|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-17 The laws for the three yearly feasts are here repeated; that of the Passover, that of the Pentecost, that of Tabernacles; and the general law concerning the people's attendance. Never should a believer forget his low estate of guilt and misery, his deliverance, and the price it cost the Redeemer; that gratitude and joy in the Lord may be mingled with sorrow for sin, and patience under the tribulations in his way to the kingdom of heaven. They must rejoice in their receivings from God, and in their returns of service and sacrifice to him; our duty must be our delight, as well as our enjoyment. If those who were under the law must rejoice before God, much more we that are under the grace of the gospel; which makes it our duty to rejoice evermore, to rejoice in the Lord always. When we rejoice in God ourselves, we should do what we can to assist others also to rejoice in him, by comforting the mourners, and supplying those who are in want. All who make God their joy, may rejoice in hope, for He is faithful that has promised.
Verse 8. - On the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly. This is not placed in antithesis to the injunction, six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as if the Feast of Unleavened Bread (mazzoth) lasted only for six days and the seventh was to be devoted to a service of a different kind; it simply prescribes that the seventh day of the festival was to be celebrated by an assembling of the whole of those who had come to the feast; the festival was to be wound up with a day of holy convocation, in which no work was to be done (Leviticus 23:36). On all the days unleavened bread was to be eaten, and on the seventh there was besides to be a solemn assembly to the Lord (עֲצֶרֶת לַיחוָח), called in Leviticus 23:36, "a holy convocation" (מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Six days shalt thou eat unleavened bread,.... In other places it is ordered to be eaten seven days, Exodus 12:15 and here it is not said six only; it was to be eaten on the seventh as on the other, though that is here distinguished from the six, because of special and peculiar service assigned to it, but not because of an exemption from eating unleavened bread on it. The Jews seem to understand this of different corn of which the bread was made, and not of different sort of bread; the Targum of Jonathan is, on the first day ye shall offer the sheaf (the firstfruits of the barley harvest), and on the six days which remain ye shall begin to eat the unleavened bread of the new fruits, and so Jarchi:
and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God; a holy convocation, devoted to religious exercises, and the people were restrained, according to the sense of the word, from all servile work, as follows:
thou shalt do no work therein; that is, the business of their callings, their trades and manufactories; they were obliged to abstain from all kind of work excepting what was necessary for the dressing of food, and in this it differed from a sabbath; see Exodus 12:16.
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