|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-21 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 4-20. - The regulations here concerning food, and the animals the use of which is forbidden, are substantially the same as in Leviticus 2. There are, however, some differences between the two accounts which may be noticed.
1. In Deuteronomy, the mammals which may be used for food are severally specified as well as described by the general characteristic of the class; in Leviticus, only the latter description is given.
2. In the list of fowls which may not be eaten, the raah (glade) is mentioned in Deuteronomy, but not in Leviticus; and the bird which in the one is called da'ah, is in the other called dayyah (vulture).
3. The class of reptiles which is carefully described in Leviticus is wholly omitted in Deuteronomy.
4. Winged insects are forbidden without exception in Deuteronomy; in Leviticus, the locust and certain other insects of the same kind are excepted.
5. Some slight differences in the order of enumeration appear.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
These are the beasts which they shall eat,.... That is, which they might lawfully eat of, which were allowed for their food; for they were not obliged to eat of them if they did not choose it:
the ox, the sheep, and the goat; which were creatures used in sacrifice, and the only ones, yet nevertheless they might be used for food if chosen.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
De 14:4-8. Of Beasts.
Deuteronomy 14:4 Parallel Commentaries
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