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Leviticus 23:3 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(3) Six days shall work be done.—Recurring every week, and being the most important as well as the oldest of all festivals, the sabbath introduces the holy seasons. Hence, during the second Temple it was declared that “the sabbath is in importance equal to the whole law; he who profanes the sabbath openly is like him who transgresses the whole law.” The hour at which it began and ended was announced by three blasts of the trumpets.

Ye shall do no work therein.—Better, ye shall do no manner of work, as the Authorised version renders this phrase in Lev. 23:31 of this very chapter. (See Lev. 16:29.) Whilst on all other festivals servile work only was forbidden (see Lev. 23:7-8; Lev. 23:21; Lev. 23:25; Lev. 23:35-36), and work connected with the preparation of the necessary food was permitted (see Exo. 12:16), the sabbath and the day of atonement were the only days on which the Israelites were prohibited to engage in any work whatsoever. (See Lev. 23:28; Lev. 23:30; Lev. 16:29.) Though manual labour on the sabbath was punished with death by lapidation (see Exo. 31:14-15; Exo. 35:2; Num. 15:35-36), and though the authorities during the second Temple multiplied and registered most minutely the things which constitute labour, yet these administrators of the Law have enacted that in cases of illness and of any danger work is permitted. They laid down the principle that “the sabbath is delivered into your hand, but not you into the hand of the sabbath.” Similar is the declaration of Christ (Mat. 12:8, Mar. 2:27-28).

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 23:3 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 23:3 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 23:3 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 23:3 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Leviticus 23:3 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Leviticus 23:3 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 23:3 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 23:3 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 23:3 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Leviticus 23:3 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Leviticus 23:3 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Leviticus 23:3 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 23:3 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 23:3 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 23:3 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)