Leviticus 18:1 ¦ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Leviticus 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 18:3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
Leviticus 18:4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
This chapter opens with GodŐs declaration to the people of Israel that He is the LORD their God—THE authority that is to be respected and obeyed over and above anyone or anything else. His people are not to live according to the amoral laws and practices learned from the people of Egypt or according to the laws and morals of the people of Canaan. GodŐs chosen people, the people of Israel, are to live according to the laws and morals He establishes for them. Emphasis is made that those who live according to GodŐs laws and judgments will promote life and will keep them from suffering the consequences that accompany such disobedience.
Leviticus 18:6 ¦ None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 18:7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Leviticus 18:8 The nakedness of thy fatherŐs wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy fatherŐs nakedness.
Leviticus 18:9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.
Leviticus 18:10 The nakedness of thy sonŐs daughter, or of thy daughterŐs daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.
Leviticus 18:11 The nakedness of thy fatherŐs wifeŐs daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Leviticus 18:12 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy fatherŐs sister: she is thy fatherŐs near kinswoman.
Leviticus 18:13 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy motherŐs sister: for she is thy motherŐs near kinswoman.
Leviticus 18:14 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy fatherŐs brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.
Leviticus 18:15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy sonŐs wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Leviticus 18:16 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brotherŐs wife: it is thy brotherŐs nakedness.
This whole section sets forth the guidelines for those with whom it is inappropriate to engage in sexual relationships. Until God directed differently, it was acceptable for even close relatives to mate with one another. Due to the consequences of the physical deterioration of the body and its impact on family genetics as a result of manŐs sin, it became necessary for the LORD to establish guidelines that prevented the continued practices of intermarriage with close family members.
The LORD also forbade relationships with relatives by marriage.
The LORD also wanted to make sure that His people not live according to practices that were recognized as being associated with the worship of false gods.
Leviticus 18:17 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her sonŐs daughter, or her daughterŐs daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
Leviticus 18:18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.
These verses forbid a man from establishing a relationship with a mother and her daughter or granddaughter. In GodŐs eyes, these are close relatives and such relationships wicked.
It was also forbidden to marry sisters (e.g., Leah and Rachel) and create a rival relationship between them.
From the very beginning God made known His purpose for one man-one woman monogamous relationships for life.
Genesis 2:22–24 ŇAnd the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Ó
We know from the scripture that it was a part of the culture of that time for men to have more than one wife and/or concubines. Such family units always resulted in experiencing sorrow and/or wickedness that were rooted in such choices (e.g., Abraham, Jacob and King David).
Leviticus 18:19 ¦ Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
This verse forbids a man to have sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual period.
Leviticus 18:20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbourŐs wife, to defile thyself with her.
This verse forbids adultery with your neighborŐs wife.
Leviticus 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
This verse forbids the sacrifice of children to the demon god Molech. It is interesting note that it also includes a commandment not to profane the name of the LORD. One couldnŐt sacrifice to Molech without profaning the name of Ňthy God.Ó Whether one chooses to accept it or not, there is only one God, the God of Israel.
Isaiah 44:6 ŇThus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.Ó
Isaiah 45:5 ŇI am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside meÉ.Ó
Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
This verse forbids homosexuality. God is very clear in His word, no matter how many try to say differently, that homosexuality is sinful. God describes it as morally disgusting (from the Hebrew). This truth is affirmed in the New Testament.
Romans 1:21-27 ŇBecause that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.Ó
The judgment for disobedience is death (as revealed in chapter 20).
Leviticus 20:13 ŇIf a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.Ó
Leviticus 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Unbelievable that God had to even utter a command against such—This verse forbids sexual relations with animals. I am sure such actions were part and parcel of the worship of demonic false gods. Again, the judgment for disobedience is found in chapter 20.
Leviticus 20:15–16 ŇAnd if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.Ó
Leviticus 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
Leviticus 18:25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
Leviticus 18:26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
Leviticus 18:27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
Leviticus 18:28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
This section comes to a close with a warning for the people not to defile themselves by disobeying the commands outlined in these verses. Point is made that it was these types of actions for which the LORD was taking the land away from the Canaanite nations and giving it to Israel. The description is one of a land so filled with the wickedness of the people living there that it vomits out the people in trying to rid itself of poison. Warning is given that disobedience to GodŐs commands would result in the same consequences for the people of Israel.
Leviticus 18:29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
Leviticus 18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.
Anyone caught in disobedience of any of these evil practices was to be Ňcut off,Ó and in most instances the penalty was death according to chapter 20.
Again, the emphatic truth—ŇI am the LORD your God.Ó