Leviticus 19 - Moral and Spiritual Laws
A. Laws regarding matters already covered.
1. (1-2) The general call to holiness.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.'"
a. You shall be holy: The idea behind the word holy is "separate." As it is applied to God, it describes God's apartness. It means that God is different than man and from all other beings in the greatness and majesty of His attributes. He has a righteousness unlike any other; a justice unlike any other; a purity unlike any other - and love, grace, and mercy unlike any other.
i. Part of this idea is that God is not merely a super-man; His being and character are divine, not human.
b. Be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy: God is separate from man and from all creation. Yet because humans are made in the image of God, they can follow in His steps and also be holy.
i. Being holy means being like God, separating ourselves unto Him and His truth - and naturally, separating ourselves from those things that are not like Him and not according to His truth.
3. (3) The law to respect parents.
Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
a. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father: Honor for parents is an essential building block for the stability and health of all society. If the younger generations are constantly at war with older generations, the foundations of society will be destroyed.
b. And keep My Sabbaths: Reverence for parents is linked to reverence for the LORD. Submitting to parental authority is a step to submitting to Divine authority.
i. "Reverencing parents is an act of piety towards God, since the parents are substitutes for the heavenly Father as far as their children are concerned." (Harrison)
4. (4) The law against idolatry.
Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.
a. Do not turn to idols: The word for idols literally means nothings. Idols represent gods that are not real and do not really exist.
b. Nor make for yourselves molded gods: Israel had significant trouble with the worship of idols until the Babylonian captivity (some 800 years from the time of Leviticus). The attraction was not so much to the molded gods themselves, than as to what they represented - financial success, pleasure, and self-worship.
i. After the Babylonian captivity, Israel was cured of gross idolatry of molded gods and began a more insidious form of idolatry - idolatry of the nation itself, idolatry of the temple and its ceremonies, and an idolatry of tradition.
5. (5-8) Laws regarding offerings.
And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the LORD, you shall offer it of your own free will. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire. And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted. Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from his people.
a. If you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering: A peace offering (signifying the enjoyment of peace with God and fellowship) was always to be made by one's own free will. God did not want coerced fellowship from the people of Israel.
b. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it: Nor did God want stale fellowship with the people of Israel. The meat of a peace offering was considered no good after two days.
B. Other laws.
1. (9-10) Providing for the poor by leaving fields incompletely harvested.
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
a. You shall not wholly reap the corners of your field: This was one of the public assistance programs in Israel. Farmers were not to completely harvest their fields, so the poor and needy could come and glean the remains for themselves.
i. This is exactly what Ruth was doing when Boaz noticed her (Ruth 2:2-3).
b. You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: This was a wonderful way to help the poor. It commanded the farmers to have a generous heart, and the poor to be active and to work for their food. It made a way for the poor to provide for their own needs with dignity.
2. (11-13) Honest dealing.
You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.
3. (14) Basic human compassion commanded.
You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
a. You shall not curse the deaf: God commanded Israel to not mistreat the handicapped. Cursing the deaf is cruel because they can't hear your curse, though others can. To put a stumbling block before the blind is just mean.
i. An accurate and revealing measure of our humanity is how we treat the weak and unfortunate.
b. Nor put a stumbling block before the blind: This tells us the kind of people the Israelites were. They had to be specifically commanded to observe such laws of fundamental kindness. This shows what Israel was, and what we are in the flesh.
4. (15-16) Laws regarding justice and truthfulness.
You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
a. You shall do no injustice in judgment: These were primarily instructions to judges and magistrates, giving them principles for making legal decisions. However, they also are relevant to everyday relations with those around us.
i. Jesus reminded us what this principle is all about: We should only judge others with the standard we are willing to be judged by because God will apply that same standard to us (Matthew 7:1-2).
b. You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people: A talebearer is essentially a gossip, someone who cannot mind their own business (1 Thessalonians 4:11), and who delights in discussing the lives of others and spreading stories.
i. Adam Clarke on the talebearer: "A more despicable character exists not: such a person is a pest to society, and should be exiled from the habitations of men."
5. (17-18) The command to love one's neighbor.
You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
a. You shall not hate your brother in your heart: Love for one's brother is commanded, not only in action but also in heart. Yet if it is not present in the heart, then it should be in one's actions and the heart will follow. But we should not be content to treat others well and have a heart of hatred towards them; God desires to change our hearts to love them.
b. You shall surely rebuke: Love will rebuke another when it is necessary. We all have blindspots where we think everything is fine, but it is evident to others just how much we are in the flesh.
c. You shall not take vengeance: Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19) and there is a sense in which we can hold back God's work of vengeance upon others by seeking it ourselves.
i. Of course, this principle applies to interpersonal relationships, and not to the rightful functions of government in keeping the law. Criminals cannot be let free because vengeance belongs to God. God exercises His vengeance through the rightful use of government authority (Romans 13:1-7). It is appropriate to both personally forgive the criminal, and testify against them in court.
d. Nor bear a grudge: This is very difficult for many people. It is easy to cherish a grudge against another, especially when it is deserved; but too much damage is done to the one holding the grudge.
e. You shall love your neighbor as yourself: Some are surprised to see this generous command in what they believe to be the harsh Old Testament; but even the Old Covenant clearly commands us to love others.
i. Unfortunately, many ancient Jews had a narrow definition of who their neighbor was and only considered their friends and countrymen their neighbors. Jesus commanded us to love your enemies (Luke 6:27), and showed our neighbor was the one in need, even if a traditional enemy (Luke 10:25-37).
ii. The command to love your neighbor as yourself is simple yet commonly misunderstood. This doesn't mean that we must love ourselves before we can love anyone else; it means that in the same way we take care of ourselves and our concerned about our own interests, we should take care and have concern for the interests of others.
iii. We love ourselves just fine: For no one ever hated his own flesh, nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5:29). Paul warned that in the last days, men will be lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2) - and not in a positive sense! In fact, our misery when things are going bad shows we love ourselves; we rejoice in the misery of those we hate! Our challenge is to show others the same love we show ourselves.
6. (19) Laws of purity in response to pagan practices.
'You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.
a. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed: The mixing of these things - different species of livestock, seeds, and fabrics - was usually seen by pagans to be a source of magical power. God wanted Israel to have no association with these pagan customs.
b. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you: Since those pagan customs are no longer an issue in our day, we shouldn't worry about mixing wool and linen - or other fabrics - in our day. This law is a good example of something that is no longer binding upon Christians today, because the pagan custom the law guarded against is no longer practiced.
i. However, in our modern age there are important distinctions that are blurred and Christians must not participate in. The present day blurring of distinctions between genders should be resisted by Christians.
7. (20-22) The penalty for unlawful intercourse with a concubine.
Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine, and who has not at all been redeemed nor given her freedom, for this there shall be scourging; but they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering. The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.
a. Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine: This deals with a woman who was a concubine in the sense she was a slave girl, who was eligible to be married.
b. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him: This is the situation described: A slave girl is engaged to marry a free man, and then a different man has sex with her. Normally, the penalty was death; but because the woman was a slave, and was presumed to be not free to resist (or guarded by a father), the penalty was not death. Yet, she was not marriable to her fiancée, so he must be reimbursed (the punishment mentioned). Then the moral guilt would be settled by sacrifice, and presumably, the man who had sex with her would be obliged to marry her.
8. (23-25) Regarding the fruit in the land of Canaan.
When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the LORD. And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the LORD your God.
a. When you come into the land: God reminded Israel of their ultimate goal - the promised land, the land of Canaan - and told them not to eat of the fruit of the trees they plant there for three years. Then the fruit of the fourth year belonged to the LORD, and the fruit of the fifth year could be eaten.
b. That it may yield to you its increase: God knew that not harvesting the fruit for this period would be beneficial for both the trees and the surrounding ecology, and result in ultimately more productive fruit trees.
9. (26-31) Laws to insure separation from pagan practices.
You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying. You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD. Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness. You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD. Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
a. You shall not eat anything with the blood: Eating blood was a practice in many pagan cultic ceremonies, as was divination and soothsaying. Therefore both are directly forbidden.
i. Harrison on soothsaying: "The prognostication of favourable times for specific forms of action." This was predicting lucky days or favorable times as an astrologer or others might do.
b. You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard: To do this was to imitate pagan customs of that day; today, Jewish orthodox men are conspicuous by their untrimmed beards and long, curly locks on the sides of their heads.
c. Cuttings in the flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: These were also pagan practices God wanted Israel to separate from. The trimming of the hair, the beard, cutting, and tattoos were all connected with pagan rites of mourning.
i. Part of this message to us today is that what our culture thinks and how they perceive things is important. If some clothing or jewelry or body decoration would associate us with the pagan world, it should not be done. This is a difficult line to draw, because the standards of culture are always changing. Some modern examples of changing standards are hair length and earrings for men.
ii. In Paul's day, in the city of Corinth, only prostitutes went around without a head covering - so it was right for the Christian women of Corinth to wear veils, though not required to by the letter of the law (1 Corinthians 11:5-6).
d. Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot: To prostitute your daughter in this context probably means to give her as a ritual prostitute at a pagan temple; this was of course forbidden, though in the eyes of the pagan culture, it was a religious thing to do.
e. Mediums and familiar spirits: These were ways the pagans sought to contact the dead or other spirits; this was a doorway into the occult, and strictly forbidden - those who seek after these things are defiled - "made dirty" by them.
i. "In some Near Eastern societies such mediums would dig a small hole in the earth to symbolize a grave, and then put offerings in it to attract the attention of the person whom the medium desired to contact." (Harrison)
ii. The word for familiar spirits comes from a root meaning "to know"; "perhaps referring to the occultic information which the practitioner of necromancy purported to have." (Harrison)
iii. "Not only are all real dealers with familiar spirits, or necromantic or magical superstitions, are here forbidden, but also all pretenders to the knowledge of futurity, fortune-tellers, astrologers, and so forth." (Clarke)
10. (32-37) Further laws of kindness and justice.
You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD. And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the LORD.
a. You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man . . . if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him: These are all expositions on the principle of you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18); if we were the old man, or the stranger, or the consumer, we would want fair and kind treatment.
b. I am the LORD: 15 times in this chapter, God declared that He is the LORD - and the one with the right to tell us what to do. This is something that God expected ancient Israel to respect, and expects His modern day followers to also respect.
i. The relationship between a lord and his people meant that the people had obligations to their lord, but the lord also had obligations toward his people. The lord was obligated to care for his servants, and our LORD God certainly cares for His people.
Leviticus 20 - Punishments for Laws Already Given
A. The penalty for sins of idolatry.
1. (1-5) Molech worship.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: 'Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name. And if the people of the land should in any way hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him, then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech.'"
a. Who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death: The worship of the horrific idol Molech was mentioned in Leviticus 18:21. Molech was worshipped by heating a metal statue representing the god until it was red hot, then by placing a living infant on the outstretched hands of the statue, while beating drums drowned out the screams of the child until it burned to death.
b. I will set My face against that man and against his family: The penalty for Molech worship was death and if the sentence was not carried out by Israel, God declared He would set My face against that man and against his family. God will prosecute if the legal system of Israel failed to.
i. Sadly, even a man as great as Solomon at least sanctioned the worship of Molech and built a temple to this idol (1 Kings 11:7). King Ahaz of Judah gave his own son to Molech (2 Kings 16:3). One of the great crimes of the northern tribes of Israel was their worship of Molech, leading to the Assyrian captivity (2 Kings 17:17). King Manasseh of Judah gave his son to Molech (2 Kings 21:6). Up to the days of King Josiah of Judah, Molech worship continued, because he destroyed a place of worship to that idol (2 Kings 23:10).
2. (6-8) The penalty for involvement with the occult.
And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
a. I will set My face against that person and cut them off from his people: In this specific passage, God gave nothing for Israel to do regarding the penalty. He simply said that He would execute the penalty. Involvement in such occultic practices invariably separates someone from God.
i. This was the driving force behind the Ephesian church's dramatic renunciation of magical and occultic materials (Acts 19:17-20). Having seen the reality of spiritual warfare, they wanted to draw close to the LORD and remove anything that might hinder that drawing close.
ii. 1 John 4:2 makes it clear there are spirits who are not from God; such occultic, Jesus-denying spirits must be rejected completely.
b. Sanctify yourselves . . . I am the LORD who sanctifies you: These are two important aspects of our walk with God. God will not force you to be separate to Him. He does the work, but He does it through our own cooperating efforts and yielded will.
B. The penalties for sins of immorality.
1. (9) The penalty for the cursing of a parent.
For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.
a. Everyone who curses his father or his mother: Virtually all commentators agree this is not the outburst of a small child - or even an adolescent - against their parent, but the settled heart of an adult child against their parent. Such inter-generational warfare was not to be tolerated, and punishable by death.
b. Curses his father or his mother: This wasn't merely saying something bad about or to one's parents; it was likely the calling down of a death-curse on them.
i. "Elaborate curses, may of which appear to have the nature of magical spells, were current in the ancient Near East, and amongst superstitious people often worked with devastating effect since in the eastern mind the curse carried with itself its own power of execution." (Harrison)
c. Shall surely be put to death: Even considering that this law applied to an adult child who threatened their parent, this was still a severe law. Yet as it was practiced in ancient Israel, it had a built-in protection for the rights of the child, according to Deuteronomy 21:18-21. This passage states that the parent did not have the right to carry out this punishment, but they had to bring the accused child before the elders and judges of the city. This meant that the parent - against all contemporary custom - did not have the absolute power of life and death over their children. As a practical matter, the judges of Israel rarely if ever administered the death penalty in such cases, yet the child was held accountable.
2. (10) The penalty for adultery.
The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.
a. The adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death: God commanded the death penalty for adultery in ancient Israel. As with previous laws and their penalties, this was because of the exceedingly great social consequences of this sin. God commanded the ultimate penalty to discourage it.
b. Shall surely be put to death: As a practical matter, this death penalty was rarely carried out, as is the case in most of these situation where capital punishment is commanded. This is because any capital crime required two or three witnesses, and the witnesses had to be so sure of what they saw that they were willing to "cast the first stone" - that is, initiate the execution (Deuteronomy 17:6-7).
i. So, particularly in a case of adultery (or other sexual sins) there would rarely be two eyewitnesses willing to initiate the execution - and so capital punishment would not be carried out.
ii. This also helps us to understand what Jesus was doing when confronting the crowd who brought to Him the woman taken in adultery. By their presence and words, they claimed to have caught the woman in the act - but why then did they not bring the guilty man as well? And who was willing to cast the first stone - that is, initiate the execution? (John 8:1-12)
c. Shall surely be put to death: If the death penalty was carried out so rarely in ancient Israel (especially for these crimes), what good was it? It communicated loud and clear an ideal that Israel was to live up to, and it made people regard their sin much more seriously. Today, we have done away with this ideal, and people don't care about such sins.
i. In ancient Israel, there was no stronger way to say simply: Adultery is wrong, cursing your parents is wrong, incest is wrong - and even if you "get away with it," it is wrong, God regards it as wrong, and society regards it as wrong.
3. (11-12) The penalty for sins of incest.
The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them.
4. (13) The penalty for homosexuality.
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
a. If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death: Though God here commanded the death penalty for homosexual practice (under the guidelines of evidence in a capital case as described in Deuteronomy 17:6-7), we should note this was not a more severe punishment than what was commanded for adultery or incest. Homosexuality is sin, but sin in the same sense other sexual sins are.
5. (14) The penalty for marrying both a woman and her mother.
If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you.
a. They shall be burned with fire: Adam Clarke had an interesting approach to the phrase shall be burned with fire, though not likely accurate: "It is very likely that the crime mentioned in this verse was not punished by burning alive, but by some kind of branding, by which they were ever after rendered infamous. . . . Branding with a hot iron would certainly accomplish every desirable end both for punishment and prevention."
6. (15-16) The penalty for bestiality.
If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.
7. (17-21) The penalty for other sexual sins.
If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness. He shall bear his guilt. If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from their people. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister nor of your father's sister, for that would uncover his near of kin. They shall bear their guilt. If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless.
a. They shall be cut off in the sight of their people: The penalty for these sins does was not death (as in the previously mentioned sexual sins), but rather to be cut off - that is, exiled or sanctioned within Israel until the sin was atoned for or cleansed through a ceremonial cleansing.
b. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless: Other aspects of the penalties here belong to God alone - they shall be childless is a penalty only God can apply.
8. (22-26) Summation: Why God called Israel to such holiness.
You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them. But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
a. You shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you: The Canaanites who presently lived in the Promised Land were deeply involved in these sins, and because of that, God would use Israel to judge them and drive them out.
b. That the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out: God pleaded with Israel to obey Him, that the same fate would not befall Israel. Unfortunately, eventually it did - and the land did cast out Israel, resulting in the exile both for the northern nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah.
c. That you should be Mine: These laws were not only given so that Israel could possess the land; they were also so God could possess Israel - so they would be holy to Me, for I the LORD and holy . . . that you should be Mine.
i. Sometimes we think what God mostly wants is our obedience; but there is a sense in which we can give God our obedience without giving Him ourselves (such as perhaps the Pharisees did). What God really wants is us - and if that is truly given, the obedience will follow.
9. (27) Penalty for being a medium or practitioner of the occult.
A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.'"
a. A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death: If one consulted a medium, they were to be cut off (Leviticus 20:6); but if some one was the actual practitioner of these occultic arts, they were to be executed under the law of Israel.
b. Their blood shall be upon them: This reminds us that it is a much more serious thing to lead others into sin than to sin ourselves - and so the penalty is greater, even as Jesus said: But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
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