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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 16

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


Deuteronomy 12-26, 28. A code of laws (Deuteronomy 1-26) followed by promises to the obedient and threats of punishment for the rest (Deuteronomy 28): see Introd., p. 231. The great Deuteronomic law of one sanctuary is taught or implied in Deuteronomy 12:1 to Deuteronomy 19:13 and hardly in any other part of Dt. This section may, therefore, represent essentially the original Deuteronomic code (see Introd.).

Verses 1-22

Deuteronomy 16. The Deuteronomic Laws of the Three Annual Pilgrimage Feasts.— These are adaptations of the older laws in Exodus 23:18 *, Exodus 34:18-20; Exodus 34:22 f. (general regulations); Deuteronomy 12:21-27 (Passover); Deuteronomy 13:3-10 (Unleavened Bread), all J or E (see also Leviticus 23* (H) and Numbers 28 f., Numbers 9:1-4, Exodus 12:1-20 *, Exodus 12:43-49 *, (all P), also pp. 102– 104. D in the present chapter lays stress upon the following points: ( a) The feasts are to be observed at the one sanctuary ( Deuteronomy 16:16), i.e. at Jerusalem. ( b) The occasions are to be characterised by joyousness and liberality ( Deuteronomy 16:16 f., etc.). ( c) The Passover ( Deuteronomy 16:1) becomes now a memorial feast. ( d) See Deuteronomy 16:1-8 *.

Deuteronomy 16:1-8 . Deuteronomy 16:1-3 a, Deuteronomy 16:4 b Deuteronomy 16:7 alone deal with the Passover, the rest treating of Massoth (Unleavened Bread). It is in D that these two originally distinct festivals are first fused into one, the former becoming virtually the opening day of the second (as in P).

Deuteronomy 16:7. roast: render, “ boil” ( cf. mg.) . EV renders “ roast” to reconcile with Exodus 12:9 * (P), which, however, reflects the later custom.

Deuteronomy 16:9-12 . Law of the Feast of Weeks.— See Exodus 34:22. It has these features: ( a) D makes no allusion to the first-fruits as the other codes do. ( b) D agrees with H ( Leviticus 23:15 f.) in fixing the date of its observance (seven weeks— a week of weeks, hence the name— after the Passover), only the later law H mentions the specific day from which the calculation is to be made. ( c) D shows, as usual, a special interest in the social and joyous aspect of the feast.

Deuteronomy 16:13-15 . D is the first to fix the duration of the feast of Booths, though he does not name the exact days as H does ( Leviticus 23:39). An eighth day is added in P ( Leviticus 23:36, Numbers 29:35), and is mentioned in later literature (see Cent.B on Exodus 3:4).

Deuteronomy 16:16 f. See Exodus 23:17 (JE).

Deuteronomy 16:16 . appear before: read, “ see” ( cf. Deuteronomy 31:11, Isaiah 1:12 *).

Deuteronomy 16:18 to Deuteronomy 18:22 ( except Deuteronomy 16:21 to Deuteronomy 17:7 , see below). Laws Concerning the Officials of the Nation.— Those mentioned are: judges, the king, priests, and prophets. These laws reveal an acquaintance with the political, social, and religious circumstances of the late monarchy.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 . Local tribunals to be set up (the local sanctuaries used as such being now suppressed), presided over by lay judges and priestly assessors.

Deuteronomy 16:18 . officers: Heb. “ writers,” cf. “ scribes.” Probably priests (associated in Deuteronomy 17:8-13 with lay judges) are meant; they acting as the legal authorities ( cf. our “ town clerk” ).

Deuteronomy 16:21 Deuteronomy 17:7 . Laws Demanding Pure Worship and Suitable Sacrifices.— This breaks the connexion; its proper place is probably between Deuteronomy 12 and Deuteronomy 13.

Deuteronomy 16:21 f . Asherah . . . pillar: Deuteronomy 7:5 *.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 16". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/deuteronomy-16.html. 1919.
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