Leviticus 19

Listen to Leviticus 19

The Lord Is Holy

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, 1You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
3 2Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and 3you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
4 4Do not turn to idols 5or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God.
5 6"When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so 7that you may be accepted.
6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire.
7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is 8tainted; it will not be accepted,
8 and everyone who eats it shall 9bear his iniquity, because 10he has profaned what is holy to the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

9 11"When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.
10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.
11 12"You shall not steal; 13you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.
12 14You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so 15profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
13 16"You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. 17The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.
14 18You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall 19fear your God: I am the LORD.
15 20"You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.
16 21You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not 22stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
17 23"You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but 24you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you 25incur sin because of him.
18 26You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but 27you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

You Shall Keep My Statutes

19 28"You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. 29You 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;
21 but 30he shall bring his compensation to the LORD, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering.
22 And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven for the sin that he has committed.
23 "When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten.
24 And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.
25 But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the LORD your God.
26 31"You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. 32You shall not interpret omens or 33tell fortunes.
27 34You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.
28 You shall not make any 35cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.
29 36"Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity.
30 37You shall keep my Sabbaths and 38reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
31 39"Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.
32 40"You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall 41fear your God: I am the LORD.
33 42"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
34 43You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and 44you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
35 45"You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity.
36 46You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin:[c] I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37 And 47you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the LORD."

Leviticus 19 Commentary

Chapter 19


- There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. ( Leviticus 19:2 ) . To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. ( Leviticus 19:3 ) . The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. ( Leviticus 19:4 ) . Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. ( Leviticus 19:9 ) . Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. ( Leviticus 19:11 ) . Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. ( Leviticus 19:12 ) . We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. ( Leviticus 19:13 ) . We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. ( Leviticus 19:14 ) . Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. ( Leviticus 19:15 ) . To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. ( Leviticus 19:17 ) . Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. ( Leviticus 19:18 ) . We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. ( Leviticus 19:31 ) : For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, "What harm is there in these things?" Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. ( Leviticus 19:32 ) . Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. ( Leviticus 19:33 ) . Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. ( Leviticus 19:35 ) . We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.

Cross References 47

  • 1. See Leviticus 11:44, 45
  • 2. See Exodus 20:12
  • 3. See Exodus 20:8
  • 4. Leviticus 26:1; 1 John 5:21; See Exodus 20:3-5
  • 5. Exodus 34:17; [Deuteronomy 27:15]
  • 6. See Leviticus 7:15-18
  • 7. Leviticus 1:3; Leviticus 22:19
  • 8. Leviticus 7:18
  • 9. See Leviticus 5:1
  • 10. Leviticus 22:15
  • 11. Leviticus 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21; [Ruth 2:15, 16]
  • 12. See Exodus 20:15
  • 13. [Leviticus 6:2, 3; Ephesians 4:15, 25; Colossians 3:9]
  • 14. See Exodus 20:7
  • 15. See Leviticus 18:21
  • 16. Leviticus 6:2, 3
  • 17. Deuteronomy 24:14, 15; Malachi 3:5; [James 5:4]
  • 18. Deuteronomy 27:18
  • 19. ver. 32; Leviticus 25:17; Ecclesiastes 5:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Peter 2:17
  • 20. Exodus 23:2, 3; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 16:19; Deuteronomy 27:19; Psalms 82:2; Proverbs 24:23; James 2:9; [2 Chronicles 19:6, 7]
  • 21. Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 20:19
  • 22. Exodus 23:1, 7; [Matthew 26:60, 61]; See 1 Kings 21:10-13; Acts 6:11-13
  • 23. 1 John 2:9, 11; 1 John 3:15
  • 24. Proverbs 27:5, 6; Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 5:11
  • 25. [Leviticus 22:16; Romans 1:32; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 11]
  • 26. Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17, 19; Hebrews 10:30
  • 27. 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
  • 28. See Leviticus 18:4, 5
  • 29. Deuteronomy 22:9-11
  • 30. Leviticus 5:15; Leviticus 6:6, 7
  • 31. See Leviticus 3:17
  • 32. Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 17:17
  • 33. 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6
  • 34. Leviticus 21:5; [Isaiah 15:2; Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 48:37]
  • 35. Leviticus 21:1, 4, 5; Deuteronomy 14:1; 1 Kings 18:28; Jeremiah 16:6; Jeremiah 41:5; Jeremiah 47:5; Jeremiah 48:37
  • 36. [Deuteronomy 23:17]
  • 37. ver. 3; Leviticus 26:2; See Exodus 20:8
  • 38. Ecclesiastes 5:1; [Matthew 21:12, 13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45, 46; John 2:14-16]
  • 39. Leviticus 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:11; Isaiah 8:19; [Exodus 22:18; 1 Sam. 28:3, 7, 9; 1 Chronicles 10:13; Acts 16:16]
  • 40. Proverbs 20:29; [Lamentations 5:12]
  • 41. See ver. 14
  • 42. Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9; Malachi 3:5
  • 43. See Leviticus 16:29
  • 44. Deuteronomy 10:19; See ver. 18
  • 45. See ver. 15
  • 46. Deuteronomy 25:13, 15; Proverbs 11:1; Proverbs 16:11; Proverbs 20:10; Ezekiel 45:10; [Amos 8:5; Micah 6:11]
  • 47. See Leviticus 18:4, 5

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew blood
  • [b]. Hebrew as its uncircumcision
  • [c]. An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters; a hin was about 4 quarts or 3.5 liters

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains various laws, ceremonial and moral, tending to the sanctification of men, in imitation of the holy God, Le 19:1,2; as concerning the reverence of parents, and observing the sabbaths, Le 19:3; against idolatry, Le 19:4; about offering and eating of peace offerings, Le 19:5-8; concerning harvest and gleaning of fields and vineyards, Le 19:9,10; respecting the breach of several of the commandments of the law, as the eighth, ninth, and third, particularly, Le 19:11-13; and others relating to the ill usage of the deaf and blind, and having respect to persons rich or poor in judgment, and acting the part of a tale bearer among people, Le 19:14-16; and bearing hatred and ill will to any of their neighbours, Le 19:17,18; and others forbidding mixtures in the generation of cattle, sowing fields, and wearing apparel, Le 19:19; and concerning the punishment of a man that lay with a bondmaid, and the offering he should bring for his atonement, Le 19:20-22; then follow certain laws concerning fruit trees, when the fruit of them should be eaten, Le 19:23-25; and concerning eating with blood, using enchantments, and observing times, and managing the hair of the head and beard, and avoiding to make any marks, prints, and cuttings in the flesh for the dead, Le 19:26-28; a caution not to prostitute a daughter to whoredom, and to observe the sabbath, and reverence the sanctuary of God, and pay no regard to wizards and familiar spirits, Le 19:29-31; to show reverence to ancient persons, and not to vex and distress strangers, Le 19:32-34; and to do no injustice in weight and measure, Le 19:35,36; all which instructions are to be carefully observed, and put in execution, Le 19:37.

Leviticus 19 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.