Study Guide

Leviticus Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

Everybody's Lookin' Forward to the Weekend

  • Deities love holidays, and Israel's God is no different.
  • (Lightning. Panic.)
  • Scratch that. Israel's God is waaaaaaay different. Not ordinary at all. None of that unclean other deity stuff. So let's put the holy-days back in the holidays to illustrate this very point.
  • Chapter 23 starts with the Sabbath. Remember the Sabbath?
  • Next follow several holidays that are also summarized quite nicely in Shmooperonomy 16.
  • Passover—why is this day different from any other day? Check out Exodus 12.
  • Next up—the harvest festival, a.k.a. the Feast of Firstfruits. This one involves sacrifices (Really? Imagine that.) plus a lot of enthusiastic lifting of harvested sheafs to God.
  • Everyone's least favorite holiday is the festival of horn-blasting, in which the Israelites set off all of their car alarms at the same time.
  • The tenth day of the seventh month… hmmm… sounds familiar. Could it be Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement?
  • Why, yes it is! Hie thee back to Leviticus chapter 16 for the rules.
  • The discussion of Yom Kippur here emphatically repeats God's command to "degrade yourselves" on that sacred day (source). And now you know the origin of karaoke.
  • Now this is really slick: Sukkot, the Festival of Booths. It is what it says on the tin—to this day, folks live in temporary structures modeled after the tent covering (that word again!) the Ark of the Covenant as the Israelites travel from Egypt to Canaan.
  • For pictures of how it looks in action, check out the gallery on
  • Last of all, the special assemblies. These get called at times apart from the Sabbath and regular holidays, typically so the people of Israel can watch movies as a reward for selling fruit to pay for the class trip to Canaan.

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