Select Commentary| Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible| Lev| Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 |
Total 46 verses in Chapter 26: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 |


a standing…: or, pillar
b image of…: or, figured stone: Heb. a stone of picture
c rid: Heb. cause to cease
d over: Heb. upon
e contrary…: or, at all adventures with me
f shaken: Heb. driven


1 “你们不可为自己做偶像,不可为自己立雕像或神柱,也不可在你们的境内安置石像,向它跪拜;因为我是耶和华你们的 神。
1Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.a, b

Idolatry forbidden, 1.

The Saobath to be sanctified, 2, 3.

Promises to obedience, of fruitful fields, plentiful harvests,

and vintage, 4, 5.

Of peace and security, 6.

Discomfiture of their enemies, 7-9.

Of abundance, 10.

Of the Divine presence, 11-13.

Threatenings against the disobedient, 14, 15.

Of terror and dismay, 16.

Their enemies shall prevail against them, 17, 18.

Of barrenness, 19, 20.

Of desolation by wild beasts, 21, 22.

And if not humbled and reformed, worse evils shall be inflicted

upon them, 23, 24.

Their enemies shall prevail, and they shall be wasted by the

pestilence, 25, 26.

If they should still continue refractory they shall be yet more

sorely punished, 27, 28.

The famine shall so increase that they shall be obliged to eat

their own children, 29.

Their carcasses shall be cast upon the carcasses of their idols,


Their cities shall be wasted, and the sanctuary desolated, 31;

the land destroyed, 32,

themselves scattered among their enemies, and pursued with utter

confusion and distress, 33-39.

If under these judgments they confess their sin and return to

God, he will remember them in mercy, 40-43;

Visit them even in the land of their enemies, 44;

and remember his covenant with their fathers, 45.

The conclusion, stating these to be the judgments and laws which

the Lord made between himself and the children of Israel in

Mount Sinai, 46.


Verse 1. Ye shall make you no idols]

See Clarke on Ex 20:4, and

See Clarke on Ge 28:18; "Ge 28:19",

concerning consecrated stones.

Not only idolatry in general is forbidden here,

but also the superstitious use of innocent and

lawful things. Probably the stones or pillars

which were first set up, and anointed by holy

men in commemoration of signal interpositions

of God in their behalf, were afterward abused

to idolatrous and superstitious purposes, and

therefore prohibited. This we know was

the case with the brazen serpent, 2Ki 18:4.


2 ¶ Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

3 ¶ If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
3 Verse 3. If ye walk in my statutes] For the meaning of this

and similar words used in the law, See Clarke on Le 26:15.

4Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
4 Verse 4. Rain in due season] What in Scripture is called the

early and the latter rain. The first fell in Palestine at the

commencement of spring, and the latter in autumn.-Calmet.

5And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
5 Verse 5. Your threshing shall reach unto the vintage]

According to Pliny, Hist. Nat., l. xviii., c. 18, the Egyptians

reaped their barley six months, and their oats seven months,

after seed time; for they sowed all their grain about the end of

summer, when the overflowings of the Nile had ceased. It was

nearly the same in Judaea: they sowed their corn and barley

towards the end of autumn, and about the month of October; and

they began their barley-harvest after the passover, about the

middle of March; and in one month or six weeks after, about

pentecost, they began that of their wheat. After their

wheat-harvest their vintage commenced. Moses here leads the

Hebrews to hope, if they continued faithful to God, that between

their harvest and vintage, and between their vintage and

seed-time, there should be no interval, so great should the

abundance be; and these promises would appear to them the more

impressive, as they had just now come out of a country where the

inhabitants were obliged to remain for nearly three months shut

up within their cities, because the Nile had then inundated the

whole country. See Calmet.

"This is a nervous and beautiful promise of such entire plenty

of corn and wine, that before they could have reaped and threshed

out their corn the vintage should be ready, and before they could

have pressed out their wine it would be time to sow again. The

Prophet Amos, Am 9:13 expresses the same blessing in the same

manner: The ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader

of grapes him who soweth seed."-Dodd.

6And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.c
7And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
10And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
11And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
11 Verse 11. I will set my tabernacle among you] This and the

following verse contain the grand promise of the Gospel

dispensation, viz. the presence, manifestation, and indwelling of

God in human nature, and his constant in dwelling in the souls of

his followers. So Joh 1:14

the WORD was made flesh, καιεσκηνωσενενημιν, and MADE HIS

TABERNACLE among us. And to this promise of the law St. Paul

evidently refers, 2Co 6:16-18 and 2Co 7:1

12我要在你们中间行走;我要作你们的 神,你们要作我的子民。
12And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
13我是耶和华你们的 神,曾经把你们从埃及地领出来,使你们不再作他们的奴仆;我折断了你们所负的轭,使你们挺身昂首地行走。
13I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.



14 ¶ But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
15 Verse 15. If ye shall despise my statutes-abhor my judgments]

As these words, and others of a similar import, which point out

different properties of the revelation of God, are frequently

occurring, I Judge it best to take a general view of them, once

for all, in this place, and show how they differ among themselves,

and what property of the Divine law each points out.

1. STATUTES. chukkoth, from chak, to mark out,

define, &c. This term seems to signify the things which God has

defined, marked, and traced out, that men might have a perfect

copy of pure conduct always before their eyes, to teach them how

they might walk so as to please him in all things, which they

could not do without such instruction as God gives in his word,

and the help which he affords by his Spirit.

2. JUDGMENTS. shephatim, from shaphat, to

distinguish, regulate, and determine; meaning those things which

God has determined that men shall pursue, by which their whole

conduct shall be regulated, making the proper distinction between

virtue and vice, good and evil, right and wrong, justice and

injustice; in a word, between what is proper to be done, and what

is proper to be left undone.

3. COMMANDMENTS. mitsvoth, from tsavah, to

command, ordain, and appoint, as a legislator. This term is

properly applied to those parts of the law which contain the

obligation the people are under to act according to the statutes,

judgments, &c., already established, and which prohibit them by

penal sanctions from acting contrary to the laws.

4. COVENANT. berith, from bar, to clear, cleanse,

or purify; because the covenant, the whole system of revelation

given to the Jews, was intended to separate them from all the

people of the earth, and to make them holy. Berith also signifies

the covenant-sacrifice, which prefigured the atonement made by

Christ for the sin of the world, by which he purifies believers

unto himself, and makes them a peculiar people, zealous of good

works. Besides those four, we may add the following, from other

places of Scripture.

5. TESTIMONIES. edoth, from ad, beyond, farther,

besides; because the whole ritual law referred to something

farther on or beyond the Jewish dispensation, even to that

sacrifice which in the fulness of time was to be offered for the

sins of men. Thus all the sacrifices, &c., of the Mosaic law

referred to Christ, and bore testimony to him who was to come.

6. ORDINANCES. mishmaroth, from shamar, to

guard, keep safe, watch over; those parts of Divine revelation

which exhorted men to watch their ways, keep their hearts, and

promised them, in consequence, the continual protection and

blessing of God their Maker.

7. PRECEPTS. pikkudim, from pakad, to

overlook, take care or notice of, to visit; a very expressive

character of the Divine testimonies, the overseers of a man's

conduct, those who stand by and look on to see whether he acts

according to the commands of his Master; also the visiters, because

God's precepts are suited to all the circumstances of human life;

some are applicable in adversity, others in prosperity; some in

times of temptation and sadness, others in seasons of spiritual joy

and exultation, &c., &c. Thus they may be said to overlook and

visit man in all times, places, and circumstances.

8. TRUTH. emeth, from am, to support, sustain,

confirm; because God is immutable who has promised, threatened,

commanded, and therefore all his promises, threatenings,

commandments, &c., are unalterable and eternal. Error and

falsity promise to direct and sustain, but they fail. God's word

is supported by his own faithfulness, and it supports and

confirms them who conscientiously believe it.

9. RIGHTEOUSNESS. tsedakah, from which, though not

used as a verb in the Hebrew Bible, seems to convey, from its use

as a noun, the idea of giving just weight or good measure, see

Le 19:36. This is one of the characters which is attributed

to the revelation God makes of himself; (see Ps 119:137-144;) and

by this the impartiality of the Divine testimonies is pointed out.

God gives to all their due, and his word distributes to every man

according to his state, circumstances, talents, graces, &c.; to

none too much, to none too little, to all enough.

10. WORD of JEHOVAH. debar Yehovah, from , dabar,

to drive, lead, bring forward, hence to bring forward, or utter

one's sentiments; so the word of God is what God has brought

forth to man from his own mind and counsel; it is a perfect

similitude of his own righteousness, holiness, goodness, and

truth. This Divine law is sometimes expressed by:-

11. imrah, speech or word, variously modified from

amar, to branch out, because of the interesting details into

which the word of God enters in order to instruct man and make

him wise unto salvation, or, as the apostle expresses it, "God,

who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake unto the

fathers by the prophets," πολυμερωςκαιπολυτροπως, in many

distinct parcels, and by various tropes or figures; a curious and

elegant description of Divine revelation; Heb 1:1.

12. All these collectively are termed the LAW torah, or

torath Yehovah, the law of the Lord, from

yarah, to direct, set straight and true, as stones in a building,

to teach and instruct, because this whole system of Divine

revelation is calculated to direct men to the attainment of present

and eternal felicity, to set them right in their notions concerning

the supreme God, to order and adjust them in the several

departments of civil and religious society, and thus to teach and

instruct them in the knowledge of themselves, and in the true

knowledge of God. Thus those who receive the truth become the city

of the living God-the temple of the Most High, built together for

a habitation of God through the Spirit. To complete this

description of the word law, See Clarke on Ex 12:49, where

other properties of the law of God are specified.

16I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.d
16 Verse 16. I will even appoint over you terror, &c.] How

dreadful is this curse! A whole train of evils are here

personified and appointed to be the governors of a disobedient

people. Terror is to be one of their keepers. How awful a

state! to be continually under the influence of dismay, feeling

indescribable evils, and fearing worse! Consumption,

shachepheth, generally allowed to be some kind of atrophy or

marasmus, by which the flesh was consumed, and the whole body

dried up by raging fever through lack of sustenance.

See Clarke on Le 11:16. How circumstantially were all these

threatenings fulfilled in this disobedient and rebellious people!

Let a deist read over this chapter and compare it with the state

of the Jews since the days of Vespasian, and then let him doubt

the authenticity of this word if he can.

17And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
18And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
19And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
20And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.

21 ¶ And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.e
22I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.
22 Verse 22. I will also send wild beasts among you] God

fulfilled these threatenings at different times. He sent fiery

SERPENTS among them, Nu 21:6; LIONS, 2Ki 17:25; BEARS,

2Ki 2:24, and threatened them with total desolation, so that

their land should be overrun with wild beasts, &c., see Eze 5:17.

"Spiritually," says Mr. Ainsworth, "these are wicked rulers and

tyrants that kill and spoil, Pr 28:15; Da 7:3-6; Ps 80:13;

and false prophets that devour souls, Mt 7:15; Re 13:1, &c. So

the prophet, speaking of their punishment by tyrants, says: A

LION out of the forest shall slay them; a WOLF of the evening

shall spoil them; a LEOPARD shall watch over their cities; every

one that goeth out thence shall be torn to pieces, because their

transgressions be many. And of their prophets it is said: O

Israel, thy prophets are like FOXES in the deserts, Eze 13:4;

Jer 8:17; 15:3."

23And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
24Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
25And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
26And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
26 Verse 26. Ten women shall bake your bread in one oven] Though

in general every family in the East bakes its own bread, yet

there are some public bakehouses where the bread of several

families is baked at a certain price. Moses here foretells that

the desolation should be so great and the want so pressing that

there should be many idle hands to be employed, many mouths to be

fed, and very little for each: Ten women shall bake your bread in

one oven, &c.

27And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
29And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
29 Verse 29. Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, &c.] This was

literally fulfilled at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus, WARS of

the Jews, book vii., chap. ii., gives us a particular instance in

dreadful detail of a woman named Mary, who, in the extremity of

the famine during the siege, killed her sucking child, roasted,

and had eaten part of it when discovered by the soldiers! See

this threatened, Jer 19:9.

30And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
31And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
32And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
34Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
34 Verse 34. Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths] This

Houbigant observes to be a historical truth.-"From Saul to the

Babylonish captivity are numbered about four hundred and ninety

years, during which period there were seventy Sabbaths of years;

for 7, multiplied by 70, make 490. Now the Babylonish captivity

lasted seventy years, and during that time the land of Israel

rested. Therefore the land rested just as many years in the

Babylonish captivity, as it should have rested Sabbaths if the

Jews had observed the laws relative to the Sabbaths of the land."

This is a most remarkable fact, and deserves to be particularly

noticed, as a most literal fulfilment of the prophetic

declaration in this verse: Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths

as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land.

May it not be argued from this that the law concerning the

Sabbatical year was observed till Saul's time, as it is only

after this period the land enjoyed its rest in the seventy years'

captivity? And if that breach of the law was thus punished, may

it not be presumed it had been fulfilled till then, or else the

captivity would have lasted longer, i. e., till the land had

enjoyed all its rests, of which it had ever been thus deprived?

35As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
36And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.f
37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
38And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
38 Verse 38. The land of your enemies shall eat you up.] Does

this refer to the total loss of the ten tribes? These are so

completely swallowed up in some enemies' land, that nothing

concerning their existence or place of residence remains but mere


39And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.


40If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
41And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
42Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
43The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
44虽然这样,他们住在仇敌之地的时候,我还是不弃绝他们,也不厌弃他们,不把他们灭绝,我不会违背我与他们所立的约;因为我是耶和华他们的 神。
44And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
44 Verse 44. Neither will I abhor them to destroy them utterly]

Though God has literally fulfilled all his threatenings upon this

people in dispossessing them of their land, destroying their

polity, overturning their city, demolishing their temple, and

scattering themselves over the face of the whole earth; yet he

has, in his providence, strangely preserved them as a distinct

people, and in very considerable numbers also. He still

remembers the covenant of their ancestors, and in his providence

and grace he has some very important design in their favour. All

Israel shall yet be saved, and, with the Gentiles, they shall all

be restored to his favour; and under Christ Jesus, the great

Shepherd; become, with them, one grand everlasting fold.

45因为他们的缘故,我要记念我与他们祖先所立的约;他们的祖先是我在列国眼前,从埃及地领出来的,为要作他们的 神;我是耶和华。”
45But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
46These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.
46 Verse 46. These are the statutes, and judgments, &c.]

See Clarke on Le 26:15.

This verse appears to be the proper concluding verse

of the whole book; and I rather think that the 27th chapter

originally followed the 25th. As the law was anciently written

upon skins of parchment, sheep or goat skins, pasted or stitched

together, and all rolled up in one roll, the matter being written

in columns, one of those columns might have been very easily

displaced, and thus whole chapters might have been readily

interchanged. -It is likely that this might have been the case

in the present instance. Others endeavour to solve this

difficulty, by supposing that the 27th chapter was added after

the book had been finished; and therefore there is apparently a

double conclusion, one at the end of the 26th and the other at

the end of the 27th chapter. However the above may have been,

all the ancient versions agree in concluding both the chapters in

nearly the same way; yet the 26th chapter must be allowed to be

by far the most natural conclusion of the book.

THE most important points in this chapter have already been

particularly noticed in the notes; and to those on the 15th,

34th, and 44th verses, the reader is especially referred. How

unwilling is God to cast off his people! and yet how sure is

their rejection if they refuse to obey and live to him! No

nation has ever been so signally elected as the Jews; and yet no

nation has ever been so signally and so awfully reprobated.

O Britain, be not high-minded, but fear! Behold here the goodness

and severity of God!