Deuteronomy 14

1 You are the children of the LORD your God. You shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth. 3 You shall not eat any abominable thing. 4 These 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 chamois. 6 Every animal that parts the hoof, and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, amongst the animals, that may you eat. 7 Nevertheless these you shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of those who have the hoof cloven: the camel, the hare, and the rabbit. Because they chew the cud but don’t part the hoof, they are unclean to you. 8 The pig, because it has a split hoof but doesn’t chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat their meat, and you shall not touch their carcasses. 9 These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales may you eat. 10 You shall not eat whatever doesn’t have fins and scales. It is unclean to you. 11 Of all clean birds you may eat. 12 But these are they of which you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, 13 the red kite, the falcon, the kite after its kind, 14 every raven after its kind, 15 the ostrich, the owl, the seagull, the hawk after its kind, 16 the little owl, the great owl, the horned owl, 17 the pelican, the vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. 19 All winged creeping things are unclean to you. They shall not be eaten. 20 Of all clean birds you may eat. 21 You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself. You may give it to the foreigner living amongst you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner; for you are a holy people to the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. 22 You shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes out of the field year by year. 23 You shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place which he chooses, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 If the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God shall choose, to set his name there, when the LORD your God shall bless you; 25 then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose. 26 You shall trade the money for whatever your soul desires, for cattle, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you; and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no portion nor inheritance with you. 28 At the end of every three years you shall bring all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall store it within your gates. 29 The Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the foreigner living amongst you, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Eph 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.

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