None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him,
&c.] Or to all "the rest of his flesh" F20, which together with his make one flesh, who are of the same flesh and blood with him, and are united together in the bonds of consanguinity; and such, with respect to a man, are his mother, sister, and daughter; his mother, of whom he was born, his sister, who lay in and sprung from the same "venter" he did, and his daughter, who is his own flesh; and with respect to a woman, her father brother, and son, who are in the same degree of relation, and both sexes are included in this prohibition; for though in the original text it is "a man, a man" F21, yet as it takes in every man, so every woman: hence, as Jarchi observes, it is expressed in the plural number, "do not ye approach", to caution both male and female; and it is also understood by the Talmudists F23 of Gentiles as well as Israelites, for they ask, what is the meaning of the phrase "a man, a man?" the design of it is, they say, to comprehend the Gentiles, who are equally cautioned against incests as the Israelites; and indeed the inhabitants of the land of Canaan are said to defile the land with the incests and other abominations hereafter mentioned, and for which they were driven out of it: now when man and woman are forbidden to "approach" to those of the same flesh and blood with them, the sense is not that they may not come into each other's company, or make use of any civil or friendly salutations, or have a free and familiar conversation with each other, provided that modesty and chastity be preserved; but they are not so to draw near as to lie with, or have carnal knowledge of one another, in which sense the phrase is used, ( Genesis 20:4 ) ( Isaiah 8:3 ) ( Ezekiel 18:6 ) ; or to tempt to it or solicit it, and as it follows, which explains the meaning of it, to uncover [their] nakedness;
that is, those parts, which, by a contrary way of speaking, are so called, which should never be naked or exposed to view; but should be always covered, as nature teaches to do, and as our first parents did, when they perceived themselves naked, and were ashamed, ( Genesis 3:7 Genesis 3:10 ) : this phrase signifies the same as to lie with another, or have carnal knowledge of them, wherefore the following laws are generally understood of incestuous marriages; for if such an action is not to be done between persons standing in such a relation, as here in general, and afterwards more particularly described, then there ought to be no intermarriages between them; and if such marriages are forbidden, and such actions unlawful in a married state, then much more in an unmarried one; wherefore the several following instances are so many breaches of the seventh command, ( Exodus 20:14 ) , and so many explications and illustrations of it, and consequently of a moral nature, and binding upon all men, Jews and Gentiles: I [am] the Lord;
that gave this caution, and enjoined this prohibition, and would greatly resent and severely revenge the neglect of it: the particulars follow.
F20 (wrvb rav lk la) "ad omnes reliquias carnis suae", Montanus; "ad quascunque reliquias carnis suae", Tigurine version.
F21 (vya vya) "vir, vir", Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius.
F23 T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 57. 2. T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 58. 2, 3.