New Defender's Study Bible Notes
20:1 the LORD spake unto Moses. The sins described in this chapter are considered to be very grievous sins by the Lord Himself. They include infanticide (Leviticus 20:2-5), especially in connection with child sacrifice (note Leviticus 18:21) as practiced in certain idolatrous worship, spiritism (Leviticus 20:6,27), cursing of parents (Leviticus 20:9), adultery (Leviticus 20:10), incest (Leviticus 20:11), homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13), bestiality (Leviticus 20:15-16), and others. They were punishable by death in Israel, in order to maintain the holiness of the people as a nation set apart to God (Leviticus 20:23-26). Whether or not such punishments should be enforced today is controversial; it is at least obvious that God hates such sins. Yet all are being promoted today in the modern revival of ancient paganism known as the “New-Age” morality.
20:4 seed unto Molech. Molech was the vicious god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed regularly. Despite this clear prohibition, the Israelites from time to time actually indulged in this gross wickedness (e.g., II Kings 3:27).
20:27 a familiar spirit. There are many capital crimes listed in this chapter and others that are not considered all that bad in modern “enlightened” nations. However, it is noteworthy that other nations of the time had criminal justice systems that were much more severe. The Mosaic law does not include crimes against property, or against the state, for example, as capital crimes. The evils so described here are either against God or against the integrity of the families of God’s chosen people, and had already so contaminated the land of Canaan that God would not allow the same to destroy His elect nation.