In this chapter, God prescribes the death penalty for a number of things: 1. The giving of 'seed' to Molech. I spent some time searching on this one. The word used is not the word 'bar' -- meaning 'son of' or 'descendent of' -- but the word is 'zera', meaning seed. And 'seed' has two meanings: children or semen. Thus, this giving of seed to Molech has the possibility of several different meanings (and everyone who presents one of the meanings is absolutely sure his is right!) -- a. having sex with a temple prostitute of the idol Molech -- b. allowing a baby to be literally roasted to death on the white hot arms of the metal statue of Molech. This form of child sacrifice was known in the land when the Israelites entered it. -- c. dedicating a child to become one of the temple prostitutes Regarding this crime, God states through Moses that if the people fail to put a man to death who sacrifices in this way to Molech, the entire community will suffer. 2. Cursing one's parents. This does NOT mean a young child using a swear word. The meaning was much more serious and has been already discussed in the study in Exodus 21 as quoted here: 3. adultery 4. sex with one's close relative, another person of the same sex, an animal, or if a man marries a woman and her mother. In each case, all involved were to be put to death. 5. being involved in the occult -- mediums and spiritists were to be stoned. In verse 6, there is also the warning about turning to mediums or spiritists. Following one was called prostitution by the Lord and would result in God cutting the person off from his people. In addition, one was to be cut off from one's people if any of the following occurred: 1. Marriage to a sister or half-sister -- from now on what we know as incest would be forbidden. However it was not only not forbidden before, but desired! Abraham and Sarah were half brother and sister. When Abraham desired a wife for his son Isaac, he sent his servant back to the family group from which Abraham had come. And when Isaac's son, Jacob, was to find a wife, he went back to the same family group. From now on this would not be allowed. Biologically it makes sense. The perfect genetics of Adam and Eve were gone and mutations had been building up in the human race. The closer the marriage in terms of family, the more likely bad mutations could show up in the children -- if both the father and mother carried the same mutation for the same problem, the child would have that problem. 2. sex during a woman's period -- this, God explains, exposes the source of the woman's flow, and this is not to be done. Childlessness would result if one had 1. sex with an aunt or uncle 2. marriage to a sister-in-law -- again we see a radical change from what was a common occurence in Genesis when a man was supposed to marry his dead brother's wife! This, however, may also be referring to a woman divorced from one's brother, for in the New Testament the Sadducees ask Jesus regarding a man who dies without children and his brother marrying the woman but dying without children and this going on through seven brothers -- whose wife would she be in heaven... (Matt. 22:23-33). The point to note right now is not that the Sadducees were trying to trip up Jesus, but that they were referring to a custom that was still considered legal. Because of this, it may mean that this particular pronouncement of God's in Leviticus has to do with a divorced wife and not a widow. And again, as before, God emphasizes the following near the end of the chapter: Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. you must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive yout before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. ...You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals...You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.