Leviticus 20:1-27

The final topic in our portion outlines the punishments for many of the crimes mentioned earlier, particularly in chapter 18. One who gives his offspring to Molech is to be stoned to death.  Anyone who enables him, or who turns to witchcraft, is cut off from the people. He who curses his parents should be put to death. Those who engage in any of the forbidden relationships are punishable by death, in forms according to the particular transgression. The Torah then reiterates its earlier statement that defiling the land will result in expulsion.


The portion finishes by commanding the people to distinguish between clean and unclean beasts for food, and again forbidding witchcraft.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think cursing one’s parents is punishable by death? Wouldn’t the parents prefer their child live?

Comments ( 11 )

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  • Angelica-Mixon Michael

    Exodus 4:24 At a night encampment as Moses travels with his wife and sons he didn't know what lays for him on the return to Egypt! Moses fled as a wanted man for murder. In this law I find Hashem turning this hypocritical law into a righteous factor for the Land of Israel because Egypt was corrupt; they had so many Gods of the unknown World! Moses find himself in a complex of being afraid of everything he grew up with and it was all he knew at the tender age of 40 years old to become a leader, just as well a parable to Yeshua at a tender age! Zipporah his African wife the daughter of a leader herself that later on who taught Moses to establish the Israel Government because Moses needed his consul! This fact support his wife knowledge of intelligence! During the night Moses needed some assurance so Hashem went to attempt to fight him for his life! Hashem couldn't bare anyone he appointed not to complete their mission. In the very second of the hour his wife took an ancient knife and cut off her son's foreskin touch Moses leg and made a covenant before the Lord! She then explained stating You are truly a bridegroom of blood to me!" As the terror left away with Hashem satisfaction she began to speak again she added A bridegroom of blood because of the circumcision! That encounter has endured to the test of time! Walking with the Lord and Yeshua requires holding him dear among our heart! Never falling short of the glory of him in any circumstances! Obey is to the Lord almighty and to those whom abide by it as well!

  • Robin Rosenblatt

    Burbank Heights and Orchards: low income apartments where I live
    Thinks the air out side is dangerous to breath it makes them Facisct. I not surprise to hear that. Does that mean that they are going to evict me now. It shows great ignorance. Robin

  • Herman Arentsen

    Honoring parents is a G-d given command. Parents do not have authority of their own, but are set to guard and guid a child to the adult phase, his/her bar/bat mitswa. In honoring parents the child honors HaShem. Parents are preparing (and paving) the way of life. An disobedient child should be disciplined. When discipline doesn't work out then a priest can be called in. When evil spirit doesn't leave the child separates himself from his family (and of course also from G-d.) But in history I think there is no example of stoning. I think parents prefer a child alive (but removed from family) than a death child. (Removed from family may also mean (temporarily?) removed from before Hashem. (until His Love captures….at His time)

  • SueJean Heinz

    Your parents are the source of your life. When you curse them, the curse is bound to come back to you and as the fifth commandment clearly states: "Honour your father and your mother that you may have a long life". (Hebrew)
    A child that won't honor his/her earthly parents isn't going to honor Elohim either. If they won't honor and respect the people they see and know how can they honor Elohim?
    Baruch Hashem.

  • Michael

    I was reading the verses in chapters18,19 and 20:2 and did not come across where it stated the children punishment for cursing their parents is death. Which verse states that?

    • Diana Brown

      Leviticus 20:9

  • Sheila

    Children are called to honour father and mother who gave them life and to be obedient to their instruction and authority. A curse speaks a death wish and if directed to the parent reveals the lawless and rebellious heart of the child wishing destruction and evil upon them. Through this behaviour the child has spoken death over himself because the law says his blood is on his own hands. Other comments appreciated here.

  • Ken

    On the surface God’s laws and commands seem far too harsh. But these laws have various level(s) of meaning. I presume that death for cursing is for the situation where the child is unmanageable and refuses to repent. The parents would certainly grieve at such a decision of death but death eradicates an evil less it deteriorates even worse.
    Another level of meaning is the fact that God is the Father of Israel. How many times has Israel profaned (cursed) the name of their God and God has replied with harsh punishment. However, God’s measure of justice with Israel does not preclude his feeling of lost and grief.
    Jeremiah 31 speaks of God being Father to Israel and Ephraim. In the “early redemption” of the last days he is restoring this son-ship (relationship) and in the “latter redemption” there will be full recovery through the resurrection hope. Then we comprehend the full expression of God’s love, justice, wisdom and power. Though the Lord may kill, it is only he who restores life. De 32:39; 1 Sam 2:6

    • Diana Brown

      True words I think. I was reading a little drash from Watchman Nee this morning. He said in eternity past, everything created was obligated to serve God. Ha Satan rebelled so in between Eternity Past and Eternity Future, HaShem created Time. In Time he created nature and animals who, like the angels, are obligated to obey Him. So, because HaShem wants Eternity Future to be harmonious, He created man and woman with free will and His Intention is to teach us (by Torah) to choose between life and death.
      If we agree that His Will in the universe is best, then we put our will under His Authority. In Time, if our will resists God’s Will, then His Will is limited. If our will is aligned with His Will, His Power is unlimited. As more and more of humanity seeks God and His Truth, more of His Power and Goodness is released to bless all of Creation.
      Messiah will come to teach us how to walk in harmony with God and man. (If you read the news, you know humanity has a great deal of trouble in this area today.)

  • Diana Brown

    According to Torah, if you don’t honor the parents who were called by God to give you life, you won’t honor your life, respect authority or be obedient. We are not born to live to satisfy ourselves. In other words, the pride of life, the lusts of the flesh and the wiles of the Adversary come against your mind, will, and emotions so that you will believe his lie like Eve did in the Garden.
    When you purpose to obey what God tells you to do, then God will see you doing it and He will rejoice in you. You will rejoice in His Presence even in times of sorrow and adversity. With Him, you are never alone!

  • Margaret

    Because the fourth commandment says “you shall honour your father and mother so that you may have long life”.

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