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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 12

Verses 1-32

The Abolition of Idolatrous Places. The Centralisation of Worship. Abstinence from Blood

The larger section of the Second Discourse begins here and extends to the end of Deuteronomy 26. It consists of a code of laws, and constitutes the nucleus of the whole book: see on Deuteronomy 4:44-49. So far as any orderly arrangement can be discovered, Deuteronomy 12-16 are taken up with the more strictly religious duties; Deuteronomy 17-20 with civil ordinances; and Deuteronomy 21-26 with social and domestic regulations.

1-3. An injunction to destroy all traces of Canaanitish idolatry: see on Deuteronomy 7:1-5.

4-28. No sacrifice to be made to Jehovah unless at the one place which He Himself prescribes. This law of the centralisation of worship is one of the main arguments employed by critics in support of the theory of the late origin of the book of Deuteronomy. The practice of sacrificing at local shrines, it is said, was universal till the time of Josiah, and could hardly have been so if there had been an earlier prohibition: see Intro. § 2.

4. Ye shall not do so] i.e. worship Jehovah in the places where the Canaanites worshipped their gods.

7. Ye shall eat] The reference is to the sacrificial meal at which part of the offerings were eaten by the worshippers: see on Leviticus 3.

15. This is a slight modification of the law prescribed in Leviticus 7:3-4, where see note.

16. On the prohibition to eat blood see Leviticus 3:3; Leviticus 17:10-16;

31 Every abomination] see on Leviticus 18:21.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.