We will begin in Deuteronomy 14:1 "Ye [are] the children of the
LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness
between your eyes for the dead."

     It was the custom of the heathens around them to cut themselves
and shave their heads in mourning for the dead. This is strictly
forbidden for God's people. The reason it is forbidden is, because
their LORD God is the giver of life. To do this, would show no faith
in God. Jesus even said, that we should rejoice at one's death, and
mourn at one's birth. Christianity believes in life after death.

     Deuteronomy 14:2 "For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy
God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto
himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth."

     They have been given God's law, and they are to set an example
for the rest of the world. The world is to know these are God's
chosen.  Their lives are to reveal their relationship with the LORD.
"Peculiar" is speaking of their being different. They are set aside to
show the world the grace of God.

     Deuteronomy 14:3  "Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing."

     This separation of themselves from things God had forbidden to
the Jews to eat, separates them from other people. We see a Scripture
in the New Testament, which shows this was just for the Jews. I
Timothy 4:4 "For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be
refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" I Timothy 4:5 "For it
is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."  The separation for the
Jews of these things was to teach them holiness in the LORD.  Romans
14:14 "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is]
nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be
unclean, to him [it is] unclean."  The abominable food the Jews eat
are abominable, because God forbid them to eat it. They are being
disobedient to God, when they eat it.

     Deuteronomy 14:4 "These [are] the beasts which ye shall eat: the
ox, the sheep, and the goat," Deuteronomy 14:5 "The hart, and the
roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and
the wild ox, and the chamois." Deuteronomy 14:6 "And every beast that
parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, [and] cheweth
the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat."

     The three verses above, are a re-stating from Leviticus of the
meat that is permitted the Israelite to eat. Perhaps, for health
reasons, we would feel better, if we followed these rules ourselves.
The above would be classified as clean animals. "Pygarg" is an

     Deuteronomy 14:7 "Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them
that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; [as] the
camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide
not the hoof; [therefore] they [are] unclean unto you."

     We see the reason these are forbidden to eat, is that they do not
follow both the cloven hoof and chewing the cud.

     Deuteronomy 14:8 "And the swine, because it divideth the hoof,
yet cheweth not the cud, it [is] unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of
their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase."

     We went into detail on this in Leviticus. We will just state
here, that pork that is not well cooked can make you very sick. This
is a law of preservation for the Jews. You might list it as a dietery
law. A swine is a scavenger. This is why it is forbidden.

     Deuteronomy 14:9  "These ye shall eat of all that [are] in the
waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:"  Deuteronomy
14:10 "And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it [is]
unclean unto you."

     Again, the separation here is of those fish which are scavengers
and eat anything. The fish without fins have no discretion about what
they eat. They are blood eaters.

     Deuteronomy 14:11   "[Of] all clean birds ye shall eat."
Deuteronomy 14:12 "But these [are they] of which ye shall not eat: the
eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey," Deuteronomy 14:13 "And the
glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind," Deuteronomy
14:14 "And every raven after his kind,"  Deuteronomy 14:15 "And the
owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind,"
Deuteronomy 14:16 "The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,"
Deuteronomy 14:17 "And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the
cormorant," Deuteronomy 14:18 "And the stork, and the heron after her
kind, and the lapwing, and the bat."  Deuteronomy 14:19 "And every
creeping thing that flieth [is] unclean unto you: they shall not be
eaten."  Deuteronomy 14:20 "[But of] all clean fowls ye may eat."

     These regulations, again, are dietary laws. The birds that are
forbidden here, on the whole are "scavengers", and live of dead
things.  They are part of God's system of cleaning up the dead things
on the earth. The most important thing about these things, is God's
care for His people. We see that God wants them to learn to obey His
commands without questioning why.

     Deuteronomy 14:21  "Ye shall not eat [of] any thing that dieth of
itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that [is] in thy gates,
that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou
[art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a
kid in his mother's milk."

     We see in this that, the stranger {heathen} has no such
ordinance.  He can eat whatever is available. He is not a circumcised
person, so does not obey the dietary laws. The Hebrew's holiness in
the Lord would keep them from eating it. A Hebrew will not serve milk
and meat at the same meal. This is, possibly, the extreme of the
statement above. "Seething" is a form of boiling. The only reason for
this would be sympathy for the animals, I suppose.

     Deuteronomy 14:22 "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy
seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year."

     A "tithe" is 1/10 of their increase. Seed refers to everything
grown by that seed. It appears, they take the 1/10 to the place of
worship, and prepare it as food there. The eating of these holy
things, in a sense, makes them partakers of holiness.

     Deuteronomy 14:23 "And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in
the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of
thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy
herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy
God always."

     This meal is to be a holy communion with the LORD. This being
brought to the holy place, shows that this no longer belongs to the
person bringing it. The fact that he eats of that which is the LORD's,
shows he is actually partaking of the LORD. This eating shows
obedience to the LORD. Had he eaten this 1/10 at home, it would have
been sin. All of this shows he is interested in pleasing the LORD.

     Deuteronomy 14:24 "And if the way be too long for thee, so that
thou art not able to carry it; [or] if the place be too far from thee,
which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the
LORD thy God hath blessed thee:"

     Jerusalem would be chosen as the place of worship. Some of the
places are pretty far away from there. This is to cover the
inconvenience of going many miles to keep this. There must be an
offering, to show their gratitude for the LORD blessing them.

     Deuteronomy 14:25 "Then shalt thou turn [it] into money, and bind
up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD
thy God shall choose:"

     The 1/10 that belongs to the LORD is not to be eaten in regular
meals at home. This must be sold for money. He must take the money to
the place the Lord has chosen for him to worship. He still makes the
trip to the LORD's house, but is not weighted down with the animals.

     Deuteronomy 14:26 "And thou shalt bestow that money for
whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for
wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and
thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice,
thou, and thine household,"

     They actually use the money to buy what they are taking to the
LORD's house. They carry whatever they have purchased, and eat it in
the presence of the LORD. This is the same as before, the only
difference is they buy their offering.

     Deuteronomy 14:27 "And the Levite that [is] within thy gates;
thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with

     We have discussed before that, the Levites live of the offerings
that are brought to the church.

     Deuteronomy 14:28  "At the end of three years thou shalt bring
forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay
[it] up within thy gates:"

     This is speaking of that portion which is set aside for the
Levite and the stranger. This is separated out from their own food. It
is kept for the necessities we see in the next verse.

     Deuteronomy 14:29 "And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor
inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the
widow, which [are] within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be
satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of
thine hand which thou doest."

     The portion that is set aside is specifically for the Levite, but
is, also, used to feed the hungry sranger, or widow, or orphans. This
is for those who have nothing of their own. The Hebrew must always
care for those less fortunate than himself. This is one thing that
made him like his God. When he does help the helpless, God will
abundantly bless him.

                        Deuteronomy 16 Questions

1.  Why were they not to cut themselves for the dead?
2.  What did Jesus say about birth and death?
3.  Who were they to set an example for?
4.  What kind of people were they called in verse 2?
5.  What is different about them?
6.  Thou shalt not eat any ____________ thing.
7.  Quote 1 Timothy chapter 4 verses 4 and 5.
8.  What are the beasts they can eat?
9.  "Pygarg" is an ___________.
10. What are some of the animals they cannot eat?
11. Why was pork specifically forbidden?
12. What kind of law is covered here?
13. What fish can be eaten?
14. What fish are forbidden?
15. What are some birds strictly forbidden to eat?
16. "Scavengers" live of ________ things.
17. Who can eat of things that die of themselves?
18. What is "seething"?
19. What is a "tithe"?
20. Where shall they eat the holy things?
21. What is this meal in verse 23?
22. What is the exception in verse 24?
23. Explain what the person far off does to fulfill this?
24. Where must they eat the offering?
25. What do the Levites live of?
26. What is verse 28 speaking of?
27. What is the one thing that makes these Israelites like God?