- A form of confession made by him that offered the first-fruits, verse 1-11.
- A prayer to be made after the disposal of the third year's tithe, verse 12-15.
- He binds all these precepts upon them, by the divine authority, and the covenant between God and them, verse 16-19.
Thou shalt take - This seems to be required of each master of a family, either upon his first settlement, or once every year at one of their three feasts, when they were obliged to go up to Jerusalem.
A Syrian - So Jacob was, partly by his original, as being born of Syrian parents, as were Abraham and Rebecca, both of Chaldea or Mesopotamia, which was a part of Syria largely so called, partly by his education and conversation; and partly by his relations, his wives being such, and his children too by their mother's. Ready to perish - Either through want and poverty; (See Genesis 28:11,20; ,) or through the rage of his brother Esau, and the treachery of his father-in-law Laban.
It - The basket of first-fruits, Deuteronomy 26:2.
Thou shalt rejoice - Thou shalt hereby enabled to take comfort in all thy employments, when thou hast sanctified them by giving God his portion. It is the will of God, that we should be chearful not only in our attendance upon his holy ordinances, but in our enjoyment of the gifts of his providence. Whatever good thing God gives us, we should make the most comfortable use of it we can, still tracing the streams to the fountain of all consolation.
The year of tithing - Heb. the year of that tithe, so called, either 1. because these tithes were gathered only in that year. Or rather, 2. because then only they were so bestowed; and whereas these second tithes for two years together were eaten only by the owners and Levites, and that in Jerusalem, in the third year they were eaten also by the strangers, fatherless, and widows, and that in their own dwellings.
Before the Lord - In thy private addresses to God; for this is to be said presently upon the distribution of these tithes, which was not done at Jerusalem, but in their own private gates or dwellings. And this is to be spoken before the Lord, that is, solemnly, seriously, and in a religious manner, with due respect to God's presence, and will, and glory.
In my mourning - In sorrow, or grieving that I was to give away so much of my profits to the poor, but I have chearfully eaten and feasted with them, as I was obliged to do. Unclean use - For any common use; for any other use than that which thou hast appointed, which would have been a pollution of them. For the dead - For any funeral pomp or service; for the Jews used to send in provisions to feast with the nearest relations of the party deceased; and in that case both the guests and food were legally polluted, Numbers 19:11,14, and therefore the use of these tithes in such cases had been a double fault, both the defiling of sacred food, and the employing those provisions upon sorrowful occasions, which by God's express command were to be eaten with rejoicing.
Look down - After that solemn profession of their obedience to God's commands, they are taught to pray for God's blessing whereby they are instructed how vain and ineffectual the prayers of unrighteous or disobedient persons are.
Avouched - Or, declared, or owned.
Avouched thee - Hath owned thee for such before all the world by eminent and glorious manifestations of his power and favour, by a solemn entering into covenant with thee, and giving peculiar laws, promises, and privileges to thee above all mankind.