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Leviticus Chapter 20
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Deuteronomy

Penalties
20:1 God spoke to Moses, telling him to
20:2 say the following to the Israelites:

If any person, whether a [born] Israelite or a proselyte who joins Israel, gives any of his children to Molekh, he must be put to death. The local people must pelt him to death with stones.

20:3 I will direct My anger against that person, and will cut him off [spiritually] from among his people, since he has given his children to Molekh, thus defiling that which is holy to Me and profaning My holy name.
20:4 [Therefore,] if the people ignore the fact that this person has given his children to Molekh and they do not kill him,
20:5 I will direct My anger against that person and his family. I will cut him off [spiritually] from among his people, along with all those who are misled by him to prostitute themselves to Molekh.
20:6 If a person turns to the mediums and oracles so as to prostitute himself to their ways, I will direct My anger against him, and cut him off [spiritually] from his people.
20:7 You must sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am God your Lord.
20:8 Safeguard My decrees and keep them, since I am God [and] I am making you holy.
20:9 Any person who curses his father or mother shall therefore be put to death. Since he has cursed his father or mother, he shall be stoned to death.
20:10 If a man commits adultery with a married woman, [and] she is the wife of a fellow [Israelite], both the adulterer and adulteress shall be put to death.
20:11 If a man has intercourse with his father's wife, he has committed a sexual offense against his father. Therefore, both of them shall be put to death by stoning.
20:12 If a man has intercourse with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death. Since they have committed an utterly detestable perversion, they shall be stoned to death.
20:13 If a man has intercourse with another man in the same manner as with a woman, both of them have committed a disgusting perversion. They shall be put to death by stoning.
20:14 If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is a perversion, and both he and [the second one taken] shall be burned with fire.
20:15 If a man performs a sexual act with an animal, he must be put to death, and the animal shall also be killed.
20:16 If a woman presents herself to an animal and allows it to mate with her, you shall kill both the woman and the animal. They shall be put to death by stoning.
20:17 If a man takes his sister, even [a half sister] who is [only] the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother, and they both agree to a sexual act, it is an extremely shameful perversion, and they shall be cut off [spiritually] before their people. Since he has committed incest with his sister, he shall bear his guilt.
20:18 If a man has intercourse with a woman who is [ritually impure from her] menstruation, he has committed a sexual offense with her. He has violated her womb, and she has revealed the source of her blood; [therefore] both of them shall be cut off [spiritually] from among their people.
20:19 Do not commit incest with your mother's sister or with your father's sister. If one thus violates his blood relative, he shall bear his guilt.
20:20 If a man has intercourse with his aunt, thus committing a sexual offense against his uncle, [both the man and woman] shall bear their guilt and die without children.
20:21 If a man takes his brother's wife when she must be avoided, he has committed a sexual offense against his brother, and both [the man and woman] shall be childless.
20:22 Safeguard all My decrees and laws and keep them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to settle will not vomit you out.
20:23 Do not follow the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, since they did all the above mentioned [perversions] and I was disgusted with them.
20:24 I therefore said to you, 'Take over their land. I will give it to you so that you can inherit it - a land flowing with milk and honey. I am God your Lord who has separated you out from among all the nations.
20:25 You must [likewise] separate out the clean animals and birds from the unclean. Do not make yourselves disgusting through animals, birds or other creatures that I have separated out for you as being unclean.
20:26 You shall be holy to Me, for I, God, am holy, and I have separated you out from among the nations to be Mine.'
20:27 Any man or woman who is involved in [the practices of] the mediums or oracles shall be put to death. They shall be pelted to death with stones, and thus stoned to death.



Commentary:

pelt him to death...
  After trial by a duly ordained Sanhedrin. Since there is no such ordination today, death penalties are not imposed.

mediums and oracles
  See Leviticus 19:31

cut him off...
  See note on Leviticus 20:27.

he shall be stoned...
  (Sanhedrin 66a; Rashi; from 20:27). Expressed idiomatically by, 'his blood is in him.' This indicates that he shall be killed by a method that induces internal bleeding, and this is stoning. See Exodus 21:17.

fellow Israelite
  (Sanhedrin 52b; Rashi).

put to death
  By strangulation (Ibid.) Whenever a death penalty is not specified, it is by strangulation.

If a man...
  The Torah now gives the penalties for the sexual offenses outlined in Leviticus 18:6-23.

by stoning
  See Leviticus 20:9.

utterly detestable perversion
  Tevel. See Leviticus 18:23.

stoned to death
  See Leviticus 20:9.

by stoning
  See Leviticus 20:9.

the second one taken
  (cf. Saadia). That is, if a man marries a woman legally, his wife's mother and daughter become forbidden to him. Either one who has intercourse with him then incurs the death penalty (Yad, Issurey Biyah 2:7; Sanhedrin 15:11; Rashi).

by stoning
  See Leviticus 20:9.

and they both agree...
  (cf. Ramban). Literally, 'he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness.'

extremely shameful perversion
  (Targum; Saadia; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra). Chesed in Hebrew.

ritually impure...
  Who has not immersed in a mikvah; see Leviticus 18:19.

violated
  Or, 'penetrated' (Yevamoth 54a; Rashi).

when she must be avoided
  But sometimes she is permitted; Deuteronomy 25:5.

Do not follow the customs
  This is a specific commandment not to follow gentile customs (Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 30). See Leviticus 18:3.

mediums or oracles
  See Leviticus 19:31, 20:6.

stoned to death
  See note on Leviticus 20:9. If there are witnesses and the person is condemned, there is a death penalty. Otherwise, the penalty is being 'cut off' ( Leviticus 20:6; Rashi).





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