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.
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.