Leviticus 18

Talks for Growing Christians

Laws about Sexual Relationships

Leviticus 18

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Lesson Number 17

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s Word gives us guidelines for sanctioned marriages.
  2. God’s Word gives us boundaries for sexual practices.

Practical Application

  1. Your morality is the fruit of your theology.


  1. How does the topic of Leviticus 17 compare with that here in Leviticus 18?
  2. How does 1 Peter 1:15-16 relate to this passage?
  3. What is the intent of the phrase “I am the Lord” repeated in this chapter?
  4. Why did God lay out these guidelines restricting marriage between close relatives?
  5. What are the Ras Shamra tablets?


  1. Leviticus 17 shows how people were to conduct themselves so as to be free of ceremonial defilement. Here in Leviticus 18 we see how God’s people were to conduct themselves in order to maintain moral purity.
  2. It shows that moral purity is very important to God – then and today.
  3. It is not the idea of a father barking out a command to his child and backing it up with, “Because I said so!” This is more like a father laying out the dos and don’ts of family life to his children and backing it up with, “Because I am your father and I know what’s best for you.” By calling Himself “Lord” God emphasized His loyal covenant keeping relationship with His people.
  4. In order to protect His people from the increasing genetic disorders that were associated with the offspring of close blood relative marriages, God made these regulations part of the Mosaic Law.
  5. The Ras Shamra tablets are several thousand ancient tablets dating to the 15th century BC that were uncovered at the site of ancient Ugarit on the Syrian coast. These tablets prove the accuracy of this Scripture concerning the sinful practices of the Canaanite nations that God judged at the time of Israel’s conquest – including child sacrifice to Molech (verse 21).


  1. Discuss this teaching: “The stability and sanctity of marriage is very important to God because the family is the basic unit for society as God intended it.”
  2. God is still against the sinful sexual practices addressed in Leviticus, regardless of what society says. Satan can use the media to desensitize us to sinful sexual practices through sitcoms, movies, celebrity news, etc. Can you identify this trend? What do you think is the media’s most recent agenda? Why is our awareness of this strategic?


  1. Romans 1:21-27 lays out the decline of man’s theology and shows how man’s morality follows and becomes degraded and corrupt. Is your theology driving your morality? Do you have any inconsistencies you need to correct?

Key Verses

  • “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:6
  • “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.” Leviticus 18:22-23

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