Leviticus
Introduction 1-6 Giving to Molech and Turning to Spiritism 7-8 Commission to Be Holy 9-21 Sexual Sins 22-26 Set Apart for God 27 Death Penalty for a Medium
Introduction

Many of the sins mentioned here are also in Leviticus 18. There they are forbidden so that they are not committed. But here the sanctions are given if the sins mentioned have actually been committed. The determination of a penalty is necessary if there is to be a law. Without a sanction there is no law. The death penalty must be applied to all the sins mentioned here, with the exception of those mentioned in verses 19-2119You shall also not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for such a one has made naked his blood relative; they will bear their guilt.20If [there is] a man who lies with his uncle’s wife he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they will bear their sin. They will die childless.21If [there is] a man who takes his brother’s wife, it is abhorrent; he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They will be childless.. The death penalty must act as a deterrent and prevent such sin from being followed.

This chapter also describes sins, not of the world, but of the people of God. In Israel the death penalty means to the church: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves” (1Cor 5:13b13But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.). The wicked man, that is, he who lives in sin, is thus excluded from the fellowship life of the people of God.


Giving to Molech and Turning to Spiritism

1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“You shall also say to the sons of Israel: ‘Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name. 4If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death, 5then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech. 6‘As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

The sins in these verses are sins against God. Verses 1-51Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,2“You shall also say to the sons of Israel: ‘Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.3I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name.4If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death,5then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech. are about sacrificing children to the idol Molech and verse 66‘As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. is about engaging with demons, spiritism. Saul is someone who engages in spiritism. He goes to a medium in Endor to ask by her the spirit of a dead one (1Sam 28:88Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, “Conjure up for me, please, and bring up for me whom I shall name to you.”). It is the apostasy of the LORD, an open breach of covenant, for which the only punishment is eradication from the people.

Stoning with stones is the usual death penalty. It is a punishment in which the whole people are active to get rid of the evil from among them. Every member is involved in the execution of the verdict, because every member throws a stone. In carrying out this sentence the whole people carry out the will of the LORD.

Every sin of the people defiles God’s sanctuary and His holy Name. This does not mean that these sins are committed in the sanctuary. But because the sanctuary is in the midst of the people, every sin is connected to it. We too do not sin apart from the sanctuary, which is now the church where God dwells (1Cor 3:1616Do you not know that you are a temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you?; Mt 18:2020For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”). Sin must be removed from the local church, either by the person judging himself by repentance of sin, or by the removal of the evil from the midst of the church (1Cor 5:13b13But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.). If sin is not removed, God must leave there.

The people become joint guilty of sin and of the judgment God gives them if they do not care about sin. Such an attitude proves indifference against evil. It can indicate a secret or even public consent of evil.

It is the greatest folly to ask the devil, the liar and father of lies, for information and to ask the ancient enemy of God for advice. At the same time, this action gives the devil the honor only due to God. Contact with demons is referred to here as “playing the harlot”. The people are connected with God. By dealing with demons they break covenant, that is adultery. We show this adulterous behavior when we make friends with the world (Jam 4:4a4You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.).


Commission to Be Holy

7You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

Verse 77You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. looks at the principle that we sanctify ourselves and purify ourselves from all that does not belong to God so that we can be with Him (1Pet 1:15-1615but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all [your] behavior;16because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”). It is the mind to be as He is. Verse 88You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies you. refers to our behavior, our actions. This must show obedience to His commandments. If we first sanctify ourselves, the tree will be known by its fruits.

God is holy, so the people must behave as He is. He doesn’t want to see behavior in them like that of the nations, but a behavior in which He can recognize himself. He wants His people to proclaim His virtues (1Pet 2:9-109But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [God’s] own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.). This is manifested when the people keep His statutes and do them.


Sexual Sins

9‘If [there is] anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him. 10‘If [there is] a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11If [there is] a man who lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 12If [there is] a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 13If [there is] a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 14If [there is] a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, so that there will be no immorality in your midst. 15If [there is] a man who lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal. 16If [there is] a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. 17‘If [there is] a man who takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the sons of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he bears his guilt. 18If [there is] a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19You shall also not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for such a one has made naked his blood relative; they will bear their guilt. 20If [there is] a man who lies with his uncle’s wife he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they will bear their sin. They will die childless. 21If [there is] a man who takes his brother’s wife, it is abhorrent; he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They will be childless.

The sins in these verses are sins to one’s neighbor, but also to oneself. By committing these sins, God’s order of creation is trampled underfoot. They are cases of incest and unnatural sexual intercourse and sexual perversity.

The list of the most terrible sins is preceded by that of cursing the father or mother (verse 99‘If [there is] anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.). That is not for nothing. It’s not about once cursing parents, how bad that already is, but wishing them evil. It is an attitude of revolt, which does not want to acknowledge God’s authority in the parents. This paves the way for every conceivable atrocity. Atrocities are the result of the unrestrained following of one’s own will with the rejection of all authority. It is not only the lack of respect, but the conscious cursing of the parents. That reveals a corrupt will. Anyone who does so takes blood guilt on himself and must be killed.

The cases that follow in verses 10-1810‘If [there is] a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.11If [there is] a man who lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.12If [there is] a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death; they have committed incest, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.13If [there is] a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.14If [there is] a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, so that there will be no immorality in your midst.15If [there is] a man who lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal.16If [there is] a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.17‘If [there is] a man who takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the sons of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he bears his guilt.18If [there is] a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people. and to which the death penalty should be applied are:
1. Adultery.
2. Sexual intercourse with his father’s wife.
3. Sexual intercourse with the daughter-in-law.
4. Homosexual intercourse.
5. Sexual intercourse with a woman and her mother (the death penalty is carried out here by burning or it is to be understood that after the death penalty the bodies were burned by fire).
6. Sexual intercourse of a man or a woman with an animal.
7. Sexual intercourse of a man with his half-sister (penalty: public execution).
8. Sexual intercourse with a woman who has menstruation.

Sexual intercourse with his father’s wife is the sin of Reuben (Gen 35:2222It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard [of it]. Now there were twelve sons of Jacob—). At that time this law was not yet there and it does not cost him his life. He does lose his birthright through it (Gen 49:3-43“Reuben, you are my firstborn;
My might and the beginning of my strength,
Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4“Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence,
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled [it]—he went up to my couch.
). The adulterer in the church in Corinth also committed this sin (1Cor 5:11It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.). The spiritual death penalty – excommunication – is applied to him (1Cor 5:13b13But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.).

There follows the case of sexual intercourse with an aunt and a sister-in-law (verses 19-2119You shall also not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for such a one has made naked his blood relative; they will bear their guilt.20If [there is] a man who lies with his uncle’s wife he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness; they will bear their sin. They will die childless.21If [there is] a man who takes his brother’s wife, it is abhorrent; he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They will be childless.). The death penalty is not pronounced, but it is declared that they will bear their iniquity. The guilt will continue to rest on them, without any possibility of cleansing by offering. The punishment is childlessness, with which God Himself takes up the judgment of this sin (Hos 4:1010They will eat, but not have enough;
They will play the harlot, but not increase,
Because they have stopped giving heed to the LORD.
).


Set Apart for God

22‘You are therefore to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. 23Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them. 24Hence I have said to you, “You are to possess their land, and I Myself will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples. 25You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean. 26Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.

Preservation for the sins of the nations lies only in observing all God’s statutes and all God’s ordinances. If they do not, but act as the people God has driven out before them, He will also drive them out of the land. The danger for us is the same, that we take over the habits of the world around us.

God has set His people apart from those around them, that they may belong to Him. They must maintain that separation. They must distinguish between clean and unclean food, a distinction that God has made. To acknowledge this distinction and to act accordingly, that is to say to eat only the clean and not to eat the unclean, will be their blessing.

That distinction, or that separation, must also be made by us. Spiritually applied we will be preserved from all the mentioned forms of evil if we feed ourselves with spiritually clean food. Then our thoughts will be pure, and our actions will be to the glory of God. However, if we feed ourselves with the food of the world, we will think like the world and we will behave like the world.

This chapter focuses on the prohibition of “anything that creeps on the ground” (verse 2525You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean.). This means that God addresses His people at their lowest instincts, so that they will not be given room to assert themselves.


Death Penalty for a Medium

27‘Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.’”

A demon is always busy to try to abolish the distinction set by God and tempts people to enter into a forbidden spiritual realm. Those who are tempted to do so make a covenant with the devil and thereby with death and hell, which will be their part. To maintain such a man in God’s people exposes them to the great danger of visiting him or her (verse 66‘As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.), which means a clear rejection of God.


Read more