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Deuteronomy Sixteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Deuteronomy 16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.

Deuteronomy 16:2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.

the passover. For the seven annual “feasts of JEHOVAH,” see Leviticus 23. These included, in order, the feasts of: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks (or Pentecost), Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles (or Ingathering). In this chapter, the Lord through Moses reminds the people again of their solemn obligation to keep the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread (Deuteronomy 16:1-8), the Feast of Weeks (Deuteronomy 16:9-12), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:13-15). These were not more significant than the other feasts, but at these three (with the Passover and Unleavened Bread feast associated together), all the men of Israel were to make a special offering to the Lord from their increase (note also Exodus 23:14-17).

Deuteronomy 16:3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

Deuteronomy 16:4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.

Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:

Deuteronomy 16:6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 16:7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.

Deuteronomy 16:8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.

Deuteronomy 16:9 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.

Deuteronomy 16:10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:

Deuteronomy 16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.

Deuteronomy 16:12 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.

Deuteronomy 16:13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:

feast of tabernacles. Two Hebrew words are used to refer to the tabernacle constructed in the wilderness. One (mishkan) refers mainly to its identity as God's “habitation” (e.g., Exodus 25:9) when He came down to meet with His people. The other (ohel) referred to the actual structure, which was that of a “tent” (e.g., Exodus 26:9). The word used for the “feast of tabernacles,” however, was succoth, meaning “booths.”

Deuteronomy 16:14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.

Deuteronomy 16:15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.

Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

Deuteronomy 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.

Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.

Judges and officers. In the Ten Commandments, no provision was made as to how they would be enforced, even though various penalties were set up for those who broke them. However, judges and officers had been appointed by Moses even before he received the tables of the law (Exodus 18:25-26; Deuteronomy 1:16-18).

Deuteronomy 16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16:20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.

a grove. This command did not forbid the planting of trees for fruit or shade or lumber, but for idol worship. The Hebrew word for “grove” here and elsewhere is usually asherah, which was the name of a goddess worshipped by the Phoenicians and other Canaanites. Her image was commonly erected in special groves of trees planted for that purpose. The goddess Asherah was said to be the wife of the god El, and the mother of Baal and many other false gods.

Deuteronomy 16:22 Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.