King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Deuteronomy 26

Confession in offering the first-fruits. (1-11) The prayer after disposal of the third year’s tithe. (12-15) The covenant between God and the people. (16-19)

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Confession in offering the first-fruits

1 And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;

2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.

3 And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.

4 And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.

5 And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

6 And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:

7 And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:

8 And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:

9 And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.

10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:

11 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.

The prayer after disposal of the third year’s tithe

12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;

13 Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them.

14 I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.

15 Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

The covenant between God and the people

16 This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

17 Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:

18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;

19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. It. The land where Moses was speaking, which had been already conquered, was no less under the obligation of paying the first-fruits, &c. than Chanaan, and the parts of Syria which were promised to the Israelites. H. — All the products of the earth seem to have been liable to be offered, (Mat. xxiii. 23,) in proportion as they ripened, at the feasts of the Passover and of Pentecost, (C.) and of tabernacles. M. — Yet we find no mention here of the therumah, or offering, of which the Rabbins speak so much, as distinct at least from the first-fruits, which were heaved both by the priest and the offerer towards heaven and earth, on the right and left hand. Each (C.) landholder, (H.) and even the king himself, was bound to bring his own basket to the temple, and to recite the words here prescribed. The wheat and barley were first winnowed, and the grapes and olives made into wine and oil. Before the offering was made to the Lord, no one was allowed to taste any of the produce. Lev. xxiii. 10. Num. xviii. 12. &c. Whether legumes were to be tithed, seems a matter of dispute. C.

Ver. 5. The Syrian. Laban. See Gen. xxvii. Ch. — Heb. “My father was a Syrian, poor, (or ready to perish) and he went down,” &c. The ancestors of Jacob had, in effect, come from beyond the Euphrates, and he had dwelt in Mesopotamia for twenty years. But the translation of the Sept. seems preferable, “My father abandoned (apebalen) Syria.” C.

Ver. 8. Terror. Sept. “with surprising visions,” (Heb.) or “with astonishing prodigies,” &c. C.

Ver. 10. God, with profound humility, acknowledging that all comes from him, (H.) and praying for a continuance of his fatherly protection. M.

Ver. 11. Feast. The Jews could not yet be required with propriety to raise themselves to delights purely spiritual. C. xii. 7. Strabo (x.) observes, that the Greeks and barbarians accompanied their sacrifices with feasting and music, which served to take off their thoughts from worldly concerns, and gave them a sort of foretaste of the divinity. C.

Ver. 12. Third. It has been remarked (C. xiv. 28. and Lev. xxvii. 30,) that the Jews gave two tithes every year, the second was for feasts at Jerusalem, or on the third year at home, if there was not also a third tithe due on that year. H.

Ver. 13. Taken. Heb. “burnt.” C. — I have brought all that was due, (T.) so that no more can be found in my house than what the fire would have spared, if it had been thrown into it.

Ver. 14. Mourning. It was then unlawful to taste what was set apart for the Lord, and even to touch a thing, at that time, would render it unclean. Osee ix. 4. Others explain it thus: I have not eaten, how much soever I was distressed; or, I eat it with a cheerful heart. But these interpretations seem unnatural. Spencer (Rit. ii. 24,) thinks rather that the Jews thus disclaim having given any worship to Isis, whom the Egyptians invoked after the harvest, with mournful cries. Diod. Sic. i. About the same season of the year, lamentations were also made for the death of Adonis, (Marcel. xxii.) and for that of Osiris. Firminus. — The PhÅ“nicians mourned in like manner for the desolate appearance of the earth, after the fruits were collected. The Egyptians thought that Isis had discovered fruits and corn, and therefore offered the first-fruits to her. But the Jews are here taught to refer all such favours to God alone, and they testify that they have taken no part in the superstitious rites of other nations, nor spent any thing in funerals. Heb. “upon the dead;” Osiris, &c. here styled uncleanness, by way of contempt. C.

Ver. 16. This day. In this last solemn harangue of Moses, the covenant between God and his people was ratified. M.

Ver. 19. To his own praise. Heb. Sept. &c. “higher…in praise, reputation, and glory.” H.