Laws on Immoral Relations
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘I am the Lord your God. 3 You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, and you shall not do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes (practices, customs). 4 You are to follow My judgments (precepts, ordinances) and keep My statutes and live by them. I am the Lord your God. 5 So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which, if a person keeps them, he shall live; I am the Lord.(A)
6 ‘(a)No one shall approach any blood relative of his (b)to uncover nakedness (have intimate relations). I am the Lord. 7 You shall not uncover the (c)nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness. 8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness. 9 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, either the daughter of your father or of your mother, whether born at home or born elsewhere. 10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; their nakedness you shall not uncover, for they are your own nakedness [that is, your own descendants]. 11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter; born to your father, she is your sister. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s blood relative. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s blood relative. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother’s wife; you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. 15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. You shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover their nakedness (have intimate relations with them); they are [her] blood relatives; it is an outrageous offense. 18 You shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.
19 ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity and ceremonial uncleanness. 20 You shall not have intimate relations with your neighbor’s wife, to be defiled with her. 21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them [by fire as a sacrifice] to Molech [the god of the Ammonites], nor shall you profane the name of your God [by honoring idols as gods]. I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie [intimately] with a male as one lies with a female; it is repulsive.(B) 23 You shall not have intimate relations with any animal to be defiled with it; nor shall a woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.
24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 For the land has become defiled; therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments (precepts) and shall not commit any of these repulsive acts, neither the native-born, nor the stranger who lives temporarily among you 27 (for all these repulsive acts have been done by the men who lived in the land before you, and the land has become defiled); 28 [do none of these things] so that the land will not vomit you out, should you defile it, as it has vomited out the nation which has been before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these repulsive acts, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people [excluding them from the atonement made for them]. 30 So keep My command: do not practice any of the repulsive customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves by them; I am the Lord your God.’”
a. Leviticus 18:6: This passage (vv 6-18) states incestuous prohibitions.
b. Leviticus 18:6: This Hebrew euphemism for sexual relations occurs in each verse in the passage.
c. Leviticus 18:7: The father’s nakedness is a reference to his wife in her role as his sexual partner, i.e. the nakedness that belongs to him alone by virtue of their marriage (cf 1 Cor 7:4). Otherwise, the literal meaning would refer to intimate relations with the father himself, including homosexuality. The text itself states that this is not the meaning, especially in 20:11a (The man who lies...has uncovered his father’s nakedness).