Deuteronomy 14

Don’t Mourn like Other Nations

1 Moses said:
    People of Israel, you are the Lord’s children, so when you mourn for the dead, you must not cut yourselves or shave your forehead. 2 Out of all the nations on this earth, the Lord your God chose you to be his own. You belong to the Lord, so don’t behave like those who worship other gods.

Animals That Can Be Eaten

    3 Don’t eat any disgusting animals.
    4 You may eat the meat of cattle, sheep, and goats; wild sheep and goats; and gazelles, antelopes, and all kinds of deer. 6 It is all right to eat meat from any animals that have divided hoofs and also chew the cud.
    7 But don’t eat camels, rabbits, and rock badgers. These animals chew the cud but do not have divided hoofs. You must treat them as unclean. 8 And don’t eat pork, since pigs have divided hoofs, but they do not chew their cud. Don’t even touch a dead pig!
    9 You can eat any fish that has fins and scales. But there are other creatures that live in the water, 10 and if they do not have fins and scales, you must not eat them. Treat them as unclean.
    11 You can eat any clean bird. 12 But don’t eat the meat of any of the following birds: eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, storks, herons, and hoopoes. You must not eat bats. 19 Swarming insects are unclean, so don’t eat them. 20 However, you are allowed to eat certain kinds of winged insects.
    21 You belong to the Lord your God, so if you happen to find a dead animal, don’t eat its meat. You may give it to foreigners who live in your town or sell it to foreigners who are visiting your town.

Give the Lord Ten Percent of Your Harvest

Moses said:
Don’t boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
    22 People of Israel, every year you must set aside ten percent of your grain harvest. 23 Also set aside ten percent of your wine and olive oil, and the first-born of every cow, sheep, and goat. Take these to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshiped, and eat them there. This will teach you to always respect the Lord your God.
    24 But suppose you can’t carry that ten percent of your harvest to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshiped. If you live too far away, or if the Lord gives you a big harvest, 25 then sell this part and take the money there instead. 26 When you and your family arrive, spend the money on food for a big celebration. Buy cattle, sheep, goats, wine, beer, and if there are any other kinds of food that you want, buy those too. 27 And since people of the Levi tribe won’t own any land for growing crops, remember to ask the Levites to celebrate with you.
    28 Every third year, instead of using the ten percent of your harvest for a big celebration, bring it into town and put it in a community storehouse. 29 The Levites have no land of their own, so you must give them food from the storehouse. You must also give food to the poor who live in your town, including orphans, widows, and foreigners. If they have enough to eat, then the Lord your God will be pleased and make you successful in everything you do.     


The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary