L E V I T I C U S
Some ceremonial precepts there are in this
chapter, but most of them are moral. One would wonder that when
some of the lighter matters of the law are greatly enlarged upon
(witness two long chapters concerning the leprosy) many of the
weightier matters are put into a little compass: divers of the
single verses of this chapter contain whole laws concerning
judgment and mercy; for these are things which are manifest in
every man's conscience; men's own thoughts are able to explain
these, and to comment upon them. I. The laws of this chapter, which
were peculiar to the Jews, are, 1. Concerning their
peace-offerings, ver. 5-8.
2. Concerning the gleanings of their fields, ver. 9, 10. 3. Against mixtures of their
cattle, seed, and cloth, ver.
19. 4. Concerning their trees, ver. 23-25. 5. Against some superstitious
usages, ver. 26-28. But,
II. Most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are
expositions of most of the ten commandments. 1. Here is the preface
to the ten commandments, "I am the Lord," repeated fifteen times.
2. A sum of the ten commandments. All the first table in this, "Be
you holy," ver. 2. All the
second table in this, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour" (ver. 18), and an answer to the
question, "Who is my neighbour?" ver. 33, 34. 3. Something of each
commandment. (1.) The first commandment implied in that which is
often repeated here, "I am your God." And here is a prohibition of
enchantment (ver. 26) and
witchcraft (ver. 31), which
make a god of the devil. (2.) Idolatry, against the second
commandment, is forbidden, ver.
4. (3.) Profanation of God's name, against the third,
ver. 12. (4.)
Sabbath-sanctification is pressed, ver. 3, 30. (5.) Children are required to
honour their parents (ver.
3), and the aged, ver.
32. (6.) Hatred and revenge are here forbidden, against
the sixth commandment, ver. 17,
18. (7.) Adultery (ver.
20-22), and whoredom, ver.
29. (8.) Justice is here required in judgment (ver. 15), theft forbidden (ver. 11), fraud and withholding dues
(ver. 13), and false
weights, ver. 35, 36.
(9.) Lying, ver. 11.
Slandering, ver. 14.
Tale-bearing, and false-witness bearing, ver. 16. (10.) The tenth commandment laying a
restraint upon the heart, so does that (ver. 17), "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in
thy heart." And here is a solemn charge to observe all these
statutes, ver. 37. Now
these are things which need not much help for the understanding of
them, but require constant care and watchfulness for the observing
of them. "A good understanding have all those that do these