Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.
1. “Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance…”
a. keep [8104 * shamar][Strong: a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.:--beward, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep(-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch(-man).]
b. ordinance [4931 * mishmereth][Strong: the act (custody), or (concr.) the sentry, the post; obj. preservation, or (concr.) safe; fig. observance, i.e. (abstr.) duty or (obj.) a usage or party:--charge, keep, or to be kept, office, ordinace, safeguard, ward, watch.][Gesenius: custody, guard, station, a keeping, an observance, a law, a rite.]
1). This Hebrew word is translated “charge” 50 times. In the first example it is referring to Abraham and the other examples it is referring to the non-priestly families of the tribe of Levi and their responsibilities concerning the Tabernacle.
a). Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
b). Numbers 3:7 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.
c). Numbers 3:25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,
2. “…that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs…”
a. a. commit [6213 * ‘asah][Strong: a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows):--accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck, + displease, do, (ready) dress(-ed), (put in) execute(-ion), exercise, fashion, + feast, (fight-)ing man, + finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great, + hinder, hold ((a feast)), X indeed, + be industrious, + journey, keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer, + officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, pracise, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, X sacrifice, serve, set, shew, X sin, spend, X surely, take, X thoroughly, trim, X very, + vex, be (warr-)ior, work(-man), yield, use.]
1). The use of this word and its definition reflects back to the opening verses of Leviticus 18 and the ordinances of the LORD as opposed to the ordinances, laws, and statutes of Canaan. The ordinances of the Canaanites concerning these practices were either compulsory or gave them license to do them.
2). AMG The Complete Word Study Dictionary Old Testament: A verb meaning to do, to make, to accomplish, to complete. This frequently used Hebrew verb conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation, or a goal in view (cf. Genesis 11:6). Particularly, it is used in conjunction with God’s commands (Deuteronomy 16:12).
3). I want to add with the above definition that this word adds a sort of “official obedience”. With the above in mind I wanted to explore the use of this Hebrew verb in examples of its use. According to Blue Letter Bible it is translated “commit” over 50 times. In fact it is used 5 times in the passage Leviticus 18:26-30. Other examples are:
a). Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
b). Leviticus 20:23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.
4). According to Blue Letter Bible it is translated “execute” in 50 different verses. In most of the verses it is referring to carrying out
a). Exodus12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
b). Deuteronomy 33:21 And he [Gad] provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.
c). 2 Samuel 8:15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.
5). Once it is translated “govern”.
a). 1 Kings 21:7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
b. abominable [8441 * tow’ebah][Strong: properly, something disgusting (morally), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol:-- abominable (custom, thing), abomination.][Gesenius: abomination, something abominable.]
c. customs [2708 * ][Strong: appointed, custom, manner, ordinance, site, statute. ][Gesenius: that which is established or defined, law, ordinance, practice, custom, right, privilege.] [Blue Letter Bible: This word is translated “statute” 77 times and “ordinance” 22 times.]
1). The rest of chapter 18 in Leviticus, particularly verses 6-23 then lists a whole range of immoral sexual practices that the cultures of Egypt and Canaan not only practiced but made ordinances concerning them. It looks as if there were laws on the books in Egypt and in the Canaanite nations regarding their incest, their child sacrifice, their homosexuality, their bestiality. They codified their immorality into their legal systems, they legislated their immorality. America is more and more becoming a Canaanite nation. We are codifying our immorality into our legal system, we are legislating our immorality in the same way the Canaanite nations did. When Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, we codified child sacrifice into our legal system, just as Canaan did in Leviticus 18:21. When Lawrence v. Texas was decided, all the remaining state laws criminalizing homosexual behavior were throw out and we codified homosexual behavior into our legal system just as Canaan did in Leviticus 18:22. In our efforts to not legislate morality, we are legislating immorality.
2). Verification that the prohibited sexual practices of Leviticus 18:6-23 were the sexual practices of the nations of Canaan is found in the ending verses of the chapter.
a). Leviticus 18:24-30 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.
b). The LORD clearly says in these verses that these were the sexual practices of the nations of Canaan.
c). The Hebrew word translated “customs” in Leviticus 18:30 is the same Hebrew word translated “ordinances” in Leviticus 18:3, 4. Hence when the passage ends with the description of these customs to be “abominable”, we can say with authority that laws that protect homosexuality as a constitutional right are abominable laws.
3. “…which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein…”
a. commited [6213 * ‘asah][See above.]
b. defile [2930 * tame’][Strong: a primitive root; to be foul, especially in a ceremial or moral sense (contaminated):--defile (self), pollute (self), be (make, make self, pronounce) unclean, X utterly.][Gesenius: To be or become unclean, to be polluted]