Leviticus 26

Covenant Blessings and Discipline

1 "Do not make idols for yourselves,[a] set up a carved image or sacred pillar for yourselves, or place a sculpted stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God.
2 You must keep My Sabbaths and honor My sanctuary;[b] I am the Lord.
3 "If you follow My statutes and faithfully observe My commands,
4 I will give you rain at the right time, and the land will yield its produce, and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.
5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest, and the grape harvest will continue until sowing time; you will have plenty of food to eat and live securely in your land.[c]
6 I will give peace to the land, and you will lie down with nothing to frighten [you]. I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword will pass through your land.[d]
7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword.
8 Five of you will pursue 100, and 100 of you will pursue 10,000; your enemies will fall before you by the sword.[e]
9 "I will turn to you, make you fruitful and multiply you, and confirm My covenant with you.[f]
10 You will eat the old grain of the previous year and will clear out the old to make room for the new.
11 I will place My residence[g] among you, and I will not reject you.[h]
12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people.[i]
13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the bars of your yoke[j] and enabled you to live in freedom.[k]
14 "But if you do not obey Me and observe all these commands-
15 if you reject My statutes and despise My ordinances, and do not observe all My commands-and break My covenant,
16 then I will do this to you: I will bring terror on you-wasting disease and fever that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away.[l] You will sow your seed in vain because your enemies will eat it.
17 I will turn[m] against you, so that you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even though no one is pursuing you.[n]
18 "But if after these things you will not obey Me, I will proceed to discipline you seven times for your sins.[o]
19 I will break down your strong pride. I will make your sky like iron and your land like bronze,
20 and your strength will be used up for nothing.[p] Your land will not yield its produce, and the trees of the land will not bear their fruit.
21 "If you act with hostility toward Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will multiply your plagues seven times for your sins.[q]
22 I will send wild animals against you that will deprive you of your children, ravage your livestock, and reduce your numbers until your roads are deserted.[r]
23 "If in spite of these things you do not accept My discipline, but act with hostility toward Me,
24 then I will act with hostility toward you; I also will strike you seven times for your sins.
25 I will bring a sword against you[s] to execute the vengeance of the covenant. Though you withdraw into your cities, I will send a pestilence among you, and you will be delivered into enemy hands.
26 When I cut off your supply of bread, 10 women will bake your bread in a single oven and ration out your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied.[t]
27 "And if in spite of this you do not obey Me but act with hostility toward Me,
28 I will act with furious hostility toward you; I will also discipline you seven times for your sins.[u]
29 You will eat the flesh of your sons; you will eat the flesh of your daughters.[v]
30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and heap your dead bodies on the lifeless bodies of your idols;[w] I will reject you.
31 I will reduce your cities to ruins and devastate your sanctuaries. I will not smell the pleasing aroma of your [sacrifices].[x]
32 I also will devastate the land, so that your enemies who come to live there will be appalled by it.
33 But I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw a sword [to chase] after you. So your land will become desolate, and your cities will become ruins.
34 "Then the land will make up for its Sabbath [years] during the time it lies desolate, while you are in the land of your enemies. At that time the land will rest and make up for its Sabbaths.[y]
35 As long as it lies desolate, it will have the rest it did not have during your Sabbaths when you lived there.
36 "I will put anxiety in the hearts of those of you who survive in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a wind-driven leaf will put them to flight, and they will flee as one flees from a sword, and fall though no one is pursuing [them].
37 They will stumble over one another as if [fleeing] from a sword though no one is pursuing [them]. You will not be able to stand against your enemies.
38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you.
39 Those[z] who survive in the lands of your enemies will waste away because of their sin; they will also waste away because of their fathers' sins along with theirs.
40 "But if they will confess their sin and the sin of their fathers-their unfaithfulness that they practiced against Me, and how they acted with hostility toward Me,
41 and I acted with hostility toward them and brought them into the land of their enemies-and if their uncircumcised hearts will be humbled,[aa] and if they will pay the penalty for their sin,
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob. I will also remember My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
43 For the land abandoned by them will make up for its Sabbaths by lying desolate without the people, while they pay the penalty for their sin, because they rejected My ordinances and abhorred My statutes.
44 Yet in spite of this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject or abhor them so as to destroy them and break My covenant with them, since I am the Lord their God.[ab]
45 For their sake I will remember the covenant with their fathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God; I am the Lord."
46 These are the statutes, ordinances, and laws the Lord established between Himself and the Israelites through Moses on Mount Sinai.

Leviticus 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

Promises upon keeping the precepts. (1-13) Threatenings against disobedience. (14-39) God promises to remember those that repent. (40-46)

Verses 1-13 This chapter contains a general enforcement of all the laws given by Moses; by promises of reward in case of obedience, on the one hand; and threatenings of punishment for disobedience, on the other. While Israel maintained a national regard to God's worship, sabbaths, and sanctuary, and did not turn aside to idolatry, the Lord engaged to continue to them temporal mercies and religious advantages. These great and precious promises, though they relate chiefly to the life which now is, were typical of the spiritual blessings made sure by the covenant of grace to all believers, through Christ. 1. Plenty and abundance of the fruits of the earth. Every good and perfect gift must be expected from above, from the Father of lights. 2. Peace under the Divine protection. Those dwell in safety, that dwell in God. 3. Victory and success in their wars. It is all one with the Lord to save by many or by few. 4. The increase of their people. The gospel church shall be fruitful. 5. The favour of God, which is the fountain of all Good. 6. Tokens of his presence in and by his ordinances. The way to have God's ordinances fixed among us, is to cleave closely to them. 7. The grace of the covenant. All covenant blessings are summed up in the covenant relation, I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and they are all grounded upon their redemption. Having purchased them, God would own them, and never cast them off till they cast him off.

Verses 14-39 After God has set the blessing before them which would make them a happy people if they would be obedient, he here sets the curse before them, the evils which would make them miserable, if they were disobedient. Two things would bring ruin. 1. A contempt of God's commandments. They that reject the precept, will come at last to renounce the covenant. 2. A contempt of his corrections. If they will not learn obedience by the things they suffer, God himself would be against them; and this is the root and cause of all their misery. And also, The whole creation would be at war with them. All God's sore judgments would be sent against them. The threatenings here are very particular, they were prophecies, and He that foresaw all their rebellions, knew they would prove so. TEMPORAL judgments are threatened. Those who will not be parted from their sins by the commands of God, shall be parted from them by judgments. Those wedded to their lusts, will have enough of them. SPIRITUAL judgments are threatened, which should seize the mind. They should find no acceptance with God. A guilty conscience would be their continual terror. It is righteous with God to leave those to despair of pardon, who presume to sin; and it is owing to free grace, if we are not left to pine away in the iniquity we were born in, and have lived in.

Verses 40-46 Among the Israelites, persons were not always prosperous or afflicted according to their obedience or disobedience. But national prosperity was the effect of national obedience, and national judgments were brought on by national wickedness. Israel was under a peculiar covenant. National wickedness will end in the ruin of any people, especially where the word of God and the light of the gospel are enjoyed. Sooner or later, sin will be the ruin, as well as the reproach, of every people. Oh that, being humbled for our sins, we might avert the rising storm before it bursts upon us! God grant that we may, in this our day, consider the things which belong to our eternal peace.

Footnotes 28

  • [a]. Lv 19:4; Ex 20:3-4; Ps 81:9
  • [b]. Lv 19:30; Ezk 20:13,16,21; 23:38
  • [c]. Lv 25:18-19; Dt 28:1-2,12; Isa 30:21-23; Am 9:13
  • [d]. Jr 30:10; Ezk 34:25,28; Mc 4:4
  • [e]. Dt 3:22; 32:30; Jos 10:19; 23:3,10
  • [f]. Gn 17:5-6
  • [g]. Or tabernacle
  • [h]. Lv 26:44; Ex 25:8; 29:45-46; 1 Kg 6:13
  • [i]. 2 Co 6:16; Rv 21:3
  • [j]. Ex 6:6-7; Isa 9:4; Jr 5:5; 28:10-11
  • [k]. Lit to walk uprightly
  • [l]. Dt 28:22,65
  • [m]. Lit will set My face
  • [n]. Dt 28:25
  • [o]. Lv 26:21; Gn 4:15,24; Heb 12:4-11
  • [p]. Dt 28:23; Am 4:7-8
  • [q]. Lv 26:18; Gn 4:15,24
  • [r]. Dt 32:24; Lm 1:1-4; Ezk 14:15
  • [s]. Ezk 14:21
  • [t]. Isa 3:1; Ezk 4:16; 14:13; Am 4:6; Mc 6:14
  • [u]. Lv 26:21,23
  • [v]. Dt 28:53-57; 2 Kg 6:28-29; Jr 19:9; Lm 4:10; Mc 3:2-3
  • [w]. Ezk 6:3-6
  • [x]. Gn 8:21; 1 Sm 26:19; Am 5:21-22
  • [y]. Lv 25:2-4; 2 Ch 36:21
  • [z]. Lit Those of you
  • [aa]. Dt 30:6; Jr 4:4; 9:25; Ezk 44:7,9
  • [ab]. Ezk 36:22; Hs 11:8-9; Zch 10:9

Chapter Summary


In this chapter, after a repetition of some laws against idolatry, and concerning keeping sabbaths, and reverencing the sanctuary of God, Le 26:1,2; in order to encourage the Israelites to keep the various statutes and commandments in this book, and in the preceding, many promises are made of plenty, and peace, and safety from enemies, and of the presence of God with them, Le 26:3-13; and on the contrary, to such as should despise and break his commandments, the most grievous things are threatened, as diseases of body, destruction by their enemies, barrenness and unfruitfulness of land, the sore judgments of wild beasts, famine, sword, and pestilence, Le 26:14-39; and yet after all, when they should confess their sins, and were humbled for them, the Lord promises to remember the covenant he made with their ancestors, and would deal kindly with them, and not cast them away, and utterly destroy them, Le 26:40-46.

Leviticus 26 Commentaries

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