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Leviticus 20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

Penalties for Various Sins. [a]The Lord said to Moses: Tell the Israelites: Anyone, whether an Israelite or an alien residing in Israel, who gives offspring to Molech shall be put to death. The people of the land shall stone that person. I myself will turn against and cut off that individual from among the people; for in the giving of offspring to Molech, my sanctuary was defiled and my holy name was profaned. If the people of the land condone the giving of offspring to Molech, by failing to put the wrongdoer to death, I myself will turn against that individual and his or her family, and I will cut off from their people both the wrongdoer and all who follow this person by prostituting themselves with Molech.

Should anyone turn to ghosts and spirits and prostitute oneself with them, I will turn against that person and cut such a one off from among the people. Sanctify yourselves, then, and be holy; for I, the Lord, your God, am holy. Be careful, therefore, to observe my statutes. I, the Lord, make you holy.

Anyone who curses father or mother shall be put to death;[b] and having cursed father or mother, such a one will bear the bloodguilt.[c] 10 [d]If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death. 11 If a man disgraces his father by lying with his father’s wife, the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have done what is perverse; their bloodguilt is upon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them. 14 If a man marries a woman and her mother also, that is shameful conduct; the man and the two women as well shall be burned to death, so that shamefulness may not be found among you. 15 If a man has sexual relations with an animal, the man shall be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman goes up to any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall both be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them. 17 If a man marries his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and they have intercourse with each other, that is disgraceful; they shall be publicly cut off[e] from the people; the man shall bear the penalty of having had intercourse with his own sister. 18 If a man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and has intercourse with her, he has laid bare the source of her flow and she has uncovered it. The two of them shall be cut off from the people. 19 You shall not have intercourse with your mother’s sister or your father’s sister, because that dishonors one’s own flesh; they shall bear their penalty. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife, he disgraces his uncle; they shall bear the penalty; they shall die childless. 21 If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is severe defilement and he has disgraced his brother; they shall be childless.

22 Be careful to observe all my statutes and all my decrees; otherwise the land where I am bringing you to dwell will vomit you out. 23 Do not conform, therefore, to the customs of the nations whom I am driving out of your way, because all these things that they have done have filled me with disgust for them. 24 But to you I have said: You shall take possession of their land. I am giving it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I, the Lord, am your God, who have set you apart from other peoples. 25 You, too, must set apart, then, the clean animals from the unclean, and the clean birds from the unclean, so that you do not make yourselves detestable through any beast or bird or any creature which creeps on the ground that I have set apart for you as unclean. 26 To me, therefore, you shall be holy; for I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from other peoples to be my own.

27 A man or a woman who acts as a medium or clairvoyant shall be put to death. They shall be stoned to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:1–5 The term Molech may refer to a deity, perhaps with an underworld association, and the activity forbidden here may be connected with divination. Cf. Dt 18:10; 2 Kgs 17:17; 21:6. In the kingdom of Judah the cult appears to have been practiced in the Valley of Hinnom, just outside Jerusalem on the west and south (2 Kgs 23:10; Jer 32:35).
  2. 20:9 Curses father or mother…put to death: this is more than a simple expletive uttered in anger against one’s parents. See note on Ex 21:17.
  3. 20:9–21 Bloodguilt: these penalties, beginning with cursing one’s parents, reflect the concerns of a patriarchal society that the breakdown of one’s relations with one’s parents can lead to the breakdown of all other familial relationships, resulting in the breakdown of society.
  4. 20:10–21 See 18:6–23 and notes there. It appears that the inclusion of various penalties in 20:10–21 accounts for the different order of the cases here compared to the order found in 18:6–23. The reason why the offenses in 20:10–21 carry different penalties, however, is not clear. Perhaps the cases in vv. 17–21 were considered slightly less serious, being condemned but not criminally prosecuted.
  5. 20:17 Cut off: see note on 7:20.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Leviticus 20 New International Version (NIV)

Punishments for Sin

20 The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek and if they fail to put him to death, I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek.

“‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.

“‘Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

“‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.

10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

11 “‘If a man has sexual relations with his father’s wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

12 “‘If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law, both of them are to be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads.

13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

14 “‘If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.

15 “‘If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he is to be put to death, and you must kill the animal.

16 “‘If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

17 “‘If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be publicly removed from their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible.

18 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people.

19 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible.

20 “‘If a man has sexual relations with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless.

21 “‘If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless.

22 “‘Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. 24 But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.

25 “‘You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those that I have set apart as unclean for you. 26 You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.

27 “‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’”

New International Version (NIV)

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