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Leviticus 18:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And thou shalt not take a wife to her sister, to be a rival [to her], to uncover her nakedness, besides the other in her life-time.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex [her], to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life [time].
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— ‘You shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex [her], to uncover her nakedness besides the other in her life-[time].
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And thou shalt not take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness beside her, during her life.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, a woman unto her sister, shalt thou not take,—to cause rivalry, by uncovering her shame, besides her own, while she is living.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'And a woman unto another thou dost not take, to be an adversary, to uncover her nakedness beside her, in her life.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Thou shalt not take thy wife's sister for a harlot, to rival her: neither shalt thou discover her nakedness, while she is yet living.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vexe [her], to vncouer her nakednes besides the other, in her life [time].
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Thou shalt not take a wife in addition to her sister, as a rival, to uncover her nakedness in opposition to her, while she is yet living.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex [her], to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life [time].

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Neither x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
shalt thou take 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
a wife 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
to x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
her sister, 269
{0269} Prime
אָחוֹת
'achowth
{aw-khoth'}
Irregular feminine of H0251; a sister (used very widely (like H0250), literally and figuratively).
to vex 6887
{6887} Prime
צָרַר
tsarar
{tsaw-rar'}
A primitive root; to cramp, literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively.
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
[her], to uncover 1540
{1540} Prime
גָּלַה
galah
{gaw-law'}
A primitive root; to denude (especially in a disgraceful sense); by implication to exile (captives being usually stripped); figuratively to reveal.
z8763
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
her nakedness, 6172
{6172} Prime
עֶרְוָה
`ervah
{er-vaw'}
From H6168; nudity, literally (especially the pudenda) or figuratively (disgrace, blemish).
beside x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the other in her life 2416
{2416} Prime
חַי
chay
{khah'-ee}
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively.
[time].
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Leviticus 18:18

_ _ Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her — The original is rendered in the Margin, “neither shalt thou take one wife to another to vex her,” and two different and opposite interpretations have been put upon this passage. The marginal construction involves an express prohibition of polygamy; and, indeed, there can be no doubt that the practice of having more wives than one is directly contrary to the divine will. It was prohibited by the original law of marriage, and no evidence of its lawfulness under the Levitical code can be discovered, although Moses — from “the hardness of their hearts” [Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:5] — tolerated it in the people of a rude and early age. The second interpretation forms the ground upon which the “vexed question” has been raised in our times respecting the lawfulness of marriage with a deceased wife’s sister. Whatever arguments may be used to prove the unlawfulness or inexpediency of such a matrimonial relation, the passage under consideration cannot, on a sound basis of criticism, be enlisted in the service; for the crimes with which it is here associated warrant the conclusion that it points not to marriage with a deceased wife’s sister, but with a sister in the wife’s lifetime, a practice common among the ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, and others.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Leviticus 18:6-18.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Leviticus 18:18

Thou shalt not take a wife to her sister — Perhaps this text doth not simply forbid the taking one wife to another, but the doing it in such a manner or for such an end, that he may vex or punish, or revenge himself of the former; which probably was a common motive amongst that hardhearted people to do so.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Leviticus 18:18

Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to (i) vex [her], to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life [time].

(i) By seeing your affection more bent to her sister than to her.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
wife:
or, one wife to another,
Genesis 4:19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Genesis 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
Exodus 26:3 The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and [other] five curtains [shall be] coupled one to another.

to vex her:

Genesis 30:15 And she said unto her, [Is it] a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.
1 Samuel 1:6-8 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. ... Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? [am] not I better to thee than ten sons?
Malachi 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
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Gn 4:19; 29:28; 30:15. Ex 26:3. 1S 1:6. Mal 2:15.

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