As one of the two great commandments Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, this rule consists of five simple words that embody everything else: "Love your neighbor as yourself." For New Testament believers, the Holy Spirit automatically teaches their hearts to do all that relates to this commandment. But for those who were under the Law, God had to spell out exactly how they should behave.
Leviticus 19 tells us that God instructed His people to be generous (vv. 9-10) and to leave something in the fields for the poor. He commanded them not to steal, lie, or deceive one another (vv. 11-13). He told them to respect the helpless (v. 14) and not to take advantage of them. He directed them to judge their neighbors fairly, not showing favoritism (v. 15). Finally, He told them not to slander, harbor hatred, or seek revenge (vv. 16-18). As simple as these commandments sound, they gave practical steps to the admonition to "love your neighbor."
Love is the fulfilling of the Law and the highest of God's commandments. In all your relationships, apply this "royal command" (James 2:8). God will bless you, and others will love you in return!
19 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel
5 “‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.6 It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up.
9 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges
“‘Do not deceive one another.
15 “‘Do not pervert justice;
18 “‘Do not seek revenge
19 “‘Keep my decrees.
“‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.
“‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.
20 “‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man
23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.
26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.
31 “‘Do not turn to mediums
33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.
35 “‘Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.
20 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death.
7 “‘Consecrate yourselves
9 “‘Anyone who curses their father
10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife
11 “‘If a man has sexual relations with his father’s wife, he has dishonored his father.
13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.
14 “‘If a man marries both a woman and her mother,
16 “‘If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
17 “‘If a man marries his sister
18 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period,
19 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father,
19 The Lord also said to Moses,2 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
3 “Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the Lord your God.
4 “Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.
5 “When you sacrifice a peace offering to the Lord, offer it properly so you
9 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop.10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.
11 “Do not steal.
“Do not deceive or cheat one another.
12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord.
13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.
“Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.
14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.
15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.
16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.
“Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.
17 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives.
18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
19 “You must obey all my decrees.
“Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.
20 “If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man’s wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death.21 The man, however, must bring a ram as a guilt offering and present it to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
23 “When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden.
26 “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood.
“Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft.
27 “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.
28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.
29 “Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with prostitution and wickedness.
30 “Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
31 “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.
32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord.
33 “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land.34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
35 “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume.36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate.
37 “You must be careful to keep all of my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the Lord.”
20 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Give the people of Israel these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living in Israel.
“If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death.3 I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name by offering their children to Molech.4 And if the people of the community ignore those who offer their children to Molech and refuse to execute them,5 I myself will turn against them and their families and will cut them off from the community. This will happen to all who commit spiritual prostitution by worshiping Molech.
6 “I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community.7 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God.8 Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.
10 “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.
11 “If a man violates his father by having sex with one of his father’s wives, both the man and the woman must be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.
12 “If a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, both must be put to death. They have committed a perverse act and are guilty of a capital offense.
13 “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.
14 “If a man marries both a woman and her mother, he has committed a wicked act. The man and both women must be burned to death to wipe out such wickedness from among you.
15 “If a man has sex with an animal, he must be put to death, and the animal must be killed.
16 “If a woman presents herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it, she and the animal must both be put to death. You must kill both, for they are guilty of a capital offense.
17 “If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a shameful disgrace. They must be publicly cut off from the community. Since the man has violated his sister, he will be punished for his sin.
18 “If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual period, both of them must be cut off from the community, for together they have exposed the source of her blood flow.
19 “Do not have sexual relations with your aunt, whether your mother’s sister or your father’s sister. This would dishonor a close relative. Both parties are guilty and will be punished for their sin.
20 “If a man has sex with his uncle’s wife, he has violated his uncle. Both the man and woman will be punished for their sin, and they will die childless.
21 “If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act of impurity. He has violated his brother, and the guilty couple will remain childless.
19 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 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.
3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.
4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.
5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, ye shall offer it at your own will.
6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.
7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.
8 Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the Lord: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.
11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.
13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord.
15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor 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 against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the Lord.
17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.
22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.
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 uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal.
25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the Lord your God.
26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
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 print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.
29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.
30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, 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 fear thy God: I am the Lord.
33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one 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, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord.
20 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.
8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.
9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.
20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle's wife, he hath uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.
21 And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.
11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.
14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast
16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
22 They came to Bethsaida,
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!”
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
11 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.”13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.
14 But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat.15 As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.”
16 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread.17 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in?18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’
“Twelve,” they said.
20 “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”
“Seven,” they said.
21 “Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.
22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him.23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”
24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly.26 Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”
27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”
29 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.
30 But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
31 Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man
33 Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
3 My tears
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
under the protection of the Mighty One
Why so disturbed
for I will yet praise
6 My soul is downcast within me;
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
8 By day the Lord directs his love,
9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten
Why must I go about mourning,
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”
4 My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!
5 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and6 my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
9 “O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”
11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
42 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8 Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,
but those who ignore correction will go astray.
17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.