Leviticus 19 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Another Overview Chart of Leviticus - Charles Swindoll
A third Overview Chart of Leviticus

Adapted and modified from C. Swindoll
Leviticus 1-17 Leviticus 18-27
The Way to God
The Walk with God
The Approach: Offerings Practical Guidelines
The Representative: Priest Chronological Observances
The Laws: Cleansing
Physically & Spiritually
Severe Consequences
Verbal promises
Ritual for Worship
Worshipping a Holy God
Practical for Walking
Living a Holy Life
Location: Mt Sinai for one full year
Theme: How sinful humanity can approach and worship a holy God
Key Verses: Lev 17:11, 19:2, 20:7-8
Christ in Leviticus: In every sacrifice, every ritual, every feast
Time: about 1446BC

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!

Bush - The present chapter is devoted, for the most part, to the repetition of certain laws which had been before given, but which from their intrinsic importance, the divine wisdom saw fit to insist upon with special emphasis. It will be seen that they have in the main more reference to moral than to positive duties, and brief as it is, it may be confidently affirmed that no merely human code was ever devised so well calculated in its observance to promote the wellbeing of the race. Except in one single case we find no special penalty annexed to the transgression of these precepts, but they are delivered as self-enforced on the simple supreme authority of Him who enacts them; ‘I am the Lord your God’—a declaration which in this connexion is, as it were, a royal signature to a solemn edict. (Leviticus 19 Commentary)

Mark Twain said, “It isn’t the portions of the bible which I don’t understand that bother me; it’s the ones I do!”

In this chapter 19 it basically is an overview of the 2 tablets given to Moses…the 10 commandments! All 10 are here! #1 & 2 (Lev 19:4); #3 (Lev 19:12); #4 & 5 (Lev 19:3); #6 (Lev 19:16); #7(Lev 19:29); #8,9 (Lev 19:11-16); #10 (Lev 19:18).

Brian Bell - They were the basis for all Jewish Law & should be the basis for all Moral Law today. We have here a “Handbook for Believing Families”! It is really a guidebook to be used at home rather than in a public worship service. “It deals w/ordinary life, w/the institution of the family, w/agricultural practice, w/social behavior, w/the question of paying wages, w/ensuring correct weights & measures be used in the market place, & so on.” (William Barclay; pg.114) In each case it has to be an expression of love! The children of Israel were brought out of Egypt, but now they needed to be brought into “a land flowing w/milk & honey”! As believers we have been brought out of our own personal Egypts, but now we must be brought into “the land flowing w/milk & honey”! - Q: Where are you on that trek?

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:2 Speak <01696> (08761) unto all the congregation <05712> of the children <01121> of Israel <03478>, and say <0559> (08804) unto them, Ye shall be holy <06918>: for I the LORD <03068> your God <0430> am holy <06918>.

NET  Leviticus 19:2 "Speak to the whole congregation of the Israelites and tell them, 'You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

BGT  Leviticus 19:2 λάλησον τῇ συναγωγῇ τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ καὶ ἐρεῖς πρὸς αὐτούς ἅγιοι ἔσεσθε ὅτι ἐγὼ ἅγιος κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:2 "Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

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

NIV  Leviticus 19:2 "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because 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

Related Passages:

Leviticus 11:44-45+ ‘For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. 45‘For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

2 Corinthians 7:1+  Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

1 Peter 1:15-16+ but like the Holy One who called you, be (aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 


Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them - This word is for everyone, not just the Levites or the priests.

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.

You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy - Holy means set apart from the profane or common and in this case to the perfect and divine One, god. The overarching command it to be holy and the reason the people are to be holy is because God is holy. How can an unholy people give a good opinion of the invisible God to the godless world (cf Mt 5:16+).

THOUGHT - The church has the most impact on the world when it is least like the world. Could this be why the church in America in 2022 has so little impact on the society? Just wondering! 

Bell - The primary reason for all holiness & obedience is the character & authority of God! When we talk about God’s Holiness we mean His Transcendence, His Remoteness from everything earthly & wrong. When we talk about Man’s Holiness we mean consecration to God.

The phrase LORD your God signifies personal relationship and is used 8x - Lev 19:2 Lev 19:3 Lev 19:4 Lev 19:10 Lev 19:25 Lev 19:31 Lev 19:34 Lev 19:36. Can you say "The LORD is my God?" If not read Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8-9 and Ro 10:9-10. 

Leon Hyatt - This message was for all the people of Israel, and Moses was to relay it to them. Jehovah began this message by stating the basis on which the laws of Israel were founded. They were based on the holiness of Jehovah their God. Since the Israelites were Jehovah’s people, they were called to be like Him. Jehovah was holy, so they were to be holy. The laws were designed to teach the Israelites what it means to be holy. Jehovah is the standard by which right actions are measured, and the laws described what it means to be like Him.

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)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary

Say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. The same sanction had been given before, Lev 11:44, in connexion with the precepts respecting the distinction of meats, by which they were to be severed and set apart from all other nations; and so here when they are again commanded to be distinguished from all other people by a peculiar system of moral laws and usages, the same injunction is repeated. Indeed one grand leading sense involved in the team is ‘holy’ separated, sequestered, set apart from that which is common and secular.

F B Meyer - Leviticus 19:2   I am the Lord your God.

This is the refrain of the entire chapter; count how many times it recurs. Evidently the thought of God should ring out in our lives, as a perpetual chime.

Sometimes as an inspiration to duty. We should seek to be holy because He is holy. “Imitators of God.” Or as a remonstrance against yielding to temptation. Lo, God is in this place; his pure eye is upon me: how can I do this great wickedness! Or as an incentive to liberality. We can afford to be generous to the poor and hireling, because we are children of so great and rich a parent. Or as a reason for merry and gentle kindness. How can we act otherwise than lovingly, when his love encompasses us with its persuasive bands?

Thus the perpetual consciousness of God becomes the source of holy and happy living. But how may it become ours? We may make many resolutions, only to break them. We forget after our most definite purposing. There is no help but in the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to teach us all things, and bring all things to our remembrance. He is able also to help our infirmity: “for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

In the morning let the thought of God’s presence with you in your secret closet sink well into your heart. Wait till his presence is made real to you, and you cry, Lo, God is here. Then entrust yourself to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to keep you in the current of the love and thought of God. Reckon on Him to do so. Now and then in the course of daily duty stop and remember God. Thus you will live in his fear and love all the day long. 

James Smith - HOLY LIVING Leviticus 19

    “O Lord, I bare an aching heart,
    Ease me of sin, whate’er tho smart;
    Without, within, I would be pure,
    Lord, hear my cry! Lord, work my cure!
      I know not all I ask in this,
      But give, O give me holiness.”

For the purpose of practical holiness Christ’s sermon on the Mount is not more direct and suitable than the teaching we have in the message recorded in this chapter. It opens with that oft-repeated demand, “Ye shall be holy,” coupled with that ever gracious revelation, “For I the Lord your God am holy” The holy life is the most useful of all lives, the holy man is the most practical of all men. In this portion we have brought before us—

1. The characteristics of a holy life. Here are the features of a holy man. He—

1. HONOURS HIS FATHER AND MOTHER (v. 3). A very needful suggestion to young converts. It has been said that “Piety begins at home.” While it should not remain there, yet our Christian character will have little influence if it has not first of all been rooted in the home life.

2. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IDOLS (v. 4). Nothing is allowed to take the place of God in his affections. He seeks first the kingdom of God, and has more real joy in the presence of God than in company with any one else. As dearly beloved ones, they flee from idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14).

3. MAKES HIS SACRIFICES WILLINGLY (v. 5). He willingly suffers loss for Christ’s sake, he delights to do the will of God at any cost. What may be a great hardship to others is a joy to him.

4 REMEMBERS THE POOR (vs. 9, 10). He follows the example of his Master, and preaches the Gospel to the poor. He also realises that the poor have a claim on his possessions, and that he is but a steward of the mercies of God.

5. DEALS HONESTLY WITH HIS FELLOWMEN (v. 11). Even if his business does not succeed he will rather suffer than lie or defraud a neighbour He carries a just balance in his conscience, and will not be guilty of a dishonest silence His service is not mere eye service.

6. WILL NOT DISHONOUR THE NAME OF GOD (v. 12). He is more jealous for the Name of his God than for his own He is willing rather to be made of no reputation than that the honour of his Lord and Master should be tarnished

7. CONSIDERS HIS SERVANTS (v 13) Wages are paid when due, and paid in a manner that makes the receiver feel that it is a pleasure for him to pay them.

8. WILL NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A WEAKER BROTHER (v. 14). It is so natural to be impatient with the deaf, with those whose faculties of apprehension may be dull, and by our unguarded walk to put a stumbling block in the way of those whose eyesight may not be quite so clear as ours. He remembers (Deut. 27:18).

9. IS IMPARTIAL IN HIS MANNER. His interest in the Lord’s poor ones is just as great as in those who occupy the chief seats in the public sanctuary. The impartial love of God is in his heart. He fears God and honours all men.

10. IS NO TALE-BEARER (v. 16). The gossip that must enter his ear finds its grave there. Being of a faithful spirit he conceals the matter (Prov. 11:13). He knows that the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, so he bridles it.

11. REBUKES THE ERRING IN LOVE (v. 17). There is no hate in his heart to any brother, or to any mortal. Such murderous feelings have no place in him. Yet at times he speaks sharply, and is faithful in rebuking sin, because he loves the truth and the errring one (2 Tim. 2:4).

12. DOES NOT AVENGE, OR KEEP UP A GRUDGE (v. 18). He does not recompense evil, but waits on the Lord (Prov. 20:22). He leaves vengeance to whom it belongs (Rom. 12:19), and by the grace of God is enabled to bear no grudge to his enemies.

13. DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN THINGS THAT DIFFER (v. 19). He does not practise the mingling of diverse kinds. He knows that he cannot serve God and mammon, and that light and darkness will not mix, and that there is no concord between Christ and Belial (2 Cor. 6:14–16).

14. DISREGARDS UNHOLY METHODS (v. 31). For success in the work of God he depends entirely upon the power and wisdom of the Spirit of God. He has no faith in the familiar spirits of men or of devils, and will not trust the wizardly methods of ungodly worldlings.

2. The great incentive of a holy life. Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy (v. 1). I Jehovah your God am holy. Therefore—

1. YE SHALL BE HOLY. “Walk worthy of God in all well-pleasing” (Col. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:12).

2. MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE. “My God shall supply all your need” (Phil. 4:19).

3. FEAR NOT IN THE TIME OF TRIAL. “Lo, I am with you alway” (Matt. 28:20).

4. SERVE WITH GLADNESS. “Ye shall receive a reward” (1 Cor. 3:14)

5. BE IMITATORS OF GOD (Eph 5:1, R V) “I in them, and thou in Me” (John 17:23)

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

NET  Leviticus 19:3 Each of you must respect his mother and his father, and you must keep my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.

BGT  Leviticus 19:3 ἕκαστος πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ μητέρα αὐτοῦ φοβείσθω καὶ τὰ σάββατά μου φυλάξεσθε ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:3 "Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the LORD your God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

NIV  Leviticus 19:3 " 'Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe 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


Every one of you shall reverence (Heb -  yare) his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths - "The ‘fear’ here required, is virtually the same with the honor commanded by the fifth commandment." (Bush) This is an interesting passage speaking  on one hand of reverential respect for parents and on the other a similar reverence for God manifest by keeping His sabbaths. 

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)

THOUGHT -: 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).

Leon Hyatt -  The first law given in this MESSAGE contained both a responsibility to people and a responsibility to God. This combination showed that both were important in Israel and that both were to be regulated by the civil authorities. The specific responsibilities mentioned were fearing (revering, respecting) parents and keeping Jehovah’s sabbaths. The stability of the nation depended on parental authority, and the spirituality of the nation depended upon the proper observance of the sabbaths.

Obedience to parents was and is basic to all right actions toward one’s fellowman, and observance of times of worship was and is basic to all right actions toward God. The civil authorities were responsible for seeing that both aspects of life were preserved in Israel.

keep My sabbaths. The word translated “keep” is the word used in Leviticus 18:30, where it is translated “watch.” It means “to watch” or “to guard” the sabbaths from neglect and abuse. The sabbaths were days when the Israelites were to pause from their secular activities and worship God (see comments on Lev. 16:31 in MESSAGE 20 under the heading a sabbath of a sabbath it must be to you, and you shall afflict yourselves). Unless they guarded those times, they would become so wrapped up in worldly affairs that God would be left out of their lives. They would miss the most important aspect of life. The use of the plural “sabbaths” refers to more than just the weekly sabbath. Eight different times were called “sabbaths” or “rest times” in the Pentateuch: the weekly sabbath day (Ex. 16:25,26,29; 20:8,10,11; 31:14,15,16; 35:3; Lev. 23:3; 24:8; Num. 15:32; 28:9,10; Deut. 5:12,14,15), the Day of Coverings, which was not called just “a sabbath,” but “a sabbath of a sabbath” (Lev. 16:31), the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:7,8,11,15), the Feast of Noise-Making (Lev. 23:24), the first day of the Feast of Booths and the day following that feast (Lev. 23:39), and the sabbatical year (Lev. 25:2,6; 26:34,35,43).

I am Jehovah your God. These responsibilities were established on the basis of the authority of Jehovah their God. This statement or a shortened form of it is made a total of fifteen times in this MESSAGE. Though the commandments in this MESSAGE were civil laws to be enforced by human authorities, they were first and foremost responsibilities to the God who had chosen them and made them His own.

Brian Bell on Sabbath - Only commandment the church in the NT is not told to repeat. It was a sign between God & Israel Ex.31:13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” It was a capital offense to break this(Numb.15:32-36, man gathering sticks) Yet, we are to give our time still to Him. We must not waste it. Eph.5:15-17 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord” Make sure you devote special times to Him in Worship & Service!

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary

Enjoining Reverence of Parents

3. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father. The ‘fear’ here required, is virtually the same with the honor commanded by the fifth commandment. It includes inward reverence and esteem, outward expression of respect, obedience to the lawful commands of parents, care and endeavor to please and render them comfortable, und to avoid any thing that may offend and grieve them, or incur their displeasure. It will be noticed also that in this connexion the ‘mother’ is mentioned before the ‘father,’ which is contrary to prevailing usage. The two precepts, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother,’ and ‘Fear thy mother and thy father,’ when taken together plainly evince that both father and mother are to be regarded as entitled to equal tokens of honor, respect, and reverence. If the ‘father’ had been uniformly placed first, it might have imperceptibly begotten the impression that the mother’s claims to veneration were but of a secondary nature.

Keep my sabbaths, i. e. not only the seventh day, but all other appointed days, which were also called sabbaths. Chal. ‘Keep my sabbath-days.’ This precept is joined with that requiring filial reverence, inasmuch as it is supposed that if God provides by law for the preserving of the honor of parents, parents will use their authority for keeping up in the minds and conduct of their children a due regard for the divine institutions, particularly the one in question. The contempt of parents, and the profanation of the sabbath usually go together, and begin the ruin of the young. The prospects of those children are the brightest who make conscience of honoring their parents and keeping holy the sabbath day.

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

KJV  Leviticus 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

NET  Leviticus 19:4 Do not turn to idols, and you must not make for yourselves gods of cast metal. I am the LORD your God.

BGT  Leviticus 19:4 οὐκ ἐπακολουθήσετε εἰδώλοις καὶ θεοὺς χωνευτοὺς οὐ ποιήσετε ὑμῖν ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:4 "Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God.

NIV  Leviticus 19:4 " 'Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.

  • Ex 20:3-5 1Co 10:14 1Jn 5:21 
  • to: Lev 26:1 
  • molten gods: Ex 20:23 32:4 34:17 De 27:15 Hag 2:18 

Related Passages:

Exodus 20:3-5+  (FOCUS ON 1ST AND 2ND COMMANDMENTS) “You shall have no other gods before Me.  4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,


Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods - The Hebrew word for idols (elil) means worthless. That anyone would waste their time and willingly turn to or make something that is worthless demonstrates the power of our fallen anti-God flesh (does not want God to rule, but an idol that allows it to behave as it pleases!) and the deceptiveness of sin (Heb 3:13+). 

I am the LORD your God - Idols or the great "I am!" The finite and worthless versus the infinite and precious! There is literally no comparison.

Leon Hyatt -  The second law dealt with a responsibility to God. The word translated “worthless ones” means “nothings.” It did not refer to images but to the false gods themselves. The word is very similar to the Hebrew word for “gods.” It was used as an alliterative way of saying that what the pagans called “gods” were really “nothings.” The words translated “gods of molded metal” did refer to the idols or statutes that represented the false gods. The Israelites were not to honor pagan gods, who were no gods; and they were not to build images of those nothing gods.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary

Turn ye not unto idols. Heb. אל חאלילים el hâelilim, to non-entities. Gr. ουκ επακολουθησετε ειδωλοις, follow not idols. The import of the original is things of nought, nothings, vanities, in allusion to which the apostle says, 1 Cor. 8:4, ‘We know that an idol is nothing in the world.’ The word occurs also in Job 13:4, ‘Ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value (רפאי אליל rophëe elil, physicians of nought),’ which gives still farther light upon the meaning of the term. To such idols they were not to ‘turn’ in a way of heed, affection, consultation, or worship. They were not to regard them but with the utmost abhorrence, and as the chief of all abominations. They could not turn to them, without turning away from God, and this would be downright apostacy.

Nor make to yourselves molten gods. Heb. אלהי מסכה elohë massëkah, gods of molting, such, for instance, as was the molten calf fabricated by Aaron at the instigation of the people, Ex. 32:4. The spirit of the precept prohibits, of—course, every species of image, whether molten or graven, designed as a representative of any object of worship. Habak. 2:18, ‘What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and (even) a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?’

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.

Gilbrant on elil -  This noun often functions as an adjective, referring to something which is worthless or insufficient, often used in a derogatory manner to refer to the idols. The word may have been created as a scornful pun. The God of Israel is the strong God, but these are only little gods. Job calls his comforters "worthless physicians" because they only speak lies about him (Job 13:4). In Zechariah, the Lord declares He will raise up a worthless shepherd who will only care for himself and not the sheep and who will desert the flock entrusted to him. The Lord will also judge this shepherd (11:17). Divination is "futile" (Jer. 14:14). Israel was commanded not to make any kind of idols because the Lord was their God (Lev. 26:1). Most often this word is used to highlight the great difference between the idols which were made by the nations and the greatness of their own God. The gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens (Ps. 96:5). All those who worship and put their trust in idols will be put to shame, but in contrast, all gods are called to worship the Lord (Ps. 97:7). The Day of the Lord is coming, and He will sit supreme in judgment over all the earth. He alone will be exalted in that day, while all the idols will disappear. On that day, people will throw their idols of silver and gold they had made for worship to the rodents and bats (Isa. 2:18, 20). The Lord will come to judge Egypt and all of her idols will tremble before him. The Egyptians will consult their idols for help, but they will be defeated (Isa. 19:1, 3). What value is there in an idol since it is man-made? It cannot speak, and has no life in it. Those who worship idols are trusting in their own creations, but in contrast, the Lord is in his holy temple (Hab. 2:18). For a time, Israel will worship the works of their own hands, but in the day of the Lord, Israel will reject idols of silver and gold and return to the Lord whom they rejected (Isa. 31:7). (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

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 and see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey. The implication is "idols" 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!  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) 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, Pr 4:23-see commentary, 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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.

NET  Leviticus 19:5 "'When you sacrifice a peace offering sacrifice to the LORD, you must sacrifice it so that it is accepted for you.

BGT  Leviticus 19:5 καὶ ἐὰν θύσητε θυσίαν σωτηρίου τῷ κυρίῳ δεκτὴν ὑμῶν θύσετε

NLT  Leviticus 19:5 "When you sacrifice a peace offering to the LORD, offer it properly so you will be accepted by God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:5 "When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.

NIV  Leviticus 19:5 " 'When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the LORD, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.

  • sacrifice: Lev 3:1-17 7:16 22:21 Ex 24:5 2Ch 31:2 Eze 45:15-17 46:2,12 Eph 2:13,1
  • you shall offer it so that you may be accepted: Lev 1:3 22:19,23,29


Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted - Clearly peace offerings (and any offering for that matter) can be offered in such a way that they are unacceptable to God. The most obvious reason the offering is not acceptable is because the offerer fails to first offer themselves, their heart, their will and seeks to substitute something external (for us today things we think are "good works" for God) for the internal, that is, our heart. David learned about true offerings after his sin with Bathsheba writing

For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.(Psalm 51:16-17+)

God does not want our offerings as much 
as He wants our obedience!

And as Samuel told disobedient King Saul 

 Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.  23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry (THAT OUGHT TO BRING FORTH A "WOE!"). Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.” (1 Sa 15:22-23)

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. (Ryrie Study Bible)

Leon Hyatt -  When you offer a slaughter offering of peace-offerings to Jehovah - Slaughter-offerings were actually a meal shared by the worshiper, the priests, and Jehovah (see comments on Lev. 3:1). This law concerned the worshiper’s portion of the meal. Jehovah warned that the worshiper should eat his portion in such a way that he would be accepted by Jehovah. The words translated “so you will be accepted” are literally “for your acceptance.” In order for the worshiper and his offering to be accepted by Jehovah, it had to be offered in the prescribed way. Jehovah had taken great care to give detailed instructions concerning how fire offerings were to be offered so the offerings would contain truth about Him and not be mixed with pagan ideas that would mislead the worshipers. Therefore, worshipers needed to take great care to follow Jehovah’s instructions exactly. If they did not, they showed that they did not truly trust Jehovah, and their offering would not be accepted by Him.

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."

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary Concerning Peace-offerings

5–8. If ye offer a sacrifice of peace-offerings, &c. As they were to avoid all idolatry, so they were to be careful to perform the service due to God in the prescribed manner. Peace-offerings are here mentioned as perhaps the most common, but the spirit of the precept doubtless applies to all others. The various rites and ceremonies connected with this offering have been already detailed, ch. 3:7, 16.

Ye shall offer it at your own will. (you must sacrifice it so that it is accepted for you.) Or rather, according to the Heb. לרצנכם lirtzonekem, ‘to your favorable acceptation,’ i. e. in such a manner as may secure the divine favor and acceptance, which it would not do if it were offered otherwise than in exact accordance with the prescribed mode. See Note on Lev. 1:3.

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)

Accepted  (07522ratson/rason) means delight, goodwill, inclination, pleasure, delight, favor, grace, kindness, willfulness.  This term is ascribed both to human agents and to God. Ratson describes a strong desire which implies a choice (Ge 49:6; 2Ch 15:15). Ratson is translated in the Septuagint with the Greek adjective Dektos which means acceptable (that which is welcomed) and is used frequently in the Septuagint (Lxx) to describe a variety of offerings as acceptable and meeting with divine approval - see Lev 1:3-4, Lev 19:5; 22:19-21, 29; 23:11.

QUESTION -  What is a peace offering / fellowship offering?

ANSWER - The modern idea of a peace offering, also known as a fellowship offering, is that of “a propitiatory or conciliatory gift.” A man who offends his wife will often visit a florist with the thought that bringing home flowers will help smooth things over—the bouquet will be a “peace offering” of sorts. Propitiate means “to make someone pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired,” and conciliatory means “intended to placate or pacify.” These definitions are interesting because the phrase peace offering has come to mean something completely different—almost the exact opposite—of what it originally meant in the Bible.

A peace offering in the Old Testament Law is described in Leviticus 7:11–21. It was a voluntary sacrifice given to God in three specific instances. First, a peace offering could be given as a freewill offering, meaning that the worshiper was giving the peace offering as a way to say thank you for God’s unsought generosity. It was basically just a way to praise God for His goodness. The second way a peace offering could be given was alongside a fulfilled vow. A good example of this was when Hannah fulfilled her vow to God by bringing Samuel to the temple; on that occasion she also brought a peace offering to express the peace in her heart toward God concerning her sacrifice—it was a way to say, “I have no resentment; I am holding nothing back in the payment of my vow.” The third purpose of a peace offering was to give thanksgiving for God’s deliverance in an hour of dire need. None of these three reasons to sacrifice had anything to do with propitiation, with appeasing God, or with pacifying Him.

There were under the Old Covenant sacrifices intended to represent propitiation (Leviticus 1—2; 4) but with the understanding that God has always been a God of grace (see Ephesians 2:8–9). He does not expect us to appease Him with our works but only to confess our need and dependence on Him. Under the Old Covenant, this relationship was expressed by the sacrificial system, which always looked forward to the sacrifice of the Messiah. Under the New Covenant, the Law has been written on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3), and the Holy Spirit of God gives us the power to live our lives accordingly (Romans 8:1–8; 1 Thessalonians 1:5). The sacrifices we give now are spiritual (Hebrews 13:15) and living (Romans 12:1).

Most sacrifices in the Old Testament system were not eaten by worshipers, but the peace offering was meant to be eaten—only a portion of the animal or grain brought to the altar was burned; the rest was given back to the worshiper and to the poor and hungry. The beautiful picture here is of God’s provision for His people, both physically and spiritually. His grace and goodness are present throughout the offerings. In the peace offering, God was providing what we need: a way to thank Him for His goodness and physical sustenance.

God is not interested in taking from us. That is not His heart at all. But the lie we so often believe is that our good actions bring about His goodness, and our sinful actions must be paid for in personal sacrifice. The peace offering shows that worshipers in the Old Testament were not any more responsible for their salvation than worshipers in the New Testament. Throughout the ages, people have been tempted to think that sacrifices create God’s favor. This belief is evident in our modern understanding of a peace offering as a propitiation for wrongdoing. But only Christ’s sacrifice creates favor with God and covers wrongdoing, and the Old Testament sacrifices were a picture of that future provision.GotQuestions.org

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. 

KJV  Leviticus 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.

NET  Leviticus 19:6 It must be eaten on the day of your sacrifice and on the following day, but what is left over until the third day must be burned up.

BGT  Leviticus 19:6 ᾗ ἂν ἡμέρᾳ θύσητε βρωθήσεται καὶ τῇ αὔριον καὶ ἐὰν καταλειφθῇ ἕως ἡμέρας τρίτης ἐν πυρὶ κατακαυθήσεται

NLT  Leviticus 19:6 The sacrifice must be eaten on the same day you offer it or on the next day. Whatever is left over until the third day must be completely burned up.

ESV  Leviticus 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire.

NIV  Leviticus 19:6 It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up.

  • Lev 7:11-17

'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. 

Leon Hyatt -  The worshiper was to cook and eat his portion of the meat of the offering in the courtyard of The Tabernacle (see comments on Lev. 8:31). Cooking and eating the meat was a part of the ceremony of the offering, and it was to be observed in exact accordance with the instructions of Jehovah. Jehovah had given specific instructions that slaughter-offerings that were offered to express thanksgiving were to be eaten on the day the offering was presented (see comments on Lev. 7:15). However, slaughter-offerings that were offered to accompany a freewill gift or the fulfillment of a vow were to be eaten on the day of the offerings or on the next day (see comments on Lev. 7:16 ). If any of the meat was left over after the specified day, it was to be incinerated in fire in a clean place outside the camp (see comments on Lev. 7:17). This commandment covers both cases. Eating any of the meat on the third day would be a departure from both purposes for the offering.

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

KJV  Leviticus 19:7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.

NET  Leviticus 19:7 If, however, it is eaten on the third day, it is spoiled, it will not be accepted,

BGT  Leviticus 19:7 ἐὰν δὲ βρώσει βρωθῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ ἄθυτόν ἐστιν οὐ δεχθήσεται

NLT  Leviticus 19:7 If any of the sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it will be contaminated, and I will not accept it.

ESV  Leviticus 19:7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted,

NIV  Leviticus 19:7 If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted.

YLT  Leviticus 19:7 and if it be really eaten on the third day, it is an abomination, it is not pleasing,

  • offense: Isa 1:13 65:4 66:3 Jer 16:18 
  • it will not be accepted: Lev 7:18-21 22:23,25 

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

NET NOTE on offense - Or "desecrated," or "defiled," or "forbidden." For this difficult term see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:422, on Lev 7:18. 

Leon Hyatt -  This law calls eating meat from a slaughter offering on the third day an “abomination.” The word translated “abomination” is the word used in Leviticus 18:22 and is properly translated in that manner. Eating it on the third day was an abhorrent action to Jehovah because it was a departure from His specific instructions. Eating in an unauthorized manner showed lack of respect for Jehovah and His covenant. Therefore the offering would not be accepted by Jehovah.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:8 Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

NET  Leviticus 19:8 and the one who eats it will bear his punishment for iniquity because he has profaned what is holy to the LORD. That person will be cut off from his people.

BGT  Leviticus 19:8 ὁ δὲ ἔσθων αὐτὸ ἁμαρτίαν λήμψεται ὅτι τὰ ἅγια κυρίου ἐβεβήλωσεν καὶ ἐξολεθρευθήσονται αἱ ψυχαὶ αἱ ἔσθουσαι ἐκ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:8 Anyone who eats it on the third day will be punished for defiling what is holy to the LORD and will be cut off from the community.

ESV  Leviticus 19:8 and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from his people.

NIV  Leviticus 19:8 Whoever eats it will be held responsible because he has desecrated what is holy to the LORD; that person must be cut off from his people.

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.

Leon Hyatt -  If an Israelite departed from the instructions and ate the offering on the third day, not only would his offering not be accepted but also he would “bear his iniquity,” which means that he would face the penalty of his wrongdoing (see comments on Lev. 5:1). Jehovah had already said in Leviticus 7:18 that anyone who ate any remaining portion of the slaughter-offering on the third day would “bear his iniquity” (see comments on that verse). However, in that MESSAGE Jehovah did not specify what that penalty was to be. In this passage, He makes it clear that the penalty was that the offender was to be “cut off from his people,” which means death (see comments on Lev. 7:20, on Lev. 20:2). His action had defiled a holy offering, showing that he rejected the covenant and thus did not really belong to the people of God. He was to be executed.

This commandment is the only law in this MESSAGE that contains a specific penalty. For all the others, penalties were to be assigned by the judges according to the circumstances of each case. Specifying the death penalty for this offense underscores its seriousness. At first sight, the penalty seems to be severe for a ceremonial deviation. However, the offerings Jehovah gave to Israel were a method of teaching truths about Jehovah and the way of life He expected of His followers. He designed them carefully because pagan religions of that day had offerings that they called by the same names. Jehovah wanted to protect His offerings from those pagan forms of the offerings and the ideas they contained. Therefore, if an Israelite did not follow the ceremonies exactly as Jehovah had defined them, he was showing disrespect for Jehovah and was subject to being led astray by false ideas. Such a disrespectful attitude toward Jehovah’s instructions showed he had not truly accepted the covenant and did not really belong among God’s people. He was to be excluded by being put to death.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

NET  Leviticus 19:9 "'When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest.

BGT  Leviticus 19:9 καὶ ἐκθεριζόντων ὑμῶν τὸν θερισμὸν τῆς γῆς ὑμῶν οὐ συντελέσετε τὸν θερισμὸν ὑμῶν τοῦ ἀγροῦ ἐκθερίσαι καὶ τὰ ἀποπίπτοντα τοῦ θερισμοῦ σου οὐ συλλέξεις

NLT  Leviticus 19:9 "When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop.

ESV  Leviticus 19:9 "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.

NIV  Leviticus 19:9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.

  • reap the harvest: Lev 23:29 De 24:19-21 Ru 2:2,15 


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.

Leon Hyatt -  This law deals with a responsibility of the Israelites toward their fellowmen. When they would settle in their land, at harvest time they were to leave a portion of their crops in the field and allow the poor and sojourners to gather it. They were not to harvest the corners of their grain fields, and they were not to gather the grain stalks that were dropped in the field when the crop was harvested. They were also to leave on the vine the few bunches of grape that would ripen after the main harvest was gathered. In addition, they were not to pick up the grapes that fell from a bunch onto the ground. Gathering every last stalk of grain and every last grape was an expensive task with little profit. The farmer would lose very little by not gathering those small portions of his harvest, but allowing the needy to gather them would mean life and sustenance to the poor. The Israelites were to be a generous people, providing for the poor as a regular part of their way of life.

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).

TSK - In what code of laws merely human, is a requisition to be found so counteracting to selfishness, so encouraging to liberality, and so beneficently considering to the poor and needy?  But the Mosaic dispensation, like the Christian, breathed with love to God, and benevolence to man.  To the honour of the public and charitable spirit of the English, this merciful law is, in general, as much attended to as if it had been incorporated with the gospel.

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, where both parties were blessed by Boaz allowing Ruth to glean after the reapers!

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.”

THOUGHT - Obedience to God's laws and statues invariably results in blessing in our life, if nothing more than simply the joy of knowing we are pleasing to our Heavenly Father. 

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary

Gleanings to be left for the Poor

9. When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap, &c. Heb. לא תכלה פאת שדך lo tekalleh peath sâdeka, thou shalt not finish, consummate, make a full end of, the corner of thy field; thou shalt not make a clean riddance of it. On this precept the Jewish canons remark, ‘He that reapeth his field must not reap all the field wholly; but must leave a little standing corn for the poor in the end of the field, whether he cut it or pluck it up: and that which is left is called the corner (פאה peah). And as he must leave of the field, so of the trees, when he gathereth their fruit, he must leave a little for the poor.’ The Jewish writers say that a sixtieth part was left. However this may be, the precept is full of interest, as exhibiting a very amiable feature of the Levitical law, which in many of its provisions breathed a spirit of humane and benevolent consideration, for which we look in vain lo any other code, either of ancient or modern times. ‘The right of the poor in Israel to glean after the reapers, was thus secured by a positive law. It is the opinion of some writers, that although the poor were allowed the liberty of gleaning, the Israelitish proprietors were not obliged to admit them immediately into the field, as soon as the reapers had cut down the corn, and bound it up in sheaves, but when it was carried off; they might choose also among the poor, whom they thought most deserving or most necessitous. These opinions receive some countenance from the request which Ruth presented to the servant of Boaz, to permit her to glean ‘among the sheaves;’ and from the charge of Boaz to his young men, ‘let her glean even among the sheaves;’ a mode of speaking which seems to insinuate, that though they could not legally hinder Ruth from gleaning in the field, they had a right, if they chose to exercise it, to prohibit her from gleaning among the sheaves, or immediately after the reapers.’—Paxton.

Neither shall thou gather the gleanings of the harvest. That is, if a few ears of corn, as they were cutting or binding it up, fell out of the sheaves or from under the sickle, they were not to gather them up from the ground, but to leave them for the poor. And so also in respect to the scattered grape-clusters of the vintage. The rule thus given was intended for the benefit not only of the poor, but also of the stranger; for as strangers and foreigners could not hold their possessions on the same advantageous terms as native Israelites, they were very liable to be oppressed by poverty. It is easy to perceive that the natural tendency of this law was to inculcate a kindly, liberal, generous spirit, the direct reverse of a disposition covetous and griping, and which would prompt a man vigorously to insist on his right in mutters small and trivial. It is a lesson which the selfish nature of man needs to have powerfully enforced upon him, that is not necessarily lost or wasted, which goes to relieve the warns or diminish the woes of our common humanity.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

NET  Leviticus 19:10 You must not pick your vineyard bare, and you must not gather up the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You must leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the LORD your God.

BGT  Leviticus 19:10 καὶ τὸν ἀμπελῶνά σου οὐκ ἐπανατρυγήσεις οὐδὲ τοὺς ῥῶγας τοῦ ἀμπελῶνός σου συλλέξεις τῷ πτωχῷ καὶ τῷ προσηλύτῳ καταλείψεις αὐτά ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:10 It is the same with your grape crop-- do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.

NIV  Leviticus 19:10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

  • glean: Jdg 8:2 Isa 17:6 Isa 24:13 Jer 49:9 Ob 1:5 Mic 7:1 
  • you shall leave them: Lev 25:6 


'Nor shall you glean your vineyard - Literally Heb "And you shall not deal severely with your vineyard." 

nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger.

Leon Hyatt on stranger - Sojourners were people of foreign birth who had accepted Jehovah as their God and who had been accepted by the Israelites as naturalized citizens (see Lev. 16:29 and Lev. 17:8-9), Jehovah mentioned them in this law because they would not receive an allotment of land unless they already had been accepted into one of the tribes at the time the Land would be divided out to tribes, clans, and families in Israel (Num. 34:13-35:8; Josh. 13:7- 14:5). They probably would become employees of the Israelite farmers or have to find other employment. They might be needy, so Jehovah wanted the Israelites to care about them enough to allow them the privilege of gleaning in their fields for fresh produce.

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

Related Passages:

Exodus 20:15-16+ “You shall not steal.  16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 


You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another - Don't steal, don't cheat and don't give false information in transactions. 

Leon Hyatt - Stealing and lying are two crimes naturally associated with each other; therefore they are mentioned together in this law. Stealing was not to be practiced by the people of Israel. Also they were not to cheat or deal deceptively with others. Taking from others by deceptive was as evil as outright stealing. Also one Israelite was forbidden to lie to any other person. “To his associate” means a person with whom an Israelite had any kind of association. It was equivalent to saying a man should not lie to anyone (see Lev. 6:2-3 and on Lev. 18:20 .

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary

Ye shall not steal, &c. A number of moral precepts, important to the upholding of truth and justice in society, are here inserted. The drift of them is to inculcate a rigid adherence to truth in our communications, and to honesty in our dealings with our fellow men. Stealing had been before forbidden in the eighth commandment, and lying in the ninth; but they are here repeated and put together, because they generally go together. He that will steal will lie to hide it; and he that will lie shows that the first moral barrier is broken down which stands in the way of the commission of any and all crimes.

Leviticus 19:12 'You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.

KJV  Leviticus 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:12 You must not swear falsely in my name, so that you do not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:12 καὶ οὐκ ὀμεῖσθε τῷ ὀνόματί μου ἐπ᾽ ἀδίκῳ καὶ οὐ βεβηλώσετε τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ ὑμῶν ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:12 "Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:12 " 'Do not swear falsely by my name and so 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 Jer 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)

Related Passages:

Leviticus 6:3+  or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do;

Exodus 20:7+  “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. 

Deuteronomy 5:11+ ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. 

Jeremiah 7:9  “Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known,

Matthew 5:33+ “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ :34 “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

James 5:12+  But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. 


You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD. -  This would include not lying in court after swearing by God's Name. See more detailed discussion and exhortation regarding God's Name in Notes on Leviticus 18:21

Leon Hyatt - Jehovah also forbade them to make a false oath. The swearing referred to here is giving a solemn oath before a judge or in a legal transaction. Such false swearing would profane Jehovah’s name The Israelites most commonly made oaths on Jehovah’s name, rather than on the Bible, as is the custom today. Involving God’s name in a falsehood dishonored the person who did it and also damaged the holiness of God. The warning against false swearing by Jehovah’s name was not intended to allow the Israelites freedom to swear falsely on some other basis. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day applied this law to oaths in daily speech and tried to draw distinctions between times when such oaths were binding and when they were not. Jesus cut through their specious arguments by telling them not to swear at all. Jesus’ words did not contradict this law that allowed swearing to a truth in a legal setting. Jesus was talking about swearing in daily conversations, while this law was talking about swearing to solemn legal oaths. Oaths in daily conversation serve no purpose and reveal a tendency to lie on the part of the person who finds it necessary to use them. Legal oaths had a necessary place in ancient Israel, and they do today as well. Jehovah does not forbid making an oath in legal situations where important decisions are made on the basis of sworn statements. He does forbid making dishonest statements in such situations.

Profane (KJV has this word)(chalal).

Profane (NAS has this word not "chalal" ) (02455chol

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

NET  Leviticus 19:13 You must not oppress your neighbor or commit robbery against him. You must not withhold the wages of the hired laborer overnight until morning.

BGT  Leviticus 19:13 οὐκ ἀδικήσεις τὸν πλησίον καὶ οὐχ ἁρπάσεις καὶ οὐ μὴ κοιμηθήσεται ὁ μισθὸς τοῦ μισθωτοῦ παρὰ σοὶ ἕως πρωί

NLT  Leviticus 19:13 "Do not defraud or rob your neighbor."Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.

ESV  Leviticus 19:13 "You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning.

NIV  Leviticus 19:13 " 'Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him. " 'Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.

  • shalt not: Pr 20:10 22:22 Jer 22:3 Eze 22:29 Mk 10:19 Lu 3:13 1Th 4:6 
  • the wages: De 24:14,15 Job 31:39 Jer 22:13 Mal 3:5 Jas 5:4 

You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him - The Septuagint translates the "not" in "you shall not oppress" with the absolute negative (ouk). Absolutely DO NOT DO THIS! 

Bush - "Heb. תעשק taas’ok and תגזל tigzol. The first of these terms signifies in the original to oppress by fraud, the second, to oppress by violence. Against both these offences John the Baptist warned the soldiers who came to him, Luke 3:14, ‘And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.’ These sins of fraudulent oppression and robbery are often charged by the prophets upon the nation of Israel. See Is. 3:14. Jer. 22:2. (Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary)

Leon Hyatt - They were forbidden to oppress or take advantage of other people in any way. Jehovah specifically mentioned two ways of oppressing others. One way was by outright robbery. The other was by failing to pay a worker the wages due to him. Both were oppression, and both were forbidden. At that time, the custom was that every day was pay day. To fail to pay a man for his day’s work at the end of the day was to withhold his wages on pay day. Jehovah indicated that doing so was equal to robbery. In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees split hairs over commandments like this one by quibbling over who was a person’s neighbor. Jesus brushed aside their useless interpretations and told the story of The Good Samaritan. By that story Jesus taught that even a person from a different area or a person of a hated group is one’s neighbor. Jesus’ explanation places this verse in its proper perspective. An Israelite was not to take advantage of anyone. The same principle holds for everyone today


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!) 

The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning - Hired workers were to be paid at the end of each day because they were dependent on those daily wages for daily sustenance.

THOUGHT - Dear employer, are you paying fair wages? Are you withholding recompense that you promised? That happened to me when I left my first medical practice and they refused to pay for vacation days I worked instead of took off! A short letter with a lawyer's letterhead quickly changed their mind. A similar thing has happened to my son who changed medical practices. Selfishness cuts across all social and economic strata because of our fallen flesh. 

Bush " Inasmuch as the wages of the hireling, a day-laborer, were the support of himself and family, and they would necessarily be forced to expend it as fast as it could be earned. There are few sins marked in the Scriptures more with the emphatic reprobation of heaven than the withholding of wages from those to whom they are due. James 5:1, 4, ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.’ If the Scriptures had approved the system of ‘credit’ in doing business, it would scarcely have been so strenuous in the requisition for prompt payment.

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).

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)

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 - 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).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

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:14 You must not curse a deaf person or put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. You must fear your God; I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:14 οὐ κακῶς ἐρεῖς κωφὸν καὶ ἀπέναντι τυφλοῦ οὐ προσθήσεις σκάνδαλον καὶ φοβηθήσῃ κύριον τὸν θεόν σου ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:14 "Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:14 " 'Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear 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)


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

Leon Hyatt - Jehovah also forbade making a mockery of the deaf and the blind. The Israelites were not to curse a deaf man, because he could not hear to defend himself. They were not to put a block in front of a blind man to cause him to stumble, because he could not see to avoid it. They were to avoid mistreating the handicapped out of reverence and respect for Jehovah. Jehovah loved the helpless, and those who respected Him also were expected to respect those in need of help. Taking advantage of the handicapped was a crime in Israel.

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.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary Against taking advantage of the Infirmity of the Deaf or Blind

Thou shalt not curse. Heb. לא תקלל lo tekallël, thou shalt not vilify, defame, contemptuously disparage. Gr. ουκ κακως ερεις, thou shalt not speak evil of. Not being able to hear, he could not, of course, vindicate his own character. In cursing one who could hear there was no doubt a wicked malignity; but in cursing the deaf there was, moreover, an inexpressible meanness. The case of the absent, who are out of hearing of the curse, is obviously the same as that of the deaf, and we see no reason why the prohibition does not include both.

Nor put a stumbling block before the blind. Gr. ου προαθησεις σκανδαλον, thou shalt not put a scandal (a cause of stumbling or offence). This precept the gospel makes universal. Rom. 14:13, ‘Let no man put a stumbling-block (Gr. σκανδαλον, a scandal), in his brother’s way.’ Again, Matt. 18:7, ‘Woe unto the world because of offences (Gr. σκανδαλα, scandals, or stumbling-blocks).’ The spirit of these precepts is to forbid not only the ridiculing the bodily infirmities, but the taking advantage, in any case, of the ignorance, simplicity, or inexperience of others, particularly the giving bad counsel to those that are simple and easily imposed upon, by which they may be led to do something to their own injury. On the contrary, we are always to do to our neighbor as we would, upon a change of circumstances, that he should do to us.

Shalt fear thy God. Though thou mayest not fear the deaf and the blind, who cannot call thee to an account, yet remember that God both sees and hears, and he will avenge thy wickedness.

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. 

KJV  Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

NET  Leviticus 19:15 "'You must not deal unjustly in judgment: you must neither show partiality to the poor nor honor the rich. You must judge your fellow citizen fairly.

BGT  Leviticus 19:15 οὐ ποιήσετε ἄδικον ἐν κρίσει οὐ λήμψῃ πρόσωπον πτωχοῦ οὐδὲ θαυμάσεις πρόσωπον δυνάστου ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ κρινεῖς τὸν πλησίον σου

NLT  Leviticus 19:15 "Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.

ESV  Leviticus 19:15 "You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.

NIV  Leviticus 19:15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but 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)

Related Passage:

Psalm 82:3; 4  Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. :4) Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 

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 (rea/reya') fairly. 

Leon Hyatt - This law applied to judges as they made decisions about disputes that were before them. They were not to do an injustice to anyone when they made their decisions. They were not to favor a person because he was poor, and they were not to honor a person because he was powerful. They were to make judgments according the evidence and according to what was right. This verse does not contradict Jesus’ instruction when He said “Judge not.” Jesus was talking about making snap judgments based on lack of knowledge, which is something we should never do. This verse is talking about making legal judgments based on evidence and correct information. Making decisions in a law court is a necessary part of life. Those decisions should not be based on sympathy for a person’s poverty or on deference to a person’s power. They should be based on truth and justice. It is also necessary to form opinions or judgments in daily life about whether another person is to be trusted or not. Jesus did not forbid making such judgments if they were based on solid evidence. He did warn against making judgments based on gossip or suspicion. Those judgments are damaging and evil.

Hyatt  on but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. The use of this word rea/reya' implies that a judge was not to consider those who appeared before him for judgment to be inferior to him. They were his fellow human beings, his peers. He was to treat everyone with respect and judge them fairly.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary Against respect of persons in Judgment

15. Thou Shalt not respect the person of the poor. Heb. לא תשא פניט lo tissë pânim, thou shalt not lift up or accept the face. That is, shalt not show favor from private regards, and thus pervert the cause of justice. See the phrase explained Gen. 19:21. Though the poverty of the poor might plead strongly in their favor, yet this was not to influence the decisions of the judge.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:16 You must not go about as a slanderer among your people. You must not stand idly by when your neighbor's life is at stake. I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:16 οὐ πορεύσῃ δόλῳ ἐν τῷ ἔθνει σου οὐκ ἐπισυστήσῃ ἐφ᾽ αἷμα τοῦ πλησίον σου ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:16 "Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. "Do not stand idly by when your neighbor's life is threatened. I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:16 " 'Do not go about spreading slander among your people. " 'Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. 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

You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor (rea/reya'); I am the LORD 

Leon Hyatt - The word translated “gossiper” may be understood to mean “slanderer” or “tale bearer.” Slander is spreading a tale that the bearer knows is false. Gossip is spreading a tale that the bearer has only heard. He does not know if it is true or not. Gossip is as damaging as slander. In America slander is a crime. In Israel Jehovah declared both to be crimes. “Take a stand against your neighbor’s blood” (KJV) means giving information that could lead to a person’s death. That information could be shared in a law court, but a tale told throughout the community can have the same effect. When someone gives information that could endanger a person’s life, he needs to be doubly sure that the information is accurate. Even if true, spreading the information is not helpful. It is best to let officials investigate and determine the truth. The word translated “neighbor” in this verse is the word used in verse 13. In the strictest sense, it means a person who lives nearby, but God used it to include everyone. Christians should be even more careful than the Israelites to think of it in that manner. Our neighborhood is the world, and in a literal sense that statement is becoming more of a reality every day. This commandment teaches that a person should not spread dangerous information about anyone, even about someone he does not like. Unfortunately, most of what is reported in newspapers, on television, and in conversations today is information about evil deeds, and it is reported long before the deeds are investigated and found to be true or false. God would want us to know that more harm than good is done by spreading unsubstantiated information that can do great harm to another person’s life.

Brian Bell - Talebearer = (Strongs) “a scandal-monger, slander, carry tales.” Here the context is “gong around” doing this. Feather story! A talebearer is like a 3 fanged rattlesnake, it emits a 3-fold poison. It injures the teller, the hearer, & the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report is true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it. Count it shame to help the devil in this!

Spurgeon - 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.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Against Tale-bearing

16. Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people. Heb. לא תלך רכיל lo telek râkil. The original רכיל rakil properly signifies a trader, a pedlar, and is here applied to one who travels up and down dealing in slanders and detractions, as a merchant does in wares, possessing himself of the secrets of individuals and of families, and then blazing them abroad, usually with a false coloring as to motives, and a distortion of facts. In the Septuagint the Heb. is rendered, Prov. 11:13, and 20:19, by a word signifying ‘double-tongued;’ and in the New Testament the term seems to be διαβολος diabolos, false accuser, slanderer, calumniator. The Chal. renders the present passage ‘Thou shalt not divulge accusations, or detractions, among the people.’ In this sense the word is employed Dan. 6:24, in reference to ‘the men which had accused (διαβολαντας slandered) Daniel,’ and analogous to this the common name applied to the Devil in Greek is διαβολος diabolos, from his character of calumniator and ‘accuser of the brethren,’ denominated in the Syriac, Matt. 4:1, 5, 8, &c., a ‘divulger of accusations.’

Neither shalt thou stand against the blood, &c. That is, thou shalt neither be a false witness to the endangering of a man’s life, nor shalt thou stand by and see thy neighbor injured, crushed, ruined, and perhaps his life taken, without an effort to save him. This precept is joined with the preceding, because tale-bearing, by sowing discord and breeding broils in society often led to the shedding of blood. Thus Ezek. 22:9, ‘In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood.’ The case of Doeg, 1 Sam. 22:9, 18, is one singularly in point in the present instance,’ Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Abimelech the son of Ahitub, &c. And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and fell upon the priests, and slew in that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.’

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.

TODAY IN THE WORD 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.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY 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.

TODAY IN THE WORD 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." (ED: HOW SAD IS THIS ATTEMPT TO DO WHAT ONLY A PERSON WITH A SPIRIT ENABLED HEART CAN TRULY DO IN A WAY THAT PLEASES THE LORD - cf Ezekiel 36:26-27).

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" (James 2:10). What desperate need we have for a Savior!


TODAY IN THE WORD 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).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY 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.

TODAY IN THE WORD 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.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY 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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

NET  Leviticus 19:17 You must not hate your brother in your heart. You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur sin on account of him.

BGT  Leviticus 19:17 οὐ μισήσεις τὸν ἀδελφόν σου τῇ διανοίᾳ σου ἐλεγμῷ ἐλέγξεις τὸν πλησίον σου καὶ οὐ λήμψῃ δι᾽ αὐτὸν ἁμαρτίαν

NLT  Leviticus 19:17 "Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.

ESV  Leviticus 19:17 "You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.

NIV  Leviticus 19:17 " 'Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.

  • hate (KJV): Ge 27:41 Pr 26:24-26 1Jn 2:9,11 3:12-15 
  • rebuke (KJV): Ps 141:5 Pr 9:8 27:5,6 Mt 18:15-17 Lu 17:3 Ga 2:11-14 6:1 Eph 5:11 1Ti 5:20 2Ti 4:2 Tit 1:13 2:15 
  • and not suffer sin upon him (KJV): or, that thou bear not sin for him, Ro 1:32 1Co 5:2 1Ti 5:22 2Jn 1:10,11 

You shall not hate your fellow countryman (brother) in your heart

Leon Hyatt - Hate crime is a controversial subject in American today. God made, not an act done out of hate, but hate itself to be a crime in Israel. Instead of hating another person who had done wrong, the Israelites were admonished to rebuke that person, with a view to turning him away from his sin. Correcting him could help him turn away from his sin, but hating him would make the sin press even harder upon him. Sin would even harden him in his sin or arouse guilt that would make his sin an even heavier burden for him to bear. This verse uses the word “brother,” which had been used in verses 13 and 16, and then parallels it with the word “fellowman,” which had been used in verse 15. It is best not to quibble over the difference in meaning among the words “neighbor,” “associate,” and “brother.” All of them should be understood to mean “anyone.” God wants us to be fair, honest, and helpful to everyone. We should not try to confine our being kind and thoughtful to any one group, large or small.

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. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart. That is, thou shalt not conceal thy hatred against him for any wrong that he has done thee; but shall mildly yet faithfully rebuke him, endeavoring to convince him of the wrong, and to bring him both to acknowledge his sin before God, and to make the adequate reparation. The Jews explain the precept thus: ‘When any man sinneth against another, he must not inwardly hate him and keep silence; as it is said of the wicked, And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, 2 Sam. 13:22; but he is commanded to make it known unto him, and to say, Why hast thou done thus unto me?’ This is confirmed by the Gospel rule, Luke 17:3, ‘If thy brother sin against thee, rebuke him; and if he regent, forgive him.’ It is possible, however, that the word ‘hate,’ may here be intended to be used rather in the sense of virtual or constructive hatred, as when it is said that the parent who withholds the rod hates the child; by which it is evidently implied, that one who fails to evince the proper tokens of love, is considered as indulging the sentiments of hate. God in his word so regards and speaks of it. Thus, in the present instance, the man who saw his brother, i. e. his neighbor, yielding to or living in sin, and forbore faithfully to rebuke him on account of it, was to be considered as acting the part of an enemy instead of a friend; and the conduct of an enemy is naturally supposed to be prompted by hatred instead of love.

Thou shall in any wise rebuke thy neighbor. Heb. חוכח תוכיח ’hokëa’h tokia’h, rebuking thou shalt rebuke; i. e. thou shalt by all means rebuke, or, thou shalt freely, plainly, soundly rebuke. The true force of the original is to convince, or rather to convict, of wrong by reasoning and argument. Gr. ελεγξεις τον πλησιον σου, thou shall convincingly or demonstratively reprove thy neighbor.

And not suffer sin upon him. Heb. לא תשא עליו חאט lo tissâ âlauv hët, which may perhaps be correctly rendered, ‘Thou shalt not bear sin (or punishment) for him;’ i. e. thou shalt not, on his account, for his sake, by reason of neglecting to do your duty to him, contract guilt to your own soul. This is the usual and appropriate meaning of the phrase, as appears from Lev. 22:9, ‘They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it.’ Num. 18:32, ‘And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it;’ where the original is the same as in the present case. And in this sense both the Greek and the Chaldaic understand it. The import is, that a man who failed to reprove sin in another rendered himself obnoxious to the same punishment as the original offender. The phrase, however, may bear the sense given it in our version, which is equivalent to saying, ‘Thou shalt not suffer him to go on in sin by neglecting to inform of it; shalt not leave him under the guilt of sin unreproved.’ The saying of one of the Jewish rabbins was long current as a proverb among the nation, ‘That Jerusalem had not been destroyed, but because one neighbor did not reprove another.’

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:18 You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:18 καὶ οὐκ ἐκδικᾶταί σου ἡ χείρ καὶ οὐ μηνιεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς τοῦ λαοῦ σου καὶ ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος

NLT  Leviticus 19:18 "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

  • not avenge (KJV): Ex 23:4,5 De 32:25 2Sa 13:22,28 Pr 20:22 Mt 5:43,44 Ro 12:17,19 13:4 Ga 5:20 Eph 4:31 Col 3:8 1Pe 2:1 
  • thou shalt (KJV): Mt 5:43 19:19 22:39,40 Mk 12:31-34 Lu 10:27-37 Ro 13:9 Ga 5:14 Jas 2:8 

Related Passages:

Matthew 22:39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

Mark 12:31; 33  “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 33 AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”


Romans 13:9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Galatians 5:14   For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

James 2:8  If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.


You shall not take vengeance  - "That is, thou shalt not take into thine own hands the business of redressing thy wrongs, nor shalt thou refuse to do a kindness from the remembrance of injuries past. Gr. ουκ εκδικαται σου ἡ χειρ, let not thine hand avenge." (Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary )

Nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people - NET NOTE = "Heb "and you shall not retain [anger?]." This line seems to refer to the retaining or maintaining of some vengeful feelings toward someone. Compare the combination of the same terms for taking vengeance and maintaining wrath against enemies in Nahum 1:2 (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 305)."

Leon Hyatt - Jehovah commanded the Israelites not to seek revenge against someone who had wronged them. They were not even to hold resentment in their hearts. Instead, they were to love the one who had wronged them. Love would make them seek to reconcile with the person who had wronged them, not to try to get back at that person. How much better off Israel would have been if they had obeyed this commandment! How much better off America and the world would be if we all would just obey it.

Brian Bell - Note the sequence of 14-18: unkindness(14), injustice(15), gossip(16), & hatred(17)…But instead “Love your neighbors as yourself”. Amazing we find this gem dug up in this “load of law”! (in Leviticus!!!) “Getting along with people, especially our neighbors, isn’t a matter of obeying laws but of having love in our hearts!” “Love is the fulfilling of the law!” (Rom.13:10) This is to help us in human relationships & treat people the way God treats us.

but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. - 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).

Leon Hyatt - “Love your neighbor as yourself” assumes that we should and will love ourselves. Unfortunately, many do not love even themselves. They may think that they love themselves, but their actions bring harm to themselves. Real love means that we do what is best for the person we love. Loving ourselves means we live and act in ways that produce good for ourselves. Loving actions keep us physically alive, mentally wise, and spiritually alert. When we learn to truly love ourselves, then we are able to love others in the same way. This verse makes the words “the sons of your people” and “neighbor” parallel to each other. “Neighbor” is the word used in verse 13. In the strictest sense, “the sons of your people” meant another Israelite. But, if “neighbor” is understood to include everyone, then “the sons of our people” should include everyone. No one should be considered to be a foreigner or an outsider when it comes to loving him. “Your people” includes everyone. Jehovah has now used four words that should be understood to include everyone: “associate,” “neighbor,” “fellowman,” and “your people.” He was commanding ways of acting that we should practice toward every person we meet. Jesus said the latter part of this verse was the second greatest of all the commandments (Matt. 22;39; Mark 12:31). On another occasion, an expert teacher in the Jewish law made the same statement to Jesus (Luke 10:27). His statement indicates that Jesus was not the only person to recognize the importance of this verse. Jesus put His stamp of approval on the insight that loving our neighbor is the second greatest of the commandments, and we also should place the same importance on it. We can do so, not just by acknowledging its importance, but by practicing it

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). (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Thou shalt not avenge, &c.

Nor bear any grudge. Heb. לא תטר lo tittor, thou shalt not watch, mark, or insidiously observe, the sins of thy people; i. e. thou shalt not harbor resentment, and covertly watch an opportunity to ‘feed fat an ancient grudge.’ Gr. ου μηνιεις, thou shalt not bear inveterate anger. Chal. ‘Thou shalt not keep (harbor) enmity.’ So God is said, Nah. 1:2, ‘to take vengeance on his adversaries, and to keep (watch) for his enemies.’ But not so towards his people, Jer. 3:12, ‘For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep (anger) for ever.’ Ps. 103:9, ‘He will not always chide; nor keep (his anger) for ever;’ in all which cases the original word is the same.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord thy God. We have here in the midst of the Jewish code the grand moral law of the gospel, and that which our Savior himself gives as comprising the sum of the second table of the Decalogue, or all the duties which we owe to our fellow-men. And this law is enforced by the solemn sanction contained in the words, ‘I am the Lord your God;’ q. d. I am he who searches and perfectly knows your hearts, and the dispositions which you cherish, and who will reward and punish you accordingly. Nothing shows more conclusively how false and groundless are the charges sometimes brought against the Mosaic code as not only stern, cruel, and barbarous, but as insisting solely on certain outward rites and duties without any respect to inward dispositions and motives.

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. 

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

NET  Leviticus 19:19 You must keep my statutes. You must not allow two different kinds of your animals to breed, you must not sow your field with two different kinds of seed, and you must not wear a garment made of two different kinds of fabric.

BGT  Leviticus 19:19 τὸν νόμον μου φυλάξεσθε τὰ κτήνη σου οὐ κατοχεύσεις ἑτεροζύγῳ καὶ τὸν ἀμπελῶνά σου οὐ κατασπερεῖς διάφορον καὶ ἱμάτιον ἐκ δύο ὑφασμένον κίβδηλον οὐκ ἐπιβαλεῖς σεαυτῷ

NLT  Leviticus 19:19 "You must obey all my decrees."Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.

ESV  Leviticus 19:19 "You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.

NIV  Leviticus 19:19 " 'Keep my decrees. " 'Do not mate different kinds of animals. " 'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. " 'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

  • 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)

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

'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. 

Leon Hyatt - You must keep My statutes. The word translated “statutes” is the word found in Leviticus 6:18 (see comments on that verse in MESSAGE 5 under the heading [It is] a statute [for] an age through your generations). It means a written instruction. The instructions in this commandment seem strange to us. They may have seemed equally strange to the Israelites. Perhaps their strangeness is the reason Jehovah began them with the command to keep his statutes. His written instructions were to be strictly followed, even if the Israelites found them to be strange. God has a good reason for every commandment He gives. This commandment forbad the Israelites to try to combine unnatural mixtures of animals, crops and threads. Jehovah made different animals and plants with distinctly different natures. Each is good in its own way and place, but many are so different that they will not mix congenially. The Israelites were commanded not to try to combine animals or plants that did not mix naturally. But why should Jehovah make such a point about not mixing uncongenial animals and plants? Like so many other teachings in Leviticus, it likely was given to teach a moral and spiritual lesson. Symbolically it taught that some actions are morally evil, and some are morally good. Good deeds and evil deeds should never be mixed together in the same life. Likewise, some beliefs are spiritually true and helpful, but some are false and destructive. They should never be mixed together in the same religion or belief system. Understood in that light, the commandment is easy to understand. However, its specific wording is difficult to discern because it contains rare Hebrew words. It is even more difficult to translate into English because those words do not have exact English equivalents. Therefore, each clause requires special attention. You must not cause your livestock of two distinct kinds to spread [themselves] out. The word translated “of two distinct kinds” is found in the Scriptures only here and in Deuteronomy 22:9, where the same commandment is repeated. It is a noun based on a root meaning “to shut up”, “to confine,” or “to restrict.” It is related to another noun that means “confinement,” so that a prison was called a “house of confinement.” The word in this verse seems to mean “a restriction.” It refers to boundaries that could not or should not be crossed. However, in this verse it is used with a dual ending, which means that it refers to two different kinds of restrictions or boundaries. It refers, therefore, to objects that are “enclosed” or “shut up,” each to its own nature and ways. It refers to two objects whose natures are so different that it is unnatural to try to mix them. This word is an entirely different word from the word translated “kind” in Genesis 1:11,12,21,24,25; 6:20; 7:14, though the idea is much the same. The Israelites were forbidden to attempt such mixtures, because it was contrary to the natures God put in them. The first example of such a forbidden mixture in this verse is animals from different species. 

Leon Hyatt -  You must keep My statutes. You must not cause your livestock of two distinct kinds to spread [themselves] out. The word translated “to spread out” is the word found in Leviticus 12:23. It means to position them for copulation. The Israelites were not to try to interbreeding animals of completely different natures. In this verse, the word occurs is in the causative state (Hiphil) and means “to cause to spread out.” This wording is appropriate because animals with different natures will not attempt to copulate with each other. It can happen only when perverse men seek to force it on them. The reference is to men trying to crossbreed animals with two entirely different natures. The word translated “livestock” is the word used in Leviticus 1:2. It means “a domestic animal” or “livestock”. That word was appropriate because only animals that could be handled by men could be used for such experimentation. Commentators have pondered over how this law applied to the existence in Israel of mules, since a mule is a mixture of a horse and a donkey (2 Sam. 13:29; 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33,38,44; 10:25; 18:5; 2 Kings 5:17; 1 Chr. 12:40; 2 Chr. 9:24; Ezra 2:66; Neh. 7:68; Ps. 32:9; Is. 66:20; Eze. 27:14; Zech. 14:15). The answer is that this law did not apply to mules, because horses and donkeys are of the same species and nature, even though they are from quite distinct branches of the same species. The law applied to animals from completely different species and with completely different natures that will not naturally breed together and that cannot reproduce together. On a deeper level, this law taught that followers of Jehovah and followers of other gods should not try to mix together in the same family, the same partnership, or the same social circles.

Leon Hyatt -  You must not plant your field with two distinct kinds [of seeds]. The same principle applied to planting crops. Crops that grow in entirely different ways and that strangle each other out were not to be planted in the same field. In Deuteronomy 22:9, the example is given of planting grain seeds in a vineyard. Wheat and other grains will not grow compatibly with grape vines. The natures of the two plants are so different that each will destroy the other. This law is practical and logical. The lesson is that sin and righteous cannot thrive together in the same life, as faith in Jehovah cannot coexist with pagan beliefs.

Leon Hyatt  and a piece of clothing [made] of two distinct kinds [of thread] with stamped in ways must not come on you. This principle also applied to weaving together two different kinds of thread that have such different characteristics that they will not blend together into one piece of cloth. The word translated “with stamped in ways” occurs only here and in Deuteronomy 22:11, which repeats and expands on this commandment. Its strict meaning seems to be “a stamped thing.” It is related to a noun that means “stamping” like the stamping of horses’ hooves (Jer. 47:3). This word seems to refer to characteristics “stamped” into the thread that cannot be changed. Threads stamped with two different natures were not to be woven together to make cloth. In King James Version, this word is translated “of linen and woolen.” The word definitely does not have that meaning. The King James Version translation does not come from the meaning of the word but from the example given in Deuteronomy 22:11. In Deuteronomy 22:11, Moses gave an example of two different kinds of thread that cannot be woven together successfully. The example is mixing wool thread with linen thread. Wool is course and soft, while linen is slick and hard. The two are so different they will not bind together to make a usable piece of cloth. Material made from that mixture of threads will not last. Some have thought that this command creates a problem with the clothing of the high priest, on which a design made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet cochineal yarn was embroidered (Ex. 28:5-8,15). Their concern is unnecessary. The mixture in the clothing of the high priest was of different colors, not different types of yarn. All the yarn was linen yarn, but it was linen dyed with different colors. Even if different types of thread had been used in making the high priest’s clothing, it still would not have been contrary to this commandment unless the natures of the threads were such that they were incompatible for weaving together into one piece of cloth. The spiritual lesson taught by this prohibition is that truth and error will not mix. They will destroy each other. Pagan values just cannot be successfully combined with values revealed by Jehovah God. The principle that certain animals and plants possessed such diverse natures that they were not to be mixed together was stressed to the Israelites to teach them that the same principle holds in the spiritual realm. Some deeds possess a nature that absolutely will not mix with deeds of another nature. Attempting to mix them together brings disaster. Evil will not mix with goodness. Wrong will not mix with right. Injustice will not mix with justice. Unrighteousness will not mix with righteousness. The Israelites were not to attempt to mix evil deeds into the holy life to which Jehovah had called them. Also they were not to mix truth with error or honesty with lies. Attempting to do so would destroy them. The same principle holds for Christians today

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)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Ye shall keep my statutes. These words are here inserted lest the ensuing ordinance should be deemed of little moment and so be neglected.

Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind. This might perhaps have been forbidden in order to impress the Israelites with a greater abhorrence of the crime of bestiality, or at least to afford them among the brute creation no example of those unnatural commixtures which were prohibited in the foregoing chapter, v. 22, 23. Yet it would seem that it was not forbidden them to use animals produced from such mixtures, as we find mules very frequently mentioned in the sacred history, which it is well known are gendered in this manner. See Note on Gen. 36:24. As to seeds, it would in many cases, be very improper to sow different kinds in the same spot of ground, as many species of vegetables are disposed to mix and thus produce a very degenerate crop. Thus if oats and wheat were sown together, the latter would be injured, the former ruined. The turnip and carrot would not succeed conjointly, when either of them separately would prosper and yield a good crop; and if this be all that is intended, the precept here given is agreeable to the soundest agricultural maxims. As to garments, the prohibition might have been merely intended to keep them aloof from the superstitious customs of the heathen, or to intimate how careful they should be not to mingle themselves with the Gentiles, nor to weave any profane usages into God’s ordinances

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. 

KJV  Leviticus 19:20 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.

NET  Leviticus 19:20 "'When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman, although she is a slave woman designated for another man and she has not yet been ransomed, or freedom has not been granted to her, there will be an obligation to pay compensation. They must not be put to death, because she was not free.

BGT  Leviticus 19:20 καὶ ἐάν τις κοιμηθῇ μετὰ γυναικὸς κοίτην σπέρματος καὶ αὐτὴ οἰκέτις διαπεφυλαγμένη ἀνθρώπῳ καὶ αὐτὴ λύτροις οὐ λελύτρωται ἢ ἐλευθερία οὐκ ἐδόθη αὐτῇ ἐπισκοπὴ ἔσται αὐτοῖς οὐκ ἀποθανοῦνται ὅτι οὐκ ἀπηλευθερώθη

NLT  Leviticus 19:20 "If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man's wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death.

ESV  Leviticus 19:20 "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;

NIV  Leviticus 19:20 " '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.

  • Ex 21:20,21 Dt 22:23,24)


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

Leon Hyatt - This expression means to have sexual intercourse. This law forbad sexual intercourse in the specific case of a man’s having sex with a female slave who was engaged to be married to another man. To us, it is strange that Jehovah did not forbid sex with a female slave under any circumstances. In fact, it is equally strange to us that He did not command that slavery be abolished entirely in Israel. Sadly, concepts about slavery were sorely different in that day from what they are today. Slavery, like bigamy (see comments on Lev. 18:18 in MESSAGE 22), was a social custom so widely accepted in that day that the Israelites were not prepared to accept its total abolishment, even at God’s command. Likewise, it was so totally accepted then that a man’s slave was his property and that he could do with his human property anything he chose that they would not have been able to comprehend a command that a man could never under any circumstances have sex with his female slave. Examples of how difficult it would have been for them to understand such ideas are that Abraham had sex with his wife’s slave Hagar (Gen. 16:1-6) in order to conceive a child for his wife Sarah, and Jacob had sex with his wives’ slaves Bilhah (Gen. 30:1-8) and Zilpah (Gen. 30:9- 12) for the same purpose. God had to deal with the Israelites as they were, and commanded the best laws that it were possible at the time. He regulated the practices of bigamy and slavery and made them as tolerable as possible for those times. He demanded that the Israelites respect the rights of slaves and treat them fairly. God led the Israelites along as they were able to receive His moral teachings, an approach that he still follows today. A man coming out of a pagan background in other lands today may have several wives. When He accepts Jesus, He must gradually be taught to put away his secondary wives. He should not be told he must put away his secondary wives before he can accept Jesus. He first needs to have his heart changed, and then the Lord can teach him to change his family relationships. God dealt with Israel in the same way as he gradually lifted their moral standards. If these statements seem too shocking to accept, remember that it was only about 150 years ago, 1,850 years after Jesus was on the earth that Americans learned to accept slavery as an evil to be abolished. Just as Americans were not ready to write into our constitution when our nation was founded that freedom means liberation of all slaves, Israel would not have been ready to understand abolishing slavery in Moses’. While Moses was in the mountain right after Israel allegedly had accepted the covenant, He gave to Moses a list of laws that Israel was to observe. Among them were laws governing how Israelites were to treat their Israelite slaves (Ex. 21:2-11). Since the Israelites were not ready to understand abolishing slavery, Jehovah regulated it to control its most serious abuses. Then he gradually taught Israel and the world higher standards. That principle applies to the law in this verse. The commandment did not make sex with a female slave a crime, but it did make sex with a female slave engaged to another man a crime. In the times of Moses, women were considered to be the property of their husbands. The crime that is forbidden in this law was more an abuse of another man’s property than a sexual offense. Nevertheless, God did teach by this law that a man was not free to treat his female slaves in any way he wished. The standards God set in Israelite law were vastly superior to those of the nations around them, in which a man was accountable to no one as to how he treated his slaves because they were his property. 

However, both bigamy and slavery were far short of the original ideas that God had for mankind at the creation, and He did not put His approval on those evils at any time. Jesus stated that same principle when he said Jehovah taught Moses to regulate divorce “because of the hardness of your hearts,” though from the beginning divorce had never been a part of God’s plan for people (Matt. 19:7-9). We still have not learned to accept divorce as an evil to be avoided at all cost. God is tolerant with Christians on that point today, but His ideal that marriage is a union between one man and one woman for life has not changed.

Some have argued on the basis of verses such as this one that God did not look with disfavor on premarital sex relations. They have argued that God disapproved of premarital sex only when the girl was promised to another man. Such a position is based on a failure to study all of the laws that Jehovah revealed to Israel concerning sex practices. The law recorded in Exodus 22:16-17 provided punishment for a man who had sex with a virgin. The penalty was less than the penalty for adultery on the part of married persons, which was death (see comments on Lev. 20:10 in MESSAGE 24), but the act definitely was forbidden. Jehovah clearly taught that premarital sex was not in keeping with the high ideals He set for marriage in the beginning and that it was out of character for people who were committed to following Him.

and she has not been redeemed. This statement is the first reference in Leviticus to redeeming a person, animal, or object, though the practice had been mentioned in Exodus 13:13-15; 34:20. It is explained in Leviticus 25:24-46,48-49 and in Leviticus 27:13-31 (see comments on those verses in MESSAGES 37 and 38). Redeeming meant to pay a price to release a person, animal, or object from an obligation. A person might redeem himself, or be redeemed by another person. Redeeming was the special responsibility of a person’s nearest of kin. In this verse, “has not been redeemed” means no one had bought the female slave to set her free.

or freedom has not been given to her. A slave could also be set free by his or her owner. Jehovah had given laws regulating such occasions in Exodus 21:5-11. In this case, the female slave also had not been set free by her owner.

a punishment must be given. If a man broke this commandment and had sex with a female slave who had been promised to another man, punishment was required. No specific punishment was stated for this offense. The case was to be presented to a judge and a punishment prescribed according to the conditions of the case. The law taught that a man was not free to use an engaged woman for sex just because she was a slave.

They may not be put to death because she was not free. Jehovah did state that the death penalty was not to be prescribed for this crime. The reason was that the woman was not a free woman. If she had been a free woman, the required penalty would have been death for both the man and the woman (see comments on Lev. 20:10 in MESSAGE 24). We find it sad that a lower penalty was required if the woman was a slave than if she was free. However, we should remember that the death penalty is not required today for adultery in any case. Are our standards higher or lower than those God commanded for Israel?

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)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Whosoever lieth carnally with a woman that is a bond-maid. The exact rendering of the Hebrew is, ‘And a man when he lieth with a woman (with) the lying of seed,’ to which our version comes sufficiently near. In order fully to understand the drift of the precept, it must be borne in mind, that Gentile servants were often found among the Hebrews, and these, if proselyted, were baptized, and that either with a reservation of their servitude, or with a full and free discharge. But it appears that there were some in a kind of intermediate or half-way condition, partly free and partly servile, viz., when part only of their redemption-money had been paid, a balance yet remaining. Now as no Israelite might marry such a woman while perfectly a slave; so, although he might espouse her when partly free, and the espousals be valid, yet they could not be of full force till her enfranchisement was complete. Of a bondwoman in these circumstances the Hebrew doctors understand Moses in this passage to speak, as Maimonides says expressly, ‘The bond-woman betrothed spoken of in the law, is one that is half a bond-woman and half a free-woman, and betrothed to an Hebrew servant.’ Gr. αυτη οικετις ῆ διαπεφυλαγμενη ανθρωπῳ, she shall be reserved a household-servant for a man.

Not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her. Rather, not fully, not entirely redeemed, but only in part; and therefore her freedom not absolutely granted to her.

She shall be scourged. Heb. בקרת תהיה bikkoreth tihyeh, there shall be a scourging. The original בקרת bikkoreth from the root בקר bâkar, to search, to inquire into, to examine diligently, to take note of any person or thing, and thence in the derivative inquisition, animadversion, punishment, the frequent effect of a rigid examination, of a close and prying scrutiny. Gr. εσται επισκοπη, there shall be visitation. If she had been perfectly free both parties would have been put to death by virtue of the law, Deut. 22:23, 25. But not being fully free, and consequently not fully the wife of her betrothed, it was not counted adultery; and therefore punished only with scourging. From the literal rendering, ‘there shall be scourging,’ it would doubtless seem that both parties were to share in it alike; but the Hebrew canons and the current of rabbinical authority favor rather the rendering of the English text—‘She shall be scourged.’ Maimonides says, ‘The lying with this bond-woman differeth from all other unlawful connexions; for lo, she is to be beaten, and he is bound to bring a trespass-offering.’ So in the Talmud (Cheret. c. 2.) it is said, ‘In all unlawful connexions, whether it be man or woman, they are alike in stripes and in sacrifice: but in the case of the bond-woman, the man is not like to the woman in stripes, nor the woman to the man in sacrifice.’

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. 

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.

NET  Leviticus 19:21 He must bring his guilt offering to the LORD at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, a guilt offering ram,

BGT  Leviticus 19:21 καὶ προσάξει τῆς πλημμελείας αὐτοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ παρὰ τὴν θύραν τῆς σκηνῆς τοῦ μαρτυρίου κριὸν πλημμελείας

NLT  Leviticus 19:21 The man, however, must bring a ram as a guilt offering and present it to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

ESV  Leviticus 19:21 but he shall bring his compensation to the LORD, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering.

NIV  Leviticus 19:21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for a guilt offering to the LORD.

  • Lev 5:1-6:7

He shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD to the doorway of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering

Leon Hyatt - When the man paid his penalty, he was to present an offense-offering at The Tabernacle. An offense-offering was a fire-offering that showed repentance for a sin but that also required the payment of restitution for the wrong done (see comments on Lev. 6:1-7 in MESSAGE 4). The requirement for an offense-offering reveals two truths: (1) The offender needed to repent and receive forgiveness from God. His offense was against God, as well as the woman’s fiancé. (2) He needed to make restitution to the man for his offense. The offense was against God and man, and the man needed to be reconciled to both. An offense-offering was always to consist of a ram (see Lev. 5:15 and Lev. 6:6-7). The amount of the restitution payment probably was to be set by the judge who decided the case.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

NET  Leviticus 19:22 and the priest is to make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin that he has committed, and he will be forgiven of his sin that he has committed.

BGT  Leviticus 19:22 καὶ ἐξιλάσεται περὶ αὐτοῦ ὁ ἱερεὺς ἐν τῷ κριῷ τῆς πλημμελείας ἔναντι κυρίου περὶ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἧς ἥμαρτεν καὶ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ ἡ ἁμαρτία ἣν ἥμαρτεν

NLT  Leviticus 19:22 The priest will then purify him before the LORD with the ram of the guilt offering, and the man's sin will be forgiven.

ESV  Leviticus 19:22 And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven for the sin that he has committed.

NIV  Leviticus 19:22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the LORD for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

  • and the sin: Lev 4:20,26 

'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.

Leon Hyatt - If the man truly repented when he presented his offense-offering, he was covered or protected from the effects of his sin and his sin was forgiven. The ceremonies performed by the priest in connection with the offense-offering symbolized the offender’s covering and forgiveness (see Lev. 1:4 and Lev. 6:6-7).

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

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 salachOne 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).

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:23 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.

NET  Leviticus 19:23 "'When you enter the land and plant any fruit tree, you must consider its fruit to be forbidden. Three years it will be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten.

BGT  Leviticus 19:23 ὅταν δὲ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν γῆν ἣν κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν δίδωσιν ὑμῖν καὶ καταφυτεύσετε πᾶν ξύλον βρώσιμον καὶ περικαθαριεῖτε τὴν ἀκαθαρσίαν αὐτοῦ ὁ καρπὸς αὐτοῦ τρία ἔτη ἔσται ὑμῖν ἀπερικάθαρτος οὐ βρωθήσεται

NLT  Leviticus 19:23 "When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden. Do not eat it.

ESV  Leviticus 19:23 "When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten.

NIV  Leviticus 19:23 " 'When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must 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)


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)

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

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.(The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

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).

Leon Hyatt - When the Israelites would be settled in their land and would plant trees that would produce fruit to eat, they were to recognize that all the fruit of their trees was a gift from God. They were to show their appreciation for the produce of their trees by giving their first full fruit crop from each tree to Jehovah to support His work and His servants. A tree could not be expected to bear a full crop until its fourth year, so the Israelites were not to eat the fruit of their fruit trees during the first three years. They were to consider their trees during the first three years to be uncircumcised, that is, not yet dedicated to God. As long as the fruit was not dedicated to Jehovah, they were not to eat it. The fourth year, the crop was to be given to Jehovah to praise Him for the gift of fruit to eat. In the fifth and following years the crops would belong to the Israelite owner.

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)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

And when ye shall have come into the land. That is, into the promised land, to which alone it would seem this precept had reference. That it was based upon any thing beyond natural reasons, we see no grounds for believing; though Spencer and others have suggested that as the trees which they would find growing on their entrance into the land were planted by idolaters, and probably with superstitious ceremonies, their fruit being considered by the Israelites as for a time unclean, would tend to impress their minds with an idea of the impurity and abominable nature of idolatry. But it is evident from the text, that the precept has reference to such trees as they should themselves plant, and that it was to be of like permanent authority with the other enactments of the Levitical code. Nor do we doubt that an adequate knowledge of vegetable physiology would disclose the utmost propriety in the direction. Indeed Michaelis says, Comment, on Laws of Moses, vol. 3. p. 367–8, ‘The economical object of this law is very striking. Every gardener will teach us not to let fruit-trees bear in their earliest years, but to pluck off the blossoms; and for this reason, that they will thus thrive the better, and bear more abundantly afterwards. Now, if we may not taste the fruit the first three years, we shall be the more disposed to pinch off the blossoms; and the son will learn to do this from his father. The very expression, to regard them as uncircumcised, suggests the propriety of pinching them off; I do not say cutting them off, because it is generally the hand, and not a knife, that is employed in this operation.’ Although, however, the use of the fruit was only interdicted for three years, the produce did not become available to the proprietor till the fifth year, the first-fruits, that is those of that year, being in this, as in other instances, one of the dues from which the priests derived their subsistence. Perhaps a moral intimation to the effect that men were to restrain their appetites, and not to indulge in premature gratifications, was designed at the same time to be conveyed in this precept. Thus this wondrous code taught its subjects to find ‘sermons in trees,’ as well as ‘good in every thing.’

Leviticus 19:24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.

KJV  Leviticus 19:24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal.

NET  Leviticus 19:24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, praise offerings to the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:24 καὶ τῷ ἔτει τῷ τετάρτῳ ἔσται πᾶς ὁ καρπὸς αὐτοῦ ἅγιος αἰνετὸς τῷ κυρίῳ

NLT  Leviticus 19:24 In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the LORD as a celebration of praise.

ESV  Leviticus 19:24 And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:24 In the fourth year all its fruit will 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 Passage:

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.

But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.

Leon Hyatt - The fruit of the fourth year was a kind of first-fruits offering (see Lev. 2:12 and Lev. 2:14). Though fruit of the fourth year is not called “first-fruits” in this verse, in Nehemiah 10:35,37 the Israelites swore to an oath “to follow the law of God given through God’s servant Moses.” In that oath they swore to bring “the first-fruits of our land and of every fruit tree to Jehovah’s house.” Their oath shows that they recognized fruit of the fourth year to be a first-fruits offering. The first-fruit offering of grain, oil, and grape (Num. 18:12-13) was the first portion of the crop to ripen each year (Nu 18:12-13). The first fruit offering of their fruit trees was the whole crop of the fourth year. This commandment made firstfruit offerings of their trees to be a civil law to help provide support for Jehovah’s servants the priests. It was to be enforced by judicial authorities.

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 "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)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

All the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord. Heb קדש הלולים ליהוח kodesh hillulim laihovah, holiness of praises to the Lord. That is, shall be consecrated to the Lord, and eaten with demonstrations of joy and praise, as Judg. 9:27, ‘they made praise;’ that is, they expressed their joyful emotions by songs of praises, and probably by dancing, as the Gr. renders it. The phrase points to somewhat of more than usual festivity.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.

NET  Leviticus 19:25 Then in the fifth year you may eat its fruit to add its produce to your harvest. I am the LORD your God.

BGT  Leviticus 19:25 ἐν δὲ τῷ ἔτει τῷ πέμπτῳ φάγεσθε τὸν καρπόν πρόσθεμα ὑμῖν τὰ γενήματα αὐτοῦ ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:25 Finally, in the fifth year you may eat the fruit. If you follow this pattern, your harvest will increase. I am the LORD your God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:25 But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the LORD your God.

NIV  Leviticus 19:25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the LORD your God.

  • Lev 26:3,4 Pr 3:9,10 Ec 11:1,2 Hag 1:4-6,9-11 2:18,19 Mal 3:8-10 

In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the LORD your God

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

In the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof. Heb. להוסיף לכם תבואתו lehosiph lâkem tebuâtho, to add increasingly to you its product. The intimation clearly is, that they would be no losers by waiting to the fifth year for the fruit of their trees. The forbearance would be rewarded by the far more abundant fruitfulness of the trees themselves.

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

KJV  Leviticus 19:26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

NET  Leviticus 19:26 "'You must not eat anything with the blood still in it. You must not practice either divination or soothsaying.

BGT  Leviticus 19:26 μὴ ἔσθετε ἐπὶ τῶν ὀρέων καὶ οὐκ οἰωνιεῖσθε οὐδὲ ὀρνιθοσκοπήσεσθε

NLT  Leviticus 19:26 "Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood."Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft.

ESV  Leviticus 19:26 "You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.

NIV  Leviticus 19:26 " 'Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. " 'Do not practice divination or sorcery.

  • with the blood: Lev 3:17 Lev 7:26 Lev 17:10-14 De 12:23 
  • practice divination: Ex 7:11 Ex 8:7 1Sa 15:23 Jer 10:2 Da 2:10 Mal 3:5 
  • soothsaying: De 18:10-14 2Ki 17:17 21:6 2Ch 33:6 

Related Passages:

Leviticus 3:17   ‘It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.’”

Leviticus 7:26 ‘You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings.

Leviticus 17:10-14 ‘And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ 12 “Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’ 13 “So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.  14 “For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

Deuteronomy 12:23   “Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.

Deuteronomy 18:10-14 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. 13 “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so. 


You shall not eat anything with the blood - Why not? Moses writes "‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement." (Lev 17:11) “For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off." (Lev 17:14)

Leon Hyatt - You must not eat blood, Jehovah had given this commandment twice previously (see Lev. 7:26-27 and Lev. 17:10-16). In the first passage, the commandment it was given in connection with slaughter-offerings to command the Israelites to show respect for the covering for sins that was symbolized by splattering the blood of fire-offerings around the altar. That passage said that a person who ate blood was to be cut off from his people, that is, put to death. In the second passage, the command was clarified by adding three details: (1) The prohibition included eating animals killed in hunting if their blood was not spilled on the ground. It also included animals killed by another animal and, therefore, not bled. (2) A second reason was given for the command, which was that life was in the blood and people were to show respect for the marvel of life. (3) If the authorities did not cut off a person who ate blood, God would. On the other hand, if a person ate an animal killed by another animal, he was to be considered unclean. His cleansing required bathing, washing his clothes, and waiting until the evening. In this verse, the commandment was simply repeated in brief to clarify that it was a civil law to be enforced by judicial authorities.

Nor practice divination (nachash) or soothsaying (ʿānan- Lxx for divination (nachash) is oionizomai (Ge 30:27; Ge 44:5.15; Lv 19:26; Dt 18:10) which means to take omens from the flight and cries of birds and generally, to divine from omens, augure (Liddell-Scott)

Leon Hyatt - This verse refers to two different kinds of divination or fortune telling. The word translated “practice hydromancy” is used in Genesis 44:5 to describe divination that Joseph practiced by using a silver cup, which seems to indicate that the word refers to divination by studying liquids or dregs in a cup. This form of divination is called “hydromancy.” The word translated “practice divination by clouds” is related to the Hebrew word for “cloud,” which likely indicates that it refers to divination by studying movement of clouds of smoke or incense. However, the word is also similar to the Hebrew word for “eye,” which makes some believe that it referred to “the evil eye,” the power to cast spells by staring with the eyes Probably neither of the words should be taken in this verse in its narrowest sense. Like words of today that apply to different types of divination, the Hebrew words probably were often interchangeable in everyday practice. Thus, this law probably intended to prohibit the practice of any and all forms of divination. Divination was believed in and practiced by the pagan religions of that day. It was based on the concept that some people can tell fortunes or cast spells through a variety of practices. If such a power exists, it comes from the devil or demons and not from God. It has no place in the life of a Jehovah worshiper. The Israelites were forbidden to become diviners or fortune tellers of any kind

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). (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

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. 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).(The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood. Heb. לא תאכלו על הדם lo tokelu al haddâm, ye shall not eat upon the blood. Gr. μη εσθετε επι ορεων eat not upon the mountains, i. e. alter the manner of idolaters; an erroneous rendering, arising from the translators having mistaken הדם haddâm, blood, for הרם hârim, mountains, ר (r) for ד (d), as they have done in numerous other instances. The sense is intrinsically good and warranted by Ezek. 18:6, but is not the meaning here intended; although it is not perfectly obvious what the true meaning really is. The Rabbinical commentators for the most part, understand it, especially from its connexion with what follows, as a prohibition of certain idolatrous rites practised in the religion of the heathen, in which they entered into communion with demons by gathering the blood of their sacrifices into a vessel, or a little hole dug in the earth, and then sitting round it, feeding upon the flesh of the victims. But a more probable interpretation is that suggested by the usage of the same phrase, 1 Sam. 14:33, ‘Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood (על חדם al haddâm, upon the blood).’ What is meant by this we infer from v. 32, of the same chapter; ‘And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen, and calves, and slew them upon the ground, and the people did eat them with the blood (על הדם al haddâm, upon the blood).’ From this it would appear that the phrase to eat any thing upon the blood, means to eat the flesh of the animal before it is fully dead, and the blood thoroughly drained from it. Thus Maimonides; ‘It is unlawful to eat of a slain beast so long as it trembleth; and he that eateth thereof before the soul (life) of it be gone out, transgresseth against a prohibition, Ye shall not eat upon the blood.’

Neither shall ye use enchantments. Heb. לא תנחשו lo tena’hashu, ye shall not practice augury or divination. (It is the root with which נחש na’hash, a serpent, is so intimately connected, and the true force of which is elucidated in the Note on Gen. 3:1. It refers to the superstitious observance of omens, and perhaps mainly such ceremonies as were understood by the term ophiomancy, or divination by serpents, similar to which was the art of ornithomancy, or augury by birds. This is Bochart’s opinion, who has gone into the subject, as usual, at great length.

Nor observe times. Heb. לא תעוננו lo teonënu. The doubtful origin of the word makes the sense doubtful. Aben-Ezra and many others consider the verb as a denominative from the root ענך ânân, a cloud, and understand it here to be equivalent to taking omens from the aspect of the clouds, and other celestial phenomena—a species of divination to which respect seems to be had, Jer. 10:2, where the prophet forbids the people to be ‘dismayed at the signs of heaven, at which the heathen are dismayed.’ To this interpretation Rosenmuller gives the preference. Jarchi, on the other hand, who is followed by Fuller (Miscel. Sacr. l. 1. c. 16) gives the noun עונה onëh as the etymon which is defined a set, fixed, or prescribed time. The phrase, therefore, ‘to observe times’ is supposed to imply the noting of certain days as more lucky than others, and selecting such as the days on which to commence a journey, or undertake any particular business or enterprise. This is probably the true sense, whether the etymology above suggested be correct or not, about which there is considerable doubt. We may remark that the Gr. has ορνιθοσκοπησεσθε, signifying augury by birds; while the Syriac employs a term implying fascination by the eye, as if עיך ayin, eye, were the root. It seems impossible to decide with confidence the exact import. But while we are left in doubt about the precise meaning of a term, we are at no loss to discover the general scope and ground of the precept. The giving heed to vain signs and prognostics, the turning to the delusive arts of astrology, or fortune-telling, would naturally beget a disregard and a practical denial of the doctrine of an over-ruling Providence, which was ever to be an object of cordial belief and unreserved trust to the pious mind.

Divine (divination) (05172nachash not to be confused with Hebrew word for serpent nachash = "Because of the similarity of nacḥash to nācḥāsh meaning "snake," some make a connection to snake charming. More contend that there is a similarity of hissing sounds between enchanters and serpents and hence the similarity of words." - TWOT) means to practice divination, observe signs and is only in the Piel intensive stem. First use of Laban to Jacob " I have divined that the LORD has blessed me on your account.” (Ge 30:27).  "Both in Genesis 44:5, 15 the doubly intensive form (infinitive absolute plus finite verb) occurs. There we learn that Joseph claimed for his brothers' benefit that he could "divine" with a special cup and so knew secret things such as that his brothers, still unaware of who he was, had his cup in their possession. But divination is outlawed in Leviticus 19:26 and is spoken of with condemnation in 2 Kings 17:17 and 2 Kings 21:6 (cf. 2 Chron. 33:6). It is in the list of forbidden occult practices of Deut. 18:10. (TWOT online) 

Nachash - 9v - divination(1), divined(1), enchantments(1), indeed practice divination(1), indeed uses(1), interprets omens(1), practice divination(1), took as an omen(1), used divination(2). Gen. 30:27; Gen. 44:5; Gen. 44:15; Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10; 1 Ki. 20:33; 2 Ki. 17:17; 2 Ki. 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6

Soothsaying (witchcraft) (06049) ʿānan A verb meaning to practice soothsaying, fortune-telling, divining, magic. While it is clear from the contexts and the versions that this term is used for some type of magic or witchcraft, its etymology is unclear. Therefore, the specifics of the practice it connotes are equally unclear. However, it is clear that it was strictly forbidden, and the one who practiced this act was detestable to God (Deut. 18:10, 12). Isaiah appears to use the term figuratively to demean the idolatrous Israelites (Isa. 57:3). (Word Study OT

Swanson adds "practice sorcery, practice divination, i.e., the foretelling of future events by means of magic or casting spells, with possibly a focus of conjuring dead human or supernatural spirits to appear before the living." 

Gilbrant - The remaining nine occurrences describe an act of magic or the performers of the act. They are found in passages of warning (Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10) and judgment (Isa. 2:6; 57:3). Yahweh warned his people to separate themselves from the practices of the nations around them because sorcerers and sorcery would lead his people to disobey Him (Jer. 27:9). Indeed, Manasseh is described as doing "much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger" (2 Ki. 21:6, NRSV) because of his reliance on soothsaying. Micah prophesied about a day when no more sorcerers could trouble God's people. On that day, God will destroy the heathen and the heathen practices (Mic. 5:11-15). (Complete Biblical Library

QUESTION - What does the Bible say about divination?

ANSWER - The word divination comes from the Latin divinare, meaning “to foresee” or “to be inspired by a god.” To practice divination is to uncover hidden knowledge by supernatural means. It is associated with the occult and involves fortune-telling or soothsaying, as it used to be called.

From ancient times, people have used divination to gain knowledge of the future or as a way to make money. The practice continues as those who claim supernatural insight read palms, tea leaves, tarot cards, star charts, and more.

God tells us His view of divination in Deuteronomy 18:10: “There shall not be found among you . . . anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens.” First Samuel 15:23 compares rebellion to the “sin of divination.”

Practicing divination is listed as one of the reasons for Israel’s exile (2 Kings 17:17). Jeremiah 14:14 spoke of the false prophets of the time, saying, “They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.” So, compared to God’s truth, divination is false, deceitful, and worthless.

As Luke traveled with Paul and Silas in the city of Philippi, he recorded an encounter with a diviner: “We were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling” (Acts 16:16). The girl’s ability to penetrate mysteries was due to a demon that controlled her. Her masters received “much gain” from their slave. Paul eventually exorcised the demon (verse 18), freeing the girl from her spiritual bondage and angering the slave owners (verse 19).

Divination in any form is sin. It is not harmless entertainment or an alternate source of wisdom. Christians should avoid any practice related to divination, including fortune-telling, astrology, witchcraft, tarot cards, necromancy, and spell-casting. The spirit world is real, but it is not innocent. According to Scripture, those spirits that are not the Holy Spirit or angels are evil spirits.

Christians need not fear the spirits involved in divination; neither are Christians to seek wisdom from them. The Christian’s wisdom comes from God (James 1:5).

Related Resource

Leviticus 19:27 'You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 

KJV  Leviticus 19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

NET  Leviticus 19:27 You must not round off the corners of the hair on your head or ruin the corners of your beard.

BGT  Leviticus 19:27 οὐ ποιήσετε σισόην ἐκ τῆς κόμης τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν οὐδὲ φθερεῖτε τὴν ὄψιν τοῦ πώγωνος ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:27 "Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.

ESV  Leviticus 19:27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.

NIV  Leviticus 19:27 " 'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

  • Lev 21:5 Isa 15:2 Jer 16:6 Jer 48:37 Eze 7:18 Ezek 44:20 

Related Passages:

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.

You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.

Leon Hyatt -  Cutting the hair and beard in a round shape seems to have been a practice of one or more of the pagan cults of that day. Its significance to them is not known today, but it was a sign of belief in a false religion. The Israelites were not to practice anything that symbolized false beliefs. This commandment probably was not meant to prevent Israelite men from trimming their hair or beard but to keep them from cutting them in a way that was used in some pagan religions of that time.

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)

Freeman 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. (Handbook of Bible manners and customs - published in 1875)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Ye shall not round the corners of your head. That is, shall not so shave off the hair of the head around the temples and behind the ears as to leave the head wholly bald, except a dish-like tuft upon the crown. This was in opposition to the usages of the heathen. The precept in the following clause relative to the beard is of equivalent import. They were to let it grow equally over all the lower part of the face.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:28 You must not slash your body for a dead person or incise a tattoo on yourself. I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:28 καὶ ἐντομίδας ἐπὶ ψυχῇ οὐ ποιήσετε ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν καὶ γράμματα στικτὰ οὐ ποιήσετε ἐν ὑμῖν ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:28 "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:28 " 'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put 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

Related Passages:

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.)


You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD

Leon Hyatt -  Marking the skin by cutting it to form scars or by tattooing it also were practices of pagan cults of that day. We do not know their precise reasons for doing so, but the words “for the soul” show that some “spirit” significance attached to it. The Israelites were to totally disassociate themselves from such practices to avoid all forms of false belief.

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.

FreemanMEMORIAL 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). (The Book of Leviticus)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead. Heb. לנמש lenephesh, for a soul; but this is the sense of the Heb. term in repeated instances, as Lev. 21, Num. 6:6, Hag. 2:13. They were not to maim or lacerate their persons in any manner in their mourning ceremonies, as with the vain idea of pacifying or propitiating the infernal spirits in behalf of the dead, a notion very prevalent among the heathen idolaters. Mourning habits they might put on, if they chose, and, with the exception of the high-priest, rend their garments in token of grief; but they were not to disfigure their bodies. This would be utterly unbecoming a people who were instructed to a better knowledge of a future state and of the invisible world than the ignorant heathen could be supposed to possess.

Nor print any marks upon you. ‘This is understood to forbid the practice of tattooing, that is, by means of colors rubbed over minute punctures made in the skin, to impress certain figures and characters on different parts of the body, and which in general remain indelible throughout life. The figures thus impressed on the arms and breasts of our sailors will serve in some degree to indicate the sort of ornament intended. It is well known to be common among savages and barbarians in almost all climates and countries—the aboriginal inhabitants of our own country not excepted, who, from having their naked bodies profusely ornamented, apparently in this style, were described by the Romans as painted savages. It seems in England to be more commonly regarded as a custom of savage islanders than as any thing more. Yet it is also an Oriental custom; and that too among people whose proximity to the Hebrews affords a reason for the interdiction. The Bedouin Arabs, and those inhabitants of towns who are in any way allied to them, are scarcely less fond of such decorations than any islanders of the Pacific Ocean. This is particularly the case among the females, who in general have their legs and arms, their front from the neck to the waist, and even their chins, noses, lips, and other prominent parts of the face disfigured with blue stains in the form of flowers, circles, bands, stars, and various fanciful figures. They have no figures of living objects, such being forbidden by their religion: neither do they associate any superstitions with them, so far as we were able to ascertain. They probably did both before the Mohammedan era, as their descendants in the island of Malta do at present. The men there generally go about without their jackets, and with their shirt sleeves tucked up above their elbows, and we scarcely recollect ever to have seen an arm thus bare which was not covered with religious emblems and figures of the Virgin, or of some saint under whose immediate protection the person thus marked conceived himself to be. Thus also, persons who visit the holy sepulchre and other sacred places in Palestine, have commonly a mark impressed upon the arm in testimony of their meritorious pilgrimage. The Hindoos also puncture upon their persons representations of birds, trees, and the gods they serve. Among them the representations are sometimes of a highly offensive description. All Hindoos have a black spot, or some other mark, upon their foreheads. It was probably the perversion of such figures to superstitious purposes, or being worn in honor of some idol, which occasioned them to be interdicted in the text before us—if such tattooing is really that which is here intended. As the marks are indelible, we of course, in taking this view, consider that a permanent fashion rather than a temporary mourning usage is here prohibited.’—P. Bib.

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.

  • making her a harlot  Lev 21:7 De 23:17 Ho 4:12-14 1Co 6:15 

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).

THOUGHT - 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).

Leon Hyatt -  Almost all English translations make this verse refer to a man’s causing his daughter to become a prostitute, especially a temple prostitute. (ASV, NASB, and RSV translate “make her a harlot”; HCSB, CJB and LITV, “make her a prostitute”; KJV and MSG, “make her a whore”; CEV, “let your daughter serve as a temple prostitute”; GNB, “making them temple prostitutes.” However, BBE uses “by letting her become a loose woman”) The word actually means “to commit fornication.” Likely the meaning was that a man should not encourage his daughter to participate in sexual rites in a temple or shrine of a fertility cult. She would not have to become a prostitute to participate in such rites. Canaanite cults were notorious for sex rites that were supposed to encourage reproduction of people, animals, and crops. If the Israelites allowed or encouraged their daughters to participate in those fertility rites, soon the land would be filled with people committing fornication simply for lust, and wickedness would abound. This warning is a flat contradiction of the mischievous arguments of ungodly men who say that licensed prostitution would protect society by giving men a sexual outlet, which they would otherwise seek to find in innocent or helpless women and girls. Prostitution does not control sex abuse. It spreads it.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Do not prostitute thy daughter, &c. Heb. אל תחלה al te’hallël, do not make abominable or profane. Gr. ου βεβηλωσεις thou shalt not profane, desecrate, or pollute. This alludes to the abominable custom of the heathen, among whom the women prostituted themselves in their temples as an act of religion. At Babylon this was done, according to Herodotus, by women of all ranks, before they were married; and from the following remarks of Mr. Roberts (Orient. Illust.) it appears that the same depraved practice is still kept up in India.—‘Parents, in consequence of a vow or some other circumstance, often dedicate their daughters to the gods. They are sent to the temple, at the age of eight or ten years, to be initiated into the art of dancing before the deities, and of singing songs in honor of their exploits. From that period these dancing girls remain in some sacred building near the temple; and when they arrive at maturity (the parents being made acquainted with the fact), a feast is made, and the poor girl is given into the embraces of some influential man of the establishment Practices of the most disgusting nature then take place, and the young victim becomes a prostitute for life.’ From all such horrid abominations the sanctuary of God was to be kept free, and all licentiousness among the people at large to be discouraged to the utmost. It can hardly be supposed that any parent would be so far lost to all the instincts of natural affection, as knowingly and of set design to surrender a beloved daughter to a life of infamy, degradation, and sin; but be might do this indirectly, by not restraining her from such customs and associations as would tend to lead to it; and it is the usual idiom of the Scriptures to speak of that as actually done by a person which he does not prevent when it was in the power of his hand to do it. Whether the prohibition is pointed against the exposing of daughters to prostitution as a part of religion, is, we think, considerably doubtful, although it may have been so. But there is no room to question that the explanation above given is true at any rate. Parents were not to prostitute their daughters by suffering them to be exposed to the danger of prostitution.

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 qodesh 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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:30 "'You must keep my Sabbaths and fear my sanctuary. I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:30 τὰ σάββατά μου φυλάξεσθε καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁγίων μου φοβηθήσεσθε ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος

NLT  Leviticus 19:30 "Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:30 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:30 " 'Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.

  • keep (KJV): Lev 19:3 26:2 
  • reverence (KJV): Lev 10:3 15:31 16:2 Ge 28:16,17 2Ch 33:7 36:14 Ps 89:7 Ec 5:1 Eze 9:6 Mt 21:13  Joh 2:15,16 2Co 6:16 1Pe 4:17 

You shall keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD.

Leon Hyatt -  Israelites were to respect the time and place set aside to worship Jehovah. “Sabbaths” referred to more than just the weekly sabbath. It included all the days set aside for ceasing secular activities to worship God. Observing Jehovah’s sabbaths had been commanded in verse 3 above in connection with respecting parents (see comments on that verse above under the heading My sabbaths). Here it is commanded in connection with respecting The Tabernacle. Respecting times for worship has a vital connection with both. The word translated “Holiness” is a variation of the word used to refer to The Tabernacle in Leviticus 12:4 (see comments on that verse in MESSAGE 15 under the heading The Holiness). It describes The Tabernacle as a holy place set aside for Jehovah’s worship. Fearing The Holiness did not mean to stand in terror of it but to stand in awe of it to be sure it was honored and respected. Respect for the sabbaths and for The Tabernacle was to be enforced by civil authority.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Ye shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary. These precepts are doubtless here conjoined from the intimate relation which the observance of the one has to that of the other. Neglect or profanation of the Sabbath not only accompanies, but in great measure consists in, the habitual disregard of the worship of the sanctuary.

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  Leviticus 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

NET  Leviticus 19:31 Do not turn to the spirits of the dead and do not seek familiar spirits to become unclean by them. I am the LORD your God.

BGT  Leviticus 19:31 οὐκ ἐπακολουθήσετε ἐγγαστριμύθοις καὶ τοῖς ἐπαοιδοῖς οὐ προσκολληθήσεσθε ἐκμιανθῆναι ἐν αὐτοῖς ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:31 "Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:31 "Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.

NIV  Leviticus 19:31 " 'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

  • Lev 19:26 20:6,7,27 Ex 22:18 De 18:10-14 1Sa 28:3,7-9 2Ki 17:17 2Ki 21:6 1Ch 10:13 2Ch 33:6 Isa 8:19 29:4 47:13 Ac 8:11 Ac 13:6-8 16:16-18 19:19,20 Ga 5:20 Rev 21:8 

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

Leon Hyatt -  Two other forms of fortune telling are mentioned in this verse. The use of the first term in 1 Sam. 28:7 indicates that it referred to divination by contact with the spirits of the dead, which is called “necromancy.” The second term is related to the word “to know,” indicating that it refers to divination through special intuitive powers or through “extra-sensory perception.” If any information that is received from a practitioner of the occult is true or real, it is received through contact with demons. It does not come from spirits of dead humans or from some mysterious mental telepathy. Information obtained from demons, even if true or partially true, can serve no good purpose. Such practices have no place in the life of Jehovah worshipers. Like the words in verse 26b, these words for divination probably should not be understood in their narrowest possible meaning. They were probably intended to prohibit visiting any type of practitioner in fortune telling or divination. All forms of fortune telling are demonic and dangerous. The difference in emphasis in this verse from that of verse 26b is that there the Israelites were forbidden to become fortune tellers, whereas in this verse they were forbidden to visit or patronize fortune tellers. The expression “to be made unclean” uses the word “unclean” in a moral sense. The word usually refers to ceremonial uncleanness; however, ceremonial uncleanness symbolized sin. Therefore, the word easily carried over to refer to sin itself (see comments on Lev. 1e8:24-25 in MESSAGE 22). It is used in that sense in this verse. The uncleanness that resulted from visiting a fortune teller was moral and spiritual uncleanness, of which ceremonial uncleanness was a symbol. Visiting a fortune teller is a sin because it is associating with

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. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

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).(The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

d. Respect for the sabbaths and for The Tabernacle was to be enforced by civil authority.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Regard not them that have familiar spirits. Heb. אל תפנו אל חאבת al tiphnu el hâoboth, turn not to the oboth. Go not after them to consult them, nor follow their directions. Gr. ουκ επακολουθησεσθε, follow not. We give the term oboth without translating, because we have no English word that precisely answers to it. Its literal sense is that of leathern bottles or water-skins, which would of course be in a state of-distension or swelling when filled with water. This circumstance seems to have been the ground of the application of the term to sorcerers, necromancers, or ventriloquists, (Gr. εγγαστριμυθοι, speakers out of the belly), who, in the practice of their pretended magical rites and incantations, and I while under the alleged influence of the inspiring demon, became greatly inflated, and in that state uttered their oracles, as if the spirit himself spoke from within them. The Chal. has בדיך biddin, pythons, to which we have a distinct allusion Acts 16:16, ‘And it came to pass as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination (Gr. πνευμα πυθωνος, spirit of python), met us,’ &c. Python was a name of Apollo, and this damsel was actuated as his priests or priestesses were supposed to be in delivering oracles at Delphos. She was doubtless of the class of persons denounced in this passage. Grammatically, we suppose, אבות oboth in this place requires the supply of the word בעל baal, or בעלת baalath, master or mistress of Ob, as it is expressed 1 Sam. 28:7, in respect to the witch of Endor, who is called בעלת אוב baalath ob, mistress of Ob, but translated in our version one that ‘had a familiar spirit.’ So by a like figure of speech ‘spirits’ is used for (spiritual gifts,’ and for those who exercise them, 1 Cor. 14:12, 32.—1 John 4:1.

Neither seek after wizards. Heb. ידענים yiddeonim, knowing ones. The term in its radical meaning implies knowledge (from ידע yâda, to know), and is here applied to men as the preceding is to women. It is agreed that the word denotes generally those who, by means or magical and cabalistic arts, professed to become acquainted with future events, to know the good or evil that awaited human life. They are joined with the masters or possessors of ‘familiar spirits’ above-mentioned, as like them in sin, and both were to be put to death by the magistrate, according to ch. 20:27, which contains the penalty of this crime. ‘A man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.’ The reason for this precept’s coming in juxta-position with the former enjoining reverence of the sanctuary is thus intimated in the paraphrase of R. Chazkuni:—‘Ye shall reverence my sanctuary; therefore turn not to them that have familiar spirits, nor to wizards; for what have you to do with such? Behold, you have a sanctuary wherein is Urim and Thummim.’

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

KJV  Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:32 You must stand up in the presence of the aged, honor the presence of an elder, and fear your God. I am the LORD.

BGT  Leviticus 19:32 ἀπὸ προσώπου πολιοῦ ἐξαναστήσῃ καὶ τιμήσεις πρόσωπον πρεσβυτέρου καὶ φοβηθήσῃ τὸν θεόν σου ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:32 "Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD.

ESV  Leviticus 19:32 "You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

NIV  Leviticus 19:32 " 'Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.

  • Lev 19:14 1Ki 2:19 Job 32:4,6 Pr 16:31 20:29 Isa 3:5 La 5:12 Ro 13:7 1Ti 5:1 1Pe 2:17 


You shall rise up before the gray headed and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the LORD.

Revering old people equates with revering God.

Leon Hyatt -  Respect of the elderly was required of the Israelites by law. The wisdom and experience of the elderly was to be honored and followed. Jehovah did not think that age made people out of date and ignorant. Instead He taught that their years of experience gave them wisdom that was to be honored by all. In like manner, Israelites were to fear God in the sense of honoring and reverencing Him. Respecting the wisdom that comes from years of experience is akin to honoring 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). (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head. Heb. מפני שיבה mippenë shëbâh, before the greyness or hoariness; the abstract for the concrete, as in numerous other instances. Chal. ‘Him that is skilful in the law.’ How much praise have the Spartan institutions justly obtained for cherishing this principle, yet how much more energetic and authoritative is the language of the Jewish code, coming as it does directly from Jehovah himself! In commanding reverence to be paid to the aged, he in fact ordains it to that which is a feeble image of his own eternity. He is denominated the ‘Ancient of days,’ and when he is represented as having ‘the hair of his head like the pure wool,’ he is pleased to represent himself as having the distinguishing characteristic of old age. There is probably no object in creation so fitted to inspire reverence as the sight of the snowy locks of the old man, and consequently the duty here enjoined has been recognized in all civilized nations, as one the violation of which is deserving of the severest punishment. Even a heathen Juvenal (Sat. 13.) could say—‘Hoc grande nefas, et morte piandum, si juvenis vetulo non assurrexerat.’

And fear thy God. Heb. יראת מאלהיך yârëthâ mëelohëkâ, fear from (before) thy gods. That is, as many of the Jewish writers understand it, reverence thy judges or magistrates, who are repeatedly called אלחים Elohim, gods, in the sacred writings. They suppose accordingly that there are three degrees or ranks of men implied in this verse towards each of I which becoming tokens of honor and reverence are here expressly enjoined; (1.) the aged in general; (2.) the wise and learned; (3.) judges and magistrates. But if taken as read in our translation, it clearly shows how intimate is the connexion in God’s sight, between a devout fear of himself and a becoming reverence of those who are his most natural representatives to the eyes of mortals.

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

KJV  Leviticus 19:33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

NET  Leviticus 19:33 When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you must not oppress him.

BGT  Leviticus 19:33 ἐὰν δέ τις προσέλθῃ προσήλυτος ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ γῇ ὑμῶν οὐ θλίψετε αὐτόν

NLT  Leviticus 19:33 "Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land.

ESV  Leviticus 19:33 "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.

NIV  Leviticus 19:33 " 'When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.

  • And if (KJV): Ex 22:21 23:9 De 10:18,19 24:14 Mal 3:5 
  • vex him (KJV): or, oppress him, Jer 7:6 Eze 22:7,29 

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.

Leon Hyatt -  Sojourners were people of other nations who had accepted Jehovah and who had become naturalized citizens of Israel ( Lev. 16:29  Lev. 17:8 in Lev. 19:10). The Israelites were not to oppress or mistreat such people. Instead, they were to love them as themselves. They were to have the same feelings toward them that they had toward people who were born Israelites. The main element the Israelites had in common was not blood line but faith in Jehovah. So a person who was born of another nation but who accepted Jehovah as His God had the quality that made him one of them.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land ye shall not vex him. Heb. לא תונו אתו lo tonu otho, ye shall not afflict, oppress him. Gr. ου θλιψετε αυτον ye shall not afflict him. By the Targum of Jonathan and by Sol. Jarchi, it is understood of vexations of words, such as saying to him, ‘Yesterday thou wast an idolater, and now thou comest to learn the law which was given from the mouth of God.’ It is supposed that the stranger was not an idolater, but a worshipper of the God of Israel, though not circumcised; a proselyte of righteousness. If such an one sojourned among them, they must not vex him, nor oppress, nor overreach him in a bargain, taking advantage of his ignorance of their laws and customs; they must reckon it as great a sin to cheat a stranger, as to cheat an Israelite. As all men are children of one common father, it argues a generous disposition and a pious regard to God to show kindness to strangers.

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

NET  Leviticus 19:34 The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

BGT  Leviticus 19:34 ὡς ὁ αὐτόχθων ἐν ὑμῖν ἔσται ὁ προσήλυτος ὁ προσπορευόμενος πρὸς ὑμᾶς καὶ ἀγαπήσεις αὐτὸν ὡς σεαυτόν ὅτι προσήλυτοι ἐγενήθητε ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

ESV  Leviticus 19:34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

NIV  Leviticus 19:34 The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

  • Lev 19:18 Ex 12:48,49 De 10:19 Mt 5:43 

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.

Leon Hyatt -  Jehovah reminded the Israelites that they had been sojourners in Egypt. They knew how it felt to be rejected because of having a different national origin, and they were not to treat their naturalized citizens as they had been treated in Egypt.

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.

Above all else, we are instructed to ’ahav (love) God more than anything or anyone else (Dt 6:5). This Jesus indicated was one of the two main pillars upon which the entire OT rested (Mt 22:33–40). ’Ahav is also often used to describe the unspeakable love and tender mercies of God in the covenant relationship with His people. God certainly loved His people (Dt 4:37; Isa 43:4; Mal 1:2). 

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

KJV  Leviticus 19:35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.

NET  Leviticus 19:35 You must not do injustice in the regulation of measures, whether of length, weight, or volume.

BGT  Leviticus 19:35 οὐ ποιήσετε ἄδικον ἐν κρίσει ἐν μέτροις καὶ ἐν σταθμίοις καὶ ἐν ζυγοῖς

NLT  Leviticus 19:35 "Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume.

ESV  Leviticus 19:35 "You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity.

NIV  Leviticus 19:35 " 'Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.

  • You shall do no wrong in judgment: Lev 19:15 
  • in measurement of weight, or capacity.: De 25:13,15 Pr 11:1 16:11 20:10 Eze 22:12,13 Am 8:5,6 Mic 6:1 Mt 7:2 

You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity.

Leon Hyatt -  When Israelites engaged in buying and selling, they were to be honest in measuring the goods they sold and the money they paid. “Judgment” referred to goods sold by estimating the amounts sold or bought. “Weight” and “quantity” referred to the weight and the amount of the goods sold or bought.

George Bush - Leviticus 19 Commentary 

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment. The word ‘judgment’ in this connexion is very plausibly referred by the Hebrew writers to all the particulars that follow. On this construction it is held, that Moses uses the word here in order to intimate of what solemn moment he would have the law considered, which relates to true measures and weights. The man that falsified either was to be regarded as a corrupter of judgment, an emphatic designation, equivalent to vile, wicked, abominable in a very high degree.

In mete-yard. Heb. במדה bammiddâh; a measure of length or surface, such as the yard, cubit, foot, span, &c.

In weight. Heb. במשקל bammishkol; such as the talent, shekel,

In measure. Heb. במשורה bammesurâh; by which is denoted pleasures of capacity, such as the homer, ephah, seah, hin, &c. In all these articles, as well as in the balances or scales, weight-stones, &c., mentioned in the next verse, they were to observe the most honest exactness, and never allow themselves to practise any species of fraud in their dealings and commerce, because they might not think it of easy detection.
In view of the general contents of this chapter, who can but feel how admirable are such language and sentiments, and how suited to the sacred original from which they flow! How strongly do they attest the divine benevolence which dictated the Jewish law, and the divine authority which alone could enforce such precepts by adequate sanctions, and impress such sentiments upon the human heart with practical conviction!

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.

KJV  Leviticus 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

NET  Leviticus 19:36 You must have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt.

BGT  Leviticus 19:36 ζυγὰ δίκαια καὶ στάθμια δίκαια καὶ χοῦς δίκαιος ἔσται ὑμῖν ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν ὁ ἐξαγαγὼν ὑμᾶς ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου

NLT  Leviticus 19:36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

ESV  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 of the land of Egypt.

NIV  Leviticus 19:36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

  • Just balances: Pr 11:1 
  • I am: Ex 20:2 

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.

Leon Hyatt -  “Balances” referred to the scales used in weighing both the goods sold and the money paid. In Moses’ day, coins were not used, and gold or silver used in payment were weighed on balance scales. “Weights” referred to the discs placed on one side of a balance scale to determine the weight of goods placed on the other side of the scale. “Ephah” referred to a container used to measure the quantity of dry goods sold or bought (see Lev. 5:11 and Lev. 6:20. “Hin” referred to a container used to measure the quantity of liquids sold or bought (see Lev. 6:20 and Lev. 23:13). The Israelites were to use accurate measurements of all kinds in making transactions. Even when amounts were determined by estimation, they were to be honest in their estimates. Dishonest gain in business had no place among Jehovah’s people. Dishonesty in business deals was a crime.

Spurgeon - 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.'"

KJV  Leviticus 19:37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.

NET  Leviticus 19:37 You must be sure to obey all my statutes and regulations. I am the LORD.'"

BGT  Leviticus 19:37 καὶ φυλάξεσθε πάντα τὸν νόμον μου καὶ πάντα τὰ προστάγματά μου καὶ ποιήσετε αὐτά ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν

NLT  Leviticus 19:37 "You must be careful to keep all of my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the LORD."

ESV  Leviticus 19:37 And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the LORD."

NIV  Leviticus 19:37 " 'Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the LORD.' "

  • Lev 18:4,5 De 4:1,2,5,6 5:1 6:1,2 8:1 Ps 119:4,34 1Jn 3:22,23 

You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am the LORD

Leon Hyatt -  All the laws set forth in this message were based on the authority of Jehovah their God, who had brought them out of Egypt. He had the right to ask them to obey because of what He had done for them. He also expected them to obey because He had verbally revealed their civil laws to them. They were to respect and obey those laws because they respected the commands and authority of their God. The words translated “statutes” and “judgments” are the same two words used in Lev 18:4,5

Leon Hyatt applies the teaching of Leviticus 19 - 

In New Testament times, Jehovah’s people are not a nation in the same sense that Israel was. We are a called-out people from all nations, ethnic groups, and languages. The way of life outlined for us by Jehovah is not enforced by governmental authority, though governments should base their laws on the principles taught by Jehovah. However, Christians still need an authority to correct them when they go astray. That responsibility belongs to the church. According to the New Testament, churches should exercise some authority in influencing their members to obey the life taught by the Lord. That authority is not one of force but one of moral persuasion and isolation. When directed toward believers, persuasion and isolation have great power and influence. Churches that fail to exert that influence are unfair to their members and unfaithful to God. When members fail to obey God’s laws and churches fail to enforce them, Jehovah makes a judgment and sends a punishment, often both on the offender and on the church. His punishment comes to the disobedient can come in many ways. We are wise if we recognize His hand of punishment and correct our ways.

The principles outlined in this message are valid for people of New Testament times, as well as for the people of ancient Israel. Not all of the laws are appropriate in their exact wording, because they were made to fit the circumstances of that day. However, the moral and spiritual principles involved in all of these laws can and should be applied to our lives today. Even the laws concerning ceremonial observances in verses 5-8; 23- 25 have lessons for believers today. The moral and spiritual principles involved in those laws need to be understood and followed by all of us. How those principles apply to Christians has been discussed in connection with most of the laws given in this MESSAGE. Actually the New Testament challenges Christians to follow higher moral standards than Jehovah expected of the Israelites. God’s moral principles are the same in all ages, but Christians have greater understanding of those standards through revelations that came through Jesus. We should follow them more closely than the ancient Israelites did.

Some question whether Christians today are expected to obey literally the command in verse 26a not to eat blood. The New Testament indicates that we are obligated to obey that command, because we are expected to respect life, especially human life, as much or more than the Israelites were (see Lev. 7:26-27. That obligation for Christians is stated most clearly and directly in Acts 15:28-29.