Leviticus 19-21 World English Bible

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Laws of Holiness and Justice

19 1  Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2  “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘You shall be holy; for I Yahweh your God am holy. 3  “‘Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Sabbaths. I am Yahweh your God. 4  “‘Don’t turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am Yahweh your God. 5  “‘When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6  It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day: and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned with fire. 7  If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted; 8  but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh, and that soul shall be cut off from his people. 9  “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10  You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God.

11  “‘You shall not steal.

“‘You shall not lie.

“‘You shall not deceive one another. 12  “‘You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh. 13  “‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him.

“‘The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14  “‘You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh. 15  “‘You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness. 16  “‘You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people.

“‘You shall not endanger the life [1] of your neighbor. I am Yahweh. 17  “‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18  “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh.

19  “‘You shall keep my statutes.

“‘You shall not crossbreed different kinds of animals.

“‘you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed;

“‘neither shall there come upon on you a garment made of two kinds of material. 20  “‘If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21  He shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22  The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Yahweh for his sin which he has committed: and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him. 23  “‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. [2] Three years shall they be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten. 24  But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving praise to Yahweh. 25  In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am Yahweh your God. 26  “‘You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it; neither shall you use enchantments, nor practice sorcery. 27  “‘You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard. 28  “‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh. 29  “‘Don’t profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.

30  “‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am Yahweh. 31  “‘Don’t turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God. 32  “‘You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh. 33  “‘If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34  The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God. 35  “‘You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity. 36  You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, [3] and a just hin. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37  “‘You shall observe all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them. I am Yahweh.’”

The Penalties for Acts of Immorality

20 1  Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2  “Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, ‘Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel, who gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3  I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people because he has given of his seed to Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4  If the people of the land all hide their eyes from that person, when he gives of his seed to Molech, and don’t put him to death; 5  then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who play the prostitute after him, to play the prostitute with Molech, from among their people. 6  “‘The person that turns to those who are mediums, and to the wizards, to play the prostitute after them, I will even set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people. 7  “‘Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am Yahweh your God. 8  You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am Yahweh who sanctifies you. 9  “‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

10  “‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11  “‘The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 12  “‘If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have committed a perversion; their blood shall be upon them. 13  “‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 14  “‘If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burned with fire, both he and they; that there may be no wickedness among you. 15  “‘If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal. 16  “‘If a woman approaches any animal, and lies down with it, you shall kill the woman, and the animal: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 17  “‘If a man takes his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness; it is a shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people: he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. 18  “‘If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness; he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19  “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, nor of your father’s sister; for he has made naked his close relative: they shall bear their iniquity. 20  If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21  “‘If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is an impurity: he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

22  “‘You shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them; that the land, where I am bringing you to dwell, may not vomit you out. 23  You shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. 24  But I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am Yahweh your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25  “‘You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean: and you shall not make yourselves abominable by animal, or by bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have separated from you as unclean for you. 26  You shall be holy to me: for I, Yahweh, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine. 27  “‘A man or a woman that is a medium, or is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.’”

The Holiness of the Priests

21 1  Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, ‘A priest shall not defile himself for the dead among his people; 2  except for his relatives that are near to him: for his mother, for his father, for his son, for his daughter, for his brother, 3  and for his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband; for her he may defile himself. 4  He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself. 5  “‘They shall not shave their heads, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beards, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6  They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy. 7  “‘They shall not marry a woman who is a prostitute, or profane; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband: for he is holy to his God. 8  You shall sanctify him therefore; for he offers the bread of your God: he shall be holy to you: for I Yahweh, who sanctify you, am holy. 9  “‘The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the prostitute, she profanes her father: she shall be burned with fire.

10  “‘He who is the high priest among his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor tear his clothes; 11  neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12  neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him. I am Yahweh. 13  “‘He shall take a wife in her virginity. 14  A widow, or one divorced, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry: but a virgin of his own people shall he take as a wife. 15  He shall not profane his seed among his people: for I am Yahweh who sanctifies him.’”

16  Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 17  “Say to Aaron, ‘None of your seed throughout their generations who has a blemish, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18  For whatever man he is that has a blemish, he shall not draw near: a blind man, or a lame, or he who has a flat nose, or any deformity, 19  or a man who has an injured foot, or an injured hand, 20  or hunchbacked, or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye, or an itching disease, or scabs, or who has damaged testicles; 21  no man of the seed of Aaron the priest, who has a blemish, shall come near to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. Since has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22  He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23  He shall not come near to the veil, nor come near to the altar, because he has a blemish; that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.’” 24  So Moses spoke to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

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Footnotes

[1] 19:16 literally, “blood”

[2] 19:23 literally, “uncircumcised”

[3] 19:36 1 ephah is about 22 litres or about 2/3 of a bushel

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