Lev 19:1 The LORD said to Moses,

Lev 19:2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

Lev 19:3 “‘Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.

Lev 19:4 “‘Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.

Lev 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.

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

Lev 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.

Lev 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.

Lev 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.

Lev 19:11 “‘Do not steal. “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another.

Lev 19:12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

Lev 19:13 “‘Do not defraud your neighbour or rob him. “‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.

‘It was not just Jesus who showed the deeper relevance of the law. The eighth, ninth and third commandments are compressed into vs 11–12, and then shown to be relevant to all forms of cheating or deception in general, and to employment relations in particular.’ (NBC)

Lev 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.

Lev 19:15 “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.

Lev 19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour’s life. I am the LORD.

The picture here is of the tale-bearer going ‘up and down’, spreading malicious gossip.

Cf. Psa 15:3.

Lev 19:17 “‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbour frankly so that you will not share in his guilt.

‘If we apprehend that our neighbour has any way wronged us, we must not conceive a secret grudge against him, and estrange ourselves from him, speaking to him neither bad nor good, as the manner of some is, who have the art of concealing their displeasure till they have an opportunity of a full revenge (2 Sa. 13:22); but we must rather give vent to our resentments with the meekness of wisdom, endeavour to convince our brother of the injury, reason the case fairly with him, and so put an end to the disgust conceived: this is the rule our Saviour gives in this case, Lk 17:3.’ (MHC)

‘Friendly reproof is a duty we owe to one another, and we ought both to give it and take it in love.’ (MHC)

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Lev 19:18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the LORD.

‘A “neighbor” was anyone with whom there was contact, whether Israelite (v. 17) or alien (v. 34; cf. Matt. 22:39, 40; Rom. 13:9).’ (Reformation Study Bible)

‘The law of love for one’s fellows is enunciated only here and in verse 34, and appears to embrace members of the covenant community (‘sons of your own people’) along with aliens and strangers who lived among them. Indeed, the terms ‘love’ and ‘neighbour’ seem to have been as comprehensive in scope then as now. This so-called ‘golden rule’ was quoted by Christ (Matt. 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27, etc.) as an ideal of altruistic behaviour in society. The sentiment underlying this aphorism was unique in the ancient world, and represents one of the Old Testament’s most outstanding moral precepts.’ (Harrison)

‘The great parable on this verse is the story of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:30–37). Its usual interpretation is that to love your neighbor is to help the unfortunate as the Good Samaritan did. Another view notes that the Good Samaritan is the hero of the story. Jesus asked who had become neighbor to the wounded man. The obvious answer is, the Samaritan. Then, Jesus implies, “Love the Samaritan.” This the lawyer never did. He did not really keep the law and thus needed God’s grace. This is somewhat more limited than the Levitical law that forbids revenge and anger against any “one of your people.”‘ (EBC)

‘We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; and in like manner we should love our neighbour. Our Saviour has made this the second great commandment of the law (Mt. 22:39), and the apostle shows how it is the summary of all the laws of the second table, Rom. 13:9, 10; Gal. 5:14. We must love our neighbour as truly as we love ourselves, and without dissimulation; we must evidence our love to our neighbour in the same way as that by which we evidence our love to ourselves, preventing his hurt, and procuring his good, to the utmost of our power. We must do to our neighbour as we would be done to ourselves (Mt. 7:12), putting our souls into his soul’s stead, Job 16:4, 5. Nay, we must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour, as Paul, 1 Co. 9:19, etc. Herein the gospel goes beyond even that excellent precept of the law; for Christ, by laying down his life for us, has taught us even to lay down our lives for the brethren, in some cases (1 Jn. 3:16), and so to love our neighbour better than ourselves.’ (MHC)

Lev 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.

These commands seem to be about the risk of spoiling a good product through adulteration.  Planting a field with wheat and barley, for example, would make harvesting difficult, because the two crops would ripen at different times.  Weaving flax and wool together would lead to unequal shrinkage and take-up of dye.

The command against the mating of different kinds of animals is more problemmatic.  In the parallel passage in Deut 22:9-11 the prohibition is against yoking an ox and a donkey together.  It may be that both passage are, in fact, about the mismatching, rather than the mismating, of animals.  After all, horses and donkeys were regularly mated (to produce sterile mules) without any adverse comment.  It may be that the NIV translation is incorrect.  The word translated ‘mate’ actually means ‘lie down’.  ‘Possibly the figure in Lev 19:19 is not sexual at all but more naturally would forbid causing different animals to bear a load in such a way that it would be an unequal load under which they would fall. If this interpretation is adopted, the law would fit beautifully its parallel in Deuteronomy. Indeed, the LXX on Lev 19:19 can be read, “You shall not hold down your animals with an unequal yoke.” The word “hold down” is rare and is translated here sexually by some, but its derivatives usually refer to “restraint” in general. We suggest, therefore, something like, “Do not make your animals fall down with an unequal yoke.”‘ (EBC)

Lev 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.

Lev 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 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.

Lev 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.

Lev 19:24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.

Lev 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 19:26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. “‘Do not practise divination or sorcery.

Lev 19:27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

Lev 19:28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.

Lev 19:29 “‘Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.

Lev 19:30 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.

Lev 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 19:32 “‘Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.

Lev 19:33 “‘When an alien lives with you in your land, do not ill-treat him.

Lev 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 19:35 “‘Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.

Lev 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.

Lev 19:37 “‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the LORD.’”

 

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