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Leviticus 19

Leviticus 19:32

32. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

32. Ante canitiem assurge, et honora faciem senis, metueque Deum tuum: ego Jehova.


32. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head. God teaches us that some sparks of His majesty shine forth in old men, whereby they approach to the honor of parents. It is not my purpose to gather quotations from profane authors in reference to the honor due to the old; let it suffice that what God here commands is dictated by nature itself. This appeared at Athens, 1414     Cicero, de Senectute, 18; and Val. Max., lib. 4:5. when an old man had come into the theater, and found no place among his fellow-citizens; but, when at length he was admitted with honor by the Spartan ambassador, (because old age is greatly reverenced among the Lacedemonians,) applause was raised on all sides; and then the Lacedemonian exclaimed, that “the Athenians knew what was right, but would not do it.” It was surely manifested by this universal consent of the people that it is a natural law in the hearts of all to reverence and honor old men. Many old men, indeed, either by their levity, or lewdness, or sloth, subvert their own dignity; yet, although gray hairs may not always be accompanied by courteous wisdom, still, in itself, age is venerable, according to God’s command.

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