Deuteronomy 16:15
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.
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16:1-17 The laws for the three yearly feasts are here repeated; that of the Passover, that of the Pentecost, that of Tabernacles; and the general law concerning the people's attendance. Never should a believer forget his low estate of guilt and misery, his deliverance, and the price it cost the Redeemer; that gratitude and joy in the Lord may be mingled with sorrow for sin, and patience under the tribulations in his way to the kingdom of heaven. They must rejoice in their receivings from God, and in their returns of service and sacrifice to him; our duty must be our delight, as well as our enjoyment. If those who were under the law must rejoice before God, much more we that are under the grace of the gospel; which makes it our duty to rejoice evermore, to rejoice in the Lord always. When we rejoice in God ourselves, we should do what we can to assist others also to rejoice in him, by comforting the mourners, and supplying those who are in want. All who make God their joy, may rejoice in hope, for He is faithful that has promised.Feast of Weeks; and 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. 15. in all the works of thine hands … rejoice—that is, praising God with a warm and elevated heart. According to Jewish tradition, no marriages were allowed to be celebrated during these great festivals, that no personal or private rejoicings might be mingled with the demonstrations of public and national gladness. To wit, in God and the effects of his favour, praising him with glad heart.

Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God,.... The feast of tabernacles still spoken of:

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.
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.’

Deuteronomy 16:15In connection with the Feast of Tabernacles also, he simply enforces the observance of it at the central sanctuary, and exhorts the people to rejoice at this festival, and not only to allow their sons and daughters to participate in this joy, but also the man-servant and maid-servant, and the portionless Levites, strangers, widows, and orphans. After what had already been stated, Moses did not consider it necessary to mention expressly that this festal rejoicing was also to be manifested in joyous sacrificial meals; it was enough for him to point to the blessing which God had bestowed upon their cultivation of the corn, the olive, and the vine, and upon all the works of their hands, i.e., upon their labour generally (Deuteronomy 16:13-15), as there was nothing further to remark after the instructions which had already been given with reference to this feast also (Leviticus 23:34-36, Leviticus 23:39-43; Numbers 29:12-38).
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