Good News Translation (GNB)
23

The Religious Festivals

231The LORD gave Moses 2the following regulations for the religious festivals, when the people of Israel are to gather for worship. 3

23.3:
Ex 20.8–10
23.12
31.15
34.21
35.2
Deut 5.12–14
You have six days in which to do your work, but remember that the seventh day, the Sabbath, is a day of rest. On that day do not work, but gather for worship. The Sabbath belongs to the LORD, no matter where you live. 4Proclaim the following festivals at the appointed times.

Passover and Unleavened Bread

(Num 28.16–25)

5

23.5:
Ex 12.1–13
Deut 16.1–2
The Passover, celebrated to honour the LORD, begins at sunset on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6
23.6–8:
Ex 12.14–20
23.15
34.18
Deut 16.3–8
On the fifteenth day the Festival of Unleavened Bread begins, and for seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast. 7On the first of these days you shall gather for worship and do none of your daily work. 8Offer your food offerings to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day you shall again gather for worship, but you shall do none of your daily work.

9-10When you come into the land that the LORD is giving you and you harvest your corn, take the first sheaf to the priest. 11He shall present it as a special offering to the LORD, so that you may be accepted. The priest shall present it the day after the Sabbath. 12On the day you present the offering of corn, also sacrifice as a burnt offering a one-year-old male lamb that has no defects. 13With it you shall present two kilogrammes of flour mixed with olive oil as a food offering. The smell of this offering is pleasing to the LORD. You shall also present with it an offering of one litre of wine. 14Do not eat any of the new corn, whether raw, roasted, or baked into bread, until you have brought this offering to God. This regulation is to be observed by all your descendants for all time to come.

The Harvest Festival

(Num 28.26–31)

15

23.15–21:
Ex 23.16
34.22
Deut 16.9–12
Count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath on which you bring your sheaf of corn to present to the LORD. 16On the fiftieth day, the day after the seventh Sabbath, present to the LORD another new offering of corn. 17Each family is to bring two loaves of bread and present them to the LORD as a special gift. Each loaf shall be made of two kilogrammes of flour baked with yeast and shall be presented to the Lord as an offering of the first corn to be harvested. 18And with the bread the community is to present seven one-year-old lambs, one bull, and two rams, none of which may have any defects. They shall be offered as a burnt offering to the LORD, together with a grain offering and a wine offering. The smell of this offering is pleasing to the LORD. 19Also offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. 20The priest shall present the bread with the two lambs as a special gift to the LORD for the priests. These offerings are holy. 21On that day do none of your daily work, but gather for worship. Your descendants are to observe this regulation for all time to come, no matter where they live.

22

23.22:
Lev 19.9–10
Deut 24.19–22
When you harvest your fields, do not cut the corn at the edges of the fields, and do not go back to cut the ears of corn that were left; leave them for poor people and foreigners. The LORD is your God.

The New Year Festival

(Num 29.1–6)

23-24On the first day of the seventh month observe a special day of rest, and come together for worship when the trumpets sound. 25Present a food offering to the LORD and do none of your daily work.

The Day of Atonement

(Num 29.7–11)

26-27

23.26–32:
Lev 16.29–34
The tenth day of the seventh month is the day when the annual ritual is to be performed to take away the sins of the people. On that day do not eat anything at all; come together for worship, and present a food offering to the Lord. 28Do no work on that day, because it is the day for performing the ritual to take away sin. 29Anyone who eats anything on that day will no longer be considered one of God's people. 30And if anyone does any work on that day, the LORD himself will put him to death. 31This regulation applies to all your descendants, no matter where they live. 32From sunset on the ninth day of the month to sunset on the tenth observe this day as a special day of rest, during which nothing may be eaten.

The Festival of Shelters

(Num 29.12–40)

33-34

23.33–36:
Deut 16.13–15
The Festival of Shelters begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and continues for seven days. 35On the first of these days come together for worship and do none of your daily work. 36Each day for seven days you shall present a food offering. On the eighth day come together again for worship and present a food offering. It is a day for worship, and you shall do no work.

37(These are the religious festivals on which you honour the LORD by gathering together for worship and presenting food offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and wine offerings, as required day by day. 38These festivals are in addition to the regular Sabbaths, and these offerings are in addition to your regular gifts, your offerings in fulfilment of vows, and your freewill offerings that you give to the LORD.)

39When you have harvested your fields, celebrate this festival for seven days, beginning on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. The first day shall be a special day of rest. 40On that day take some of the best fruit from your trees, take palm branches and the branches of leafy trees, and begin a religious festival to honour the LORD your God. 41Celebrate it for seven days. This regulation is to be kept by your descendants for all time to come. 42All the people of Israel shall live in shelters for seven days, 43so that your descendants may know that the LORD made the people of Israel live in simple shelters when he led them out of Egypt. He is the LORD your God.

44So in this way Moses gave the people of Israel the regulations for observing the religious festivals to honour the LORD.

24

Taking Care of the Lamps

(Ex 27.20–21)

241The LORD told Moses 2to give the following orders to the people of Israel: Bring pure olive oil of the finest quality for the lamps in the Tent, so that a light may be kept burning regularly. 3Each evening Aaron shall light them and keep them burning until morning, there in the LORD's presence outside the curtain in front of the Covenant Box, which is in the Most Holy Place. This regulation is to be observed for all time to come. 4Aaron shall take care of the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold and must see that they burn regularly in the LORD's presence.

The Bread Offered to God

5

24.5–6:
Ex 25.30
Take twelve kilogrammes of flour and bake twelve loaves of bread. 6Put the loaves in two rows, six in each row, on the table covered with pure gold, which is in the LORD's presence. 7Put some pure incense on each row, as a token food offering to the LORD to take the place of the bread. 8Every Sabbath, for all time to come, the bread must be placed in the presence of the LORD. This is Israel's duty for ever. 9
24.9:
Mt 12.4
Mk 2.26
Lk 6.4
The bread belongs to Aaron and his descendants, and they shall eat it in a holy place, because this is a very holy part of the food offered to the LORD for the priests.

An Example of Just and Fair Punishment

10-11There was a man whose father was an Egyptian and whose mother was an Israelite named Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri from the tribe of Dan. There in the camp this man quarrelled with an Israelite. During the quarrel he cursed God, so they took him to Moses, 12put him under guard, and waited for the LORD to tell them what to do with him.

13The LORD said to Moses, 14“Take that man out of the camp. Everyone who heard him curse shall put his hands on the man's head to testify that he is guilty, and then the whole community shall stone him to death. 15Then tell the people of Israel that anyone who curses God must suffer the consequences 16and be put to death. Any Israelite or any foreigner living in Israel who curses the LORD shall be stoned to death by the whole community.

17

24.17:
Ex 21.12
“Anyone who commits murder shall be put to death, 18and anyone who kills an animal belonging to someone else must replace it. The principle is a life for a life.

19“If anyone injures another person, whatever he has done shall be done to him. 20

24.20:
Ex 21.23–25
Deut 19.21
Mt 5.38
If he breaks a bone, one of his bones shall be broken; if he blinds him in one eye, one of his eyes shall be blinded; if he knocks out a tooth, one of his teeth shall be knocked out. Whatever injury he causes another person shall be done to him in return. 21Whoever kills an animal shall replace it, but whoever kills a human being shall be put to death. 22
24.22:
Num 15.16
This law applies to all of you, to Israelites and to foreigners living among you, because I am the LORD your God.”

23When Moses had said this to the people of Israel, they took the man outside the camp and stoned him to death. In this way the people of Israel did what the LORD had commanded Moses.

25

The Seventh Year

(Deut 15.1–11)

251

25.1–7:
Ex 23.10–11
The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and commanded him 2to give the following regulations to the people of Israel. When you enter the land that the LORD is giving you, you shall honour the LORD by not cultivating the land every seventh year. 3You shall sow your fields, prune your vineyards, and gather your crops for six years. 4But the seventh year is to be a year of complete rest for the land, a year dedicated to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not even harvest the corn that grows by itself without being sown, and do not gather the grapes from your unpruned vines; it is a year of complete rest for the land. 6Although the land has not been cultivated during that year, it will provide food for you, your slaves, your hired men, the foreigners living with you, 7your domestic animals, and the wild animals in your fields. Everything that it produces may be eaten.

The Year of Restoration

8Count seven times seven years, a total of 49 years. 9Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement, send someone to blow a trumpet throughout the whole land. 10In this way you shall set the fiftieth year apart and proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants of the land. During this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to the original owner or his descendants, and anyone who has been sold as a slave shall return to his family. 11You shall not sow your fields or harvest the corn that grows by itself or gather the grapes in your unpruned vineyards. 12The whole year shall be sacred for you; you shall eat only what the fields produce of themselves.

13In this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to its original owner. 14So when you sell land to your fellow-Israelite or buy land from him, do not deal unfairly. 15The price is to be fixed according to the number of years the land can produce crops before the next Year of Restoration. 16If there are many years, the price shall be higher, but if there are only a few years, the price shall be lower, because what is being sold is the number of crops the land can produce. 17Do not cheat a fellow-Israelite, but obey the LORD your God.

The Problem of the Seventh Year

18Obey all the LORD's laws and commands, so that you may live in safety in the land. 19The land will produce its crops, and you will have all you want to eat and will live in safety.

20But someone may ask what there will be to eat during the seventh year, when no fields are sown and no crops gathered. 21The LORD will bless the land in the sixth year so that it will produce enough food for two years. 22When you sow your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating what you harvested during the sixth year, and you will have enough to eat until the crops you plant that year are harvested.

Restoration of Property

23Your land must not be sold on a permanent basis, because you do not own it; it belongs to God, and you are like foreigners who are allowed to make use of it.

24When land is sold, the right of the original owner to buy it back must be recognized. 25If an Israelite becomes poor and is forced to sell his land, his closest relative is to buy it back. 26Anyone who has no relative to buy it back may later become prosperous and have enough to buy it back. 27In that case he must pay to the man who bought it a sum that will make up for the years remaining until the next Year of Restoration, when he would in any event recover his land. 28But if he does not have enough money to buy the land back, it remains under the control of the man who bought it until the next Year of Restoration. In that year it will be returned to its original owner.

29If someone sells a house in a walled city, he has the right to buy it back during the first full year from the date of sale. 30But if he does not buy it back within the year, he loses the right of repurchase, and the house becomes the permanent property of the purchaser and his descendants; it will not be returned in the Year of Restoration. 31But houses in unwalled villages are to be treated like fields; the original owner has the right to buy them back, and they are to be returned in the Year of Restoration. 32However, Levites have the right to buy back at any time their property in the cities assigned to them. 33If a house in one of these cities is sold by a Levite and is not bought back, it must be returned in the Year of Restoration,25.33 Probable text If a houseRestoration; Hebrew unclear. because the houses which the Levites own in their cities are their permanent property among the people of Israel. 34But the pasture land round the Levite cities shall never be sold; it is their property for ever.

Loans to the Poor

35

25.35:
Deut 15.7–8
If a fellow-Israelite living near you becomes poor and cannot support himself or herself, you must provide for them as you would for hired servants, so that they can continue to live near you. 36Do not charge them any interest, but obey God and let your fellow-Israelites live near you. 37
25.37:
Ex 22.25
Deut 23.19–20
Do not make them pay interest on the money you lend them, and do not make a profit on the food you sell them. 38This is the command of the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt in order to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

Release of Slaves

39

25.39–46:
Ex 21.2–6
Deut 15.12–18
If a fellow-Israelite living near you becomes so poor that he sells himself to you as a slave, you shall not make him do the work of a slave. 40He shall stay with you as a hired servant and serve you until the next Year of Restoration. 41At that time he and his children shall leave you and return to his family and to the property of his ancestors. 42The people of Israel are the LORD's slaves, and he brought them out of Egypt; they must not be sold into slavery. 43Do not treat them harshly, but obey your God. 44If you need slaves, you may buy them from the nations round you. 45You may also buy the children of the foreigners who are living among you. Such children born in your land may become your property, 46and you may leave them as an inheritance to your sons, whom they must serve as long as they live. But you must not treat any of your fellow-Israelites harshly.

47Suppose a foreigner living with you becomes rich, while a fellow-Israelite becomes poor and sells himself as a slave to that foreigner or to a member of his family. 48After he is sold, he still has the right to be bought back. One of his brothers 49or his uncle or his cousin or another of his close relatives may buy him back; or if he himself earns enough, he may buy his own freedom. 50He must consult the one who bought him, and they must count the years from the time he sold himself until the next Year of Restoration and must set the price for his release on the basis of the wages paid to a hired servant. 51-52He must refund a part of the purchase price according to the number of years left, 53as if he had been hired on an annual basis. His master must not treat him harshly. 54If he is not set free in any of these ways, he and his children must be set free in the next Year of Restoration. 55An Israelite cannot be a permanent slave, because the people of Israel are the LORD's slaves. He brought them out of Egypt; he is the LORD their God.