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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Leviticus 18



Verse 1

spake. See note on Leviticus 5:14.

Verse 2

children. Hebrew sons.

Verse 3

the doings: i.e. all the abominable practices of the Canaanitish nations (Leviticus 18:27), for which they were cut off, Romans 1:23-29.

ordinances = statutes.

Verse 4

judgments = regulations.

Verse 5

which, &c. = "which, if the man (Hebrew. "adam, App-14) shall do them, he shall also live by them".

live = "live again" in resurrection life (Revelation 20:6). The Chaldee paraphrase = "shall live by them to life eternal". Compare the other passages where "live" is used in this sense: Ezekiel 13:21; Ezekiel 20:11. Luke 10:28. Romans 10:5. Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:12. Nehemiah 9:29. Romans 1:17. Hebrews 10:38, &c. In this sense the verb is used more often than is generally thought. Compare Isaiah 26:19; Isaiah 38:16; Isaiah 55:3. Ezekiel 18:19; Ezekiel 33:19; Ezekiel 37:3, Ezekiel 37:5, Ezekiel 37:6, Ezekiel 37:14. Hosea 6:2. Amos 5:4, &c. The spiritual authorities of the second temple so interpreted the phrase. Thus "eternal life", by faith, is set in contrast with eternal life by works.

None of you. Hebrew "Man, man, ye shall not approach"; should be "No man (Hebrew. "ish). whatsoever shall approach". Emphasized by Figure of speech Epizeuxis. See App-6. The absence of the words "of the house of Israel", as in Leviticus 17:3, Leviticus 17:8, Leviticus 17:13, shows that the strangers are included in this law.

near of kin. Hebrew "the remainder of his flesh" (Genesis 2:23), i.e. by the Figure of speech Polyptoton, App-6, "his own flesh (or relatives)". Compare verses: Leviticus 18:12, Leviticus 18:13, Leviticus 18:17. For emphasis.

Verse 7

father. See Genesis 19:31-38.

Verse 8

father"s wife. See Genesis 35:22. 2 Samuel 16:20-23. 1 Kings 2:17, and 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. This verse clarifies Genesis 9:22-25, and see also Leviticus 20:11.

Verse 9

sister. See Genesis 20:12. 2 Samuel 13:12, 2 Samuel 16:20.

Verse 11

father"s wife. In Hebrew always means one"s "step mother" (see Leviticus 18:8; Leviticus 20:11).

Verse 12

father"s sister. See Exodus 6:20.

she. Some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "for she".

Verse 14

thou. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel Septuagint, and Syriac, read "and thou".

Verse 17

wickedness = lewdness. Hebrew. zimmah. App-44.

Verse 21

seed = children.

pass through, &c. Hebrew "pass to Molech", i.e. into his arms, from which it passed through the fire to him.

Molech. Always has the article (except 1 Kings 11:7, which is probably a copyist"s omission) denoting the king, or the king-idol (see Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2, Leviticus 20:3, Leviticus 20:4, Leviticus 20:5. See seq. 2 Kings 23:10. Jeremiah 32:35). The Massorites pointed it Molech, to assimilate it to "shameful thing", but omitted to do so in Isaiah 30:33 with Isaiah 57:9, which they left melech = king. It should read Molech in these two passages also.

Verse 22

as. Referring to the sin of Sodom (whence its name), Genesis 19:5. Compare Leviticus 20:13. Judges 19:22. 1 Kings 14:24.

abomination = a thing to be abhorred.

Verse 23

any beast. This was part of the religious worship of the Egyptians.

Verse 25

iniquity. Hebrew. "avah. App-44.

vomiteth. Figure of speech Prosopopoeia, App-6. Compare "spued", Leviticus 18:28. From the beginning, the earth has shared the consequences of man"s guilt (Genesis 3:17. Romans 8:19-22). Since it yields no fruit when man yields no obedience; and defiled when man is defiled (Deuteronomy 11:17). Is blessed when man is blessed (Leviticus 25:19; Leviticus 26:4. Deuteronomy 32:43). Mourns when man sins (Isaiah 24:4, Isaiah 24:5). Glad when God avenges His People (Psalms 96:11-13).

Verse 26

Ye. In some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syr, and Vulgate, this "Ye" has no emphasis.

Verse 27

For, &c. These "doings" are specially legislated against, because these were the corruptions pertaining to the origin and character of the Nephilim (App-25). These formed the nations of Canaan, and this was why they had to be destroyed by the sword of Israel, as those in the days of Noah had to be destroyed by the Flood. Leviticus 18:24-25 are emphasized by the other way of putting the facts.

Verse 28

spue = vomit of Leviticus 18:25.

as = according as. Compare Leviticus 18:25.

Verse 29

souls. Hebrew, plural of nephesh. App-13.

Verse 30

keep Mine ordinance. This is the Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6) = "observe My observance", but, Eng. keep My charge.

customs = statutes: because they were legal enactments of the land, Compare Leviticus 18:3. The word is rendered "statutes" in Deuteronomy 6:24; Deuteronomy 16:12, and Deuteronomy 26:16.

I am the LORD your God. This body of laws (Lev 18) is emphasized and solemnized by beginning and ending with the same expression. Figure of speech Epanadiplosis. See App-6.


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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Leviticus 18:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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