The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleDeuteronomy 26:14
I have not eaten thereof in my mourning…
When in grief
and sorrow on account of any afflictive circumstance, for these were to
be eaten with joy, (Deuteronomy 16:11) (26:11) ; and especially of the loss of
relations by death, when holy things were not to be eaten by such
persons; see (Leviticus 10:19) ; and particularly tithes, though it is said F14,
``What is doubtful of tithing (whether it has been tithed or
no) might be eaten by a mourner;''
and a man was reckoned such an one until his dead was buried. So
Maimonides F15 observes,
``a mourner may not eat holy things, as it is written,
(Deuteronomy 26:14) ; he is one whose relation is dead, when he is
obliged to mourn; for he is called by the law a mourner as
long as the dead lies upon the face of the earth (above
ground), or as long as he is not yet buried he is called a
mourner; and so likewise on the day of burial:''
neither have I taken away [ought] thereof for [any] unclean [use];
common use, or any other use than it was designed for, and devoted to;
or for any unclean person, who by the law might not eat thereof; or, as
Jarchi interprets it, that he had not removed it, or taken it away from
being eaten, on account of any unclean person, because I am unclean and
he pure, or he pure and I unclean:
nor given ought thereof for the dead;
for the necessities of the dead,
as Aben Ezra; more particularly Jarchi, to make for him a coffin and
grave clothes; and so the Targum of Jonathan interprets it of grave
clothes for the dead; though that of Jerusalem of clothes for those
that are polluted by the dead. It may have respect also to the
parentalia, or funeral feasts made at the interment of the dead; though
Aben Ezra says, there are some that say it was for idolatry, and so the
person here speaking denies that he had made use of any of the holy
things in honour of idols, of dead men deified; and some are of opinion
that all the above things may have some respect to idolatrous practices
[but] I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, [and] have
done according to all that thou hast commanded me;
observed his word,
and kept close to it, and not swerved from it, but acted according to
it in all things before referred to.
F14 Misn. Demai, c. 1. sect. 2.
F15 Maimon. in Misn. Pesachim, c. 8. sect. 6.
F16 Vid. Patrick in loc.