Leviticus Chapter 19 Continued
Leviticus 19:15 “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: [but] in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.”
The prohibitions against “injustice in judgment” (19:35), and partiality toward the “poor” or the “mighty” are not only wise (Prov. 24:23; 28:21), but they derive from the character of the Lord Himself (Deut. 1:17; 10:17; 16:19; 32:4).
So many people in our society today have gone overboard in siding in with the poor people. In the Scripture above, we are told to judge righteously. It should not matter whether a person is poor or rich, when we are judging a matter. Judgment should be made impartially by weighing out the facts. Jesus taught not to be a respecter of persons. Many people are swayed in judgment by a person’s great wealth. Possibly when they do that, they are expecting something in return. To judge the rich or the poor, because of their position in life, is wrong. We should judge anything by what is right and that only.
Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”
If God is no respecter of persons, then neither should we be a respecter of persons.
James 2:9 “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”
Leviticus 19:16 “Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor: I [am] the LORD.”
“Stand against the blood of thy neighbor”: This refers to doing anything that would wrongfully jeopardize the life of a neighbor.
One of the most important reasons to receive the Holy Spirit of God, is so that God will have control of the evilest part of your body (the tongue).
James 3:6 “And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
The tongue is evil, until we turn it over to God. I will quote a few Scriptures from Proverbs on talebearers. They explain much better than I can.
Proverbs 18:8 “The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
Proverbs 20:19-20 “He that goeth about [as] a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” “Where no wood is, [there] the fire goeth out: so where [there is] no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
You should never do anything against your neighbor. Jesus said to love your neighbor.
Mark 12:31 “And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Leviticus 19:17 “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.”
Although no hatred may be expressed either by words or deeds, yet being in the heart is a breach of the sixth command (see Matt. 5:21). And of this a man may be guilty, when he does not attempt to save the life of his neighbor. Either by bearing a testimony for him, or by delivering from danger, as preserving him from drowning, from wild beasts and thieves (as in Lev. 19:16). Or when he does not reprove him for sin, as in the next clause. But suffers him to go on in it to his ruin, either of which by interpretation is a hatred of him.
“Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor”: For any sin committed by him, though secretly, yet known. Which rebuke should be private, and repeated as may be found necessary, and given gently in meekness and tenderness.
“And not suffer sin upon him”: Unconvinced of, not repented of and persisted in, which may prove of fatal consequence to him. And therefore to let him alone, and go on in it without telling him of it, and reproving him for it. That would be so far from acting the kind and friendly part, and showing him love and respect. That it would be an evidence of hating him at heart, at least it might be strongly suspected. Or, “and not bear sin for him”; become a partner with him in his sin, and so become liable to bear punishment for it. Which is a strong reason for reproving sin, in a proper manner, lest we should be partakers of other men’s sins (see 1 Tim. 5:20).
Jesus said if you hate your brother in your heart, you have committed the sin of murder in your heart. Notice there are two thoughts in the verse above. The second thought is if your brother has done something against you, go to him and settle it with him. If he won’t listen, then you take someone with you. If even that does not work, then bring it before the church.
Proverbs 27:5 “Open rebuke [is] better than secret love.”
Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” “But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.”
Leviticus 19:18 “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I [am] the LORD.”
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” was central to Old Testament law and one of the two primary commandments (Matt. 22:39).
Jesus called this the “second commandment”, after first loving God (Matt. 22:37-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28).
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
We must be kind to all people, even those who are not kind in return. That is what makes us Christians. A Christian, is someone who is a believer in and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The following Scriptures are what Jesus said about this very thing.
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
We find that when we do this, God will avenge for us.
Romans 12:20 “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”
Why should we do this? Because God said to do it. When you love your neighbor as yourself, you have fulfilled God’s law the way He intended.
Verses 19-29: This section addresses nine areas. The first warns against mixing cattle (Gen. 30:37-40), selective mating). The breeding of different kinds of cattle to enrich the bloodline and produce hybrid species, seed, or materials in garments (verse 19). Perhaps this prohibition was given to instill reverence for the order of nature set by God, or to prevent sterility that comes with hybrids. Or due to the fear that the Israelites might imitate abnormal sexual unions and ultimately indulge in the orgiastic rites of Canaanite religion. Second, slavery and concubines were regulated in the case of an engaged girl (verses 20-22). The third law reminded the Israelite that he was to serve God before he was to serve himself (verses 23-25). God has the power to cause fruit to appear on the trees in their season. Then follow six commands referring to various heathen practices that holy men and women were to avoid. They include:
(1) Eating blood (verse 26);
(2) Practicing divination (verse 26; see Deut. 18:10-14);
(3) Sorcery (verse 26);
(4) Cutting the hair and beard in connection with pagan mourning rites (verse 27);
(5) Cutting or tattooing the flesh for the dead (verse 28); and
(6) Hiring one’s daughter out as a prostitute (verse 29).
Offering of hair were presented in the Astarte-Tammuz religion of Syria and among various Arabian tribes. The unceasing growth of hair was thought to result from the presence of a mysterious vital force within it, and it was thus considered an effective means for influencing the will of the deity. Making bodily incisions also occurred apart from the context of mourning in the attempt to procure the favor of the deity by means of an offering of blood (compare 1 Kings 18:28).
Leviticus 19:19 “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.”
That is, the following ordinances, which though not of the same high moral nature as the precepts laid down in the preceding verses, are yet necessary to attain to holiness. The Holy God has made everything “after its kind” (Gen. 1:11-12; 1:21; 1:24-25). And has thus established a physical distinction in the order of His creation. For man to bring about a union of dissimilar things is to bring about a dissolution of the Divine laws and to act contrary to the ordinances of Him who is holy, and to whose holiness we are to attain.
“Cattle gender with a diverse kind”: Such co-mixtures would not only contravene the Divine order of things, but would lessen the abhorrence of the crime prohibited in (Lev. 18:22-23). The use, however, of animals produced from such mixtures was not forbidden. Hence we find that mules were largely employed by the Jews (2 Sam. 13:29; 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33; 1:38; 10:25; 18:5; Ezra 2:66). These hybrids were either the issue of parents voluntarily coming together without the aid of the Israelites, or were imported from other countries. This law is binding upon the Jews to this day in every country where they happen to live, whether in Palestine or out of it.
Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind”: This was prohibited, partly, to restrain the curiosity and boldness of men, who might attempt to amend or change the works of God. Partly, that by the restraints here laid even upon brute creatures’, that men might be taught to abhor all unnatural and unlawful lusts. Partly, to teach the Israelites to avoid mixtures with other nations, either in marriage or in religion. Which also may be signified by the following prohibitions. See of this and the next (Deut. 22:9-11). These mixtures may have been characteristic of some idolatrous practices.
“A garment mingled of linen and woollen”: Although this precept, like the other two with which it is associated, was in all probability designed to root out some superstition, it seems to have had a further meaning. The law, it is to be observed, did not prohibit the Israelites wearing many different kinds of cloths together, but only the two specified. And the observations and researches of modern science have proved that “wool, when combined with linen, increases its power of passing off the electricity from the body. In hot climates, it brings on malignant fevers and exhausts the strength. And when passing off from the body, it meets with the heated air, inflames and excoriates like a blister” (see Ezek. 44:17-18).
God does not say you can keep my statutes if you want to. He says, you will keep them. If we do not keep His statutes, we will feel His wrath. Verse 19 above is teaching a very special lesson on separation. The following Scripture is one of the most important separations that God would have.
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
I believe the not letting cattle gender with another kind is like having a buffalo and a cow have a beefalo. It is as if we are trying to improve on God’s creation. God did not make any mistakes, when he made the different things. The mingled seed could mean so many things. I believe the Scripture has a literal meaning not to mingle seed, but I believe it has a spiritual meaning as well. The seed is called the Word of God. We must not mix Christianity with other religions. We should keep it pure. In this Scripture, it also appears to me that this means that God has made people, foods, and Christianity, the way He wants it. We should leave God’s creation alone. This does not mean that one seed is not as good as another. It means God made it the way He wants it, leave it alone. Fine linen has to do with righteousness.
Revelation 19:8 “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
Nothing can be mingled with righteousness to improve it.
Verses 20-22: In the case of immorality with a betrothed slave, the couple was to be punished (possibly by scourging), but not killed. Afterward, a trespass or guilt offering (see notes on 5:14 – 6:7), was to be rendered with appropriate reparation. This is an exception to the norm (compare Deut. 22:23-24).
Leviticus 19:20 “And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that [is] a bondmaid, betrothed to a husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.”
Has carnal knowledge of her. A man and woman are expressed, signifying those that are of age. Aben Ezra observes, that according to the mystical exposition of these words, this same carnally lying is as of different kinds. Of a free man with a bondwoman, and so follows upon the above law and in connection with it: the woman is described as one.
“That is a bondmaid”: Either meaning a Canaanitish maid, as Jarchi, or an Israelitish one, as Aben Ezra, whom her father had sold (Exodus 21:7).
“Betrothed to her husband”: To a Hebrew servant, as Jarchi, or who was promised marriage, either by her master or his son, as Aben Ezra (Exodus 21:8).
“And not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her”: Or redeemed and not redeemed, as Jarchi. Or, as the Targum of Jonathan, not yet redeemed with an entire redemption (or wholly redeemed) with silver, nor a writing of her freedom given her, part of the redemption price being paid. But not the whole; so that she was, as Jarchi and Ben Gersom express it, half a bondmaid and half free.
“She shall be scourged”: And not him, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi remark. Though the Vulgate Latin version renders it, “both shall be beaten”. And the original text does not clearly determine it whether one or both should be scourged, since it may be rendered, “there shall be a scourging”. And seeing both were guilty of sin, it is reasonable to suppose that both should be scourged.
“They shall not be put to death, because she was not free”: Otherwise adultery was punished with death of both parties, when committed with a woman married to a husband (Deut. 22:22). And she a free woman, but this not being so, were not guilty of death, because, as Jarchi says, her espousals were no espousals, whereas they would have if she had been free, and so have been guilty of death. This difference the law made between a bond and free woman, but in Christ Jesus and under the Gospel dispensation there is no difference (Gal. 3:28).
This is speaking of a man having sexual relations with his slave girl. This reminds me so much of the bondwoman that bore Abraham a son (Ishmael).
Galatians 4:23 “But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise.”
This bondwoman, nor her master, would be killed for the act of adultery because she had been bought by him and was his servant. Notice they will be punished, but not as severely as death which was the usual punishment for both when they committed adultery. Scourging could be stripes received in whipping. There could be up to 40 stripes. There would be an investigation to see if the woman was willing, before she would be whipped. If she was not willing, she would not be whipped.
Leviticus 19:21 “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, [even] a ram for a trespass offering.”
To the priest of the Lord, to offer it for him. He, and not she, as the Targum of Jonathan has it (see notes on Lev. 19:20).
“Unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation”: Where all offerings were to be brought (Lev. 17:4).
“Even a ram for a trespass offering”: Which was the usual creature for such a sacrifice (Lev. 5:15). The woman was not obliged to bring any, she being a bondmaid. And so, having nothing of her own, but what was her master’s, her circumstances are considered, and scourging was sufficient.
Leviticus 19:22 “And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.”
By offering his sacrifice for him, typical of the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
“With the ram of his trespass offering before the Lord”: Presented before him at the door of the tabernacle, and offered up on his altar.
“For his sin which he hath done”: Or “sinned”, which is so expressed, according to Jarchi, to take in his sin, whether done ignorantly or presumptuously.
“And the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him”: Upon the atonement made, as all the sins of God’s people are forgiven through Christ, upon the foot of his atoning sacrifice (see Heb. 9:22).
A trespass was less than a full-fledged sin, but was indeed wrong. This is still a sin, but not as bad a sin. We have already covered the offerings for trespass in a previous lesson. We do not find any fine for the slave girl being paid to the person she has promised to marry. This is probably because the slave girl was possibly promised to another slave that was owned by the man who committed the trespass.
To sum up this lesson, we might say that God is absolute. He has a way that is above the ways of man. Life would be a whole lot simpler for all of us, if we would just do things His way. Everything in this world was created by God for a specific purpose. We should find what that purpose is, and not try to change things to fit our purpose. His plan works, our plans fail.
Leviticus Chapter 19 Continued Questions
1. We shall do no _______________ in judgement.
2. Thou shalt not respect the person of the ______.
3. Thou shalt not honor the person of the ________.
4. How should judgement be made?
5. God is no respecter of __________.
6. If ye have respect to persons, ye commit _____.
7. Thou shalt not go up and down as a _____________.
8. What is one of the most important reasons to receive the Holy Spirit?
9. In James, we read the tongue is a ______.
10. When does the tongue stop being evil?
11. What does Proverbs say about a talebearer?
12. Where there is no talebearer, the strife___________.
13. How should we love our neighbor?
14. When you hate your brother in your heart, what sin have you committed?
15. If a neighbor sins against you, what are you to do?
16. Open rebuke is better than secret _______.
17. Matthew 5:44 says, _______ your enemies.
18. If we do this, we are called whom?
19. If thine enemy huger, ______ ______.
20. Why should we do this?
21. What happens to those who do not keep God’s statutes?
22. What are you forbidden to let your cattle gender with?
23. Thou shalt not sow thy field with ___________ _______.
24. What 2 materials shall a garment not be mingled with?
25. What is one of the most important separations that God teaches?
26. What are we saying, when we mix two kinds of animals to make a new breed?
27. What is the seed many times symbolic of in the Bible?
28. Fine linen symbolizes what in the Bible?
29. What is meant by lying carnally with a woman?
30. What is the punishment for lying with a bondwoman?
31. Why were they not stoned to death, since that is the usual punishment for adultery?
32. What does scourging mean?
33. If this happened against the woman’s will, what was her punishment?
34. What type of offering did the man have to make at the sanctuary?
35. Why was the man not made to pay the person the bondwoman was betrothed to, for his loss?
36. God’s ways are above _______ ways.
37. Everything in this world was created by God for a ___________ ____________.