Leviticus 19:14
You must not curse the deaf or place a stumbling block before the blind, but you are to fear your God. I am the LORD.
No Advantage to be Taken of IncapacityJ. Jortin, D. D.Leviticus 19:14
Protection of the InfirmM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Leviticus 19:14
The Absent not to be SlanderedBp. Babington.Leviticus 19:14
The Weak ProtectedS. R. Aldridge, B. A.Leviticus 19:14
Religion and SuperstitionW. Clarkson Leviticus 19:1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 26-28, 30-32, 36, 37
Social MoralityR.M. Edgar Leviticus 19:1-37
Honour to Whom HonorW. Clarkson Leviticus 19:3, 32
The Holy Law in the Holy LifeR.A. Redford Leviticus 19:3-37
KindlinessJ.A. Macdonald Leviticus 19:9-14
ConsideratenessW. Clarkson Leviticus 19:9, 10, 13, 14, 33, 34
IntegrityW. Clarkson Leviticus 19:11, 13, 15, 16, 35, 36
The Jews have always been considered a cunning and crafty race; they have been credited with a willingness to overreach in business dealings. Men would rather have transactions with others than with them, lest they should find themselves worsted in the bargain. This suspicion may be well founded; but if it be so, it ought to be remembered that it is the consequence of the long and cruel disadvantages under which they have suffered, and is not clue to anything in their own blood or to any defect in their venerable Law. From the beginning they have been as strictly charged to live honourable and upright lives before man as to engage regularly in the worship of God. They have been as much bound to integrity of conduct as to devoutness of spirit. In these few verses we find them called to -

I. INTEGRITY IN DAILY TRANSACTIONS - HONESTY. "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely" (verse 11). "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him" (verse 13; see verses 35, 36). Nothing could be more explicit than this, nothing more comprehensive in suggestion. No member of the Hebrew commonwealth could

(1) deliberately appropriate what he knew was not his own, or

(2) rob his neighbour in the act of trading, or

(3) deal falsely or unrighteously in any transaction or in any relation, without consciously breaking the Law and coming under the displeasure of Jehovah.

The words of the Law are clear and strong, going straight to the understanding and to the conscience. Every man amongst them must have known, as every one amongst us knows well, that dishonesty is sin in the sight of God.

II. INTEGRITY IN OFFICIAL DUTY - JUSTICE. (Verse 15.) It is a pitiful thought that, in every nation, justice has been open to corruption; that men placed in honourable posts in order to do justice between man and man have either sold it to the highest bidder or surrendered and betrayed it from craven fear. God's clear word condemns such rank injustice, and his high displeasure follows the perpetrator of it. He who undertakes to judge his fellows must do so in the fear of God, and if he swerves from his integrity in his public acts, he must lay his account with heaven if not with man.

III. INTEGRITY IN WORD - TRUTH. "Ye shall not lie one to another" (verse 11). This, too, is a universal sin. Some nations may be more prone to it than others, The weak and the oppressed are too ready to take refuge in it; it is the resort of the feeble and the fearful But it is also used with shameful freedom and shocking unconcern, as an instrument of gain and power. God has revealed his holy hatred of it. "Ye shall not lie." "Lying lips are abomination to the Lord;" "the Lord hateth a lying tongue" (Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 6:17). Under the gospel of Christ, we are earnestly warned against it (Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9). We are reminded that it is

(1) a wrong done to our fellow-men ("we are members," etc.), and

(2) closely associated with heather habits (the "old man," etc.); and we may remember that it is

(3) a habit most demoralizing to ourselves, as well as

(4) something which utterly separates us from our Lord, being so contrary to his Spirit and so grievous in his sight. - C.

Thou shalt not curse the deaf.
I. THE MEANNESS OF THE CONDUCT HERE REBUKED. Dishonourable dealing, commercial sharp-practice, trading upon the defects of others, issuing delusive prospectuses to entrap the unwary, traducing our fellows behind their backs so that they cannot learn and answer the charges brought against them — all such action deserves our reprobation and avoidance. The natural ills of humanity call for commiseration and help, rather than for ridicule and maltreatment. Where weakness has been self-incurred, where ignorance is wilful, there is less need of sympathy. Let our young people be early imbued with the feeling that it is wrong to trample upon the defenceless.


1. Reverence for Jehovah is the best security against violation of His statutes. Remember, that to transgress is to grieve our heavenly Father, to show ourselves unmindful of His claims.

2. The omniscience of Jehovah should restrain from the commission of unfair deeds. He hears every word and sees every act, though the deaf and the blind cannot. Let not mean, cowardly performances expect to pass unnoticed, unpunished.

III. THE COMFORT THE WEAK MAY DERIVE FROM THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE UNDER THE PROTECTION OF GOD. He is seen to cherish them, to make provision for their need; He puts His strong right arm around them, shelters them under His wing. We cannot believe that His fostering care is denied to any class of the infirm, in body, mind, or spirit.

(S. R. Aldridge, B. A.)

Persons stricken with some defect which renders them helpless, stand under God's special protection; it would be heartless and impious to "curse the deaf," who is unaware of the attacks made upon him, which may involve calumnies, and which he is unable to rebut; and it would be cruel indeed to "put a stumbling-block before the blind," to whom every right-minded man should be eager to "serve as eyes"; a crime like the latter was publicly cursed on Mount Ebal; and in both cases the law warns the offender, "Thou shalt fear thy God," who hears if there is no other ear to listen, who sees if there is no other eye to see, and who, to punish thy wickedness, can strike thee with the same afflictions: hence the same menace, "Thou shalt fear thy God," is repeated with respect to the treatment of old and infirm men, of poor persons, of dependents, and servants. Philo inveighs vehemently against the inhumanity here forbidden, and observes that those who are guilty of it, "would not spare even the dead, in the excess of their cruelty, but according to a common proverb, would slay the slain again." Jewish tradition applies the second command of our verse figuratively to insidious advice or false information given to a man who is in ignorance or perplexity, whether on some question of learning or on some matter of business. The law of Man inflicts a pecuniary fine upon any one who taunts a person with being one-eyed or lame or deformed.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

This base action of reviling or cursing a deaf person is here condemned. But that is not all; there is something more forbidden by this law; for it seems to be of a proverbial nature, and the general meaning is, Thou shalt not take the sordid advantage of a man's incapacity to defend himself, and hurt him either in his body, his fortunes, or his reputation. To abuse an absent person, to calumniate people in secret, to attack another's reputation in the dark and in disguise, to defame those who are dead, to hurt in any manner those who are unable to help and redress themselves, all this may be called, To curse the deaf.

(J. Jortin, D. D.)

So did St. , that worthy father, abhor this vice, that over his table where he dined he wrote two verses, to tell all them that sat with him, if they carped at any person absent, that table was not for them, nor the guests welcome to him.

(Bp. Babington.)

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