Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 14:22 - 14:22

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 14:22 - 14:22

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As the Israelites were to sanctify their food, on the one hand, positively by abstinence from everything unclean, so were they, on the other hand, to do so negatively by delivering the tithes and firstlings at the place where the Lord would cause His name to dwell, and by holding festal meals on the occasion, and rejoicing there before Jehovah their God. This law is introduced with the general precept, “Thou shalt tithe all the produce of thy seed which groweth out of the field (יָצָא construes with an accusative, as in Gen 9:10, etc.) year by year” (שָׁנָה שָׁנָה, i.e., every year; cf. Ewald, §313, a.), which recalls the earlier laws concerning the tithe (Lev 27:30, and Num 18:21, Num 18:26.), without repeating them one by one, for the purpose of linking on the injunction to celebrate sacrificial meals at the sanctuary from the tithes and firstlings. Moses had already directed (Deu 12:6.) that all the sacrificial meals should take place at the sanctuary, and had then alluded to the sacrificial meals to be prepared from the tithes, though only causally, because he intended to speak of them more fully afterwards. This he does here, and includes the firstlings also, inasmuch as the presentation of them was generally associated with that of the tithes, though only causally, as he intends to revert to the firstlings again, which he does in Deu 15:19. The connection between the tithes of the fruits of the ground and the firstlings of the cattle which were devoted to the sacrificial meals, and the tithes and first-fruits which were to be delivered to the Levites and priests, we have already discussed at Deut 12. The sacrificial meals were to be held before the Lord, in the place where He caused His name to dwell (see at Deu 12:5), that Israel might learn to fear Jehovah its God always; not, however, as Schultz supposes, that by the confession of its dependence upon Him it might accustom itself more and more to the feeling of dependence. For the fear of the Lord is not merely a feeling of dependence upon Him, but also includes the notion of divine blessedness, which is the predominant idea here, as the sacrificial meals were to furnish the occasion and object of the rejoicing before the Lord. The true meaning therefore is, that Israel might rejoice with holy reverence in the fellowship of its God.