Leviticus 19 Commentary

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission

Note from the preceding Chart that Leviticus 19 follows Leviticus 1-17 which describes the way of approach to the holy God. And since God is ultimate Truth, it follows that truth calls for a response so it is fitting that Leviticus 19-27 exhort a holy walk with God. Beloved, when you read the Word of truth in your Morning  Quiet Time:With God, is it in one ear and out the other or does His holy Word invoke and inspire a Holy Walk, enabled by His Holy Spirit for the glory of the Lamb? If not, perhaps your motive for a Morning Quiet Time is more from a heart of legalism than of love! Don't be too hard on me "meddling" as there is only one finger pointed at you but four are pointing back to me!

Leviticus 19:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Bob Deffinbaugh offers this excellent introduction to our study of Leviticus 19…

Leviticus 19 provides us with an exposition on the practice of holiness. The holiness of God is thus revealed in relationship to the redemption of Israel out of Egypt. Consequently, it is not until after the exodus that God calls upon His people to live holy lives. The Mosaic Covenant is established so that Israel would be a holy nation (Ex. 19:6). While there are hints at how holiness is to be practiced by the people of God earlier in the Pentateuch, it is in the 19th chapter of the Book of Leviticus that holiness is defined in great detail.

Leviticus 19 is a crucial chapter for Christians (as well as the ancient Israelites) for a variety of reasons.

First, it is important because of the distorted perceptions of holiness. Holiness is a term which is used more than it is understood. It is one thing for holiness not to be understood; it is even worse that it is misunderstood. There are many misconceptions in Christian circles as to what holiness really is. In the King James Version of the Bible, the terms “holy” and “holiness” do not occur until the Book of Exodus.

Second, Leviticus 19 is vitally important because of the desperate need for the practice of holiness. As badly as holiness is misunderstood by Christians, it is practiced even more pathetically. Holy living is something which is not characteristic of the last days (cf. 2Ti 3:1-5), and it surely is not characteristic of Christianity in our own days as well.

Third, many sincere Christians have gone astray seeking an unholy holiness. Many Christians who have been sidetracked into one of the cults have pursued a false conception of holiness. People generally do not join a cult in order to forsake holiness, but to attain it.

Fourth, Leviticus 19 is important to us because of the prominence of its teaching in the New Testament. Both our Lord (Mt 5:43; Mt 19:19; Mt 22:39; Mk 12:31, 33; Lk 10:27) and the apostles (Ro 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8; 1Pet. 1:16) make a great deal of the two great commandments which are given here: “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2b). “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18b).

We must approach this chapter with these things in mind, because there are several factors which might incline us to hastily conclude that this chapter is irrelevant to 20th century Christians. In the first place there are some commands given here which are difficult to understand, even as they relate to the Israelite. Secondly, there are some commands which are clearly inapplicable to New Testament saints. Thirdly, this chapter appears not to have any real structure, and thus to deal with a wide variety of areas of the Israelites’ lives in a kind of miscellaneous category…

Observing that the commands of Lev 19 have different levels of applicability to the contemporary Christian is of great benefit to the student of the Old Testament scriptures, for it suggests a vitally important principle of interpretations when dealing with the Old Testament: WHEN INTERPRETING THE OLD TESTAMENT, DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT ACCEPT, REJECT, OR REVISE THE TEACHING OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TEXT? Years ago, one of my Old Testament teachers in seminary suggested this guideline, and it has been of great value. In Leviticus Lev 19 we find commands which fit into each of these categories. Some are carried directly over into the New Testament; others are modified in practice, but based upon the same principle; and others seem to be totally unnecessary. It is by a careful comparison of the Old Testament texts to the teaching of the New Testament that these decisions can be reached. (Leviticus 19:1-37 How to Spell ‘Holy’-recommended)

Leviticus 19:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

  • Lev 11:44,45 Lev 20:7,26 Lev 21:8 Ex 19:6 Isa 6:3,4 Amos 3:3 Mt 5:48 2Co 6:14-16 2Cor 7:1 1Pe 1:15,16)

Henry Morris - This is probably the key verse of Leviticus. The verse lists many rules that were specifically for the purpose of maintaining true holiness (separation as a peculiar people unto God) in the earthly nation of Israel. The same principle is applied to the people of Christ's church in the New Testament (1 Peter 1:15,16; 2:9).

Merrill - Lev. 19:2 is often referred to as the theme verse or motto of Leviticus The concept of having God as the standard of holiness first occurs in Leviticus in 11:44-note. It occurs again in Lev. 20:7, 26-note. But holiness was not only required of the Israelites, but is the manner of lifestyle for all believers (Exod. 19:6; 1Pe 1:15-16-note). The "holiness code," which is a term often applied to the material of Lev 16-27, is heavily ethical rather than ceremonial. Man was made in the image of God and is expected to reflect the divine likeness in a number of ways, including ethical standards. These standards are based on the never-changing nature of the LORD God. Lev. 22:32-note again reiterates this principle, that ethical connotations of holiness find their basis in the statements against confusing the realms of the sacred with the common or profane. In Lev. 27:30-note the tithe of animals and vegetation was "holy" to the LORD. Earlier in this verse it is stated that the tithe "belongs to the LORD." As a result, the tithe by association and dedication became "holy," that is, set apart for divine use. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I THE LORD YOUR GOD AM HOLY: This call by our Holy God echoes throughout both the old and new testaments (Ex 6:7; Ex 19:6 Lev 11:44,45,20:7,26 ,19:2, Dt 7:6,14:2, 1Pe 1:15,16). This passage is clearly one of the key verses of Leviticus. This section of Leviticus lists many rules that were specifically for the purpose of maintaining true holiness (separation as a peculiar people unto God - see KJV Dt 14:2 Dt 26:18 Titus 2:14 1Pe 2:9) in the earthly nation of Israel. The same principle is applied to the bride of Christ, the NT church (1Peter 1:15,16; 2:9). God's standards of holiness have not dissipated or been discarded, although sadly they are far too often disregarded by the modern church to its great peril and impotence.

Leviticus 19:3 'Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the LORD your God. (reverence: Ex 20:12 Ex 21:15,17 Dt 21:18-21 Dt 27:16 Pr 1:8 Pr 6:20,21 Pr 23:22 Pr 30:11,17 Eze 22:7 Mal 1:6 Mt 15:4-6 Eph 6:1-3 Heb 12:9) (keep: Lev 26:2 Ex 16:29 20:8 31:13-17 Isa 56:4-6 58:13 Eze 20:12 22:8)

Reverence (KJV - fear)

I am the LORD your God - This phrase occurs 40x in the entire OT and over 50% (21) of the uses are found in Leviticus! Ex 6:7; 16:12; 20:2; Lev 11:44; 18:2, 4, 30; 19:3, 4, 10, 25, 31, 34, 36; Lev 20:7, 24; 23:22, 43; Lev 24:22; Lev 25:17, 38, 55; 26:1, 13; Nu 10:10; 15:41; Dt 5:6; 29:6; Jdg 6:10; Isa 41:13; 43:3; 48:17; 51:15; Ezek 20:5, 7, 19f; Joel 2:27; 3:17

Your God - 39x in 37 passages in Leviticus. He is the possessor, Israel is the "possessee!" We see this also in the NT…

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, (periousios ; KJV = "a peculiar people") that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. (1Pe 2:9-11)

Comment: Believers have been acquired by purchase with idea of preservation. Christians are a special people because God has preserved them for Himself. we are His possession now: Titus 2:14, Ro 14:7-9, 1Co 6:19,20, 2Co 5:15, 2Pe 2:1, 1Pe 2:9; Rev 1:6;5:10, Ex 19:5, Dt 7:6; 14:2 (all 3 preceding verses use periousios (see word study) = being beyond usual,) Isa 43:21; Mal 3:17

Ryrie on Lev 19:3-4 Three of the Ten Commandments are reiterated here as being particularly important (concerning parents, Sabbaths, and idolatry).

Rooker - The first major section of Leviticus 19 (Lev 19:3–18) contains various laws mostly of a moral character. Most of the Ten Commandments are in fact repeated in this section… As honoring parents is the first response of holiness among human duties, so the keeping of the Sabbath is the first spiritual priority. The Sabbath law is the longest of the commands in the Ten Commandments, and the observance of the Sabbath was a special sign of the nation of Israel (Ex 31:13).

Leviticus 19:4 'Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the LORD your God. (Ex 20:3-5)

Idols (0457) (elil) describes something worthless (particularly as an object of worship). Vain or vanity, no value, thing of naught. Elil is used primarily to describe vain objects of worship, i.e. the gods of this world, whether literal idols made with hands, riches, or deceitful men.

It is no coincidence that this name used for idol also describes that which is worthless (Job 13:4, Zech 11:17)! False gods make promises, but provide no deliverance (temporal or eternal)! How vain (and foolish) to attempt to represent the Creator with an object of His creation and in so doing limit His infinite character.

In the Septuagint (Lxx) the Greek word used for elil is eidolon (from eídos = that which is seen, what is visible, figure, appearance) is primarily a phantom, form, image, shadow or likeness.

Merrill - This word is used only twice in the Pentateuch, both times in Leviticus (here and Lev. 26:1). The etymology is not conclusive. It likely comes either from the diminutive of god or from a root meaning "to be weak." Either way the term is used to disparage heathen gods and show their powerlessness. The exact phrase "molten gods" appears in Ex 34:17. It is found nowhere else. The archetypal molten god was "Aaron's golden calf" of Exod. 32. Based on the prohibition of the second commandment (Exod. 20:4; Deut. 5:8), the specific detail regarding a molten or cast idol is also found in Exod. 34:17 and Deut. 27:15. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

Rooker - The English word for idolatry comes via Greek eidololatreia, which is based on a root that relates to that which strikes the eye, that is, the external appearance. The word thus focuses on the external image of an idol.

Vine - This disdainful word signifies an “idol” or “false god. In Lev. 26:1 the ˒elilim are what Israel is forbidden to make: “Ye shall make you no idols…” The irony of this is biting not only with respect to the usual meaning of this word but also in view of its similarity to the usual word for God (˒elohim; cf. Ps. 96:5): “For all the gods [˒elohim] of the people are idols [˒elohim] …” (1 Chron. 16:26). Second, this word can mean “nought” or “vain.” 1 Chron. 16:26 might well be rendered: “For all the gods of the people are naught.”

NET Note says that elil "appears to be a diminutive play on words with 'el, ("god; God") and, perhaps at the same time, recalls a common Semitic word for "worthless; weak; powerless; nothingness." Snaith suggests a rendering of "worthless godlings."

Webster's definition of an idol is interesting to ponder

[Middle English, from Old French idole, from Late Latin idolum, from Greek eidōlon image, idol; akin to Greek eidos form] 1: a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god; a material object, esp a carved image, that is worshipped as a god. An image, form or representation, usually of a man or other animal, consecrated as an object of worship; a pagan deity. Idols are usually statues or images, carved out of wood or stone, or formed of metals, particularly silver or gold. 2a : a likeness of something 2b obsolete : PRETENDER, IMPOSTOR 3: a form or appearance visible but without substance <an enchanted phantom, a lifeless idol —P. B. Shelley〉4 : an object of extreme devotion; Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. 5 : a false conception : FALLACY


Elil - 18v in NAS is translated - futility(1), idols(16), images(1), worthless(2).

Leviticus 19:4 'Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 26:1 'You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

1 Chronicles 16:26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.

Job 13:4 "But you smear with lies; You are all worthless physicians.

Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.

Psalm 97:7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, Who boast themselves of idols; Worship Him, all you gods.

Isaiah 2:8 Their land has also been filled with idols; They worship the work of their hands, That which their fingers have made.

18 But the idols will completely vanish.

20 In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats Their idols of silver and their idols of gold, Which they made for themselves to worship,

Isaiah 10:10 "As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, Whose graven images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,

11 Shall I not do to Jerusalem and her images Just as I have done to Samaria and her idols?"

Isaiah 19:1 The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.

3 "Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.

Isaiah 31:7 For in that day every man will cast away his silver idols and his gold idols, which your sinful hands have made for you as a sin.

Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.

Ezekiel 30:13 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "I will also destroy the idols And make the images cease from Memphis. And there will no longer be a prince in the land of Egypt; And I will put fear in the land of Egypt.

Habakkuk 2:18 "What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols.

Zechariah 11:17 "Woe to the worthless shepherd Who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm And on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered And his right eye will be blind."

Do not turn to idols - This prohibition is repeated in the NT and is relevant to our modern culture - we may not worship figurines of "gods," but modern Christians are still enticed to "gods" in manifold forms (money, success, power, etc). And so Paul issues a command we all do well to heed…

Therefore, my beloved, flee (pheugo in the present imperative = a command to make this our lifestyle. The implication is they are "ever present" and always enticing!) from idolatry. (1Cor 10:14)

Comment: Recall that God's commandments always include His enablements. We cannot obey these supernatural commands by relying on our old nature (fallen flesh), but must surrender to and depend upon the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit to "sanctify" us and give us the desire and the power to flee! (cp Php 2:13NLT).

Little children, guard (phulasso in the aorist imperative = a command to make do this now! Do not delay!) yourselves from idols. (1John 5:21)

Comment: See preceding comment for our "ability" to guard ourselves! Every morning when you get up, you need to guard your (esp your) eyes, your ears, your heart, your mouth. Guard your heart so that it remains safe, unspoiled, undefiled, protected from being snatched away (by the lusts of the flesh… do not be deceived beloved brethren.) Mt 6:13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Pr 4:13, 23, 2Co 6:17)


Leviticus 19:5 'Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. (sacrifice: Lev 3:1-17 7:16 22:21 Ex 24:5 2Ch 31:2 Eze 45:15-17 46:2,12 Eph 2:13,14)(shall: Lev 1:3 22:19,23,29

KJV - And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.

Ryrie on peace offerings - The peace offering could be brought (1) as an act of thanksgiving (Lev 7:12-15) for deliverance, answers to prayer, healing, and so on, (2) in connection with a vow (votive offering) relative to a past or future favor (Lev 7:16-17), or (3) purely as a freewill, voluntary act (Lev 7:16-17). The thanksgiving peace offering had to be eaten the same day it was offered; the vow or voluntary offerings might be eaten that day and the day following, but not left till the third day.

Sacrifice (02077) (zebah)  from zabah - to slaughter for sacrifice) refers to an offering killed and presented by the worshiper to God as an act of devotion (to fill a special vow - Nu 15:3), thanksgiving (Lev 22:29, Ps 107:22, 116:17) or to meet the need for forgiveness (expiation, propitiation). The first specific mention of an animal sacrifice in Ge 4:4 (although it does not use the word zebah). The first use of zebah in Genesis describe sacrifices by Jacob (Israel) (Ge 31:54 - associated with the covenant between Jacob and Laban, Ge 46:1). In Ge 31:54 and Ex 18:12 we see zebah associated with sharing of a meal. It is interesting that one secular dictionary defines sacrifice as "a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable." In the NT we are to daily present ourselves to God as a "sacrificial offering." (Romans 12:1). While our daily sacrifice of ourselves does not MERIT God's favor, it does bring us into fellowship with Him, He Who should always be our heart's greatest desire!

Peace offerings (08002)(selem/shelem)  is a noun which means fellowship offerings, thanksgiving offerings and all uses (except Amos 5:22) are in the plural form (selamim). The root Hebrew word conveys the idea of completion and fulfillment, of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship or fellowship. The peace offerings were voluntary offerings (like burnt and grain offerings) given to God with thanks and praise. Have you made your "peace offerings" yet today? "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High." (Ps 92:1)

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - The Hebrews had several kinds of offerings, which they called {corban}. Some were free-will offerings, and others were of obligation. The first fruits, the tenths, the sin-offerings, were of obligation; the peace-offerings, vows, offerings of oil, wine, bread, and other things which were made to the temple, or to the ministers of the Lord, were offerings of devotion; these constituted the greater part. They indeed were a shadow of good things to come, which we enjoy in full fruition through THE ONE great SACRIFICE, even Jesus Christ.

"Aaron must lay his robes away,
His mitre and his vest,
When God himself comes down to be
The offering and the priest."

Leviticus 19:6 'It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and the next day; but what remains until the third day shall be burned with fire. (Lev 7:11-17 )

Leviticus 19:7 'So if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an offense; it will not be accepted.

Leviticus 19:8 'Everyone who eats it will bear his iniquity, for he has profaned the holy thing of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Leviticus 19:9 'Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.

Criswell - God, in His marvelous grace, makes provision for the poor. A beautiful illustration of the practicality of this law is found in the Book of Ruth. (Ed: See Dt. 24:19-22 and Ru 2:2 where Ruth benefited from this provision).

The gleanings - This was to be part of "God's welfare program." The gleanings were the portions of grain which fell to the ground during the time of reaping. In ancient Israel the stalks of grain would be cut with one hand and the grain to be reaped would be caught in the other hand. No reaper would make a perfect catch and so some good grain would fall to the ground. Whatever the reaper failed to catch in his other hand fell to the ground and was known as “gleanings." We see this practice play a pivotal role in the drama of Boaz and Ruth the Moabitess…

Ruth 2:3 So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

Comment: Ruth just "happened to come" to Boaz's field, one of the most beautiful an poignant examples of Divine providence in all of Scripture, as this "chance meeting" would be used by God to bring about the birth of the Messiah. Who would have envisioned that Boaz's obedience to this Levitical law would have been used in the most dramatic event in time and eternity! It makes me wonder about those times when I have been disobedient to His will. But even more, it motivates me to strive (enabled by the Spirit) to be more diligent in the future to seek to lovingly obey His will for my life.

Ruth 2:7 “And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ Thus she came and has remained from the morning until now; she has been sitting in the house for a little while.”

Leviticus 19:10 'Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.

Glean (05953)('alal) can have a variety of meanings determined by the context. It can mean "glean" with the idea of killing or capturing the enemy down to last man (Jdg 20:45, Jer 6:9) and in this sense means to exercise power over another person, generally in bad sense, hence = "to maltreat." It can mean to glean, to go over a second time, to harvest what is left in a field after the normal harvest process (Lev 19:10; Dt 24:21). 'Alal can mean to inflict, to deal with or to make an action which causes pain or suffering to another, justified or not, with a focus that this is done with considerable zeal or energy (La 1:22; 2:20; 3:51). It can mean to deal harshly, abuse, mistreat (Ex 10:2; Nu 22:29; Jdg 19:25; 1Sa 6:6; 31:4; 1Chr 10:4; Jer 38:19). In the hitpoel to take part in evil (Ps 141:4) To thrust, bury, place, make a motion of striking two objects together, with considerable force, but not hard enough to kill or lose consciousness of the object (Job 16:15)

Baker summarizes the diverse meanings of 'alal

I. A verb meaning to do, to deal with, to treat severely, to abuse; to glean. It basically means to treat harshly or deal severely with; to practice evil: to do evil deeds in general (Ps. 141:4); to do evil toward a person (Lam. 1:12, 22; 2:20; 3:51). It describes the Lord’s dealings with Egypt to free the Israelites (Ex. 10:2; 1 Sam. 6:6). It is used of Balaam accusing his donkey of dealing treacherously with him (Num. 22:29). It describes the sexual abuse of a woman (Jdg. 19:25).

II. A verb meaning to act childishly, to play the child. It means to behave foolishly as a child without maturity or strength. It is used of the enemies of Israel to depict the hopeless state of Israel who is oppressed by children (Isa. 3:12).

III. A verb meaning to defile. It means to make something unclean or unholy, to desecrate it. It is used figuratively of Job defiling and shaming his horn, a figurative expression of destroying his hope, character, strength (Job 16:15).

IV. A verb meaning to thrust in, to bury, to insert. It indicates striking an object into something. In context it refers to sticking a “horn,” one’s hope, character, strength, into the ground, that is, giving up (Job 16:15). (Complete Word Study Dictionary- Old Testament- Warren Baker, Gene Carpenter)

'Alal - 18v in KJV - Exod 10:2; Lev 19:10; Num 22:29; Deut 24:21; Judg 19:25; 20:45; 1 Sam 6:6; 31:4; 1 Chr 10:4; Job 16:15; Ps 141:4; Isa 3:12; Jer 6:9; 38:19; Lam 1:12, 22; 2:20; 3:51

Leviticus 19:11 'You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. (shall not: Lev 6:2 Ex 20:15,17 22:1,7,10-12 De 5:19 Jer 6:13 7:9-11 Zec 5:3,4 8:16,17 1Co 6:8-10 Eph 4:28) (lie one: 1Ki 13:18 Ps 101:7 116:11 Jer 9:3-5 Ac 5:3,4 Ro 3:4 Eph 4:25 Col 3:9 1Ti 1:10 Rev 21:8)

Leviticus 19:12 'You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD. (shall: Lev 6:3 Ex 20:7 Dt 5:11 Ps 15:4 Jer 4:2 7:9 Zec 5:4 Mal 3:5 Mt 5:33,34 Jas 5:12) (profane: Lev 18:21 24:11,15,16 Eze 36:20-23)


See more detailed discussion and exhortation regarding God's Name in Notes on Leviticus 18:21

Profane (02490)(chalal - see word study). The Septuagint (Lxx) uses bebeloo which is discussed in the word study on chalal.

Leviticus 19:13 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.

Not oppress  (extort, defraud) (06231)(ashaq) is a Hebrew word which derives from a root which involves acting with violence. The Lxx translates ashaq with adikeo which means to do wrong to someone, to cheat someone (Mt 20:13, Acts 7:26, Gal 4:12, 2 Peter 2:13), to injure, harm or damage (Rev 9:4). Adikeo is a serious sin (as all are) for it is used by John in the list of sins that keep one from heaven (Rev 22:11). The Lxx translates the "not" in "you shall not oppress" with the absolute negative (ouk). Absolutely DO NOT DO THIS!

Ashaq "appears seven times with gazal ("rob"; Dt 28:29) and five with ratsats ("crush"; Dt 28:33). Monetarily oriented meanings are defraud (Lv 6:2), extort (Hos 12:7), exploit (Ezek 22:29), and deprive (Mic 2:2). People wrong others (1Sam 12:3). Rivers rage (Job 40:23). Women are ravished (Isa 23:12) and consciences burdened (Pr 28:17). Similar 'asaq ("contend"; Gen 26:20) may be related. 'Ashaq occurs three times with related 'osheq (15x) as practice fraud/extortion (Ezek 18:18; 22:29) and what... he defrauded (Lv 6:4). 'Osheq denotes oppression (Isa 30:12) but can imply extortion (Jer 22:17) or exploitation (Ezek 22:7). Nominal 'oshqah and 'ashoq appear respectively as oppressed (Isa 38:14) and oppressor (Jer 22:3). 'Ashuqiym (2x) signifies (acts of) oppression (Job 35:9; Am 3:9). Ma'ashaqqoth (2x) suggests extortion (Isa 33:15) and oppressive (Pr 28:16)." (HCSB Study Bible note)

Nor rob him - The Lxx translate the Hebrew word gazal (to tear away, seize, snatch, rob) with the verb harpazo (used by Paul of the rapture in 1 Thes 4:17-see note) a verb which means to make off with someone’s property by attacking or seizing (thus to steal, carry off, drag away) as described by Jesus in John 10:12. It was the verb used to describe the killing of Joseph by wild animals (Ge 37:33)! Harpazo means to grab or seize suddenly so as to remove or gain control as a wolf attacking a flock of sheep and so to snatch or take away (like in the rapture, a "good" taking away! Maranatha, Lord Jesus!) 

Neighbor (Lev 19:13, 19:15, 19:16, 19:17, 19:18) (07453) (rea/reya') simply means "another person" and depending on the context can refer to a friend, spouse, neighbor, companion, associate, etc.

The Lxx uses the Greek word plesion which is an adverb (from pélas = near, near to) and it literally means near, quite near, nearby = position quite close to another position. Figuratively, plesion means to be near someone and thus be a neighbor. Stated another way, neighbor is not just the person who lives in the house next to yours but depicts another other individuals as those who are near by. According to the Jewish understanding at the time of Jesus, a neighbor was any member of the Hebrew race and commonwealth but according to Christ, any other man irrespective of race or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet and especially anyone in need! Read the story of the good Samaritan, where Jesus "amplifies" the Jewish understanding of neighbor (Lk 10:25-37, 29, 36, cp Mt 5:43)

Rea/reya' - 173x in the NAS - Ge 11:3, 7; 15:10; 31:49; 38:12, 20; 43:33; Exod 2:13; 11:2; 18:7, 16; 20:16f; 21:14, 18, 35; 22:7ff, 14, 26; 32:27; 33:11; Lev 19:13, 16, 18; 20:10; Deut 4:42; 5:20f; 13:6; 15:2; 19:4f, 11, 14; 22:24, 26; 23:24f; 24:10; 27:17, 24; Josh 20:5; Judg 6:29; 7:13f, 22; 10:18; Ruth 3:14; 4:7; 1 Sam 10:11; 14:20; 15:28; 20:41; 28:17; 30:26; 2 Sam 2:16; 12:11; 13:3; 16:17; 1 Kgs 8:31; 16:11; 20:35; 2 Kgs 3:23; 7:3, 9; 1 Chr 27:33; 2 Chr 6:22; 20:23; Esth 9:19, 22; Job 2:11; 6:14, 27; 12:4; 16:20f; 17:5; 19:21; 30:29; 31:9; 32:3; 35:4; 42:7, 10; Ps 12:2; 15:3; 28:3; 35:14; 38:11; 88:18; 101:5; 122:8; Prov 3:28f; 6:1, 3, 29; 11:9, 12; 12:26; 14:20f; 16:29; 17:17f; 18:17, 24; 19:4, 6; 21:10; 22:11; 24:28; 25:8f, 17f; 26:19; 27:9f, 14, 17; 29:5; Eccl 4:4; Song 5:1, 16; Isa 3:5; 13:8; 19:2; 34:14; 41:6; Jer 3:1, 20; 5:8; 6:21; 7:5; 9:4f, 8; 19:9; 22:8, 13; 23:27, 30, 35; 29:23; 31:34; 34:15, 17; 36:16; 46:16; Lam 1:2; Ezek 18:6, 11, 15; 22:11f; 33:26; Hos 3:1; Jonah 1:7; Mic 7:5; Hab 2:15; Zech 3:8, 10; 8:10, 16f; 11:6; 14:13; Mal 3:16

NAS translates rea/reya' - another(27), another's(5), another*(1), companion(3), fellow(1), friend(30), friend's(1), friends(18), husband(1), kind(1), lover(1), lovers(1), mate(1), neighbor(64), neighbor's(23), neighbors(3), neighbors'(1), opponent(1), opponent's(1), other(6), together*(1).

Vine says -

A rea is a “personal friend” with whom one shares confidences and to whom one feels very close (read Ex 33:11). The closeness of relationship is best expressed by those texts where the rea is like a brother or son, a part of the family (Ps 122:8, cf. Dt. 13:6). For this reason, when Zimri became king over Israel he killed not only all relatives of Baasha, but also his “friends” (1Ki 16:11). In this sense, the word is a synonym of ah (“brother”) and of qarob (“kin”): (Ex 32:27). Similar to the above is the sense of “marriage partner” (Song 5:16). However, rea may also signify “illegitimate partners” (Jer. 3:1). The prophet Hosea was commanded to take back his wife from her “friend” (lover), as she had played the adulteress long enough.

The wider usage of rea resembles the English word neighbor, the person with whom one associates regularly or casually without establishing close relations. One may borrow from his “neighbor” (Ex 22:14), but not bear false witness (Ex 20:16) nor covet his neighbor’s possessions (Ex 20:17-18). The laws regulate how one must not take advantage of one’s “neighbors.” The second greatest commandment, which Jesus reiterated—“Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Lev 19:18)—receives reinforcement in the laws of the Pentateuch. The prophets charged Israel with breaking the commandment: They oppressed each other (Isa 3:5) and desired their neighbors’ wives (Jer. 5:8); they committed adultery with these women (Ezek. 18:6); they did not pay wages to the worker (Jer. 22:13); and they improperly took advantage of their “neighbors” (Ezek 22:12). According to Proverbs, not loving one’s neighbor is a sign of foolishness (Pr. 11:12). The wider meaning comes to expression in the proverb of the rich man and his “friends” (read Pr. 19:4). Here the “friend” is a person whose association is not long-lasting, whose friendship is superficial.

Leviticus 19:14 'You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the LORD. (not curse: De 27:18 Ro 12:14 14:13 1Co 8:8-13 10:32 Rev 2:14) (revere: Lev 19:32 25:17 Ge 42:18 Ne 5:15 1Pe 1:17, 1Pe 2:17)

Disciple's Study Bible - Motivated by unselfish love, the people of God will not do anything to harm a handicapped person. For example, we will not ridicule deaf persons who cannot hear and, therefore, cannot defend themselves. Nor will we put any kind of hindrance in the way of a blind person. We will not take advantage of any handicapped person. We remember that God sees and hears. He punishes those who mistreat the handicapped.

Leviticus 19:15 'You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. (Lev 19:35 Ex 18:21 23:2 23:2,3,7,8 De 1:17 16:19 25:13-16 27:19 2Ch 19:6,7 Ps 82:2 Pr 18:5 24:23 Jas 2:6-9)

Leviticus 19:16 'You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD. (Slanderer - Ex 23:1 Ps 15:3 Pr 11:13 20:19 Jer 6:28 9:4 Eze 22:9 1Ti 3:11 2Ti 3:3 Tit 2:3 1Pe 2:1) (act against: Ex 20:16 23:1,7 1Ki 21:10-13 Mt 26:60,61 27:4 Ac 6:11-13 Ac 24:4-9)

Leviticus 19:16, 17 (Morning and Evening) "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people … Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. " - Leviticus 19:16, 17 - Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God's Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord's people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonor the Church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah's wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond-SPEAK EVIL OF NO MAN.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God's blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he bore with Peter's boastful denial that he needed such a caution.


Leviticus 18; 19:9–18 Sexual Ethics and Economic Justice - Entire denominations are fracturing over the issue of homosexuality in the church, some defending traditional biblical interpretations that forbid homosexual practice, others going so far as to ordain practicing homosexuals.

Today’s reading confronts us with sexual ethics. What is and is not forbidden? Clearly, this passage protects marriage and prohibits the practices of incest, homosexuality, adultery, and any sexual contact between humans and animals. These are associated with the cultural mores of the heathen nations, most specifically Egypt and Canaan (vv. 23–30).

God insists that He is their God, and they must obey His authority. He intends they be a holy people, distinctive not only because of the way they worship but also for how they conduct their relationships. His prohibitions aren’t exclusive to regulating private, intimate relationships; He also insists on fair business practice and just economic policy. It’s important to notice that both are equally important to God. Obedience, both in the private and public sector, is an expression of fearing the Lord and acknowledging that He is witness to everything we do—in the bedroom as well as in the field.

Provision is made to care for the poor and the immigrant. God’s people were to be lax when harvesting and gleaning; what they left behind after a first gleaning was to be left for the poor. All relationships were to depend on the principles of fairness and honesty. Employers were required to pay fair wages. Everyone was commanded to care for the less fortunate and the handicapped. The essence of the Law is summarized in verse 18: "Love your neighbor as yourself." To keep sexual expression within the confines of marriage, to take care of the marginalized—these were ways to honor the Lord and honor one another.

Apply the Word - As Christians, we are right to defend the sacredness of marriage. But just as vehemently, we must also speak up against injustice such as global poverty, racial discrimination, and economic injustice. As reflected in our passage today, we see God’s great concern for both sets of issues, neither of which should be ignored.


Leviticus 19:18
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. - Leviticus 19:18
In 1988, Robert Fulghum made the literary claim, “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten.” The main idea behind his essay was that since the governing principles of life—sharing, being nice, cleaning up after yourself, and maintaining a sense of wonder—are taught at the earliest stages of social development, the lessons should be obvious to us throughout our lives. Fulghum's observations made his book of essays an instant success and put it atop the best seller list for almost two years.

So how could a book of such elementary rules come as new information to adults? Because selfish pursuits tend to distract us from the truth that we expect our young children to grasp. And selfish pursuits are the favorite pastime of humankind.

When God delivered the law to Israel through Moses, it was one of the first acts of spelling out such a comprehensive list of laws for men. But even without the law, the human conscience has always informed men about what is right and wrong in God's eyes (Rom. 2:14-15). So commandments such as “Do not deceive one another” (v. 11) and “Do not defraud your neighbor” (v. 13) hardly came as a surprise to Israel. Still, having the commandments in writing gave a permanence and finality that any man, woman, or child could understand.

Among the precepts found in this chapter is an interesting command against overly thorough harvesting. Not only were the people to give a tenth of their harvest as a tithe to the Lord (Lev. 27:30), but they were also to leave whatever part of their crop remained after the first pass. It was a gesture of generosity shown to the poor and vagrants passing through the land. You might remember that Ruth would later become the beneficiary of that particular bit of legislation (Ruth 2). In this way, a provision intended for the poor gave food to a woman from whom the kings of Israel, and the King of Kings, would descend.
Another command found in this passage is also one of the hardest to obey: the warning against carrying anger and the exhortation to rebuke a neighbor's sin. It sounds so simple, but it requires a mature control over our emotions. If a neighbor is in sin, even if he or she sins against you, you must avoid both the temptation to dwell on your anger and the desire to look the other way completely. Ask the Lord for the courage and the control to confront the person lovingly.


Leviticus 19:1-37
Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. - Leviticus 18:5
One morning at breakfast, four-year-old Hannah complained about the food in front of her. Her dad admonished her not to gripe, especially when so many people in the world are starving or struggling to get enough to eat.

Her mom later said, “She quietly soaked in the comments. Later that day she came to me with the entire contents of her piggy bank: $3.47. She said, 'I’d like to give this to the Salvation Army to help the poor people.’ We were humbled and thankful.”

Several of the miscellaneous rules in today’s reading show God’s heart for justice and the poor (cf. Ps. 146:7, 8, 9). For example, harvesters were commanded not to reap their fields completely, but to leave enough for poor people to glean food. Employers were instructed to pay out daily wages to their hired men, since they relied on the money to provide immediate needs for their families. Before God, every person stands equal, and the same should hold true in human law: “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly” (Leviticus 19:15).

Other rules listed here include provisions to protect those who may be weaker or less able to protect themselves. For example, people were not to discriminate against impaired individuals, including the deaf and blind. They were to show proper respect and care for the elderly. They were also to give fair treatment to non-Israelites who lived with them, which would have been quite unusual in that day and age (Leviticus 19:33, 34).

Some of these commands are repetitions of rules stated previously, including the Ten Commandments and instructions for the sacrifices. Others reinforced moral or spiritual points, such as the dictate against witchcraft and the instructions that prevented the Israelites from following pagan cultic practices (Leviticus 19:27, 28).
In this reading we have seen provisions in the Law for the well-being of the poor. Can you come up with a modern application?

Leviticus 19:1–8, 19–37
The Language of Sin and Holiness in Leviticus

Author and journalist A. J. Jacobs, who describes himself as a nominal Jew, devoted an entire year to obeying every one of the 613 Old Testament laws. His book, The Year of Living Biblically, describes his quest to "follow the Bible as literally as possible … without picking and choosing."

Leviticus 19 gives us a glimpse at the challenge that A. J. Jacobs faced and the questions he must have asked along the way. Some of the Levitical commands seem logical, such as the ones governing sexual practice and condemning idol worship. Other commands, like those that forbid a field be sown with two kinds of seed or those that insist on certain hairstyles, seem utterly strange. What could God have meant in all this seemingly haphazard, "Thou shall," and "Thou shall not"?

We turn to Leviticus 19 to introduce us, not only to the complexities of studying this book but also to its evident themes. Some things are clear. First, the book of Leviticus is a book where God, as the holy authority over His people, is at the center. The phrase, "And the Lord said to Moses," becomes its familiar refrain. These words spoken are God’s words. These commands are God’s. The authority is His and His alone, and His authority is grounded in His work of redemptive love and rescue.

Clear categories that emerge in the book of Leviticus: the clean and the unclean, the holy and the profane. In essence, as much as the holiness of God takes center stage in Leviticus, alongside it is the chronic reminder of humanity’s sin. What Leviticus does is to provide prescriptions, given by God, for bridging the divide and bringing sinful men and women near to Him. Leviticus is not only law but grace—an expression of the gracious inclination of God to provide a means for atonement.

Apply the Word - Jacobs makes no claims to be a "believer" after his year’s experiment. But he must have discovered the sheer impossibility of keeping even one of God’s commands. In the book of James, we’re reminded, "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (2:10). What desperate need we have for a Savior!

Leviticus 19:10, 33-35; 26:27-45
Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt. - Exodus 23:9
Anyone who has ever traveled knows how vulnerable the experience of being an “alien,” or foreigner, can be. This is particularly true if you don't speak the native language. It's easy to feel misunderstood, or even wonder if you're being taken advantage of somehow. For most of us, such experiences are temporary. There were, however, a number of alien residents within Israel, and we see the Lord's concern for these foreigners throughout the Mosaic Law.

Leviticus 19 is sometimes called the Community Code, because of its focus on farming and commercial practices, but it's also part of a larger section called the Holiness Code (Lev. 17-26). The placement of Leviticus 19 within the Holiness Code shows that every part of life in Israel somehow concerned holiness, even treatment of foreigners.

In Leviticus 19:10, we find instructions to leave some grapes for the poor and the alien, revealing God's heart for those most vulnerable to deprivation and exploitation. It was often difficult for foreigners to make a living, because they didn't have inheritance rights or access to land. We will see a similar provision for foreigners in the story of Ruth (see Dt. 24:19, 20, 21, 22). The basis for Israel's treatment of foreigners was the remembrance of what it was like to be a foreigner in Egypt (Leviticus 19:33, 34).

The passage from Leviticus 26 outlines the disaster that would befall the nation if it failed to keep God's ordinances. First, notice the horror of exile; instead of blessing the nations, Israel would be scattered among them to die (vv. 33, 38). This was the complete reversal of the covenant blessings and the consequence of failing to be the kind of witness the nation was intended to be.

Second, notice the link between Israel's actions and God's reputation among the nations. We have already seen how the nations “watched” as God delivered Israel from Egypt. In a similar way, God's faithfulness to His covenant promises could be observed by all the nations. Thus even when Israel sinned, God would remember His covenant “in the sight of the nations” (v. 45).
It's surprising how much of the Pentateuch addresses the concerns of foreigners. Using a concordance, look up “alien,” “foreigner,” and “stranger.” What are some of the specific concerns that are addressed? Ask yourself who the foreigners are in your midst. At one level, this could include anyone outside the body of Christ, but it could also include those from another country. Perhaps there are international students at a nearby college that you could befriend. Or maybe your church could help foreigners learn English.

Leviticus 19:35-36; Proverbs 16:11-13
The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight. - Proverbs 11:1
During the 1860 presidential campaign, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune sent Abraham Lincoln a biographical sketch to review before it was published. Among other information, the article said that Lincoln had read the Greek writer Plutarch. Lincoln returned the sketch to the reporter, telling him that although he had not read any of Plutarch’s writings before, he had read some since, so that the statement could be printed as accurate. “A scrupulous teller of the truth,” the reporter said of the future president.

There’s only one way to be honest, and that’s to be scrupulously honest. It’s hard to imagine what our culture would be like if this principle were applied across the board in the workplace. In the law, God gave Israel the best reason of all for practicing honesty in business: “I am the LORD your God.”

The Proverbs even say that the scales and weights used in business in that day were of God’s making, elevating honesty to a spiritual issue. The reference to kings and their love of honesty (Leviticus 19:12, 13) applies to leaders who really care about the way their kingdoms are run. A leadership based on righteousness and honesty will honor God and will likely be rewarded with honor in return.

John the Baptist was another “scrupulous teller of the truth” to the people who came out to hear him, and they were convicted by his message (Luke 3:7-14). Tax collectors were infamous for padding their accounts, and Roman soldiers were known to strong arm people for money. John called both groups to be honest in their work as a sign of true spiritual repentance (Luke 3:13, 14).

Some people’s honesty, or lack thereof, may make the world’s headlines. But God cares deeply how we respond in everyday situations, whether it’s telling the truth or refusing to “borrow” supplies from the office. He takes note of our actions and rewards accordingly.

Another word for honesty is integrity, a quality in short supply today.

Leviticus 19:17 'You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.

Merrill on in your heart - The Hebrew noun means "inner man, mind, will, heart" [BDB, 523]. It is a rich term that can speak not only of the internal organ known as the heart but in its abstract represents the totality of man's inner or immaterial part, the rational part of man. The majority of its uses are of the latter nature and it is always used this way in its three occurrences in Leviticus (here, Lev 26:36, 41). The false concept that the OT dealt merely with outward actions cannot be sustained when one considers such verses as this one. This command is satisfied not merely by not doing something hurtful to one's neighbor (Lev. 19:16 and preceding verses), but as the following sentence points out, it involves doing that which is helpful to him. The use of the term "brother" in the sentence under consideration occurs between two sentences that use two different terms for neighbor. It appears that there is no attempt to differentiate between a neighbor and a blood relative (i.e., brother) but rather all appear to refer to those of the community. This is substantiated by the following verse (see below). This same concept is specifically dealt with in the NT in 1John 2:9, 11; 3:15; 4:20. (Ibid)

Leviticus 19:18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.


Love your neighbor - Jesus combined this command with that of Dt 6:4-5, referring to these as the greatest commandments (Mt 22:37-40; Mk 12:28-31; Lk 10:27; cp Ro 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8).

Loving one's neighbor is tantamount to showing reverence to God. We can hardly claim that we are loving God if we are not also loving the people made in His image! Our "horizontal" interrelationships with men are merely a direct reflection of our "vertical" relationship with the Almighty! Let's face it, we are all guilty of hypocrisy from time to time in regard to this commandment. To be sure the only way to love selflessly (the Lxx uses agapao = loving unconditionally like Jesus loved us enough to die for us - Eph 5:25-note) with this quality (and quantity so to speak) of love is by daily dying to self (and that act even being enabled by the Spirit as self does not desire daily death!) and being filled with the Holy Spirit Who Alone can enable us to bear the Gal 5:22-note fruit of agape love! In short, if you try to love your neighbor in the power of the old man you will be frustrated and fail repeatedly (cp Jn 6:63, Gal 3:3, Mt 26:41, Jn 15:5) You must jettison self-reliance and seek to rely wholly on the the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18-note) Who in in you continually energizing (energeo in the energeo in Php 2:13-note "at work") you giving you the desire and the power (which counters the fleshly tendency to not love unconditionally) so that you walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord. (Php 2:13NLT-note). But be careful not to take a "Let go, let God" approach. That famous saying is only half correct, for we still have a responsibility to carry out the act of love (see Php 2:12-note). So this mysterious balance between God's provision and man's responsibility is better stated something like "Let God and let's go!"

Merrill - The construction here is the Hebrew verb with the preposition. This construction is used only here, Lev. 19:34, and 2Chr 19:2 and may emphasize the need for direct action toward one's neighbor. It stands in direct contrast to bearing a grudge, taking vengeance, or even showing apathy toward someone in need. Christ's reference in Mt. 22:39 to this "golden rule" of the OT may show his regard for the importance of Levitical law in his mind (see also its use in Matt. 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Ro 13:9; and Gal. 5:14). (Ibid)

Love (0157)(aheb) means to love and can convey the idea of liking things (like bribes - Isa 1:23, wisdom - Pr 4:6, wine - Pr 21:17, peace and truth - Zech 8:19, food - Ge 27:4, 9, 14). The most important uses in the OT are as an expression of God's love of people (Dt 4:37, Hosea 3:1), man's love for God (Ex 20:6, Ps 116:1) and man's love for his fellow man (Ge 29:32, Ru 4:15-note, 1 Kings 11:1 = a forbidden love by backslidden King Solomon!!!) The first use of aheb in the OT is instructive as it is found in Ge 22:2 where Yahweh instructed his servant Abraham to "“Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Notice that at the outset, we see that an inherent quality of this love (in many contexts) is that it is costly. God wants us to love Him above EVERYTHING, even our own flesh and blood. Matthews writes that Ge 22:2 "is the final test of the man’s faith, the closing bookend to his discovery of God’s sufficiency to achieve the promises made at Haran." (New American Commentary) As an aside God frequently "tests" His people to reveal their trust and obedience (cp Ex 15:25, 16:4, Judges 2:22-note - in this last one they failed repeatedly). In Ge 25:28 there is a hint that Isaac's love was at least somewhat conditioned on the fact that Esau provided game for him to eat (cp Ge 27:4, 9, 14 of Isaac's love for the savory dish). In addition, Isaac's love for Esau is contrasted with Rebekah's love for Jacob (not to say of course that Isaac did not love Jacob but that he seemed to have a greater degree for Esau because he was as they say "a man's man!" Compare Jacob's greater love for Rachel than Leah - Ge 29:30, Jacob's greater love for Joseph - Ge 37:3,4) In Ex 21:5 we see one of the great examples of man to man love where a slave willingly stays with his master because he loves him -- now that is surely sacrificial love! In Dt 4:37 we see the first use of aheb to describe God's unconditional love for His chosen people Israel -- He loved them then, He continued to love them in their unfaithfulness (because that is the nature of true love) and He will bring them "from Egypt" (so to speak) at the end of this age when Messiah returns and all the believing remnant are saved (Ro 11:25-27-note)! In short, God's love transcends time and endures throughout eternity for His chosen people and for every Gentile that has been grafted into "the rich root of the olive tree," (Ro 11:17-note). In the Shema Israel is instructed ""You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Dt 6:5)

Aheb is translated in NAS as beloved(1), dearly love(1), friend(5), friends(6), love(88), loved(53), lover(1), lovers(16), loves(42), loving(2), show your love(1), shows love(1). For example, Zechariah 13:6 a presumed Messianic passage has "“I was wounded in the house of my friends” where friends is the Hebrew aheb. The Septuagint (Lxx) most frequently translates aheb with agapao.

TWOT on the verb aheb - The intensity of the meaning ranges from God’s infinite affection for his people to the carnal appetites of a lazy glutton.....ʾāhēb frequently describes love between human beings. The love of father for son is exemplified by Abraham and Isaac (Gen 22:2) and Israel and Joseph (Gen 37:3). A slave might “love” his master and wish to identure himself to him for the rest of his life (Ex 21:8). This is the word used in the rule “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18). “Love” of the stranger is also incumbent on the faithful (Deut 10:19). Samson had apparently told Delilah that he “loved” her (Jud 14:16; 16:15). Ruth “loved” Naomi her mother-in-law (4:15), Elkanah “loved” his wife Hannah (I Sam 1:5), and Rebekah “loved” her son Jacob (Gen 25:28). Hiram’s “love” for David illustrates international friendship or irenic politics between the two (I Kgs 3:1). Notice that nowhere is the love of children toward parents mentioned. Rather, they are to honor, revere, and obey. People may love things concrete or abstract. Isaac “loved” savory meat (Gen 27:4); others are said to “love” oil (Prov 21:17), silver (Eccl 5:9), and gifts (Isa 1:23). The Psalmist “loved” God’s commandments (Ps 119:47). law (v. 97), testimonies (v. 119), and precepts (v. 159). Men can “love” evil (Ps 32:3 [H 5]), or death (Prov 8:36). vanity (Ps 4:2 [H 3]). cursing (Ps 109:17), or a false oath (Zech 8:17). Or they can “love” good (Amos 3:15). truth and peace (Zech 8:19), salvation (Ps 40:16 [H 17]), and wisdom (Prov 29:3). God has commanded man to “love” him (Deut 6:5). and the Psalms contain testimonies of obedience to that commandment (116:1; 145:20). Conversely, God “loves” men, especially his people Israel (Deut 4:37; Isa 43:4; Mal 1:2). The Lord also “loves” other things, such as the gates of Zion (Ps 87:2), righteousness and judgment (Ps 33:3). and the holy temple (Mal 2:11). In a few places the verb introduces an infinitive. Jeremiah (14:10) accused the people of loving to wander, while Isaiah charged them with loving to sleep (56:10). The verb itself is sometimes an infinitive, as in Josh 22:5 and Isa 56:6. At least once it is a gerund, “a time to love” (Eccl 3:8). The participles often translate as “friend.” From II Chr 20:7 comes the notion that Abraham is the “friend” of God. As noted above, the English word “lover,” translating the Piel participle, often carries a derogatory connotation implying prostitution (Hos 2:7; 9:12; Ezk 16:33, 36–37; Jer 22:20, 22; 30:14; Lam 1:19; Zech 13:6, etc.). (Recommended resource - Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Thoralf Gilbrant has the following discussion of aheb

"In the OT, the concept of love is expressed mainly by aheb. Several other Hebrew terms refer to related emotions, e.g. mercy or pity for the needy, favor, delight, pleasure, affections, etc. None, however, have the broad range of meaning of aheb.
Like the English word "love," the Hebrew term is used with reference to things and actions, as well as persons. In addition to these, there are also abstract usages of aheb, e.g. love for wisdom, understanding, righteousness, etc.
Unlike the English term, the Hebrew word has less to do with emotion and more to do with actions. One writer goes so far as to say every action of God is an outcome of his love (Lockyer, 32). In the OT, love is a spontaneous feeling that results in the performance of an action (cf. Exo. 33:19, Jer. 31:20).
The Hebrew word aheb has both a secular usage and a religious one. It is used in a secular sense to refer to love between the sexes, parents and children, friends, servants and masters and society in general.
The religious usage of aheb is seen in its reference to God, his Word, his house, Jerusalem, Mount Zion, wisdom, instruction, knowledge, etc. There is also a definite relationship between the concept of love and God's covenant with humanity.
In the OT, aheb is directed primarily to persons, i.e., human love to human object, e.g., for son (Abraham for Isaac, Gen. 22:2; Isaac for Esau, Gen. 25:28; Israel for Joseph, Gen. 37:3 and Benjamin 44:20); mother-in-law (Ruth for Naomi, Ruth 4:15); man's love for woman; wife (Isaac for Rebekah, Gen. 24:67; Jacob for Rachel, Gen. 29:30; Elkanah for Hannah, (1 Sam. 1:5; Rehoboam for Maachah, 2 Chr. 11:21). Also, Shechem for Dinah (Gen. 34:3); Sampson for Delilah, (Judg. 16:4, 15); Absalom for Tamar (2 Sam. 13:1, 4, 15) and figuratively of adulterous Judah (Jer. 2:25; Isa. 57:8; Ezek. 16:37).
In addition to love for relatives and between the sexes aheb is used of the love of slave for master (Exo. 21:5; Deut. 15:16); inferior for superior (Israel and Judah for David, 1 Sam. 18:16, 22); for neighbor (Lev. 19:18) particularly the "stranger" (Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:18, 19); and for the love between friends (Saul for David, 1 Sam. 16:21; David and Jonathan 1 Sam. 18:1,3; 20:17; Job's friends, Job 19:19).
This term is used less often to refer to a love for things (appetite). A few examples are love for food (Isaac for savory meat, Gen. 27:4, 9, 14); wine (Hos. 3:1; Prov. 21:17); husbandry (Uzziah for agriculture, 2 Chr. 26:10); cupidity (Hos. 9:1; Isa. 1:23; Ecc. 5:9); sleep (Prov. 20:13; fig. of sluggish watchmen, Isa. 56:10).
In the abstract sense, aheb is used to describe love for wisdom, knowledge, righteousness, etc. (Prov. 4:6; 8:17, 21; 12:1; 22:11; 29:3; Amos 5:15; Mic. 6:8); also folly and evil (Mic. 3:2; 4:3; Pss. 11:5, 52:5,6; 109:17; Prov. 1:22; 8:36; 17:19; 18:21; Zech. 8:17; Amos 4:5; Jer. 14:10; Hos. 12:8) and especially of idolatry (Jer. 8:2; Hos. 4:18).
Love for God is expressed in passages such as Exo. 20:6, Deut. 5:10, cf.7:9. Jesus called this the "greatest" or "first" commandment (Deut. 6:5 cf. Matt. 22:36-38; Mark 12:28-30).
In addition to these references, there is love for God's name (Pss. 5:11; 69:36); his House (Ps. 26:8); his salvation (Ps. 40:16); for God's law (Ps. 119:97, 113, 163, 165); his testimonies (v. 119; commandments and precepts (Ps. 119:127, 159); love for Jerusalem (Isa. 66:10); and Mount Zion (Ps. 78:68).
With reference to divine love, the OT speaks of God loving a specific individual only twice, viz. Solomon (2 Sam. 12:24; Neh. 13:26) and Cyrus (Isa. 48:14). God's everlasting love for Israel, however, is described in Jer. 31:3. Also in this chapter we find Jeremiah's prophecy of the new covenant (vv. 31-34). God loves righteousness (Pss. 11:7; 33:5) and those who follow righteousness (Prov. 15:9), but He also loves the backslider (Hos. 14:4).
In Ps. 37:28, aheb is used of God's love for judgment, i.e. that which is right and just, rather than a sentence by which penalty is inflicted. Note especially the words that follow, "For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints...." God is faithful to the objects of his love. What an encouragement for saints today. Divine love is not affected by emotions or doubts that might threaten it. Yahweh is the true and faithful God who has bound himself by covenant to those who love him and keep his commandments (Deut. 7:9). Verses 12-16 of this same chapter link the love of God with his blessings as a reward for covenant faithfulness." (Source - Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

Brown - Driver - Briggs discussion of Aheb:

Qal Perfect אָהֵ֑ב Genesis 27:9 7t; אָשֵהבּ Genesis 27:14; אָהַב Genesis 37:3 3t.; אֲֵ˜הבָךָDeuteronomy 15:16; 3 feminine singular אָֽהֲבָה Song of Solomon 1:7 +, etc.; Imperfect (הָֿ֑ב) יֶאֱהַבProverbs 3:12 +; 1 singular אֵהָ֑ב Proverbs 8:17 (compare Ew§ 192 d Ges§ 68. 1); וָָֽאֹהַ֖ב Malachi 1:2; וָאֹהֲבֵהוּ Hosea 11:1; אֹהֲבֵם Hosea 14:5; וָאֹהֲבֵם Psalm 119:167; 2 masculine plural תְּאֵהֲבוּProverbs 1:22 (compare Kö I p. 394 Ges§ 63 R 2); תֶּאֱהָ֑בוּ Zechariah 8:17; תָּאֱהָבוּן Psalm 4:3; Imperative אֱהַבֿ Hosea 3:1; אֱהָבֶהָ Proverbs 4:6; אֶהֱבוּ Psalm 31:24; Amos 5:15; אֱהָ֑בוּ Zechariah 8:19; Infinitive construct אֱהֹב Ecclesiastes 3:8; אַהֲבָה Deuteronomy 10:12 +; אֲהֲבַת Micah 6:8 + etc.; compare also below

n.אהבה below; Participle אֹהֵב (אוֺהֵב) Deuteronomy 10:18 26t.; feminine construct אֲהֻבַת Hosea 3:1is probably active compare Ba NB 174ff; suffix אֹהֲבִי Isaiah 41:8 etc.; feminine אֹהֶ֫בֶת Genesis 25:28; אֹהַ֫בְתִּי Hosea 10:11 etc.; Passive participle אָהוּב Nehemiah 13:26; אֲהוּבָה Deuteronomy 21:15(twice in verse); Deuteronomy 21:16. — love (mostly with accusative, followed by לְ + object Leviticus 19:18,34; 2 Chronicles 19:2 (late), followed by בְּ Ecclesiastes 5:9; absolute Ecclesiastes 3:8 & see below), (affection both pure & impure, divine & human); —

1 human love to human object; absolute, opposed to hate שָׂנֵא Ecclesiastes 3:8; of love to son Genesis 22:2; Genesis 25:28; Genesis 37:3,4; Genesis 44:20 (JE) Proverbs 13:24; so also 2 Samuel 13:21 ᵐ5 Ew Th We, compare Dr, of David's loving Amnon; never to parent, but mother-in-law Ruth 4:15; of man's love to woman; wife Genesis 24:67; Genesis 29:20,30 (compare Genesis 29:18):32 (JE), also Deuteronomy 21:15 (twice in verse); Deuteronomy 21:16; Judges 14:16; 1 Samuel 1:5; 2 Chronicles 11:21; Esther 2:17; Hosea 3:1; Ecclesiastes 9:9; but also Genesis 34:3 (J) Judges 16:4,15; 2 Samuel 13:1,4,15 (where of carnal desire) 1 Kings 11:1 compare 1 Kings 11:2; Hosea 3:1; רֵעַ׳א loving a paramour, see Ba NB 176; woman's love to Prayer of Manasseh 1Samuel 18:20 ( Song of Solomon 1Samuel 18:28 ᵑ0, but read וְבִי כָליִֿשְׂרָאֵל אֹהֵב אֹתוֺᵐ5 We Dr) Song of Solomon 1:3,4,7; Song of Solomon 3:1,2,3,4 (5t. subject נַפְשִׁי); compare also figurative of adulterous Judah Jeremiah 2:25; Isaiah 57:8; Ezekiel 16:37; of love of slave to master Exodus 21:5 (JE) Deuteronomy 15:16; inferior to superior 1 Samuel 18:22 compare 1 Samuel 18:16; love to neighbour Leviticus 19:18 (וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֺ֑ךָ), partic to stranger Leviticus 19:34 (both P), Deuteronomy 10:18,19; love of friend to friend 1 Samuel 16:21; 1 Samuel 18:1,3; 1 Samuel 20:17 (twice in verse); Job 19:19; Proverbs 17:1 compare 2 Samuel 19:7 (twice in verse); 2 Chronicles 19:2; see also Proverbs 9:8; Proverbs 16:13; compare Proverbs 15:12; see especially Participle below

2 less often of appetite, object food, Genesis 27:7,9,14 (JE); drink Hosea 3:1; Proverbs 21:17; husbandry 2 Chronicles 26:10; compare figurative of Ephraim Hosea 10:11 followed by infinitive; length of life Psalm 34:13; of cupidity Hosea 9:1; 1 Samuel 1:23; Ecclesiastes 5:9 (twice in verse); of love of sleep Proverbs 20:13 compare figurative of sluggish watchmen (followed by infinitive) Isaiah 56:10; also with object abstract wisdom (personified), knowledge, righteousness, etc. Proverbs 4:6; Proverbs 8:17,21; Proverbs 12:1; Proverbs 22:11; Proverbs 29:3; Amos 5:15; Micah 6:8 (infinitive "" infinitives) Zechariah 8:19, compare Proverbs 19:8 קֹנֶה לֵב אֹהֵב נַפְשׁוֺ; object folly, evil, etc., Micah 3:2; Micah 4:3; Psalm 11:5; Psalm 52:5; Psalm 52:6; Psalm 109:17; Proverbs 1:22; Proverbs 8:36; Proverbs 17:19(twice in verse), compare Proverbs 18:21; Zechariah 8:17, compare כֵּן׳א Amos 4:5; Jeremiah 5:3, followed by Infinitive Hosea 12:8; Jeremiah 14:10, especially of idolatry Hosea 4:13 (where strike out הֵבוּ compare Kö1. p. 395) Jeremiah 8:2.

3 love to God Exodus 20:6 (JE) elsewhere Hexateuch only Deuteronomy 5:10; Deuteronomy 6:5; Deuteronomy 7:9 9t. Deuteronomy + Joshua 22:5; Joshua 23:11; also Judges 5:31; 1 Kings 3:3; Nehemiah 1:5; Daniel 9:4; especially in (late) Psalm 31:24; Psalm 116:1; Psalm 145:20, but usually followed by name, law, etc. of ׳י Psalm 5:12; Psalm 26:8; Psalm 40:17; Psalm 69:37; Psalm 70:5; Psalm 97:10; Psalm 119:47 11t. Psalm 119; compare Isaiah 56:6; compare also of love to Jerusalem Isaiah 66:10; Psalm 122:6.

4 especially Participle אֹהֵב = ( alover, Lamentations 1:2 (figurative of Jerusalem); ( bfriend Hiram of David 1 Kings 5:15, compare Jeremiah 20:4,6; Esther 5:10,14; Esther 6:13; Psalm 38:12 ("" רֵעַ) so Psalm 88:19, Proverbs 14:20; also Proverbs 18:24; Proverbs 27:6; Abraham of God Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chronicles 20:7.

5 of divine love ( a) to individual men Deuteronomy 4:37; 2 Samuel 12:24; Proverbs 3:12; Proverbs 15:9; Psalm 146:8; Nehemiah 13:26; ( b) to people Israel, etc. Deuteronomy 7:8,13; Deuteronomy 23:6; Hosea 3:1; Hosea 9:15; Hosea 11:1; Hosea 14:5; 1 Kings 10:9; 2 Chronicles 2:10; 2 Chronicles 9:8; Isaiah 43:4; Isaiah 48:14; Jeremiah 31:3; Malachi 1:2 (3t. in verse); Psalm 47:5; to Jerusalem Psalm 78:68; Psalm 87:2; ( c) to righteousness, etc. Psalm 11:7; Psalm 33:5; Psalm 37:28; Psalm 45:8; Psalm 99:4; Isaiah 61:8; Malachi 2:11.

Niph`al Participle plural הַנֶּאֱהָבִים 2 Samuel 1:23 lovely, loveable of Saul & Jonath. ("" הַנְּעִימִם).

Pi`el Participle plural suffix (בָֿ֑י) מְאַהֲבַי Hosea 2:7 3t.; (בָֿ֑יִח) מְאַהֲבַיִח Jeremiah 22:20 6t.; מְאַהֲבֶיהָ Hosea 2:9 4t.

1 friends Zechariah 13:6;

2 lovers in figure of adulterous Israel Hosea 2:7; Hosea 2:9; Hosea 2:12; Hosea 2:14; Hosea 2:15; Ezekiel 23:5,9; Judah Jeremiah 22:20,22; Jeremiah 30:14; Lamentations 1:19; Ezekiel 16:33,36,37; Ezekiel 23:22.

Aheb - used 202 times in the Old Testament: The most frequent uses of aheb in order are Psalms (39), Proverbs (23), Deuteronomy (22), Hosea (14 - the highest "concentration" given the smaller number of verses than the other books), Genesis (13) and Jeremiah (10). 

Genesis 22:2 He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
Genesis 24:67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Genesis 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Genesis 27:4 and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die."
 9 "Go now to the flock and bring me two choice young goats from there, that I may prepare them as a savory dish for your father, such as he loves.
 14 So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savory food such as his father loved.
Genesis 29:18 Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel."
 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with Laban for another seven years.
 32 Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me."
Genesis 34:3 He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her.
Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.
 4 His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.
Genesis 44:20 "We said to my lord, 'We have an old father and a little child of his old age. Now his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.'
Exodus 20:6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Exodus 21:5 "But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,'
Leviticus 19:18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.
 34 'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 4:37 "Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power,
Deuteronomy 5:10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 7:8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
 9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
 13 "He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.
Deuteronomy 10:12 ¶ "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
 15 "Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.
 18 "He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
 19 "So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 11:1 ¶ "You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments.
 13 ¶ "It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul,
 22 "For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,
Deuteronomy 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 15:16 "It shall come about if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you;
Deuteronomy 19:9 if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in His ways always-- then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three.
Deuteronomy 21:15 ¶ "If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved,
 16 then it shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn.
Deuteronomy 23:5 "Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you.
Deuteronomy 30:6 "Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.
 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.
 20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
Joshua 22:5 "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Joshua 23:11 "So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God.
Judges 5:31 ¶ "Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD; But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might." And the land was undisturbed for forty years.
Judges 14:16 Samson's wife wept before him and said, "You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me." And he said to her, "Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?"
Judges 16:4 ¶ After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
 15 ¶ Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is."
Ruth 4:15 "May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."
1 Samuel 1:5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb.
1 Samuel 16:21 Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer.
1 Samuel 18:1 ¶ Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.
 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, and he went out and came in before them.
 20 ¶ Now Michal, Saul's daughter, loved David. When they told Saul, the thing was agreeable to him.
 22 Then Saul commanded his servants, "Speak to David secretly, saying, 'Behold, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you; now therefore, become the king's son-in-law.'"
 28 When Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him,
1 Samuel 20:17 Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.
2 Samuel 1:23 "Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, And in their death they were not parted; They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions.
2 Samuel 12:24 ¶ Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him
2 Samuel 13:1 ¶ Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her.
 4 He said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Then Amnon said to him, "I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom."
 15 ¶ Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Get up, go away!"
2 Samuel 19:6 by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased.
1 Kings 3:3 ¶ Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
1 Kings 5:1 ¶ Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always been a friend of David.
1 Kings 10:9 "Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness."
1 Kings 11:1 ¶ Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,
 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these in love.
2 Chronicles 2:11 ¶ Then Huram, king of Tyre, answered in a letter sent to Solomon: "Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them."
2 Chronicles 9:8 "Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the LORD your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness."
2 Chronicles 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. For he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.
2 Chronicles 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so bring wrath on yourself from the LORD?
2 Chronicles 20:7 "Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
2 Chronicles 26:10 He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. He also had plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.
Nehemiah 1:5 I said, "I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
Nehemiah 13:26 "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin.
Esther 2:17 The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther 5:10 Haman controlled himself, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh.
 14 Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, "Have a gallows fifty cubits high made and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go joyfully with the king to the banquet." And the advice pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made.
Esther 6:13 Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish origin, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him."
Job 19:19 "All my associates abhor me, And those I love have turned against me.
Psalm 4:2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.
Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.
Psalm 11:5 The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.
 7 For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.
Psalm 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells.
Psalm 31:23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Psalm 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.
Psalm 34:12 Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good?
Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
Psalm 38:11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off.
Psalm 40:16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!"
Psalm 45:7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
Psalm 47:4 He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.
Psalm 52:3 You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah.
 4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
Psalm 69:36 The descendants of His servants will inherit it, And those who love His name will dwell in it.
Psalm 70:4 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, "Let God be magnified."
Psalm 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.
Psalm 87:2 The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.
Psalm 88:18 You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness.
Psalm 97:10 Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 99:4 The strength of the King loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Psalm 109:17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications.
Psalm 119:47 I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love.
 48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes. Zayin.
 97 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
 113 I hate those who are double-minded, But I love Your law.
 119 You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; Therefore I love Your testimonies.
 127 Therefore I love Your commandments Above gold, yes, above fine gold.
 132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, After Your manner with those who love Your name.
 140 Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it.
 159 Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
 163 I hate and despise falsehood, But I love Your law.
 165 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.
 167 My soul keeps Your testimonies, And I love them exceedingly.
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.
Psalm 145:20 The LORD keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
Psalm 146:8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous;
Proverbs 1:22 "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge?
Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 4:6 "Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you.
Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
 21 To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may fill their treasuries.
 36 "But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death."
Proverbs 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.
Proverbs 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Proverbs 14:20 The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many.
Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
 12 A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise.
Proverbs 16:13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
 19 He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
 24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 19:8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.
Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
Proverbs 21:17 He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 29:3 A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.
Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 ¶ He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 ¶ Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.
Song of Solomon 1:3 "Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you.
 4 "Draw me after you and let us run together! The king has brought me into his chambers." "We will rejoice in you and be glad; We will extol your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you."
 7 "Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?"
Song of Solomon 3:1 "On my bed night after night I sought him Whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him.
 2 'I must arise now and go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I must seek him whom my soul loves.' I sought him but did not find him.
 3 "The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me, And I said, 'Have you seen him whom my soul loves?'
 4 "Scarcely had I left them When I found him whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go Until I had brought him to my mother's house, And into the room of her who conceived me."
Isaiah 1:23 Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow's plea come before them.
Isaiah 41:8 "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend,
Isaiah 43:4 "Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
Isaiah 48:14 "Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them has declared these things? The LORD loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon, And His arm will be against the Chaldeans.
Isaiah 56:6 "Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath And holds fast My covenant;
 10 His watchmen are blind, All of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber;
Isaiah 57:8 "Behind the door and the doorpost You have set up your sign; Indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself, And have gone up and made your bed wide. And you have made an agreement for yourself with them, You have loved their bed, You have looked on their manhood.
Isaiah 61:8 For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; And I will faithfully give them their recompense And make an everlasting covenant with them.
Isaiah 66:10 "Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; Be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her,
Jeremiah 2:25 "Keep your feet from being unshod And your throat from thirst; But you said, 'It is hopeless! No! For I have loved strangers, And after them I will walk.'
Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?
Jeremiah 8:2 "They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground.
Jeremiah 14:10 Thus says the LORD to this people, "Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account."
Jeremiah 20:4 "For thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword.
 6 'And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.'"
Jeremiah 22:20 "Go up to Lebanon and cry out, And lift up your voice in Bashan; Cry out also from Abarim, For all your lovers have been crushed.
 22 "The wind will sweep away all your shepherds, And your lovers will go into captivity; Then you will surely be ashamed and humiliated Because of all your wickedness.
Jeremiah 30:14 'All your lovers have forgotten you, They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the punishment of a cruel one, Because your iniquity is great And your sins are numerous.
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
Lamentations 1:2 She weeps bitterly in the night And her tears are on her cheeks; She has none to comfort her Among all her lovers. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies.
 19 "I called to my lovers, but they deceived me; My priests and my elders perished in the city While they sought food to restore their strength themselves.
Ezekiel 16:33 "Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers to bribe them to come to you from every direction for your harlotries.
 36 Thus says the Lord GOD, "Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols,
 37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated. So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness.
Ezekiel 23:5 ¶ "Oholah played the harlot while she was Mine; and she lusted after her lovers, after the Assyrians, her neighbors,
 9 "Therefore, I gave her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted.
 22 ¶ "Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold I will arouse your lovers against you, from whom you were alienated, and I will bring them against you from every side:
Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
Hosea 2:5 "For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'
 7 "She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my first husband, For it was better for me then than now!'
 10 "And then I will uncover her lewdness In the sight of her lovers, And no one will rescue her out of My hand.
 12 "I will destroy her vines and fig trees, Of which she said, 'These are my wages Which my lovers have given me.' And I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field will devour them.
 13 "I will punish her for the days of the Baals When she used to offer sacrifices to them And adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry, And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me," declares the LORD.
Hosea 3:1 ¶ Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes."
Hosea 4:18 Their liquor gone, They play the harlot continually; Their rulers dearly love shame.
Hosea 9:1 ¶ Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved harlots' earnings on every threshing floor.
 10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season. But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, And they became as detestable as that which they loved.
 15 All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels.
Hosea 10:11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke; I will harness Ephraim, Judah will plow, Jacob will harrow for himself.
Hosea 11:1 ¶ When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
Hosea 12:7 A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress.
Hosea 14:4 I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them.
Amos 4:5 "Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel," Declares the Lord GOD.
Amos 5:15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Micah 3:2 "You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones,
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
Zechariah 8:17 'Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,' declares the LORD."
 19 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.'
Zechariah 13:6 "And one will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will say, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'
Malachi 1:2 ¶ "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob;
Malachi 2:11 "Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

Leviticus 19:19 'You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together. (Ge 36:24 2Sa 13:29 18:9 1Ki 1:33 Ezr 2:66) (mixed - Dt 22:9-11 Mt 9:16,17 Ro 11:6 2Co 6:14-17 Gal 3:9-11)

ICB - Obey my laws. You must not mate two different kinds of cattle. You must not sow your field with two different kinds of seed. You must not wear clothing made from two different kinds of material mixed together.

From loving one's neighbor, God shifts to breeding of cattle, sowing fields and fashion restrictions!

Open Bible - Fulfillment of these commands would represent a willingness to submit to God’s boundaries in the moral and ethical fields.

Wenham agrees observing that "In creation God separated between light and darkness, waters and waters. This ban on all mixtures, especially mixed breeding, shows man following in God’s steps. He must keep separate what God created separate. As God separated Israel from among the nations to be his own possession, so they must maintain their holy identity by not intermarrying with the nations (Dt. 7:3–6). Thus in the major and minor decisions of life, Israel was constantly reminded that she was different; that she was holy, set apart for God’s service. (NICOT)

Question.org has a discussion addressing the question "Does obeying the Law bring salvation" - It is difficult for a person who hasn’t been reared in legalism to understand Paul’s meaning when he speaks of the law “arousing sinful passions” and causing sin to “spring to life” (Romans 7:5-9). However, when someone has no other basis for forgiveness than keeping the law, they begin to view the law itself as the source of salvation. This, in turn, introduces such an emphasis on rules that rebellion is the natural result. A Jewish survivor of German concentration camps, Israel Shahak, described the extent to which Orthodox Judaism strives to avoid violations of the law: “The following example illustrates even better the level of absurdity reached by this system. One of the prototypes of work forbidden on the Sabbath is harvesting. This is stretched, by analogy, to a ban on breaking a branch off a tree. Hence, riding a horse (or any other animal) is forbidden, as a hedge against the temptation to break a branch off a tree for flogging the beast. It is useless to argue that you have a ready-made whip, or that you intend to ride where there are no trees. What is forbidden remains forbidden for ever. It can, however, be stretched and made stricter: in modern times, riding a bicycle on the Sabbath has been forbidden, because it is analogous to riding a horse.” (See continuation of Shahak's comments below) Dependency upon the law for righteousness and security before God results in rules so complicated and impossible to fulfill that they make life impossible. This results not only in hostility towards the law, but a desire to find ways to circumvent it.2 Fully aware of the law’s function and effect, Paul realized it was not the law, but faith that brings salvation. (Romans 4:9-16). But what is the basis of this saving faith? Assurance of salvation can’t be based on the law, as the law only magnifies consciousness of sin. Any attempt to achieve assurance on the basis of the law will produce greater guilt. (This is why children of legalistic Christians, Muslims, or Jews often become self-righteous bigots who project their own sinfulness on everyone else or rebels who reject all morality and tradition.) Faith in the law as a means of forgiveness for sin leads only to a cycle of desperate legalism leading either to self-righteous arrogance or despairing rebellion. The Jewish Bible offers a basis for faith outside of the law. It points to a Messiah who will bear the sins of His people (Genesis 22:1-8; Exodus 12:3-7; Psalm 22; Isaiah 53:1-12). The church was founded on the confidence that Jesus was the Lamb of God ( John 1:29 ) 3, bearer of a gospel that offers forgiveness of sin (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 15:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 5:12). Unlike faith in the Law alone, faith in Jesus as the Messiah confirms the authority of the Law while offering deliverance from its condemnation, offering both Jews and Gentiles forgiveness and peace with God.

Shahak continues: “My final example illustrates how the same methods are used also in purely theoretical cases, having no conceivable application in reality. During the existence of the Temple, the High Priest was only allowed to marry a virgin. Although during virtually the whole of the Talmudic period there was no longer a Temple or a High Priest, the Talmud devotes one of its more involved (and bizarre) discussions to the precise definition of the term ‘virgin’ fit to marry a High Priest. What about a woman whose hymen had been broken by accident? Does it make any difference whether the accident occurred before or after the age of three? By the impact of metal or of wood? Was she climbing a tree? And if so, was she climbing up or down? Did it happen naturally or unnaturally? All this and much else besides is discussed in lengthy detail. And every scholar in classical Judaism had to master hundreds of such problems. Great scholars were measured by their ability to develop these problems still further, for as shown by the examples there is always scope for further developmentif only in one directionand such development did actually continue after the final redaction of the Talmud.” (Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (pp. 40-41)) Israel Shahak offers examples of the kinds of subterfuges that orthodox Jews have used to “keep the law” in a way that allowed them a degree of normalcy in daily life: “Milking on the Sabbath. This has been forbidden in post-talmudic times, through the process of increasing religious severity mentioned above. The ban could easily be kept in the diaspora, since Jews who had cows of their own were usually rich enough to have non-Jewish servants, who could be ordered (using one of the subterfuges described below) to do the milking. The early Jewish colonists in Palestine employed Arabs for this and other purposes, but with the forcible imposition of the Zionist policy of exclusive Jewish labour there was need for a dispensation. (This was particularly important before the introduction of mechanised milking in the late 1950s.) Here too there was a difference between Zionist and non-Zionist rabbis. According to the former, the forbidden milking becomes permitted provided the milk is not white but dyed blue. This blue Saturday milk is then used exclusively for making cheese, and the dye is washed off into the whey. Non-Zionist rabbis have devised a much subtler scheme (which I personally witnessed operating in a religious kibbutz in 1952). They discovered an old provision which allows the udders of a cow to be emptied on the Sabbath, purely for relieving the suffering caused to the animal by bloated udders, and on the strict condition that the milk runs to waste on the ground. Now, this is what is actually done: on Saturday morning, a pious kibbutznik goes to the cowshed and places pails under the cows. (There is no ban on such work in the whole of the talmudic literature.) He then goes to the synagogue to pray. Then comes his colleague, whose ‘honest intention’ is to relieve the animals’ pain and let their milk run to the floor. But if, by chance, a pail happens to be standing there, is he under any obligation to remove it? Of course not. He simply ‘ignores’ the pails, fulfills his mission of mercy and goes to the synagogue. Finally a third pious colleague goes into the cowshed and discovers, to his great surprise, the pails full of milk. So he puts them in cold storage and follows his comrades to the synagogue. Now all is well, and there is no need to waste money on blue dye. “Similar dispensations were issued by zionist rabbis in respect of the ban (based on Leviticus 19:19) against sowing two different species of crop in the same field. Modern agronomy has however shown that in some cases (especially in growing fodder) mixed sowing is the most profitable. The rabbis invented a dispensation according to which one man sows the field lengthwise with one kind of seed, and later that day his comrade, who ‘does not know’ about the former, sows another kind of seed crosswise. However, this method was felt to be too wasteful of labour, and a better one was devised: one man makes a heap of one kind of seed in a public place and carefully covers it with a sack or piece of board. The second kind of seed is then put on top of the cover. Later, another man comes and exclaims, in front of witnesses, ‘I need this sack (or board)’ and removes it, so that the seeds mix ‘naturally.’ Finally, a third man comes along and is told, ‘Take this and sow the field,’ which he proceeds to do.” (Can Assurance of Salvation Be Found in Obeying the Old Testament Law- - Questions.org)

Leviticus 19: 20 'Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free. (Ex 21:20,21 Dt 22:23,24)


Leviticus 19:20-22

KJV - And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

NLT - "'If a man sleeps with a woman who is a slave girl promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed.

ESV - "If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free;

GWN - "If a man has sexual intercourse with a female slave who is engaged to another man and if her freedom was never bought or given to her, they should not be put to death. He will only pay a fine because she is a slave.

NET Note - That is, the woman had previously been assigned for marriage to another man but the marriage deal had not yet been consummated. In the meantime, the woman has lost her virginity and has, therefore, lost part of her value to the master in the sale to the man for whom she had been designated. Compensation was, therefore, required.

Punishment (01244)(biqqoreth) is a "due punishment, a reprimand along with other obligations for an offense or sin acted out." (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew) Note that in addition to recompense, the guilty man must also bring a guilt offering (Lev 19:21).

Wenham - In OT times sexual intercourse with a betrothed girl by someone who was not her fiancé was regarded as tantamount to adultery. Consequently both parties were liable to the death penalty. This law states an exception to the general principle of capital punishment; in such cases they must not be put to death (v. 20). The reason given for this exemption is because she was not free. Because she is a slave the death penalty applies neither to the girl nor to her seducer. (NICOT)

Leviticus 19:21 'He shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD to the doorway of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. (Lev 5:1-6:7 )

ICB - The man must bring a male sheep as his penalty offering. He must bring it to the Lord at the entrance to the Meeting Tent.

Leviticus 19:22 'The priest shall also make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him.

ICB - The priest will offer the male sheep as a penalty offering before the Lord. It will be for the man's sin. The priest will perform the acts to remove the sins of the man so he will belong to the Lord. Then the man will be forgiven for his sin.


Forgiven (05545)(salach) means to free from or release from something and so to pardon, to forgive, to spare. God's offer of pardon and forgiveness to sinners. Salach is never used of people forgiving each other but used of God forgiving. Jehovah Himself announces, in response to Moses' prayers for Israel, that He has forgiven Israel at two of their darkest moments, the golden calf incident and the murmuring at Kadesh Barnea (Ex 34:9; Nu 14:19-20).

Vine adds that

The basic meaning (of salach) undergoes no change throughout the Old Testament. God is always the subject of “forgiveness.” No other Old Testament verb means “to forgive,” although several verbs include “forgiveness” in the range of meanings given a particular context (e.g., naca and awon in Ex. 32:32; kapar in Ezek. 16:63)… Most occurrences of calach are in the sacrificial laws of Leviticus and Numbers. In the typology of the Old Testament, sacrifices foreshadowed the accomplished work of Jesus Christ, and the Old Testament believer was assured of “forgiveness” based on sacrifice (see Nu 15:25, 28)… he mediators of the atonement were the priests who offered the sacrifice. The sacrifice was ordained by God to promise ultimate “forgiveness” in God’s sacrifice of His own Son. Moreover, sacrifice was appropriately connected to atonement, as there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Lev. 4:20; cf. Heb. 9:22). Out of His grace, God alone “forgives” sin. The Israelites experienced God’s “forgiveness” in the wilderness and in the Promised Land. As long as the temple stood, sacrificial atonement continued and the Israelites were assured of God’s “forgiveness.” When the temple was destroyed and sacrifices ceased, God sent the prophetic word that He graciously would restore Israel out of exile and “forgive” its sins (Jer. 31:34).

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates salach with the Greek verb aphiemi (see word study) in all 9 uses of salach in the book of Leviticus. The verb aphiemi (from apo = prefix implies separation + hiemi = put in motion, send; See also study on noun aphesis) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation and means to send from one's self, to forsake, to hurl away, to put away, let alone, disregard, put off. It depicts an action which causes separation that results in total detachment, total separation, from a previous location or condition. In secular Greek aphiemi initially conveyed the sense of to throw and in one secular writing we read "let the pot drop" (aphiemi). From this early literal use the word came to mean leave or let go. Aphiemi basically means to send away and was used to indicate the legal repayment or cancellation of a debt or the granting of a pardon. It is used in Scripture to refer to God’s forgiveness of sin. Through the shedding of His own blood, Jesus Christ actually took the sins of the world upon His own head, as it were, and carried them an infinite distance away from where they could never return. That is the extent of the forgiveness of our trespasses.

Salach - 46x in NAS - Ex 34:9; Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22; Num 14:19f; 15:25f, 28; 30:5, 8, 12; Dt 29:20; 1Sa 15:25; 1 Kgs 8:30, 34, 36, 39, 50; 2 Kgs 5:18; 24:4; 2 Chr 6:21, 25, 27, 30, 39; 7:14; Ps 25:11; 103:3; Isa 55:7; Jer 5:1, 7; 31:34; 33:8; 36:3; 50:20; Lam 3:42; Dan 9:19; Amos 7:2

Salach is translated as - forgive(19), forgiven(13), pardon(12), pardoned(2), pardons(1).

The first use is notable, where Moses intercedes for the rebellious nation of Israel…

Ex 34:9 And he said, “If now I have found favor in Thy sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate; and do Thou pardon (Lxx = aphaireo = take away, remove) our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Thine own possession.”


Other representative uses (if you have time, consider studying all 46 uses above for a fuller understand of pardon and forgiveness in the OT)…

Ps 25:11 For Thy name’s sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

Ps 103:3 Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases;

Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.


Walter Kaiser has an excellent summary on salach

One of the greatest evangelical notes in the OT is struck by this word: forgiveness and pardon from the very God of forgiveness. It also raises the greatest problem as well: What was the nature of this forgiveness? Hebrews seems to state just as categorically that OT forgiveness was ineffective and impossible (Heb 9:9; Heb 10:4). The resolution is clear. In the first place, Jehovah himself announces, in response to Moses’ prayers for Israel, that he has forgiven Israel at two of their darkest moments, the golden calf incident and the murmuring at Kadesh Barnea (Ex 34:9; Num 14:19–20). In the second place, on the basis of Mosaic legislation, real atonement and forgiveness were available for all sins except those of the defiant and unrepentant sinner (Num 15:30–31) who “despised the word of the Lord.” The claim is made repeatedly (Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35, 5:10, 13, 16, 18, 26; 19:22) that when atonement was made, the sinner’s sins were forgiven. For all such sins as lying, theft, perjury, fraud (Lev 6:1–7), or those “against any of the Commandments of the Lord” (Lev 4:2), it was possible to obtain divine pardon. Rather than being excluded, these sins were specifically included in God’s provision for the ot believer along with “sins of ignorance” (Nu 15:25, 26, 28). As if to emphasize the point, it is stated repeatedly that on the Day of Atonement, “all the iniquities” and sins of Israel were atoned (Lev 16:21, 30, 32, 34). But the individual Israelites had to properly “humble themselves” in true confession (Lev 16:29, 31). This is the kind of forgiveness which Solomon prayed would be available to all as he led a prayer of dedication for the temple (1Kgs 8:30, 34, 39, 50, and its parallel in 2Chr 6). Amos requested it for Judah (Amos 7:2) as did Daniel (Da 9:19). However, at times Israel was not pardoned (Dt 29:19; La 3:42). So exciting was the openness of this offer of forgiveness that Isaiah (Isa 55:7) featured it as the heart of his invitation to salvation. So ready was their Lord to forgive, that Isaiah’s listeners must forget all notions based on the reluctance of men to forgive each other. The experience of forgiveness in the OT was personally efficacious, although objectively the basis and grounds of that forgiveness awaited the death of Christ. Other terms used for forgiveness stressed the ideas of wiping out or blotting out the memory of the sin (māâ), covering or concealing the record of the sin (kāsâ), lifting up and removal of sin (nāśā), passing by of sin (ābar), and pardoning on the basis of a substitute (kāpar in the Piel q.v.). Three texts in Jeremiah, 31:34; 33:8; 50:20, celebrate a future forgiveness of our Lord in connection with the New Covenant and ultimately his second coming. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament- R Laird Harris, Gleason L Archer Jr., Bruce K. Waltke).

Leviticus 19:23 'When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. (when: Lev 14:34) (forbidden or uncircumcised (KJV): Lev 12:3 Lev 22:27 Ex 6:12,30 Ex 22:29,30 Jer 6:10 Jer 9:25,26 Acts 7:51)

KJV - And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.


Lev 19:23-26

When you enter the land - Earlier God adds the description that the land is that "which I give you for possession." (Lev 14:34)

Forbidden (06190) (orlah) literally means foreskin.

Merrill - The Hebrew adjective orlah means "uncircumcised" and a figurative use of this term is used to denote that which is forbidden. The literal term mwl ("circumcised") has been dealt with in Lev 12:3. Here the term is one of contempt in light of the divine requirement for all the LORD'S male followers to be circumcised. As a term of contempt it is especially used of the Philistines (e.g., Jdg. 14:3; 15:18; 1Sa 14:6; 17:26, 36; 31:4; 2Sa 1:20; 1Chr 10:4). In the Prophets it is associated with those lacking spiritual life (Isa. 52:1; Jer. 6:10). In context in Lev. 19:23, the reason that the fruit of the land would be forbidden for three years after a tree was planted is not given, but proper adherence to this com-mand would provide an increased harvest in the end. (Ibid)

Orlah - 15x in NAS - Gen 17:11, 14, 23ff; 34:14; Ex 4:25; Lev 12:3; 19:23; Josh 5:3; 1 Sam 18:25, 27; 2 Sam 3:14; Jer 4:4; 9:25. Translated - forbidden(1), foreskin(7), foreskins(4), Gibeath-haaraloth*(1), uncircumcised(2).

NET Bible Note says the literal Hebrew is similar to the KJV translation…

"you shall circumcise its fruit [as] its foreskin," taking the fruit to be that which is to be removed and, therefore, forbidden. Since the fruit is uncircumcised it is forbidden (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 306, and esp. B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 131–32).

Ryrie explains - When they came to Canaan, they were not to eat fruit from the fruit trees for the first four years. (The first three years, it was considered unclean; the fourth, it was dedicated to the Lord.)

The Septuagint translation would tend to substantiate Ryrie's explanation…

Leviticus 19:23 And whenever ye shall enter into the land which the Lord your God gives you, and shall plant any fruit-tree, then shall ye purge away its uncleanness (Gk - akatharsia = literally worthless material, waste, figuratively impurity, the opposite of that which is holy); its fruit shall be three years uncleansed (Gk = aperikathartos = unpurified, impure, used only here in the Bible) to you, it shall not be eaten.

MacArthur adds - Some gardeners say preventing a tree from bearing fruit in the first years, by cutting off the blossoms, makes it more productive.

Barnes comments on fruit … uncircumcised as

unfit for presentation to Jehovah. In regard to its spiritual lesson, this law may be compared with the dedication of the first-born of beasts to Jehovah (Ex. 13:12, 34:19). Its meaning in a moral point of view was plain, and tended to illustrate the spirit of the whole Law.

It is interesting to note that the secular Laws of Hammurabi (old Babylonian law = Code of Hammurabi) had a specific law dealing with orchards…

If, when a seignior gave a field to a gardener to set out an orchard, the gardener set out the orchard, he shall develop the orchard for four years; in the fifth year the owner of the orchard and the gardener shall divide equally, with the owner of the orchard receiving his preferential share. (The Ancient Near East- An Anthology of Texts and Pictures)

Freeman explains…

FRUIT OF YOUNG TREES FORBIDDEN - The fruit of young trees was not to be eaten until the fourth year after being planted, because of certain heathen superstitions. Maimonides says that the idolaters believed that unless the first-fruits of every tree were used in connection with certain idolatrous ceremonies the tree would suffer some great harm, and perhaps die. They further made use of magical rites for the purpose of hastening the bearing of fruit. The law in the text was aimed at this folly, for as no fruit could be touched until the fourth year, the Hebrews could not offer the first of the fruit as the idolaters did ; nor would it be of any use to seek, by incantations and sprinklings, to hasten the coming of the fruit, since they could not eat it before the time designated, and long before that it would come naturally. (Handbook of Bible manners and customs - published in 1875)

The New Manners & customs of the Bible offers a slightly different explanation…

Like many of God’s laws given to the Israelites, this one had a practical purpose rather than a spiritual one. The basic purpose of a tree’s fruit is to fertilize and reproduce itself. The fertilization takes place as the fruit falls to the ground under the tree and decays; the reproduction occurs as the seeds are consumed by birds—or the fruit-seed combination consumed by ground animals—and spread to other places in their droppings. If the fruit of a newly planted tree is picked and eaten the first few years, as people even today are wont to do, then the tree’s natural fertilization doesn’t occur, and though the tree may grow it is considerably weakened. This is the same as human beings who don’t have proper nourishment during their initial stages of growth and development. Today, most horticultural advice is to not pick the fruit of a newly planted tree for the first 3–4 years, and allow the fallen fruit to remain on the ground and decay into natural fertilizer, but few people do. It was the same in the days of the Israelites. So to help them grow their newly planted fruit trees properly, God could either give them instantaneous horticultural knowledge, or give them a spiritual law based on his natural laws of fruit tree growth and development. Obviously, doing the first would have caused some problems, so in His wisdom He chose to do the second.

Wenham commenting on the laws of the orchard writes that…

Holiness involves the total consecration of a man’s life and labor to God’s service. This was symbolized in the giving of one day in seven, and a tithe of all produce, and also in the dedication of the firstfruits of agriculture. This principle covers not only crops (Ex 23:19; Lev. 23:10; Dt. 26:1ff.) but also animals (Ex. 34:19–20; Dt 15:19) and even children (Ex 13:2; Nu 8:16ff.). By dedicating the first of everything to God, the man of the Old Covenant publicly acknowledged that all he had was from God, and he thanked him for his blessings (1Chr 29:14). In the case of fruit trees, however, little fruit is borne in the early years, and this law specifies that it is the fourth year’s crop that counts as the firstfruits and must be dedicated to God. (NICOT)

Leviticus 19:24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. (all the: Nu 18:12,13 Dt 12:17,18 Dt 14:28,29 Dt 18:4 Pr 3:9)

Related Resource:

Deut 18:4 “You shall give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine, and your oil, and the first shearing of your sheep.

All its fruit shall be holy - All shall be dedicated to the Lord as an "offering of praise." This was an act of worship.

W H Mare writes that

that which is first and best belongs to God and is to be given to Him. Because of God's creative power and ownership of all, the Bible instructs believers to give God the best of the animal sacrifices (see Leviticus 1-5 ). The land is also viewed as a gift from God and the best of it, its "firstfruits, " is to be given to him—crops (Exodus 23:16,19 ), the wheat harvest (Exodus 34:22 ; Leviticus 2:14 ; 23:20 ), olive oil (Numbers 18:12 ; Deuteronomy 18:4 ), the finest new wine (Numbers 18:12 ; Deuteronomy 18:4 ), honey (2 Chronicles 31:5 ), sheep wool (Deuteronomy 18:4 ), and fruit (Nehemiah 10:35 ). The Old Testament makes it clear that everything that God's people have is to be viewed as from God and gained through his providence (Psalm 50:10 ). (Firstfruits - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Proverbs reiterates this principle…

Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; (Pr 3:9)

Leviticus 19:25 'In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:26 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.

Merrill on practice divination—The verb /IV ("practice divination, divine, observe signs") [BDB, 638] is found only in this verse in all of Leviticus. It obviously refers to a practice that is dealt with also in Lev 19:31 and again in Lev. 20:6 though in those places different terms are used. In the OT this verb is found only in the intensive stem (Piel) and is first used in Gen. 30:27 when Laban claims that he "learned by divination" that the LORD had blessed him because of Jacob. Divination is forbidden here in Lev. 19:26 and in Deut. 18:10. It is listed as one of the reasons the northern kingdom of Israel went into exile (2 Kings 17:17). Later evil King Manasseh of Judah engaged in this sinful practice too (2Ki 21:6; 2Chr 33:6). (Ibid)

Merrill on soothsaying—The verb used here ("practice soothsaying") [BDB, 778], like the verb tilts above, is found only in this verse in all of Leviticus. It, too, obviously refers to a practice that is dealt with in v. 31 and again in Lev. 20:6, though this same term is not used. This verb is found a total of llx in the OT and its exact meaning is uncertain (R. Allen, TWOT, 2:685). Since the root is similar to one for clouds it could be suggested that the practice was in some way connected to "reading and interpreting" the clouds. Another suggestion is that this is an onomatopoetic word whose sound would be used by the one practicing this method (R. Allen, TWOT, 2:685). Just how this would function is unclear. Whatever the method, the experience is forbidden here and in Deut. 18:10. Evil king Manasseh practiced this art (2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr 33:6). The Prophets disparage this sinful custom (Isa. 2:6; 57:3; Jer. 27:9; Mic. 5:12). (Ibid)

Leviticus 19:27 'You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. (Lev 21:5 Isa 15:2 Jer 16:6 Jer 48:37 Eze 7:18 Ezek 44:20 )

Lev 21:5 ‘They (priests) shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.

Isa 15:2 They (context Isa 15:1) have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, even to the high places to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba; Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off.

Note: Association of idol worship with cutting hair! Interesting.

Jer 9:26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the sons of Ammon, and Moab, and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.”

Jer 48:37 (context = Jer 48:36) “For every head is bald and every beard cut short; there are gashes on all the hands and sackcloth on the loins.

Ryrie - This prohibits shaving around the temples and ears, leaving only a crown of hair on the top of the head, as well as mutilating the beard--practices of the heathen (cf. Jer. 9:26; 25:23; Ezek. 5:1)


IDOLATROUS USE OF HAIR - Among the ancients the hair was often used in divination. The worshipers of the stars and planets cut their hair evenly around, trimming the extremities. According to Herodotus the Arabs were accustomed to shave the hair around the head, and let a tuft stand up on the crown in honor of Bacchus. He says the same thing concerning the Macians, a people of Northern Africa. This custom is at present common in India and China. The Chinese let the tuft grow until it is long enough to be plaited into a tail. By the idolaters the beard was also carefully trimmed round and even. This was forbidden to the Jews. Dr. Robinson says, that to this day the Jews in the East are distinguished in this respect from the Mohammedans the latter trimming their beard, the former allowing the extremities to grow naturally. It was also an ancient superstitious custom to cut off the hair at the death of friends and throw it into the sepulcher on the corpse. It was sometimes laid on the face and breast of the deceased as an offering to the infernal gods. From the verse following it would seem that this custom, as well as the other, may be referred to in the text. The expression "utmost corners" in Jer 9:26; Jer 25:23; Jer 44:32 refers not to any dwelling-place, but to the custom forbidden in Leviticus; and accordingly the margin reads, "cut off into corners, or having the corners [of their hair] polled." (Handbook of Bible manners and customs - published in 1875)

This forbids shaving around the temples and ears, leaving only a crown of hair on the top of the head, as well as mutilating the beard, which were practices of the heathen. In Jeremiah 9:26 the KJV reads: “Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” It is believed that here the expression “all that in the utmost corners,” is better translated “who clip the hair on their temples” or “who cut the corners of their hair.” This was a practice honoring the gods of the heathen, and is that which is condemned in Leviticus 19:27. See also Leviticus 21:5; Jeremiah 25:23, 49:32; and Ezekiel 5:1. (Ibid)

Leviticus 19:28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. (cuttings: Lev 21:5 Dt 14:1 1Ki 18:28 Jer 16:6 48:37 Mk 5:5) (Tattoo: Rev 13:16,17 14:9,11 15:2 16:2 19:20 20:4

Lev 21:5 ‘They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.

Deut 14:1 “You are the sons of the LORD your God (Ed: Therefore because you belong to Him, you are to obey His wishes in order to be pleasing to Him and so… ); you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead.

1Kgs 18:28 So they (pagan priests in a spiritual battle with Elijah - guess who won?) cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. (The ICB paraphrase - So the prophets prayed louder. They cut themselves with swords and spears until their blood flowed. This was the way they worshiped.)

What's so wrong with a tattoo? Cutting and tattooing were done by godless pagans of the land to which Israel would soon enter. And so God forbade His people from this practice, which they otherwise might be tempted to do in order to imitate the. Tattooing was sometimes accompanied by shaving the hair from the forehead.


MEMORIAL CUTTINGS-TATTOOING - The custom of scratching the arms, hands, and face as tokens of mourning for the dead is said to have existed among the Babylonians, Armenians, Scythians, and Romans, and is practiced by the Arabs, Persians, and Abyssinians of the present day, and also by the New Zealanders. It was sometimes accompanied by shaving the hair from the forehead. See Lev. 21:5 ; Dt 14:1; Jer 16:6, 48:37. Some suppose that reference is made in Zech. 13:6. to this custom of cutting the hands as a token of mourning.

The Orientals are very fond of tattooing. Figures of birds, tree, flowers, temples, and gods are carefully and painfully marked in their flesh with colors by the puncturing of sharp needles. This is still done in India for idolatrous purposes, and, in the time of Moses, probably had some connection with idolatry. Others do it for eccentric desire of adornment, as we sometimes find our own sailors printing their names and making representations of ships, anchors, and other objects on their arms by means of needles and india-ink, the latter mingling with the blood drawn by the needles, and leaving an indelible mark of a light blue. See note on Isa. 44:16, and also on Gal. 6:17. (Handbook of Manners and Customs - 1875)

Wenham adds…

This is usually taken to be simply a prohibition of pagan mourning rites, but there is more to it than this. Mourning was not discouraged, only those customs which involved physical disfigurement. This law conforms to other holiness rules which seek to uphold the natural order of creation and preserve it from corruption (cf. Lev 19:19; 18:22–23; 21:17ff.). God created man in his image and pronounced all creation very good (Gen. 1). Man is not to disfigure the divine likeness implanted in him by scarring his body. The external appearance of the people should reflect their internal status as the chosen and holy people of God (Dt. 14:1–2). Paul uses a similar line of argument in 1 Cor. 6. The body of the believer belongs to Christ, therefore “glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20). (NICOT)


Leviticus 19:29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness.

KJV - Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

ICB - "'You must not make your daughter become a prostitute. That only shows you do not respect her. If you do this, the country will be filled with all kinds of sin.

NIV - "'Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.

NLT - "Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with promiscuity and detestable wickedness.

Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot - This surely alludes to the common practice of girls functioning as Temple prostitutes or cult prostitutes (often referred to as "holy girls"). In addition Prostitution was often associated with idolatrous practices (Ex 34:16; Lev 17:7; Hos 4:10, 18; Hos 5:3). How applicable is this prohibition is to our modern world where sex trafficking is an increasing problem and a tragedy beyond words!

NET Note - "to make her practice harlotry." Some recent English versions regard this as religious or temple prostitution (cf. TEV, CEV).

Profane (In this verse the NAS uses the noun chol; the KJV uses the verb form chalal - discussed below) (02455) (chol) is a noun which describes that which is profane, common or ordinary. Chol is derived from the verb chalal (see below). Chol is that which is not holy or set apart and thus not to used for sacred worship or service. It is therefore not surprising that chol is always used in opposition to qodes (06944) the noun meaning a holy thing, that which has been set apart for sacred use and which is not to be subjected to any use deemed profane or common.

Chol - 11x in NAS - Lev 10:10; 18:21; 19:12, 29; 20:3; 1Sa 21:4-5; Ezek 22:26; 42:20; 44:23; 48:15 NAS translates - common use (1), ordinary (2), profane (8).

Prostitute (Profane, degrade) (As noted above the NAS uses the noun chol in this verse and the KJV uses the verb chalal) (02490)(chalal) has a somewhat confusing etymology (at least to me as I am not a Hebrew scholar). Thus the core meaning of this root and its history in cognate languages is rather uncertain. However from the contextual uses in the OT, the verb chalal conveys several different meanings…

(1) To play on the flute (the least common meaning) 1Ki 1:40; Ps 87:7

(2) To pierce or bore Ex 32:26; Ezek 28:9 Messianic passage Isa 53:5

(3) To profane, defile, pollute; prostitute; make common; loose; to break. (the most common meaning) In fact the first OT use of chalal describes sexual defilement or incest (Ge 49:4)

To profane means to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt.

Vine - This may be a ritual defilement, such as that resulting from contact with a dead body (Lev. 21:4), or the ceremonial profaning of the sacred altar by the use of tools in order to shape the stones (Ex. 20:25). Holy places may be profaned (Ezek. 7:24); the name of God (Ezek 20:9) and even God Himself (Ezek. 22:26) may be profaned. The word is often used to describe the defilement which results from illicit sexual acts, such as harlotry (Lev 21:9)

Baker - (To profane speaks) primarily of the ceremonial objects of worship (Ex. 20:25; Ezek 44:7; Dan. 11:31-note); of the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14; Neh. 13:17; Ezek. 23:38); of God’s name (Lev. 18:21; Jer. 34:16); of God’s priests (Lev. 21:4, 6). However, it also refers to sexual defilement (Gen. 49:4; Lev. 21:9); the breaking of a covenant (Ps. 89:31, 34; Mal. 2:10-note); and making a vineyard common (Deut. 20:6; 28:30).

(4) To begin, to proceed, to launch, to initiate a process (This meaning is seen in the causative form of chalal) (2Chr. 3:2) - "In more than 50 instances, this root is used in the sense of “to begin.” Perhaps the most important of such uses is found in Gen. 4:26." (Vine)

The Septuagint (Lxx) uses bebeloo (BDAG = "to cause something highly revered to become identified with the commonplace, violate sanctity, desecrate, profane." Bebeloo evolves from “accessible,” then “what may be said publicly,” then in the LXX “what may be used freely,” then “of a profane disposition”). The verb Bebeloo is derived from bebelos (see word study) for chalal. Bebelos refers to a disregarding what is to be kept sacred or holy desecrate, violate, ritually defile. The meaning of this adjective is nicely conveyed by our English word profane which describes that which disregards what is to be kept sacred or holy. Bebelos thus describes that which is accessible to everyone and therefore devoid of real significance. Bebelos can thus describe that which is worldly as opposed to having an interest in transcendent (existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe) matters.

Webster on to profane - to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt; to violate or debase anything holy by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use. To treat something (some One) holy as irreverent. To treat that which is holy as common. The English word "profane" is derived from the Latin profanus which means "outside the temple, not sacred" and in turn is derived from pro- ‘before’ + fanum = ‘temple’.

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary - Profane = to treat anything holy with disrespect. In the Bible, many things could be profaned by disregarding God’s laws about their correct use: the Sabbath (Is. 56:6), the Temple (Acts 24:6), the covenant (Mal. 2:10), and God’s Name (Ex. 19:22). The term “profane” is often applied to foolish or irresponsible people. Esau, who sold his birthright, was a “profane” person (Heb. 12:16).

Hasting's Dictionary - ‘To profane’ is ‘to make ceremonially unclean,’ ‘to make unholy.’ And so a ‘profane person’ ( Hebrews 12:16 ) is an ‘ungodly person,’ a person of common, coarse life, not merely of speech.

Webster on to defile - to make unclean or impure; to corrupt the purity or perfection of and implies befouling of what could or should have been kept clean and pure or held sacred and commonly suggests violation or desecration.

Webster on to prostitute - to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes, to debase (to lower in status, esteem, quality, or character); To offer freely to a lewd use (Given to the unlawful indulgence of lust), or to indiscriminate lewdness; To give up to any vile or infamous purpose; to devote to any thing base; to sell to wickedness; to put to an unworthy or corrupt use for the sake of gain.

Chalal - 131x in KJV - Gen 4:26; 6:1; 9:20; 10:8; 11:6; 41:54; 44:12; 49:4; Ex 20:25; 31:14; Lev 18:21; 19:8, 12, 29; 20:3; 21:4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 23; 22:2, 9, 15, 32; Num 16:46f; 18:32; 25:1; 30:2; Deut 2:24f, 31; 3:24; 16:9; 20:6; 28:30; Josh 3:7; Jdg 10:18; 13:5, 25; 16:19, 22; 20:31, 39f; 1 Sam 3:2, 12; 14:35; 22:15; 1Kgs 1:40; 2Kgs 10:32; 15:37; 1Chr 1:10; 5:1; 27:24; 2Chr 3:1f; 20:22; 29:17, 27; 31:7, 10, 21; 34:3; Ezra 3:6, 8; Neh 4:7; 13:17f; Esther 6:13; 9:23; Ps 55:20; 74:7; 87:7; 89:31, 34, 39; 109:22; Isa 23:9; 43:28; 47:6; 48:11; 51:9; 53:5; 56:2, 6; Jer 16:18; 25:29; 31:5; 34:16; Lam 2:2; Ezek 7:21f, 24; 9:6; 13:19; 20:9, 13f, 16, 21f, 24, 39; 22:8, 16, 26; 23:38f; 24:21; 25:3; 28:7, 9, 16, 18; 32:26; 36:20ff; 39:7; 44:7; Da 11:31; Hos 8:10; Amos 2:7; Jonah 3:4; Zeph 3:4; Mal 1:12; 2:10f

KJV translates chalal as - begin 52, profane 36, pollute 23, defile 9, break 4, wounded 3, eat 2, slay 2, first 1, gather grapes 1, inheritance 1, began men 1, piped 1, players 1, prostitute 1, sorrow 1, stain 1, eat as common things 1; 141

Lewdness (02154) (zimmah) See word study Leviticus 18:17.

Leviticus 19:30 'You shall keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

KJV - Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Merrill on Mediums ("necromancer") [BDB, 15] was probably one who practiced consulting the dead (cf. 1Sa 28:7) but modern versions have translated this term in a variety of ways including "medium, ghost, spirit, spirit of the dead, necromancer, and wizard." Since 1 Samuel is the only historical narrative that describes this type of person, it appears that the method employed must have included consulting the dead in some manner (1 Sam. 28:8). This same prohibition against this practice is repeated in Lev. 20:6, 27 and Deut. 18:11. It is condemned by the Prophet Isaiah (Isa. 8:19). God's people were not to obtain knowledge by anyone who claimed to receive knowledge other than a true prophet of the LORD God. (Ibid)

Merrill on Spiritists—This term, which modern translations render as "spiritist, wizard, fortune-teller, familiar spirit, spirit, magician, and sorcerer" probably describes one who practiced obtaining esoteric knowledge not available to the ordinary person (J. Lewis, TWOT, 1:367). The word is a masculine noun that comes from the verb yd' ("to know"). It may be that the only difference between this term and the term 'a (see above), which almost always occur in parallel to each other (here, Lev. 20:6, 27; Deut. 18:11; 1 Sam. 28:3, 9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; 2 Chron. 33:6; Isa. 8:19; 19:3), is that the obtaining of knowledge was by different methods although the specifics on this are no longer available. These methods may have included consulting the dead (1 Sam. 28:8), examining livers (Ezek. 21:21), or even reading something like cloud formations. This same prohibition is repeated in Lev. 20:6, 27 and Deut. 18:11. God's people were not to obtain knowledge by anyone who claimed to receive knowledge other than a true prophet of the LORD God. How the later kings of Judah dealt with such people becomes a significant factor in their evaluation as being either good or bad (e.g., 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chron. 33:6). (Ibid)

Leviticus 19:32 'You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the LORD.

Revering old people equates with revering God.

Merrill on aged —The term for "elderly" occurs in the plural earlier in Leviticus (Lev. 4:15 and Lev 9:1), both times in the context referring to those older Israelites who were regarded as leaders; ones with authority for the congregation. Here the noun in the singular does not appear restricted to those in leadership roles but, rather, used in combination with the Hebrew word for aged, seems to refer broadly to those advanced in years. These two terms are also used in parallel in Isa. 46:4 and Ps. 71:18. God himself is pictured in the Scriptures as one with white hair (Dan. 7:9) as a symbol of experience and wisdom and one worthy of honor (Prov. 16:31). (Ibid)

Leviticus 19:33 'When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.

Leviticus 19:34 'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

Apologetics Study Bible - Concern for the poor, the widow, and the orphan is widespread throughout the ancient Near East and in the OT (Ex 22:21–22; 23:9; Lev 19:33–34; Dt 15:7–11; 24:14, 17; 27:19; Jer 7:6; 22:3; Zech 7:10). Israelite law is unique however, in mandating kind treatment for the alien or stranger. But the motivation for such benevolence is not derived from its social value; it is based on the need to reflect the Lord’s holiness.

Leviticus 19:35 'You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity.

Leviticus 19: 36 'You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. (

Leviticus 19:36 (Morning and Evening) - “Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have.” — Leviticus 19:36

Weights, and scales, and measures were to be all according to the standard of justice. Surely no Christian man will need to be reminded of this in his business, for if righteousness were banished from all the world beside, it should find a shelter in believing hearts. There are, however, other balances which weigh moral and spiritual things, and these often need examining. We will call in the officer to-night.

The balances in which we weigh our own and other men’s characters, are they quite accurate? Do we not turn our own ounces of goodness into pounds, and other persons’ bushels of excellence into pecks? See to weights and measures here, Christian. The scales in which we measure our trials and troubles, are they according to standard? Paul, who had more to suffer than we have, called his afflictions light, and yet we often consider ours to be heavy—surely something must be amiss with the weights! We must see to this matter, lest we get reported to the court above for unjust dealing. Those weights with which we measure our doctrinal belief, are they quite fair? The doctrines of grace should have the same weight with us as the precepts of the word, no more and no less; but it is to be feared that with many one scale or the other is unfairly weighted. It is a grand matter to give just measure in truth. Christian, be careful here. Those measures in which we estimate our obligations and responsibilities look rather small. When a rich man gives no more to the cause of God than the poor contribute, is that a just ephah and a just hin? When ministers are half starved, is that honest dealing? When the poor are despised, while ungodly rich men are held in admiration, is that a just balance? Reader, we might lengthen the list, but we prefer to leave it as your evening’s work to find out and destroy all unrighteous balances, weights, and measures.

Leviticus 19: 37'You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am the LORD.'"