16 1Observe the month of Abib by celebrating the Passover to God, your God. It was in the month of Abib that God, your God, delivered you by night from Egypt. 2Offer the Passover–Sacrifice to God, your God, at the place God chooses to be worshiped by establishing his name there. 3Don’t eat yeast bread with it; for seven days eat it with unraised bread, hard–times bread, because you left Egypt in a hurry—that bread will keep the memory fresh of how you left Egypt for as long as you live. 4There is to be no sign of yeast anywhere for seven days. And don’t let any of the meat that you sacrifice in the evening be left over until morning. 5Don’t sacrifice the Passover in any of the towns that God, your God, gives you 6other than the one God, your God, designates for worship; there and there only you will offer the Passover–Sacrifice at evening as the sun goes down, marking the time that you left Egypt. 7Boil and eat it at the place designated by God, your God. Then, at daybreak, turn around and go home. 8Eat unraised bread for six days. Set aside the seventh day as a holiday; don’t do any work. 9Starting from the day you put the sickle to the ripe grain, count out seven weeks. 10Celebrate the Feast–of–Weeks to God, your God, by bringing your Freewill–Offering—give as generously as God, your God, has blessed you. 11Rejoice in the Presence of God, your God: you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, the Levite who lives in your neighborhood, the foreigner, the orphan and widow among you; rejoice at the place God, your God, will set aside to be worshiped. 12Don’t forget that you were once a slave in Egypt. So be diligent in observing these regulations. 13Observe the Feast–of–Booths for seven days when you gather the harvest from your threshing–floor and your wine–vat. 14Rejoice at your festival: you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, the Levite, the foreigner, and the orphans and widows who live in your neighborhood. 15Celebrate the Feast to God, your God, for seven days at the place God designates. God, your God, has been blessing you in your harvest and in all your work, so make a day of it—really celebrate! 16All your men must appear before God, your God, three times each year at the place he designates: at the Feast–of–Unraised–Bread (Passover), at the Feast–of–Weeks, and at the Feast–of–Booths. No one is to show up in the Presence of God empty–handed; 17each man must bring as much as he can manage, giving generously in response to the blessings of God, your God. 18Appoint judges and officers, organized by tribes, in all the towns that God, your God, is giving you. They are to judge the people fairly and honestly. 19Don’t twist the law. Don’t play favorites. Don’t take a bribe—a bribe blinds even a wise person; it undermines the intentions of the best of people. 20The right! The right! Pursue only what’s right! It’s the only way you can really live and possess the land that God, your God, is giving you. 21Don’t plant fertility Asherah trees alongside the Altar of God, your God, that you build. 22Don’t set up phallic sex pillars—God, your God, hates them.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About