Leviticus 23

1 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses saynge:
2 speake vnto the childern of Israel, and saye vnto them. These are the feastes off the Lorde which ye shal call holy feastes.
3 Sixe dayes ye shall worke, ad the seuenth is the Sabbath of rest an holy feast: so that ye maye do no worke therein, for it is the Sabbath of the Lorde, wheresoeuer ye dwell.
4 These are the feastes of the Lorde whiche ye shall proclayme holy in their ceasons
5 The xiiij. daye of the first moneth at eue is the Lordes Passeouer,
6 And the .xv. daye of the same moneth is the feast of swete bred vnto the Lorde: vij. dayes ye must eate vnleuended bred.
7 The first daye shalbe an holy feaste vnto you, so that ye maye do no laborious worke therein
8 But ye shall offer sacrifices vnto the Lord .vij dayes, and the seuenth daye also shalbe an holy feast, so that ye maye doo no laborious worke therein.
9 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
10 speake vnto the childern of Israell and saye vnto them: when ye be come in to the lande whiche I geue vnto you and repe doune youre haruest, ye shall brynge a shefe of the first frutes of youre haruest vnto the preast,
11 and he shall waue the shefe before the Lorde to be accepted for you: and euen the morow after the Sabbath the preaste shall waue it.
12 And ye shall offer the daye when he waueth the shefe, a labe without blemysh of a yere olde for a burntofferynge vnto the Lorde:
13 and the meatoffrynge thereof, two tenth deales of fine floure mengled with oyle to be a sacrifice vnto the Lorde of a swete sauoure: and the drinkofferinge thereto, the fourth deale of an hin of wyne.
14 And ye shall eate nether bred, nor parched corne, nor furmentye of new corne: vntyll the selfe same daye that ye haue broughte an offrynge vnto youre God. And this shalbe a lawe for euer vnto youre childern after you, where soeuer ye dwell
15 And ye shall counte from the morowe after the Sabbath: euen from the daye that ye broughte the sheffe of the waueoffrynge, vii. wekes complete:
16 euen vnto the morow after the .vij. weke ye shall numbre .l. dayes. And the ye shal bringe a newe meatoffrynge unto the Lorde.
17 And ye shall brynge out of youre habitacions two waueloaues made of two tenthdeales off fine floure leuended and baken, for first frutes vnto the Lorde.
18 And ye shall bringe with the bred seuen lambes without deformyte of one yere of age, and one yonge oxe and .ij. rambes, which shall serue for burntoffrynges vnto the Lorde, with meatoffringes and drinkoffringes longinge to the same, to be a sacrifice of a swete sauoure vnto the Lorde.
19 And ye shall offer an he goote for a synneofferinge: and two lambes of one yere old for peaceoffringes
20 And the preast shall waue the with the bred of the first frutes before the Lorde, and with the two lambes. And they shalbe holy vnto the Lorde, and be the preastes.
21 And ye shall make a proclamacio the same daye that it be an holy feast vnto you, and ye shall do no laborious worke therein: And it shalbe a lawe for euer thorowe out all youre habitacions vnto youre childern after you
22 When ye repe doune youre haruest, thou shalt not make cleane ryddaunce off thy felde, nether shalt thou make any aftergatheringe of thy haruest: but shalt leue them vnto the poore and the straunger. I am the Lorde youre God.
23 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses saynge:
24 speake vnto the childern of Israel ad saye. The first daye of the suenth moneth shalbe a rest of remembraunce vnto you, to blowe hornes in an holy feast it shalbe,
25 and ye shall do no laborious worke therein, and ye shall offer sacrifice vnto the Lorde.
26 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
27 also the tenth daye of the selfe seueth moneth, is a daye of an attonement, and shalbe on holy feast vnto you, ad ye shall humble youre soules and offer sacrifice vnto the Lorde.
28 Moreouer ye shall do no worke the same daye, for it is a daye of attonement to make an attonemet for you before the Lord your God.
29 For what soeuer soule it be that humbleth not him selfe that daye, he shalbe destroyde from amonge his people.
30 And what soeuer soule do any maner worke that daye, the same I will destroye from amonge his people.
31 Se that ye do no maner worke therfore. And it shalbe a lawe for euer vnto youre generacions after you in all youre dwellynges.
32 A sabbath of reste it shalbe vnto you, and ye shall humble youre soules. The .ix. daye of the moneth at euen and so forth from eue to euen agayne, ye shall kepe your Sabbath.
33 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
34 speake vnto the childern of Israel ad saye: the xv. daye of the same seuenth moneth shalbe the feast of tabernacles .vij. dayes uto the Lorde.
35 The first daye shalbe an holy feast, so that ye shall do no laborious worke therein.
36 Seuen dayes ye shall offer sacrifice vnto the Lorde, and the .viij daye shalbe an holy feast vnto you ad ye shall offer sacrifice vnto the Lorde. It is the ende of the feast, and ye shall do no laborious worke therein
37 These are the feastes of the Lorde whiche ye shall proclayme holy feastes, for to offer sacrifice vnto the Lorde, burntofferynges, meatofferynges, and drinkoffrynges euery daye:
38 besyde the sabbathes of the Lorde, ad besyde youre giftes, and all youre vowes, and all your frewillofferynges whiche ye shall geue vnto the Lorde
39 Moreouer in the .xv. daye of the seuenth moneth after that ye haue gathered in the frutes of the lande, ye shall kepe holy daye vnto the Lorde .vij: dayes longe. The first daye shall be a daye of reste, and the .viij. daye shalbe a daye of rest.
40 And ye shall take you the first daye, the frutes of goodly trees and the braunches off palme trees and the bowes of thicke trees, ad wylowes of the broke, and shall reioyse before the Lorde .vij. dayes.
41 And ye shall kepe it holy daye vnto the Lorde .vij. dayes in the yere. And it shalbe a lawe for euer vnto youre childern after you, that ye kepe that feast in the seuenth moneth.
42 And ye shall dwell in bothes seuen dayes: euen all that are Israelites borne, shall dwell in bothes,
43 that youre children after you maye knowe howe that I made the childern of Israel dwell in bothes, when I broughte them out of the lande of Egipte: for I am the Lorde youre God.
44 And Moses told all the feastes of the Lorde vnto the childern of Israel.

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

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