Leviticus Chapter 20  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Leviticus 20
Lev 20:1(top)
Lev 20:2

“stone him with stones.” The standard method of killing a criminal was to stone them with stones (cp. Lev. 20:2; 24:23; Num. 15:35; Deut. 13:10; 21:21). Some people have asserted that the Jews just dropped one huge stone on the person, but there is no evidence for that in the Bible. Also, stoning with stones was how Achan and his family were killed (Josh. 7:25), and how the Jews killed Stephen (Acts 7:58-60). It was important for the ceremonial cleanliness of Israel that the criminal be stoned to death outside the camp, and when Israel was settled in the Promised Land, outside the city or village. Touching a dead body made a person unclean, so executions were carried out outside the camp or city, and graves were dug outside the city (cp. Lev. 22:4, 6; Num. 19:11-16, 22). In fact, it was because graves were normally dug outside a city that the burials of King David and some other kings of Judah were so special because they were dug inside the city of David, inside Jerusalem (1 Kings 2:10).

Lev 20:3(top)
Lev 20:4(top)
Lev 20:5(top)
Lev 20:6

“person.” The Hebrew is more literally “soul,” standing for the person themself, and it occurs twice in this verse.

“those who have familiar spirits.” See commentary on Deuteronomy 18:11.

Lev 20:7

“make yourselves holy.” The people were to do what it took to make themselves holy in the sight of God (cp. Lev. 11:44).

[For more on “make yourselves holy,” see commentary on Joshua 3:5.]

Lev 20:8(top)
Lev 20:9(top)
Lev 20:10(top)
Lev 20:11(top)
Lev 20:12(top)
Lev 20:13

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” Homosexual behavior is also covered in Leviticus 18:22.

[See commentaries on Lev. 18:22 and 1 Corinthians 6:9.]

Lev 20:14(top)
Lev 20:15(top)
Lev 20:16(top)
Lev 20:17(top)
Lev 20:18(top)
Lev 20:19(top)
Lev 20:20(top)
Lev 20:21(top)
Lev 20:22(top)
Lev 20:23(top)
Lev 20:24(top)
Lev 20:25(top)
Lev 20:26(top)
Lev 20:27

“who has a familiar spirit.” See commentary on Deuteronomy 18:11.

“death, yes, death.” The Hebrew text repeats the verb for “put to death” twice, thus using the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis.

[For more on polyptoton and the way it is translated, see commentary on Gen. 2:16.]


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