And you shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation to you: you shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day.—This proclamation was made to the people by the priest with trumpet blasts.
Ye shall do no servile work.—For what constituted servile work, see Leviticus 23:7.
A statute for ever . . . . —See Leviticus 23:14, Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 7:23-25. In accordance with this declaration, and with the fact that the Jews during the second Temple regarded it as the day on which the Decalogue was given, the Israelites to this day sacredly keep this festival on the 6th and 7th of Sivan, i.e. between the second half of May and the first half of June. From their circumstances, however, the harvest character of the festival is now subordinate, and more prominence is given to its commemorating the giving of the Law on Sinai. Still the synagogues and the private houses are adorned with flowers and odoriferous herbs. The male members of the community purify themselves for its celebration by immersion and confession of sin, and many of them spend all night in their respective places of worship.Leviticus 23:21. A holy convocation — A sabbath, or day of rest, called pentecost; which was instituted, partly in remembrance of the consummation of their deliverance out of Egypt, by bringing them thence to the mount of God, or Sinai, as God had promised; and of that admirable blessing of giving the law to them on the fiftieth day, and forming them into a commonwealth under his own immediate government; and partly in gratitude for the further progress of their harvest, as in the passover they offered a thank-offering to God for the beginning of their harvest. The perfection of this feast was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles on this very day in which the law of faith was given, fifty days after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. And on that day the apostles, having themselves received the first-fruits of the Spirit, begat three thousand souls through the word of truth, as the first-fruits of the Christian Church.An holy convocation, a sabbath or day of rest, called pentecost, which was instituted, partly in remembrance of the consummation of their deliverance out of Egypt, by bringing them thence to the mount of God, or Sinai, as God had promised, and of that admirable blessing of giving the law to them at that time, and forming them into a commonwealth under his own immediate government; and partly in gratitude for the further progress of their harvest, as in the passover they offered a thank-offering to God for the beginning of their harvest.
ye shall do no servile work therein; what was not necessary for food, as Ben Gersom observes, but what was necessary on that account, as kindling a fire, &c. might be done, see Leviticus 23:7; for this was to be kept in like manner as the first and seventh days of the feast of unleavened bread; the general design of which was to express thankfulness for the appointed weeks of the harvest, and to honour the Lord with the firstfruits of the increase of the earth: and the Jews say, as Ben Gersom observes, that this fiftieth day, being reckoned from the sixteenth of Nisan, fell upon the sixth of Sivan, on which day, they say, the law was given, which is another reason for the observance of it: and it is remarkable, that on this same day the Word of the Lord went out of Zion, and the law or doctrine of the Lord, even the everlasting Gospel, went out of Jerusalem, published by the apostles of Christ to the people of all nations, Acts 2:14; when they were favoured with the firstfruits of the Spirit, after our Lord's ascension to heaven, and receiving gifts for men, which he now in an extraordinary manner bestowed on his disciples, Acts 2:1; and which were the firstfruits of all others, after to be given forth in the course of time, and of the effusion of the Spirit in the latter day; and when there was a number of souls converted, as the firstfruits of after conversions among Jews and Gentiles, Acts 2:41; and particularly of the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, and of the harvest of souls in the end of the world, Matthew 13:30,
it shall be a statute for ever all your dwellings throughout your generations; so long as they dwelt in the land of Canaan, and had their harvest in it, even until the Messiah came, in whom all those types and figures had their accomplishment.And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. This v., unlike the rest of the section, has the characteristics of the Priestly Code. See above.Exodus 23:16) is added here without any fresh introductory formula, to show at the very outset the close connection between the two feasts. Seven whole weeks, or fifty days, were to be reckoned from the day of the offering of the sheaf, and then the day of first-fruits (Numbers 28:26) or feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10) was to be celebrated. From this reckoning the feast received the name of Pentecost (ἡ πεντηκοστή, Acts 2:1). That שׁבּתות (Leviticus 23:15) signifies weeks, like שׁבעות in Deuteronomy 16:9, and τὰ σάββατα in the Gospels (e.g., Matthew 28:1), is evident from the predicate תּמימת, "complete," which would be quite unsuitable if Sabbath-days were intended, as a long period might be reckoned by half weeks instead of whole, but certainly not by half Sabbath-days. Consequently "the morrow after the seventh Sabbath" (Leviticus 23:16) is the day after the seventh week, not after the seventh Sabbath. On this day, i.e., fifty days after the first day of Mazzoth, Israel was to offer a new meat-offering to the Lord, i.e., made of the fruit of the new harvest (Leviticus 26:10), "wave-loaves" from its dwellings, two of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour baked leavened, like the bread which served for their daily food, "as first-fruits unto the Lord," and of the wheat-harvest (Exodus 34:22), which fell in the second half of May and the first weeks of June (Robinson, Palestine), and therefore was finished as a whole by the feast of Weeks. The loaves differed from all the other meat-offerings, being made of leavened dough, because in them their daily bread was offered to the Lord, who had blessed the harvest, as a thank-offering for His blessing. They were therefore only given to the Lord symbolically by waving, and were then to belong to the priests (Leviticus 23:20). The injunction "out of your habitations" is not to be understood, as Calvin and others suppose, as signifying that every householder was to present two such loaves; it simply expresses the idea, that they were to be loaves made for the daily food of a household, and not prepared expressly for holy purposes.
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