Unlawful Sexual Relations

The Kinney Institute estimates that, during their married lives, 37 percent of American males will prove sexually unfaithful to their wives and 29 percent of American wives will commit adultery (June M. Reinisch, St. Martins Press, New York, 1990, p. 7). … More


Chapter 18 deals with the sanctity of sex. The Lord told Moses to tell the people of Israel: I am the Lord your God (vv. 1-2)! So don’t follow the customs of Egypt where you used to live or those of Canaan where I am bringing you (v. 3). I am the Lord your God, and you must obey my teachings (v. 4). Obey them and you will live. I am the Lord (v. 5). Don’t have sex with any of your close relatives, especially your own mother(vv. 6-7). This would disgrace your father. And don’t disgrace him by having sex with any of his other wives (v. 8). Don’t have sex with your sister or stepsister, whether you grew up together or not (v. 9). Don’t disgrace yourself by having sex with your granddaughter (v. 10) or half sister (v. 11) or a sister of your father or mother (vv. 12-13). Don’t disgrace your uncle by having sexwith his wife (v. 14). Don’t have sex with your daughter-in-law or sister-in-law (vv. 15-16). And don’t have sexwith the daughter or granddaughter of any woman that you have earlier had sex with (v. 17).

You may be having sex with a relative, and that would make you unclean. As long as your wife is alive, don’t cause trouble for her by taking one of her sisters as a second wife (v. 18). When a wife is having her monthly period, she is unclean, so don’t have sex with her (v. 19). Don’t have sex with another man’s wife, that would make you unclean (v. 20). Don’t sacrifice your children on the altar fires to the god Molech. I am the Lord your God, and that would disgrace me (v. 21). It is disgusting for a man to have sex with another man (v. 22). Anyone who has sex with an animal is unclean (v. 23). Don’t make yourselves unclean by any of these disgusting practices of those nations that I am forcing out of the land for you (v. 24). They made themselves and the land so unclean, that I punished the land because of their sins, and I made it vomit them up (v. 25). Now don’t do these sickening things that make the land filthy(vv. 26-27). Instead, obey my laws and teachings. Then the land won’t become sick of you and vomit you up, just as it did them (v. 28). If any of you do these vulgar, disgusting things, you will be unclean and no longer belong to my people (vv. 29-30). I am the Lord your God, and I forbid you to follow their sickening way of life.


Improper sexual relationships have plagued people from the beginning. Lord help me to stay pure!

Leviticus 18:1-30 (English Standard Version)

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