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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

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2 posted on 02/16/2013 9:38:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Deuteronomy 26:4-10

First Fruits


(Moses spoke to the people saying,) [4] “Then the priest shall take the basket
from your hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God.

[5] “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Ara-
mean was my father; and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in
number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. [6] And
the Egyptians treated us harshly, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bon-
dage. [7] Then we cried to the Lord the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard
our voice, and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression; [8] and the Lord
brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great
terror, with signs and wonders; [9] and he brought us into this place and gave
us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. [10] And behold, now I bring the
first of the fruit of the ground, which thou, O Lord, hast given me.’ And you shall
set it down before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

26:1-11. The Deuteronomic Code, which began by specifying that there should
be only one sanctuary (cf. chap. 12), concludes by giving the prayers that were
to be said in that sanctuary in connection with the offering of the first fruits.

The offering of the first fruits was an appropriate way for Israel to express grati-
tude for the great deeds done by God, the “magnalia Dei”, the wonders he
worked in liberating the people from bondage and establishing them in the pro-
mised land.

The prayer that is said on this occasion (vv. 5-9) is a kind of historical-religious
Creed, a very important one, which takes in all the main features of Old Testa-
ment faith. It is a summary of the history of Israel, centered on its deliverance
from Egypt and settlement in the promised land. These two saving actions form
a paradigm: they are the hinges on which this “creed” (vv. 8-9) turns. Other Old
Testament passages containing similar “professions of faith” are to be found in
Deut 6:20-23; Josh 24:1-13; Neh 9:4ff; Jer 32:16-25 and Ps 136.

Jacob is portrayed as a key figure in the early history of the people of Israel; he
personifies the patriarchal era. The reference to him not by name but as a “wan-
dering Aramaean” (v. 5) underlines the contrast between the miserable circum-
stances of Israel earlier and settlement in the promised land. Jacob could be
called an Aramaean because Abraham may have been connected with the mi-
grations of Aramaean tribes. Moreover, one must bear in mind the long years
Jacob spent in north-eastern Mesopotamia, and his Aramaean wives (Gen 29-
30). The prayer at the first-fruits offering heightens the contrast between the po-
verty of the homeless, landless Aramaean and the prosperity of the rich land-
owner enjoying his freedom in a land flowing with milk and honey.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 02/16/2013 9:43:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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