A journey to a shrine, holy place, or sanctuary for a religious reason. In the ancient Near East, shrines or cultic (worship) centers were often established at sites connected with divine activity, such as an extraordinary event (Josh 4:1-7), or at sites revered by tradition as holy (Gen 13:18). The shrine often became the goal of pilgrimages, and worshipers would bring offerings to the shrine for petition or thanksgiving. The earliest pilgrimages recorded in the Bible were to centers that existed throughout Israel before the reforms of King Josiah (ca. 622 BCE), e.g., to Bethel (Gen 35:1-15; Gen 28:10-22; Gen 12:8), Shiloh (Judg 21:19-21; 1Sam 1:3-7; 1Sam 1:21), Gibeon (1Kgs 3:4), Beer-sheba (Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14), and Gilgal (Hos 4:15; Amos 4:4-5; Amos 5:5) as well as to numerous “high places” (1Sam 9:12-19; 1Sam 9:25). In the time of David (ca. 1000 BCE), Jerusalem was established as a religious center (2Sam 6:12-19), and following the completion of the Temple under Solomon (1Kgs 8; 2Chr 7:8-10) it increasingly became the goal of pilgrimage. Religious legislation would eventually require pilgrimages to Jerusalem three times a year: at Passover (the Festival of Unleavened Bread), the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost), and the Festival of Tabernacles (Booths). In NT times there were large crowds of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the festivals from widely scattered places (Luke 2:41-45; John 12:20; Acts 2:1-10). According to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus made several pilgrimages to Jerusalem to celebrate the festivals (John 2:13; John 5:1; John 7:2-10). Those on pilgrimage often traveled in groups (Ps 42:4; Ps 55:14; Luke 2:44), and the joy of the occasion would be marked by singing and rejoicing (Isa 30:29). Several of these songs are preserved in the “Songs of Ascent” (Ps 24; Ps 84; Ps 118; Ps 120-134). In a figurative sense, the NT also portrays the Christian life as a journey toward a heavenly city (Heb 11:13-16; 1Pet 1:17; 1Pet 2:11).

Josh 4:1-7

Twelve Stones Set Up at Gilgal
1When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua:2“Select twelve men from the people, one f ... View more

Gen 13:18

18So Abram moved his tent, and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Gen 35:1-15

Jacob Returns to Bethel
1God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and settle there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from you ... View more

Gen 28:10-22

Jacob's Dream at Bethel
10Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taki ... View more

Gen 12:8

8From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar ... View more

Judg 21:19-21

19So they said, “Look, the yearly festival of the Lord is taking place at Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east of the highway that goes up from Bethel ... View more

1Sam 1:3-7

3Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineha ... View more

1Sam 1:21

21The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.

1Kgs 3:4

4The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.

Amos 5:5

5but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.

Amos 8:14

14Those who swear by Ashimah of Samaria,
and say, “As your god lives, O Dan,”
and, “As the way of Beer-sheba lives”—
they shall fall, and never rise again.

Hos 4:15

15Though you play the whore, O Israel,
do not let Judah become guilty.
Do not enter into Gilgal,
or go up to Beth-aven,
and do not swear, “As the Lord lives.”

Amos 4:4-5

4Come to Bethel—and transgress;
to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three days;5bring a thank offering ... View more

Amos 5:5

5but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beer-sheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.

1Sam 9:12-19

12They answered, “Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine.13As soon ... View more

1Sam 9:25

25When they came down from the shrine into the town, a bed was spread for Saul on the roof, and he lay down to sleep.

2Sam 6:12-19

12It was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up ... View more

1Kgs 8

Dedication of the Temple
1Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, be ... View more

2Chr 7:8-10

8At that time Solomon held the festival for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt.9On the eighth ... View more

Luke 2:41-45

The Boy Jesus in the Temple
41Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as ... View more

John 12:20

Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus
20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.

Acts 2:1-10

The Coming of the Holy Spirit
1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rus ... View more

John 2:13

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 5:1

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 7:2-10

2Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near.3So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doin ... View more

Ps 42:4

4These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thank ... View more

Ps 55:14

14with whom I kept pleasant company;
we walked in the house of God with the throng.

Luke 2:44

44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day's journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends.

Isa 30:29

29You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountai ... View more

Ps 24

Entrance into the Temple
Of David. A Psalm.
1The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;2for he has founded it on the se ... View more

Ps 84

The Joy of Worship in the Temple
To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!2My sou ... View more

Ps 118

A Song of Victory
1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”3Let the ... View more

Ps 120-134

Prayer for Deliverance from Slanderers
A Song of Ascents.
1In my distress I cry to the Lord,
that he may answer me:2“Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a ... View more

Heb 11:13-16

13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and fo ... View more

1Pet 1:17

17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.

1Pet 2:11

Live as Servants of God
11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul.

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