Leviticus 20:9
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
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(9) For every one that curseth his father.—Though the administrators of the Law during the second Temple have laid down the most minute regulation with regard to filial obedience (see Leviticus 19:3), and though nothing can exceed the tenderness with which they instilled into the hearts of children the Biblical precepts on this subject (Exodus 20:12), yet they enacted that the child only incurred the penalty of death when he used the ineffable name God when cursing his parent, who was either alive or dead, and that if he used an attribute of the Deity, such as Almighty, the Merciful, &c, he was simply to be beaten with stripes. This will account for the rendering of this passage in the ancient Chaldee Version, “who curseth his father or his mother by the inexpressible name,” i.e., Jehovah.

Leviticus 20:9. Curseth — This is not here meant of every perverse expression, but of bitter reproaches or imprecations. His blood shall be upon him — He is guilty of his own death: he deserves to die for so unnatural a crime.

20:1-9 Are we shocked at the unnatural cruelty of the ancient idolaters in sacrificing their children? We may justly be so. But are there not very many parents, who, by bad teaching and wicked examples, and by the mysteries of iniquity which they show their children, devote them to the service of Satan, and forward their everlasting ruin, in a manner even more to be lamented? What an account must such parents render to God, and what a meeting will they have with their children at the day of judgment! On the other hand, let children remember that he who cursed father or mother was surely put to death. This law Christ confirmed. Laws which were made before are repeated, and penalties annexed to them. If men will not avoid evil practices, because the law has made these practices sin, and it is right that we go on that principle, surely they should avoid them when the law has made them death, from a principle of self-preservation. In the midst of these laws comes in a general charge, Sanctify yourselves, and be ye holy. It is the Lord that sanctifies, and his work will be done, though it be difficult. Yet his grace is so far from doing away our endeavours, that it strongly encourages them. Work out your salvation, for it is God that worketh in you.Defile my sanctuary - i. e. pollute the people as identified with their sanctuary. 7-19. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy—The minute specification of the incestuous and unnatural crimes here enumerated shows their sad prevalence amongst the idolatrous nations around, and the extreme proneness of the Israelites to follow the customs of their neighbors. It is to be understood, that, whenever mention is made that the offender was "to be put to death" without describing the mode, stoning is meant. The only instance of another form of capital punishment occurs in Le 20:14, that of being burnt with fire; and yet it is probable that even here death was first inflicted by stoning, and the body of the criminal afterwards consumed by fire (Jos 7:15). For, or, surely, as that particle, chi, is oft used, as Job 8:6 20:20. So there needs no dispute about the connexion, or what this is a reason of. Curseth; which is not meant of every perverse expression, but of bitter reproaches or imprecations. Or his mother; Heb. and put for or, as hath been noted before.

His blood shall be upon him; he is guilty of his own death; he deserves to die for so unnatural a crime.

For everyone that curseth his father or his mother,.... Here begins the account of the penalties annexed to the several laws in the preceding chapter; and that respecting the fear and honour of parents being the first, Leviticus 19:3, is here begun with:

shall surely be put to death; the Targum of Jonathan adds,"by casting of stones,''stoning being the punishment of such transgressors:

he hath cursed his father or his mother: to do either is his sin, and a capital crime it is:

his blood shall be upon him: he shall be guilty of death, be condemned unto it, and punished with it, namely, by stoning; for, as Jarchi observes, wherever it is, "his blood shall be on him", or "their blood shall be on them", it is to be understood of stoning.

For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; {e} his blood shall be upon him.

(e) He is worthy to die.

9. The penalty of death is here assigned for cursing a parent, as in Exodus 21:17. In both places Targ. Ps-Jon. gives the traditional interpretation that when the sacred Name is mentioned in connexion with the cursing, the penalty of death is incurred. The words ‘his (their) blood shall be upon him (them)’ occur in this ch. and in Ezekiel 18:13; Ezekiel 33:5; cp. Joshua 2:19; Ezekiel 33:4.

Verse 9. - See above, the note on chapter Leviticus 19:14, which shows how God's word is made of none effect by man's traditions. God says that a man who curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death. Human authority, incontrovertible throughout a great part of Christendom, declares that in most cases it is no grave sin. Leviticus 20:9Whoever cursed father or mother was to be punished with death (Leviticus 19:3); "His blood would be upon him." The cursing of parents was a capital crime (see at Leviticus 17:4, and for the plural דּמיו Exodus 22:1 and Genesis 4:10), which was to return upon the doer of it, according to Genesis 9:6. The same punishment was to be inflicted upon adultery (Leviticus 20:10, cf. Leviticus 18:20), carnal intercourse with a father's wife (Leviticus 20:11, cf. Leviticus 18:7-8) or with a daughter-in-law (Leviticus 20:12, cf. Leviticus 18:17), sodomy (Leviticus 20:13, cf. Leviticus 18:22), sexual intercourse with a mother and her daughter, in which case the punishment was to be heightened by the burning of the criminals when put to death (Leviticus 20:14, cf. Leviticus 18:17), lying with a beast (Leviticus 20:15, Leviticus 20:16, cf. Leviticus 18:23), sexual intercourse with a half-sister (Leviticus 20:17, cf. Leviticus 18:9 and Leviticus 18:11), and lying with a menstruous woman (Leviticus 20:18, cf. Leviticus 18:19). The punishment of death, which was to be inflicted in all these cases upon both the criminals, and also upon the beast that had been abused (Leviticus 20:15, Leviticus 20:16), was to be by stoning, according to Leviticus 20:2, Leviticus 20:27, and Deuteronomy 22:21.; and by the burning (Leviticus 20:14) we are not to understand death by fire, or burning alive, but, as we may clearly see from Joshua 7:15 and Joshua 7:25, burning the corpse after death. This was also the case in Leviticus 21:9 and Genesis 38:24.
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