Parashah Re'eh is the 47th weekly portion, the 4th in the book of Deuteronomy. It covers Deut. 11:26 – 16:17. It is the longest portion in all of Deuteronomy, containing 7,442 letters (in the standard Masoretic Text), 1,932 words, and 126 verses, and generally takes up about 258 lines on a Torah scroll. The title of the portion, Re'eh, means "see!" as can be seen from the opening verse.
The opening verses of the portion are an appeal to the people of Yisra'el to guard the commands of the Torah. As can be seen later on in Deut., the people are given a choice: life or death, obedience or rebellion. This plea comes again later with a larger explanation (Deut. 27-30), detailing the lists of blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience. This portion, along with the related sections, form the basis of Bechirah chofshit, or what is called "freewill." This portion also covers the proper place of sacrificing (Jerusalem), the warnings against false prophets and idolatry, a rehash of the laws of clean/unclean animals, the laws of the Sh'mittah (Sabbatical year), and the Feast Days.
For this article, we will mostly be focusing on chapters 11 and 12. Indeed, we could extrapolate a massive amount of teaching from this portion, but I would prefer to focus on only a couple of important issues this go round. If time and the course of the world permit, I will upload different articles on the portion in future years, each focusing on a different aspect. For 2015, however, we will concentrate primarily on 11 and 12. I will also give the entire portion reading from the SQV throughout the article. 13:1 – 16:17, which we will not be focusing on, will still be listed at the end of the article, so that at the very least you can read the entire portion.
In-Depth Look: 11:26-32 26 Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you shall listen to the commands of יהוהyour Elohim, which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you shall not listen to the commands of יהוהyour Elohim, but turn aside out of the way which I command you today, to go after other elohim, which you have not known. 29 It shall happen, when יהוהyour Elohim shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, that you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim, and the curse on Mount Eyval. 30 Are they not beyond the Yarden, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Kana'anites who dwell in the Aravah, over against Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? 31 For you are to pass over the Yarden to go in to possess the land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you, and you shall possess it, and dwell therein. 32 You shall guard to do all the statutes and the judgments which I set before you today.
This section is very important when it comes to what is generally called "The Doctrine of Freewill." This is a fundamental understanding in Jewish teaching, and many Christian denominations would agree. While the Calvinists may ignore it, it displays clearly how YHWH treats His people. He gives them a choice. Here, He says, He is giving Israel a choice: blessings, if they obey, and curses, if they do not. On this topic, Rabbi Aqiva said, "Though everything is foreseen by Elohim, yet freewill is granted to man." (Avot 3:19). RaMBaM (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maim), the famous Sephardic teacher of the middle ages, had much to say on the topic in his writing The Mishneh Torah. Here is a large section of it, from Sefer Madda, Hilchot Teshuvah, Chapter 5:
Halacha 1 Free will is granted to all men. If one desires to turn himself to the path of good and be righteous, the choice is his. Should he desire to turn to the path of evil and be wicked, the choice is his. This is [the intent of] the Torah's statement (Genesis 3:22): "Behold, man has become unique as ourselves, knowing good and evil," i.e., the human species became singular in the world with no other species resembling it in the following quality: that man can, on his own initiative, with his knowledge and thought, know good and evil, and do what he desires. There is no one who can prevent him from doing good or bad. Accordingly, [there was a need to drive him from the Garden of Eden,] "lest he stretch out his hand [and take from the tree of life]."
Halacha 2 A person should not entertain the thesis held by the fools among the gentiles and the majority of the undeveloped among Israel that, at the time of a man's creation, The Holy One, blessed be He, decrees whether he will be righteous or wicked. This is untrue. Each person is fit to be righteous like Moses, our teacher, or wicked, like Jeroboam. [Similarly,] he may be wise or foolish, merciful or cruel, miserly or generous, or [acquire] any other character traits. There is no one who compels him, sentences him, or leads him towards either of these two paths. Rather, he, on his own initiative and decision, tends to the path he chooses. This was [implied by the prophet,] Jeremiah who stated [Eichah 3:38: "From the mouth of the Most High, neither evil or good come forth." Accordingly, it is the sinner, himself, who causes his own loss.
Therefore, it is proper for a person to cry and mourn for his sins and for what he has done to his soul, the evil consequences, he brought upon it. This is implied by the following verse [ibid.:39]: "Of what should a living man be aggrieved? [A man of his sins.]" [The prophet] continues explaining, since free choice is in our hands and our own decision [is what prompts us to] commit all these wrongs, it is proper for us to repent and abandon our wickedness, for this choice is presently in our hand. This is implied by the following verse [ibid.:40]: "Let us search and examine our ways and return [to God]."
Halacha 3 This principle is a fundamental concept and a pillar [on which rests the totality] of the Torah and mitzvot as [Deuteronomy 30:15] states: "Behold, I have set before you today life [and good, death and evil]." Similarly, [Deuteronomy 11:26] states, "Behold, I have set before you today [the blessing and the curse]," implying that the choice is in your hands. Any one of the deeds of men which a person desires to do, he may, whether good or evil. Therefore, [Deuteronomy 5:26] states: "If only their hearts would always remain this way." From this, we can infer that the Creator does not compel or decree that people should do either good or bad. Rather, everything is left to their [own choice].
Halacha 4 Were God to decree that an individual would be righteous or wicked or that there would be a quality which draws a person by his essential nature to any particular path [of behavior], way of thinking, attributes, or deeds, as imagined by many of the fools [who believe] in astrology - how could He command us through [the words of] the prophets: "Do this," "Do not do this," "Improve your behavior," or "Do not follow after your wickedness?" [According to their mistaken conception,] from the beginning of man's creation, it would be decreed upon him, or his nature would draw him, to a particular quality and he could not depart from it. What place would there be for the entire Torah? According to which judgement or sense of justice would retribution be administered to the wicked or reward to the righteous? Shall the whole world's Judge not act justly!
A person should not wonder: How is it possible for one to do whatever he wants and be responsible for his own deeds? - Is it possible for anything to happen in this world without the permission and desire of its Creator as [Psalms 135:6] states: "Whatever God wishes, He has done in the heavens and in the earth?" One must know that everything is done in accord with His will and, nevertheless, we are responsible for our deeds. How is this [apparent contradiction] resolved? Just as the Creator desired that [the elements of] fire and wind rise upward and [those of] water and earth descend downward, that the heavenly spheres revolve in a circular orbit, and all the other creations of the world follow the nature which He desired for them, so too, He desired that man have free choice and be responsible for his deeds, without being pulled or forced. Rather, he, on his own initiative, with the knowledge which God has granted him, will do anything that man is able to do.
Therefore, he is judged according to his deeds. If he does good, he is treated with beneficence. If he does bad, he is treated harshly. This is implied by the prophets' statements: "This has been the doing of your hands” [Malachi 1:9]; "They also have chosen their own paths” [Isaiah 66:3]. This concept was also implied by Solomon in his statement [Ecclesiastes 11:9]: "Young man, rejoice in your youth... but, know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment," i.e., know that you have the potential to do, but in the future, you will have to account for your deeds.
Halacha 5 One might ask: Since The Holy One, blessed be He, knows everything that will occur before it comes to pass, does He or does He not know whether a person will be righteous or wicked? If He knows that he will be righteous, [it appears] impossible for him not to be righteous. However, if one would say that despite His knowledge that he would be righteous, it is possible for him to be wicked, then His knowledge would be incomplete.
Know that the resolution to this question [can be described as]: "Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea." Many great and fundamental principles and lofty concepts are dependent upon it. However, the statements that I will make must be known and understood [as a basis for the comprehension of this matter]. As explained in the second chapter of Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah, The Holy One, blessed be He, does not know with a knowledge that is external from Him as do men, whose knowledge and selves are two [different entities]. Rather, He, may His name be praised, and His knowledge are one. Human knowledge cannot comprehend this concept in its entirety for just as it is beyond the potential of man to comprehend and conceive the essential nature of the Creator, as [Exodus 33:20] states: "No man will perceive, Me and live," so, too, it is beyond man's potential to comprehend and conceive the Creator's knowledge. This was the intent of the prophet's [Isaiah 55:8] statements: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways, My ways." Accordingly, we do not have the potential to conceive how The Holy One, blessed be He, knows all the creations and their deeds. However, this is known without any doubt: That man's actions are in his [own] hands and The Holy One, blessed be He, does not lead him [in a particular direction] or decree that he do anything. This matter is known, not only as a tradition of faith, but also, through clear proofs from the words of wisdom. Consequently, the prophets taught that a person is judged for his deeds, according to his deeds - whether good or bad. This is a fundamental principle on which is dependent all the words of prophecy.
Now I don't normally quote so extensively from writings like this, but I think this fully explains the position, and pretty much sums up chapter 11. We can also look at how the specific terminology is used here. For instance, we statutes and judgments, and blessings and curses. As a definition of terms, the word for statute is חֹק(choq) which means literally, "that which is inscribed, that which is decreed." It is derived from the verb חָקַק(chaqaq), which means "to inscribe, to decree." This is the word used in Gen. 49, when Jacob says of Judah that a "lawgiver" would not depart "from between his feet." This is the word "lawgiver" here. It is also used in Ezek. 4:1, when Ezekiel was told to "inscribe a city" on a brick. So these "inscriptions" refer to what is written down or decreed, and we can associate them with blessings.
The other word, judgment, is מִשְׁפָּט(mishpat), which means "judgment" or "that which has been judged [decided]." It is a noun referring to the judgment [sentence, decision] rendered by a judge. It is derived from the verb shaphat (שָׁפַט) meaning literally "to judge, to decide." Judgments (Mishpatim) refer to the sentence for breaking the commands of YHWH. These can be likened to curses. Not that His judgments ARE curses, but that when we break His Torah, we incur judgment upon ourselves. Israel did this time and again. They would serve Him for a time, and then fall away after the gods of the pagans. So He would render His judgment upon them. Interestingly, the curses mentioned in Deut. 28 are the EXACT punishments He placed upon them when they sinned. The curses were the JUDGMENTS for breaking the covenant of the Torah. And why would they incur these judgments? Because they said, "All that YHWH has commanded, we shall observe and do." This entered into a covenant with Elohim. It bound them to the "Terms of Service Agreement." If they obeyed, their contract said they would be blessed. And there is clear evidence of this in the time of Joshua, David, and Solomon (until his heart was led away). However, if they rebelled, then they were effectively breaking the contract, and a breach of contract came with its own penalties: curses.
This should then resound with those who know their NT fairly well.
Galatians 3:13-15 - 13 Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree," 14 that the blessing of Avraham might come on the nations through Messiah ישוע; that we might receive the promise of the Ruaḥ through faith. 15 Brothers, speaking of human terms: though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been confirmed, no one makes it void, or adds to it.
As we have "all sinned, and fallen short of the glory of Elohim" (Rom. 3:23), so we all have broken His Torah. We have rebelled against Him, and therefore the curses should be for us. But, according to Paul, we have been redeemed from the curse of the Law by Messiah. Redemption meaning the price we owe has been paid. Many misunderstand this passage, and believe it is saying the Law IS the curse. That is not true. He does not say, "The curse which is the law," he says "the curse OF the law" which implies something possessed by the Law which is a curse. And this we affirm to be true, as we know from Deut. 28. We were not redeemed from the Law, as the law is good for us (1 Tim. 1:8; Rom. 7:14). Rather, we were redeemed from the curses of having BROKEN it.
In-Depth Look: 12 1 These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall guard to do in the land which יהוה, the Elohim of your fathers, has given you to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth. 2 You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their elohim, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree: 3 and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall cut down the engraved images of their elohim; and you shall destroy their name out of that place. 4 You shall not do so to יהוהyour Elohim. 5 But to the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose out of all your tribes, to put His Name there, even to His habitation you shall seek, and there you shall come; 6 and there you shall bring your ascension offerings, and your slaughterings, and your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock: 7 and there you shall eat before יהוהyour Elohim, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which יהוהyour Elohim has blessed you. 8 You shall not do after all the things that we do here today, every man whatever is right in his own eyes; 9 for you have not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which יהוהyour Elohim gives you. 10 But when you go over the Yarden, and dwell in the land which יהוהyour Elohim causes you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you, so that you dwell securely; 11 then it shall happen that to the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, to cause His Name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your ascension offerings, and your slaughterings, your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to יהוה. 12 You shall rejoice before יהוהyour Elohim, you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your male servants, and your female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you. 13 Guard yourself that you do not offer your ascension offerings in every place that you see; 14 but in the place which יהוהshall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your ascension offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you. 15 Notwithstanding, you may slaughter and eat flesh within all your gates, after all the desire of your being, according to the blessing of יהוהyour Elohim which He has given you: the unclean person and the clean person may eat of it, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth as water. 17 You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your new wine, or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, nor the wave offering of your hand; 18 but you shall eat them before יהוהyour Elohim in the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates: and you shall rejoice before יהוהyour Elohim in all that you put your hand to. 19 Guard yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land. 20 When יהוהyour Elohim shall enlarge your border, as He has promised you, and you shall say, "I want to eat meat," because your being desires to eat meat; you may eat meat, after all the desire of your being. 21 If the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, to put His Name there, is too far from you, then you shall slaughter of your herd and of your flock, which יהוהhas given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates, after all the desire of your being. 22 Even as the gazelle and as the hart is eaten, so you shall eat of it: the unclean person and the clean person may eat of it alike. 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood: for the blood is the being; and you shall not eat the being with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth as water. 25 You shall not eat it; that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you shall do that which is right in the eyes of יהוה. 26Only your set-apart things which you have, and your vows, you shall take, and go to the place which יהוהshall choose: 27 and you shall offer your ascension offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of יהוהyour Elohim; and the blood of your slaughterings shall be poured out on the altar of יהוהyour Elohim; and you shall eat the flesh. 28 Guard and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you forever, when you do that which is good and right in the eyes of יהוהyour Elohim. 29 When יהוהyour Elohim shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go in to dispossess them, and you dispossess them, and dwell in their land; 30 guard yourself that you not be ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you not inquire after their elohim, saying, "How do these nations serve their elohim? I will do likewise." 31 You shall not do so to יהוהyour Elohim: for every abomination to יהוה, which He hates, have they done to their elohim; for even their sons and their daughters do they burn in the fire to their elohim. 32 Whatever thing I command you, that you shall guard to do: you shall not add to it, nor remove from it.
Chapter 12 is fundamental for a number of reasons. For starters, it clearly lays out where sacrifices could be offered. This is, here, called "The place which YHWH shall choose." Later in the Scriptures, in 1 Kings 8, we see this fulfilled.
1 Ki. 8:44 – "If Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to YHWH toward the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your Name;"
As we know, the "city" is Jerusalem, and the "house" is the Temple. So this establishes the proper place for offering sacrifices. But chapter 12 does more than just that. It also informs us of what NOT to do. Verses 29-31 clearly explain that in the ways the pagan nations (gentiles) worship their gods, we are NOT to worship YHWH. This leads to the issue of Christmas and Easter. People believe they celebrate these holidays as a time of fellowship, and to honor Elohim. However, He does not accept these practices, as He Himself COMMANDED that we not worship Him in the ways the pagans worship their gods. YHWH alone defines worship, and He alone can determine what is acceptable and what is not. In fact, even doing the right "thing" the wrong "way" is not even acceptable. Think of Aaron's two sons in Lev. 10, for example. They were priests, and they had a right to offer incense. However, they did it the wrong way, and that cost them their lives. Or also the incident of Uzzah, who did the right "thing" by trying to protect the Ark of the Covenant, but did it the wrong way, because he, a non-Levite, touched it. This shows us that even with good intentions, we must still obey what YHWH has determined is right.
The last thing to look at in chapter 12 is actually the middle section, which mentions eating meat. Now if the only place you were allowed to slaughter meat was in Jerusalem, and you lived WAY FAR AWAY, how could you ever eat meat? Well that would have been the conundrum. So, here YHWH tells the people that they may indeed eat meat anywhere, and only sacrifices to Him are restricted to the Temple. Now one statement in particular tends to mess with people, and that is verse 22. In some Bibles, and to many people, it seems like He is saying that the unclean and the clean alike may be eaten. Some have exercised a little exegetical gymnastics on this verse, and said that the gazelle and the hart (deer) are "unclean" for sacrifices, but still clean meat. So when He says the unclean can be eaten, it refers to animals not acceptable as a sacrifice. I disagree on multiple levels.
For starters, nowhere in Scripture is a living clean animal referred to as unclean. Similarly, nowhere does the Torah say, "Animals that may not be sacrificed are considered 'unclean' for sacrifice, but still clean for food." Rather, this refers to the person EATING the food, as the translation above has tried to point out. If you were to go to the Temple and you were unclean, you could not eat of the sacrifice. (See Lev. 7:20). However, since you are only killing it for food, you may eat it whether you are clean or unclean. You just cannot go to the Temple. The next disagreement I have is on a grammatical level. Biblical Hebrew adjectives almost ALWAYS come BEFORE the noun. Here the nouns in reference to the animals (gazelle and hart) come BEOFRE the adjectives "clean" and "unclean." However, directly AFTER the adjectives (where we expect to find the noun being modified) is the noun yachdaw (יַחְדָּ֖ו), which means "them." This is followed by the verb "may eat" (yokh'lenu), in the same form it appears in in Lev. 7:6, which reads, "Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a set-apart place. It is most set-apart." Note this is not referring to what is being eaten, but rather who is eating it. The same is the case in Deut. 12. It refers to the PERSON being clean or unclean, not the ANIMAL.
131 If there arise in your midst a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder come to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, "Let us go after other elohim" (which you have not known) "and let us serve them"; 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or to that dreamer of dreams: for יהוהyour Elohim proves you, to know whether you love יהוהyour Elohim with all your heart and with all your being. 4 You shall walk after יהוהyour Elohim, and fear Him, and guard His commands, and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 That prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken rebellion against יהוהyour Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which יהוהyour Elohim commanded you to walk in. So you shall put away the evil from your midst. 6 If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, who is as your own being, entice you secretly, saying, "Let us go and serve other elohim" which you have not known, you, nor your fathers; 7 of the elohim of the peoples who are around you, near to you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; 8 you shall not consent to him, nor listen to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him: 9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he has sought to draw you away from יהוהyour Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of bondage. 11 All Yisra'el shall hear, and fear, and shall not do any more such evil as this is in your midst. 12 If you shall hear tell concerning one of your cities, which יהוהyour Elohim gives you to dwell there, saying, 13 "Certain sons of Beliyya'al are gone out from your midst, and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, "Let us go and serve other elohim," which you have not known; 14 then you shall inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is done in your midst, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein and its livestock, with the edge of the sword. 16 You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its street, and shall burn with fire the city, and all the entirety of its spoil, to יהוהyour Elohim: and it shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again. 17 Nothing of the devoted thing shall cling to your hand; that יהוהmay turn from the fierceness of His anger, and show you compassion, and be compassionate to you, and multiply you, as He has sworn to your fathers; 18 when you shall listen to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim, to guard all His commands which I command you today, to do that which is right in the eyes of יהוהyour Elohim.
141 You are the children of יהוהyour Elohim: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2 For you are a set-apart people to יהוהyour Elohim, and יהוהhas chosen you to be a people for His own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth.
3 You shall not eat any abomination. 4 These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5 the hart, and the gazelle, and the roebuck, and the wild goat, and the ibex, and the antelope, and the chamois. 6 Every animal that parts the hoof, and has the hoof cloven in two, and chews the cud, among the animals, that may you eat. 7 Nevertheless these you shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of those who have the hoof cloven: the camel, and the shaphan, and the rabbit; because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, they are unclean to you. 8 The pig, because it has a split hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you: of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.
9 These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales may you eat; 10 and whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean to you. 11 Of all clean birds you may eat. 12 But these are they of which you shall not eat: the eagle, and the vulture, and the osprey, 13 and the red kite, and the falcon, and the kite after its kind, 14 and every raven after its kind, 15 and the ostrich, and the owl, and the seagull, and the hawk after its kind, 16 the little owl, and the great owl, and the horned owl, 17 and the pelican, and the vulture, and the cormorant, 18 and the stork, and the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat. 19 All winged creeping things are unclean to you: they shall not be eaten. 20 Of all clean birds you may eat. 21 You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you may give it to the sojourner living among you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner: for you are a set-apart people to יהוהyour Elohim. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
22 You shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes forth from the field year by year. 23 You shall eat before יהוהyour Elohim, in the place which He shall choose, to cause His Name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear יהוהyour Elohim always. 24 If the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is too far from you, which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, to set His Name there, when יהוהyour Elohim shall bless you; 25 then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose: 26 and you shall bestow the money for whatever your being desires, for cattle, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your being asks of you; and you shall eat there before יהוהyour Elohim, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 The Levite who is within your gates, you shall not forsake him; for he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
28 At the end of every three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall lay it up within your gates: 29 and the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the sojourner who dwells with you, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that יהוהyour Elohim may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
151 At the end of every seven years you shall make a release. 2 This is the way of the release: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because the release of יהוהhas been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it: but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. 4 However there shall be no poor with you; (for יהוהwill surely bless you in the land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you for an inheritance to possess it;) 5 if only you diligently listen to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim, to guard to do all this command which I command you today. 6 For יהוהyour Elohim will bless you, as He promised you: and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
7 If a poor man, one of your brothers, is with you within any of your gates in your land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother; 8 but you shall surely open your hand to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in that which he wants. 9 Beware that there not be a worthless thought in your heart, saying, "The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand"; and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing; and he cry to יהוהagainst you, and it be sin to you. 10 You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; because that for this thing יהוהyour Elohim will bless you in all your work, and in all that you put your hand to. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying, You shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land.
12 If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, and serves you six years; then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 When you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty: 14 you shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, and out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress; as יהוהyour Elohim has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a bondservant in the land of Mitsrayim, and יהוהyour Elohim redeemed you: therefore I command you this thing today. 16 It shall be, if he tells you, "I will not go out from you"; because he loves you and your house, because he is well with you; 17 then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.
18 It shall not seem hard to you, when you let him go free from you; for to the double of the hire of a hireling has he served you six years: and יהוהyour Elohim will bless you in all that you do. 19 All the firstborn males that are born of your herd and of your flock you shall set apart to יהוהyour Elohim: you shall do no servile work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You shall eat it before יהוהyour Elohim year by year in the place which יהוהshall choose, you and your household. 21 If it have any blemish, whether lame or blind, any ill blemish whatever, you shall not slaughter it to יהוהyour Elohim. 22 You shall eat it within your gates: the unclean person and the clean personshall eat it alike, as the gazelle, and as the hart. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground as water.
161 Guard the new moon of the aviv, and keep the Pesaḥ to יהוהyour Elohim; for in the new moon of the aviv יהוהyour Elohim brought you forth out of Mitsrayim by night. 2 You shall slaughter the Pesaḥ to יהוהyour Elohim, of the flock and the herd, in the place which יהוהshall choose, to cause His Name to dwell there. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. You shall eat unleavened bread with it seven days, even the bread of affliction; for you came forth out of the land of Mitsrayim in haste: that you may remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Mitsrayim all the days of your life. 4 No leaven shall be seen with you in all your borders seven days; neither shall any of the flesh, which you slaughter the first day at evening, remain all night until the morning. 5 You may not slaughter the Pesaḥ within any of your gates, which יהוהyour Elohim gives you; 6 but at the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, to cause His Name to dwell in, there you shall slaughter the Pesaḥ at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the appointed time that you came forth out of Mitsrayim. 7 You shall boil and eat it in the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose: and you shall turn in the morning, and go to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to יהוהyour Elohim; you shall do no work on it. 9 You shall count for yourselves seven weeks: from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain you shall begin to number seven weeks. 10 You shall keep the Feast of Weeks to יהוהyour Elohim with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give, according as יהוהyour Elohim blesses you: 11 and you shall rejoice before יהוהyour Elohim, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates, and the sojourner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are in your midst, in the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, to cause His Name to dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a bondservant in Mitsrayim: and you shall guard and do these statutes.
13 You shall keep the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, after that you have gathered in from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your Feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite, and the sojourner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 You shall keep a Feast to יהוהyour Elohim seven days in the place which יהוהshall choose; because יהוהyour Elohim will bless you in all your increase, and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful. 16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before יהוהyour Elohim in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before יהוהempty: 17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of יהוהyour Elohim which He has given you.
1פסח(Pesaḥ) – Hebrew word commonly translated as "Passover." 10Feast of Weeks – Hebrew word שבעות(Shavuot), commonly translated as "Pentecost" from the Greek word πεντεκοντα(pen'te'kon'ta) meaning "fifty," as fifty days are counted. 13Feast of Tabernacles – Hebrew word סכת(Sukkot), meaning "booths" or "tents."