Sexual Laws of Moses

Editor's Note:

Moses recorded many specific sexual laws in his books. Here are a collection of important ones.

The Sixth and Ninth Commandments: Deuteronomy דְּבָרִים / Devarim

5:17 Do not commit adultery.

5:18 Do not desire your neighbor's wife.

It is exceedingly bizarre that of ten commandments, two should be translated as having the same meaning. What is more likely (yet resisted by Bible scholars) is that the words used actually had different meanings from how they are understood now. See Fornication for the explanation.


Leviticus 18 [ויקרא / Vayiqra]

Sexual Laws

18:1 God spoke to Moses, telling him to

18:2 speak to the Israelites, and say to them: I am God [יהוה]. [This phrase in Hebrew has very deep importance].

18:3 Do not follow the ways of Egypt where you once lived, nor of Canaan, where I will be bringing you. Do not follow [any] of their customs.

18:4 Follow My laws and be careful to keep My decrees, [for] I am God your Lord.

18:5 Keep My decrees and laws, since it is only by keeping them that a person can [truly] live. I am God.


18:6 No person shall approach a close relative to commit a sexual offense. I am God.


18:7 Do not commit a sexual offense against your father or mother. [If a woman is] your mother, you must not commit incest with her.

A Stepmother

18:8 Do not commit incest with your father's wife, since this is a sexual [offense] against your father.

A Sister

18:9 Do not commit incest with your sister, even if she is the daughter of [only] your father or mother. Whether she is legitimate or illegitimate, you must not commit incest with her.


18:10 Do not commit incest with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, since this is a sexual crime against yourself.

A Half Sister

18:11 Do not commit incest with a daughter that your father's wife has borne to your father. She is your sister, and you must not commit incest with her.

A Paternal Aunt

18:12 Do not commit incest with your father's sister, since she is your father's blood relative.

A Maternal Aunt

18:13 Do not commit incest with your mother's sister, since she is your mother's blood relative.

An Uncle's Wife

18:14 Do not commit a sexual offense against your father's brother by having [sexual] contact with his wife; she is your aunt.

A Daughter-in-Law

18:15 Do not commit incest with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; you must not commit incest with her.

A Sister-in-Law

18:16 Do not commit incest with your brother's wife, since this is a sexual offense against your brother.

Other Forbidden Relations

18:17 Do not commit incest [by marrying] a woman and her daughter. Do not even take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter, since this constitutes incest. Since they are blood relatives, it is a perversion.

18:18 Do not marry a woman and [then take] her sister as a rival to her as long as [the first one] is alive.

18:19 Do not come close to a woman who is ritually unclean because of her menstruation, since this is a sexual offense.

18:20 Do not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife, since this will defile her.

18:21 Do not give any of your children to be initiated to Molekh [Moloch], so that you not profane your God's name; I am God.

18:22 Do not lie with a male [i.e. homosexuality] as you would with a woman, since this is a disgusting perversion.

18:23 Do not perform any sexual act with an animal [i.e. bestiality], since it will defile you. A woman shall [likewise] not give herself to an animal and allow it to mate with her. This is an utterly detestable perversion.

18:24 Do not let yourselves be defiled by any of these acts. It was as a result of them that the nations that I am driving away before you became defiled.

18:25 The land became defiled, and when I directed My providence at the sin committed there, the land vomited out its inhabitants.

18:26 You, [however,] must keep My decrees and laws, and not become involved in any of these disgusting perversions - neither the native born nor any foreigner who settles among you.

18:27 The people who lived in the land before you did all these disgusting perversions and defiled the land.

18:28 But [you shall not cause] the land to vomit you out when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was there before you.

18:29 Thus, whenever anyone does any of these disgusting perversions, [all] the people involved shall be cut off [spiritually] from the midst of their people.

18:30 Keep My charge, and do not follow any of the perverted customs that were kept before you [arrived], so that you not be defiled by them. I am God your Lord.


A man with crushed testicles or a cut member [sexual organ] may not enter into God's marriage group. - Devarim / Deuteronomy 23:2


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