View Leviticus 23 in the note window.
Directions concerning the sabbath, ver. 1 - 3.
The passover, ver. 4 - 8.
The first fruits, ver. 9 - 14.
The feast of pentecost, ver. 15 - 22.
of trumpets, ver. 23 - 25.
Of atonement, ver. 26 - 32.
Of tabernacles, ver. 33 - 44.
2: Ye shall proclaim - Cause to be proclaimed, by the priests.
Holy convocations - Days for your assembling together to my worship in
a special manner.
3: Ye shall do no work therein - So it runs in the general for the
sabbath day, and for the day of expiation, (Le 23:28), excluding all
works about earthly employments whether of profit or of pleasure; but upon
other feast days he forbids only servile works, as (Le 23:7,21,36),
for surely this manifest difference in the expressions used by the wife God
must needs imply a difference in the things. In all your dwellings
- Other feasts, were to be kept before the Lord in Jerusalem only,
whither all the males were to come for that end; but the sabbath was to be
kept in all places, both in synagogues, and in their private houses.
4: These are the feasts of the Lord - Or rather, the solemnities:
(for the day of atonement was a fast:) and so the word is used,(Isa 33:20),
where Zion is called the city of our solemnities.
10: An omer - They did not offer this corn in the ear, or by a sheaf
or handful, but, as Josephus, 3. 10 affirms, and may be gathered from(Le 2:14-16), purged from the chaff, and dryed, and beaten out.
11: He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord - In the name of the
whole congregation, which as it were sanctified to them the whole harvest,
and gave them a comfortable use of all the rest. For then we may eat
our bread with joy, when God hath accepted our works. And thus should
we always begin with God; begin our lives with him, begin every day with
him, begin every work and business with him: seek ye first the kingdom
of God. The morrow after the sabbath - After the first day of the
feast of unleavened bread, which was a sabbath or day of rest, as appears
from (Le 23:7), or upon the sixteenth day of the month. And this was
the first of those fifty days, in the close whereof was the feast of
13: Two tenth deals - Or, parts, of an ephah, that is, two
omers, whereas in other sacrifices of lambs there was but one tenth deal
prescribed. The reason of which disproportion may be this, that one of
the tenth deals was a necessary attendant upon the lamb, and the other was
peculiar to this feast, and was an attendant upon that of the corn, and
was offered with it in thanksgiving to God for the fruits of the earth.
14: Bread - Made of new wheat. Nor green ears - Which were usual,
not only for offerings to God, but also for man's food.
15: From the morrow - From the sixteenth day of the month, and the
second day of the feast of unleavened bread inclusively.
16: A new meal - offering - Of new corn made into loaves.
18: One bullock and two rams - In (Nu 28:11,19), it is
two young bullocks and one ram. Either therefore it was left to their
liberty to chuse which they would offer, or one of the bullocks there, and
one of the rams here, were the peculiar sacrifices of the feast day, and the
other were attendants upon the two loaves, which were the proper offering at
this time. And the one may be mentioned there, and the other here, to teach
us, that the addition of a new sacrifice did not destroy the former, but
both were to be offered, as the extraordinary sacrifices of every feast did
not hinder the oblation of the daily sacrifice.
19: One kid - In (Le 4:14), the sin - offering for the sin of the
people is a bullock, but here a kid; &c. the reason of the difference
may be this, because that was for some particular sin of the people, but
this only in general for all their sins.
20: Wave them - Some part of them in the name of the whole; and so
for the two lambs, otherwise they had been too big and too heavy, to be
waved. For the priests - Who had to themselves not only the breast and
shoulder as in others, which belonged to the priest, but also the rest which
belonged to the offerer; because the whole congregation being the offerer
here, it could neither be distributed to them all, nor given to some without
offence to the rest.
21: An holy convocation - A sabbath or day of rest, called pentecost;
which was instituted, partly in remembrance of the consummation of their
deliverance out of Egypt by bringing them thence to the mount of God, or
Sinai, as God had promised, and of that admirable blessing of giving the
law to them on the 50th day, and forming them into a commonwealth under his
own immediate government; and partly in gratitude for the farther progress
of their harvest, as in the passover they offered a thank - offering to God
for the beginning of their harvest. The perfection of this feast, was
the pouring out of the holy spirit upon the apostles on this very day, in
which the law of faith was given, fifty days after Christ our passover was
sacrificed for us. And on that day the apostles, having themselves received
the first - fruits of the spirit, begat three thousand souls thro' the
word of truth, as the first - fruits of the Christian church.
22: When ye reap, thou - From the plural, ye, he comes to the
singular, thou, because he would press this duty upon every person who
hath an harvest to reap, that none might plead exemption from it. And it
is observable, that though the present business is only concerning the
worship of God, yet he makes a kind of excursion to repeat a former law of
providing for the poor, to shew that our devotion to God is little esteemed
by him if it be not accompanied with acts of charity to men.
24: A sabbath - Solemnized with the blowing of trumpets by the
priests, not in a common way, as they did every first day of every month,
but in an extraordinary manner, not only in Jerusalem, but in all the
cities of Israel. They began to blow at sun - rise, and continued
blowing till sun - set. This seems to have been instituted,
- To solemnize the beginning of the new year, whereof as to civil matters
and particularly as to the Jubilee, this was the first day; concerning
which it was fit the people should be admonished, both to excite their
thankfulness for God's blessings in the last year, and to direct them in
the management of their civil affairs.
- To put a special honour upon this month. For as the seventh day was the
sabbath, and the seventh year was a sabbatical year, so God would have
the seventh month to be a kind of sabbatical month, for the many sabbaths
and solemn feasts which were observed in this more than in any other
month. And by this sounding of the trumpets in its beginning, God would
quicken and prepare them for the following sabbaths, as well as that of
atonement and humiliation for their sins, as those of thanksgiving for
27: Afflict your souls - With fasting, and bitter repentance for all,
especially their national sins, among which no doubt God would have them
remember their sin of the golden calf. For as God had threatened to
remember it in after times to punish them for it, so there was great reason
why they should remember it to humble themselves for it.
28: Whatsoever soul - Either of the Jewish nation, or religion.
Hereby God would signify the absolute necessity which every man had of
repentance and forgiveness of sin, and the desperate condition of all
32: From even to even - The day of atonement began at the evening of
the ninth day, and continued till the evening of the tenth day. Ye
shall celebrate your sabbath - This particular sabbath is called your
sabbath, possibly to note the difference between this and other
sabbaths: for the weekly sabbath is oft called the sabbath of the Lord.
The Jews are supposed to begin every day, and consequently their sabbaths,
at the evening, in remembrance of the creation, as Christians generally
begin their days and sabbaths with the morning in memory of Christ's
34: Of tabernacles - Of tents or booths or arbours. This feast was
appointed to remind them of that time when they had no other dwellings in
the wilderness, and to stir them up to bless God, as well for the gracious
protection then afforded them, as for the more commodious habitations now
given them; and to excite them to gratitude for all the fruits of the year
newly ended, which were now compleatly brought in.
36: Ye shall offer - A several - offering each day. The eighth day
- Which though it was not one of the days of this feast strictly taken. Yet
in a larger sense it belonged to this feast, and is called the great
day of the feast, (Joh 7:37). And so indeed it was, as for other
reasons, so because, by their removal from the tabernacles into fixed
habitations, it represented that happy time wherein their 40 years tedious
march in the wilderness was ended with their settlement in the land of
Canaan, which it was most fit they should acknowledge with such a
solemn day of thanksgiving as this was.
37: A sacrifice - A sin - offering, called by the general name, a
sacrifice, because it was designed for that which was the principal end
of all sacrifices, the expiation of sin.
38: Beside the sabbaths - The offerings of the weekly sabbaths. God
will not have any sabbath - sacrifice diminished because of the addition of
others, proper to any other feast. And it is here to be noted, that though
other festival days are sometimes called sabbaths, yet these are here called
the sabbaths of the Lord, in way of contradistinction, to shew that this
was more eminently such than other feast - days. Your gifts - Which being
here distinguished from the free - will - offerings made to the Lord, may note
what they freely gave to the priests over and above their first - fruits and
tithes or other things which they were enjoined to give.
39: This is no addition of a new, but only a repetition of the former
injunction, with a more particular explication both of the manner and reason
of the feast. The fruit - Not the corn, which was gathered long before,
but that of the trees, as vines, olives, and other fruit - trees: which
compleated the harvest, whence this is called the feast of in - gathering.
40: Of goodly trees - Namely, olive, myrtle and pine, mentioned,(Ne 8:15,16), which were most plentiful there, and which would best
preserve their greenness. Thick trees - Fit for shade and shelter.
And willows - To mix with the other, and in some sort bind them together.
And as they made their booths of these materials, so they carried some of
these boughs in their hands, as is affirmed by Jewish and other ancient
42: In booths - Which were erected in their cities or towns, either
in their streets, or gardens, or the tops of their houses. These were made
flat, and therefore were fit for the use.
44: The feasts of the Lord - We have reason to be thankful, that the
feasts of the Lord, now are not so numerous, nor the observance of them so
burdensome and costly; but more spiritual and significant, and surer and
sweeter earnests of the everlasting feast, at the last in - gathering, which
we hope to be celebrating to eternity.