Deuteronomy 26:11 MEANING

Deuteronomy 26:11
Verse 11. - And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing, etc.; i.e. with these bounties of God's providence make a feast for yourself and your household, and omit not to invite the Levite and the stranger to partake of it with you. As with the yearly tithe (Deuteronomy 14:23) and the firstlings (Deuteronomy 15:20), so with this portion of the firstfruits, a festive meal was to consummate the service. According to the Law, the firstfruits were the perquisite of the priest (Deuteronomy 18:4; Numbers 18:12, etc.); but of these a portion was to be taken for this special service, and of that a feast was to be made.

26:1-11 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.And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing,.... In all the blessings of goodness and mercies of life, which God in his kind providence had favoured them with:

which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house; to them and their families, by which they were comfortably provided for:

thou and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you; by which it seems that not only a basket of firstfruits was brought and presented to the Lord, which is the perquisite of the priest, but there were others also brought, or bought with their money at Jerusalem, and a sort of a kept, which the Levite, and stranger or proselyte, of along with the owner; see Deuteronomy 12:11; though Jarchi understands it of the Levite and stranger being obliged to bring the firstfruits: the Levite, he says, is bound to the firstfruits of the plants in the midst of his cities, though he had no part in the division of the land; and the same writer says, the stranger brings the firstfruits, but does not proclaim, because he cannot say, "which he sware to our fathers", Deuteronomy 26:3; but it is said (f), if his mother was an Israelitess he might proclaim; yea, Maimonides (g) says, on account of what is said of Abraham, Genesis 17:5; who is the father of the whole world; see Romans 4:10; because mention is made of rejoicing; hence it is concluded, as Jarchi says, that the proclamation of the firstfruits was only made in the time of joy, from Pentecost unto the feast that a man gathers in his increase, and his fruits, and his wine, and his oil; though from that feast and onward he may bring, but not proclaim; to the same purpose, says the Misnah (h), from Pentecost to the feast of tabernacles a man may bring the firstfruits, and proclaim; and even from the feast of tabernacles to the dedication of the temple, he may bring, but not proclaim; the reason given in Siphri (i) is, because proclamation is only to be performed in time of joy--and the joy of the year is finished at the end of the feast of tabernacles, as in Leviticus 23:40.

(f) Misn. Biccurim, c. 1. sect. 4. (g) Maimon. Hilchot Biccurim, c. 4. sect. 3.((h) Ut supra, (f)) sect. 6. (i) Apud Maimon. Hilchot Biccurim, c. 4. sect. 6.

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