Leviticus 19:16-17 (Lev. 19:16-17 LXX Rahlfs) οὐ πορεύσῃ δόλῳ ἐν τῷ ἔθνει σου, οὐκ ἐπισυστήσῃ ἐφ̓ αἷμα τοῦ πλησίον σου· ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν. οὐ πορεύσῃ δόλῳ ἐν τῷ ἔθνει σου, οὐκ ἐπισυστήσῃ ἐφ̓ αἷμα τοῦ πλησίον σου· ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὑμῶν. Leviticus 19:16-17 (Lev. 19:16-17 BHS-W4) לֹא־תֵלֵ֤ךְ רָכִיל֙ בְּעַמֶּ֔יךָ לֹ֥א תַעֲמֹ֖ד עַל־דַּ֣ם רֵעֶ֑ךָ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֽה׃ לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֙יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ וְלֹא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא׃ Leviticus 19:16-17 (LSB) “You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand against the life of your neighbor; I am Yahweh. You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, and so not bear sin because of him.”
Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it.
The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord.
Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah’s wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse.
We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond—SPEAK EVIL OF NO MAN.
The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God’s blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it?
Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren.
Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in His warning given to Peter, the prayer with which He preceded it, and the gentle way in which He bore with Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.
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