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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 16

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Deuteronomy 16:3 . Bread of affliction, unleavened bread; for while the Egyptians afflicted them, they had not time to prepare their food in a proper manner.

Deuteronomy 16:10 . The feast of weeks; from the barley harvest at Easter to Whitsunday, or Pentecost, which lasted only one day, was seven weeks. After this feast the people returned to reap the wheat harvest.

Deuteronomy 16:13 . After that thou hast gathered in thy corn. Aristotle in his book of Ethics, ( lib. 8. cap. 9) says, “the ancient assemblies and conventions for sacrifices were made after the fruits of the earth were reaped, being a time of the greatest leisure and repose.”

Deuteronomy 16:16 . Three times a year. The druids, on the first of May, seem to have assembled the males of their whole tribe or nation, somewhat as the Hebrews. It was a wise law to get the people well instructed at the more leisure seasons of the year; else they might have been idle and wicked, having little foreign trade.


The passover slain on leaving Egypt, in the houses of the Hebrews, and the blood sprinkled on the doorposts, must now, to promote the solemnity of the sacrifice, and cut off every cover of idolatry, be slain at the door of the tabernacle. In all things let us approach our Maker in the way he has prescribed, that our devotion may be accepted.

The festivals, after tracing the wonderful works of the Lord, are recited, that the recollection of those works might never die, and that the spirit of religion might be kept alive throughout all ages by the exercises of devotion. Our mercies are many, our privileges great, and the recollection of what God has done for us should excite us to renewed obedience.

The appointment of paternal judges in the gate, or chamber over the gate of every city, was a gracious act of divine wisdom. Quarrels and frauds were hereby quickly adjusted by men of wisdom and experience, who could easily acquire the fullest local information. Venerable judges resident in the same town, and having to face the equity of their decisions, would be impartial. Approach to their courts would neither be expensive, nor attended with much loss of time. The equity and dispatch with which cases were decided would prevent bad passions from corroding the heart; and bad men would be deterred from crimes by the speedy execution of justice. Hence we must regard the magistrates, and the municipal authorities, as ministers of God whose commissions are derived from the source of all power and authority. Whether their election proceeds from the prince, or from the people, the sanction is divine. And we may be assured, as all human decisions are imperfect, that God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 16". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/deuteronomy-16.html. 1835.
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