John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

25 (Leviticus 20:25)

Verse 25

Leviticus 20:25.Ye shall therefore put difference. I have no doubt but that this sentence depends on the end of the foregoing verse; for although that verse contains a reason to deter them from incest, of which he had been speaking, still it refers also to the doctrine before us, and stands in the shape of preface to it. In a word, it connects two things, for God here briefly declares His will, not only with respect to unlawful and improper intercourse, but also why He forbids His people to eat of unclean animals. Therefore He says, “I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.” Whence it follows, that for no other reason were they prohibited from eating those animals, except that they thence may learn to take more diligent heed, and to withdraw themselves far from all the pollutions of the Gentiles. He had before recommended purity by various symbols, and now extends it even to the very animals. And this reason must be carefully marked, that the distinction between meats is propounded to them in order that they may study purity. For there would be something unmeaning in what is here said, if we did not know that this interdiction was imposed with this object, that they should not mix themselves promiscuously with the Gentiles. Therefore it is again repeated, that they were severed, that they might be God’s inheritance; and hence it is inferred, that holiness was to be cultivated by them, that they might conform themselves to the example of their God. Now it cannot be questioned, that the distinction of meats which is prescribed, is a supplement to the First Commandment, wherein the rule for worshipping God duly and purely is laid down; and thus religion is rescued from all admixtures of superstition.

- John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible