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Leviticus 18Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Rules About Sexual Relations

18 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: I am the Lord your God. You must not follow the customs of Egypt where you lived, and you must not follow the customs of the Canaanites where I am leading you. You must not live the way they do. You must obey my rules and follow my laws. Be sure to follow my rules because I am the Lord your God. You must obey my rules and my laws, because whoever obeys them will live. I am the Lord.

“You must never have sexual relations with[a] your close relatives. I am the Lord.

“You must never have sexual relations with your father or mother. She is your mother, so you must not have sexual relations with her. You must not have sexual relations with your father’s wife, even if she is not your mother, because that is like having sexual relations with your father.[b]

“You must not have sexual relations with your sister. It doesn’t matter if she is the daughter of your father or your mother. And it doesn’t matter if your sister was born in your house[c] or at some other place.

10 “You must not have sexual relations with your granddaughter. It doesn’t matter whether she is the daughter of your son or the daughter of your daughter—they are all a part of you!

11 “If your father and his wife[d] have a daughter, she is your sister. You must not have sexual relations with her.

12 “You must not have sexual relations with your father’s sister. She is your father’s close relative. 13 You must not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister. She is your mother’s close relative. 14 You must not have sexual relations with the wife of your father’s brother. You must not go near your uncle’s wife for sexual relations. She is your aunt.

15 “You must not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife, so you must not have sexual relations with her.

16 “You must not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife. That would be like having sexual relations with your brother.[e]

17 “You must not have sexual relations with a mother and her daughter or her granddaughter. It doesn’t matter if this granddaughter is the daughter of this woman’s son or daughter. Her granddaughters are her close relatives. It is wrong to do this.

18 “While your wife is still living, you must not take her sister as another wife. This will make the sisters become enemies. You must not have sexual relations with your wife’s sister.

19 “You must not go near a woman to have sexual relations with her during her monthly time of bleeding. She is unclean during this time.

20 “You must not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife. This will only make you filthy.[f]

21 “You must not give any of your children through the fire to Molech. If you do this, you will show that you don’t respect the name of your God. I am the Lord.

22 “Men, you must not have sexual relations with another man as with a woman. That is a terrible sin!

23 “Men, you must not have sexual relations with any animal. This will make you filthy. And women, you must not have sexual relations with any animal. It is against nature!

24 “Don’t make yourself unclean by doing any of these wrong things! I am throwing nations off their land and giving it to you because they did those terrible sins. 25 They made the land filthy. Now the land is sick of those things, and it will vomit out the people who live there.

26 “So you must obey my laws and rules. You must not do any of these terrible sins. These rules are for the citizens of Israel and the people living among you. 27 Those who lived in the land before you have done all these terrible things. So the land became filthy. 28 If you do these things, you will make the land filthy. And it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were there before you. 29 Whoever does any of these terrible sins must be separated from their people! 30 Other people have done these terrible sins, but you must obey my laws. You must not do any of these terrible sins. Do not make yourself filthy with these terrible sins. I am the Lord your God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 18:6 have sexual relations with Literally, “uncover the nakedness of.” Also in verses 7, 9-12, 15-19.
  2. Leviticus 18:8 sexual relations … father Literally, “She is the nakedness of your father.” Husband and wife are like one person. See Gen. 2:24.
  3. Leviticus 18:9 sister was born in your house Or “household.” If a man had many wives, each wife and her children had their own tent or part of the house. So this probably means a man was not supposed to have sexual relations with any of his father’s daughters, whether sister or half-sister.
  4. Leviticus 18:11 his wife This probably means “your stepmother.”
  5. Leviticus 18:16 sexual relations … brother Literally, “She is the nakedness of your brother.”
  6. Leviticus 18:20 filthy Or “polluted” or “unclean.” Also in verses 23, 25, 27.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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