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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Leviticus 19:35

Harmony Of The Law Volume 3 by Jean Calvin

Leviticus 19:35

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment. If you take the word judgment in its strict sense, this will be a special precept, that judges should faithfully do justice to all, and not subvert just causes from favor or ill-will. But since the word mspht, mishpat, often means rectitude, it will not be unsuitable to suppose that all iniquities contrary to integrity are generally condemned; and that he afterwards proceeds to particular cases, which he adverts to elsewhere, where he enumerates the most injurious thefts of all, and such as involve the grossest violation of public justice. For the corruption which tends to the subversion of judgments, or, by undermining rectitude, vitiates all contracts, leaves nothing in security; whilst deception in weights and measures destroys and sweeps away all legitimate modes of dealing. Now, if the laws of buying and selling are corrupted, human society is in a manner dissolved; so that he who cheats by false weights and measures, differs little from him who utters false coin: and consequently one, who, whether as a buyer or seller, has falsified the standard measures of wine or corn, or anything else, is accounted criminal. By the laws of Rome, he is condemned to a fine of double the amount; and by a decree of Adrian, he is to be banished to an island. It is not, therefore, without reason that Solomon reiterates this decree, that he may fix it the deeper in the hearts of all. (Proverbs 20:10, 23.) But although this pestilent sin is by no means to be endured, but to be severely punished, still God, even if legal punishments be not inflicted, summons men's consciences before His tribunal, and this he does both by promises and threats. A just weight (He says) and a just measure shall prolong a man's life; but he who has been guilty of deception in them, is an abomination before me. Length of life, indeed, has only a figurative connection with just weights and measures: but, because the avaricious, in their pursuit of dishonest gain, are too devoted to this transitory life, God, in order to withhold His people from this blind and impetuous covetousness, promises them long life, if they keep themselves from fraud and all knavish dealings. We perceive from the conclusion, that, not in this respect only, but in all our affairs, those trickeries are condemned, by which our neighbors are defrauded. For, after God has said that He abominates |all that do such things,| He adds immediately by way of explanation, |all that do unrighteously.| We see, then, that He sets Himself against all evil and illicit arts of gain.
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