And you shall be holy to me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be mine.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And ye shall be holy unto me.—Rather, And ye shall be my holy ones, in harmony with the remark in the last clause of this verse, where God says that He had separated them for the purpose that “ye should be mine” The phrase only occurs here, and is different from the one which has been used in Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 20:17.
And have severed you from other people.—Better, and have separated you from other people, as the Authorised Version renders this phrase in Leviticus 20:24. That is, God has separated them from the rest of the nations to be His holy people, and to be an example to them. The spiritual guides during the second Temple have explained this separation of Israel as not implying the rejection of the other nations, but simply as the first installment. They maintained that it implies that all other nations are gradually to follow, and that the Divine choice is to go on from people to people, till “many nations shall be joined to the Lord . . . and shall be my people” (Zechariah 2:11), where the same phrase, “shall be mine,” is used as in the passage before us. The Divine plan of the redemption of mankind they set forth in the text before us as follows :—“If the Scripture had said, I have separated all the nations from you, there would be no future for the Gentiles; but since it is said, I have separated you from the nations, it is as one who first of all separates the best from the less good, and then goes on continually to separate the better ones. But he who separates the bad from the good, by this very process rejects the bad, and does not return to them.” The Mosaic doctrine of the separation of Israel, therefore, so far from tending to produce and harbour in the Jews contracted views of God’s mercy, and a contempt for all other nations, has taught them to look upon themselves as simply having gone first to the mountain of the Lord, and that all other nations are to follow, and to become with them children of God.Leviticus 11:42 note.
Any manner of living thing that creepeth - Rather, any creeping thing; that is, any vermin. See Leviticus 11:20-23. The reference in this verse is to dead animals, not to the creatures when alive.
for I the Lord am holy; and therefore they, his people, should be like him, and imitate him, and observe those things which are agreeable to his holy nature and will, and yield a cheerful obedience to his holy precepts: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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 20:19, cf. Leviticus 18:12-13), with an uncle's wife (Leviticus 20:20, cf. Leviticus 18:4), or with a sister-in-law, a brother's wife (Leviticus 20:21, cf. Leviticus 18:16). In all these cases the threat is simply held out, "they shall bear their iniquity," and (according to Leviticus 20:20, Leviticus 20:21) "die childless;" that is to say, God would reserve the punishment to Himself (see at Leviticus 18:14). In the list of punishments no reference is made to intercourse with a mother (Leviticus 18:7) or a granddaughter (Leviticus 18:10), as it was taken for granted that the punishment of death would be inflicted in such cases as these; just as marriage with a daughter or a full sister is passed over in the prohibitions in ch. 18.
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