And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.Leviticus 20:2. The people — Here follow the punishments of the crimes forbidden in the former chapters.
And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.Leviticus 20:3. I will set my face against that man — Deal with him as an enemy, and make him a monument of my justice. To defile my sanctuary — Because the sanctuary was defiled by gross abominations committed in that city or land where God’s sanctuary was: or because by these actions they declared to all men that they esteemed the sanctuary and service of God abominable and vile, by preferring such odious idolatry before it. And to profane my name — Partly by despising it themselves, partly by disgracing it to others, and giving them occasion to blaspheme it, and to abhor the true religion.
And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:Leviticus 20:4. Hide their eyes — Wink at his fault, and forbear to accuse and punish him.
Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.Leviticus 20:6. To go a whoring — To seek counsel or help from them.
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.Leviticus 20:8. Who sanctify you — Who separate you from all nations, and from their impurities and idolatries, to be a peculiar people to myself; and who give you my grace to keep my statutes.
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.Leviticus 20:9. Curseth — This is not here meant of every perverse expression, but of bitter reproaches or imprecations. His blood shall be upon him — He is guilty of his own death: he deserves to die for so unnatural a crime.
And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.Leviticus 20:10. The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death —Adultery, however lightly it may be accounted of by men who are lost to all sense of virtue and honour, has not only under the Mosaic economy, but by several other civilized nations; been reckoned a capital wickedness. By the ancient laws of Solon the husband was authorized to kill the adulterer and adulteress, if he found them in the fact; or if he did not choose to proceed to that severity, he might put out their eyes. Among the Egyptians too, adulterers were punished with the utmost severity. If a woman were enticed to commit adultery, her nose was slit, and the man received a thousand blows with rods. To the same purpose, by the Roman laws, the adulterer might be put to death if he were taken in the act. Considering the heinous nature and fatal consequences of this vice, we need not wonder much, if, in well-regulated states, it has been punishable with death. By our laws a man shall lose his life by robbing another of a few shillings; but what proportion is there between robbing a man of a sum of money, and invading his property in what he often cherishes more tenderly than ease, plenty, honour, and even life itself?
And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.Leviticus 20:12. Confusion — By perverting the order which God hath appointed, and making the same offspring both his own child and his grand-child.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.Leviticus 20:13. Put to death — Except the one party was forced by the other: see Deuteronomy 22:25.
And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.Leviticus 20:14. They — All who consented to it.
And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.Leviticus 20:15. Slay the beast — Partly for the prevention of monstrous births, partly to blot out the memory of so loathsome a crime.
And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.Leviticus 20:17. See her nakedness — In this and several of the following verses, uncovering nakedness plainly appears to mean not marriage, but fornication or adultery.
And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.
And if a man shall lie with his uncle's wife, he hath uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.Leviticus 20:20. They shall die childless — Both shall be speedily cut off ere they can have a child by that incestuous conjunction; or, if this seem a less crime than most of the former incestuous mixtures, and therefore the magistrate forbear to punish it with death, yet they shall either have no children from such an unlawful bed, or their children shall die before them.
And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.Leviticus 20:21. His brother’s wife — Except in the case allowed by God, Deuteronomy 25:5.
Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.
And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.
But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.
Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.Leviticus 20:27. A man or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, shall surely be put to death — They that are in league with the devil have in effect made a covenant with death; and so shall their doom be.