Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Leviticus 18:3

Leviticus 18:3

After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.

a. NLT: So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life.

b. NIV: You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.

c. Amplified Bible: You shall not do as was done in the land of Egypt in which you dwelt, nor shall you do as is done in the land of Canaan to which I am bringing you; neither shall you walk in their statutes.

d. Septuagint: Ye shall not do according to the devices of Egypt, in which ye dwelt: and according to the devices of the land of Chanaan, into which I bring you, ye shall not do; and ye shall not walk in their ordinances.

e. Stone Edition Torah/Writings/Prophets: Do not perform the practice of the land of Egypt in which you dwelled; and do not perform the practice of the land of Canaan to which I bring you, and do not follow their traditions.

1. “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do…”

a. [After the] doings [Strong: 4639 ma`aseh mah-as-eh'; from 6213; an action (good or bad); generally, a transaction; abstractly, activity; by implication, a product (specifically, a poem) or (generally) property:--act, art, + bakemeat, business, deed, do(-ing), labor, thing made, ware of making, occupation, thing offered, operation, possession, X well, ((handy-, needle-, net-))work(ing, - manship), wrought.]

b. [of the] land [Strong: 776 'erets eh'-rets; from an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land):--X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X natins, way, + wilderness, world.]

c. [of] Egypt [Strong: 4714 Mitsrayim mits-rah'-yim; dual of 4693; Mitsrajim, i.e. Upper and Lower Egypt:--Egypt, Egyptians, Mizraim.]

d. wherein [Strong: 834 'aher ash-er' a primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as an adverb and a conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.:--X after, X alike, as (soon as), because, X every, for, + forasmuch, + from whence, + how(-soever), X if, (so) that ((thing) which, wherein), X though, + until, + whatsoever, when, where (+ -as, -in, -of, -on, -soever, -with), which, whilst, + whither(- soever), who(-m, -soever, -se). As it is indeclinable, it is often accompanied by the personal pronoun expletively, used to show the connection.]

e. [ye] dwelt [Strong: 3427 yashab yaw-shab'; a primitive root; properly, to sit down (specifically as judge. in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain; causatively, to settle, to marry:--(make to) abide(-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell(-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit(-ant), make to keep (house), lurking, X marry(-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set(- tle), (down-)sit(-down, still, -ting down, -ting (place) -uate), take, tarry.]

f. not [Strong: 3808 lo' lo or lowi {lo}; or loh (Deut. 3:11) {lo}; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abs. negation); by implication, no; often used with other particles (as follows):--X before, + or else, ere, + except, ig(-norant), much, less, nay, neither, never, no((-ne), -r, (-thing)), (X as though...,(can-), for) not (out of), of nought, otherwise, out of, + surely, + as truly as, + of a truth, + verily, for want, + whether, without.]

g. shall ye…do [Strong: 6213 `asah aw-saw'; a primitive root; properly, to sit down (specifically as judge. in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain; causatively, to settle, to marry:--(make to) abide(-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell(-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit(-ant), make to keep (house), lurking, X marry(-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set(- tle), (down-)sit(-down, still, -ting down, -ting (place) -uate), take, tarry.]

1). Egypt was a nation like many other nations that engaged in incest. I don’t know when contemporary science found this out in regards to Egypt, but it has only been able to be scientifically proven since we could check DNA, regardless, this is another example of God’s word informing us of it before modern science discovers it and thus God and His Word being proven true, that the “doings of the land of Egypt” included incest. Leviticus 18:6-18 all deal with incest.

2). National geographic, 9/2009, King Tut’s Family Secrets:  “Pharaonic Egypt was not the only society in history to institutionalize royal incest, which can have political advantages. (See “The Risks and Rewards of Royal Incest”).  But there can be a dangerous consequence. Married siblings are more likely to pass on twin copies of harmful genes, leaving their children vulnerable to a variety of genetic defects. Tut­ankhamun's malformed foot may have been one such flaw. We suspect he also had a partially cleft palate, another congenital defect. Perhaps he struggled against others until a severe bout of malaria or a leg broken in an accident added one strain too many to a body that could no longer carry the load. There may be one other poignant testimony to the legacy of royal incest buried with Tutankhamun in his tomb. While the data are still incomplete, our study suggests that one of the mummified fetuses found there is the daughter of Tutankhamun himself, and the other fetus is probably his child as well. So far we have been able to obtain only partial data for the two female mummies from KV21. One of them, KV21A, may well be the infants' mother and thus, Tutankhamun's wife, Ankhesenamun. We know from history that she was the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and thus likely her husband's half sister. Another consequence of inbreeding can be children whose genetic defects do not allow them to be brought to term.”

3). From the time of Adam up to the time of Moses, approximately 2500 years, mankind practiced incest in one form or another. In fact it was necessary after the Creation and the flood in Noah’s day to insure the propagation of humanity. Biblical examples that would have been forbidden after this new legislation are Abraham marrying his half sister Sarah (Genesis 11:29; 20:12), and Moses father marrying his aunt Exodus 6:20). This new divine legislation was implemented because as the generations continued to be born and die, the effects of sin multiplied the generational defects within men and women. Just as the spiritual effects of sin produced more wickedness in the next generations, the physical defects from sin also multiplied to the point that intermarriage between close relatives made birth defects inevitable, and to prevent that, God in his wisdom gave the commandments forbidding these marriages.

4). In our day incest is being renamed “Genetic Sexual Attraction” which will probably pave the way for normalization, just like homosexuality.

2. “…and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do…”

a. [and after the] doings [Strong: 4639  ma`aseh mah-as-eh'; an action (good or bad); generally, a transaction; abstractly, activity; by implication, a product (specifically, a poem) or (generally) property:--act, art, + bakemeat, business, deed, do(-ing), labor, thing made, ware of making, occupation, thing offered, operation, possession, X well, ((handy-, needle-, net-)work(ing, - manship), wrought.]

b. [of the] land [Strong: 776 'erets eh'-rets;  from an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land):--X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X natins, way, + wilderness, world.]

c. Canaan [Strong: 3667 Kna`an ken-ah'-an; from 3665; humiliated; Kenaan, a son a Ham; also the country inhabited by him:--Canaan, merchant, traffick.]

d. whither I bring you [Strong: 935 bow' bo; a primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications):--abide, apply, attain, X be, befall, + besiege, bring (forth, in, into, to pass), call, carry, X certainly, (cause, let, thing for) to come (against, in, out, upon, to pass), depart, X doubtless again, + eat, + employ, (cause to) enter (in, into, -tering, -trance, -try), be fallen, fetch, + follow, get, give, go (down, in, to war), grant, + have, X indeed, (in-)vade, lead, lift (up), mention, pull in, put, resort, run (down), send, set, X (well) stricken (in age), X surely, take (in), way.]

e. shall ye not do [Strong: 6213 `asah aw-saw'; a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows):--accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck, + displease, do, (ready) dress(-ed), (put in) execute(-ion), exercise, fashion, + feast, (fight-)ing man, + finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great, + hinder, hold ((a feast)), X indeed, + be industrious, + journey, keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer, + officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, pracise, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, X sacrifice, serve, set, shew, X sin, spend, X surely, take, X thoroughly, trim.]

1). AMG The Complete Word Study Dictionary Old Testament: A verb meaning to do, to make, to accomplish, to complete. This frequently used Hebrew verb conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation, or a goal in view (cf. Genesis 11:6). Particularly, it is used in conjunction with God’s commands (Deuteronomy 16:12).

2). I want to add with the above definition that this word adds a sort of “official obedience”. With the above in mind I wanted to explore the use of this Hebrew verb in examples of its use.

a). According to Blue Letter Bible it is translated “commit” over 50 times. In fact it is used 5 times in the passage Leviticus 18:26-30. Other examples are:

(1). Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

(2). Leviticus 20:23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

b). According to Blue Letter Bible it is translated “execute” in 50 different verses. In most of the verses it is referring to carrying out divine commands.

(1). Exodus12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I  am the LORD.

(2). Deuteronomy 33:21 And he [Gad] provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.

(3). 2 Samuel 8:15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.

c). Once it is translated “govern”.

(1). 1 Kings 21:7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

3). I can’t get away from the meaning of official obedience such as obeying the laws of the land and the word study below strengthens that implication.

3. “…neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.”

a. neither shall ye walk [Strong: 3212 yalak yaw-lak'; to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively, to carry (in various senses):--X again, away, bear, bring, carry (away), come (away), depart, flow, + follow(-ing), get (away, hence, him), (cause to, made) go (away, -ing, -ne, one's way, out), grow, lead (forth), let down, march, prosper, + pursue, cause to run, spread, take away ((-journey)), vanish, (cause to) walk(-ing), wax, X be weak.

b. in their ordinances [Strong: 2708 chuqqah khook-kaw' feminine of 2706, and meaning substantially the same:--appointed, custom, manner, ordinance, site, statute.] [Gesenius: that which is established or defined, law, ordinance, practice, custom, right, privilege.] [Blue Letter Bible: This word is translated “statute” 77 times and “ordinance” 22 times.]

1). It is here I believe the Hebrew word study becomes very powerful. An interesting fact about this passage is that the use of the Hebrew word for “ordinance” used in describing the “ordinances” of God and the “ordinances” of Canaan are the same Hebrew word. The rest of chapter 18 in Leviticus, particularly verses 6-23 then lists a whole range of immoral sexual practices that the cultures of Egypt and Canaan not only practiced but made ordinances concerning them. It looks as if there were laws on the books in Egypt and in the Canaanite nations regarding their incest, their child sacrifice, their homosexuality, their bestiality. They codified their immorality into their legal systems, they legislated their immorality. America is more and more becoming a Canaanite nation. We are codifying our immorality into our legal system, we are legislating our immorality in the same way the Canaanite nations did. When Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, we codified child sacrifice into our legal system, just as Canaan did in Leviticus 18:21. When Lawrence v. Texas was decided, all the remaining state laws criminalizing homosexual behavior were throw out and we codified homosexual behavior into our legal system just as Canaan did in Leviticus 18:22. In our efforts to not legislate morality, we are legislating immorality.

2). Verification that the prohibition of the sexual practices of Leviticus 18:6-23, the sexual practices of the nations of Canaan is found in the ending verses of the chapter.

a). Leviticus 18:24-30 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.

b). The LORD clearly says in these verses that these were the sexual practices of the nations of Canaan.  The Hebrew word translated “customs” in Leviticus 18:30 is the same Hebrew word translated “ordinances” in Leviticus 18:3, 4. Hence when the passage ends with the description of these customs that they are “abominable”, we can say with authority that laws that protect homosexuality as a constitutional right are abominable laws. We can also say those who are pushing them either by judicial decree or through a legislative process are also engaging in abominable conduct.

3). I found this interesting rabbinic commentary about Leviticus 18:3. I do not know how old it is, but it supports the Biblical command not to obey the immoral legislations of the Egyptians and the Canaanites.

a). The earliest source on this topic is in the Tannaitic Midrash to the book of Leviticus. Like a number of passages in Leviticus, including chapter 18 to which it is a commentary, the midrashic passage links sexual sin and idolatry to the Egyptians (whom the Israelites defeated in the Exodus) and the Canaanites (whom the Israelites will displace when they come into their land). The idea that among the sins of these peoples was the recognition of same-sex marriages is not found in the biblical text, but is read in by the rabbis: Sifra Acharei Mot, parashah 9:8 “According to the doings of the Land of Egypt…and the doings of the Land of Canaan…you shall not do” (Leviticus 18:3): Can it be (that it means) don’t build buildings, and don’t plant plantings? Thus it (the verse) teaches (further), “And you shall not walk in their statutes.” I say (that the prohibition of the verse applies) only to (their) statutes – the statutes which are theirs and their fathers and their fathers’ fathers. And what did they do? A man got married to a man, and a woman to a woman, a man married a woman and her daughter, and a woman was married to two (men). Therefore it is said, “And you shall not walk in their statutes.”

4). Comparing Leviticus chapter 18 with Genesis 14 & 15, we can see the gradual process of the corruption of the whole Canaanite/Amorite culture. In Genesis 14 Abram a godly righteous man was making covenants with the people surrounding him. In particular the three Amorite brothers, Mamre, Aner and Eshcol (Genesis 14:13). In Genesis 15:16, 430 years previous to the writing of Leviticus 18 (Galatians 3:16, 17), the LORD God tells Abram that the “iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full”, but that 4 generations later, 430 years later, it would be, when Abram’s descendants, Israel would conquer the land. In Abraham’s time, as far as we know from the Biblical record, homosexuality was for the most part contained to the cities of the plain, the area where the Dead Sea is located now. The area was destroyed by God in Genesis 19 because of a number of sins but primarily because of homosexuality. Yet by the time Israel is about to come into the land, 430 years later, homosexuality along with child sacrifice, devil worship and all forms of occult practices had spread to the whole seven nations of Canaan. In fact, as far as all these ungodly practices are concerned, incest, homosexuality, child sacrifice, bestiality and devil worship included, the nations of Canaan legislated these practices into their legal systems. To what extent is to me unknown, more research on my part is needed, but perhaps at least, it was the absolute freedom to practice such immorality free from any legal prohibitions.

5).  We can also see the gradual change in Israel's history. In the 300 years between Rehoboam and Josiah, Judah’s spiritual culture had degenerated to the degree they allowed homosexuality to infiltrate the temple worship. During Rehoboam’s reign (931-913 B.C.), the sodomites were “in the land.” During Josiah’s reign (640-609 B.C.), three hundred years later, the sodomites were in the Temple.

6). Let us now apply this to the New Testament and our present day. In 1 Timothy 1:8-11 the Apostle Paul writes clearly that laws, legislation, statutes or ordinances that forbid homosexual behavior along with other named offences are not only “sound doctrine” but also according to the gospel of Almighty God.

a). 1 Timothy 1:8-11 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

7). In light of that let’s look at a little U.S. history. In Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 Supreme Court decision that upheld state laws that prohibited homosexual sodomy, Bryon White, writing for the majority said, “Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 states when they ratified the Bill of Rights [1791]…In fact, until 1961, all 50 states outlawed sodomy…” So up until 1961 U.S. law concerning homosexual behavior was in line with the New Testament. In the United States, beginning in 1961 the individual states began decriminalizing homosexual conduct, Illinois being the first state to drop its laws forbidding homosexual behavior. Between then and 2003 there was a relentless effort by individuals and groups to repeal all laws forbidding homosexual behavior, until by the time Lawrence v. Texas (the Supreme Court case that outlawed all state homosexual laws), came about in 2003 there was only a small number of states that still had laws on the books to prosecute homosexual behavior. Then of course in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court struck down all state laws outlawing homosexual behavior, a 180 degree turn away from the “sound doctrine” of the New Testament and the will of God.  In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, declared homosexual marriage to be a right and legalized it in all 50 states. Which brings us again to present day, or to the “last days” as the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy:

a). 2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

b). What does “sound doctrine” in respect to homosexual conduct, or perjury, or kidnapping look like? It looks like a law on the books that forbids it.