Deuteronomy 14 & 15 – Reading Note – Care for the Poor

These two chapters deal with provisions for the welfare of the poor.

  • God asked the people to make tithes with him, then, take the tithes to his temple and eat it. Sweet! (14: 22 – 27)
  • The Tithes collected every three years were to be stored and given to widows, the fatherless, the levites and aliens (I assume they mean foreigners, not little green men). Each town stored their own. God said this would bring his blessing on them. (14: 28, 29)
  • Every 7 years, the Israelites were to cancel the debts owed to them by fellow Israelites. But they could still collect debts from foreigners (15: 1 – 3).
  • God said that if the Israelites followed his rules, he would bless them so that no one among them would be poor, they would not borrow from other nations or be ruled by them (15: 4 – 6). But he said in 15:11 that there would always be poor people among them, so he knew they would not obey him .
  • God said that they must lend to any poor person who asks from them if they had. Even if the seventh year was near. Refusing to do so was sin. Verse 11 says to give not only to fellow Israelites, but to the poor and needy in general. (15:11)
  • A Hebrew (male or female) who sold himself to another Hebrew was to be freed after six years’ service and given some of the master’s produce from his flocks, winepress and threshing floor. He was to be given ‘liberally’, ‘as the LORD your God has blessed you”. (15: 12 – 15)
  • A servant who did not want to leave had the option of remaining with his master till his death. This option presumes that some people would love their masters so much or be so prosperous with them, that they would refuse to leave (15: 16 ,17). This was also for those who had married some of the masters’ servants and did not want to leave their spouse and children.
  • Once again, they’re reminded that the firstborn of animals belong to God, so they have to eat them ceremonially (:D) instead of putting them to other work. No shearing of first born sheep. The defective ones, however, could be eaten in their own towns instead of being taken to the temple (15: 19 – 22).
  • It was forbidden to eat blood (15:23)

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I’m Tracy

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