Today, I am reading and commenting on Leviticus 19-21.
Today’s passage begins with a series of commands about personal behavior, most of them form the basis for having a civil society. Some of them are obvious:
- “Do not steal.”
- “Do not deceive or cheat one another.”
- Do not rob or defraud your neighbor.”
But some of them we need to take special note:
- “Do not favor the poor, or be partial to the rich, in legal matters”
- “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s life is threatened.”
- “Do not nurse hatred in your heart.”
- “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge.”
Notice that it is not enough not to be partial to the rich, we also must not favor the poor over the rich.
These last two I dropped off the qualifiers which the passage contained based on what Jesus had to say about who is our family and who is our neighbor. There are a couple of these which I do not quite understand: “Do not mate two different kinds of animals,” “Do not plant two different kinds of seed.” However, since I am not a farmer, I do not need to figure out how either of those applies. The key to all of these is that they apply to ourselves, not someone else. The command is not “Do not let your neighbor steal.” it is “Do not steal.”