Leviticus 19

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘You shall be holy; for I, the LORD your God, am holy. 3 “‘Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God. 4 “‘Don’t turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God. 5 “‘When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day: and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burnt with fire. 7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted; 8 but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of the LORD, and that soul shall be cut off from his people. 9 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am the LORD your God. 11 “‘You shall not steal. “‘You shall not lie. “‘You shall not deceive one another. 12 “‘You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. 13 “‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. “‘The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 “‘You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am the LORD. 15 “‘You shall do no injustice in judgement. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness. 16 “‘You shall not go up and down as a slanderer amongst your people. “‘You shall not endanger the life of your neighbor. I am the LORD. 17 “‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. 19 “‘You shall keep my statutes. “‘You shall not cross-breed different kinds of animals. “‘You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; “‘Don’t wear a garment made of two kinds of material. 20 “‘If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21 He shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed: and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him. 23 “‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years they shall be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving praise to the LORD. 25 In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am the LORD your God. 26 “‘You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it. You shall not use enchantments, nor practice sorcery. 27 “‘You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your head or clip off the edge of your beard. 28 “‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am the LORD. 29 “‘Don’t profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness. 30 “‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 “‘Don’t turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. 32 “‘You shall rise up before the grey head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am the LORD. 33 “‘If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born amongst you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. 35 “‘You shall do no unrighteousness in judgement, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 “‘You shall observe all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them. I am the LORD.’”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–37

There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. #(2). To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. #(3). The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. #(4). Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. #(9). Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. #(11). Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. #(12). We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. #(13). We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. #(14). Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men’s anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. #(15). To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. #(17). Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. #(18). We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. #(31): For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, “What harm is there in these things?” Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. #(32). Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. #(33). Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God’s particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God’s grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. #(35). We must make conscience of obeying God’s precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God’s law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.

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