Chapter 16

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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:

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Commentary for Deuteronomy 16

The yearly feasts. (1-17) Of judges, Groves and images forbidden. (18-22)1-17 The laws for the three yearly feasts are here repeated; that of the Passover, that of the Pentecost, that of Tabernacles; and the general law concerning the people's attendance. Never should a believer forget his low estate of guilt and misery, his deliverance, and the price it cost the Redeemer; that gratitude and joy in the Lord may be mingled with sorrow for sin, and patience under the tribulations in his way to the kingdom of heaven. They must rejoice in their receivings from God, and in their returns of service and sacrifice to him; our duty must be our delight, as well as our enjoyment. If those who were under the law must rejoice before God, much more we that are under the grace of the gospel; which makes it our duty to rejoice evermore, to rejoice in the Lord always. When we rejoice in God ourselves, we should do what we can to assist others also to rejoice in him, by comforting the mourners, and supplying those who are in want. All who make God their joy, may rejoice in hope, for He is faithful that has promised.

18-22 Care is taken for the due administration of justice. All personal regards must be laid aside, so that right is done to all, and wrong to none. Care is taken to prevent following the idolatrous customs of the heathen. Nothing belies God more, or tends more to corrupt the minds of men, than representing and worshipping, by an image, that God, who is an almighty and eternal Spirit, present every where. Alas! even in gospel days, and under a better dispensation, established upon better promises, there is a tendency to set up idols, under one form or another, in the human heart.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Deuteronomy 16

  • Adebayo Rotimi on Deuteronomy 16:17
    Until the Church starts showing the kind of love of Jesus Christ to her members, it will continue like this.
  • Adebayo Rotimi on Deuteronomy 16:17
    It is a nice write up. I have come to understand that given is not only limited to church. Even the given of tithe to the Church is not compulsory. Tithe as it is referred to that it must be 10% is not so. If you have the capacity to give more than that why not and vice verse. God would never be on you that you must pay tithe. I don't argue this issue with any pastor again. Sometimes I decided to give my tithe to the poor in the church instead of given it to the church and eventually the tithe is taken to church headquarters leaving members of the local church in abject poverty.

    The issue of tithe, we must understand that God does not spend money. We must understand that whatever we are giving to the church or to anyone is an act of worship to the Lord. So, God expect us to give willingly and not as compelled to do so. Some pastors even went to the extent of saying if you don't pay your tithe you would go to hell. So . Some people say if they see a sick member of their churches that need money to take care of himself they preferred to take the tithe to church than given the money to the sick man. I called this hypocrisy. When you Jesus has already told us that when you do this to the least in my house you have done it onto me. Where is the Christ like in that act if we claim to be following Jesus.
  • Chris - in Reply on Deuteronomy 16:17
    Those are lovely truthful comments you have given, Adebayo. If only Christ's Church do as you do, by not only supporting the work of the ministry, but also looking out for those in need. Then the Gospel becomes more meaningful when the one being helped sees the Love of Christ in action, whether through monetary gift or other help. God bless you in your ministry to the saints: He sees your love in action.
  • David Hummel on Deuteronomy 16:13
    There"s something deep spiritually the Lord must have for the reader concering the feasts. Especially since it"s like Jesus was born in late September (Roman calender) this was time of Feast of Tabernacles.
  • Jermaine on Deuteronomy 16
    Could someone explain verse 16, please?
  • Stanjett - in Reply on Deuteronomy 16
    The Jews had feasts 3 times a year. The feast of unleavened bread was done because that was the time that God brought them out of Egypt. They came out in such a hurry that their dough had no time to leaven. Also the first born of all Egypt was killed by God but not the first born of Israel.
  • Seventh day is sabbath - in Reply on Deuteronomy 16
    Duet.16 is talking about the "passover feast" this was for the Israelite's to remember commemorate what God had done for them in leading them out of Egypt and freeing them from bondage slavery . We no longer need to keep the feast days since Jesus died on the cross with our sins. We are asked to partake of the Lord's supper 1 Cor 11:24 This do in remembrance of me.
  • Ruben Hartness - in Reply on Deuteronomy 16
    Jermaine please give the Chapter for verse 16. Thanks
  • Jerry - in Reply on Deuteronomy 16
    3 times a year, every male Israelite was to appear before the Lord in a place of his choosing, the location being disclosed by a prophet most likely. These 3 times would be during the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of weeks, and the feast of tabernacles. During these appearances, they would bring something to offer the Lord as they were able.
  • Ralph on Deuteronomy 16
    If my sins were disobedience to God's Commandments, and He sent His Son to forgive me of my sins, I am wrestling with thought that someday, we we will be returning back to the tabernacle and all the attending all the feasts and other special events mentioned here in the 16 Chapter


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The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration held after what event?
  • New Years
  • Planting Time
  • Full Moon
  • Harvest Time