Leviticus 18

Unlawful Sexual Relations

1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God.
3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.
4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God.
5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
6 “ ‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.
7 “ ‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.
8 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.
9 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.
10 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.
11 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.
12 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.
13 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.
14 “ ‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.
15 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.
16 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.
17 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.
18 “ ‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.
19 “ ‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.
20 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.
21 “ ‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
22 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
23 “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.
24 “ ‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.
25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.
26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things,
27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled.
28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
29 “ ‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people.
30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

Leviticus 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Unlawful marriages and fleshly lusts.

- Here is a law against all conformity to the corrupt usages of the heathen. Also laws against incest, against brutal lusts, and barbarous idolatries; and the enforcement of these laws from the ruin of the Canaanites. God here gives moral precepts. Close and constant adherence to God's ordinances is the most effectual preservative from gross sin. The grace of God only will secure us; that grace is to be expected only in the use of the means of grace. Nor does He ever leave any to their hearts' lusts, till they have left him and his services.

Cross References 41

  • 1. S Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7; Leviticus 11:44; Ezekiel 20:5
  • 2. ver 24-30; S Exodus 23:24; Leviticus 20:23; Deuteronomy 18:9; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 17:8; 1 Chronicles 5:25
  • 3. S Genesis 26:5
  • 4. Deuteronomy 4:1; 1 Kings 11:11; Jeremiah 44:10,23; Ezekiel 11:12
  • 5. ver 2
  • 6. S Genesis 26:5
  • 7. Deuteronomy 4:1; Nehemiah 9:29; Isaiah 55:3; Ezekiel 18:9; Ezekiel 20:11; Amos 5:4-6; Matthew 19:17; S Romans 10:5*; Galatians 3:12*
  • 8. ver 8; Leviticus 20:11; Deuteronomy 27:20
  • 9. Ezekiel 22:10
  • 10. 1 Corinthians 5:1
  • 11. Genesis 35:22; Leviticus 20:11; Deuteronomy 22:30; Deuteronomy 27:20
  • 12. ver 11; Leviticus 20:17; Deuteronomy 27:22
  • 13. Leviticus 20:17; Deuteronomy 27:22; 2 Samuel 13:13; Ezekiel 22:11
  • 14. ver 13; Leviticus 20:19
  • 15. S ver 12,14; Leviticus 20:20
  • 16. S ver 13; Leviticus 20:20
  • 17. S Genesis 11:31; S Genesis 38:16; Leviticus 20:12
  • 18. Ezekiel 22:11
  • 19. Leviticus 20:21; Matthew 14:4; Mark 6:18
  • 20. Leviticus 20:14; Deuteronomy 27:23
  • 21. S Genesis 30:1
  • 22. S Leviticus 15:25-30
  • 23. S Leviticus 15:24; Leviticus 20:18
  • 24. S Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Matthew 5:27,28; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 13:4
  • 25. Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:1-4; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Psalms 106:37,38; Isaiah 57:5; Jeremiah 7:30,31; Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 16:20; Micah 6:7
  • 26. Leviticus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 9:4; 1Ki 11:5,7,33; Isaiah 57:9; Jeremiah 32:35; Jeremiah 49:1; Zephaniah 1:5
  • 27. Leviticus 19:12; Leviticus 21:6; Isaiah 48:11; Ezekiel 22:26; Ezekiel 36:20; Amos 2:7; Malachi 1:12
  • 28. S Exodus 6:2
  • 29. Leviticus 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:18; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9
  • 30. S Genesis 19:5
  • 31. Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 20:15; Deuteronomy 27:21
  • 32. ver 3,27,30; Leviticus 20:23
  • 33. Deuteronomy 9:4; Deuteronomy 18:12
  • 34. Numbers 35:34; Deuteronomy 21:23
  • 35. Leviticus 20:23; Deuteronomy 9:5; Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:12
  • 36. ver 28; Leviticus 20:22; Job 20:15; Jeremiah 51:34
  • 37. S Genesis 26:5
  • 38. Leviticus 20:22; Ezra 9:11; Lamentations 1:17
  • 39. S ver 25
  • 40. S Leviticus 8:35; Deuteronomy 11:1
  • 41. ver 2

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS 18

In this chapter the Israelites are directed in general not to imitate the customs and practices of the Egyptians and Canaanites, but to keep the ordinances, statutes, and judgments of the Lord, Le 18:1-5; and they are instructed particularly to avoid incestuous marriages, Le 18:6-18; carnal copulation with a menstruous woman, Le 18:19; adultery, Le 18:20; letting any of their seed pass through the fire to Molech, Le 18:21; sodomy, Le 18:22; and bestiality, Le 18:23; and they are deterred from these things by observing to them the pollution and destruction which they brought on the inhabitants of Canaan, and would bring the same on them should they commit them, Le 18:24-30.

Leviticus 18 Commentaries