Leviticus 18

1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
2 Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: I am the Lord your God.
3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes.
4 My ordinances you shall observe and my statutes you shall keep, following them: I am the Lord your God.
5 You shall keep my statutes and my ordinances; by doing so one shall live: I am the Lord.
6 None of you shall approach anyone near of kin to uncover nakedness: I am the Lord.
7 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is the nakedness of your father.
9 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or born abroad.
10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter or of your daughter's daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness.
11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, begotten by your father, since she is your sister.
12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister; she is your father's flesh.
13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, for she is your mother's flesh.
14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.
15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son's wife; you shall not uncover her nakedness.
16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness.
17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, and you shall not take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are your flesh; it is depravity.
18 And you shall not take a woman as a rival to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive.
19 You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness.
20 You shall not have sexual relations with your kinsman's wife, and defile yourself with her.
21 You shall not give any of your offspring to sacrifice them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
23 You shall not have sexual relations with any animal and defile yourself with it, nor shall any woman give herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it: it is perversion.
24 Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for by all these practices the nations I am casting out before you have defiled themselves.
25 Thus the land became defiled; and I punished it for its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.
26 But you shall keep my statutes and my ordinances and commit none of these abominations, either the citizen or the alien who resides among you
27 (for the inhabitants of the land, who were before you, committed all of these abominations, and the land became defiled);
28 otherwise the land will vomit you out for defiling it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.
29 For whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off from their people.
30 So keep my charge not to commit any of these abominations that were done before you, and not to defile yourselves by 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.

Footnotes 4

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