Deuteronomy 16

1“Remember the month of Abib. At that time, you must celebrate Passover to honor the Lord your God. Why? Because in that month the Lord your God brought you out from Egypt by night. 2You must go to the place the Lord will choose to be his special house. There you must offer the Passover sacrifice to honor the Lord. You must offer the cows and goats. 3Don’t eat bread that has yeast in it with this sacrifice. You must eat unleavened bread for seven days. This bread is called 'Bread of Trouble.’ It will help you remember the troubles you had in Egypt. Remember how quickly you had to leave that country! You must remember that day as long as you live. 4There must be no yeast in anyone’s house anywhere in the country for seven days. Also, all the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day must be eaten before morning. 5“You must not sacrifice the Passover animal in any of the towns that the Lord your God gives you. 6You must sacrifice the Passover animal only at the place that the Lord your God will choose to be his special house. There you must sacrifice the Passover animal in the evening when the sun goes down. This is the holiday when you remember that God brought you out of Egypt. 7You must cook the Passover meat and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. Then, in the morning, you may go back home. 8You must eat unleavened bread six days. On the seventh day you must not do any work. On this day, the people will come together for a special meeting to honor the Lord your God. 9“You must count seven weeks from the time you began to harvest the grain. 10Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks for the Lord your God. Do this by bringing him some special gift you want to bring. Decide how much to give by thinking about how much the Lord your God has blessed you. 11Go to the place the Lord will choose to be his special house. You and your people should enjoy yourselves together there with the Lord your God. Take all your people with you—your sons, your daughters, and all your servants. Also, take the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows living in your towns. 12Remember, you were slaves in Egypt. So be sure to obey these laws. 13“Seven days after you have gathered your harvest in from your threshing floor and from your winepress, you should celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 14Enjoy yourselves at this festival—you, your sons, your daughters, all your servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows living in your towns. 15Celebrate this festival for seven days at the special place the Lord will choose. Do this to honor the Lord your God. The Lord your God blessed your harvest and all the work you did. So be very happy! 16“Three times a year all your men must come to meet with the Lord your God at the special place he will choose. They must come for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Shelters. Every person that comes to meet with the Lord must bring a gift. 17Each man should give as much as he can. He should decide how much to give by thinking about how much the Lord has given him. 18“Choose men to be judges and officers in every town that the Lord your God gives you. Every family group must do this. And these men must be fair in judging the people. 19You must always be fair. You must not favor some people over other people. You must not take money to change your mind in judgment. Money blinds the eyes of wise people and changes what a good person will say. 20Goodness and Fairness! You must try very hard to be good and fair all the time! Then you will live and keep the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 21“When you set up an altar for the Lord your God, you must not place beside the altar any of the wooden poles that honor the goddess Asherah. 22And you must not set up special stones for worshiping false gods. The Lord your God hates those things.

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