Verse 5: But unto the place which the LORD your God shall (Deut. 12:11; 26:2; Josh. 9:27; 1 Kings 8:29; 2 Chron. 7:12; Ps. 78:68) choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come…
[Unto the place] Which he does not express; 1. because it is the method of revelation, that it be rendered more explicit by the succession of time (Fagius). 2. Because God rested in many places, as in Gilgal, Shiloh, Nob, etc. (Chizkuni in Fagius).
[His name] That is, the Ark, which is also thus called in Jeremiah 7:12, whence He was giving responses to the people, and was hearing the one calling upon Him; it was a sign of His presence; whence it is called God, the King of glory, the face of God, etc., Psalm 24:8, 10; 95:6; 105:4; etc. (Vatablus). Rather, His name signifies the invocation and worship of the name of God (Malvenda).
To put his name there, i.e. to set up his worship there, or which he shall call by his name, as his house, or dwelling-place, etc., to wit, where the ark should be, the tabernacle, or temple; which was first Shiloh, Joshua 18:1, next and especially Jerusalem.
[And He shall dwell in it, ye shall come, לְשִׁכְנ֥וֹ תִדְרְשׁ֖וּ וּבָ֥אתָ שָֽׁמָּה׃] To inhabit it, ye shall seek, and ye shall come thither (Montanus). So that He might put His name there, and He shall inhabit it, ye shall seek, etc. (Munster). But this place, which He would choose, and dwell there (or, that He might dwell [Pagnine]), ye shall seek, etc. (Tigurinus). Concerning that place which He would choose, etc., concerning His habitation, I say, inquire ye. The preposition אֶל and ל here mean concerning; thus Deuteronomy 12:30 (Piscator). Unto the place…even unto His habitation shall ye seek (Ainsworth). In the place, etc., in His habitation seek Him (Junius and Tremellius). His domicile seek ye, and unto it go ye forth (Syriac, similarly the Arabic, Chaldean).
Verse 6: And (Lev. 17:3, 4) thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your (Deut. 12:17; 14:22, 23; 15:19, 20) tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks…
The sacrifices were wisely appropriated to that one and public place, partly for the security of the true religion, and for the prevention of idolatry and superstition, which otherwise might more easily have crept in; and partly to signify that their sacrifices were not accepted for their own worth, but by God’s gracious appointment, and for the sake of God’s altar, by which they were sanctified, and for the sake of Christ, whom the altar did manifestly represent. Of tithes, see below on verse 17. Heave-offerings, i.e. your first-fruits, to wit, of the earth, as of corn and wine and oil and other fruits, as plainly appears by comparing this place with Deuteronomy 18:4; 26:2, where these are commanded to be brought thither; and seeing here is an exact and particular enumeration of all such things, and these cannot be put under any of the other branches, these must needs be intended here, the rather because the other kind of first-fruits, to wit, of the herds and flocks, are here expressly mentioned. And these are called here the heave-offerings of their hand, because the offerer was first to take these into his hands, and to heave them before the Lord, (as other places tell us,) and then to give them to the priest, as appears from Deuteronomy 18:3, 4; 26:4. Your free-will offerings; even for your voluntary oblations, which were not due by my prescription, but only by your own choice and voluntary engagement: you may choose what kind of offering you please to vow and offer, but not the place where you shall offer them. The firstlings of your herds and of your flocks; either, 1. The holy firstlings or firstborn, as appears by Numbers 18, where they are commanded to be brought to this one place here designed, and to be offered upon God’s altar, Numbers 18:17. It is objected by some, that those were given to the priests, Numbers 18:18, but these were to be eaten by the people here, Deuteronomy 12:7. But that the next verse doth not say, but only in general, there shall ye eat, to wit, such of the offerings mentioned in verse 6 as they were allowed to eat, but not such as were the priest’s peculiar, for these they might not eat, nor all there expressed; for it is evident they might not eat any of the burnt-offerings, nor some parts of the other sacrifices, which are here mentioned. Or, 2. The second births, which were the people’s first-born, or the first which they could eat of, which they were to eat before the Lord by way of acknowledgment of his favour in giving them to them and all their succeeding births. See more on Deuteronomy 12:17.
Verse 7: And (Deut. 14:26) there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and (Deut. 12:12, 18; Lev. 23:40; Deut. 16:11, 14, 15; 26:11; 27:7) ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.
[And ye shall eat in the sight of God] That is, of those things which it was lawful for laymen to eat (Menochius out of Lapide, Malvenda). Or, in the city where the Tabernacle is ye shall celebrate your solemn feasts and banquets, three times in the year (Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).
There; not in the most holy place, wherein only the priests might eat, Numbers 18:10, but more generally in places allowed to the people for this end in the holy city. Ye shall eat, to wit, your part of the things mentioned Deuteronomy 12:6. Before the Lord, i.e. in the place of God’s presence, where God’s sanctuary shall be.
[In all things upon which ye would place your hand (thus the Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Ainsworth, similarly the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Oleaster)] Eating of everything unto which ye would apply your hand (Junius and Tremellius). I translate it, in every thing unto which it is permitted to you to extend your hand, that is, in all flesh of the sacrifices which it is lawful for you to eat (Piscator).
[In which He would bless (thus the Samaritan Text, Montanus, Ainsworth, similarly Junius and Tremellius), אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּֽרַכְךָ֖] Because He shall bless (Chaldean); that He might bless (Syriac); as He blessed (Septuagint); as He hath granted to thee (Arabic).
All that ye put your hand unto; either to bestow your pains and labour upon it; or, to take and use or enjoy it. The sense is, You thus doing shall be blessed and enabled to rejoice, or to take comfort in all your labours and enjoyments, which otherwise would be accursed to you. We have the same phrase below, Deuteronomy 12:18; 15:10.
Verse 8: Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, (Judg. 17:6; 21:25) every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
[Ye shall not do what we] That is, Ye shall not offer sacrifices in whatever places, but in one (Grotius after Munster, Fagius, Estius). It was first Shiloh, then Jerusalem. In the meantime this Law was left off, because there was no definite place for the sacred tent (Grotius). But I prefer to take this universally of ceremonies, which in the desert were not observed, neither were able to be observed. See Amos 5:25 (Bonfrerius, Menochius). Compare Deuteronomy 12:11 and Numbers 28:6 (Malvenda). In the desert it was permitted to offer voluntary oblations (not likewise those owed) in whatever place one might please (certain Hebrews in Fagius).
[What appears right to him] As far as offerings are concerned: for, even if one Law of oblations always was from the beginning prescribed by God, it was not able to be observed to the full extent in the ambulatory camp of the Israelites, or to be exacted from them with the full force of the law; as the antithesis in verse 11 demonstrates. See Numbers 28:6 (Junius).
Here; where the inconveniency of the place, and the uncertainty of our abode in and removal from several places, would not permit exact order in sacrifices, and feasts, and ceremonies, which therefore God was pleased then to dispense with; but, saith he, he will not do so there. Every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes; not that universal liberty was given to all persons to worship whom and how they listed, but that in many things their unsettled condition gave every one opportunity to do so if he thought good.
Verse 9: For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.
[To the rest] To the place where there shall be rest from enemies (Drusius).
Verse 10: But when (Deut. 11:31) ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety…
Verse 11: Then there shall be (Deut. 12:5, 14, 18, 21, 26; 14:23; 15:20; 16:2, etc.; 17:8; 18:6; 23:16; 26:2; 31:11; Josh. 18:1; 1 Kings 8:29; Ps. 78:68) a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows (Heb. the choice of your vows) which ye vow unto the LORD…
[That His name might be in it, לשַׁכֵּ֤ן שְׁמוֹ֙ שָׁ֔ם] That He might cause His name to dwell there (Montanus, Syriac, similarly the Samaritan Text, Junius and Tremellius); that His name might be invoked (Septuagint); that He might set His majesty there (Chaldean); that He might cause His splendor to dwell in it (Arabic).
His name, i.e. his majesty and glory, his worship and service, his special and gracious presence, and the tokens of it.
[And the first-fruits] תְּרוּמָה/heave-offering is a term with a broad spectrum of meaning: but here it signifies voluntary oblations, not votive, for concerning these it follows. See Leviticus 7:16 (Grotius).
[The principal] Hebrew: the choice of your vows; inasmuch as vows are to be fulfilled out of better things (Munster, Fagius, Vatablus, Junius). All your best vows (Ainsworth).
All your choice vows, Heb. the choice of your vows. i.e. your select or chosen vows were to be perfect, whereas superfluous or deflective creatures were accepted in freewill offerings, as appears from Leviticus 22:21-23.
Verse 12: And (Deut. 12:7) ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as (Deut. 10:9; 14:29) he hath no part nor inheritance with you.
Your daughters: Hence it appears, that though the males only were obliged to appear before God in their solemn feasts, Exodus 23:17, yet the women also were permitted to come, as they did. See Judges 21:19, 21; 1 Samuel 1:3, 7, 21-23.
Verse 13: (Lev. 17:4) Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest…
[Thy burnt-offerings] Under these understand the other sorts of sacrifices (Menochius out of Bonfrerius). For the reasoning is the same for all (Bonfrerius).
Thy burnt offerings: Nor the other things mentioned above, this one and most eminent kind being put for all the rest, as is usual; for being all expressed before, it was needless to repeat them again. In every place that thou seest, to wit, with complacency and approbation, which thou thinkest very fit and proper for such a work, as one might possibly judge of some high places, or groves, or gardens.
Verse 14: (Deut. 12:11) But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.
Verse 15: Notwithstanding (Deut. 12:21) thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: (Deut. 12:22) the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, (Deut. 14:5; 15:22) as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.
[But if…thou desirest to eat, רק֩ בְּכָל־אַוַּ֙ת נַפְשְׁךָ֜] Only (nevertheless [Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, similarly the Chaldean]; but [Septuagint]; notwithstanding [Samaritan Text]) in all the longing of thy soul; it is a Hebraism: absolutely as thou shalt desire, and as much as may please (Vatablus, Malvenda). The Hebrews say that this sense lies hidden, that nothing is to be offered except what is altogether desirable (Munster).
[Kill and eat] In Acts 10:13, θῦσον καὶ φάγε, kill and eat. זָבַח, θύειν, is ritually to cut the veins of the neck. Now, this is commanded so that they might do it concerning tame animals, not concerning wild animals, such as the stag or roe, upon which, killed in whatever way, it was lawful to feed (Grotius).
Thou mayest kill and eat flesh, to wit, for thy common use and food. In all thy gates, i.e. thy cities or dwellings. Whatsoever thy soul lusteth after; what you shall desire either for quantity or quality, provided always you observe the laws given you elsewhere about avoiding excess and uncleanness in the things you eat.
[According to the blessing] A Hebraism: proportionately to the means which the Lord has given to thee (Vatablus).
Which he hath given thee, according to thy quality and estate; whereby he manifestly condemns those who profusely and riotously spend other men’s money, and live at a rate which their consciences know to be much above their ability; which certainly is an ungodly and unrighteous, though too common, practice.
[Whether unclean, etc.] That is, for sacrifice, not for private use: thus Deuteronomy 12:22 (Malvenda). [The Vulgate refers these things to the flesh to be eaten; thus the Syriac, which was unclean, and which was clean (similarly Oleaster). But others refer these things to the men eating (which is more correct [Grotius]):] The unclean and the clean shall eat, or, shall be able to eat, of it, as the roe, and as the stag (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Arabic, Pagnine, likewise Munster, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Ainsworth, Malvenda). In the desert, if anyone had a desire to eat, he was compelled to slaughter it before the door of the Tabernacle; whence it follows that it was not lawful for the unclean to eat. For the sacrifices of the peace-offerings, because they are holy, are only suited to the clean. Therefore, He permits two things to those introduced into the land at the present time. The one is, that He makes a law concerning the eating of profane flesh, that is, flesh not offered on the altar: the other, that it was also lawful for the unclean to eat (Fagius). Flesh is twofold: 1. profane, which they call תַּאֲוַת נָפֶשׁ, the desire of the soul; 2. holy, that is, for sacrifice (Fagius).
[As the roe and stag] For they are clean animals (namely, for private uses), but they are not offered to the Lord (Vatablus, Malvenda): that is to say, ye are able to eat roes and stags (Vatablus). Thou art able to feed upon any flesh permitted for eating, although not for sacrifice; like the roe, etc. (Malvenda).
The unclean, who is forbidden to eat of holy meats, Leviticus 7:20. May eat thereof, to wit, of any sort of creatures, even of those sorts which are offered to God in sacrifices, which are as free to your use as the roebuck and the hart, which were not accepted in sacrifice, Leviticus 22:19; yet were clean beasts, Deuteronomy 14:5; and therefore here is a tacit exception of unclean beasts.
Verse 16: (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 7:26; 17:10; Deut. 15:23; 12:23, 24) Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.
[Thou shalt pour] And thou shalt cover it over, in such a way that it might not be seen (Grotius).
[As water] That is, as a profane thing, and with no sacred rite (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).
 See Joshua 4:19; 9:6; 10:6; 14:6.
 See 1 Samuel 21:1; 22:9, 11, 19.
 Deuteronomy 12:5: “But unto (אֶל) the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation (לְשִׁכְנוֹ) shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come…”
 Hebrew: וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם בְּכֹל֙ מִשְׁלַ֣ח יֶדְכֶ֔ם.
 Joshua 18:1; Judges 18:31.
 Hebrew: מִבְחַ֣ר נִדְרֵיכֶ֔ם.
 Deuteronomy 12:11b: “…your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering (וּתְרֻמַת; et primitias, and the first-fruits, in the Vulgate) of your hand, and all your choice vows…”
 Hebrew: תִּזְבַּ֣ח׀ וְאָכַלְתָּ֣.