Old Testament

Leviticus 19
The Holiness of the Community
191The Lord told Moses 2to speak to the whole community of the Israelites and tell them these things:
You shall be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
3Each of you must respect your mother and father and keep my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.
4You shall not[] turn to gods that really are not gods.[] You must not make for yourselves gods cast out of metal.[] I am the Lord your God.
5When you offer a sacrifice that is a fellowship offering to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you will be accepted. 6It is to be eaten on the day that you offer it or on the next day, but whatever is left over on the third day is to be burned in fire. 7If it is eaten at all on the third day, it will be regarded as rotten meat. It is not acceptable. 8Whoever eats it will bear his guilt, because he has desecrated[] what is holy to the Lord. Any such person will be cut off from his people.
9When you reap the harvest from your land, you are not to finish reaping all the way to the edge of the field. Do not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. 10Do not strip your vineyard clean, and do not pick up the fallen grapes from your vineyard, but leave them for the poor and the alien who live with you. I am the Lord your God.
11You shall not steal. You shall not swindle. You shall not lie to one another. 12You shall not swear falsely by my name so that you do not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
13You shall not exploit your neighbor. You shall not rob him. You shall not keep the wages of a day laborer with you overnight until morning.
14You shall not curse a deaf person, nor shall you put an obstacle in front of a blind person, but you must fear your God. I am the Lord.
15You shall not act unjustly in court cases. Do not show favoritism to a poor person, and do not show undue honor to an important person. You must judge your fellow citizens with justice.
16You shall not go around spreading slander among your people. You shall not testify falsely against your neighbor in a capital case.[] I am the Lord.
17You shall not hate a fellow Israelite[] in your heart. You must openly rebuke your fellow citizen so that you do not become responsible for his sin. 18You must not take revenge. You must not bear a grudge against the members of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
19You shall keep my regulations. You must not cause two different kinds of livestock to mate together. You must not sow your field with two kinds of seed. You must not wear any clothing made with two kinds of material.
20If a man lies down with a woman and has an emission of semen, if she is a female slave who has already been designated for another man, but she has not yet been fully ransomed or received her freedom, a hearing shall be held concerning financial compensation, but they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21But he must bring his restitution offering to the Lord at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting—a ram for restitution. 22The priest shall perform atonement on his behalf before the Lord with the ram for the restitution offering for his sin that he has committed, so that he may be forgiven for his sin that he has committed.
23Also when you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, you must cut off its budding fruit as if it were a foreskin. For three years you shall regard the tree and its fruit as uncircumcised. Its fruit shall not be eaten.[] 24In the fourth year, all its fruit shall be set aside as a holy offering of praise to the Lord. 25You may eat its fruit in the fifth year, so that its yield may be increased for you. I am the Lord your God.
26You shall not eat meat with the blood in it.
You shall not interpret omens, nor shall you perform divination.
27You shall not round off the hair on the side of your heads, nor shall you disfigure the edge of your beard. 28You shall not make a gash in your flesh for the dead, nor shall you put tattoos on yourselves. I am the Lord your God.
29You must not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, so that the land will not be subjected to prostitution and filled with depravity.
30You must keep my Sabbaths, and you must revere my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
31You must not turn to mediums or to spiritists[] and so become unclean through them. I am the Lord your God.
32You must rise in the presence of gray hair and show respect in the presence of an elder, so that you fear your God. I am the Lord.
33When an alien resides with you in your land, you must not mistreat him. 34You shall treat the alien who resides with you as a fellow citizen. You shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
35You shall not use dishonest measurements of weight or volume. 36Instead you must use an honest scale, honest weights, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure.[]
I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; 37therefore, you shall keep all my requirements and my ordinances and carry them out. I am the Lord.


  • 19:4 In the prohibitions of this chapter the translation uses both the “legal shall” (“you shall not”) and the alternate construction “you must not”. In this verse the first and second prohibition use two different Hebrew constructions.
  • 19:4 The word refers either to non-gods or mini-gods.
  • 19:4 Etymologically the word refers to idols cast from metal, but it may refer to idols in general.
  • 19:8 Or profaned
  • 19:16 Literally not stand against the blood of your neighbor
  • 19:17 Literally your brother
  • 19:23 The text speaks of a sort of “circumcision” of trees. Many translations simply ignore the literal meaning of the text here.
  • 19:31 The practice that is forbidden is consulting with mediums or spiritists who claim to be intermediaries able to communicate with the spirits of the dead.
  • 19:36 Literally an honest ephah and hin