Deuteronomy – Chapter 14

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 14


«You are children of the LORD, your God. You shall not gash yourselves nor shave the hair above your foreheads for the dead.


For you are a people sacred to the LORD, your God, who has chosen you from all the nations on the face of the earth to be a people peculiarly his own.


«You shall not eat any abominable thing.


These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,


1 the red deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the ibex, the addax, the oryx, and the mountain sheep.


Any animal that has hoofs you may eat, provided it is cloven-footed and chews the cud.


But you shall not eat any of the following that only chew the cud or only have cloven hoofs: the camel, the hare and the rock badger, which indeed chew the cud, but do not have hoofs and are therefore unclean for you;


and the pig, which indeed has hoofs and is cloven-footed, but does not chew the cud and is therefore unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch.


«Of the various creatures that live in the water, whatever has both fins and scales you may eat,


but all those that lack either fins or scales you shall not eat; they are unclean for you.


«You may eat all clean birds.


But you shall not eat any of the following: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey,


the various kites and falcons,


all the various species of crows,


the ostrich, the nightjar, the gull, the various species of hawks,


the owl, the screech owl, the ibis,


the desert owl, the buzzard, the cormorant,


the stork, the various species of herons, the hoopoe, and the bat.


2 All winged insects, too, are unclean for you and shall not be eaten.


But you may eat any clean winged creatures.


3 «You must not eat any animal that has died of itself, for you are a people sacred to the LORD, your God. But you may give it to an alien who belongs to your community, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. «You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.


«Each year you shall tithe all the produce that grows in the field you have sown;


then in the place which the LORD, your God, chooses as the dwelling place of his name you shall eat in his presence your tithe of the grain, wine and oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, that you may learn always to fear the LORD, your God.


4 If, however, the journey is too much for you and you are not able to bring your tithe, because the place which the LORD, your God, chooses for the abode of his name is too far for you, considering how the LORD has blessed you,


you may exchange the tithe for money and, with the purse of money in hand, go to the place which the LORD, your God, chooses.


You may then exchange the money for whatever you desire, oxen or sheep, wine or strong drink, or anything else you would enjoy, and there before the LORD, your God, you shall partake of it and make merry with your family.


But do not neglect the Levite who belongs to your community, for he has no share in the heritage with you.


«At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithes of your produce for that year and deposit them in community stores,


that the Levite who has no share in the heritage with you, and also the alien, the orphan and the widow who belong to your community, may come and eat their fill; so that the LORD, your God, may bless you in all that you undertake.

1 [5] The gazelle, the addax, the oryx: species of antelopes. The ibex: a species of wild goat.
2 [19-20] The apparent contradiction is to be resolved in the light of ⇒ Lev 11:20-23: the unclean winged insects are those that walk on the ground; the clean winged creatures are those that leap on the ground, such as certain species of locusts.
3 [21] Boil a kid in its mother’s milk: see note on ⇒ Exodus 23:19.
4 [24] Considering how the LORD has blessed you: should the Israelite farmer be blessed with an abundant harvest, a tenth of this would be too much to transport for a great distance.