Didache 13 – Text and Comments

1 But every true Prophet who wants to live among you is already worthy of his support.

2 So also a true teacher is himself already worthy, as the workman, of his support.

3 Every first-fruit, therefore, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and of sheep, you shall take and give to the Prophets, for they are your high priests.

4 But if you have no Prophet, give it to those who are in need.

5 If you make a batch of dough, take the first-fruit and give according to the Commandment.

6 So also when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give it to the Prophets.

7 And of money and clothing and every possession, take the first-fruit, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the Commandment.

Commentary

Verses 1,3,4 and 6 refers to a prophet. In Egyptian culture, the Prophet is a divine messenger. If the Messenger is present with us, he is to have our full support, which includes appropriate honor, prayers and offerings. Verse 3 says that the Divine Messenger is the high priest.

Verse 2 refers to a teacher. This can be a lay teacher or a priest who serves as a teacher. If the teacher lives with a community, or with a member of the community, he or she is supported by the household with shelter, food and basic supplies. The teacher’s responsibility is to teach the community or household and if appointed as a priest, serve in religious functions (specific priestly duties).

In verse 3, we are told that if there is no High Priest (Divine Messenger) at the time, then our offerings are supposed to go to others who are in need.

Verses 5-7 uses the phrase “according to the Commandment”; this is referring to the Israelite custom of giving ten percent of the dough. In our case today, it is ten percent of our income (according to our means), or ten percent of our food, or the value of ten percent of the food we have in stock. In Atenism, food offerings (or the value of the food) serves as sin/guilt offerings for the individual or family.

What the Holy Book says about Alms

fruit-alms-givingAlms-giving is the act of presenting a food offering, either a seventh or tenth of one’s food for the week, by the Hearers to the Elect Intercessors. One may also, along with the food offering, give clothing or other necessities to the Elect Intercessors. The Elect Intercessors then consume (eat) the food offerings in a special ritual for the individual who gave the offering.
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Occurrences of the phrase “Religion of Light” in the Holy Book of Light

Tbl 6:2;
GoM 30:8; 43:3; 86:4;
TMI 5:4; 9:4; 14:1; 15:8, 11; 17:2, 3, 5; 24:3; 30:1; 31:4; 32:12; 33:3, 4; 36:2; 37:7; 38:5; 46:8, 10; 52:5, 7, 17; 64:4; 68:1; 71:6; 75:3; 76:3; 82:2;
TMM 1:7; 9:1; 15:1, 2; 20:6; 22:6;
Pre 5:4, 11; 7:15;
PsB 16:1
1 Tr 1:8, 9
2 Tr 11:11, 18; 12:21, 32


Abbreviations

Tbl — Teachings of the Bright Light
GoM — Gospel of Mar Mani
TMI — Teaching of Mir Izgadda
TMM — Teaching of Mar Mani Khaila
Pre — Precepts of the Living Religion
PsB — Psalm of the Brethren of Light
1 Tr, 2 Tr — 1st and 2nd Prophecy of the Trees

Occurrences of the term “Manichaean” in the Holy Book of Light

Manichaean
TMI 15:10; 46:9; 52:1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 13; 64:1, 3; 66:10; 67:48; 79:4;
TMM 21:17, 24; 22:6;
Pre 3:6, 11, 14, 16

Manichaeans (Maninaye)
TMI 40:7; 46:9; 52:7, 14, 15, 16; 64:7, 10; 67:5, 20, 27, 47;
TMM 5:8;
Pre 2:1; 7:1

non-Manichaeans
TMI 52:10, 12

Manichaeism
TMI 52:5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 17, 18; 67:14;
TMM 5:4;

Manichaean Church
TMI 67:5;
TMM 21:21

Manichaean Scriptures
TMM 5:9


Abbreviations

TMI — Teaching of Mir Izgadda
TMM — Teaching of Mar Mani Khaila
Pre — Precepts of the Living Religion