This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about what the Bible says about how the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 1 (of 2) in Section 4: "Some Of The Laws Of Moses".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
Leviticus chapter 18 (GWT)
1 The LORD spoke to Moses, 2 "Tell the Israelites: I am the LORD your God. 3 You used to live in Egypt. Don't live the way the Egyptians do. I am bringing you to Canaan. Don't live the way the Canaanites do. Never live by their standards. 4 Follow my rules, and live by my standards. I am the LORD your God. 5 Live by my standards, and obey my rules. You will have life through them. I am the LORD.
6 "never have sexual intercourse with anyone related to you by blood. I am the LORD.
7 "Never have sexual intercourse with your mother. She is your own mother. Never have sexual intercourse with her.
8 "Never have sexual intercourse with your stepmother. She is related to you through your father.
9 "Never have sexual intercourse with your stepsister, whether she is your father's daughter or your mother's daughter. It makes no difference whether or not she was born in your house.
10 "Never have sexual intercourse with your granddaughter, whether she is your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, because she is related to you.
11 "Never have sexual intercourse with a daughter of your father and his wife. She is your own sister.
12 "Never have sexual intercourse with your father's sister. She is your paternal aunt.
13 "Never have sexual intercourse with your mother's sister. She is your maternal aunt.
14 "Never have sexual intercourse with the wife of your father's brother. She, too, is your aunt.
15 "Never have sexual intercourse with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife. Never have sexual intercourse with her.
16 "Never have sexual intercourse with your sister-in-law. She is your brother's wife.
17 "Never have sexual intercourse with a woman and her daughter or a woman and her granddaughter. They are related. Doing this is perverted.
18 "While your wife is living, never marry her sister as a rival wife and have sexual intercourse with her.
20 "Never have sexual intercourse with your neighbor's wife and become unclean with her.
22 "Never have sexual intercourse with a man as with a woman. It is disgusting.
23 "Never have sexual intercourse with any animal and become unclean with it. A woman must never offer herself to an animal for sexual intercourse. It is unnatural. "
24 "Do not become unclean in any of these ways. By these practices all the nations which I am forcing out of your way have become unclean. 25 The land has become unclean. I will punish it for its sins. The land will vomit out those who live in it.
26 Live by my standards, and obey my rules. Neither you nor any foreigner should ever do any of these disgusting things. 27 The people of the land who were there before you did all these disgusting things. As a result, the land has become unclean. 28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out as it has vomited out the people who were there before you. 29 Whoever does any of these disgusting things must be excluded from the people. 30 So you must follow my instructions. Don't live by the standards of the people who lived there before you. What they do is disgusting. Never become unclean that way. I am the LORD your God."
Deuteronomy chapter 25 (NLT)
5 "If two brothers are living together on the same property and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Instead, her husband's brother must marry her and fulfill the duties of a brother-in-law. 6 The first son she bears to him will be counted as the son of the dead brother, so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel.
Leviticus chapter 19 (NLT)
26 "Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft.
29 "Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with promiscuity and detestable wickedness.
31 "Do not rely on mediums and psychics, for you will be defiled by them. I, the LORD, am your God.
32 "Show your fear of God by standing up in the presence of elderly people and showing respect for the aged. I am the LORD.
33 "Do not exploit the foreigners who live in your land. 34 They should be treated like everyone else, and you must love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God.
35 "Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume. 36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry goods or liquids must be accurate. I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 You must be careful to obey all of my laws and regulations, for I am the LORD."
Leviticus chapter 19 (TEV)
3 "Each of you must respect your mother and your father, and must keep the Sabbath, as I have commanded. I am the Lord your God.
11 "Do not steal or cheat or lie.
13 "Do not rob or take advantage of anyone.
"Do not hold back the wages of someone you have hired, not even for one night.
14 "Do not curse the deaf or put something in front of the blind so as to make them stumble over it. Obey me; I am the Lord your God.
15 "Be honest and just when you make decisions in legal cases; do not show favoritism to the poor or fear the rich.
16 "Do not spread lies about anyone, and when someone is on trial for his life, speak out if your testimony can help him. I am the Lord.
17 "Do not bear a grudge against others, but settle your differences with them, so that you will not commit a sin because of them. 18 Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the Lord.
Exodus chapter 21 (NLT)
28 "If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull must be stoned, and its flesh may not be eaten. In such a case, however, the owner will not be held liable. 29 Suppose, on the other hand, that the owner knew the bull had gored people in the past, yet the bull was not kept under control. If this is true and if the bull kills someone, it must be stoned, and the owner must also be killed. 30 However, the dead person's relatives may accept payment from the owner of the bull to compensate for the loss of life. The owner will have to pay whatever is demanded.
31 "The same principle applies if the bull gores a boy or a girl. 32 But if the bull gores a slave, either male or female, the slave's owner is to be given thirty silver coins in payment, and the bull must be stoned.
33 "Suppose someone digs or uncovers a well and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it. 34 The owner of the well must pay in full for the dead animal but then gets to keep it.
35 "If someone's bull injures a neighbor's bull and the injured bull dies, then the two owners must sell the live bull and divide the money between them. Each will also own half of the dead bull. 36 But if the bull was known from past experience to gore, yet its owner failed to keep it under control, the money will not be divided. The owner of the living bull must pay in full for the dead bull but then gets to keep it.
Exodus chapter 22 (NLT)
5 "If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else's field to graze, then the animal's owner must pay damages in the form of high-quality grain or grapes.
6 "If a fire gets out of control and goes into another person's field, destroying the sheaves or the standing grain, then the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crops.
25 "If you lend money to a fellow Hebrew in need, do not be like a money lender, charging interest.
26 "If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge of repayment, you must return it by nightfall. 27 Your neighbor will need it to stay warm during the night. If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am very merciful.
Deuteronomy chapter 22 (NLT)
8 "Every new house you build must have a barrier around the edge of its flat rooftop. That way you will not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your household if someone falls from the roof.
Deuteronomy chapter 5 (NLT)
11 "'Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
17 "'Do not murder.
18 "'Do not commit adultery.
Exodus chapter 21 (NLT)
12 "Anyone who hits a person hard enough to cause death must be put to death. 13 But if it is an accident and God allows it to happen, I will appoint a place where the slayer can run for safety.
Deuteronomy chapter 19 (NIV)
1 When the LORD your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses, 2 then set aside for yourselves three cities centrally located in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 Build roads to them and divide into three parts the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that anyone who kills a man may flee there.
4 This is the rule concerning the man who kills another and flees there to save his life - one who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought. 5 For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought. 7 This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.
8 If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, and gives you the whole land he promised them, 9 because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today-to love the LORD your God and to walk always in his ways - then you are to set aside three more cities. 10 Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.
11 But if a man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, assaults and kills him, and then flees to one of these cities, 12 the elders of his town shall send for him, bring him back from the city, and hand him over to the avenger of blood to die. 13 Show him no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you.
Exodus chapter 23 (TEV)
1 "Do not spread false rumors, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony.
Exodus chapter 23 (NLT)
2 "Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority. 3 And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.
Deuteronomy chapter 19 (TEV)
15 "One witness is not enough to convict someone of a crime; at least two witnesses are necessary to prove that someone is guilty.
Deuteronomy chapter 25 (NLT)
1 "Suppose two people take a dispute to court, and the judges declare that one is right and the other is wrong. 2 If the person in the wrong is sentenced to be flogged, the judge will command him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of lashes appropriate to the crime. 3 No more than forty lashes may ever be given; more than forty lashes would publicly humiliate your neighbor.
4 "Do not keep an ox from eating as it treads out the grain.
Deuteronomy chapter 20 (TEV)
1 "When you go out to fight against your enemies and you see chariots and horses and an army that outnumbers yours, do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who rescued you from Egypt, will be with you. 2 Before you start fighting, a priest is to come forward and say to the army, 3 "Men of Israel, listen! Today you are going into battle. Do not be afraid of your enemies or lose courage or panic. 4 The Lord your God is going with you, and he will give you victory.' 5 "Then the officers will address the men and say, "... 6 Is there any man here who has just planted a vineyard, but has not yet had the chance to harvest its grapes? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will enjoy the wine. 7 Is there anyone here who is engaged to be married? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will marry the woman he is engaged to.'
8 "The officers will also say to the men, "Is there any man here who has lost his nerve and is afraid? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, he will destroy the morale of the others.'
Deuteronomy chapter 21 (NIV)
10 When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.
14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
15 If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons but the firstborn is the son of the wife he does not love, 16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love. 17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father's strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.
Deuteronomy chapter 23 (TEV)
9 "When you are in camp in time of war, you are to avoid anything that would make you ritually unclean. 10 If a man becomes unclean because he has had a wet dream during the night, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. 11 Toward evening he is to wash himself, and at sunset he may come back into camp. 12 "You are to have a place outside the camp where you can go when you need to relieve yourselves. 13 Carry a stick as part of your equipment, so that when you have a bowel movement you can dig a hole and cover it up. 14 Keep your camp ritually clean, because the Lord your God is with you in your camp to protect you and to give you victory over your enemies. Do not do anything indecent that would cause the Lord to turn his back on you.
Leviticus chapter 3 (NIV)
17 " 'This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.' "
Leviticus chapter 25 (NLT)
1 While Moses was on Mount Sinai, the LORD said to him,
2 "Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you have entered the land I am giving you as an inheritance, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD every seventh year. 3 For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, 4 but during the seventh year the land will enjoy a Sabbath year of rest to the LORD. Do not plant your crops or prune your vineyards during that entire year. 5 And don't store away the crops that grow naturally or process the grapes that grow on your unpruned vines. The land is to have a year of total rest. 6 But you, your male and female slaves, your hired servants, and any foreigners who live with you may eat the produce that grows naturally during the Sabbath year. 7 And your livestock and the wild animals will also be allowed to eat of the land's bounty.
18 "If you want to live securely in the land, keep my laws and obey my regulations. 19 Then the land will yield bumper crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it.
20 "But you might ask, 'What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?' 21 The answer is, 'I will order my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a bumper crop, enough to support you for three years. 22 As you plant the seed in the eighth year, you will still be eating the produce of the previous year. In fact, you will eat from the old crop until the new harvest comes in the ninth year.'
Leviticus chapter 25 (TEV)
8 Count seven times seven years, a total of forty-nine years. 9 Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement, send someone to blow a trumpet throughout the whole land. 10 In this way you shall set the fiftieth year apart and proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants of the land. During this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to the original owner or the descendants, and any who have been sold as slaves shall return to their families. 11 You shall not plant your fields or harvest the grain that grows by itself or gather the grapes in your unpruned vineyards. 12 The whole year shall be sacred for you; you shall eat only what the fields produce of themselves. 13 In this year all property that has been sold shall be restored to its original owner. 14 So when you sell land to an Israelite or buy land, do not deal unfairly. 15 The price is to be set according to the number of years the land can produce crops before the next Year of Restoration. 16 If there are many years, the price shall be higher, but if there are only a few years, the price shall be lower, because what is being sold is the number of crops the land can produce. 17 Do not cheat an Israelite, but obey the Lord your God.
23 "Your land must not be sold on a permanent basis, because you do not own it; it belongs to God, and you are like foreigners who are allowed to make use of it.
24 "When land is sold, the right of the original owner to buy it back must be recognized.
25 "If any of you Israelites become poor and are forced to sell your land, your closest relative is to buy it back. 26 If you have no relative to buy it back, you may later become prosperous and have enough to buy it back yourself. 27 In that case you must pay to the one who bought it a sum that will make up for the years remaining until the next Year of Restoration, when you would in any event recover your land. 28 But if you do not have enough money to buy the land back, it remains under the control of the one who bought it until the next Year of Restoration. In that year it will be returned to its original owner.
29 "If you sell a house in a walled city, you have the right to buy it back during the first full year from the date of sale. 30 But if you do not buy it back within the year, you lose the right of repurchase, and the house becomes the permanent property of the purchasers and their descendants; it will not be returned in the Year of Restoration. 31 But houses in unwalled villages are to be treated like fields; the original owner has the right to buy them back, and they are to be returned in the Year of Restoration.
35 If any Israelites living near you become poor and cannot support themselves, you must provide for them as you would for a hired worker, so that they can continue to live near you. 36 Do not charge Israelites any interest, but obey God and let them live near you. 37 Do not make them pay interest on the money you lend them, and do not make a profit on the food you sell them. 38 This is the command of the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt in order to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
39 If any Israelites living near you become so poor that they sell themselves to you as a slave, you shall not make them do the work of a slave. 40 They shall stay with you as hired workers and serve you until the next Year of Restoration. 41 At that time they and their children shall leave you and return to their family and to the property of their ancestors. 42 The people of Israel are the Lord's slaves, and he brought them out of Egypt; they must not be sold into slavery. 43 Do not treat them harshly, but obey your God.
47 Suppose a foreigner living with you becomes rich, while some Israelites become poor and sell themselves as slaves to that foreigner or to a member of that foreigner's family. 48 After they are sold, they still have the right to be bought back. A brother 49 or an uncle or a cousin or another close relative may buy them back; or if they themselves earn enough, they may buy their own freedom. 50 They must consult the one who bought them, and they must count the years from the time they sold themselves until the next Year of Restoration and must set the price for their release on the basis of the wages paid hired workers. 51 They must refund a part of the purchase price according to the number of years left, 53 as if they had been hired on an annual basis. Their master must not treat them harshly. 54 If they are not set free in any of these ways, they and their children must be set free in the next Year of Restoration.
55 "Israelites cannot be permanent slaves, because the people of Israel are the Lord's slaves. He brought them out of Egypt; he is the Lord their God.
Deuteronomy chapter 23 (TEV)
15 "If slaves run away from their owners and come to you for protection, do not send them back. 16 They may live in any of your towns that they choose, and you are not to treat them harshly.
Deuteronomy chapter 15 (TEV)
12 "If any Israelites, male or female, sell themselves to you as slaves, you are to release them after they have served you for six years. When the seventh year comes, you must let them go free. 13 When you set them free, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Give to them generously from what the Lord has blessed you with-sheep, grain, and wine. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God set you free; that is why I am now giving you this command.
Deuteronomy chapter 10 (TEV)
12 "Now, people of Israel, listen to what the Lord your God demands of you: Worship the Lord and do all that he commands. Love him, serve him with all your heart, 13 and obey all his laws. I am giving them to you today for your benefit. 14 To the Lord belong even the highest heavens; the earth is his also, and everything on it. 17 The Lord your God is supreme over all gods and over all powers. He is great and mighty, and he is to be obeyed. He does not show partiality, and he does not accept bribes. 18 He makes sure that orphans and widows are treated fairly; he loves the foreigners who live with our people, and gives them food and clothes. 19 So then, show love for those foreigners, because you were once foreigners in Egypt.
The next file in this section (Part 2), is entitled: "Old Testament Laws About Infectious Diseases, And More About Social Welfare".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
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