Deuteronomy 16






(Compare Exodus 23:14-19; 34:18, 22-26; Leviticus 23.  On the Passover, see

Exodus 12.; 13:3-10.) The other great festivals of the Israelites, the Feast of

Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, are not here referred to, because on these

no assembling of the whole people at the sanctuary was required, and such

assembling is the point of view under which the feasts are mainly regarded here.



The Feast of the Passover (vs. 1-8)


1 “Observe the month of Abib,”  (Compare Exodus 12:2; 23:15). The time is

referred to as a date well known to the people - “and keep the passover” -  make

(t;yci[") or prepare the passover. This injunction refers primarily to the preparation

of the Paschal lamb for a festal meal (Numbers 9:5); but here it is used in a wider

sense as referring to the whole Paschal observance, which lasted for seven days.

Hence the mention of sheep (צאֹן) and oxen (בְקָר) in v. 2, and the reference to

the eating of unleavened bread for seven days “therewith,” i.e. with the Passover.

The animal for the Paschal supper was expressly prescribed to be a yearling of

the sheep or of the goats (שֶׂה and this was to be consumed at one meal; but on

the other days of the festival the flesh of other animals offered in sacrifice might

be eaten. The term passover here, accordingly, embraces the whole of the

festive meals connected with the Passover proper — what the rabbins call

chagigah – compare II Chronicles 35:7) -  “unto the LORD thy God: for in the

month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.

2  Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the

flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place His

name there.”


3 “Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat

unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction;” – bread such as

is prepared in circumstances of trial and pressure, when there is no time or

opportunity for the application of all the means required for the preparation

of bread of the better sort. The Israelites had in haste and amid anxiety to

prepare the Passover meal on the evening of their flight from Egypt, and so

had to omit the leavening of their bread; and this usage they had to observe

during the seven days of the festival in subsequent times, to remind them of

the oppression the nation had suffered in Egypt, and the circumstances of

difficulty and peril amidst which their deliverance had been effected -

 for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou

mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of

Egypt all the days of thy life.”


4 “And there shall be no leavened bread” – properly, no leaven (raoc])

(compare Exodus 12:15). Not only was no leavened bread (מַצָּה) or dough

(חָמֵץ) to be used by them, leaven itself was not to be in the house (compare

I Corinthians 5:7) “seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall

there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even,

remain all night until the morning.”


5 “Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the

LORD thy God giveth thee:  6 But at the place which the LORD thy God

shall choose to place His name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at

even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out

of Egypt.”  Not in their own houses or places of abode might the Paschal lamb

be slain and eaten, but only at the place, which the Lord should choose to place

His Name there. On the first occasion, while the people were still in Egypt and

had no sanctuary or specially holy place where Jehovah s Name was set, the

Passover was eaten in their own houses; but when God should choose a place as

His sanctuary, only there could the ordinance be observed.


7 “And thou shalt roast” – The verb here primarily signifies to be matured by

heat for eating; hence to be ripened as by the sun’s heat (Genesis 40:10; Joel 3:13;

Hebrews 4:13); and to be cooked, whether by boiling, seething, or roasting. Here

it is properly rendered by roast, as it was thus only that the Paschal lamb could

be cooked - “and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:

and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.” -  return to thy place

of abode; not necessarily to thy proper home (which might be far distant), but to

the place where for the time thou hast thy lodging. The phrase, “thy tents,” which

originally came into use while as yet Israel had no settled abodes in Canaan, came

afterwards to be used as a general designation of a man’s home or usual place of

abode (compare I Samuel 13:2; II Samuel 20:1; I Kings 8:66).


8 “Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be

a solemn assembly” – This is not placed in antithesis to the injunction, six days

thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as if the Feast of Unleavened Bread (mazzoth)

lasted only for six days and the seventh was to be devoted to a service of a

different kind; it simply prescribes that the seventh day of the festival was to be

celebrated by an assembling of the whole of those who had come to the feast; the

festival was to be wound up with a day of holy convocation, in which no work

was to be done. On all the days unleavened bread was to be eaten, and on the

seventh there was besides to be a solemn assembly to the Lord  (עֲצֶרֶת לַיחוָח),

called in Leviticus 23:36, “a holy convocation” (מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ) - “to the LORD

thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.”




Notes on the Feast of the Passover (vs. 1-6)


Our purpose now is to “open up,” not the historical meaning of the Passover, nor even

its symbolism for Israel, but its typical intent as foreshadowing gospel truths,

 showing how in CHRIST OUR PASSOVER and in the ordinance of the Lord’s

Supper as our Passover feast, the far-reaching significance of the offering of

the Paschal lamb is most clearly seen.  (Revelation 13:8)



the apostle, in I Corinthians 5:7, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for

us.” We cannot but feel here the wondrous condescension of our God

in permitting us to look at aught so sublime as the sacrifice of His

dear Son, through the means so humble as the Paschal lamb. Yet it is

an infinite mercy that, whatever might so help the conceptions of His children

then, and whatever may so aid them now, the Great Father does not disdain

to use.


Ø      The Lord Jesus Christ is our Sacrificial Lamb; so John 1:29;

I Peter 1:18-19. He is spoken of as “the Lamb slain from the

 foundation of the world ” (Revelation 13:8),  and “a Lamb as it

had been slain” (Ibid. ch. 5:6)  He, too, is “without blemish.”

He was “without sin.” IN HIM ALONE IS THE IDEA OF A



Ø      The Passover was to be killed without breaking a bone thereof

(Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20).  This was fulfilled in

Christ (John 19:36), that men might be aided in seeing the fulfillment

of the type, through the close analogy of the treatment; and because

“God would permit no dishonor to be done to the body of

Christ,  after the atoning act was complete” (Halley).


Ø      The blood of the first Paschal lamb was to be sprinkled on the posts of

the doors, signifying that there must be the actual acceptance and

application of the atoning blood, and that through the atoning blood

so applied we are saved.


Ø      In the first instance, the lamb was offered without the intervention of a

priest. So that, though priesthood was afterwards instituted for a time for

educational purposes (Galatians 3.), yet the priest was in no wise

necessary to ensure men’s acceptance with God.


Ø      The flesh was to be eaten, in token of fellowship. It was thus “the most

perfect of peace offerings,” symbolizing and typifying communion

with God on the ground of the atoning blood. In all these respects,

how very far does the Christian Antitype surpass the Jewish type? Devout

hearts may and do love to linger long in meditation on a theme so touching

and Divine!


            The paschal lamb must be regarded as the leading feature in the ceremony of

            the Passover.  The lamb slain typified Christ the “Lamb of God,” slain for the

            sins of the world.  “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us!”  (I Corinthians

5:7)  According to the divine purpose, the true Lamb of God was slain at

nearly the same time as “the Lord’s Passover,” at the same season of the year,

and at the same time of the day, as the daily sacrifice at the temple, the crucifixion

beginning at the hour of the morning sacrifice and ending at the hour of the

evening sacrifice.  It is not difficult to determine the reason for the command

not a bone of Him shall be broken.”  (Exodus 12:14; John 19:36)  The lamb

was to be a symbol of unity, the unity of the family, the unity of the nation, the

unity of God with His people whom He had taken into covenant with Himself! 

(It is most unfortunate that one of the natural results of the United States turning

Away from God is THE DISUNITY OF THE PEOPLE!  - CY – 2012)


See exposition of vs. 1-6 above for the total picture!  See Leviticus 23, this web site,

for parallel studies.



The Feast of Weeks (vs. 9-12)


9 “Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks

from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn.” i.e. -. from the

commencement of the corn harvest. The seven weeks were to be counted from this

terminus; and as the corn harvest began by the presentation of the sheaf of the

firstfruits on the second day of the Passover, this regulation as to time coincides

with that in Leviticus 23:15. 


10 “And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a

tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the

LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:”

This feast was to be kept with sacrificial gifts according to the measure of the

free-will offerings of their hand, i.e. voluntary offerings which they gave as the

Lord had blessed them; nothing was specially prescribed, each was to give of

his own free-will as the Lord had prospered him. The word translated “tribute”

in the Authorized Version (מִסַּת) occurs only here, and is of doubtful

signification. The Septuagint renders it by καθὼς kathos -  according to -

it is identical with the Aramaic מסת sufficiency, enough, and may be understood

here of the full measure according to which their offerings were to be presented.

The freewill offering of thine hand, here referred to, belonged to the gifts of

burnt offerings, meat offerings, drink offerings, and thank offerings which might

be offered at every feast along with the sacrifices prescribed (compare Leviticus

23:38; Numbers 29:39). Of the latter no mention is made here, as the law

regarding them was already sufficiently proclaimed (Numbers 28., and 29.);

and in a popular address it was rather to what depended on the will of the

people than to what was imperative by law, that attention had to be directed.


11 “And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD” - The expression, to rejoice

before the Lord, denotes here nothing else than to honor him by sacred songs -

 thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and

thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger,

and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which

the LORD thy God hath chosen to place His name there.” - rather, shall

choose, as in v.15. 12 And thou  shalt remember that thou wast a bondman

in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.”



Notes on the Feast of Weeks (vs. 9-12)


This Feast of Weeks, or of Harvest, was not commemorative in the same sense as that

of the Passover; it was connected, not with a great national epoch, but with the seasons

of the year and the times of harvest. The method in which it was to be observed is stated

in Leviticus 23:10-14.   We find there, and in the various Scripture references to this

festival, the following principles indicated.


  • That the Hebrews were to regard the produce of the soil as given to them by the

bounty of God.

  • That they were to honor Jehovah by a public thanksgiving for His goodness.
  • That they were to yield the first-fruits to Him.
  • That they were to rejoice and be glad before Him, for what He was and for

what He gave.

  • That they were to recognize the equality before God of master and servant.

National festivals were holidays for the laborer, and times when good will and

kindliness towards the “stranger, the fatherless, and widow” were to be

specially manifested.

  • They were thus to recognize their national unity by showing their joint

thankfulness for a common mercy. These festivals would strengthen

Israel’s feeling of kinship, and these united gatherings before the Lord their

God would proclaim, as often as they were held, their separation unto Him.

  • Though this was a harvest festival, and as such chiefly expressive of

thankfulness for the bounty of God as seen in nature, yet it was not to be

observed without the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the meat

offering (compare Leviticus 23:18-20). Other offerings were to be presented

along with the offering for sin. Natural blessings are given to sinful men

only under a dispensation of mercy which comes through a BLEEDING

SACRIFICE!  Now all these forms have passed away. But the principles

which underlay them are of eternal obligation. We trust we can see,

by means of these signs, the everlasting truths signified by them. In each of the

particulars named above some permanent principle is enclosed.





commonplace, or rather so well-known, a truth is this, that it is not easy for

us to picture to ourselves a time when a nation needed to have it engraved

on its heart and conscience by such means as these divinely appointed

festivals. Still, we cannot be unconscious of forces around us being at work

which, if we succumbed to them, would lead us to think of the ordinary

products of the harvest-field as coming simply in due course of law, and to

regard the Supreme Being as so remotely concerned in earth’s fruitfulness,

that it would be but a slight step to take to think of Him as not concerned

therein at all! But in no part of the sacred records is any such thinking

warranted. Reason itself would lead us to suppose that, if one order of

creation is higher than another, the lower was made to serve it; and

consequently, that if man be the highest of all, that the rest is ordered to

serve him. The Psalmist expressed this when he sang, “Thou hast put all

things under his feet.” (Psalm 8:6; Hebrews 2:8)  Our Lord Jesus Christ

points us to the most common blessings, even to the sun and the rain,

in proof of the good will of a heavenly Father! (Matthew 5:45).  “Whoso

is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the

 loving-kindness of the Lord.”  (Psalm 107:43)



RECEIVED WITH THANKSGIVING. That God is the benevolent Author

of all our mercies should call forth great thankfulness. It is said of the heathen,

neither were they thankful” (Romans 1:21).  They did not know enough of

God to understand what true thankfulness meant. But we do. He is revealed in

Scripture as having such watchful concern for our good, that we may well

feel an exuberance of thankful delight that our daily joys come to us from

A FOUNTAIN OF LOVE.   And it behooves us to pay our God the homage of

grateful hearts.



Jacob needed no precept to lead him to say, “Of all that thou givest me, I wilt

surely give the tenth unto thee” (Genesis 28:22).  Nor, if our hearts are as

sensitive as they should be to our own unworthiness and to God’s loving-kindness,

shall we fail to “honor the Lord with our substance, and with the

first-fruits of all our increase.”  (Proverbs 3:9)



WORSHIP AND SONG. The Divine provision for the temporal wants of man

should find gladsome acknowledgment in the social worship of a thankful people.




AMONG EACH OTHER. If God makes us glad with His loving goodness,

we should make others glad with our radiant kindness (I John 3:17; 4:11).

The love streaming from heaven is revealed for the purpose of creating

benevolence upon earth. The blessings that come to us, unworthy

as we are, from the pure benevolence of God, should make us eager, as

much as in us is, to emulate the goodness of heaven!




 Israel’s rejoicing was to be sanctified by a sin offering; by which we see:


  • that it is only because of God’s mighty redeeming work that even the

natural blessings of this earthly life are ensured to us. And


  • that it is only through the sin offering that our thank offerings are

accepted before God. All our thanksgiving services must take the form

and hue thrown on them by the fact that we are guilty men, living on

the mercy of a forgiving and redeeming God. God expects the

acknowledgment of this on our part. It would be unrighteous of Him not to

ask it, and unjust and ungrateful of us not to give it. Sin is in the world;

and our/MY sin has helped to make the world what it is, as to the

infusion of bitterness into it; it is only through the Divine redeeming energy of

love which through and by our Lord Jesus Christ is being put forth, that the

world still yields its treasures to the rebellious and ungrateful sons of men.

So that with the praises for mercies so undeserved there should be a

confession of sin, a turning anew unto the Lord, and a reconsecration

of heart and life to Him.  For when we think how soon a slightly adverse

action of God towards us might crush us; yea, that even the bare withholding

of mercy would consume us; and when we add to that the thought of our

innumerable provocations of One who cannot bear that which is evil, surely

we must needs confess that there are no greater wonders than the

 patience, the love, the bounty of God!



The Feast of Tabernacles (vs. 13-17)


13 “Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou

hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine:  14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast,

thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant,

and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within

thy gates.  15  Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy

God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God

shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands,

therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.”  This feast, properly, Booths, was to be

observed at the end of harvest, after the corn had been gathered into granaries,

and the produce of the vineyard had been put through the press. Nothing is added

here to the instructions already given respecting this festival; only the observance

of it at the appointed sanctuary is enforced, and stress is laid on their making not

only their sons and daughters and domestics, but also the Levite, the fatherless,

the widow, and the stranger participators in their rejoicings. Thou shalt surely

rejoice; rather, thou shalt be wholly joyous; literally, rejoicing only. (Compare

Leviticus 23:33-44; Numbers 29:12-38).


 16 “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy

God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened  bread,

and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not

appear before the LORD empty:  17  Every man shall give as he is able,

according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee.”

 (Compare Exodus 23:17; 34:23.) The law is repeated here with the additional

clause, “at the place which the Lord shall choose;” and the words, “not empty,”

are explained to mean with gifts according to the gift of their hands, according

to the blessing of Jehovah their God, which He had given them.



Notes on he Feast of Tabernacles, or of Ingathering (vs. 13-17)


The festival of tabernacles, as originally instituted, presents but little symbolism. Its

primary design was to give expression to joy and gratitude in view of the

 products of the earth, every kind of which had now been gathered; and it

was therefore also called the Festival of Ingathering.  As the Passover commemorated

the first deliverance, so the Feast of Booths would recall the wilderness life. And

nothing was more natural than to associate in thought the richness of their inheritance

with the probationary trials by means of which the nation had been prepared to

possess it.   Thus Israel is taught the following truths:


  • After the corn and wine have been gathered in, and the anxieties of the

year are so far over, they are then expected to look up gratefully to


  • God’s mercies are to be enjoyed, in grateful and delightful repose.
  • With the gladsome rest there is to be associated a thankful memory

of past guidance and help in the wilderness life.

  • In this rejoicing and thankfulness, master and servant are alike to share,

as both equal in the sight of God.

  • By Israel’s gladness, the sorrows of the poor, the sad, the lonely, are to

be relieved, and the solitary ones are to be made conscious of a kindly care

encompassing them.

  • The recognition of a reception of mercy is to be accompanied with a

loving offering to God in return (vs. 16-17). According to the blessing,

so is to be the tribute.

  • Thus Israel’s nationality is to be thrice sealed every year, as a specifically

religious one, in holy and joyful covenant with the Lord their God.




Appointment of Officers (vs. 18-20)


Moses had at an earlier period appointed judges to settle disputes among the

people, and had given instructions to them for the discharge of their duty

(ch. 1:12-18; Exodus 18). Whilst the people were in the wilderness, united

as one body and under the leadership of Moses, this arrangement was sufficient;

but a more extended arrangement would be required when they came to be

settled in Canaan and dispersed in towns and villages over the whole land.

In prospect of this, Moses here enacts that judges and officers were to be

appointed by the people in all their gates, in all their places of residence, which

the Lord should give them.


18 “Judges and officers” – The “officers” (shoterim, writers) associated with

the judges both in the earlier arrangements and in that which was to succeed

were secretaries and clerks of court, and acted also as assessors and advisers

of the judges. No instruction is given as to the number of judges and officers,

or as to the mode of appointing them; nor was this necessary. The former would

be determined by the size and population of the place where they were

appointed, and the latter would, as a matter of course, follow the method

instituted by Moses in the earlier arrangement (see ch. 1:13-15; Exodus 18:21-26)

-  shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee,

throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.”


 19 “Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither

take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words

of the righteous.”  (ch. 1:17;  Exodus 23:6, 8.)


20 “That which is altogether just” – literally, justice, justice. The repetition of

the word is for the sake of emphasis, as in Genesis 14:10, “pits, pits,” equal to

full of pits -shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land

which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”


In all states, the highest crime of which the judge has to take note is that of

treason against the supreme power; and, under the theocracy, the act most

distinctly treasonable was idolatry. In proceeding, therefore, to give some

 practical admonitions as to the things to be observed in the administration of

justice, Moses begins by denouncing and forbidding this most flagrant form of




Model Judges (vs. 18-20)




Ø      They are necessary. They require to be set up “in all thy gates...

throughout thy tribes.” (v. 18)          

Ø      They represent God (Genesis 18:25; ch. 1:17). They are clothed

with a portion of God’s authority (Romans 13:1).

Ø      They are set to uphold the sacred interests of justice.

Ø      They may, by wresting judgment, or by hasty and wrong decisions,

inflict irremediable injury on the innocent.

Ø      The right discharge of their functions conduces in the highest

degree tothe stability, happiness, and material prosperity of





Ø      They are not to be swayed by private partialities — political, social,


Ø      They are not to make distinctions between rich and poor, i.e. “respect

persons”as God does not.  (ch. 10:17; Job 34:19; Acts 10:34;

Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9)

Ø      They are not to accept bribes.

Ø      They are, as administrators of a justice which is impersonal, to judge

In every case according to ABSOLUTE RIGHT!  (The

philosophical “undermining of Absolutes in our society,” has had

a very divisive effect on American society and much has come

through the liberal universities, the halls of Congress and especially

through higher and lower courts in the Judicial System of the

United States, especially wrought by lawyers and judges, who

 unlike God, who only doeth right, REFUSE TO DO RIGHT!

- CY – 2012)



The Administration of Justice (vs. 18-20)


True religion is related to true morality as the parent is related to the child.

God cares as much that right dispositions should prevail between man and

man as between man and God. By an eternal decree, religion and morality

have been conjoined, and no man can put them asunder. He that loves God

will love his brother also.



TO IMPERFECT MEN. The laws of the Jews were framed in heaven, and

were conveyed to men by the mediation of angels, but the administration

and execution of these laws were imposed on men selected from among

themselves. What men cannot do God will do for them; what men can do

for themselves, God requires them to accomplish. This administration of

Divine Law by men was a magnificent training for higher once. In the best

sense, God desires that men “should be as gods”  (Psalm 82:1,6). By

handling the affairs of justice, they would best grow in the understanding

of the Divine government.



Magistrates were to be appointed in every community, who should be

kings in their sphere of jurisdiction. Such magistrates were the people’s

choice, and thus they were initiated into the art of self-government. Justice

well administered in every town would secure the order and well-

being of the nation. The burden of governing the whole nation would thus

be reduced to a thousand infinitesimal burdens — each one easily to be borne.

Duty well done in every individual sphere would make the world happy

and prosperous.



PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS. Gifts from friends are not to be

despised; but if they have the feeblest tendency to weaken our sense of

right or to bring discredit on public justice, they must be declined. If a man

accepts the office of a ruler, he must be prepared to forego many private

advantages and pleasures. He is the steward of public interests — the

servant of justice. He is no longer his own master. Personal friendships

must be forgotten in the judicial court. No regard must be had to any other

interest save the interest of righteousness. One thing the magistrate

must do, and one only; he must be the mouthpiece of eternal

righteousness. He may err, but he must be honest. Simple integrity of

purpose is the chief qualification to rule. He who candidly desires to do

right will be guided by an unerring hand.  (In Article I, Section 9, Clause 8

we have the Emoluments Clause in the United States Constitution.  It was

adopted unanimously at the Constitutional Convention, and was intended to

protect foreign ministers and other officers of the United States from undue

influence and corruption by foreign governments – the Founding Fathers

were very wise to do this.  The only problem in our history is whether

men have enough integrity to withstand these temptations – CY – 2012)



The administration of justice was to be in the gate — in the place of public

concourse. From the free conflict of public opinion sparks of truth will be

elicited. So weak and vacillating is ofttimes human purpose, that the blaze

of mortal eyes is needed to keep that purpose steadfast. This mode of

administering justice had also a deterrent influence on the immature and the

vile; it educated the public conscience.  (Historically, in America, we have

had a free press.  Once the press becomes corrupt, it will be a part of

“THE LIE” which will hasten the coming of the Anti-Christ –

II Thessalonians 2:7-12 – CY – 2012)



PROSPERITY. It is the lesson of universal history that official injustice

loosens all the bonds of society, and brings a kingdom into utter ruin.

Men will patiently tolerate many abuses of power, but the public abuse of

justice quickly brings deadly retribution. On the other hand, an honest and

prompt administration of righteous law is the seed of order, content,

 and mutual confidence. It gives a sense of security; it fosters patriotism;

it develops courage; it brings the smile and benediction of God.  (“If the

foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?  (Psalm 11:3)


21 “Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees” – thou shalt not plant, i.e.

place or set up, an asherah of any wood. The asherah was an idol of wood in the

form of a pillar, usually placed by the side of the altars of Baal. It was the symbol

of Astarte, the great Canaanitish goddess, the companion and revealer of Baal.

The two are usually associated in the Old Testament (compare Judges 2:13; 6:28;

I Kings 18:19; II Kings 23:4). The rendering “grove” has been taken from the

Septugint and the Vulgate; but that it is an error is evident from I Kings 14:23;

II Kings 17:10; and Jeremiah 17:2; where the asherah is said to be under a green

tree; and from the use of such words as make, set up, cause to stand, build, to

denote the action of producing an asherah (compare I Kings 14:15; 16:33;

II Kings 17:16; 17:10; II Chronicles 33:19), none of which are appropriate to the

planting of a grove. Here, indeed, the word “plant” is used,  but this is only because,

as the asherah was sunk in the earth that it might stand firm, it might be figuratively

said to be planted, just as nails driven in are said to be planted (Ecclesiastes 12:11,

where the same verb is used; compare also Isaiah 51:16; Amos 9:15) – “near unto

the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.”


22 “Neither shalt thou set thee up any image;” - any pillar - The Hebrew word

(מַצֵבָה, mazzebah) denotes generally any pillar or stone that is set up, whether as a

memorial (Genesis 28:18), or as a sign (Exodus 24:4; Isaiah 19:19), or for purposes

of utility or ornament (Jeremiah 43:13). Here, as in other passages, it is a pillar or

statue set up as an object of worship (compare II Kings 3:2; 10:26; Hosea 10:1;

Micah 5:13-14) - “which the LORD thy God hateth.”



To be like God is the summit of every good man’s ambition. This is God’s

intention for us  also.  But the attainment can only gradually be made. We must

have God’s thoughts rooted in us; we must cultivate similar feelings; we

 must cherish similar purposes or we cannot be like Him in character.

Idolatry corrupts the soul and GENERATES DEATH!   TO KNOW




PLAIN PRECEPTS. We might reach these wise maxims as reasonable

deductions from moral principles; yet they come to us CLOTHED


REVEALED WILL OF GOD!  A twofold light blends to point out the path

of human conduct, viz. the light of conscience and the light of Scripture;

yet these twin rays emanate from the selfsame sun.




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