Harmony Of The Law Volume 2 by Jean Calvin
Three times shalt thou keep a feast. It is strange that Moses, who elsewhere enumerates several feast-days, should here only command them to appear in God's presence thrice a year. Where then is the feast of trumpets and the day of atonement? for undoubtedly all were to be celebrated at Jerusalem. In the first place, it is to be observed that the principal ones, to which the greater honor appertained, are here mentioned. Secondly, because the three holidays in the seventh month were almost continuous, (it is probable ) that some indulgence was given them, lest they should be absent from their homes the whole month; for at the beginning of the month the trumpets sounded, on the tenth day was the solemn fast, and on the fifteenth they began to dwell in the booths. If the necessity of remaining in Jerusalem had been imposed on all, so long a stay would have been burdensome. But, if they chose to be present from the beginning to the end, still there would have been only one journey, which is named after the most remarkable day. And certainly the word rglym, raglim, which Moses uses, means, metaphorically, rather journeys than times, although I allow that phmym, phagnemim, which signifies times, is used in Deuteronomy in a similar sense. At any rate, it appears that God spared His people, when prescribed only three necessary convocations, lest the fathers of families and their children should be wearied by the expense and trouble of them, since he approves of no service which does not proceed from a cheerful heart.