|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:33-44 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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
On the first day shall be an holy convocation,.... When they should be called together to holy exercises, to prayer, praising, and reading the law; and at this present time they observe this day, by rising early in the morning and going to the synagogue, where they sing and pray much; and everyone takes a bundle of branches of palm tree, olive, &c. in the right hand, and a pome citron in the left, and says, blessed be thou, O Lord our God, the Lord of the world, who has sanctified us by thy precepts, and hath commanded us to carry the palm tree bundle; then they shake it, and give a great shout, according to Psalm 96:12; all which they frequently repeat on this day, as well as bring out the book of the law, attended with various ceremonies, and read some passages in it (t):
ye shall do no servile work therein; as on the first and seventh days of unleavened bread, the day of Pentecost, and of the blowing of trumpets; but what was necessary for preparing and dressing food might be done.
(t) Buxtorf. ut supra. (Synagog. Jud. c. 21. p. 447.)
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