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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Deuteronomy 26

 

 

Verses 1-19


The Presentation of Firsteruits and of Tithes

1-11. Presentation of the Firstfruits, as a Thankoffering for the mercy of God in delivering the nation from Egypt and in giving them a good land and fruitful seasons.

5. A Syrian] Jacob is meant. His mother came from Aram-naharaim (Genesis 24:10), and he himself spent fourteen years in that country (Genesis 28:1-5; Genesis 29-31). The term implies a suggestion of disparagement. For his going down to Egypt see Genesis 46.

11. Having dedicated their firstfruits the people were free to enjoy what remained.

12-15. On the tithe of the first and second year see on Deuteronomy 14:22, Deuteronomy 14:27, and on the tithe of the third year see on Deuteronomy 14:28, Deuteronomy 14:29. The latter was the poor's tithe, and was stored up and distributed among the needy.

13. Brought away the hallowed things] RV 'put away,' wholly parted with them. The 'hallowed things' are the tithes which were consecrated to Jehovah and could not be lawfully retained by the owner.

14. As the presence of a dead body was ceremonially defiling in the highest degree, the offerer here declares that neither he nor his tithe was defiled in this way. The words given thereof for the dead are understood by Jewish commentators to mean that the offerer had not used any part of the tithe to provide a coffin or grave-clothes for a dead person. More probably, however, they refer to the practice, common in Egypt e.g., of making a funeral feast. Thomson, in 'The Land and the Book,' says it is customary after a funeral to send presents of corn and food to the friends in the name of the dead: cp. Jeremiah 16:7 (cp. RV); Hosea 9:4. The Egyptians also placed food on the tombs of the dead, but it is doubtful whether this custom obtained among the Jews, although we read in the apocryphal book of Tobit (Deuteronomy 4:17): 'Pour out thy bread on the tomb (or, burial) of the just.' In any case the declaration in this passage means that the tithe has not been in any way ceremonially defiled.

16. These statutes] i.e. those contained in Deuteronomy 12-26, to which Deuteronomy 26:16-19 here form the hortatory conclusion.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 26:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/deuteronomy-26.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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