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Deuteronomy 16:13-17

Context
The Festival of Temporary Shelters

16:13 You must celebrate the Festival of Temporary Shelters 1  for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape harvest. 2  16:14 You are to rejoice in your festival, you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who are in your villages. 3  16:15 You are to celebrate the festival seven days before the Lord your God in the place he 4  chooses, for he 5  will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do; 6  so you will indeed rejoice! 16:16 Three times a year all your males must appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Temporary Shelters; and they must not appear before him 7  empty-handed. 16:17 Every one of you must give as you are able, 8  according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

1 tn 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.

2 tn Heb “when you gather in your threshing-floor and winepress.”

3 tn Heb “in your gates.”

4 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 16:1.

5 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 16:1.

6 tn Heb “in all the work of your hands” (so NASB, NIV); NAB, NRSV “in all your undertakings.”

7 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 16:1.

8 tn Heb “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.



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