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DEUTERONOMY - CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX
This is a repetition and expansion of the "Law of the Firstfruits," see Exodus 23:19; Numbers 18:12-14; Deuteronomy 18:4. This provision deals specifically with the produce of the field, orchard, and vineyard.
"Basket," tene, "basket of woven or twisted work, wickerwork."
"The priest," not the high priest, but the common priest, particularly the one on duty at the time of the offering.
This offering was the acknowledgment that Israel was in possession of the Land, and confession of their stewardship and God’s ownership. This symbolizes the basis of Christian stewardship today.
After the offerer presented his basket of firstfruits and the priest accepted it, he was to repeat a dedicatory prayer tracing Israel’s history from Jacob to the present, and his identification with God’s people.
"Syrian," aramim, "Aramaean," a resident of Mesopotamia. The reference here is to Jacob, likely because of his long residence in Mesopotamia, and the beginning of his family there, see Genesis chapters 29-33. Also, his was the region from which Abraham had come, Genesis 11:31.
The prayer recounts the move to Egypt, the growth of the nation in that land, their bondage, deliverance, and entrance into Canaan.
The offering of the firstfruits was to be presented unto the Lord on the altar, following the prayer. It was a joyous occasion, as the offerer confessed the gracious dealings of Jehovah with himself personally and with Israel generally.
For the "third year," the "year of tithing," see Deuteronomy 14:28-29.
"Say before the Lord," that is, to address Him as present, reading to hear. It does not necessarily demand that one be physically present at the sanctuary before the altar.
"I have not transgressed," affirmation that one has not neglected his duties in bringing the tithes to the sanctuary, as the Law prescribed, Le 27; 30-33; Numbers 20-32.
"In my mourning," literally, "while ceremonially unclean," see Leviticus 7:20; Leviticus 21:1-8, due to death in the family.
The offerer affirmed that he had not taken any part of the tithe for his own personal use, or while ceremonially unclean, Leviticus 22:23.
Verse 15 is a prayer for Jehovah’s blessings upon Israel, because of the ceremonial cleanness and the legal obedience of the people of the Land. This is a reminder that a nation is clean and upright before God only as its citizens are clean and upright before Him.
This is the conclusion of Moses’ address. It is a solemn plea to Israel that they keep Jehovah’s laws, statutes, commandments, ways, judgments. It is a reminder that they had entered into covenant with God to do this, Exodus 19:8; Exodus 24:3; Exodus 24:7.
"Avouched," amar, "say," also translated "answer (98 times), promise, declare, determine," implying a public response.
When Israel publicly promised to obey Jehovah, He then publicly promised that Israel would be His own personal people.
The Law Covenant was conditional. Its blessings were contingent upon Israel’s obedience. Their blessing and exaltation would come from God’s own hand as they obeyed Him.
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 26". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany