Leviticus 20 The Voice (VOICE)
Genuine faith manifests itself in the way God’s people treat others. While some may dishonor aliens or take advantage of outsiders, God’s own must live differently. The law of love guides them to treat others as they wish to be treated and to extend hospitality to those who look and sound like they are far from home. God reminds them: you were once strangers and outsiders, too, in Egypt. You of all people should know what it is like to be aliens in a foreign land. Likewise genuine faith shows up in the marketplace. True believers conduct business with integrity. Whether they are buying or selling, they insist on proper weights and measures, hard work, and honesty.
20 The Eternal One spoke to Moses.
Eternal One: 2 Tell the people of Israel that if any of them or any outsiders living among them present their children as human sacrifices to Molech, they will be put to death. The entire community must see to it that he is stoned to death. 3 I will turn against that man and cut him off from his community because he presented one of his children to Molech; he has desecrated My sanctuary and My sacred reputation. 4 If the people in the community fail to handle the situation and do not execute him after he presents his children to Molech, 5 then I will take the matter into My own hands and turn against the man and his family. I will cut him and all those who prostitute themselves with Molech off from their community.
Since God has pledged Himself to Israel as a husband to his bride, marriage becomes a powerful symbol of the loving, faithful relationship between God and His covenant people. Marital infidelity then—both adultery and prostitution—signify what happens when His people go after other gods.
Eternal One: 6 I will turn against any individual who prostitutes himself by turning to mediums and consulting with those who communicate with the spirits of the dead. I will cut him off from his community. 7 Dedicate yourselves exclusively to the one True God and become holy, for I, the Eternal your God, am holy.[a] 8 Keep My directives and practice My commands, for I am the Eternal who sanctifies you.
9 Anyone who utters a curse on his father or mother must be put to death,[b] for he has dishonored them, and their blood is on him.
10 If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both offenders must be put to death. 11 If a man has sexual relations with his father’s wife, he might as well have violated his father; both offenders must be put to death, for their blood is on them. 12 If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law, both offenders must be put to death; for they have engaged in a disgusting act and their blood is on them. 13 If a man has sexual relations with another man, they have participated in a detestable act. Both men are to be put to death, for their blood is on them. 14 Any man who marries a woman and her mother commits a depraved act. He and both women are to be burned to death so that such depravity will not exist in the community. 15 Any man who engages in a sexual act with an animal is to be put to death along with the animal. 16 Any woman who approaches an animal to engage in some sexual act must be put to death along with the animal, for their blood is on them.
Sexuality is a powerful force for good in humanity. But perversion brings impurity into the world; it defiles the moral and natural order of creation.
17 It is a shameful and dishonorable act for any man to marry his sister and have sexual relations with her; it doesn’t matter whether she is his father’s daughter or mother’s daughter. Both of them must be cut off from their community. Any man who has sexual relations with his sister will bear his guilt and suffer the consequences. 18 If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is menstruating, he has uncovered the source of her flow and she has exposed it to him; both the man and the woman must be cut off from the community. 19 Do not have sexual relations with your aunt, whether she is the sister of your mother or father. Any man who does such a thing has disgraced his relative. Both offenders are guilty and must suffer the consequences. 20 If a man has sexual relations with his uncle’s wife, he might as well have violated his uncle. Both offenders will suffer the consequences of their sin; they will die childless. 21 If a man has sexual relations with his brother’s wife, he has committed a disgraceful, dishonorable act;[c] He might as well have violated his brother; they will die childless.
22 Therefore, keep all My directives and My rules so that the land I am giving you will not vomit you out. 23 Do not follow in the footsteps of the people who lived in the land before you and whom I will remove from the land when you take possession of it, for they committed wicked acts like the ones described here; this is why I despise them. 24 As I have already told you, “You will inherit the land that was theirs. I am giving you this land flowing with milk and honey as your possession.”[d] I am the Eternal One your God who has set you apart from all the other people. 25 Consequently you must know the difference between a ritually pure and impure animal and a pure and impure bird. Do not make yourselves detestable by eating an animal, a bird, or any small creature that I have designated as ritually impure. 26 You must be holy, for I, the Eternal One, am holy, and I have chosen you from all the people of the world to be My people.
27 Any person among you who is a medium or tries to communicate with the spirits of the dead must be put to death. They are to be stoned to death, for their blood will be required of them.