Deuteronomy 14:22
Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
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(22) Thou shalt truly tithe.—The Talmud and Jewish interpreters in general are agreed in the view that the tithe mentioned in this passage, both here and in Deuteronomy 14:28, and also the tithe described in Deuteronomy 26:12-15, are all one thing—“the second tithe;” and entirely distinct from the ordinary tithe assigned to the Levites for their subsistence in Numbers 18:21, and by them tithed again for the priests (Numbers 18:26).

The tithe described in Numbers was called “the first tithe,” and was not considered sacred. The second tithe, on the contrary, was always regarded as a holy thing.

Deuteronomy 14:22-23. Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed — There were three sorts of tithes to be paid from the people, besides those from the Levites to the priests; 1st, To the Levites for their maintenance, Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:21. These were to be eaten where they dwelt, (Numbers 14:31,) and therefore to be paid there. 2d, For the Lord’s feasts and sacrifices, to be eaten by the offerers at Jerusalem: these are here intended. 3d, Besides these two, there was to be every third year a tithe for the poor, to be eaten at their own dwellings, Deuteronomy 14:28-29. That thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God — That thou mayest not only be accustomed to the worship of Jehovah thy God, but mayest become truly pious. For the fear of God was taught in that place of his public worship, and the very presenting themselves before him was a good means to keep them in awe of him.

14:22-29 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.These words recall in general terms the command of the earlier legislation respecting tithes (compare Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26), but refer more particularly to the second or festival tithe, which was an exclusively vegetable one. 22-27. Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed—The dedication of a tenth part of the year's produce in everything was then a religious duty. It was to be brought as an offering to the sanctuary; and, where distance prevented its being taken in kind, it was by this statute convertible into money. This is to be understood of the second tithes, which seem to be the same with the tithes of the third year, mentioned here below, Deu 14:28 26:12, on which see above, on Deu 12:17. And to confirm this opinion, (though I would not lay too great a stress upon criticisms,) yet I cannot but observe that this tithing is spoken of only as the people’s act here, and Deu 26:12, and the Levites are not at all mentioned in either place as receivers or takers of them, but only as partakers of them together with the owners, and therefore they are so severely charged here upon their consciences,

thou shalt truly tithe all thine increase, because the execution of this was left wholly to themselves, whereas the first tithes were received by the Levites, who therefore are said to take or receive those tithes, Numbers 18:26 Nehemiah 10:38 Hebrews 7:5.

Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed,.... This was a different tithe from that which was made and given to the Levites, and out of which a tithe was taken and given to the priests, and which they only ate of; but this, as appears by the following verse, was what the owners themselves ate of, and so the tithing was left to be made by them themselves, and which they were to be sure to make, and to make it truly and faithfully:

that the field bringeth forth year by year; being ploughed and sowed yearly, the produce of it was to be tithed yearly; the Jewish writers (t) observe on this, that it must be what the earth produces, and is fit for food: and it must be thy seed, which is especially thine, and is not common, but has an owner, and this excludes mushrooms, &c. which thou sowest not, and therefore cannot be called thy seed.

(t) Ib. in Misn. Maaserot, c. 1. sect. 1.

Thou shalt truly {e} tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

(e) The tithes were ordained for the maintenance of the Levites, who had no inheritance.

22. Thou shalt surely tithe] Heb. tithing thou shalt tithe: an idiom emphasising the bare fact.

increase] Lit. income (or in-brought), revenue, all the produce.

of thy seed] Not of cereals alone, but inclusive of plantations as the next clause and the oil and wine of Deuteronomy 14:23 show. Dillm. cites Isaiah 17:10 f.; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 17:5.

field] sadeh, here in its latest sense of cultivated ground; see on Deuteronomy 7:22, Deuteronomy 11:15, etc.

22–29. Of Tithes

A tithe shall be taken of all the yearly produce of what is sown in the field, further defined as corn, wine and oil, and carried to the Sanctuary and eaten before God by the offerers along with the firstlings of oxen and sheep (Deuteronomy 14:22 f.); but Israelites who dwell too far from the Sanctuary for this may turn their tithes into money, purchase at the Temple whatever they desire, and feast before God along with their households and Levites (Deuteronomy 14:24-27). Every third year, however, they are to retain all the tithe within their gates for the Levites and other landless poor to consume (Deuteronomy 14:28 f.).—In the Sg. address throughout, like the third form of the law of the Single Sanctuary, Deuteronomy 12:13 ff., with which also it has in common some phrases and ideas not found in the Pl. form of that law:—the definition of the tithe, corn, wine and oil; thou shalt not forsake the Levite (unless this be an addition, see on Deuteronomy 14:27); the wide permission to eat whatsoever thy soul desireth = after all the desire of thy soul, Deuteronomy 12:20 f.; another qualification of the law, in order to meet the needs of those at a distance, with the identical phrase because the place is too far from thee which etc., Deuteronomy 12:21 (Steuernagel’s statement that the phrases eat before Jehovah, eat and be satisfied, etc., are also peculiar to the Sg. is very doubtful).

There is no law of tithes (so-called) in E or J; those in P, Numbers 18:21-32 (with the corresponding practice, Nehemiah 10:37 f.) and Leviticus 27:30 f., fundamentally differ from D’s law of tithes. On this and the questions it raises and their solution in the later law of Israel, see Additional Note below.

Verses 22-29. - A tithing of each year's produce of the cultivated ground was to be made; and this tithe was to be brought to the place which the Lord should choose, as also the firstling of the herds and flocks; and there a sacrificial meal was to be partaken of, that Israel might learn to fear Jehovah their God always, reverencing him as their Ruler, and rejoicing in him as the Giver of all good. Verse 22. - Thy seed. "Seed" here refers to plants as well as what is raised from seed (cf. Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 17:5, 6). The reference is to the second or festival tithe which was exclusively of vegetables. Deuteronomy 14:22As the Israelites were to sanctify their food, on the one hand, positively by abstinence from everything unclean, so were they, on the other hand, to do so negatively by delivering the tithes and firstlings at the place where the Lord would cause His name to dwell, and by holding festal meals on the occasion, and rejoicing there before Jehovah their God. This law is introduced with the general precept, "Thou shalt tithe all the produce of thy seed which groweth out of the field (יצא construes with an accusative, as in Genesis 9:10, etc.) year by year" (שׁנה שׁנה, i.e., every year; cf. Ewald, 313, a.), which recalls the earlier laws concerning the tithe (Leviticus 27:30, and Numbers 18:21, Numbers 18:26.), without repeating them one by one, for the purpose of linking on the injunction to celebrate sacrificial meals at the sanctuary from the tithes and firstlings. Moses had already directed (Deuteronomy 12:6.) that all the sacrificial meals should take place at the sanctuary, and had then alluded to the sacrificial meals to be prepared from the tithes, though only causally, because he intended to speak of them more fully afterwards. This he does here, and includes the firstlings also, inasmuch as the presentation of them was generally associated with that of the tithes, though only causally, as he intends to revert to the firstlings again, which he does in Deuteronomy 15:19. The connection between the tithes of the fruits of the ground and the firstlings of the cattle which were devoted to the sacrificial meals, and the tithes and first-fruits which were to be delivered to the Levites and priests, we have already discussed at Deuteronomy 12. The sacrificial meals were to be held before the Lord, in the place where He caused His name to dwell (see at Deuteronomy 12:5), that Israel might learn to fear Jehovah its God always; not, however, as Schultz supposes, that by the confession of its dependence upon Him it might accustom itself more and more to the feeling of dependence. For the fear of the Lord is not merely a feeling of dependence upon Him, but also includes the notion of divine blessedness, which is the predominant idea here, as the sacrificial meals were to furnish the occasion and object of the rejoicing before the Lord. The true meaning therefore is, that Israel might rejoice with holy reverence in the fellowship of its God.
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