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Exodus 23:15-18

Context
23:15 You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days 1  you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of Abib, for at that time 2  you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before 3  me empty-handed.

23:16 “You are also to observe 4  the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors that you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year 5  when you have gathered in 6  your harvest 7  out of the field. 23:17 At 8  three times in the year all your males will appear before the Lord God. 9 

23:18 “You must not offer 10  the blood of my sacrifice with bread containing yeast; the fat of my festal sacrifice must not remain until morning. 11 

1 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

2 tn Heb “in it.”

3 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect; the nuance of permission works well here – no one is permitted to appear before God empty (Heb “and they will not appear before me empty”).

4 tn The words “you are also to observe” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the going in of the year.” The word “year” is the subjective genitive, the subject of the clause.

6 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the ingathering of you.”

7 tn Heb “gathered in your labors.” This is a metonymy of cause put for the effect. “Labors” are not gathered in, but what the labors produced – the harvest.

8 tn Adverbial accusative of time: “three times” becomes “at three times.”

9 tn Here the divine Name reads in Hebrew הָאָדֹן יְהוָה (haadon yÿhvah), which if rendered according to the traditional scheme of “Lord” for “Yahweh” would result in “Lord Lord.” A number of English versions therefore render this phrase “Lord God,” and that convention has been followed here.

10 tn The verb is תִּזְבַּח (tizbbakh), an imperfect tense from the same root as the genitive that qualifies the accusative “blood”: “you will not sacrifice the blood of my sacrifice.” The verb means “to slaughter”; since one cannot slaughter blood, a more general translation is required here. But if the genitive is explained as “my blood-sacrifice” (a genitive of specification; like “the evil of your doings” in Isa 1:16), then a translation of sacrifice would work (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 304).

11 sn See N. Snaith, “Exodus 23:18 and 34:25,” JTS 20 (1969): 533-34; see also M. Haran, “The Passover Sacrifice,” Studies in the Religion of Ancient Israel (VTSup), 86-116.



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