Leviticus 18:8

8 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

Read Leviticus 18:8 Using Other Translations

The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.
You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness.
“Do not have sexual relations with any of your father’s wives, for this would violate your father.

What does Leviticus 18:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Leviticus 18:8

The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover
That is, who is indeed a man's father's wife, but not his own mother, but a stepmother or mother-in-law; or otherwise this law would coincide with the former; a man lying with such an one is accursed by the law, ( Deuteronomy 27:23 ) ; such an incestuous copulation was that of Reuben with Bilhah, and Absalom with his father's concubines or secondary wives, and such an incestuous marriage was that of the Corinthians, ( 1 Corinthians 5:1 ) ; and of Antiochus Soter, king of Syria, with Stratonice his mother-in-law {c}: and even it was criminal to do this after a father's death, as Jarchi interprets it; and though she was only betrothed, and not married, and the father dead after such betrothing; as Gersom; nay, though she was divorced by the father, yet was not lawful for the son to have, no, not after his death: it is thy father's nakedness;
being espoused to him, and so one flesh with him; and the son and father being one flesh, such a mixture must be unlawful; and since then the nakedness of a mother-in-law is the father's, then surely that of an own mother's must be so likewise, which confirms a sense given of it in ( Leviticus 18:7 ) : Cicero F4 exclaims against such marriages as incredible and unheard of, as instances of unbridled lust and singular impudence.


F3 Vid. Julian. in Misopogon, p. 72
F4 Orat. 14. pro A. Cluentio Avito.
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