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Unlawful Sexual Relations

18 Then[a] Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites,[b] and say to them, ‘I am Yahweh your God. You must not carry out[c] the practices of the land of Egypt, in which you lived, and you must not carry out[d] the practices of the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you; and you must not follow their statutes. You must carry out[e] my regulations, and you must observe[f] my statutes by following them; I am Yahweh your God. And you shall observe[g] my statutes and my regulations by which the person doing them shall live;[h] I am Yahweh.

“‘None[i] of you shall approach anyone who is his close relative[j] to expose nakedness; I am Yahweh. You must not expose your father’s nakedness or[k] your mother’s nakedness—she is your mother; you must not expose her nakedness. You must not expose the nakedness of your father’s wife—it is your father’s nakedness. As for your sister’s nakedness, whether your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether born at home[l] or born abroad,[m] you must not expose their nakedness. 10 As for the nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, you must not expose their nakedness, because they are your nakedness. 11 As for the nakedness of the daughter of your father’s wife, she is your sister, a relative of your father; you must not expose her nakedness. 12 You must not expose the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.[n] 13 You must not expose the nakedness of your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.[o] 14 You must not expose the nakedness of your father’s brother; you must not have sex with[p] his wife—she is your aunt. 15 You must not expose your daughter-in-law’s nakedness; she is your son’s wife; you must not expose her nakedness. 16 You must not expose the nakedness of your brother’s wife; she is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You must not expose the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, or her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter; you must not take her as wife[q] to expose her nakedness; they are close relatives[r]—that is wickedness. 18 And you must not take as wife[s] a woman with her sister, to be a rival-wife, to expose her nakedness before her during[t] her life.

19 “‘And you must not have sex with[u] a woman to expose her nakedness during[v] her menstrual uncleanness. 20 And you must not have sex[w] with your fellow citizen’s[x] wife, becoming unclean with her.

21 “‘And you shall not give any of[y] your offspring[z] in order to sacrifice them to Molech, nor[aa] shall you profane the name of your God; I am Yahweh. 22 And you shall not lie with a male as lying with[ab] a woman; that is a detestable thing. 23 And you shall not have sexual relations[ac] with any animal, becoming unclean with it; and a woman shall not stand before[ad] an animal to copulate with it—that is a perversion.

24 “‘You must not make yourself unclean in any of these things, because the nations whom I am driving out from your presence were made unclean by all of these. 25 So[ae] the land became unclean, and I have brought the punishment of[af] its guilt upon it, and the land has vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But[ag] you (neither the native nor[ah] the alien who is dwelling in your midst) shall keep my statutes and my regulations, and you shall not practice[ai] any of these detestable things 27 (because the people of the land, who were before you,[aj] did all these detestable things, so the land became unclean), 28 so that the land will not vomit you out when you make it unclean just as it vomited out the nation that was before you.[ak] 29 Indeed, anyone who does any of these detestable things, even[al] those persons who do so shall be cut off from the midst of their people. 30 Thus[am] you shall keep my obligation to not do any of the statutes regarding[an] the detestable things that they did before you,[ao] so that you will not make yourselves unclean by them; I am Yahweh your God.’”


  1. Leviticus 18:1 Or “And”
  2. Leviticus 18:2 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  3. Leviticus 18:3 Literally “do”
  4. Leviticus 18:3 Literally “do”
  5. Leviticus 18:4 Literally “do”
  6. Leviticus 18:4 Or “keep”
  7. Leviticus 18:5 Or “keep”
  8. Leviticus 18:5 Literally “which the man does them and he shall live in them”
  9. Leviticus 18:6 Literally “a man a man … not”
  10. Leviticus 18:6 Literally “the flesh of his body”
  11. Leviticus 18:7 Or “and”
  12. Leviticus 18:9 Literally “a relative of house”
  13. Leviticus 18:9 Literally “a relative of an outside place”
  14. Leviticus 18:12 Literally “the flesh of your father”
  15. Leviticus 18:13 Literally “the flesh of your mother”
  16. Leviticus 18:14 Literally “approach”
  17. Leviticus 18:17 The verb לקח is used to speak of marrying (“taking a wife”)
  18. Leviticus 18:17 Literally “flesh”; see vv. 6, 12, 13
  19. Leviticus 18:18 The verb לקח is used to speak of marrying (“taking a wife”)
  20. Leviticus 18:18 Literally “in”
  21. Leviticus 18:19 Literally “approach”
  22. Leviticus 18:19 Literally “in”
  23. Leviticus 18:20 Literally “you shall not give your lying down for semen”
  24. Leviticus 18:20 Or “neighbor’s”
  25. Leviticus 18:21 Literally “from”
  26. Leviticus 18:21 Or “descendants”
  27. Leviticus 18:21 Or “and not”
  28. Leviticus 18:22 Literally “of”
  29. Leviticus 18:23 Literally “give your lying down”
  30. Leviticus 18:23 Literally “to the faces of”
  31. Leviticus 18:25 Or “And”
  32. Leviticus 18:25 Literally “I have visited”
  33. Leviticus 18:26 Or “And”
  34. Leviticus 18:26 Or “and”
  35. Leviticus 18:26 Literally “do”
  36. Leviticus 18:27 Literally “to the faces of you”
  37. Leviticus 18:28 Literally “to the faces of you”
  38. Leviticus 18:29 Or “and”
  39. Leviticus 18:30 Or “And”
  40. Leviticus 18:30 Literally “of”
  41. Leviticus 18:30 Literally “to the faces of you”