De 26:1-15. The Confession
of Him That Offers the Basket of First Fruits.
2. Thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit
of the earth—The Israelites in Canaan, being God's
tenants-at-will, were required to give Him tribute in the form of
first-fruits and tithes. No Israelite was at liberty to use any
productions of his field until he had presented the required offerings.
The tribute began to be exigible after the settlement in the promised
land, and it was yearly repeated at one of the great feasts (Le 2:14; 23:10; 23:15; Nu 28:26; De 16:9). Every master of a family carried it on
his shoulders in a little basket of osier, peeled willow, or palm
leaves, and brought it to the sanctuary.
5. thou shalt say … A Syrian ready to perish
was my father—rather, "a wandering Syrian." The ancestors of
the Hebrews were nomad shepherds, either Syrians by birth as Abraham,
or by long residence as Jacob. When they were established as a nation
in the possession of the promised land, they were indebted to God's
unmerited goodness for their distinguished privileges, and in token of
gratitude they brought this basket of first-fruits.
11. thou shalt rejoice—feasting with
friends and the Levites, who were invited on such occasions to share in
the cheerful festivities that followed oblations (De 12:7;
12-15. When thou hast made an end of tithing all
the tithes of thine increase the third year—Among the Hebrews
there were two tithings. The first was appropriated to the Levites
18:21). The second, being the
tenth of what remained, was brought to Jerusalem in kind; or it was
converted into money, and the owner, on arriving in the capital,
purchased sheep, bread, and oil (De 14:22, 23). This was done for two consecutive
years. But this second tithing was eaten at home, and the third year
distributed among the poor of the place (De 14:28, 29).
13. thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have
brought away the hallowed things out of mine house—This was a
solemn declaration that nothing which should be devoted to the divine
service had been secretly reserved for personal use.
14. I have not eaten thereof in my
mourning—in a season of sorrow, which brought defilement on
sacred things; under a pretense of poverty, and grudging to give any
away to the poor.
neither … for any unclean
use—that is, any common purpose, different from what God had
appointed and which would have been a desecration of it.
nor given ought thereof for the
dead—on any funeral service, or, to an idol, which is
a dead thing.