Deuteronomy 16 Commentary

 


Moses on Mt Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:1+)
Listen to Mt Nebo as you Ponder How Moses' May Have Felt
Deuteronomy by Irving Jensen- used by permission
deut
Source: Ryrie Study Bible

Deuteronomy

Dt 1:1-4:43 Dt 4:44-26:19 Dt 27:1-34:12

Moses'
First
Discourse

Moses'
Second
Discourse

Moses'
Third
Discourse

Historical Review Legal
Exposition
Prophetical
Promises

Looking Back

40 Years

Looking Up
What God
Expected of Israel
Looking Ahead
What God
Will Do for Israel
Recapitulation of Wanderings Rehearsal
of Israel's Law
Ratification
of Israel's Covenant
Historical Appendices
Remembrance of the past Commandments
for the Present
Dt 27:1-30:20
Blessing and Cursing
Dt 31:1-34:12
Death of Moses
Take Heed
Don't forget
Ten
Commands
Related
Commands
Two Choices Affecting
the Future
Moses' Parting Words
Dt 1:1-4:43
Looking Back
Dt 4:44-11:32
Exposition of Decalogue
Dt 12:1-16:17
Ceremonial Laws
Dt 16:18-20:20
Civil
Laws
Dt 21:1-26:19
Social
Laws
Dt 27:1-28:68
Ratification of Covenant
Dt 29:1-30:20
Terms of Covenant
Dt 31:1-34:12
Moses' Song, Blessing, Death

Plains of Moab

ca. 2 Months
Moses: Author

(Except Dt 34)

Deuteronomy 16:1  "Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

  • the month: Ex 12:2-20 34:18 Lev 23:5 Nu 9:2-5 28:16 
  • the passover: This word comes from the Hebrew verb {pasach,} to pass, to leap or skip over.  The destroying angel passed over the houses marked with the blood of the Paschal Lamb, so the wrath of God passes over those whose souls sprinkled with the blood of Christ.  1Co 5:7.  As the paschal lamb was killed before Israel was delivered, so by the death of Christ, we have redemption through his blood.  It was killed before the tables of the law were delivered to Moses, or Aaron's sacrifices were enjoined; thus deliverance comes to men, not by the works of the law, but by the only true passover, the Lamb of God. Ro 3:25.  Heb 9:14.  It was killed the first month of the year, which prefigured that Christ should suffer death in that month.  Joh 18:28.  it was killed in the evening.  Ex 12:6. Christ suffered at that time of the day.  Mt 27:46.  Heb 1:2. At even the sun sets; at Christ's passion, universal darkness was upon the whole earth.  The passover was roasted with fire, denoting the sharp and dreadful pains that Christ should suffer, not only from men, but God also.  It was to be eaten with bitter herbs, Ex 12:8; not only to put them in remembrance of their bitter bondage in Egypt, but also to testify our mortification to sin, and readiness to undergo afflictions for Christ, Col 1:24; and likewise to teach us the absolute necessity of true repentance in all that would profitably feed by faith on Christ, the true paschal lamb.
  • for in: Ex 12:29-42 13:4 23:15 34:18 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

 


Deuteronomy 16:1-17

The Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. - Deuteronomy 16:15

TODAY IN THE WORD

Chicago is the American city most in need of joy, at least according to a recent, unscientific online survey. Taken by the Mars Candy Company, the survey of nearly 350 American cities placed Chicago first, followed by New York, Houston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. As a result, Mars—maker of M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, Dove, and Three Musketeers candy bars—in an effort to spread more joy, gave away 50,000 free samples of their candy bars on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on October 1, 2009. That induced smiles!

In today’s reading, the people of Israel received instructions to joyfully celebrate God’s blessings to them in three sacred festivals: Passover (vv. 1-8), the Feast of Weeks (vv. 9-12), and the Feast of Tabernacles (vv. 13-17). Passover celebrates the nation’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. No yeast is permitted in the Passover meal as a symbolic reminder of Israel’s hurried departure. The Feast of Weeks, also called Pentecost, marked the firstfruits of the wheat harvest and was a holiday of thankfulness for God’s provision and blessing. The Feast of Tabernacles was another harvest festival commemorating the Exodus from Egypt to Canaan. The people lived in small booths in order to remember and honor God’s provision during their long journey in the wilderness.

Specific historical events and the people’s overall relationship with God were involved in these joyful occasions. These were national feasts, not individual choices or even family traditions. All of God’s people were to gather together in obedience to His command. These were also times for worship and offerings, not just pleasure or leisure (though those were included). No work was permitted to be done, as that would have been a distraction. Celebrating was intended to draw the community’s attention to their blessings and the Giver of these good things. This completed the circle and so made their joy “complete” (v. 15; see John 16:24).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

How can “celebrate,” “rejoice,” and “be joyful” be obeyed as biblical commands? We’re so used to thinking of joy only as a spontaneous emotion that it might sound as if we’re being told to force or fake a feeling. Instead, we’re being given a godly understanding of joy. Joy begins with obedience. And when we stop in obedience to count our blessings, like the Israelites in today’s reading, we realize that the Giver of blessings is also the Giver of joy. In this case, feelings follow actions!


Deuteronomy 16:1-17

The gift is acceptable according to what one has. - 2 Corinthians 8:12

TODAY IN THE WORD

A few years ago USA Today revealed that more than 40 percent of Americans felt that it was okay to cheat on their taxes. These statistics probably haven’t changed much since then. Some feel this way because they believe that the government wants too much of their money. Others don’t agree with the way their money is spent. Many feel that the load is unevenly distributed. We certainly don’t agree with the ethics of those who cheat on their taxes, but according to biblical principles we can sympathize with the desire for an equitable tax burden.

An evenly distributed burden is also the ideal behind the guidelines for giving outlined in the Old and New Testaments. Under the Law of Moses, God’s people were required to present themselves to the Lord three times a year. Each time they were not to come before the Lord “empty-handed” but were to bring a gift in proportion to the way God had blessed them (Deut. 16:16–17).

This principle was reflected in all of the offerings required of Israel. The type of offering to be brought was dependent upon the worshiper’s income. Where a wealthier person may have been required to bring a sheep or a goat, the poor were told to bring only two doves (Lev. 5:7). If a worshiper could not afford doves, they were permitted to offer grain instead (Lev. 5:11). It was not God’s intent that offerings brought to Him would be a burdensome tax on His people’s spiritual life.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

It can be tempting to think primarily in terms of the amount when we give to God. How much does He want? Should we give Him ten percent? Should we base it on our gross income or our net? Should we give less than a tithe? The biblical pattern, however, is to begin with the spirit rather than the amount. Our giving is pleasing to God “if the willingness is there” (2 Cor. 8:12). Like the believers in Macedonia in Paul’s day, we need to give ourselves to the Lord


Deuteronomy 16:1-20

These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. - Leviticus 23:2

TODAY IN THE WORD

What’s your favorite holiday? Perhaps it’s Christmas, with its fresh evergreens, snow, Nativity scenes, and concerts of Handel’s Messiah. Or maybe Easter, a season to meditate on the life-giving death and resurrection of our Lord. If you like bright sun and outdoor barbecues, no doubt you enjoyed the Fourth of July, just past. Or do you prefer more personal holidays, such as your birthday or wedding anniversary?

Such occasions help form the rhythm of our lives--times of rest, remembrance, celebration, and worship. The special feasts described in today’s reading served much the same purpose for the nation of Israel.

Passover commemorated the night that the angel of the Lord “passed over” the Israelite houses in Egypt. In the last of the ten plagues, he killed the firstborn son wherever there was no blood on the doorposts (see Ex 12:1-28). Passover was immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, named for the bread without yeast that the people carried in their hasty departure from slavery (cf. 1Cor. 5:6, 7, 8). This festival took place in the month of Abib (March or April on our

calendars), the first month of the Jewish year. Passover is “New Year’s Day,” a fresh start for God’s people.

The Feast of Weeks, or Firstfruits, was a harvest festival. At the wheat harvest, the people celebrated it to show joy and thankfulness for God’s blessing. This event took place in May or June, and was also called “Pentecost.” In the history of the church, Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit first descended on the believers. Jewish tradition also links this festival with the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai.

The Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, took place in September or October, and was also a harvest festival. The people lived in booths made of tree branches and foliage in order to remember the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

While the feasts described in today’s reading are not normative for the church, we, too, can plan special occasions of celebration and worship.

Deuteronomy 16:2  "You shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name.

  • sacrifice: Ex 12:5-7 Nu 28:16-19 2Ch 35:7 Mt 26:2,17 Mk 14:12 Lu 22:8,15 1Co 5:7 
  • in the place which: De 12:5,11,14,18,26 15:20 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name.

Chooses reflects God's omniscient sovereignty to do as He pleases and knows best for their (our) good and His glory. Choose is a keyword in chapter 16 (Deut. 16:2; Deut. 16:6; Deut. 16:7; Deut. 16:11; Deut. 16:15; Deut. 16:16) And further, the place the LORD choses is a key thought in Deuteronomy occurring 22 times! (Dt 12:5, Dt 12:11, Dt 12:14, Dt 12:18, Dt 12:21, Dt 12:26, Dt 14:23,Dt 14:24, Dt 14:25, Dt 15:20, Dt 16:2, Dt 16:6, Dt 16:7, Dt 16:11, Dt 16:15, Dt 16:16, Dt 17:8,Dt 17:10, Dt 18:6, Dt 23:16, Dt 26:2, Dt 31:11)

Chosen (0977bahar/bachar  in most contexts means to choose or to select, to take a keen look at, to prove, to . It denotes a choice, which is based on a thorough examination of the situation and not an arbitrary whim. Lot choose Sodom (Ge 13:11). Moses chose able men (Ex 18:25). "Theologically, bāchar asserts the sovereignty of God in all of life. It affirms divine omnipotence and capacity for choice and in so doing declares that purpose and personality, expressing itself in agape love, lie at the heart of reality." (Gilbrant) TWOT adds that bahar/bachar is often "used to express that choosing which has ultimate and eternal significance." "Bāḥar is used 30 times in Deuteronomy, all but twice referring to God's "choice" of Israel or something in Israel's life." (Vine) Bahar in Deuteronomy - Deut. 4:37; Deut. 7:6; Deut. 7:7; Deut. 10:15; Deut. 12:5; Deut. 12:11; Deut. 12:14; Deut. 12:18; Deut. 12:21; Deut. 12:26; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 14:23; Deut. 14:24; Deut. 14:25; Deut. 15:20; Deut. 16:2; Deut. 16:6; Deut. 16:7; Deut. 16:11; Deut. 16:15; Deut. 16:16; Deut. 17:8; Deut. 17:10; Deut. 17:15; Deut. 18:5; Deut. 18:6; Deut. 21:5; Deut. 23:16; Deut. 26:2; Deut. 30:19; Deut. 31:11;

Deuteronomy 16:3  "You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.

  • eat no: Ex 12:15,19,20,39 13:3-7 34:18 Lev 23:6 Nu 9:11 28:17 1Co 5:8 
  • the bread: 1Ki 22:27 Ps 102:9 127:2 Zec 12:10 2Co 7:10,11 1Th 1:6 
  • for thou camest: Ex 12:32,33,39 
  • mayest: Ex 12:14,26,27 13:7-9 Ps 111:4 Lu 22:19 1Co 11:24-26 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 16:4  "For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning.

For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning.

Deuteronomy 16:5  "You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the LORD your God is giving you;

You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the LORD your God is giving you;

Deuteronomy 16:6  but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt.

  • at even: Ex 12:6-9 Nu 9:3,11 Mt 26:20 Heb 1:2,3 9:26 1Pe 1:19,20 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

 but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 16:7  "You shall cook and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents.

  • roast: Ex 12:8,9 2Ch 35:13 Ps 22:14,15 
  • in the place: De 16:2,6 2Ki 23:23  Joh 2:13,23 11:55 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall cook and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents.

Deuteronomy 16:8  "Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God; you shall do no work on it.

  • Six days: Ex 12:15,16 13:7,8 Lev 23:6-8 Nu 28:17-19 
  • solemn assembly: Heb. restraint, Lev 23:36 2Ch 7:9 Ne 8:18 Joe 1:14 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God; you shall do no work on it.

Deuteronomy 16:9  "You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.

  • De 16:10,16 Ex 23:16 34:22 Lev 23:15,16 Nu 28:26-30 2Ch 8:13 Ac 2:1 1Co 16:8 Heb 2:1 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.

Deuteronomy 16:10  "Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God blesses you;

  • a tribute: or, sufficiency, De 16:16 Lev 5:7 12:8 25:26 *margins Nu 31:28,37 Pr 3:9,10 
  • according: De 16:17 Pr 10:22 Joe 2:14 Hag 2:15-19 Mal 3:10,11 1Co 16:2 2Co 8:10,12 9:5-11
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God blesses you;

Deuteronomy 16:11  and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name.

  • De 16:14 12:7,12,18 Isa 64:5 66:10-14 Hab 3:18 Ro 5:11 2Co 1:24 Php 4:4 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

 and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name.

Deuteronomy 16:12  "You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes

 


Deuteronomy 16:12 F. B. Meyer Our Daily Homily

THIS gave the touch of gentle tenderness to Israel's treatment of the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. They knew what loneliness and desperate suffering were; and from their own experience could speak to the heart. Without tenderness and sympathy, what are our gifts to the poor worth? It is as important to give graciously and kindly as to give at all. None are so sensitive as sufferers, whether in mind, body, or circumstance; they are quick to notice the slightest roughness or harshness in our manner of bestowing relief; they would prefer a pittance given with tender sympathy to a larger gift flung at them grudgingly. But what can give this thoughtful sympathetic manner like the memory of our own sufferings, when we were bondmen in Egypt!

It may be that God is passing thee through some fiery ordeal, to teach thee and fit thee to be His almoner, touching and soothing as His outstretched hand of pity. Soon thy present sorrow shall be but a memory; but thou wilt be called to minister to the fatherless, the widow, the stranger. Always say in thine heart, God is passing me through this sorrow, and comforting me, and delivering me, that I may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the very accent, caress, and tender word which He hath spoken to me. "Blessed be the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

In heaven itself we shall never quite forget that we were bondmen once, but were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. This will give a new meaning to the song of adoring gladness.

Deuteronomy 16:13  "You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat;

  • the feast: De 31:10 Ex 23:16 34:22 Lev 23:34-36 Nu 29:12-40 2Ch 5:3 7:8-10 2Ch 8:13 Ezr 3:4 Ne 8:14-18 Zec 14:16-18 Joh 7:2 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat;

Deuteronomy 16:14  and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.

  • De 12:12 26:11 Ne 8:9-12 Ec 9:7 Isa 12:1-6 25:6-8 30:29 35:10 1Th 5:16 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.

Deuteronomy 16:15  "Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

  • Seven days: Lev 23:36-42 Nu 29:12-38 
  • because: De 16:10 7:13 28:8-12 30:16 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

Deuteronomy 16:16  "Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

  • Three times: Ex 23:14-17 34:22,23 1Ki 9:25 
  • and they shall: Ex 23:15 34:20 1Ch 29:3-9,14-17 Ps 96:8 Pr 3:9,10 Isa 23:18 Isa 60:6-9 Hag 1:9 Mt 2:11 Mk 12:3 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

Deuteronomy 16:17  "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

  • as he is able: Heb. according to the gift of his hand, De 16:10 Lev 27:8 Ezr 2:63 Mk 12:41-44 2Co 8:12 9:6,7 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you

Deuteronomy 16:18  "You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.

  • Judges: De 1:15-17 17:9,12 19:17,18 21:2 Ex 18:25,26 21:6 1Ch 23:4 26:29 2Ch 19:5-11 Ps 82:2,3 Ro 13:1-6 
  • in all thy gates: This expression may refer to the gate of the city, as the forum or place of public concourse among the Israelites, where a court of judicature was held, to try all causes and decide all affairs.  The same practice obtained among other Eastern nations.  The Ottoman court, it is well known, derived its appellation of the {Porte,} from the distribution of justice and the dispatch of public business at its gates.  And the square tower which forms the principal entrance to the Alhamra, or red palace of the Moorish kings of Grenada, retains to this day the appellation of the Gate of judgment, from its having been the place where justice was at one period summarily administered.
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment

 


Deuteronomy 16:18-17:20

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved … who correctly handles the word of truth. - 2 Timothy 2:15

TODAY IN THE WORD

In his book entitled Jesus the Pastor, John Frye observes that today’s church is often tempted to look to models other than Jesus to guide its leaders. “I am not saying that Jesus has been totally neglected, rather, he has been relegated to other dimensions of Christian and local church experience,” he explains. “Jesus is shoved into our shadows as we read our management books, do our cultural surveys, attend our leadership seminars, and applaud or criticize one another’s endeavors.”

In many ways the problem that Frye identifies is not a new one. Israel’s new-found freedom brought the challenge of establishing corporate leadership structures that reflected God’s value system. Immediately, they faced the challenge of selecting judges capable of handling the inevitable problems that come when people live in community and are responsible for governing themselves. There were also religious questions and disputes that had to be settled by the priests and Levites. What’s more, God’s people would face an even graver leadership challenge in the future.

Moses warned that Israel would not always be satisfied with the leadership structure God had established for them. Like today’s church, the time would come when they would be tempted to turn to secular examples. Moses warned that in that day they would want to choose a king who was “like all the nations” around them (Deut. 17:14). In view of these temptations, it was critical that God’s Word should be their ultimate point of reference. Israel’s leaders may have looked like those of the surrounding nations in certain respects, but they were not to be like them.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Think of the most effective leader you know. What parallels do you see between that person’s leadership style and the leadership of Christ? Why not take a moment to write a quick note to them today sharing your observations and thanking them for their effort? Don’t forget that the church is not the only context where Christ-like leadership is needed. Jesus should be our leadership model whether the context is the church, the home, or the workplace. Where do you need to lead like Jesus today?


Deuteronomy 16:20 Follow justice and justice alone. - TODAY IN THE WORD

Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Illinois, was gearing up for a capital building campaign when its new pastor proposed a different project—a homeless shelter. He convinced the congregation to support putting one in the church basement, persuaded union leaders to donate labor, and also prevailed upon government and local businesses to contribute. The Compassion Center opened in March 2004. Those in need can find job search and housing resources, GED classes, a sick bay, clothing, food, phones, computers with Internet access, and even washers and dryers for doing laundry.

Deuteronomy 16:19  "You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

  • wrest: De 24:17 27:19 Ex 23:2,6-8 Lev 19:15 1Sa 8:3 12:3 Job 31:21,22 Pr 17:23 Ec 7:7 Isa 1:17,23 33:15 Jer 5:28 Eze 22:12 Mic 7:3 Hab 1:4 Zep 3:3-5 Ac 16:37 23:3 
  • respect: De 1:16,17 10:17 Ex 23:7,8 Pr 24:23,28 Ac 10:34 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16:20  "Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

  • That which: etc. Heb. Justice, justice, De 25:13-16 Mic 6:8 Php 4:8 
  • live: De 4:1 Eze 18:5,9 Ro 10:5 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 16:21  "You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the LORD your God, which you shall make for yourself.

  • Ex 34:13Jdg 3:7 1Ki 14:15 16:33 2Ki 17:16 21:3 2Ch 33:3 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

You shall not plant for yourself an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the LORD your God, which you shall make for yourself.

 

Asherim (0842Asherah refers to "poles" representing and/or associated with the goddess Asherah - these poles could be cut down and burned (Jdg 6:25-26). They were made (1Ki 14:15) and set up (1Ki 14:23) after being carved (2Ki 21:7). In many cases, Asherah clearly refers to the deity and not to an image or symbol (Jdg. 3:7, 1 Ki. 18:19 and 2 Ki. 23:4). Asherah used 3x in Deuteronomy - Dt 7:5, 12:3, 16:21. 

Related Resources:


Deuteronomy 16:21-17:20

Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. - Proverbs 13:6

TODAY IN THE WORD

On the cutting edge in the computer world is a group called the Silicon Valley Fellowship, a network of Christian leaders in high-tech firms. According to Christianity Today: “Start-up churches, new Bible studies, and a growing network of prayer groups are having a subtle but significant influence on the high-tech industry by changing the hearts and minds of entrepreneurs, who in turn are changing the way they work.” Chen Wenchi, CEO of Via Technologies, the third largest computer chipmaker in the world, is one such executive. Important meetings are preceded by prayer, Bible studies and praise sessions are held weekly, and the company pays careful attention to community needs in its factory locations. Says Chen: “God is placing me in Silicon Valley so I can be His servant here.”

In any age, in any sphere, godly leadership requires righteousness and integrity. That’s certainly true in today’s reading. It deals primarily with Israel’s political leadership. Favoritism and corruption were unacceptable in the legal system of God’s people. Judges were to “follow justice and justice alone” (Dt 16:20). Careful investigation was also important--one witness was insufficient evidence, and difficult cases were to be brought to the national worship center for a verdict. There was no “wall” between religion and society, quite the contrary, since true justice was associated with the Lord’s presence. Thus, it’s no surprise to find idolators and those showing contempt for God condemned to death.

The words of Moses about a king provided for an eventuality many years down the road. Rules for this future leader were designed to help him avoid the dangers of trusting in his military power (horses), greed (excessive wealth), and idolatry (foreign wives obtained for treaty purposes).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Leadership requires obedient faith, justice, and integrity. These qualities come from God, and leaders will be held accountable before Him.

Deuteronomy 16:22  "You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which the LORD your God hates.

  • pillar, Ex 20:4 Lev 26:1 
  • which: De 12:31 Jer 44:4 Zec 8:17 Rev 2:6,15 
  • Deuteronomy 16 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

22  "You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which the LORD your God hates.

Sacred pillar (04676)(matstsebah from natsab = to take a stand) means something set upright, most often "a standing, unhewn block of stone utilized for religious and memorial purposes. Moses set up an altar and also twelve pillars at the base of Mount Sinai to represent the twelve tribes of Israel (Ex. 24:4). Septuagint stele = a commemorative stone block or pillar, monument, pillar from the time of Hom. inscribed and used as a grave marker, or for commemoration of events,