Deuteronomy 26:1
And it shall be, when you are come in to the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, and possess it, and dwell therein;
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(1) When thou art come in.—Rashi says they were not bound to the discharge of this duty until they had conquered and divided the land. But the state of things described in the Book of Joshua (Joshua 21:43-45) would demand it. From the words of Deuteronomy 26:11, “thou shalt rejoice,” the Jews gather that the thanksgiving to be said over the firstfruits (in Deuteronomy 26:5-10) must be said at some time between the close of the feast of unleavened bread on the twenty-first day of the first month (the “solemn assembly” of Deuteronomy 16:8) and the Feast of Tabernacles. If firstfruits were presented between the Feast of Tabernacles and the Passover, this formula was not used (Rashi).

(3) The priest that shall be in those days.—No mention is made of the Levite here. The priest (though of the tribe of Levi) has an office distinct from the Levite in the Book of Deuteronomy as much as in the rest of the Old Testament.

I profess.—Literally, I declare. “To show that thou art not ungrateful for His goodness” (Rashi, from the Talmud).

This day.—The formula was only used once in the year.

(4) The priest shall take the basket.—“To wave it. The priest put his hand under the hand of the owner, and waved it.”

(5) A Syrian ready to perish.—The reference is to Jacob, more especially when pursued by Laban, who would have taken from him his all, except for the Divine mercy and protection. We may also recall his danger from Esau (Genesis 31, 32), from the Shechemites (34, 35), and from the famine, until he heard of Joseph.

(7) When we cried unto the Lord.—Samuel in his famous speech (1Samuel 12:8) takes up the language of this passage, “When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the Lord, then the Lord . . . brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.

(6-7) See Exodus 2:25; Exodus 3:9; Exodus 6:5-6 for the source of this confession.

(10) And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God—i.e., take it up again after it was first waved by the priest, and hold it in the hand while making this confession, and then wave it once more. After this it would become the priest’s.

Deuteronomy 26:1-2. When thou art come into the land — Every Israelite being obliged, by law, to offer the first-fruits of his field and vineyard at the tabernacle, at the proper seasons of the year, Moses now prescribes to them the forms of solemn profession and prayer with which each offerer should present them. Thou shalt go unto the place which the Lord shall choose — This seems to have been especially enjoined to each master of a family, and the time when these first-fruits were to be presented was the feast of pentecost, Exodus 23:16; when, as well as at the two other great feasts, that of the passover, and that of tabernacles, they were obliged to go up to the place of God’s altar.26:1-11 When God has made good his promises to us, he expects we should own it to the honour of his faithfulness. And our creature comforts are doubly sweet, when we see them flowing from the fountain of the promise. The person who offered his first-fruits, must remember and own the mean origin of that nation, of which he was a member. A Syrian ready to perish was my father. Jacob is here called a Syrian. Their nation in its infancy sojourned in Egypt as strangers, they served there as slaves. They were a poor, despised, oppressed people in Egypt; and though become rich and great, had no reason to be proud, secure, or forgetful of God. He must thankfully acknowledge God's great goodness to Israel. The comfort we have in our own enjoyments, should lead us to be thankful for our share in public peace and plenty; and with present mercies we should bless the Lord for the former mercies we remember, and the further mercies we expect and hope for. He must offer his basket of first-fruits. Whatever good thing God gives us, it is his will that we make the most comfortable use we can of it, tracing the streams to the Fountain of all consolation.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.


De 26:1-15. The Confession of Him That Offers the Basket of First Fruits.The compression, thanksgiving, and rejoicing before the Lord of him who offereth first-fruits, Deu 26:1-11; as also of the three years’ tithes, Deu 26:12-15. The covenant between God and his people ratified, Deu 26:16-19.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land,.... The land of Canaan, which they were now on the borders of, and just entering into:

which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance; which is often mentioned, to observe that it was not through their merits, but his gift, that they should enjoy the land; and the rather here to enforce the following law concerning the basket of firstfruits:

and possessest it, and dwellest therein; not only had entered into it, but got the possession of it, and settled there. This shows as Jarchi observes, that they were not bound to the firstfruits till they had subdued the land and divided it; not as soon as they were in it.

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;
1. when thou art come in, etc.] As in Deuteronomy 17:14, but with these additions: and it shall be and for an inheritance (Deuteronomy 15:4). As Cullen (p. 88) points out the substance of the statement is already in Deuteronomy 8:1.

IV. Fourth Division of the Laws. Ideals of Ritual Procedure with Proper Prayers, Deuteronomy 26:1-15The Presentation of Firstfruits (Deuteronomy 26:1-11) and the Distribution of Tithes (Deuteronomy 26:12-15). Throughout in the style of D (with particular affinity to the Law of Tithes, Deuteronomy 14:22-29) and in the Sg. address; for additions, see below. These beautiful forms of service express fully D’s ideals of worship—that it shall be national, at the nation’s one sanctuary, but performed by the separate families with their local dependents; that it shall be historical, recounting the Providence of God from the beginnings of the nation till their settlement in the Promised Land, and therefore joyful and eucharistic; and further that it shall be equally mindful of God and His dues and of the poor and their dues. No two rites could have better summed up the ritual teaching of D in its essential features, nor, with the ethical supplement which follows, have formed a fitter close to the whole Code.

On the ground of the similarity between 26 and Deuteronomy 6-11 (esp. Deuteronomy 8:1-18) Cullen (Bk. of the Covt. in Moab, 79 ff.) refers the whole of 26 to his ‘Miṣwah’ or earlier deuteronomic Book published before the reforms of Josiah. He gives a detailed examination of the ch. well worthy of study. He points out the number of expressions in 26 not found in the Code but in 6–11. Others, however, common to 26 and the Code are not found in Deuteronomy 6-11, and the whole subject of Deuteronomy 26:1-15 is otherwise more suitable to the Code than to 6–11.Verses 1-11. - Of the firstfruits the Israelite was to take a portion, and placing it in a basket, to bring it to the place of the sanctuary, where it was to be received by the attendant priest. The offerer was to accompany his presentation with the declaration, "I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord swore unto our fathers for to give us;" and the priest having set the basket down before the altar, the offerer was to make confession and prayer, gratefully acknowledging the Divine favor showed to Israel in choosing them to be a great nation, in delivering them out of Egypt, and bringing them into a rich and fertile land; and along with this his bounty to the individual who now presented the firstfruits of his land unto the Lord. The duty of integrity in trade is once more enforced in Deuteronomy 25:13-16 (as in Leviticus 19:35-36). "Stone and stone," i.e., two kinds of stones for weighing (cf. Psalm 12:3), viz., large ones for buying and small ones for selling. On the promise in Deuteronomy 25:15, see Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 5:16; Deuteronomy 25:16, as in Deuteronomy 22:5; Deuteronomy 18:12, etc. In the concluding words, Deuteronomy 25:16, "all that do unrighteously," Moses sums up all breaches of the law.
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