Deuteronomy 26:14

Hebrew Bible

12 When you finish tithing all your income in the third year (the year of tithing), you must give it to the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows so that they may eat to their satisfaction in your villages. 13 Then you shall say before the Lord your God, “I have removed the sacred offering from my house and given it to the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows just as you have commanded me. I have not violated or forgotten your commandments. 14 I have not eaten anything when I was in mourning, or removed any of it while ceremonially unclean, or offered any of it to the dead; I have obeyed you and have done everything you have commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy dwelling place in heaven and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us, just as you promised our ancestors—a land flowing with milk and honey.” 16 Today the Lord your God is commanding you to keep these statutes and ordinances, something you must do with all your heart and soul.

Letter of Jeremiah 1:27


25 They are bought without regard to cost, but there is no breath in them. 26 Having no feet, they are carried on the shoulders of others, revealing to humankind their worthlessness. And those who serve them are put to shame 27 because, if any of these gods falls to the ground, they themselves must pick it up. If anyone sets it upright, it cannot move itself; and if it is tipped over, it cannot straighten itself. Gifts are placed before them just as before the dead. 28 The priests sell the sacrifices that are offered to these gods and use the money themselves. Likewise their wives preserve some of the meat with salt, but give none to the poor or helpless. 29 Sacrifices to them may even be touched by women in their periods or at childbirth. Since you know by these things that they are not gods, do not fear them.

 Notes and References

"... there are likely numerous references to cult of the dead activities in Trito-Isaiah. Those who are described in Isaiah 65:3 as “provoking [YHWH] to his face continually” are specifically charged with “sitting in tombs and spending the night among rocks.” Similar practices are probably in view in chapter 57, which refers to both child sacrifice (verse 5) and Molek (verse 9); particularly if the difficult word in verse 6 is related to the dead (“Your portion is with the perished of the wadi ...”), the passage is clearly condemning death cults. Francesca Stavrakopoulou has further argued that the gardens condemned in Isaiah 65:3–5, 66:17 and 1:29–30 were mortuary gardens and thus also manifestations of cults of the dead. And of course, the book ends with the unforgettable image of “the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against [YHWH]; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” This nascent image of hell is the apotheosis of the “aversion therapy” technique that was pioneered centuries earlier by Isaiah himself. The precise significance of many of these later instances of the tradition are contested; they deserve and have generated fairly extensive scholarship, which cannot be summarized here. It is clear enough that cults of the dead continued to be a major preoccupation in the postexilic period (Letter of Jeremiah 27; Sirach 30:18; Tobit 4:17; Note also Baruch 3:10-11) ..."

Hays, Christopher B. Death in the Iron Age II and in First Isaiah (p. 360) Mohr Siebeck, 2011

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