Leviticus 18:5

Hebrew Bible

3 You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you have been living, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan into which I am about to bring you; you must not walk in their statutes. 4 You must observe my regulations, and you must be sure to walk in my statutes. I am the Lord your God. 5 So you must keep my statutes and my regulations; anyone who does so will live by keeping them. I am the Lord. 6 “‘No man is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations with her. I am the Lord. 7 You must not expose your father’s nakedness by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her.

Ezekiel 20:25

Hebrew Bible

23 I also swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. 24 I did this because they did not observe my regulations, they rejected my statutes, they desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols. 25 I also gave them decrees that were not good and regulations by which they could not live. 26 I declared them to be defiled because of their sacrifices—they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire—so that I might devastate them, so that they would know that I am the Lord.’ 27 “Therefore, speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this way too your fathers blasphemed me when they were unfaithful to me.

 Notes and References

"... The identity of the “not good” laws of Ezekiel 20:25 has vexed biblical scholarship for centuries. We have argued that the literary structure and narrative sequence of Ezekiel 20 place the giving of the “not good” laws in the same narrative position that the Deuteronomic law-giving occupies in the hexateuch, between the rebellion of the second wilderness generation and the entrance to the land. This conclusion of narrative analysis is confirmed by the fact that the oath to scatter the Israelites referred to in verse 23 is best explained as an extrapolation from God’s pledge in Deuteronomy 31–32 that Israel would break the covenant and thus actualize the attendant curses, among which was dispersal to foreign lands. Additional confirmation is provided by Ezekiel’s use of terms favored by D rather than P in verses 23–26, namely, “scatter,” and “laws.” We have shown how several provisions of the Deuteronomic code would be perceived from a Priestly perspective as violations of a higher standard of holiness. This applies specifically to the Deuteronomic provisions limiting sacrificial slaughter to firstlings and voluntary offerings and allowing the redemption of firstlings and the purchase of substitutes for sacrifice at the central sanctuary, which would be illicit and offensive according to the Holiness Code (Leviticus 17:1–9; 27:9–33). Strangely, in Ezekiel 20:26 Ezekiel seems to attribute these defective provisions of the Deuteronomic code to the LORD as an intentional method of defiling the Israelites, thus provoking the covenant curses and the eventual recognition of the LORD’s sovereignty ..."

Hahn, Scott W. and John S. Bergsma What Laws were 'Not Good'? A Canonical Approach to the Theological Problem of Ezekiel 20:25-26 (pp. 201-218) Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 123, No. 2, 2004

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