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CHAPTER 19 Mar. 11 
The Ten Commandments Interpreted
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘You shall be holy; for I Yahweh your God am holy. 3Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep My Sabbaths. I am Yahweh your God. 4Don’t turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am Yahweh your God. 5When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it voluntarily. 6It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day: and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned with fire. 7If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted; 8but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh, and that soul shall be cut off from his people. 9When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God. 11You shall not steal, nor lie, nor shall you deceive one another. 12You shall not swear by My name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh. 13You shall not oppress your neighbour, nor rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh’.
Commands Teaching Sensitivity to Others
15’You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favouritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbour in righteousness. 16You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people. You shall not endanger the life of your neighbour. I am Yahweh. 17You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him. 18You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am Yahweh. 19You shall keep my statutes. You shall not crossbreed different kinds of animals, you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; neither shall there come upon you a garment made of two kinds of material. 20If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21He shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Yahweh for his sin which he has committed; and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him. 23When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years shall they be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten. 24But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving a praise offering to Yahweh. 25In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am Yahweh your God. 26You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it; neither shall you use enchantments, nor practise sorcery. 27You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard. 28You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh. 29Don’t profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness. 30You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am Yahweh. 31Don’t turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God. 32You shall rise up before the gray head, and honour the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh. 33If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God. 35You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity. 36You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37You shall observe all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them. I am Yahweh’.


19:5 Freewill offerings such as the peace offering must really be of our free will. We mustn’t feel any sense of obligation to others, doing voluntary things to be seen of them, but any act of freewill devotion must be genuine, motivated by our personal desire to devote our time or resources to God.
19:7 An abomination- If we think our freewill devotions to be God can be done as we wish without regard for His principles, then what we do is obnoxious to Him. The Hebrew word translated “abomination” is often used about idol worship; we will not be worshipping Him, but the idols of our own image and standing in the eyes of people.
19:10 For the poor- If all Israel were obedient to the Law of Moses, there wouldn’t have been any poor in Israelite society (Dt. 15:4). But the same Law of Moses repeatedly instructed Israel to be generous and sensitive to the poor; it tacitly recognized, as did Jesus, that there would always be poor within Israel, for the Law would never be fully kept (Mt. 26:11). We see in the structure of the Law the recognition of human failure in a way which no other law has ever equalled. There’s a tendency to assume that the poor are poor because of their own poor decision making and therefore we have no responsibility to help them- although we are all poor decision makers in various ways, especially in spiritual matters. The Law taught a principle we need to learn also- that even if folk have dug a whole and fallen into it, we are still to assist them and be sensitive to their situation. 
19:11 The command not to steal is associated with not deceiving others nor lying to them. Dishonesty, even if it’s unrelated to material gain at another’s expense, is a form of theft; we are taking from another wrongfully.
19:14 Fear your God- As if God is especially sensitive to our abusing others’ disadvantages in whatever form, and His wrath about this is to be feared.
19:15 We are not to judge in the sense of condemn others, but it’s inevitable in daily life that we have to form opinions. But we must always remember that the person we are judging is in fact our neighbour, our brother, our equal; our judgment shouldn’t be rooted in any sense of feeling inherently superior over him or her, spiritually or otherwise.
19:17 By not rebuking our brother, by saying nothing and not engaging with the issues when we need to, we are likely to breed anger in our hearts against him or her.
19:18 One reason we fail to love others as ourselves is because we may in fact not love ourselves in the sense of perceiving our own value before God.
19:23 Forbidden fruit naturally recalls the forbidden fruit on the tree in Eden. To grab as much as we can immediately without working for it nor recognizing that the firstfruits of all human endeavour must be given to the Lord- is all very human and common. But to do so is painted as bad as taking the forbidden fruit of Eden, with all the long term suffering which came as a result of short-termism.
19:29 Lest the land fall to prostitution- Sexual misbehaviour sets an example which spreads so easily.