Posts Tagged 'Holiness'

1 Kings Chapter 9

Solomon had been a good king for Israel so far to this point. He had reorganized his kingdom, wiping out those who would have brought strife from within. He had established peace with their neighboring nations. He had built the temple, as the Lord desired. And he was living as a righteous leader of the people, who trusted in God. He ruled with wisdom and desired to do right. This chapter continues the story of Solomon, after the building and dedication of the temple.

Temple

1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do,
2 That the Lord appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.
3 And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:
5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:
8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house?
9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil.

The Lord appeared again to Solomon, as he did in a dream when He offered him wisdom. He told Solomon that he had heard his prayers and accepted the house built in His name. More specifically, in verse 3, the Lord told Solomon that he hallowed the temple. To hallow is to make holy, to consecrate, to purify or to sanctify. Without this act by the Lord, the temple could not have been a place where sacred rituals and promises could have been made by the children of Israel. It would have just been a beautiful building made by men. The Lord makes temples the places of holiness that they are, by the sanctifying power of his Holy Spirit.

The Lord promised Solomon that his kingdom would be established forever, if Solomon (and his people) would live righteously and keep the commandments. Likewise, if Solomon, or his descendants, turned from the Lord to other gods, Israel would be taken from the land of promise, and the temple would no longer be found acceptable to the Lord. Instead, Israel would be made an example to all the people, of consequences that happen when those who are blessed by the Lord, turn from Him to other gods.

10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the Lord, and the king’s house,
11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.
12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.
13 And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.
14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.

Solomon finished building the temple and the palace after twenty years. When he was done, he gave Hiram, king of Tyre, twenty cities in Galilee, for all the work he had done. Hiram did not find the cities acceptable, and they became known as the land of Cabul, which means something like dirty. He sent gold to Solomon. I don’t know why he sent gold, when he found the cities as undesirable as he did, but it seems he did not having anything against Solomon for this.

15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.
16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife.
17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horon the nether,
18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,
19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
20 And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,
21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.
22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.
23 These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work.

Solomon had used a levy on those who were not Israelites, to build the temple, his palace, fortifications and the wall of Jerusalem, and to build and restore several cities, including Gezer. Gezer had previously been destroyed by fire when taken by Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh had given the land to his daughter, the wife of Solomon, as a gift. The levy was not something new, especially to those who lived among them when they could have been destroyed by the Israelites. They had previously been spared and allowed to remain, so long as they gave service to the Israelites. Cities were built by Solomon, to store and maintain all that he had, such as chariots and horses. The men of Israel, became his army, his servants, and rulers of the land. He had 550 men, who ruled over the people who served him.

24 But Pharaoh’s daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo.

Pharaoh’s daughter went to live in the house that Solomon built for her. Then, Solomon began work on the fortifications.

25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the Lord, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the Lord. So he finished the house.

Three times a year, Solomon went to the temple and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.
27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.
28 And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.

Solomon built a navy of ships, with some of the men of Hiram as shipmen along with the servants of Solomon. They brought Solomon gold from Ophir.

I think the important part of this chapter, is that the Lord made a covenant with Solomon, as he had with his father, David. This promise is often repeated in the scriptures, which is that the righteous followers of the Lord, will be blessed in the land, and those who choose to harden their hearts and turn away, will be cursed and cast off. I believe this promise holds true for all disciples of Christ today. If we are truly striving to come unto Christ and live as He would have us live, he will bless our lands, our places of worship, and our lives individually. I have a great hope in these promises, as the time we live in seems to be more and more wicked. I know that if more people could see the value in coming unto Christ, and try to turn away from worldly things, this world would be a better place. I also know that the scriptures teach us things will continue to get harder and more wicked as we grow closer to the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I pray that I may continue to love the word of God and strive to follow the teachings of the Lord, so that I will not be cut off from Him, but receive the blessings offered by my own covenants with the Lord.

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Deuteronomy Chapter 23

The Lord instructed Moses to leave his people with a repetition of the law of Moses. These sermons contained commandments and instruction from the Lord, which, if followed, would have allowed the people to be holy and protected from the world. The sermons of Moses continued in this chapter with rules about who would be allowed to enter the congregation of the Lord.

1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever:
4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.
5 Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the Lord thy God loved thee.
6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.

Those who were not well or whole (without blemish) physically, or a person born to an unwed mother and any of his family for ten generations, were not to enter the congregation of the Lord. Likewise, anyone with Ammonite or Moabite blood for ten generations, was not to enter either, because their ancestors had been a stumbling block to the Israelites as they journeyed to the promised land. Being able to attend the tabernacle and congregation, required a holiness or worthiness of the Lord’s standards. Likewise, in our day there is a standard set in order for anyone to enter the holy temples of the Lord. The standards are not the same, but the principle is. Only those who are worthy to enter and serve there, may do so. This standard applies, so that the temple will not be defiled, because it is the house of the Lord, where the Lord can be among us.

7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.
8 The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the Lord in their third generation.

Those who were from Edom were not to be hated, because they were their family, the children of Esau. The family of Esau was the extended family to the Israelites, however, they were not of the covenant.
The Israelites were also not to hate the Egyptians, because Egypt had been there for the family of Jacob in a time of need and allowed them to live in their land. Anyone with Edomite or Egyptian blood, would be allowed into the congregation after three generations had passed. I am guessing that would mean being the grandchild of one having married into the Israelite nation, when they were only something like 1/8th Edomite or less.

9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

The Israelites are warned to avoid all wicked things, when they went out to fight their enemies. I am sure moments when they were at war would have been very tempting times.They would have been deep in the world, surrounded by a lot of alluring wickedness, and yet expected to not be of the world. It was a standard of the times, to take the spoils of war for yourself or your nation. I am sure that this also applied to the things they would choose to return home with, or would allow other nations to give to them for their victories and strength.

10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:
11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.

In order to keep others from becoming unclean, those who were not considered to be clean were to remain out of the camp until they could wash and become clean. If they did this, more of the nation would be preserved.

12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:
13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:
14 For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

It was necessary that they had a way to keep the land clean from their own waste. They were told to go outside of the camp and use a paddle to cover their waste. The land in their camp, was to be a holier place, where the Lord could walk among them. This was part of the early laws of sanitation and something I am so glad we don’t have to deal with where I live today.

15 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:
16 He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

If a servant came to them, after having escaped from his master, they were allow him to live with them, and not return him to his master. They were also to treat him with kindness. I am not sure if this only applied to those men of Israel, who entered servitude, but it teaches that the Lord felt they were not to be treated as lost property, but as people who deserved kindness.

17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

There were not to make any Israelite man or woman, into a harlot or prostitute. These acts would have led to a great falling away of Israel, and needed to be avoided completely. Those who were in a life of prostitution and immorality, were also not to be brought to the house of the Lord for any vows or promises. I believe this was due to their unworthiness to make promises there.

19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:
20 Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

They were not to demand unreasonable amounts of money or goods from their family and neighbors, as part of their payments or exchanges. No additional interests were to be gained from the trades and transactions between the Israelites. This law did not apply to how they dealt with strangers, but among the Israelites, they were to treat others with a kindness and give the things they sold or used, a proper value. Because they were not to bring others into unnecessary amounts of debt and bondage, this law would promote unity and bless the entire nation of Israel.

21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.
23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.

It was better not to make a vow with the Lord, than to make a vow without the intent or follow-through to make the expected offerings. Likewise, in our day, it is better that one waits to make covenants with God, until they are truly ready to keep those covenants. Making covenants with God, is eternally binding. One should not take them lightly, or make them for a reason other then they are intended. This is why it is so important that covenants are made with an understanding of what they are and what will be expected of one who makes them.

24 When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.
25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.

They were allowed to partake of the field of their neighbors, but not to gather and take them or move them out of the field.

Most of this chapter, seems to be a reminder to the Israelites of the little details of life that could either keep them a holy and worthy people, or cause them to be unworthy of the presence of the Lord. The world may be different in our day, but we are still expected to live the standard of the Lord for us. If we do so, we can be worthy of his spirit among us, and of being able to make covenants and promises in the holy temples on earth today. If we fail to live according to the Lord’s standards, and have no desire to hold to them, we should not attempt to make sacred promises with God, because they will lead to our eternal damnation when we face our own judgement. I am grateful for the gospel, which teaches me how to be worthy to make and keep covenants with God, because I cannot imagine life without the spirit of God, to help and comfort me.

Numbers Chapter 6

The children of Israel, were organized into an ancient-day church of God. After many generations in bondage with the Egyptians, they had to be taught the laws of God. Moses had received commandments and instruction from the Lord, and as their prophet, had been teaching the people how they needed to be living. We see this same kind of significant teaching at the time of the Savior, when he established his church on the earth during his ministry. We also see it when the Lord’s church was restored in latter-days with the prophet Joseph Smith. We have these records and these teachings, so that we can have and live the gospel in our lives today. The Lord continues to reveal the law in this chapter with the following:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord:
3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body.
7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord.
9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.
10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.
12 And he shall consecrate unto the Lord the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

The Israelites were established as a covenant making people. The Lord reveals here, the law of the Nazarite. In this law, the Israelites could dedicate themselves to the Lord by vow. Those who consecrated themselves this way, were set themselves apart from the world and its ways during that time. They were not to partake of strong drinks or wine. These drinks have the ability to cause drunkenness, which was not the way of the Lord. Today, the Lord has revealed the word of wisdom, which also teaches us that we should not partake of any wine or strong drinks. The Nazarite was to avoid all the parts of the grape vine and grapes. Sometimes when we want to avoid something, the best thing to do is to avoid those things associated with it. In the case of avoiding strong drinks, or alcoholic beverages, we would want to avoid situations that promote drinking. Someone who desires to follow the word of wisdom, would be better off not going into a bar.

The Nazarites were not to shave, but were to let their hair grow naturally. I am not sure what the significance is of not shaving, but a devout and devoted man of God was not to shave his head. There is no mention of this in our modern revelations, so my thought is that the purpose was a physical representation of consecration to the Lord. They were not to defile themselves by being near the dead, even if it was close family. I also don’t know the reason for not being near the dead, but this was part of the law of Moses as well. It was one of the things that caused a person to be unclean or unholy. Nazarites were to live according to the laws of righteousness, being holy to the Lord. If someone were to die near them, they were to go through the cleansing ritual, shaving on the seventh day and offering a sacrifice on the eighth day. Then, they were to continue with the dedication of themselves to the Lord. Just to make sure I understood it correctly, I looked up ‘Nazarite’ in the Bible Dictionary.

A consecrated man. A man under a vow to abstain from wine, from any cutting of the hair, and any contact with the dead. The vow might be lifelong, or for a short, definite period.

The life of a Nazarite, was a life devoted to God and His work.

13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
14 And he shall offer his offering unto the Lord, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.
16 And the priest shall bring them before the Lord, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering:
17 And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering.
18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.
19 And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven:
20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.
21 This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the Lord for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.

At the ending of their dedication of the law of the Nazarite, they were to go to the tabernacle and give burnt, sin and peace offerings to the Lord. Then they were to shave their head and burn the hair from their head as part of the peace offering. As part of the ritual, the priest would give them part of the cooked peace offering as a wave and heave offering. Then, it says the Nazarite was able to drink wine, which I think is a way of saying that the man may then return to his normal way of life.

22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

Aaron and his sons were given the words to use as a blessing for the children of Isreal. They are familiar words to me. These are lyrics found in the song “The Lord Bless You And Keep You” which I have heard sung often:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
To shine upon you and be gracious
And be gracious unto you

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord lift His countenance upon you,
The Lord lift His countenance upon you
And give you peace, and give you peace;
And give you peace, and give you peace

What a beautiful blessing for the righteous followers of the Laws of the Lord. We can be blessed with this same blessing if we will keep the commandments of God. He will bless us. He will keep us, or we will be His people. He will give us a portion of His light, which will show in our countenance. He will bless us with more than we can even know, and then we will have His promised peace in this life as well as in the life to come. These are such amazing promises and blessings.

Finally, those who desire to follow the Lord, were to put His name upon themselves. In other words, to take his name upon them. Today, we take the name of the Lord upon us, when we make the covenants of baptism and then strive keep those covenants. When we do this, we stand as a witness of God, at all times, in all things, and in all places. In return, the Lord blesses us with His light, His peace, His safety, and His spirit. Living the laws of God can seem really hard at times, but these things make it worth every effort we have to give.

Leviticus Chapter 22

The Lord called Aaron, the brother of Moses, and his family to be holy to the Lord. The men of his family were set apart to be the priests who served in the tabernacle of the Lord. They had been given specific instruction on how they should live, so that they would be sanctified and prepared to do the work of the Lord. The instruction to the family of Aaron continues in this chapter as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the Lord.
3 Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.
4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him;
5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath;
6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.
7 And when the sun is down, he shall be clean, and shall afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.
8 That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the Lord.
9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the Lord do sanctify them.
10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.
11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.
12 If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger, she may not eat of an offering of the holy things.
13 But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: but there shall no stranger eat thereof.

Those of the seed of Aaron, who were set apart, were to separate themselves from the things of the world. They needed to be sanctified and worthy. I think that part of this, was that those who would later serve in the tabernacle when receiving ordination to the priesthood, were to be raised already set apart for the service of the Lord.

Likewise, those who were not clean, holy or set apart, were not to be near the things that were set apart as holy. Any of the seed of Aaron who had leprosy, or was unclean because of any of the previously mentioned physical items (from other chapters in Leviticus), was not to partake of the holy food until he was made clean again. Anyone who had become unclean through touching things that were unclean or an act that made them unclean as prescribed by the Lord, was unclean until the end of the day and was not to partake of the holy food. He was to wash with water and after the sun went down, he was considered clean and could eat.

The priests were not to eat of the animals who died on their own or were killed by other animals. They were to keep these commandments or they would be held accountable for that sin and be separated from the spirit of God for it. Those who were not of the priesthood of Aaron, were not to partake of the holy food, even if they were staying with the family of Aaron, with the exception of servants and those born of Aaron’s family. If the daughters of Aaron, married outside of the family, she was no longer to partake of the holy food, unless she returned to the family as a widow, divorced and without child.

14 And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give it unto the priest with the holy thing.
15 And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they offer unto the Lord;
16 Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass, when they eat their holy things: for I the Lord do sanctify them.

If someone ate the holy food unknowingly, they were to give to the priests a fifth part as an offering and were not to be made to feel guilty.

17 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering;
19 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.
20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.
21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.
22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the Lord.
23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
24 Ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.
25 Neither from a stranger’s hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you.

All who were with the children of Israel, from the house of Israel or stranger within, were to offer sacrifices of perfect animals without blemish. Those with blemish were not acceptable for them because thy were not acceptable to the Lord. The sacrifices were to be a type of Christ, who was sacrificed for all, and who died without spot.

26 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
27 When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
28 And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day.
29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will.
30 On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the Lord.
31 Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the Lord.
32 Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the Lord which hallow you,
33 That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord.

Those animals that were just born, were to be kept with their mother for seven days and then on the eighth day, they were acceptable as offerings to the Lord. An animal and its young was not to be sacrificed in the same day. All offerings of thanksgiving were to be freewill offerings, eaten the same day as it was sacrificed with nothing left for the next day. Here is a reminder again to keep the commandments of God and reverence Him who had led them out of the hands of their oppressors in Egypt. God would be there for the Israelites if they obeyed His word.

God has not asked any less of us today. We are commanded to become Holy through Jesus Christ. We are to give sacrifices of our bodies, hearts and minds. This means that we are to do all we can in this life to further the work of the Lord. We have the scriptures, which teach us the commandments that we are expected to live by. When we are worthy through keeping His commandments, the spirit of God can dwell with us and sanctify us.

Leviticus Chapter 21

The children of Israel were in the wilderness at this point in the Bible. Moses, as their spiritual leader and prophet, was told the commandments of the Lord and was to teach them to the Israelites. The people were being prepared to become more holy and receive the promised land. There was a lot of teaching to be done, considering the ways of the world at the time. The laws and instructions of the Lord continue in the book of Leviticus, as follows:

1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:
2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,
3 And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.
4 But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.
5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.
7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.
8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy.

There were many people of the world in that time, who performed rituals of mourning when other died. The family of Aaron, the priests of the Israelites, were not to participate in any of these traditions when it came to the people in general, and were only to make exception for close family. They were not to shave their hair or mark themselves. Instead, the priests were commanded to be holy unto God, because they were those who were to make the holy offerings to the Lord. The priests were not to marry women who had been with other men in or out of marriage. The priests were to be sanctified.

9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;
11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord.
13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
15 Neither shall he profane his seed among his people: for I the Lord do sanctify him.

Any priest’s daughter who became a harlet, was to be burnt by fire, because she dishonored her father and his priesthood. The high priest was not to mourn as the people mourned, with ripping clothes and going bare-headed, or to visit the dead. The high priest was to remain in the tabernacle sanctuary, and never profane it while he has been anointed to serve there. The priests were commanded to marry only an Israelite virgin.

16 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.
22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
23 Only he shall not go in unto the veil, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them.
24 And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.

The descendants of Aaron, were not to make an offering of the bread, if they had any blemishes. The priests were a type of Christ, who made his offering for us without blemish and without broken bones or malformations of any kind. Those who had any blemishes, were only to partake of the break, and were not to go through the veil of the tabernacle, to the altar. This was so that the sanctuary of the Lord would remain pure, holy and sanctified by the Lord. Moses gave this instruction to Aaron, the sons of Aaron, and all the Israelites.

There were many rules for the priests, which they were commanded by the Lord to follow. These things were there, to keep them holy and prepared to serve the Lord in his holy tabernacle. Once these men had been anointed to perform the sacred work of the Lord, they needed to remain worthy and devoted to His purposes. This was the only way that their work would be sanctified for the salvation of the Israelites. Their’s was a heavy burden and responsibility, but also one of great importance. The men of the priesthood today carry that burden and responsibility as well. They are called to be holy, but they must do so as they live in the world, which is continually tempting and trying them. I am grateful for those who hold the priesthood, and the work they are striving to do for the Lord. It blesses my life immensely. I would imagine that those Israelites striving to live righteously, honored the men of the priesthood because they made it so that the presence of the Lord could be there among the people. The priesthood today, gives us the ability to have the spirit with us each day as well and for that I am grateful.

Leviticus Chapter 20

The book of Leviticus teaches the laws and rites of the law of Moses, and a lot of it is repeated several times. This chapter is no exception. These laws were revealed to the children of Israel as they were in the wilderness, so that they would be His holy people, thus the need for repetition. The book continues as follows:

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.

The Lord commands that the death penalty be the punishment for any who sacrificed their children to Molech. I think that Molech was a devil-god of Biblical times. Some of the canaanites and other people were superstitious of Molech and so they made child sacrifices to him by fire. Those who did this, were to be put to death by stoning for their sacrilegious sacrifice against God and his holy name. Anyone who knew of this and looked the other way were to be cut off from the people of God. His sin would be carried not only by himself, but by his family and any who followed after him. Any who followed after the ideas of Molech, were also cut off from the people. This was probably going to be a real temptation for the Israelites as they were returning to the promised land.

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.

The Lord would turn from any who sought after wizards and speaking with the dead or evil spirits. They would be excommunicated from 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.

Those who live according to the commandments of God, seeking to be holy by turning to Him each day, would be sanctified by the Lord. This remains true for us today as well. Every day that we try our best to do those things that the Lord has commanded, we become a little more sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

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.

Those who cursed their father and mother were to suffer the death penalty and would would eventually be held accountable for it. I learned that in biblical times, the word curse often meant that one would withdraw. When the Lord cursed the people, He would withdraw his blessings and protection. I think that this same principle applies with our parents. We curse them, when we refuse to be there for them and separate ourselves purposely from them. There were those who would refuse to take care of their parents when they needed it, as I am sure there are many who do the same today. We have a duty as members of our family to take care of one another. God placed us here as families for a reason. If our parents need us, we need to be there for them, as they have been there for us as we have grown.

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.

Those who committed adultery of any kind, were to be put to death, and they would be held accountable for this sin. Any homosexual behavior was worthy of the death punishment. All involved were to be put to death if a man had intimate relations with a woman and her mother. Any who participated in bestiality were also to be put to death. A brother and sister who became intimate were to be publicly cut off or excommunicated from the people. Those who were intimate when a woman was considered unclean, were also cut off from the people. Intimate relationships between a man and his aunts were committing sin and it she was married, they were to be put to death. Also, those sinful relations between a man and his sister-in-law, were unclean, impure and unholy, and would leave them 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.

The promised land was being prepared for the holy people of God. Anyone who wished to remain there, needed to live in holiness to the Lord. The Lord admonished them to keep His commandments, so that they might live in the land. They were not to follow after the ways of the world, as the nations who he would cast out of the land for them. They were a people separate from the world, because they were the chosen people of God. They were commanded to make a distinction between those things that were clean and unclean, like animals, and they were not to partake of those things that were considered unclean by the Lord. If they would keep the commandments, they would be the holy people of the Lord, who were set apart from the world. We should all desire to be set apart from the world as the holy people of God.

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.

Again, those who sought to seek after the spirits of the dead, or what I think was called spiritualism, or had some kind of wicked spirit in them, were to be put to death by stoning. The individual would also be held accountable for this.

It may seem a bit much to repeat these commandments so frequently, but it is no different today. The prophets repeatedly tell us to keep the commandments of God. We hear lessons and talks given time and time again on the same topics. This is a basic pattern of learning for people. We need to hear something repeated many times for us to begin to gain an understanding of it. Some things will need to be taught to us many times over the course of our lives, before we will even start to grasp it in the way that our Father in Heaven does. If we get to a point where we say we have heard it enough and have learned it already, that is probably when we need to hear it most. I’ve heard it said that when the Lord stops inspiring our church leaders to teach us his commandments on a topic, is probably when we need to be concerned. It’s in those times that the trial of our faith will be tested by the Lord and we will either live to receive the rewards or we will reap destruction. I’m grateful for the frequent reminders of the commandments of God, which keep me in remembrance of how He would have me live. I know that if I can draw nearer to Him in holiness, I will be better prepared to live with Him again someday.

Leviticus Chapter 19

The book of Leviticus has been a book of instruction and commandment for the covenant people of the Lord. Since living among a nation, such as Egypt, many false traditions and customs would have been deeply set in the lifestyle of these people. It was necessary for the Lord to establish His law, which required commandments in all areas of life. These things make up the law of Moses, which the people were expected to live in order to receive the promised blessings of Abraham. This chapter begins:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.

God is holy. In the Bible Dictionary, under Holiness we read, “a holy person meant one who held a sacred office. The Israelites were a holy people because they stood in a special relationship to Jehovah. Under the guidance of the Prophets it was seen that what distinguished Jehovah from the gods of the heathen was His personal character. The word holy therefore came to refer to moral character.” The Israelites were commanded to be holy, because they were to stand apart from the world and live high moral standards, as God lives. Latter-day revelation commands us to do the same. Doctrine and Covenants 82:14 we read, “For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.” Holiness is not perfection. This is a specific call to become more holy. Perfection would be holiness in wholeness. We are commanded to become a people of greater moral character. We are to be continually working on that special relationship we have with the Lord. That means we start each day with the desire and drive to return to the Lord and live as he would have us live. This is how we keep this commandment.

3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

Often times the word fear means to reverence. In this case, a man was to treat his parents with reverence and respect at all times. The Israelites were to keep the sabbath and to remember that He was their God. The Lord was the reason they were who they were, and living how they were living. He is the reason we are as well. Many don’t realize this, but He the Lord of all. Those of us who have been taught this, are expected to keep it in our hearts and minds. The sabbath is His hallowed day and we should remember that as well.

4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.

There was to be no idolatry or worshipping of other gods. In 2 Nephi 9:37 we read, “Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for the devil of all devils delighteth in them.” It makes Satan pleased, when he can draw our attention away from the true source of joy and happiness, which is Jesus Christ. In Doctrine and Covenants 1:16 it says, “They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.” There are many things which we make into idols in our lives and all of them will fail us and lead us to the destruction of our souls, if we allow them the opportunity. This is why the scriptures teach us to watch and pray always. The Lord was the one and only God of the Israelites, as he is the one true God today and the one whom we should worship.

5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, ye shall offer it at your own will.
6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.
7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.
8 Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the Lord: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

The Israelites were commanded to only give of peace offerings by their own will. Sacrifices that were unwillingly giving, were in vain. Moroni 7:6 says, “. . . for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.” If we willingly give our own sacrifices today, such as a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we show the Lord that we want to be obedient are devoted to Him. The Israelites were to partake of the peace offering on the same day or the following, but not on the third day. Anything that was left, was to be burnt. It was a sin to eat it after the second day and was no longer a sacred offering with the Lord. Any who went against this commandment was to be cut off, or excommunicated from the church.

9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.

They were commanded to leave the outskirts and gleaning of their fields to those who were poor or a stranger. I am sure that if they followed this commandment, they would have enough for their own needs through the blessings of the Lord. This was a commandment, that teaches us it is not good to be selfish, but that it is good to help those in need. If we follow this same principle with our own belongings, the Lord will provide for our needs as well. We should be willing to give of those things that are on the outer portion of our own field, so that others in need may have more.

11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

They were commanded that they should not steal, cheat or lie to each other.

12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.

No one was to take the name of the Lord in vain, either to swear by it or to profane or defile it in any way.

13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

They were not to commit any kind of fraud to one another, or to rob each other. When something was due to another, it was to be paid right away. It is not acceptable for any person to take advantage of another or to deny them of what they are owed.

14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord.

The Israelites were commanded kindness to those who were handicapped with deafness or blindness. They were to respect God. Respect to God, would cause one to extend that kindness and not to block the way of others. This goes for all those who are struggling when we are not, either physically or spiritually. When we know someone is in darkness or cannot hear what they need to hear, it is our responsibility to help them find their way and not to do things which would cause them to stumble or fall. This is a commandment for us to be a people of compassion.

15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Judgment was to be righteous and just. I like that it points out both the poor and the mighty, because it can go both ways. There is no place for favoritism in judgment, but all are to be treated the same in this.

16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the Lord.

They were commanded not to be the bearer of tales, or gossip. I think that when it says not to stand against the blood of their neighbor, that it means to do anything against, or in opposition to, them or their family.

17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

A commandment was given, that they should not hate their brother. They were commanded to give wise rebuke, so that another would not suffer sin. I think this might be like constructive criticism, to help another to avoid mistakes of iniquity. The footnote at the beginning of this verse reads, “Though you may reprove a neighbor and not tolerate his sin, do not hate him.” If we look at it this way, it says that we should not hate those around us for their sins, but we do not need to tolerate their sin. We live in a world today, where people think that if we abhor a sin, we must hate the individual. This is not the case. I hate when my children lie to me. I think it is awful and I will not hesitate to reprove them when they do it. All the while, I love my children unconditionally. The commandment is for us to behave this way with all people. In Doctrine and Covenants 121:43 we read, “Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;”. We cannot stand by and allow sin to destroy those around us without doing what we can to help when prompted to do so, but we must do these things with a heart full of love towards them.

18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

The Israelites were commanded not to avenge wrongs or hold a grudge against another. They were commanded instead, to love their neighbor as themselves. The people of God have always been commanded to be a loving and charitable people. In 2 Nephi 26:30 we read, “. . . wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. . .” We too have been given this commandment, which we can find in Doctrine and Covenants 59:6 where it says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” and likewise in Doctrine and Covenants 88:125 which reads, “And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.” If we love others as we love ourselves, I believe we will find it much easier to keep the other commandments of God.

19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

In all things, the Israelites were to keep the commandments, which were many by this point. The things of their lives were to be kept pure. Cattle and seeds were not to be mixed breeds. The clothes they wore were to be a single material, such as entirely cotton or entirely wool. This would insure that all things were in harmony with one another.

20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.
22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

I think this means that a bonded woman who had relations with a man other than her betrothed, such as the man to whom she was bonded, was not to be put to death, rather because she was not a free woman, she was to be questioned. The footnote for being scourged says, “there shall be an investigation or inquisition.” The man of this act, was to bring a trespass offering to the tabernacle and have an atonement made for his sin. Then he was to be forgiven.

23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal.
25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the Lord your God.

They were commanded, that when they first planted fruit trees, they were not to partake of its fruit for the first three years. In the forth year it was holy fruit, probably to be given to the purposes of the Lord. In the fifth year, it was to be that person’s fruit to have as an increase.

26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

There was to be no eating of blood. Enchantments and observing times, or any kind of sorcery, were forbidden. The footnote for rounding the corners reads, “by cutting the forelocks of the hair of the head.” They were not to make themselves bald or shave their beards. Scarring or marking their skin as a sign of mourning, was also forbidden. These things were probably common at that time. Some of these were rites of those who worshipped other gods or who wished to draw unnecessary attention to themselves, rather than worship the Lord.

29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

Prostitution of their daughters was forbidden. If they practice these acts, the land was sure to become full of it and other acts of sexual promiscuity and obscenities.

30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

The sabbath was to be kept holy and the sanctuary of the Lord was to be reverenced.

31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

They were forbidden to participate in wizardry, superstitions, or with those who claimed to speak with the dead. The footnote for this verse reads, “Do not turn to magic or necromancy.” It says to be defiled by them, which I think is a way of saying to be taken by their trickery. In my current study of history, it seems that many of the kings and other leaders had taken to having magicians and turning to those who said they could predict futures and speak with the dead, in order to make decisions for their people. This was sure to lead people to following after evil and eventual destruction.

32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

The footnote for this verse says, They should “rise before the face of old age.” It was to be an honor, to have a head of gray hair. They were to honor their elders, especially their parents. Again, they were commanded to respect God.

33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

They were commanded to treat strangers with love as they would one of their own family, or a citizen of their land. They had been strangers once in Egypt, and when they were initially taken in, they were loved and treated kindly. The Israelites were not to oppress the stranger, the way that they were eventually oppressed in Egypt by the later rulers.

35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord.

All judgment was to be righteous in all things, including measures. Because the Lord delivered them with righteous judgment, they were to obey Him and follow His laws.

It seems as though the Lord needed to give a reminder often that He was the one responsible for these commandments. The footnote in v. 14 for the phrase ‘I am the Lord’ says, “Note that this phrase occurs fifteen times like a seal of authority upon each of these statutes.” The things around us may have changed since these laws were given, but we are still expected to remember the Lord and remember the commandments he has given. I think that if we can remember the Lord and that the commandments are His and not from men, we will be able to follow them with exactness.

I think this phrase, in it’s repetition, also reminds us to turn to the Lord when we struggle with these things. When we have trouble honoring our parents, remember the Lord and He will help us. If we don’t know quite how to keep the sabbath, the Lord can help us. If we are having trouble putting other things before the Lord, he will forgive us and give us strength. If we find giving to the needy to be difficult, or don’t know where to begin, the Lord will guide us. If we find ourselves gossiping or using unkind words, we can turn to the Lord for courage to be better. If we struggle with anger, resentment, or thoughts of revenge, the Lord will be there to calm our troubled hearts and show us how to forgive. The Lord has not placed us here to fail. He knows that we will have hardships when it comes to keeping all His commandments. Can we imagine that God would ask us to do something, and then refuse to help us to accomplish that thing? If we do, we do not see God as the loving parent He is.

It is a blessing to have commandments and direction from the Lord, to help us stand apart from the worldliness around us. It is a blessing to know that He is there for us every step of the way. We can be a holy people because He promises that perfection is in our future if that is our desire.

Leviticus Chapter 18

The Law of Moses was given to the Israelites when they had recently been led from the land of Egypt. The children of Israel had been living amongst the Egyptians for somewhere around 400 years, which is plenty of time to get used to the customs there. While, they may not have lived lifestyles exactly as the Egyptians did, I am sure there was a need for them to know what things were not acceptable to the Lord that other people in the world were treating as more common. The Lord commanded them that they were not to worship other gods as the Egyptians did, or as was done when they lived among the Egyptians. They were also not to make idols among other things. This chapter of Leviticus goes into further details regarding those things that are forbidden by the Lord for His people. This chapter begins as follows:

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.

There was no other people on the earth, who were the covenant people of God. Their covenants required them to live to the higher standard and therefore, they could not live as they had when they were with the Egyptians or as the people of Canaan lived. The people of the world were walking in darkness, and the Israelites were called to walk in the light of the Lord. When we make covenants with the Lord today, we also have to learn how to live in the world, but not of the world. There is far too much wickedness and darkness around us, and we must not allow the ways of men to cloud our judgment. The Lord gives us the laws to follow today, just as he gave the laws to the Israelites. The wonderful part of it all is, even though we are human and err often, as long as we are willing to return to him and walk in His ways, we will be blessed with eternal life.

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.

The Israelites were commanded not to be intimate with their family members. These included their father, mother, step-mother, sister, step-sister, half-sister, granddaughter, aunt (by blood or marriage), uncle, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and so on. They were not to be intimate with two women who were mother and daughter. They were also not to marry their sister-in-law, to be intimate with her in order to frustrate their own wives during their lifetime. These things were forbidden and seen as wickedness to the Lord. As far as I am aware, there is nothing in this law that has been changed for the people of the Lord in our day.

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.

They were not to be intimate with a woman while she was unclean, probably referring to an issue of blood. Committing adultery with another’s spouse, was forbidden. To sacrifice children in the ways of men, was also forbidden. People in their time made sacrifices to God of their seed, and the Lord who is the God of Israel, commanded them that they were not to do this to Him. In addition, they were forbidden to take the Lord’s name in vain. I think that this also means, they were not to swear to God in vain. Men were not to be physically intimate with other men as they were with women. I think that likewise, the women were not to be intimate with other women as they were with men. Moreover, no man was to be physical with any animals. Homosexuality and bestiality are perversions of the way humankind was designed by God. As the Lord taught them here, it is confusion. The bodies and spirits of God’s children are confused and frustrated from their eternal purposes, when they adopt these kinds of behaviors.

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.

The Lord had promised that he would drive out the nations which were in the land of promise and prepare a place for His people there. These acts of abomination were being committed by these other nations, which the Lord would soon cast out. They were the traditions of their fathers for many generations. If these acts were committed within the Israelite camp, it would defile the people and the land there. They were to be an obedient, virtuous, and holy people. If they wanted to obtain and retain the promised land, they had to follow these commandments. Their holiness to the Lord, was the key to his spirit and presence among them, which he had promised. Any who did these unholy things would be cut off from the people and from the Lord.

Likewise, we have been given commandments to remain a virtuous and holy people as well. In order to do this, we must also live to the higher standard. There are laws regarding our intimate relationships, which are mocked and skewed at every turn today. The law that adultery is forbidden remains a law of God. Homosexuality is still a sin today, even though it has become acceptable behavior to the world. The same goes for bestiality of any kind. The laws of sacrifice are laid out for us by the Savior himself, who fulfilled the law by his own sacrifice for mankind. To sacrifice any child, at any age of growth, is still forbidden. Likewise, we are commanded not to take the name of the Lord in vain. We all have agency and the right to choose for ourselves, but the law of God remains the same and unchanged, even though the world changes. Anyone, who wishes to follow Christ, and be a covenant child of God today, must abide by his law. When wrongs are done, repentance is made possible through that great atoning sacrifice of the Savior. Our own promised land of the Celestial Kingdom, salvation and exaltation will be the blessing to those who live worthy of those promises.

For more information on what the Lord expects of His covenant people today, read The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

Exodus Chapter 26

In this chapter of Exodus, the Israelites are gathered and encamped around the base of Mount Sinai. Moses has been given the commandments and judgments of the Lord, which the Israelites have covenanted with God, to follow. Moses at this point, is receiving the instructions for building a tabernacle to the Lord. The instructions from the Lord, continue as follows:

1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.
2 The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure.
3 The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second.
5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another.
6 And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.

The Israelites were to have ten curtains for the tabernacle. There were instructed on the specifics of these curtains from material to size and so on. These curtains were to make up the tabernacle as one unified structure.

7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats’ hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure.
9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle.
10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second.
11 And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.
12 And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle.
13 And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers’ skins.

The Israelites were then instructed on additional curtains for covering the tabernacle as a tent.

15 And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up.
16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board.
17 Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.
19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.
20 And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards:
21 And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
22 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards.
23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides.
24 And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
25 And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.

Next, they received instruction for boards for the sides of the tabernacle.

26 And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
27 And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward.
28 And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end.
29 And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.
30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.

They were told to make bars for the boards of the tabernacle. The boards and bars were to have gold on them. This was how they were to make the exterior of the tabernacle and Moses was shown how to put it in place, while he was speaking with the Lord on Mount Sinai.

31 And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.

They were to create a colored veil hanging from gold plated wood pillars.

33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.
36 And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
37 And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.

The veil would separate the holy place and the most holy, which I believe is also called the sanctuary and the holy of holies. Inside the most holy, would be the ark of the testimony (covenant) with the mercy seat upon it. In the holy place, they were to place the table and candlestick. They were also told what the doorway to this tent would be like, with a fine material hanging from five gold plated pillars.

It sounds like this tabernacle and all in it, were to be fashioned most beautifully and artistically even though it was going to be a portable tabernacle. One of the awesome things about the temples that are built today, is that they are so incredibly beautiful. Great sacrifices had to be made then and now, for such a wonderful place. It is perfectly fitting that we should make these kinds of sacrifices for the Lord’s holy house. The temple is a place where we can escape the filth and ugliness of the world and have a glimpse of what heaven would be like. I feel so blessed to have access to a place of such beauty in my own life. (For more on the building of the tabernacle, see my previous post: Exodus Chapter 25.)

Exodus Chapter 22

The Israelites have been camped at the base of Mount Sinai. They witnessed the appearance of the Lord in a cloud and the Lord began to instruct them in the commandments of God. After the original 10 commandments, they were also given specific judgments for certain offenses they would have to deal with. The laws and judgments of God continue as follows:

1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

My understanding of this verse, and those which follow, is only based on what I gather from reading it and the footnotes provided in the LDS version of the King James Bible. The judgement against stealing would at most be that the person who stole would be required to return five oxen in the place of one stolen, or four sheep for one sheep stole.

2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

If a thief was killed in the act of stealing, or breaking in, the person who killed would not be killed for his act against the thief. If he is caught, but not killed, the person who caught him would not be punished. He would be required to make up fully for the theft and if he had nothing to repay the owner, then he would be sold as a servant. If there was not doubt of the theft because he was caught in the act, he would be required to pay twice what it was worth.

5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

If one man allows his flock to eat in another’s field or vineyard, he would be required to give the best of his own field and vineyard to the other person.

6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

Anyone who started a fire would be required to make up for the loss of grain from that fire.

7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.
8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.
9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.
10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:
11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.
13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.

If one person was borrowing the property of another, or taking care of it for him, and it is stolen, the thief would make double the restitution. If they cannot find the thief, then the judges would decide if the one who had the property when it was stolen would be required to pay the other back. If there is a fight over who owns something like an ox or a shirt, they were to go to the judges and whoever is found to not be the owner would make restitution up to double. If an animal is lent to another and is lost, hurt or dies; they were to make an oath that they would not take it out by taking something belonging to the other. If it was stolen he was to pay back for the loss. If he could show that it was destroyed, he was to show that thing to the owner and would not be required to make up for it.

14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.
15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.

The one who borrows anything and cannot return it because it was hurt or died, then he was to make up for the loss. If the owner was around, then he would not have to make up for it.

16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

Any man who seduced a woman who was not already belonging to another by betrothal, was to ask her to wife. If her father would not allow it, the man was to pay him what would have been paid to a husband for a virgin wife, or her dowry.

18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

Those who practiced witchcraft or sorcery or bestiality were to be put to death. The Joseph Smith Translation for verse 18, says “witch” references that a murderer should not be allowed to live.

20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

Those who made sacrifices to any other God, was to be destroyed.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

If there was a stranger in the land, they were not to be treated unkindly.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.
23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;
24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

The widows and fatherless were not to be treated unkindly either. Those who were not kind to them, would suffer the wrath of the Lord to the point of death.

25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
26 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:
27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

Giving money to the poor, was not to be used as a way to keep them indebted. They were not to charge interest to the poor. When something needful was borrowed, it was to be returned. The Lord would know of any wrong doing because of the cries, or prayers, to Him.

28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

The Lord deserved respect and so did whomever ruled the people of Israel. The people were not to curse God for the trials of their lives. They were also not to curse the prophets who were God’s chosen leader of his people.

29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.
30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

The Israelites were given a reminder that they were to give of the first fruits and firstborn of their families and flocks.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

They were reminded to be holy men to the Lord. They were not to eat any of the animals determined to be unclean because it had died on its own or by other animals.

Just like the previous chapter, this one does not have a lot in the way of gospel principles. These rules were established to help those who wanted to be covenant people of God, that they could stay worthy of all the blessings the Lord had promised to them. Today we still have laws of God to follow in order to remain faithful and worthy of the blessings of our own covenants.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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