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.
The position of this come mand at the head of the long list of precepts which follows is most significant and instructive. It sets before us the object of the whole ceremonial and moral law, and, we may add, the supreme object of the gospel also, namely, to produce a certain type of moral and spiritual character, a "holy" manhood; it, moreover, precisely interprets this term, so universally misunderstood and misapplied among all nations, as essentially consisting in a spiritual likeness to God: "Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy." These words evidently at once define holiness and declare the supreme motive to the attainment and maintenance of a holy character. This, then, is brought before us as the central thought in which all the diverse precepts and prohibitions which follow find their unity; and, accordingly, we find this keynote of the whole law echoing, as it were, all through this chapter, in the constant refrain, repeated herein no less than fourteen — twice seven — times; "I am the Lord!" "I am the Lord your God!"
(S. H. Kellogg, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.