Seven days shall you keep a solemn feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 16:13-17, Feast of Tabernacles. Nothing is here added to the rules given in Leviticus and Numbers except the clauses so often recurring in Deuteronomy and so characteristic of it, which restrict the public celebration of the festivals to the sanctuary, and enjoin that the enjoyments of them should be extended to the Levites, widows, orphans, etc.
in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose: the city of Jerusalem:
because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy increase, and in all the works of thine hands; both in the increase of their fields, vineyards, and oliveyards, and also in their several handicraft trades and occupations they were employed in; so Aben Ezra interprets all the works of their hands of merchandise and manufactories:
therefore thou shalt surely rejoice; extremely, heartily, and sincerely, and not fail to express joy on this occasion, and manifest it by a generous freewill offering to the Lord, and a bountiful entertainment for himself, his family, friends, and others.Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. the place which the Lord shall choose] On the effects of the centralisation of the feasts see introd. to Deuteronomy 16:1-17.
and thou shalt be altogether joyful] Heb. only, or nothing but, joyful. This emphatic repetition of the command is remarkable, but hardly sufficient to answer in the affirmative Steuernagel’s question whether the feast had before D’s time begun to lose its ancient, joyous character.
16, 17 summarise the laws of the three feasts. Deuteronomy 16:16 repeats (with a characteristic variation and addition of the divine title) the older commandment in J, Exodus 34:23, repeated (editorially) in E, Deuteronomy 23:17; three times a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord Jehovah. That only males are mentioned here, while Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 16:14 include among the worshippers daughters, bondwomen and widows, is no proof that this summary is from another hand than the three preceding laws (Steuern.). It is the same author but he is quoting the older law. In contrast with its confinement of the law to males D’s inclusion of women is characteristic; see on Deuteronomy 16:21.
shall appear before the Lord thy God] Heb. shall let himself be seen at the face of, a possible but awkward construction. It is probable that the original reading, which may be restored without the change of a consonant and by merely altering the vowel-points, was shall see the face of. The motive of the present punctuation would be the desire to avoid the anthropomorphism involved in the phrase ‘seeing the face of God.’Exodus 23:16), it is stated that the time for its observance was to be reckoned from the Passover. Seven weeks shall they count "from the beginning of the sickle to the corn," i.e., from the time when the sickle began to be applied to the corn, or from the commencement of the corn-harvest. As the corn-harvest was opened with the presentation of the sheaf of first-fruits on the second day of the Passover, this regulation as to time coincides with the rule laid down in Leviticus 23:15. "Thou shalt keep the feast to the Lord thy God according to the measure of the free gift of thy hand, which thou givest as Jehovah thy God blesseth thee." The ἁπ. λεγ. מסּת is the standing rendering in the Chaldee for דּי, sufficiency, need; it probably signifies abundance, from מסס equals מסה, to flow, to overflow, to derive. The idea is this: Israel was to keep this feast with sacrificial gifts, which every one was able to bring, according to the extent to which the Lord had blessed him, and (Deuteronomy 16:11) to rejoice before the Lord at the place where His name dwelt with sacrificial meals, to which the needy were to be invited (cf. Deuteronomy 14:29), in remembrance of the fact that they also were bondmen in Egypt (cf. Deuteronomy 15:15). The "free-will offering of the hand," which the Israelites were to bring with them to this feast, and with which they were to rejoice before the Lord, belonged to the free-will gifts of burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, drink-offerings, and thank-offerings, which might be offered, according to Numbers 29:39 (cf. Leviticus 23:38), at every feast, along with the festal sacrifices enjoined upon the congregation. The latter were binding upon the priests and congregation, and are fully described in Numbers 28 and 29, so that there was no necessity for Moses to say anything further with reference to them.
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