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14 “Three times[a] in the year you must make a pilgrim feast[b] to me. 15 You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days[c] you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of Abib, for at that time[d] you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before[e] me empty-handed.

16 “You are also to observe[f] 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[g] when you have gathered in[h] your harvest[i] out of the field. 17 At[j] three times in the year all your males will appear before the Sovereign Lord.[k]

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  1. Exodus 23:14 tn Heb “three feet” or “three foot-beats.” This adverbial accusative expression also occurs in Num 22:28, 32, 33.
  2. Exodus 23:14 tn This is the word תָּחֹג (takhog) from the root חָגַג (khagag); it describes a feast that was accompanied by a pilgrimage. It was first used by Moses in his appeal that Israel go three days into the desert to hold such a feast.
  3. Exodus 23:15 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.
  4. Exodus 23:15 tn Heb “in it.”
  5. Exodus 23:15 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”).
  6. Exodus 23:16 tn The words “you are also to observe” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  7. Exodus 23:16 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.
  8. Exodus 23:16 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the ingathering of you.”
  9. Exodus 23:16 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.
  10. Exodus 23:17 tn Adverbial accusative of time: “three times” becomes “at three times.”
  11. Exodus 23:17 tn Here the divine Name reads in Hebrew הָאָדֹן יְהוָה (haʾadon yehvah), 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.”

The Three Annual Festivals

14 “Three times(A) a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.

15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread;(B) for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv,(C) for in that month you came out of Egypt.

“No one is to appear before me empty-handed.(D)

16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest(E) with the firstfruits(F) of the crops you sow in your field.

“Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering(G) at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.(H)

17 “Three times(I) a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.

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