Laws of Holiness and Justice
19 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. 3 " 'Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. 4 " 'Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God. 5 " 'When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. 6 It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up. 7 If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted. 8 Whoever eats it will be held responsible because they have desecrated what is holy to the Lord; they must be cut off from their people. 9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.
11 " 'Do not steal. " 'Do not lie. " 'Do not deceive one another. 12 " 'Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord. 13 " 'Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. " 'Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight. 14 " 'Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. 15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 16 " 'Do not go about spreading slander among your people. " 'Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the Lord. 17 " 'Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. 18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
19 " 'Keep my decrees. " 'Do not mate different kinds of animals. " 'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. " 'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. 20 " 'If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven. 23 " 'When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden ; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. 26 " 'Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. " 'Do not practice divination or seek omens. 27 " 'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. 28 " 'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. 29 " 'Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.
30 " 'Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. 31 " 'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. 32 " 'Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. 33 " 'When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. 35 " 'Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. 37 " 'Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.' "
The Penalties for Acts of Immorality
20 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. 3 I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. 4 If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek and if they fail to put him to death, 5 I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek. 6 " 'I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people. 7 " 'Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy. 9 " 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.
10 " 'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife-with the wife of his neighbor-both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. 11 " 'If a man has sexual relations with his father's wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. 12 " 'If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law, both of them are to be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads. 13 " 'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. 14 " 'If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you. 15 " 'If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he is to be put to death, and you must kill the animal. 16 " 'If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. 17 " 'If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be publicly removed from their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible. 18 " 'If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people. 19 " 'Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible. 20 " 'If a man has sexual relations with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless. 21 " 'If a man marries his brother's wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless.
22 " 'Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. 24 But I said to you, "You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations. 25 " 'You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground-those that I have set apart as unclean for you. 26 You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. 27 " 'A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.' "
The Holiness of the Priests
21 1 The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: 'A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die, 2 except for a close relative, such as his mother or father, his son or daughter, his brother, 3 or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband-for her he may make himself unclean. 4 He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage, and so defile himself. 5 " 'Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies. 6 They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, they are to be holy. 7 " 'They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands, because priests are holy to their God. 8 Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the Lord am holy-I who make you holy. 9 " 'If a priest's daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.
10 " 'The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments, must not let his hair become unkempt or tear his clothes. 11 He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother, 12 nor leave the sanctuary of his God or desecrate it, because he has been dedicated by the anointing oil of his God. I am the Lord. 13 " 'The woman he marries must be a virgin. 14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, 15 so that he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the Lord, who makes him holy.' "
16 The Lord said to Moses, 17 "Say to Aaron: 'For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.' " 24 So Moses told this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
19:20 Or "be an inquiry"
19:23 Hebrew "uncircumcised"
19:23 Hebrew "uncircumcised"
19:36 An ephah was a dry measure having the capacity of about 3/5 of a bushel or about 22 liters.
19:36 A hin was a liquid measure having the capacity of about 1 gallon or about 3.8 liters.
21:4 Or "unclean as a leader among his people"
21:10 Or "not uncover his head"