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Deuteronomy 26:2-13

Context
26:2 you must take the first of all the ground’s produce you harvest from the land the Lord your God is giving you, place it in a basket, and go to the place where he 1  chooses to locate his name. 2  26:3 You must go to the priest in office at that time and say to him, “I declare today to the Lord your 3  God that I have come into the land that the Lord 4  promised 5  to our ancestors 6  to give us.” 26:4 The priest will then take the basket from you 7  and set it before the altar of the Lord your God. 26:5 Then you must affirm before the Lord your God, “A wandering 8  Aramean 9  was my ancestor, 10  and he went down to Egypt and lived there as a foreigner with a household few in number, 11  but there he became a great, powerful, and numerous people. 26:6 But the Egyptians mistreated and oppressed us, forcing us to do burdensome labor. 26:7 So we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and he 12  heard us and saw our humiliation, toil, and oppression. 26:8 Therefore the Lord brought us out of Egypt with tremendous strength and power, 13  as well as with great awe-inspiring signs and wonders. 26:9 Then he brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 26:10 So now, look! I have brought the first of the ground’s produce that you, Lord, have given me.” Then you must set it down before the Lord your God and worship before him. 14  26:11 You will celebrate all the good things that the Lord your God has given you and your family, 15  along with the Levites and the resident foreigners among you.

Presentation of the Third-year Tithe

26:12 When you finish tithing all 16  your income in the third year (the year of tithing), you must give it to the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows 17  so that they may eat to their satisfaction in your villages. 18  26:13 Then you shall say before the Lord your God, “I have removed the sacred offering 19  from my house and given it to the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows just as you have commanded me. 20  I have not violated or forgotten your commandments.

1 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

2 sn The place where he chooses to locate his name. This is a circumlocution for the central sanctuary, first the tabernacle and later the Jerusalem temple. See Deut 12:1-14 and especially the note on the word “you” in v. 14.

3 tc For the MT reading “your God,” certain LXX mss have “my God,” a contextually superior rendition followed by some English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, TEV). Perhaps the text reflects dittography of the kaf (כ) at the end of the word with the following preposition כִּי (ki).

4 tc The Syriac adds “your God” to complete the usual formula.

5 tn Heb “swore on oath.”

6 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 7, 15).

7 tn Heb “your hand.”

8 tn Though the Hebrew term אָבַד (’avad) generally means “to perish” or the like (HALOT 2-3 s.v.; BDB 1-2 s.v.; cf. KJV “a Syrian ready to perish”), a meaning “to go astray” or “to be lost” is also attested. The ambivalence in the Hebrew text is reflected in the versions where LXX Vaticanus reads ἀπέβαλεν (apebalen, “lose”) for a possibly metathesized reading found in Alexandrinus, Ambrosianus, ἀπέλαβεν (apelaben, “receive”); others attest κατέλειπεν (kateleipen, “leave, abandon”). “Wandering” seems to suit best the contrast with the sedentary life Israel would enjoy in Canaan (v. 9) and is the meaning followed by many English versions.

9 sn A wandering Aramean. This is a reference to Jacob whose mother Rebekah was an Aramean (Gen 24:10; 25:20, 26) and who himself lived in Aram for at least twenty years (Gen 31:41-42).

10 tn Heb “father.”

11 tn Heb “sojourned there few in number.” The words “with a household” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarity.

12 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 26:2.

13 tn Heb “by a powerful hand and an extended arm.” These are anthropomorphisms designed to convey God’s tremendously great power in rescuing Israel from their Egyptian bondage. They are preserved literally in many English versions (cf. KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).

14 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 26:2.

15 tn Or “household” (so NASB, NIV, NLT); Heb “house” (so KJV, NRSV).

16 tn Heb includes “the tithes of.” This has not been included in the translation to avoid redundancy.

17 tn The terms “Levite, resident foreigner, orphan, and widow” are collective singulars in the Hebrew text (also in v. 13).

18 tn Heb “gates.”

19 tn Heb “the sacred thing.” The term הַקֹּדֶשׁ (haqqodesh) likely refers to an offering normally set apart for the Lord but, as a third-year tithe, given on this occasion to people in need. Sometimes this is translated as “the sacred portion” (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV), but that could sound to a modern reader as if a part of the house were being removed and given away.

20 tn Heb “according to all your commandment that you commanded me.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.



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