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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 19

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. Virginia Anderson – Child Evangelism Fellowship.
    2. Jeff Thompson – update & clear up last weeks comment.
    3. Still in Leviticus? (Sometimes I’m tempted to leap frog to a more exciting book also!) Sometimes (like last week) I feel like I’m treading through deep mud…but I plod on!
      1. 2 Tim.3:16,17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
      2. All, means all here.
        1. When I dig in my back yard I find that in one part of my slope it is easy to dig, & 3’ away it is very hard.
        2. I see the word of God being the same. Sometimes we need a simple shovel to uncover Gods riches, other times a pick, & sometimes a few sticks of dynamite.
    4. Mark Twain said, “It isn’t the portions of the bible which I don’t understand that bother me; it’s the ones I do!”
      1. In this chapter 19 it basically is an overview of the 2 tablets given to Moses…the 10 commandments!
      2. All 10 are found here!
        1. 1 & 2(vs.4); 3(12); 4 & 5(3); 6(16); 7(29); 8,9(11-16); 10(18).
      3. They were the basis for all Jewish Law & should be the basis for all Moral Law today.
    5. We have here a “Handbook for Believing Families”!
      1. It is really a guidebook to be used at home rather than in a public worship service.
      2. “It deals w/ordinary life, w/the institution of the family, w/agricultural practice, w/social behavior, w/the question of paying wages, w/ensuring correct weights & measures be used in the market place, & so on.” (William Barclay; pg.114)
        1. In each case it has to be an expression of love!
    6. The children of Israel were brought out of Egypt, but now they needed to be brought into “a land flowing w/milk & honey”!
      1. As believers we have been brought out of our own personal Egypts, but now we must be brought into “the land flowing w/milk & honey”! - Q: Where are you on that trek?
  2. GUIDELINES PERTAINING TO GOD! (1-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​(1) The Lord spoke to Moses – So as to distinguish that Moses wasn’t writing like a Plato or a Socrates.
      1. He wasn’t writing his own thoughts on life, but God’s very words.
    2. (1-3) I am the Lord your God!(see 3b)
      1. 15 times in this chapter.
      2. Remember the exhortation to “be Holy” applies to us today because of 1 Pet.1:16!
      3. The primary reason for all holiness & obedience is the character & authority of god!
        1. Again, when we talk about God’s Holiness we mean His Transcendence, His Remoteness from everything earthly & wrong.
        2. When we talk about Man’s Holiness we mean consecration to God.
    3. (3,30) Sabbath!
      1. Only commandment the church in the NT is not told to repeat.
        1. It was a sign between God & Israel Ex.31:13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
        2. It was a capital offense to break this(Numb.15:32-36, man gathering sticks)
      2. Yet, we are to give our time still to Him. We must not waste it.
        1. Eph.5:15-17 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord”
        2. ​​​​​​​Make sure you devote special times to Him in Worship & Service!
    4. (4) Idolatry!
      1. Focuses on both 1st & 2nd commandments.
      2. The Occult could fit into this category also(see 26,31).
    5. (5-8) Worship!
      1. We must eat & drink to the Glory of the Lord.
        1. This would keep us from the sin of Gluttony, & other eating problems like Anorexia & Bulimia.
        2. “Our table should be an altar for peace offerings, not a field for battles.”
      2. They knew how to present this sacrifice. He sought their obedience to this.
    6. (12) The Name of God!
      1. The name of the lord is sacred & must never be used blasphemously or in an oath that the person doesn’t intend to fulfill.
      2. Do “some” Christian business cards fit in this category?
        1. If someone wants to use my name or the churches name I am very careful with whom I trust w/it. (happened this week, prob by accident, we ask you not to use the churches in name, unless you ask us)
        2. If you got the fish or dove friends on your business cards…it better be Gods business! - To me it’s like going into partnership with Him!
  3. PRECEPTS PERTAINING TO PEOPLE! (9-18)
    1. ​​​​​​​(3) Parents!
      1. Revere/honor your parents, & keep the Sabbaths. - “Through the former we learn the later.”
      2. In the earliest days our parents are God’s representatives.
      3. How pliable are plants during their tender age? Yet year by year they grow more rigid as they develop into a mature trunk…never to be bent.
      4. Holiness starts in the home as children show respect to our parents.
    2. (9,10) Poor & Needy!
      1. Eph.4:28 “…working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
      2. We should think of others as we enjoy what God has given to us.
        1. If He is Lord in our work, we cannot be selfish in our earnings.
      3. Q: What are you doing to help out the poor? - What can you be doing?
    3. (11) Stealing & Lying!
      1. 8th & 9th commandment.
      2. “Respect for truth & property is the foundation for a just & orderly society.” (Warren Wiersbe)
    4. (13) Employees!
      1. Make honest business deals, telling lies, holding back $, & using God’s name to cover frauds are all out of question when he is Lord.
      2. Workers were paid daily, & delay would cause hardship.
      3. Q: Bosses, Managers, Owners, are you treating your employees fair?
      4. Employers were never to take advantage of their employees.
    5. (14) No Injustice!
      1. How can you help our handicap friends to make their life easier?
    6. (15) Rich & Poor!
      1. Justice was not to be partial.
      2. Ps.82:3,4 “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.”
    7. (16,17) Talebearer!
      1. Talebearer = (Strongs) “a scandal-monger, slander, carry tales.”
        1. Here the context is “gong around” doing this.
        2. Feather story!
      2. A talebearer is like a 3 fanged rattlesnake, it emits a 3-fold poison. It injures the teller, the hearer, & the person concerning whom the tale is told.
      3. Whether the report is true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it.
      4. Count it shame to help the devil in this!
      5. (17) gives the answer on what to do…go to them to their face, not behind their back.
        1. This week: I heard of someone slandering me, but I went to 2 pastor friends asking them to “Pray about this situation”.
      6. Gen.9:20-23 “And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. - But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's nakedness.
      7. It is your choice to be a Ham, or a Shem & Japheth.
    8. (18) Note the sequence of 14-18: unkindness(14), injustice(15), gossip(16), & hatred(17)…But instead “Love your neighbors as yourself”.
      1. Amazing we find this gem dug up in this “load of law”! (in Leviticus!!!)
      2. “Getting along with people, especially our neighbors, isn’t a matter of obeying laws but of having love in our hearts!”
      3. “Love is the fulfilling of the law!” (Rom.13:10)
      4. This is to help us in human relationships & treat people the way God treats us.

Verses 19-37

  1. Intro:
    1. “Every departure from the pathway of holiness is a blaspheming of the name of God!” (14 x’s in this chapter “I am the Lord”)
      1. Everything in the Israelites life, was a perpetual reminder of “whose they were” & “to whom they served!”
      2. Q: Don’t we do the same? - Don’t you set up little reminders throughout your day of “whom you serve?”
        1. We do in: Christian clothes, bumper stickers, our jewelry, our KWVE - CD’s - music, our bible is a reminder, a plaque on your desk, pictures in our homes, sayings or verses, key chains. So, at home, in our cars, at work we inundate ourselves w/reminders of who we serve!
    2. Many of these ordinances prohibited “imitating practices related to heathen worship”.
      1. Separation from Evil Association!
    3. (18) Let’s not forget our key verse for this chapter.
      1. This chapter dealt with an overview of all 10 commandments.
        1. Love of course being the principle to fulfill all 10.
      2. “Love you neighbor as yourself” – There is legitimate Self-love?
        1. Yes! If not how could Paul tell us “husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church”(Eph.5:28,29)
        2. 1] Better Self – Our duty to nourish & cherish(feed & care for).
          1. As we, in most cases, most certainly do care for ourselves…verywell.
          2. If not, the opposite would be true, it would make “radical asceticism”(giving yourself phys pain or discomfort)the highest good!
      3. 2] Worse Self – Our duty to detest & mortify.
      4. This self-love is placed as a measuring rod, to help us measure our love towards our neighbor!
  2. VARIOUS ORDINANCES! (19-37)
    1. (19) No Mixing! (stock, seed, & sweaters)
      1. That which was separated by creation, are to remain so!
        1. You’ve heard it been said, “What God has joined together, let not man separate." Here it says, “what God has separated, let not man put together!”
      2. Stock! - Hebrew Scholar R. Laird Harris translates the 1st clause, “Do not make your animals fall down w/an unequal yoke.”
        1. It would be cruel to yoke to the same heavy load 2 animals of unequal stature & strength.
        2. This is the point in a similar teaching of Deut. (See 22:9-11).
      3. If the breeding is more accurate then this may refer to ”the mule”?
        1. The sterile hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
        2. These hybrid creatures are unfruitful!
        3. Jesus rode on a donkey not a mule.(Did you know…that a donkey has a cross on its shoulders/back)
      4. Seed! – Do you sow your best seeds?
        1. If bad seeds come up, it must be the enemies doings, & not yours!
        2. Sow your best!
        3. Maybe you’d say “I’d never plant bad seeds in my garden”. But is there any “left over seeds” from last year, that just keep recycling themselves?
          1. Cilantro example!
      5. Sweaters! - Even their clothing should mark them as different!
    2. (20-22,29) Sexual Immorality!
      1. If a wife was punishable by death for both. In this case a lighter penalty because only a concubine. – What a minute was God advocating this, since He mentions it here?
        1. “That slavery & its attendant ills are here recognized does not imply that the are approved by God.” (Charles Pfeiffer; pg.45)
        2. Jesus stated that certain of the Mosaic laws were given “because of the hardness of men’s hearts”.
      2. Consequences of a Moral Fall! (by Randy Alcorn)
      3. Whenever I feel particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation, I find it helpful to review what effects my action could have:
      4. * Grieving the Lord who redeemed me. * Dragging his sacred name into the mud. * One day having to look Jesus, the Righteous Judge, in the face and give an account of my actions. * Following in the footsteps of these people whose immorality forfeited their ministries and caused me to shudder: (list names). * Inflicting untold hurt on ______, my best friend and loyal wife/husband. * Losing______ respect and trust. * Hurting my beloved daughters/sons,______ and ______. * Destroying my example and credibility with my children, and nullifying both present and future efforts to teach them to obey God ("Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?") * If my blindness should continue or my wife be unable to forgive, perhaps losing my wife/husband and children forever. * Causing shame to my family ("Why isn't Daddy a pastor anymore?") * Losing self-respect. * Creating a form of guilt awfully hard to shake. Even though God would forgive me, would I constantly battle being forgiven? * Forming memories and flashbacks that could plague future intimacy with my wife/husband.

        Wasting years of ministry training and experience for a long time, maybe permanently. * Forfeiting the effect of years of witnessing to my father and reinforcing his distrust for ministers that has only begun to soften by my example but that would harden, perhaps permanently, because of my immorality. * Undermining the faithful example and hard work of other Christians in our community. *

        Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the enemy of God and all that is good. * Heaping judgment and endless difficulty on the person with whom I committed adultery. * Possibly bearing the physical consequences of such diseases as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes and AIDS; perhaps infecting ______ or, in the case of AIDS, even causing her/his death. * Possibly causing pregnancy, with the personal and financial implications, including a life long reminder of my sin. * Bringing shame and hurt to these fellow pastors and elders: (list names). * Causing shame and hurt to these friends, especially those I have led to Christ and discipled: (list names). *Invoking shame and life-long embarrassment upon myself.
        1. Prov.6:32,33 “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, And his reproach will not be wiped away.”
      5. Count the Cost!
    3. (23-25) Earth Day!
      1. Uncircumcised = forbidden.
      2. The 1st fruits should always be His Prov.3:9,10 “Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
      3. They were to regard the very soil of Canaan as so polluted buy the sins of its former inhabitants.
    4. (26-28; 31) Prohibitions against imitating the practices of unbelievers!
      1. “do not be conformed to this world,”
      2. (28) This prohibited any disfigurement of the person.
      3. Cuttings – Refers to a passionate outbursts of morning, common among the excitable nations of the East.
        1. They would scratch their arms, hands, & face.
        2. See Deut.14:1 This was done on account of a soul(i.e. a dead person).
        3. 1 Kings 18:28 “So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.”
      4. Tattoo’s - (qa-aqa) only here,
        1. It means branded.
        2. Many use this verse today to warn off kids from getting them.
          1. They didn’t have tattoo parlors in those days.
        3. On the other hand it is the process of doing a Tattoo that might fall into this category…(i.e. branding the skin!)
        4. I like Chuck Smiths answer to what he thought of Tattoo’s, “I think their stupid”!
      5. (31) Seeking out mediums & wizards would indicate a lack of trust in & dedication to the Lord.
        1. As would reading your horoscope, & the like.
    5. (30) 3 helps to spiritual Progress:
      1. 1] A Day! – “You shall keep My Sabbaths”
        1. Long before C & R Clothiers made popular the motto, “What a difference a Day Makes”…the God of the universe taught the same.
        2. The Lord had told them to set aside 1/7th of their life for the culture of the soul, for spiritual growth, for sacred usefulness.
        3. I read an article recently about why our bodies needing proper sleep. - It went into the importance of the whole body, during the deep sleep stages, rejuvenating, rebuilding, & restoring itself… cell by cell!
          1. Spiritually God designed us the same. As we can once in awhile can push through & not even sleep for a night…so we sometimes can go for a time w/o spiritual refreshment…but it is not healthy!
          2. “Devotions, prayer, bible studies, retreats, & church” are all waysGod designed for our “spiritual rejuvenation!”
        4. Instead of getting caught up on “the day”, can we get caught up on “the concept” He was teaching?
      2. 2] A Place! – “and reverence My sanctuary”
        1. The sanctuary, whether made of “canvas, stone, or flesh & blood,” is the Temple of the Holy Spirit!…And worship there helps devotion everywhere!
          1. Q: Who then can properly reverence it under one form & desecrate it under another? (Speaking of the above verse vs.29)
      3. 3] A Direction! – “I am the Lord!”
        1. So the Lord says, “Trust Me, Love Me, Follow Me, Exalt Me.”
    6. (32) The Elderly!
      1. I want you to know…I promise to rise when Des walks in from now on!…J
      2. The story of Rehoboam’s refusal to listen to the older men’s advice drives home the point that it is perilous to ignore an older person’s advice (1 Kings 12:6-20).
      3. Peter agrees, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet.5:5)
      4. Oh how the aged has much to teach inexperienced youth!
      5. With age there should be the wisdom of experience!
        1. Caryl said, “He that wears the Silver crown should be honored in his capacity as well as he that wears the Golden crown.”
      6. It is a sad sign of degeneracy of a nation when the child behaves himself proudly against the ancient.
      7. Is.3:5 “The people will be oppressed, Every one by another and every one by his neighbor; The child will be insolent toward the elder, And the base toward the honorable."
    7. (33,34) Strangers!
      1. He seems to often remind Israel that they had been strangers in Egypt once.
      2. Wow! Love him as yourself!!!(34)
    8. (35,36) Just weights!
      1. These were stones of various sizes, to be placed in balancing scales. In early times there was no common standard of weights and measures. Archeologists have found recovered weights that vary several grams or even ounces.
      2. A dishonest person would buy with heavier weights, and then switch to lighter weights to sell.
      3. Do we use the same measuring scale when it comes to our own vs. other men’s character?
        1. (Spurgeon) “Do we not turn our ounces of goodness into pounds, & other person’s bushels of excellence in to pecks?”
        2. How do we measure our trials & troubles? Do they have a standard?
          1. Paul saw his sufferings as light afflictions. How do we weigh ours?
      4. Find & destroy all unrighteous balances, weights, & measures!
    9. (37) Observe & Perform!
      1. See & Do!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 19". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-19.html. 2017.