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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 23

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14


‘Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year.’

Exodus 23:14

I. Thanksgiving and thankoffering, systematically cultivated by Divine ordinances.—‘Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.’ Why? To remember God’s goodness, to give thanks to His name, and to offer gifts. Each of these meetings was to be a National Thanksgiving, ( a) ‘The Feast of Unleavened Bread,’ or Passover, was designed to keep the Exodus in perpetual remembrance; exactly as the Lord’s Supper keeps Calvary ever in view. ( b) ‘The Feast of Harvest,’ or the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, stood at the beginning of harvest, and was meant to awaken gratitude for earth’s wealth then breaking forth upon them, ( c) ‘The Feast of Ingathering’—or Tabernacles—at the end of the harvest. It was the Harvest Thanksgiving of the entire nation. But remembrance and song, gladness and stately worship, were not enough. Gifts, generous and costly, were necessary to the deeper reality, the purer joy, the nobler worship. The great, glad Giver longed for His people to be like himself; so thanksgiving was ever linked with thankoffering.

II. Hence the great law common to each of these thanksgiving festivals:—‘None shall appear before Me empty.’ Review these facts, and see what pains the Lord took to train His people in the habit of remembrance, thanksgiving, and thankoffering.


‘In each life there should be the constant commemoration of the Passover of Calvary; of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the first-fruits of the resurrection of the dead; and of the advent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is also a good motto to give the first-fruits of everything to God. Oh! that blessed Angel of the Covenant, who ever goes in front of us to keep us, to bring us whither God would have us be, and to be an adversary to our foes: let us not grieve Him. Reverently appropriate these blessed privileges that follow on obedience. Deliverance from our inbred Canaanites, the blessing of God on food and water, the absence of sickness, the flight of foes, the extended cost. Shall not we claim these by our obedient faith?’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Exodus 23". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/exodus-23.html. 1876.
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