DEUTERONOMY 31
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12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children [ anashim and nashim, and banim], and thy stranger [ger] that is within thy gates [she'arim], that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear Yahweh your elohim, and observe [ be shomer] to do all the words of this law [kol divrei hatorah hazot]:

13 And that their children [banim], which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear Yahweh your elohim, as long as ye live in the land [ha'adamah] whither ye go over Jordan [Yarden] to possess it.


It is customary to think of these appointments as mere ceremonials that have no life in them; but it is evident that they were intended to have, and calculated to have, and did in fact in many cases have, a powerful and spiritual effect on the mind...

This formal reading of the whole law was only to be once in seven years, "In the solemnity of the year of release", but in some form or other, every feast of the year brought God before the nation...

We are considering at present the character of all these institutions as modes of national life, when they were in force in the land, and the effect of their contemplation is to generate those rapturous sentiments of admiration with which the Psalms of David abound.

What a joyous, subdued, ennobling occasion it would be for all Israel to come together, released from their daily toils for a season, and in full enjoyment of each other's society, opening their minds in gratitude in the historic contemplations involved in the feast.

We must also remember that all these public occasions would be tinctured with the spirit of those private commandments which enjoined kindness to the unfortunate and justice to all. A feast sweetened with mercy and truth, and enjoyed with the opulent plenty of every barn-floor and vineyard, and adorned with all the picturesque accessories of a beautiful land and a beautiful situation, intermingled with song and feasting and prayer, exhibits even at this distant date a definite idea of what human life ought to be, and cheers the heart with some prospect of a day to come when that idea will be realized over the wide world, when the kingdom is restored to Israel and all nations made subject to the sway of their king.

Oh, happy day, when many people shall go and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob' for he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths."

Law of Moses Ch 9