The month of Abib to be observed, Deuteronomy 16:1. The feast of the passover and of unleavened bread, Deuteronomy 16:2-8. The feast of weeks, Deuteronomy 16:9-12. The feast of tabernacles, Deuteronomy 16:13-15. All the males to appear before the Lord thrice in the year, none to come empty, each to give according to his ability, Deuteronomy 16:16, Deuteronomy 16:17. Judges and officers to be made in all their cities, Deuteronomy 16:18. Strict justice shall be executed, Deuteronomy 16:19, Deuteronomy 16:20. No grove to be planted near the altar of God, nor any image to be set up, Deuteronomy 16:21, Deuteronomy 16:22.
Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.Keep the passover - A feast so called because the angel that destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians, seeing the blood of the appointed sacrifice sprinkled on the lintels and door-posts of the Israelites' houses, passed over Them, and did not destroy any of their firstborn. See the notes on Exodus 12:2, and Exodus 12:3 (note), etc.
Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.
Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.Bread of affliction - Because, being baked without leaven, it was unsavoury, and put them in mind of their afflictive bondage in Egypt.
And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.
Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:
But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.
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.
Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.
Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.
And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.Thou shalt rejoice - The offerings of the Israelites were to be eaten with festivity, communicated to their friends with liberality, and bestowed on the poor with great generosity, that they might partake with them in these repasts with joy before the Lord. To answer these views it was necessary to eat the flesh while it was fresh, as in that climate putrefaction soon took place; therefore they were commanded to let nothing remain until the morning, Deuteronomy 16:4. This consideration is sufficient to account for the command here, without having recourse to those moral and evangelical reasons that are assigned by the learned and devout Mr.
Ainsworth for the command. How beneficent and cheerful is the design of this institution! - Harmer, vol. i., p. 396.
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.
Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:
And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
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.
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:Three times in a year - See Exodus 23:14 (note), where all the Jewish feasts are explained. See also Leviticus 23:34 (note).
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.Judges and officers shalt thou make - Judges, שפטים shophetim, among the Hebrews, were probably the same as our magistrates or justices of the peace. Officers, שטרים shoterim, seem to have been the same as our inquest sergeants, beadles, etc., whose office it was to go into the houses, shops, etc., and examine weights, measures, and the civil conduct of the people. When they found any thing amiss, they brought the person offending before the magistrate, and he was punished by the officer on the spot. They seem also to have acted as heralds in the army, Deuteronomy 20:5. See also Rab. Maimon in Sanhedrin. In China, for all minor offenses, the person when found guilty is punished on the spot, in the presence of the magistrate or mandarin of justice.
Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.Thou shalt not plant thee a grove, etc. - We have already seen that groves were planted about idol temples for the purpose of the obscene worship performed in them. (See on Deuteronomy 12:3 (note)). On this account God would have no groves or thickets about his altar, that there might be no room for suspicion that any thing contrary to the strictest purity was transacted there. Every part of the Divine worship was publicly performed, for the purpose of general edification.
Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.