BIBLE STUDY SERIES #281, 282 and 283

6 April, 1997

UNLAWFUL PRACTICES - PART I

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies which began several years ago with God's Call to Abram in Genesis 12 has taken us down the years and generations of his progeny to Mount Sinai where the Children of Israel are now gathered to receive the laws and directives which Moses is relaying to them from their national husband, The Almighty God, Yahweh or Jehovah. As we study, do keep in mind the present-day identity of the descendants of Israel which we affirm to be the Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples and nations.

On the last two broadcasts, we digressed to make special comments concerning Christ's entry to the Temple on Palm Sunday, and the culmination of that week with the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Our Lord. Today, we now revert to the Levitical studies which were thus interrupted.

We had reached Leviticus 18 in the series of studies, and there we dealt with God's Laws regarding unlawful relationships wherein marriages were designated as forbidden in cases where the partners were perhaps too closely related to one another for reasons pertaining to a healthy marriage relationship. Whereas the 18th Chapter of Leviticus is described by the Companion Bible under the heading "Unlawful Lusts", the 19th chapter is there given the title which I have used for today's talk, namely, Unlawful Practices. The New Bible Commentary groups Leviticus Chapters 18 to twenty under a more comprehensive heading: "Sins Against The Moral Law" and to Chapter 19 it applies the words "A Collection Of Sundry Laws." The New Bible Commentary makes these observations regarding this whole 19th Chapter of Leviticus: "These laws are so various that it is difficult to classify them. They are introduced by the solemn exhortation 'Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy' (2), and fifteen times the words 'I am the Lord (your God)' are repeated in its thirty-seven verses." Here, The Companion Bible notes that there are seven which end with the longer formula "I am the LORD your God" while eight end with the shorter, "I am the LORD"

Let us see what further matters The LORD God has seen fit to convey to Moses, and the Children of Israel in today's Scripture portion. I shall read starting at Leviticus 19:1, inserting, as is the usual practice, comments and explanatory notes as we read.

1. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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.

Note here that this chapter is addressed from Yahweh, (Jehovah), not just to Moses, Aaron or the Priesthood or Levites but to all the children of Israel collectively, as a nation. We have previously come across, and studied these laws, as have the ancient Israelites to whom the previous chapters were addressed, and now we find that this chapter makes a reinforcing summary statement which emphasizes the matters before us.

3. Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
4. Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
5. And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.
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.
7. And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.
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.
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.
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.
11. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
12. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
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.
14. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
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.
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.

The Companion Bible notes of the word "talebearer", "A solemn warning here. Rendered "slandering" in Jer. 6:28; 9.4... .

17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
24. But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal.
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.
26. Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
27. Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
28. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
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.

The Companion Bible notes of the words "prostitute thy daughter" that this was "The common practice , as a religious act, by the Canaanites and other ancient forms of idolatry." It says "wickedness = lewdness."

30. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
31. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

The Companion Bible notes "familiar spirits. These are evil spirits personating dead human beings, and attaching themselves only to 'mediums' and those who give up their will to them. The note continues: Heb. 'ob' borrowed from an Akkadian word, 'ubi' = a charm, used of one who was mistress of the spell, or spirit. Isa. 29.4. See Acts 16.16 where it is defined as 'a spirit of Python' (= Pythius Apollo) i.e. the devil. wizards = knowing ones: those having occult knowledge."

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

The companion Bible notes that the phrase "ye were strangers" occurs four times in the Pentateuch: Ex. 22.21, 23.9, Lv. 19.34, Dt. 10.19.

35. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
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.
37. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.

We shall not have time to cover all the comments which this chapter of Leviticus raises, so we shall leave the rest of our study in this Chapter until the forthcoming week. However, let me leave with you for now some thoughts which arise in consequence of the review of this chapter, which speaks of a generality of God's Law, and others like it.

Through history, whenever a generation of God's people were brought to the threshold of a greater freedom than previously experienced, God's Law formed a prominent step in their preparation. We might include the experience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, of Noah, of the Call of Abram, but especially we might consider Israel at Sinai after The Exodus, and the following generation of Israelites which received Deuteronomy when, under Moses and then Joshua they were about to enter the Promised Land. A similar occasion occurred when Ezra came from Babylon. He arranged that the whole Law be reviewed before the people (Nehemiah 8:1-9) for those who would comprise the much diminished fragment of Israel which returned from The Babylonian Captivity. John the Baptist prepared the people for Christ's ministry at His First Advent with such preaching.

On each occasion, God's Law was somehow conveyed to God's people of that generation, by a review or re-statement or a confirmation of the validity of that Law. Malachi 4 prophesies a review of the Law of Moses by the spirit and power of Elijah, before "the great and dreadful day of the LORD." Anticipating Christ's Second Advent, we do well to review all God's Law at this present time.

13 April, 1997

UNLAWFUL PRACTICES - PART II

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies which began several years ago with God's Call to Abram in Genesis 12 has taken us down the years and generations of his progeny to Mount Sinai where the Children of Israel are now gathered to receive the laws and directives which Moses is relaying to them from their national husband, The Almighty God, Yahweh or Jehovah. We have now reached Leviticus 19, and last week we started our examination of this scripture. For those who have not heard that Bible Study, we might do well to briefly review the Scripture itself, before moving to comments which expound thereon.

1. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
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.
3. Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
4. Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
5. And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.
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.
7. And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.
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.
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.
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.
11. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
12. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
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.
14. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
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.
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.
17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
24. But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal.
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.
26. Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
27. Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
28. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
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.
30. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
31. Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
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.
33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
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.
35. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
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.
37. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.

Keep in mind the identity of the present-day descendants of these Israelites to whom these words were addressed. We of the British-Israel-World Federation affirm that the vast majority are located today in the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples, and to them these words must especially apply.

Describing these laws, The New Bible Commentary states: "They are both ceremonial and ethical, and the latter belong to both of the tables of the Decalogue. Thus verses 3 and 4 are covered by the fifth, fourth, and second commandments of the Decalogue. Honouring of parents, keeping of the sabbath, shunning of idolatry are placed first as particularly important. The phrasing of the first of these, 'a man (i.e., every one of you) his mother and his father ye shall fear', is striking and unusual (cf. xxi. 11). That 'fear' is sometimes used in the sense of 'revere or reverence' is made clear by verse 30 where 'fear my sanctuary' appears as reverence in AV and RV. Cf. Dt. vi where 'love the Lord' (5) is preceded (2) and followed (13) by 'fear the Lord' and see Dt. ix. 19n. 'Love' to God is not demanded in Leviticus and love to man only in xix. 18, 34. But it is to be remembered that it is referred to in the Decalogue (Ex. xx. 6) and quite frequently in Deuteronomy. Verses 5-8 concern the eating of the flesh of peace offerings (cf. vii. 15-18). The law regarding gleanings (9, 10) comes under the general summary of the second table of the Decalogue, which enjoins love of one's neighbour (cf. xxiii. 22; Dt. xxiv. 19-22). Verses 11 and 12 rest upon the eighth and third commandments. Verses 13 and 14 are closely related to the eighth commandment and the principle of humanity underlying it. Verses 15 and 16 are an exposition of the ninth commandment. Verses 17 and 18 stand in close relation to the tenth commandment and conclude with those words which represent the summary of the second table, 'thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself' (18). 'Neighbour' seems here to refer to the fellow-Israelite. Note the words 'children of thy people' (18) which immediately precede. Its use in Ex. iii. 22 of the Egyptians does not prove a wider range for its ordinary use, since the conditions in Egypt were abnormal and Israel in Canaan was to be a separated people. But the broader meaning is indicated, or the meaning is broadened, by verse 34, where the law of love is extended to include the non-Israelite 'sojourner' (ger). This fact is beautifully illustrated by Jesus' choice of the Samaritan to determine the meaning and scope of the word 'neighbour' (Lk. x. 33). See Dt. x. 18n. and cf. note on Lv. xxv. 35-55. In the case of verses 19-37 which begin and conclude with an exhortation to obedience, it almost seems as if an element of contrast had been intentionally introduced to emphasize the fact that every department and phase of life is covered by the ordinances of God. Thus the law of purity is to apply to the breeding of cattle, the sowing of seed and the texture of garments (19), and also to the planting of fruit trees (23-25). Cf. Dt. xxii. 9-11. But in between them is placed the law governing the trespass with a bondwoman (20-22). As regards the first of these prohibitions, since the word 'cattle' is broader than 'herd' and 'flock', and includes both clean and unclean animals, this law must be regarded as prohibiting the breeding of mules. Consequently, mules in the Old Testament, first mentioned in David's time, are properly to be regarded as a foreign importation (cf. I Ki. x. 25). Verses 26-28 may all be classed as heathen practices to be condemned as such. The same is true of verse 31. Similarly the sin of prostitution (29) is probably mentioned here for the same reason, as being a heathen practice. On the other hand, verse 30, enjoining reverence for the sabbath and the sanctuary, while referring back to verse 3 would seem to connect naturally with verse 32. The law of the stranger (33-34) forms the counterpart of 17, 18, expanding the scope of the law already given. Verses 35 and 36 further apply the eighth commandment; and the chapter concludes with the oft-repeated reminder 'I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt (36; cf. xi. 45, xxii. 33; Dt. v. 15, etc.).

May you find much food for thought in the passage which formed the subject of today's discussion.

20 April, 1997

UNLAWFUL DEFILEMENTS - PART I

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies which began several years ago with God's Call to Abram in Genesis 12 has taken us down the years and generations of his progeny to Mount Sinai where the Children of Israel are now gathered to receive the laws and directives which Moses is relaying to them from their national husband, The Almighty God, Yahweh or Jehovah. We have now reached Chapter 20 of the book of Leviticus. For those who have not heard the previous Bible Studies, we propose to follow our usual approach, making a brief review of the Scripture itself, before moving to have a look at some recognised Commentaries which expound thereon. At certain points we may also find it profitable to make momentary digressions to quote related Biblical verses, or to draw to our aid the words of The Companion Bible or other references.

Due to the nature of the passages in today's reading, I might make a personal observation from a news item which will doubtless come to the minds of many as we read. Some of the words of condemnation and the penalties for the listed acts which Yahweh (Jehovah), The Almighty God, places before His people, may seem, in many cases, terribly strict, even dismayingly harsh if we approach them using the lax standards which permeate the thinking of those of us who have been brought up in what we may term "The Modern Western World."

Lax application of penalties designated by a religious system may, in fact, provide a very clear indicator of the amount of slippage in the true commitment to belief in that religious authority on the part of a majority of the citizenry. I need only remind you of the recent Weekly Telegraph report of the Taliban Islamic movement in Afghanistan which, under an extremely strict application of Sharia Law, has stoned to death a young woman named Jamila caught trying to flee with her lover from a village in the eastern Laghman province upon conviction of a charge of adultery. Later, I shall have something to say with regard to a similar occurrence which the Bible reports in John 8:1-11 wherein Christ was challenged to validate the equivalent Israelite law.

Keep in mind the identity of the present-day descendants of these Israelites to whom these words were addressed. We of the British-Israel-World Federation affirm that the vast majority are located today in the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples, and to them these words must especially apply.

We shall now read today's Scripture portion, taken from the first part of Leviticus 20

1. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2. Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
3. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
4. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
5. Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
6. And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
7. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
8. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.
9. For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
10. And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11. And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
14. And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15. And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
17. And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
18. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
19. And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.

Under the heading "c. Sundry laws regarding very heinous offences (xx. 1-27)", The New Bible Commentary states of this chapter: "Again (2; RV 'moreover') is simply 'and' in Hebrew and joins this chapter closely with the preceding. Molech worship has already been briefly denounced (xviii. 21). But here, as in the rest of the chapter, severe penalties are pronounced on those who are guilty of some of the offences already described. Molech was the god of the Ammonites (I Ki. xi. 7). The name contains the same consonants as the word 'king' (melek) apparently combined with the vowels of the word meaning 'shame' (bosheth), to change the word from an honourable title to one of dishonour. It is always written with the article 'the Molech', as if an appellative. This form of idolatry was particularly repulsive because it involved human sacrifice, the offering of children or infants, to the idol. The exact nature of this horrible rite is not certainly known. It has been interpreted as an act of purgation which did not involve death; as a sacrifice which resembled animal sacrifices in this respect, that the victim was first slain and its body then burned as an offering to the idol (Ezk. xvi. 20f. hardly justifies this interpretation); as a sacrifice in which the victims were actually burned alive. That human sacrifice is meant seems to be clearly taught in Ps. cvi. 38; Je. vii. 31, xix. 4f.; Ezk. xxiii. 37-39; Mic. vi. 7. And it is quite possible that the Phoenician practice of placing living infants in the arms of the idol to perish in the flames burning within it is what is meant, which would account for the severity with which it is denounced. Dt. xii. 31 implies that this awful practice was not confined to the worship of a single god, but was a prominent feature of Canaanite worship in general. This grievous sin is to be punished by stoning. Note the words 'to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name' (3) which indicate that this act was not merely horrible in itself but a gratuitous and intentional defiance of the exclusive right of Jehovah, as the covenant God of Israel, to the worship of His people, and one which the Lord would not permit to go unpunished. If the people ignore or condone it, He will not do so, but will cut off the man and those who participate with him (5). The means by which Israel's neighbours sought to ascertain and if possible control the future are next condemned (cf. xix. 31) and the penalty of excision is pronounced (6). Cf. verse 27 which orders the death of the medium and see Ex. xxii. 18. The words 'go a whoring (6) apparently connect this sin closely with that of verses 2-5. In Dt. xviii. 9-14 both are included among the means of ascertaining the future. Verses 7 and 8 contain a solemn exhortation to holiness (cf. xviii. 1-5, xix. 1, 2) and to the keeping of the commandments of God, which has both a backward and a forward reference. That 9-21 deal with some of the most heinous of the sins already mentioned in chapters xviii-xix is indicated by comparing verse 9 with xix. 3. Cursing of father or mother is a grievous violation of the fifth commandment. Adultery, incest, unnatural vice, bestiality are to be most severely punished. The fact that the phrase 'uncover the nakedness', which occurs frequently in chapter xviii, also appears seven times in this chapter and nowhere else in the Pentateuch, indicates the close connection between these two passages. The penalties are variously described: 'shall surely be put to death' (10, 12, 13, 15), 'stone him with stones' (2, 27, cf. xxiv. 14ff), 'burnt with fire' (14, cf. xxi. 9), 'cut off' (5, 17, 18) 'bear iniquity' (17, 19), 'bear their sin; they shall die childless' (20), 'they shall be childless' (21). Note also the words used to describe these crimes: 'wrought confusion' (12), 'committed an abomination' (13), 'wickedness' (14, 17), 'an unclean thing' (21; impurity' RV)."

As our time for today's study has about run out, we shall postpone study of the remaining verses, until next week. However, let me leave with you the meditation that, without the New Testament accounts there would be quite a gap between what we find to be the spirit of the Law thus far presented, and our present approaches to that Law. Without Christ's teaching concerning its interpretation, our values may seem to stretch too far from the strictness apparently demanded therein. Next week's study will therefore be needed to obtain the required sense of balance in these matters. Until then, may you ponder the fact that the same Spirit of God which laid down these Laws also provided the Spirit of Christ towards their acceptance in wisdom, and their proper outworking in society.

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