The First Harvest
26 “You will soon enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You will take that land and live there. 2 You will gather the crops that grow in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You must take some of the first crops you gather and put them in baskets. Then take that part of your harvest to the place that the Lord your God chooses to be the home for his name. 3 Go to the priest who is serving at that time. Tell him, ‘The Lord promised our ancestors that he would give us some land. Today I come to announce to the Lord your God that I have come to that land.’
4 “Then the priest will take the basket from you. He will put it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. 5 Then there before the Lord your God you will say: ‘My ancestor was a wandering Aramean.[a] He went down into Egypt and stayed there. When he went there, he had only a few people in his family. But in Egypt he became a great nation—a powerful nation with many people. 6 The Egyptians treated us badly. They made us slaves. They hurt us and forced us to work very hard. 7 Then we prayed to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and complained about them. And the Lord heard us. He saw our trouble, our hard work, and our suffering. 8 Then the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his great power and strength. He used great miracles and wonders and did amazing things. 9 So he brought us to this place. He gave us this land—a land filled with many good things.[b] 10 Now, Lord, I bring you the first harvest from the land that you gave me.’
“Then you must put the harvest down before the Lord your God and bow down to worship him. 11 Then you must have a meal together and enjoy all the good things that the Lord your God has given to you and your family. You must share them with the Levites and the foreigners living among you.
12 “Every third year is the Year of Tithes. In that year, you must give one-tenth of your harvest to the Levites, to the foreigners living in your country, and to the widows and orphans. Then they will have plenty to eat in every city. 13 You must say to the Lord your God, ‘I have taken out of my house the holy part of my harvest. I have given it to the Levites, to the foreigners, and to the orphans and widows. I have followed all the commands you gave me. I have not refused to obey any of your commands. I have not forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten this food when I was sad.[c] I was not unclean when I collected this food.[d] I have not offered any of this food for dead people. I have obeyed you, Lord my God. I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy home, from heaven, and bless your people Israel. And bless the land that you gave us. You promised our ancestors to give us this land—a land filled with many good things.’
Obey the Lord’s Commands
16 “Today the Lord your God commands you to obey all these laws and rules. Be careful to follow them with all your heart and soul. 17 Today you have said that the Lord is your God. You have promised to live the way he wants. You promised to follow his teachings and to obey his laws and commands. You said you would do everything he tells you to do. 18 And today the Lord has accepted you to be his own people. He has promised you this. The Lord also said that you must obey all his commands. 19 The Lord will make you greater than all the nations he made. He will give you praise, fame, and honor. And you will be his own special people, as he promised.”
- Deuteronomy 26:5 Aramean A person from ancient Syria. Here, this might be Abraham, Isaac, or probably Jacob (Israel).
- Deuteronomy 26:9 land … things Literally, “land flowing with milk and honey.” Also in verse 15.
- Deuteronomy 26:14 I have … sad People ate this food to be happy about the many things God gave them, so it could not be from food used during a time of sadness.
- Deuteronomy 26:14 I was … food This would mean other people could not eat this food during the celebration to honor the Lord.