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A Forgotten Abomination?

A Warning for Christian Marriages

 

            Let the reader[1] examine Leviticus chapter 18:

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. 3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. 4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. 5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD. 6 None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. 7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. 8 The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness. 9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. 10 The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. 11 The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. 12 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman. 13 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman. 14 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt. 15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. 16 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness. 17 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness. 18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. 19 Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness. 20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her. 21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. 24 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.

Do not the wickednesses mentioned in Leviticus 18 all—or almost all—seem to be clearly vile and abhorrent, at a first reading?  What Christian would argue that such disgusting abominations as engaging in sexual relations with an animal, or with one’s parents, or engaging in sodomy, is not obviously a moral, not merely ceremonial, prohibition?  For one inclined to dispute the point, it can be noted that Leviticus 18:5 is quoted in Galatians 3:12 and Romans 10:5 (cf. Nehemiah 9:29) as setting forth the standard of sinless obedience to God’s Law for all mankind, and failure to obey this standard is the reason for man’s condemnation and his need to receive the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith.  Leviticus 18:5 thus evidences that the contents of Leviticus 18 are moral law.  One notes further that in v. 24, “all . . . [Gentile] nations are defiled” with the abominations of the chapter, and for this cause Jehovah cast them out.  Thus, Gentiles, not Israel only, were punished for practicing the acts of Leviticus 18.  Note that “all” in Leviticus 18 defiles and is sin for Gentiles (v. 24, 27).  Indeed, for each one of the evils of Leviticus 18, the land of Canaan was defiled by the Gentiles, and the land therefore vomited out these non-Israelites as a judgment from the Lord (v. 25).  Both Israelites and those not descended from Jacob who were living in Canaan were forbidden to do any of the sins of Leviticus 18 (v. 26).  If the Israelites practiced these abominations, they would be spewed out, just like the Gentiles were (v. 28).  Anyone who practiced the abominations of Leviticus 18 had done something so serious that he was not considered one of God’s true people, but rather was put to death (v. 29).  Clearly the prohibition of v. 30 refers to every act spoken of in the chapter, and is binding on all of God’s people, whether believing Jews or Gentiles: “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.”

            But what about v. 19? “Thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.”  Is this also moral law?  Is it an abomination for a husband and wife to engage in physical marital relations while the wife is menstruating?  The conclusion of Leviticus 18 clearly specifies that “all” the actions of the chapter are abominations.  It is certainly unnatural exegesis to claim that the first eighteen verses of the chapter are moral law, there is an abrupt switch to a mere ceremonial regulation in v. 19, and then a switch back to moral precepts in v. 20-30, without the slightest hint in the chapter of anything of the kind.  Israelites were put to death for practicing v. 19, as they were for the rest of the chapter.  The land was defiled because Gentiles practiced v. 19, just as defilement occurred for the rest of Leviticus 18.  Non-Jewish nations were vomited out because of v. 19.  It certainly seems like the natural conclusion is that intercourse during menstruation is an abomination, and this conclusion is validated by an examination of the history of doctrine.[2]  But is this the teaching of only one isolated verse—Leviticus 18:19?

            Consider Leviticus 20:

Leviticus 20:

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: 5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. 6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. 7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. 8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you. 9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. 10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. 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. 14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. 15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. 16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. 18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. 20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless. 22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. 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. 24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. 25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. 27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

The chapter begins with crimes that make one unworthy of being reckoned as one of the people of God, indeed, with crimes worthy of execution (which, in the New Testament, is paralleled with church discipline—1 Corinthians 5:13).  Such crimes include idolatry (v. 2-5), sorcery (v. 6), cursing parents (v. 9), adultery (v. 10), sexual relations with one’s father’s wife (v. 11), with one’s daughter in law (v. 12), sodomy (v. 13), marrying a woman and her daughter (v. 14), bestiality (v. 15-16), and sexual relations with one’s sister (v. 17).  God plainly states that all of these perversions are abominable, unworthy of God’s people, and deserve to be punished by death at the hand of the civil magistrate.  However, note the concluding item in this list of abominations worthy of death: “And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.”  What basis do we have for concluding that this is not a very serious sin, since it is listed with many others that are clearly moral, and is said to be worthy the death penalty, as the rest of them are?  Is it sound exegesis to conclude that a prohibition of intercourse during menstruation was merely ceremonial law?  Note that the prohibitions of v. 1-18 are rooted in God’s absolute holiness (v. 7-8).  Israel is to obey these commands, not because of dispensational, ceremonial regulations, but because God is unchangeably and absolutely holy.

            Verse 19 begins a further list of sins that are equally obviously moral, although they are not worthy of death, as are the sins of 20:1-18.[3]  Prohibitions against uncovering the nakedness of one’s sisters as near kin (v. 19), of sexual relations with one’s uncle’s wife (v. 20), and of sexual union with one’s brother’s wife (v. 21) are condemned.  These are not condemned as ceremonial regulations, but followed by the warning that the land will spue out the nation that allows these evils (v. 22), just as God “abhorred” the Gentile nations that practiced them and cast them out (v. 23).  The following context of v. 19-23 also demonstrates that v. 18’s prohibition of sexual relations during menstruation is moral law.  Not only is it at the end of a list of sins worthy of death, but it is followed by equally moral prohibitions, disobedience to which brought Gentile nations to be spewed out.

            The contrast between these preceding prohibitions and the subsequent ceremonial laws about clean and unclean foods is marked in v. 24-26;  unlike the binding moral precepts for Jew and Gentile of the previous verses, the commands about various foods (v. 25) are limited to Israel with “but I have said unto you [Israel]” (v. 24a), with a statement about Israel’s being “separated . . . from other people” (v. 24e), the reason (“therefore,” v. 25) the nation is to “put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean” (v. 25).  No indication that Gentiles were cast out of the land for violating food laws is found.  No repetition of the death penalty, as for the transgressions of v. 1-18 (and v. 27’s restatement of the prohibition of sorcery found in v. 6), is found for the food laws.  The food laws of v. 24-26 are specific to Israel (a point also repeated in the New Testament, Mark 7:19; Acts 10:15; 1 Timothy 4:1-3, etc.).  The distinction between moral commands binding on all men of the current dispensation of grace, and ceremonial laws for Old Testament Israel alone, are clear in the chapter.

            Grammatical-historical, literal interpretation leads to the conclusion that the sins of vv. 1-23 of Leviticus 20 are all moral prohibitions binding on all men, Jews and Gentiles.  This includes the prohibition of sexual relations during menstruation (v. 18), which is even listed with sins that are assigned the death penalty.  But is this prohibition repeated outside of the book of Leviticus?

            Ezekiel 18:5-18 reads:

5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, 7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD. 10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, 11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife, 12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, 13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. 14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, 15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour’s wife, 16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, 17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

Here again one notices that all the sins are plainly moral prohibitions.  Who would argue that idolatry, extortion of the poor,[4] spoiling by violence, defiling the wife of one’s neighbor, withdrawing from iniquity, executing true judgment, murder, and the like sins of the chapter are merely ceremonial?  How can sexual relations with a menstruating woman (v. 6, cf. Ezekiel 22:10) be isolated from all the rest of these moral statutes and disregarded?  If obedience to all of these commands makes a man “just” and one who does “that which is lawful and right” (v. 5), and the unrighteous man “doeth the like to any one of these things” (v. 10), of which “all [are] sins” (v. 14), and consequently such a one “shall die in his iniquity” (v. 18), what exegetical basis is there for saying that one can be just and righteous and still do one of the things condemned by Ezekiel?  Who can make the prohibition of sexual relations during menstruation merely ceremonial?

            One could object that Leviticus 15:24 indicates that merely a ceremonial uncleanness is involved in marital union with a menstruating woman.  However, Leviticus 15:24 simply establishes that one who engages in sexual relations with his wife without knowing that she is menstruating, or a couple who is in the process of such physical union when the wife when begins to menstruate, has not committed a moral crime.  Since, as established earlier, sexual relations with a woman who was known to be menstruating was a capital crime, the exception for ignorance in Leviticus 15:24 was very important.  The fact that, as 15:24 indicates, even an unintentional action of this sort brought ceremonial uncleanness to the men of Israel for a week actually supports the position that intentional intercourse during menstruation is a moral offence.

            Furthermore, the laws and prohibitions involving ceremonial worship and institutions such as the Passover, the sacrificial system, the Tabernacle, the Levitical priesthood all pointed forward to Christ, and found their fulfillment in Him.  The prohibition of intercourse during menstruation does not fit this typical mold for ceremonial law at all.  How in the world is a prohibition on sexual intercourse during menstruation typological?  What could it possibly foreshadow in Christ?  Where does the New Testament give the slightest hint of such an antitypical significance, or the cessation of the binding necessity of practicing this command because of a fulfillment in the Messiah?

            The position that it is sinful to intentionally engage in intercourse during menstruation is supported historically.  For example, John Gill comments (in part) on Leviticus 20:18:

Ver. 18. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, &c.] Her monthly courses, which make her weak and languid, which is forbidden, Le 18:19; this is not to be understood of a man’s lying with his wife ignorantly, when in such a condition, for this being the case, he was only unclean seven days, Le 15:24; whereas this made him and her liable to cutting off, as in an after clause; but of his lying with her, knowing this to be the case with her, and of which she could not be ignorant, and therefore both liable to the same punishment; or else of any other man lying with her, or of any man lying with any woman, married or unmarried, being in such circumstances:

and shall uncover her nakedness; that is, have carnal knowledge of her:

he hath discovered her fountain; from whence her issue of blood flows: and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood; freely and willingly, as Aben Ezra observes; for if she had been forced, he alone would have been cut off; but both these phrases put together show agreement in this matter, that they both had knowledge of her case, and both consented to commit the sin:

and both of them shall be cut off from among their people; by death, either by the hand of the civil magistrate, the case being known and proved or else by the hand of God . . .

Adam Clarke comments on Leviticus 15:24:

Verse 24. The common sense of all mankind has led them to avoid the gross impropriety referred to in this verse[.] . . . In Le 20:18, persons guilty of this are condemned to death; here only to a seven days’ separation; because, in the former case, Moses speaks of the act when both the man and woman were acquainted with the situation: in the latter, he speaks of a case where the circumstance was not known till afterwards; at least, so it appears these two places should be understood, so as to be reconciled.

John Calvin comments on Ezekiel 18:5-9, concerning the menstruating woman:

We know this to be prohibited under the law; as being contrary to nature; for it was not necessary to define the matter by written law, as it speaks for itself.  And God detests such crimes . . . they are adverse to the instincts of human nature (Leviticus 18:19; 20:18).

Such positions were not restricted to commentators. William Gouge in his Of Domestic Duties (London: 1622) wrote:

[It is a sin] against modesty . . . when husbands require [intercourse] in that time, which under the law was called the time of a wife’s separation for her disease [Lev 15:19, etc.] For what can be expected from such polluted copulation, but a leprous and loathsome generation? This kind of intemperance is expressly forbidden [Lev 18:19] and a capital punishment inflicted on such as offended therein. [Lev 20:18] Abstinence in this time is set in the catalogue of those notes which declare a man to be righteous . . . and the contrary intemperancy is put in the roll of such abominations as provoked God to spue out the Canaanites [Lev 18:28] and to forsake his own inheritance [Ezek 22:10].” (Sec 2b9, “Of Remedies Against Adultery, and in Particular of Due Benevolence, and of Defect or Excess Therein,” within book 2b, “Of Common-Mutual Duties Between Man and Wife.”)

When modern neo-evangelicals affirm, without an exegetical basis, that “surely Leviticus 18:19 and 20:18 (prohibitions of intercourse during menstrual uncleanness) . . . are . . . ‘ceremonial’ laws”[5] they are departing from both sound Biblical interpretation and historical doctrine.[6]  Let not faithful saints follow them in this.

            It should be noted as well that the prohibition “to uncover [the] nakedness”[7] (Leviticus 18:19) of a woman during menstruation, while certainly involving a prohibition upon actual sexual intercourse, also appears to prohibit literal uncovering of the area of the female anatomy involved, even without actual sexual entry.  The husband is not to “discove[r] her fountain,” nor is the wife to “uncove[r] the fountain of her blood” (Leviticus 20:18).  This prohibition is verified by a study of galah (“uncover”) in connection with ‘erwah, (“nakedness”).[8]  While often in Scripture nakedness is uncovered for the purpose of engaging in intercourse, the phrase can be glossed as simply “to make naked,” without intercourse being involved.[9]  Note Genesis 9:21-23: “And [Noah] drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.”  Obviously the uncovering of nakedness here is simply literal.  When God commanded the children of Israel, “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon” (Exodus 20:26), literal nakedness, not intercourse, is clearly signified.

Hence, while at any time of the month a wife may say, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (Song 1:2), or “by night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth” (Song 3:1), and God specifically states that the husband is, without any temporal limitation to “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times” (Proverbs 5:19), the husband is not to see the fountain of his wife’s blood while she is menstruating, and conjugal relations during that time period are sinful.  All the other pleasures of the physical marital relationship that God has ordained and magnified as joyous and honorable in the Song of Solomon have no such limitation, and, apart from this specific exception the Creator has ordained in His wisdom, sovereignty, and love, Scripture positively commands the married to regularly “come together” in physical union (1 Corinthians 7:5).  Let all Christian spouses joyfully obey both the positives and negatives in this area for the glory of their Redeemer.


[1]           Some Christian readers might feel uncomfortable reading about the matters analyzed in this composition, thinking it better that such topics were better left unmentioned.  However, a failure to present the teaching of Scripture in this area can lead sincere believers to commit what God has called an abomination.  One’s feeling of discomfort is no reason to fail to warn against what the Lord calls abominable.  Furthermore, this study simply exegetes Scripture on the topic at hand.  “All Scripture,” including that which relates to sexual relations, “is profitable is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, [and] for instruction in righteousness,” and is to be “preach[ed] . . . be[ing] instant in season, out of season” (2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2).  There is not a syllable, no, not a jot or tittle of God’s inspired and infallible Word which the man of God should be ashamed to study and boldly preach and teach.  One should consider as well that concerning the statutes of the entire Law, including Leviticus 18 and 20, the Lord commands, “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”  Both adults and children, therefore, are to diligently consider every Word, every sentence, every chapter, every doctrine revealed by God.  While there is plenty of filth in this rebellious and sexually obsessed generation that should “not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3), nothing recorded in holy Scripture falls in any way into such a category.

 

[2]           See the historical analysis below that follows the Scriptural exposition.

[3]           The distinction, noticeable in English by the “and thou shalt not” that begins the verse, is different from the “and if a man/woman (or “and the man that/woman that”)” (r°RvSa h#DÚvIa◊w/rRvSa vy∞Ia◊w) that began each of vv. 10-18.

[4]           Some might attempt to argue that the prohibition upon usury, the taking of interest on loaned money, was limited to the nation of Israel and was only ceremonial.  However, such a position cannot be sustained by an examination of the subject throughout Scripture.  Israel, under the Mosaic law, was permitted to get interest from those who were not God’s people (Deuteronomy 23:30)—the prohibition of interest was limited to those who belonged to the Lord.  Putting money in a bank and getting interest on it is commended, not forbidden, in the Bible (cf. Matthew 25:27; Luke 19:23)—but extortion, and lending money at interest to God’s people, is a moral prohibition.  Believers are to give to fellow church members and Christians in need (Matthew 5:42; Ephesians 4:28), not use the needs of poor saints as a reason to make money by lending to them at interest.  The prohibition of usury in Ezekiel 18 by no means supports the idea that any part of the chapter is merely ceremonial or particular to only Israel under the Mosaic covenant.

[5]           Wayne Grudem, book review of Greg L. Bahnsen: Homosexuality: A Biblical View. Westminster Theological Journal 42:1 (Fall 1979) pg. 248.

[6]           For example, the “Puritans also restricted the times of sexual activity in marriage. They asked their hearers to adhere to the Levitical restrictions against sexual relations during menstruation” (pg. 134, “The Puritans, Sex, and Pleasure, Daniel Doriani, Westminster Theological Journal 53:1 (Spring 1991)).

[7]           The phrase “to uncover her nakedness” (;h`DtÎw√rRo twäø;lÅgVl) in Leviticus 18:19 contains a Piel infinitive construct for “to uncover.”

[8]           The complete list of related references is: Exodus 20:26 (w/Niphal verb); Leviticus 18:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19  (all w/Piel verbs; all the references below have a Piel unless otherwise noted); 20:11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Isaiah 47:3 (Niphal); Ezekiel 16:36 (Niphal); 16:37; 22:10; 23:10, 18, 29.

[9]           See Exodus 20:26—clearly this is simply being seen naked; Leviticus 20:17—uncovering nakedness is paralleled with seeing it, as it is in Isaiah 47:3; Ezekiel 16:37—here uncovering/discovering nakedness is paralleled with “they may see all thy nakedness,” supporting a literal sense in the first phrase; Ezekiel 23:10—apparently literally stripping the woman naked and slaying her in judgment without any actual sexual relations going on (although they had previously, v. 8); Ezekiel 23:29— discovering/uncovering nakedness is paralleled to “leave thee naked and bare.”

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