You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin on him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart.—From the outward acts denounced in the preceding verse, the legislator now passes to inward feelings. Whatever wrong our neighbour has inflicted upon us, we are not to harbour hatred against him.
Thou shalt in any wise rebuke.—Better, thou shalt by all means, or thou shalt freely rebuke him. If he has done wrong he is to be reproved, and the wrong is to be brought home to him by expostulation. In illustration of this precept the Jewish canonists remark, “when any man sinneth against another he must not inwardly hate him and keep silence, as it is said of the wicked, ‘And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon’ (2Samuel 13:22); but he is commanded to make it known unto him, and to say, ‘Why hast thou done thus unto me?’” Similar is the admonition of Christ, “If thy brother sin against thee rebuke him, and if he repent forgive him” (Luke 17:3).
And not suffer sin upon him.—Better so that thou bear not sin on his account. That is, by not reproving him, but harbouring inward hatred towards the offender, we not only become partakers of his offence, but incur the sin of bearing secret ill-will (Romans 1:32; Ephesians 4:26; 1Timothy 5:20; 1Timothy 5:22). According to the spiritual authorities during the second Temple, however, this clause denotes, “but thou shalt bear no sin by reason of it,” as the Authorised Version translates this phrase in Numbers 18:32; that is, “execute the duty of reproof in such a manner that thou dost not incur sin by it,” which they explain in the following manner: “Even if the reproof is ineffectual the first time, it must be repeated over and over again, but the rebuker must desist as soon as he sees blushes on the offender’s face, for it shows that the reproofs have made an impression. Every step taken by the one who reproves, after the offender has thus indicated by his countenance that he realises the offence, is an unnecessary humiliation, and hence brings sin upon him who rebukes by reason of it.”Leviticus 19:17. Thou shalt not hate — As thou dost, in effect, if thou dost not rebuke him. Thy brother — The same as thy neighbour; that is, every man. If thy brother hath done wrong, thou shalt neither divulge it to others, nor hate him, and smother that hatred by sullen silence; nor flatter him therein, but shalt freely, and in love, tell him of his fault. And not suffer sin upon him — Not suffer him to lie under the guilt of any sin, which thou, by rebuking him, and thereby bringing him to repentance, couldst free him from.Ephesians 4:26, or by encouraging him to sin in withholding due rebuke Romans 1:32.
not suffer sin upon him—literally, "that ye may not participate in his sin."1Jo 3:15.
Thy brother; the same with neighbour, as it follows, i.e. every man, Matthew 5:44; for it is manifest that God’s law commanded them to love strangers no less than Israelites.
If thy brother hath done thee or others any injury, thou shalt neither divulge it to others as a tale-bearer, nor hate him, and smother that hatred by sullen silence, as 2 Samuel 13:22, nor justify and flatter and encourage him therein; but shalt freely, and in love, not with hatred, tell him of his fault.
And not suffer sin upon him, i.e. not suffer him to lie under the guilt of any sin, which thou by rebuking of him, and thereby bringing him to true repentance, couldest in some sort free him from. But the phrase of suffering sin upon him imperfect and unusual in Scripture, and I doubt whether the Hebrew verb nasa be ever used for permitting or suffering. The words may be rendered thus, And (or so) thou shalt not bear sin for him, or for his sake; thou shalt not make thyself guilty of his sin, as thou wilt assuredly do, if thou dost not perform thy duty of rebuking him for his sin, which is a likely way, and a course appointed by God, to remove the guilt of his sin from him; and consequently, as it was his fault that he sinned and contracted guilt, so it is thy fault that his guilt continues upon him. Many things favour this sense.
1. This is the proper and usual signification of the word nasa.
2. The same words are used in this sense Leviticus 22:9 Numbers 18:32.
3. The preposition al is oft used thus, as Genesis 37:8,34 Jud 9:9 1 Kings 16:7.
4. This phrase of bearing sin, or iniquity, is constantly used in this book for being guilty and liable to punishment. And so the sense is here full and complete, and a very weighty reason here given to enforce the foregoing precept. Matthew 5:21; and of this a man may be guilty, when he does not attempt to save the life of his neighbour, either by bearing a testimony for him, or by delivering from danger, as preserving him from drowning, from wild beasts and thieves, as in Leviticus 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 an hatred of him:
thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, 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, unrepented 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, 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" (a); 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 Timothy 5:20.Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17, 18. Against hatred and vengeance; instead of cherishing hatred, rebuke thy neighbour (i.e. point out his fault), and persist in so doing (thou shalt surely), e.g. as in the case mentioned in Matthew 18:15 f.; in so doing thou wilt not ‘bear sin because of him.’ The command to love thy neighbour as thyself is quoted in the N.T., Matthew 19:19; as the second great commandment, Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; also Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; the royal law, James 2:8. These commands here, however, are confined in thought to fellow-Israelites. Even Leviticus 19:34 extends only to the ‘stranger’ who worshipped Israel’s God. The universal application of the word ‘neighbour’ came first in our Lord’s teaching.
In Leviticus 19:9-18 the laws are arranged in groups of two or three verses, each terminated by the phrase, ‘I am the Lord (your God).’ Each group contains either a complete pentad, or what seems to be the remains of a probable pentad. The laws, except in Leviticus 19:11-12, are on the whole in the 2nd pers. sing. Some of them are repeated elsewhere in this collection, e.g. part of Leviticus 19:5-8 in Leviticus 22:29 f., Leviticus 19:9-10 in Leviticus 23:22, Leviticus 19:4 in Leviticus 26:1, Leviticus 19:3 in Leviticus 19:30 and Leviticus 26:2. The precepts in Leviticus 19:3-4 are analogous to those in the first part of the Decalogue, and those in Leviticus 19:11-18 to those in the second part, though Leviticus 19:12 is parallel to the third commandment. Several commentators are of opinion that the order of thought of the Decalogue can be traced here, but see p. 107.Verse 17. - On the one side we are not to hate our brother in our heart, whatever wrongs he may commit; but on the other side, we are in any wise to rebuke our neighbour for his wrong doing. So our Lord teaches, "if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him" (Luke 17:3); and he appoints a solemn mode of procedure, by which this fraternal rebuke is to be conveyed in his Church: "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 an heathen man and a publican" (Matthew 18:15-17). Therefore St. Paul warns his delegates, Timothy and Titus, "Them that sin rebuke before all" (1 Timothy 5:20). "Reprove, rebuke" (2 Timothy 4:2). "Rebuke them sharply" (Titus 1:13). "Rebuke with all authority" (Titus 2:15). By withholding reproof in a bitter spirit, or from a feeling of cowardice, we may become partakers of other men's sins. Whoever fails to rebuke his neighbour when he ought to do so, bears sin on his account (the more correct and less ambiguous rendering of the words translated in the Authorized Version, suffer sin upon him, cf. Numbers 18:22, 32). God's people are their brothers' keepers (Genesis 4:9). Exodus 20:15); nor to deny, viz., anything entrusted to them or found (Leviticus 6:2.); nor to lie to a neighbour, i.e., with regard to property or goods, for the purpose of overreaching and cheating him; nor to swear by the name of Jehovah to lie and defraud, and so profane the name of God (see Exodus 20:7, Exodus 20:16); nor to oppress and rob a neighbour (cf. Leviticus 6:2), by the unjust abstraction or detention of what belonged to him or was due to him, - for example, they were not to keep the wages of a day-labourer over night, but to pay him every day before sunset (Deuteronomy 24:14-15).
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