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Deuteronomy 26

Firstfruits and Tithes

1 When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it,
2 take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name
3 and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.”
4 The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God.
5 Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous.
6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor.
7 Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression.
8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.
9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey;
10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, LORD, have given me.” Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before him.
11 Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.
12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.
13 Then say to the LORD your God: “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them.
14 I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while I was in mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor have I offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the LORD my God; I have done everything you commanded me.
15 Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Follow the LORD’s Commands

16 The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
17 You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him.
18 And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.
19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.

Deuteronomy 26 Commentary

Chapter 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)

Verses 1-11 When God has made good his promises to us, he expects we should own it to the honour of his faithfulness. And our creature comforts are doubly sweet, when we see them flowing from the fountain of the promise. The person who offered his first-fruits, must remember and own the mean origin of that nation, of which he was a member. A Syrian ready to perish was my father. Jacob is here called a Syrian. Their nation in its infancy sojourned in Egypt as strangers, they served there as slaves. They were a poor, despised, oppressed people in Egypt; and though become rich and great, had no reason to be proud, secure, or forgetful of God. He must thankfully acknowledge God's great goodness to Israel. The comfort we have in our own enjoyments, should lead us to be thankful for our share in public peace and plenty; and with present mercies we should bless the Lord for the former mercies we remember, and the further mercies we expect and hope for. He must offer his basket of first-fruits. Whatever good thing God gives us, it is his will that we make the most comfortable use we can of it, tracing the streams to the Fountain of all consolation.

Verses 12-15 How should the earth yield its increase, or, if it does, what comfort can we take in it, unless therewith our God gives us his blessing? All this represented the covenant relation between a reconciled God and every true believer, and the privileges and duties belonging to it. We must be watchful, and show that according to the covenant of grace in Christ Jesus, the Lord is our God, and we are his people, waiting in his appointed way for the performance of his gracious promises.

Verses 16-19 Moses here enforces the precepts. They are God's laws, therefore thou shalt do them, to that end were they given thee; do them, and dispute them not; do them, and draw not back; do them, not carelessly and hypocritically, but with thy heart and soul, thy whole heart and thy whole soul. We forswear ourselves, and break the most sacred engagement, if, when we have taken the Lord to be our God, we do not make conscience of obeying his ( 1 Peter. 1:2 ) should be holy, ( Ephesians 1:4 ) ; purified a peculiar people, that we might not only do good works, but be zealous in them, Tit. 2:14 . Holiness is true honour, and the only way to everlasting honour.

Cross References 31

  • 1. S Exodus 22:29">Exodus 22:29; Exodus 22:29">Exodus 22:29; Exodus 23:16,19; Numbers 18:13; Proverbs 3:9
  • 2. S Exodus 20:24; S Deuteronomy 12:5
  • 3. S Genesis 20:13
  • 4. S Genesis 25:20; Hosea 12:12
  • 5. S Genesis 34:30; Genesis 43:14; Genesis 43:1-2; Genesis 45:7,11; Genesis 46:27; Deuteronomy 10:22
  • 6. S Genesis 12:2
  • 7. S Numbers 20:15; Exodus 1:11,14
  • 8. S Exodus 1:13
  • 9. S Genesis 21:17; Exodus 2:23-25
  • 10. Exodus 3:9; 2 Kings 13:4; 2 Kings 14:26
  • 11. S Genesis 16:11
  • 12. Psalms 42:9; Psalms 44:24; Psalms 72:14
  • 13. S Numbers 20:16
  • 14. S Exodus 3:20
  • 15. S Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 34:11-12
  • 16. S Exodus 3:8
  • 17. S Deuteronomy 8:18
  • 18. Deuteronomy 12:12; Deuteronomy 12:7
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 16:11
  • 20. S Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30
  • 21. S Numbers 18:24; Deuteronomy 14:28-29; Hebrews 7:5,9
  • 22. Ps 119:141,153,176
  • 23. Leviticus 7:20; Hosea 9:4
  • 24. Psalms 68:5; Psalms 80:14; Psalms 102:19; Isaiah 63:15; Zechariah 2:13
  • 25. S Exodus 39:43
  • 26. Deuteronomy 4:29
  • 27. Exodus 19:8; Psalms 48:14
  • 28. Exodus 6:7; Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Deuteronomy 28:9
  • 29. Isaiah 62:7; Zephaniah 3:20
  • 30. Deuteronomy 4:7-8; Deuteronomy 28:1,13,44; 1 Chronicles 14:2; Psalms 148:14; Isaiah 40:11
  • 31. Exodus 19:6; S Deuteronomy 7:6; 1 Peter 2:9

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the basket of firstfruits to be brought and presented to the Lord, and the confession to be made along with it, De 26:1-11; and of the declaration to be made on the third year, the year of tithing, and the prayer annexed to it, De 26:12-15; and of the covenant made in a solemn manner between God and the people of Israel, De 26:16-19.

Deuteronomy 26 Commentaries

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