Deuteronomy 14:26
And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
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(26) Thou shalt bestow that money.—The Jews were very particular in not permitting the second tithe to be expended upon anything not permitted here. The rules as to its disposal form a separate treatise in the Talmud, called Ma’aser Shênî, “second tithe.”

Or for strong drink.—From this it is clear that the use of strong drink is not sinful in itself. The same word appears in its Greek form (Heb., shêcar; Greek, sikêr) in Luke 1:15.

Deuteronomy 14:26. Thou shalt bestow that money, &c. — This was an injunction to the Israelites to use a part of their income in hospitality; to rejoice in the goodness of God, when they came before his presence, to acknowledge he was the author of all their blessings, and to gladden the hearts of the poor, the fatherless, and the widow, by entertaining them; thus imitating God’s goodness to themselves by acts of kindness to others. Thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God — The comfortable and cheerful using of what God hath given us, with temperance and sobriety, is really the honouring of God with it. Contentment, holy joy, and thankfulness, make every meal a religious feast.

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. No text from Poole on this verse.

And thou shall bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after,.... He might buy what provision he would with it, what he best liked, and was most agreeable to his appetite:

for oxen, or for sheep; he might purchase beef or mutton, or any other sort of meat that could be got, and was lawful to be eaten, as before directed:

or for wine, or for strong drink; to drink with his food, whether wine or any other liquor; the Targum of Jonathan is, wine new or old, which he chose; but the latter, strong drink, Aben Ezra says, was a liquor made of honey and of dates, of wheat and of barley:

or for whatsoever thy soul desireth; whether eatable or drinkable:

and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God; he having put his name in that place; and dwelling there, as the Lord did in the temple of Jerusalem:

and thou shalt rejoice, thou and thy household; eat their food with cheerfulness and gladness, making a feast of it and keeping it as such, he and his whole family, his wife and children, or as many as were with him; and all males were obliged to appear at the three grand yearly festivals, and it was at one of these this was to be done.

And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: {g} and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

(g) After the Priest has received the Lord's part.

26. and thou shalt bestow the money] It was this law, which with other customs led to the rise of markets for cattle and other commodities in the Temple Courts with the consequent abuses, fostered by the priests for their own enrichment, which our Lord chastised. Cp. Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 7:11; Jeremiah 23:11.

for whatsoever thy soul desireth … asketh of thee] On the soul as seat of the appetite see Deuteronomy 12:20; on desireth, Deuteronomy 5:21. The emphatic liberality of this provision is striking. Though the tithe is a vegetable one, flesh may be substituted for it: cp. Deuteronomy 14:23 according to which it was to be eaten with the firstlings.

or for wine, or for strong drink] The attempt is sometimes made to argue that the juice of the vine when praised or prescribed in the O.T. is never an intoxicating liquor. That is clearly contradicted here; strong drink is a true transl. of the Heb. shekar, ‘omne quod inebriare potest’ (Jerome), which because of its effects is condemned in Isaiah 5:11; Isaiah 5:22; Isaiah 28:7; Micah 2:11; 1 Samuel 1:15; Proverbs 20:1, and is forbidden to priests on duty, Leviticus 10:9; cp. Proverbs 31:4, prescribed to invalids. The adj. from it shikkor = drunkard. In Israel there was the same difference of opinion as to its use which prevails among ourselves.

and thou shalt rejoice] See on Deuteronomy 12:7.

thou and thine household] As in Deuteronomy 12:7; Deuteronomy 12:12; Deuteronomy 12:18 : the tithes or their equivalent are to be enjoyed, not as in P by the Temple Levites and Priests but by the offerers and their families including—

Verse 26. - Strong drink; shecar (שֵׁכַר). "Any drink which can inebriate, whether that is made from grain, or the juice of apples, or when honey is boiled into a sweet and barbarous potion, or the fruit of the palm [dates], is expressed into liquor, and the duller water is colored by the prepared fruits" (Jerome, 'De Vit. Cler.'). Deuteronomy 14:26"Turn it into money," lit., "give it up for silver," sc., the produce of the tithe; "and bind the silver in thy hand," const. praegnans for "bind it in a purse and take it in thy hand...and give the silver for all that thy soul desireth, for oxen and small cattle, for wine and strong drink," to hold a joyous meal, to which the Levite was also to be invited (as in Deuteronomy 12:12, Deuteronomy 12:18, and Deuteronomy 12:19).
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