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Leviticus 18:20-22 New English Translation (NET Bible)

20 You must not have sexual relations[a] with the wife of your fellow citizen to become unclean with her. 21 You must not give any of your children as an offering to Molech,[b] so that you do not profane[c] the name of your God. I am the Lord! 22 You must not have sexual relations with a male as one has sexual relations with a woman;[d] it is a detestable act.[e]

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 18:20 tn Heb “And to the wife of your fellow citizen you shall not give your layer for seed.” The meaning of “your layer” (שְׁכָבְתְּךָ, shekhavtekha) is uncertain (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 122, “you shall not place your layer of semen”; but cf. also J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 283, and the literature cited there for understanding the term to refer to the male member). The Hebrew word שְׁכֹבֶת (shekhovet) is related to the noun מִשְׁכָּב (mishkav) “bed” and the verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) “to lie down,” which also acts as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  2. Leviticus 18:21 tn Heb “And from your seed you shall not give to cause to pass over to Molech.” Smr (cf. also the LXX) has “to cause to serve” rather than “to cause to pass over.” For detailed remarks on Molech and Molech worship see N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers (NCBC), 87-88; P. J. Budd, Leviticus (NCBC), 259-60; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 333-37, and the literature cited there. It could refer to either human sacrifice or a devotion of children to some sort of service of Molech, perhaps of a sexual sort (cf. Lev 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10, etc.). The inclusion of this prohibition against Molech worship here may be due to some sexual connection of this kind, or perhaps simply to the lexical link between זֶרַע (zeraʿ) meaning “seed, semen” in v. 20 but “offspring” in v. 21.
  3. Leviticus 18:21 tn Heb “and you shall not profane.” Regarding “profane,” see the note on Lev 10:10 above.
  4. Leviticus 18:22 tn Heb “And with a male you shall not lay [as the] lyings of a woman” (see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 123). The specific reference here is to homosexual intercourse between males.
  5. Leviticus 18:22 tn The Hebrew term תּוֹעֵבָה (toʿevah, rendered “detestable act”) refers to the repugnant practices of foreigners, whether from the viewpoint of other peoples toward the Hebrews (e.g., Gen 43:32; 46:34; Exod 8:26) or of the Lord toward other peoples (see esp. Lev 18:26-27, 29-30). It can also designate, as here, detestable acts that might be perpetrated by the native peoples (it is used again in reference to homosexuality in Lev 20:13; cf. also its use for unclean food, Deut 14:3; idol worship, Isa 41:24; remarriage to a former wife who has been married to someone else in between, Deut 24:4).
New English Translation (NET)

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