Bible Commentaries

Deuteronomy 14

Verses 1-29

Continuing, Moses proceeded to give the injunctions which revealed his consciousness of this effect of worship on conduct, warning the people against specific evils and urging them anew to observance of matters enjoined by the Law.

In this chapter we find first of all his warning against the seduction of sorrow. The people of the land were accustomed to mutilate themselves in the wildness of their sorrow over the death of friends. All such mutilation was strictly forbidden to the people chosen to be a holy people to the Lord.

Next in order, followed careful instructions on eating, with differentiation between things clean and unclean. Such provisions as these were long looked on as wholly capricious, the result of mere superstitions among the Hebrew people. Today we find men of science coming ever more closely to the teachings of Moses in their views on the subject of human diet. There is no question that every provision was in strict accordance with the laws of health, qualified of course by the climate and conditions existing in that land.

Finally, the chapter contains Moses’ instructions on tithing. The people were warned not to neglect it and it was insisted that they must personally present the tithe at the place of the law's appointing. If they lived too far away to carry the produce, they were to turn it into money, which might more easily be carried the long distance.