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Leviticus 19:16 meaning...

These words from the book of Leviticus address the issue of slander and the importance of preserving the well-being and reputation of one's neighbor. While this verse may seem straightforward, it carries profound meaning and significance that resonates throughout the Bible and in our daily lives. 

  • Avoiding Slander:

At its core, Leviticus 19:16 instructs against slander, which is the act of making false and damaging statements about someone. Slander not only harms an individual's reputation but can also have severe consequences, both personally and socially.

For me, this verse serves as a reminder of the power of words. It calls us to be mindful of the impact our speech can have on others. It challenges us to choose our words carefully, ensuring they build up and encourage rather than tear down and harm.

  • Preserving Life:

The verse also emphasizes the importance of not endangering the life of one's neighbor. While this can be interpreted literally as not engaging in actions that could physically harm someone, it can also be seen in a broader sense. Slander and false accusations can damage a person's emotional and mental well-being, which is a form of endangerment as well.

This principle underscores our responsibility to protect and care for the well-being of those around us. It prompts us to consider how our words and actions impact the lives of others and to act in ways that promote their welfare.

  • The Divine Standard:

The verse concludes with the declaration, "I am Yahweh." This statement reaffirms that these commandments are not mere human guidelines but divine standards. They reflect God's character and His desire for His people to live in truth, integrity, and compassion.

As believers, this serves as a reminder that our call to avoid slander and protect our neighbor's life is rooted in our relationship with God. It signifies that our actions should reflect the divine virtues of love and justice.


Exodus 20:16: "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." This is one of the Ten Commandments, emphasizing the prohibition against bearing false witness, which aligns with the message of Leviticus 19:16.

Proverbs 11:13: "One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret." This proverb underscores the importance of trustworthiness and discretion in our speech.

In conclusion, Leviticus 19:16 carries a meaningful message about the power of words, the importance of truth, and the responsibility to protect the well-being of our neighbors. It reminds us that our speech should be characterized by honesty, integrity, and compassion. As we reflect on these words, may we strive to use our words to build up and protect, reflecting the character of God in our interactions with others.

See also: vs 1517, & 18

Leviticus 19:16 You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people. You shall not endanger the life of your neighbor. I am Yahweh.


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