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Leviticus 18:1-5

Context
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, 1  and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; 2  you must not 3  walk in their statutes. 18:4 You must observe my regulations 4  and you must be sure to walk in my statutes. 5  I am the Lord your God. 18:5 So you must keep 6  my statutes and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them. 7  I am the Lord.

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

2 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).

3 tn Heb “and you shall not walk.”

4 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.

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

6 tn Heb “And you shall keep.”

7 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).



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