Leviticus 19 (The Message)

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1 God spoke to Moses: 2 "Speak to the congregation of Israel. Tell them: Be holy because I, God, your God, am holy. 3 "Every one of you must respect his mother and father. "Keep my Sabbaths. I am God, your God. 4 "Don't take up with no-god idols. Don't make gods of cast metal. I am God, your God. 5 "When you sacrifice a Peace-Offering to God, do it as you've been taught so it is acceptable. 6 Eat it on the day you sacrifice it and the day following. Whatever is left until the third day is to be burned up. 7 If it is eaten on the third day it is polluted meat and not acceptable. 8 Whoever eats it will be held responsible because he has violated what is holy to God. That person will be cut off from his people. 9 "When you harvest your land, don't harvest right up to the edges of your field or gather the gleanings from the harvest. 10 Don't strip your vineyard bare or go back and pick up the fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am God, your God. 11 "Don't steal. "Don't lie. "Don't deceive anyone. 12 "Don't swear falsely using my name, violating the name of your God. I am God. 13 "Don't exploit your friend or rob him. "Don't hold back the wages of a hired hand overnight. 14 "Don't curse the deaf; don't put a stumbling block in front of the blind; fear your God. I am God. 15 "Don't pervert justice. Don't show favoritism to either the poor or the great. Judge on the basis of what is right. 16 "Don't spread gossip and rumors. "Don't just stand by when your neighbor's life is in danger. I am God. 17 "Don't secretly hate your neighbor. If you have something against him, get it out into the open; otherwise you are an accomplice in his guilt. 18 "Don't seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. "Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God. 19 "Keep my decrees. "Don't mate two different kinds of animals. "Don't plant your fields with two kinds of seed. "Don't wear clothes woven of two kinds of material. 20 "If a man has sex with a slave girl who is engaged to another man but has not yet been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be an investigation. But they aren't to be put to death because she wasn't free. 21 The man must bring a Compensation-Offering to God at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, a ram of compensation. 22 The priest will perform the ritual of atonement for him before God with the ram of compensation for the sin he has committed. Then he will stand forgiven of the sin he committed. 23 "When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, don't eat the fruit for three years; consider it inedible. 24 By the fourth year its fruit is holy, an offering of praise to God. 25 Beginning in the fifth year you can eat its fruit; you'll have richer harvests this way. I am God, your God. 26 "Don't eat meat with blood in it. "Don't practice divination or sorcery. 27 "Don't cut the hair on the sides of your head or trim your beard. 28 "Don't gash your bodies on behalf of the dead. "Don't tattoo yourselves. I am God. 29 "Don't violate your daughter by making her a whore - the whole country would soon become a brothel, filled with sordid sex. 30 "Keep my Sabbaths and revere my Sanctuary: I am God. 31 "Don't dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums; you'll pollute your souls. I am God, your God. 32 "Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God. I am God. 33 "When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don't take advantage of him. 34 Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God. 35 "Don't cheat when measuring length, weight, or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and weights and measures. I am God, your God. I brought you out of Egypt. 37 "Keep all my decrees and all my laws. Yes, do them. I am God."
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