A. Commands against incest.
1. (1-5) Introduction to the commands regarding sexual conduct.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.
a. Then the LORD spoke to Moses: This chapter is one of the most extensive and direct passages in the Bible reflecting God’s stated will and commands regarding the expression of human sexuality. These are the words of God, and as such they have immeasurably more authority than the words, opinions, theories, desires, feelings, longings, or wishes of any person or persons.
i. We know that as a whole, Christians are not under the law (Romans 6:14-15, Galatians 5:18). While obedience to God’s law is not the basis of our right standing before Him, the principles of the law remain useful. One important use of the law is to be something of a guardrail for humanity, showing us the heart and desire of God for humanity in general and His people in particular.
ii. This chapter stands in the midst of commands that were uniquely directed to Israel, the only kingdom that specifically recognized Yahweh as their king and covenant God. Yet, it still expresses the mind and heart of God regarding the expression of sexuality. This is evident in the many New Testament commands to abstain from sexual immorality and uncleanness (2 Corinthians 12:21, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, and many other passages). When the New Testament writers wrote of sexual immorality and uncleanness, they did so from a context that understood the commands of Leviticus 18 as one of the important passages that defined sexual immorality and impurity.
iii. In addition, Jesus Himself affirmed the goodness of these commands when He said in the Sermon on the Mount: Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)
iv. Furthermore, Jesus summarized the entire law in two points: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40) Obedience to the commands of Leviticus 18 is not only an expression of love to God (recognizing His wisdom and submitting to His will). It is also an expression of love for our neighbor; whom we will not sin against by participating with them in behavior that is against God’s will and ultimately destructive to a blessed, happy, flourishing life.
v. “Although the laws in Leviticus 18 set forth moral/ceremonial principles, the sexual prohibitions enumerated are still in effect today. The New Testament echoes the teaching of Leviticus 18, for it also prohibits incest (Mark 6:17-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5), adultery (Romans 13:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Hebrews 13:4), and homosexuality (Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:10).” (Rooker)
b. I am the LORD your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do: Before God gave a single command in this area, He first established a foundation for the whole matter. He declared this principle: “You belong to Me; you shall not do as the world does.” They were not to do what they saw among the Egyptians in the past, or what they would see among the Canaanites in the future (the doings of the land of Egypt…the doings of the land of Canaan).
i. “The Persians, for example, encouraged marital unions with mothers, daughters and sisters, on the ground that such relationships had special merit in the eyes of the gods.” (Harrison)
ii. In many ways, the modern western world is moving further and further from a Biblically guided sexual morality. Yet every person has some sense of right and wrong when it comes to sexual matters. In our modern culture it often appears that the strongest idea shaping the sense of right and wrong is, if it feels good, then it is right for me. This twisted sense of sexual right and sexual wrong has done tremendous damage in our culture, as it has throughout all history. It is important that Christians live according to God’s sense of right and wrong when it comes to sexual matters, and not do according to the doings of the surrounding culture.
iii. “Seven times in the introduction and conclusion [of Leviticus 18] the Israelites are commanded not to act as the other nations (see 18:3 [2x], 24, 26, 27, 29, 30).” (Rooker)
iv. There is a sense in which the Apostle Paul gave the same idea in Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
v. In radical contrast to the thinking of much of the modern western culture, Christianity has the important message: sexual activity has profound meaning for people and before God. The broader culture has emptied sex of all meaning and has reduced it to only a way to experience personal pleasure. God’s desire is that people should experience sexual fulfillment not only in pleasure, but in the fulfillment of the highest purpose for sex: as part of what bonds together a man and a woman in a one-flesh relationship in their covenant of marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6).
vi. Strangely, the doings of the culture around us want us to trade God’s purpose for sex (full of meaning and fulfillment) for the culture’s confusion regarding sex (empty of meaning). Stranger still, many professing Christians willingly make the trade.
c. If a man does, he shall live by them: The standard of right and wrong in sexual matters given by God in this chapter (and the entire Bible) was not given to hurt, deprive, or restrict life, joy, or happiness for humanity. They were given to ultimately build the best life for society and individuals; we can live by them, and live better by them.
i. When it comes to sexual morality, Christians have a thrilling message of hope and life for the world. We can speak to a world that is battered, broken, hurting, and empty from their confused, misguided rebellion against God’s standard for right and wrong in sexual matters – and to those who have suffered much abuse from others. We can speak to them and say, “There is life and hope in God’s way.” We can say, “When you are hurt and tired from a sexual morality that takes life from you, God has a sexual morality that will bring life to you.”
ii. In a day when more and more people seem to abandon God’s clearly stated standard of right and wrong regarding sexual matters – including many who profess to be faithful Christians – one must ask: “If I will not accept God’s standard for right and wrong when it comes to sexual behavior, then what standard or whose standard do I accept?”
iii. Every person has some sense of right or wrong regarding sexual matters but not every person’s sense of right or wrong brings ultimate blessing to humanity, either in general or in individual lives.
iv. The sickness and disease associated with sexual immorality is only one obvious way that disobedience to God’s wisdom takes away from life and does not add to it. One might say, “if a man does, he shall live by them; if he does not, he may die by them.”
v. “By doing which a man shall live: literally, ‘which a man will do and he will live.’ The idea that obedience to God’s commandments is a source of life is found throughout the Bible (see, for example, Ezekiel 18:9; Nehemiah 9:29; Luke 10:28; Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:12).” (Peter-Contesse)
2. (6-9) Sexual relations among immediate family (incest) prohibited.
‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness. The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover.
a. None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him: The first section of this chapter defining sexual sin prohibits sin among close relatives, those near of kin. This is known as incest, and the specifically prohibited relationships will be described in the following verses.
i. The very first command of this chapter shows that God’s standard for right and wrong rises above what brings physical pleasure in a sexual act. Speaking from a purely physical perspective, the physical pleasure from a sexual act with someone near of kin is not any different than the pleasure received from a sexual act with someone else. But God never intended that the pursuit of physical pleasure be the highest purpose and good of the sexual act. God intended it to mean more; to be an important part of what binds together a husband and a wife in a one-flesh relationship (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6).
ii. “Leviticus 18 defines specific boundaries for the family. This instruction is critical if the promise that Abraham was to be the ancestor of a great and mighty nation was to be fulfilled. A nation cannot exist if the family unit is not well defined, for the family is the foundation of society.” (Rooker)
iii. Adam Clarke spoke to the issue of some of the marriages earlier in the Bible between relatives (such as Abraham and Sarah): “Notwithstanding the prohibitions here, it must be evident that in the infancy of the world, persons very near of kin must have been joined in matrimonial alliances; and that even brothers must have matched with their own sisters. This must have been the case in the family of Adam. In these first instances necessity required this; when this necessity no longer existed, the thing became inexpedient and improper.”
b. To uncover his nakedness: This phrase (used 17 times in this chapter) is a polite way to speak of sexual activity. The emphasis is not so much on nudity (especially casual, accidental nudity), but on sexual activity. However, the term to uncover…nakedness is broad enough to include the idea of inappropriate activity short of actual sexual intercourse (such as oral sex). It would also include molestation and inappropriate fondling.
i. The words to uncover…nakedness“simply mean ‘to have sexual intercourse’ or ‘to commit a sex act.’” (Peter-Contesse)
ii. There is a literal sense in which the viewing, reading, or hearing of pornography is to uncover the nakedness of another person.
c. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover: In these verses, sexual activity between parents and children, parents and stepchildren, and between siblings (by birth or marriage) is prohibited. It is not to be done, and apart from the husband and wife relationship, the family relationship should not and must not be sexualized.
i. Significantly, sex among people in these relationships is condemned even if they are adults. These are not merely commands against sexual activity between children and adults. For example, it is sin for a man to have sex with his stepmother, even if they are both adults (as was the case in 1 Corinthians 5:1). It is wrong for a man to have sex with his adopted sister, even if they are consenting adults.
ii. “Sexual impulse is a potent desire. If gratified incestuously within the family, it blurs family lines and leads to the destruction of the family unit.” (Rooker)
iii. There was both a moral and genetic reason for these commands. “Surveys in different parts of the world where inbreeding occurs have shown that it is accompanied by an increase in congenital malformations and perinatal mortality, for which recessive genes and environmental factors respectively would be responsible.” (Harrison)
iv. “In those instances where the parents are siblings, or where the relationship is one between parent and child, the resultant offspring incur approximately at a 30% risk of retardation or some other serious defect.” (Harrison)
d. The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness: In a sense, the nakedness of a husband or wife belongs to their spouse, and to no one else. The legal spouse is the only one with whom God intends them to be naked and unashamed, in the Genesis 2:25 sense of restoring some of what the curse has taken away.
3. (10-18) Other applications of the command against incest.
The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness. The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father—she is your sister—you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is near of kin to your father. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is near of kin to your mother. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother. You shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law—she is your son’s wife—you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 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 her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness. Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.
a. The nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover: In these verses, God condemns sexual relations between many different family members:
· Grandparents and grandchildren (by blood or by marriage).
· Uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews.
· Parents and the spouses of their children.
· Siblings and the spouses of their other siblings.
· The children of a spouse.
· The sibling of a spouse.
i. “The group of relatives the Israelite was forbidden to marry would largely coincide with the relatives who would have lived in a single household in ancient Israel.” (Rooker)
b. It is your brother’s nakedness: The principle is related again. There is an important sense in which the nakedness of an individual belongs to their spouse and no one else. It goes against God’s wisdom and law to give that nakedness to anyone else, or for anyone else to take it.
i. A man and a woman become “one flesh” in marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6), so there is a real sense in which the nakedness of a husband or wife belongs to their spouse, and to no one else. The Apostle Paul expressed a similar thought in 1 Corinthians 7:4: The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
ii. It is wickedness: “The term translated here as wickedness is a very general one which is also found in 19:29 and 20:14 and about twenty times in the rest of the Old Testament. It is used to describe any kind of morally unacceptable or detestable action.” (Peter-Contesse)
iii. You shall not take a woman as a rival to her sister: The Puritan commentator John Trapp was among those who believed that this was also a command against polygamy, but this is not clear from the text itself.
B. Other laws regarding sexual morality.
1. (19) The command against sex during menstruation.
‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness as long as she is in her customary impurity.
a. In her customary impurity: This command is an echo of Leviticus 15:19-24, where the penalty for breaking this observance of ceremonial cleanliness was described. The penalty was to perform a ritual washing.
i. There is no specific mention of a marriage relationship in this verse. A woman includes a wife but goes beyond the marriage relationship. In marriage, this was a command for sexual restraint and honor even within a marriage relationship.
ii. The idea of some aspect of sexual restraint in marriage may seem strange or even offensive to those who feel that in regard to sex, a marriage relationship eliminates any need for restraint. Yet one aspect of the New Testament ethic of sex in marriage is expressed in 1 Corinthians 7:3: Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The universal Christian values of servanthood and self-sacrifice demand that a spouse practice restraint of their sexual expectations when love and care for the other would require it.
b. You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness: The use of this familiar phrase in Leviticus 18, in this particular context, emphasizes the idea that to uncover the nakedness was more than looking upon a nude body. The implication is of some kind of sexual act.
2. (20) The command against adultery.
Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her.
a. You shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife: To lie carnally (a polite way to speak of sexual intercourse or activity) with your neighbor’s wife is to violate the marriage bond. God’s intention for sexual expression is within a marriage covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6). Sexual acts outside of the marriage covenant, or breaking the marriage covenant, do not fulfill this intention. They go against God’s design and the ultimate benefit of humanity, both collectively and individually.
i. This is an echo of the seventh commandment (Exodus 20:14). We see the act itself is condemned and there is no justification allowed under the ways people often seek to justify adultery.
ii. To hope to justify adultery with excuses such as, “My partner doesn’t understand me” or “we are in love” or “God led us to be with each other” goes against the clear command here and throughout the Scriptures and it ignores the destructive nature of this sin against the marriage covenant.
iii. “Adultery is an assault on the nuclear family. It was called ‘the great sin’ in the ancient Near East.” (Rooker)
b. To defile yourself with her: Many people who are tempted to adultery do not consider how the sin will defile themselves. They might think about how their sin obviously affects their spouse, children, and other family members. But adultery also defiles the individual committing the sin, showing them to be an unfaithful and uncontrolled person.
3. (21) The command against Molech worship.
And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
a. You shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech: The horrific worship of the pagan idol Molech began by heating a metal statue representing the god until it was red hot. Then a living infant was placed on the outstretched hands of the statue while beating drums drowned out the screams of the child until it burned to death.
i. No wonder that the Bible identifies Molech with the demonic: They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons (Psalm 106:37). In Leviticus 20:1-5, God pronounced the death sentence against all who worshipped Molech. Sometimes they worshipped that pagan idol by actually sacrificing their children in fire (Jeremiah 7:31).
ii. Despite this strong and clear command, even a man as great as Solomon at least sanctioned the worship of Molech and built a temple to this idol (1 Kings 11:7). One of the great crimes of the northern tribes of Israel was their worship of Molech, leading to the Assyrian captivity (2 Kings 17:17). King Manasseh of Judah gave his son to Molech (2 Kings 21:6). Up to the days of King Josiah of Judah, Molech worship continued, because he destroyed a place of worship to that idol (2 Kings 23:10).
iii. “Noting that the context deals with sexual activity, many scholars have advocated a position reflected in Jewish tradition that what is involved here is Jewish parents offering their children to Molech to grow up as temple prostitutes. This may be an attempt, however, to avoid the utter horror of what seems to be the face value reading of the text, since it is well known that the worship of Molech involved human sacrifice.” (Rooker)
b. Nor shall you profane the name of your God: It is obvious God would condemn such an abomination. But this command is here in the context of sexual sins because often, Molech worship was a method of infanticide to eliminate children born outside of marriage, the result of the sexual acts God had commanded against.
i. Molech worship can be seen as an ancient version of birth control by infanticide, as even today sometimes abortion is used as birth control after the conception of the child.
ii. Molech: “The word itself is said to have made Hebrew speakers think of two things: (1) the word for ‘king,’ which has the same consonants, and (2) the word for ‘shame,’ which has the same vowels. This information would suggest something like ‘the King of Shame.’” (Peter-Contesse)
4. (22) Command against homosexual sex.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
a. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: This is a simple and clear command against same-sex sexual acts. God’s intention for sexual expression is within a marriage covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6). Sexual acts between those of the same sex do not fulfill this intention. They go against God’s design and the ultimate benefit of humanity, both collectively and individually.
i. This command – and similar commands through the Scriptures, such as in Romans 1:24-32 – are controversial and even considered offensive to many in modern western culture. Nevertheless, it is important to clearly understand and state what the Bible teaches on these matters because it is part of God’s design and intention for humanity’s ultimate good.
b. It is an abomination: This is one of the strongest words of condemnation in the vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew. Several other Bible passages prohibit homosexual acts, as Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Revelation 22:15, and Romans 1:24-32 (which specifically speaks against lesbianism). The sin of homosexuality is described in passages such as Genesis 19:5 and Judges 19:22-25. Additionally, homosexuality was part of the idolatrous perversions which were allowed in Israel at its times of backsliding (1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, and 22:46).
i. “An abomination, a term especially frequent in the Book of Deuteronomy, refers to an act that is abhorrent or repugnant, such as idolatry and inappropriate worship of God.” (Rooker)
c. It is an abomination: Specifically, what is condemned is the practice of male homosexuality. This prohibition is widely rejected and despised by many in modern western culture, and even considered hateful.
i. One reason this is considered hateful is because of a radical shift in thinking regarding homosexuality over the last few generations. For centuries, homosexuality was thought of as something that people did or practiced. In the last few generations, western culture in general sees homosexuality as defining one’s identity.
ii. Christians must take great care to not hate people because they regard their sins as especially ugly – no matter what the sin is. Nevertheless, Christians must also take equal care not to love or approve of sins because they regard those who practice those sins as especially good. There is great truth in the familiar saying, “love the sinner and hate the sin.”
iii. If homosexual behavior is regarded as an abomination (as God clearly regards it), then that behavior cannot be approved of on the basis of love. The issue isn’t love; the issue is of sexual conduct. Of course, the Bible in no way condemns love between people of the same sex, but it does say that sexual conduct between those people is sin.
iv. If homosexual behavior is regarded as an abomination (as God clearly regards it), then that behavior cannot be approved of on the basis of inborn nature. To the time of this writing there is no definitive scientific answer as to whether homosexual desire exists because of genetics, family dynamics in child-raising, early abuse, learned behavior, or other factors or a combination of factors. In some ways the answer to that question is irrelevant. The Bible says we are all born sinners, and our sinful desires may be expressed in different ways from person to person.
v. However, the percentage of those who say they are sexually attracted to those of their same-sex is much lower than commonly supposed. According to 2018 data from the United States National Health Information Survey, 97.6% of adults identified as straight (heterosexual), 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.8% identified as bisexual. From a Christian perspective, the sexual behavior of the 2% to 3% of the population that identifies as homosexual or bisexual should not be approved of and should be regarded as a sin – even an abomination. Yet undeniably, those individuals deserve the respect and compassion that is due to everyone made in the image of God.
5. (23) The command against bestiality – sexual relations with animals.
Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.
a. Nor shall you mate with any animal: This is a simple and clear command against sexual acts with animals. God’s intention for sexual expression is within a marriage covenant between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:4-6). Sexual acts with animals do not fulfill this intention. They go against God’s design and the ultimate benefit of humanity, both collectively and individually.
i. “In contrast, the gods of Ugarit, by their example, led their devotees in this sin.” (Harris)
ii. “That this was often done in Egypt there can be no doubt; and we have already seen, from the testimony of Herodotus, that an act of this kind actually took place while he was in Egypt.” (Clarke)
b. It is perversion: To practice this was to defile yourself; to make yourself unclean and impure. It was rightly regarded as perversion, an ungodly combining of what should not be brought together when it comes to sexual behavior.
i. Perversion: “The term tebel is from the root bll, which means ‘to mix’ and indicates that this sexual practice involves an improper mixing together of the different species, stepping over the boundaries God has established (Genesis 1:1–2:3).” (Rooker)
ii. “This offensive sex act apparently was prevalent among the Canaanites.” (Kaiser, commentary on Exodus)
iii. “Bestiality was not only an obvious perversion: it figured so often in the Canaanite cycle ‘Tales of Baal’ that it probably had a religious significance for the Canaanites.” (Cole, commentary on Exodus)
iv. It is surprising to some that bestiality is legal in some European nations, and a subculture practices and promotes it. Yet there should be no surprise; if God’s standard is rejected in one area of sexual morality, then the standards are often left up to the individual to decide. It is Christian civilization and morality that has discouraged and condemned fornication, adultery, pedophilia, polygamy, prostitution, homosexuality, gender confusion and the like. As Christian civilization and morality are increasingly mocked and rejected, it is no surprise that all of these sexual practices are increasingly practiced, supported, and encouraged.
6. (24-30) Summation: The urgency to obey God’s command for sexual morality.
‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.’”
a. Do not defile yourselves: Our modern culture often refuses to see any aspect of sexual conduct as defiling. The only measure is immediate pleasure, not right or wrong. But sexual sin does defile us, and it does harm us. God’s laws are given for our best, not in an attempt to merely test us or boss us around.
i. Statistically speaking, married couples live longer, get more enjoyment out of sex, have more sex, and are happier than those who are not married – obviously, trends that show God’s way is the best way.
b. For the land is defiled: One of the reasons God brought Israel to defeat and displace the Canaanites was as a judgment against their sexual perversions. If Israel practiced the same sins to the same degree, they could also expect to be cast out of the land. In nations that celebrate and promote similar sins today, we should expect that the judgment of God would eventually come, and the land will vomit out its inhabitants.
i. “Since the chapter opened with the statement that the Israelites are soon to enter the land of Canaan (18:3), it is clear that the iniquity of the Amorite/Canaanite is now complete (Genesis 15:16).” (Rooker)
c. The persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people: God commanded that in Israel, there should be a strong sense of social disapproval – amounting to exile – towards those who broke these laws of sexual morality. These are family-killing sins and therefore civilization-killing sins.
i. Rooker cites Kellogg: “Where there is incest or adultery, we may truly say the family is murdered; what murder is to the individual, that, precisely, are crimes of this class to the family.”
ii. It was not that these things were never done in Israel; it was simply that it was clear that society said those things were wrong and should never be approved. More and more, modern culture refuses to call almost any kind of sexual activity sin.
iii. Therefore you shall keep My ordinance: “Let us remember the imperative tone of these words, and ask God to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Meyer)