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14 You must not curse a deaf person or put a stumbling block in front of a blind person.[a] You must fear[b] your God; I am the Lord.

Justice, Love, and Propriety

15 “‘You[c] must not deal unjustly in judgment:[d] You must neither show partiality to the poor nor honor the rich.[e] You must judge your fellow citizen fairly.[f] 16 You must not go about as a slanderer among your people.[g] You must not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake.[h] I am the Lord.

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  1. Leviticus 19:14 tn Heb “You shall not curse a deaf [person] and before a blind [person] you shall not put a stumbling block.”
  2. Leviticus 19:14 tn Heb “And you shall fear.” Many English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV) regard the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) as adversative in force here (“but”).
  3. Leviticus 19:15 tc Smr has the singular rather than the plural “you” of the MT, which brings this verb form into line with the ones surrounding it.
  4. Leviticus 19:15 tn Heb “You shall not do injustice in judgment” (NASB similar); cf. NIV “do not pervert justice.”
  5. Leviticus 19:15 tn Heb “You shall not lift up faces of poor [people] and you shall not honor faces of great.”
  6. Leviticus 19:15 tn Heb “In righteousness you shall judge your fellow citizen.”
  7. Leviticus 19:16 tn The term רָכִיל (rakhil) is traditionally rendered “slanderer” here (so NASB, NIV, NRSV; see also J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 304, 316), but the exact meaning is uncertain (see the discussion in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 129). It is sometimes related to I רָכַל (rakhal, “to go about as a trader [or “merchant”]”; BDB 940 s.v. רָכַל), and taken to refer to cutthroat business dealings, but there may be a II רָכַל, the meaning of which is dubious (HALOT 1237 s.v. II *רכל). Some would render it “to go about as a spy.”
  8. Leviticus 19:16 tn Heb “You shall not stand on the blood of your neighbor.” This part of the verse is also difficult to interpret. The rendering here suggests that one will not allow a neighbor to be victimized, whether in court (cf. v. 15) or in any other situation (see the discussion in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 129).

14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,(A) but fear your God.(B) I am the Lord.

15 “‘Do not pervert justice;(C) do not show partiality(D) to the poor or favoritism to the great,(E) but judge your neighbor fairly.(F)

16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander(G) among your people.

“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life.(H) I am the Lord.

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