16:0This chapter describes three special parties: Passover, Weeks and Tents
1 The month Abib is a special month for you. In this month, you must remember the Passover. Remember that the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt at night in that month. 2 You must go to the special place that the LORD will choose for himself. There you must kill one of your sheep or cows for the Passover party. 3 At this party, do not eat bread that you make with yeast. For 7 days, you must eat bread that you make without yeast, the bread of trouble. This is to make you remember that special night. You ate bread like that when you left Egypt in a hurry that night. You must do it again each year. So you will never forget the night that you left Egypt. 4 No one must keep any yeast in his house for 7 days. You must eat all the meat of your animal on the night that you kill it. You must not leave any of it until the next morning.
5 You must not kill the animal for the Passover in any town that the LORD your God gives you. 6 You must go to the place that he will choose for himself. You must kill the animal for the Passover party there, at sunset. That was the time of day when you left Egypt. 7 Cook the meat and eat it in the special place. The LORD your God will choose the place. Then return to your tents on the next morning. 8 For the next 6 days, you must eat bread that you make without yeast. Then on the 7th day you must all come together to thank the LORD your God. Tell him how great and good he is. You must not do any work on that day.
The party of Weeks
9 Count 7 weeks from the first day that you bring in the food from your fields. 10 Then enjoy the party of Weeks with the LORD your God. Be happy to bring him extra gifts. Do this because he has been so good to you. 11 You and your family will be happy in front of the LORD your God, in his special place. Be happy together with your servants and with the Levites. Worship God happily with the foreign people and with the women whose husbands have died. And worship God happily with the children whose parents have died. All these people live among you. 12 Remember! You were slaves in Egypt, so obey these rules carefully.
The party of Tents
13 When you have brought in the food from your fields, enjoy the party of Tents for seven days. 14 Be happy at your party with your family, your servants and the Levites. Worship God happily with the foreign people and with the women whose husbands have died. And worship God happily with the children whose parents have died. All these people live in your towns. 15 Enjoy this party with the LORD your God for 7 days in the place that he has chosen. Do this because he will cause a lot of food to grow in your fields. He will help you in everything that you do. And you will be completely happy.
16 All your men must come to the LORD your God three times in every year. They must come to the place that he has chosen. They must come at the Passover party, the party of Weeks and the party of Tents. Each man must bring with him a gift to the LORD. 17 This gift can be large or small, as the LORD has given you much or little.
18 You must choose judges and officers from each tribes, in every town that the LORD gives you. They must judge the people in a way that is fair. 19 You must do what is right for every person. You must not accept a gift. A gift makes it difficult for a wise man to know what is right. And a gift can make right words seem wrong. 20 Always be good and fair when you judge. If you do that, you will live. And you will really enjoy your country. This is the country that the LORD your God is giving to you.
Do not obey other gods
21 Do not put any special tall sticks that you make from wood next to the LORD your God's altar. 22 And do not put up a false god, because the LORD your God hates these things.
16:22People who prayed to false gods used these special tall sticks. They put them up in the places where they prayed. This is why God hated all these things.