Deuteronomy 26

1 It shall be, when you have come in to the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, possess it, and dwell in it, 2 that you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you shall bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you. You shall put it in a basket, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there. 3 You shall come to the priest who shall be in those days, and tell him, “I profess today to the LORD your God, that I have come to the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.” 4 The priest shall take the basket out of your hand, and set it down before the LORD your God’s altar. 5 You shall answer and say before the LORD your God, “My father was a Syrian ready to perish. He went down into Egypt, and lived there, few in number. There he became a great, mighty, and populous nation. 6 The Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. 7 Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers. the LORD heard our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs, and with wonders; 9 and he has brought us into this place, and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 Now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, the LORD, have given me.” You shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God. 11 You shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given to you, and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the foreigner who is amongst you. 12 When you have finished tithing all the tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your gates, and be filled. 13 You shall say before the LORD your God, “I have put away the holy things out of my house, and also have given them to the Levite, to the foreigner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all your commandment which you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, neither have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of it in my mourning, neither have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor given of it for the dead. I have listened to the LORD my God’s voice. I have done according to all that you have commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel, and the ground which you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.” 16 Today the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore keep and do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you would walk in his ways, and keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his ordinances, and listen to his voice. 18 the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his own possession, as he has promised you, and that you should keep all his commandments. 19 He will make you high above all nations that he has made, in praise, in name, and in honor; and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, as he has spoken.

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

Verses 1–11

When God has made good his promises to us, he expects we should own it to the honour of his faithfulness. And our creature comforts are doubly sweet, when we see them flowing from the fountain of the promise. The person who offered his first-fruits, must remember and own the mean origin of that nation, of which he was a member. A Syrian ready to perish was my father. Jacob is here called a Syrian. Their nation in its infancy sojourned in Egypt as strangers, they served there as slaves. They were a poor, despised, oppressed people in Egypt; and though become rich and great, had no reason to be proud, secure, or forgetful of God. He must thankfully acknowledge God’s great goodness to Israel. The comfort we have in our own enjoyments, should lead us to be thankful for our share in public peace and plenty; and with present mercies we should bless the Lord for the former mercies we remember, and the further mercies we expect and hope for. He must offer his basket of first-fruits. Whatever good thing God gives us, it is his will that we make the most comfortable use we can of it, tracing the streams to the Fountain of all consolation.

Verses 12–15

How should the earth yield its increase, or, if it does, what comfort can we take in it, unless therewith our God gives us his blessing? All this represented the covenant relation between a reconciled God and every true believer, and the privileges and duties belonging to it. We must be watchful, and show that according to the covenant of grace in Christ Jesus, the Lord is our God, and we are his people, waiting in his appointed way for the performance of his gracious promises.

Verses 16–19

Moses here enforces the precepts. They are God’s laws, therefore thou shalt do them, to that end were they given thee; do them, and dispute them not; do them, and draw not back; do them, not carelessly and hypocritically, but with thy heart and soul, thy whole heart and thy whole soul. We forswear ourselves, and break the most sacred engagement, if, when we have taken the Lord to be our God, we do not make conscience of obeying his commands. We are elected to obedience, 1Pe 1:2; chosen that we should be holy, Eph 1:4; purified a peculiar people, that we might not only do good works, but be zealous in them, Tit 2:14. Holiness is true honour, and the only way to everlasting honour.

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