Deuteronomy 26:3
And you shall go to the priest that shall be in those days, and say to him, I profess this day to the LORD your God, that I am come to the country which the LORD swore to our fathers for to give us.
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Deuteronomy 26:3. I profess this day unto the Lord — Thus, at his presenting them to the priest in waiting, the offerer was to declare he brought them in humble and grateful acknowledgment of the divine providence and goodness, that had settled him and his family in this fruitful country, pursuant to the gracious promises made to his forefathers. And the following confession appointed to be made on the occasion was well fitted to excite in his mind humility, gratitude, and trust in God; it being an important part of the worship of God, as Maimonides observes, for a man to be mindful of his afflictions, when God has given him rest from them.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.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. 2. Thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth—The Israelites in Canaan, being God's tenants-at-will, were required to give Him tribute in the form of first-fruits and tithes. No Israelite was at liberty to use any productions of his field until he had presented the required offerings. The tribute began to be exigible after the settlement in the promised land, and it was yearly repeated at one of the great feasts (Le 2:14; 23:10; 23:15; Nu 28:26; De 16:9). Every master of a family carried it on his shoulders in a little basket of osier, peeled willow, or palm leaves, and brought it to the sanctuary. Unto the priest, i.e. to any of the priests, who shall be appointed in God’s stead to receive these oblations and acknowledgements. And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days,.... Whose course and turn it would be to minister before the Lord; though, according to the Targum of Jonathan, it was the high priest they were to apply to on this occasion; and so Aben Ezra observes, that this law is obligatory all the time there is an high priest, as if it was not binding when there was none, and all depended on him; who in this case was typical of Christ our high priest, to whom we must bring, and by him offer up, the sacrifice of praise, even the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to God for all his mercies:

and say unto him; what follows, and the basket of firstfruits all the while on his shoulder (d), even if a king:

I profess this day; it being done once in a year, and not twice, as Jarchi notes:

unto the Lord thy God; directing his speech to the priest:

that I am come into the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us; and not only come into it, but was in the possession of it, and in the enjoyment of the fruits of it; of which the basket of firstfruits he had brought on his shoulder was a token. The natural and moral use of these firstfruits to the Israelites, and the bringing of them, was hereby to own and acknowledge that God was the proprietor of the land of Canaan; that they had it by gift from him, and that they held it of him, the firstfruits being a sort of a small rent they brought him; and that he was faithful to his oath and promise he had made to their fathers, and which they professed with great humility and thankfulness. The typical use of them was to direct to Christ himself, the firstfruits of them that sleep in him, the first begotten from the dead, the pledge and earnest of the resurrection of his people; to the Spirit of God and his grace, which are the earnest of glory; and to the first converts among Jews and Gentiles, in the first times of the Gospel; to Christians in general, who are the firstfruits of God and of the Lamb, and to their sacrifices of praise and thankfulness they are to offer up to God through Christ, which are acceptable to him through him; and whereby they glorify him as the author of all their mercies, to whom they are to bring their best, and in the first place; see 1 Corinthians 15:20.

(d) Misn. Biccurim, c. 3. sect. 4, 6. Maimon. Biccurim, c. 3. sect. 12.

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.
3. the priest … in those days] Deuteronomy 17:9, Deuteronomy 19:17. Priest probably collective (cp. prophet, Deuteronomy 18:15), not necessarily high-priest.

profess] or declare, solemnly, publicly proclaim.

my God] So LXX; Heb. thy is due to dittography.

that I am come] D gives to this as to other rites a historical meaning.

sware, etc.] See on Deuteronomy 1:8.

3, 4. Possibly a later interpolation, see introd. note.Verse 3. - The priest that shall be in those clays; not the high priest, but the priests collectively, or the individual priest whose function it was to officiate on the occasion. The fruit presented was the sensible proof that the land was now in their possession, and the confession made along with the presentation was an acknowledgment of their unworthiness, and of the Divine favor as that to which alone they were indebted for the privileged position in which they were placed. 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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