NOTE: The introduction to the first three divisions of this chapter is in verse 16,17.


I.   Verse 1-8 - The commandment to keep the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

A.     For a reference to the laws of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread see the notes on Exodus 12:1-20 and Lev.  23:4-8.

B.     It is necessary to give these commandments again.

1.       Moses is talking to a new generation of Israel for all that older generation died in the wilderness.

2.       The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread was not celebrated while Israel was in the wilderness.  It is impossible to worship God when in rebellion or suffering the judgment of rebellion.

C.     Verse 1 - God once again reminds Israel that He will not accept anything less than the very best.

1.       A summary of the Book of Numbers will show that many Israelites died because of their rebellion.

2.       Num.  17:13 - It looked so bleak Israel complained, "...shall we be consumed with dying?"

3.       We should never think God will accept less than our best.

4.       Israel left Egypt by night, see Ex.  12:31.  Many believe Israel left early the morning after the 10th plague, but the Bible states they left shortly after midnight.

D.     Verse 2 - The phrase, "In the place which the Lord shall choose to place His name there."

1.       This phrase is often used to describe Jerusalem.

2.       God doesn't say Jerusalem for He wants Israel to trust Him.

3.       They shouldn't be looking for a certain city named Jerusalem any more than we should be looking for a holy city called New Jerusalem.

4.       They, and we, should be looking for the place where God has chosen to place His name.

E.      Verse 3 - This scripture joins the Passover with the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The reference is Ex.  12:33.

1.       Just as there was to be no leavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, there was to be no leavened bread at the Passover.

2.       The Unleavened Bread not only reminds Israel of the pure body of Jesus, but also that they left Egypt in haste, and the bread didn't have time to rise.

3.       It is called the Bread of Affliction because it was eaten in haste as they rushed from Egypt.  It is also a bread of joy because they were delivered from the bondage of Egypt.  Note: Those things we call affliction are most often the reason of our drawing closer to God and really being able to see His blessings.

F.      Verse 4 - There shall be no leavened bread in all Israel.

1.       He did not say there should not be leaven, but no leavened bread.

2.       God allowed Israel to eat leaven, but they their worship wasn't be to corrupted with leaven.

3.       The remains of the Passover lamb was to be burnt by fire before morning.

G.     Verse 5,6 - The Passover was to be observed only in the place ordained by God.

1.       Some people might decide it was too much trouble to go out of their houses to celebrate the Passover, since it was to be a "family observance".

2.       The Passover lamb was to be killed at the going down of the sun, the beginning of the Jewish day.

H.     Verse 7,8 - All Israel was to stay out of their homes during the entire night of the Passover.

1.       The Passover lamb was to be roasted with fire, Ex.  12.

2.       Israel was to stay out of their homes, returning to their homes only in the morning, and only to begin the celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

3.       The seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be a solemn assembly, where the Feast would be officially declared over.


II.   Verse 9-12 - The commandment to keep the Feast of Weeks.

A.     The Feast of Weeks includes both the Feast of First Fruits, barley harvest, and the Feast of Pentecost.

B.     See notes on Lev.  23:9-22.

C.     Verse 9 - "Put the sickle to the corn".

1.       This is referring to the Feast of First Fruits, Lev.  23:9-14.

2.       All the time of harvest should be a time of joy and happiness at the Lord's blessings, not a time of sorrow because the harvest doesn't go like they think it ought to go.


III.   Verse 13-15 - The commandment to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

A.     This has reference to Lev.  23:33-44.

B.     This Feast takes place after harvest.

1.       God will make sure the weather is good enough for harvest, if Israel will obey Him.

2.       Harvest won't be like it is today, with the big farmers working 7 days a week, forgetting the God who gave them the crop.


IV.   Verse 16-17 - The introduction to the chapter.

A.     Like many of the sermons of Moses, the introduction is at the last of the message.

B.     God makes it clear that three times a year all the males shall appear before God.

1.       Why doesn't God want the females to come?

a.      God knows that the man is to be head of the family.

b.      If the man comes, he will bring his family.

2.       If God wanted Israel to come before Him only three times a year, why isn't that enough today?

a.      Israel was the place of worship.

b.      Israel didn't have to go anywhere to worship together, they were already there.

c.      Heb.  10:25 - We assemble more often as we see the end day approaching.  In the days of Moses, the end days were a long way off, but today as wickedness is greater and greater, we need to assemble together more often so we can have spiritual strength to obey God and resist the devil.


V.   Verse 18-22 - The establishing of Judges and some of the rules to follow in worshipping God.

A.     The establishing of judges show the reconciliation of human responsibility and divine ordination.

1.       God would select the judges and officers, but men shall establish them as judges and officers.

2.       God would establish the laws that must be obeyed, but it is up to men to put the laws into effect.

B.     Verse 20 - What a promise this is!

1.       If Israel would only follow that which is just and right and good, God would give them long life and cause them to inherit the promised land.

2.       We all know that Israel didn't obey God and suffered the judgment of God.  We must not look down our nose at Israel, for many times we fail to believe the promises of God and thus also suffer the judgment of God.

C.     Verse 21,22 - A prevention that the worship of God would "look like" the worship of the heathen nations.

1.       God wants Israel and the heathen nations to know the worship of the true God is not like the worship of their false gods.

2.       Some folks believe that true worship involves only the heart, but if there isn't some external evidence of internal conviction, there isn't any heart worship.

3.       Some folks might sincerely try to "beautify" the altars of God by planting trees, bushes, and flowers.  But God says that earthly beauty distracts from the heavenly beauty of an earthen altar standing all by itself, right out in the open.

4.       Do not make any images.  Many people of Israel later made images, which they worshipped.  Many today have made an image of Jesus, which they pray to in their minds, but this is not true worship.