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Leviticus 19:19 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(19) Ye shall keep my statutes—that is, the following ordinances, which though not of the same high moral nature as the precepts laid down in the preceding verses, are yet necessary to attain to holiness. The Holy God has made everything “after its kind” (Gen. 1:11-12; Gen. 1:21; Gen. 1:24-25, &c.), and has thus established a physical distinction in the order of His creation. For man to bring about a union of dissimilar things is to bring about a dissolution of the Divine laws and to act contrary to the ordinances of Him who is holy, and to whose holiness we are to attain.

Cattle gender with a diverse kind.—Such commixtures would not only contravene the Divine order of things, but would lessen the abhorrence of the crime prohibited in Lev. 18:22-23. The use, however, of animals produced from such mixtures was not forbidden. Hence we find that mules were largely employed by the Jews (2Sa. 13:29; 2Sa. 18:9; 1Ki. 1:33; 1Ki. 1:38; 1Ki. 10:25; 1Ki. 18:5; Ezr. 2:66, &c.). These hybrids were either the issue of parents voluntarily coming together without the aid of the Israelites, or were imported from other countries. This law is binding upon the Jews to this day in every country where they happen to live, whether in Palestine or out of it.

Not sow thy field with mingled seed.—According to the administrators of the law during the second Temple, the prohibition is only applicable to diverse seeds for human food, mixed together for the purpose of sowing them in the same field, as, for instance, wheat and barley, beans and lentils. These an Israelite must neither sow himself nor allow a non-Israelite to do it for him. Seeds of grain and seeds of trees, as well as seeds of different kinds of trees, may be sown together. The opening words of the parable, “A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard” (Luk. 13:6), do not contravene this law. Seeds which were not intended for human food, such as of bitter herbs, or of vegetables intended for drugs, were exempted from this law, and like the hybrids of mixed parents, the seeds of herbs sown with diverse kinds were allowed to be used. Unlike the law, however, about the commixture of animals, which, as we have seen, is of universal application, the law about mixed seeds was only applicable to the Holy Land, since the command here is, “thou shalt not sow thy field” which these authorities maintain means “the fields of their inheritance in the promised land. Though trees are not mentioned here, the law was applied to grafting. Hence it was forbidden to graft an apple-tree on a citron-tree, or herbs into trees. The fruit, however, which grew upon the trees of such graftings was allowed to be eaten. The law about the diverse graftings is binding upon the Jews in every country and to all ages.

A garment mingled of linen and woollen.—Not only is it forbidden to weave woollen and flaxen threads together into one material to make wearing apparel of it, but according to the administrators of the law during the second Temple, an Israelite must not mend a woollen garment with a flaxen thread, and vice versâ. One of the reasons which the ancient canonists assign for this prohibition is that “wool and linen were appointed for the priests alone.” This law is observed by the orthodox Jews to this day. The law laid down in this verse is substantially repeated in Deu. 22:9-11.

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 19:19 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 19:19 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 19:19 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Leviticus 19:19 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 19:19 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Leviticus 19:19 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Leviticus 19:19 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 19:19 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 19:19 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Leviticus 19:19 - Geneva Bible Notes

Leviticus 19:19 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 19:19 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 19:19 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Leviticus 19:19 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Leviticus 19:19 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Leviticus 19:19 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Leviticus 19:19 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 19:19 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Leviticus 19:19 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 19:19 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 19:19 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 19:19 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

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