I.   Verse 1,2 - Introduction.

A.     This is to be spoken to all the congregation.  Everyone of  the people should know what God expects of them.

B.     They are to be holy before God.  This is not just being holy  before other people, or putting on a show for man, but being  holy in their heart before God.

C.     I am the Lord.  This is the total reason for holiness, as He  is the supreme example of holiness.


II.   The following is a sundry list of commandments.

A.     Verse 3 - Fear parents.

1.       Fear doesn't necessarily mean to be afraid of, but to  respect.

2.       Eph. 6:1,2 - This is the first commandment with  promise.

3.       Keep Sabbaths - not only the regular 7th day worship,  but also the holy days.

4.       I am the Lord - This is the reason for keeping all  these things.  This is not a ritual of worship, but a  true adoration of the Lord.

B.     Verse 4 - Do not worship anything made by human hands.

1.       John 4:24 - We must worship in spirit and in truth.

2.       I am the Lord your God - This is the reason for  worshipping in this fashion.

C.     Verse 5-8 - The peace offerings.

1.       For an explanation of these verses see chapter 3.

2.       It is repeated here because this is the only offering  that the giver also partakes of.  They need to be very  careful about giving things to God that He might give  it back to them.

D.     Verse 9,10 - God's welfare program.

1.       The land owners should not reap all of the crop.  This  is not to encourage waste, but to leave some for the  poor.

2.       We will always have the poor with us.  Some people are  poor because they have never learned how to take care  of material things.

a.      Some people with good paying jobs never have  enough money because they spend on impulse, not  thinking they need the money for necessities.

b.      b.            This kind of people cannot be helped or made rich.            Former President Johnson's "poverty program" would  not work because of this.

3.       An example of this being carried out and God blessing  it is in Ruth.  Boaz let Ruth glean close by the  reapers.

4.       "Glean" means to receive that which was missed in the  first harvest.  This is not to be done by the owner of  the property, but the "gleanings" are to be left for  the poor.  If the poor don't get the gleanings, it is  their fault.

5.       Note:  The poor must go into the fields and work.  They  should not remain in their homes and expect other  people to bring their food to them.  Today, many people  want the benefits of the earth, but want other people  to get it out of the gardens for them, then preserve it  for them.

E.      Verse 11 - No lying, stealing, or dealing falsely.

1.       Note that lying, and stealing is the same thing as  dealing falsely.

2.       We put these things in different categories, but God  says they are all the same.

F.      Verse 12 - To swear falsely is to profane the name of the  Lord.

1.       This is not talking about swearing allegiance to the  flag or country, but is swearing allegiance to things  God is against (sin).

2.       "I am the Lord" - This is the reason.  God is not like  the other "gods", but He is the creator of heaven and  earth and the Saviour of our souls.

G.     Verse 13 - No bankruptcy.

1.       Rules for the employer concerning the employee.  If  these laws were followed, there would be no need for  unions.

2.       The word "defraud" means to oppress.  God puts it in  the same category as robbing him.  Note that robbing a  neighbor means to take away his goods, and oppress  means to hinder him (either in his material goods, or  any other way).

3.       Wages - In those days a laborer was paid at the end of  the day.  Today, employees are paid at the end of a  week, every two weeks, twice a month, or in some cases  once a month.  Regardless of the pay period, the  employer should be careful to pay on time and not  begrudge the wage.

H.     Verse 14 - Don't hurt those that don't know you're hurting  them.

1.       Don't curse the deaf - they can't hear you and will  never know what you are doing.

2.       Don't put something in the way of the blind.  They  can't see you and will never know who caused them to  stumble.

3.       The reason.  Even though the deaf can't hear and the  blind can't see, God both hears and sees.  He will  judge.

I.        Verse 15 - Righteous judgment.

1.       Everybody is not a judge, but everybody judges.  Let us  judge righteously.

2.       No one should have "pull" with the judge.  We should  judge things either right or wrong according to the  Word of God.  It is our neighbor we judge, whether the  person lives close by us or far from us.

J.       Verse 16 - We should not gossip.

1.       "go up and down" - We look at this sometimes as a  person doing nothing but going from house to house  telling gossip about people.  The truth is:  as we go  about our daily business, let us refrain from telling  things on other people.

2.       Stand against the blood of thy neighbor.  Do not  interfere with the course of justice.

a.      Do not overly protect our neighbor when he is at  fault.

b.      Do not overly condemn him when he is in the right.

K.     Verse 17 - Two unrelated things that the love of God will  unite.

1.       Hate brother.  When we really love God, we will really  love our brother (both fleshly and in Christ).  This  love comes from the heart.

2.       Rebuke neighbor, suffer sin.  If you see your neighbor  doing something that you know will bring the judgment  of God upon him, it is our duty in Christ (because of  the love of Christ) to go to that neighbor, explain the  situation to him, praying that God will give him light  to avoid judgment.  If he does not listen, it is our  place to back off and pray for him.  It may be we are  wrong and can learn a lesson about God's Word.

3.       The motivation is the love of God in our hearts.

L.      Verse 18 - All vengeance belongs to God, not us.  Even to  those that have wronged us, let God judge them.  Let us fear  God and keep His commandments.

M.    Verse 19 - No intermingling, not in animals, seed, or  garments.  The reason for this commandment is to help the  Israelites remember that God expects them to be a particular  people and a pure people.  God didn't want them to mingle  their seed with the people of this world.

N.     Verse 20-22 - The commandment to not lie with a woman  carnally.  The special conditions are: (1) a bondmaid (2)  betrothed to an husband (3) not redeemed [having no  freedom].

1.       She shall be scourged (whipped) because she was under  orders, and not free to make her own decision.  She was  whipped because the thing she did was wrong and she  knew it was wrong.

2.       The man shall be forgiven only when he brings his  trespass offering (a ram).  This is a public confession  of sin.  It is not covered up or the sacrifice given in  secret.  The fact that the woman is whipped is not  covered up, therefore the confession of the man is not  covered up.  It is impossible to cover up sin.

3.       These things teach there is a consequence to be paid  for sin regardless of who commits the sin.

O.     Verse 23-25 - A means of thanking the Lord for the increase  of the land.  Don't eat the first of the fruits because that  would show that we don't think God could provide more.  Let  us wait for the bountiful harvest.

P.      Verse 26-28 - Some sundry laws.

1.       Eat nothing with blood - as described in chapter 17:10- 16.

2.       Enchantment - Ex. 7:11 - These are the devils tools.

3.       Observe times - like astrology.

4.       Round the corners of your heads or beard - This may  allude to such a custom as that of the Arabs described  by Herodotus.  They used these haircuts to show honor  to their deity Orotal by cutting the hair away from the  temples in a circular form.

5.       Cut flesh for the dead.  Do not mourn like that.

a.      I Kings 18:28 - The prophets of Baal cut  themselves to get the attention of their god.

b.      I Thess. 4;13 - We do sorrow for the loss of loved  ones, but not as others which have no hope.

6.       Marks in the flesh - like tattoos.

7.       The reason for these laws:  "I am the Lord".

Q.     Verse 29 - It is up to every father to raise his own  children, teaching them the ways of God and teaching them to  avoid the ways of Satan.

1.       It is the responsibility of each parent to keep their  children from sin.

2.       We often think that somebody else's daughter will be the  prostitute, but the prostitute must be somebody's  daughter.

3.       This ought to teach us that our children could be  guilty of doing any sin.

R.     Verse 30 - This verse is a positive way of teaching your  children.  Note the repeat from verse 3.

S.      Verse 31 - Pay no attention to Seances or sorcerers.  These  things will defile you and turn you from God.

1.       The word "sorcerer" comes from the Greek word  "pharmaheia" which means "druggings".  We get our word  "pharmacy".

2.       Note that God does not deny the existence of Satan and  His work.  There are some today that deny these things,  but they surely existed then [1]and[1] now.  Satan has power  to do many things, including some things related to  filling the need to worship in the natural man.  This  will always draw natural man away from God and toward  Satan, casting him deeper and deeper into the pit.

3.       The reason for leaving these things alone: "I am the  LORD your God".  Note the addition of the words, "your  God".

T.      Verse 32 - Old age will be respected by the "Christian"!

1.       In the late 50's and early 60's, young people said,  "You can't trust anybody over 30."  This led to a great  downfall in the morals of this nation.  We ought to  respect the experience of those people who are older,  knowing that they only wish the best for us.

2.       I Kings 12 - Let us not be like Rehoboam who rejected  the advice of the old men and lost the kingdom.

U.     Verse 33,34 - This is for the stranger that dwells with  them, not for every stranger who happens to visit with them.            An example of the blessings God visited upon Israel in  strangers is:

1.       Joshua 2 - Rahab the harlot married into Israel and was  in the line of Christ. See Matt. 1:5, Joshua 6:25.

2.       Ruth - See the book of Ruth and Matt. 1:5 for the story  of Ruth (a Moabite) who married Boaz (a Jew) and was  included in the lineage of Christ.

V.     Verse 35,36a - Be honest in everyday dealings.

1.       meteyard - a measurement in distances.

2.       weight - dry measurement, such as weighing a bushel of  corn or wheat.

3.       measure - liquid measurement.

4.       all measurement - let everything be done right before  God.

W.   Verse 36b-37 - Conclusion:

1.       The reason these things ought to be done is because God  is their God.

2.       He has brought them out of Egypt, given them freedom  and a land that is all their own.  Therefore, they  ought to serve God.

3.       The same thing is true for us.  Christ has saved us  from the sinfulness of this world and promised us a  home in eternity with Him.  Therefore, we ought to  serve Him.