Leviticus 26

Rewards for Obeying the LORD

1 " 'Do not make statues of gods for yourselves. Do not set up a likeness of a god or a sacred stone for yourselves. Do not place a carved stone in your land and bow down in front of it. I am the LORD your God.
2 " 'You must always keep my Sabbath days. Have respect for my sacred tent. I am the Lord.
3 " 'Follow my rules. Be careful to obey my commands.
4 Then I will send you rain at the right time. The ground will produce its crops. The trees of the field will bear their fruit.
5 You will continue to thresh your grain until you gather your grapes. You will continue to gather your grapes until you plant your crops. You will have all you want to eat. And you will live in safety in your land.
6 " 'I will give you peace in the land. You will sleep, and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild animals from the land. There will not be any war in your country.
7 You will hunt down your enemies. You will kill them with your swords.
8 Five of you will chase 100. And 100 of you will chase 10,000. You will kill your enemies with your swords.
9 " 'I will look with favor on you. I will give you many children and increase your numbers. And I will keep my covenant with you.
10 You will still be eating last year's crops when you have to move them out to make room for new crops.
11 " 'I will live among you. I will not turn away from you.
12 I will walk among you. I will be your God. And you will be my people.
13 I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of Egypt. I did not want you to be slaves in Egypt anymore. I threw off your heavy load. I helped you walk with your heads held high.

Punishment for Not Obeying the LORD

14 " 'But suppose you will not listen to me. You will not carry out all of my commands.
15 You will say no to my rules and turn away from my laws. And you will break my covenant by failing to carry out all of my commands.
16 Then here is what I will do to you. All at once I will bring terror on you. I will send sicknesses that will make you weak. I will send fever that will destroy your sight. It will slowly take your life away. When you plant seeds, it will not do you any good. Instead, your enemies will eat what you have planted.
17 I will turn against you. Then your enemies will win the battle over you. Those who hate you will rule over you. You will run away even when no one is chasing you.
18 " 'After all of that, suppose you still will not listen to me. Then I will punish you for your sins seven times.
19 I will break down your stubborn pride. I will make the sky above you like iron, and it will not rain. I will make the ground under you like bronze, and you will not be able to farm it.
20 You will work with all of your strength, but it will not do you any good. That is because your soil will not produce any crops. The trees of the land will not bear any fruit.
21 " 'Suppose you continue to be my enemy. And suppose you still refuse to listen to me. Then I will multiply your troubles many times because of your sins.
22 I will send wild animals against you. They will kill your children. They will destroy your cattle. There will be so few of you left that your roads will be deserted.
23 " 'After all of those things, suppose you still do not accept my warnings. And suppose you continue to be my enemy.
24 Then I myself will be your enemy. I will make you suffer for your sins again and again.
25 I will send war against you to punish you for breaking my covenant. When you go back into your cities, I will send a plague among you. You will be handed over to your enemies.
26 I will cut off your supply of bread. Ten women will need only one oven to bake your bread. They will weigh out the bread piece by piece. Even when you eat all of it, it will not be enough to satisfy you.
27 " 'After all of that, suppose you still do not listen to me. And suppose you continue to be my enemy.
28 Then I will be angry with you. I will be your enemy. I myself will again punish you for your sins over and over.
29 You will eat the dead bodies of your sons. You will also eat the dead bodies of your daughters.
30 " 'I will destroy the high places where you worship other gods. I will pull down your incense altars. I will pile up your dead bodies on the lifeless statues of your gods. And I will turn away from you.
31 I will completely destroy your cities. I will destroy your places of worship. The pleasant smell of your offerings will not give me any delight.
32 " 'I will destroy your land so completely that your enemies who live there will be shocked.
33 I will scatter you among the nations. I will pull out my sword and hunt you down. Your land and your cities will be completely destroyed.
34 " 'Then the deserted land will enjoy its sabbath years. It will rest. It will not be farmed. It will enjoy its sabbaths. But you will become prisoners in the country of your enemies.
35 The land will rest the whole time it is deserted. It was not able to rest during the sabbaths you lived in it.
36 " 'Some of you will be left in the lands of your enemies. I will fill your hearts with fear. The sound of a leaf that is blown by the wind will scare you away. You will run as if you were escaping from swords. You will fall down, even though no one is chasing you.
37 You will trip over one another as if you were running away from the battle. You will run away, even though no one is chasing you. You will not be able to stand and fight against your enemies.
38 " 'While you are still scattered among the nations, you will die. The lands of your enemies will destroy you.
39 You who are left in those lands will become weaker and weaker. You will die because of your sins and the sins of your parents.
40 " 'But suppose you admit that you and your parents have sinned. You admit the evil and dishonest things you have done against me. And you admit you have become my enemy.
41 What you did made me become your enemy. I let your enemies take you into their land. But suppose you stop being stubborn. You stop being proud. And you pay for your sin.
42 Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob. I will remember my covenant with Isaac. I will remember my covenant with Abraham. I will remember what I said to them about the land.
43 " 'You will leave the land. It will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies deserted because you are not there. You will pay for your sins because you said no to my laws. You turned away from my rules.
44 " 'But even after all of that, I will not say no to you or turn away from you. I will not destroy you completely in the land of your enemies. I will not break my covenant with you. I am the LORD your God.
45 Because of you, I will remember the covenant I made with the people of Israel who lived before you. I brought them out of Egypt to be their God. The nations saw me do it. I am the Lord.' "
46 Those are the orders, the laws and the rules of the covenant the LORD made on Mount Sinai. He made it between himself and the people of Israel through Moses.

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.

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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