Deuteronomy 18:4
The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
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18:1-8 Care is taken that the priests entangle not themselves with the affairs of this life, nor enrich themselves with the wealth of this world; they have better things to mind. Care is likewise taken that they want not the comforts and conveniences of this life. The people must provide for them. He that has the benefit of solemn religious assemblies, ought to give help for the comfortable support of those that minister in such assemblies.For "maw" read stomach, which was regarded as one of the richest and choicest parts. As the animal slain may be considered to consist of three principal parts, head, feet, and body, a portion of each is by the regulation in question to be given to the priest, thus representing the consecration of the whole; or, as some ancient commentators think, the dedication of the words, acts, and appetites of the worshipper to God.

The text probably refers to peace-offerings, and animals killed for the sacrificial meals held in connection with the peace-offerings.

3. this shall be the priest's due from the people—All who offered sacrifices of thanksgiving or peace offerings (Le 7:31-33) were ordered to give the breast and shoulder as perquisites to the priests. Here "the two cheeks" or head and "the maw" or stomach, deemed anciently a great dainty, are specified. But whether this is a new injunction, or a repetition of the old with the supplement of more details, it is not easy to determine. No text from Poole on this verse.

The firstfruit also of thy corn, and of thy wine, and of thy oil,.... This is the "terumah", or heave offering, the offering of the firstfruits; what the measure or quantity was is not declared, but is fixed by the Jews; See Gill on Exodus 22:29,

and the first of the fleece of thy sheep shall thou give him: concerning which in the Misnah (r) it is said, the first of the fleece is used in the land and without the land, of which they give the weight of five shekels in Judea, which are ten shekels in Galilee; and they give white wool, and not defiled, enough to make of it a little garment. He that buys a fleece of the sheep of a Gentile, he is free from the first of the fleece; but if he buys it of his neighbour, if he leaves any of it, the seller is bound, if none the buyer is bound; if there are two sorts, russet and white, and he sells the russet but not the white, the males but not the females, everyone gives for himself. It may be observed in this account, that as much wool was to be given as would make a small garment; enough, says one of the commentators (s), to make a little garment to minister in; and the least garment fit for a priest to minister in is a girdle. Jarchi's paraphrase of it is,"when thou shearest thy flock every year, give the first of it to the priest; it does not determine the quantity, but our Rabbins fix it to the sixtieth part;''with which agrees the observation of another writer (t), that there is no quantity fixed for the first of the fleece from the law, but from the words of the Scribes it must not be less than the sixtieth part. There is no obligation to the first of the fleece until five sheep are shorn, and the fleece of everyone of the five must not be less than twelve shekels' weight; but if there is one fleece of them less than twelve shekels, though the five fleeces are more than sixty shekels, lo, this is free; so that, as Maimonides (u) says, the first of the fleece is not less than the weight of a shekel.

(r) Cholin, c. 11. sect. 1, 2.((s) Bartenora in ib. (t) Ibid. (u) In Misn. ib.

The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
4. the firstfruits] or, it may be, the best. Heb. reshîth, not bikkûrim (Deuteronomy 12:6). See Deuteronomy 26:2 f.; cp. E, Exodus 23:19, J, Exodus 34:26, and P, Numbers 18:12. On corn, wine and oil, see Deuteronomy 7:13, Deuteronomy 12:17, Deuteronomy 14:23, Deuteronomy 25:19-19. The first or best, of the fleece is mentioned only here.

Verse 4. - In addition to the firstfruits already prescribed by the Law to be given to the priests (Numbers 18:12, 13), Moses here enacts that the first fleece of the sheep shall be given. All these, though legally prescribed, were free gifts on the part of the people; the neglect of the prescription incurred only moral blame, not judicial penalty. Deuteronomy 18:4In Deuteronomy 18:4, Moses repeats the law concerning the first-fruits in Numbers 18:12-13 (cf. Exodus 22:28), for the purpose of extending it to the first produce of the sheep-shearing.
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