Leviticus 19:29
Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Do not prostitute thy daughter.—This refers to the degrading worship of Astarte which prevailed in ancient times, and which at times also broke out among the Jews.

Leviticus 19:29. Do not prostitute — As the Gentiles frequently did for the honour of some of their idols, to whom women were consecrated, and publicly prostituted.19:1-37 laws. - There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.Cuttings in your flesh for the dead - Compare the margin reference. Among the excitable races of the East this custom appears to have been very common.

Print any marks - Tattooing was probably practiced in ancient Egypt, as it is now by the lower classes of the modern Egyptians, and was connected with superstitious notions. Any voluntary disfigurement of the person was in itself an outrage upon God's workmanship, and might well form the subject of a law.

28. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead—The practice of making deep gashes on the face and arms and legs, in time of bereavement, was universal among the heathen, and it was deemed a becoming mark of respect for the dead, as well as a sort of propitiatory offering to the deities who presided over death and the grave. The Jews learned this custom in Egypt, and though weaned from it, relapsed in a later and degenerate age into this old superstition (Isa 15:2; Jer 16:6; 41:5).

nor print any marks upon you—by tattooing, imprinting figures of flowers, leaves, stars, and other fanciful devices on various parts of their person. The impression was made sometimes by means of a hot iron, sometimes by ink or paint, as is done by the Arab females of the present day and the different castes of the Hindus. It is probable that a strong propensity to adopt such marks in honor of some idol gave occasion to the prohibition in this verse; and they were wisely forbidden, for they were signs of apostasy; and, when once made, they were insuperable obstacles to a return. (See allusions to the practice, Isa 44:5; Re 13:17; 14:1).

This the Gentiles frequently did for the honour of some of their idols, to whom divers women were consecrated, and publicly prostituted. Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore,.... Not by delaying to marry her, which is the sense the Jews give (l), but it refers to a wicked practice among the Phoenicians or Canaanites, Athanasius (m) speaks of, whose women used to prostitute themselves in the temples of their idols; and to such filthy services, in a religious way, the Israelites, in imitation of them, are forbid to expose their daughters: such filthy practices, under a notion of religion, were committed at Babylon, Corinth, and other places; See Gill on Micah 1:7,

lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness: of the wickedness of whoredom, both corporeal and spiritual, fornication and idolatry; both of which would be promoted by such abominable practices, and in process of time the land be filled with them.

(l) Targ. Jon. in loc. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 76. 1.((m) Contra Gentes, p. 21.

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

(m) As did the Cyprians, and Locrenses.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. For ‘the land’ in the sense of its inhabitants, cp. Leviticus 18:25; Jdg 18:30; Hosea 1:2.Verse 29. - Do not prostitute thy daughter. This is a peremptory prohibition, applying to every Jewish maiden, introduced in this place with a primary relation to the sanctification of lust by the dedication of young girls at some heathen temples; but by no means confined in its application to such practices. All legal sanction of the sin of prostitution is forbidden, for whatever purpose it may be given; and the certain result of such sanction is indicated in the final words of the verse, lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness (cf. Deuteronomy 23:17). The garden-fruit was also to be sanctified to the Lord. When the Israelites had planted all kinds of fruit-trees in the land of Canaan, they were to treat the fruit of every tree as uncircumcised for the first three years, i.e., not to eat it, as being uncircumcised. The singular suffix in ערלתו refers to כּל, and the verb ערל is a denom. from ערלה, to make into a foreskin, to treat as uncircumcised, i.e., to throw away as unclean or uneatable. The reason for this command is not to be sought for in the fact, that in the first three years fruit-trees bear only a little fruit, and that somewhat insipid, and that if the blossom or fruit is broken off the first year, the trees will bear all the more plentifully afterwards (Aben Esra, Clericus, J. D. Mich.), though this end would no doubt be thereby attained; but it rests rather upon ethical grounds. Israel was to treat the fruits of horticulture with the most careful regard as a gift of God, and sanctify the enjoyment of them by a thank-offering. In the fourth year the whole of the fruit was to be a holiness of praise for Jehovah, i.e., to be offered to the Lord as a holy sacrificial gift, in praise and thanksgiving for the blessing which He had bestowed upon the fruit-trees. This offering falls into the category of first-fruits, and was no doubt given up entirely to the Lord for the servants of the altar; although the expression הלּוּלים עשׂה (Judges 9:27) seems to point to sacrificial meals of the first-fruits, that had already been reaped: and this is the way in which Josephus has explained the command (Ant. iv. 8, 19). For (Leviticus 19:25) they were not to eat the fruits till the fifth year, "to add (increase) its produce to you," viz., by the blessing of God, not by breaking off the fruits that might set in the first years.
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