Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 19

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-37

Miscellaneous matters (19:1-37)

Probably the miscellaneous laws collected here were decisions or warnings given by Moses in cases where there was some doubt about what was right or wrong. Often all that was needed was a reminder of existing laws; for example, those concerning respect for parents, Sabbath-keeping, worship of idols and eating of sacrificial food (19:1-8).
When harvesting, farmers were always to leave something for the poor (9-10). Employers had to pay wages promptly, and judges had to be impartial and free of corruption. People in general were to avoid stealing, lying, and exploiting the disadvantaged (11-15). They were to love each other, avoid gossip and exercise forgiveness (16-18).
Israelites were warned not to copy superstitious customs concerning cattle-breeding, farming and weaving that the heathen believed would increase productivity. They were to follow God and trust his ordering of nature (19). A man could not treat a slave-girl as if she had no rights, and if he took advantage of her he was to be punished (20-22). Farmers were to use wise farming methods to obtain the best possible results, but they were still required to offer the firstfruits to God before enjoying the produce themselves (23-25).

Another short list outlaws further superstitious practices that the heathen thought brought good luck. These included the cutting of the hair or beard into certain shapes and the making of cuttings or tattoos on the body (26-28; cf. 1 Kings 18:28). All forms of prostitution, fortune-telling and witchcraft were forbidden (29-31; cf. 2 Kings 21:6). People were to respect the elderly, help foreign travellers and refugees, and be honest in all their business dealings (32-37; cf. Amos 8:4-6).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Leviticus 19". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/leviticus-19.html. 2005.
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