Leviticus 20
Contemporary English Version

Penalties for Disobeying God's Laws

1The Lord told Moses 2to say to the community of Israel:

Death by stoning is the penalty for any citizens or foreigners in the country who sacrifice their children to the god Molech. 3They have disgraced both the place where I am worshiped and my holy name, and so I will turn against them and no longer let them belong to my people. 4Some of you may let them get away with human sacrifice, 5but not me. If any of you worship Molech, I will turn against you and your entire family, and I will no longer let you belong to my people.

6I will be your enemy if you go to someone who claims to speak with the dead, and I will destroy you from among my people. 7Dedicate yourselves to me and be holy because I am the Lord your God. 8I have chosen you as my people, and I expect you to obey my laws.

9 If you curse your father or mother, you will be put to death, and it will be your own fault.

10 If any of you men have sex with another man's wife, both you and the woman will be put to death.

11 Having sex with one of your father's wives disgraces him. So both you and the woman will be put to death, just as you deserve. 12 It isn't natural to have sex with your daughter-in-law, and both of you will be put to death, just as you deserve. 13 It's disgusting for men to have sex with one another, and those who do will be put to death, just as they deserve. 14 It isn't natural for a man to marry both a woman and her daughter, and so all three of them will be burned to death. 15-16 If any of you have sex with an animal, both you and the animal will be put to death, just as you deserve.

17 If you marry one of your sisters, you will be punished, and the two of you will be disgraced by being openly forced out of the community. 18 If you have sex with a woman during her monthly period, both you and the woman will be cut off from the people of Israel. 19 The sisters of your father and mother are your own relatives, and you will be punished for having sex with any of them. 20If you have sex with your uncle's wife, neither you nor she will ever have any children. 21 And if you marry your sister-in-law, neither of you will ever have any children.+

22Obey my laws and teachings. Or else the land I am giving you will become sick of you and throw you out. 23The nations I am chasing out did these disgusting things, and I hated them for it, so don't follow their example. 24I am the Lord your God, and I have promised you their land that is rich with milk and honey. I have chosen you to be different from other people. 25That's why you must make a difference between animals and birds that I have said are clean and unclean+ —this will keep you from becoming disgusting to me. 26I am the Lord, the holy God. You have been chosen to be my people, and so you must be holy too.

27If you claim to receive messages from the dead, you will be put to death by stoning, just as you deserve.


20.21 And … children: According to Deuteronomy 25.5,6 a man was supposed to marry his brother's widow if his brother had died without having children. Otherwise, such marriages were forbidden (see also Matthew 22.23-33; Mark 12.18-27; Luke 20.27-40).
20.25 clean and unclean: See the note at 11.4-8.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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