Deuteronomy 15:19

All the firstborn males that come of your herd and of your flock you shall sanctify unto the LORD your God: you shall do no work with the firstborn of your bullock, nor shear the firstborn of your sheep.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Firstlings. Some belonged to the priests. Others, of which Moses speaks here, might be disposed of by the owners, chap. xii. 17. (Calmet) Thus females, which came first, belonged to them, but they could not work with them; (Menochius) with such at least as were the best, and fattened for a religious feast. Sheep designed for this purpose were not to be shorn; or, as the original term means, their wool was not to be "torn away. "Bellon observes, that this is still the custom in some parts of the East, as it was formerly in Italy, according to Varro. Pliny ( viii. 48,) also remarks, that fleece was torn off in some places, (Calmet) and the same method is said to prevail still in Shetland. (Haydock)


AD 606
What did Moses mean by making this prohibition, except to forbid those who have begun to live aright to engage in human occupations? To plow with the firstborn of a cow is to display the beginnings of one’s conversion in carrying out public activities. To shear the firstborn of sheep is to strip the cover of secrecy from our first good works and display them to human eyes. Therefore we are forbidden to work with the firstlings of cattle. When we are kept from shearing the firstlings of the sheep, we should not act openly too quickly, even if we have begun some solid work. Since our life begins as something simple and innocuous, it is proper that we should not lay aside the covering of its privacy, lest it show itself naked to human eyes once the wool has been sheared. The firstlings of cattle and sheep are suitable only for divine sacrifices. Whatever we begin with that is strong, simple and innocent, we should offer on the altar of our hearts to the honor of the secret judge. And he w...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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