Leviticus 19:18

18 1You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but 2you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:18 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 19:18

Thou shalt not avenge
That is, not avenge ourselves on him that has done us an ill thing, but leave it to him to whom vengeance belongs, see ( Romans 12:19 ) ; which is done when a man does an ill thing for another, or denies to grant a favour which he has been denied by another; Jarchi thus illustrates it, one says to him (his neighbour) lend me thy sickle; he answers, no (I will not); on the morrow (the neighbour comes, who had refused, and) says to him, lend me thy hatchet; he replies, I will not lend thee, even as thou wouldest not lend me; this is vengeance: this was reckoned mean and little, a piece of weakness with the very Heathens F2: nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people;
those of the same place, city, or kingdom; or "not observe" F3 the injury done, take no notice of it, nor lay it up in the mind and memory, but forget it; or "not keep" F4 or retain enmity, as the Targum of Jonathan supplies it; and so do an ill turn, or refuse to do a good one; or if that is done, yet upbraids with the former unkindness; for upbraiding with unkindness shows that a grudge is retained, though the suit is not denied: but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;
sincerely and heartily, as a man loves himself, doing all the good to him as a man does to himself, or would have done to himself, and hindering all the mischief done to him he would have himself preserved from: Jarchi observes, that it was a saying of R. Akiba, that this is

``the great universal in the law,''
and it does indeed comprehend the whole of the second table of the law, and is the summary of it, and is pretty much the same our Lord says of it, that it is the second and great commandment, and like unto the first, on which two all the law and the prophets hang, ( Matthew 22:37-40 ) ; and so the Apostle Paul makes all the laws of the second table to be comprehended in this, ( Romans 13:9 ) ; I [am] the Lord;
the Creator of all men, and who has commanded them to love one another, and to whom alone vengeance belongs, and who expects obedience to the above laws of his.

F2 -----quippe minuti Juvenal. Satyr. 13.
F3 (rjt alw) "et non observabis", Montanus.
F4 "Non servabis", Pagninus, Drusius; "neque iram asservato"; Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Leviticus 19:18 In-Context

16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
17 "You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.
18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
19 "You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.
20 "If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free;

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Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17, 19; Hebrews 10:30
  • 2. Matthew 5:43; Cited Matthew 19:19; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.