Leviticus 19:14 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(14) Thou shalt not curse the deaf.—To revile one who cannot hear, and is therefore unable to vindicate himself, is both inexpressibly mean and wicked. The term deaf also includes the absent, and hence out of hearing (Psa. 38:14-15). According to the administrators of the law during the second Temple, this prohibition was directed against all cursing whatsoever. For, said they, if to curse one who cannot hear, and whom, therefore, it cannot grieve, is prohibited, how much more is it forbidden to curse one who hears it, and who is both enraged and grieved by it.
Nor put a stumblingblock before the blind.—In Deu. 27:18 a curse is pronounced upon those who lead the blind astray. To help those who were thus afflicted was always regarded as a meritorious act. Hence among the benevolent services which Job rendered to his neighbours, he says “I was eyes to the blind” (Job. 29:15). According to the interpretation which obtained in the time of Christ, this is to be understood figuratively. It forbids imposition upon the ignorant, and misdirecting those who seek advice, thus causing them to fall. Similar tenderness to the weak is enjoined by the Apostle: “That no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13).
But shalt fear thy God.—Deafness and blindness may prevent the sufferers from detecting the offender, and bringing him to justice before an earthly tribunal, but God on high hears it when the human ear is stopped up, and sees it when the human eye is extinct. Hence the prohibition against injustice to the infirm and the poor is enforced by an appeal to fear the Lord. (See Lev. 19:32.)
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
Charles John Ellicott (1819 - 1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.
His works include:
- An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897. (Editor)
- A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878.