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Leviticus 23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 23

Holy Days.[a] The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: The following are the festivals of the Lord, which you shall declare holy days. These are my festivals:

For six days work may be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest,[b] a declared holy day; you shall do no work. It is the Lord’s sabbath wherever you dwell.

Passover. These are the festivals of the Lord, holy days which you shall declare at their proper time. The Passover of the Lord[c] falls on the fourteenth day of the first month, at the evening twilight. The fifteenth day of this month is the Lord’s feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first of these days you will have a declared holy day; you shall do no heavy work. On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the Lord. Then on the seventh day you will have a declared holy day; you shall do no heavy work.

[d]The Lord said to Moses: 10 Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you come into the land which I am giving you, and reap its harvest, you shall bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest, 11 who shall elevate the sheaf before the Lord that it may be acceptable on your behalf. On the day after the sabbath[e] the priest shall do this. 12 On this day, when your sheaf is elevated, you shall offer to the Lord for a burnt offering an unblemished yearling lamb. 13 Its grain offering shall be two tenths of an ephah of bran flour mixed with oil, as a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord; and its libation shall be a fourth of a hin of wine. 14 You shall not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels until this day, when you bring the offering for your God. This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations wherever you dwell.

Pentecost. 15 Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf for elevation, you shall count seven full weeks; 16 you shall count to the day after the seventh week, fifty days.[f] Then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 For the elevated offering of your first-ripened fruits to the Lord, you shall bring with you from wherever you live two loaves of bread made of two tenths of an ephah of bran flour and baked with leaven. 18 Besides the bread, you shall offer to the Lord a burnt offering of seven unblemished yearling lambs, one bull of the herd, and two rams, along with their grain offering and libations, as a sweet-smelling oblation to the Lord. 19 One male goat shall be sacrificed as a purification offering, and two yearling lambs as a communion sacrifice. 20 The priest shall elevate them—that is, the two lambs—with the bread of the first-ripened fruits as an elevated offering before the Lord; these shall be sacred to the Lord and belong to the priest. 21 On this same day you shall make a proclamation: there shall be a declared holy day for you; no heavy work may be done. This shall be a perpetual statute through all your generations wherever you dwell.

22 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not be so thorough that you reap the field to its very edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. These things you shall leave for the poor and the alien. I, the Lord, am your God.

New Year’s Day. 23 The Lord said to Moses: 24 Tell the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month[g] you will have a sabbath rest, with trumpet blasts as a reminder, a declared holy day; 25 you shall do no heavy work, and you shall offer an oblation to the Lord.

The Day of Atonement. 26 The Lord said to Moses: 27 Now the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.[h] You will have a declared holy day. You shall humble yourselves and offer an oblation to the Lord. 28 On this day you shall not do any work, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord, your God. 29 Those who do not humble themselves on this day shall be cut off from the people. 30 If anyone does any work on this day, I will remove that person from the midst of the people. 31 You shall do no work; this is a perpetual statute throughout your generations wherever you dwell; 32 it is a sabbath of complete rest for you. You shall humble yourselves. Beginning on the evening of the ninth of the month, you shall keep your sabbath from evening to evening.

The Feast of Booths. 33 The Lord said to Moses: 34 Tell the Israelites: The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Lord’s feast of Booths,[i] which shall continue for seven days. 35 On the first day, a declared holy day, you shall do no heavy work. 36 For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the Lord, and on the eighth day you will have a declared holy day. You shall offer an oblation to the Lord. It is the festival closing. You shall do no heavy work.

37 [j]These, therefore, are the festivals of the Lord which you shall declare holy days, in order to offer as an oblation to the Lord burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day, 38 in addition to the Lord’s sabbaths, your donations, your various votive offerings, and the voluntary offerings that you present to the Lord.

39 On the fifteenth day, then, of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord[k] for a whole week. The first and the eighth day shall be days of rest. 40 On the first day you shall gather fruit of majestic trees, branches of palms, and boughs[l] of leafy trees and valley willows. Then for a week you shall make merry before the Lord, your God. 41 You shall keep this feast of the Lord for one whole week in the year. By perpetual statute throughout your generations in the seventh month of the year, you shall keep it. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days; every native-born Israelite shall dwell in booths, 43 that your descendants may realize that, when I led the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, I made them dwell in booths. I, the Lord, am your God.

44 Thus did Moses announce to the Israelites the festivals of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 23:1–44 This is paralleled by another calendar from the Priestly tradition, in Nm 28–29. Non-Priestly resumes of festal and holy observances are found in Ex 23:10–17; 34:18–24 and Dt 16:1–17.
  2. 23:3 Sabbath of complete rest: the sabbath and the Day of Atonement are called “sabbaths of complete rest” (Ex 16:23; 31:15; 35:2; Lv 16:31; 23:32). Work of any sort is prohibited on these days (Lv 23:3, 28; Nm 29:7) as opposed to other holy days where only laborious work is prohibited but light work, such as preparing food, is allowed (Ex 12:16; cf. Lv 23:7, 8, 21, 25, 35, 36; Nm 28:18, 25, 26; 29:1, 12, 35).
  3. 23:5–6 The Passover of the Lord…feast of Unleavened Bread: the two occasions were probably separate originally. Combined they celebrate the exodus from Egypt. Cf. Ex 12:1–20, 43–49; Nm 28:16–25.
  4. 23:9–14 Around Passover a first fruits offering is to be brought (see 2:14), consisting of a sheaf of barley, the crop that matures at this time of year.
  5. 23:11 Day after the sabbath: the singular term shabbat “sabbath” may mean “week” here and refer to the seven-day period of the feast of Unleavened Bread. According to this interpretation, the barley sheaf is offered the day after the week of Unleavened Bread. Others understand it as referring to the first or last day of Unleavened Bread.
  6. 23:16–21 Fifty days: Pentecost. This festival occurs on a single day, fifty days after the feast of Unleavened Bread, elsewhere called the “feast of the Harvest” (Ex 23:16), “Day of First Fruits” (Nm 28:26), and “feast of Weeks” (Ex 34:22; Dt 16:10, 16). The name Pentecost comes from the later Greek term for the holy day (cf. Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor 16:8), referring to the fiftieth day. This is the occasion for bringing the first fruits of the wheat harvest.
  7. 23:24 First day of the seventh month: the seventh new moon is counted from a new year beginning in the spring (cf. v. 5). Like the seventh day in the week, it is preeminent among the new moon days (cf. Nm 28:11–15; 29:1–6).
  8. 23:27 Day of Atonement: see chap. 16 and notes there.
  9. 23:34 Feast of Booths: this is the final harvest festival of the year celebrating the remaining harvest. It is called the “feast of Ingathering” (Ex 23:16; 34:22), the “feast of Booths” (Lv 23:34; Dt 16:13), or simply the “feast” (1 Kgs 8:65). It is a seven-day festival with an eighth closing day. The first and eighth days are rest days (see note on v. 3).
  10. 23:37–38 This appears to be the original conclusion of the chapter.
  11. 23:39–43 The feast of the Lord: the feast of Booths, the preeminent festival. This section supplements vv. 33–36 by prescribing the popular activities for the festival.
  12. 23:40–43 Fruit…branches…boughs: the fruit and/or foliage from these trees is to be gathered, but it is not said how they are used. The command to make merry suggests they may have been used in a procession or even circumambulation of the altar (cf. Ps 26:6). Later tradition understood these prescriptions as referring to making the booths out of the foliage (Neh 8:15).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Leviticus 23 New International Version (NIV)

The Appointed Festivals

23 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.

The Sabbath

“‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.

The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread

“‘These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the Lord. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’”

Offering the Firstfruits

The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah[a] of the finest flour mixed with olive oil—a food offering presented to the Lord, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin[b] of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

The Festival of Weeks

15 “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16 Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering[c] and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.

22 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”

The Festival of Trumpets

23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25 Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’”

The Day of Atonement

26 The Lord said to Moses, 27 “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves,[d] and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God. 29 Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people. 30 I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day. 31 You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32 It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”

The Festival of Tabernacles

33 The Lord said to Moses, 34 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present food offerings to the Lord, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.

37 (“‘These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing food offerings to the Lord—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for the Lord’s Sabbaths and[e] in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the Lord.)

39 “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. 40 On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’”

44 So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed festivals of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 23:13 That is, probably about 7 pounds or about 3.2 kilograms; also in verse 17
  2. Leviticus 23:13 That is, about 1 quart or about 1 liter
  3. Leviticus 23:19 Or purification offering
  4. Leviticus 23:27 Or and fast; similarly in verses 29 and 32
  5. Leviticus 23:38 Or These festivals are in addition to the Lord’s Sabbaths, and these offerings are
New International Version (NIV)

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