Leviticus 19:17 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(17) Shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart.—From the outward acts denounced in the preceding verse, the legislator now passes to inward feelings. Whatever wrong our neighbour has inflicted upon us, we are not to harbour hatred against him.
Thou shalt in any wise rebuke.—Better, thou shalt by all means, or thou shalt freely rebuke him. If he has done wrong he is to be reproved, and the wrong is to be brought home to him by expostulation. In illustration of this precept the Jewish canonists remark, “when any man sinneth against another he must not inwardly hate him and keep silence, as it is said of the wicked, ‘And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon’ (2Sa. 13:22); but he is commanded to make it known unto him, and to say, ‘Why hast thou done thus unto me?’” Similar is the admonition of Christ, “If thy brother sin against thee rebuke him, and if he repent forgive him” (Luk. 17:3).
And not suffer sin upon him.—Better so that thou bear not sin on his account. That is, by not reproving him, but harbouring inward hatred towards the offender, we not only become partakers of his offence, but incur the sin of bearing secret ill-will (Rom. 1:32; Eph. 4:26; 1Ti. 5:20; 1Ti. 5:22). According to the spiritual authorities during the second Temple, however, this clause denotes, “but thou shalt bear no sin by reason of it,” as the Authorised Version translates this phrase in Num. 18:32; that is, “execute the duty of reproof in such a manner that thou dost not incur sin by it,” which they explain in the following manner: “Even if the reproof is ineffectual the first time, it must be repeated over and over again, but the rebuker must desist as soon as he sees blushes on the offender’s face, for it shows that the reproofs have made an impression. Every step taken by the one who reproves, after the offender has thus indicated by his countenance that he realises the offence, is an unnecessary humiliation, and hence brings sin upon him who rebukes by reason of it.”
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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.