Deuteronomy 16:1-8

Key Verse(s):

Deuteronomy 16:6 (CSB)

6 Sacrifice the Passover animal only at the place where the Lord your God chooses to have his name dwell. Do this in the evening as the sun sets at the same time of day you departed from Egypt.


This passage contains very high level instructions for the Passover celebration and observance. The overall point is remembrance, not forgetting who the Israelites were, who they belong to, and what he did for them.

It immediately becomes apparent that the Passover is a very important observance, as an entire month is reserved for the event. It does not appear that the entire month is spent observing Passover, but that the week of Passover is held in this specific month, which of course is not a random month, but the month that God brought his people out of Egypt.

There is some sort of communal gathering that was to take place for Passover. Presumably there will be some spreading of the population in Canaan, and Deut. 16:5 even mentions the “towns the Lord your God is giving you.” But for Passover, the people come together, just like they would have been together during the exodus from Egypt, and during their journey through the wilderness.

There was to be a sacrifice, just as there was at Passover. Other than the animal coming from the herd or flock, there is not much detail given here about the animal. The focus here seems to be more on where the sacrifice is being made rather than what it is.

No bread was to have yeast either, likely a reminder of the hasty departure from Egypt. There was not time to await for bread to rise, just as the sacrifice was to be eaten the same evening, because it was not to be a sign that the Israelites would have been sticking around.

The passage closes with the command to “not do any work.” Perhaps this is a reminder that God was the one working, and this would eliminate any chance that the Israelites might claim their being saved was due to their own doing. But certainly it conforms to the commandment to have a sabbath day, and devote that day to God.


Lord, thank you for saving us! Just as you brought the Israelites out of Egypt, you break us out of the chains of sin. I am sorry for not always, actually, hardly ever, taking the time to thank you for just that. I pray that we, as your people, will take the time to recognize and worship you for saving us out of slavery and into life. Amen.


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