Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 26:14 - 26:14

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 26:14 - 26:14

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“I have not eaten thereof in my sorrow.” אֹנִי, from אָוןֶ, tribulation, distress, signifies here in all probability mourning, and judging from what follows, mourning for the dead, equivalent to “in a mourning condition,” i.e., in a state of legal (Levitical) uncleanness; so that בְּאֹנִי really corresponded to the בְּטָמֵא which follows, except that טָמֵא includes every kind of legal uncleanness. “I have removed nothing thereof as unclean,” i.e., while in the state of an unclean person. Not only not eaten of any, but not removed any of it from the house, carried it away in an unclean state, in which they were forbidden to touch the holy gifts (Lev 22:3). “And not given (any) of it on account of the dead.” This most probably refers to the custom of sending provisions into a house of mourning, to prepare meals for the mourners (2Sa 3:25; Jer 16:7; Hos 9:4; Tobit 4:17). A house of mourning, with its inhabitants, was regarded as unclean; consequently nothing could be carried into it of that which was sanctified. There is no good ground for thinking of idolatrous customs, or of any special superstition attached to the bread of mourning; nor is there any ground for understanding the words as referring to the later Jewish custom of putting provisions into the grave along with the corpse, to which the Septuagint rendering, οὐκ ἔδωκα ἀπ αὐτῶν τῷ τεθνηκότι, points. (On Deu 26:15, see Isa 63:15.)