Bible Commentaries

Deuteronomy 16

Verses 1-22

As the section dealing with the statutes commenced with the place of worship, it closed with the restatement of the importance of the great feasts which by their annual recurrence set the whole year in relation to worship.

The year commenced with the Passover. Thus at the beginning the Hebrews were reminded of how their true national existence resulted from their deliverance by God out of Egypt's bondage. The Passover feast must be maintained in the land and observed at the proper center of worship in order that the day of the exodus might be remembered perpetually. Thus their fundamental relationship to God was to be brought to mind at the beginning of every year.

The next event of importance in the consecration of the year was the feast of Pentecost, in which the first fruits of the harvest were to be presented to the Lord, thus reminding them that not only their existence as a nation, but their perpetual sustenance was dependent on the selfsame fact of relationship to Him.

Finally, in this particular application came the feast of Tabernacles. This was to be a time of rejoicing in which master and servant, people and priests, fathers and children, the prosperous and the bereft were all to be included.

On these three occasions all the males were called upon to appear before God and to bring with them gifts. Thus the value and importance of stated and united worship were solemnly enforced on the people as they stood on the threshold of their land.

In this chapter, verse eighteen, we have commenced the section dealing with the subject of judgments. Here Moses commanded the appointment of judges and officers and declared the principles on which they were to act. These were to be those of strict righteousness without any wresting of judgment. There must be no respect of persons and no reception of bribes. There must be no false worship.