18:1–30 Moses instructs Israel concerning unlawful practices linked to sex and family, including incest (vv. 6–20), child sacrifice (v. 21), homosexuality (v. 22), and bestiality (v. 23). Israel’s neighbors were much less restrained in their sexual attitudes and behavior (v. 3). They permitted closer intermarriage than allowed here; they allowed homosexuality (cf. v. 22), and even some types of bestiality (cf. v. 23). The laws in this chapter presuppose that an Israelite would normally marry another Israelite. However, unions between blood relatives of the first degree (brother-sister, father-daughter) and the second degree (father-granddaughter, nephew-aunt) were prohibited. Marriage between close relatives by marriage was also banned.
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