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6 For thou art an holy people unto Yahweh thy elohim: Yahweh thy elohim hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
How often is this urged in the course of the law as a reason for the various observances prescribed.
"Thou art an holy people. Be ye holy, for I am holy" (Lev. 11:44-45).
The life of every Israelite was" holy to the Lord" from the first moment of his existence. He was introduced to the national covenant with God by circumcision on the eighth day. He was presented to the Lord on the day of his mother's ceremonial cleansing. He was to be instructed daily from his earliest childhood in the history of their origin, and in the divine commandments and institutions, upon their conformity to which the continuance of God's favour depended.
He required no special dedication to come under the obligation of holiness. He was to keep himself aloof from all the practices of the surrounding nations, and to make no alliances with them for fear of infection with their principles and their ways, which would lead Israel away from God.
The unclean practices that were rife among the Egyptians and among the Canaanites whom they displaced in the land were not to be known or spoken of among them. Lev. 18 specifies these abominations, commencing at verse 6, and concludes with this strong admonition:
"Defile not yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it."
Law of Moses Ch 31.