This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Leviticus 19:1-10 - Ye Shall Be Holy

"1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. 3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. 4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. 5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will. 6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire. 7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted. 8 Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God."  — Leviticus 19:1-10 KJV.


Various laws are repeated, (1-13,) and a number of brief prohibitions follow, (14-19,) also the case of a seduced bondmaid and the penalty for both parties, (20-22,) and regulations respecting the fruit of trees planted in Canaan, (23-25;) blood-eating, enchantment, rounding the hair and marring the beard, cutting or printing the flesh, training a daughter for prostitution, profaning the sabbath, and witchcraft, are forbidden, (26-31;) veneration for the aged, regard for the stranger, and standard weights and measures are enjoined, (32-37.)

2. Ye shall be holy — Inward and outward holiness is the aim of all the laws of God. He seeks to cleanse the heart, the fountain of action, and the very seat of character. See: The Spiritual Import of the Levitical Sacrifices. For… I am holy — This implies that man is bound to realize his loftiest ideal of purity, and that the revelation of God’s holiness is that ideal. The grounds of obligation for Israel were: 1.) the nature of God, holiness; 2.) his act of creation, Isaiah 43:1; 3.) his act of deliverance from Egypt, Exodus 20:2. Changing the third to the redemption from sin, procured by Jesus Christ, we have the New Testament grounds of obligation for all men. See Leviticus 11:44, notes.

3. Ye shall fear — Reverence or honour, and not slavish fear, is here enjoined. See Exodus 20:12, note. Keep my sabbaths — Exodus 20:8-11, notes.

4. Idols — The Hebrew term אֱלִילִ֔ים (elilim), nothings, or “things of naught,” (Jeremiah 14:14,) is very expressive. There is a paronomasia, or similarity of sound with אֵלִים (elohim), God, which heightens the contrast. “As the Living One, Jehovah, is placed in contrast to the gods of the heathen, which can reveal nothing, perform nothing, grant no requests, and send no help, Deuteronomy 32:37-39; which are nothings, and dead, Psalm 106:28.” — Oehler. But Furst derives the word from אֵל (el) with a diminutive syllable, “little gods,” indicating the greatest contempt. Molten gods — The מַסֵּכָ֔ה  (massecha), or molten image, is spoken of in distinction from the graven or carved images. The precious metals were used. Exodus 20:23; 32:2, 8.

5. Peace offerings — See chap. 3, notes, Leviticus 7:11-21, notes. Own will — This may also be translated, acceptable or pleasing, “that ye may be accepted,” (R.V.) See Leviticus 1:3, note.

8. Shall bear his iniquity — See Leviticus 10:17; 17:16; Numbers 9:13, notes. That soul shall be cut off — Capital punishment is to be inflicted. See Leviticus 7:20.

9. Corners of thy field — Rather, borders. See Leviticus 23:22, note. 

10. Every grape — “The fallen fruit,” (R.V.) For the poor — As soon as the grape harvest had been carried to the vats, the owner was forbidden to glean the vineyard again. The poor were to be relieved, not as beggars, by food from the granaries of the prosperous, but through their own industry. Thus their self-respect was preserved, and they were kept from the temptations of idleness. The… stranger — For the origin of the strangers and the causes of their poverty, see Leviticus 23:22, note.

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