Deuteronomy 26

1 And it shall be when thou shalt have entered into the land, which the Lord thy God gives thee to inherit it, and thou shalt have inherited it, and thou shalt have dwelt upon it,
2 that thou shalt take of the first of the fruits of thy land, which the Lord thy God gives thee, and thou shalt put them into a basket, and thou shalt go to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to have his name called there.
3 And thou shalt come to the priest who shall be in those days, and thou shalt say to him, I testify this day to the Lord my God, that I am come into the land which the Lord sware to our fathers to give to us.
4 And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hands, and shall set it before the altar of the Lord thy God:
5 and he shall answer and say before the Lord thy God, My father abandoned Syria, and went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a small number, and became there a mighty nation and a great multitude.
6 And the Egyptians afflicted us, and humbled us, and imposed hard tasks on us:
7 and we cried to the Lord our God, and the Lord heard our voice, and saw our humiliation, and our labour, and our affliction.
8 And the Lord brought us out of Egypt himself with his great strength, and his mighty hand, and his high arm, and with great visions, and with signs, and with wonders.
9 And he brought us into this place, and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
10 And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruits of the land, which thou gavest me, O Lord, a land flowing with milk and honey: and thou shalt leave it before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt worship before the Lord thy God;
11 and thou shalt rejoice in all the good , which the Lord thy God has given thee, and thy family, and the Levite, and the stranger that is within thee.
12 And when thou shalt have completed all the tithings of thy fruits in the third year, thou shalt give the second tenth to the Levite, and stranger, and fatherless, and widow; and they shall eat it in thy cities, and be merry.
13 And thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have fully collected the holy things out of my house, and I have given them to the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, according to all commands which thou didst command me: I did not transgress thy command, and I did not forget it.
14 And in my distress I did not eat of them, I have not gathered of them for an unclean purpose, I have not given of them to the dead; I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
15 Look down from thy holy house, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given them, as thou didst swear to our fathers, to give to us a land flowing with milk and honey.
16 On this day the Lord thy God charged thee to keep all the ordinances and judgments; and ye shall observe and do them, with all your heart, and with all your soul.
17 Thou hast chosen God this day to be thy God, and to walk in all his ways, and to observe his ordinances and judgments, and to hearken to his voice.
18 And the Lord has chosen thee this day that thou shouldest be to him a peculiar people, as he said, to keep his commands;
19 and that thou shouldest be above all nations, as he has made thee renowned, and a boast, and glorious, that thou shouldest be a holy people to the Lord thy God, as he has spoken.

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.

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 26

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