Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) February 2
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Leviticus 17:1--19:37

Context
The Slaughter of Animals

17:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 17:2 “Speak to Aaron, his sons, and all the Israelites, and tell them: ‘This is the word that the Lord has commanded: 17:3 “Blood guilt 1  will be accounted to any man 2  from the house of Israel 3  who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat inside the camp or outside the camp, 4  17:4 but has not brought it to the entrance of the Meeting Tent 5  to present it as 6  an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord. He has shed blood, so that man will be cut off from the midst of his people. 7  17:5 This is so that 8  the Israelites will bring their sacrifices that they are sacrificing in the open field 9  to the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent to the priest and sacrifice them there as peace offering sacrifices to the Lord. 17:6 The priest is to splash 10  the blood on the altar 11  of the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, and offer the fat up in smoke for a soothing aroma to the Lord. 17:7 So they must no longer offer 12  their sacrifices to the goat demons, 13  acting like prostitutes by going after them. 14  This is to be a perpetual statute for them throughout their generations. 15 

17:8 “You are to say to them: ‘Any man 16  from the house of Israel or 17  from the foreigners who reside 18  in their 19  midst, who offers 20  a burnt offering or a sacrifice 17:9 but does not bring it to the entrance of the Meeting Tent to offer it 21  to the Lord – that person will be cut off from his people. 22 

Prohibition against Eating Blood

17:10 “‘Any man 23  from the house of Israel or from the foreigners who reside 24  in their 25  midst who eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats the blood, and I will cut him off from the midst of his people, 26  17:11 for the life of every living thing 27  is in the blood. 28  So I myself have assigned it to you 29  on the altar to make atonement for your lives, for the blood makes atonement by means of the life. 30  17:12 Therefore, I have said to the Israelites: No person among you is to eat blood, 31  and no resident foreigner who lives among you is to eat blood. 32 

17:13 “‘Any man from the Israelites 33  or from the foreigners who reside 34  in their 35  midst who hunts a wild animal 36  or a bird that may be eaten 37  must pour out its blood and cover it with soil, 17:14 for the life of all flesh is its blood. 38  So I have said to the Israelites: You must not eat the blood of any living thing 39  because the life of every living thing is its blood – all who eat it will be cut off. 40 

Regulations for Eating Carcasses

17:15 “‘Any person 41  who eats an animal that has died of natural causes 42  or an animal torn by beasts, whether a native citizen or a foreigner, 43  must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening; then he becomes clean. 17:16 But if he does not wash his clothes 44  and does not bathe his body, he will bear his punishment for iniquity.’” 45 

Exhortation to Obedience and Life

18:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18:2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘I am the Lord your God! 18:3 You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you have been living, 46  and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; 47  you must not 48  walk in their statutes. 18:4 You must observe my regulations 49  and you must be sure to walk in my statutes. 50  I am the Lord your God. 18:5 So you must keep 51  my statutes and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them. 52  I am the Lord.

Laws of Sexual Relations

18:6 “‘No man is to approach any close relative 53  to have sexual intercourse with her. 54  I am the Lord. 55  18:7 You must not 56  expose your father’s nakedness by having sexual intercourse with your mother. 57  She is your mother; you must not have intercourse with her. 18:8 You must not have sexual intercourse with your father’s wife; she is your father’s nakedness. 58  18:9 You must not have sexual intercourse with your sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, 59  whether she is born in the same household or born outside it; 60  you must not have sexual intercourse with either of them. 61  18:10 You must not expose the nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter by having sexual intercourse with them, because they are your own nakedness. 62  18:11 You must not have sexual intercourse with the daughter of your father’s wife born of your father; she is your sister. You must not have intercourse with her. 63  18:12 You must not have sexual intercourse with your father’s sister; she is your father’s flesh. 64  18:13 You must not have sexual intercourse with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s flesh. 18:14 You must not expose the nakedness of your father’s brother; you must not approach his wife to have sexual intercourse with her. 65  She is your aunt. 66  18:15 You must not have sexual intercourse with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. You must not have intercourse with her. 18:16 You must not have sexual intercourse with your brother’s wife; she is your brother’s nakedness. 67  18:17 You must not have sexual intercourse with both a woman and her daughter; you must not take as wife either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to have intercourse with them. 68  They are closely related to her 69  – it is lewdness. 70  18:18 You must not take a woman in marriage and then marry her sister as a rival wife 71  while she is still alive, 72  to have sexual intercourse with her.

18:19 “‘You must not approach a woman in her menstrual impurity 73  to have sexual intercourse with her. 18:20 You must not have sexual intercourse 74  with the wife of your fellow citizen to become unclean with her. 18:21 You must not give any of your children as an offering to Molech, 75  so that you do not profane 76  the name of your God. I am the Lord! 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; 77  it is a detestable act. 78  18:23 You must not have sexual intercourse 79  with any animal to become defiled with it, and a woman must not stand before an animal to have sexual intercourse with it; 80  it is a perversion. 81 

Warning against the Abominations of the Nations

18:24 “‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, for the nations which I am about to drive out before you 82  have been defiled with all these things. 18:25 Therefore 83  the land has become unclean and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it, 84  so that the land has vomited out its inhabitants. 18:26 You yourselves must obey 85  my statutes and my regulations and must not do any of these abominations, both the native citizen and the resident foreigner in your midst, 86  18:27 for the people who were in the land before you have done all these abominations, 87  and the land has become unclean. 18:28 So do not make the land vomit you out because you defile it 88  just as it has vomited out the nations 89  that were before you. 18:29 For if anyone does any of these abominations, the persons who do them will be cut off from the midst of their people. 90  18:30 You must obey my charge to not practice any of the abominable statutes 91  that have been done before you, so that you do not 92  defile yourselves by them. I am the Lord your God.’”

Religious and Social Regulations

19:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 19:2 “Speak to the whole congregation of the Israelites and tell them, ‘You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. 19:3 Each of you must respect his mother and his father, 93  and you must keep my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. 19:4 Do not turn to idols, 94  and you must not make for yourselves gods of cast metal. I am the Lord your God.

Eating the Peace Offering

19:5 “‘When you sacrifice a peace offering sacrifice to the Lord, you must sacrifice it so that it is accepted for you. 95  19:6 It must be eaten on the day of your sacrifice and on the following day, 96  but what is left over until the third day must be burned up. 97  19:7 If, however, it is eaten 98  on the third day, it is spoiled, 99  it will not be accepted, 19:8 and the one who eats it will bear his punishment for iniquity 100  because he has profaned 101  what is holy to the Lord. 102  That person will be cut off from his people. 103 

Leaving the Gleanings

19:9 “‘When you gather in the harvest 104  of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, 105  and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. 19:10 You must not pick your vineyard bare, 106  and you must not gather up the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You must leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

Dealing Honestly

19:11 “‘You must not steal, you must not tell lies, and you must not deal falsely with your fellow citizen. 107  19:12 You must not swear falsely 108  in my name, so that you do not profane 109  the name of your God. I am the Lord. 19:13 You must not oppress your neighbor or commit robbery against him. 110  You must not withhold 111  the wages of the hired laborer overnight until morning. 19:14 You must not curse a deaf person or put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. 112  You must fear 113  your God; I am the Lord.

Justice, Love, and Propriety

19:15 “‘You 114  must not deal unjustly in judgment: 115  you must neither show partiality to the poor nor honor the rich. 116  You must judge your fellow citizen fairly. 117  19:16 You must not go about as a slanderer among your people. 118  You must not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake. 119  I am the Lord. 19:17 You must not hate your brother in your heart. You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur sin on account of him. 120  19:18 You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge 121  against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. 122  I am the Lord. 19:19 You must keep my statutes. You must not allow two different kinds of your animals to breed, 123  you must not sow your field with two different kinds of seed, and you must not wear 124  a garment made of two different kinds of fabric. 125 

Lying with a Slave Woman

19:20 “‘When a man has sexual intercourse with a woman, 126  although she is a slave woman designated for another man and she has not yet been ransomed, or freedom has not been granted to her, there will be an obligation to pay compensation. 127  They must not be put to death, because she was not free. 19:21 He must bring his guilt offering to the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, a guilt offering ram, 128  19:22 and the priest is to make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he has committed, 129  and he will be forgiven 130  of his sin 131  that he has committed.

The Produce of Fruit Trees

19:23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any fruit tree, 132  you must consider its fruit to be forbidden. 133  Three years it will be forbidden to you; 134  it must not be eaten. 19:24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, praise offerings 135  to the Lord. 19:25 Then in the fifth year you may eat its fruit to add its produce to your harvest. 136  I am the Lord your God.

Blood, Hair, and Body

19:26 “‘You must not eat anything with the blood still in it. 137  You must not practice either divination or soothsaying. 138  19:27 You must not round off the corners of the hair on your head or ruin the corners of your beard. 139  19:28 You must not slash your body for a dead person 140  or incise a tattoo on yourself. 141  I am the Lord. 19:29 Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, 142  so that the land does not practice prostitution and become full of lewdness. 143 

Purity, Honor, Respect, and Honesty

19:30 “‘You must keep my Sabbaths and fear my sanctuary. I am the Lord. 19:31 Do not turn to the spirits of the dead and do not seek familiar spirits 144  to become unclean by them. I am the Lord your God. 19:32 You must stand up in the presence of the aged, honor the presence of an elder, and fear your God. I am the Lord. 19:33 When a foreigner resides 145  with you in your land, you must not oppress him. 19:34 The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so 146  you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. 19:35 You must not do injustice in the regulation of measures, whether of length, weight, or volume. 147  19:36 You must have honest balances, 148  honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin. 149  I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt. 19:37 You must be sure to obey all my statutes and regulations. 150  I am the Lord.’”

1 tn The complex wording of vv. 3-4 requires stating “blood guilt” at the beginning of v. 3 even though it is not mentioned until the middle of v. 4. The Hebrew text has simply “blood,” but in this case it refers to the illegitimate shedding of animal blood, similar to the shedding of the blood of an innocent human being (Deut 19:10, etc.). In order for it to be legitimate the animal must be slaughtered at the tabernacle and its blood handled by the priests in the prescribed way (see, e.g., Lev 1:5; 3:2, 17; 4:5-7; 7:26-27, etc.; cf. vv. 10-16 below for more details).

2 tn Heb “Man man.” The reduplication is way of saying “any man” (cf. Lev 15:2; 22:18, etc.). See the note on Lev 15:2.

3 tn The original LXX adds “or the sojourners who sojourn in your midst” (cf. Lev 16:29, etc., and note esp. 17:8, 10, and 13 below).

4 tn Heb “or who slaughters from outside to the camp.”

5 tn Smr and LXX add after “tent of meeting” the following: “to make it a burnt offering or a peace offering to the Lord for your acceptance as a soothing aroma, and slaughters it outside, and at the doorway of the tent of meeting has not brought it.”

6 tc Smr includes the suffix “it,” which is needed in any case in the translation to conform to English style.

7 sn The exact meaning of this penalty clause is not certain. It could mean (1) that he will be executed, whether by God or by man, (2) that he will be excommunicated from sanctuary worship and/or community benefits, or (3) that his line will be terminated by God (i.e., extirpation). See also the note on Lev 7:20.

8 tn Heb “So that which.”

9 tn Heb “on the faces of the field.”

10 tn For the translation “splash” see the note on Lev 1:5.

11 tn The LXX adds “all around” (i.e., Hebrew סָבִיב [saviv, “all around”]), which is normal for this overall construction (see, e.g., Lev 1:5; 3:8, etc.).

12 tn Heb “sacrifice.” This has been translated as “offer” for stylistic reasons to avoid the redundancy of “sacrifice their sacrifices.”

13 tn On “goat demons” of the desert regions see the note on Lev 16:8.

14 tn Heb “which they are committing harlotry after them.”

15 tn Heb “for your generations.”

16 tn Heb “Man, man.” The repetition of the word “man” is distributive, meaning “any [or “every”] man” (GKC 395-96 §123.c; cf. Lev 15:2).

17 tn Heb “and.” Here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) has an alternative sense (“or”).

18 tn Heb “from the sojourner who sojourns.”

19 tc The LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate have “your” (plural) rather than “their.”

20 tn Heb “causes to go up.”

21 tn Heb “to make it,” meaning “to make the sacrifice.”

22 tn For remarks on the “cut off” penalty see the note on v. 4 above.

23 tn Heb “And man, man.” The repetition of the word “man” is distributive, meaning “any (or every) man” (GKC 395-96 §123.c; cf. Lev 15:2).

24 tn Heb “from the sojourner who sojourns.”

25 tc The LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate have “your” (plural) rather than “their.”

26 tn Heb “I will give my faces against [literally “in”] the soul/person/life [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh, feminine] who eats the blood and I will cut it [i.e., that נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh] off from the midst of its people.” The uses of נֶפֶשׁ in this and the following verse are most significant for the use of animal blood in Israel’s sacrificial system. Unfortunately, it is a most difficult word to translate accurately and consistently, and this presents a major problem for the rendering of these verses (see, e.g., G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 244-45). No matter which translation of נֶפֶשׁ one uses here, it is important to see that both man and animal have נֶפֶשׁ and that this נֶפֶשׁ is identified with the blood. See the further remarks on v. 11 below. On the “cutting off” penalty see the note on v. 4 above. In this instance, God takes it on himself to “cut off” the person (i.e., extirpation).

27 tn Heb “the life of the flesh.” Here “flesh” stands for “every living thing,” that is, all creatures (cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT “every creature”; CEV “every living creature.”

28 tn Heb “for the soul/life (נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh) of the flesh, it is in the blood” (cf. the note of v. 10 above and v. 14 below). Although most modern English versions begin a new sentence in v. 11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (see, e.g., NJPS, NASB, NIV, NRSV), the כִּי (ki, “for, because”) at the beginning of the verse suggests continuation from v. 10, as the rendering here indicates (see, e.g., NEB, NLT; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 261; and G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 239).

sn This verse is a well-known crux interpretum for blood atonement in the Bible. The close association between the blood and “the soul/life [נֶפֶשׁ] of the flesh [בָּשָׂר, basar]” (v. 11a) begins in Gen 9:2-5 (if not Gen 4:10-11), where the Lord grants man the eating of meat (i.e., the “flesh” of animals) but also issues a warning: “But flesh [בָּשָׂר] with its soul/life [נֶפֶשׁ], [which is] its blood, you shall not eat” (cf. G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 1:151 and 193). Unfortunately, the difficulty in translating נֶפֶשׁ consistently (see the note on v. 10 above) obscures the close connection between the (human) “person” in v. 10 and “the life” (of animals, 2 times) and “your (human) lives” in v. 11, all of which are renderings of נֶפֶשׁ. The basic logic of the passage is that (a) no נֶפֶשׁ should eat the blood when he eats the בָּשָׂר of an animal (v. 10) because (b) the נֶפֶשׁ of בָּשָׂר is identified with the blood that flows through and permeates it (v. 11a), and (c) the Lord himself has assigned (i.e., limited the use of) animal blood, that is, animal נֶפֶשׁ, to be the instrument or price of making atonement for the נֶפֶשׁ of people (v. 11b). See the detailed remarks and literature cited in R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:693-95, 697-98.

29 tn Heb “And I myself have given it to you.”

30 tn Heb “for the blood, it by (בְּ, bet preposition, “in”] the life makes atonement.” The interpretation of the preposition is pivotal here. Some scholars have argued that it is a bet of exchange; that is, “the blood makes atonement in exchange for the life [of the slaughtered animal]” (see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:694-95, 697 for analysis and criticism of this view). It is more likely that, as in the previous clause (“your lives”), “life/soul” (נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh) here refers to the person who makes the offering, not the animal offered. The blood of the animal makes atonement for the person who offers it either “by means of” (instrumental bet) the “life/soul” of the animal, which it symbolizes or embodies (the meaning of the translation given here); or perhaps the blood of the animal functions as “the price” (bet of price) for ransoming the “life/soul” of the person.

31 tn Heb “all/any person from you shall not eat blood.”

32 tn Heb “and the sojourner, the one sojourning in your midst, shall not eat blood.”

33 tc A few medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, and Tg. Ps.-J. have “from the house of Israel” as in vv. 3, 8, and 10, but the LXX agrees with the MT.

34 tn Heb “from the sojourner who sojourns.”

35 tc The LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, and certain mss of Smr have “your” (plural) rather than “their” (cf. v. 10 above).

36 tn Heb “[wild] game of animal.”

37 tn That is, it must be a clean animal, not an unclean animal (cf. Lev 11).

38 tn Heb “for the life/soul (נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh) of all flesh, its blood in its life/soul (נֶפֶשׁ) it is.” The LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate leave out “in its life/soul,” which would naturally yield “for the life of all flesh, its blood it is” (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 261, 263). The present translation is something of an oversimplification, but the meaning is basically the same in any case. Cf. NRSV “For the life of every creature – its blood is its life.”

39 tn Heb “of all flesh” (also later in this verse). See the note on “every living thing” in v. 11.

40 tn For remarks on the “cut off” penalty see the note on v. 4 above.

41 tn Heb “And any soul” (נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh).

42 tn Heb “carcass,” referring to the carcass of an animal that has died on its own, not the carcass of an animal slaughtered for sacrifice or killed by wild beasts. This has been clarified in the translation by supplying the phrase “of natural causes”; cf. NAB “that died of itself”; TEV “that has died a natural death.”

43 tn Heb “in the native or in the sojourner.”

44 tn The words “his clothes” are not in the Hebrew text, but are repeated in the translation for clarity.

45 tn Heb “and he shall bear his iniquity.” The rendering “bear the punishment for the iniquity” reflects the use of the word “iniquity” to refer to the punishment for iniquity. This is sometimes referred to as the consequential use of the term (cf. Lev 5:17; 7:18; 10:17; etc.).

sn For the interpretation of this verse reflected in the present translation, see the remarks on Lev 5:1 in J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:292-97.

46 tn Heb “As the work [or “deed”] of the land of Egypt, which you were dwelling in it, you must not do.”

47 tn Heb “and as the work [or “deed”] of the land of Canaan which I am bringing you to there, you must not do.” The participle “I am bringing” is inceptive; the Lord is “about to” bring them into the land of Canaan, as opposed to their having dwelt previously in the land of Egypt (see the first part of the verse).

48 tn Heb “and you shall not walk.”

49 tn Heb “My regulations you shall do”; KJV, NASB “my judgments”; NRSV “My ordinances”; NIV, TEV “my laws.”

sn The Hebrew term translated “regulation” (מִשְׁפָּט, mishpat) refers to the set of regulations about to be set forth in the following chapters (cf. Lev 19:37; 20:22; 25:18; 26:46). Note especially the thematic and formulaic relationships between the introduction here in Lev 18:1-5 and the paraenesis in Lev 20:22-26, both of which refer explicitly to the corrupt nations and the need to separate from them by keeping the Lord’s regulations.

50 tn Heb “and my statutes you shall keep [or “watch; guard”] to walk in them.”

51 tn Heb “And you shall keep.”

52 tn Heb “which the man shall do them and shall live in them.” The term for “a man, human being; mankind” (אָדָם, ’adam; see the note on Lev 1:2) in this case refers to any person among “mankind,” male or female. The expression וָחַי (vakhay, “and shall live”) looks like the adjective “living” so it is written וְחָיָה (vÿkhayah) in Smr, but the MT form is simply the same verb written as a double ayin verb (see HALOT 309 s.v. חיה qal and GKC 218 §76.i; cf. Lev 25:35).

53 tn Heb “Man, man shall not draw near to any flesh (שְׁאֵר, shÿer) of his body/flesh (בָּשָׂר, basar).” The repetition of the word “man” is distributive, meaning “any (or “every”) man” (GKC 395-96 §123.c; cf. Lev 15:2). The two words for “flesh” are combined to refer to emphasize the physical familial relatedness (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 282, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 119).

54 tn Heb “to uncover [her] nakedness” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV), which is clearly euphemistic for sexual intercourse (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 282, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 119). This expression occurs a number of times in the following context and is generally translated “have sexual intercourse with [someone],” although in the case of the father mentioned in the following verse the expression may be connected to the shame or disgrace that would belong to the father whose wife’s sexuality is violated by his son. See the note on the word “mother” in v. 7.

55 sn The general statement prohibiting sexual intercourse between close relatives serves as an opening summary statement for the following section, which gives details concerning which degrees of relationship are specifically forbidden.

56 tn The verbal negative here is the same as that used in the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:4-5, 7, 13-17). It suggests permanent prohibition rather than a simple negative command and could, therefore, be rendered “must not” here and throughout the following section as it is in vv. 3-4 above.

57 tn Heb “The nakedness of your father and [i.e., even] the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover.”

sn Commentators suggest that the point of referring to the father’s nakedness is that the mother’s sexuality belongs to the father and is forbidden to the son on that account (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 120, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 294). The expression may, however, derive from the shame of nakedness when exposed. If one exposes his mother’s nakedness to himself it is like openly exposing the father’s nakedness (cf. Gen 9:22-23 with the background of Gen 2:25 and 3:7, 21). The same essential construction is used in v. 10 where the latter explanation makes more sense than the former.

58 tn Heb “the nakedness of your father she is.” See the note on v. 7 above. This law refers to another wife of the man’s father, who is not that man’s mother. The laws in the Pentateuch sometimes assume the possibility that a man may have more than one wife (cf., e.g., Deut 21:15-17).

59 tn Heb “the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother.”

60 tn Heb “born of house or born of outside.” CEV interprets as “whether you grew up together or not” (cf. also TEV, NLT).

61 tc Several medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, LXX, and Syriac have “her nakedness” rather than “their nakedness,” thus agreeing with singular “sister” at the beginning of the verse.

tn For a smooth English translation “either of” was added.

62 sn That is, to have sexual intercourse with one’s granddaughter would be like openly exposing one’s own shameful nakedness (see the note on v. 7 above).

63 tn Heb “The nakedness of the daughter of your father’s wife born of your father, she is your sister; you must not uncover her nakedness.” That is, a half sister, the daughter of the man’s father by another wife, who is not the man’s mother, is to be considered a true sister. Therefore, the man must not have sexual intercourse with her.

64 tc A few medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate all read “because she is the flesh of your father,” like the MT of v. 13.

65 tn Heb “you must not draw near to his wife.” In the context this refers to approaching one’s aunt to have sexual intercourse with her, so this has been specified in the translation for clarity.

66 tn As in v. 12 (see the note there), some mss and versions have “because she is your aunt.”

67 sn Regarding the last clause, see the notes on vv. 7 and 10 above.

68 tn Heb “You must not uncover the nakedness of both a woman and her daughter; the daughter of her son and the daughter of her daughter you must not take to uncover her nakedness.” Translating “her” as “them” provides consistency in the English. In this kind of context, “take” means to “take in marriage” (cf. also v. 18). The LXX and Syriac have “their nakedness,” referring to the nakedness of the woman’s granddaughters, rather than the nakedness of the woman herself.

69 tc Heb “they are her flesh.” The LXX reads “your” here (followed by NRSV). If the LXX reading were followed by the present translation, the result would be “They are closely related to you.”

70 tn The term rendered “lewdness” almost always carries a connotation of cunning, evil device, and divisiveness (cf. HALOT 272 s.v. I זִמָּה 2, “infamy”), and is closely associated with sexual and religious infidelity (cf., e.g., Lev 19:29; 20:14; Job 31:11; Jer 13:27; Ezek 16:27; 22:9). Recent English versions differ on how they handle this: NAB “would be shameful”; CEV “would make you unclean”; NIV “wickedness”; NLT “horrible wickedness”; NRSV “depravity”; TEV “incest.”

71 tn Or “as a concubine”; Heb “And a woman to her sister you shall not take to be a second wife [or “to be a concubine”].” According to HALOT 1059 s.v. III צרר, the infinitive “to be a second wife” (לִצְרֹר, litsror) is a denominative verb from II צָרָה A (“concubine; second wife”), which, in turn, derives from II צר “to treat with hostility” (cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 283, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 122).

72 tn Heb “on her in her life.”

73 tn Heb “in the menstruation of her impurity”; NIV “during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”

74 tn Heb “And to the wife of your fellow citizen you shall not give your layer for seed.” The meaning of “your layer” (שְׁכָבְתְּךָ, shÿkhavtÿkha) is uncertain (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 122, “you shall not place your layer of semen”; but cf. also J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 283, and the literature cited there for the rendering, “you shall not give your penis for seed”).

75 tn Heb “And from your seed you shall not give to cause to pass over to Molech.” Smr (cf. also the LXX) has “to cause to serve” rather than “to cause to pass over.” For detailed remarks on Molech and Molech worship see N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers (NCBC), 87-88; P. J. Budd, Leviticus (NCBC), 259-60; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 333-37, and the literature cited there. It could refer to either human sacrifice or a devotion of children to some sort of service of Molech, perhaps of a sexual sort (cf. Lev 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10, etc.). The inclusion of this prohibition against Molech worship here may be due to some sexual connection of this kind, or perhaps simply to the lexical link between זֶרַע (zera’) meaning “seed, semen” in v. 20 but “offspring” in v. 21.

76 tn Heb “and you shall not profane.” Regarding “profane,” see the note on Lev 10:10 above.

77 tn Heb “And with a male you shall not lay [as the] lyings of a woman” (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 123). The specific reference here is to homosexual intercourse between males.

78 tn The Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, rendered “detestable act”) refers to the repugnant practices of foreigners, whether from the viewpoint of other peoples toward the Hebrews (e.g., Gen 43:32; 46:34; Exod 8:26) or of the Lord toward other peoples (see esp. Lev 18:26-27, 29-30). It can also designate, as here, detestable acts that might be perpetrated by the native peoples (it is used again in reference to homosexuality in Lev 20:13; cf. also its use for unclean food, Deut 14:3; idol worship, Isa 41:24; remarriage to a former wife who has been married to someone else in between, Deut 24:4).

79 tn See the note on v. 20 above.

80 tn Heb “to copulate with it” (cf. Lev 20:16).

81 tn The Hebrew term תֶּבֶל (tevel, “perversion”) derives from the verb “to mix; to confuse” and therefore refers to illegitimate mixtures of species or violation of the natural order of things.

82 tn Heb “which I am sending away (Piel participle of שָׁלַח [shalakh, “to send”]) from your faces.” The rendering here takes the participle as anticipatory of the coming conquest events.

83 tn Heb “And.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative or even inferential force here.

84 tn Heb “and I have visited its [punishment for] iniquity on it.” See the note on Lev 17:16 above.

85 tn Heb “And you shall keep, you.” The latter emphatic personal pronoun “you” is left out of a few medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate.

86 tn Heb “the native and the sojourner”; NIV “The native-born and the aliens”; NAB “whether natives or resident aliens.”

87 tn Heb “for all these abominations the men of the land who were before you have done.”

88 tn Heb “And the land will not vomit you out in your defiling it.”

89 tc The MT reads the singular “nation” and is followed by ASV, NASB, NRSV; the LXX, Syriac, and Targum have the plural “nations” (cf. v. 24).

90 sn Regarding the “cut off” penalty see the note on Lev 7:20.

91 tn Heb “to not do from the statutes of the detestable acts.”

92 tn Heb “and you will not.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here.

93 tn Heb “A man his mother and his father you [plural] shall fear.” The LXX, Syriac, Vulgate, and certain Targum mss reverse the order, “his father and his mother.” The term “fear” is subject to misunderstanding by the modern reader, so “respect” has been used in the translation. Cf. NAB, NRSV “revere”; NASB “reverence.”

94 sn Regarding the difficult etymology and meaning of the term for “idols” (אֱלִילִים, ’elilim), see B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 126; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 304; N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers (NBC), 89; and Judith M. Hadley, NIDOTTE 1:411. It appears to be a diminutive play on words with אֵל (’el, “god; God”) and, perhaps at the same time, recalls a common Semitic word for “worthless; weak; powerless; nothingness.” Snaith suggests a rendering of “worthless godlings.”

95 tn Heb “for your acceptance”; cf. NIV, NLT “it will be accepted on your behalf.”

96 tn Heb “from the following day” (HALOT 572 s.v. מָחֳרָת 2.b).

97 tn Heb “shall be burned with fire”; KJV “shall be burnt in the fire.” Because “to burn with fire” is redundant in contemporary English the present translation simply has “must be burned up.”

98 tn Heb “And if being eaten [infinitive absolute] it is eaten [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.

99 tn Or “desecrated,” or “defiled,” or “forbidden.” For this difficult term see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:422, on Lev 7:18.

100 tn See the note on Lev 17:16 above.

101 sn Regarding “profaned,” see the note on Lev 10:10 above.

102 tn Heb “the holiness of the Lord.”

103 sn On the “cut off” penalty see the note on Lev 7:20.

104 tn Heb “And in your harvesting the harvest.”

105 tn Heb “you shall not complete the corner of your field to harvest.”

106 tn Heb “And you shall not deal severely with your vineyard.”

107 tn Heb “you shall not deal falsely a man with his fellow citizen.”

108 tn Heb “And you shall not swear to the falsehood.”

109 tn Heb “and you shall not profane”; NAB “thus profaning.”

110 tn Heb “You shall not oppress your neighbor and you shall not rob.”

111 tn Heb “hold back with you”; perhaps “hold back for yourself” (cf. NRSV “keep for yourself”).

112 tn Heb “You shall not curse a deaf [person] and before a blind [person] you shall not put a stumbling block.”

113 tn Heb “And you shall fear.” Many English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV) regard the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) as adversative in force here (“but”).

114 tc Smr has the singular rather than the plural “you” of the MT, which brings this verb form into line with the ones surrounding it.

115 tn Heb “You shall not do injustice in judgment” (NASB similar); cf. NIV “do not pervert justice.”

116 tn Heb “You shall not lift up faces of poor [people] and you shall not honor faces of great.”

117 tn Heb “In righteousness you shall judge your fellow citizen.”

118 tn The term רָכִיל (rakhil) is traditionally rendered “slanderer” here (so NASB, NIV, NRSV; see also J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 304, 316), but the exact meaning is uncertain (see the discussion in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 129). It is sometimes related to I רָכַל (“to go about as a trader [or “merchant”]”; BDB 940 s.v. רָכַל), and taken to refer to cutthroat business dealings, but there may be a II רָכַל, the meaning of which is dubious (HALOT 1237 s.v. II *רכל). Some would render it “to go about as a spy.”

119 tn Heb “You shall not stand on the blood of your neighbor.” This part of the verse is also difficult to interpret. The rendering here suggests that one will not allow a neighbor to be victimized, whether in court (cf. v. 15) or in any other situation (see the discussion in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 129).

120 tn Heb “and you will not lift up on him sin.” The meaning of the line is somewhat obscure. It means either (1) that one should rebuke one’s neighbor when he sins lest one also becomes guilty, which is the way it is rendered here (see NIV, NRSV, NEB, JB; see also B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 129-30, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 303, and the discussion on pp. 316-17), or (2) one may rebuke one’s neighbor without incurring sin just as long as he does not hate him in his heart (see the first part of the verse; cf. NASB, NAB).

121 tn Heb “and you shall not retain [anger?].” This line seems to refer to the retaining or maintaining of some vengeful feelings toward someone. Compare the combination of the same terms for taking vengeance and maintaining wrath against enemies in Nahum 1:2 (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 305).

122 sn Some scholars make a distinction between the verb אָהַב (’ahav, “to love”) with the direct object and the more unusual construction with the preposition לְ (lamed) as it is here and in Lev 19:34 and 2 Chr 19:2 only. If there is a distinction, the construction here probably calls for direct and helpful action toward one’s neighbor (see the discussion in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 305, and esp. 317-18). Such love stands in contrast to taking vengeance or bearing a grudge against someone and, in NT terms, amounts to fulfilling the so-called “golden rule” (Matt 7:12).

123 tn Heb “Your animals, you shall not cross-breed two different kinds.”

124 tn Heb “you shall not cause to go up on you.”

125 sn Cf. Deut 22:11 where the Hebrew term translated “two different kinds” (כִּלְאַיִם, kilayim) refers to a mixture of linen and wool woven together in a garment.

126 tn Heb “And a man when he lies with a woman the lying of seed.”

127 sn That is, the woman had previously been assigned for marriage to another man but the marriage deal had not yet been consummated. In the meantime, the woman has lost her virginity and has, therefore, lost part of her value to the master in the sale to the man for whom she had been designated. Compensation was, therefore, required (see the explanation in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 130-31).

128 sn On the guilt offering see the note on Lev 5:15 above.

129 tn Heb “on his sin which he has sinned.”

130 tn Heb “there shall be forgiveness to him” or “it shall be forgiven to him.”

131 tn Heb “from his sin.”

132 tn Heb “tree of food”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV “trees for food.”

133 tn Heb “you shall circumcise its fruit [as] its foreskin,” taking the fruit to be that which is to be removed and, therefore, forbidden. Since the fruit is uncircumcised it is forbidden (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 306, and esp. B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 131-32).

134 tn Heb “it shall be to you uncircumcised.”

135 tn See B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 132, where the translation reads “set aside for jubilation”; a special celebration before the Lord.

136 tn Heb “to add to you its produce.” The rendering here assumes that the point of this clause is simply that finally being allowed to eat the fruit in the fifth year adds the fruit of the tree to their harvest. Some take the verb to be from אָסַף (’asaf, “to gather”) rather than יָסַף (yasaf, “to add; to increase”), rendering the verse, “to gather to you the produce” (E. S. Gerstenberger, Leviticus [OTL], 260, and see the versions referenced in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 306). Others take it to mean that by following the regulations given previously they will honor the Lord so that the Lord will cause the trees to increase the amount of fruit they would normally produce (Hartley, 303, 306; cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

137 tn Heb “You shall not eat on the blood.” See the extensive remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 319-20, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 132-33. The LXX has “on the mountains,” suggesting that this is a prohibition against illegitimate places and occasions of worship, not the eating of blood.

138 tn Heb “You shall not practice divination and you shall not practice soothsaying”; cf. NRSV “practice augury or witchcraft.” For suggestions regarding the practices involved see B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 133, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 320.

139 tc Heb “and you [singular] shall not ruin the corner of your [singular] beard.” Smr, LXX, Syriac, and Tg. Ps.-J. have the plural pronouns (i.e., “you” and “your” plural) rather than the singular of the MT.

140 tn Heb “And slash for the soul you shall not give.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul, person, life”) can sometimes refer to a “dead person” (cf. Lev 21:1, 5; 22:5). See J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 306, 320-21.

141 tn Heb “and a writing of incision you shall not give in you.”

142 tn Heb “to make her practice harlotry.” Some recent English versions regard this as religious or temple prostitution (cf. TEV, CEV).

143 tn Heb “and the land become full of lewdness.” Regarding the term “lewdness,” see the note on Lev 18:17 above.

144 sn The prohibition here concerns those who would seek special knowledge through the spirits of the dead, whether the dead in general or dead relatives in particular (i.e., familiar spirits; see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 321, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 134). Cf. Lev 20:6 below.

145 tn Heb “And when a sojourner sojourns.”

146 tn Heb “and.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have resultative force here.

147 tn That is, liquid capacity (HALOT 640 s.v. מְשׂוּרָה). Cf. ASV, NIV, NRSV, TEV “quantity”; NAB, NASB “capacity.”

148 tn Heb “balances of righteousness,” and so throughout this sentence.

149 sn An ephah is a dry measure which measures about four gallons, or perhaps one third of a bushel, while a hin is a liquid measure of about 3.6 liters (= approximately 1 quart).

150 tn Heb “And you shall keep all my statutes and all my regulations and you shall do them.” This appears to be a kind of verbal hendiadys, where the first verb is a modifier of the action of the second verb (see GKC 386 §120.d, although שָׁמַר [shamar, “to keep”] is not cited there; cf. Lev 22:31).



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