“Do not speak a curse against a deaf person
or place an obstacle in the way of a blind person;
rather, fear your God; I am Adonai.”
In verse 14, we are told to not speak a curse against a deaf person or place an obstacle in the path of a blind person.
In the case of a deaf person, the idea is that since the person can’t hear you, one can easily pretend to be saying something nice to him or her when you could be actually be spitting out insults or saying horrible things to their face, and they would never know for the better.
This of course goes hand-in-hand with the commandment to not place a stumbling block before the blind.
Remember, there are two ways to interpret God’s commandments.
One can take them literally but one can also glean the PRINCIPLE behind a given commandment and apply it to other situations.
Later Hebrew thought applied both of these commands to general behavior.
If one was to take advantage of a person’s weakness, which could be viewed as a handicap just as serious as blindness or deafness, this could be considered a violation of this command in Leviticus 19:14.
Any time you have a person who is smarter, better educated, or physically stronger than an other person, and they use that advantage to take advantage of a person who is not as smart, educated or physically strong, I would say that is a violation of the PRINCIPLE behind the command of Leviticus 19:14.
A parent who abuses his or her child, whether emotionally or physically.
A financial advisor who doles out advice that is not in the best interest of his clients.
A ministry leader who leads his flock astray with false doctrine or makes them feel guilty because they don’t give enough money or participate in every ministry event under the sun.
A catholic priest who sexually abuses a young child.
A school bully who picks on those physically weaker than him.
Discrimination against racial minorities.
Making fun of somebody because they don’t speak English fluently, or they speak it with a thick accent.
I would say all of these examples are a violation of the PRINCIPLE established in the commandment to “not speak a curse against a deaf person or place an obstacle in the way of a blind person.“
Note how the commands are followed by the stern admonition of “you shall fear your God”.
Just because the deaf person can’t hear you when you’re hurling insults at him, or the blind person can’t see you when your making faces at him, doesn’t mean God isn’t aware.
Nothing escapes the eyes of our Father in Heaven.
If you abuse or take advantage of the powerless, it will not escape his gaze.
The Lord will fight on behalf of the powerless.