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Leviticus 17-18

Blood for Atonement

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded, saying, “Any man from the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp and has not brought it to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to [a]offer it as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, that man shall be guilty of bloodshed. He has shed blood and shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them]. This is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing [to idols] in the open field [where they killed them], that they may bring them in to the Lord, at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord. The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting and offer the fat up in smoke as a sweet and soothing aroma to the Lord. So they shall no longer offer their sacrifices to goat-idols or demons or field spirits with which they have played the prostitute. This shall be a permanent statute for them throughout their generations.”’

“Then you shall say to them, ‘Any man from the house of Israel or any of the strangers living temporarily among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice and does not bring it to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to offer it to the Lord shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them].

10 ‘Any man from the house of Israel, or any stranger living temporarily among you, who eats any blood, against that person I shall set My face and I will cut him off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them]. 11 For the [b]life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life [which it represents].’ 12 Therefore I have said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any stranger living temporarily among you eat blood.’ 13 So when any Israelite or any stranger living temporarily among them, catches [c]any ceremonially clean animal or bird when hunting, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.

14 “For in regard to the life of all flesh, its blood is [the same] as its life; therefore I said to the Israelites, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the [d]life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off [excluding him from the atonement made for them].’ 15 Every person who eats an animal which dies [of natural causes] or was torn by a predator, whether he is native-born or a stranger, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be [ceremonially] unclean until evening; then he will become clean. 16 But if he does not wash his clothes or bathe his body, he shall bear his guilt [for it will not be borne by the sacrifice of atonement].”

Laws on Immoral Relations

18 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘I am the Lord your God. You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, and you shall not do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes (practices, customs). You are to follow My judgments (precepts, ordinances) and keep My statutes and live by them. I am the Lord your God. So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which, if a person keeps them, he shall live; I am the Lord.

[e]No one shall approach any blood relative of his [f]to uncover nakedness (have intimate relations). I am the Lord. You shall not uncover the [g]nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, either the daughter of your father or of your mother, whether born at home or born elsewhere. 10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; their nakedness you shall not uncover, for they are your own nakedness [that is, your own descendants]. 11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter; born to your father, she is your sister. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s blood relative. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s blood relative. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother’s wife; you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. 15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. You shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover their nakedness (have intimate relations with them); they are [her] blood relatives; it is an outrageous offense. 18 You shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.

19 ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity and ceremonial uncleanness. 20 You shall not have intimate relations with your neighbor’s wife, to be defiled with her. 21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them [by fire as a sacrifice] to Molech [the god of the Ammonites], nor shall you profane the name of your God [by honoring idols as gods]. I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie [intimately] with a male as one lies with a female; it is repulsive. 23 You shall not have intimate relations with any animal to be defiled with it; nor shall a woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.

24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 For the land has become defiled; therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments (precepts) and shall not commit any of these repulsive acts, neither the native-born, nor the stranger who lives temporarily among you 27 (for all these repulsive acts have been done by the men who lived in the land before you, and the land has become defiled); 28 [do none of these things] so that the land will not vomit you out, should you defile it, as it has vomited out the nation which has been before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these repulsive acts, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people [excluding them from the atonement made for them]. 30 So keep My command: do not practice any of the repulsive customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves by them; I am the Lord your God.’”


  1. Leviticus 17:4 At this point the Israelites were not permitted to eat meat at will. But, after the animal was offered as a burnt offering, most of it was returned to the owner as a gift from God.
  2. Leviticus 17:11 Lit soul.
  3. Leviticus 17:13 Lit an animal or bird which may be eaten.
  4. Leviticus 17:14 Lit soul.
  5. Leviticus 18:6 This passage (vv 6-18) states incestuous prohibitions.
  6. Leviticus 18:6 This Hebrew euphemism for sexual relations occurs in each verse in the passage.
  7. Leviticus 18:7 The father’s nakedness is a reference to his wife in her role as his sexual partner, i.e. the nakedness that belongs to him alone by virtue of their marriage (cf 1 Cor 7:4). Otherwise, the literal meaning would refer to intimate relations with the father himself, including homosexuality. The text itself states that this is not the meaning, especially in 20:11a (The man who lies...has uncovered his father’s nakedness).
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Matthew 27:27-50

Jesus Is Mocked

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into [a]the Praetorium, and they gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet [b]robe on Him [as a king’s robe]. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand [as a scepter]. Kneeling before Him, they ridiculed Him, saying, “Hail (rejoice), King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him repeatedly on the head. 31 After they finished ridiculing Him, they stripped Him of the scarlet robe and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

32 Now as they were coming out, they found a man of [c]Cyrene named [d]Simon, whom they forced into service [e]to carry the cross of Jesus.

The Crucifixion

33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means [f]Place of a Skull, 34 they offered Him wine mixed with gall (myrrh, a bitter-tasting narcotic) to drink; but after tasting it, He refused to drink it.

35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided His clothes among them by casting [g]lots. 36 Then sitting down there, they began to keep watch over Him [to guard against any rescue attempt]. 37 And above His head they put the accusation against Him which read, “[h]THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

38 At the same time two robbers were crucified with Jesus, one on the right and one on the left. 39 Those who passed by were hurling abuse at Him and jeering at Him, wagging their heads [in scorn and ridicule], 40 and they said [tauntingly], “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself [from death]! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, 42 “He saved others [from death]; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him and acknowledge Him. 43 He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him also began to insult Him in the same way.

45 Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.). 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice, [i]Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 When some of the bystanders there heard it, they began saying, “This man is calling for [j]Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, soaked it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49 But the rest said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him [from death].” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud [agonized] voice, and gave up His spirit [voluntarily, sovereignly dismissing and releasing His spirit from His body in submission to His Father’s plan].


  1. Matthew 27:27 The official residence of a governor of a Roman province.
  2. Matthew 27:28 A ranking Roman officer’s outer cloak.
  3. Matthew 27:32 A port city in north Africa.
  4. Matthew 27:32 The father of Alexander and Rufus, disciples in Rome.
  5. Matthew 27:32 The crossbeam was usually placed on the nape of the neck like a yoke.
  6. Matthew 27:33 Latin: Calvarius; or Calvary; Aram: Golgotha; Greek: Kranion.
  7. Matthew 27:35 This fulfilled the prophecy of Ps 22:18, “They divide My clothes among them.”
  8. Matthew 27:37 The wording of the inscription, which was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, varies slightly in each Gospel account and was probably a combination of them all, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
  9. Matthew 27:46 See note John 19:30.
  10. Matthew 27:47 The Jews believed that the prophet Elijah would return before the Messiah appeared.
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