Leviticus 23

Rules for the Seasons and for the special days

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘Tell Israel's people about the special days when they must worship the Lord. They are holy days. The Israelites must come together and have a feast on these days.

3 There are six days when a person can work. The seventh day is the Sabbath day. A person must not do any work on that day. It is a day when people meet together for worship. You must not work in any place where you live. It is the Sabbath to the Lord, a day for rest.

Passover and bread without yeast

4 There are other special days. They are holy feasts. On these days you must tell the people how to obey the Lord's rules. 5 One special day is the 14th day of the first month. When the sun goes down, the Passover to the Lord begins. 6 The 15th day of the first month, the Feast of Flat Bread begins. It is a feast to the Lord. For seven days the people must eat bread that has no yeast in it. 7 On the first day the people must meet together and they must not work. 8 For seven days the people must give burnt offerings to the Lord. On the seventh day they must stop work and they must worship the Lord.’

23:8The Lord caused Israel's people to stay in their houses for their last night in Egypt. They had to put a mark on their doors with blood. The Lord's servant who was a spirit killed the oldest son in each house of Egypt's people. But he passed over the houses with blood round the doors. So the Lord saved the sons of the Israelites. That is why this is called the Passover feast. (See Exodus 12:12-20.)

Gifts of new grain

9 The Lord said to Moses, 10 ‘Tell Israel's people this. They will go into the land that I will give to them. And then they will harvest the grain. They must take the first part of the harvest in their arms. They must give this to the priest. 11 The priest will lift it to the Lord. Then the Lord will accept their gift. The priest will do this on the day after the Sabbath day. 12 On the same day the priest will bring a young sheep that is perfect to the Lord. It must be one year old. It is a gift from the people. 13 He will also bring two tenths (2/10) of an ephah (about 4 litres or 8 pints) of the best flour mixed with oil. He will burn the gift as a sacrifice. The smell of it while it is burning will give the Lord pleasure. The people must also give a ¼ hin (about 1 litre or 2 pints) of wine as a gift to God. 14 The people must not eat any of the new grain until they have given their gift to God. They and their children must do this now and always. They must do it in any place that they live.

15 On the day after the Sabbath day the people will sacrifice their gifts to God. After this, they must count seven weeks. 16 They must count 50 days until the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then they must give another gift of new grain to the Lord. 17 Each family must bring two loaves of bread as a special gift to the Lord. They must make the bread with two tenths (2/10) of an ephah (about 4 litres or 8 pints) of good flour and yeast. This gift is from the first of their harvest fruits. 18 With the bread, all the people must bring seven perfect sheep. They must be males, each one year old. They must bring a bull. They must also bring two older male sheep. The priest will burn the grain and the animals as a gift to the Lord. The smell of them while they are burning will give the Lord pleasure. 19 The priest must sacrifice one male goat as a sin offering. The people must give two young sheep. They must be one year old. They are a gift to God. 20 The priest will lift the animals and the bread to the Lord. They are a holy offering to the Lord. They are for the priest. 21 On this day, the people must not do any work. They must not work anywhere that they live. It is a special day to God now and for all time to come.

23:21This day is called ‘Pentecost’. The word ‘Pentecost’ means ‘50th’.

22 When the people harvest the grain, they must not cut it to the edge of the field. They must not pick up any grain that falls. Some grain must remain in the field. It is for the poor people and for foreign people. I am the Lord your God.’

23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 ‘Tell Israel's people this. On the first day of the seventh month, they must rest. It is a special day. They must worship together with the sound of trumpets. 25 They must not work. They must burn an offering to the Lord.’

The Day of Atonement

26 The Lord said to Moses, 27 ‘The tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. On that day, the people must come together. They must not eat any food. They must make an offering of food to the Lord. 28 They must not do any work. It is a holy day. On this special day, the leader of the priests must come near to the Lord. He will make atonement for the sins of the people. 29 You must punish any person who eats any food on that day. Send them away from my people. 30 I will kill any person who works on that day. 31 Nobody must work on that day. This rule is for now and for all time to come. You must obey it in any place where you are living. 32 It is a Sabbath rest for all the people. They must not eat any food. They must rest from the evening of the ninth day until the evening of the tenth day.’

The Feast of Huts

23:33The people used sticks and branches to make huts that were like tents.

33 The Lord said to Moses, 34 ‘Tell Israel's people that the Feast of Huts will start on the 15th day of the seventh month. The feast will continue for seven days, as people worship the Lord. 35 The first day is a special day. The people must not do any work. 36 For seven days each person must give a gift to the Lord. The eighth day is holy. The people must come together and they must give a burnt offering to the Lord. This is the last day of the feast. The people must not do any work on that day.

37 These are the rules for the special days of the Lord. You must tell people that they must bring offerings to the Lord on these days. They will bring gifts for burnt offerings each day. They must bring offerings of grain, animals and wine. 38 These are not the usual Sabbath gifts to the Lord. They are not gifts to give thanks or for promises to the Lord. But they are extra gifts for special days.

39 When the people have picked the grain, they can enjoy seven feast days to the Lord. The special days will begin on the 15th day of the seventh month. On the first day and on the eighth day they can rest. 40 On the first day, they must take fruit and leaves from the trees. Then for seven days they must praise the Lord. 41 They must do this to worship the Lord for seven days of each year. They must obey this rule in the seventh month now, and for all the years to come. 42 All Israel's people must live in huts for seven days. 43 Your descendants in the future will know that God brought Israel's people out of Egypt. They will know that he caused them to live in huts as they travelled through the wilderness. I am the Lord, your God.’

44 Moses told the people all that the Lord had told him.