Honor your parents - Leviticus v. Deuteronomy/Exodus


In Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16 the commandment is to “honor ones father and mother.”

In Leviticus 19:3 the commandment is to “revere ones mother and father.”

What is the significance, if any, in the difference between honor and revere and in the word order of mother being before father in Leviticus?



Well, I don’t think there is any difference. :slight_smile:


Not sure, but they seem the same to me, or at least similar. What is disturbing though is that in the New Testament it is written that if you don’t hate your father and mother, then you cannot be a disciple of Christ? Luke 14:26.


Is that *really *what you think he meant? :slight_smile:

I’m sorry Tom, but you really misread that. Obviously, Jesus did not support hating your parents! (Do you seriously think a man who taught kindness to your enemies could teach that?)

He was talking metaphorically, referring to the people who would come to him. He was saying that his followers must even be willing to go against beloved family members if they are to follow him. It is only in his metaphorical sense that they must “hate” their parents. Obviously, even though they are opposed to their parent’s beliefs, Christianity would still teach us to be kind to our parents. In this same way, wives who had unbelieving husbands were commanded to remain faithful to their husbands and to be even better wives than they had been before, thus showing God’s love to their husband. A child with unbelieving parents would be expected to do the same.


Just went to check the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin translations. The differences correspond to those versions, as well - honora/τίμα vs timeat/φοβείσθω (I don’t know Hebrew but it appears the word for honor and the word for fear are used in those texts as well). So I really have little to contribute other than the fact that the difference is not purely an English translation difference.


I spoke to a Rabbi I know. He read the Hebrew and said that there is no difference. Just a different choice of words.


Does he mean that the two Hebrew words both semantically encompass “to honor” and “to fear/revere”?


In other words, what is written is not what is meant.


Nothing beats religion like its oversimplification ad extremum.


Oh, gosh. Imagine that! What is written is not what is meant! What possible English construct uses such a weird technique? Certainly not, you know, sarcasm. :p’


So it was sarcasm? Why not just say directly what you mean, instead of trying to be entertaining?
Unless you hate your father or your mother, you cannot be my disciple.
Why use the word hate if that is not what is meant?


No it is not sarcasm, but it is making a rhetorical point, obviously. The phrase is meant to shock you into actually realizing what following Jesus entails – comprehending that He is worth more than all of these things and that to follow Him may mean a lot of sacrifices – including sometimes turning your own family against you (not by intentionally hating, mind you, but the following of Jesus often made them think you hated them just the same). You must be willing to love Jesus more than you love your family if you are to follow Him.

Honestly, if you read any other book the way you are trying to read the Bible, you wouldn’t be able to understand half of it. I really can’t believe you don’t understand how to read this section – I suspect you just don’t want to, so you continue to read it in whichever way best fits your preconceptions, all nuance and actual intentions gone. If you were to pick up any other book and try to read it in this way, it would also make about as much sense. Good luck comprehending metaphors, exaggeration for effect, or sarcasm if you stick to that style of reading. Of course, no one reads any other book like people tend to read the Bible, taking one-sentence fragments completely out of context without trying to read the actually surrounding statements to comprehend what is being said. I could make any book look stupid if I did that.

To quote another explanation:


I can agree with the idea that you must respect and honor the law of God above the law of man, but I would disagree with a command to hate my father and my mother. I may disagree with my father or my mother, but I would never hate them.


Good for you.
It should be nice for you to know that the Bible *isn’t *commanding that, then.


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