Deuteronomy 26

Harvest gifts

1 You will soon go into the land that the Lord your God is giving to you. It will belong to you as your home. 2 This is what you must do the first time that the land provides food for you: At harvest time, when you bring in your crops, put some in a basket. Take it to the special place that the Lord your God will choose for people to worship him. 3 Go to the priest who has authority at that time. Say to him, ‘Today, I say to the Lord our God that I am now living in the land that he promised to us. He made that promise to our ancestors.’

4 Then the priest will take the basket from you. He will put it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. 5 Then you must say this, so that the Lord your God hears you: ‘My ancestor was an Aramean who moved from place to place. He went to Egypt to live there as a foreigner. At that time, his family was small. But while he lived in Egypt, his family became a great nation of many powerful people. 6 But the Egyptian people were cruel to us. They made us work very hard for them. 7 So we prayed to the Lord, the God of our ancestors. He heard our prayers. He saw that we were in trouble. He saw that we had to do very hard work for cruel people. 8 So the Lord used his great strength and power to bring us out of Egypt. He did powerful miracles which caused the Egyptians to be afraid. 9 Then he brought us to this place. He gave us this land where there is plenty of food and drink, enough for everyone. 10 So now I am bringing the first food that has grown in my fields. You, Lord, have given it to me.’

Then you must put the basket down in front of the Lord's altar. Worship him there. 11 In that way, you will enjoy a meal to say ‘thank you’ for all the good things that the Lord your God has given to you and your family. Share your meal with the Levites and the foreign people who live among you.

12 Every third year you must keep safe a tenth part of all your crops. In the third year, you must give that tithe to the Levites, the foreigners who live among you, widows and the children who have no family. Then everyone who lives in your towns can eat all the food that they need.

13 Then you can say to the Lord your God, ‘None of the tithe that belongs to you remains in my house. I have done what you commanded me to do. I have given it to the Levites, foreigners, widows and the children who have no family. I have not forgotten to obey your commands. 14 I have not eaten any of this special food when I was weeping for someone who had died. I did not touched any of it while I was unclean. I have not offered any of it to give honour to a dead person. I have obeyed you completely. I have done everything that you commanded me to do. 15 Please look down from your home in heaven and bless your people, Israel. Please bless the land that you have given to us. You promised our ancestors that you would do that. It is a land where there is plenty of food and drink, enough for everyone.’

Moses warns the people

16 Today, the Lord your God commands you to obey these laws and these rules. So be careful to obey them with all your mind and with all your strength. 17 Today, you have said clearly that the Lord is your God. You have agreed to live in a way that pleases him. You have agreed that you will obey his rules, his commands and his laws. You will do everything that he has told you to do. 18 Today the Lord has accepted you to be his own special people. He already promised that he would do that. As his people, you must obey all his commands. 19 If you do that, he will make you greater than all the other nations that he has made. Other nations will see that you are great. They will praise you and give you honour. You will be a nation that belongs to the Lord your God as his own special people. He has promised to do this.