Read Deuteronomy 15:1-16:17 at Bible Gateway.
Previously: deuteronomy 16:13-17, blessing in all your work
(Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic. The paragraph divisions reveal the chiastic structures: narratives which zero in on the main point of the narrative at its center, like a bull’s eye at the center of a target. The main point is revealed, because the narrative elements before the main point (or central axis) are repeated after the central axis, in reverse order, while the central axis itself is not repeated.)
The fourth commandment is explained in Deu 15:1-16:17, and this is my summary of it. It turns out this entire section forms a single chiastic structure:
1a) Deu 15:1-6, Release of debts:
– 1a.1) Deu 15:1-5, Count seven years and grant a release of debts;
– 1a.2) Deu 15:6 s, For the LORD your God will bless you just as He promised you;
1b) Deu 15:7-11 s, You shall not withhold from the poor because of the seventh year;
1c) Deu 15:12-18 p, Count seven years and grant a release from slavery;
1d) Deu 15:15, You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord redeemed you;
central axis) Deu 15:19-23 p, The firstborn males shall not be worked;
2d) Deu 16:1-3, Keep the Passover in Abib that you may remember the day you came out of Egypt;
2c) Deu 16:4-8 s, Count seven days to observe Unleavened Bread;
2b) Deu 16:9-12 p, You shall keep the feast of Weeks with an offering as the Lord has blessed you;
2a) Deu 16:13-17, Tabernacles:
– 2a.1) Deu 16:13-15a, Count seven days to observe Tabernacles;
– 2a.2) Deu 16:15b-17 s, Because the Lord will bless you in all the work of your hands.
We can see from this explanation of Honor the Sabbath Day to keep it holy, that to honor the Sabbath is to have regard for the rest which God has freely given us, even though in this fallen world what we deserve is painful toil to provide for our needs until we return to the dust (Gen 3:). When we are living in His Kingdom (when we live as if He is our King, who gives us commandments that we obey), His blessing comes upon the labor of our hands, so that we can do as He has done. We grant release from debts owed to us just as our Father has done for us. We remember the day we were transferred as slaves from the kingdom of Egypt (darkness), and release others who are slaves. We can give a worship offering or tithe from the increase of our harvest (our income) in gratitude for the Lord’s blessing, and because we do so, the Lord will bless our work even more greatly. Since the typically poorer classes are provided for from the tithe (Levites, strangers, widows, fatherless), to not neglect the tithe on our income is to have regard for the poor.
Remember that we are now free men of the Lord’s kingdom, and His blessing rests upon the work of our hands, therefore in our working we rest on the seventh day; in our income we give the poor rest from debt, bondage, and lack; and we remember and honor the Lord with rejoicing on His holy days, for all the good and blessing He has done to us.
Continued: deuteronomy 16:18-18:22, honor your father and mother
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