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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Leviticus 19

Verse 2

Lev 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God [am] holy.

Ver. 2. Ye shall be holy. ] Ritually and really. See Trapp on " Lev 11:44 " See Trapp on " Mat 5:48 " See Trapp on " 1Pe 1:16 " See Trapp on " 1Jn 3:3 "

Verse 3

Lev 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 3. Ye shall fear every man his mother. ] The mother is set first, because usually most slighted. The days of mourning for my father are at hand, then will I slay my brother Jacob, said that profane profligate. Gen 27:41 As for his mother, he makes no reckoning of her, he cared not to grieve her.

And keep my Sabbaths. ] To the which the honouring of good governors, who are to see the Sabbath sanctified by all under their roof, doth very much conduce.

Verse 4

Lev 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 4. Turn ye not unto idols. ] Heb., Elilim; deunculi, deastri; Petty gods, dunghill deities; of all which we should say, as he did once, Contemno minutulos istos deos, modo Iovem (Iehovam) mihi propitium habeam, I care for the favour of no god, but of the great God of gods.

Verse 5

Lev 19:5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.

Ver. 5. At your own will. ] Or, for your favourable acceptation, that God may graciously accept you.

Verse 6

Lev 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.

Ver. 6. It shall be eaten the same day. ] See Trapp on " Lev 7:15 " See Trapp on " Lev 7:17 " See Trapp on " Lev 7:18 " See Trapp on " Lev 7:19 "

Verse 7

Lev 19:7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it [is] abominable; it shall not be accepted.

Ver. 7. It is abominable. ] A thing to be rejected ( απιβλητον ), saith Aquila, who is thought by some to be the same with Onkelos, the Chaldee paraphrast, who lived ninety years after Christ, and translated the Old Testament into Greek.

Verse 8

Lev 19:8 Therefore [every one] that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Ver. 8. Shall bear his iniquity. ] See on Leviticus 17:16 .

Verse 9

Lev 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

Ver. 9. And when ye reap. ] See what provision the Lord maketh for his poor, commanding that the fuller cups of the richer sort may overflow into their empty dishes: besides that πτωχοδεκατη , as Jerome calls it, that poor man’s tithe appointed in Deuteronomy 14:28-29 ; Deuteronomy 15:11 . James V of Scotland was, for his charity, called the poor man’s king; much more may God.

Verse 10

Lev 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather [every] grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 10. I am the Lord. ] The chief owner of all thou hast.

Your God. ] Whom thou oughtest to honour with thy substance. Pro 3:9

Verse 11

Lev 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

Ver. 11. Ye shall not steal ] See Trapp on " Eph 4:28 " See Trapp on " Eph 4:25 " See Trapp on " Exo 20:15 " See Trapp on " Lev 6:3 "

Verse 12

Lev 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 12. Neither shalt thou profane the name. ] By presuming rashly and lightly to blurt out this reverend name in an oath, or otherwise. The Grecians, as Suidas observes, when they would swear by Jupiter, out of the mere dread and reverence of his name forbear to mention him, breaking off their oath with a υα τον , as those that only dare to owe the rest to their thoughts. And Clinias the Pythagorean, out of this regard, would rather undergo a fine of three talents than swear.

Verse 13

Lev 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob [him]: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

Ver. 13. The wages of him that is hired. ] This is a crying sin, Jam 5:3 condemned by the very light of nature. Plato a would have him double paid that is not paid in due time.

a De Legibus, lib. x.

Verse 14

Lev 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 14. Thou shalt not curse the deaf. ] So by analogy, the absent that cannot speak for themselves, or the dead. Of all fowl we most hate and detest the crows; and of all beasts the jackals, a kind of foxes in Barbary; because the one digs up the graves and devours the flesh, the other picks out the eyes of the dead.

But shalt fear thy God. ] Who both hears and sees all thy miscarriages, and will reckon with thee for all. Deo obscura clarent, muta respondent, silentium confitetur, saith an ancient. Night will convert itself into noon before God, and silence prove a speaking evidence.

Verse 15

Lev 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: [but] in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Ver. 15. Thou shalt not respect. ] Spare not the great for their might, nor the mean for their misery. Causes must be heard, and not persons.

Verse 16

Lev 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 16. Up and down as a talebearer. ] Heb., As a pedlar, that first fills his pack with reports and rumours, and then goes peddling up and down, dropping a tale here and another there, to the taking away of the good name, and sometimes of the life of another. Hence it follows here, "Neither shalt thou stand against the life of thy brother." And agreeable hereunto is that of Ezekiel 22:9 , "In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood." Such a wretched pedlar was Doeg: and such is that backbiter spoken of in Psalms 15:3 . The word there used doth in the Hebrew properly signify such a one as footeth and trotteth it up and down, prying, and spying, and carrying tales and rumours. 2Sa 19:21

Verse 17

Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

Ver. 17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother. ] Most unkindnesses that fall out among friends grow upon mistakes and misunderstandings. Now, a friendly reasoning the case, or, if need be, a godly reproof, cures both the reprover and the reproved; whereas the neglect of this duty breeds dwelling suspicions; suspicions breed a very habit of misinterpretation; this breeds a loathness to come to the light, to show the reasons af our dislike; this loathness begets a very separation in heart, which at length turns to downright hatred in heart. All which might have been better prevented by a seasonable venting our minds in a reproof or admonition.

Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour. ] Neither is this any argument of hatred, but an office of love. Friends, as bees, are killed with the honey of flattery, but quickened with the vinegar of reproof. The eagle, though she loveth her young ones dearly, yet she pricketh and beateth them out of the nest.

And not suffer sin upon him. ] But save him "with fear, pulling him out of the fire." Jdg 1:23 Out of the fire of hell, as Jerome a interprets it, which sin suffered will bring him unto. Others read it thus: Lest thou suffer for his sin; which, by not opposing, thou makest to become thine own. To withstand evil in thy brother, is the best way to do him good, and thyself too. Others render it thus: Thou shalt not lift up his sin over him, as an ensign, by babbling or blazing it abroad to his just grief and disgrace; but clap a plaster of reproof upon the sore, and then, as surgeons use to do, cover it with thy hand, that the world may be never the wiser.

a Ex igne gehennali. - Jer.

Verse 18

Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 18. Nor bear any grudge. ] Heb., Nor keep. There is nothing that a man is more ready to keep than his wrath. Therefore the Hebrews both here and Jeremiah 3:5 Psalms 103:9 , put servare for servare iram. But we must neither revenge nor remember; we must not throw away the dagger, and keep the sheath, but both forgive and forget.

But thou shalt love thy neighbour. ] See Trapp on " Mat 22:37 " See Trapp on " Mat 22:38 " See Trapp on " Mat 22:39 " See Trapp on " Mat 22:40 " See Trapp on " Rom 13:9 "

Verse 19

Lev 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Ver. 19. Ye shall keep my statutes. ] Even these next following, though they may seem to be but minutula legis, not worth keeping.

Thou shalt not let thy cattle. ] The doctors of Douay, upon this text, Here all participation, say they, with heretics and schismatics is forbidden. Philip of Spain said he had rather have no subjects, than subjects of a diverse religion. Our King Edward VI told the Popish rebels of Devonshire, who fought for liberty of conscience, as they call it, that rather than he would yield to them, he would spend his own royal person, his crown, treasure, realm, and whole estate; whereof we assure you, said he, of our high honour. a But now, alas! what secret and subtle projects and practices are there amongst us of this nation to bring in a universal, boundless, lawless, abominable and intolerable toleration, which - as the London ministers affirm in their "Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ," now newly published to the singular praise of their exemplary and seasonable zeal for God will prove a hideous and complexive evil of most dangerous and mischievous consequence, if ever, which God forbid, it shall be consented to by authority. England shall be swallowed up with sects, schisms, divisions, disorders, contentions, and confusions, and become an odious sink and commen receptacle of all the prodigious errors, lies, heresies, blasphemies, libertinism, and profanenesses in the world: so that Rome itself shall not be a more odious puddle and cage of all abomination and uncleanness. The godly shall sit down and lament us. The wicked shall rise up and insult over us. All the nations about us shall be amazed at us. All the reformed Churches shall be ashamed to own us. Thus, and much more to this purpose, write those worthy zealots, whose testimonial to the truth, coming by a providence to my hand, even whilst I was writing upon this chapter, I could not but here set my seal to it, and here insert this part of it, the whole being such as deserves to be written in letters of gold upon a table of marble, for the use of all posterity b

Neither shall a garment. ] Hence the Jews at this day sow not a woollen garment with a linen thread: nor contrariwise. c

a Act. and Mon., fol. 1189.

b The London Ministers’ Testimony, &c., Attested.

c Leo Moden.

Verse 20

Lev 19:20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that [is] a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Ver. 20. She shall be scourged. ] Thus still, saith a grave interpreter, the Lord debaseth bond servants, to teach his children to hate the bondage of sin.

Verse 21

Lev 19:21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, [even] a ram for a trespass offering.

Ver. 21. His trespass offering. Whereof see Leviticus 5:1-19 .

Verse 22

Lev 19:22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

Ver. 22. Shall be forgiven, ] sc., By faith in Christ, whom these sacrifices did shadow and set forth.

Verse 23

Lev 19:23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.

Ver. 23. Three years shall it be as uncircumcised. ] And so to be cast away, as the foreskin of the flesh was. The fourth year it was to be separate, to be offered to the Lord in sign of thanksgiving. And then in the fifth year to be eaten. This was to show that the very fruits of the earth are, after a sort, polluted by man’s sin, till purged by a new kind of blessing. 1Ti 4:5 Hereby also God would separate his own people from other nations: and show that they might with a better conscience feed upon the fruits of the earth than others could. There are that set this mystical sense upon the text. Christ, for three years’ space, planted the gospel in Judea; but the foreskins were cast away for that time - that is, the gospel was not preached yet to the uncircumcised Gentiles. In the fourth year these fruits were consecrated to God - that is, Christ in the fourth year of his ministry died for the sins of the world, rose again, ascended, and sent down the Holy Ghost, whereby the apostles and others were sanctified, being, as it were, the first fruits of the Promised Land. In the fifth year, the fruits of the gospel, planted by Christ, began to be common, preached to the Gentiles, believed in the world. 1Ti 3:16

Verse 24

Lev 19:24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD [withal].

Ver. 24. Shall be holy, ] i.e., They shall be given the priests as firstfruits.

Verse 25

Lev 19:25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 25. That it may yield unto you the increase thereof, ] i.e., Abundantly in recompense of those four former years. In doing of God’s will there is great reward.

Verse 26

Lev 19:26 Ye shall not eat [any thing] with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

Ver. 26. Neither shall ye use enchantment. ] Or, observe fortunes, conjecture by signs of good or evil luck, as some render it.

Verse 27

Lev 19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Ver. 27. Ye shall not round. ] Because the Arabians their neighbours did so, and they should not be conformed to idolaters. a Oleaster, a Popish interpreter, understandeth such a shaving here, as their priest use to bear. But shaving is so bald a ceremony, that some priests in France are ashamed of the mark, and few of them have it that can handsomely avoid it.

a Herod., in Thal.

Verse 28

Lev 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 28. Ye shall not make any cuttings. ] Another heathenish custom, of such as mourned without hope. a Plutarch tells of some barbarians that did tear their hair, rend their flesh, slit their ears and nose for the dead. Jer 16:6

a Consol., ad Apol.

Verse 29

Lev 19:29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

Ver. 29. Do not prostitute thy daughter. ] As some of the heathens did in honour of their gods. As the papists do at this day, in their stews and brothel houses. a Their casuists complain of some harlots there so boldly lascivious, as to solicit others, so as to prostitute themselves to all comers; yea, in some Spanish stews to an unnatural filthiness. But what a shameful thing is that which Espencaeus, a Papist, reports with detestation, that in Rome a Jewish maid might not be admitted into the stews of whoredom, unless she would be first baptized. Dici nequit, saith he, b quam incredibili Christianorum tum pudore, tum etiam eorum, qui vere tales sunt, cordollo, ut Iudae filiae scortari non liceat, Dei filiae liceat: What a shameful and sad thing is this, that a Jewess, unless she turn Christian, &c.

a Martin. Vival., in Candelabro, Cap. de Confessione.

b Espenc., De Continent., lib. iii. cap. 4.

Verse 30

Lev 19:30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 30. Ye shall keep my Sabbaths. ] Twice in this chapter is this commanded, that it may be the better remembered: and that men may know that it is not enough to rest on that day, but that rest must be sanctified by a reverent resorting to the sanctuary, and not profaned by running into whorehouses and tippling houses, as in Germany; where Alfred a complains and says, that if the Sabbath day should be named according to many men’s observing of it, Daemoniacus potius quam Dominicus vocaretur.

And reverence my sanctuary. ] Come we must into the places of God’s worship, with an inward awe and fear of his presence, and not as into a dancing school as some do. "How fearful is this place," saith Jacob. It is the place of angels and archangels, the kingdom of God, it is heaven itself, saith Chrysostom. b Away then with all careless negligence and carnal security.

a Alsted., Encyc.

b Hom. 36, ad 1 Cor. iv.

Verse 31

Lev 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 31. I am the Lord your God. ] What need you then run to the devil for direction? Is it because there is no God in Israel? Every one that consults with Satan, worships him, though he bow not: neither doth that evil spirit desire any other reverence than to be sought unto.

Verse 32

Lev 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 32. Thou shalt rise up. ] Cognata sunt γηρας et γερας , old age and honour are near akin in the Greek tongue, ut ηθος et εθος . See Pro 20:29 Lamentations 5:12 .

Verse 33

Lev 19:33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

Ver. 33. And if a stranger. ] See Trapp on " Exo 22:21 "

Verse 34

Leviticus 19:34 [But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 34. Shall be unto you as one born among you. ] If he be a proselyte.

Verse 35

Lev 19:35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.

Ver. 35. Mete yard. ] Or line, for measuring of ground.

Verse 36

Lev 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Ver. 36. Just balances. ] See Proverbs 11:1 ; Proverbs 16:11 ; Proverbs 20:10 .

Verse 37

Lev 19:37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 37. And do them. ] For they are verba vivenda, non legenda. Words not so much to be read as lived.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.