Leviticus 26

1 “‘You shall make for yourselves no idols, and you shall not raise up an engraved image or a pillar, and you shall not place any figured stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God. 2 “‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. 3 “‘If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall reach to the vintage, and the vintage shall reach to the sowing time. You shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 “‘I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one will make you afraid. I will remove evil animals out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 “‘I will have respect for you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and will establish my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall move out the old because of the new. 11 I will set my tent amongst you, and my soul won’t abhor you. 12 I will walk amongst you, and will be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go upright. 14 “‘But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 and if you shall reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant; 16 I also will do this to you: I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall consume the eyes, and make the soul to pine away. You will sow your seed in vain, for your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you, and you will be struck before your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you; and you will flee when no one pursues you. 18 “‘If you in spite of these things will not listen to me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins. 19 I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your sky like iron, and your soil like brass. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain; for your land won’t yield its increase, neither will the trees of the land yield their fruit. 21 “‘If you walk contrary to me, and won’t listen to me, then I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. 22 I will send the wild animals amongst you, which will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number. Your roads will become desolate. 23 “‘If by these things you won’t be reformed to me, but will walk contrary to me; 24 then I will also walk contrary to you; and I will strike you, even I, seven times for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword upon you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be gathered together within your cities, and I will send the pestilence amongst you. You will be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver your bread again by weight. You shall eat, and not be satisfied. 27 “‘If you in spite of this won’t listen to me, but walk contrary to me; 28 then I will walk contrary to you in wrath. I will also chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons, and you will eat the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and my soul will abhor you. 31 I will lay your cities waste, and will bring your sanctuaries to desolation. I will not take delight in the sweet fragrance of your offerings. 32 I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein will be astonished at it. 33 I will scatter you amongst the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you. Your land will be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. 34 Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land. Even then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, even the rest which it didn’t have in your Sabbaths, when you lived on it. 36 “‘As for those of you who are left, I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf will put them to flight; and they shall flee, as one flees from the sword. They will fall when no one pursues. 37 They will stumble over one another, as it were before the sword, when no one pursues. You will have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish amongst the nations. The land of your enemies will eat you up. 39 Those of you who are left will pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers they shall pine away with them. 40 “‘If they confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary to me, 41 I also walked contrary to them, and brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity; 42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land. 43 The land also will be left by them, and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them: and they will accept the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected my ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes. 44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God; 45 but I will for their sake remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD.’” 46 These are the statutes, ordinances and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai by Moses.

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

Verses 1–13

This chapter contains a general enforcement of all the laws given by Moses; by promises of reward in case of obedience, on the one hand; and threatenings of punishment for disobedience, on the other. While Israel maintained a national regard to God’s worship, sabbaths, and sanctuary, and did not turn aside to idolatry, the Lord engaged to continue to them temporal mercies and religious advantages. These great and precious promises, though they relate chiefly to the life which now is, were typical of the spiritual blessings made sure by the covenant of grace to all believers, through Christ. 1. Plenty and abundance of the fruits of the earth. Every good and perfect gift must be expected from above, from the Father of lights. 2. Peace under the Divine protection. Those dwell in safety, that dwell in God. 3. Victory and success in their wars. It is all one with the Lord to save by many or by few. 4. The increase of their people. The gospel church shall be fruitful. 5. The favour of God, which is the fountain of all Good. 6. Tokens of his presence in and by his ordinances. The way to have God’s ordinances fixed among us, is to cleave closely to them. 7. The grace of the covenant. All covenant blessings are summed up in the covenant relation, I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and they are all grounded upon their redemption. Having purchased them, God would own them, and never cast them off till they cast him off. (Le 26:14-39)

Verses 14–39

After God has set the blessing before them which would make them a happy people if they would be obedient, he here sets the curse before them, the evils which would make them miserable, if they were disobedient. Two things would bring ruin. 1. A contempt of God’s commandments. They that reject the precept, will come at last to renounce the covenant. 2. A contempt of his corrections. If they will not learn obedience by the things they suffer, God himself would be against them; and this is the root and cause of all their misery. And also, The whole creation would be at war with them. All God’s sore judgments would be sent against them. The threatenings here are very particular, they were prophecies, and He that foresaw all their rebellions, knew they would prove so. TEMPORAL judgments are threatened. Those who will not be parted from their sins by the commands of God, shall be parted from them by judgments. Those wedded to their lusts, will have enough of them. SPIRITUAL judgments are threatened, which should seize the mind. They should find no acceptance with God. A guilty conscience would be their continual terror. It is righteous with God to leave those to despair of pardon, who presume to sin; and it is owing to free grace, if we are not left to pine away in the iniquity we were born in, and have lived in.

Verses 40–46

Among the Israelites, persons were not always prosperous or afflicted according to their obedience or disobedience. But national prosperity was the effect of national obedience, and national judgments were brought on by national wickedness. Israel was under a peculiar covenant. National wickedness will end in the ruin of any people, especially where the word of God and the light of the gospel are enjoyed. Sooner or later, sin will be the ruin, as well as the reproach, of every people. Oh that, being humbled for our sins, we might avert the rising storm before it bursts upon us! God grant that we may, in this our day, consider the things which belong to our eternal peace.

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