Leviticus 23:23-44 – The Lord’s Appointed Times (Part 2)

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church of Manhattan KS, 12 Feb 2017


v     Summary of points from the last sermon:

Ø      In my sermon on the first half of Leviticus 23, I introduced you to the Hebrew word Mo’ad – which indicated the appointed time of meeting with God who is outside of time, and the Hebrew word, Mikra – the calling together of an assembly of people for this conference with God. The holidays of both the Old and New Testaments are about meeting with God and gathering with other believers. Along this line, I pointed out how the command to do no work immediately follows the command to assemble, indicating that the reason for resting which God emphasizes here is to make time to meet with God and His people. (The benefit of refreshment and renewal from rest is there in the Bible, but it is secondary to meeting.)

Ø      We also looked at the meaning of the word “Sabbath” – which means “stop/cease,” and how God’s command to work six days and rest one day a week is based on His own example. The fourth Commandment is a call to imitate God. We also saw how abstaining from serving other people (and abstaining from making other people serve us) is a way of setting the Lordship of God apart, one day a week, by serving and being served by Him alone.

Ø      We also delved into the applicability of all these Old Testament holy days to Christians today, and I sought to point out that since the weekly rest was instituted at Creation and not with Moses, and since it is based on following God’s example, that it still applies to us – at least in principle, although not in the details given to Israel. We now have the example of Jesus, who set apart the First day of the week by His Resurrection after the Passover, corresponding to the Waving of the Firstfruits, and by subsequent meetings with the disciples on the first day until He ascended, and then by the Holy Spirit who came on Pentecost, which was also the first day of the week. And for this reason we see the apostle Paul instructing churches to meet and do their activities on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day.

Ø      So, when Paul says in Colossians 2 that nobody should judge Sabbath observance, I think he’s saying that Jews have no grounds to condemn Christians for making Sunday holy instead of Saturday because the Old Testament ceremonies were shadows, and Christ is the substance, and we are to follow Christ.

Ø      I’ve heard some Christians making much over elaborate Jewish calendar systems, but the truth is we don’t really know the details of the annual calendar followed by the ancient Jews[1]:

§         Some say they followed the Egyptian lunar calendar,

§         others that they followed a lunar calendar that constantly adjusted the days of the week so that the feast days always hit on Sabbaths,

§         and others contend that they followed the Jubilee calendar that consisted of 52 weeks and started on Wednesdays.

§         Again, as Paul cautioned in Colossians 2, anybody that is trying to bind you to one of these ideas is probably trapped in a legalistic system that you don’t want to be in. You can listen politely, but watch to see if their focus is Christ or rule-keeping.

v     At any rate, Leviticus 23 presents us with an annual calendar of holidays:

Ø      There were seven special holy days of required rest from work over the course of the year:

§         the first and seventh days of Passover,

§         the day of Pentecost,

§         the one day of Horn-blowing,

§         the day of Atonement,

§         and the first and eighth day of the festival of Booths.

§         All but one of these days (the day of Atonement) were occasions of joy and feasting.

Ø      The first three Sabbaths, outlined in the first 22 verses, were the weekly Sabbath Day, the annual Passover festival in the spring, and the annual Pentecost festival in the summer. We covered those in the last sermon.

Ø      The next three holidays in the second half of chapter 23 all happened during the seventh month of the year, which would be early Fall – the end of the harvest time.

§         Tradition tells us that the creation week happened at the same time of year as what was being called the seventh month in Moses’ time, but that the nation of Israel started counting the first of the year from the time that they moved out of slavery in Egypt.

§         After the fall feasts came the rainy season, when travel was not convenient[2].

§         In some ways, the three holy days in this seventh month got lumped together as though they were one festival in addition to Passover and Pentecost, so it could be said that 3x a year all the men of Israel were to appear before the Lord, but in other ways, the three holidays of the seventh month are spaced out over 21 days with non-holidays inbetween.

§         If a Jewish family lived a long distance away from Jerusalem, they might hang out in Jerusalem for the whole 21 days instead of travelling back and forth, and engage in business from Jerusalem in-between the three holidays of that month. Besides, only the men had to take the journey[3].

§         God furthermore reassured the Jews in Ex. 34 that, while they were away worshipping Him for that month, He would protect their property from seizure by foes! (Calvin)

v     The point, however, is not so much the details of how these Israelite holidays were observed, but rather what these holidays tell us about Jesus and our relationship with Him. These sabbaths, were typical, that is, they were foreshadowings/types of a reality/anti-type which was yet to come.

Ø      In the concept of Sabbath rest we have a type of rest which the book of Hebrews (chapter 4) tells us typified salvation apart from works, salvation by resting in Christ’s atonement to make us right with God[4].

Ø      Also, in the Passover, we have a clear picture of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus, the lamb of God, dying on a cross to preserve His people from the lethal wrath of God. The Lord’s Supper instituted by Jesus and observed by Christians is a development of the Passover ceremony into the New Testament.

Ø      Likewise, the Firstfuits and Pentecost[5] ceremonies (called Whitsun in some church traditions) which are rolled together in Leviticus 23, were given new substance in the New Testament through the Resurrection of Jesus and the Coming of the Holy Spirit.

§         “And on that day… the apostles, having themselves received the first-fruits of the Spirit, begat three thousand souls, through the word of truth, and presented them, as the first-fruits of the Christian church, to God and the Lamb.” ~Matthew Henry

Ø      In addition to presenting new believers to God, we also carry on today the giving of offerings in our tithes[6] and our spoken praises and in our works of service to our Lord Jesus Christ.

v     So much for review! Now, I want to move forward and consider the three Fall festivals in the second half of Leviticus 23 and what they teach us about our relationship with Christ today.


iv) Teru’ah (שַׁבָּתוֹן זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה) One-day “fanfare memorial rest,” a convocation commemorated by blowing trumpets.

v     Technical notes:

Ø      These shofar horns were not actually trumpets, but were made of sheep or goat horns, These shofars were to be blown at the beginning of the seventh month in addition to the blowing of the chatzotzerah silver trumpets[7] mentioned later on in Numbers 10.

Ø      Tradition was that the priests would begin blowing the horns and do it periodically all day until sun-set (Henry) -

Ø      and not in Jerusalem only, but in all cities and towns where the sanhedrim was.[8]

Ø      According to v.25, a fire-offering (burnt/food offering) was to be offered, but, the details of the offering are not given. This chapter of Leviticus seems to be focused more on what to tell the worshippers - they are just told what kind of animals to bring and that there will be a sacrifice. The book of Numbers gives the details of exactly what was to be sacrificed when, so the priests would be using Numbers 28-29 as their instruction manual, whereas the average person only needed to know what Leviticus 23 said. (Wenham)

v     So what was the meaning behind all this ruckus?

Ø      The word “memorial” is one key. God’s people are not to be amnesiacs when it comes to the history of God’s work among human-kind. We are to remember. And the most likely[9] thing to be remembered at this time on the calendar was God’s creation[10] of the world, which is believed by many to have happened at that very time of the year. Before the Exodus, the Jews considered that month to be the first month of the year, but after the Exodus, the Jews counted the month that they exited Egypt as the first month of the year, which was a fine way to commemorate the deliverance God had wrought for them.

§         John Gill wrote in his commentary: “[A]s this was New Year's Day, as before observed, this ceremony seems to have been appointed to express joy for all the mercies and bles­sings of the last year; and the rather, at this time of the year all the fruits of the earth were gathered in, not only the barley and the wheat, but the oil and wine, and under such grateful acknowledgment, to expect the divine blessing to attend them the following year.”

§         How often do you remember that God created the world? The book of Job (38:6) states that the sons of God shouted for joy at God’s creation, so perhaps the trumpets were an echo of that. Here is something that could add new meaning to our New Year celebrations!

Ø      Another meaning behind the trumpet blasts seems to be a call to preparation for the holy season:

§         “His voice was thus renewed, that they might always be ready to obey Him. And this seems to signify by the expression, ‘a memorial of blowing of trumpets;’ as if He had said that the trumpets sounded in their ears once a year, that they might be attentive to God’s voice throughout their lives, and ever willing to follow whithersoever He should command them to go. Others think that the trumpets sounded at the beginning of the month, that they might prepare themselves for the three festivals...” ~John Calvin, Harmony of the Pentateuch, 4th Commandment.

§         “[B]y the trumpet-blast… the congregation presented the memorial of itself loudly and strongly before Jehovah on the first day of the month, that He might bestow upon them the promised blessings of His grace, for the realization of His covenant.” ~K&D

§         “Now at the beginning of the year they were called by this sound of trumpet to shake off their spiritual drowsiness, to search and try their ways, and to amend them: the day of atonement was the ninth day after this; and thus they were awakened to prepare for that day, by sincere and serious repentance, that it might be indeed to them a day of atonement.” ~Matthew Henry

§         Do you have any mechanisms by which you remind yourself to renewed alertness to God and diligent preparation to worship Him?

§         In some church traditions that are less frequent with the Lord’s Supper, they make an announcement the Sunday before the special Sundays that they hold a communion service, calling people to prepare themselves for it.

Ø      So the horn-blowing reaches back to remember creation, reaches forward to prepare for worship, and thirdly, it leaps into the future to anticipate the grace of Jesus Christ:

§         “It was typical of the preaching of the gospel, by which joyful sound souls were to be called in to serve God and keep a spiritual feast to him. The conversion of the nations to the faith of Christ is said to be by ‘the blowing of a great trumpet’ (Isa. 27:13)[11].” ~Matthew Henry

§         “[On] this day [Jews say]… God sat and judged men[12]… and this was attended with blowing of trumpets, to strike a terror into them, and put them in mind of the judgment of God, and to induce them to repent of their sins[13]: and it may be observed, that the resurrection of the dead, in order to the last general judgment, will be attended with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God (1 Cor. 15:52)… Ainsworth thinks, that this was a figure of the ministry of John the Baptist preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; but rather it seems to be an emblem of the Gospel, and the ministry of it, in the acceptable year of the Lord, or the Gospel dispensation, which is sometimes signified by the blowing of the great trumpet, and by the ministers of it lifting up their voice like a trumpet (Isa. 27:13); by which sinners are roused and awakened to a sense of their sin and danger, and to hear a joyful sound of love, grace, mercy, peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation through Christ.” ~John Gill

§         Is there anything like that for you in your life? A regular reminder of the promises of the gospel and the return of Jesus Christ? Every Christmas, when my family sings through Handel’s Messiah, it is one of those reminders to me: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain,” “For He is like a refiner’s fire, and who shall stand when He appeareth?” and “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, and he shall gently gather the lambs in His arms,” “Worthy is the lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God, to God by His blood!” Just to breathe these prophecies of my Savior in-and-out in song renews my hope and my perspective in life!

v) Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement (Atonement is actually plural in Hebrew)

v      Now, Leviticus chapter 16 already covered in some detail the sacrificial ceremonies during the Day of Atonement, and there we saw positively what was involved in the forgiveness of sin, namely for another soul to suffer the punishment of sin by dying and shedding its blood to appease God’s wrath against our sin. But here in chapter 23, the emphasis is on two things that could spoil this special day.

v     Pride and work are highlighted repeatedly in verses 27-32 as the two no-no’s on this day. Anyone not humbling themselves (which was generally shown outwardly by fasting), and anyone caught working would be dealt with severely – even by God Himself. Now, if we consider the way that God forgives sin, it makes sense that pride and self-effort are two of the biggest roadblocks to being forgiven from sin!

Ø      “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble,” wrote the Apostle James, and

Ø      the Apostle Paul wrote, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: ‘blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the lord will not take into account.’” (Romans 4:5-8, NASB)

v     “The expression, ‘ye shall afflict your souls,’ here refers to the fast, which was required as an outward profession of repentance… As long as the sinner is so far affected, and pricked by a sense of sins, as anxiously to sigh for a remedy, there is some hope of his recovery; whilst he who shakes off fear as well as shame, is in altogether a desperate state… [I]t was fit that they should be stirred up to pious grief by solemn fasting and sacrifices, inasmuch as they had provoked God’s wrath against themselves through the whole year. Therefore… they were cited before His tribunal, in order that, placing themselves there, they should acknowledge that they deserved this judgment, and yet prayed that they might escape punishment; and this was the object of the fast... Still it is not to be supposed that those who are thus dissatisfied with themselves deserve pardon by their preparation for it. [The mere fact that you are fasting is not what makes God happy with you.] But since it would be contrary to God’s nature to embrace men with His favor who are plunged in their iniquities and obstinate in sin; and again, since it would be most unreasonable that by His clemency license to sin should be given under the pretext of impunity, it is needful that penitence should precede our reconciliation to God… yet, in the best of us all, penitence will always be found to be weak and imperfect. Wherefore the cause and the honor of our pardon must only be ascribed to the gratuitous goodness of God... [A]s to the word… olam, which sometimes means ‘a long time,’ and not ‘perpetuity:’ I will simply insist on the thing itself. Whatever was spoken of under the Law as eternal, I maintain to have had reference to the new state of things which came to pass at the coming of Christ; and thus the eternity of the Law must not be extended beyond the fullness of time, when the truth of its shadows was manifested, and God’s covenant assumed a different form.” ~John Calvin, Harmony of the Pentateuch, 4th Commandment.” ~John Calvin

v     “The afflicting of their souls on the day of atonement prepared them for the joy of the feast of tabernacles. The more we are grieved and humbled for sin, the better qualified we are for the comforts of the Holy Ghost.” ~Matthew Henry

vi) Succoth – Festival of Booths or Tabernacles

v     This is the same as the “Feast of Ingathering” (חג האסף) mentioned in Exodus 23:16 and 34:22.

v     We talk about these festivals being typical, and most of the commentaries I read found the antitype of the Festival of Booths to be in the Incarnation of Christ:

Ø      “It was a typical feast. It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born much about the time of this feast; then he left his mansions of light above to tabernacle among us (John 1:14)... And the worship of God under the New Testament is prophesied of under the notion of keeping the feast of tabernacles [in] Zech. 14:16. For, The gospel of Christ teaches us to dwell in tabernacles, to sit loose to this world, as those that ‘have here no continuing city’, but by faith, and hope and holy contempt of present things, to go out to Christ ‘without the camp’ (Heb. 13:13-14).” ~Matthew Henry

Ø      “[T]his feast… was [also] typical of spiritual and evangelical things, and especially of the incarnation of Christ, whose human nature is the true tabernacle, in distinction from those typical ones, and in which He is expressly said to ‘tabernacle’ among us (John 1:14); and it is highly probable that His incarnation or birth was at the time of this feast; at which time the temple of Solomon, a type of Christ's body, was also dedicated… as Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us at the exact time of the Passover, and the firstfruits of the Spirit were given on the very day of Pentecost, or feast of Firstfruits; so it is most likely, that Christ was born, or first began to tabernacle in human nature at the feast of tabernacles, which we, in Gospel times, are to keep, by believing in the incarnate Saviour.”~John Gill

Ø      So once again, we see Christ as the fulfillment of the law, and if you want to celebrate Christmas in September or in December, feel free, but let Jesus be the focus of your worship.

v     But is there anything else practical we can learn from God’s instructions about the Festival of Booths? The one thing that is emphasized here is rejoicing.

Ø      The leading character of the feast of Tabernacles… was to consist in “joy before the Lord” … [I]t was to place vividly before the eyes of the future generations of Israel a memorial of the grace, care, and protection which God afforded to His people in the ‘great and terrible wilderness’ (Deut. 8:15)… Moreover, the booths used at this feast were not made of miserable shrubs of the desert, but of branches of fruit-trees, palms and thickly covered trees, the produce of the good and glorious land into which God had brought them (Deut. 8:7); and in this respect they presented a living picture of the plenteous fullness of blessing with which the Lord had enriched His people… [T]he natural allusion of the feast, which was superadded… to the plentiful harvest… would necessarily raise their hearts to still higher joy through their gratitude to the Lord and Giver of all, and make this feast a striking figure of the blessedness of the people of God when resting from their labours.”~K&D

Ø      This is underscored in Deuteronomy 16:13-15, "You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.” (NKJV) God commands us to rejoice!

Ø      “[I]n the time of Christ it was the custom to have [fronds from] palm-trees and citron-trees, or to carry in the hand a branch of myrtle and willow bound round with wool, with palms at the top and a… peach or pomegranate…”~K&D[14] This bundle of branches was called a lulab, and we see palm branches come up again as an expression of joy in worship in the heavenly vision of Revelation 7:9.

Ø       “[B]y carrying the boughs, they proclaimed their joy and triumph as it were. Nor would it have been reasonable that they should go into the booths in sorrow and sadness, since they represented visibly to them both the former and present goodness of God…” ~John Calvin

Ø      John Gill describes how the Jews of his day expressed joy “by carrying the above boughs in their hands, and going round about the altar with them, and, shaking them, and crying ‘Hos­anna,’ and by making use of all sorts of music, vocal and instrumental, piping, dancing, leaping, skipping, and various gestures, even by persons of the highest rank[15]; and particular­ly by fetching water[16] from Siloah… and pouring it with wine upon the altar, which was attended with such expressions of joy, that[17] he who [has] never [seen it has] never [seen real] rejoicing!”

Ø      “How much more reason has the Church to rejoice today, in view of all the spiritual benefits that our ours in our Lord Jesus.” ~Wenham, NICOT

v     The booths also reminded God’s people that they were pilgrims and sojourners with a permanent home only in Heaven, and it reminded them to be thankful for the good homes they could go back to after the week of camping, and it also symbolized in some way the spiritual protection of God Himself.[18] In the words of the old puritan commentator, Matthew Henry, “therefore whatever we have the comfort of, He must have the glory of, especially when any mercy is perfected.”

v      So in the Feast of Booths we have the exhortation to rejoice and be thankful, which clearly carries on into the New Testament in the everyday commands of Jesus and the Apostles.


o       The memorial of horn-blowing teaches us to be people who remember God’s creation of the world and to prepare our hearts before we worship Him, and to look forward to the time He fulfills His promises and returns with the trumpet-blast to judge and make all things new!

o       Next, the special warnings in Lev. 23 about the Day of Atonement teach us to turn away from pride and self-righteousness and humble ourselves and trust in Jesus’ sacrifice alone to make us right with God.

o       And, finally, the exhortation of the passage regarding the Festival of Booths teaches us to give thanks and rejoice – both in the coming of Christ to dwell with us, but at all times as our spiritual service of worship.


One final point that comes out through repetition in this passage is that the principle of Sabbath rest is to be observed not just at church but in “all your places of residence.” This remembering and preparing and looking forward and humbling and trusting and giving thanks and rejoicing is to be done in your own homes! The phrase “in/from all your dwellings” is repeated in verses 3,14,17,21, and 31. Matthew Henry rightly observed: “Whether you have opportunity of sanctifying it in a holy convocation or not, yet let it be the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. Put a difference between that day and other days in your families. It is the sabbath of the Lord, the day on which he rested from the work of creation, and on which he has appointed us to rest; let it be observed in all your dwellings, even now that you dwell in tents. Note, God's sabbaths are to be religiously observed in every private house, by every family apart, as well as by many families together in holy convocations. The sabbath of the Lord in our dwellings will be their beauty, strength, and safety; it will sanctify, edify, and glorify them.”


Comparative translations of Leviticus 23:23-44

When a translation adds words not in the Hebrew text, but does not indicate it has done so by the use of italics (or greyed-out text), I put the added words in [square brackets]. When one version chooses a wording which is different from all the other translations, I underline it. When a version chooses a translation which, in my opinion, either departs too far from the root meaning of the Hebrew word or departs too far from the grammar form of the original Hebrew, I use strikeout. And when a version omits a word which is in the Hebrew text, I insert an X. (Sometimes I will place the X at the end of a word if the original word is plural but the English translation is singular.) I occasionally use colors to help the reader see correlations between the various editions and versions when there are more than two different translations of a given word. Hebrew text that is colored purple matches the Dead Sea Scrolls, and variants between the DSS and the MT are noted in endnotes with the following exceptions: When a holem or qibbutz pointing in the MT is represented in the DSS by a vav, when a hireq pointing in the MT is represented in the DSS by a yod (the corresponding consonantal representation of the same vowel), or when the tetragrammaton is spelled with paleo-Hebrew letters, I did not record it a variant. Dead Sea Scrolls which contain this second half of Leviticus 23 are 4Q24 Leviticus b (verses 1-25 & 40), 11Q1 paleoLeviticusa  (verses 22-29), and Ncf.Scr.004742 / F.203 (verses 24-28).



Brenton (LXX)




23 Καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς Μωυσῆν λέγων

23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

23 Yahweh spoke again to Moses saying,

כג וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

24 Λάλησον τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ λέγων Τοῦ μηνὸς τοῦ ἑβδόμου μιᾷ τοῦ μηνὸς ἔσται ὑμῖν ἀνάπαυσις, μνημόσυνον σαλπίγγων, κλητὴ ἁγία [ἔσται ὑμῖν]·

24 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a rest, a memorial of trumpets: [it shall be to you] a holy convocation.

24 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.

24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘At the seventh month, on the first of the month a special-time-of-rest must happen for y’all: a fanfare memorial. There shall be a holy conference [for y’all].

כד דַּבֵּ֛ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּחֹ֨דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜י בְּאֶחָ֣ד לַחֹ֗דֶשׁ יִהְיֶ֤ה לָכֶם֙ שַׁבָּת֔וֹן זִכְר֥וֹן תְּרוּעָ֖ה מִקְרָא־קֹֽדֶשׁ[A]׃

25 πᾶν ἔργον λατρευτὸν οὐ ποιήσετε καὶ προσάξετε ὁλοκαύτωμα κυρίῳ.

25 Ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall offer a [whole]-burnt-offering to the Lord.

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

25 Y’all may not do any service-related work, but y’all should offer a burnt-offering to Yahweh.”

כה כׇּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֑וּ וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֥ם אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַיהֹוָֽה׃

26 Καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς Μωυσῆν λέγων

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

26 Yahweh also spoke to Moses, saying,

כו וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

27 Καὶ τῇ δεκάτῃ τοῦ μηνὸς τοῦ ἑβδόμου τούτου ἡμέρα ἐξιλασμοῦ, X κλητὴ ἁγία ἔσται ὑμῖν, καὶ ταπεινώσετε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν καὶ προσάξετε ὁλοκαύτωμα τῷ κυρίῳ.

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month is a day of atonementX: it shall be a holy convocation to you; and ye shall humble your souls, and offer a [whole]-burnt-offering to the Lord.

27 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.

27 “Moreover, during the tenth of this seventh month, it will be the Day of Atonements. It will be a holy conference for y’all, and y’all must humble your souls and offer a burnt-offering to Yahweh.

כז אַ֡ךְ בֶּעָשׂ֣וֹר לַחֹ֩דֶשׁ֩ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֨י הַזֶּ֜ה י֧וֹם הַכִּפֻּרִ֣ים ה֗וּא מִֽקְרָא־ קֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם וְעִנִּיתֶ֖ם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶ֑ם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֥ם אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַיהֹוָֽה׃

28 X πᾶν ἔργον οὐ ποιήσετε ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ταύτῃ· ἔστιν γὰρ ἡμέρα ἐξιλασμοῦ αὕτη [ὑμῖν] ἐξιλάσασθαι περὶ ὑμῶν ἔναντι κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ ὑμῶν.

28 X Ye shall do no work on this self-same day: for this is a day of atonement [for you], to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.

28 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.

28 And y’all may not do any work on that same day because it is the Day of Atonements to make atonement over y’all before the face of Yahweh your God.

כח וְכׇל־מְלָאכָה֙ לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֔וּ בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה כִּ֣י י֤וֹם כִּפֻּרִים֙ ה֔וּא[B] לְכַפֵּ֣ר עֲלֵיכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

29 πᾶσα ψυχή, ἥτις μὴ ταπεινωθήσεται ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ταύτῃ, X ἐξολεθρευθήσεται ἐκ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτῆς.

29 Every soul that shall not be humbled in that X day, shall X be cut off from among its people.

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

29 As for any person who is not humbled on that same day, he must also be cut off from his people,

כט כִּ֤י כׇל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־תְעֻנֶּ֔ה בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְנִכְרְתָ֖ה מֵֽעַמֶּֽיהָ׃

30 καὶ πᾶσα ψυχή, ἥτις ποιήσει ἔργον ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ταύτῃ, ἀπολεῖται ψυχὴ ἐκείνη ἐκ X τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτῆς.

30 And every soul which shall do work on that day, that soul shall be destroyed from among its people.

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

30 and as for any person who does any work on that same day, I will also destroy that person from among his people.

ל וְכׇל־הַנֶּ֗פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר תַּעֲשֶׂה֙ כׇּל־מְלָאכָ֔ה בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְהַֽאֲבַדְתִּ֛י אֶת־הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא מִקֶּ֥רֶב עַמָּֽהּ׃

31 πᾶν ἔργον οὐ ποιήσετε· νόμιμον αἰώνιον εἰς τὰς γενεὰς ὑμῶν ἐν πάσαις κατοικίαις ὑμῶν.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your habitations.

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

31 Y’all must not do any work; it is a lasting statute for your generations in all your places of residence.

לא כׇּל[C]־מְלָאכָ֖ה לֹ֣א תַעֲשׂ֑וּ חֻקַּ֤ת עוֹלָם֙ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם בְּכֹ֖ל מֹֽשְׁבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם׃

32 σάββατα σαββάτων ἔσται ὑμῖν, καὶ ταπεινώσετε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν· ἀπὸ ἐνάτης τοῦ μηνὸς ἀπὸ ἑσπέρας ἕως ἑσπέρας σαββατιεῖτε τ σάββατα ὑμῶν.

32 It shall be a holy sabbath to you; and ye shall humble your souls, from the ninth day of the month: from evening to evening ye shall keep your sabbath[s].

32 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.

32 It is a special day of rest among days of rest for y’all, so y’all must humble your souls on the ninth of the month in the evening; from evening until evening y’all must rest out your day of rest.”

לב שַׁבַּ֨ת שַׁבָּת֥וֹן הוּא֙ לָכֶ֔ם וְעִנִּיתֶ֖ם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶ֑ם בְּתִשְׁעָ֤ה לַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ בָּעֶ֔רֶב מֵעֶ֣רֶב עַד־עֶ֔רֶב תִּשְׁבְּת֖וּ[D] שַׁבַּתְּכֶֽם׃

33 Καὶ ἐλάλησεν κύριος πρὸς Μωυσῆν λέγων





33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

33 Again Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

לג וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

34 Λάλησον τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ λέγων Τῇ πεντεκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ μηνὸς τοῦ ἑβδόμου τούτου ἑορτὴ σκηνῶν ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας τῷ κυρίῳ.

34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, there shall be a feast of tabernacles seven days to the Lord.

34 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.

34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, this shall be the Feast of the Booths seven days for Yahweh.

לד דַּבֵּ֛ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּחֲמִשָּׁ֨ה עָשָׂ֜ר י֗וֹם לַחֹ֤דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי֙ הַזֶּ֔ה חַ֧ג הַסֻּכּ֛וֹת שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים לַיהֹוָֽה׃

35 καὶ ἡμέρα πρώτη κλητὴ ἁγία, πᾶν ἔργον λατρευτὸν οὐ ποιήσετε.

35 And on the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.

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

35 During the first day there shall be a holy conference; y’all may not do any service-related work.

לה בַּיּ֥וֹם הָרִאשׁ֖וֹן מִקְרָא־קֹ֑דֶשׁ כׇּל־ מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַעֲשֽׂוּ׃

36 ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας προσάξετε ὁλοκαυτώματα τῷ κυρίῳ· καὶ ἡμέρα ὀγδόη κλητὴ ἁγία ἔσται ὑμῖν, καὶ προσάξετε ὁλοκαυτώματα τῷ κυρίῳ· ἐξόδιόν ἐστιν, πᾶν ἔργον λατρευτὸν οὐ ποιήσετε.

36 Seven days shall ye offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord, and the eighth-day shall be a holy convocation to you; and ye shall offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord: it is a time of release, ye shall do no servile work.

36 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.

36 Seven days y’all must offer a burnt-offering to Yahweh. [Then] on the eighth day there shall be a holy conference for y’all, and y’all shall offer a burnt-offering to Yahweh. It is a wrap-up session; y’all may not do any service-related work.

לו שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֔ים תַּקְרִ֥יבוּ אִשֶּׁ֖ה לַיהֹוָ֑ה בַּיּ֣וֹם [E]הַשְּׁמִינִ֡י מִקְרָא־קֹ֩דֶשׁ֩ יִהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֜ם וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֨ם אִשֶּׁ֤ה לַֽיהֹוָה֙ עֲצֶ֣רֶת[F] הִ֔וא כׇּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַעֲשֽׂוּ׃

37 Αὗται αἱ ἑορταὶ κυρίῳ, ἃς καλέσετε X κλητὰς ἁγίας ὥστε προσενέγκαι καρπώματα τῷ κυρίῳ, ὁλοκαυτώματα καὶ X θυσίας [αὐτῶν] καὶ σπονδὰς [αὐτῶν] τὸ X [καθ᾿] ἡμέραν εἰς ἡμέραν X

37 These are the feasts to the Lord, which ye shall call holy convocations, to offer burnt-offering[s] to the Lord, whole-burnt-offering[s] and their meat-offering[s], and their drink-offerings, that for each day on its day:

37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim X 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 X upon his day:

37 These are the meeting-times of Yahweh, those which y’all must call together, holy confer­ences in order to offer a burnt-offering to Yahweh: the whole-burnt-offering and the grain-offering sacrifice and the libations, the order of the day on its day -

לז אֵ֚לֶּה מוֹעֲדֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־תִּקְרְא֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם מִקְרָאֵ֣י קֹ֑דֶשׁ לְהַקְרִ֨יב אִשֶּׁ֜ה לַיהֹוָ֗ה עֹלָ֧ה וּמִנְחָ֛ה זֶ֥בַח וּנְסָכִ֖ים דְּבַר־י֥וֹם בְּיוֹמֽוֹ[G]׃

38 πλὴν τῶν σαββάτων κυρίου καὶ πλὴν τῶν δομάτων ὑμῶν καὶ πλὴν πασῶν τῶν εὐχῶν ὑμῶν καὶ πλὴν X τῶν ἑκουσίων ὑμῶν, ἂν δῶτε τῷ κυρίῳ.

38 besides the sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides X your free-will-offerings, which ye shall give to the Lord.

38 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.

38 apart from Yahweh’s days of rest and apart from y’all’s gifts and apart from any of y’all’s vows and apart from y’all’s spontaneous-offerings which y’all give to Yahweh.

לח מִלְּבַ֖ד שַׁבְּתֹ֣ת יְהֹוָ֑ה וּמִלְּבַ֣ד[H] מַתְּנֽוֹתֵיכֶ֗ם וּמִלְּבַ֤ד כׇּל־נִדְרֵיכֶם֙ וּמִלְּבַד֙ כׇּל־נִדְבֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּתְּנ֖וּ לַיהֹוָֽה׃

39 Καὶ ἐν τῇ πεντεκαιδεκάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ μηνὸς τοῦ ἑβδόμου [τούτου], ὅταν συντελέσητε τὰ γενήματα τῆς γῆς, ἑορτάσετε X τῷ κυρίῳ ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας· τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πρώτῃ ἀνάπαυσις, καὶ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ὀγδόῃ ἀνάπαυσις.

39 And on the fifteenth day of [this] seventh month, when ye shall have completely gathered in the fruits of the earth, ye shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days; on the first day there shall be a rest, and on the eighth day a rest.

39 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.

39 Moreover, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, during your gathering of what grows out the land, y’all shall celebrate a feast – the feast of Yahweh – seven days. During the first day there shall be a special day of rest, and during the eighth day there shall be a special day of rest.

לט אַ֡ךְ[I] בַּחֲמִשָּׁה֩ עָשָׂ֨ר י֜וֹם לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י בְּאׇסְפְּכֶם֙ אֶת־ תְּבוּאַ֣ת הָאָ֔רֶץ תָּחֹ֥גּוּ אֶת־חַג־יְהֹוָ֖ה שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים בַּיּ֤וֹם הָֽרִאשׁוֹן֙ שַׁבָּת֔וֹן וּבַיּ֥וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֖י שַׁבָּתֽוֹן[J]׃

40 καὶ λήμψεσθε X X τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πρώτῃ καρπὸν ξύλου ὡραῖον [καὶ] κάλλυνθρα φοινίκων καὶ κλάδους ξύλου δασεῖς [καὶ ἰτέας] καὶ ἄγνου [κλάδους] ἐκ χειμάρρου X εὐφρανθῆναι ἔναντι κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ ὑμῶν ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας

40 And on the first day ye shall take goodly fruit of trees, [and] branches of palm trees, and thick boughs of trees, [and willows], and [branches of] osiers from the brook, to rejoice before the Lord your God seven days in the year.

40 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.

40 Then on the first day you must take for yourselves the produce of ornamental trees: palm fronds and leafy tree branches and stream-willows, and y’all must rejoice before the face of Yahweh your God seven days,

מ וּלְקַחְתֶּ֨ם לָכֶ֜ם בַּיּ֣וֹם הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן פְּרִ֨י עֵ֤ץ הָדָר֙ כַּפֹּ֣ת תְּמָרִ֔ים וַעֲנַ֥ף[K] עֵץ־עָבֹ֖ת וְעַרְבֵי־ נָ֑חַל[L] וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם לִפְנֵ֛י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים׃

41 X X X X X X τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ· νόμιμον αἰώνιον εἰς τὰς γενεὰς ὑμῶν· ἐν τῷ μηνὶ τῷ ἑβδόμῳ ἑορτάσετε αὐτήν.

41 X X X X X X X X X X X X It is a perpetual statute for your generations: in the seventh month ye shall keep it.

41 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.

41 and y’all must celebrate it as a feast to Yahweh seven days during the year. It is a lasting statute for your generations; y’all must celebrate it during the seventh month.

מא וְחַגֹּתֶ֤ם אֹתוֹ֙ חַ֣ג לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה חֻקַּ֤ת עוֹלָם֙ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֖י תָּחֹ֥גּוּ אֹתֽוֹ׃

42 ἐν σκηναῖς κατοικήσετε ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας, πᾶς αὐτόχθων ἐν Ισραηλ κατοικήσει ἐν σκηναῖς,

42 Seven days ye shall dwell in tabernacles: every native in Israel shall dwell in tents,

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

42 Y’all must reside in the booths seven days. Everyone who is a native in Israel must reside in the booths

מב בַּסֻּכֹּ֥ת תֵּשְׁב֖וּ שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים כׇּל־הָֽאֶזְרָח֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל יֵשְׁב֖וּ בַּסֻּכֹּֽת׃

43 ὅπως ἴδωσιν αἱ γενεαὶ ὑμῶν ὅτι ἐν σκηναῖς κατῴκισα τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ ἐν τῷ ἐξαγαγεῖν με αὐτοὺς ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου· ἐγὼ κύριος θεὸς ὑμῶν.

43 that your posterity may see, that I made the children of Israel to dwell in tents, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

43 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.

43 in order that your generations will know that it was in booths that I caused the children of Israel to reside when I caused them to go out from the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh y’all’s God!’”

מג לְמַ֘עַן֮ יֵדְע֣וּ דֹרֹֽתֵיכֶם֒ כִּ֣י בַסֻּכּ֗וֹת הוֹשַׁ֙בְתִּי֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּהוֹצִיאִ֥י אוֹתָ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֲנִ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

44 Καὶ ἐλάλησεν Μωυσῆς τὰς ἑορτὰς κυρίου τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ.

44 And Moses recounted the feasts of the Lord to the children of Israel.

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

44 And so Moses told the meeting-times of Yahweh to the children of Israel.

מד וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־מֹעֲדֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֑ה אֶל־בְּנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃


[1] Wenham (NICOT) noted that, although “by NT times, most Jews followed a lunar calendar with 29 or 30 days in each month” that had to be adjusted every three years with an extra month, “it has been argued that the OT follows the calendar mentioned in the book of Jubilees and used by the Essenes at Qumran” that “employs a year of exactly 52 weeks (364 days)” and starting all the feast weeks out on Wednesdays. Rushdoony’s source (Curtis Ewing,  Israel’s Calendar and the True Sabbath) claimed instead that “the Hebrews retained the Egyptian calendar of 12 months of 30 days… adding… five supplementary days… This means that once in seven years each of them would fall on every single day of the week, just as your birthday comes on a different day of the week every year.” K&D agreed on these festivals landing on different days of the week depending on the year, and gave much space to debunk the theory of weeks and days being added and subtracted each year in order to make all the festivals land on a 7th day Sabbath.

[2] “These feasts were to be proclaimed in their seasons (v.4), and the seasons God chose for them were in March, May and September (according to our present computation), not in winter, because travelling would then be uncomfortable, when the days were short, and the ways foul [i.e. muddy because winter was rainy season]; not in the middle of summer, because then in those countries they were gathering in their harvest and vintage, and could be ill spared from their country business. Thus graciously does God consult our comfort in his appointments, obliging us thereby religiously to regard his glory in our observance of them, and not to complain of them as a burden.” ~Matthew Henry

[3] Wenham pointed out in his commentary the association of the Hebrew word for “feast-day” (hag) with taking a pilgrimage, and it’s similarity to the Arabic word haj for a religious pilgrimage.

[4] “[H]e is in fact accounted to cease from his works who is not led by his own will nor indulges his own wishes, but who suffers himself to be directed by the Spirit of God. And this emptying out of self must proceed so far that the Sabbath is violated even by good works, so long as we regard them as our own; for rightly does Augustin remark in the last chapter

of the 22d book, De Civitate Dei, ‘For even our good works themselves, since they are understood to be rather His than ours, are thus imputed to us for the attaining of that Sabbath, when we are still and see that He is God;’ (Ps. 46:10) for, if we attribute them to ourselves, they will be servile, whereas we are told as to the Sabbath, Thou shalt not do any servile work in it." ~John Calvin, Harmony of the Pentateuch, the 4th Commandment. “Pharisees… emphasis on ‘no work’ was in itself a work of man, a proud boast in their ability to fulfill a law, and this same Phariseeism is apparent in some churches today. The Sabbath is life to the man who looks to the Lord for life and allows God to work throughout all creation as the great re-creator. It is more than an outward observance and it cannot be joined with any humanistic confidence in man’s works, or the state’s works, as man’s source of rest and salvation.” ~R.J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 144.

[5] The giving of the law at Sinai was correlated to Pentecost by respectable Jewish and Christian scholars such as Maimonides, John Calvin, Matthew Henry and JFB, but this is also denied by others (Abarbanel and Keil & Delitzsch). I am inclined to think that the two events are related, considering that the escape from Egypt was recorded as being on the 15th of the first month (Ex. 12), then that they made it to the Wilderness of Sin by the 15th day of the second month – 30 days after the Exodus (Ex. 16:1), and then they reached Sinai “in the third month after going out of Egypt, on that day” according to Exodus 19:1, and three days later God uttered the 10 Commandments from the mountain, which, would place the event right at 50 days out from Passover if “on that day” means the first day of the third month (which K&D dispute, but even if it is not, it is close). “But the period and perfection of this feast was the pouring out of the Spirit upon the apostles on the day of this feast (Acts 2:1), in which the law of faith was given, fifty days after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us...” ~Matthew Henry (copied by JFB a century later)

[6] “The offering of the first-born and of the firstfruits was closely connected with the tithe, and, with it, constituted a sym­bolic offering of the whole… The early church saw the offering of the first-born fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the offering given by God in fulfillment of the requirement for the household of faith… For many centuries, the tithe was paid in produce, i.e., a literal tenth of the field rather than its monetary equivalent… The tithe or tenth appears very early, long before Moses; when Abraham tithed (Gen. 14:20... cf. Joseph in Gen. 28:20-22)… Scripture refers to three kinds of tithing… a first tithe, the Lord’s tithe (Num. 18:21-24), which went to the Levites, who rendered a tenth of this to the priests (Num. 18:26-28); a 2nd tithe, a festival tithe to rejoice before the Lord (Dt. 12:6-7, 17-18); a third tithe, a poor tithe, every 3rd  year to be shared locally with the local Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow (Dt. 14:27-29).”

[7] Numbers 10:2-10 NKJV  "Make two silver trumpets (chatzotzerah) for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.  When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting…  8  The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations…  10  Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God."

[8] Maimonedes’ Hilchot Shophar ve Succah, c. 2. sect. 8

[9] Other things I think are less-clearly connected but which were suggested as worthy of memorialization include the voice of God at Mt. Sinai (Matthew Henry), and the “binding” of Isaac as a sacrifice on Mt. Moriah (Jewish tradition). (Calvin described the latter as “baseless” and “unreasonable,” with only one word tying together the two events, the word “binding” in v.36, which even the American Jewish Version translates as “solemn assembly.”

[10] “But what, if when God displaced this month from being the beginning of the year to stand seventh, He chose to leave it some traces of its original dignity? for by general consent it is admitted that, until the people came out of Egypt, this was the first month. Some even think that the world was created in it, which is not without probable show of reason.” ~John Calvin, Harmony of the Pentateuch, 4th Commandment.

“Some think that it was a memorial of the creation of the world, which is supposed to have been in autumn; for which reason this was, till now, the first month” ~Matthew Henry

“[A]t this time of the year, it was generally thought by the Jews (T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 10. 2.), and by others, that the world was created, and this blowing of trumpets might be in memory of that, and as an emblem of the shoutings of the sons of God, the angels, the morning stars, who sang for joy when the foundations of the earth were laid (Job 38:6)” ~John Gill

[11] Isaiah 27:13 NKJV  So it shall be in that day: The great trumpet will be blown; They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

[12] Misn. Roshhashanah, c. 1. sect. 2. T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 16. 2.

[13] Leo Modena's History of Rites of the present Jews, par. 3. c. 5. sect. 7.

[14] “By ‘the fruits,’ therefore, we understand the shoots and branches of the trees, as well as the blossom and fruit that grew out of them. הָדָר עֵץ, “trees of ornament:” we are not to understand by these only such trees as the orange and citron, which were placed in gardens for ornament rather than use, as the Chald. and Syr. indicate, although these trees grow in the gardens of Palestine (Rob., Pal. i. 327, iii. 420). The expression is a more general one, and includes myrtles, which were great favourites with the ancients, on account of their beauty and the fragrant odour which they diffused, olive-trees, palms, and other trees, which were used as booths in Ezra's time (Neh. 8:15)…  (θύρσους ἐκ φοινίκων καὶ κιτρέων: Josephus, Ant. xiii. 13, 5)” This agrees with Calvin’s assessment of the meaning, and Calvin’s editor cited Jahn and Rosenmuller in agreement.

[15] Maimonedes’ Hilchot Lulab. c. 7. sect. 10. c. 13, & c. 8. sect. 12, 13, 14, 15.

[16] “the ceremony of drawing water from the pool, which was done on the last day, seems to have been the introduction of a later period (John 7:37).”~JFB

[17] Mishnah Succah c. 5. sect. 1. 4.

[18] “[T]he month Tisri, or September, being usually a cold and rainy season in those parts, men were wont to leave their tabernacles and go into their houses; and so it was a plain case that the feast was observed not for convenience or through custom, but that it was at the command of God they went out of their houses into tabernacles at this season of the year, in commemoration of the miraculous benefit of dwelling in tents under the clouds of glory: and they also say, that for this reason it was ordered to begin on the fifteenth day, because it was on the fifteenth day of the month (though of another month) they went out of Egypt… “ ~John Gill

“The Passover showed how they were marvelously rescued from immediate death by the hand of God; but by this other day [of Succoth] God magnified the continuous and daily flow of His grace… experienced during forty years… in that spectacle should perceive what would have else never sufficiently penetrated their minds; whilst at the same time they were instructed for the time to come, that even in the land of Canaan they were to be sojourners, since this is the condition prescribed to all the pious, and children of God, that they should be strangers on earth, if they desire to be inheritors of heaven.” ~John Calvin

 “[T]o live for the week in shelters made of branches… was to remind them… to… appreciate the good housing they now enjoyed (cf. Deut. 6:10-11). It is only when we are deprived of our daily blessings… that we realize just how much we ought to be thankful for.” ~Wenham

 “The Passover showed how they were marvelously rescued from immediate death by the hand of God; but by this other day [of Succoth] God magnified the continuous and daily flow of His grace… experienced during forty years… in that spectacle should perceive what would have else never sufficiently penetrated their minds; whilst at the same time they were instructed for the time to come, that even in the land of Canaan they were to be sojourners, since this is the condition prescribed to all the pious, and children of God, that they should be strangers on earth, if they desire to be inheritors of heaven.” ~John Calvin

“The shielding and protecting presence of the Lord in the pillar of cloud and fire was, in the words of the prophet, “a booth (tabernacle) for a shadow in the day-time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isa. 4:6) in the barren wilderness, to those who had just been redeemed out of Egypt.”~K&D (This symbolic meaning has long been in Jewish tradition as well (Soncino Chumash cites Rachi and Nachmenides, for example.).

[A] The Septuagint (LXX) which dates a thousand years before the MT adds “it shall be to you” and the character spacing of Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) F203 (also dating a thousand years before the MT) supports these additional words by its character spacing, even though the words themselves are obliterated. The Samaritan Pentateuch manuscripts which are even younger than the MT support the MT, but so does DSS 11Q1 which dates a thousand years before the MT. It is possible that the extra words were original but were edited out because they seemed redundant; manuscript evidence does not offer positive proof. If anything, it proves that the LXX could have been following a Hebrew textual tradition different from the one chosen by the Masorites. At any rate, the additional words add nothing to the meaning. Furthermore, DSS F203 adds a he to the end of [ה]לכמ (the 11th word of the verse). This doesn’t necessarily change the meaning, as it could be just an elongated form of the third plural pronoun suffix already there in the MT. The same phenomenon occurs in F203 toward the end of v.28 as well with [ה]עליכמ.

[B] Once again the LXX and DSS (F203) agree against the SP, MT, and DSS 11Q1, this time with the addition of the word “to y’all.” It is possible that the textual tradition followed by the MT edited this word out because it seemed redundant, for it doesn’t add any new meaning. What’s truly amazing is that these are the only kinds of variants that exist. Of all the possible ways the text could be varied, they consistently only vary in matters that do not change the meaning. This is evidence of divine providence in preserving the integrity of His word through fallible humans.

[C] SP & Syriac start the verse with an added “and,” but this is not in the MT or the LXX, so I’ll ignore it.

[D] SP throws the stem into Hiphil (causative) with the addition of one letter, but this doesn’t really change the meaning (“cause to keep Sabbath” vs. “keep Sabbath”).

[E] The SP, LXX, and Syriac start this sentence with an “and” which is not in the MT, so I am including the “and” from these older sources.

[F]עֲצֶרֶת, which is used in Lev. 23:36 and Num. 29:35 for the eighth day, which terminated the feast of Tabernacles, and in Deut. 16:8 for the seventh day of the feast of Mazzoth, signifies the solemn close of a feast of several days, clausula festi, from עָצַר to shut in, or close (Gen. 16:2; Deut. 11:17, etc.)”~K&D

cf. “solemn assembly” (AJV, Calvin), “keeping [Israel] back” [for an extra day together] (Rashi, Sformo), “binding together [the festivals in conclusion]” (Nachminides), “restraint [from work]” (Ibn Ezra, Shibaum)

[G] Interpreted by Dr. Cohen in the Soncino Chumash as referring to the enumeration of sacrifices for each day in Numbers 28, but explained by medieval Jewish commentator  Rashi as meaning that if you missed a sacrifice on one day, you couldn’t make it up on another day. The latter explanation does not fit with God’s character throughout scripture.

[H] The SP adds and “all” and the LXX subtracts an “all.” It doesn’t change the meaning since the context and grammar indicates whatever exists in those categories. “All” simply adds emphaticness to the fact that it is everything in the enumerated categories.

[I] “After Moses has prescribed concerning the rest and the offerings, he adds a caution, that there should be no diminution of the ordinary service… Wherefore, at the beginning of verse 39, the particle ‘ac,’ seems to be taken adversatively; for there is an antithesis between the peculiar service of this solemnity and the common rites which were to be observed at other times; as if he had said, that when they had done all which the Law required every day, still they were not to fail in this observance; and hence, that they must comply severally with both the general and special command, if they would properly do their duty.” ~John Calvin (Compare K&D The leading character of the feast of Tabernacles, which is indicated at the outset by the emphatic אַךְ (v.39), was to consist in ‘joy before the Lord.’”)

[J] Gill notes that it is traditional to say, upon leaving the booth at the end of the seventh day “May it be the will of God that we may be worthy the next year to dwell in the booth of Leviathan” (that is, to feast with the Messiah in the world to come). (Lebush, par. 2. c. 668. sect. 5.) Then on the day after the 8th day convocation, a ninth day called Simchat Torah has been tacked on by the Jews to celebrate the reading of the law.

[K] SP & LXX render this kind of tree plural

[L] Jewish interpretation is that this is a list of four things, the first being citron fruits (like lemons, I think). Keil & Delitzsch note that there is no “and” between the first and second item and conclude that the first item is an introduction of the three which follow, not a separate kind of fruit: “If we observe that there are only three kinds of boughs that are connected together by the copula (vav) in Lev. 23:40, and that it is wanting before תם כַּפֹּת, there can hardly be any doubt that הָדָר עֵץ פְּרִי is the generic term, and that the three names which follow specify the particular kinds of boughs. By “the fruits,” therefore, we understand the shoots and branches of the trees, as well as the blossom and fruit that grew out of them. הָדָר עֵץ, “trees of ornament:” we are not to understand by these only such trees as the orange and citron, which were placed in gardens for ornament rather than use, as the Chald. and Syr. indicate, although these trees grow in the gardens of Palestine (Rob., Pal. i. 327, iii. 420). The expression is a more general one, and includes myrtles, which were great favourites with the ancients, on account of their beauty and the fragrant odour which they diffused, olive-trees, palms, and other trees, which were used as booths in Ezra's time (Neh. 8:15)… [I]n the time of Christ it was the custom to have sticks or poles (staves) of palm-trees and citron-trees (θύρσους ἐκ φοινίκων καὶ κιτρέων: Josephus, Ant. xiii. 13, 5), or to carry in the hand a branch of myrtle and willow bound round with wool, with palms at the top and an apple of the περσέα (peach or pomegranate?) upon it…”~K&D This bundle of various nice trees was called a lulab.