Le 20:1-27. Giving One's
Seed to Molech.
2. Whosoever … giveth any of his seed unto
Molech—(See on Le 18:21).
the people of the land shall stone him with
stones, &c.—Criminals who were condemned to be stoned
were led, with their hands bound, without the gates to a small
eminence, where was a large stone placed at the bottom. When they had
approached within ten cubits of the spot, they were exhorted to
confess, that, by faith and repentance, their souls might be saved.
When led forward to within four cubits, they were stripped almost
naked, and received some stupefying draught, during which the witnesses
prepared, by laying aside their outer garments, to carry into execution
the capital sentence which the law bound them to do. The criminal,
being placed on the edge of the precipice, was then pushed backwards,
so that he fell down the perpendicular height on the stone lying below:
if not killed by the fall, the second witness dashed a large stone down
upon his breast, and then the "people of the land," who were
by-standers, rushed forward, and with stones completed the work of
death (Mt 21:44; Ac 7:58).
4. If the people of the land do any ways hide
their eyes from the man, &c.—that is, connive at their
countrymen practising the horrid rites of Molech. Awful was it that any
Hebrew parents could so violate their national covenant, and no wonder
that God denounced the severest penalties against them and their
7-19. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye
holy—The minute specification of the incestuous and unnatural
crimes here enumerated shows their sad prevalence amongst the
idolatrous nations around, and the extreme proneness of the Israelites
to follow the customs of their neighbors. It is to be understood, that,
whenever mention is made that the offender was "to be put to death"
without describing the mode, stoning is meant. The only instance of
another form of capital punishment occurs in Le 20:14, that of being burnt with fire; and yet
it is probable that even here death was first inflicted by stoning, and
the body of the criminal afterwards consumed by fire (Jos 7:15).
20. they shall die childless—Either by
the judgment of God they shall have no children, or their spurious
offspring shall be denied by human authority the ordinary privileges of
children in Israel.
24. I … have separated you from other
people—Their selection from the rest of the nations was for
the all-important end of preserving the knowledge and worship of the
true God amid the universal apostasy; and as the distinction of meats
was one great means of completing that separation, the law about making
a difference between clean and unclean beasts is here repeated with