And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;Two liturgical enactments having a clear and close reference to the whole of the preceding legislation, form a most appropriate and significant conclusion to it, namely,
(1) the formal acknowledgment in deed and symbol of God's faithfulness, by presentment of a basket filled with firstfruits, and in word by recitation of the solemn formula prescribed in Deuteronomy 26:3, Deuteronomy 26:5-10; and
(2) the solemn declaration and profession on the part of each Israelite on the occasion of the third tithe Deuteronomy 26:12.
That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.On the subject of firstfruits see the notes at Leviticus 23:9 ff. The firstfruits here in question are to be distinguished alike from those offered in acknowledgment of the blessings of harvest (compare Exodus 22:29) at the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost, and also from the offerings prescribed in Numbers 18:8 ff. The latter consisted of preparations from the produce of the earth, such as oil, flour, wine, etc.; while those here meant are the raw produce: the former were national and public offerings, those of this chapter were private and personal. The whole of the firstfruits belonged to the officiating priest.
And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.
And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.
And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:A Syrian ready to perish was my father - The reference is shown by the context to be to Jacob, as the ancestor in whom particularly the family of Abraham began to develop into a nation (compare Isaiah 43:22, Isaiah 43:28, etc.). Jacob is called a Syrian (literally, Aramaean), not only because of his own long residence in Syria with Laban Genesis 29-31, as our Lord was called a Nazarene because of his residence at Nazareth Matthew 2:23, but because he there married and had his children (compare Hosea 12:12); and might be said accordingly to belong to that more than to any other land.
And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.
And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;See the marginal reference to Numbers and note. A strict fulfillment of the onerous and complicated tithe obligations was a leading part of the righteousness of the Pharisees: compare Matthew 23:23.
Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:
I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away ought thereof for any unclean use, nor given ought thereof for the dead: but I have hearkened to the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that thou hast commanded me.I have not eaten thereof in my mourning - When the Israelite would be unclean (compare the marginal references).
Nor given ought thereof for the dead - The reference is not so much to the superstitious custom of placing food on or in tombs as to the funeral expenses, and more especially the usual feast for the mourners (compare Jeremiah 16:7; Ezekiel 24:17; Hosea 9:4; Tobit 4:17). The dedicated things were to be employed in glad and holy feasting, not therefore for funeral banquets; for death and all associated with it was regarded as unclean.
Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.A brief and earnest exhortation by way of conclusion to the second and longest discourse of the book.
Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:Thou hast avouched - literally, "made to say:" so also in the next verse. The sense is: "Thou hast given occasion to the Lord to say that He is thy God," i. e. by promising that He shall be so. Compare Exodus 24:7; Joshua 24:14-25,
And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.