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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Leviticus Chapter 23

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1445-1444 BC)
Overview: A Handbook for the Priests and Levites (c 1-27)
Theme: Living a Holy Life (c 18-27)
Message: Seasons and Festivals (v 1-44)

Leviticus 23 Commentary

(23:1) A Time of Celebration - Feasts (or festivals) played a major role in Israel's culture. Israel's feasts were different from those of any other nation because, being ordained by God, they were times of celebrating with him, not times of moral depravity. God wanted to set aside special days for the people to come together for rest, refreshment, and remembering with thanksgiving all he had done for them.

(23:1-4) A Time to Remember - God established several national holidays each year for celebration, fellowship, and worship. Much can be learned about people by observing the holidays they celebrate and the way they celebrate them. Take note of your holiday traditions. What do they say about your values? In what ways do your celebrations and holidays reflect your relationship with God?

(23:6) The Feast of Unleavened Bread - The Feast of Unleavened Bread reminded the Israelites of their escape from Egypt. For seven days they ate unleavened bread, just as they had eaten it back then (Exodus 12:14-15). The symbolism of this bread made without yeast was important to the Israelites. First, because the bread was unique, it illustrated Israel's uniqueness as a nation. Second, because yeast was a symbol of sin, the yeastless bread represented Israel's moral purity. Third, the baking method reminded them to obey quickly. Their ancestors left the yeast out of their dough so they could leave Egypt quickly without waiting for the dough to rise.

(23:9-14) The Feast of First Fruits - The Feast of Firstfruits required that the first crops harvested be offered to God. The Israelites were not to eat the food from their harvest until they had made this offering. Today God still expects us to set aside his portion first, not last. Giving leftovers to God is no way to express thanks. What do "firstfruits" represent in your life?

(23:15-22) The Feast of Weeks - The Feast of Weeks and Festival of Pentecost was a festival praising God for a bountiful harvest. This came at the end of the harvest season.

(23:23-24) The Use of Trumpets - Most of the trumpets used were rams' horns, although some of the more special trumpets were made of beaten silver. Trumpets were blown to announce the beginning of each month as well as the start of feasts.

(23-25-32) The Day of Atonement - The Day of Atonement was a day of sacrifice and rest from all work as Sin was Removed to restore Fellowship with God. This reminds us today to confess our sins to the Lord to not Hinder our Communication to Him.

(23:33-43) The Feast of Tabernacles - The Feast of Tabernacles was a special celebration involving the whole family (see Exodus 23:16; Deuteronomy 16:13-15). Like Passover, this feast taught family members of all ages about God's nature and what he had done for ther, and it was a time of renewed commitment to God. Our families also need rituals of celebration to renew our faith and to pass it on to our children. In addition to Christmas and Easter, we should select other special days to commemorate God's goodness.

(23:44) Worship and Celebration - Worship involves celebration and confession. But in Israel's national holidays, the balance seems heavily tipped in favor of celebration--five joyous occasions to two solemn ones. The God of the Bible encourages joy! God does not intend for religion to be only meditation and introspection. He also wants us to celebrate. Serious reflection and immediate confession of sin are essential, of course. But these should be balanced by celebrating who God is and what he has done for his people. What special occasions on your calendar would you describe as times for joy? Which are times for confession? How are you doing with the five-to-two balance?

 

 


Dave Burnette's Life Application

God's Feasts

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 23 and in today's text we see the feasts and festivals. Each celebrating a victory in the lives of the people of Israel. God wanted this time to be a holiday to gather and remember what God has done in their lives to be an encouragement to them and to share with a younger generation. In making application we see that the Lord wants us to remember what He has done in our lives to both encourage us and to share with others that there is a God in Heaven who loves us. How about you? Do you celebrate and share the victories of God in your life? Let us learn from today's text and remembering the feasts and the Lord's workings in our lives. 

 

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Leviticus 23

Leviticus 23

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 2Speak 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.

 3Six 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.

 4These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

 5In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.

 6And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

 7In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

 8But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

 9And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 10Speak 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:

 11And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

 12And 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.

 13And 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.

 14And 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.

 15And 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:

 16Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

 17Ye 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.

 18And 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.

 19Then 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.

 20And 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.

 21And 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.

 22And 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.

 23And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 24Speak 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.

 25Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 26And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 27Also 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.

 28And 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.

 29For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

 30And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

 31Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

 32It 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.

 33And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 34Speak 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.

 35On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

 36Seven 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.

 37These 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:

 38Beside 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.

 39Also 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.

 40And 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.

 41And 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.

 42Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

 43That 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.

 44And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.