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Leviticus 18:6 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(6) None of you shall approach.—Literally, man, man, ye shall not approach. It is part of the phrase used in Lev. 17:3; Lev. 17:8; Lev. 17:13, and should accordingly be rendered by no man whatsoever shall approach. The absence of the words “of the house of Israel,” which, in the other instances, form part of this phrase, as we are assured by the authorities in the time of Christ, shows that these prohibitions are also binding upon the stranger who took up his abode among the Israelites, lest the land be defiled by his transgressions. Though primarily addressed to man, who, in these cases, takes the initiative, the punishment for violating any of these laws was visited upon both man and woman.

Near of kin to him.—Literally, the flesh of his flesh. (See Psa. 73:26; Psa. 78:20; Psa. 78:27; Mic. 3:2-3.) The combination of two synonymous expressions is often used to denote intensity. Thus the phrase rendered “my exceeding joy” in the Authorised Version (Psa. 43:4), literally means the joy of my joy, or, as the Margin has it, “the gladness of my joy.” Accordingly, “the flesh of his flesh” signified “nearness of his flesh,” his near kin. This technical sense is assigned to the first of these two words by itself in Lev. 18:12-13, &c, where it is translated “near kinswoman.” It expresses kinship of both consanguinity and mere affinity. (See Lev. 18:17.)

To uncover their nakedness.—Upon the import of this phrase depends the interpretation of the laws laid down in this chapter and chapter 20, inasmuch as it furnishes the clue to the definition whether the interdicts refer to illicit commerce or to incestuous marriages. In the only other passage in the Pentateuch where it occurs, it does not appear to imply any unseemly intention (Exo. 20:26). This is also its sense in Isa. 47:3. In the seven instances in Ezekiel, however (Eze. 16:36-37; Eze. 22:10; Eze. 23:10; Eze. 23:18; Eze. 23:29), which are the only other passages in the Bible where this phrase is used, it denotes unseemly exposure, sexual intercourse, etc. Hence some high authorities maintain that in the twenty-one instances in which it is used in this part of the legislation (Lev. 18:6-19; Lev. 20:11; Lev. 20:17; Lev. 20:20-21), it denotes extra-conjugal licentiousness, and is simply an explanatory addition to the phrase “approach to,” with which it is combined in Lev. 18:6; Lev. 18:14; Lev. 18:18. From a comparison, however, of Lev. 18:18 with Lev. 18:19 to Lev. 20:11, it will be seen that it is undoubtedly used to denote sexual intercourse both within and without the pale of matrimony. As cohabitation without any religious ceremony whatever constituted and consummated marriage amongst the early Hebrews, the euphemistic phrases “to take home,” “to approach to,” “to know,” etc., as well as the less veiled expressions, “to lie with,” “to uncover her nakedness,” etc., denote marriage in Hebrew, not excluding, however, the primary sense of illicit commerce or incestuous marriages. The context in which the phrase occurs must determine the sense in which it is used. The administrators of the law during the second Temple, whilst rightly interpreting it here generally to denote incestuous marriages, also apply it in some instances to fornication and adultery.

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 18:6 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 18:6 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 18:6 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Leviticus 18:6 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Leviticus 18:6 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 18:6 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Leviticus 18:6 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Leviticus 18:6 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 18:6 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 18:6 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Leviticus 18:6 - Geneva Bible Notes

Leviticus 18:6 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 18:6 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 18:6 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Leviticus 18:6 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Leviticus 18:6 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Leviticus 18:6 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Leviticus 18:6 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 18:6 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Leviticus 18:6 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 18:6 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 18:6 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 18:6 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)