Leviticus – Chapter 20: Punishments for Sin

Today is Friday the 13th!!!  Although I’m not a superstitious person by any means, I think today’s chapter on Punishments for Sin is perfect for a Friday the 13th!!!

“Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him.” – Leviticus 20:2

I find capital punishment barbaric, but I fully admit that anyone who sacrifices their child to any God should be severely punished.  Kudos to God (if I believed in one) on this one.

“I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.” – Leviticus 20:6

Jealous much?  After all, you’ve never revealed yourself to the people.  How are they to know?

“Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.” – Leviticus 20:9

Whoa!  Slow down God!  If everyone who curses their mother or father is put to death there’d be no one left!  What child hasn’t cursed his/her mother or father at times?  That’s a normal part of childhood!

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.” – Leviticus 20:10

Hmmm…the punishment of death is a tad extreme.  The next several verses continue with punishments if you have sex with a certain person who is not your husband/wife.  The punishment is always death.

“If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They are to be publicly removed from their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible.” – Leviticus 20:17

Incest, however, is not punishable by death.  You are simply removed from the village.  God does have a heart after all.  🙂

“If a man has sexual relations with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless.” – Leviticus 20:20

Have sex with your aunt and you survive, but will never have children of your own.  I think God is randomly drawing punishments out of a ‘godly’ hat.

“You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those that I have set apart as unclean for you.” – Leviticus 20:25

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We know.  Don’t touch or eat anything unclean.  I wonder if God considers rape clean or unclean?  Hmmm…

“A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.” – Leviticus 20:27

The next time a Christian argues against gay marriage, pointing to the Bible to show that being gay is a sin, point them to this verse, one of many verses in Leviticus Christians choose to ignore.  I’m glad they ignore these verses, but then ignore all of the verses.  You can’t pick and choose the portions of the Bible you like and ignore the ones you don’t.

Leviticus 20 gave us more laws from God, most looking at who you can’t have sex with.  Most of the punishments are death, but a few are less extreme and include banishment from their people.  Why?  Who knows?  God works in mysterious ways, right?  🙂

Coming Soon:  Leviticus – Chapter 21:  Rules for Priests


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