Created Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, done Thursday, Mar. 6, 2008

Lessons From the Law
Commentary on Leviticus


Sub-headings:

Leviticus: Chapters: 

1-9

10-15

16-20

21-24 25 26-27

Related Articles


Leviticus 1-9
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[{Leviticus chapters 1-9 begins describing all the details of the various sacrifices to be made to God. In 8- 9, Instructions are given and Aaron offers sacrifices to atone for himself in order to qualify as the priest, and then for all Israel. There are noteworthy passages from chapters 5 and 6.}]

Leviticus 5:1 And when a person sins, and hears the voice of swearing, and he is a witness, or has seen, or has known, if he does not reveal it, then he shall bear his iniquity.

[{This is an important statement for us in our day. We all see and hear many things, and often we look the other way. There are some good and bad reasons why that is so. First, many of us do not care any more. That is bad. We have an obligation to God to be witnesses and testify about anything we may see or hear. If a friend, relative, or someone else close comes and tells you they committed a serious crime, what do you do? Many keep quiet and cover it up. We let our feelings get in the way of justice and God says that is wrong.

But we have come to expect the world to do this. But what happens when Christians do this? That is of particular concern as regards keeping a church or congregation spiritually clean. Christians need to police themselves and keep themselves free from evil deeds. They must be ever vigilant to get rid of bad sinful elements among them. Look at the disgrace and shame of the Catholic church in the revelations of the many sex abuses and worse, sex cover-ups.

What that means is that not only are the sinful priests guilty, but all those who cover over their sins are equally guilty of the same crime by helping to cover it up rather than at least excommunicate the priests, publicly exposing them to the flock, and perhaps even turning them over to the authorities appointed by God to punish such matters; that is, the governments and courts.

Instead, the Catholic Church is known as a haven and refuge for the wicked. What a terrible thing to be said about any group. This is why it is so important for any group to police themselves and be vigilant about it so that everyone takes them seriously when they say they stand for something.

Another problem with testifying in secular courts is that if it is against crime, organized crime or gang crime in particular, witnesses are almost certain to be killed or their families killed. In my opinion, when things are this bad, the government needs alternate temporary rules whereby they watch gangs and who hangs around with them and, in the event of a killing of a witness, the authorities go out and round up anyone who is associated with gang members in anyway, and execute them all immediately.

For one, those covering over gang activities are deserving of death according to the Mosaic law, due to covering up for the guilty parties. 2nd, killing witnesses is about the most serious threat there is to a justice system.

Third, taking such action wipes out gangs pretty quick and discourages them from continuing to kill witnesses since doing such results in the destruction of the whole gang and anyone close to them. So they are cutting their own throats when they kill a witness. At least when only one or several commit a crime and are caught and executed if it was a serious crime, that is better than if the whole gang and all their friends and relatives were to die. They will almost certainly be willing to suffer their appropriate sentence if they stand to lose far more if they do not, by trying to kill the witness and get out of it. God's way would prevent them thinking they could escape the law and justice.

But governments, in my opinion, rather like gang activities or at least benefit from them, as such activities discourage law and order and promote chaos and disorder, eventually creating very desperate citizens who will beg for relief and accept any form or relief, including, perhaps, martial law, which might please a government whose backers and promoters might like to have such a form of government. Of course, I could be all wrong. It is just a thought. Let he who has ears listen to what the spirit says.

Whatever the case, protecting witnesses is absolutely essential to anyone who wants to protect and promote justice and law. Witnesses can't afford to lose their lives in the pursuit of justice. Their families can not afford it, either. Whether one wants to admit it or not, it is pretty obvious that if a witness is to testify to what he has seen or heard, without any fear or sympathy for the accused, he must be protected from revenge of those he must accuse and testify against.

On the other hand, today one could also lose a job if one were to honestly testify to something they saw or heard. This too, is a wrong that those in power have inadequately sought to protect. A Christians might conclude that since they are not honest in their pursuit of justice and protecting witnesses from revenge of one sort or another, some being very subtle forms of revenge, that he is not obligated to testify or be honest.

This is a difficult call but as I see it, a Christian must not lie. The Bible says we should rejoice when suffering for righteousness sake. But if we simply say nothing, who do we hurt. Well, we hurt justice and those who depend on justice, the average citizen. Then again, if the citizens, in their apathetic disregard for enforcing proper laws and protections from their representatives, could represent their own permission for one to ignore a corrupt system in which there is no protection and preservation of law and order. The people have spoken and should get what they ask for, should they not?

Really, I see this as a very difficult decision, one that is not clearly black and white but consists of many shades of ambiguous gray. I believe that the safe decision would be to take honesty and integrity seriously. But should one refrain from testifying? God's law says no. God's law was abolished, though. Some believe that "Caesar" does not seem to take law and justice seriously so why should anyone else! There is something to be said for that. If those in charge are lying and playing a wicked game, I do not see why we would have to play along in that wicked game, to our own demise.

But God's law was considerably different from Caesar's. Under God's law, being a witness was important and so was protecting the witness at all cost. To allow a witness to suffer would be to allow God's system and law to be destroyed, which brings God's angry vengeful judgement and destruction. God does not want His system corrupted or destroyed. Every implications is that is a witness must not hesitate to witness, no matter who it affects, including friends and relatives, then he must be protected if we are to honor God.

In the end, no one should feel bad if their conscience demands they testify honestly, leaving nothing out, even if it means ham to them. God will reward all who suffer unjustly due to abiding by His principles. There is a great reward for that, to be sure. But I am not so sure that a false game of deceit in the pursuit of justice does not allow one to forsake testifying, knowing that the court might not be interested in a proper outcome, anyway. Each Christian has to make his/her own decision.

And each Christian should respect the choice that each of their brothers and sisters make in this regard, when dealing with Caesar's laws and courts. But let us be clear about this one thing! When Christians are judging or dealing with other Christians among themselves, then they can not avoid testifying to anything and everything they might have seen, heard, or otherwise witnessed. They must be honest and also not leave anything out. God will judge all wickedness and corruption, especially that in His own house.

But isn't it interesting to note how God puts responsibility on each and every person who follows Him. Each one has a part in keeping God's law and carrying out justice and how sacred and important that should. How sad that governments do not appreciate how important that is for their own survival. A kingdom divided against itself can not stand, so says Jesus. And a kingdom that allows or even encourages injustice to prevail, will not last very long. That kingdom will crumble from within.}]

Leviticus 6:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 If any person sins and is slyly treacherous against Jehovah, and deals falsely with his neighbor concerning a deposit, or concerning security, or by robbery, or has extorted his neighbor,
3 or has found a lost thing and has lied about it, and has sworn to a falsehoods regards to any one of all these which a man does, sinning in them,
4 then it shall be, when he sins and is guilty, he shall return what he got by robbery, that which he robbed, or the extorted thing which he extorted, or the deposit which had been deposited with him, or the lost thing which he had found;
5 or all that about which he swore falsely; he shall even repay it in its principal, and the fifth part he shall add to it; to whomever it belongs. He shall give it on the day of his guilt offering.
6 And he shall bring his guilt offering to Jehovah: a ram, a perfect one out of the flock, at your evaluation for a guilt offering, to the priest.
7 And the priest shall make atonement for him before Jehovah, and as regards to one thing of all that he has done, it shall be forgiven him, by being guilty in it.

[{When is comes to sins of a primarily financial nature, it is possible to make up for what was taken or cheated to get. In addition, a fine was to be paid, not to the judges or courts, composed in Mosaic law of the older men of the town or community, who did it as an obligation to God for which they got no money. The fine went to the one robbed or cheated. After the victim was repaid, including the extra fine imposed by law, then the person who robbed or cheated must then offer a sacrifice (yet another loss for his crime) to God.

Criminals today, do not have to pay anything back to those they rob. They serve a prison term whereby if they are put to work, the state enjoys the benefits of their labor, but the victims do not. It would be my opinion that if our system of today followed God's law, which they are not obligated to do, even though God will judge them for not doing so, then a prisoner's labor, if he was a thief, would go toward his room, board, and keep in prison, with the remainder, (and there should be a remainder if the money earned from his labor is charged at near market value) would be paid out to the victim until the victim had received full compensation plus penalties. When the full amount and penalties are repaid, the criminal goes free. He was punished by prison life and having to pay back far more than he stole or cheated.

On the other hand, the state should not get the extra money nor imprison a man beyond what he owes plus penalties. Neither should a private corporation benefit from the labor of a prisoner. Only the victim gets the benefit. The state should only get what is reasonably justified in keeping a prisoner. If his keep exceeds his earnings, then the victim should be entitled to a percentage anyway. If anyone should suffer a loss in order to maintain justice, it should be the tax payers who benefit from the exercise of justice.

And in the event that the criminal can pay back the full amount plus penalties without going to prison, fine! Justice is restored and the thief has been penalized. No need for prison. Or if he can make more money faster, staying out of prison and working, fine. The object is to repay the victim and penalize the criminal. If possible, it would be better done without prison. This would be my opinion, based on God's law.

In this next account in Leviticus 10, 2 of Aaron's sons had just been killed by God for offering illegitimate fire. They had somehow carried out the fire offering wrong and when we read what was said by God next, I believe God's reason for His punishment, quite a severe one, which I will deal with shortly.}]

 



Leviticus 10-15
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Leviticus 10:
1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in them; and they put incense on it and brought strange fire before Jehovah, which He had not commanded them.
2 And fire went out from before Jehovah and consumed them; and they died before Jehovah.
3 And Moses said to Aaron, It is that which Jehovah has spoken, saying, I will be sanctified by those drawing near to Me; and I will be honored before all the people. And Aaron was silent.
4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel, Aaron's uncle, and said to them, Come near, carry your brothers from the front of the sanctuary to the outside of the camp.
5 And they came near and carried them in their coats to the outside of the camp, as Moses had commanded.
6 And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar, and to Ithamar, his sons, You shall not uncover your heads and you shall not tear your garments, that you may not die, and He be angry on all the congregation. As to your brothers, the whole house of Israel, they shall mourn the burning which Jehovah has kindled.
7 And you shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation lest you die. For the anointing oil of Jehovah is on you. And they did according to the word of Moses.

[{Aaron and his other sons were anointed and clean and were not allowed to become unclean by touching dead bodies. Nor were they allowed to mourn the 2 sons who disrespected the worship of God by not carrying out the rituals precisely. Remember, they continually saw the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire and all the miracles of Egypt. They ought to have had more respect and care for their duties to God. They did not deserve to be mourned.}]

8 And Jehovah spoke to Aaron, saying,
9 You shall not drink wine and strong drink, you nor your sons with you, as you go into the tabernacle of the congregation, and you shall not die; a never ending statute throughout your generations;
10 and to make a distinction between the holy and profane, and between the unclean and the clean;
11 and to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which Jehovah has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.

[{I suspect 2 of Aaron's sons had been drinking, and were significantly affected by the alcohol so that it impaired their judgement and carrying out the precise instructions of God's law in regards to the temple and sacrifices. Being drunk or near drunk, they probably skipped a step or carried out a step wrong, and did not show the proper respect due to the worship of God and His laws.

I might add that though God was severe in His punishment, it was justified and it does not mean that Aaron's sons will necessarily not be resurrected but I suspect they will not be. God wanted to make an example of them, using their example as a deterrent for that and even worse behavior in the temple. Or it could be that having been witnesses of God's miracles in leaving Egypt, maybe they should have had more respect for the presence of God represented in the temple, which is why ceremonial cleanliness was emphasized in the law. We will trust God's judgment in the matter.

I might point out that later would come 2 other priests serving in the temple, the sons of Eli in the time of Samuel, their names being Hophni and Phinehas. They would far exceed in outrage against God's temple and holy worship to what Aaron's 2 sons did. Hophni and Phinehas quite deliberately violated the rules pertaining to sacrifices by not letting the meat boil or smoke and having sex with the daughters

Here is how the scriptures put it in 1 Samuel 2:12: "And the sons of Eli were sons of worthlessness; they did not know Jehovah." And verse 17 "And the sin of the young men was very great before Jehovah, for the men had despised the offering of Jehovah." And 22 "Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation."

Evil, irreverent, party boys of the tent of meeting/temple. That was what Hophni and Phinehas were. Their example was not just of carelessness as might have been the case with Aaron's 2 sons. Hophni and Phinehas were deliberate and extreme in their actions against God. Yet, they were allowed to continue in their sin for quite some time, where as Aaron's 2 sons were immediately punished for their disregard.

This is why I suspect that Nadab and Abihu, the 2 sons of Aaron, were quickly punished, to set a precedent. Others would not be the ones to set a precedent but their judgement might end up being far worse. For while Nadab and Abihu might receive a resurrection, though no one can say for sure, we can be fair certain that Hophni and Phinehas will never see the light of day ever again. They had the warning and example of Nadab and Abihu as well as all of Israel wandering in the desert and yet they were not deterred by these. They were reproved by their father Eli and the words of God through Samuel that were delivered by Eli and still they did not repent. Having direct divine intervention, I do not see any hope for them.

But what I also get out of this account is that when dealing with important issues such as the worship of God, judicial proceedings, or even driving a car, where lives can hang in the balance, one needs to be sober and free of anything that might impair or corrupt the judgment, decision making, and actions of those doing such things.

Even the laws and courts of today recognize the dangers of drinking and driving, or drinking or being drunk on the job. Included would be bribes and many other influences that might upset or hinder serving God and His matters or any serious matter like judgement and judicial trials. But sadly, many influences have been allowed or introduced or not repelled that corrupt such processes today.

Jury tampering takes place under the guise of jury selection, where you find those who are predisposed to your way of thinking, or where the judge and courts tell the jury what should or should not be considered as relevant evidence. These duties were all given exclusively to the jury, composed and citizens/peers at large. Some also consider it a great burden to serve on jury duty or be informed about things enough to make sound decisions about government and making sure their representatives follow through on their decisions and choices.

Justice is pretty much the most important function that takes place in any country. Neglect justice long and a country will soon crumble from within. I know there are many who do not believe this but they shall learn the hard way in time by their own hand. But let us always give our very best when serving the interests of God.

The next few scriptures deal with the ceremonial holiness/cleanliness, particularly as it applies to a woman. Ceremonial impurity was not a big crime. Even having sex or giving birth made one ceremonially unclean or impure, as these were representative of the sin we passed on, having nothing we could pass or give except sinful offspring who will eventually die in their sins. Many take this to indicate that a woman was somehow inferior or bad in the eyes of God. This was not and is not the goal of this account. Any number of things made either sex unclean. To approach God in His symbolic temple, one had to be in a state of special cleanness/holiness. That is what these rules were for.

It was to elevate the holiness of God, and help us appreciate our fallen state and condition, having inherited sin from Adam.

Leviticus 11 defines clean and unclean animals that can be eaten or how they are handled alive and dead.

The next account amply demonstrates how our fallen state is symbolized in our blood and giving birth to babies who inherit our sinful condition.}]

Leviticus 12:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, If a woman has conceived seed, and has borne a male, then she shall be unclean seven days; as on the days of her menstrual impurity she shall be unclean.
3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 And she shall remain in the blood of her cleansing thirty three days; she shall not touch any holy thing, and she shall not go into the sanctuary, until the days of her cleansing are fulfilled.
5 And if she bears a female, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall continue in the blood of her cleansing sixty six days.
6 And when the days of her cleansing are fulfilled for son or for daughter, she shall bring in a lamb, a son of a year, for a burnt offering, and a young dove or a turtledove for a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest.
7 And he shall bring it near before Jehovah, and shall atone for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood; this is the law of her who bears, whether a male or a female.
8 And if her hand is not able to find a lamb, then she shall take two turtle doves, or two young doves one for a burnt offering, and one for a sin offering, and the priest shall atone for her; and she shall be cleansed.

[{The birth of a child represented the passing on of nothing but sin. So a sacrificial offering at the temple was required to cleanse her from her fountain of blood, the blood being sinful, tainted, stained of sin. A child is conceived in sin and given birth in sin, lives and dies in sin. The offering is for the woman, not the child. It is she who passes on the sin and must be cleansed from the blood that comes with birth.

If a couple can not afford a lamb, a sign of wealth, then they may offer 2 doves instead. God was always on the watch for the poor, to not overburden them. Mary and Joseph offered two doves for Jesus, seeming to indicate a modest means of living on the part of Joseph. It is rather common for good, God-fearing people to be of modest means, including God's son, no less.

Leviticus chapters 13-14 deals with the plague of leprosy and how to diagnose it, treat it, and bring a healed leper back to cleanliness. Leviticus 15 deals with the issues/flows/body fluids of men and women that make them unclean. I deal with this in my "Masturbation" article. }]

Leviticus 15:
19 And if a woman's discharge in her flesh is a flow of blood, she shall be in her impurity seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening.
20 And anything on which she lies in her impurity shall be unclean; and anything on which she sits shall be unclean.
21 And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening.
22 And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.
23 And if it is on the bed, or on anything on which she sits when he touches it, he shall be unclean until the evening.
24 And if any man lies with her, and her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

[{I assume that last verse, 24, to be incidental contact in lying beside a woman having her cycle for elsewhere several times, it forbids a man to lie with a woman during her menstrual flow. The penalty for having sex during this time of flow was death. Normally, when the scriptures refer to lying with a woman, it suggests sex. In this case, I think it merely means lying next to a woman, with incidental contact resulting in ceremonial impurity. If this were not the case, then the Bible would be contradicting itself, which no Christian would be willing to entertain or imagine about God and His word. Consider the Hebrew word typically used for the menstrual cycle, but in 2 places in the King James Version, it is translated as "flowers."

If you were a man planning to go to the temple and your wife was in the middle of a cycle, you might want to avoid sleeping beside her if you were clean and wanted to stay that way till after you were done with the temple. But given the strong penalty for sex during the menstrual cycle, it should give us good reason to reconsider the appropriateness of that. What I can say is that blood was very higly symbolic in the meaning that God gave to it for us to observe. I wrote an aritcle on blood that you might want to consider for more on this and other aspects.

Flowers

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary
05079. hdn niddah nid-daw'; from 05074; properly, rejection; by implication, impurity, especially personal (menstruation) or moral (idolatry, incest):-- X far, filthiness, X flowers, menstruous (woman), put apart, X removed (woman), separation, set apart, unclean(-ness, thing, with filthiness).

BDB Lexicon
05079 hdn niddah nid-daw'
from 05074; TWOT - 1302a; n f
KJV - separation 14, put apart 2, filthiness 2, flowers 2, far 1, set apart 1, menstruous 1, removed 1, unclean thing 1, unclean 1, uncleanness 1, menstruous woman 1, removed woman 1; 29

1) impurity, filthiness, menstruous, set apart
1a) impurity
1a1) of ceremonial impurity
1a2) of menstruation
1b) impure thing (fig.)
1b1) of idolatry, immorality

}]

(KJV)15:24 And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.

(KJV)15:33 And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.

[{ As I see it, the KJV is assuming that the scriptures in these two instances are suggesting the female genitalia, specifically the labia, which are moisturized and could even be "sick" in some cases due to a menstrual flow or other discharge. But I am not certain that this translation is correct in these instances, but whether correct or not, this would be what seems apparent to me. But I would think the word "flow" or "leak" or "fluid" would be reasonable and might be assumed or associated with the body part. I can not discern "flowers" from how the word is typically used. 14 times it is translated as "separation," where someone is separated as holy to God and rarely as anything else. I gather that separation or parting can also be seen in a good way and perhaps in this context, the translator of the KJV saw a woman's labia as a separation or parting, which could be possible, though I am not sure about it. No other translation calls it "flowers," that I have bothered to look up - 5 versions.

As you will note next, men also become unclean.}]

Leviticus 15:
31 So you shall separate the sons of Israel from their uncleanness, and they shall not die in their uncleanness, when they defile My tabernacle that is in their midst.
32 This is the law of him that discharges, and of him from whom semen flows out, for uncleanness by it;
33 and of her who is menstruating in her impurity, and of him from whom the discharge flows; of a male or of a female, and of a man who lies with an unclean woman.



Leviticus 16-20
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[{ Leviticus 16 deals with "The Day of Atonement," offering atonement for the high priest and all his house, then the sanctuary, the tabernacle, the altar, and then all Israel.}]

Leviticus 17:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the sons of Israel. And you shall say to them, This is the thing which Jehovah has commanded, saying,
3 Any man of the house of Israel who kills an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it the outside of the camp,
4 and has not brought it in to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation as an offering to Jehovah, before the tabernacle of Jehovah, blood shall be imputed to that man; he has shed blood. And that man shall be cut off from the midst of his people;
5 so that the sons of Israel shall bring in their sacrifices which they are sacrificing in the open field to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to Jehovah.
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of Jehovah, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall burn the fat as incense for a soothing fragrance to Jehovah.
7 And they shall not sacrifice their sacrifices any more to goats, after which they have gone whoring. This is a perpetual statute to them throughout their generations.
8 And you shall say to them, Any man of the house of Israel, or of aliens who sojourn in your midst, who offers burnt offering or sacrifice,
9 and does not bring it in to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation to offer it to Jehovah, that man shall be cut off from his people.

[{I gather some were sneaking off to outside the camp to offer sacrifices to goats, a pagan form of worship. Sacrifices could only be made in the camp at the tabernacle. If you did it outside the camp, the worst was assumed and you would have to die.}]

Leviticus 17:
10 And any man of the house of Israel, or of the alien who is staying in your midst, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person that eats blood and will cut him off from his people.
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar, to atone for your souls; for it is the blood which makes atonement for the soul.
12 For this reason I have said to the sons of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood; and the alien who is staying in your midst shall not eat blood.
13 And any man of the sons of Israel, or of the aliens who stay in your midst, who hunts game, beast or fowl, which is eaten, shall even pour out its blood and shall cover it with dust.
14 For it is the life of all flesh; its blood is for its life. And I say to the sons of Israel You shall not eat blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is in the blood; anyone eating it is cut off.
15 And any person who eats a dead body or torn thing, be he a native, or an alien, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening; then he shall be clean.
16 And if he does not wash them, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.

[{Eating blood was a definite no-no! Execution was the punishment! I cover this in my "The Symbolism of Blood" article.}]

Leviticus 18:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, I am Jehovah your God.
3 You shall not do according to the doings of the land of Egypt in which you lived; and you shall not do according to the doings of the land of Canaan to which I am bringing you; nor shall you walk in their statutes.
4 You shall do My judgments and you shall keep My statutes, to walk in them; I am Jehovah your God,
5 and you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man do, he shall live by them. I am Jehovah.

[{ Leviticus 18 is about sex crimes which I deal with in articles listed on my "Sex page" and skip here. These sex crimes were sometimes practices common among the nations that Israel came into contact with but were not to imitate.

This should go without saying but I will say it anyway. We do not imitate or copy those nations around us or the ones we live in or amongst. We do not follow the crowd or popular trends, or want to be like everyone else. An excuse we will sometimes hear from kids is: "Well, everyone else is doing it." As we can see, this is not a very good excuse in the eyes of God. He distinctly commands us not to be like everyone else and not to go along with the crowd. We will do as God wants and not what those around us might want. There will be more about this covered in Deuteronomy 7.}]

Leviticus 18:
24 Do not defile yourself with all these, for with all these the nations have been defiled, which I am casting out before you;
25 and the land is defiled, and I will visit its iniquity on it; and the land is vomiting out its inhabitants;
26 and you, you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of all these disgusting acts; neither the native nor the alien who is staying in your midst.
27 For the men of the land who are before you have done all these disgusting things, and the land is defiled.
28 Do not do these lest the land vomit you out for your defiling it, as it has vomited out the nation that was before you.
29 For anyone who does any of these disgusting things, even the persons who are doing them, shall be cut off from the midst of their people.
30 And you shall keep My charge, so as not to do any of the disgusting customs which were committed before you; and you shall not defile yourselves with them; I am Jehovah your God.

[{This is a rather interesting account, which when considered along with Israel's command to drive out the inhabitants such as the Canaanites and not allow them to live among Israel unless they were to worship Jehovah by His rules. That command comes up in Deuteronomy 7, covered later in this article.

Today, we would not allow any to worship among us who do not reasonably observe the commands of God. We do discriminate, based on behavior, those who we associate and worship with. In Israel's time, they also discriminated who they would live with as God commanded.

Applied today, if Christians had their own nation, which they definitely do not, then they would not allow just anyone to come into their country to settle. They would have to observe the laws of God. There would be no religious freedom or tolerance in regard to other gods or practices. This is in great contrast to the practices and laws of the land in which we live here in the USA. They are free to do as they please. In view of God's law, we might wonder about their choices.

On the other hand, Christians in the past have been dangerously intolerant, even of those who profess to believe in the same God. Their views and interpretations are so narrow and limited, that many who are of a good or reasonable motive and practice, would be considered heretics and stoned or burned at the stake. Incidentally, burning at the stake was never prescribed in the Bible. Stoning was. If they were to execute as the Bible commands, it would be by stones, nor fire.

But we can be very grateful that so-called Christians do not have their own nation and laws for I fear it would be for the worse rather than the better. Look at how Israel turned out. They killed the ones sent to her, including God's own son. I suspect if the majority part of Christianity were in charge today, they would kill God's son, too, even though they claim to worship him. I do not believe they would recognize him as they drove the spikes in a 2nd time.

So God in His wisdom no doubt saw it better that Christians not have a nation of their own to maintain. His purpose was best carried out with them living in the various nations of the world till His son should return to resolve all problems.}]

Leviticus 19:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, You are holy, for I am holy, Jehovah your God.
3 Each man of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My sabbaths; I am Jehovah your God.
4 Do not turn to the idols; and you shall not make molten gods for yourselves; I am Jehovah your God.
5 And if you sacrifice a sacrifice of peace offerings to Jehovah, you shall sacrifice it of your free will;
6 it shall be eaten in the day of your sacrificing it, and on the morrow, and that which is left on the third day shall be burned with fire.
7 And if it is at all eaten on the third day, it is unclean; it shall not be accepted.
8 And he who eats it, he shall bear his iniquity; for he has polluted the holy thing of Jehovah, and that person shall be cut off from his people.
9 And as you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not completely reap the corner of your field; and you shall not gather the gleaning of your harvest;
10 and you shall not glean your vineyard, and you shall not gather the leavings of your vineyard; you shall leave them to the poor and to the alien; I am Jehovah your God.

[{More repetition for Israel as they were a little hard headed. Much of this will be explained in later places that give more detail such as when dealing with harvesting and leaving some for the poor.}]

Leviticus 19:
11 You shall not steal nor lie, nor deceive to one another.
12 And you shall not swear by My name to a falsehood; nor shall you pollute the name of your God; I am Jehovah.
13 You shall not extort your neighbor, nor rob; you shall not allow the wages of one hired to remain with you until morning.
14 You shall not revile the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind; for you shall revere your God. I am Jehovah.
15 You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; you shall not respect the person of the poor, nor favor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
16 You shall not go as a slanderer among your people; you shall not stand up against the blood of your neighbor; I am Jehovah.
17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall certainly reprove your neighbor, and not allow sin on him.
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 Jehovah.

[{Many of these things have been covered previously. Several stand out to me. Some people are very disrespectful of those who are different from them or have handicaps such as deafness or blindness or maybe they are just socially awkward. Some will mock, tease, torment, make fun of the not so fortunate. And really, is a deaf or blind person responsible for their condition? Certainly not! So why make fun of them, even if they do not know you are doing so?! And further, what is so damn funny about someone who can not hear or see? Why the need to mock, laugh at, or make fun of them?

These are indications of some very nasty mean miserable people who evidently see themselves as far superior to anyone else. Often they are more pathetic than those they laugh at or mock. But God warns that we should not be like that or let ourselves become like that. He further emphasizes this in 17 & 18 where He warns us not to hate our brothers in our heart and to correct sin in our neighbor and not let things get out of hand. We do not take vengeance into our own hands when we are wronged, nor bear a grudge.

These things all lead to a very nasty mean and dangerous social condition among the people. Look at all the school shootings that have taken place in the USA! Why did they happen? Because we think nothing of our kids teasing and tormenting others, to the point where 2 boys are willing to die just to take our some revenge on those they saw as representative of those who tormented them through their school years.

But I do not believe people have learned anything from all those shootings. We blame the killers and do not look at our own guilt in those matters. God makes it clear how it happens and we are guilty as a nation in the USA and ought to give more consideration to that.}]

Leviticus 19:19 You shall keep my statutes; you shall not cause your livestock to breed with different kinds; you shall not sow two kinds in your field; and you shall not allow a garment mixed of linen and wool to come upon you.

[{This is a tough one! I am guessing here that God does not want anything to be falsely misrepresented or be misleading as might be the case if you claimed a garment was a woolen garment when really it was a mixture of that and linen, thereby affording the chance to mislead somebody. This is sort of like when God forbid having two different sets of weights (scales), a light set and a heavy one depending on if you are buying or selling. Same with breeding animals. An animal should not be misrepresented as being something it is not. Growing two similar grains could be misleading, say like wheat and barley together. Once the grains are ground up, who knows how much of one or the other you have! Note in Revelation that wheat was worth much more than barley. Mix in some barley and keep more wheat for yourself. What a deal, huh? But not in God's eyes. This would be my best guess of what was intended in these laws. These seemingly stringent laws, if followed, would distinguish God's people from those around them who were not as upright and moral. Sadly, God's people have often failed to be any different than those around them. But let us be different and obey God's laws more precisely!}]

Leviticus 19:
20 And when a man lies with a woman with semen, and she is a slave-girl, betrothed to a man, and not truly redeemed, and freedom not having been given to her, there shall be an inquest; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
21 And he shall bring in his guilt offering to Jehovah, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, a ram for a guilt offering.
22 And the priest shall atone for him with the ram of the guilt offering before Jehovah for his sin which he has sinned; and it shall be forgiven him because of his sin he has sinned.

[{I am not sure if this applies to all slave girls, including those of Hebrew relations. It might. But I tend to think not. But as she is definitely not free, then she comes under this rule. Had she been freed, this would not apply to her and she would be considered married and adultery would be the charge against both parties. But remaining as a slave, and not having been paid for yet, that is, redeemed or freed, then neither she nor the man who took her shall be guilty of adultery. If she has not been paid for, then she would appear to be fair game.

This is different compared to a girl belonging to a free man. Once promised, she is considered married and adultery is the charge if another man takes her. However, that does not mean there is no sin or guilt. A man having taken a promised slave not paid for is still somewhat guilty, but not to the point of meriting death. But he does have to atone for his sin by a sacrifice offered to God.

But at least as regards foreign slaves, there is a different way of accounting for them in some instances. But remember, a slave was not to be mistreated or abused. They were still human beings and accorded all decency and respect. That they let a slave girl a little off the hook, so to speak, in mild accountability is perhaps recognizing the vulnerable position she is in as a slave. Rather than being a bad thing, maybe this is a more merciful attitude toward a girl in this position.}]

Leviticus 19:
23 And when you come into the land and have planted all of the food trees, then you shall expose its foreskin, its fruit, it shall be uncircumcised for you three years; it shall not be eaten.
24 And in the fourth year all its fruit is holy; it is for praises for Jehovah.
25 And in the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase; I am Jehovah your God.

[{One wonders if there may be beneficial results, from a scientific standpoint, by letting a tree bear fruit for 3 years before harvesting from it. In other words, maybe it is not just symbolism. There might be other good reasons for it as they are in other laws. Or it could be an intentional symbolism as pointed out by Jesus and John the Baptist who compared Israel to a fruit tree who would be given 3 years to bear fruit and if it did not, it would be cut down. Romans taxes a fruit tree after 3 years so if it did not produce in the 4th year, the owner would cut it down to save in taxes. Further, in the 4th year, Israelites would give the first fruits of the tree, the fruits of the 4th year, to the temple and priesthood. Then in the 5th year, the owner could eat of it, saving only 1 tenth of it for the temple as the law required.}]

Leviticus 19:
26 You shall not eat with the blood; you shall not divine, nor conjure spirits.
27 You shall not round the corner of your head, nor mar the corner of your beard.
28 And you shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead; and you shall not put on yourself any etched mark; I am Jehovah.

[{There is a lot covered in just 3 verses. Blood is out as is contacting or communicating with the dead or engaging in some sort of sorcery. Cutting or mutilating yourself, "mock humility" as Paul calls it, is out, whether for the dead or otherwise. And markings, etchings, or what some translations call tattoos, and rightly so, are forbidden. Many young people today are embracing mutilations such as piercing of the body in various places and marking themselves up with tattoos. Even some Christian youths seem blissfully unaware that these things are wrong and have done them. Their parents either do not know, either, or do not care.}]

Leviticus 19:29 You shall not pollute your daughter, to cause her to be a prostitute, that the land may not go whoring, and the land become full of wickedness.

[{Sad to say, it is not uncommon for parents or male siblings to prostitute their daughters or sisters in order to make money. God absolutely forbid using daughters this way. Obviously, it is a situation where a young woman is most vulnerable, having both an emotional/psychological as well as physical dependence on her family who could easily take advantage of her and allow her body to be misused and mistreated for their gain but not much if any for hers. God will not have it. A specific punishment is not prescribed but I would imagine that God would reject anyone from entering His kingdom who would do such a thing to their daughter or sister.

I could see this meriting the death penalty to the parents or brother who would prostitute their sister/daughter. Sadly, I have no doubt it took place sometimes and may likely not have been punished. It happens nearly everywhere in the world.}]

Leviticus 19:
30 You shall keep My sabbaths; and you shall revere My sanctuary. I am Jehovah.
31 You shall not turn to those having familiar spirits; and you shall not seek to spiritists to be defiled by them; I am Jehovah your God.
32 You shall rise up in the face of gray hair; and you shall honor the face of an old man; and be afraid of your God. I am Jehovah.
33 And when an alien lives with you in your land, you shall not oppress him;
34 as the native among you, so shall be the alien who is staying with you; and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God.

[{Most of these are repeats except the one of the honor and respect to be shown for old age. While punishments are not always prescribed, you can be sure that we punish ourselves when we ignore God's laws and He will keep us out of His kingdom, you can be sure!}]

Leviticus 19:
35 You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures and weights, or in quantity.
36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt;
37 and you shall observe all My statutes, and all My judgments and shall do them; I am Jehovah.

[{We must be consistent in all things we do. That is the big message behind these laws. One set of laws and treatment for all people with no bias, partiality, or favoritism.}]

Leviticus 20: 9 And any man who curses his father and his mother shall certainly be put to death; he has cursed his father and his mother; his blood shall be on him.

[{Wow! I guess I do not have to comment on this one. Needles to say, I will just the same. Respect for parents and their authority is essential in God's eyes. I can't help but notice how our governments in the USA have eroded all parental power, authority, and respect. Hmmmm! I wonder what might be behind that? What a contrast, huh? Cursing parents gets you killed with God whereas today, your kids can do what they want and you can not touch them. Incredible!!! How about this next scripture for emphasis! }]

Isaiah 3:12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over him. Oh My people, your rulers cause you to go astray, and they swallow the way of your paths.

[{I'll let you interpret that any way you like.

This next chapter (25) is a long one at 55 verses and is very important. If you want to know what sort of God, God really is, this might be a good indicator. His fairness, His decency, His mercy, and His concern for the poor, the weak, and the underdog are all abundantly clear here.

This chapter is all about freedom and writing off debts every 7 years and protecting the poor and giving them a chance to get out of their misery if they are victims of circumstance and bad luck and not due to laziness, drunkenness, or some other character flaw. It allows them to get back on their feet, recover and become productive once again. It also keeps the rich from getting too rich and oppressive. Such restraints have been removed from any laws that exist today.

The sharp contrast between God's law and typical laws of most nations today could not be more clear and distinct. Let us look at all this carefully to see why God's rule is so superior to man's and why I can say that God is so much better to us than we are to ourselves. The people of the earth should be eager and begging God to take over and institute His rule and laws once again. Oddly, this does not seem to be the case. But God's mercy and generosity shines through loud and clear.}]

[{ Leviticus 20 deals with other gods and more sex crimes. Of note are the following verses which to some degree have been mentioned before:}]

Leviticus 20:
26 and you shall be holy to Me, for I, Jehovah, am holy; and I have set you apart from the nations to become Mine.
27 And a man or woman, when there is among them a medium, or a familiar spirit, shall certainly be put to death; they shall stone them with stones; their blood is on them.



Leviticus 21-24
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21:
1 And Jehovah said to Moses, Speak to the priests, Aaron's sons, and you shall say to them, None shall be defiled for the dead among his people.
2 But for his relative who is near to him, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,
3 and for his sister, the virgin, who is near to him, who has not been with a man, for her he may be defiled.
4 A leader shall not defile himself among his people, to pollute himself;
5 they shall not make their heads bald, and they shall not shave the corner of their beard; and they shall not make a cutting in their flesh;
6 they are holy to their God, and they shall not pollute the name of their God. For they offer the fire offerings of Jehovah, bread of their God, and they are holy.

[{ Touching a dead body made one unclean. Priests could not handle dead bodies and become unclean except for close relatives. Part of keeping exceptionally clean as they are the ones that serve God in a special capacity. They must be symbolically more pure and clean. As part of their special status, they can not shave their heads, or shave any portion of their face which has hair nor scar their skin for distinguishing marks as some other nations have the custom of doing. God's servants are to standout and above the rest, in whatever way God chooses for them to standout.}]

Leviticus 21:
7 They shall not take a woman who is a prostitute, or polluted; nor shall they take a woman put away from her husband; for he is holy to his God.
8 And you shall sanctify him, for he brings near the bread of your God; he is holy to you; for I am holy, Jehovah who is sanctifying you.
9 And when a daughter of any priest pollutes herself by going whoring, she is polluting her father; she shall be burned with fire.

[{ Priests can not take someone whose past is questionable. True, the woman might have changed for the better and repented, but then again, maybe not. But certainly their past might be held against them or raise suspicion against them by some. God will not have that for those who serve Him. A daughter of a priest who conducts herself outrageously is put to death, a severe death at that. To disgrace a priest and his family is to bring dishonor to God. God will not tolerate it.}]

Leviticus 21:
10 And the high priest of his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured, and whose hand is consecrated to put on the garments, his head shall not be uncovered, nor his garments torn;
11 nor shall he come near any dead person; he shall not defile himself for his father or for his mother;
12 nor shall he go out from the sanctuary; nor shall he pollute the sanctuary of his God. For the crown of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am Jehovah.
13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
14 He shall not take a widow, or one put away, or a polluted one, a harlot, but he shall take a virgin of his own people for a wife;
15 and he shall not pollute his seed among his people; for I am Jehovah who sanctifies him.

[{ A high priest had to have the proper attire, without any rips or tears. He can not even defile himself by removing the dead body of his mother or father while doing his duties. He can not even leave the sanctuary or defile it. He can only marry a virgin and not someone of a questionable or uncertain past.}]

Leviticus 21:
16 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
17 Speak to Aaron, saying, No man of your seed throughout their generations shall draw near to offer the bread of his God if there is a blemish in him.
18 For no man in whom there is a blemish shall draw near, a blind man, or one lame, or disfigured, or deformed;
19 or a brokenfooted man, or a brokenhanded man,
20 or one humpbacked, or one emaciated, or with a spot in his eye, or a scurvy one, or one scabbed, or one with crushed testicles.
21 No man of the seed of Aaron the priest in whom there is a blemish shall come near to offer the fire offerings of Jehovah; a blemish is in him; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.
22 He shall eat of the bread of his God, of the most holy things, and of the holy things.
23 But he shall not enter into the veil, and he shall not draw near to the altar; for a blemish is in him; and he shall not pollute My sanctuary; for I am Jehovah who sanctifies them.
24 And Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the sons of Israel.

[{ A man either born with a defect or having accumulated one by losing a limb or whatever, could serve as a priest, just as a sacrifice was also to be without defect or blemish. This was to prefigure how he who was to be a sacrifice for mankind also had to be without defect or blemish. That would be Christ, of course. But a man of defect was still part of a priests family and could partake of the due right of a priest, the showbread, first fruits of harvest, and sacrifces the priest would bring home to his family to eat.}]

Leviticus 22

22:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, that they set themselves apart from the holy things of the sons of Israel, and that they do not profane My holy name in what they devote to Me; I am Jehovah.
3 Say to them, Out of all your seed throughout your generations, any man who draws near to the holy things which the sons of Israel set apart to Jehovah, and his uncleanness being upon him, that person shall be cut off from before me; I am Jehovah.

[{ I believe what is intended here is that any man who is unclean and who aproaches and comes near to the priests or anything holy of the temple, things which are devoted to Jehovah, shall be executed. Priests would have no way of knowing if a man was unclean or not but God would know. If it becomes known to man, too, then the person who drew near while unclean would be executed. It is the responsibility of the unclean person to keep away from the things of God if he is unclean. Others have no way of knowing. It is between that person and God as so many things are.}]

Leviticus 22:
4 Any man of the seed of Aaron that is leprous or has an discharge, he shall not eat of the holy things until he is clean. And he who touches any uncleanness of a person, or a man whose semen has gone out of him;
5 or a man who touches any swarming thing which is unclean to him, or touches a man who is unclean to him, by any of his uncleanness,
6 the person who touches it shall even be unclean until the evening, and shall not eat of the holy things, but shall bathe his flesh with water.
7 And when the sun goes in, he shall be clean, and afterwards he shall eat of the holy things, for it is his food;
8 he shall not eat a dead body or torn thing, for it is unclean; I am Jehovah.
9 And they shall keep My charge, and shall bear no sin for it, that they may not die for it when they pollute it; I am Jehovah, who is sanctifying them.

[{ A priest's family is defined by God since normally, a priest's family has the right to partake of his due rations from service to God. Standing out are leprosy or continual discharges which while a man had those, could not partake with the family of a priest. And a daughter of a priest who was no longer a member of that family due to being married off to another household/husband who was not a priest, could not partake of her former father's rations. Any member of a priest's family who became temporarily unclean could not partake of holy rations. Again, to violate these things and have it found out would get you executed.}]

Leviticus 22:
10 And no stranger shall eat of the holy things, a tenant of a priest, or a hired servant; these shall not eat of the holy thing.
11 And if a priest buys a person, the purchase of his silver, he shall eat of it; also one born in his house, they shall eat of his bread.
12 And a priest's daughter, when she belongs to an alien man, she shall not eat of the heave offering of the holy things.
13 But a priest's daughter, when she is a widow, or put away, and has no seed, and has turned back to her father's house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father's bread. But no stranger shall eat of it.
14 And if a man shall eat of a holy thing through ignorance, then he shall add the fifth part of it, and shall give it to the priest along with the holy thing.
15 And they shall not pollute the holy things of the sons of Israel, that which they lift up to Jehovah;
16 and so cause them to bear the iniquity of the guilt offering in their eating their holy things. For I am Jehovah who sanctifies them.

[{ A slave bought by a priest was considered a member of his household and could partake of the holy rations. A daughter formerly having been of another household and husband not a priest, could become a member of her father's household again if she came back to live with him due to being a widow or divorced and without a son. A son was a means of support and therefore she would not be justified in coming back. Only ignorance in eating holy things cold be excused and still had to be repaid, with an extra fifth, 20%, added to the original amount eaten.}]

Leviticus 22:
17 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
18 Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, Any man of the house of Israel, or of the aliens in Israel, who brings near his offering, of all his vows, or of all his freewill offerings which they bring near to Jehovah for a burnt offering;
19 at your own will a male, a perfect one, of the oxen, of the sheep, or of the goats may be offered.
20 You shall not offer that which has a blemish; for it shall not be acceptable for you.
21 And when a man brings near a sacrifice of peace offerings to Jehovah, to complete a vow, or for a freewill offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; no blemish shall be in it;
22 blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a flow, or scurvy, or scabbed, you shall not bring these near to Jehovah; and you shall not make of them a fire offering on the altar to Jehovah.
23 As to an ox or a sheep deformed, or dwarfed, you shall make it a freewill offering; but it is not acceptable for a vow.
24 As to anything bruised, or beaten, or torn, or cut, you shall not bring it near to Jehovah; even you shall not do it in your land.
25 And you shall not bring near the bread of your God from the hand of a son of a stranger, or any of these, for their corruption is in them; they are blemished; they are not acceptable for you.

(RSV) 25 neither shall you offer as the bread of your God any such animals gotten from a foreigner. Since there is a blemish in them, because of their mutilation, they will not be accepted for you.

(BBE) 25 And from one who is not an Israelite you may not take any of these for an offering to the Lord; for they are unclean, there is a mark on them, and the Lord will not be pleased with them.

(JPS) 25 Neither from the hand of a foreigner shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these, because their corruption is in them, there is a blemish in them; they shall not be accepted for you.

[{ Some sacrifices had to be made every year. Everyone had to do them. But if you needed to atone for some particular sin, then you could offer a sacrifice anytime he wanted. This was a free will offering. Notice the kinds of blemishes that made certain sacrifices unacceptable: bruises, cuts, scabs, temporary sickness such as the flu. When God says no blemishes, He really means it!

I quote 4 translations of verse 25 to make clear what is said. Alien residents living with and among Israel had to worship God and obey His rules as everyone else did. So it would seem to me the word in question, stranger or foreigner (Strong's Hebrew: 5326 nekar), definitely indicates someone absolutely not associated with Israel and Jehovah. If just visiting or passing through, even, they were automatically assumed unclean and unworthy of God's worship, including offerings of any sort.}]

Leviticus 22:
26 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
27 When an ox, or lamb, or goat is born, and when it has been seven days under its dam, then from the eighth day and onward it is acceptable for an offering, a fire offering to Jehovah;
28 but an ox or sheep, it and its young one, you shall not slaughter in one day.
29 And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Jehovah, you shall sacrifice it of your free will;
30 it shall be eaten on that day; you shall not leave of it until morning; I am Jehovah.
31 And you shall keep My commandments and shall do them; I am Jehovah.
32 And you shall not profane My holy name, and I shall be counted holy among the sons of Israel; I am Jehovah, who is sanctifying you,
33 who is bringing you up out of the land of Egypt, to become your God; I am Jehovah.

[{ First born of the ox, lamb, or goat had to be sacrificed to God, but not immediately. One had to wait 7 days before it was a legitimate sacrifice, even as circumcision of a boy had to wait 7 days and done on the 8th. Interesting that you could not slaughter a mother and its young one on the same day. Throughout these laws, God keeps insisting on absolute respect and great reverence. I see that this way. We humans tend to fall short of any goals we set for ourselves or try to live up to. The lower we set our standards, the less we will accomplish. In order to reach high standards, we might need to set our sights much higher than we want to achieve so that we at least reach a good level, even if it is not as high as we would prefer. So if God wants a lot, He sets very high standards to at least get a minimal result. And it usually is quite minimal from us.}]

[{ Leviticus 23 is about the "seasons," also known as "feasts" and what we might more typically call festivals of gathering and observance.}]

23:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, The appointed feasts of Jehovah which you shall proclaim, holy gatherings, shall be these: These are My appointed seasons:

[{
The Weekly Sabbath
The Hebrew calendar began in the spring, the 1st month (Nisan/Abib) being the month Israel came out of Egypt.
The Passover Festival began on the 14th of this 1st month.
The next day (15th) was the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
50 days later would be the Day of Pentecost
From the 1st day and leading up to the 10th day of the 7th month (the beginning of the 2nd half of the year), in the Fall, was the Day of Atonement.
On the 15th day of the same 7th month for another 7 days would be the Festival of Booths (booths were basically tents or shelters).
}]

Leviticus 23:44 And Moses announced the appointed feasts of Jehovah to the sons of Israel.

Leviticus 24

24:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Command the sons of Israel, and they shall bring to you pure olive oil, beaten, for the light, to cause a light to burn continually.
3 Outside the veil of the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation Aaron shall arrange it from evening until morning before Jehovah continually, a perpetual statute throughout your generations.
4 He shall arrange the lamps on the pure lampstand before Jehovah continually.

[{ This burning of perfumed oil had to be burned at all times, continually without letup, even on the Sabbath, which the priests and Levites serving in the temple did not observe by command of God. They were exempt as they were always serving God.}]

Leviticus 24:
5 And you shall take flour, and shall bake twelve cakes with it; two tenths shall be in the one cake.
6 And you shall set them in two rows, six on a row on the pure table before Jehovah.
7 And you shall put pure frankincense on the row, and it shall be the bread of a memorial, a fire offering to Jehovah.
8 On each sabbath day he shall arrange it before Jehovah continually, from the sons of Israel, a never ending covenant.
9 And it shall belong to Aaron and to his sons, and they shall eat it in the sanctuary, for it is most holy to him, from the fire offerings of Jehovah, a never ending statute.

[{ Show bread is what they called this bread. It was prepared on every Sabbath and later eaten by the priests and their families/households, or by anyone serving God in a holy (clean, pure) state as some sent by a prophet or king might be. Incense was also burnt to God.}]

Leviticus 24:
10 And the son of an Israelite woman, and a son of an Egyptian man, went out among the sons of Israel. And the son of the woman of Israel and a man of Israel struggled together in the camp.
11 And the son of the woman of Israel blasphemed the Name, and cursed. And they brought him in to Moses; and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.
12 And they put him under guard, that it might be declared to them at the mouth of Jehovah.
13 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
14 Bring out the reviler to the outside of the camp. And all those who heard shall lay their hands on his head, and all the congregation shall stone him.

[{ One man blasphemed the name (Jehovah, I assume). He was the son of an Egyptian man but with an Israelite woman from the tribe of Dan, and 2 others were witnesses. he was ordered to be stoned, with the 2 witnesses having to lay their hands on his head, taking a more prominent role in his death. Some don't mind accusing a person but they do not have the guts to carry out the death if the accusation was false or even true. They prefer to leave the dirty work to someone else. But if you are going to accuse, you must take part. It helps to keep some from doing wrong by making it a little more dirty and undesirable to carry out all the way.}]

Leviticus 24:
15 And you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, When any man curses his God then he shall bear his sin.
16 And he who blasphemes the name of Jehovah shall certainly be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly cast stones at him. As to the alien, so to a native, when he blasphemes the Name, he is to be put to death.
17 And a man, when he strikes the soul from any man, he shall surely be put to death.
18 And he who smites an animal to death shall make it good, soul for soul.
19 And when a man causes a blemish in his neighbor, as he has done, so it shall be done to him;
20 break for break, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has caused a blemish in a man, so it shall be done to him.
21 And he who smites an animal to death shall repay it; and he who smites a man to death shall be put to death.
22 One judgment shall be for you whether an alien or a native; for I am Jehovah your God.
23 And Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and they brought the reviler to the outside of the camp and stoned him with stones. And the sons of Israel did as Jehovah had commanded Moses.

[{ The same laws apply to both alien and native. There are no differences or exceptions. The old eye for eye principle is given.}]

 



Leviticus 25
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25:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses in Mount Sinai, saying.
2 Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I am giving to you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to Jehovah.
3 You shall sow your field six years, and you shall prune your vineyard six years, and shall gather its produce.
4 And in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest to the land, a sabbath to Jehovah. You shall not sow your field, and you shall not prune your vineyard.
5 You shall not reap that which grows of itself of your harvest; and you shall not gather the grapes of your unkept vine; it shall be a year of rest to the land.
6 And the sabbath of the land shall be to you for food, to you, and to your male slave, and to you female slave, and to your hired one, and to your tenant, those living among you;
7 and to your livestock, and to the animal in your land, all its produce shall be for food.

[{It is pretty simple up to now. Every 7th year, the land would not be worked. It would be left to its own. These are known as Jubilees or 7 year Jubilees. There is also a 50 year Jubilee. Most crops would still reproduce to some degree, enough to sustain the people. The land would also have a chance to regenerate a little, perhaps. But that is not likely the main reason for this year off. It also gave everyone everywhere a chance to have life a lot easier that year or maybe they could work on community projects or the like. But what is next is really the key!}]

Leviticus 25:
8 And you shall number to yourself seven sabbaths of years, seven years times seven, and all the days of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty nine years.
9 And you shall let a ram's horn resound, a signal in the seventh month, in the tenth of the month; in the day of atonement, less a ram's horn pass throughout all your land;
10 and you shall make the fiftieth year holy, a year. And you shall proclaim liberty in the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee to you. And you shall return every man to his possession; yea, you shall turn back each to his family.
11 It is a jubilee, the fiftieth year; it is a year to you. You shall not sow, nor reap that which grows of itself, nor gather from its unkept vines;
12 for it is a jubilee, it is holy to you; you shall eat its increase out of the field.
13 In the year of jubilee you shall return each one to his possession.
14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor, or buy from the hand of your neighbor, you shall not each man oppress his brother.
15 By the number of years after the jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor; by the number of the years of increase he shall sell to you;
16 according to the many years you shall increase its price; and by the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for he is selling to you the number of crops.
17 And you shall not oppress each man his neighbor, and you shall fear your God, for I am Jehovah your God.
18 And you shall do My statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and shall do them; and you shall live on the land securely.

[{Every 7th year and especially the 50th year, the Jubilee year, was to be a year to let all slaves free who were Israelites sold into slavery during the previous 6 years. The land would also enjoy rest, called a Sabbath year, being similar to 7days of the week with the last day, the 7th day, being a weekly Sabbath, and the 7th years being a yearly Sabbath, and the 50th Jubilee being particularly special.

The order from God is to let the slaves go and not to oppress them. In other words, keeping them in bondage, debt, and slavery and not let them up or out ever as we tend to do in our system today. So if a person falls into hard times, a drought, plague, foreign enemy armies, a sudden illness, accident, or death, or whatever, then they get a chance to start over after 6 years and regain the land they once held.

Those who owned the slaves were not entitled to keep the slave and continue to prosper from the labor of the slaves. They were to feel compassion for those under and below them who were slaves and perhaps victims of circumstance and allow them a change to be free and maybe even prosper. And who knows but some slave owner could someday fall into hard times and need to be rescued himself and maybe a former slave might be his rescuer. So the system was fair and decent all around.

God hates poverty and perhaps worse, hates drastic imbalance between the have's and have not's. He knows and society must remain within reasonable balance or tension, resentment, anger, and eventually crime, chaos, and war could result or divisions would be bad enough to make them vulnerable to outside enemies. So God institutes a system designed to equalize to some degree the imbalances that occur between rich and poor, providing, of course, that the laws are followed and obeyed, which they often were not. This is not God's fault, it is the fault of those who rebel and ignore God. But soon the world will not be able to ignore God any longer. But now lets look at some other good reason to obey these good laws.

Oh yeah, and did you notice the promise in verse 18? "And you shall do My statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and shall do them; and you shall live on the land securely." Can't beat that, can you? Obey and you live in security. That's not such a small thing.}]

Leviticus 25:
19 And the land shall give its fruit, and you shall eat to satisfaction; and you shall dwell securely on it.
20 And when you say, What shall we eat in the seventh year; for, lo, we may not sow nor gather our increase?
21 Then I have commanded My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall produce the increase for three years;
22 and you shall sow the eighth year, and shall eat of the old crop until the ninth year, until the coming in of its crop; you shall eat of the old.

[{And again, promises from God that the system will work!}]

Leviticus 25:
23 And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is Mine; for you are aliens and tenants with Me.
24 And you shall grant a redemption for the land in all the land of your possession.
25 If your brother has become poor and has sold his possessions then his kinsman redeemer shall come, and he shall redeem the thing his brother sold.
26 But when a man has no redeemer, and his own hand has reached out, and he has enough for its redemption,
27 then he shall count the years since its sale, and shall give back the surplus to the man to whom he sold; and he shall return to his possession.
28 And if his hand has not found enough to give back to him, then the thing he sold shall be in the hand of him who buys it until the year of jubilee. And it shall go out in the jubilee, and he shall return to his possession.

[{It should be understood that all the land of Israel that God granted was apportioned out to all the people of Israel by tribes and by families, then by the male offspring, unless there were only females and then they would get it. That is to say, land was an inherited right of each family and child. Can you imagine that??? You don't need to buy a piece of property! Property is a right! What a deal, huh?

Note that your great USA Constitution does not grant you any such rights. So which is better, God's Constitution or the USA's? I don't see any comparison. God wins this one by a landslide! Now you don't have to pay brutal 40 year mortgages that most will never be able to pay off before they retire and have their salaries drastically reduced as retirement pensions.

But now back to Leviticus. Land can not be sold permanently. By the end of 6 years at the most, it goes back to the son and family that inherited it. If you sold your land and yourself with only 3 years left till the 7th year jubilee, then it would not be as for much as it would if there were nearly the full 6 years left till the Jubilee. In the 7th year, you go free and you get your land back.

In addition, if a relative wanted to buy you out and get your land back for you, as long the relative had the money value of the years of servitude left, he could buy your freedom and possessions. The master could not keep you.}]

Leviticus 25:
29 And when a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his right of redemption shall be the end of the year of its sale; his right of redemption shall be a year of days.
30 And if it is not redeemed until a full year is complete, then the house in the walled city shall be established to perpetuity to its buyer, throughout his generations; it shall not go out in the jubilee.
31 But the houses of the villages which have no walls all around shall be counted as the field of the country; there are redemption rights to it. And it shall go out in the jubilee.

[{A man had just one year to redeem a house he had in a walled city. It brings up a lot of questions. I suspect that where fields were where food was grown and life sustained and income generated, that God saw this as the most important thing to protect and preserve. A man's livelihood was the means of his survival.

A house in a walled city meant more social opportunities and certainly more security from bandits, armies, or bad neighbors. Building a walled town or city meant an awful lot of shared labor from many people moving rocks and earth in great quantities. Perhaps God sees a walled town as more of a shared property arrangement that does not merit the same individual protections that farm land would. Having a house intown was not a necessity as having farm land would be.

Most people who live in cities also have fields that they farm. Living in the city could be seen as a luxury maybe. You have a year and then you lose it to another buyer if you don't buy it back. There is no jubilee here.

Houses in villages without walls do not have the same investment in labor that a walled town would have. Probably the population is much smaller, too. These situations still receive jubilee protection. If anyone has any more ideas, I am open to hearing. It looks to me like God protects and preserves necessities but not luxuries. If you want luxuries, you pay for them. The world does not owe you anything beyond decent necessities that you put effort into. God gives us the means and we are to take it from there. What we sow, we reap. We get out of it what we put into it.}]

Leviticus 25:
32 As to the cities of the Levites, houses of the cities of their possession, never ending redemption rights shall be to the Levites.
33 And that which one redeems from the Levites, both the sale of a house, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the jubilee. For the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession in the midst of the sons of Israel.
34 And the field, the open land of their cities, shall not be sold; for it is a never ending possession to them.

[{ Levites were granted cities throughout Israel, which were also to serve as cities of refuge for those who accidentally killed someone. Levites had special duties, not only in maintaining temple worship and sacrifice, but also in keeping scrolls and records for God. They were therefore given special protections and rights. Unlike the rest of the tribes, Levite's within walled cities did get their houses back during the jubilee year. If they were to concentrate on serving God's unique interests, then their own had to be protected in unique ways to enable this.}]

Leviticus 25:
35 And when your brother has become poor, and his hand has failed with you, then you shall help him. He shall live with you as an alien and a tenant.
36 You shall take no interest from him, or increase; and you shall fear your God; and the life of your brother is with you.
37 You shall not give silver to him with interest, and you shall not give your food for increase.
38 I am Jehovah who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give to you the land of Canaan, to become your God.

[{There is a lot here. First, a brother is not charged interest when he is down on his luck. You shall not profit from his misery by charging interest or making a profit on the food given him, in essence charging interest. Compassion and care are to be evident everywhere and selfishness to be extinguished. God reminds them that He brought them out of Egypt to be free and gave them the land they live on and they had better not forget it. He gave the land so He can order them to do as He pleases. Fair enough, right?}]

Leviticus 25:
39 And when your brother becomes poor with you, and he has been sold to you, you shall not lay on him the service of a slave.
40 He shall be with you as a hireling, as a tenant he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee;
41 then he shall go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall return to his family; he shall even return to the possession of his father.
42 For they are My servants, whom I have brought out from the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold with the sale of a slave.
43 You shall not rule over him with severity, and you shall fear your God.

[{ Even though a brother could become a slave, he was not to be treated that way in attitude and spirit. It would be more as if he were a hired hand or a tenant. He would be freed in the jubilee year, along with his family. After all, all Israelites were sons of Abraham and part of God's covenant/constitution and God does not allow them to be abused by each other.}]

Leviticus 25:
44 And your male slave and your female slave whom you have shall be from the nations who are all around you, you shall buy them as male slave or female slave;
45 and also you may buy of the sons of the tenants who are sojourning with you, and of their families who are with you, which they have fathered in your land. And they shall be a possession to you.
46 And you shall take them for inheritance to your sons after you, to hold for a possession; you may lay service on them forever. But on your brothers, the sons of Israel, one over another, you shall not rule over him with severity.

[{ This one is fascinating for what I see in it. Foreigners could be kept as slaves forever. They did not go free in the jubilee. God says you can not do that to a son of Israel, however. Of course, even foreign slaves could not be treated harshly or unfair. But they could be kept in service and lacked the prerogatives, powers, and choices that a son of Israel would have. It looks to me like God was protecting the power and control of the people of Israel over their land, enabling them to maintain their very important duties to their God.

Without these special rights and powers, it could easily happen that foreigners could eventually outnumber the Israelites and do as they pleased and if they like, abolish the worship of Jehovah. To preserve God's way of life, God needed to preserve Israel's rights and political and commercial power.

Some who thought themselves Christians supported the start up of the USA. But they did not protect their power by ensuring certain exclusive rights so as to protect the laws and regulations that they saw as important. One day, what they started in 1776 could completely disappear for they allow anyone anywhere to do as they please.

If you want to preserve something, you must protect it, ultimately, with power for nothing can survive without power. God gave them certain exclusive powers. However, I think it is a mistake for Christians to attempt to control any nation or kingdom. They should remain neutral in whatever country they live in.

The best way to preserve something today is to have children and have them pass on what it is you want them to preserve and protect. We want to preserve and protect the knowledge and worship of God, which can be done without political power today.}]

(RSV) Leviticus 25:
47 "If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you, or to a member of the stranger's family,
48 then after he is sold he may be redeemed; one of his brothers may redeem him,
49 or his uncle, or his cousin may redeem him, or a near kinsman belonging to his family may redeem him; or if he grows rich he may redeem himself.
50 He shall reckon with him who bought him from the year when he sold himself to him until the year of jubilee, and the price of his release shall be according to the number of years; the time he was with his owner shall be rated as the time of a hired servant.
51 If there are still many years, according to them he shall refund out of the price paid for him the price for his redemption.
52 If there remain but a few years until the year of jubilee, he shall make a reckoning with him; according to the years of service due from him he shall refund the money for his redemption.
53 As a servant hired year by year shall he be with him; he shall not rule with harshness over him in your sight.
54 And if he is not redeemed by these means, then he shall be released in the year of jubilee, he and his children with him.
55 For to me the people of Israel are servants, they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

[{ The biggest statement here as I see it is that all the people of Israel are God's servants, God's possessions, and must be protected and recognized by each other as belonging to God. You do not mess with God or His stuff.

As I see it, God went to great efforts to preserve and protect compassion. Part of that was protecting each man's livelihood. In our day, it would be our jobs that would need protecting. It looks to me like those in power today do not care about our jobs or ability to earn a living income and live sufficiently. Ask me which is better, God's law or man's and guess how I'll answer?!!}]

 



Leviticus 26-27
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26:
1 You shall not make idols to yourselves; and you shall not set up for yourselves graven images, or a memorial pillar. And you shall not place any stone image in your land, to bow yourselves to it; for I am Jehovah your God.
2 You shall keep My sabbaths, and revere My sanctuary; I am Jehovah.
3 If you walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them,
4 then I will give you rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the tree of the field shall give its fruit;
5 and your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time; and you shall eat your bread to satisfaction, and live in your land securely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall terrify you. And I shall cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, and the sword shall not pass over into your land.
7 And you shall pursue your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8 And five of you shall pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you shall pursue a myriad; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9 And I shall turn My face toward you and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and shall establish My covenant with you.
10 And you shall eat very old provision, and clear away the old because of the new.
11 And I will set My tabernacle in your midst, and My soul shall not loathe you;
12 and I shall walk always in your midst, and shall be God to you, and you, you shall be people to Me;
13 I am Jehovah your God, who has brought you out of the land of the Egyptians, from being their slaves; and I will break the bars of your yoke, and cause you to stand erect.

[{ God here makes promises to Israel if they keep His commands. We are obligated to obey even without reward but how much better when we get a reward for doing it! In verse 10, they would have so much that they would have to throw some away. An excess! But notice that while we have 13 verses of reward for obeying, coming up next are 33 verses of terrible punishments if Israel does not obey. And of course, if God will punish Israel for not obeying, He would do the same to Christians as well.}]

Leviticus 26:
14 And if you will not listen to Me, and do not do all these commands;
15 and if you reject My statutes, and if your soul hates My judgments, so as not to do all My commands, to the breaking of My covenant;
16 I will also do this to you, and I shall appoint terror over you, the wasting, and the burning fever, destroying the eyes, and consuming the soul; and you shall sow your seed in vain, and your enemies will eat it.
17 And I shall set My face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies; and those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee, and there will be no one pursuing you.
18 And if after these things you will not listen to Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sin;
19 and I will break the pride of your strength, and will make your heavens as iron, and your earth as bronze;
20 and your strength shall be consumed in vain, and your land shall not give her produce, and the tree of the land shall not give its fruit.

21 And if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to listen to Me, then I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins,
22 and send against you the beast of the field, and it shall bereave you. And I shall cut off your livestock and shall make you few, so that your ways are desolate.
23 And if you are not chastised by Me by these things, and shall walk contrary to Me,
24 then I, I also, shall walk contrary to you, and shall smite you, even I, seven times more for your sins;
25 and I will bring a sword on you, executing the vengeance of the covenant, and you shall be gathered to your cities, and I shall send pestilence into your midst; and you shall be given into the hand of an enemy.
26 When I break to you the staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and shall give back your bread by weight; and you shall eat, and shall not be satisfied.

27 If you will not listen to Me for this, and shall walk contrary to Me,
28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury. I also will chastise you, I also, seven times for your sins.
29 And you shall eat of the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat of the flesh of your daughters.
30 And I shall destroy your high places and cut down your altars, and shall put your dead bodies on the carcasses of your idols. And My soul shall loathe you.

31 And I shall make your cities a waste, and shall make your sanctuaries desolate; and I shall not smell your sweet fragrances.
32 And I shall make the land desolate, and your enemies who are living in it shall be astonished at it.
33 And I will scatter you among nations, and shall draw out the sword after you, and your land shall become a waste, and your cities shall be a desolation.
34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths, all the days of the desolation. And you shall be in the land of your enemies; then the land shall enjoy rest, and shall enjoy its sabbaths.
35 It shall rest all the days of the desolation, that which it has not rested in your sabbaths while you lived on it.
36 And those who are left of you, I shall also bring a faintness into their heart in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as one flees from the sword; and they shall fall when no one pursues.
37 And they shall stumble upon one another, as if it were before the sword, when no one pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
38 And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall devour you.
39 And of those who are left of you, they shall putrefy in their iniquity, in the lands of your enemies; and also in the iniquities of their fathers, they shall putrefy with them.
40 And if they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass with which they have trespassed against Me; and, also, that they have walked contrary to Me,

41 I also will walk contrary to them, and I will bring them into the land of their enemies. If their uncircumcised hearts are then humbled, and they then have satisfied for their iniquity;
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob; and also My covenant with Isaac; and I shall also remember My covenant with Abraham, and I shall remember the land.
43 For the land shall be forsaken by them, and shall satisfy for its sabbaths, in the desolation without them. And they shall satisfy for their iniquity, because, even because, they have kicked against My judgments, and their soul has loathed My statutes.

44 And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I hate them, to consume them, to break My covenant with them; for I am Jehovah their God.
45 Then I shall remember for them the covenant of the first fathers, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God; I am Jehovah.
46 These are the statutes and the judgments and the laws which Jehovah has given between Him and the sons of Israel, in Mount Sinai, by the hand of Moses.

[{ For them there is a lot of punishments and some pretty nasty ones, too. Those are all things that have happened to Israel in the past and will continue as long as they continue to reject the Messiah. But what is said for them also goes for unfaithful Christians who do not honor God appropriately. Anyone who has a deal with God had better honor it, regardless of who they are.}]

Leviticus 27:
1 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
2 Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When a man makes a difficult vow by your evaluation, the persons shall be Jehovah's.
3 And your evaluation shall be of the male from a son of twenty years even until a son of sixty years; then your evaluation shall be fifty shekels of silver by the shekel of the sanctuary.
4 And if it is a female, then your evaluation shall be thirty shekels.
5 And if from a son of five years to a son of twenty years, then your evaluation shall be twenty shekels for the male and ten shekels for the female.
6 And if a son of a month even to a son of five years, then your evaluation shall be five shekels of silver for the male and three shekels of silver for the female.
7 And if from a son of sixty years and above, if a male, then your evaluation shall be fifteen shekels and for a female ten shekels.
8 but if he is too poor for your evaluation, then he shall be made to stand before the priest, and the priest shall value him; the priest shall value him according to the reach of him who vowed.

[{ Lots to admire here. I gather that if a man makes a vow he can not keep, he shall pay a certain amount of prescribed money and be free of his vow. Maybe vow refers to more of what we would call a contract. I gather his whole family becomes involved in the "atonement." The price scheme is what interests me. Men are evaluated more than women of the same age range. Old people and children are evaluated at less, but males still more than females. A young infant the least of all. Christians (in name) today seem to value an infant over and above the mother or anyone. This is what fuels that abortion protest craze. But it is just the opposite in God's eyes. We do not know how an infant will progress and whether he shall turn out to be good or bad. His loss to a family as far as his contributions to it go, are minimal. the emotional toll is great but from God's eyes, it is not the same. An infant has a lot less invested in it than a grown adult. To lose an adult with all their accumulated experience and invested resources is a much greater. This may be how God sees it.

But it is the priest who decides if a man had made a difficult vow that can not be realistically lived up to.}]

Leviticus 27:
9 And if it is an animal of which they bring an offering to Jehovah, all that one gives of it to Jehovah is holy.
10 He shall not replace it, or change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good. And if he shall at all change animal for animal, then both it and that for which it is changed shall be holy.
11 And if any unclean animal, or one which they may not bring as an offering to Jehovah, then he shall make stand the animal before the priest.
12 And the priest shall value it, whether it is good or bad; as you the priest value it, so it shall be.
13 But if he really redeems it, then he shall add its fifth to your evaluation.

[{ If you bring an animal to Jehovah (to His temple to sacrifice), you can not change it once it is delivered to the priest to await slaughter or whatever. Maybe you notice a blemish of some sort and want to put a good one in its place or maybe you like it a lot and so would prefer to give another that while clean, is not as liked by you as the first, or maybe there is a problem you believe is hidden and won't be noticed. Whatever the case, you have to give both to the temple. You lose both. Why?

One should take great care when selecting a sacrificial animal. Very great care! To not do so is to risk offending God or breaking His requirements. That carelessness is punished. If you did not take care the first time, you lose both as a punishment for not being more careful and treating God's requirements carelessly. But it is better to lose both than to sacrifice a defective animal that could incur execution if it becomes known. If the sacrificial animal you want back is clean, you have to lose both. You do not take back what you originally gave to God, once it is handed over. If it is discovered too late that it is unclean, then you need to buy it back, that is redeem it, but at the price plus one fifth, 20%.}]

Leviticus 27:
14 And when a man sanctifies his house as a holy thing to Jehovah, then the priest shall value it, whether good or bad. As the priest values it, so it shall stand.
15 And if he who is sanctifying shall redeem the house, then he shall add a fifth of the silver of its valuation, and it shall become his.
16 And if a man sanctifies a field of his property to Jehovah, then your valuation shall be according to its seed; a homer of barley seed at fifty shekels of silver.
17 If he shall sanctify his field from the year of jubilee, it shall stand according to your valuation.
18 And if he shall sanctify his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall count to him the silver according to the years which are left, to the year of the jubilee. And it shall be deducted from your estimation.
19 And if he sanctifying the field really will redeem it, then he shall add a fifth of the silver of your evaluation to it, and it shall rise to become his.
20 And if he does not redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it is not to be redeemed any more.
21 And the field shall be holy to Jehovah when it goes out in the jubilee, as a field which is devoted. It shall be a possession to the priest
22 And if he should devote a field of his purchase, which is not of the fields of his possession,
23 then the priest shall count to him the amount of your valuation to the year of jubilee. And he shall give your valuation in that day, a holy thing to Jehovah.
24 In the year of jubilee the field shall return to him from whom he bought it, to him who owns it in the land.

[{ Keep in mind that the maintenance of the priesthood and temple, the bureaucracy of God, was essential, even over and above the nation, though one does not survive without the other. And there were needs of this bureaucracy that would need to be tended to, as time went by. God put provisions into place to look after these needs that might arise. Among the provisions were the dedication of house and/or land or piece of land which could be dedicated to God. The priests could grow crops, eat them, sell them and use the money to run the temple or whatever use might benefit them and their business.

Houses would be valued by the priest and bought back with a fifth (20%) added to the value. Call it interest if you like. It went to the preservation of the priesthood; and vows and dedications should not be made lightly nor easily taken back once dedicated. Land was valued according to what it could produce, using barley as the standard of calculation. Barley had less value than say, wheat, and in this, God was merciful in what He would attach to value of the land so that it might be redeemed (bought back) without too much difficulty. Land was valued according to time left until the next Jubilee and a fifth added to it if you wanted to buy it back.

I note a difference when land is dedicated to the priesthood in that the land did not revert to the former owner as his inheritance unless he redeemed it before the next Jubilee. If he did not, then it remained a possession of the priesthood forever. But if the land was not his when he dedicated it to the priesthood, then it did go back to the former owner before him as an inheritance so you could not short change someone whose land you owned till the next Jubilee and cause them to lose their inheritance. Jehovah was good about making only the rightful properties responsible for what they gave or dedicated to God. Remember, no one was obligated to donate or dedicate anything to God. But if one came to truly believe that perhaps they had a grievous or exceptional debt they owed to God, then a donation or dedication to God allowed them a way out, so to speak, whereby they could show the proper attitude and spirit (fruits) of repentance by making a dedication to God.

It was for our benefit and redemption and for it to have any true meaning, it should not be taken back lightly or easily. God is just.}]

Leviticus 27:
25 And all your valuation shall be by the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel.
26 However, no man shall dedicate a firstling, which is first-born to Jehovah among animals, whether ox or sheep; it is Jehovah's.
27 And if among the unclean animals, then he shall ransom it at your valuation, and he shall add its fifth to it. And if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold at your evaluation.
28 But any devoted thing which a man devotes to Jehovah from all which belongs to him, of man or of animal, or of the field of his possession, it shall not be sold nor redeemed. Every devoted thing to Jehovah is most holy.
29 No devoted thing which is dedicated by man shall be ransomed; it shall surely be put to death.
30 And all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, of the fruit of the tree, shall be Jehovah's; it is holy to Jehovah.
31 And if a man really redeems any of his tithes, he shall add its fifth to it.
32 And all the tithe of the herd and of the flock, all that passes under the rod, a tenth shall be holy to Jehovah;
33 he shall not search whether it is good or bad, nor shall he change it. And if he at all changes it, then it shall be that it and its substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
34 These are the commands which Jehovah has commanded Moses for the sons of Israel, on Mount Sinai.

[{ There was a serious penalty for going back on a deal with God. Not only would you not be able to get it back in most circumstances, you would pay extra as well. One should be very careful about giving anything to God and making any deals with Him because He is their God and should not be trifled with or taken lightly. What we pledge to Him, we should honor at all cost. This is the lesson of these last verses.

I am going to switch back to black for regular text now for the remainder of this article.}]

Leviticus is a tough book to understand. It is rather unique among the books of the law, especially due to chapter 27, the last chapter. this chapter brings up many things that are a challenge to understand for it would appear that they were understood within a certain context well understood at the time it was given and continued to be understood as long as the Godly bureaucracy existed and carried on. But since it was done away with by Rome in 70 AD, it is not always as clear as to how they ran and maintained things and how these laws were understood and practiced. But if one "googles" Lev. chap. 27, there are lots of interesting commentaries that should help some.

But there is a certain amount taken for granted in the way this was written that we are left to ponder. But I want to leave it at this: We know we have the Bible and that there had to be those who claimed to be prophets and records of their prophecies had to be kept so that it could later be determined if those prophecies had failed or come true. Some one had to keep the scrolls. That clearly had to be the priesthood. Somehow not specifically dictated and recorded, was a way in which this was done so that we have the Bible today. It was the priesthood who was responsible for keeping copies of the law always to be available for kings, later synagogues, or whoever else might need or require a copy of the law and other holy scrolls of the prophets. Or if one were to inquire about something in the law, the priest would have to be able to answer the person inquiring. That was one of the priest's jobs and responsibility.

And much the same can be said for the priesthood in general. It was kept, run, and maintained and exactly how is not always clear but it was there till 70 AD and we have the results of that, namely the sacrifice of Jesus in our behalf, and the word of God, the Bible. God claimed ownership of the priesthood and gave it His special protection and powers so that it would be assured of survival until such time as God saw fit to abolish it.

We know that in addition to allowing for help in running the temple by dedicating people to the temple, the Gibeonites in the time of Joshua were used to gather wood and water for the temple. They were used for that purpose until the time of king Saul when he unjustly wiped them out.

The rituals and symbols of the law have served their purpose and are no longer binding upon we who serve God. But there are great lessons to be learned and discerned from those rituals and symbols that led us to Christ. And though the rituals and symbols are no longer binding upon us, certainly the laws of God that regulate our behavior are relevant and binding upon us. God's laws are everlasting. We no longer have our own nation for which we are obligated to maintain and responsible for maintaining.

Jehovah has granted the nations a brief time to do as they please and they will answer to Him for what they do. So many and even most aspects of the law are no longer a concern for us. But the principles inherent in the law are certainly still ours to keep. We still owe God great respect and honor and we have to be good honorable people at heart and in spirit, which is what the law had always required anyway and I think we should all be able to see that in the law, particularly in this book of Leviticus. And were there not important things for us to know, then God would not have bothered to have it preserved for us to read now. Have fun reading! It's the least we could do, right?


Related Articles

Why We Don't Observe the Law!
Forever It Is Not!
Spiritual Israel
The Foundation for Our Faith And of the Church
God's Institution - The Nation of Israel
How to Interpret the Bible

Lessons From the Law series:
Commentary on Exodus
Commentary on Leviticus
Commentary on Numbers
Commentary on Deuteronomy
Blood, Fat, Atonement



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