Yahuah is giving you the land, and soon you'll conquer it, settle down and plant crops. And when you begin harvesting your crops, take the very first-fruits that you pick and put them in a basket. Then take them to the place where Yahuah your Alahim has chosen to rest His Name (TABERNACLE) and tell the priests, “Long ago Yahuah our Alahim promised our ancestors that He’d give us this land, and today I thank Him for keeping His promise and giving me a share of this land.”
The priest will then take the basket and set it in front of Yahuah’s altar. Then, standing there in front of the Tabernacle, you will thank Yahuah by saying, ‘My ancestor was a homeless, perishing Aramean who went to live in Egypt. There were only a few in his family, but they became a great and powerful nation of many people. Then the Egyptians were cruel and evil, having no pity on us. They mistreated our people and forced us into slavery and afflicted us with hard labor. Then we cried out to Yahuah Alahim of our fathers, and He heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression. And Yahuah brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great fear and great signs and wonders. And He brought us to this place and has given us this land, 'a land flowing with milk and honey.' And now, see, I’ve brought the first-fruits of the land which You, Yahuah have given me."
Then after you thank Yahuah, place the basket in front of His altar and bow down before Him. Then you and your family must celebrate by eating a meal at the Tabernacle to thank Yahuah your Alahim for giving you such a good harvest. And remember to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town to join you in the party.
THIS IS THE FIRST PLACE IN THE SCRIPTURES WHERE WE FIND A SPOKEN FORM OF LITURGY (OR A FORMAL PRAYER) AND WHILE EACH YISHARALITE WAS TO RECITE THESE WORDS WHEN GIVING THEIR OFFERING THE UNDERLYING CONTENT IS MORE THE FOCUS THAN STRICTLY GETTING EACH AND EVERY WORD RIGHT; SIMILAR TO WHEN YAHUSHA TAUGHT HIS FOLLOWERS HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE FATHER (PRAYER). WHILE THE LEVITICAL PRIESTS OFTEN HAD “FORMAL PRAYERS” AS PART OF THEIR RITUAL LITURGY, WE REALLY DON’T FIND MUCH IN THE WAY OF “FORMALITY” REGARDING HOW THE AVERAGE PERSON WAS TO SPEAK OR ADDRESS YAHUAH. BUT HERE WE DO.
THIS DIVINE LAW ABOUT BRINGING THE FIRST-FRUITS TO THE TABERNACLE (AND LATER TO THE TEMPLE) COULD NOT BE PERFORMED OUT IN THE WILDERNESS. IT WAS A PRACTICAL MATTER; ONLY AFTER THE YISHARALITES HAD CONQUERED AND SETTLED THE LAND OF CANAAN COULD THIS BE OBSERVED WHEN THE TRIBES HAD FIELDS AND ORCHARDS TO HARVEST.
IT’S INTERESTING THAT ONE OF THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HEBREW FARMER IS THAT HE IS TO PLACE THE PORTION OF HIS HARVEST THAT HE WILL BRING TO PRESENT TO YAHUSHA INTO A BASKET. THAT SEEMS LIKE AN AWFULLY TRIVIAL DETAIL UNTIL WE REALISE THAT UP TO THIS POINT IN YISHARAL’S HISTORY (WHERE WE ARE NOW IN DEUTERONOMY), YISHARAL KNOWS VERY LITTLE ABOUT FARMING. THEY WERE HISTORICALLY A SHEPHERDING PEOPLE; THEY RAISED ANIMALS. IN EGYPT SOME WERE LIKELY ENGAGED IN AGRICULTURE, BUT THE LARGER PORTION WERE SHEPHERDS AND CONSTRUCTION WORKERS. THEREFORE WHILE FIRST-FRUITS CEREMONIES WERE KNOWN TO SOME MIDDLE EASTERN CULTURES, THEY PROBABLY WERE NOT KNOWN TO THE YISHARALITES. SPECIFIC DETAILS HAD TO BE GIVEN TO THIS NEW GENERATION OF FUTURE FARMERS. HENCE, USE A BASKET!
BY NOW OUR STUDIES HAVE INTRODUCED US TO 2 SO-CALLED FIRST-FRUITS CEREMONIES:
*FIRSTFRUITS (BIKKURIM) - IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE SPRING FESTIVALS OF PASSOVER AND UNLEAVENED BREAD),
*SHABUOTH (PENTECOST) - ANOTHER SUMMER FESTIVAL OF FIRST-
*BOOTHS (SUKKOTH) - A 3RD “FIRST-FRUITS” CELEBRATION THAT IS HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FALL SEASON. THIS LAST ONE IS MORE TECHNICALLY KNOWN AS THE “FINAL INGATHERING”, MEANING IT IS THE END OF THE HARVESTING SEASON AS WINTER NEARS.
EACH OF THESE 3 FESTIVALS THAT DEALT WITH FIRST-FRUITS WAS CONNECTED TO THE PILGRIMAGE FESTIVALS. OF THE 7 TOTAL SCRIPTURAL FEASTS, 3 OF THEM REQUIRED THAT THE MALES OVER 20 YEARS OLD, JOURNEY TO THE LOCATION OF THE TABERNACLE WITH HIS OFFERING OF FIRST-FRUITS. THAT IS THE MEANING OF THE STATEMENT THAT ENDS WITH THE WORDS, “…..THEN TAKE THEM TO THE PLACE WHERE YAHUAH YOUR ALAHIM HAS CHOSEN TO REST HIS NAME” THAT PLACE WOULD MOVE A FEW TIMES AFTER YISHARAL FIRST CONQUERED CANAAN (WITH SHILOH BEING THE MOST PERMANENT LOCATION FOR THE TABERNACLE), AND IN TIME YISHARAL WOULD ESTABLISH SEVERAL COMPETING SITES, AND EVENTUALLY BY THE TIME OF DAVID (AND THEN SOLOMON) IT WOULD BECOME JERUSALEM WHERE THE TEMPLE WAS FINALLY CONSTRUCTED.
AT EACH OF THESE 3 TIMES PER YEAR JOURNEYS TO THE TABERNACLE THE YISHARALITE IS TO HAND HIS BASKET OF PRODUCE TO THE PRIEST WHO WILL OFFICIATE AND PERFORM THE CEREMONY. UPON TURNING HIS SACRIFICE OF FIRST-FRUITS OVER TO THE PRIEST THE PERSON IS THEN TO DECLARE THE FOLLOWING: “LONG AGO YAHUAH OUR ALAHIM PROMISED OUR ANCESTORS THAT HE’D GIVE US THIS LAND. AND TODAY, I THANK HIM FOR KEEPING HIS PROMISE AND GIVING ME A SHARE OF THIS LAND.”
THE MEANING OF THAT DECLARATION IS STRAIGHT-FORWARD, BUT ALSO MONUMENTAL: IT IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE BLOOD-COVENANT FIRST GIVEN TO ABRAHAM. THE LAND THAT WAS PROMISED BY YAHUSHA TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB SO LONG AGO HAS BEEN GIVEN; IT IS FINISHED. IT WAS NOT ANOTHER LAND, IT WAS THIS LAND. IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN IN ANOTHER TIME, IT WAS NOW. THE CONNECTION WITH THE GIVING OF THE FIRST-FRUITS OF THE FIELD IS THAT WITHOUT THE LAND THEY NOW POSSESS THERE WOULD BE NO FIRST-FRUITS TO GIVE.
RELIGION IS CRYING OUT IN AN UPROAR, DECLARING THAT THIS IS THE REASON WHY `THE JEWS’ MUST BE BACK IN YISHARAL AND THIS IS AN ISSUE BECAUSE THE JEWISH PRESENCE THERE SUPPOSEDLY HAS DISPLACED THE PALESTINIANS. WHILE THIS IS NOT THE ONLY PLACE IN THE SCRIPTURE THAT UNEQUIVOCALLY STATES THAT YAHUSHA INTENDED TO GIVE CANAAN EXCLUSIVELY TO YISHARAL, THIS EVENT ACTUALLY DID OCCUR AND YAHUSHA EVEN REQUIRED THE YISHARALITES TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT FACT IN THIS DECLARATION.
BUT THIS IS MERELY A FLESHLY UNDERSTANDING OF THE FULFILMENT OF YAHUSHA’S BLOOD-COVENANT. BECAUSE YES, IF YAHUSHA HADN’T DONE SOMETHING COMPLETELY MIND-BLOWING AND TRANSFORMED THE LOCATION OF HIS SET-APART PROPERTY (THE DIVINE LAND WHERE THE PORTAL OF HIS PRESENCE RESIDES) THEN YES ALL YISHARAL WOULD STILL BE REQUIRED TO BE LIVING ON THE MIDDLE-EASTERN SOIL OF ISRAEL TODAY AND ANYONE FROM THE OUTSIDE NATIONS WANTING TO BE ENGRAFTED WOULD NEED TO LITERALLY MOVE THEIR GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION IN ORDER TO PARTAKE OF HIS PRESENCE AND THE PROMISES.
BUT YAHUSHA DID TRANSFORM THE LOCATION OF THE LAND AND (AS WE KNOW) THE SET-APART REAL ESTATE IS NOW HIS BRIDE, HIS EARTHLY TABERNACLE, HOUSING THE DIVINE PORTAL ON THE BLOOD-SPRINKLED MERCY-SEAT OF HER HEART.
IT IS NOTEWORTHY THAT THE DECLARATION IS THAT “I” HAVE NOW ENTERED THE LAND OF CANAAN. THAT MIGHT HAVE SEEMED MORE APPROPRIATE OF A DECLARATION FOR THE VERY FIRST GENERATION OF YISHARALITES, THOSE WHO FOUGHT BESIDE JOSHUA. BUT YAHUSHA INTENDS THAT EVERY GENERATION OF HEBREWS IDENTIFY THEMSELF WITH THE PROMISED LAND AS THOUGH THEY WERE THE FIRST ONES THERE. IN FACT EVEN TODAY, EVERY GENERATION WHO IS IMMERSED INTO YAHUSHA MUST VIEW THEMSELF AS IF THEY PERSONALLY CAME OUT OF EGYPT. THIS IS THE IDEA OF THE PRINCIPLE LAID OUT HERE IN THIS CEREMONY:
DON’T EVER FORGET YOUR ROOTS AND THE SLAVERY YOU CAME FROM, AND THE PROCESS YAHUSHA TOOK YOU THROUGH TO BRING YOU INTO THIS PROMISED LAND OF ABUNDANT BLESSING (YOUR LIFE NOW, FREE AND WITH AN OPEN PORTAL DOORWAY CONNECTION TO YAHUSHA HIMSELF).
THIS CONCLUDES THE FIRST PART OF THE FIRST-FRUITS CEREMONY. NEXT, AFTER THE PRIEST HAS TAKEN THE BASKET AND SETS IT BEFORE THE ALTAR, THE HEBREW FARMER IS TO MAKE ANOTHER DECLARATION TO YAHUSHA. AND WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING IS THAT IT ESSENTIALLY IS A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF YISHARAL. THE YISHARALITE ACKNOWLEDGES A NUMBER OF THINGS IN THIS 2ND PRAYERFUL DECLARATION:
1. YISHARAL BEGAN AS NOTHING SPECIAL (“MY FATHER WAS AN ARAMEAN, OR NOMAD FROM ARAM”). THE PRECISE MEANING OF THIS HAS BEEN HAGGLED OVER A BIT, BUT THE UNDERLYING CONCEPT IS RATHER SIMPLE. ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB ALL IDENTIFIED MORE WITH THE HOMELAND OF THEIR ANCESTOR TERACH (ABRAHAM’S FATHER) THAN THE PLACE WHERE THEY WANDERED (CANAAN) BEFORE RELOCATING TO EGYPT. ONE OF THE NAMES FOR THE REGION WHERE ABRAHAM CAME FROM IS “ARAM ALONGSIDE THE RIVER”. SO IT'S QUITE CORRECT TO IDENTIFY THE PATRIARCHS AS ARAM-EANS. SOME SCRIPTURE VERSIONS WILL TRANSLATE THIS AS, “A FUGITIVE FROM SYRIA” BECAUSE DAMASCUS, SYRIA EVENTUALLY BECAME THE STRONGHOLD FOR THE ARAMEANS…..BUT NOT UNTIL LONG AFTER THE TIME OF THE PATRIARCHS. ALL THAT SAID, THE THING IS THAT EACH YISHARALITE DECLARES THEIR ASSOCIATION TO THE PATRIARCHS WHO WERE ORIGINALLY FROM ARAM.
2. NEXT IT IS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT BEING VERY SMALL IN NUMBER, JACOB’S CLAN (IN NO WAY BIG ENOUGH TO BE SEEN AS A “PEOPLE” OR AS A “NATION”) WENT DOWN INTO EGYPT WHERE THEY BECAME A LARGE NATION.
3. THE CONDITION OF THEIR STAY IN EGYPT IS NOW STATED; IT WAS UNDER HARSH OPPRESSION THAT THEY EXISTED.
4. IT WAS FROM THIS CONDITION OF HARD LABOR AND SLAVERY THAT THE YAHUSHA RESCUED YISHARAL AND DID SO IN A MIRACULOUS AND SUPERNATURAL WAY.
5. YAHUSHA MOVED YISHARAL FROM A PLACE WHERE THEY WERE LANDLESS AND WITHOUT HOPE TO THE LAND HE HAD SET ASIDE FOR HIS PEOPLE, AS PROMISED TO THE PATRIARCHS, WHERE THEY WOULD OWN LAND, AND THE LAND WOULD PRODUCE ABUNDANTLY FOR THEM
6. AND SINCE IT IS YAHUSHA WHO OWNS ALL THINGS, SINCE HE CREATED ALL THINGS, IT IS LOGICAL THAT THINGS THAT GROW FROM THE SOIL OF THE PROMISED LAND SHOULD BE SEEN AS YAHUSHA’S PROPERTY. SO A PORTION OF WHAT GROWS…..THE FIRST AND THE BEST……IS OFFERED TO YAHUSHA IN THANKSGIVING.
OF COURSE WE KNOW TODAY THAT EVERYTHING IN OUR LIVES INCLUDING OUR BODIES THEMSELVES BELONG TO YAHUSHA AND SO WE OFFER EVERYTHING TO HIM, NOT JUST TEN PERCENT. WHEN HE CALLS ON US WE DROP TOOLS AND SERVE HIM IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE UNTIL SAID TASK IS COMPLETED AND WE RETURN TO OUT DAILY LIFE AND ROUTINE, WAITING TO BE CALLED ON AGAIN.
HIDDEN IN ALL THIS IS THAT YISHARAL DENIES THE CANAANITES’ CLAIM THAT BA’AL IS THE RULING DEITY OVER THE LAND. IT IS YAHUSHA THAT IS SUPREME; HE IS BEHIND ALL THE WONDERS THAT HAVE HAPPENED TO YISHARAL.
IN THIS CHAPTER MOSES ALSO STARTS DEALING WITH THE MORE MYSTICAL AND SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YISHARAL IN THEIR NEWLY FORMED RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHUSHA. FIRSTLY IN THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE DIVINE LAWS (THAT JAMES AND PAUL CALLED “TRUE BELIEF”) IS VITAL IN CARRYING OUT THE INDIVIDUAL RULES AND REGULATIONS PREVIOUSLY LAID OUT; AND SECOND IS THAT THERE ARE ASPECTS OF YAHUSHA’S NATURE AND HIS WORD THAT ARE BEYOND MAN’S ABILITY TO ENTIRELY COMPREHEND AND AT THE SAME TIME HE HAS GIVEN TO YISHARAL STRAIGHT-FORWARD INSTRUCTIONS THAT ARE FULLY UNDERSTANDABLE TO MEN.
Every year you are to give ten percent of your harvest to Yahuah. But every third year, this ten percent must be given to the poor who live in your town, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. That way, they will have enough to eat.
Then you must thank Yahuah by saying, "Our Alahim Yahuah, you have said that ten percent of my harvest is set-apart so I’ve obeyed your Instruction and given this to the poor, including the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. I haven’t eaten any of this set-apart food while I was in mourning, in fact, I never touched it when I was unclean. And none of it has been offered as a sacrifice to the spirits of the dead either. I’ve done everything exactly as You instructed without forgetting.
So Yahuah, please look down from your set-apart place in the sky and bless your people Yisharal. You promised our ancestors that you would give us this land rich with milk and honey, and You’ve indeed kept your promise".
WE'RE GOING TO BYPASS THE ENDLESS AMOUNT OF SICKLY COMMENTARIES REGARDING THE ABUSE OF THE TITHE IN MODERN DAY RELIGION !!!
Today Yahuah your Alahim has instructed you to obey these Divine Laws and teachings with all your heart and being. In response, you have agreed that Yahuah will be your Alahim, that you will obey all His Divine Laws and Teachings, and that you will listen when He speaks to you.
And since you’ve agreed to obey Yahuah, He has agreed that you will be His people and that you will belong to Him, just as He promised. Yahuah created all the nations, but He’ll make you way more famous than any of them, and you’ll receive more praise and honor and you’ll belong only to Yahuah your Alahim, just as He promised.