And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation
An holy day, in which the people be called to holy exercises, and wholly abstain from worldly business, done on other days:
and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation unto you;
observed in a festival way, and in the like religious manner the first day was, the day of their going out of Egypt; and the seventh was the day in which Pharaoh and his host were drowned in the Red sea, as Aben Ezra observes; for which reason those days are distinguished from the rest, and appointed to be holy convocations, and which appear from the journeying of the children of Israel, as computed by Junius: they came to Succoth on the fifteenth, to Etham the seventeenth, to Pihahiroth the eighteenth, where they were ordered to stay, and wait the coming of their enemies, on the twentieth the army of Pharaoh came up to them, and the night following the Israelites passed through the sea and the Egyptians were drowned:
no manner of work shall be done in them;
as used to be done on other days, and as were on the other five days of this festival: the Jewish canons are,
``it is forbidden to do any work on the evening of the passover, from the middle of the day and onward, and whoever does work from the middle of the day and onward, they excommunicate him; even though, he does it for nothing, it is forbidden F14: R. Meir says, whatever work anyone begins before the fourteenth (of Nisan) he may finish it on the fourteenth, but he may not begin it on the beginning of the fourteenth, though he could finish it: the wise men say, three workmen may work on the evening of the passover unto the middle of the day, and they are these, tailors, barbers, and fullers: R. Jose bar Judah says, also shoemakers F15,''but in the text no exception is made but the following:
save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you;
so that kindling fire and preparing food might be done on those days, which might not be done on sabbath days; and the prohibition of work was not so strict on those days as on that.
F14 Lebush, par. 1. No. 468. sect. 1. Schulcan Aruch, par. 1. No. 468. sect. 1.
F15 Misn. Pesach. c. 4. sect. 6.