Leviticus 23

Listen to Leviticus 23
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, The set feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of work: it is a Sabbath to Yahweh in all your dwellings.
4 These are the set feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed season
5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, is Yahweh's Passover.
6 On the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to Yahweh: seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no servile work.
8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work.
9 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
10 Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, When you are come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest:
11 and he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12 In the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a he-lamb without blemish a year old for a burnt offering to Yahweh.
13 The meal-offering of it shall be two tenth parts [of an ephah] of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to Yahweh for a sweet savor; and the drink-offering of it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.
14 You shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor fresh ears, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings
15 You shall count to you from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave-offering; seven Sabbaths shall there be complete:
16 even to the next day after the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal-offering to Yahweh.
17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave-loaves of two tenth parts [of an ephah]: they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with yeast, for first fruits to Yahweh.
18 You shall present with the bread seven lambs without blemish a year old, and one young bull, and two rams: they shall be a burnt offering to Yahweh, with their meal-offering, and their drink-offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to Yahweh.
19 You shall offer one male goat for a sin-offering, and two he-lambs a year old for a sacrifice of peace-offerings
20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave-offering before Yahweh, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to Yahweh for the priest.
21 You shall make proclamation on the same day; there shall be a holy convocation to you; you shall do no servile work: it is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations
22 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleaning of your harvest: you shall leave them for the poor, and for the sojourner: I am Yahweh your God.
23 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
24 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.
25 You shall do no servile work; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
26 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
27 However on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation to you, and you shall afflict your souls; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
28 You shall do no manner of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before Yahweh your God.
29 For whatever soul it be who shall not be afflicted in that same day; he shall be cut off from his people.
30 Whatever soul it be who does any manner of work in that same day, that soul will I destroy from among his people.
31 You shall do no manner of work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you keep your Sabbath.
33 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of tents for seven days to Yahweh.
35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation: you shall do no servile work.
36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh: it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no servile work
37 These are the set feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, a burnt offering, and a meal-offering, a sacrifice, and drink-offerings, each on its own day;
38 besides the Sabbaths of Yahweh, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill-offerings, which you give to Yahweh
39 However on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.
40 You shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God seven days.
41 You shall keep it a feast to Yahweh seven days in the year: it is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall keep it in the seventh month.
42 You shall dwell in booths seven days; all who are home-born in Israel shall dwell in booths;
43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your God.
44 Moses declared to the children of Israel the set feasts of Yahweh.

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

INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS 23

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