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:
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.