Laws of Religious Festivals
The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The appointed times (established feasts) of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:
‘For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation (calling together). You shall not do any work [on that day]; it is the Sabbath of the Lord [a]wherever you may be.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread
‘These are the appointed times of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times: The Lord’s Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month [b]at twilight. The Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord is on the fifteenth day of the same month; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. But you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord for seven days; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work [on that day].’”
The Feast of First Fruits
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am giving you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the [c]sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord so that you may be accepted; the priest shall wave it on the day after the Sabbath. Now on the day when you wave the sheaf you shall offer a male lamb one year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with [olive] oil, an offering by fire to the Lord for a sweet and soothing aroma, with its drink offering [to be poured out], a fourth of a [d]hin of wine. You shall not eat any bread or roasted grain or new growth, until this same day when you bring in the offering to your God; it is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be.
The Feast of Weeks
‘You shall count from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf (tied bundle of grain) of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths (seven full weeks). You shall count [e]fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring in from your places two loaves of bread as a wave offering, made from two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord. And you shall offer with the bread seven unblemished lambs, one year old, and one young bull and two rams. They are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings. It is an offering by fire, a sweet and soothing aroma to the Lord. And you shall sacrifice one male goat as a sin offering and two male lambs, one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall wave them before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the first fruits and the two lambs. They are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. On this same day you shall make a proclamation, you are to have a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. It is to be a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be.
‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the edges of your field, nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the poor and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God.’”
The Feast of Trumpets
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘On the first day of the seventh month (almost October), you shall observe a day of solemn sabbatical rest, a memorial day announced by the blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work [on that day], but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”
The Day of Atonement
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Also the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall [f]humble yourselves [by fasting] and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them]. If there is any person who does any work on this same day, I will destroy that person from among his people. You shall do no work at all [on that day]. It is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you may be. It is to be to you a Sabbath of complete rest, and you shall humble yourselves. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening you shall keep your Sabbath.”
The Feast of Booths
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, and for seven days, is the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) to the Lord. The first day is a holy convocation (calling together); you shall not do any laborious work [on that day]. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord. It is a festive assembly; you shall not do any laborious work [on that day].
‘These are the appointed times (established feasts) of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to present an offering by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its own day. This is in addition to the [weekly] Sabbaths of the Lord, and in addition to your gifts and all your vowed offerings and all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.
‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month (nearly October), when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a Sabbath rest on the first day and a Sabbath rest on the eighth day. Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick (leafy) trees, and willows of the brook [and make booths of them]; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a permanent statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall live in booths (temporary shelters) for seven days; all native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’” So Moses declared to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the Lord.
- Leviticus 23:3 Lit in all your dwellings and so throughout the chapter.
- Leviticus 23:5 Lit between the two evenings.
- Leviticus 23:10 I.e. a tied bundle of stalks of freshly harvested grain.
- Leviticus 23:13 I.e. approx one gal.
- Leviticus 23:16 This is the origin of the name “Pentecost,” Greek for “fiftieth.”
- Leviticus 23:27 See note 16:29.
The Lamp and the Bread of the Sanctuary
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel to bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light [of the golden lampstand], to make a lamp burn continually. Outside the veil of the Testimony [between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place] in the Tent of Meeting, Aaron shall always keep the lamps [a]burning before the Lord from evening until morning; it shall be a permanent statute throughout your generations. He shall keep the lamps burning on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord continually.
“Then you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes (bread of the Presence, showbread) with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake (loaf). You shall set the bread of the Presence (showbread) in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. You shall put pure frankincense [in two censers, one] beside each row, so that it may be with the bread as a memorial portion, an offering by fire to the Lord. Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange the showbread before the Lord continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the Israelites. The bread of the Presence shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a sacred place, for it is for Aaron a most holy portion of the offerings by fire to the Lord, his portion forever.”
Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the Israelites, and he and a man of Israel quarreled and struggled with each other in the camp. The Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name [of the Lord] and cursed. So they brought him to Moses. (Now his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) They put him in custody until the will and command of the Lord might be made clear to them.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Bring the one who has cursed [the Lord] outside the camp, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head [as witnesses to his guilt]; then let all the congregation stone him. You shall speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘Whoever curses his God will bear his sin [through his own death]. Further, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall most certainly be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him. The stranger as well as the native-born shall be put to death when he blasphemes the Name [of the Lord].
“An Eye for an Eye”
‘If a man takes the life of any human being [unlawfully], he shall most certainly be put to death. The one who kills an animal shall replace it, animal for animal. If a man injures his neighbor (fellow citizen), whatever he has done shall be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so shall the same be done to him. The one who kills an animal shall replace it; but he who kills a human being [unlawfully] shall be put to death. You shall have one standard of law for the stranger among you as well as for the native, for I am the Lord your God.’” Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they brought the one who had cursed [the Lord] outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
- Leviticus 24:3 Lit it in order.