The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Deuteronomy 16

Deu 16:1

Deu 16: "Yahweh appointed specific feasts to remind the nation of their responsibilities toward Him. Three pilgrimage feasts had a double significance. They each had reference to a historical incident of importance: Deliverance; Giving of the Law; Wandering in the Wilderness. But they also marked the three seasons of the agricultural year: Spring, Summer, Autumn, with the beginning, fullness, and completion of harvest -- and a preparation for renewed harvest! It is well to keep in view the agricultural aspect of the Three Festivals. It helps us to realise the fact that Israel was once an agricultural people, and that its commercial character is not, as is commonly thought, inborn, but is the result of the unkindly conditions in later ages. Each of the Festivals focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, and relate to his threefold work: as the Passover in his earthly ministry; as Pentecost in his heavenly advocacy, as Tabernacles in his future glorious work in the kingdom. So the chapter sets out: (1) The passover to be observed: vv 1-8. (2) Feast of Weeks to be kept: vv 9-12. (3) Feast of Tabernacles to be commemorated: vv 13-15. (4) Liberality enjoined at the Feasts: vv 16,17. (5) Appointment of judges and officers: vv 18-20. (6) The worse crime: Treason against supreme power: vv 21,22" (GEM).

Deu 16:2

AT THE PLACE THE LORD WILL CHOOSE: Spoken while still in wilderness. At first, kept in tents; then later, at their national altar.

Deu 16:13

CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES: "We shall probably find the meaning of this in the contemplation of this feast of ingathering as the type of the final harvest of life eternal, of which Christ is the individual, and his people the collective first-fruits. To this harvest all the work of God has been working forward from the beginning. That it should be foreshadowed by the last of all the feasts of the year is fitting: and that this feast should be held on the seventh month is in the same line of harmony, also that it should commence on the first day and last nearly the whole month, is striking. That it should begin with a joyful trumpet blast is suggestive of the great joy with which the arrival of the day of God will be hailed" (LM 208).

Deu 16:21

ASHERAH: See Lesson, Asherah.

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