Leviticus 19:1-37

Key Verse(s):

Leviticus 19:37 (HCSB)

37 You must keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am Yahweh.”


This passage opens with a statement that sets the tone for the rest of the passage: “Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) The following verses are a slew of summary statements of previously stated commands and rules, all with the ten commandments as the underpinning.

The pericope is a summary of God’s rules, which guide His people. This is a guide to holiness, rather than destruction. Contrary to the notion that God is a killjoy, or desires our miserable existence, God provides these regulations to help us achieve holiness and be more like Him. This is a step towards life, a truly fulfilled life, rather than the death that is the fruit of life without, and in opposition to, God.

There are a number of things to note among these verses:

  1. There is an absolute, and consistent, reminder that God is God. That He is the One who should be honored and obeyed. The phrase “I am Yahweh” appears 13 times, certainly we should get the message: we are not god, God is!
  2. Although many of these prescriptions have obvious benefits, and clear reasons why we should obey God, there are others that sort of seem odd and out of place. Leviticus 19:19, for example, seems a little out of place among verses warning against prostitution and oppression. But when we remember the overall theme of the pericope we can see how even this verse passes on a wonderful truth and guidance: God demands our purity, avoidance of being mixed and diluted in our worship of Him.
  3. God expects all His ordinances be followed and obeyed. Failure to disobey just one of them results in defilement. None of these verses suggest that failing to obey a command might result in defilement, or will defile only when combined with disobeying some other command. We are held to a high standard, one that only One person could satisfy!


Lord, thank You for Your continued guidance. You demand, deserve, perfection, and only You could provide it through Your son Jesus. Thank You for saving me, and loving me. Amen.


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