Leviticus 23:7
In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.
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(7) In the first day.—That is, the first of the seven days, or the fifteenth of the month Nisan. (See Exodus 12:16.)

Ye shall do no servile work therein.—Servile work was defined during the second Temple to consist in building, pulling down edifices, weaving, reaping, threshing, winnowing, grinding, &c, whilst needful work which was allowed was killing beasts, kneading dough, baking bread, boiling, roasting, &e. For violating this law the offender was not to be stoned to death, as in the case of violating the sabbath, but to receive forty stripes save one.

23:4-14 The feast of the Passover was to continue seven days; not idle days, spent in sport, as many that are called Christians spend their holy-days. Offerings were made to the Lord at his altar; and the people were taught to employ their time in prayer, and praise, and godly meditation. The sheaf of first-fruits was typical of the Lord Jesus, who is risen from the dead as the First-fruits of them that slept. Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the very day that the first-fruits were offered. We are taught by this law to honour the Lord with our substance, and with the first-fruits of all our increase, Pr 3:9. They were not to eat of their new corn, till God's part was offered to him out of it; and we must always begin with God: begin every day with him, begin every meal with him, begin every affair and business with him; seek first the kingdom of God.No servile work - literally, no work of labor, no work that belongs to one's worldly calling, such as labor in agriculture or handicraft. The preparation of food was permitted Exodus 12:16, a licence not granted on the weekly Sabbath, or on the day of atonement Leviticus 23:28, Leviticus 23:30; Exodus 20:10; Exodus 35:3.Le 23:5-8. The Passover.

5. the Lord's passover—(See Ex 12:2, 14, 18). The institution of the passover was intended to be a perpetual memorial of the circumstances attending the redemption of the Israelites, while it had a typical reference to a greater redemption to be effected for God's spiritual people. On the first and last days of this feast, the people were forbidden to work [Le 23:7, 8]; but while on the Sabbath they were not to do any work, on feast days they were permitted to dress meat—and hence the prohibition is restricted to "no servile work." At the same time, those two days were devoted to "holy convocation"—special seasons of social devotion. In addition to the ordinary sacrifices of every day, there were to be "offerings by fire" on the altar (see Nu 28:19), while unleavened bread was to be eaten in families all the seven days (see 1Co 5:8).

No text from Poole on this verse. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation,.... That is, on the first of the seven days of the feast of unleavened bread, even the fifteenth day of the month Nisan; this was separated from the other days of the festival, and more particularly devoted to religions exercises, see Exodus 12:16,

ye shall do no servile work therein; such as agriculture, or any manufacture or mechanical business, which they and their servants were at other times employed in; but they might bake bread, and boil or roast their meat, and walk abroad, which they might not do on their sabbaths; and therefore it is so expressed as to distinguish it from the work forbidden on that day.

In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no {b} servile work therein.

(b) Or, bodily labour, save about that which one must eat, Ex 12:16.

7. servile work] The expression (see R.V. mg. and introd. note to ch.) is used in reference to the three great festivals and that of the New Year, and implies a less strict abstinence from labour than was demanded by the corresponding rule for the sabbath (Leviticus 23:3) and the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:28). In the former case it was probably only work of an agricultural kind that was forbidden.Verses 7, 8. - The first and the last day were to be days of holy convocation, on which no servile work might be done. It was on the first day, Nisan 15, that our Lord was crucified. The Pharisees found nothing in the holiness of the day to prevent their taking virtual part in his seizure and condemnation and death; but we are told by St. John that "they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover" (John 18:28). What is meant in this passage by "the Passover" is not the Paschal lamb which had already been consumed, but probably the peace offering, or chagigah, which had to be offered and eaten on the first day of Unleavened Bread. The public sacrifices on each of the seven days of the week were two young bullocks, one ram, and seven Iambs for a burnt offering, with the accompanying meat offerings, and one goat for a sin offering (Numbers 28:19-24). And these were followed by peace offerings made at the discretion of individuals, "according to the blessing of the Lord which he had given them" (Deuteronomy 16:17). This chapter does not contain a "calendar of feasts," or a summary and completion of the directions previously given in a scattered form concerning the festal times of Israel, but simply a list of those festal days and periods of the year at which holy meetings were to be held. This is most clearly stated in the heading (Leviticus 23:2): "the festal times of Jehovah, which ye shall call out as holy meetings, these are they, My feasts," i.e., those which are to be regarded as My feasts, sanctified to Me. The festal seasons and days were called "feasts of Jehovah," times appointed and fixed by Jehovah (see Genesis 1:14), not because the feasts belonged to fixed times regulated by the course of the moon (Knobel), but because Jehovah had appointed them as days, or times, which were to be sanctified to Him. Hence the expression is not only used with reference to the Sabbath, the new moon, and the other yearly feasts; but in Numbers 28:2 and Numbers 29:39 it is extended so as to include the times of the daily morning and evening sacrifice. (On the "holy convocation" see Exodus 12:16.)
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