1 The LordI spokeII to Moses,III saying, 2 “Say further to the Israelites:IV
Notes on verses 1-2a
I “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
II “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
III “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
IV “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
“AnyV of the Israelites or of the aliensVI who resideVII in Israel who giveVIII any of their offspringIX
Notes on verse 2b
V “any” = ish + ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
VI “aliens” = ger. From gur (to abide or sojourn; to leave the road to lodge or for any other reason). This is sojourner, guest, stranger, foreigner.
VII “reside” = gur. Related to “aliens” in v2. See note VI above.
VIII “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
IX “offspring” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
to MolechX shall be put to death;XI the peopleXII of the landXIII shall stone them to death.XIV
Notes on verse 2c
X “Molech” = Molek. 9x in OT. From the same as melek (king, royal) OR related to mlk (to sacrifice, to promise). This is Molech, Molek, or Moloch, god of the Ammonites. It means “king.” Alternately, it may refer to a manner of ritual sacrifice rather than a specific god. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch
XI “put to death” = mut + mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
XII “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
XIII “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XIV “stone…to death” = ragam + eben. Literally, “stone him with stones.” Ragam is 16x in OT. This is to stone or lapidate. Eben is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
3 I myself will setXV my faceXVI against themXVII
Notes on verse 3a
XV “set” = natan. Same as “give” in v2. See note VIII above.
XVI “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XVII “them” = ish. Same as “any” in v2. See note V above.
and will cut them offXVIII fromXIX the people, because they have given of their offspring to Molech, defilingXX my sanctuaryXXI
Notes on verse 3b
XVIII “cut…off” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
XIX “from” = qereb. Perhaps from qarab (to come near or approach). This is among, in the midst, before, the center It is the inward part, whether literal or figurative. It can also be used for the heart, the site of thoughts and feelings. This word is also used as a technical term for the entrails of the animals who are sacrificed.
XX “defiling” = tame. This is to defile, be unclean, pollute in a ritual or ethical sense.
XXI “sanctuary” = miqdash. From the same as qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy); related to qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is a sacred place, sanctuary, holy place. It is something or somewhere that is consecrated, whether to God or to another.
and profaningXXII my holyXXIII name.XXIV
Notes on verse 3c
XXII “profaning” = chalal. This is to pierce, which implies to wound. It is used figuratively for making someone or something profane or breaking your word. It can also mean to begin as though one opened a wedge. Also, to eat something as a common thing.
XXIII “holy” = qodesh. Related to “sanctuary” in v2. See note XXI above.
XXIV “name” = shem. May be from sim (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
4 And if the people of the land should ever closeXXV their eyesXXVI to them,XXVII when they give of their offspring to Molech, and do notXXVIII put them to death,
Notes on verse 4
XXV “close” = alam + alam. This is to conceal, cover from sight in a literal or figurative sense. Could be to escape, liar, neglect, or secret thing. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
XXVI “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
XXVII “them” = ish. Same as “any” in v2. See note V above.
XXVIII “not” = bilti. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is nothing, not, lest, or except. From its root, it means “a failure of” – used for negative particles.
5 I myself will setXXIX my face against themXXX and against their familyXXXI and will cut them off from amongXXXII their people, them and allXXXIII who follow them in prostitutingXXXIV themselves toXXXV Molech.
Notes on verse 5
XXIX “set” = sim. Related to “name” in v3. See note XXIV above.
XXX “them” = ish. Same as “any” in v2. See note V above.
XXXI “family” = mishpachah. From the same as shiphcah (maid, maidservant); root means to spread out. This is one’s circle of relatives – clan, family, kindred.
XXXII “among” = qereb. Same as “from” in v3. See note XIX above.
XXXIII “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XXXIV “prostituting” = zanah. This is being or playing a prostitute. Figuratively, it can also mean fornicating.
XXXV “to” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
6 “If anyXXXVI turnXXXVII to mediumsXXXVIII
Notes on verse 6a
XXXVI “any” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
XXXVII “turn” = panah. Related to “face” in v3. See note XVI above.
XXXVIII “mediums” = ob. 17x in OT. Perhaps from the same as ab (father in a literal or figurative sense – grandfather, chief, ancestor). This is literally a bottle made from hide. One could mumble into this bottle and make a hollow sound. So, it refers to mediums, ventriloquists, or necromancers. It can also refer to a familiar spirit.
or spiritualists,XXXIX prostituting themselves to them, I will setXL my face against themXLI and will cut them off from the people.
Notes on verse 6b
XXXIX “spiritualists” = yiddeoni. 11x in OT. From yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is one who knows, a conjurer or wizard. It can also refer to a ghost or spirit.
XL “set” = natan. Same as “give” in v2. See note VIII above.
XLI “them” = nephesh. Same as “any” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
7 ConsecrateXLII yourselves, therefore, and beXLIII holy,XLIV for I am the LordXLV your God.XLVI
Notes on verse 7
XLII “consecrate” = qadash. Related to “sanctuary” in v2 & “holy” in v3. From qodesh (see note XXI above). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
XLIII “be” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
XLIV “holy” = qadosh. Related to “sanctuary” in v2 & “holy” in v3 & “consecrate” in v7. From qodesh (see note XXI above). This is sacred or holy in a ritual or moral sense. As a noun, it refers to a holy one (like a saint or angel), a holy place (the sanctuary), or God (the Holy One).
XLV “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v1 & “be” in v7. From the same as YHVH (see note I above). It has a different vowel pointing, but the same meaning as “Lord.”
XLVI “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israelites” in v2. See note IV above.
8 KeepXLVII my statutesXLVIII and observeXLIX them: I am the Lord;L I sanctifyLI you.
Notes on verse 8
XLVII “keep” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
XLVIII “statutes” = chuqqah. From choq (statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance; something that is prescribed or something that is owed); from chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is something prescribed such as a statue, custom, or ordinance.
XLIX “observe” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
L “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
LI “sanctify” = qadash. Same as “consecrate” in v7. See note XLII above.
9 AllLII who curseLIII fatherLIV or motherLV shall be put to death;LVI having cursed father or mother, their bloodguiltLVII is upon them.
Notes on verse 9
LII “all” = ish + ish. Same as “any” in v2. See note V above.
LIII “curse” = qalal. This is to be little, insignificant, swift. It can also mean to bring down in esteem, create contempt, curse.
LIV “father” = ab. Related to “mediums” in v6. See note XXXVIII above.
LV “mother” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
LVI “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LVII “bloodguilt” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
10 “If a manLVIII commits adulteryLIX with the wifeLX of his neighbor,LXI, LXII
Notes on verse 10a
LVIII “man” = ish. Same as “any” in v2. See note V above.
LIX “commits adultery” = naaph. This is to commit adultery or, figuratively, to be an apostate.
LX “wife” = ishshah. Related to “any” in v2. From ish (see note V above). This is woman, wife, or female.
LXI “neighbor” = rea. From raah (to associate with). This is the same as neighbor in Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is friend, companion, fellow, neighbor. It is someone with whom you associate, whether more or less close.
LXII Literally, “man who commits adultery with the wife of another man who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife.”
both the adultererLXIII and the adulteressLXIV shall be put to death.LXV 11 The man who liesLXVI with his father’s wife has uncoveredLXVII his father’s nakedness;LXVIII
Notes on verses 10b-11a
LXIII “adulterer” = naaph. Same as “commits adultery” in v10. See note LIX above.
LXIV “adulteress” = naaph. Same as “commits adultery” in v10. See note LIX above.
LXV “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXVI “lies” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
LXVII “uncovered” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.
LXVIII “nakedness” = ervah. From arah (to be bare, empty, raze, uncover, discover, demolish). This is nakedness, nudity – particularly as a reference to genitals, shame, or blemish.
bothLXIX of them shall be put to death;LXX their bloodguilt is upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law,LXXI both of them shall be put to death;LXXII they have committedLXXIII perversion;LXXIV their bloodguilt is upon them.
Notes on verses 11b-12
LXIX “both” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
LXX “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXXI “daughter-in-law” = kallah. Related to “all” in v5. Perhaps related to kalal (see note XXXIII above). This is bride or daughter-in-law and the term is used before and after marriage.
LXXII “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXXIII “committed” = asah. Same as “observe” in v8. See note XLIX above.
LXXIV “perversion” = tebel. 2x in OT– both in Leviticus. Perhaps from balal (to anoint, mix, overflow). This is confusion, unnatural mixture. It can refer to incest or bestiality.
13 If a man lies with a maleLXXV as withLXXVI a woman,LXXVII
Notes on verse 13a
LXXV “male” = zakar. From zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention). This is male. Properly, perhaps, it means one who is remembered, which is to say a male.
LXXVI “with” = mishkab. Related to “lies” in v11. From shakab (see note LXVI above). This is a place where one lies down i.e. a bed, couch, or bedchamber. It can also be used in an abstract sense to refer to sleep or euphemistically for sex.
LXXVII “woman” = ishshah. Same a “wife” in v10. See note LX above.
both of them have committedLXXVIII an abomination;LXXIX they shall be put to death;LXXX their bloodguilt is upon them.
Notes on verse 13b
LXXVIII “committed” = asah. Same as “observe” in v8. See note XLIX above.
LXXIX “abomination” = toebah. Perhaps from ta’ab (to abhor or morally detest). This is something that instills one with moral contempt or disgust. It can mean abhorrence and is often in reference to idolatry or idols.
LXXX “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
14 If a man takesLXXXI a wife and her mother also, it is depravity;LXXXII they shall be burned to death,LXXXIII both he and they, that there may be no depravity amongLXXXIV you.
Notes on verse 14
LXXXI “takes” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
LXXXII “depravity” = zimmah. From zamam (to devise, plot, imagine, intend, scheme, think evil; usually in an evil sense). This is a plan – usually a negative one. So, it could be a scheme, wickedness, mischief, immorality, a crime, or evil intent.
LXXXIII “burned to death” = esh + saraph. Literally, “burned with fire.” Esh is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense. Saraph is to burn or kindle. This is the root that “seraphim” comes from.
LXXXIV “among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
15 If a man has sexual relationsLXXXV with an animal,LXXXVI he shall be put to death,LXXXVII and you shall killLXXXVIII the animal.
Notes on verse 15
LXXXV “has sexual relations” = natan + shekobeth. Natan is the same as “give” in v2. See note VIII above. Shekobeth is related to “lies” in v11 & “with” in v13. 4x in OT. From shakab (see note LXVI above). This is sexual intercourse.
LXXXVI “animal” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
LXXXVII “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXXXVIII “kill” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.
16 If a woman approachesLXXXIX anyXC animal and has sexual relationsXCI with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall be put to death;XCII their bloodguilt is upon them.
Notes on verse 16
LXXXIX “approaches” = qarab. Related to “from” in v3. See note XIX above.
XC “any” = kol. Same as “all” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
XCI “has sexual relations” = raba. 3x in OT– all in Leviticus. This is to lie down, to squat, breed.
XCII “put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
17 “If a man takes his sister,XCIII a daughterXCIV of his father or a daughter of his mother, and seesXCV her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace,XCVI and they shall be cut off in the sightXCVII of their people; he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall be subjectXCVIII to punishment.XCIX
Notes on verse 17
XCIII “sister” = achot. From the same as ach (brother, kindred, another, other, like). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean another or together.
XCIV “daughter” = bat. Related to “Israelites” in v2. From ben (see note IV above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
XCV “sees” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XCVI “disgrace” = chesed. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is favor, goodness, kindness, loving kindness, pity, reproach, or a good deed. When done by God to humanity, this is mercy/loving kindness. When done by humanity to God, it is piety.
XCVII “sight” = ayin. Same as “eyes” in v4. See note XXVI above.
XCVIII “subject” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
XCIX “punishment” = avon. Perhaps related to avah (to bend, twist, be amiss). This is sin, mischief, guilt, fault, punishment for iniquity, or moral evil.
18 If a man lies with a woman during her periodC and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bareCI her flow,CII and she has laid bareCIII her flow of blood;CIV both of them shall be cut off from their people.
Notes on verse 18
C “period” = daveh. 5x in OT. From davah (to be sick or unwell). This is faint, sick, impure. It can also refer to the time of menstruation or the cloth used during that time.
CI “laid bare” = arah. Related to “nakedness” in v11. 15x in OT. See note LXVIII above.
CII “flow” = maqor. 18x in OT. From qur (to dig, destroy, wall up). This is a spring or fountain. Properly, it is a site that was dug and so it is used for a wellspring. It also refers to natural water sources. It can be used of tears, blood, female genitalia. Figuratively, it can be offspring, posterity, wisdom, or happiness.
CIII “laid bare” = galah. Same as “uncovered” in v11. See note LXVII above.
CIV “blood” = dam. Same as “bloodguilt” in v9. See note LVII above.
19 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for that is to lay bareCV one’s own flesh;CVI they shall be subject to punishment. 20 If a man lies with his uncle’s wife,CVII he has uncovered his uncle’sCVIII nakedness;
Notes on verses 19-20a
CV “lay bare” = arah. Same as “laid bare” in v18. See note CI above.
CVI “flesh” = sheer. 16x in OT. Perhaps from sha’ar (properly, swelling up i.e. being left over; a remnant, remaining, being redundant). This is flesh, body, meat, kin, self.
CVII “uncle’s wife” = dodah. 3x in OT. From dod (beloved, love, uncle, love token; root may mean to boil). This is aunt, more specifically one’s father’s sister.
CVIII “uncle’s” = dod. Related to “uncle’s wife” in v20. See note CVII above.
they shall be subject to punishment;CIX they shall dieCX childless.CXI 21 If a man takes his brother’sCXII wife, it is impurity;CXIII he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
Notes on verses 20b-21
CIX “punishment” = chet. From chata (to miss, sin, bear blame, to forfeit, lack). This is sin, fault, or punishment of sin.
CX “die” = mut. Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above.
CXI “childless” = ariri. 4x in OT. From arar (to bare, strip, be razed, break). This is stripped or bare in the sense of lacking children.
CXII “brother’s” = ach. Related to “sister” in v17. See note XCIII above.
CXIII “impurity” = niddah. From nadad (to wave back and forth; figuratively, to flee, stray, flutter chase away, shake, or shrink; to be a fugitive). This is rejection, filthiness, impurity, menstruation, idolatry, incest.
22 “You shall keep allCXIV my statutes and allCXV my ordinancesCXVI and observe them, so that the land to which I bringCXVII you to settleCXVIII in may not vomit you out.CXIX
Notes on verse 22
CXIV “all” = kol. Same as “all” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
CXV “all” = kol. Same as “all” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
CXVI “ordinances” = mishpat. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
CXVII “bring” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
CXVIII “settle” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
CXIX “vomit…out” = qo. 8x in OT. Related to qayah (to vomit up). This is to vomit up or out.
23 You shall not followCXX the practicesCXXI of the nationCXXII
Notes on verse 23a
CXX “follow” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
CXXI “practices” = chuqqah. Same as “statutes” in v8. See note XLVIII above.
CXXII “nation” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
that I am driving outCXXIII beforeCXXIV you. Because they didCXXV allCXXVI these things, I abhorredCXXVII them.
Notes on verse 23b
CXXIII “driving out” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
CXXIV “before” = paneh. Same as “face” in v3. See note XVI above.
CXXV “did” = asah. Same as “observe” in v8. See note XLIX above.
CXXVI “all” = kol. Same as “all” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
CXXVII “abhorred” = quts. 9x in OT. This is to feel dread, be distressed, tired, terrorized, be disgusted, be anxious, abhor.
24 But I have said to you, ‘You shall inheritCXXVIII their land,CXXIX and I will give it to you to possess,CXXX a land flowingCXXXI
Notes on verse 24a
CXXVIII “inherit” = yarash. This is inheriting or dispossessing. It refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them. By implication, it can mean to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish.
CXXIX “land” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.
CXXX “possess” = yarash. Same as “inherit” in v24. See note CXXVIII above.
CXXXI “flowing” = zub. This is to flow or gush. It is to flow like water or overflow. It can also be discharge, pine, waste away, or have a sexual flow.
with milkCXXXII and honey.CXXXIII I am the LordCXXXIV your God; I have separatedCXXXV you from the peoples.’
Notes on verse 24b
CXXXII “milk” = chalab. Perhaps from the same as cheleb (fat, finest, marrow; fat in a literal or figurative sense; the richest or best part). This is milk or cheese or suckling.
CXXXIII “honey” = debash. Root may mean being gummy. This is honey or honeycomb because it is so sticky. It can also refer to syrup.
CXXXIV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CXXXV “separated” = badal. This is to divide, distinguish, select, differ, sever. It is to divine in a literal or figurative sense.
25 You shall therefore make a distinctionCXXXVI betweenCXXXVII the cleanCXXXVIII animal and the uncleanCXXXIX and between the unclean birdCXL and the clean;
Notes on verse 25a
CXXXVI “make a distinction” = badal. Same as “separated” in v24. See note CXXXV above.
CXXXVII “between” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
CXXXVIII “clean” = tahor. From taher (bright, which implies being pure or clean; to purge, cleanse, or purify; clean in a ritual sense or a moral one (i.e. moral or holy)). This is clean or pure in a literal, ritual, or ethical sense.
CXXXIX “unclean” = tame. Related to “defiling” in v3. From tame (see note XX above). This is unclean, ill, or ritually impure.
CXL “bird” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
you shall not bring abominationCXLI on yourselvesCXLII by animal or by bird or by anythingCXLIII with which the groundCXLIV teems,CXLV which I have set apartCXLVI for you to hold unclean.CXLVII
Notes on verse 25b
CXLI “bring abomination” = shaqats. 7x in OT. Perhaps from sheqets (abhorrent, detestable thing; filth; figuratively an object used for idolatry). This is to detest, be filthy, pollute, cause to be abominable.
CXLII “yourselves” = nephesh. Same as “any” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
CXLIII “anything” = kol. Same as “all” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
CXLIV “ground” = adamah. Same as “land” in v24. See note CXXIX above.
CXLV “teems” = ramas. 17x in OT. This is gliding swiftly, moving with quick steps or crawling. It is to swarm or prowl or move about.
CXLVI “set apart” = badal. Same as “separated” in v24. See note CXXXV above.
CXLVII “hold unclean” = tame. Same as “defiling” in v3. See note XX above.
26 You shall be holyCXLVIII to me, for I the LordCXLIX am holy,CL and I have separated you from the other peoples to be mine.
27 “A man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritualist shall be put to death;CLI they shall be stoned to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.”
Notes on verses 26-27
CXLVIII “holy” = qadosh. Same as “holy” in v7. See note XLIV above.
CXLIX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CL “holy” = qadosh. Same as “holy” in v7. See note XLIV above.
CLI “put to death” = mut + mut.Same as “put to death” in v2. See note XI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
Image credit: “Susanna and the Elders” by Ivan Sakhnenko, 2006.