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Leviticus 19 (Vayikra)

Leviticus 19 (Vayikra) Summary

Leviticus 19 (Vayikra) is different from the previous chapters. It spans a wide range of commands from YHVH. YHVH calls Israel to be holy. Holiness transcends rules and rituals. Rather it permeates every facet of life. Yoel HaLevi says, “Holiness is depicted as a mode of existence characterized by reverence for the divine, fidelity to divine injunctions, and an ongoing pursuit of moral purity and spiritual elevation.”

Leviticus 19 (Vayikra) Outline

Leviticus 19 (Vayikra) can be navigated in three possible ways. (1) The traditional verse division, (2) Jewish tradition of daily reading called Torah Portions, and (3) the Literary Layout per Jacob Milgrom. Click the caret below to navigate using the Torah Portions and Literary Layout.

Click to see Leviticus 19 Outline

Torah Portions:

  1. First Reading – vv. 1-14 – Parsha Kedoshim
  2. Second Reading – vv. 15-22 – Parsha Kedoshim
  3. Third Reading – vv. 23-32 – Parsha Kedoshim
  4. Fourth Reading – vv. 33-37 – Parsha Kedoshim

Literary Layout:

  1. Introduction – vv. 1-2a
  2. Religious Duties – vv. 2b-10
  3. Ethical Duties – vv. 11-18
  4. Miscellaneous Duties – vv.19-29
  5. Closing – vv. 30-32
  6. Appendix – vv. 33-37

Leviticus 19 Structure:

Jacob Milgrom’s offers several suggestion. The one listed below is the final opinion on the structure of Leviticus 19. There are small differences from the literary layout above.

Leviticus 19 Structure

Leviticus 19 (Vayikra) English Verses

Parsha Kedoshim #30
~ Holy Ones ~

FIRST READING

→ Introduction

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them:

→ Religious Duties

Ye shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy.
3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and ye shall keep My sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
4  Turn ye not unto the idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
5  And when ye offer a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it that ye may be accepted.
6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow; and if aught remain until the third day, it shall be burnt with fire.
7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is a vile thing; it shall not be accepted.
8 But every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the holy thing of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from his people.
9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest.
10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

→ Ethical Duties

11 Ye shall not steal; neither shall ye deal falsely, nor lie one to another.
12 And ye shall not swear by My name falsely, so that thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
13 Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbour, nor rob him; the wages of a hired servant shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.

SECOND READING

15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor favour the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbour, and not bear sin because of him.
18 Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

THIRD READING

→ Miscellaneous Duties

19 Ye shall keep My statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind; thou shalt not sow thy field with two kinds of seed; neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together.
20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, designated for a man, and not at all redeemed, nor was freedom given her; there shall be inquisition; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
21 And he shall bring his forfeit unto the LORD, unto the door of the tent of meeting, even a ram for a guilt-offering.
22 And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt-offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned; and he shall be forgiven for his sin which he hath sinned.
23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten.

FOURTH READING

24 And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD.
25 But in the fifth year may ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you more richly the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.
26 Ye shall not eat with the blood; neither shall ye practise divination nor soothsaying.
27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
29 Profane not thy daughter, to make her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of lewdness.

→ Closing

30 Ye shall keep My sabbaths,and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD.
31 Turn ye not unto the ghosts, nor unto familiar spirits; seek them not out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.

→ Appendix

33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong.
34 The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37 And ye shall observe all My statutes, and all Mine ordinances, and do them: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19 (Vayikra) English Verses

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Leviticus ChaptersLeviticus 19 ResourcesCopyright

WSB Links

  1. Parsha Kedoshim – The Parsha page containing Stats, Readings, and additional links.
  2. Sefer Vayikra- Chapter 19 – The Hebrew text for this chapter.
  3.  Leviticus/Vayikra Chapter 19 Interlinear – Coming Soon

Online Resources

  1. Bible Hub Interlinear Chapter 19

Offline Resources

Chumash

  1. The Schocken Bible: Volume 1, The Five Books of Moses | Schocken Books | Everett Fox – My Hebrew teacher, Yoel HaLevi, has stated this is the best English translation he has heard. It is a first in a three-volume series translated by rabbis for Jewish English readers.
  2. The Steinsaltz Humash | Koren Publishers | Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz – The Late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz was renowned for his Koren Talmud. He has been called the modern Rashi.
  3. The Pentateuch & Haftorahs | The Soncino Press | Dr. J.H. Hertz – The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire was renowned for his writings and teachings. Many consider this a must have for any personal library. In the Preface Dr. Hertz calls this “a People’s Commentary”.
  4. The Living Torah | Maznaim Publishing | Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan – Rabbi Kaplan is well known for working with texts from Kabbalah. In the Translator’s Introduction he writes, “It (this book) is meant to be a book that can be given to a boy on the day of his Bar Mitzvah, and yet remain the subject of lifelong study.”

Commentaries

  1. Leviticus: A Book of Ritual and Ethics: Continental Commentaries| Fortress Press | Professor Joseph Milgrom – He is the leading authority on the book of Leviticus. This is the scaled down version of his three-volume work in the Archor Bible Series.
  2. The JPS Torah Commentary: Leviticus | Jewish Publication Society | Dr. Baruch A. Levine – This is a semi-scholarly work that is required reading for anyone wanting to study the book of Leviticus.
  3. Covenant & Conversation Commentary | Schocken Books | Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – The Late Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ last published commentary on the Torah.
  4. The Parsha with Rabbi Juravel: Sefer Vayikra | MC Publications | Rabbi M. Feinzeig – Rabbi Juravel is well-known for his teachings for children. This series were created from his famous children’s teachings. In my opinion, everyone new to Jewish studies should start their studies here.

Hebrew Resources

  1. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon | Hendrickson Pub. | Francis Brown – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.
The Holy Scriptures
According to the Masoretic Text
The Jewish Publication Society translation
[1917] – Public Domain