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Leviticus: Chapter 19

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Text view alone

1The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak 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. 3You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. 4Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the LORD your God.

5When you offer a sacrifice of well‐being to the LORD, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable in your behalf. 6It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. 7if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. 8All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the LORD; and any such person shall be cut off from the people.

9When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God.

11You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. 12And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the LORD.

13You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 14You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

15You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer a Heb as their uncircumcision among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood b Heb uncircumcision of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

17You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

19You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your animals breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials.

20If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is a slave, designated for another man but not ransomed or given her freedom, an inquiry shall be held. They shall not be put to death, since she has not been freed; 21but he shall bring a guilt offering for himself to the LORD, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram as guilt offering. 22And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of guilt offering before the LORD for his sin that he committed; and the sin he committed shall be forgiven him.

23When you come into the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall regard their fruit as forbidden; c Heb repeats if a man commits adultery with the wife of three years it shall be forbidden d A term for several skin diseases; precise meaning uncertain to you, it must not be eaten. 24In the fourth year all their fruit shall be set apart for rejoicing in the LORD. 25But in the fifth year you may eat of their fruit, that their yield may be increased for you: I am the LORD your God.

26You shall not eat anything with its blood. You shall not practice augury or witchcraft. 27You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

29Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, that the land not become prostituted and full of depravity. 30You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

31Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

32You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

33When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. 34The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

35You shall not cheat in measuring length, weight, or quantity. 36You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37You shall keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and observe them: I am the LORD.


c Heb as their uncircumcision

d Heb uncircumcision

a Heb repeats if a man commits adultery with the wife of

a A term for several skin diseases; precise meaning uncertain

Text Commentary view alone

19.1–37 : Various laws.

Many of these laws display ethical concerns.

2 :

The people become holy by keeping God's commandments ( 11.44–45; 20.7–8,24–26; Num 15.40–41 ). Cf. Ex 19.6; Deut 14.2,21; 26.19; 28.6 . The “Holiness School” and “Holiness Collection” (see Introduction) derive their names from this verse.

3–4 :

Cf. the Decalogue, Ex 20.12,8–11,2–6 . Some have suggested that the Decalogue is elsewhere reflected in this chapter.

5–8 :

Cf. 7.15–18 . In contrast to the earlier Priestly Torah treatment of sacrifices at the beginning of Leviticus, the focus here, in the Holiness Collection, is on the lay Israelite.

9–10 :

Cf. 23.22; 25.2–7; Ruth 2.1–10 .

11–13 :

Cf. the Decalogue, Ex 20.15,7, 16 .

14 :

Cf. Deut 27.18 .

17–18 :

For attitudes and actions toward aliens, as opposed to one's kin or people as discussed here, see vv. 33–34. Cf. 25.39–46 .

18b :

This verse, along with Deut 6.5 , is quoted in Mt 22.37–40 (cf. Mk 12.28–33; Lk 10.27; Rom 13.9; Gal 5.14 ).

19 :

One reason mixtures are prohibited is that such prohibitions are reminders that the people, keeping themselves distinct, are holy (cf. Deut 22.9–11 ). See Num 15.37–41n.

20–22 :

If the woman here were free and betrothed, the couple would have been put to death ( 20.10; cf. Deut 22.23–27 ).

23–25 :

Forbidden, perhaps a remnant of fertility propitiation. The fruit of the fourth year is given to God, a type of first‐fruits offering. After God receives his share, the people can use the fruit ( 23.14 ). Cf. Num 18.32n.

26 :

Blood, 3.17n. Augury or witchcraft, forms of divination (cf. v. 31; Gen 44.5,15; Isa 2.6; Ezek 21.26–28; see Num 22.3 ).

27–28 :

Cf. 21.5n.

29 :

A father might force his daughter to prostitution for economic reasons. Cf. 21.9 .

32 :

Cf. v. 3; Isa 3.5 .

33–34 :

Cf. vv. 17–18 .

35–36 :

Deut 25.13–16; Am 8.5; Mic 6.10–11 . An ephah was a dry measure equivalent to ca. 23 l (21 qt); a hin was a liquid measure equivalent to ca. 3.8 l (1 gal).

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