Chapter 19

Some ceremonial precepts there are in this chapter, but most of them are moral. One would wonder that when some of the lighter matters of the law are greatly enlarged upon (witness two long chapters concerning the leprosy) many of the weightier matters are put into a little compass: divers of the single verses of this chapter contain whole laws concerning judgment and mercy; for these are things which are manifest in every man’s conscience; men’s own thoughts are able to explain these, and to comment upon them. I. The laws of this chapter, which were peculiar to the Jews, are, 1. Concerning their peace-offerings, Lev. 19:5-8. 2. Concerning the gleanings of their fields, Lev. 19:9, 10. 3. Against mixtures of their cattle, seed, and cloth, Lev. 19:19. 4. Concerning their trees, Lev. 19:23-25. 5. Against some superstitious usages, Lev. 19:26-28. But, II. Most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are expositions of most of the ten commandments. 1. Here is the preface to the ten commandments, “I am the Lord,” repeated fifteen times. 2. A sum of the ten commandments. All the first table in this, “Be you holy,” Lev. 19:2. All the second table in this, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour” (Lev. 19:18), and an answer to the question, “Who is my neighbour?” Lev. 19:33, 34. 3. Something of each commandment. (1.) The first commandment implied in that which is often repeated here, “I am your God.” And here is a prohibition of enchantment (Lev. 19:26) and witchcraft (Lev. 19:31), which make a god of the devil. (2.) Idolatry, against the second commandment, is forbidden, Lev. 19:4. (3.) Profanation of God’s name, against the third, Lev. 19:12. (4.) Sabbath-sanctification is pressed, Lev. 19:3, 30. (5.) Children are required to honour their parents (Lev. 19:3), and the aged, Lev. 19:32. (6.) Hatred and revenge are here forbidden, against the sixth commandment, Lev. 19:17, 18. (7.) Adultery (Lev. 19:20-22), and whoredom, Lev. 19:29. (8.) Justice is here required in judgment (Lev. 19:15), theft forbidden (Lev. 19:11), fraud and withholding dues (Lev. 19:13), and false weights, Lev. 19:35, 36. (9.) Lying, Lev. 19:11. Slandering, Lev. 19:14. Tale-bearing, and false-witness bearing, Lev. 19:16. (10.) The tenth commandment laying a restraint upon the heart, so does that (Lev. 19:17), “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart.” And here is a solemn charge to observe all these statutes, Lev. 19:37. Now these are things which need not much help for the understanding of them, but require constant care and watchfulness for the observing of them. “A good understanding have all those that do these commandments.”