Leviticus 23:39 MEANING

Leviticus 23:39
(39) Also in the fifteenth day.--After the list of festivals discussed in this chapter has been summed up in Leviticus 23:37-38, the next five verses recur to the feast of Tabernacles. The regulations are supplementary to those given before, and embody a separate enactment.

When ye have gathered in the fruit of the land.--That is, those productions which ripen in the autumnal season, as wheat, barley, oil, wine, &c.

Ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord.--The Israelites are then to keep a festival in which they are to acknowledge the bounties of the Lord and express their gratitude to the Giver of all good things. For this reason this festival is also called "the Feast of Ingathering" (Exodus 23:16; Exodus 34:22).

On the first day shall be a sabbath.--Both on the first and last days of this festival there is to be abstention from all servile work. (See Leviticus 23:35-36.)

Verses 39-44. - A further instruction respecting the Feast of Tabernacles is appended. When ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, not necessarily at the completion of the ingathering, but at the time at which the festival is held, ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees. The word in the Hebrew, in its literal acceptation, means fruits of goodly trees, and hence in later times a misunderstanding arose (see 2 Macc. 10:6, 7), which led to the graceful practice of carrying in the left hand citrons (the fruit of goodly trees), and in the right hand myrtles, palms, and willows. It appears, however, that the word signifies in this place rather products than fruits, namely, leaves and branches. The command, therefore, would be, ye shall take you... products of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brooks. Originally, the purpose of these boughs was to make booths, as is shown by Nehemiah 8:15, 16, "Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths." And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. Accordingly we find when the feast was observed by Ezra, after the long interval from the days of Joshua, "there was very great gladness" (Nehemiah 8:17). The reason of the injunction to dwell in booths is that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; that is, on the first night after they had been delivered from Egypt, and encamped at Succoth (Exodus 12:37).

23:33-44 In the feast of Tabernacles there was a remembrance of their dwelling in tents, or booths, in the wilderness, as well as their fathers dwelling in tents in Canaan; to remind them of their origin and their deliverance. Christ's tabernacling on earth in human nature, might also be prefigured. And it represents the believer's life on earth: a stranger and pilgrim here below, his home and heart are above with his Saviour. They would the more value the comforts and conveniences of their own houses, when they had been seven days dwelling in the booths. It is good for those who have ease and plenty, sometimes to learn what it is to endure hardness. The joy of harvest ought to be improved for the furtherance of our joy in God. The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; therefore whatever we have the comfort of, he must have the glory of, especially when any mercy is perfected. God appointed these feasts, Beside the sabbaths and your free-will offerings. Calls to extraordinary services will not excuse from constant and stated ones.Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month,.... The month Tisri or September, the same month, and the same day of the month before observed; only another end and use of this feast is remarked, which was to give thanks for the fruits of the earth gathered in, as follows:

when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land; the barley, wheat, oil and wine, and all others, this being now autumn, when the several fruits were ripe and gathered: ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days; not different from that before mentioned, but the same, one design of which is here suggested, to give thanks for the fruits of the earth: hence this feast is sometimes called the feast of ingathering, Exodus 23:16; as another use of it is after mentioned, to commemorate the children of Israel dwelling in booths in the wilderness:

on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath; because on both there was a cessation from servile work, Leviticus 23:35.

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