||This alone is his covering, the garment for his skin. With what shall he sleep? Therefore, if he cries out to Me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.
Ki hi chesutoh levadah hi simlato le'oro bameh yishkav vehayah ki-yits'ak elay veshamati ki-chanun ani.
Do not curse the judges. Do not curse a leader of your people.
Elohim lo tekalel venasi ve'amecha lo ta'or.
||Do not delay your offerings of newly ripened produce and your agricultural offerings. |
Give me the first-born of your sons.
Mele'atcha vedim'acha lo te'acher bechor baneycha titen-li.
(Targum). Elohim in Hebrew. Or, 'God' (Septuagint). See note on Exodus 21:6. Some sources cite both interpretations (Mekhilta; Sanhedrin 66a; Rashi; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative Commandment 60).
The first 'curse' in this verse is kalal, while the second is arar. Kalal is a curse that someone should lose his status, while arar is one that he should dry up and not have any blessing. Kalal is motivated by defiance, while arar is motivated by envy (Hirsch; Chothem Takhnith, p. 125). Some say that arar is a curse that one should be cast down (yarah) or shut out from divine light (or). (Yerioth Sh'lomo, Volume 1,3:13, p.88c).
More specifically 'transpose' (Terumah 3:6; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative Commandment 154; Yad, Terumah 3:23). One may not give these offerings in the wrong order.
|offerings of newly ripened produce|
(Rashi, Terumah 4a; Bertenoro, Terumah 3:6). Denoting the first fruits or bikkurim (Targum; Mekhilta; Terumah 4a). See Exodus 23:19. Some say that it is called mele'ah from the root malea meaning full or ripe, since it must be given as soon as the fruit ripens (Rashi; Radak, Sherashim). Others say that fruit that is 'full' because no tithes or offerings have as yet been removed from it (Rabbenu Gershom, Terumah 4a). Cf. Numbers 18:27, Deuteronomy 22:9.
The Septuagint translates this as 'the first fruits of your alonos', where the Greek alonos can denote threshing floor, garden, vineyard, or orchard. Saadia likewise translates it 'the first fruits of your wine and grain.'
According to others, mele'ah is that which is gathered in at harvest (Ramban). Still others take it as a word for wine (Ibn Ezra). It can also mean rain (Rashbam).
This is the agricultural offering that is given to the cohen-priest, later known as terumah (Mekhilta; Terumah 4a; Rashi; cf. Numbers 15:19, 18:8,24). The word dema used here is unique, but it is seen as a synonym for terumah (Mekhilta; Rambam on Damai 1:3; Oholoth 16:4, Tahoroth 2:3, Rambam, Rash ad loc.). Significantly, in ancient Egyptian, the word dema denotes something upon which a special title has been bestowed, or something with a special status. It may be that this was the word used for terumah before Aaron's sons were chosen as the priests.
Many see the word dema as being related to dim'ah, the word for tears. Hence, it denotes juices squeezed from the fruit, particularly wine and olive oil (Radak, Sherashim; Ramban; Abarbanel). Others see it specifically denoting olive oil (Saadia; Ibn Janach; Rashbam; cf. Pliny 11:6) or wine (Targum Yonathan). Others also include winnowed grain, since it is removed from the husk like a tear from the eye (Malbim). The Septuagint translates it as lynou, a vat, and specifically a wine vat.
Some see this as also being a connotation for terumah since terumah is separated primarily after the work on the crops is completed, and thus, after the grapes and olives are pressed (Ralbag; cf. Deuteronomy 18:4; Tosefta, Terumah 3:10,11,12; Yad, Terumoth 5:5,6). Others say that it is because, unlike the first fruits, terumah must also be brought from liquids such as wine and oil (Tosafoth, Terumah 4a, s.v. mele'athekha; cf. Terumah 1:8).
According to other authorities, the primary connotation of dema is that of a mixture (Raavad, Tum'ath Meth 9:9; cf. Orlah 2:4; Gittin 52b). According to this, as soon as the obligation to separate terumah falls on produce, it is considered to be mixed (damah) with the terumah. Terumah is therefore called dema because it is separated from a mixture (Rabbenu Gershom, Terumah 4a; Rashi ibid.). Significantly, in ancient Egyptian, dema also denotes a mixture.
See Exodus 13:2,13.