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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 14

 

 

Introduction

Deuteronomy 12-26, 28. A code of laws (Deuteronomy 1-26) followed by promises to the obedient and threats of punishment for the rest (Deuteronomy 28): see Introd., p. 231. The great Deuteronomic law of one sanctuary is taught or implied in Deuteronomy 12:1 to Deuteronomy 19:13 and hardly in any other part of Dt. This section may, therefore, represent essentially the original Deuteronomic code (see Introd.).


Verses 1-21

Deuteronomy 14:1-21. Heathen customs to be avoided.

Deuteronomy 14:1 f. Heathen mourning rites.

Deuteronomy 14:1. cut yourselves: Leviticus 19:28*, cf. Leviticus 21:5.—baldness: the custom in mourning of shaving the hair between the eyes (i.e. on the top of the forehead). These are merely extreme forms of expressing grief; but most recent scholars regard them as survivals of acts of sacrifice, the blood and the hair being offered up to heathen deities or to dead but deified ancestors (p. 110). See Jeremiah 16:6, where both these customs are mentioned without censure.

Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Living creatures which may and which may not be eaten; see Leviticus 11:2-23* (P), with which the present section agrees closely, and Introduction to that chapter; also pp. 82f. No earlier code mentions these laws, nor have they any logical connexion with the fundamental principle of D (one sanctuary) or with Josiah's reform (2 Kings 22 f.). The Bible does not explain the origin of the distinction between clean and unclean animals beyond tracing it to the Divine command (Leviticus 11:1 f.). Very many theories have been proposed: see the Bible Dictionaries.

Deuteronomy 14:21. What is forbidden to the Israelites (animals that have died of themselves and have, therefore, the blood in them, Deuteronomy 12:23-25) may yet be offered to the sojourner (see Deuteronomy 1:16*) or sold to a foreigner because their religion allowed the consumption of such food.—Thou shalt not seethe . . . milk: see Exodus 23:19* (E).


Verses 22-29

Deuteronomy 14:22-29. Regulations respecting tithes. See Leviticus 27:30-33* and Numbers 18:21-32* (both P). The older codes are silent about tithes, but cf. Genesis 28:22 (E). The clause concerning firstlings in Deuteronomy 14:23 is an interpolation. They were given whole, not tithed, and the law as to them occurs in Deuteronomy 15:19-23*. The tithing of cattle and sheep is mentioned in Leviticus 27:32 (P) only. According to Deuteronomy 14:28 f. the tithe of the third year is to be kept in the several villages and towns (not taken to the one sanctuary to form a sacrificial meal, Deuteronomy 14:26) and distributed locally among the poor and needy. In P (Numbers 18:21) the whole is to be divided among the clergy, showing the increased influence and selfishness of the priesthood (see Deuteronomy 15:19-23 *). On Tithes, see p. 99; also Driver, ICC, 166-173 and the Bible Dictionaries.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 14:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/deuteronomy-14.html. 1919.

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