Honour the Lord with thy substance
Or, "out of thy substance" F14; for as it should be a man's own that he gives, and not another's, and therefore called "thy substance"; or, as the Septuagint version, "out of thy just labours", what is righteously and lawfully gotten, and not by fraud and oppression; so it is only a part of it, and not all, that is required; what in proportion to his substance can be prudently spared, and is sufficient and suitable to the call in Providence. A man's "substance" are his wealth and riches; his "mammon", as the Targum; which, in comparison of heavenly things, indeed have no substance in them: yet these are worldly substance, and of account; and as with these God has honoured men, they should honour him with them again, by giving to the poor, especially his poor saints; for as an oppressing of them is a reproaching of him, so having mercy on them is honouring him, ( Proverbs 14:31 ) ; and especially by contributing to the support of his worship, the keeping up the interest and credit of religion, and for the spread of the Gospel; and chiefly by communicating to the ministers of it, giving them the "double honour" which is due to them, and which, when given them, the Lord takes as done to himself, as an honouring him, ( 1 Timothy 5:17 ) ; and with the firstfruits of all thine increase;
or, "out of the chief of all thine increase" F15; God must have the best, and in the first place. The allusion is either to the maintenance of the priests and Levites under the law, and the manner of doing it; which, among other things, was out of the annual produce of the earth, and the firstfruits of it; and may respect the comfortable support of Gospel ministers under the present dispensation; see ( 1 Corinthians 9:13 1 Corinthians 9:14 ) ; or to the firstfruits of every kind offered to the Lord, and to the feast kept sacred to him at the ingathering the fruits of the earth, ( Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:17 Leviticus 23:39 ) ; and even among the Heathens formerly were something of the same kind. Aristotle says F16 the ancient sacrifices and assemblies were instituted as firstfruits, after the gathering of the fruits, at which time especially they ceased from working.
F14 (Knwhm) "e substantia tua", Montanus; "de substantia tua", Baynus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "de divitiis tuis", Mercerus, Gejerus; "de opibus tuis", Tigurine version, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.
F15 (Ktawbt lk tyvarm) "de praecipuo totius proventus tui", Junius & Tremellius.
F16 Ethic. l. 8. c. 11.