*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics
Verses covered in this passage:
Leviticus is largely about directions for sacrificial ceremonies and worship, and might seem hard for the modern reader to relate to. However, the New Testament reveals the great extent to which the entire Tabernacle enterprise symbolizes eternal truths that are as relevant to the New Testament believer as to the Old.
In particular, the New Testament book of Hebrews says that all the Tabernacle items are copies of the real thing in heaven. It further discusses the meaning of the priesthood and sacrifices, all of which look forward to Jesus Christ’s ministry on behalf of a fallen race.
God tells the Israelites through Moses that His ways are in their best interest. The ways of the Egyptians and the Canaanites, which are the ways of their sinful flesh, are not in their best interest. Those ways lead to death while His ways lead to life and peace.
God’s law presents to us an ideal way to live in harmony with God and our fellow humans by defining what is right and wrong. As our creator, God knows this better than any human. In pronouncing His ways, He is making clear the path to our ultimate best interest.
God outlines a list of incestuous sexual sins and forbids His people to engage in them as was common in the lands of Egypt and Canaan. The phrase “uncover one’s nakedness” means to engage in sexual intimacy with a person (including but not limited to intercourse). Uncovering the nakedness of one’s spouse within the covenant of marriage produces oneness. However, having forbidden sexual relations is usually in order to exploit another for personal sexual gratification, and is forbidden. Here it is forbidden particularly within families.
God continues to forbid practices that are not in His people’s best interest. Rather, God promotes His ways which lead to harmony with God and others.