Leviticus 23

1 The LORD spoke to Moses,
2 "Tell the Israelites: These are the appointed festivals with the LORD, which you must announce as holy assemblies.
3 You may work for six days. But the seventh day is a day of worship, a day when you don't work, a holy assembly. Don't do any work. It is the LORD's day of worship wherever you live.
4 "The following are the LORD's appointed festivals with holy assemblies, which you must announce at their appointed times.
5 "The fourteenth day of the first month, in the evening, is the LORD's Passover.
6 The fifteenth day of this same month is the LORD's Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
7 On the first day there will be a holy assembly. Don't do any regular work.
8 Bring the LORD a sacrifice by fire for seven days. On the seventh day there will be a holy assembly. Don't do any regular work."
9 The LORD spoke to Moses,
10 "Tell the Israelites: When you come to the land I am going to give you and you harvest grain, bring the priest a bundle of the first grain you harvest.
11 He will present it to the LORD so that you will be accepted. He will present it on the day after Passover.
12 On the day you present the bundle, you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb that has no defects as a burnt offering to the LORD.
13 Bring a grain offering of four quarts of flour mixed with olive oil with it. This will be a sacrifice by fire made to the LORD, a soothing aroma. Use one quart of wine for the wine offering.
14 Don't eat bread, roasted grain, or fresh grain until this same day, when you bring the offering to your God. It is a permanent law for generations to come wherever you live.
15 "Count seven full weeks from the day after Passover (the day you bring the bundle of grain as an offering presented to the LORD)
16 until the day after the seventh week. This is a total of fifty days. Then bring a new grain offering to the LORD.
17 Bring two loaves of bread from your homes to present to the LORD. Bake them with four quarts of flour. They are the first harvested grain for the LORD.
18 With the bread bring seven one-year-old lambs that have no defects, one bull, and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD. With these offerings also bring grain and wine offerings. They will be a sacrifice by fire, a soothing aroma to the LORD.
19 Also sacrifice one male goat as an offering for sin and two one-year-old lambs as a fellowship offering.
20 The priest must present them along with the bread of the first harvested grain as an offering to the LORD. All this, along with the two lambs, will be holy and will belong to the LORD's priests.
21 Make an announcement that there will be a holy assembly on that same day. Don't do any regular work. It is a permanent law for generations to come wherever you live.
22 "When you harvest the grain in your land, don't harvest the grain in the corners of your fields or gather what is left after you're finished. Leave it for poor people and foreigners. I am the LORD your God."
23 The LORD spoke to Moses,
24 "Tell the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month hold a worship festival. It will be a memorial day, a holy assembly announced by the blowing of rams' horns.
25 Don't do any regular work. Bring a sacrifice by fire to the LORD."
26 The LORD spoke to Moses,
27 "In addition, the tenth day of this seventh month is a special day for the payment for sins. There will be a holy assembly. Humble yourselves, and bring the LORD a sacrifice by fire.
28 Don't do any work that day. It is a special day for the payment for sins. It is a time when you make peace with the LORD your God.
29 Those who do not humble themselves on that day will be excluded from the people.
30 I will kill those who do any work on that day.
31 Don't do any work. It is a permanent law for generations to come wherever you live.
32 It is a day of worship, a day when you don't work. Humble yourselves starting on the evening of the ninth day of the month. From that evening to the next, observe the day of worship."
33 The LORD spoke to Moses,
34 "Tell the Israelites: The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Booths to the LORD. It will last seven days.
35 On the first day there will be a holy assembly. Don't do any regular work.
36 For seven consecutive days bring a sacrifice by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day there will be a holy assembly. Bring the LORD a sacrifice by fire. This is the last festival of the year. Don't do any regular work.
37 "These are the LORD's appointed festivals. Announce them as holy assemblies for bringing sacrifices by fire to the LORD. Bring burnt offerings, grain offerings, other sacrifices, and wine offerings--each one on its special day.
38 This is in addition to the LORD's days of worship, your gifts, all your vows, and your freewill offerings to the LORD.
39 "However, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered what the land produces, celebrate the LORD's festival for seven days. The first and the eighth days will be worship festivals.
40 On the first day take the best fruits, palm branches, the branches of leafy trees and poplars, and celebrate in the presence of the LORD your God for seven days.
41 It is the LORD's festival. Celebrate it for seven days each year. This is a permanent law for generations to come. Celebrate this festival in the seventh month.
42 Live in booths for seven days. Everyone born in Israel must live in booths
43 so that generations to come may learn how I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God."
44 So Moses told the Israelites about the LORD's appointed festivals.

Leviticus 23 Commentary

Chapter 23

The feasts of the Lord, The Sabbath. (1-3) The Passover, The offering of first-fruits. (4-14) The feast of Pentecost. (15-22) The feast of Trumpets, The day of atonement. (23-32) The feast of Tabernacles. (33-44)

Verses 1-3 In this chapter we have the institution of holy times; many of which have been mentioned before. Though the yearly feasts were made more remarkable by general attendance at the sanctuary, yet these must not be observed more than the sabbath. On that day they must withdraw from all business of the world. It is a sabbath of rest, typifying spiritual rest from sin, and rest in God. God's sabbaths are to be religiously observed in every private house, by every family apart, as well as by families together, in holy assemblies. The sabbath of the Lord in our dwellings will be their beauty, strength, and safety; it will sanctify, build up, and glorify them.

Verses 4-14 The feast of the Passover was to continue seven days; not idle days, spent in sport, as many that are called Christians spend their holy-days. Offerings were made to the Lord at his altar; and the people were taught to employ their time in prayer, and praise, and godly meditation. The sheaf of first-fruits was typical of the Lord Jesus, who is risen from the dead as the First-fruits of them that slept. Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the very day that the first-fruits were offered. We are taught by this law to honour the Lord with our substance, and with the first-fruits of all our increase, Pr. 3:9 . They were not to eat of their new corn, till God's part was offered to him out of it; and we must always begin with God: begin every day with him, begin every meal with him, begin every affair and business with him; seek first the kingdom of God.

Verses 15-22 The feast of Weeks was held in remembrance of the giving of the law, fifty days after the departure from Egypt; and looked forward to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, fifty days after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. On that day the apostles presented the first-fruits of the Christian church to God. To the institution of the feast of Pentecost, is added a repetition of that law, by which they were required to leave the gleanings of their fields. Those who are truly sensible of the mercy they received from God, will show mercy to the poor without grudging.

Verses 23-32 the blowing of trumpets represented the preaching of the gospel, by which men are called to repent of sin, and to accept the salvation of Christ, which was signified by the day of atonement. Also it invited to rejoice in God, and become strangers and pilgrims on earth, which was denoted by the feast of Tabernacles, observed in the same month. At the beginning of the year, they were called by this sound of trumpet to shake off spiritual drowsiness, to search and try their ways, and to amend them. The day of atonement was the ninth day after this; thus they were awakened to prepare for that day, by sincere and serious repentance, that it might indeed be to them a day of atonement. The humbling of our souls for sin, and the making our peace with God, is work that requires the whole man, and the closest application of mind. On that day God spake peace to his people, and to his saints; therefore they must lay aside all their wordly business, that they might the more clearly hear that voice of joy and gladness.

Verses 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.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter an account is given of the several holy days, times, and seasons, appointed by God, under the general names of feasts and holy convocations; and first of the sabbath, Le 23:1-4; then of the passover and feast of unleavened bread, Le 23:5-8; to which is annexed the sheaf of the firstfruits, Le 23:9-14; after that of the feast of weeks or pentecost, Le 23:15-22; and of the feast of trumpets, Le 23:23-25; and of the day of atonement, Le 23:26-32; and of the feast of tabernacles, Le 23:33-44.

Leviticus 23 Commentaries