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Leviticus 19 The Voice (VOICE)

People and their land are connected. When people engage in disgusting practices, it affects the land, pollutes it, and makes it sick. But when people live by God’s rules, the land is well.

19 The Eternal One spoke to Moses.

Eternal One: Go, talk with the community of Israel, and tell them that they are to be holy, for I, the Eternal your God, am holy.[a] I want all of you to honor your mothers and fathers and keep My Sabbaths, for I am the Eternal your God. Do not turn from Me to follow useless idols or cast metal images of other gods, for I am the Eternal your God.

When you sacrifice a peace offering to Me, present it correctly so you are accepted. Your peace offering should be consumed the same day you present it or the day after. But you must burn any of the offering that is still left on the third day. If any of it is eaten on the third day, your offering will not be accepted; by then it has become foul. Anyone who consumes the peace offering on the third day will bear his guilt and suffer the consequences, for he has desecrated what has been set apart for Me. That person must be cut off from his people.

When you harvest the crops of your land, do not gather the grain all the way to the edges of your fields or pick up what was overlooked during the first round of harvesting. 10 Likewise do not strip the vines bare in your vineyard or gather the fallen grapes. Leave the fallen fruit and some grapes on the vine for the poor and strangers living among you; for I am the Eternal your God.

God’s care for the poor is clearly reflected and codified in these verses. Those who have are to leave something for those who have not. No one is charged to make them care for the poor; God’s covenant people are to do this in obedience to His commands. But the poor have a responsibility as well. They are to go and gather the grain left in the fields and collect the clusters left in the vineyard. In this way, they join with the landowners and farmers in caring for themselves and the earth.

Eternal One: 11 Do not take what is not yours or conduct business dishonestly or lie to each other. 12 Do not swear to a lie in My name. If you do, My name is profaned. I am the Eternal One.

13 Do not mistreat your neighbor or steal from him. Do not keep the payment of a hired hand overnight, but compensate him for work at the end of the day. 14 Do not mock the disabled by shouting a curse at a deaf person or putting something in the way to trip up the blind. Instead, honor and fear your God; I am the Eternal One.

15 In a court of law, do what is just, not unjust. Do not favor one side or the other, the poor or the wealthy; instead, judge your neighbor fairly. 16 Do not go around spreading malicious lies about other people. Do not take a stand that would endanger your neighbor’s life. I am the Eternal One.

17 Do not harbor a deep hatred for any of your relatives. If your neighbor is doing something wrong, correct him or else you could be held responsible for his sin.[b] 18 Do not seek revenge or hold a grudge against any of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as you love yourself,[c] for I am the Eternal One.

19 Honor My decrees. Do not breed two different species. Do not plant two different sorts of seed in your fields. Do not wear clothing made from two different kinds of material.

20 If a man has sexual relations with a slave woman who is promised to another man but has not yet been redeemed or freed, then they will face an inquiry. Neither the man nor the woman will be put to death because she was a slave and not a free woman when the offense took place. 21 The man must present to Me a ram as his guilt offering at the entrance of the congregation tent. 22 The priest is to sacrifice the ram of the guilt offering before Me to cover the man’s guilt; then the guilty man’s sin will be forgiven.

23 When you go into the land and plant fruit-bearing trees, you are not to eat the fruit right away. It’s off-limits for three years.[d] 24 When the fourth year arrives, all the fruit of those trees must be regarded as sacred, a praise offering to Me. 25 When the fifth year arrives, you are finally allowed to eat the fruits of those trees. If you demonstrate your faith by following this procedure, these trees will be even more productive. I am the Eternal One, your God.

26 Do not consume any meat while the blood is still in it. Do not practice divination or fortune-telling. 27 Do not cut the hair at your temples or trim your beard. 28 Do not make cuts in your body for the dead or mark yourselves with tattoos. I am the Eternal One.

29 Do not defile your daughter by forcing her into prostitution. If you do, you not only corrupt her but you also infect the land with prostitution and wickedness. 30 Keep My Sabbaths and respect My sanctuary. I am the Eternal One.

31 Do not turn to mediums or consult with those who communicate with the spirits of the dead. Do not go near them, or else you will defile yourselves. I am the Eternal your God.

32 You are to stand in respect for the older people in your community. You must fear your God. I am the Eternal One.

33 Don’t take advantage of any stranger who lives in your land. 34 You must treat the outsider as one of your native-born people—as a full citizen—and you are to love him in the same way you love yourself; for remember, you were once strangers living in Egypt. I am the Eternal One, your God.

35 In business dealings, be fair and do not cheat. Measure accurately length, weight, and volume. 36 Your scales are to be accurate, your weights true, and your containers standard. I am the Eternal your God, who led you out of Egypt.

37 You are to keep all My directives and all of My rules, and do as I have instructed. I am the Eternal One.

Footnotes:

  1. 19:2 1 Peter 1:16
  2. 19:17 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  3. 19:18 Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; James 2:8
  4. 19:23 The Hebrew idiom is that the trees are “uncircumcised” for three years.
The Voice (VOICE)

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

Leviticus 19 New International Version (NIV)

Various Laws

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

“‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.

“‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.

“‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up. If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted. Whoever eats it will be held responsible because they have desecrated what is holy to the Lord; they must be cut off from their people.

“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

11 “‘Do not steal.

“‘Do not lie.

“‘Do not deceive one another.

12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

13 “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

“‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

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

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

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

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

17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

19 “‘Keep my decrees.

“‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.

“‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.

“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

20 “‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment.[a] Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] For three years you are to consider it forbidden[c]; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.

26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.

“‘Do not practice divination or seek omens.

27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.

29 “‘Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.

30 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

32 “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

35 “‘Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah[d] and an honest hin.[e] I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

37 “‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 19:20 Or be an inquiry
  2. Leviticus 19:23 Hebrew uncircumcised
  3. Leviticus 19:23 Hebrew uncircumcised
  4. Leviticus 19:36 An ephah was a dry measure having the capacity of about 3/5 of a bushel or about 22 liters.
  5. Leviticus 19:36 A hin was a liquid measure having the capacity of about 1 gallon or about 3.8 liters.
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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