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Leviticus 18 The Voice (VOICE)

God allowed His people to eat meat, but He had concerns about how and where these animals would be killed. The commandments can be summarized this way: every time an animal is used for food, its death must be treated as a sacred event. That’s why God tells the people to present it to Him in the sanctuary. Whenever one of God’s creatures gives its life for one of our meals, that life is to be respected.

Blood is central to life. It makes life possible. That’s why blood is so significant to the sacrifices, and violating any of these laws results in severe penalties.

18 The Eternal One spoke to Moses.

Eternal One: Go, talk with the Israelites. Tell them I am the Eternal One, your God. You must not act as you saw the Egyptians do when you lived in Egypt, nor should you act as they do in Canaan where I am taking you. Do not follow their practices. From here on out, you will live by My commands and honor My decrees and live your lives according to them alone. I am the Eternal One, your God. Stay devoted to My decrees and commands. The person who observes them will live by them.[a] I am the Eternal One.

You must not have sexual relations with anyone closely related to you. I am the Eternal One. This includes your father and your mother. You are to honor her as your mother and not have sexual relations with her. You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife; you might as well violate your father. You are not to have sexual relations with your sister—whether she is your father’s daughter or mother’s daughter, regardless of where she has lived, with your family or elsewhere. 10 Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; since they are your own flesh and blood, such an act would bring shame to you. 11 You are not to have sexual relations with your stepsister, the daughter of your father and his wife;[b] for she is still your sister. 12 Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister, your aunt; she is your father’s flesh and blood. 13 Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, your aunt; she is your mother’s flesh and blood. 14 You are not to dishonor your father’s brother, your uncle, by approaching his wife for sexual relations. She is your aunt. 15 You are not to have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. 16 You are not to have sexual relations with your brother’s wife, your sister-in-law;[c] you might as well violate your brother. 17 You are not to have sexual relations with a woman and her daughter, her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter; they are blood relations. It would be a disgusting act. 18 As long as your wife is living, do not marry her sister or have sexual relations with her. This would make them rivals.

19 You are not to have sexual relations with a woman while she is in her menstrual impurity. 20 Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife; such an act defiles you both. 21 Do not sacrifice your children to Molech. Such an unholy sacrifice desecrates your God’s name. I am your God, the Eternal One. 22 You are not to have sexual relations with a man in the same way you do with a woman; such a thing is detestable. 23 Do not engage in a sexual act with an animal—this includes men as well as women; such behavior defiles you and perverts the proper order of things.

24 Do not defile yourselves by engaging in any of these perverse things. I am driving out all these other nations ahead of you because they have corrupted themselves with disgusting acts like these. 25 The entire land of Canaan is so impure that I will punish the land until it vomits out those who dwell upon it. 26 I want you to keep My decrees and judgments. No Israelite and no outsider living among you should commit any of the detestable acts that 27 the people who were in Canaan before you committed when they desecrated the land. 28 Do not desecrate the land or the land will vomit you from it as it has done to those who were there before you. 29 All those who commit these disgusting acts will be cut off from their community. 30 Therefore, observe My laws and do not commit any of these disgusting acts which have been committed by the people who lived in the land before you. If you observe them, you will not defile yourselves like they did. I am the Eternal One, your God.

Footnotes:

  1. 18:5 Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:12
  2. 18:11 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  3. 18:16 Mark 6:18
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Leviticus 18 New International Version (NIV)

Unlawful Sexual Relations

18 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

“‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

10 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

11 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

15 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

19 “‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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