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Bible Notes: Substance
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
Hebrew: Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. (and...: or, that thou bear not sin for him). The alternative is provided by Bible Works, a computer program for Biblical research.
Verse 17 belongs in an exposition of concrete ways of keeping the commandment “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” In verses 9-10 are provisions for social welfare; 11-12 summarize several of the 10 commandments; 13 governs commerce so as to protect the poor from destitution; 14 insists on kindness in dealing with the disadvantaged; 15 and 16 pertain to an impartial judiciary based on truthful testimony; 17 and 18 take up the responsibility to protect one another from sin, and to work through disagreements rather than let them fester into wrongful action. This little collection of laws is a good blueprint for a society governed by the principle to love another as oneself. It are well worth thoughtful study on many levels, ranging from the wisdom of breaking down communal values into these broad sectors all, the way to providing concrete guidance that can be applied to specific situations today.