March 8th Deuteronomy 14
1: Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Clean and unclean food
3: Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. 4: These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5: The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. 6: And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. 7: Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. 8: And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. 9: These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: 10: And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. 11: Of all clean birds ye shall eat. 12: But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and ossifrage, and the ospray, 13: And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, 14: And every raven after his kind, 15: And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 16: The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, 17: And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, 18: And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 19: And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. 20: But of all clean fowls ye may eat. 21: Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
22: Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23: And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. 24: And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, 27: And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. 28: At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: 29: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
Deuteronomy 15 The Sabbatical year
1: At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2: And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD's release. 3: Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release; 4: Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: 5: Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. 6: For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee. 7: If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. 9: Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10: Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11: For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. 12: And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman , be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. 13: And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: 14: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. 15: And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. 16: And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; 17: Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. 18: It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
19: All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep. 20: Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household. 21: And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God. 22: Thou shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart. 23: Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.
In todays Bible reading we read of more requirements of the Lord, the first being not to injure or cut the body. Then the Lord outlines the law regarding Clean and Unclean food, Tithing, The Sabbatical year and the law regarding firstborn animals. But first we read that the Lord specified that the children of Israel were not to cut themselves or make themselves bald between their eyes for the dead. (This seems to have been a specific heathen practice that the Lord had in mind) Then the Lord gives the reason why this must be so he says you are a holy people set apart, above all the nations of the earth. Then the Lord goes on to say – because you are a holy people, you are not to eat any abominable thing. (The idea of an abomination is the stench of a rotting corpse.) Then the Lord lists the beasts that are allowed – ox, sheep, goat, hart, roebuck, fallow deer, wild goat, pygarg, wild ox, chamois. Then the Lord gives the method of understanding difficult cases. He says every animal that has a divided hoof and chews the cud is a clean animal. Then the Lord says that there are some animals that part the hoof but do not chew the cud, such as the camel, hare, rabbit. pig. Of fish, all fish is clean if it has both fins and scales. All birds are clean except carrion. Such as eagle, ossifrage, ospray, glede, kite, vulture, raven, owl, night hawk, cuckow, hawk, little owl, great owl, swan, pelican, gier eagle, cormorant, stork, heron, lapwing, bat. Then the Lord explains that nothing is to be eaten that has died by itself. And lastly the Lord specifies a prohibition that related to a particular heathen practise in which the kid was cooked in its mother’s milk. This was strictly forbidden. In the next passage the Lord outlines the law of tithing. The Lord says that the firstfruits of all produce or stock is to be presented before the Lord and if they live too far away then it can be turned in money and carried easier to present to the Lord. The Lord also said that they were not to forget the Levites because they had no land – they are devoted to the service of the Lord. Every three years the tithe is to be brought to the city where it is given to the poor, stranger, orphan and widow. Next the Lord specifies the law of debt. He says that after seven years all debt is to be released. The Lord goes on to say that the nation can borrow to other nations but not borrow from them. This is because you can reign over them but they cannot reign over you. No Israelite is to shut up his heart of compassion in his poor brother. But a man is to open his hand wide and lend to a poor man enough for his needs. Nor are they to think of the approaching seventh year. Those who do not help the poor may find that the poor man will call on the Lord and it will be recorded a sin against you. If a Hebrew man or woman is sold as a slave they can only serve for six years and in the seventh year they are released. And on their release they are to be sent away with enough to begin a new life, including money, goods and herds. Israel is never to forget that they were slaves in Egypt. However if the manservant or maidservant has been so kindly treated by the master then he or she can opt to remain a slave for life. The slave is to be taken to the door post and taking an awl is pierced through the ear to the door post. In this way the servant is known to have forever an open ear to his master’s call. The Lords blessing was promised on all these things. Lastly the Lord teaches Israel that all the firstlings of stock, sheep, goats or cattle are to be devoted to the Lord to be eaten at festivals. Those that are not perfect are to be eaten in the common market. The blood is never to be eaten but poured out before the Lord.
- What was the law of clean and unclean food all about?
- What was tithing all about?
- What was the Sabbatical year all about?