The Agora
Bible Commentary

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Deuteronomy 26

Deu 26:1

Deu 26: "This important law concerning tithes is brought before the ecclesia of Moses. It reinforced the wisdom of the Deity that He requires a return from that with which He blesses His people. It is only right that this be so. And the liberality of Yahweh is revealed in the fact that the tithe was only a tenth of the whole, as representative of all the divine blessings. Significantly, this chapter concludes the Mosaic Code, and completes the instruction. The tithe thus summarizes the believer's attitude towards his God.

"Moses speaks concerning (1) confession of dependence to be made when presenting the firstfruits: vv 1-11; (2) confession made when presenting tithes by the third year: vv 12-15; and (3) Moses' solemn admonition to observe these laws and statues: vv 16-19. The section shows Yahweh as the Giver of Good (Jam 1:17). The memorial Name of 'Yahweh thy Elohim' is used 299 times in Deuteronomy. It expresses a personal and exclusive relationship between Yahweh and Israel. This was expressed by the ritual of the tithing. Every Israelite had to individually avow that the inheritance he enjoyed was from Yahweh and not by personal merit. It thus proclaimed the doctrine of grace and gratitude, the offering in return thus being one of understanding and reason (Rom 12:1). In presenting his 'basket of firstfruits,' the worshipper pledged his life and service to Yahweh. And in presenting the tithes every three years, he had to publicly declare that he had withheld nothing that was Yahweh's due (v 14); and Yahweh, on the basis of that, invoked a blessing upon the people and the land" (GEM).

Vv 1,2,3,15: Yahweh the giver of every good gift: Jam 1:17.

Deu 26:5

A WANDERING ARAMEAN: "A Syrian laboring in service" (similar in Heb). Jacob in Syria, oppressed by the cruel, treacherous Laban (Gen 31:38-42).

Deu 26:14

I HAVE NOT EATEN ANY OF THE SACRED PORTION WHILE I WAS IN MOURNING: The oriental practice was to have lavish feasts at funerals, to feed and entertain those who attend, and to spend large amounts to hire mourners. Even such a pressing, unforeseen matter was not to deter a man from performing his vows to God (LB 104,105).

Previous Index Next