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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 14



Verse 1

1. Ye shall not cut yourselves — Comp. Leviticus 19:28. It was the practice of some nations to make incisions on their faces or other parts of their bodies at funerals. There is reference to this custom in Jeremiah 16:6; Jeremiah 41:5. Also in connexion with idolatrous religious services the heathen cut themselves with knives as though their gods were to be propitiated by human suffering.

Verse 3


3. Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing — That is, any thing forbidden as unclean. Comp. Leviticus 11.

Verse 4

4. Ox,… sheep,… goat — These seem to be named first as the ordinary domestic animals that were considered clean. Then comes the enumeration of the wild animals that could be eaten.

Verse 5

5. The hart — The ordinary deer. The roebuck should be translated the gazelle.

The pygarg — A species of antelope. A kind of deer called yahmar is found on Carmel. Lieutenant Conder says it resembles the English roebuck. — Tent Work in Palestine, vol. i, p. 173.

The wild ox — Probably a kind of antelope or gazelle.

Chamois — Very likely another species of antelope is referred to.

Verse 7

7. The hare, and the coney — The coney is thought to be the Hyrax Syriacus. It is about the size of a well-grown rabbit. It is said to be more common in the peninsula of Sinai than in Palestine. On all these prohibitions see notes on Leviticus 11.

Verse 9

9. Nearly the same as in Leviticus 11:9.

Verse 12

12. These… ye shall not eat — The birds prohibited here are as in Leviticus 11:13-23, except that the glede is added.

Verse 21

21. Not eat… that dieth of itself — See Exodus 22:31, and Leviticus 22:8.

Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk — See Exodus 23:19.

Verse 22

22. Tithe all the increase of thy seed — It seems taken for granted that the people are familiar with the earlier legislation concerning tithes.

Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26. Moses adds new requirements. It is generally conceded that this refers to what the Jewish tradition calls the second tithe, which was intended to furnish supplies for the sacred festivals. See CURTISS’S Levitical Priests, p. 39.

Verse 24

24. If the way be too long for thee — If they lived at so great a distance from the appointed place that it would be difficult to carry the prescribed tithes they were allowed to sell them and buy provision at the sanctuary.

Verse 28

28. At the end of three years — The tithe of the third year, which was to be bestowed upon the poor, was not paid in addition to the tithe which was on other years devoted to the sacred festival, but took the place of it.


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 14:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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