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LEVITICUS

Week 7 Chapters 18-20 Human Behavior


Discuss Study Questions Week 6


  1. 1. Chapter 16 contains special restrictions on the high priest.  In chapters 21 and 22, are laws pertaining to all the priests. These were men who stood between the people and God.  The Catholic church still adheres to this system, but in all churches there is a structure, deacons, elders, pastors. What do these verses say about how all of the leaders in the church should act? What typically happens to a church when one or more of the leaders betray the trust of the congregation? How do we hold them accountable?


  1. 2. Should we hold all of our elected officials morally accountable?  Why or why not?   What recourse do we have if our elected officials betray our trust?


  1. 3. Our husbands are to be the moral leaders in our families.  How would the American family be different if all husbands understood and accepted this standard?


  1. 4. Chapter 17 begins with the hypothesis of a man killing an animal out in the field, that is, not designated as a perfect sacrifice.  God knows the hearts of people.  Many of them/us will do no more than is required.  Who wants to drag an animal that has been killed in the field to the tent of meeting to have the blood and fat sacrificed? Is there a parallel in our giving?  Is tithing required? On what scripture do you base your answer?  What does this say to giving beyond a tithe, be it in time, energy and/or money?


  1. 5. The punishment for not bring the animal that has been killed in the field is to be cut off from his people. Read Matt. 18: 15-17. How  and when should this be accomplished in the church?  Read Luke 17:3-4 How such a person can be let back in to the church?


    God repeats many of His instructions.  I once asked an orthodox rabbi why they practiced something much more stringent than the Bible.  One of the answers he gave me was that God is not some doddering old fool who repeats himself.  Therefore, every time God repeated a commandment, it had to mean something different.  So, for example, when God repeats that we are to keep the Sabbath, they added a new restriction. I said that we humans all need to hear again and again.  We forget.  We ignore. How many times do you have to tell a child to wash his/her hands before eating before it becomes automatic? Expect to see instructions more than once.


Chapter 18 - Read Lev. 18: 1-5

-Do not do what is done where you used to live.  Do not do what is done in the land you are or in the land you are going, but live according to the way I tell you. Lev. 18:5 “By which a man may live if he does them.”  ALL OF THE COMMANDMENTS ARE FOR OUR OWN GOOD.


-Our society is depraved.  As we study the passages today you will see prohibitions against things it would never occur to you to condone.  You will also see behaviors which used to be abhorrent to most of the people in this country and against which we used to have laws, but the moral outrage and laws have been eroded.  WE ARE TO BE DIFFERENT.  WE FOLLOW GOD’S LAWS, not society’s.


    Read Lev. 18: 6 This is the general rule.  It includes everyone who is remotely related to you.  God knows humanity so well.  What follows is a specific list in case someone says, “The person I want to sleep with isn’t a direct blood relative.” 


-These are all directed at the men.  It is because a man can force himself on a woman, but she cannot force him to have sex with her.  


Read Lev.18: 7-17 A man may not have sex with his mother (7), his step mother (8), his sister or step sister-his father’s daughter, whether or not the daughter was a product of marriage, (9) his granddaughter (10) his step sister of his father’s wife (11), his aunt, whether father’s or mother’s sister (12-14), his daughter in law (15), his sister in law (16), his any of his sister in law’s daughters (17)


  1. -In other words, it is as if God is saying, “READ MY LIPS, ANY BLOOD RELATIVE! “


-Now we move out of the family.  There are others with whom a man should not marry or lay.  Lev. 18:18. A woman and her sister.  Two sisters and one man.  Not good.


-Not during her period Lev. 18:19.


-Not with your neighbor’s wife. Lev. 18:20


-Lev. 18:21 seems different, among the verses of sexual sins is the prohibition of offering children to Molech.  That was because part of the worship of Molech was sexual orgies with virgin boys and girls, after which they were sacrificed in fire.


-Lev. 18:22 Very simple and straight forward. It is an abomination.


-Lev. 18:23 No animals.  Another obvious one. 


Read Lev. 18:24-30  Bottom line, if you break the law, you defile yourself and the land.  You will be punished.


-vs. 30  again, why should we obey?  He is the Lord who is telling us to.


Chapter 19 - Read Lev. 19:1-4  As He did in chapter 18, God reminds us we are His. He is holy, that means set apart, and we need to be too.  In both verses 3 and 4 He repeats that He is Lord.


-vs. 3&4, Reverence father and mother, keep the Sabbath and worship nothing else.  Three of the 10 commandments.  They are important.  We are and will be told over and over again.


Read vs. 5-8, give more specifics of how peace offerings are to eaten.

-vs. 9 Leave the corners of your field for the  needy and stranger.  You are not to collect it and distribute it. Read: Ruth 2:1-7


    -This eliminates the possibility of favoritism.  To which poor will you distribute?  Boaz takes Ruth out the competition with other poor gleaning the corners and treats her differently.  Read Ruth 2: 8-11.


    -This provides the poor and needy the opportunity to work for their food.  They collect it.  Gives them self respect.


    -The responsibility was on the individuals who owned cultivated land to leave the corners and for the poor and needy to glean for themselves.  There was no central clearing house.


    Read Lev. 19:11-18  If you obey 18, the rest will happen.  If you love your neighbor as yourself, you will do for them what you would have them do for you. Matt. 7:12, Luke 6:31. And, again, why should we treat others as God says?  Because He is the Lord.


    Lev. 19:19 Do not mix two different kinds of cattle, seed, or weave 2 different fabrics. I do not know why these three categories, but the general principal is as Tevya said to his daughter, Rivka, when she wanted to marry a Christian, “A bird may love a fish, but where will they build their nest?”  We are warned in 2Cor 6:14 not to be unequally yoked (bound together with and unbeliever).


    Read Lev. 19:20-22  She is another man’s slave.  He sleeps with her.  She is not punished. (Nothing said about what if she gets pregnant and what happens to the baby.).  She both would have been put to death if she was married and he was not. He would have been cut off, ostracized. Shunned.  Lev. 18:20 He is still guilty, even though she is a slave.  He must make a sacrifice


    Read Lev. 19: 23-25  Agriculture.  Practical.  How to raise fruit trees.  God knows what is best, for the trees, for the soil and for the people. And a Biblical principal of the value of waiting for our reward. 


Lev. 19:26 repeats, ingest no blood.  Do not turn to spiritual mediums. God and His word alone.


Lev. 19:27.  I can see no relevance to today’s world or spiritually what this does other than to physically set the man apart from the surrounding culture. 


Lev. 19:28 No Tattoos!  Look at today’s world.  Again punctuated with “I am the Lord”.


Lev. 19:29  Again, for us it is unthinkable that a parent would force a daughter into prostitution or sell a child into slavery.  Yet, in many other parts of the world impoverished parent do both of these.


Lev. 19:30 Our keeping the Sabbath is very important to God. When my older two children were growing up, we enforced the Sabbath.  No homework from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.  I did no laundry.  The only errand we would do was to pick up a movie at Blockbuster if the weather was bad.  We had a vacation every week, going to the beach, having friends over, etc.  All play, no work. It was great.  Jeremy told  his friends. They told him how lucky he was.  Jeremy, said that he had the same amount of homework as they did.  He just fit it into less time.  P.S. he got great grades.


Lev. 19:31 Only God.  How many times does He need to tell us?  Still, look what has happened to our country.


Lev. 19:32 Honor the elderly, not just your parents.  I am the Lord.  Don’t forget Who it is that is giving you these instructions, statutes.


Read Lev. 19:33-34 Love the stranger who lives among you as yourself!  Not just your own tribe, not just the ones like you or you like.  God gives a reason.  You knew what it felt like to be strangers, enslaved. This time when He says I am the Lord, they are specifically reminded they were slaves, but now are free only by God’s work.


Read Lev: 35-37  There is a huge difference between being obedient because one is afraid or because one wants the rewards and obedience out of love and trust.  He states, but does not belabor the rewards and punishments. Yet, He often reminds them and us that He brought us out of slavery. 


Chapter 20  The penalties and reasons for the laws

Lev. 20:1-2 One reason to treat the stranger who lives among them is that the stranger  is under the same laws.  The stranger is not exonerated because it isn’t his culture.  Any person who gives a child to Molech is to be stoned.


Lev. 20:3  In addition to being killed, he is cut off from his people.  How?  The whole family gets ostracized.


Lev. 20:4-5 If the people do not enforce this by stoning the culprit, God will set His face against the family and all who refuse to carry out the punishment.


Lev. 20:6 Again, no mediums and spiritists, or those who do will be cut off. 


Lev. 20:7-8 Be holy because God is holy and we are His.  How can we be holy?  Keep His statutes.  Practice them. 


Lev. 20: 9  The family is important.  Children are to honor their parents.  Cursing them is too much.


Lev. 20:10-21 For some of the sexual sins both shall be killed.  For some they will be cut off.  For some the will be childless.  God has said before not to do these things.  That should be enough.  The punishments give teeth to the laws.  They show how serious God is about these behaviors. 


Read: Lev. 20: 22-27  There is no ambiguity.  We are to be set apart.


LEVITICUS Week 7

Study Questions Chs 18-20 Human Behavior


1.  -Lev. 18:5 and Lev. 18:6 end with a simple statement “I am the Lord.”  It is the basis on which He can tell us what to do and what not to do. What does it mean to you? What do you think of when He says, “I am the Lord.” right before or after He gives us something to avoid or something to do?









  1. 2.Lev. 18: 7-17 includes a list that seems so obvious to us.  We could easily think, “That these relationships are taboo.  That goes without saying. “ Why do you think that is, why that we are disgusted by these sins when God knew He had to lay them out so specifically?









3.  Lev. 18:6 God says that the above behaviors will profane His name.  How does what we do reflect on God’s name?   










  1. 4.So called Christians today want to point to Lev. 18:22 and put it in the same category as the food prohibitions of Ch. 11, part of the Old Covenant.  “We are not under law.” Read  1Cor 6:9-11.  What do you think of people and churches that call themselves Christian, yet embrace homosexuality, some even to the point of having openly homosexual clergy?









5.  How do these commandments set us apart from our society?   How has society changed in your lifetime?









6. Contrast the Biblical way of taking care of the poor to our country’s.  Why hasn’t the Biblical principal of individuals providing for the poor taken care of the problem?









7.  Lev. 19:23-25 Planting a tree and waiting 4 years to eat it’s fruit seems very hard.  Yet God says it is the best way to have plentiful fruit.  Is there a relationship between having to work for and wait for the reward and the value of the reward? 






8.  Lev. 19:27 They are to look different from the surrounding culture.  How can we dress and behave that shows us to be different from our surrounding culture?







9.  God repeats that we are to keep His Sabbaths so many times.  Do you take it seriously?  Why/why not?  If you do, how is your Sabbath different from other days? 








  1. 10.What prompts you to obey God’s commands?  Read Rom. 8:15 and Ga. 5:1  How do you respond?









11. Lev. 26 God tells us that He has set us apart to be His people. We are His people. As Christians who have come to God through faith in Christ, individually. We have personal responsibility to reflect that.  How does that make you feel?  What do you do or refrain from doing to reflect Him?







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