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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Leviticus 23

Chapter 23

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

the feasts

God appointed several festivals among the Jews. The Passover was celebrated on the 14th, or rather 15th day of the first month in the ecclesiastical year, which was the seventh of the civil year, and lasted seven days. The Pentecost was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the passover, in memory of the law's being given to Moses on Mount Sinai, fifty days, or seven weeks after the departure out of Egypt. The word is derived from the Greek word [Pentekoste] which signifies the fiftieth. The Hebrews call it the feast of weeks, Ex 34:22. The feast of trumpets, celebrated on the first day of the civil year, when a trumpet was sounded, to proclaim its commencement, which was in the month Tisri, answering to our September, Le 23:24, 25. The new moons, or first days of every month, were, in some sort, a consequence of the feast of trumpets. God ordained that, by giving him the first-fruits of every month they should acknowledge him as the Lord of all their time, and own his providence, by which all times and seasons are ordered. The feast of expiation or atonement was kept on the 10th day of Tisri or September: the Hebrews call it Kippur, i.e., pardon or expiation, because it was instituted for the expiation of their sins. The feast of tents or tabernacles was so called, because the Israelites kept it under green tents or arbours, in memory of their dwelling in their passage through the wilderness. It was celebrated on the 15th day of Tisri, and continued eight days: the first and last days are the most solemn. Besides the feasts mentioned by Moses, we find the feast of lots, or Purim, which was celebrated among the Jews of Shushan on the 14th of Adar, which answers to our February. The feast of the dedication of the temple, or rather, of the restoration of the temple, which had been profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes, which is thought to be the feast mentioned in the gospel Joh 10:22, was celebrated in the winter. Mo‚dim, properly means assemblies, convened at an appointed time and place.

4,37 Exodus 23:14-17 Isaiah 1:13,14 33:20 Lamentations 1:4 Hosea 2:11 Nahum 1:15 John 5:1 Colossians 2:1 Exodus 32:5 Numbers 10:2,3,10 2 Kings 10:20 2 Chronicles 30:5 Psalms 81:3 Joel 1:14 2:15 Jonah 3:5-9

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

19:3 Exodus 16:23,29 20:8-11 23:12 31:15 34:21 35:2,3 Deuteronomy 5:13 Isaiah 56:2,6 58:13 Luke 13:14 23:56 Acts 15:21 Revelation 1:10

These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

2,37 Exodus 23:14

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.

Exodus 12:2-14,18 13:3-10 23:15 Numbers 9:2-7 28:16 Deuteronomy 16:1-8 Joshua 5:10 2 Chronicles 35:18,19 Matthew 26:17 Mark 14:12 Luke 22:7 1 Corinthians 5:7,8

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

Exodus 12:15,16 13:6,7 34:18 Numbers 28:17,18 Deuteronomy 16:8 Acts 12:3,4

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

Numbers 28:18-25

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:



and shall

2:12-16 Exodus 22:29 23:16,19 34:22,26 Numbers 15:2,18-21 28:26 Deuteronomy 16:9 Joshua 3:15


or, handful. Heb. omer. the first fruits. This offering was a public acknowledgement of the bounty and goodness of God for the kindly fruits of the earth. From the practice of the people of God, the heathen borrowed a similar one, founded on the same reason.

Proverbs 3:9,10 Ezekiel 44:30 Romans 11:16 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 James 1:18 Revelation 14:4

And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

9:21 10:14 Exodus 29:24

And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.

1:10 Hebrews 10:10-12 1 Peter 1:19

And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

the meat

2:14-16 14:10 Numbers 15:3-12

the drink

Exodus 29:40,41 30:9 Numbers 28:10 Joel 1:9,13 2:14

the fourth

Exodus 30:24 Ezekiel 4:11 45:24 46:14

And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.


19:23-25 25:2,3 Genesis 4:4,5 Joshua 5:11,12

it shall be

3:17 10:11 Deuteronomy 16:12 Nehemiah 9:14 Psalms 19:8

And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

10,11 25:8 Exodus 34:22 Deuteronomy 16:9,10

Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

Acts 2:1

Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

two wave

Numbers 28:26


7:13 Matthew 13:33

the first-fruits

10 Exodus 22:29 23:16,19 34:22,26 Numbers 15:17,19-21 Deuteronomy 26:1,2 Proverbs 3:9,10 Romans 8:23 1 Corinthians 15:20 James 1:18 Revelation 14:4

And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.

seven lambs

12,13 Numbers 28:27-31 Malachi 1:13,14

with their

Numbers 15:4-12

Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

one kid

4:23-28 16:15 Numbers 15:24 28:30 Romans 8:3 2 Corinthians 5:21

two lambs

3:1-17 7:11-18

And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

wave them

17 7:29,30 Exodus 29:24 Luke 2:14 Ephesians 2:14

holy to

7:31-34 8:29 10:14,15 Numbers 18:8-12 Deuteronomy 18:4 1 Corinthians 9:11

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.


2,4 Exodus 12:16 Deuteronomy 16:11 Isaiah 11:10

a statute

14 Genesis 17:7 Exodus 12:17 Numbers 18:23

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

19:9,10 Deuteronomy 16:11-14 24:19-21 Ruth 2:3-7,15,16-23 Job 31:16-21 Psalms 41:1-3 112:9 Proverbs 11:24,25 Isaiah 58:7,8,10 Luke 11:41 2 Corinthians 9:5-12 To the institution of the feast of pentecost is annexed a repetition of that law, by which they were required to leave the gleanings of their fields, and the corn that grew on the ends of the butts, for the poor. It may come in here as a thing which the priests must take occasion to remind the people of, when they brought their first-fruits, intimating to them, that to obey even in this small matter was better than sacrifice; and that unless they were obedient, their offerings should not be accepted. It also taught them that the joy of harvest should express itself in charity to the poor, who must have their due out of what we have, as well as God his. They that are truly sensible of the mercy they receive from God, will without grudging shew mercy to the poor.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

In the seventh

Numbers 10:10 29:1-6 1 Chronicles 15:28 2 Chronicles 5:13 Ezra 3:6 Psalms 81:1-4 98:6 Isaiah 27:13 1 Corinthians 15:52 1 Thessalonians 4:16

a memorial

Zichron teroo‚h, here rendered "a memorial of blowing the trumpets" properly signifies a memorial of triumph or shouting for joy. This festival is generally called the feast of trumpets; and, though the Scriptures have not expressly declared the reason of its celebration, yet, as it fell in the seventh month of the sacred year, which was the first of the civil year, that is, the month Tisri, answering to our September, the opinion very generally embraced by both Jews and Christians is, that it was a memorial of the creation of the world, at which "the sons of God shouted for joy," (Job 38:7;) and which is supposed, not altogether without reason, to have been at this season of the year. The month Tisri was not only anciently, but still is, reckoned by the Jews the first month of the year; and the feast of tabernacles, kept in this month, was said to be, as it is correctly rendered in the margin, "at the revolution of the year," (Ex 34:22;) importing, that at this season the year had revolved, and was beginning anew. So that this feast was the new year's day, on which the people rejoiced in a grateful remembrance of God's benefits, and implored his blessing for the future year.


Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

the tenth

16:29,30 25:9 Numbers 29:7-11


16:31 Numbers 29:7 Ezra 8:21 Psalms 35:13 Isaiah 58:5 Daniel 10:2,3 Zechariah 12:10 Acts 2:37,38 2 Corinthians 7:10,11 James 4:9



And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

16:34 Isaiah 53:10 Daniel 9:24 Zechariah 3:9 Romans 5:10,11 Hebrews 9:12,26 Hebrews 10:10,14 1 John 2:2 4:10 5:6

For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

that shall

27,32 Isaiah 22:12 Jeremiah 31:9 Ezekiel 7:16

he shall be

Genesis 17:14

And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

20:3,5,6 Genesis 17:14 Jeremiah 15:7 Ezekiel 14:9 Zephaniah 2:5 1 Corinthians 3:17

It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

a sabbath

16:31 Matthew 11:28-30 Hebrews 4:3,11


27 Psalms 35:13 51:17 69:10,11 126:5,6 Isaiah 57:15,18,19 58:3-7 Isaiah 61:3 Matthew 5:4 1 Corinthians 11:31

celebrate your sabbath

Heb. rest.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.

The fifteenth

Exodus 23:16 34:22 Numbers 29:12 Deuteronomy 16:13-15 Ezra 3:4 Nehemiah 8:14 Zechariah 14:16-19 John 1:14 7:2 Hebrews 11:9,13

the feast of tabernacles

This feast was celebrated in commemoration of the Israelites' dwelling in tents in the wilderness for forty years; and was kept with greater hilarity than any of the other festivals. Hence, in the Talmud, it is often called chag, the feast, by way of excellence; and by Philo, [heorton megisten] the greatest of the feasts; it was therefore more noticed by the heathen than any other. It is probable that Cecrops borrowed from it the law which he made in Athens, "that the master of every family should after harvest make a feast for his servants, and eat together with them who had taken pains with him in tilling his grounds."

On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.


Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.


Numbers 29:12-38

the eighth

2 Chronicles 7:8-11 Nehemiah 8:18 John 7:37


Heb. day of restraint.

Deuteronomy 16:8 Joel 1:14 2:15 *marg:

These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:

the feasts

2,4 Deuteronomy 16:16,17

every thing

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.

the sabbaths

3 19:3 Genesis 2:2,3 Exodus 20:8-11

and beside

Numbers 29:39 Deuteronomy 12:6 1 Chronicles 29:3-8 2 Chronicles 35:7,8 Ezra 2:68,69

Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.


34 Exodus 23:16 Deuteronomy 16:13

on the first


And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

the boughs

Heb. fruit.

Nehemiah 8:15 Matthew 21:8

of palm trees

Psalms 92:12 John 12:13 Revelation 7:9


Deuteronomy 16:14,15 Isaiah 35:10 66:10 John 16:22 Romans 5:11 Philippians 3:3 4:4 1 Peter 1:8

And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

Numbers 29:12 Nehemiah 8:18

Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

Genesis 33:17 Numbers 24:2,5 Nehemiah 8:14-17 Jeremiah 35:10 2 Corinthians 5:1 Hebrews 11:13-16

That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Exodus 13:14 Deuteronomy 31:10-13 Psalms 78:5,6

And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

1,2 21:24 Matthew 18:20