Why is Deuteronomy so harsh

The Bible in the standard translation


The book of Deuteronomy, chapter 26


The offering of the first fruits

Dtn 26.1If you move into the land that the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, take possession of it and live in it,Dtn 26.2then you should take some of the first crop of all the crops that you have brought in the land that the Lord your God is giving you and put it in a basket. Then you shall go to the place which the Lord your God chooses, making his name dwell there.Dtn 26.3You are to appear before the priest, who then officiates, and you are to say to him: Today I confirm before the Lord your God that I have come to the land of which I know: He swore to our fathers that he would give it to us .Dtn 26.4Then the priest should take the basket from your hand and place it in front of the altar of the Lord your God.Dtn 26.5But you are to make the following confession before the Lord your God: My father was a homeless Aramean. He moved to Egypt, lived there as a stranger with few people and there became a large, powerful and numerous people.Dtn 26.6The Egyptians treated us badly, rendered us lawless, and subjected us to hard labor.Dtn 26.7We cried out to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our cries and saw our wrongdoing, our workload, and our afflictions.Dtn 26.8With a strong hand and arm held high, the Lord led us out of Egypt with great terror, with signs and wonders,Dtn 26.9he brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land of milk and honey.Dtn 26.10And behold, now I am bringing the first crops of the fruits of the land that you have given me, Lord. When you have placed the basket before the Lord your God, you are to prostrate yourself before the Lord your God.Deut 26.11Then you should be happy and rejoice over all the good that the Lord your God has given you and your family: you, the Levites and the strangers in your midst..

Post tithe prayer for the poor

Dtn 26.12When in the third year, the tenth year, you have completely separated out all tithes of your harvest and given them for the Levites, strangers, orphans and widows and they will eat and be full of it in your areas of the city,Dtn 26.13then you should say before the Lord your God: I have cleared all sacred taxes out of my house. I gave them for the Levites and the strangers, for the orphans and the widows, exactly according to your command, to which you obliged me. I have not broken your commandment and have not forgotten.Dtn 26.14I did not eat it during the mourning period. I didn't get any of it away when I was unclean. I didn't donate any of this to a dead person. I have listened to the voice of the Lord my God. I kept everything as you made it my duty.Dtn 26.15Look down from your holy abode, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the land that you gave us, as you swore to our fathers, the land of milk and honey..

The reason to keep the law: the covenant

Dtn 26.16Today, that day, the Lord your God obliges you to keep these laws and regulations. You should pay attention to them and hold them with all your heart and with all your soul.Dtn 26.17Today you accepted the Lord's declaration. He has explained to you: He wants to become your God and you should walk on his ways, pay attention to his laws, commandments and legal provisions and listen to his voice.Dtn 26.18And the Lord agreed to your statement today. You explained to him: You want to become the people who belong to him personally, as he has promised you. You want to keep all his commandments;Dtn 26.19He shall raise you up above all the peoples he has created - to praise, to glory, to adornment -; and you want to become a people holy to him, the Lord your God, as he has promised.