Leviticus 19:17
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
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(17) 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.

19:1-37 laws. - There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.Not suffer sin upon him - Rather, not hear sin on his account; that is, either by bearing secret ill-will Ephesians 4:26, or by encouraging him to sin in withholding due rebuke Romans 1:32. 17. thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour—Instead of cherishing latent feelings of malice or meditating purposes of revenge against a person who has committed an insult or injury against them, God's people were taught to remonstrate with the offender and endeavor, by calm and kindly reason, to bring him to a sense of his fault.

not suffer sin upon him—literally, "that ye may not participate in his sin."

To prevent murder, last spoken of, he forbids hatred, which is the common cause, and a degree of murder, 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.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart,.... Although no hatred may be expressed either by words or deeds, yet being in the heart is a breach of the sixth command, see 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.

(a) "ne feras propter eum peccatum", Tigurine version; so Sept. Syr. Ar. Targum Jonathan, Aben Ezra, Ainsworth.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
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). Leviticus 19:17They were not to cherish hatred in their hearts towards their brother, but to admonish a neighbour, i.e., to tell him openly what they had against him, and reprove him for his conduct, just as Christ teaches His disciples in Matthew 18:15-17, and "not to load a sin upon themselves." חטא עליו נשׁא does not mean to have to bear, or atone for a sin on his account (Onkelos, Knobel, etc.), but, as in Leviticus 22:9; Numbers 18:32, to bring sin upon one's self, which one then has to bear, or atone for; so also in Numbers 18:22, חטא שׂאת, from which the meaning "to bear," i.e., atone for sin, or suffer its consequences, was first derived.
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