And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the LORD your God shall choose: and you shall turn in the morning, and go to your tents.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 16:7. Thou shalt turn in the morning — The words are only a permission, not an absolute command. After the solemnity was over, they might return to their several places of abode. Some think they might return, if they pleased, the very morning after the paschal lamb was killed and eaten, the priests and Levites being sufficient to carry on the rest of the week’s work. But this is evidently a mistake; for the first day of the seven was so far from being the day of their dispersion, that it was expressly appointed for a holy convocation. Nor was it their practice to disperse on that day, but to keep together the whole week, 2 Chronicles 35:17. The meaning, therefore, is, as the paraphrase of Jonathan expounds it, In the morning, after the end of the feasts, thou shalt go to thy tents; that is, thy dwellings, which Moses calls here tents, referring to their present state, and to put them in mind afterward, when they were settled in better habitations, that there was a time when they dwelt in tents.1 Kings 8:66. These would of course be within a short distance of the sanctuary, because the other Paschal offerings were yet to be offered day by day for seven days and the people would remain to share them; and especially to take part in the holy convocation on the first and seventh of the days.
thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents—The sense of this passage, on the first glance of the words, seems to point to the morning after the first day—the passover eve. Perhaps, however, the divinely appointed duration of this feast, the solemn character and important object, the journey of the people from the distant parts of the land to be present, and the recorded examples of their continuing all the time (2Ch 30:21 35:17), (though these may be considered extraordinary, and therefore exceptional occasions), may warrant the conclusion that the leave given to the people to return home was to be on the morning after the completion of the seven days.Thou shalt roast; so that word is used also 2 Chronicles 35:13.
In the morning; either,
1. The morning after the seventh day, as appears, partly, by the following verse, which is added to explain and limit this ambiguous word; partly, by the express command of God that the people should come to Jerusalem to keep this feast, which by God’s appointment lasted for seven days; partly, from the examples of the people staying there the whole time of the feast, 2 Chronicles 30:21 35:17; and partly, from the nature and business of this feast, wherein there being so many extraordinary sacrifices to be offered, and feasts made by the people upon the sacrifices, and two days of solemn assemblies, it is not probable that they would absent themselves from these solemn services, for the performance whereof they came purposely to Jerusalem. Or,
2. The morning after the first day, and so they were permitted to go then, and possibly some that lived near Jerusalem might go and return again to the last day of the solemn assembly. But the former seems more probable.
Thy tents, i.e. thy dwellings, which he calls tents, as respecting their present state, and withal to put them in mind afterwards when they were settled in better habitations, that there was a time when they dwelt in tents. Exodus 12:8 wherefore some think the Chagigah is here meant, and the other offerings that were offered at this feast; and so in the times of Josiah they roasted the passover with fire, according to the ordinance of God; but the other holy offerings sod or boiled they in pots, cauldrons and pans, and divided them speedily among the people, 2 Chronicles 35:13, but the passover lamb seems plainly to be meant here by the connection of this verse with the preceding verses; wherefore Jarchi observes, that this is to be understood of roasting with fire, though expressed by this word:
and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents; not in the morning of the fifteenth, after the passover had been killed and eaten on the fourteenth, but in the morning, after the feast of unleavened bread, which lasted seven days, was over; though some think that they might if they would depart home after the passover had been observed, and were not obliged to stay and keep the feast of unleavened bread at Jerusalem, but march to their own cities; and so Aben Ezra observes, that some say a man may go on a feast day to his house and country, but, says he, we do not agree to it; and it appears from the observation of other feasts, which lasted as long as these, that the people did not depart to their tents till the whole was over; see 1 Kings 8:66 and with this agrees the Targum of Jonathan,"and thou shall turn in the morning of the going out of the feast, and go to thy cities.''Jarchi indeed interprets it afterwards of the second day.And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. And thou shalt seethe] The Heb. bashal may be used in the general sense of cooking, but it usually means to boil (Deuteronomy 14:21; 1 Samuel 2:13; 1 Samuel 2:15). The R.V. roast is due to the effort to harmonise this law with that of P, Exodus 12:9, which directs that the sacrifice shall be roast with fire; but P expressly adds that it shall not be boiled in water, and uses for this the same vb bashal as D does. Clearly D and P enjoin different methods of preparing the paschal lamb. Boiling appears to have been the earlier preparation of the part of victims eaten by the worshippers (Jdg 6:19 ff.; 1 Samuel 2:13 f.) and roasting was at first regarded as an innovation (1 Samuel 2:15). See however Driver’s note.
thou shalt turn] See on Deuteronomy 3:1.
and go unto thy tents] An interesting survival from the nomadic period of Israel’s history; cp. (also for the time after the settlement in towns) Jdg 7:8; Jdg 19:9 (EVV. home); 1 Samuel 13:2; 2 Samuel 19:8; 2 Samuel 20:22; 1 Kings 12:16. The people then are to return to their homes on the morning after the Passover feast.Verse 7. - Thou shalt roast. The verb here primarily signifies to be matured by heat for eating; hence to be ripened as by the sun's heat (Genesis 40:10; Joel 3:13; Hebrews 4:13); and to be cooked, whether by boiling, seething, or roasting. Here it is properly rendered by roast, as it was thus only that the Paschal lamb could be cooked. And go unto thy tents; return to thy place of abode; not necessarily to thy proper home (which might be far distant), but to the place where for the time thou hast thy lodging. The phrase, "thy tents," which originally came into use while as yet Israel had no settled abodes in Canaan, came afterwards to be used as a general designation of a man's home or usual place of abode (cf. 1 Samuel 13:2; 2 Samuel 20:1; 1 Kings 8:66, etc.). Exodus 12:2). The precise day is supposed to be known from Exodus 12, as in Exodus 23:15. פּסח עשׂה (to prepare the Passover), which is used primarily to denote the preparation of the paschal lamb for a festal meal, is employed here in a wider signification viz., "to keep the Passover." At this feast they were to slay sheep and oxen to the Lord for a Passover, at the place, etc. In Deuteronomy 16:2, as in Deuteronomy 16:1, the word "Passover" is employed in a broader sense, and includes not only the paschal lamb, but the paschal sacrifices generally, which the Rabbins embrace under the common name of chagiga; not the burnt-offerings and sin-offerings, however, prescribed in Numbers 28:19-26, but all the sacrifices that were slain at the feast of the Passover (i.e., during the seven days of the Mazzoth, which are included under the name of pascha) for the purpose of holding sacrificial meals. This is evident from the expression "of the flock and the herd;" as it was expressly laid down, that only a שׂה, i.e., a yearling animal of the sheep or goats, was to be slain for the paschal meal on the fourteenth of the month in the evening, and an ox was never slaughtered in the place of the lamb. But if any doubt could exist upon this point, it would be completely set aside by Deuteronomy 16:3 : "Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it: seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith." As the word "therewith" cannot possibly refer to anything else than the "Passover" in Deuteronomy 16:2, it is distinctly stated that the slaughtering and eating of the Passover was to last seven days, whereas the Passover lamb was to be slain and consumed in the evening of the fourteenth Abib (Exodus 12:10). Moses called the unleavened bread "the bread of affliction," because the Israelites had to leave Egypt in anxious flight (Exodus 12:11) and were therefore unable to leaven the dough (Exodus 12:39), for the purpose of reminding the congregation of the oppression endured in Egypt, and to stir them up to gratitude towards the Lord their deliverer, that they might remember that day as long as they lived. (On the meaning of the Mazzothy, see at Exodus 12:8 and Exodus 12:15.) - On account of the importance of the unleavened bread as a symbolical shadowing forth of the significance of the Passover, as the feast of the renewal and sanctification of the life of Israel, Moses repeats in Deuteronomy 16:4 two of the points in the law of the feast: first of all the one laid down in Exodus 13:7, that no leaven was to be seen in the land during the seven days; and secondly, the one in Exodus 23:18 and Exodus 34:25, that none of the flesh of the paschal lamb was to be left till the next morning, in order that all corruption might be kept at a distance from the paschal food. Leaven, for example, sets the dough in fermentation, from which putrefaction ensues; and in the East, if flesh is kept, it very quickly decomposes. He then once more fixes the time and place for keeping the Passover (the former according to Exodus 12:6 and Leviticus 23:5, etc.), and adds in Deuteronomy 16:7 the express regulation, that not only the slaughtering and sacrificing, but the roasting (see at Exodus 12:9) and eating of the paschal lamb were to take place at the sanctuary, and that the next morning they could turn and go back home. This rule contains a new feature, which Moses prescribes with reference to the keeping of the Passover in the land of Canaan, and by which he modifies the instructions for the first Passover in Egypt, to suit the altered circumstances. In Egypt, when Israel was not yet raised into the nation of Jehovah, and had as yet no sanctuary and no common altar, the different houses necessarily served as altars. But when this necessity was at an end, the slaying and eating of the Passover in the different houses were to cease, and they were both to take place at the sanctuary before the Lord, as was the case with the feast of Passover at Sinai (Numbers 9:1-5). Thus the smearing of the door-posts with the blood was tacitly abolished, since the blood was to be sprinkled upon the altar as sacrificial blood, as it had already been at Sinai. - The expression "to thy tents," for going "home," points to the time when Israel was till dwelling in tents, and had not as yet secured any fixed abodes and houses in Canaan, although this expression was retained at a still later time (e.g., 1 Samuel 13:2; 2 Samuel 19:9, etc.). The going home in the morning after the paschal meal, is not to be understood as signifying a return to their homes in the different towns of the land, but simply, as even Riehm admits, to their homes or lodgings at the place of the sanctuary. How very far Moses was from intending to release the Israelites from the duty of keeping the feast for seven days, is evident from the fact that in Deuteronomy 16:8 he once more enforces the observance of the seven days' feast. The two clauses, "six days thou shalt eat mazzoth," and "on the seventh day shall be azereth (Eng. Ver. 'a solemn assembly') to the Lord thy God," are not placed in antithesis to each other, so as to imply (in contradiction to Deuteronomy 16:3 and Deuteronomy 16:4; Exodus 12:18-19; Exodus 13:6-7; Leviticus 23:6; Numbers 28:17) that the feast of Mazzoth was to last only six days instead of seven; but the seventh day is brought into especial prominence as the azereth of the feast (see at Leviticus 23:36), simply because, in addition to the eating of mazzoth, there was to be an entire abstinence from work, and this particular feature might easily have fallen into neglect at the close of the feast. But just as the eating of mazzoth for seven days is not abolished by the first clause, so the suspension of work on the first day is not abolished by the second clause, any more than in Exodus 13:6 the first day is represented as a working day by the fact that the seventh day is called "a feast to Jehovah."
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