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Leviticus 19; Leviticus 20; Leviticus 21 (The Message)

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." 1 God spoke to Moses: 2 "Tell the Israelites, Each and every Israelite and foreigner in Israel who gives his child to the god Molech must be put to death. The community must kill him by stoning. 3 I will resolutely reject that man and cut him off from his people. By giving his child to the god Molech he has polluted my Sanctuary and desecrated my holy name. 4 If the people of the land look the other way as if nothing had happened when that man gives his child to the god Molech and fail to kill him, 5 I will resolutely reject that man and his family, and him and all who join him in prostituting themselves in the rituals of the god Molech I will cut off from their people. 6 "I will resolutely reject persons who dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums, prostituting themselves in their practices. I will cut them off from their people. 7 "Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. 8 Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy. 9 "Any and every person who curses his father or mother must be put to death. By cursing his father or mother he is responsible for his own death. 10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife - the wife, say, of his neighbor - both the man and the woman, the adulterer and adulteress, must be put to death. 11 "If a man has sex with his father's wife, he has violated his father. Both the man and woman must be put to death; they are responsible for their own deaths. 12 "If a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is perverse. And they are responsible for their own deaths. 13 "If a man has sex with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is abhorrent. They must be put to death; they are responsible for their own deaths. 14 "If a man marries both a woman and her mother, that's wicked. All three of them must be burned at the stake, purging the wickedness from the community. 15 "If a man has sex with an animal, he must be put to death and you must kill the animal. 16 "If a woman has sex with an animal, you must kill both the woman and the animal. They must be put to death. And they are responsible for their deaths. 17 "If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or mother, and they have sex, that's a disgrace. They must be publicly cut off from their people. He has violated his sister and will be held responsible. 18 "If a man sleeps with a woman during her period and has sex with her, he has uncovered her 'fountain' and she has revealed her 'fountain' - both of them must be cut off from their people. 19 "Don't have sex with your aunt on either your mother's or father's side. That violates a close relative. Both of you are held responsible. 20 "If a man has sex with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible and die childless. 21 "If a man marries his brother's wife, it's a defilement. He has shamed his brother. They will be childless. 22 "Do what I tell you, all my decrees and laws; live by them so that the land where I'm bringing you won't vomit you out. 23 You simply must not live like the nations I'm driving out before you. They did all these things and I hated every minute of it. 24 "I've told you, remember, that you will possess their land that I'm giving to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am God, your God, who has distinguished you from the nations. 25 So live like it: Distinguish between ritually clean and unclean animals and birds. Don't pollute yourselves with any animal or bird or crawling thing which I have marked out as unclean for you. 26 Live holy lives before me because I, God, am holy. I have distinguished you from the nations to be my very own. 27 "A man or woman who is a medium or sorcerer among you must be put to death. You must kill them by stoning. They're responsible for their own deaths." 1 God spoke to Moses: "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron. Tell them, A priest must not ritually contaminate himself by touching the dead, 2 except for close relatives: mother, father, son, daughter, brother, 3 or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband; for these he may make himself ritually unclean, 4 but he must not contaminate himself with the dead who are only related to him by marriage and thus profane himself. 5 "Priests must not shave their heads or trim their beards or gash their bodies. 6 They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because their job is to present the gifts of God, the food of their God, they are to be holy. 7 "Because a priest is holy to his God he must not marry a woman who has been a harlot or a cult prostitute or a divorced woman. 8 Make sure he is holy because he serves the food of your God. Treat him as holy because I, God, who make you holy, am holy. 9 "If a priest's daughter defiles herself in prostitution, she disgraces her father. She must be burned at the stake. 10 "The high priest, the one among his brothers who has received the anointing oil poured on his head and been ordained to wear the priestly vestments, must not let his hair go wild and tangled nor wear ragged and torn clothes. 11 He must not enter a room where there is a dead body. He must not ritually contaminate himself, even for his father or mother; 12 and he must neither abandon nor desecrate the Sanctuary of his God because of the dedication of the anointing oil which is upon him. I am God. 13 "He is to marry a young virgin, 14 not a widow, not a divorcee, not a cult prostitute - he is only to marry a virgin from his own people. 15 He must not defile his descendants among his people because I am God who makes him holy." 16 God spoke to Moses: 17 "Tell Aaron, None of your descendants, in any generation to come, who has a defect of any kind may present as an offering the food of his God. 18 That means anyone who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed, 19 crippled in foot or hand, 20 hunchbacked or dwarfed, who has anything wrong with his eyes, who has running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to offer gifts to God; he has a defect and so must not offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, both the most holy and the holy, 23 but because of his defect he must not go near the curtain or approach the Altar. It would desecrate my Sanctuary. I am God who makes them holy." 24 Moses delivered this message to Aaron, his sons, and to all the People of Israel.
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