Notes for Deut 12:1LEB


"you must be careful to obey in the land Yahewh, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess all the days which you live in the land." This adverbial statement modifies "to obey," not "to possess," so the order in the translation has been rearranged to make this clear.


Notes for Deut 12:2LEB

"destroying you must destroy"; KJV "Ye shall utterly (surely ASV) destroy"; NRSV "must demolish completely." The Hebrew infinitive absolute precedes the verb for emphasis, which is reflected in the translation by the words "by all means."

Every leafy tree. This expression refers to evergreens which, because they keep their foliage throughout the year, provided apt symbolism for nature cults such as those practiced in Canaan. The deity particularly in view is Asherah, wife of the great god El, who was considered the goddess of fertility and whose worship frequently took place at shrines near or among clusters (groves) of such trees (see also Deut 7:5LEB). See J. Hadley, NIDOTTE 1:569–70; J. DeMoor, TDOT 1:438–44.


Notes for Deut 12:3LEB

Sacred pillars. These are the stelae (stone pillars; the Hebrew term is מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) associated with Baal worship, perhaps to mark a spot hallowed by an alleged visitation of the gods. See also Deut 7:5LEB.

Sacred Asherah poles. The Hebrew term (plural) is אֲשֵׁרִים (’asherim). See note on the word "(leafy) tree" in v. 2, and also Deut 7:5LEB.


Notes for Deut 12:5LEB

Some scholars, on the basis of v. 11, emend the MT reading שִׁכְנוֹ (shikhno, "his residence") to the infinitive construct לְשָׁכֵן (léshakhen, "to make [his name] to dwell"), perhaps with the 3rd person masculine singular sf לְשַׁכְּנוֹ (léshakéno, "to cause it to dwell"). Though the presupposed nounשֵׁכֶן (shekhen) is nowhere else attested, the parallel here with שַׁמָּה (shammah, "there") favors retaining the MT as it stands.


Notes for Deut 12:6LEB

"heave offerings of your hand."


Notes for Deut 12:7LEB

"and your houses," referring to entire households. The pronouns "you" and "your" are plural in the Hebrew text.


Notes for Deut 12:8LEB

"a man."


Notes for Deut 12:9LEB



Notes for Deut 12:10LEB

The word "River" is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

In the Hebrew text vv. 10–11 are one long, complex sentence. For stylistic reasons the translation divides this into two sentences.


Notes for Deut 12:11LEB

"and it will be (to) the place where Yahewh your God chooses to cause his name to dwell you will bring."

"heave offerings of your hand."


Notes for Deut 12:12LEB

"within your gates" (so KJV, NASB); NAB "who belongs to your community."

They have no allotment or inheritance with you. See note on the word "inheritance" in Deut 10:9LEB.


Notes for Deut 12:14LEB

"offer burnt offerings." The expression "do so" has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

This injunction to worship in a single and central sanctuary – one limited and appropriate to the thrice-annual festival celebrations (see Exod 23:14–17LEB; Exod 34:22–24LEB; Lev 23:4–36LEB; Deut 16:16–17LEB) – marks a departure from previous times when worship was carried out at local shrines (cf. Gen 8:20LEB; Gen 12:7LEB; Gen 13:18LEB; Gen 22:9LEB; 26:25; Gen 35:1-7LEB; Exod 17:15LEB). Apart from the corporate worship of the whole theocratic community, however, worship at local altars would still be permitted as in the past (Deut 16:21LEB; Judg 6:24–27LEB; Judg 13:19–20LEB; 1 Sam 7:17LEB; 1 Sam 10:5LEB; 2 Sam 24:18–25LEB; 1 Kgs 18:30LEB).


Notes for Deut 12:15LEB

"only in all the desire of your soul you may sacrifice and eat flesh according to the blessing of Yahewh your God which he has given to you."

"gates" (so KJV, NASB; likewise in vv. 17, 18).


Notes for Deut 12:18LEB

See note at Deut 12:12LEB.

"in all the sending forth of your hands."


Notes for Deut 12:20LEB

"for my soul desires to eat meat."

"according to all the desire of your soul you may eat meat."


Notes for Deut 12:21LEB

"gates" (so KJV, NASB); NAB "in your own community."


Notes for Deut 12:23LEB

The blood is life itself. This is a figure of speech (metonymy) in which the cause or means (the blood) stands for the result or effect (life). That is, life depends upon the existence and circulation of blood, a truth known empirically but not scientifically tested and proved until the 17th century a.d. (cf. Lev 17:11LEB).


Notes for Deut 12:26LEB

Again, to complete a commonly attested wording the LXX adds after "choose" the phrase "to place his name there." This shows insensitivity to deliberate departures from literary stereotypes. The MT reading is to be preferred.


Notes for Deut 12:27LEB

These other sacrifices would be so-called peace or fellowship offerings whose ritual required a different use of the blood from that of burnt (sin and trespass) offerings (cf. Lev 7:11–14LEB, Lev 19–21LEB).


Notes for Deut 12:29LEB

"dwell in their land" (so NASB). In the Hebrew text vv. 29–30 are one long sentence. For stylistic reasons the translation divides it into two.


Notes for Deut 12:31LEB

"you must not do thus to/for Yahewh your God."

See note on this term at Deut 7:25.

"every abomination of Yahewh." See note on the word "his" in v. 27.


Notes for Deut 12:32LEB

Beginning with 12:32, the verse numbers through 13:18 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 12:32 ET = 13:1 HT, 13:1 ET = 13:2 HT, 13:2 ET = 13:3 HT, etc., through 13:18 ET = 13:19 HT. With 14:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

This verse highlights a phenomenon found throughout Deuteronomy, but most especially in chap. 12, namely, the alternation of grammatical singular and plural forms of the pronoun (known as Numeruswechsel in German scholarship). Critical scholarship in general resolves the "problem" by suggesting varying literary traditions – one favorable to the singular pronoun and the other to the plural – which appear in the (obviously rough) redacted text at hand. Even the ancient versions were troubled by the lack of harmony of grammatical number and in this verse, for example, offered a number of alternate readings. The MT reads "Everything I am commanding you (plural) you (plural) must be careful to do; you (singular) must not add to it nor should you (singular) subtract form it." Smr, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate suggest singular for the first two pronouns but a few Smr mss propose plural for the last two. What both ancient and modern scholars tend to overlook, however, is the covenantal theological tone of the Book of Deuteronomy, one that views Israel as a collective body (singular) made up of many individuals (plural). See M. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 1–11 (AB), 15-16; J. A. Thompson, Deuteronomy (TOTC), 21–23.

Do not add to it or subtract from it. This prohibition makes at least two profound theological points: (1) This work by Moses is of divine origination (i.e., it is inspired) and therefore can tolerate no human alteration; and (2) the work is complete as it stands (i.e., it is canonical).


Notes for Deut 13:1LEB

"or a dreamer of dreams" (so KJV, ASV, NASB). The difference between a prophet (נָבִיא, navi’) and one who foretells by dreams (חֹלֵם אוֹ, ’o kholem) was not so much one of office – for both received revelation by dreams (cf. Num 12:6LEB) – as it was of function or emphasis. The prophet was more a proclaimer and interpreter of revelation whereas the one who foretold by dreams was a receiver of revelation. In later times the role of the one who foretold by dreams was abused and thus denigrated as compared to that of the prophet (cf. Jer 23:28LEB).

The expression אוֹת אוֹ מוֹפֵת (’ot o mofet) became a formulaic way of speaking of ways of authenticating prophetic messages or other works of God (cf. Deut 28:46LEB; Isa 20:3LEB). The NT equivalent is the Greek term σημεῖον (sēmeion), a sign performed (used frequently in the Gospel of John, cf. 2:11-18LEB; John 20:30–31LEB). They could, however, be counterfeited or (as here) permitted to false prophets by Yahewh as a means of testing his people.


Notes for Deut 13:3LEB

"or dreamer of dreams." See note on this expression in v. 1.

"all your heart and soul" (so NRSV, CEV, NLT); or "heart and being" (NCV "your whole being"). See note on the word "being" in Deut 6:5LEB.


Notes for Deut 13:5LEB

"or dreamer of dreams." See note on this expression in v. 1.

"your midst" (so NAB, NRSV). The severity of the judgment here (i.e., capital punishment) is because of the severity of the sin, namely, high treason against the Great King. Idolatry is a violation of the first two commandments (Deut 5:6–10LEB) as well as the spirit and intent of the Shema (Deut 6:4–5LEB).


Notes for Deut 13:6LEB

"your brother, the son of your mother." In a polygamous society it was not rare to have half brothers and sisters by way of a common father and different mothers.

In the Hebrew text these words are in the form of a brief quotation: "entice you secretly saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods.’"

"fathers" (also in v. 17).

"which you have not known, you or your fathers." (cf. KJV, ASV; on "fathers" cf. v. 18).


Notes for Deut 13:7LEB

Or "land" (so NIV, NCV); the same Hebrew word can be translated "land" or "earth."


Notes for Deut 13:9LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with the words "without fail" (cf. NIV "you must certainly put him to death").

"to put him to death," but this is misleading in English for such an action would leave nothing for the others to do.


Notes for Deut 13:10LEB

Execution by means of pelting the offender with stones afforded a mechanism whereby the whole community could share in it. In a very real sense it could be done not only in the name of the community and on its behalf but by its members (cf. Lev 24:14LEB; Num 15:35LEB; Deut 21:21LEB; Josh 7:25LEB).


Notes for Deut 13:11LEB

Some see in this statement an argument for the deterrent effect of capital punishment (Deut 17:13LEB; Deut 19:20LEB; Deut 21:21LEB).


Notes for Deut 13:13LEB

"men, sons of Belial." The Hebrew term בְּלִיַּעַל (béliyyaal) has the idea of worthlessness, without morals or scruples (HALOT 133-34 s.v.). Cf. NAB, NRSV "scoundrels"; TEV, CEV "worthless people"; NLT "worthless rabble."

The LXX and Tg read "your" for the MT’s "their."

The translation understands the relative clause as a statement by Moses, not as part of the quotation from the evildoers. See also v. 2.


Notes for Deut 13:14LEB

Theodotian adds "in Israel," perhaps to broaden the matter beyond the local village.


Notes for Deut 13:15LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words "by all means." Cf. KJV, NASB "surely"; NIV "certainly."

Or "put under divine judgment. The Hebrew word (חֵרֶם, kherem) refers to placing persons or things under God’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction.Though primarily applied against the heathen, this severe judgment could also fall upon unrepentant Israelites (cf. the story of Achan in Josh 7). See also the note on the phrase "divine judgment" in Deut 2:34LEB.


Notes for Deut 13:16LEB


"mound"; NAB "a heap of ruins." The Hebrew word תֵּל (tel) refers to this day to a ruin represented especially by a built-up mound of dirt or debris (cf. Tel Aviv, "mound of grain").


Notes for Deut 13:17LEB

Or "anything that has been put under the divine curse"; "anything of the ban" (cf. NASB). See note on the phrase "divine judgment" in Deut 2:34LEB.


Notes for Deut 13:18LEB

"commanding" (so NASB, NRSV).

The LXX and Smr add "and good" to bring the phrase in line with a familiar cliché (cf. Deut 6:18LEB; Josh 9:25LEB; 2 Kgs 10:3LEB; 2 Chr 14:1LEB; etc.). This is an unnecessary and improper attempt to force a text into a preconceived mold.


Notes for Deut 14:1LEB

"sons" (so NASB); TEV, NLT "people."

Do not cut yourselves or shave your forehead bald. These were pagan practices associated with mourning the dead; they were not be imitated by God’s people (though they frequently were; cf. 1 Kgs 18:28LEB; Jer 16:6LEB; Jer 41:5LEB; Jer 47:5LEB; Hos 7:14LEB [LXX]; Mic 5:1LEB). For other warnings against such practices see Lev 21:5LEB; Jer 16:5LEB.


Notes for Deut 14:2LEB

Or "set apart."

Or "treasured." The Hebrew term סְגֻלָּה (ségullah) describes Israel as God’s choice people, those whom he elected and who are most precious to him (cf. Exod 19:4–6LEB; Deut 14:2LEB; Deut 26:18LEB; 1 Chr 29:3LEB; Ps 135:4LEB; Eccl 2:8LEB Mal 3:17LEB). See E. Carpenter, NIDOTTE 3:224.

The Hebrew term translated "select" (and the whole verse) is reminiscent of the classic covenant text (Exod 19:4–6LEB) which describes Israel’s entry into covenant relationship with Yahewh. Israel must resist paganism and its trappings precisely because she is a set-a-part people elected by Yahewh from among the nations to be his instrument of world redemption (cf. Deut 7:6LEB; Deut 26:18LEB; Ps 135:4LEB; Mal 3:17LEB; Titus 2:14LEB; 1 Pet 2:9LEB).


Notes for Deut 14:3LEB

The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, "forbidden; abhorrent") describes anything detestable to Yahewh because of its innate evil or inconsistency with his own nature and character. See note on the word "abhorrent" in Deut 7:25LEB. Cf. KJV "abominable"; NIV "detestable"; NRSV "abhorrent."


Notes for Deut 14:5LEB

The Hebrew term אַיָּל (’ayyal) may refer to a type of deer (cf. Arabic ’ayyal). Cf. NAB "the red deer."

The Hebrew term צְבִי (tsévi) is sometimes rendered "roebuck" (so KJV).

The Hebrew term יַחְמוּר (yakhmur) may refer to a "fallow deer"; cf. Arabic yahmur ("deer"). Cf. NAB, NIV, NCV "roe deer"; NEB, NRSV, NLT "roebuck."

The Hebrew term דִּישֹׁן (dishon) is a hapax legomenon. Its referent is uncertain but the animal is likely a variety of antelope (cf. NEB "white-rumped deer"; NIV, NRSV, NLT "ibex").

The Hebrew term תְּאוֹ (o; a variant is תּוֹא, to’) could also refer to another species of antelope. Cf. NEB "long-horned antelope"; NIV, NRSV "antelope."

The Hebrew term זֶמֶר (zemer) is another hapax legomenon with the possible meaning "wild sheep." Cf. KJV, ASV "chamois"; NEB "rock-goat"; NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT "mountain sheep."


Notes for Deut 14:6LEB

The Hebrew text includes "among the animals." This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 14:7LEB

The Hebrew term שָׁפָן (shafan) may refer to the "coney" (cf. KJV, NIV) or hyrax ("rock badger," cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).


Notes for Deut 14:8LEB

The MT lacks (probably by haplography) the phrase וְשֹׁסַע שֶׁסַע פַּרְסָה (véshosa shesa parsah, "and is clovenfooted," i.e., "has parted hooves"), a phrase found in the otherwise exact parallel in Lev 11:7LEB. The LXX and Smr attest the longer reading here. The meaning is, however, clear without it.


Notes for Deut 14:12LEB

NEB "the griffon-vulture."

The Hebrew term פֶּרֶס (peres) describes a large vulture otherwise known as the ossifrage (cf. KJV). This largest of the vultures takes its name from its habit of dropping skeletal remains from a great height so as to break the bones apart.

The Hebrew term עָזְנִיָּה (’ozniyyah) may describe the black vulture (so NIV) or it may refer to the osprey (so NAB, NRSV, NLT), an eagle-like bird subsisting mainly on fish.


Notes for Deut 14:13LEB

The Hebrew term is דַּיָּה (dayyah). This, with the previous two terms (רָאָה [raah] and אַיָּה [’ayyah]), is probably a kite of some species but otherwise impossible to specify.


Notes for Deut 14:15LEB

Or "owl." The Hebrew term בַּת הַיַּעֲנָה (bat hayyaanah) is sometimes taken as "ostrich" (so ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT), but may refer instead to some species of owl (cf. KJV "owl"; NEB "desert-owl"; NIV "horned owl").

The Hebrew term תַּחְמָס (takhmas) is either a type of owl (cf. NEB "short-eared owl"; NIV "screech owl") or possibly the nighthawk (so NRSV, NLT).

The Hebrew term נֵץ (nets) may refer to the falcon or perhaps the hawk (so NEB, NIV).


Notes for Deut 14:16LEB

The Hebrew term תִּנְשֶׁמֶת (tinshemet) may refer to a species of owl (cf. ASV "horned owl"; NASB, NIV, NLT "white owl") or perhaps even to the swan (so KJV); cf. NRSV "water hen."


Notes for Deut 14:17LEB

The Hebrew term קָאַת (qaat) may also refer to a type of owl (NAB, NIV, NRSV "desert owl") or perhaps the pelican (so KJV, NASB, NLT).


Notes for Deut 14:19LEB

The MT reads the Niphal (passive) for expected Qal ("you [plural] must not eat"); cf. Smr, LXX. However, the harder reading should stand.


Notes for Deut 14:21LEB

"gates" (also in vv. 27, 28, 29).

Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. This strange prohibition – one whose rationale is unclear but probably related to pagan ritual – may seem out of place here but actually is not for the following reasons: (1) the passage as a whole opens with a prohibition against heathen mourning rites (i.e., death, vv. 1–2) and closes with what appear to be birth and infancy rites. (2) In the other two places where the stipulation occurs (Exod 23:19 and Exod 34:26) it similarly concludes major sections. (3) Whatever the practice signified it clearly was abhorrent to Yahewh and fittingly concludes the topic of various breaches of purity and holiness as represented by the ingestion of unclean animals (vv. 3–21). See C. M. Carmichael, "On Separating Life and Death: An Explanation of Some Biblical Laws," HTR 69 (1976): 1-7; J. Milgrom, "You Shall Not Boil a Kid In Its Mother’s Milk," BRev 1 (1985): 48-55; R. J. Ratner and B. Zuckerman, "In Rereading the ‘Kid in Milk’ Inscriptions," BRev 1 (1985): 56-58; and M. Haran, "Seething a Kid in its Mother’s Milk," JJS 30 (1979): 23-35.


Notes for Deut 14:22LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words "be certain."


Notes for Deut 14:23LEB

This refers to wine in the early stages of fermentation. In its later stages it becomes wine (יַיִן, yayin) in its mature sense.


Notes for Deut 14:24LEB

The Hebrew text includes "way is so far from you that you are unable to carry it because the." These words have not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons, because they are redundant.


Notes for Deut 14:25LEB

"bind the silver in your hand."


Notes for Deut 15:1LEB

The Hebrew term שְׁמִטָּת (shémittat), a derivative of the verb שָׁמַט (shamat, "to release; to relinquish"), refers to the cancellation of the debt and even pledges for the debt of a borrower by his creditor. This could be a full and final remission or, more likely, one for the seventh year only. See R. Wakely, NIDOTTE 4:155–60. Here the words "of debts" are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied. Cf. NAB "a relaxation of debts"; NASB, NRSV "a remission of debts."


Notes for Deut 15:2LEB

"his neighbor," used idiomatically to refer to another person.

"his neighbor and his brother." The words "his brother" may be a scribal gloss identifying "his neighbor" (on this idiom, see the preceding note) as a fellow Israelite (cf. v. 3). In this case the conjunction before "his brother" does not introduce a second category, but rather has the force of "that is."


Notes for Deut 15:3LEB

"your brother."


Notes for Deut 15:4LEB

After the phrase "Yahewh" many mss and versions add "your God" to complete the usual full epithet.

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with "surely." Note however, that the use is rhetorical, for the next verse attaches a condition.

The Hebrew text includes "to possess."


Notes for Deut 15:5LEB

"if listening you listen to the voice of." The infinitive absolute is used for emphasis, which the translation indicates with "carefully." The idiom "listen to the voice" means "obey."

"by being careful to do."

"commanding" (so NASB); NAB "which I enjoin you today."


Notes for Deut 15:7LEB

"one of your brothers" (so NASB); NAB "one of your kinsmen"; NRSV "a member of your community." See the note at v. 2.


"withdraw your hand." Cf. NIV "hardhearted or tightfisted" (NRSV and NLT similar).

"from your needy brother."


Notes for Deut 15:8LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before both verbs. The translation indicates the emphasis with the words "be sure to" and "generously," respectively.

"whatever his need that he needs for himself." This redundant expression has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 15:9LEB

"your eye."

"your needy brother."

"give" (likewise in v. 10).

"it will be a sin to you."


Notes for Deut 15:10LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with "by all means."

"your heart must not be grieved in giving to him." The LXX and Orig add, "you shall surely lend to him sufficient for his need," a suggestion based on the same basic idea in v. 8. Such slavish adherence to stock phrases is without warrant in most cases, and certainly here.


Notes for Deut 15:11LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with "make sure."

"your brother."


Notes for Deut 15:12LEB

Elsewhere in the OT, the Israelites are called "Hebrews" (עִבְרִי, ’ivriy) by outsiders, rarely by themselves (cf. Gen 14:13LEB; Gen 39:14-17LEB; Gen 41:12LEB; Exod 1:15-19LEB; Exod 2:6-13LEB; 1 Sam 4:6LEB; Jonah 1:9LEB). Thus, here and in the parallel passage in Exod 21:2–6LEB the term עִבְרִי may designate non-Israelites, specifically a people well-known throughout the ancient Near East as ’apiru or habiru. They lived a rather vagabond lifestyle, frequently hiring themselves out as laborers or mercenary soldiers. While accounting nicely for the surprising use of the term here in an Israelite law code, the suggestion has against it the unlikelihood that a set of laws would address such a marginal people so specifically (as opposed to simply calling them aliens or the like). More likely עִבְרִי is chosen as a term to remind Israel that when they were "Hebrews," that is, when they were in Egypt, they were slaves. Now that they are free they must not keep their fellow Israelites in economic bondage. See v. 15.

"your brother, a Hebrew (male) or Hebrew (female)."

"him." The singular pronoun occurs throughout the passage.

The Hebrew text includes "from you."


Notes for Deut 15:14LEB

The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with "generously."


Notes for Deut 15:16LEB

"he"; the referent (the indentured servant introduced in v. 12) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

"go out from." The imperfect verbal form indicates the desire of the subject here.


Notes for Deut 15:17LEB

When the bondslave’s ear was drilled through to the door, the door in question was that of the master’s house. In effect, the bondslave is declaring his undying and lifelong loyalty to his creditor. The scar (or even hole) in the earlobe would testify to the community that the slave had surrendered independence and personal rights. This may be what Paul had in mind when he said "I bear on my body the marks of Jesus" (Gal 6:17LEB).


Notes for Deut 15:18LEB

The Hebrew term מִשְׁנֶה (mishneh, "twice") could mean "equivalent to" (cf. NRSV) or, more likely, "double" (cf. NAB, NIV, NLT). The idea is that a hired worker would put in only so many hours per day whereas a bondslave was available around the clock.


Notes for Deut 15:19LEB

"sanctify" (תַּקְדִּישׁ, taqdish), that is, put to use on behalf of Yahewh.


Notes for Deut 15:21LEB

"any evil blemish"; NASB "any (+ other NAB, TEV) serious defect."


Notes for Deut 15:22LEB

"in your gates."

The LXX adds ἐν σοί (en soi, "among you") to make clear that the antecedent is the people and not the animals. That is, the people, whether ritually purified or not, may eat such defective animals.

Notes for Deut 16:1LEB

The month Abib, later called Nisan (Neh 2:1LEB; Esth 3:7LEB), corresponds to March-April in the modern calendar.

"in the month Abib." The demonstrative "that" has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 16:2LEB

"sacrifice the Passover" (so NASB). The word "animal" has been supplied in the translation for clarity.


Notes for Deut 16:4LEB

"leaven must not be seen among you in all your border."

"remain all night until the morning" (so KJV, ASV). This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.


Notes for Deut 16:5LEB



Notes for Deut 16:6LEB

"the Passover." The translation uses a pronoun to avoid redundancy in English.

The MT reading אֶל (’el, "unto") before "the place" should, following Smr, Syriac, Targums, and Vulgate, be omitted in favor of ב (bet; בַּמָּקוֹם, bammaqom), "in the place."


Notes for Deut 16:7LEB

The rules that governed the Passover meal are found in Exod 12:1–51LEB, and Deut 16:1–8LEB. The word translated "cook" (בָּשַׁל, bashal) here is translated "boil" in other places (e.g. Exod 23:19LEB, 1 Sam 2:13–15LEB). This would seem to contradict Exod 12:9LEB where the Israelites are told not to eat the Passover sacrifice raw or boiled. However, 2 Chr 35:13LEB recounts the celebration of a Passover feast during the reign of Josiah, and explains that the people "cooked (בָּשַׁל, bashal) the Passover sacrifices over the open fire." The use of בָּשַׁל (bashal) with "fire" (אֵשׁ, ’esh) suggests that the word could be used to speak of boiling or roasting.


Notes for Deut 16:8LEB

The words "on that day" are not in the Hebrew text; they are supplied in the translation for clarification (cf. TEV, NLT).


Notes for Deut 16:9LEB

"the seven weeks." The translation uses a pronoun to avoid redundancy in English.


Notes for Deut 16:10LEB

The Hebrew phrase חַג שָׁבֻעוֹת (khag shavuot) is otherwise known in the OT (Exod 23:16) as קָצִיר (qatsir, "harvest") and in the NT as πεντηχοστή (pentēchostē, "Pentecost").

"the sufficiency of the offering of your hand."


Notes for Deut 16:11LEB



Notes for Deut 16:13LEB

The Hebrew phrase חַג הַסֻּכֹּת (khag hassukot, "festival of huts" or "festival of shelters") is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering "booths" (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is now preferable to the traditional "tabernacles" (KJV, ASV, NIV) in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, "hut; booth"), but "booths" are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. Clearer is the English term "shelters" (so NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT), but this does not reflect the temporary nature of the living arrangement. This feast was a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt, suggesting that a translation like "temporary shelters" is more appropriate.

"when you gather in your threshing-floor and winepress."


Notes for Deut 16:14LEB

"in your gates."


Notes for Deut 16:15LEB

"in all the work of your hands" (so NASB, NIV); NAB, NRSV "in all your undertakings."


Notes for Deut 16:17LEB

"a man must give according to the gift of his hand." This has been translated as second person for stylistic reasons, in keeping with the second half of the verse, which is second person rather than third.


Notes for Deut 16:18LEB

The Hebrew term וְשֹׁטְרִים (véshoterim), usually translated "officers" (KJV, NCV) or "officials" (NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT), derives from the verb שֹׁטֵר (shoter, "to write"). The noun became generic for all types of public officials. Here, however, it may be appositionally epexegetical to "judges," thus resulting in the phrase, "judges, that is, civil officers," etc. Whoever the שֹׁטְרִים are, their task here consists of rendering judgments and administering justice.


"with judgment of righteousness"; ASV, NASB "with righteous judgment."


Notes for Deut 16:19LEB

"twist, overturn"; NRSV "subverts the cause."

Or "innocent"; NRSV "those who are in the right"; NLT "the godly."


Notes for Deut 16:20LEB

"justice, justice." The repetition is emphatic; one might translate as "pure justice" or "unadulterated justice" (cf. NLT "true justice").


Notes for Deut 16:21LEB

"an Asherah, any tree."

Sacred Asherah pole. This refers to a tree (or wooden pole) dedicated to the worship of Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. See also Deut 7:5LEB.


Notes for Deut 16:22LEB

Sacred pillar. This refers to the stelae (stone pillars; the Hebrew term is מַצֵּבֹת, matsevot) associated with Baal worship, perhaps to mark a spot hallowed by an alleged visitation of the gods. See also Deut 7:5LEB.