LEVITICUS CHAPTER 18.
Purity in Sexual Life Demanded.
- V.1. And the Lord spake unto Moses,
saying, v.2. Speak unto the children
of Israel and say unto them, I am the Lord, your God. Because the Lawgiver
was Jehovah God, the covenant God, therefore the observance of these laws was a
matter of covenant obligation. V.3. After
the doings of the land of Egypt wherein ye blood shall ye not do, and after the
doings of the land of Canaan whither I bring you shall ye not do; neither shall
ye walk in their ordinances. The children of Israel were absolutely to avoid
all practices, whether they were of Egyptian or Canaanitish origin, which
desecrated the marriage relation or showed immorality in any form. The
propagation of the human race is to take place in lawful wedlock only, and
unlawful marriages, illegal sexual intercourse, and degenerate lusts are an
abomination to the Lord. V.4. Ye shall do
My judgments and keep Mine ordinances to walk there in; I am the Lord, your God.
His authority, as the only true God,
was absolute. V.5. Ye shall therefore
keep My statutes and My judgments, both those precepts which concerned them
only, as the people of the Lord in a peculiar sense, and the ordinances which
were natural laws, and which all men should recognize as binding upon them, also
the Egyptians and Canaanites; which if a man do, he shall live in them, for a perfect keeping of
the Law will have the enjoyment of eternal life as its reward, Luke 10, 28;
I am the Lord. V.6. None of you shall
approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness; I am the
Lord. The literal translation is: ďAny man at all, to any flesh of his
flesh shall he not come near to uncover shame.Ē That is the fundamental rule:
Sexual intercourse, the peculiar relation which is characteristic of the married
state and is absolutely prohibited outside of holy wedlock, should not take
place within the second degree of relationship, whether by blood (consanguinity)
or by marriage (affinity). 5) V.7. The
nakedness of thy father or the nakedness of thy mother shalt thou not uncover:
she is thy mother; thou shalt not
uncover her nakedness. This refers to a manís own, natural mother. V.8. The
nakedness of thy fatherís wife, the stepmother, thou
shalt not uncover; it is thy fatherís nakedness. V.9.
The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father or daughter of thy
mother, that is, the half-sister, whether
she be born at home or born abroad, that is, in a former marriage, even
their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. V.10.
The nakedness of thy sonís daughter or of thy daughterís daughter, of
the granddaughter, even their nakedness
thou shalt not uncover; for theirs is thine own nakedness, intercourse with
them would be equivalent to violation of the offenderís own flesh. V.11. The nakedness of thy fatherís wifeís daughter, begotten of thy
father, the daughter of a manís stepmother and his natural father, his
half-sister by a second marriage: she is
thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. V.12.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy fatherís sister, that is, his
full sister, the manís aunt; she is thy
fatherís near kinswoman, by blood-relationship. V.13. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy motherís sister; for she
is thy motherís near kinswoman. V.14.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy fatherís brother, of an uncle
by blood-relationship; thou shalt not
approach to his wife; she is thine aunt. This has been looked upon as an
extension of the general rule, but since husband and wife are looked upon as one
flesh, the principle will apply also in
this case, where the honor of the uncle would be violated by intercourse. V.15. Thou
shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in-law; she is thy sonís wife;
thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. V.16.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brotherís wife, of the
sister-in-law; it is thy brotherís
nakedness. This prohibition was intended only for such cases in which the
brother had left children; for if the brother died childless, the so-called
levirate marriage was ordered, Deut. 25, 5-10. V.17. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter,
who in this event would become the stepdaughter, either at the same time or in
successive marriages; neither shalt thou
take her sonís daughter or her daughterís daughter, the
step-granddaughter, to uncover her
nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen; it is wickedness. V.18. Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, one wife to another,
in the relationship known as bigamy, to
vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. Any
violation of the original rule of God, which provided for only one man and one
woman in holy wedlock, is bound to result in disagreeable features, even if the
Lord did consent to such marriages in the Old Testament. V.19. Also
thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, for carnal
intercourse, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness, whether during the
menstrual period, or during a prolonged flow, or during the weeks of uncleanness
after childbirth. V.20. Moreover, thou
shalt not lie carnally with thy neighborís wife, as spoken of chap. 15.
18, in the sin of adultery, to defile
thyself with her, for this was a transgression which was to be punished by
stoning both the man and the woman. chap. 20, 12; Deut. 22, 22; John 8, 5. Thus
the Lord regulated the sexual life of the children of Israel.
UNNATURAL LUSTS. - V.21. And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, an ancient Canaanitish idol in the form of a hollow statue with the head of an ox, in whose worship such bestial practices of sacrificing children, in an excess of cruelty, were common; neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God, as would certainly happen through participation in such abominations. I am the Lord. V.22. Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, in the sin known as sodomy or as pederasty; it is abomination. V.23. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself there with; neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto, to permit carnal intercourse; it is confusion, a most abominable and revolting defilement. V.24. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things, in these bestial perversions of sexual desire: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you; v.25. and the land is defiled; therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. The story of Sodom shows to what extent unnatural vices were practiced by the inhabitants of Canaan, to a degree that nature itself could no longer endure them. V.26. Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you (ďThe land which the ancestors of Israel were not allowed to possess because the iniquity of the Amorites not yet full, Gen. 15, 16, had now become filled with a mass of festering moral corruption. Its inhabitants were to be cast out and the holy people planted in their stead. It could not be allowed that Ďthe strangerí should again introduce the pollutions which were now being so severely punished.Ē Lange), v.27. (for all these abominations have the men of the land done which were before you, and the land is defiled,) v.28. that the land spue not you out also when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. The land is personified as a creature which is obliged to vomit forth some form of indigestible food with every indication of revulsion. V.29. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. V.30. Therefore shall ye keep Mine ordinance, the precept covering this matter based upon natural law, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein. I am the Lord, your God, and the just and holy God cannot endure such customs of abomination, as in those days, so in our times. There is a hint in this chapter which has been sustained abundantly by history, namely, that any relaxation of sexual purity will usually be accompanied by the perversion or denial of some fundamental doctrine.