Deuteronomy 14

 

בָּנִים אַתֶּם לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לֹא תִתְגֹּדְדוּ וְלֹא־תָשִׂימוּ קָרְחָה בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם לָמֵת   14:1

Deut. 14:1   “You are children belonging to the Lord, your God; you must not cut yourselves or make baldness between your eyes in regard to a death.”

Cutting of the skin has already been prohibited in a previous verse, Levi. 19:28, there for a spirit.  This is the first reference to shaving between the eyes, however.                                                     [Return to Mica. 1:16]

כִּי עַם קָדֹושׁ אַתָּה לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּבְךָ בָּחַר יְהוָה לִהְיֹות לֹו לְעַם סְגֻלָּה מִכֹּל הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר עַל־    14:2

פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה

Deut. 14:2   “For you are a holy people to the Lord, your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be His people, treasured more than all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”

In the two instances of second-person pronouns in this verse they are singular in number, referring as they do to the people as a whole.

לֹא תֹאכַל כָּל־תֹּועֵבָה   14:3

Deut. 14:3   “You must not eat anything abominable.”

In the phrase “You must not eat” the pronoun you is also singular; so Moses is still addressing the congregation.  The congregation is obligated to eat nothing abominable.  In contrast, in the next verse and in v. 14:6 the pronoun you is plural.  We are each permitted to eat the named animals.

זֹאת הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכֵלוּ שֹׁור שֵׂה כְשָׂבִים וְשֵׂה עִזִּים   14:4

Deut. 14:4   “This is the animal that you may eat:  Ox, young of sheep, and young of goats,

אַיָּל וּצְבִי וְיַחְמוּר וְאַקֹּו וְדִישֹׁן וּתְאֹו וָזָמֶר   14:5

Deut. 14:5   hart, and gazelle, and roebuck, and wild goat, and antelope, and bison, and mountain sheep.”

וְכָל־בְּהֵמָה מַפְרֶסֶת פַּרְסָה וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע שְׁתֵּי פְרָסֹות מַעֲלַת גֵּרָה בַּבְּהֵמָה אֹתָהּ תֹּאכֵלוּ   14:6

Deut. 14:6    “So every beast of divided hoof and the hoof is cloven in two parts, chewing cud, among the beasts, it you may eat.”

אַךְ אֶת־זֶה לֹא תֹאכְלוּ מִמַּעֲלֵי הַגֵּרָה וּמִמַּפְרִיסֵי הַפַּרְסָה הַשְּׁסוּעָה אֶת־הַגָּמָל וְאֶת־הָאַרְנֶבֶת וְאֶת־   14:7

הַשָּׁפָן כִּי־מַעֲלֵה גֵרָה הֵמָּה וּפַרְסָה לֹא הִפְרִיסוּ טְמֵאִים הֵם לָכֶם

Deut. 14:7   “However, this you must not eat:  Only chewing the cud or only having the hoof cloven -- the camel, and the hare, and the rock badger; because they chew the cud, but the hooves are not cloven; they are unclean to you;

In this verse the second-person pronouns are still plural, indicating that none of us is to eat these animals.  The next verses that contain second-person pronouns, up to v. 14:20, those pronouns are all plural.

וְאֶת־הַחֲזִיר כִּי־מַפְרִיס פַּרְסָה הוּא וְלֹא גֵרָה טָמֵא הוּא לָכֶם מִבְּשָׂרָם לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ וּבְנִבְלָתָם לֹא   14:8

תִגָּעוּ

Deut. 14:8   and the swine, because it parts the hoof, but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you.  Of their flesh you must not eat, and you must not come in contact with their carcasses.”

Shouldn’t Jewish pig farmers be concerned about this?  Although Levi. 11:26 says something similar regarding swine, the restriction specified here seems a bit more stringent.

אֶת־זֶה תֹּאכְלוּ מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בַּמָּיִם כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־לֹו סְנַפִּיר וְקַשְׂקֶשֶׂת תֹּאכֵלוּ   14:9

Deut. 14:9   “This you may eat of all that are in the water:  Everything that has fins and scales you may eat.”

וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר אֵין־לֹו סְנַפִּיר וְקַשְׂקֶשֶׂת לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ טָמֵא הוּא לָכֶם   14:10

Deut. 14:10   “But anything that does not have fins and scales you must not eat; it is unclean to you.

כָּל־צִפֹּור טְהֹרָה תֹּאכֵלוּ   14:11

Deut. 14:11  “Of every clean bird you may eat.”

וְזֶה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תֹאכְלוּ מֵהֶם הַנֶּשֶׁר וְהַפֶּרֶס וְהָעָזְנִיָּה   14:12

Deut. 14:12   But this is what you must not eat of them:  The great vulture and the bearded vulture and the osprey,

וְהָרָאָה וְאֶת־הָאַיָּה וְהַדַּיָּה לְמִינָהּ   14:13

Deut. 14:13   and the glade and the kite and the falcon belonging to its kind,

וְאֵת כָּל־עֹרֵב לְמִינֹו   14:14

Deut. 14:14   and every raven belonging to its kind,

וְאֵת בַּת הַיַּעֲנָה וְאֶת־הַתַּחְמָס וְאֶת־הַשָּׁחַף וְאֶת־הַנֵּץ לְמִינֵהוּ   14:15

Deut. 14:15   and the little ostrich and the nighthawk and the seagull and the hawk belonging to its kind,

אֶת־הַכֹּוס וְאֶת־הַיַּנְשׁוּף וְהַתִּנְשָׁמֶת   14:16

Deut. 14:16   the small owl and the great owl and the horned owl,

וְהַקָּאָת וְאֶת־הָרָחָמָה וְאֶת־הַשָּׁלָךְ   14:17

Deut. 14:17   and the pelican and the carrion vulture and the cormorant,

וְהַחֲסִידָה וְהָאֲנָפָה לְמִינָהּ וְהַדּוּכִיפַת וְהָעֲטַלֵּף   14:18

Deut. 14:18   and the stork and the heron belonging to its kind and the hoopoe and the bat.”

וְכֹל שֶׁרֶץ הָעֹוף טָמֵא הוּא לָכֶם לֹא יֵאָכֵלוּ   14:19

Deut. 14:19   “And every swarming winged thing, it is unclean to you; they must not be eaten.”

כָּל־עֹוף טָהֹור תֹּאכֵלוּ   14:20

Deut. 14:20   “Of all clean birds you may eat.”

לֹא תֹאכְלוּ כָל־נְבֵלָה לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר־בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ אֹו מָכֹר לְנָכְרִי כִּי עַם קָדֹושׁ אַתָּה    14:21

לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא־תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמֹּו

Deut. 14:21   “You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself; you may give it to the stranger who is within your gates or sell to a foreigner and he may eat it, because you are a holy people for the Lord, your God.  You shall not cook a kid with the milk of its mother.”        [Return to 1Sam. 7:9]

From v. 14:4 to this one, all the second-person pronouns are plural, including the first one in this verse..  Then Moses reverts to the singular pronoun.  Here it is obvious that Moses is speaking to the entire congregation.  Later, it is not so obvious.  For example, from v. 14:23 to the first part of v. 14:27 it seems to clearly appear that Moses is speaking to each individual, especially in v. 14:24f.  But I believe that this is no exception to my general rule, this because of v. 14:27, which must even more clearly apply to all of the congregation.  Could the Levite have no inheritance with an individual?  No, only with the whole of the other tribes!  Thus I am fairly certain that Moses is still addressing the congregation as a whole.  So in v. 14:24, I humbly suspect Moses is implying that some time, maybe soon, the entire congregation, or most of it, will be too far from the Temple.

See my discussion of the latter statement of this verse at Exod. 23:19.  I find it rather odd that this admonition, which is the basis for so much observance among Jews, would be placed together with an unrelated statement in the three instances in which it appears in the Torah.                                                [Return to Deut. 22:7]

As far as the first statement of the verse is concerned, it must relate only to the animals that may normally be eaten by the Israelites.  Even the carcasses of the animals that are not to be eaten should be avoided by them according to v. 14:8.

עַשֵּׂר תְּעַשֵּׂר אֵת כָּל־תְּבוּאַת זַרְעֶךָ הַיֹּצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה שָׁנָה שָׁנָה   14:22

Deut. 14:22   “Surely you shall tithe all the yield of your seed coming out of the field year by year.”

In this verse we are told to tithe on all of the yield of our seed, not just the increase.

וְאָכַלְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בַּמָּקֹום אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמֹו שָׁם מַעְשַׂר דְּגָנְךָ תִּירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ   14:23

וּבְכֹרֹת בְּקָרְךָ וְצֹאנֶךָ לְמַעַן תִּלְמַד לְיִרְאָה אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כָּל־הַיָּמִים

Deut. 14:23   “And you shall eat before the Lord, your God, in the place where He shall choose to cause His name to dwell, the tithe of your corn, your wine, and your oil, and the firstlings of your cattle and of your sheep, so that you may learn to revere the Lord, your God, always.”

All the second-person pronouns in this verse are singular:  So Moses was speaking to the entire congregation as a body.

וְכִי־יִרְבֶּה מִמְּךָ הַדֶּרֶךְ כִּי לֹא תוּכַל שְׂאֵתֹו כִּי־יִרְחַק מִמְּךָ הַמָּקֹום אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ   14:24

לָשׂוּם שְׁמֹו שָׁם כִּי יְבָרֶךְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ

Deut. 14:24   “And if the distance will be too great for you so you will not be able to carry it because the place where the Lord, your God, will choose to put his name is too far away from you, when the Lord, your God will bless you,

וְנָתַתָּה בַּכָּסֶף וְצַרְתָּ הַכֶּסֶף בְּיָדְךָ וְהָלַכְתָּ אֶל־הַמָּקֹום אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בֹּו   14:25

Deut. 14:25   then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and you shall go with it to the place that the Lord, your God, shall choose.”

וְנָתַתָּה הַכֶּסֶף בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־תְּאַוֶּה נַפְשְׁךָ בַּבָּקָר וּבַצֹּאן וּבַיַּיִן וּבַשֵּׁכָר וּבְכֹל אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁאָלְךָ נַפְשֶׁךָ   14:26

וְאָכַלְתָּ שָּׁם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְשָׂמַחְתָּ אַתָּה וּבֵיתֶךָ

Deut. 14:26   “And you shall turn the money into anything that your soul will desire, into an ox or into sheep or into wine or into strong drink or into anything that your soul shall ask of you, and you shall eat there before the Lord, your God, and rejoice, you and your household,

וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר־בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ לֹא תַעַזְבֶנּוּ כִּי אֵין לֹו חֵלֶק וְנַחֲלָה עִמָּךְ   14:27

Deut. 14:27   and the Levite who might be within your gates.  You shall not forsake him, for there is no portion or inheritance for him with you.”

Even the Levite who lives in a town of the Israelites is to accompany the Israelites to the temple when the Israelites bring their tithe.  Moreover, from v. 14:26, the Israelites’ households are to accompany them, and they are all to eat the tithe.  In other words, all of the purchase that the tithe money brings is not wholly for the priests.  See my remarks following Deut. 12:21 for more on this.

מִקְצֵה שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים תֹּוצִיא אֶת־כָּל־מַעְשַׂר תְּבוּאָתְךָ בַּשָּׁנָה הַהִוא וְהִנַּחְתָּ בִּשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ   14:28

Deut. 14:28   “At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your produce in that year and lay up within your gates.”

וּבָא הַלֵּוִי כִּי אֵין־לֹו חֵלֶק וְנַחֲלָה עִמָּךְ וְהַגֵּר וְהַיָּתֹום וְהָאַלְמָנָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְאָכְלוּ וְשָׂבֵעוּ   14:29

לְמַעַן יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל־מַעֲשֵׂה יָדְךָ אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה

Deut. 14:29   “And the Levite shall come, because there is no portion or inheritance for him with you, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are within your gates, and they shall eat and be satisfied, so that the Lord, your God, will bless you in all the work of your hand that you will do.”

If I read this correctly, once every three years, the tithe is left for anyone who has nothing to tithe.  It isn’t brought to the Temple.  It is consumed locally in the city or town or household.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

431. You shall not cut yourselves because of a death.    V. 14:1

432. You shall not make the area between your eyes bald because of a death.    V. 14:1

433. You shall not eat any animal that dies of itself.    V. 14:21

434. You shall tithe of your produce each year.    V. 14:22

435. You shall eat your portion of the tithe at the Temple.    V. 14:23

436. If you are too far from the Temple to carry your tithe, you may sell it.   V. 14:24, 14:25

437. Then you shall bind the money in your hand and come to the

        place of the Lord.    V. 14:25

438. Then with the money you shall purchase anything you desire

        and eat it there.    V. 14:26

439. Every third year you shall leave the tithe for the Levite, the stranger,

        the orphan, and the widow.    V. 14:28, 14:29

 

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