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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy

(Return to Old Testament Contents)



Part 3: Ch.12-20 Moses reminds them of Stipulations for a Holy Nation

Ch.12 The One Place of Worship

Ch.13 Beware Deception

Ch.14 Food & Tithing

Ch.15 Year Seven Changes & Firstborn Animal Offerings

Ch. 16 Festivals, Justice & Worship

Ch. 17 Worship, Justice & any Future King

Ch. 18 Maintain Right Spiritual Practices   

Ch. 19 Rules for Cities of Refuge

Ch. 20 Rules for Going to War



FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy 14: Food & Tithing


v.1-21 Clean and Unclean Food

v.22-29 Tithes



v.1-21 Clean and Unclean Food


v.1,2 You are a unique people remember that.

v.1 You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,

v.2 for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.


v.3-10 Eating some animals is forbidden (possibly for health reasons)

v.3 Do not eat any detestable thing.

v.4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,

v.5 the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.

v.6 You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.

v.7 However, of those that chew the cud or that have a divided hoof you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the hyrax. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you.

v.8 The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.

v.9 Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales.

v.10 But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.


v.11-20 Some flying creatures are not to be eaten

v.11 You may eat any clean bird.

v.12-18 But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon,  any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,  the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,  the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant,  the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

v.19 All flying insects are unclean to you; do not eat them.

v.20 But any winged creature that is clean you may eat.


v.21 Carcasses are not to be eaten by you

v.21 Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. But you are a people holy to the Lord your God.

Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.


[Notes: The requirements in respect of food permitted or forbidden has caused much discussion and apart from making Israel stand out as a holy people with very specific food laws, it is usually suggested that perhaps the animals, birds etc. that are forbidden for eating are part of this prohibition for health reasons.]



v.22-29 Tithes


v.22 A tithe meant a tenth given to the Lor

v.22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.


v.23 It could clearly be crops or animals but eaten by the giver

v.23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.

v.24 Mostly it is to be at the Tabernacle unless it is too far away

v.24 But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away),


v.25 If that is so replace it with silver to be taken to the Tabernacle

v.25 then exchange your tithe for silver and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose.


v.26 Then again swap it for food to be eaten ta the Tabernacle

v.26 Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.


v.27-29 In the third year store it for the Levites

v.27 And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.

v.28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns,

v.29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.


[Notes: References to tithing is also seen in Lev 27:30-33 & Num 18:21-32. Two facts in scripture suggest a) part of the tithe was eaten before the Lord at the Tabernacle by the giver and b) part was given to the Levites. When the tithe was presented, is unstated and it might be reasonable to suppose that as there were twelve tribes, each tribe was allocated a specific month in which to take their tithes to the Tabernacle. This would, of course, then require them to store produce which may mitigate against such a solution, perhaps therefore suggesting that produce be brought in a period spread out after Harvest but it is unknown.]