Leviticus 23

* The feasts of the Lord, The Sabbath. (1-3) The Passover, The

offering of first-fruits. (4-14) The feast of Pentecost. (15-22)

The feast of Trumpets, The day of atonement. (23-32) The feast

of Tabernacles. (33-44)

1-3 In this chapter we have the institution of holy times; many

of which have been mentioned before. Though the yearly feasts

were made more remarkable by general attendance at the

sanctuary, yet these must not be observed more than the sabbath.

On that day they must withdraw from all business of the world.

It is a sabbath of rest, typifying spiritual rest from sin, and

rest in God. God's sabbaths are to be religiously observed in

every private house, by every family apart, as well as by

families together, in holy assemblies. The sabbath of the Lord

in our dwellings will be their beauty, strength, and safety; it

will sanctify, build up, and glorify them.
4-14 The feast of the Passover was to continue seven days; not

idle days, spent in sport, as many that are called Christians

spend their holy-days. Offerings were made to the Lord at his

altar; and the people were taught to employ their time in

prayer, and praise, and godly meditation. The sheaf of

first-fruits was typical of the Lord Jesus, who is risen from

the dead as the First-fruits of them that slept. Our Lord Jesus

rose from the dead on the very day that the first-fruits were

offered. We are taught by this law to honour the Lord with our

substance, and with the first-fruits of all our increase, #Pr

3:9|. They were not to eat of their new corn, till God's part

was offered to him out of it; and we must always begin with God:

begin every day with him, begin every meal with him, begin every

affair and business with him; seek first the kingdom of God.
15-22 The feast of Weeks was held in remembrance of the giving

of the law, fifty days after the departure from Egypt; and

looked forward to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, fifty days

after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. On that day the

apostles presented the first-fruits of the Christian church to

God. To the institution of the feast of Pentecost, is added a

repetition of that law, by which they were required to leave the

gleanings of their fields. Those who are truly sensible of the

mercy they received from God, will show mercy to the poor

without grudging.
23-32 the blowing of trumpets represented the preaching of the

gospel, by which men are called to repent of sin, and to accept

the salvation of Christ, which was signified by the day of

atonement. Also it invited to rejoice in God, and become

strangers and pilgrims on earth, which was denoted by the feast

of Tabernacles, observed in the same month. At the beginning of

the year, they were called by this sound of trumpet to shake off

spiritual drowsiness, to search and try their ways, and to amend

them. The day of atonement was the ninth day after this; thus

they were awakened to prepare for that day, by sincere and

serious repentance, that it might indeed be to them a day of

atonement. The humbling of our souls for sin, and the making our

peace with God, is work that requires the whole man, and the

closest application of mind. On that day God spake peace to his

people, and to his saints; therefore they must lay aside all

their wordly business, that they might the more clearly hear

that voice of joy and gladness.
33-44 In the feast of Tabernacles there was a remembrance of

their dwelling in tents, or booths, in the wilderness, as well

as their fathers dwelling in tents in Canaan; to remind them of

their origin and their deliverance. Christ's tabernacling on

earth in human nature, might also be prefigured. And it

represents the believer's life on earth: a stranger and pilgrim

here below, his home and heart are above with his Saviour. They

would the more value the comforts and conveniences of their own

houses, when they had been seven days dwelling in the booths. It

is good for those who have ease and plenty, sometimes to learn

what it is to endure hardness. The joy of harvest ought to be

improved for the furtherance of our joy in God. The earth is the

Lord's, and the fullness thereof; therefore whatever we have the

comfort of, he must have the glory of, especially when any mercy

is perfected. God appointed these feasts, "Beside the sabbaths

and your free-will offerings." Calls to extraordinary services

will not excuse from constant and stated ones.
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