Study Guide

Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 16

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Chapter 16

Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot

  • Next on the docket: Moses goes over the rules for the harvest festivals.
  • First things first. You should eat unleavened bread during the Passover holiday. Unleavened bread (you know it as matzah) is made without yeast, which is what normally causes bread to soften and rise. Since the Israelites left Egypt so quickly, they didn't have time to let their bread rise. And God is all about remembering, so he tells everyone else to do the same thing for the holiday.
  • The Festival of Weeks (Shavuot) is celebrated seven weeks after Passover.
  • Want another one? How about the Festival of Booths (a.k.a. Sukkot a.k.a. the Feast of Tabernacles)? The Israelites should stay in booths for seven days to commemorate the way Israel lived when they left Egypt. A lot of the deets can be found in Leviticus, too.
  • All males are commanded to appear before the Lord with an offering at each of these three festivals. Sorry, ladies, but this is a very patriarchal culture.
  • So what's the point of all these festivals? Basically, they tie your job (farming) in with other elements of culture, like ritual religion.
  • Other rules include not accepting bribes and pursuing truth, justice, and God's way. It may not make you Superman or Superwoman, but it'll make you a super Israelite.
  • In case you've already forgotten from Chapter 12, don't set up any Asherah poles or stone pillars.
  • Man, we knew Deuteronomy repeated pieces of Exodus, Numbers, and Leviticus, but it's also repeats itself? Yowza.

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