Leviticus 23 Commentary



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Leviticus 23-24 Come Celebrate the Feasts
Leviticus - Festivals (Feasts); Day of Atonement (scroll down)
Leviticus 23 Commentary

Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23:1-44 Holy Assemblies: Feasting Unto The Lord

Leviticus 24:1-9 Oil and Loaves: An Everlasting Covenant

Leviticus 24:10-23 Blasphemy and an Eye for an Eye: The Lex Talionis

Leviticus: Gifts to God
Leviticus 23 Feast of Unleavened Bread & Day of Pentecost (cp Acts 2)
Sabbath in the Temple; Festive Cycles and Arrangement of the Calendar; The Passover

The Paschal Feast and the Lord’s Supper; Feast of Unleavened Bread & Day of Pentecost

The Feast of Tabernacles; The Day of Atonement; Post-Mosaic Festivals
The New Moons: The Feast of the Seventh New Moon, or of Trumpets, or New Year’s Day

Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23:1-44," The Feasts Of The Lord;  Leviticus 23:1-3 The Sabbath Of Rest

Leviticus 23:4-5 The Lord's Passover;  Leviticus 23:6-8 The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Leviticus 23:9-14 The Feast of Firstfruits; Leviticus 23:15-22 The Feast of Pentecost

Leviticus 23:23-25 The Feast of Trumpets

Leviticus 23:26-32 The Feast of Atonement

Leviticus 23:33-44 The Feast of Tabernacles

Leviticus 24:1-4 The Golden Candlestick

Leviticus 24:5-9 The Table of Showbread

Leviticus 24:10-13 The Name

Leviticus Manner's & Customs -  The Feast of Trumpets
Leviticus 23 Remembering God's Provisions
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus - enter Scripture, select Video for lecture - Leviticus 23:1-3 Times of Rest
Leviticus 23:1-3 Times of Rest  Leviticus 23:22 Helping Needy People;

Leviticus 24:10-23 Sin's Consequences
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Feasts;  
Passover & Unleavened Bread Feast of Trumpets
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus - Christ in the Book of Leviticus
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus Festivals (Feasts)
Leviticus 23:1-8 Leviticus 23:9-22 Leviticus 23:23-25 Leviticus 23:26-32

Leviticus 23:33-44 Leviticus 24:1-9 Leviticus 24:10-23

Leviticus 23 Commentary

Leviticus 23 The Feasts of Jehovah

Christ as Seen in the Offerings

Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23:1-44 The Set Feasts of the Lord (The Expositor's Bible)
Leviticus 24:1-23 The Holy Light and the Shew-Bread (The Expositor's Bible)

Leviticus 17-26 Commentary
The Levitical Dietary Laws in the Light of Modern Science
Leviticus Offerings and Sacrifices

Leviticus 23 Commentary

Leviticus 23 Commentary;  Leviticus 24 Commentary

Leviticus 23:3 The Sabbath; Leviticus 23:10-11 The Sheaf of the First Fruits;

Leviticus 23:16-17 The Feast of Pentecost; Leviticus 23:23-25 The Feast of Trumpets;
Leviticus 23:13 The Drink Offering; Leviticus 23:34 The Feast of Tabernacles

Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus Summary (33 page summary by chapter)
Leviticus 23:33-44 The Consecration of Joy
Leviticus 24 The Place of Chapter 24 in the Structure of Leviticus
Hygiene-Pt 1 Hygiene-Pt 2 Hygiene-Pt 3

Leviticus Mp3's from Thru the Bible
Leviticus - The Tabernacle - God's Portrait of Christ
Leviticus 23:27 Leviticus 24:4-8

Leviticus 23 Brief Comments; Leviticus 24 Brief Comments
Leviticus Sermon Illustrations
Leviticus 21 Brief Comments  Leviticus 22 Brief Comments
Leviticus - Defender's Study Bible - type "Lev 23", etc in "all these words"
Leviticus 23 Brief Comments (includes synchronized Thomas Constable's Notes)
Leviticus 23:22 Scroll down (Google Preview - some pages missing)
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Israel's Holy Festivals
Leviticus 24 Sanctuary Light; The Shewbread; Blasphemy Punished
Feast of Atonement - Leviticus 16

Leviticus 23 Commentary (Hint: Scroll down page for related Homilies)
Leviticus 23 The Holidays Of God: The Fall Feasts
Leviticus 23 The Holidays Of God: The Spring Feasts

Leviticus 23 The Seven Feasts of the Lord
Leviticus 23:1-44: The Seven Feasts of Israel
Leviticus 23 The Seven Feasts; Leviticus 24 - 27 Putting Things In Order

Leviticus 23 Notes
Leviticus Lectures - The Holy Festivals
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23:15-17 Feast of First Fruits
Leviticus 23:23-25 The Feast of Trumpets

Leviticus 23:39-43 The Feast of Tabernacles

Leviticus 24:1-3 The Golden Candlestick

Leviticus 24:5-9 The Shew-Bread

Leviticus 24:13-15 The Blasphemer Stoned

Leviticus 23:5 Sermon Notes

Leviticus 23 God's Calendar

Leviticus 24 The Pattern Of Man

Leviticus 21-27 Priestly Laws, Special Times, Blessings, Cursings and Vows - Power Point

Leviticus 23 Devotionals  Leviticus 24 Devotionals
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 Commentary
Leviticus 23 The Significance of the Sabbath
Leviticus 23 The Feasts of Tabernacles
Leviticus 23 Commentary


Leviticus 23 Commentary

Leviticus 23:1 The LORD spoke again to Moses, saying,  


Leviticus 23 begins with instruction on the appointed times (Lev 23:2) and closes in a similar fashion (Lev 23:44).


This introductory "formula" is found some 30 times in the book of Leviticus.


Lev 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 28; 8:1; 11:1, 12:1; 13:1; 14:1; 16:1; 17:1; 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:16; 22:1, 17, 26; 23:1, 23:9, 23, 26, 33; 24:1, 13; 27:1


Key Words:


Appointed times - Lev 23:2, Lev 23:4, 23:37, 44

Holy convocations - 11x in 11v - Lev 23:2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 21, 24, 27, 35, 36, 37 (Note: This phrase occurs six times in Nu 28-29, twice in Ex. 12:16, and nowhere else)

Work - 11x/10v - Lev 23:3, 7, 8, 21, 25, 28, 30, 31, 35, 36
Laborious - 6x/6v - Lev 23:7, 8, 21, 25, 35, 36
Rest - 4x/4v - Lev 23:3, Lev 24:24, Lev 23:32, Lev 23:39

Perpetual statute - 4x/4v - Lev 23:14, 21, 31, 41 - This phrase only occurs 15x/15v in the Bible.  The other 11 uses of perpetual statue - Ex 27:21, Ex 29:9, Ex 30:21, Lev 3:17, Lev 10:9, Lev 24:3, Nu 10:8, Nu 15:15, Nu 18:23, Nu 19:10, Nu 19:21

Dwelling places - Lev 23:14, 17, 21, 31 - This phrase signifies the feasts are to take place in the homes and not just in the sanctuary.


Leviticus 23:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD'S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations--My appointed times are these: (Lev 23:4,37 Ex 23:14-17 Isa 1:13,14 33:20 La 1:4 Ho 2:11 Na 1:15 John 5:1 Col 2:16-17) (proclaim: Ex 32:5 Nu 10:2,3,10 2Ki 10:20 2Chr 30:5 Ps 81:3 Joe 1:14 2:15 Jonah 3:5-9)


KJV - Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts (moed) of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts (moed).




The LORD's appointed times - Don't miss this point - these festival times were God's idea, God's agenda, His "appointment calendar" so to speak. He is explicitly describing how He is to be worshiped in these festivals, all of which were practical in nature, in that they brought the Israelites together for rest, worship, praise, and thanksgiving; and prophetic in nature, in that they were a "shadow" (Col 2:17) of God's divine plan of redemption.


Matthew Henry makes the point that the appointed times or feasts were...


1. Many and returned frequently, which was intended to preserve in them a deep sense of God and religion, and to prevent their inclining to the superstitions of the heathen. God kept them fully employed in his service, that they might not have time to hearken to the temptations of the idolatrous neighborhood they lived in.


2. They were most of them times of joy and rejoicing. The weekly sabbath is so, and all their yearly solemnities, except the day of atonement.


Seven days were days of strict rest and holy convocations; the first day and the seventh of the feast of unleavened bread, the day of Pentecost, the day of the feast of trumpets, the first day and the eighth of the feast of tabernacles, and the day of atonement: here were six for holy joy and one only for holy mourning.


The KJV has "the feasts" and is probably more accurate translation than NAS as the Lxx has heorte which means feast, festival, holy day (Jn 5:1; Acts18:21; Col 2:16) The


Appointed times (04150) (moed from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix) can refer to either a time or place of meeting (eg, in "tent of meeting" the word for "meeting" in Lev 1:1 is moed). Appointed sign, appointed time, appointed season, place of assembly, set feast. An  appointed meeting time in general (Gen. 18:14; Ex. 13:10). Moed often designates a determined time or place without any regard for the purpose. Since the Jewish festivals occurred at regular intervals, this word becomes closely identified with them. Thus moed is a common term for the worshiping assembly of God's people.  A specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos. 9:5; 12:9).


 Moed as in the present context is used of those places where God’s people were to focus on God and their relationship with Him, which would include: the tent of meeting (Ex. 33:7); the Temple (Lam. 2:6); the synagogues (Ps. 74:8).


Note how the NAS translates moed as referring to time or place - appointed(3), appointed feast(3), appointed feasts(11), appointed festival(2), appointed meeting place(1), appointed place(1), appointed sign(1), appointed time(21), appointed times(8), appointment(1), assembly(2), definite time(1), feasts(2), festal assemblies(1), fixed festivals(3), meeting(147), meeting place(1), meeting places(1), season(4), seasons(3), set time(1), time(3), times(1), times appointed(1).


Moed - 213x in NAS - Note that most of the uses of Moed (about 137 verses) are in the phrase "tent of meeting" ('ohel moed =  the tented part of the tabernacle which God had appointed as the place to meet His people) - Ge 1:14; 17:21; 18:14; 21:2; Ex 9:5; 13:10; 23:15; 27:21; 28:43; 29:4, 10f, 30, 32, 42, 44; 30:16, 18, 20, 26, 36; 31:7; 33:7; 34:18; 35:21; 38:8, 30; 39:32, 40; 40:2, 6f, 12, 22, 24, 26, 29f, 32, 34f; Lev 1:1, 3, 5; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:4f, 7, 14, 16, 18; 6:16, 26, 30; 8:3f, 31, 33, 35; 9:5, 23; 10:7, 9; 12:6; 14:11, 23; 15:14, 29; 16:7, 16f, 20, 23, 33; 17:4ff, 9; 19:21; 23:2, 4, 37, 44; 24:3; Num 1:1; 2:2, 17; 3:7f, 25, 38; 4:3f, 15, 23, 25, 28, 30f, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47; 6:10, 13, 18; 7:5, 89; 8:9, 15, 19, 22, 24, 26; 9:2f, 7, 13; 10:3, 10; 11:16; 12:4; 14:10; 15:3; 16:2, 18f, 42f, 50; 17:4; 18:4, 6, 21ff, 31; 19:4; 20:6; 25:6; 27:2; 28:2; 29:39; 31:54; Deut 16:6; 31:10, 14; Josh 8:14; 18:1; 19:51; Jdg 20:38; 1 Sam 2:22; 9:24; 13:8, 11; 20:35; 2 Sam 20:5; 24:15; 1Kgs 8:4; 2Kgs 4:16f; 1Chr 6:32; 9:21; 23:31f; 2Chr 1:3, 6, 13; 2:4; 5:5; 8:13; 30:22; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Neh 10:33; Job 30:23; Ps 74:4, 8; 75:2; 102:13; 104:19; Isa 1:14; 14:13; 33:20; Jer 8:7; 46:17; Lam 1:4, 15; 2:6f, 22; Ezek 36:38; 44:24; 45:17; 46:9, 11; Dan 8:19; 11:27, 29, 35; 12:7; Hos 2:9, 11; 9:5; 12:9; Hab 2:3; Zeph 3:18; Zech 8:19


Vine on moed (מוֹעֵד)


“appointed place of meeting; meeting.” Moed keeps its basic meaning of “appointed,” but varies as to what is agreed upon or appointed according to the context: the time, the place, or the meeting itself. The usage of the verb in Amos 3:3 is illuminating: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Whether they have agreed on a time or a place of meeting, or on the meeting itself, is ambiguous.
The meaning of moed is fixed within the context of Israel’s religion. First, the festivals came to be known as the “appointed times” or the set feasts. These festivals were clearly prescribed in the Pentateuch. The word refers to any “festival” or “pilgrimage festival,” such as Passover (Lev. 23:15ff.), the feast of first fruits (Lev. 23:15ff.), the feast of tabernacles (Lev. 23:33ff.), or the Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27). God condemned the people for observing the moed ritualistically: (read Isa. 1:14-
note).  The word moed also signifies a “fixed place.” This usage is not frequent:  (see Isa. 14:13, Job 30:23).
In both meanings of moed—“fixed time” and “fixed place”—a common denominator is the “meeting” of two or more parties at a certain place and time—hence the usage of moed as “meeting.” However, in view of the similarity in meaning between “appointed place” or “appointed time” and “meeting,” translators have a real difficulty in giving a proper translation in each context. For instance, “He hath called an assembly [moed] against me” (Lam. 1:15) could be read: “He has called an appointed time against me” (nasb) or “He summoned an army against me” (niv).
The phrase, “tabernacle of the congregation,” is a translation of the Hebrew ohel moed (“tent of meeting”). The phrase occurs 139 times. It signifies that the Lord has an “appointed place” by which His presence is represented and through which Israel was assured that their God was with them. The fact that the tent was called the “tent of meeting” signifies that Israel’s God was among His people and that He was to be approached at a certain time and place that were “fixed” (yaad) in the Pentateuch. In the kjv, this phrase is translated as “tabernacle of the congregation” (Ex 28:43) because translators realized that the noun edah (“congregation”) is derived from the same root as moed The translators of the Septuagint had a similar difficulty. They noticed the relation of moed to the root ud (“to testify”) and translated the phrase ohel hamoed as “tabernacle of the testimony.” This phrase was picked up by the New Testament in Rev. 15:5. Of the three meanings, the appointed “time” is most basic. The phrase “tent of meeting” lays stress on the “place of meeting.” The “meeting” itself is generally associated with “time” or “place.” The Septuagint has the following translations of moed:
kairos (time), heorte (“feast; festival”). The English translators give these senses: “congregation” (kjv, rsv, nasb, niv); “appointed time” (nasb); “appointed feast” (rsv, nasb); “set time” (rsv, nasb, niv). (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)


Convocation (04744)(miqra' from the verb qara' meaning to call out loudly, to summon to a specific task) is a call, a summons, an assembly of persons "convoked" (called together), a collected body of people called together for a "religious" purpose, such as a public worship service. In Neh 8:8 miqra' refers to a public reading from the Scripture. In Nu 10:2 miqra' referred to the action of publicly calling with the goal being to bring the community together. Here the Sabbath is referred to as a "convocation."


Miqra' - 22x in NAS - Ex 12:16; Lev 23:2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 21, 24, 27, 35, 36, 37; Nu 10:2; 28:18, 25, 26; 29:1, 7, 12; Neh 8:8; Isa 1:13; 4:5.


NAS renders miqra' - assemblies(2), assembly(2), convocation(14), convocations(3), reading(1), summoning(1).


These holy convocations degenerated over time into unholy convocations that were even detestable to Jehovah...


Isaiah 1:13 Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination (toebah-word study) to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.

There were 3 feasts that were mandatory...


Ex 23:14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 “You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; (Luke writes "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching." Lk 22:1) for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 “Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest (Pentecost) of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.


Freeman - It is curious to notice how, at a time considerably later than the origin of these public festivals, the exact day of their occurrence was made known. In these days of almanacs and of exact astronomical calculations, we can hardly appreciate the difficulties they encountered in finding the right time. The first appearance of the new moon was the starting-point. To ascertain this the Sanhedrin took the deposition of two impartial witnesses as to the time they had seen it. They next spread the intelligence through the country by means of beacons. A person with a bundle of brushwood or straw went, to the top of Mount Olivet, where he kindled his torch and waved it back and forth till he was answered by fires of a similar nature from the surrounding hills. From these, in like manner, the intelligence was spread to others until the whole land was notified. After a time the Samaritans imitated the signs, thus making great confusion. This made it necessary to send messengers all over the country. These, however, did not go abroad at every new moon, but only seven times during the year. In this way the time for these three great feasts Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles as well as for other important occasions, was published to the people. See citation from Maimonides in BROWN S Antiquities of the Jews, vol. i, p. 424. These three festivals were preceded by a season of preparation, called peres, which lasted fifteen days. During this time each person was expected to meditate on the solemnity of the feast, and to undergo whatever legal purifications might be necessary. This is referred to in John 11:55 ( Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover, to purify themselves.). Roads, bridges, streets, and public water-tanks were repaired for the convenience of travelers. All the males of Israel were expected to attend, excepting the aged, the infirm, and infants who could not walk alone. They were commanded to bring offerings with them. (Manners and Customs 1875)


In ancient Israel there were seven religious festivals especially ordained by God (cf. Ex. 23:14-19): (1) the Passover (v. 5), (2) the Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 6-8), (3) the Feast of Firstfruits (vv. 9-14), (4) the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost, vv. 15-22), (5) the Feast of Trumpets (vv. 23-25), (6) the Day of Atonement (vv. 26-32), and (7) the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths or Ingathering, vv. 33-43).


Israel was unique in that her holy celebrations were divinely established by God Himself. They were practical in nature, in that they brought the Israelites together for rest, worship, praise, and thanksgiving; and prophetic in nature, in that they were a "shadow" (Col. 2:17) of God's divine plan of redemption. See chart, "The Feasts of the Lord," Ex. 23:14.


Scofield - The feasts of the LORD. These were seven great religious festivals which were to be observed by Israel every year. The first three verses of this chapter do not relate to the feasts, but separate the Sabbath from the feasts. Israel's religious calendar began in Nisan (in the spring); their civil year, in Tishri (in the autumn). The seven festivals of the Hebrews were included within the first seven months of the religious calendar: the first three feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits) took place in the first month, Nisan; the last three (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles), in the seventh month, Tishri. Between the first and last three was the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) which followed fifty days after the offering of the firstfruits.

Leviticus 23:3 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings. (Lev 19:3 Ex 16:23,29 20:8-11 23:12 31:15 34:21 35:2,3 Dt 5:13 Isa 56:2,6 58:13 Lk 13:14 23:56 Ac 15:21 Rev 1:10)




Related Resources:

Sabbath - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Sabbath, the - Torrey's Topical Textbook

Sabbath - Holman Bible Dictionary

Sabbath (Gk - Sabbaton) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Sabbath - Multiple Dictionaries, Naves and ISBE

What is the Sabbath day? from "Got Questions?"

How is Jesus our Sabbath Rest?

Does God require Sabbath-keeping of Christians?

What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday?


Before all the annual feasts are described, God first reminds the people of the weekly Sabbath festival. One man who dishonored the Sabbath by working was punished with death...


Nu 15:32 Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day (~ "work") 33 And those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation; 34 and they put him in custody because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So all the congregation brought him outside the camp, and stoned him to death with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.


Henry Morris - The weekly day of rest, commemorating God's completed work of creation (Exodus 20:8-11), was even more sacred than the seven annual feasts. No "servile" work could be done in the latter (Leviticus 23:8,21,25,35,36), but no work at all could be performed on the sabbath. Also, no work could be performed on the great day of atonement (Leviticus 23:28). (Leviticus - Defender's Study Bible - type "Lev 23", etc in "all these words")


Shortly after deliverance of Israel from Egypt, but before the formal giving of the Law at Mt Sinai, God instructed the people regarding the Sabbath principle. In the following passages we see that a central tenet was "Trust in the Lord to provide when He says He will provide." Notice how quickly they disobeyed (reflecting their lack of faith or trust).


Ex 16:22 Now it came about on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to them, "This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning." 24 So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul, nor was there any worm in it. 25 And Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. 26 "Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none." 27 And it came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? 29 "See, the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.


Sabbath (07676)(sabbat) comes from  the verb shabath (07673) meaning to desist (from exertion), cease (see this use of the verb in Ge 8:22, Jer 31:36), rest (first used of God resting in Creation - Ge 2:2-3), repose, cease from labor. So here the noun form sabbat means intermission, the Sabbath (day), the day of rest, the holy seventh day; a week, the sacred 7th year, a sabbatical year.


It was not until the giving of the Law at Mt Sinai that the keeping of the Sabbath became a part of the law and a sign of God's covenant relationship with His people (Ex 20:8-11 Ex 31:12-17).


Sabbath = A covenant sign indicative of Jehovah's authority. When Israel kept the Sabbath, they showed the pagan nations (the Gentiles had no Sabbath statute - see Ps 147:19-20) that they were a distinctive people and were subject to their God. Keeping Sabbath was in a sense a way of demonstrating Israel's trust in God, trusting that He would honor their labors with fruit. We may plant the seeds and water them, but it is God who gives the increase (1Co 3:6).


Shabbat - 88x in NAS - Ex 16:23, 25f, 29; 20:8, 10f; 31:13ff; 35:2f; Lev 16:31; 19:3, 30; 23:3, 11, 15f, 32, 38; 24:8; 25:2, 4, 6, 8; 26:2, 34f, 43; Num 15:32; 28:9f; Dt 5:12, 14f; 2Kgs 4:23; 11:5, 7, 9; 16:18; 1Chr 9:32; 23:31; 2Chr 2:4; 8:13; 23:4, 8; 31:3; 36:21; Neh 9:14; 10:31, 33; 13:15ff, 21f; Isa 1:13; 56:2, 4, 6; 58:13; 66:23; Jer 17:21f, 24, 27; Lam 2:6; Ezek 20:12f, 16, 20f, 24; 22:8, 26; 23:38; 44:24; 45:17; 46:1, 3f, 12; Hos 2:11; Amos 8:5. Translated in NAS: every sabbath(2), sabbath(73), sabbaths(32).


Sabbath = rest for man: Ex 31:15 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.


Comment: On the Sabbath Israel was commanded to imitate the Creator, Who Himself rested from His work of creation on the seventh day (Ge 2:1-3; Ex 20:11),


Wiersbe: Based on Genesis 2:1–3, the weekly Sabbath reminded the Jews that Jehovah God was the Creator and they were but stewards of His generous gifts....Although believers today aren’t commanded to “remember the Sabbath Day” (Ro 14:1-12-note; Col 2:16-17-note), the principle of resting one day in seven is a good one. (Ed: Are you resting in Jesus beloved? cp Mt 11:28-30-note).


Sabbath = rest for animals: Ex 23:12 “Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor in order that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves.


Vine: The “sabbath” was the covenant sign of God’s lordship over the creation. By observing the “sabbath,” Israel confessed that they were God’s redeemed people, subject to His lordship to obey the whole of His law. They were His stewards to show mercy with kindness and liberality to all (Ex. 23:12; Lev. 25).  By “resting,” man witnessed his trust in God to give fruit to his labor; he entered into God’s “rest.” Thus “rest” and the “sabbath” were eschatological in perspective, looking to the accomplishment of God’s ultimate purpose through the redemption of His people, to whom the “sabbath” was a covenant sign. The prophets rebuked Israel for their neglect of the sabbath (Isa. 1:13; Jer. 17:21-27; Ezek. 20:12-24; Amos 8:5). They also proclaimed “sabbath” observance as a blessing in the messianic age and a sign of its fullness (Isa. 56:2-4; 58:13; 66:23; Ezek. 44:24; 45:17; 46:1, 3-4, 12). The length of the Babylonian Captivity was determined by the extent of Israel’s abuse of the sabbatical year (2Chr 36:21; cf. Lev. 26:34- 35).


Sabbath = rest for the land: Lev 25:4 but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard.


Comment: This demonstrates God's concern for His creation! Sabbatical Year was the year when land not tilled (Lev 25:4ff.). In a very real sense the land of Palestine needed a rest from the sin of the sons of Israel. The length of the Babylonian captivity was determined by the extent of Israel's abuse of the Sabbatical year (2Chr 36:21 [cf. Lev 26:33, 34, 35]). After they had learned their lesson of 70 years of exile, God allowed them to return to the land of Israel.


Wiersbe: Other peoples might work on the seventh day and treat it like any other day, but the Israelites rested on the seventh day and thereby gave witness that they belonged to the Lord (Neh. 13:15–22; Isa. 58:13–14).


Sabbath = A Sign: Ex 31:17 “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”


Wenham makes an interesting comment regarding the recurrence of the idea of "seven"...


Keil points out that the sabbatical principle informs all the Pentateuchal laws about the festivals. There are seven festivals in the year: Passover, unleavened bread, weeks, solemn rest day, day of atonement, booths, day after booths. During these festivals there were seven days of rest, first and seventh unleavened bread, weeks, solemn rest day, day of atonement, first of booths, first day after booths. The majority of these festivals occur in the seventh month of the year. Every seventh year is a sabbatical year (Ex. 21:2ff.; Lev. 25:2ff.; Deut. 15:1ff.). After forty-nine (7 × 7) years there was a super-sabbatical year, the year of jubilee (Lev. 25:8ff.). Through this elaborate system off casts and sabbatical years the importance of the Sabbath was underlined. Through sheer familiarity the weekly Sabbath could come to be taken for granted. But these festivals and sabbatical years constituted major interruptions to daily living and introduced an element of variety into the rhythm of life. In this way they constantly reminded the Israelite what God had done for him, and that in observing the Sabbath he was imitating his Creator, who rested on the seventh day. (NICOT)


Victor Hamilton explains the theological significance of sabbat...


In the first place Ex 20:8ff. connects observance of the Sabbath with the fact that God himself rested on the seventh day after six days of work (Gen 2:2–3). Everything God made, as recorded in Genesis, he called good. Only the Sabbath, however, he sanctified, indicating perhaps that the climax of creation was not the creation of man, as is often stated, but the day of rest, the seventh day. The Sabbath is thus an invitation to rejoice in God’s creation, and recognize God’s sovereignty over our time.

Secondly, we observe in Dt 5:15 that a different reason is given for observing the Sabbath. “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out with a mighty hand. …; therefore, Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” Exodus then connects the Sabbath with creation described in Genesis and Deuteronomy connects the Sabbath with deliverance from Egypt described in Exodus. Thus every Sabbath, Israel is to remember that God is an emancipator, a liberator. The early Christians were on target, it seems, when they connected the day of rest with the remembrance of Christ’s resurrection. He is the one who gives freedom. Actually there is no real conflict between Deuteronomy and Exodus at this point. Whereas Deuteronomy has in view the people of the Covenant, the Exodus verses place the emphasis on the God of the covenant (AI, p. 481).

Thirdly, the Sabbath is a social or humanitarian ordinance which affords dependent laborers a day of rest: Ex 20:10, Deut 5:14–15 and Ex 23:12, “That your ox and your ass may have rest, and the son of your bondmaid, and the alien may be refreshed.” Here then this commandment takes a step in the direction of making all men equal before God. As the Sabbath recalls the liberation from Egypt so it in turn must become an agent of freedom by setting the dependents in society free. Is it possible to connect this with the fact that in 1Co 16:2 it is recorded that on the first day of the week there is a collection of money for the poor in Jerusalem?

Fourthly, the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant and in this way the Sabbath reaches into the future. The Sabbath now joins the signs of the rainbow and circumcision. The pertinent texts are Ex 31:13, 17 and Ezek 20:12, 20. This accounts for the reason that the penalty for profaning the Sabbath is death (Ex 31:14; Nu 15:32–36; Jer 17:19–27). As long as Israel observes the Sabbath she affirms her loyalty to Yahweh and guarantees his saving presence. For the Christian believer these promises are fulfilled in a person, Christ. Through him we enter into God’s own rest (Heb 4:1–11). (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament- R Laird Harris, Gleason L Archer Jr., Bruce K. Waltke).

Bruce Scott...


In Jewish tradition, the Sabbath is believed to be a gift from God’s treasury. Exalted and elevated, it is the day held to be the foundation and epitome of Jewish faith. It is revered and almost worshiped. The Sabbath is so important that it is looked on as being the primary instrument by which the Jewish people have been sustained and preserved throughout the ages. As one Jewish thinker said, “More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.”....The purpose of the Sabbath was threefold.


First, the Sabbath was to be a day of rest and refreshment for the Israelites, their servants, their livestock, and any visitors staying with them (Dt. 5:13–14). For six days they were to labor, but on the seventh day they were to have a complete rest or cessation from work. In so doing, observant Jews identified with their God, who also worked for six days and rested on the seventh.


Second, the Sabbath was to be a sign between the Lord and Israel (Ex. 31:13). Similar to the sign of circumcision, the Sabbath was to be kept throughout their generations as a sign of the covenant between God and Israel. The penalty for not keeping the Sabbath was the same as that for failure to practice circumcision. Non-observers were cut off from the covenant people. God gave the sign of the Sabbath so that Israel would know that He, the Lord, sanctified them.


Third, the Sabbath was to be a day of remembering their physical redemption (Dt. 5:15). The people of Israel were not to forget that they had been slaves in Egypt and that God had delivered them with great power and might. Resting on the seventh day therefore involved more than just physical refreshment. God did not rest on the seventh day because He was fatigued. Rather, the idea of resting spoke more of cessation. The Israelites were to cease whatever work they were engaged in during the week. They were to detach themselves from the material, temporal, and mundane and focus on the spiritual, eternal, and heavenly facets of life. They were to refresh the inner man as well as the outer. They were to reflect on their relationship with God, putting aside their own desires and putting God’s desires first (Isa. 58:13–14). By keeping the Sabbath in this way, the Israelites marked out a distinction or division between themselves and the godless world system around them. This is what God intended for Israel when He instituted the Sabbath.


Rabbinical Judaism, however, has added more to the meaning and purpose of the Sabbath. It teaches that the seventh day of rest was not a result of God’s ceasing from His work of creation. Rather, God’s work was actually finished with the creation of the Sabbath on the seventh day. Jewish tradition also teaches that the Sabbath is equal in itself to all the other commandments found in the Bible. Therefore, keeping the Sabbath is like keeping all of the biblical commands at the same time. Furthermore, whenever observant Jews keep the Sabbath, they believe they are endowed with an additional soul for the duration of the day of rest. At the conclusion of the Sabbath, that extra soul leaves. This additional soul is given so that they may experience and enjoy the spiritual delights of the Sabbath in all of their fullness. (The Feasts of Israel- Seasons of the Messiah by Bruce Scott)


Leviticus 23:4 'These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. (Lev 23:2,37 Ex 23:14)




KJV - These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.


Appointed times of the LORD - "Here again the feasts are called the feasts of the Lord, because he appointed them. Jeroboam's feast, which he devised of his own heart (1Ki 12:33), was an affront to God, and a reproach upon the people."


Kevin Williams comments that...


These appointed times of the Lord are important for many reasons. To begin with, they are part of a national system of “time-outs.” Together, they provide weekly, monthly, and yearly occasions to rest from the routines and common work of daily life. The Provider of Israel designed these “time-outs” and appointed times for rest, reflection, and worship. They are sacred convocations that call the people of God together not only in the grandeur and majesty of the temple, but also in the quiet shelter and simplicity of every home of the land. Together, these appointed times form a system of remembrance. The appointed times of the Lord give every household, whether rich occasions are used to retell stories of Jewish life and origins, these holidays provide a panorama of history that has strong implications for all the families of the earth. Seen individually and together, these feasts paint a compelling picture of the past, present, and future work of a Messiah Who is the source of life and hope and peace for all the nations of the world. (The Holidays of God - Radio Bible Class)


The Spring Feasts consisted of...

1) Passover (Pesach)
2) Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot)

3) Firstfruits (HaBikkurim)

4) Pentecost (Shavuot)


The Fall Feasts consisted of...

5) Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)

6) Atonement (Yom Kippur)

7) Tabernacles (Sukkot)


The second group of Fall Feasts are separated from the Spring Feasts by a four-month period. The first four feasts foreshadow truths concerning this present Gospel age. The last three foreshadow blessings in store for Israel. The first four are historic; the last three, prophetic.


These seven (the number of "completion") annual holidays are honored by Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed Jewish communities the world over.


Henry Morris describes the prophetic significance of the feasts...


Many commentators, ancient and modern, have noted that these seven annual "feasts [or religious festivals] of Jehovah" not only had spiritual value to the Israelites who observed them, but also gave prophetic witness to God's great redemptive work.

(1) Feast of the Passover (Leviticus 23:5) testifies of the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God. "Christ our Passover...sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).

(2) Feast of the Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8) speaks of the Lord's supper which would be instituted by Him on the night of the Passover and would serve to remind His followers to walk in communion with Him. "Therefore let us keep the feast,...with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).

(3) Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9-14) foreshadows the coming resurrection and restoration. "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming" (1 Corinthians 15:23).

(4) Feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-22) was fulfilled in the descent of the Holy Spirit on the first body of Christian believers after Christ's ascension, testifying to the world "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(5) Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25) is separated by a long period of time from the first four festivals and promises that someday "the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven...with the trump of God," when "the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible" (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52).

(6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) testifies of the certain judgments to come--on Israel, on the nations, on believers and on the lost--when complete separation between unforgiven sinners and perfected saints will be established forever (note the two goats in Leviticus 16, the chapter giving the details of this observance).

(7) Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43) speaks of the coming eternal rest in the Holy City when "the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people" (Revelation 21:3). (
Defender's Study Bible Note on Leviticus 23:4)

Leviticus 23:5 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. (Ex 12:2-14,18 Ex 13:3-10 Ex 23:15 Nu 9:2-7 Nu 28:16 Dt 16:1-8 Jos 5:10 2Chr 35:18,19 Mt 26:17 Mk 14:12 Lk 22:7 1Co 5:7,8)


Leviticus 23:5ff


When and why is Passover celebrated? The 14th of Nisan (meaning uncertain but some mentioned include "their flight,"  "month of flowers" Assyrian - nisannu = "beginning"). Nisan is the first month of the sacred year and seventh of the civil year, answering nearly to our March-April. It was originally called Abib (sprouting or budding), but began to be called Nisan after the Babylonian captivity. Passover is a God's appointed celebration so that His people would remember how He delivered their ancestors from the idols and slave-yards of Egypt. Today on the 14th of Nisan, observant Jewish fathers tell their children how the God of their fathers delivered their ancestors from economic bondage and spiritual darkness. Before the beginning of the 10th plague, Moses instructed every Israelite home to sacrifice a blemish free lamb, collect its blood (Life is in the blood) and with a hyssop brush paint the lamb’s blood on the lintel and door posts of their houses (Ex 12:22). Only where there was blood on the doorway did the death angel “pass over” and spare the life of the firstborn in that home (Ex 12:23). At a Passover Seder, which later became known by His followers as “the table of Communion,” Jesus held up the elements of wine and matzah and applied them to Himself. During the meal He broke unleavened bread with His disciples, and then held that broken matzah in His hands, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Lk. 22:19). Then after the meal He held up a cup of wine and with the same force of personal application to Himself, said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Lk 22:20). The Passover celebration served to  anticipated Messiah’s ultimate deliverance of an body of people willing to trust in His sacrificial death for their redemption.


What is the prophetic significance of the Passover? One element of mystery is found in a Passover tradition involving the “afikomen.” On every Passover table there is a cloth bag called a “matzah tosh.” The bag is either square or round and lies flat on the table. Within the matzah tosh are three pieces of matzah bread, each separated in its own pocket. In this way they are hidden from view, but the celebrants know they are there. During the Seder, the middle matzah is removed from its place, broken in half, and one portion is wrapped in a linen cloth. This wrapped piece of matzah is called the “afikomen.” Afikomen is not a Hebrew word, but a Greek word that means “the coming one.” The afikomen is removed from the table and hidden. Later in the meal, it becomes a children’s game to search for the hidden afikomen. The child who finds it brings it back to the table where “Papa” must ransom it back. Once it is paid for, the afikomen is unwrapped and shared by all as the last food eaten so its flavor will  stay on the tongue and its memory stay in the mind the rest of the evening. The rabbis cannot agree on the significance of this unusual observance, or its origins. Some believe the three pieces of matzah in the matzah tosh represent three crowns of learning. Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus have seen in the afikomen a striking picture of the trinity (tri-unity), so that in the three folds of the matzah tosh there is a picture of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The middle matzah represented by the Son is broken, wrapped in linen, hidden, and ransomed (the price paid), and then brought back for the family to accept and enjoy seems too deliberate to easily dismiss. While the symbolism of this ritual remains a mystery to those who have not accepted the Messiah, through messianic eyes the meaning seems clear and powerful. When Jesus said of the unleavened bread, “Take, eat; this is My body,” He was not instituting an empty ritual. He was identifying Himself personally with both the matzah and the Passover lamb, bringing to mind the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53:4-7) Today when Christians share in the bread of Communion, they are carrying out the fulfilled picture of the Passover.

Another important element in a traditional Jewish Passover observance is wine. During a typical Passover Seder, four cups are shared, each with its own significant picture in the ritual. The first cup is called the “cup of sanctification,” which sets the feast apart from any commonplace meal. The second cup is the “cup of plagues,” remembering the calamities visited upon the Egyptians. The third cup is called the “cup of redemption,” recognizing and memorializing the Hebrews’ release from captivity. The fourth cup is called the “cup of praise,” during which the family recites Psalms 113–118, traditionally considered the praise Psalms. The third cup, the “cup of redemption,” the “Kiddush cup,” in the modern Seder comes after the eating of the afikomen. Because of the ritualistic order of the meal and the rich significance of this observance, some Christian theologians believe that this is the cup Jesus lifted, blessed, and declared, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Passover xs;P, (06453)(pesach/pesah) is a masculine noun thought by some writers (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon) to have its origin from pacach/pasah which apparently means to pass over; to spare (Ex 12:13, 23, 27 - "Jehovah will pass" = pasah).


Pesach/pesah virtually always refers to the Passover, either the feast or the Passover animal.


Note that the Passover is combined with the Feast of Unleavened Bread by Luke who writes "the Feast of Unleavened Bread...is called the Passover, was approaching." (Lk 22:1) Rooker adds that "These two ceremonies were apparently combined at the beginning, for the Passover lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread (Ex 12:8)." (New American Commentary).


Related Resources:

Passover - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (see intro for etymology)

Feasts of Israel - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary - scroll down for "Passover"


VanGemeren rightly states that


The etymology of the root פֶּסַח (pesah) is much disputed, and some very tenuous links have been established with the Akk. pašāu, to appease, and the Arab. fasaa, be/become wide (New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis 3:642).


Rooker writes that...


The verbal root of the noun translated “Passover” occurs only four times in the Old Testament (Ex 12:13, 23, 27; Isa 31:5). The root has been variously explained: “to have compassion,” “to protect,” “to skip over.” In Isa 31:5 the verb is parallel to the verb “to rescue,” which would harmonize well with the first or second options and would indicate that what was critical during the tenth plague was not the death angel’s “passing over” Israelites’ homes as much as the fact that God was displaying his compassion in protecting his people. (New American Commentary).


Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament gives the basic meaning of pesach/pesah as


"a sparing, immunity from penalty and calamity, hence—(1) a sacrifice offered on account of the sparing of the people, the paschal lamb, of which it is said, Ex. 12:27 (“this is a sacrifice of sparing [prop. of passing over] unto Jehovah, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians,”).


Swanson has this analysis of this Hebrew word pesach/pesah


1. Passover sacrifice, i.e., the ceremonial offering of small mammals (sheep or goats) one year old, of very high quality (Ex 12:21);

2. Passover Feast, i.e., a festival celebrating deliverance from Egypt (Ex 34:25);

3. Passover meal, i.e., a meal eaten as a part of the festival of Passover, eaten as a remembrance of hasty deliverance (Ex 12:11) (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew Old Testament)

Pesach - 46v in the NAS - Ex 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48; 34:25; Lev 23:5; Num 9:2, 4ff, 10, 12ff; 28:16; 33:3; Deut 16:1f, 5f; Josh 5:10f; 2 Kgs 23:21, 22, 23; 2 Chr 30:1f, 5, 15, 17f; 35:1, 6ff, 11, 13, 16ff; Ezra 6:19f; Ezek 45:21


Passover (Ex 12:1-14; Lev 23:5; Nu 9:1-14; 28:16; Dt 16:1-7) On the 14th day of the 1st month (Nisan), this festival commemorated God’s deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt. Passover speaks of the substitutionary death of the Lamb of God. Christ died on the day of Passover.


Paul gives the clear prophetic fulfillment of the OT shadow (Col 2:16-17, Heb 10:1)  in a strong command to the church at Corinth...


Clean out (aorist imperative = command - Do this now! Don't delay!) the old leaven (Remember the context is sin in the church in the form of incest! Read 1Cor 5:1-6), that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1Cor 5-8)


Criswell: As the firstborn of the Israelites were saved from the stroke of the angel of death at the first Passover by the blood of a lamb (cf. Ex 12:21-23), so salvation is now offered through the blood of Christ, Who died at Passover as the Passover Lamb (cf. 1Pe 1:18, 19).


Wiersbe -  The innocent lamb died for the firstborn; because the blood of the lamb was applied to the door by faith, the firstborn sons were safe. This was “the Lord’s Passover” and the only means of deliverance that He provided that awesome night when the death angel visited Egypt. To reject the blood of the lamb was to accept judgment and death. The lamb typified Jesus Christ, who shed His blood on the cross for a world of lost sinners (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19–20). “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7). Since the Passover lamb had to be perfect, it was chosen on the tenth day of the month and watched carefully until it was slain on the fourteenth day of the month. Jesus Christ “knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21), “did no sin” (1 Peter 2:22), and “in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5). (Be Holy)


Freeman -


The first of the three great feasts, is usually called the Passover, in commemoration of the passing over of the houses of the Israelites by the destroying angel, at the time when the first-born of the Egyptians were slain. The ancient Jewish canons distinguish between what they term - the Egyptian Passover and the Permanent Passover; the former signifying the feast in its original form, and the latter representing it as modified in the subsequent years of the history of the people. The essential parts of the feast, were however, the same. It took place during the month Abib, or, as it was subsequently called, Nisan, corresponding very nearly with April of our calendar. See note on Dt 16:1. (NOTE: Abib means a green ear. This denotes the condition of the barley in Palestine and Egypt during this month. It was the first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and was in later times called Nisan. See Neh.2:1; Esther 3:7. It corresponded nearly to our month of April.) While it lasted great care was taken to abstain from leaven. A he-lamb or kid of the first year was selected by the head of the family and was slain, its blood being sprinkled originally on the door-posts, and subsequently on the bottom of the altar. The animal was then roasted whole with fire, and eaten with unleavened bread and a salad of bitter herbs. It could not be boiled, nor must a bone of it be broken. When they first ate it in Egypt the Israelites had their loins girt and their shoes on, all ready for a journey, and they partook of it standing, as if in haste to be away. In after years this position was changed to sitting or reclining. Not fewer than ten, nor more than twenty, persons were admitted to one of these feasts. Stanley (in his History of the Jewish Church, vol. i, p. 559, Am. ed.) gives a deeply interesting account, from his personal observation, of the modern observance of the Passover by the Samaritan*--. For the mode of observing the Passover in our Lord s time, see notes on Mt 26:19-20. It. is supposed by some writers that, aside from the general design of the Passover, as already stated, there was in some of its ceremonies an intentional Divine rebuke of the idolatry of heathen nations, and especially of that of the Egyptians. One of their deities was represented by a human body with a ram s head. To have a lamb slain, and its blood sprinkled on the door posts, was an act of contempt against this deity. Some heathen people ate raw flesh in connection with their festivities. The Passover lamb was to be cooked. This cooking was by roasting, for the Egyptians and Syrians some times boiled the flesh of their sacrificial victims in water, and sometimes in milk. It was to be roasted with h re, for the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and ancient Persians are said to have roasted their sacrifices in the sun. It was to be roasted whole, even to the intestines, for the heathen were in the habit of looking into these for omens, and sometimes even ate them raw. (Manners and Customs 1875)


R A Torrey summarizes the Feast of the Passover...


Ordained by God Exodus 12:1,2
Commenced the fourteenth of the first month at even Ex 12:2,6,18 ; Lev 23:5 ; Numbers 9:3
Lasted seven days Exodus 12:15 ; Leviticus 23:6


Passover Numbers 9:5 ; John 2:23
Jew's Passover John 2:13 ; 11:55
Lord's Passover Exodus 12:11,27
Feast of unleavened bread Mark 14:1 ; Luke 22:1
Days of unleavened bread Acts 12:3 ; 20:6


All males to appear at  Exodus 23:17 ; Deuteronomy 16:16
Paschal lamb eaten first day of  Exodus 12:6,8
Unleavened bread eaten at Exodus 12:15 ; Deuteronomy 16:3


Not to be in their houses during Exodus 12:19
Not to be in any of their quarters Exodus 13:7 ; Deuteronomy 16:4
Nothing with, to be eaten Exodus 12:20
Punishment for eating Exodus 12:15,19

First and last days of, holy convocations  Exodus 12:16 ; Numbers 28:18,25
Sacrifices during  Leviticus 23:8 ; Numbers 28:19-24
The first sheaf of barley harvest offered the day after the Sabbath in  Leviticus 23:10-14


Passing over the first-born Exodus 12:12,13
Deliverance of Israel from bondage of Egypt Exodus 12:17,42 ; 13:9 ; Deut 16:3

To be perpetually observed during the Mosaic age Exodus 12:14 ; 13:10
Children to be taught the nature and design of Exodus 12:26,27 ; 13:8
Purification necessary to the due observance of 2 Chronicles 30:15-19 ; John 11:55
Might be kept in 2nd month by those unclean At appointed time Nu 9:6-11 ; 2Chr 30:2,3,15
No uncircumcised person to keep Exodus 12:43,45
Strangers and servants when circumcised might keep Exodus 12:44,48
Neglect of, punished with death Numbers 9:13
Improper keeping of, punished 2 Chronicles 30:18,20


On leaving Egypt Exodus 12:28,50
In the wilderness of Sinai Numbers 9:3-5
On entering the land of promise Joshua 5:10,11
In Hezekiah's reign 2 Chronicles 30:1
In Josiah's reign 2 Kings 23:22,23 ; 2 Chronicles 35:1,18
After the captivity Ezra 6:19,20
Before the death of Christ Luke 22:15

Moses kept through faith Hebrews 11:28
Christ always observed Matthew 26:17-20 ; Luke 22:15 ; John 2:13,23
The people of Jerusalem lent their rooms to strangers for Luke 22:11,12
The Lord's Supper instituted at Matthew 26:26-28
Custom of releasing a prisoner at Matthew 27:15 ; Luke 23:16,17
The Sabbath in, a high day John 19:31
The day before the Sabbath in, called the preparation John 19:14,31

Illustrative of redemption through Christ 1 Corinthians 5:7,8

Leviticus 23:6 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. (Ex 12:15,16 Ex 13:6,7 Ex 34:18 Nu 28:17,18 Dt 16:8 Acts 12:3,4)


(Chag HaMatzot)
Leviticus 23:6-8


Then - time phrase marks sequence, in this case the day after the Passover. Passover occurred on a Friday, Feast of Unleavened Bread on Saturday and Feast of First Fruits (our "Easter") on Sunday. As noted earlier, the term Passover is used interchangeably with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, technically, the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on Nisan 15, one day after the Passover celebration. “They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians.” (Nu 33:3) As they left Egypt, the Jews took their bread in mixing bowls, without allowing time for leaven (yeast) to form or bread to rise. When the order came to leave, they left with flat bread and all! This act of leaving Egypt with unleavened bread has led to one of the most colorful traditions of the Passover season. In anticipation of the days of unleavened bread, Jewish mothers do their “spring cleaning.” With great care they sweep and search and scrub their homes to remove every bit of leaven. Floors are swept, pots are boiled, cupboards are emptied—all in an effort to remove any trace of leaven. Then just before Passover, bonfires are lit in empty lots and fields all over Israel to destroy any of the bread and crumbs that have been found (compare Paul's charge in 1Cor 5:7-8). In Paul’s eyes, and in the understanding of other rabbis, leaven is an illustration of sin. The Feast of Unleavened Bread therefore speaks of the need for God’s people to live new lives marked by a break from the bondage experienced in the kingdom of sin and darkness. keep in mind, however, is the messianic significance Jesus claimed for the matzah of Passover. When He broke the unleavened bread of the Seder and said, “This is My body which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me,” He was saying that the matzah of the Passover had a meaning that is realized fully in Him. Some who believe in Jesus see a mysterious and ironic picture of Him that has unintentionally shown up in the way unleavened bread is made. By rabbinic decree, matzah must be striped, pierced, and burned in such a way as to appear bruised! (Read Isaiah 53:5, Zech 12:10) As someone has well said "These so called co-incidences are really "God-incidences!"


Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:15-20; 13:3-10; Lev 23:6-8; Nu 28:17-25; Dt 16:3, 4, 8) This feast is seven days long, beginning on the fifteenth of Nisan and continuing through the twenty-first. It marked the beginning of the barley harvest and immediately followed Passover and lasted until the 21st day of the month. Unleavened Bread speaks of the holy walk of the believer (1Cor 5:6-8).


Rooker - The unleavened bread reminded the Israelites of the haste in which they left the land of Egypt. They were forced to begin their journey before the dough could rise. During this seven-day period only bread without yeast could be eaten. (The New American Commentary page 285)


K. Arthur - When you think of leaven, you think of sin and how a little leaven leavens the whole lump. There is no leaven put in the dough to make it rise because God wanted to show us to a picture. The blood of Jesus was shed for us and that blood, and when we apply it in faith to the door of our hearts then we are no longer slaves to sin for the Son has set us free. Therefore I no longer have to practice sin. I can keep the feast of unleavened bread.  (Leviticus Lectures)


Feast (02282)(chaq/chag/hag/haq) means festival and usually refers to the various feasts on the Jewish calendar. “Holiday,” i.e. a day or season of religious joy.  The term moed “appointed time,” is also used for “feast,” but is a broader term including Sabbaths, new moons, etc. "The use of this noun is limited mainly to the three pilgrim-feasts. Four times it is used for each of the three in a single context (Ex 23:15–16; 34:18–22; Deut 16:16; 2Chr 8:13). Otherwise the noun applies most often (twenty times) to the Feast of Booths (Ingathering), secondly (eleven times) to the Feast of Unleavened Bread (or Passover) and once to the Feast of Weeks (Deut 16:10)." (TWOT)


Septuagint (Lxx) translates chaq with the Greek word heorte = "a day or series of days marked by a periodic celebration or observance, festival, celebration."


Vine - This word refers especially to a “feast observed by a pilgrimage.” That is its meaning in its first biblical occurrence, as Moses declared to Pharaoh (Ex 10:9). Haq/chaq usually represents Israel’s three annual “pilgrimage feasts,” which were celebrated with processions and dances. These special feasts are distinguished from the sacred seasons (“festal assemblies”—Ezek 45:17), the new moon festivals, and the Sabbaths (Hos 2:11). (In a unique use of haq/chaq) Aaron proclaimed a “feast to the Lord” at the foot of Mt. Sinai. This “feast” involved no pilgrimage but was celebrated with burnt offerings, communal meals, singing, and dancing. The whole matter was displeasing to God (Ex 32:5-7).


Chaq - 55v in NAS - Ex 10:9; 12:14; 13:6; 23:15f, 18; 32:5; 34:18, 22, 25; Lev 23:6, 34, 39, 41; Num 28:17; 29:12; Deut 16:10, 13f, 16; 31:10; Jdg 21:19; 1Kgs 8:2, 65; 12:32f; 2Chr 5:3; 7:8f; 8:13; 30:13, 21; 35:17; Ezra 3:4; 6:22; Neh 8:14, 18; Ps 81:3; 118:27; Isa 29:1; 30:29; Ezek 45:17, 21, 23, 25; 46:11; Hos 2:11; 9:5; Amos 5:21; 8:10; Nah 1:15; Zech 14:16, 18f; Mal 2:3


Chaq is translated in NAS as - feast(52), feasts(5), festival(1), festival sacrifice(1), festivals(3).

Unleavened bread is eaten for seven days (Lev. 23:6; Nu 28:17). While the Passover is a separate festival, observed on the fourteenth of Nisan, the meal was eaten after sundown on the fifteenth of Nisan. The term "Passover," is applied to the entire eight days (cf. Lk 22:1, Lev. 23:6; Nu 28:17). As noted above Luke 22:1 associates Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover.




The first and the last days of this feast were, like the first and last days of the main autumn festival, the feast of booths, rest days when “no heavy work” could be done (Lev 23:7, 8, 35, 36). (NICOT)

Leviticus 23:7 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. (Nu 28:18-25)


Ryrie - laborious work. Defined in a later period as building, weaving, reaping, threshing, grinding, and so on.

Leviticus 23:8 'But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.'"


Laborious work - It is not clearly stipulated as to what is "laborious." Some think it alludes to Ex 20:9, which would be fairly restrictive.


Seventh day is a holy convocation - The opening and closing days of this feast are like the first and seventh days of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Autumn. Ordinary labor like farming or trading stopped and a holy convention was held.


Wiersbe has this practical application regarding the Feast of Unleavened Bread....


For seven days following Passover, the Jews ate only unleavened bread with their meals, and they carefully cleansed all the yeast out of their homes (Ex 12:15–20). In many places in Scripture, leaven depicts sin. Thus the putting away of leaven illustrates the cleansing of one’s life after he or she has been saved through faith in the blood (2Cor. 6:14–7:1). We must get rid of the “old life” leaven (1 Cor. 5:7). Those things belong to our unconverted days and have no place in our new Christian walk (1Pe 4:1–5). We must also put away “the leaven of malice and wickedness” (1 Cor. 5:8; Eph. 4:31–32), the leaven of hypocrisy (Luke 12:1), and the leaven of false doctrine (Gal. 5:7–9). The “leaven of Herod” (Mark 8:15) represents the attitude of pride and worldliness that was evident in that evil king’s life. And the “leaven . . . of the Sadducees” was unbelief (Matt. 16:6). The people weren’t saved from death and bondage by getting rid of leaven but by applying the blood of the lamb by faith. People today think they’ll be saved because they reform or get rid of a bad habit, but good as doing these things are, they can never do what only the blood of Christ can do. Salvation is through the blood of Christ alone, the sinless Lamb of God, but “let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19, NKJV). The Christian life is not a famine or a funeral; it’s a feast. “Therefore let us keep the feast . . . with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8). Sin can be secretly introduced into our lives and quietly grow so that it pollutes the inner person. One “toxic” Christian in a church body can defile the whole body if given enough time. One false doctrine, if allowed to grow, will destroy an entire ministry. (Be Holy)

Leviticus 23:9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,


This "formula" is found some 30 times in the book of Leviticus.


Lev 4:1; 5:14; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 28; 8:1; 11:1, 12:1; 13:1; 14:1; 16:1; 17:1; 18:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:16; 22:1, 17, 26; 23:1, 23:9, 23, 26, 33; 24:1, 13; 27:1


Leviticus 23:10 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. (When: Lev 14:34) (shall: Lev 2:12-16 Ex 22:29 23:16,19 34:22,26 Nu 15:2,18-21 28:26 Dt 16:9 Jos 3:15) (Pr 3:9,10 Eze 44:30 Ro 11:16 1Co 15:20-23 Jas 1:18 Rev 14:4)


Leviticus 23:10-14

Feast of Firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14; Nu 28:26) marked the beginning of the barley harvest, immediately followed Passover and lasted until the 21st day of the month. First Fruits symbolized the consecration of the entire harvest to God and was an earnest, or pledge (guarantee) of the full harvest yet to be gathered.


Sheaf - The grain is not stated but this would be at the time of the barley harvest (which preceded the wheat harvest), so it is most likely a sheaf of barley.


Firstfruits speaks of Christ’s resurrection as the firstfruit of the resurrection of all believers (1Cor 15:20-23). Christ rose on the day of the Firstfruits (Easter)


"Firstfruits" in the NT also refers to the earliest converts as the firstfruits of the Spirit (Ro 8:23); to the Jews as precursors of the Christian church (Ro 11:16); to individual believers (Ro 16:5); to Christ as the firstfruits of resurrection (1Cor 15:20); to believers born again by the Word of God (Jas 1:18); and to the group that had been redeemed as firstfruits (Rev 14:4).


The Feast of Firstfruits occurred on our modern Sunday, the “day after the Sabbath” (Lev 23:11), on the first day of the week, even as Christ was raised on the first day of the week. Like the feast of firstfruits, the resurrection of Christ anticipates the harvest which is to follow, the resurrection of the saints. When the priest on the day of Christ’s resurrection waved the sheaf of first fruits in the Temple, it was before a torn veil and was but an antiquated form, for the substance had come and the shadow had passed away (Col 2:16-17). Joseph’s empty tomb proclaimed that the great first fruit sheaf had been "reaped and waved" in the heavenly Temple. This feast has been completely fulfilled in Christ.


Josephus says that the sheaf was of barley and that until this ceremony had been performed, no harvest work was to be done (Ant. 3.10.5).


Ryrie - First Fruits symbolized the consecration of the entire harvest to God and was an earnest, or pledge, of the full harvest yet to be gathered. See notes on 1Cor 15:20; Jas 1:18; Rev. 14:4, as well as other NT uses in Ro 8:23; Ro 11:16; 1Cor. 16:15.

Scofield - The Feast of Firstfruits, Lev 23:10-14 is typical of resurrection first, of Christ, then of those who are His at His coming (1Cor 15:23; 1Th 4:13-18).

Leviticus 23:11 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Lev 9:21 10:14 Ex 29:24)

Leviticus 23:12 'Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD. (Lev 1:10 Heb 10:10-12 1Pe 1:19)

Leviticus 23:13 'Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. (grain: Lev 2:14-16 14:10 Nu 15:3-12)(drink: Ex 29:40,41 30:9 Nu 28:10 Joel 1:9,13 2:14) (fourth: Ex 30:24 Eze 4:11 45:24 46:14)

Leviticus 23:14 'Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. (eat: Lev 19:23-25 25:2,3 Ge 4:4,5 Jos 5:11,12) (it shall be: Lev 3:17 10:11 Dt 16:12 Ne 9:14 Ps 19:8)

Leviticus 23:15 'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. (Lev 23:10,11 Lev 25:8 Ex 34:22 Dt 16:9,10)



Feast of Weeks (Ex 23:16; 34:22; Lev 23:15-21; Nu 28:26-31; Dt 16:9-12) took place 50 days after the barley harvest, and involved new grain offerings to the Lord. Pentecost speaks of the descent of the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension and signals the bringing together of Jews and Gentiles into one new body the Church.


Pentecost is also called the feast of weeks (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10,16; 2Chr 8:13), the feast of harvest (Ex. 23:16), and the day of firstfruits (Nu 28:26; cp Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Lev. 23:17)


Freeman -


1. The Feast of Harvest is sometime called the Feast of Weeks, because of the seven weeks; by which its time was determined. Dt 16:9, 10. It is also called the Day of First-fruits, (Nu 28:26) because on that day the first loaves made from the wheat harvest were offered to the Lord. Its later name was Pentecost, because it occurred fifty days after Passover. These fifty days begin with the offering of the first sheaf of the barley harvest during Passover week, (Lev. 23:10,) and ended with the Feast of Harvest. This feast took place after the corn harvest, and before the vintage.
Its design was primarily to give an expression of gratitude to God for the harvest which had been gathered; but the Jews assert, that in addition to this, it was intended to celebrate the giving of the law on Sinai, which took place fifty days after the Passover. Maimonides says that the reason why the feast occupied but one day was because that was all the time occupied .m giving the law. On this day the people rented from all labor. Two loaves, made of the new wheat, were offered before the Lord. These were leavened, in distinction to the Passover bread, which was unleavened. Lev. 23:17. The Jews say that this was because the Passover was a memorial of the haste in which they departed from Egypt, when they had not time to get their bread leavened ; while the Feast of Harvest was a token of thankfulness to God for their ordinary food. In addition to this offering of the loaves, every per son was required to bring in a basket a portion of the first-fruits of the earth, and offer it unto the Lord. Dt. 26:1-10. At the same time there was a burnt offering of seven young lambs, one young bullock, and two rams. A kid was given as a sin-offering, and two young lambs for a peace offering. Lev. 23:18. 19. (
Manners and Customs 1875)

Leviticus 23:16 'You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. (Ac 2:1)


Fifty days - The Lord "came down" at Sinai on the 50th day after the first Passover (Ex 12:6; 19:1,11), just as the Holy Spirit came down fifty days after Christ's crucifixion (Acts 1:3,4; 2:1-4)


Scofield - The Feast of Weeks, a harvest feast known as Pentecost, vv. 15 - 22. The antitype is the descent of the Holy Spirit to form the Church. For this reason yeast is present, because there is evil in the Church (Mt 13:33; Acts 5:1-10; 15:1). Observe, it is now loaves; not a sheaf of separate growths loosely bound together, but a real union of particles making one homogeneous body. The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost united the separate disciples into one organism (1Cor 10:16-17; 12:12-13,20). Pentecost took place fifty days after the offering of the firstfruits, coming at about the beginning of summer.

Leviticus 23:17 'You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD. (two wave: Nu 28:26) (leaven: Lev 7:13 Mt 13:33)(firstfruits: Lev 23:10 Ex 22:29 23:16,19 34:22,26 Nu 15:17,19-21 Dt 26:1,2 Pr 3:9,10 Ro 8:23 1Co 15:20 Jas 1:18 Rev 14:4)


Scofield - The wave loaves were offered fifty days after the wave sheaf. This is precisely the period between the resurrection of Christ and the formation of the Church at Pentecost by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4; 1Cor 12:12-13). See Church (Mat 16:18; Heb 12:23, note). With the wave sheaf no yeast was offered, for there was no evil in Christ; but the wave loaves, typifying the Church, are "baked with yeast," for in the Church there is still evil.

Leviticus 23:18 'Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. (lambs: Lev 23:12,13 Nu 28:27-31 Mal 1:13,14)(their: Nu 15:4-12)

Leviticus 23:19 'You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. (one male goat: Lev 4:23-28 16:15 Nu 15:24 28:30 Ro 8:3 2Co 5:21)(lambs: Lev 3:1-17 Lev 7:11-18)

Leviticus 23:20 'The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the LORD; they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. (wave them: Lev 23:17 7:29,30 Ex 29:24 Lk 2:14 Eph 2:14)(holy to: Lev 7:31-34 Lev 8:29 10:14,15 Nu 18:8-12 Dt 18:4 1Co 9:11)

Leviticus 23:21 'On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. (proclamation: Lev 23:2,4 Ex 12:16 Dt 16:11 Isa 11:10)(statute: Lev 23:14 Ge 17:7 Ex 12:17 Nu 18:23)





Leviticus 23:22 'When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'" (Lev 19:9,10 Dt 16:11-14 Dt 24:19-21 Ru 2:3-7,15,16-23 Job 31:16-21 Ps 41:1-3 Ps 112:9 Pr 11:24,25 Isa 58:7,8,10 Lk 11:41 2Co 9:5-12)

Leviticus 23:23 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (

Leviticus 23:24 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. (seventh: Nu 10:10 Nu 29:1-6 1Chr 15:28 2Chr 5:13 Ezra 3:6 Ps 81:1-4 Ps 98:6 Isa 27:13 1Co 15:52 1Th 4:16)




Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) (Lev 23:23-25; Nu 29:1-6) first day of the 7th month (Tishri) marked the occasion, which involved a Sabbath rest, the blowing of trumpets, and a holy convocation. Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles speak of events associated with the second advent of Christ. This may be why these three are separated by a long gap from the first four in Israel’s annual cycle.

Leviticus 23:25 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.'" (Lev 23:24-25, Num 29:1-6 Neh 8:2 Neh 8:9-12)


Leviticus 23:26 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 23:27 "On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD. (tenth: Lev 16:29,30 Lev 25:9 Nu 29:7-11)(humble: Lev 16:31 Nu 29:7 Ezr 8:21 Ps 35:13 Isa 58:5 Da 10:2,3 Zec 12:10 Acts 2:37,38 2Co 7:10,11 Jas 4:9) (offering: Lev 16:11,15,24)






This shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. The Great Day of Atonement took place on the tenth day of the seventh month, Tisri, corresponding to our October. It was a day of great solemnity, especially designated and kept as a fast day, (see Lev 23:27; Nu 29:7 ; comp. Ps. 35:13 Isa. 58:5,) and in later times was known by the name of The Fast. Acts 27:9. On this day the high priest, clad in plain white linen garments, brought for himself a young bullock for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering; and for the people two young goats for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering. The two goats were brought before the door of the Tabernacle, and by the casting of lots one was designated for sacrifice and the other for a scape-goat. The high priest then slaughtered the bullock and made a sin-offering for himself and family. He next entered the Most Holy Place for the first time, bearing a censer with burning coals, with which he filled the place with incense. Taking the blood of the slain bullock, he entered the Most Holy Place the second time, and there sprinkled the blood before the mercy-seat. He next killed the goat which was for the people s sin-offering, and, entering the Most Holy Place the third time, sprinkled its blood as he had sprinkled that of the bullock. Some of the blood of the two animals was then put on the horns of the altar of incense, and sprinkled on the altar itself. After this the high priest, putting his hands on the head of the scape-goat, confessed the sins of the people, and then sent him off into the wilderness. He then washed himself, and changed his garments, arraying himself in the beautiful robes of his high office, and offered the two rams as burnt-offerings for himself and for the people. Lev 16. (Manners and Customs 1875)


Leviticus 23:28 "You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God. (Lev 16:34 Isa 53:10 Da 9:24 Zec 3:9 Ro 5:10,11 Heb 9:12,26 Heb 10:10,14 1Jn 2:2 1Jn 4:10 1Jn 5:6)


This is described in Lev 16, but here the stress is upon sorrow and repentance of Israel which possibly foreshadows the repentance of Israel after their regathering Dt 30:4-6 preparatory to the Second advent of Messiah and the establishment of the kingdom. See Zec 12:10-14 in connection with the atonement of Zech 13:1.

Leviticus 23:29 "If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. (will: Lev 23:27,32 Isa 22:12 Jer 31:9 Eze 7:16) (he shall be: Ge 17:14)

Leviticus 23:30 "As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. (Lev 20:3,5,6 Ge 17:14 Jer 15:7 Eze 14:9 Zep 2:5 1Co 3:17)

Leviticus 23:31 "You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. (

Leviticus 23:32 "It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath." (sabbath Lev 16:31 Mt 11:28-30 Heb 4:3,11)(humble:  Lev 23:27 Ps 35:13 Ps 51:17 Ps 69:10,11 Ps 126:5,6 Isa 57:15,18,19 58:3-7 Isa 61:3 Mt 5:4 1Co 11:31)

Leviticus 23:33 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (

Leviticus 23:34 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. (fifteenth: Ex 23:16 34:22 Nu 29:12 Dt 16:13-15 Ezr 3:4 Ne 8:14 Zec 14:16-19 John 1:14 7:2 Heb 11:9,13)


Scofield: The Feast of Tabernacles, or Ingathering, Lev 23:34-44, is, like the Lord's Supper for the Church, both memorial and prophetic - memorial as to redemption out of Egypt (v. 43); prophetic as to the kingdom-rest of Israel after her regathering and restoration, when the feast again becomes memorial, not for Israel alone, but also for all nations (Ezra 3:4; Zech 14:16-21; cp. Rev 21:3). This festival, its name derived from the fact that during its observance the Israelites dwelt in booths or tabernacles (Lev 23:42-43), began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, Tishri, and lasted for one week.

Leviticus 23:35 'On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. (Lev 23:7,8,24,25)

Leviticus 23:36 'For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. (Seven: Nu 29:12-38) (eighth: 2Chr 7:8-11 Ne 8:18 John 7:37)(assembly: Heb. day of restraint, Dt 16:8 Joel 1:14 Joel 2:15)

Leviticus 23:37 'These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD--burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day's matter on its own day-- (feasts: Lev 23:2,4 Dt 16:16,17) (each: Ec 3:1)

Leviticus 23:38 besides those of the Sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD. (Sabbaths: Lev 23:3 Lev 19:3 Ge 2:2,3 Ex 20:8-11)(besides: Nu 29:39 Dt 12:6 1Chr 29:3-8 2Chr 35:7,8 Ezra 2:68,69)

Leviticus 23:39 'On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. (when: Lev 23:34 Ex 23:16 Dt 16:13)(on the first: Lev 23:24,36)




Freeman -


The Feast of Ingathering, more generally known as the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), (Lev. 23:34,) was instituted to remind the people that their fathers dwelt in tents in the wilderness, (Lev. xxiii, 43 ;) and also to be an annual thanksgiving after all the products of the earth corn, fruit, wine, and oil were gathered for the year. Lev. 23:39. It was held in the seventh month, Tizri, or Ethanim, corresponding to our October, and lasted for eight days; during which time the people dwelt in booths made of the branches of palm, willow, and other trees. Lev. 23:39-43. On each day there were offered in sacrifice two rams, fourteen lambs, and a kid for a burnt-offering. During the continuance of the feast seventy bullocks were offered, thirteen on the first day, twelve on the second, eleven on the third, and so on, the number being diminished by one on each day until the seventh day. when only seven were offered. The eighth day was a day of peculiar solemnity, and had for its special offerings a bullock, a ram, and seven lambs for a burnt-offering, and a goat for a sin-offering. Nu 29:12-38. On the Sabbatical year, the Feast of Tabernacles was still further celebrated by a public reading of the law. Dt. 31:10-13. Whether this was intended to include the whole law, or only certain portions, and if so, what portions, is matter of dispute. Other ceremonies than these, originally instituted, were afterward added. See John 7:37. These festivals at the gathering of harvests were not peculiar to the He brews, but were in use among many Gentile nations. "The ancient sacrifices, assemblies, and conventions for sacrifices, were made at the gathering in of the fruits and productions of the earth, as the season of greatest lei sure and rest." ARISTOTLE, cited by MAIMONIDES, Reasons, etc., p. 257. (Manners and Customs 1875)

Leviticus 23:40 'Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. (foliage: Ne 8:15 Mt 21:8)(palm trees: Ps 92:12 John 12:13 Rev 7:9) (rejoice: Dt 16:14,15 Isa 35:10 66:10 John 16:22 Ro 5:11 Php 3:3 4:4 1Pe 1:8)


Disciple's Study Bible - The Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles or Ingathering) was a time of high rejoicing. The expression "before the LORD'' is a reminder that we live in full knowledge of God's watchful eye. See Ge 19:27. Prayer expresses our joy and celebration in God's presence.

Leviticus 23:41 'You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. (Nu 29:12 Ne 8:18)

Leviticus 23:42 'You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, (Ge 33:17 Nu 24:2,5 Ne 8:14-17 Jer 35:10 2Co 5:1 Heb 11:13-16)

Leviticus 23:43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'" (Ex 13:14 Dt 31:10-13 Ps 78:5,6)

Leviticus 23:44 So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD. (Lev 23:1,2 Lev 21:24 Mt 18:20)


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Last Updated July, 2013