You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Dwell in booths seven days.—Because the eighth day was a separate festival, when the booths were no more used. (See Leviticus 23:36.)Leviticus 23:42. In booths — Which were erected in their cities or towns, either in their streets, or gardens, or the tops of their houses. These were made flat, and therefore were fit for this use.
The "booth" in which the Israelite kept the Feast, and the "tent" which was his ordinary abode in the wilderness, had this in common - they were temporary places of sojourn, they belonged to camp-life. The seven days of abode in the booths of the festival was thus a fair symbol of the forty years of abode in tents in the wilderness. The Feast might well become the appointed memorial of this period of their history for the ages to come.
All that are Israelites born - The omission of the foreigners in this command is remarkable. Perhaps the intention was that on this joyous occasion they were to be hospitably entertained as guests. Compare Deuteronomy 16:14.Booths were erected in their cities or towns, either in their streets or gardens, or the tops of their houses, Nehemiah 8:16, which were made flat, and therefore were proper and fit for that use. Leviticus 23:36. The eighth day was a day by itself, a sort of an appendage to the feast of tabernacles, when they went into their houses again, and kept it as an holy day; and perhaps principally in giving thanks for the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, to which this seems to be appropriated from Leviticus 23:39. According to the Jewish writers, they did not go out of their booths until they had dined in them on this day; and as they went out used to say,"may it be the will of God that we may be worthy the next year to dwell in the booth of Leviathan (c);''that is, to feast with the Messiah in the world to come. And to those days the Jews have added a ninth, which they call "the joy of the law", and which they keep for joy of having finished the reading of the law; which being divided into as many sections or lessons as weeks in the year, were so ordered to be read as to be finished at this time (d):
all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths; the Targum of Jonathan is,"all the males in Israel, and even the little ones, that do not need their mothers, sit in the shades blessing their Creator, when they enter there.''And, according to the Misnah (e), women, servants, and little ones, are free from the booths (i.e. are not obliged to dwelt in one), but a little one, who hath no need of its mother, is obliged to dwell in the booths: and elsewhere it is said, that sick persons, and such as wait upon them, are not obliged, nor messengers upon any business, nor travellers and watchmen in cities, and keepers of gardens and orchards; if such travel, or keep watch in the day, they are obliged to be in them at night, and if in the night, then they are to dwell in them in the day (f). Jarchi says, that everyone born in Israel comprehends proselytes, who were bound by this law.
(c) Lebush, par. 2. c. 668. sect. 5. (d) Buxtorf. Synagog. Jud. c. 27. Leo Moden's History of the Rites of the Jews, par. 3. c. 7. sect. 6. (e) Misn. Succah, c. 2. sect. 6. (f) R. Alphes, par. 1. Succah, c. 2. fol. 374. 2. 375. 1.Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Numbers 29:13-33. Moreover, on the eighth day, i.e., the 22nd of the month, the closing feast was to be observed in the same manner as on the first day (Leviticus 23:34-36). The name, "feast of Tabernacles" (booths), is to be explained from the fact, that the Israelites were to dwell in booths made of boughs for the seven days that this festival lasted (Leviticus 23:42). עצרת, which is used in Leviticus 23:36 and Numbers 29:35 for the eighth day, which terminated the feast of Tabernacles, and in Deuteronomy 16:8 for the seventh day of the feast of Mazzoth, signifies the solemn close of a feast of several days, clausula festi, from עצר to shut in, or close (Genesis 16:2; Deuteronomy 11:17, etc.), not a coagendo, congregando populo ad festum, nor a cohibitione laboris, ab interdicto opere, because the word is only applied to the last day of the feasts of Mazzoth and Tabernacles, and not to the first, although this was also kept with a national assembly and suspension of work. But as these clausaulae festi were holidays with a holy convocation and suspension of work, it was very natural that the word should be transferred at a later period to feasts generally, on which the people suspended work and met for worship and edification (Joel 1:14; Isaiah 1:13; 2 Kings 10:20). The azareth, as the eighth day, did not strictly belong to the feast of Tabernacles, which was only to last seven days; and it was distinguished, moreover, from these seven days by a smaller number of offerings (Numbers 29:35.). The eighth day was rather the solemn close of the whole circle of yearly feasts, and therefore was appended to the close of the last of these feasts as the eighth day of the feast itself (see at Numbers 28 seq.). - With Leviticus 23:36 the enumeration of all the yearly feasts on which holy meetings were to be convened is brought to an end. This is stated in the concluding formula (Leviticus 23:37, Leviticus 23:38), which answers to the heading in Leviticus 23:4, in which the Sabbaths are excepted, as they simply belonged to the moadim in the more general sense of the word. In this concluding formula, therefore, there is no indication that Leviticus 23:2 and Leviticus 23:3 and Leviticus 23:39-43 are later additions to the original list of feasts which were to be kept with a meeting for worship. וגו להקריב (to offer, etc.) is not dependent upon "holy convocations," but upon the main idea, "feasts of Jehovah." Jehovah had appointed moadim, fixed periods in the year, for His congregation to offer sacrifices; not as if no sacrifices could be or were to be offered except at these feasts, but to remind His people, through these fixed days, of their duty to approach the Lord with sacrifices. אשּׁה is defined by the enumeration of four principal kinds of sacrifice-burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, slain (i.e., peace-) offerings, and drink-offerings. בּ יום דּבר: "every day those appointed for it," as in Exodus 5:13.
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