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Leviticus 20:22-26

Exhortation to Holiness and Obedience

20:22 “‘You must be sure to obey all my statutes and regulations, 1  so that 2  the land to which I am about to bring you to take up residence there does not vomit you out. 20:23 You must not walk in the statutes of the nation 3  which I am about to drive out before you, because they have done all these things and I am filled with disgust against them. 20:24 So I have said to you: You yourselves will possess their land and I myself will give it to you for a possession, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God who has set you apart from the other peoples. 4  20:25 Therefore you must distinguish 5  between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean, and you must not make yourselves detestable by means of an animal or bird or anything that creeps on the ground – creatures 6  I have distinguished for you as unclean. 7  20:26 You must be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the other peoples to be mine.

1 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, etc.).

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

3 tc One medieval Hebrew ms, Smr, and all the major ancient versions have the plural “nations.” Some English versions retain the singular (e.g., KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV); others have the plural “nations” (e.g., NAB, NIV) and still others translate as “people” (e.g., TEV, NLT).

4 tc Here and with the same phrase in v. 26, the LXX adds “all,” resulting in the reading “all the peoples.”

5 tn Heb “And you shall distinguish.” The verb is the same as “set apart” at the end of the previous verse. The fact that God had “set them apart” from the other peoples roundabout them called for them to “distinguish between” the clean and the unclean, etc.

6 tn The word “creatures” has been supplied in the translation to make it clear that the following relative clause modifies the animal, bird, or creeping thing mentioned earlier, and not the ground itself.

7 tc The MT has “to defile,” but Smr, LXX, and Syriac have “to uncleanness.”

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