Chapter 26

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1 And it shall be when thou art come in vnto the land which the Lord giueth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein:

2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giueth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt goe vnto the place which the Lord thy God shal choose to place his Name there:

3 And thou shalt goe vnto the Priest that shall be in those dayes, and say vnto him, I professe this day vnto the Lord thy God, that I am come vnto the countrey which the Lord sware vnto our fathers for to giue vs.

4 And the Priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it downe before the Altar of the Lord thy God.

5 And thou shalt speake and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and hee went downe into Egypt, and soiourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

6 And the Egyptians euil intreated vs, and afflicted vs, and layd vpon vs hard bondage.

7 And when wee cryed vnto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voyce, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression.

8 And the Lord brought vs foorth out of Egypt with a mightie hand, and with an out-stretched arme, and with great terriblenesse, and with signes, and with wonders.

9 And he hath brought vs into this place, and hath giuen vs this land, euen a land that floweth with milke and honie.

10 And now behold, I haue brought the First fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast giuen mee: and thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God.

11 And thou shalt reioyce in euery good thing, which the Lord thy God hath giuen vnto thee, and vnto thine house, thou, and the Leuite, and the stranger that is among you.

12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase, the third yeere, which is the yeere of tything, and hast giuen it vnto the Leuite, the stranger, the fatherlesse, and the widow, that they may eate within thy gates, and be filled:

13 Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I haue brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also haue giuen them vnto the Leuite, and vnto the stranger, to the fatherlesse, and to the widow, according to all thy commandements, which thou hast commanded me: I haue not transgressed thy commandements, neither haue I forgotten them.

14 I haue not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither haue I taken away ought thereof for any vncleane vse, nor giuen ought thereof for the dead: but I haue hearkened to the voyce of the Lord my God, and haue done according to all that thou hast commaunded me.

15 Looke downe from thy holy habitation, from heauen, and blesse thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast giuen vs, as thou swarest vnto our fathers, a land that floweth with milke and hony.

16 This day the Lord thy God hath commanded thee to doe these Statutes and Iudgements: thou shalt therefore keepe and doe them with all thine heart, and with all thy soule.

17 Thou hast auouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walke in his wayes, and to keepe his Statutes, and his Commaundements, and his Iudgements, and to hearken vnto his voice.

18 And the Lord hath auouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keepe all his Commaundements:

19 And to make thee high aboue all nations which he hath made, in praise and in name, and in honour, and that thou mayest be an holy people vnto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.

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Commentary for Deuteronomy 26

Confession in offering the first-fruits. (1-11) The prayer after disposal of the third year's tithe. (12-15) The covenant between God and the people. (16-19)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.

12-15 How should the earth yield its increase, or, if it does, what comfort can we take in it, unless therewith our God gives us his blessing? All this represented the covenant relation between a reconciled God and every true believer, and the privileges and duties belonging to it. We must be watchful, and show that according to the covenant of grace in Christ Jesus, the Lord is our God, and we are his people, waiting in his appointed way for the performance of his gracious promises.

16-19 Moses here enforces the precepts. They are God's laws, therefore thou shalt do them, to that end were they given thee; do them, and dispute them not; do them, and draw not back; do them, not carelessly and hypocritically, but with thy heart and soul, thy whole heart and thy whole soul. We forswear ourselves, and break the most sacred engagement, if, when we have taken the Lord to be our God, we do not make conscience of obeying his commands. We are elected to obedience, #1Pe 1:2|; chosen that we should be holy, #Eph 1:4|; purified a peculiar people, that we might not only do good works, but be zealous in them, #Tit 2:14|. Holiness is true honour, and the only way to everlasting honour.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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