looked for both from the professional interpreter and those of the congregation who were called up to read, and who felt that they could do it with edification to the audience. The Sabbatic lesson from the law was, as we have seen, divided into seven sections or chapters, each of which had at least three verses, according to the verses of those days, so that the whole consisted of at least twenty-one such verses. The lesson from the prophets was not portioned out to seven different individuals, but has also at least twenty-one verses (Mishna, Megilla, 4, 4; Maimonides, Jod Ha-Chezaka Hilchoth Tephilla, 12, 13). The lesson from the law for the Day of Atonement is divided into six chapters, for festivals into five, for new moon into four, and for Mondays and Thursdays into three chapters or sections. The number of persons called up to the reading of the law always corresponds to the number of sections. For Mondays and Thursdays, new moon, and the week days of the festivals (חול מועד)there are no corresponding lessons from the prophets (Mishna, Megilla, 4, 1-3).
4. The Origin of this Institution. — The origin of this custom may easily be traced. The Bible emphatically and repeatedly enjoins upon every Israelite to. study its contents (De 4:9; De 32:46); Moses himself ordered that the whole law should be read publicly at the end of every Sabbatic year (De 31:10-12), whilst Joshua urges that it should be studied day and night (Jos 1:8; comp, also Ps 1:2 sq.). Now the desire to carry out this injunction literally, and yet the utter impossibility of doing it on the part of those who had to work for daily bread all the week, and who could not afford to buy the necessarily expensive scrolls, gave rise to this institution. On the Sabbath and festivals all were relieved from their labor, and could attend places of worship where the inspired writings were deposited, and where care could be taken that no private interpretation should be palmed upon the Word of God. Hence both James (Ac 15:21) and Josephus (Contra Apion, 2, 17) speak of it as a very ancient custom, and the Talmud tells us that the division of each Sabbatic lesson into seven sections was introduced in honor of the Persian king (Megilla, 23), which shows that this custom obtained anterior to the Persian rule. Indeed Maimonides positively asserts that Moses himself ordained the hebdomal reading of the law (Hilchoth Tephillt, 12, 1). Equally natural is the division of the law into Sabbatic sections, as the whole of it could not be read at once. The only difficulty is to ascertain positively whether the annual or the triennial division was the more ancient one. A triennial division is mentioned in Megilla 29, b. as current in Palestine; with this agree the reference to 155 sections of the law in the Midrash, Esther 116, b, and the Masoretic division of the Pentateuch into 154 Sedarim. But, on the other hand, R. Simeon b. Eleazar, a Palestinian, declared that Moses instituted the reading of Leviticus 26 before the Feast of Pentecost, and Deuteronomy 28 before New Year. which most unquestionably presuppose the annual division of the Pentateuch into 54 Parshioth. This is, moreover, confirmed by the statement (Ibid. 31, a) that the section וזאת הברכה (Deuteronomy 33:l- 34, 12) was read on the ninth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, thus terminating the annual cycle, as well as by the fact that the annual festival of the rejoicing of the law (שמחת תורה) which commemorates the annual finishing of the perusal of the Pentateuch, SEE TABERNACLES, FEAST OF, was an ancient institution. We must therefore conclude that the annual cycle which is now prevalent among the Jews was the generally adopted one, at least since the Maccabaean times, whilst the triennial, though the older, was the exception. Usage, however, probably varied, for we find that our Savior (Lu 4:16-21), in accordance with this custom, on invitation read and expounded, apparently on a Sabbath in January, a passage (Isa 61:1-2), not contained at all in the present scheme of Haphtaroth. Picture for Haphtarah 2
It is far more difficult to trace the origin of the Haphtarah, or the lesson from the prophets, and its signification. A very ancient tradition tells us that the Syrians had interdicted the reading of the law, and carried away the scrolls containing it, and that appropriate sections from the prophets were therefore chosen to replace the Pentateuch (Zunz, Göttesdienstliche Vor. p. 5), whilst Elias Levita traces the origin of the Haphtarah to persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes. In his Lex. (s.v. פטר) he says, "The wicked Antiochus, king of Greece, prohibited the Jews to read the law publicly. They therefore selected sections from the prophets of the same import as the Sabbatic lessons… and though this prohibition has now ceased, this custom has not been left off, and to this day we read a section from the prophets after the reading of the law;"and we see no reason to reject this account. The objection of Vitringa, Frankel, Herzfeld, etc., that Antiochus, who wanted to exterminate Judaism, would not wage war against the Pentateuch exclusively; but would equally destroy the prophetic books, and that this implies a knowledge on the part of the soldiers of the distinction between the Pentateuch and the other inspired writings, is obviated by the fact that there was an external difference between the rolls of the Pentateuch and the other sacred books, that the Jews claimed the Pentateuch as their law and rule of faith, and that this was the reason why it especially was destroyed. (The law has two rollers, i.e. has a roller attached to each of the two ends of the vellum on which it is written, and every weekly portion when read on the Sabbath is unrolled from the right roller and rolled on the left; so that when the law is opened on the next Sabbath the portion appointed for that day is at once found. Whereas the prophetic books have only one roller. and the lesson from the prophets has to be sought out on every occasion [compare Baba Bathra, 14 a].) This is corroborated by 1 Macc. 1:56, where the law only is said to have been burned. Accordingly וזפטרה, from פטר, to liberate, to free, signifies the liberating lesson, the portion from the prophets which is read instead of the portion from the law that could not be read, and which liberates from the injunction of reading the Pentateuch. For the other opinions about the signification of Iaphtarah, we refer to the literature quoted below.
5. Literature. — Maimonides, Jod Ha-Chezaka Hilchoth Tephilla; Bartolocci, Bibliotheca Magna Rabbinicc, 2, 593 sq.; Zunz, Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden, cap. 1, Frankel, Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta (Leipzig, 1841), p. 48 sq.; Rapaport, Erech Mlillin, p. 66 sq.; Monatschrift fir Geschichte und Wissenschrift des Judenthums, 1, 352; 11:222, Herzfeld, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 2, 209; Der Israelitische Volkslehrer, 2. 205; Ben Chananja, , 125.