Deuteronomy 16

The Passover

1 Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night.
2 Sacrifice as the Passover to the LORD your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name.
3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.
4 Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.
5 You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the LORD your God gives you
6 except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary[a] of your departure from Egypt.
7 Roast it and eat it at the place the LORD your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents.
8 For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the LORD your God and do no work.

The Festival of Weeks

9 Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.
10 Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given you.
11 And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you.
12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.

The Festival of Tabernacles

13 Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.
14 Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.
15 For seven days celebrate the festival to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed:
17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.


18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.
19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.
20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.
21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the LORD your God,
22 and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the LORD your God hates.

Deuteronomy 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

The yearly feasts. (1-17) Of judges, Groves and images forbidden. (18-22)

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Cross References 36

  • 1. S Exodus 12:2; Exodus 13:4
  • 2. S Exodus 12:11; 2 Kings 23:21; Matthew 26:17-29
  • 3. Deuteronomy 12:5,26
  • 4. Exodus 12:8,39; Exodus 34:18; 1 Corinthians 5:8
  • 5. S Exodus 12:11; Exodus 12:11,15,19
  • 6. Ex 13:3,6-7; Deuteronomy 4:9
  • 7. S Exodus 12:6
  • 8. S Exodus 12:8; Mark 14:12; Exodus 12:10; Exodus 34:25
  • 9. S Exodus 12:42; Exodus 12:6; Deuteronomy 12:5
  • 10. S Exodus 12:8; 2 Chronicles 35:13
  • 11. Exodus 12:16; Exodus 13:6; S Leviticus 23:8
  • 12. Matthew 26:17; Luke 2:41; Luke 22:7; John 2:13
  • 13. Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15; Acts 2:1
  • 14. S Exodus 23:16; Numbers 28:26
  • 15. Deuteronomy 12:7
  • 16. S Exodus 20:24; S 2 Samuel 7:13
  • 17. Deuteronomy 12:12
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 14:29
  • 19. Nehemiah 8:10
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 15:15
  • 21. S Leviticus 2:14; Leviticus 23:34
  • 22. S Genesis 27:37; S Exodus 23:16
  • 23. ver 11
  • 24. Job 38:7; Psalms 4:7; Psalms 28:7; Psalms 30:11; Leviticus 23:39
  • 25. Deuteronomy 31:11; Psalms 84:7
  • 26. S Exodus 12:17
  • 27. S Exodus 23:14,16; Ezra 3:4
  • 28. S Exodus 34:20
  • 29. S Exodus 18:21,26; Deuteronomy 1:16
  • 30. S Genesis 31:37
  • 31. S Exodus 23:2; Exodus 23:2,8
  • 32. S Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17
  • 33. S Exodus 18:21; S 1 Samuel 8:3; Ecclesiastes 7:7
  • 34. S Deuteronomy 7:5
  • 35. Exodus 34:13; 1 Kings 14:15; 2 Kings 17:16; 2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chronicles 33:3
  • 36. S Exodus 23:24; Leviticus 26:1

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "down, at the time of day"

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the three grand yearly festivals, of the feast of passover, when, where, and what was to be sacrificed, how to be dressed, and in what manner to be eaten, De 16:1-8, of the feast of pentecost, when to begin it, where and how it was to be observed, De 16:9-12, and of the feast of tabernacles, when, where, and how long it was to be kept, De 16:13-15, which three times in the year all the males were to appear before the Lord, and not empty, De 16:16,17, an order is given for the appointment of judges in the land, to execute judgment, De 16:18-20, and the chapter is closed with a caution against planting groves, and setting up images, De 16:21,22.

Deuteronomy 16 Commentaries

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