Deuteronomy Chapter 14  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Deuteronomy 14
Deu 14:1

“between your eyes.” Although the literal Hebrew is “between your eyes,” we must remember that people back in those times had no easy way to cut hair, and so often men had longer hair and the hair on the front of their head could hang down like bangs and end up “between the eyes.” One way that some ancients would mourn the dead was to cut a bald spot just above the forehead where it could be easily seen, in which case there would be no hair to droop down between the eyes. Here in Deuteronomy 14:1, God does not want people marking themselves or disfiguring themselves for the dead. This was in part because life is ahead, not behind us, but also because many people, both ancient and modern, think that dead people are alive in some form, which opens those people to demons who impersonate the dead as ghosts or in seances. Those demons work to win the confidence of people and get them to believe they really are speaking to people “on the other side,” and at that point the demons can give people a lot of false informantion, the most basic of which is that dead people are actually alive in some form somewhere. The Bible is clear: dead people are dead, and that is what makes this life so incredibly valuable. [For more on dead people being dead in every way and not alive anywhere or in any form, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead].

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Deu 14:13

“after its kind.” That is, any kind of falcon or kite, but also including eagles, vultures, etc., from the verses above. Basically, no kind of bird of prey was clean to eat.

Deu 14:14

“every raven after its kind.” That would include crows, which are “after the kind” of ravens.

Deu 14:15(top)
Deu 14:16(top)
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Deu 14:19

“they may not be eaten.” God did not want people eating flies, gnats, butterflies, and such. He does say that the locust can be eaten however (Lev. 11:22).

Deu 14:20(top)
Deu 14:21(top)
Deu 14:22

“tithe, yes, tithe.” This is the figure of speech polyptoton, where the word “tithe” is repeated twice in the Hebrew text, but the two occurrences are inflected differently. The double use of “tithe” is for emphasis, which some translations express by saying something such as, “You are to surely tithe.” [For more on the use of polyptoton, and the translation of it, see commentary on Gen. 2:16].

The Law of Moses commanded people to give a tenth of the grain they grew and the other vegetable harvests such as grapes and olives (Lev. 27:30; Num. 18:21; Deut. 14:22; Mal. 3:8-12). Animals were tithed also, but differently (Lev. 27:32). There was no formal tithe in the over 2500 years from Adam to the Mosaic Law. The reason for the institution of the tithe was that God commanded that the tribe of Levi could not own land and was to do the work of the Temple, as well as other duties that required their attention. As long as the people of the other 11 tribes of Israel paid their tithe, there was money for the Levites. When the Law of Moses was fulfilled and the physical Temple was no longer the true Temple, the tithe was no longer a legal requirement (the Body of Christ is the Temple today—see commentary on 1 Cor. 3:16).

Since there is no legal requirement to give a tenth today, the Bible says that Christians are to give as they purpose in their heart (2 Cor. 9:7). However, they are still to give, and giving generously is always God’s heart. Christians are to give to those who minister the Word of God within the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 9:11-14). They are also to give to those in need (cp. Phil. 4:10-14), and are to keep in mind that those who sow generously will reap a generous reward for it (2 Cor. 9:6).

Deu 14:23

“in the place that he will choose.” In Deuteronomy God heavily introduces that in the future people will have to come to where He is to worship (see commentary on Deut. 12:5).

Deu 14:24(top)
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Deu 14:26

“and you may spend the money on whatever your soul desires, for cattle or for sheep or for wine or for beer.” Bringing money instead of animals was done a lot by the Jews while the Tabernacle and later the Temple existed. Animals traveled slowly and were cumbersome to herd along, so it made much more sense to sell the animal in one’s hometown and just carry money. Sadly, by the time of Christ, the greedy priests made the regulation that the “unclean money” of other nations could not be used in the Temple to buy animals for sacrifice, and so the priests established moneychangers who changed the foreign coinage into “proper Jewish coinage” that the people could use to buy animals to sacrifice. Of course there was usually no exact way to evenly trade the foreign money for the Jewish money, so in the trade, the priests, who controlled the system, always made out ahead and the people lost money in the exchange.

Jesus Christ knew that the whole system was bogus and only established to further enrich the priests, who were generally already rich, which is why when he went into the Temple at Passover time he turned over the moneychangers tables, drove the animals away, and called the place where they were “a den of robbers” (Mark 11:15-18; John 2:13-17). Those evil priests and Levites, and any person who behaves like them and takes advantage of others will not do well on the Day of Judgment.

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Deu 14:29(top)

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