Today’s reading is: Lev. 17-19
Leviticus Chapter Seventeen
- Following the revelation of the day of atonement, additional warnings are given regarding the sacred nature of blood (Lev. 17:1-16).
- All animal sacrifices must be brought to the tabernacle, so that the blood can be poured out and sprinkled, and the fat can be given to the Lord (Lev. 17:3-6). No other location inside the camp or outside the camp is acceptable for animal sacrifice.
- This regulation was a preventative measure against idolatrous practices (Lev. 17:5).
- The Lord declared that He was bringing their goat-demon worship to an end (Lev. 17:7; Josh. 24:14). שָׂעִיר sa‘iyr #8163: satyr, demon (2nd Chr. 11:15; Isa. 13:21; 34:14).
- The Lord also emphasized the importance of not eating the blood (Lev. 17:10-14; Gen. 9:4; Lev. 3:17; 7:26,27).
Leviticus Chapter Eighteen
- God’s laws for personal holiness include His stipulations concerning sexual activity (Lev. 18:1-30).
- Just because other nations do something, doesn’t make it right. Israel was to be obedient to the absolute standards of the righteousness of God (Lev. 18:1-5).
- Adherence to God’s laws for sexual morality results in continued life (Lev. 18:5), but defiance of God’s laws for sexual morality defiles a land, and results in Divine judgment (Lev. 18:24-30).
- The first section of sexual ordinances details boundaries for sexual activity (Lev. 18:6-21).
- Extra-marital sexual activity was previously prohibited in the Decalogue (Ex. 20:14).
- Non-marital sexual activity likewise was previously prohibited, and resulted in marriage (Ex. 22:16,17; Deut. 22:29).
- The sexual boundaries of Lev. 18, then, are marital boundaries. The basic principle is: don’t marry and have sex with family members (Lev. 18:6).
- Don’t marry and have sex with your mother (Lev. 18:7).
- Don’t marry and have sex with your step-mother (Lev. 18:8).
- Don’t marry and have sex with your sister, step-sister, or ½ sister (Lev. 18:9,11).
- Don’t marry and have sex with your granddaughter (Lev. 18:10).
- Don’t marry and have sex with your aunt (Lev. 18:12,13,14).
- Don’t marry and have sex with your daughter-in-law or sister-in-law (Lev. 18:15,16).
- Don’t have polygamous marriage and have sex with mothers & their daughters or granddaughters (Lev. 18:17).
- Don’t have polygamous marriage and have sex with sisters (Lev. 18:18).
- Don’t have sex with your wife during her menstrual impurity (Lev. 18:19).
- Don’t ever have sex with your neighbor’s wife, a reminder of the 7th Commandment (Lev. 18:20; Ex. 20:14).
- Child-sacrifice to Molech was the pagan method for discarding the consequences and continuing in sexual debauchery (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut. 12:31; 18:10; 2nd Kgs. 3:27).
- The follow up to the boundaries for marital sexual relations is a section on other gross sexual activities.
- Homosexual activity is an abomination (Lev. 18:22). תֹּועֵבָה tow‘ēbāh #8441: disgusting thing, abomination (Used 117x in the OT). Additional Bible passages condemn homosexual activity (Gen. 19, Lev. 20:13; Jdg. 19:22; Rom. 1:26,27; 1st Cor. 6:9).
- Bestiality is a perversion (Lev. 18:23). תֶּבֶל tebel #8397: confusion, perversion (Used 2x2vv.). Additional Bible passages condemn bestiality (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 20:15,16; Deut. 27:21).
- Beyond the personal defilements, homosexuality and bestiality generate national and territorial defilements (Lev. 18:24-30). Such national and territorial defilements over time result in land vomiting (vv.25,28 cf. Lev. 20:22).
Leviticus Chapter Nineteen
- Chapter Nineteen is a broad chapter, taking the issue of holiness, and applying it to a variety of circumstances in the Old Testament believer’s redeemed Way of Life.
- Holiness begins at home, from the youngest of ages.
- Therefore, the Lord preaches a sermon on three out of the ten commandments: #5, #4, & #2 (Lev. 19:1-4).
- The phrase, “I am the Lord” or “I am the Lord your God” occurs repeatedly throughout the passage, as the basis for why these believers were expected to obey (Lev. 19:3,4,10,12,14,16,18,25,28,30,31,32,34,36,37).
- One of the best times for family worship, and for the instruction of children, is during the feasting of the peace offerings (Lev. 19:5-8).
- The Lord established a variety of commandments with respect to a well-functioning society (Lev. 19:9-16).
- The Lord established a principle for the needy and the stranger to work for their food (vv.9,10).
- The Lord established business principles for integrity in the community (vv.11,12).
- The Lord established business principles for the fair payment of employees and contractors (v.13).
- The Lord established regulations for the protection of those with disabilities (v.14).
- The Lord established judicial principles for equal treatment in the courts (vv.15,16).
- The Lord taught that the external commandments are dependent upon the internal heart attitude (Lev. 19:17,18).
- The Lord then instructed them in the importance of maintaining a separation in what God has created separately (Lev. 19:19).
- A somewhat awkward afterthought to the admonishments of internal heart attitude and inappropriate mixing of kinds details a hypothetical adultery loophole (Lev. 19:20-22).
- The Lord instructed Israel in planting their new orchards, and the patience required in providing appropriate offerings to the Lord (Lev. 19:23-25).
- The Lord warned Israel about the witchcraft and sorcery which they would encounter in the land of Canaan (Lev. 19:26-31).
- The Lord admonished Israel to be respectful of the elderly (Lev. 19:32).
- The Lord admonished Israel to be hospitable towards the strangers among them (Lev. 19:33-37).