RSS Feeds

  • Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Subscribe to the ATOM Feed

Need Legal Assistance?

Try these Christian Legal Firms if you need help defending your religious freedoms.

- Thomas Moore Law Center
- Alliance Defense Fund
- Pacific Justice Institute
- Christian Law Association
- American Center For Law & Justice

Leviticus Bible Study – Lesson #9

Lesson 9:  Leviticus 19

Laws of Everyday Life

We are in that section of the book where the Ten Commandments are explained in terms of the social life of the nation. I can’t think of anything more practical than this particular section. God’s Law is designed to tell us this one thing: “… Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2). This was fundamental and basic to all facets of the life of Israel. It explained everything which God commanded or demanded. It entered into every part of their daily routine. Holiness in daily life with all of its relationships was paramount in the everyday living of God’s people. That is something that needs to be reemphasized today, by the way. This is not just theory. God intended it to be brought right into our everyday lives.

The Law can not produce the holiness which it demands. It demanded, but it did not supply. It revealed the righteousness of the Law, but the high level which it demanded could not be attained by human effort.  See Romans 3:19-20).

How wonderful it is that God has given us His Holy Spirit to indwell us!  Remember, God never gives us a command that He does not make POSSIBLE for us to obey.  By giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit, God makes it POSSIBLE for us to live holy lives.  If we do not do so on a consistent basis (everyone has a bad day), then we are not making use of the tools that He gives us to be ABLE to obey Him.

The reason given in this chapter, “I am the Lord your God” or “I am the Lord” occurs sixteen times in this chapter. God draws the line between right and wrong. He alone makes the sharp distinction between the holy and unholy. No other reason needs to be given.

Various laws for the conduct of the people are here laid down, as follows:

Mother and father were to be revered (v. 3)—the fifth commandment.

God’s Sabbaths were to be observed (v. 3)—the fourth commandment.

Idolatry was prohibited (v. 4)—the second commandment.

Eating of the peace offering on the third day was forbidden (v. 5–8).

In harvesting a field, the owner was to leave some grain in the corners for the poor and strangers (v. 9-10). Field crops and grapes are mentioned as examples, not as a complete list.

Stealing, cheating, and lying were forbidden (v. 11)—the eighth commandment.

Swearing by the Name of God to a false statement was outlawed (v. 12)—the third commandment.

Defrauding, robbing, or withholding wages were prohibited (v. 13).

Cursing the deaf or causing the blind to stumble were condemned (v. 14). The people were to express their reverence for Jehovah by their respect for one another (25:17). The handicapped (v. 14), the aged (v. 32), and the poor (25:26,and 43) were all to be treated with kindness by those who feared the Lord.

Showing partiality in judgment was forbidden (v. 15).

Slander and plotting against the life of a neighbor were prohibited (v. 16).

Hatred of one’s brother was forbidden: “You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him” (v. 17). Matters should be dealt with openly and frankly lest they become the cause of inward animosity leading to outward sin.

Vengeance or bearing of grudges was prohibited (v. 18). The second part of verse 18, loving your neighbor as yourself, is the summation of the whole law (Gal. 5:14). Jesus said it was the second-greatest command (Mark 12:31). The greatest command is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Verse 19 is generally understood to forbid the interbreeding of animals that results in mules. Livestock here means beasts in general.  The creation mandate in Genesis was that everything was to reproduce “after its’ own kind”.  Since mules cannot reproduce, purposefully creating them is a violation.  God’s intention is for all of His creation to reproduce itself.  This lesson is especially true of God’s People (Christians).  How many “mulish” Christians do we know that have never led anyone to the Lord?

Also, sowing a field with different kinds of seed, or wearing a garment of mixed linen and wool was forbidden. God is a God of separation, and in these physical examples He was teaching His people to separate themselves from sin and defilement. See 1 Corinthians 10:21-22, James 4:1-10.

If a man had illicit relations with a slave-girl betrothed to another man, both were scourged and he was required to bring a trespass offering (v. 20–22).

When settled in Canaan, the Israelites were not to pick the fruit of their trees for three years. The fruit of the fourth year was to be offered to the Lord, and in the fifth year the fruit could be eaten (v. 23–25).

19:26–37 Other forbidden practices were: eating of flesh from which the blood had not been drained (v. 26a); practicing witchcraft (v. 26b); trimming the hair in accordance with idolatrous practices (v. 27); making cuttings in one’s flesh as an expression of mourning for the dead (v. 28a); making marks on the body as the heathen did (tattooing)(v. 28b); making one’s daughter become a prostitute, as was common in pagan worship (v. 29); breaking of the Sabbath (v. 30); consulting mediums or familiar spirits (v. 31). Honor was to be shown to the aged (v. 32), and strangers were to be treated with kindness and hospitality (vv. 33, 34). Honest business practices were enjoined (vv. 35–37).