Leviticus 18:3
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein you dwelled, shall you not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do: neither shall you walk in their ordinances.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(3) After the doings of the land of Egypt.—During their sojourn in Egypt the Israelites became familiar with the practices which obtained in the land of their bondage, and as they adopted some of them (see Leviticus 17:7), they are here solemnly warned to eschew those which are especially proscribed in the sequel.

And after the doings of the land of Canaan. The danger of imitating the customs which they had for centuries witnessed in the land they quitted, was greatly increased by the fact that these licentious practices obtained in worse forms in the land which they were to inherit. It is therefore against the past and the future that they are here warned.

Neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. As some of “the doings” referred to may have been simple custom, not based upon the law of the country where they obtained, the Lawgiver here emphatically condemns the acts which were legalised, declaring them to have no authority whatever. (See Leviticus 18:30.)

Leviticus 18:3. Egypt and Canaan — These two nations he mentions, because their habitation and conversation among them made their evil example in the following matters more dangerous. But under them he includes all other nations.18:1-30 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.See the Leviticus 18:24-30 note. 2-4. I am the Lord your God—This renewed mention of the divine sovereignty over the Israelites was intended to bear particularly on some laws that were widely different from the social customs that obtained both in Egypt and Canaan; for the enormities, which the laws enumerated in this chapter were intended to put down, were freely practised or publicly sanctioned in both of those countries; and, indeed, the extermination of the ancient Canaanites is described as owing to the abominations with which they had polluted the land. Egypt and Canaan: these two nations he mentions, because their habitation and conversation among them made their evil example in the following matters more dangerous. But under them he includes all other nations, as he elsewhere expresseth it. In their ordinances, or statutes; either because their laws did indeed allow such things, or because prevailing customs have the force of laws. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do,.... Where they had dwelt many years, and were just come out from thence, and where they had learned many of their evil practices; not only their idolatrous ones referred to in the preceding chapter, which it is certain they followed, Ezekiel 20:7; but also their immoral practices, particularly respecting incestuous marriages, after insisted on, some of which were established by a law among them; so Diodorus Siculus relates (q), that it passed into a law with the Egyptians, contrary to the common custom of all others, that men might marry their own sisters; which is one of the incestuous marriages taken notice of in this chapter, and forbid:

and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: which land had been promised to their ancestors and to them long ago, and whither they were now going under divine direction and guidance, to inherit it, and are here particularly warned of the evil practices among them, that they might avoid them: Maimonides (r) says, these are what our Rabbins call "the ways of the Amorites" (the principal people of the nations of the land of Canaan), and which, he adds, are as branches of the magic art; namely, such which do not follow from natural reason, but from magical operation, and depend upon the dispositions and orders of the stars, and so were necessarily led to worship them: hence, they say, in whatsoever is anything of medicine, in it is nothing of the way of the Amorites; by which they mean nothing else than this, that everything is lawful in which there appears a natural reason for it; and on the contrary, all others are unlawful: but here respect is had not to magical operations but to incestuous marriages, which prevailed among that people, and which they might have received from their ancestor Canaan, who learned them from his father Ham, of whom Berosus (s) writes, that even before the flood he corrupted mankind; asserting and putting it in practice, that men might lie with their mothers, sisters, daughters, and with males and brutes, or any other, for which he was cast out by Noah:

neither shall ye walk in their ordinances: which they ordained, appointed, and settled, for they were such a people the Psalmist speaks of, which framed mischief or wickedness by a law, Psalm 94:2; so Diodorus Siculus says of the incestuous marriage before referred to, and which the above writer, Berosus, derives from Ham their ancestor, that they are said "to pass into a law"; but Aben Ezra puts another sense on these words, let no man use himself to walk in this way until it becomes an ordinance or statute unto him; custom is second nature, and in course of time has the force of a law, wherefore bad customs should be strictly guarded against.

(q) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 23. (r) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 37. (s) Antiqu. l. 3. fol. 25.

After the {a} doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, 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.

(a) You shall preserve yourselves from these abominations following, which the Egyptians and Canaanites use.

The blood also of such hunted game as was edible, whether bird or beast, was not to be eaten either by the Israelite or stranger, but to be poured out and covered with earth. In Deuteronomy 12:16 and Deuteronomy 12:24, where the command to slay all the domestic animals at the tabernacle as slain-offerings is repealed, this is extended to such domestic animals as were slaughtered for food; their blood also was not to be eaten, but to be poured upon the earth "like water," i.e., not quasi rem profanam et nullo ritu sacro (Rosenmller, etc.), but like water which is poured upon the earth, sucked in by it, and thus given back to the womb of the earth, from which God had caused the animals to come forth at their creation (Genesis 1:24). Hence pouring it out upon the earth like water was substantially the same as pouring it out and covering it with earth (cf. Ezekiel 24:7-8); and the purpose of the command was to prevent the desecration of the vehicle of the soulish life, which was sanctified as the medium of expiation.
Leviticus 18:3 Interlinear
Leviticus 18:3 Parallel Texts

Leviticus 18:3 NIV
Leviticus 18:3 NLT
Leviticus 18:3 ESV
Leviticus 18:3 NASB
Leviticus 18:3 KJV

Leviticus 18:3 Bible Apps
Leviticus 18:3 Parallel
Leviticus 18:3 Biblia Paralela
Leviticus 18:3 Chinese Bible
Leviticus 18:3 French Bible
Leviticus 18:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Leviticus 18:2
Top of Page
Top of Page