a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

Pagan Practices Forbidden


You are children of the L ord your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead. 2For you are a people holy to the L ord your God; it is you the L ord has chosen out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Clean and Unclean Foods

3 You shall not eat any abhorrent thing. 4These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain-sheep. 6Any animal that divides the hoof and has the hoof cleft in two, and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. 7Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cleft you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. 8And the pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. You shall not eat their meat, and you shall not touch their carcasses.

9 Of all that live in water you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat. 10And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.

11 You may eat any clean birds. 12But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 13the buzzard, the kite of any kind; 14every raven of any kind; 15the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 16the little owl and the great owl, the water hen 17and the desert owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, 18the stork, the heron of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat. 19And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. 20You may eat any clean winged creature.

21 You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; you may give it to aliens residing in your towns for them to eat, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the L ord your God.

You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

Regulations concerning Tithes

22 Set apart a tithe of all the yield of your seed that is brought in yearly from the field. 23In the presence of the L ord your God, in the place that he will choose as a dwelling for his name, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, so that you may learn to fear the L ord your God always. 24But if, when the L ord your God has blessed you, the distance is so great that you are unable to transport it, because the place where the L ord your God will choose to set his name is too far away from you, 25then you may turn it into money. With the money secure in hand, go to the place that the L ord your God will choose; 26spend the money for whatever you wish—oxen, sheep, wine, strong drink, or whatever you desire. And you shall eat there in the presence of the L ord your God, you and your household rejoicing together. 27As for the Levites resident in your towns, do not neglect them, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you.

28 Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your produce for that year, and store it within your towns; 29the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the L ord your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake.

28. At the end of three years. Those are mistaken, in my opinion, who think that another kind of tithe is here referred to. It is rather a correction or interpretation of the Law, lest the priests and Levites alone should consume all the tithes, without applying a part to the relief of the poor, of strangers, and widows. In order to make this clearer, we must first observe, that not every third year is here prescribed, 218218     “Que l’annec troisieme ne se prend pas d’une suite continuelle.” — Fr. but that the years are counted from the Sabbatical year; for we shall elsewhere see that on every seventh year the land was to rest, so that there was no sowing nor reaping. After two harvests, therefore, the tithes of the third year were not the entire property of the Levites, but were shared also by the poor, the orphans, and widows, and strangers. This may easily be seen by calculating the years; for otherwise the third year would have often fallen on the Sabbatical one, in which all agriculture was at a stand-still. Now, this was a most equitable arrangement, that the priests and Levites having been well provided for during two years, should admit their poor brethren and strangers to a share. Some part was thus withdrawn from their abundance, lest they should give themselves up to luxurious habits; and thus it was brought about that not more than a twelfth portion every year should remain to them. In sum, there was one peculiar year in every seven in which the Levites did not alone receive the tithes for their own proper use, but shared them with the orphans, and widows, and strangers, and the rest of the poor. “They shall eat (He says) and be satisfied,” who would otherwise have to suffer hunger, “that the Lord may bless thee,” (verse 29;) by which promise He encourages them to be liberal.

VIEWNAME is study