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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 19

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-37

Chapter 19

Now God continues in this same vein, as He moves into chapter nineteen.

Speak unto all of the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. You shall reverence every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: for I am the Lord your God. [Notice the repetition over and over, "I am the Lord your God, you're not to have idols, and molten gods and so forth, I am the Lord your God."] And if you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, ye shall offer it of your own will. [Again man's free will in all of his service and worship to God.] Eat what you can for two days, if you can't eat it all in two days, burn it. If you eat it the third day, then it's no longer accepted, it becomes an abomination of that which was offered in sacrifice of the peace offerings to God. When you reap your harvest, don't gather the corners of the fields, and don't gather everything. [Leave something there for the poor of the land] ( Leviticus 19:2-9 ).

So the welfare program was a beautiful program in that they weren't, they were to go through and pick the grapes that were ripe, but leave everything that wasn't ripe. But they couldn't go through and pick the second time. Whatever was left was left for the poor in the land. They could come in once your harvesters had gone through. You weren't to glean your own land, let it be there for the poor, don't even harvest the corners of your fields, leave that to the poor. Thus the poor could go out and gather in the fields anytime the harvesters had gone through. It was there; it was available for them. So it wasn't just a doled out program. You didn't just go down and get food stamps, but you actually went out and gathered your own. So you were busy doing something, rather than just sitting and watching TV and polluting your mind.

Now the Lord goes on to give further instructions, verse ten,

Thou shalt not glean the vineyard, neither gather every grape; leave them for the poor and the stranger. Ye shall not steal, you're not to deal falsely, don't lie. Ye shall not swear by God's name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: for I am Jehovah. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: but the wages that is hired [Actually you paid wages daily] thou shalt not keep them overnight. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, [Now these are some of the things that I found sort of amusing, you're not to curse the deaf] or trip the blind ( Leviticus 19:10-14 ),

Man, what a dirty dog cursing the deaf man, or laying a stumbling block before a blind man. But you know, I'm amazed at how cruel people really are. I'm amazed how cruel children are to a handicapped child. What is that about our nature, that children are so cruel to a handicapped child.

Now in the animal realm, quite often a handicapped animal will be killed by another animal. But unfortunately sometimes men aren't far from that. Taking advantage of the disadvantaged. How often we see it done, yet there's nothing more cruel in the world taking advantage of a disadvantaged person. There's nothing more dangerous in all the world, because God said He sticks up for the disadvantaged. God said He watches over the widow. Man, when you're doing it to one that God is watching over, you're in big trouble. But you see, man apart from Jesus Christ isn't far from the animal. For an animal has body and consciousness. Man apart from Jesus Christ has body and consciousness, therefore he relates well to the animal kingdom; therefore, he is cruel to the handicapped or the disadvantaged.

But a man who has been born again by the Spirit of God and now has a spiritual birth, not just born of the flesh, but now born of the Spirit, and with this spiritual birth now is related to God, and related to Jesus Christ, you really can't do these things. If you find yourself doing these things persistently and continually, then I will tell you, you don't have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. For whosoever is born of God does not practice sin for God's seed is in him now, a new seed, a new life. Born again by the seed of God, by the Spirit of God, and he cannot be living in sin. You say, "Oh I don't know about that, Chuck." Hey, I'm not telling you my words, that's God's word. You can read it for yourself in first John.

Now in judgment they're not to respect the persons of poor, or to honor the person of the mighty: but they shall be righteous in the judging of their neighbour. You're not to go around bearing tales, as a tale bearer ( Leviticus 19:15-16 ).

"Do you know what he did? Let me tell ya", whisper and people believe you.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart ( Leviticus 19:17 ):

You see, what the Jews forgot was that the law was dealing with the spirit and the heart of man. They started to just observe it from an outward thing, and Jesus when He came and pointed out where they missed the law completely in interpreting it as governing outward activities, when the law is spiritual, and God is concerned with the attitude. Here the law says, "you're not to hate your brother in your heart". They just took the law, "thou shalt not kill", you can hate him all you want, just don't kill him. It's only when you killed him that you violated the law. But Jesus brought out again, "Hey if you hate your brother, you violated."

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ( Leviticus 19:18 ),

Now when Jesus asked the lawyer, "Which is the greatest commandment?" He said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." That's what Jesus answered the lawyer. He said, "In this is all the law and the commandments." So this is the second greatest commandment. Jesus said, "The second is like unto the first." The first is loving God. But the second, and Jesus is quoting then from this one, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

for I am the Lord. Now you're not to inner breed animals, you're not to sow your fields with mingled seed, nor are you to have mingled materials in your garments, such as wool and linen mingled together. When they come into the land they are to plant the trees but for the first three years, they're not to eat the fruit of it. In the fourth year the fruit belongs to God, in the fifth year it becomes theirs, and thus will they be blessed, and can reap the harvest after the fifth year. They're not to make any markings upon their bodies. [The forbidding of tattoos, and so forth.] The forbidding of haircuts that corner of your head, or making baldness, [This is what, well, the Hari Krishna's good example.] Ye shall not eat anything with blood, neither shall you use enchantment, nor observe times. [You're not to be following horoscopes.] Not to make any cutting in your flesh for the dead, nor marks upon you: for I am the Lord. Keep my sabbaths, [verse thirty] reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek the wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, [In other words when the old man, gray-haired man comes in you're supposed to stand up.] and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: for I am the Lord. [So the respect for the elderly is taught.] Also the respect for a stranger, treat him as one that is born in your land. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, [which are measurements] shall ye have: for I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt ( Leviticus 19:19-37 ).

So the fairness in their dealings. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Leviticus 19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/leviticus-19.html. 2014.
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