Deuteronomy 14

Clean and Unclean Animals

1 "You are 1the sons of the LORD your God; 2you shall not cut yourselves nor shave * your forehead * for the sake of the dead.
2 "For you are 3a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a 4people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
3 "5You shall not eat any detestable thing.
4 "6These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep *, the goat,
5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.
6 "Any animal that divides the hoof and has the hoof split in two and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat.
7 "Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these among those which chew the cud, or among those that divide the hoof in two: the camel and the rabbit and the shaphan, for though they chew the cud, they do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you.
8 "The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.
9 "These you may eat of all that are in water: anything that has fins and scales you may eat,
10 but anything that does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.
11 "You may eat any clean bird.
12 "But 7these are the ones which you shall not eat: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard,
13 and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds,
14 and every raven in its kind,
15 and the ostrich, the owl, the sea gull, and the hawk in their kinds,
16 the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
17 the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
18 the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.
19 "And all the teeming life with wings are unclean to you; they shall not be eaten.
20 "You may eat any clean bird.
21 "8You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are 9a holy people to the LORD your God. 10You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
22 "You 11shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year.
23 "You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, 12at the place where * He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may 13learn to fear the LORD your God always *.
24 "If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where * the LORD your God chooses 14to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses you,
25 then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses.
26 "You may spend the money for whatever * your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever * your heart desires; and 15there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.
27 "Also you shall not neglect 16the Levite who is in your town, 17for he has no portion or inheritance among you.
28 "18At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town.
29 "The Levite, 19because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and 20the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and 21eat and be satisfied, in order that 22the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Deuteronomy 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

The Israelites to distinguish themselves from other nations. (1-21) Respecting the application of tithes. (22-29)

Verses 1-21 Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; "The Lord hath chosen thee." He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, ( Ephesians 1:4 ) . Here is adoption; "Ye are the children of the Lord your God;" not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; "Thou art a holy people." God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live!

Verses 22-29 A second portion from the produce of their land was required. The whole appointment evidently was against the covetousness, distrust, and selfishness of the human heart. It promoted friendliness, liberality, and cheerfulness, and raised a fund for the relief of the poor. They were taught that their worldly portion was most comfortably enjoyed, when shared with their brethren who were in want. If we thus serve God, and do good with what we have, it is promised that the Lord our God will bless us in all the works of our land. The blessing of God is all to our outward prosperity; and without that blessing, the work of our hands will bring nothing to pass. The blessing descends upon the working hand. Expect not that God should bless thee in thy idleness and love of ease. And it descends upon the giving hand. He who thus scatters, certainly increases; and to be free and generous in the support of religion, and any good work, is the surest and safest way of thriving.

Cross References 22

  • 1. Romans 8:16; Romans 9:8, 26; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:1
  • 2. Leviticus 19:28; Leviticus 21:5; Jeremiah 16:6; Jeremiah 41:5
  • 3. Leviticus 20:26; Deuteronomy 7:6; Romans 12:1
  • 4. Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 26:18; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9
  • 5. Ezekiel 4:14
  • 6. Leviticus 11:2-45; Acts 10:14
  • 7. Leviticus 11:13
  • 8. Leviticus 17:15; Leviticus 22:8; Ezekiel 4:14; Ezekiel 44:31
  • 9. Deuteronomy 14:2
  • 10. Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26
  • 11. Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 12:6, 17; Nehemiah 10:37
  • 12. Deuteronomy 12:5
  • 13. Deuteronomy 4:10; Psalms 2:11; Psalms 111:10; Psalms 147:11; Isaiah 8:13; Jeremiah 32:38-40
  • 14. Deuteronomy 12:5, 21
  • 15. Deuteronomy 12:7
  • 16. Deuteronomy 12:12
  • 17. Numbers 18:20; Deuteronomy 10:9; Deuteronomy 18:12
  • 18. Deuteronomy 26:12
  • 19. Deuteronomy 10:9
  • 20. Deuteronomy 16:11, 14; Deuteronomy 24:19-21; Deuteronomy 26:12; Psalms 94:6; Isaiah 1:17
  • 21. Deuteronomy 6:11
  • 22. Deuteronomy 15:10; Malachi 3:10

Footnotes 26

Chapter Summary


In this chapter some cautions are given against the use of some rites and ceremonies in mourning for the dead, with the reason thereof, De 14:1,2 and instructions about what are lawful to be eaten, and what not, whether of beasts, fishes, or fowl, De 14:3-21, and concerning eating one sort of tithes both at the place God should choose, and within their own gates, De 14:22-29.

Deuteronomy 14 Commentaries