“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,”
“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.”
Molech, see comments on 18:21. The worship of this false god involved the
sacrifice of children by burning. The “strangers” here were the Gentiles
living in Israel, and whether Israelite, or Gentile living in Israel, those
who worshiped Molech were to be stoned to death.
cruelty involved in the immolation of their children to Molech demonstrates
the terrible power of Satan over men’s minds. Nor is his cunning any less
than his power, as is demonstrated by the fact that he still leads deluded
multitudes in our modern society down the same deadly pathway, for when we
neglect to warn our children of the need to be born again, and instead push
them to excel academically, athletically, and socially, we are just as
surely consigning them to the eternal flame of the lake of fire, except for
the rare few who in spite of our negligence, discover their danger, and
trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
The degree of
divine anger provoked by the worship of Molech may be measured by the
penalty He imposed: the guilty were to be stoned to death. He is no less
angry today with parents who are guilty of the crime portrayed typologically
in the Israelites’ idolatry.
“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.”
We may not
conclude that the Israelite idolaters had ceased to continue the charade of
also worshiping Jehovah, but rather that they still engaged in the outward
ritual, so that their very presence in the tabernacle defiled it, and caused
the Lord’s name to be profaned, i.e., lightly esteemed. God is jealous of
His honor, and will not permit the creature to impugn his majesty. Every
offender would be slain.
It behooves us
to live before men in such fashion as will afford them no cause to denigrate
His holy name.
“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:”
“Then will I 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.”
account of the fact that then, as now, many who should have known better,
turned a blind eye to sin, and by their very indifference, encouraged the
evil. God however, took note of all such, and still does today, for He can
never be indifferent to sin; and though He may not slay the offender
instantly, He will in His own perfect time call the guilty to account at the
judgment of the great white throne, from which He will cast them into the
eternal flame of the terrible lake of fire.
understand the term “cut him off” to mean that God would outlaw, rather than
slay, the guilty man.
“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.”
on 19:31 relative to familiar spirits and wizards. God opposed those who
had anything to do with such evil, and slew them; nor does He take any more
lenient view of such people today. The heinousness of seeking contact with
the evil spirit world most likely lies in the fact that those engaging in
this diabolic traffic are thereby demonstrating their contempt for God the
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.”
To sanctify is
to set apart for a special holy purpose; and as God’s earthly people were
commanded to sanctify themselves for His honor and glory, so are we. The
“mediums” who acted as the human go-betweens in this diabolic traffic
between men and the Satanic spirit world, were themselves indwelt,
temporarily or permanently, by one or more evil spirits. See the numerous
NT references to such embodiment of these wicked agents of Satan.
this present dispensation are indwelt and sealed for God by the Holy Spirit,
but how different is His mode of control! He never compels obedience. His
dominion is only by our own volition, hence the warning not to quench Him, 1
Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit,” and Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve
not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of
redemption.” He is grieved when we do what He has forbidden us to do; and
quenched when we refuse to do what He has commanded us to do. It would be
impossible to grieve or quench Him were our obedience
“And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify
A statute is
an enactment or ordinance. The people were to keep, i.e., obey God’s laws.
preceding verse the people were told to sanctify themselves, but here they
are told that it was the Lord who sanctified them. There is no
contradiction. We cannot sanctify ourselves apart from His enablement; but
as noted above, He does not compel our obedience: it must be willingly
yielded, and when it is, He will bestow the needed grace to walk before Him
obediently, and thus ensure His blessing.
“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
To curse in
the present context means to revile, vilify, insult.
This was a
violation of the fifth commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that
thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,”
has been asked whether obedience applies when the parents are evil, and the
answer is furnished in what is commanded relative to obedience to rulers
Titus 3:1, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to
obey magistrates ....” 1 Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance
of man for the Lord’s sake....” It is axiomatic that the enjoined obedience
relates to such laws as do not make us disobedient to God, see Acts 5:29,
“We ought to obey God rather than men.” The same principle applies to
parental jurisdiction. As authority figures in the family, parents are to be
obeyed, but with the above qualification.
“... his blood
shall be upon him” means that he himself had caused his own death by his
rebellion against God’s command.
“And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that
committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the
adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
of the penalty declares the sanctity with which God has invested the
“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 (blood
guiltiness) shall be upon them.”
The wife here
is generally understood to be a wife other than the man’s own mother: a
“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.”
needs no comment.
“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.”
blood shall be upon them” means that they were resposnible for their own
“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.”
virutally the same as 18:17, and needs no comment, except to note that the
burning by fire was of the body after the offender had been stoned to death,
see e.g., Joshua 17:25 relative to the execution of Achan, “”And all Israel
stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned
them with stones.”
“And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye
shall slay the beast.”
“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.”
“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.”
on 18:9 apply here, the only difference being that here the woman is his
“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
on 15:24, 33.
“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
repeats 18:13, and doesn’t require comment.
“And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s
nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.”
This is one of
the few instances where the punishment in this series is spelled out, there
being no readily apparent reason why it is not also specifically declared in
the others. To die childless was virtually the same as if the individual
were to die immediately, for at his death his line would cease.
“And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he
hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall die childless.”
It was for
this very sin that John the Baptist rebuked Herod, see Mark 6:17-18, but it
is clear that the proscription applied only to Israelites, and probably only
to those of the OT era, for Herod, who was not a Jew, had children.
“Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them:
that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.”
means to vomit, so that the violence with which the stomach’s contents are
ejected in vomiting, portrays the equally violent eviction of Israel from
the land, which would punish her disobedience, and which occurred in 586 BC
at the hand of Babylon, and again in AD 70 at the hand of Rome.
“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before
you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”
This was God’s
warning to Israel not to ape the ways of the Canaanites whose wickedness had
provoked His anger, and caused Him to cast them out of the Land.
difficult to see in God’s violent expulsion of the Canaanites, and later of
the Israelites, for their wickedness, the foreshadowing of what is yet to be
in the now imminent Great Tribulation which will see millions swept from the
earth by war, famine, and disease. The abounding wickedness of today’s
world, particularly our highly privileged western society, causes every true
believer to wonder why those judgments haven’t already fallen.
“But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it
unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the
Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.”
partially fulfilled when God first brought the Israelites into Canaan, but
their wickedness ensured their expulsion which came in AD 70, so that
complete fulfillment awaits the coming Millennium, when the saved believing
remnant of Israel, and of the nations, will be brought out of the terrible
Great Tribulation judgments, into the enjoyment of the phenomenal
long-promised millennial bliss.
Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and
between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable
by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the
ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.”
This is a
summation of all that has preceded, and declares the imperative of holiness
as the prerequisite of blessing.
“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you
from other people, that ye should be mine.”
This is even
more true of us, conversion having given us Christ’s very life and nature.
It behooves us therefore to manifest that new spiritual life in our daily
“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall
surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall
be upon them.”
familiar spirits and wizards, see comments on