Dave Burnette's Commentary

Deuteronomy Chapter 14

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses 
Date Penned: (1407 BC)
Overview: To Remind and Rededicate Israel to the Lord (c 1-34)
Theme: Principles for Godly Living (c 5-28)
Message: Clean and Unclean Foods (v 1-29)

Deuteronomy 14 Commentary

(14:1) Pagan Practices - The actions described here refer to pagan practices related to remembering, serving, and making requests of the dead. Dead relatives were thought to have influence in the spirit realm. Many religions today practice veneration of dead relatives, which usually involves prayers and service to them. But Christianity and Judaism are very different from other religions, partly because they focus on serving God in this life. And since we have a personal relationship with a living God who listens to us, we don't need to look to dead relatives for help. If we have put our trust in Jesus, we don't need to mourn for dead loved ones like people who have no hope. We know that God will raise them to life again if they belong to him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Don't let concern or worry about the dead distract you from the tasks that God has for you while you are still alive.

(14:3-21) Forbidden Foods - Why were the Israelites forbidden to eat certain foods? There are several reasons: (1) Predatory animals ate the blood of other animals, and scavengers ate dead animals. Because the people could not eat blood or animals they found dead, they could not eat animals that did these things either. (2) Some forbidden animals had bad associations in the Israelite culture, as bats, snakes, and spiders do for some people today. Some may have been used in pagan religious practices (see Isaiah 66:17). To the Israelites, the unclean animals represented sin or unhealthy habits. (3) Perhaps some restrictions were given to the Israelites just to remind them continually that they were a unique and separate people committed to God. Although we no longer need to follow these laws about food (Acts 10:9-16), we can still learn from them the lesson that holiness is to be carried into all parts of life. We must not restrict holiness only to our
spiritual activities, like what we do at church on Sundays; we must be holy in the everyday, practical parts of life as well. Health practices, finances, and our uses of leisure time--all of these provide opportunities to make daily living holy living.

(14:21) Respecting Life - This prohibition against cooking a young goat in its mother's milk may reflect a pagan practice. Or it may just illustrate that the Israelites were not to take what was intended to promote life and use it to kill or destroy life. This commandment is also given in the book of Exodus (see Exodus 23:19; 34:26).

(14:22-23) Tithing - The Bible makes the purpose of tithing very clear- to teach us to fear the Lord and to put him first in our lives. We are to give God the first and best of what we earn. What we do first with our money, for example, shows what we value most. Giving the first part of our paycheck to God immediately focuses our attention on him. It also reminds us that all we have belongs to him. A habit of regular giving can keep God at the top of our priority list and give us a proper perspective on everything else we have.
(14:28-29) Caring for the Poor - The Bible supports an organized system of caring for the poor. God told his people to use their tithe every third year for those who were helpless, hungry, or poor. These regulations were designed to prevent the country from sinking under crushing poverty and oppression. Everyone was responsible for caring for those who were in need. Families were to help their members, and towns were to help members of their communities. National laws protected the rights of the poor, but helping the poor was also an important part of religious life. Even though many countries today have welfare laws, often they are not enough to help everyone in need. God counts on believers to provide for the poor, and we should use what God has given us to aid those who are overlooked and under-resourced. Look beyond your regular giving and think of ways to help those in need. This shows your regard for God as creator of all people, shares God's goodness with others, and helps to draw them to him.



Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Deuteronomy with Chapter 14 and we see Moses continues giving Principles to teach this new generation of Israel. In this text Moses explains Clean and Unclean Foods along with Tithes. We see that there are symbolic meanings behind the statutes given as we are a people unto Himself and today with foods and tithes. We see that there are healthy foods to eat and less healthy foods. In choosing to deny certain foods we identify what is unclean before the Lord as an testimony to others. In tithing we see the Lords welfare system to give of tithe so that there will meat in His house and meet the needs of others. In making application we see that the meats listed to avoid are unhealthy and the need to tithe is needed to meet the needs of others. Some get prideful in keeping the law but the Lord has us to be testimony and blessing in keeping these principles. It reminds me of a Church I visited who preached tithing and took great pride in their offerings. The leaders drove elaborate vehicles, expensive clothing, and lived in mansions but didn't have a food pantry for the poor or a benevolence fund to help the poor. This Church followed the letter of the law but missed the heart of this principles. God wants you to be the same on the outside as the inside. How about you? Do you see this principle in your Life? Let us learn from today's text understanding the Lords plan for eating and tithing in our lives.


Deuteronomy 14

Deuteronomy 14

 1Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

 2For 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.

 3Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

 4These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,

 5The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.

 6And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.

 7Nevertheless 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.

 8And 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.

 9These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:

 10And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

 11Of all clean birds ye shall eat.

 12But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

 13And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,

 14And every raven after his kind,

 15And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,

 16The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,

 17And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,

 18And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

 19And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.

 20But of all clean fowls ye may eat.

 21Ye shall not eat of anything 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.

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

 23And 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.

 24And 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:

 25Then 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:

 26And 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,

 27And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

 28At 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:

 29And 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.