Penalties for Breaking the Law

20 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, (A)“Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: (B)‘Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who [a]dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall (C)stone him with stones. (D)I will set My face against that man, and will [b]cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name. And if the people of the land should in any way [c]hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him, then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech.

‘And (E)the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. (F)Consecrate[d] yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. And you shall keep (G)My statutes, and perform them: (H)I am the Lord who [e]sanctifies you.

‘For (I)everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. (J)His blood shall be upon him.

10 (K)‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. 11 The man who lies with his (L)father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 12 If a man lies with his (M)daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them. 13 (N)If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 14 If a man marries a woman and her (O)mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you. 15 If a man mates with an (P)animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.

17 ‘If a man takes his (Q)sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be [f]cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his [g]guilt. 18 (R)If a man lies with a woman during her [h]sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has [i]exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be [j]cut off from their people.

19 ‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your (S)mother’s sister nor of your (T)father’s sister, for that would uncover his near of kin. They shall bear their guilt. 20 If a man lies with his (U)uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 If a man takes his (V)brother’s wife, it is an [k]unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother’s nakedness. They shall be childless.

22 ‘You shall therefore keep all My (W)statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell (X)may not vomit you out. 23 (Y)And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and (Z)therefore I abhor them. 24 But (AA)I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, (AB)who has separated you from the peoples. 25 (AC)You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, (AD)and you shall not make yourselves [l]abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as [m]unclean. 26 And you shall be holy to Me, (AE)for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

27 (AF)‘A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.’ ”

Regulations for Conduct of Priests(AG)

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: (AH)‘None shall defile himself for the dead among his people, except for his relatives who are nearest to him: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, and his brother; also his virgin sister who is near to him, who has had no husband, for her he may defile himself. Otherwise he shall not defile himself, being a [n]chief man among his people, to profane himself.

(AI)‘They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh. They shall be (AJ)holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the (AK)bread of their God; (AL)therefore they shall be holy. (AM)They shall not take a wife who is a harlot or a defiled woman, nor shall they take a woman (AN)divorced from her husband; for [o]the priest is holy to his God. Therefore you shall [p]consecrate him, for he offers the bread of your God. He shall be holy to you, for (AO)I the Lord, who (AP)sanctify you, am holy. The daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father. She shall be (AQ)burned with fire.

10 He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was (AR)poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not (AS)uncover[q] his head nor tear his clothes; 11 nor shall he go (AT)near any dead body, nor defile himself for his father or his mother; 12 (AU)nor shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the (AV)consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman or a harlot—these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife. 15 Nor shall he profane his posterity among his people, for I the Lord sanctify him.’ ”

16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For any man who has a (AW)defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb (AX)too long, 19 a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. 21 No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the Lord. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; 23 only he shall not go near the (AY)veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest (AZ)he profane My sanctuaries; for I the Lord sanctify them.’ ”

24 And Moses told it to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel.


  1. Leviticus 20:2 As resident aliens
  2. Leviticus 20:3 Put him to death
  3. Leviticus 20:4 disregard
  4. Leviticus 20:7 Set yourselves apart for the Lord
  5. Leviticus 20:8 sets you apart
  6. Leviticus 20:17 Put to death
  7. Leviticus 20:17 iniquity
  8. Leviticus 20:18 Or customary impurity
  9. Leviticus 20:18 Lit. made bare
  10. Leviticus 20:18 Put to death
  11. Leviticus 20:21 indecent, impure
  12. Leviticus 20:25 detestable or loathsome
  13. Leviticus 20:25 defiled
  14. Leviticus 21:4 Lit. master or husband
  15. Leviticus 21:7 Lit. he
  16. Leviticus 21:8 set him apart
  17. Leviticus 21:10 In mourning