Deuteronomy 16

1 Celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God during the month of Abib, because it was during Abib that he brought you out of Egypt at night.
2 As the sacrifice for the Passover to the Lord your God, offer an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose to be worshiped.
3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast. But for seven days eat bread made without yeast, the bread of suffering, because you left Egypt in a hurry. So all your life you will remember the time you left Egypt.
4 There must be no yeast anywhere in your land for seven days. Offer the sacrifice on the evening of the first day, and eat all the meat before morning; do not leave it overnight.
5 Do not offer the Passover sacrifice in just any town the Lord your God gives you,
6 but offer it in the place he will choose to be worshiped. Offer it in the evening as the sun goes down, which is when you left Egypt.
7 Roast the meat and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. The next morning go back to your tents.
8 Eat bread made without yeast for six days. On the seventh day have a special meeting for the Lord your God, and do not work that day.
9 Count seven weeks from the time you begin to harvest the grain,
10 and then celebrate the Feast of Weeks for the Lord your God. Bring an offering as a special gift to him, giving to him just as he has blessed you.
11 Rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose to be worshiped. Everybody should rejoice: you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your town, the strangers, orphans, and widows living among you.
12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and carefully obey all these laws.
13 Celebrate the Feast of Shelters for seven days, after you have gathered your harvest from the threshing floor and winepress.
14 Everybody should rejoice at your Feast: you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites, strangers, orphans, and widows who live in your towns.
15 Celebrate the Feast to the Lord your God for seven days at the place he will choose, because the Lord your God will bless all your harvest and all the work you do, and you will be completely happy.
16 All your men must come before the Lord three times a year to the place he will choose. They must come at these times: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Shelters. No man should come before the Lord without a gift.
17 Each of you must bring a gift that will show how much the Lord your God has blessed you.
18 Appoint judges and officers for your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you; they must judge the people fairly.
19 Do not judge unfairly or take sides. Do not let people pay you to make wrong decisions, because that kind of payment makes wise people seem blind, and it changes the words of good people.
20 Always do what is right so that you will live and always have the land the Lord your God is giving you.
21 Do not set up a wooden Asherah idol next to the altar you build for the Lord your God,
22 and do not set up holy stone pillars. The Lord your God hates them.

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.

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