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What Does the Bible Say About..Incest?

I would like to know what the Bible says about incest, what the punishment is, and so on.


In the Law of Moses, incest was considered “a wicked thing” (see Leviticus 20:11-23), and the punishment was that the person who did it would be “cut off from his people.” Some say this means he would be executed. Others say he would simply be cast out of the nation of Israel.

Incest is considered a sin apart from the Jews as well. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:1-5) Just what is meant by delivering him to Satan is unclear. What is clear is that incest was even considered a vile deed by people who did not believe in God.

Besides the punishments listed, God will punish incest for eternity if the person does not repent and follow God. Of course, an unwilling victim is no more guilty of incest as a rape victim is of adultery.