Leviticus 19:32
You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.
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(32) Rise up before the hoary head.—But though no regard is to be paid to these soothsayers and cunning men, the greatest reverence is to be shown to the aged, for “with the old is wisdom, and in length of days understanding” (Job 12:12; Job 32:7, &c.). If we, therefore, are to attain to the holiness which, as it is set forth in the beginning of this chapter, is to reflect the holiness of God, we must have reverence for the ancients, since God himself is called “the Ancient of days” (Daniel 7:9; Daniel 7:13; Daniel 7:22). This precept, which is so often inculcated in Holy Writ, is beautifully enforced in the maxims of the authorities during the second Temple. “He who receives and takes care of an old man is rewarded as if he received and sought God,” is one of their sayings. Again, “Prophets are only believed if they come armed with Divine miracles, but old men always.” To this day, when, among the orthodox Jews, an aged person enters into a house where young people are, they all rise up, and will not sit down till he asks them to do it. An exception, however, is made with regard to workmen. When an aged person passes by artisans who are en. gaged in their work, they need not stand up, and thus be interrupted in their labour.

Leviticus 19:32. Rise up — To do them reverence when they pass by, for which end they were obliged, as the Jews say, presently to sit down again when they were past, that it might be manifest they arose out of respect to them. Fear thy God — This respect is due to such, if not for themselves, yet for God’s sake, who requires this reverence, and whose singular blessing old age is.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.The outward respect due to old age is here immediately connected with the fear of God. Compare the margin reference. 31. Regard not them that have familiar spirits—The Hebrew word, rendered "familiar spirit," signifies the belly, and sometimes a leathern bottle, from its similarity to the belly. It was applied in the sense of this passage to ventriloquists, who pretended to have communication with the invisible world. The Hebrews were strictly forbidden to consult them as the vain but high pretensions of those impostors were derogatory to the honor of God and subversive of their covenant relations with Him as His people.

neither seek after wizards—fortunetellers, who pretended, as the Hebrew word indicates, to prognosticate by palmistry (or an inspection of the lines of the hand) the future fate of those who applied to them.

Thou shalt rise up, to do them reverence when they pass by, for which end they were obliged, as the Jews say, presently to sit down again when they were past, that it might be manifest they arose out of respect to them.

Fear thy God; a reason of the former precept, both because old men in some respects do most resemble God, who is styled the Ancient of days, Daniel 7:9,13, and because this respect is due to such, if not for themselves, who may be unworthy or contemptible, yet for God’s sake, who requires this reverence, and whose singular blessing old age is. Thou shall rise up before the hoary head,.... Or "before old age" (q), which may be discerned by the hoary or grey hairs upon the head; that is, before a grey-headed man, or an old man, and one was reckoned so when he was of seventy years of age; for so it is said (r), one of sixty years is arrived to old age, and one of seventy to grey hairs. Fagius relates, that according to the tradition of the Hebrews, a young man was obliged to rise up when an ancient man was at the distance of four cubits from him, and to sit down again as soon as he had passed by him, that it might appear it was done in honour of him. And this was not only observed among the Jews, but anciently among Heathens, who reckoned it abominable wickedness, and a capital crime, if a young man did not rise up to an old man, and a boy to a bearded person (s). Herodotus (t) reports, that the Egyptians agreed in this with the Lacedaemonians, and with them only of the Grecians, that the younger, when they met the elder, gave them the way and turned aside, and when coming towards them rose up out of their seat; and this law was enjoined them by Lycurgus, and which Aelianus (u) commends as of all the most humane. And this respect to ancient persons is due to them from younger persons, because of their having been in the world before them, and of their long continuance in it, and because of the favour and honour God has bestowed upon them in granting them long life, as also because of the experience, knowledge, and wisdom, they may be supposed to have attained unto: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan restrain this to such as are expert in the law; so Jarchi says, there is no old man but he that has acquired wisdom; but it seems not to be the intention of this law to limit the respect to such only; though it must be allowed that ancient persons, who are wise and good, are worthy of special regard, see Proverbs 16:31,

and honour the face of the old man; who for the wrinkles of it, and his withered countenance, might be liable to be despised. The Targum of Jonathan interprets it, the face of a wise man, which agrees with what is observed before; and so Jarchi, Ben Gersom, and other Jewish writers explain it; and the former asks, what is this honour? he may not sit in his place, nor contradict his words. All this may be applied to elders by office, as well as in age, to magistrates, masters, and teachers; and particularly, as Ben Gersom observes, this may admonish us to give honour to God, who is the Ancient of days, who always was, and ever will be:

and fear thy God, I am the Lord; who has commanded such reverence of ancient persons, and will punish for any marks of irreverence shown them; and who is himself to be feared and reverenced above all, being, from everlasting to everlasting, God, and whose name is holy and reverend.

(q) "ante canitiem", Pagninus; so Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (r) Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 21. (s) "Improbitas illo fuit", &c. Juvenal. Satyr. 13. v. 53, 54, 55, 56. (t) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 80. (u) Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 61.

Thou shalt {n} rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

(n) In token of reverence.

32. rise up, etc.] Herodotus (ii. 80) speaks of this and other acts of respect on the part of youth to age as practised by the Egyptians, to whom, according to him, the Lacedaemonians alone of the Greeks furnish a parallel.Verse 32. - Reverence for the old is inculcated as being a part, not merely of natural respect, but of the fear of God. In the East this virtue, implying deference on the part of the strong to the weak, and of the inexperienced to the wise, exists in larger influence for good than in the West, where, however, its place has been, but only partially, supplied by the greater deference paid by man to woman (cf. Proverbs 16:31; Proverbs 20:29). The Israelites were to abstain from all unnatural, idolatrous, and heathenish conduct.

Leviticus 19:26

"Ye shall not eat upon blood" (על as in Exodus 12:8, referring to the basis of the eating), i.e., no flesh of which blood still lay at the foundation, which was not entirely cleansed from blood (cf. 1 Samuel 14:32). These words were not a mere repetition of the law against eating blood (Leviticus 17:10), but a strengthening of the law. Not only were they to eat no blood, but no flesh to which any blood adhered. They were also "to practise no kind of incantations." נחשׁ: from נחשׁ to whisper (see Genesis 44:5), or, according to some, a denom. verb from נחשׁ a serpent; literally, to prophesy from observing snakes, then to prophesy from auguries generally, augurari. עונן a denom. verb, not from ענן a cloud, with the signification to prophesy from the motion of the clouds, of which there is not the slightest historical trace in Hebrew; but, as the Rabbins maintain, from עין an eye, literally, to ogle, then to bewitch with an evil eye.

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