If we remember that repetition is a teaching tool of Torah, one phrase occurs over and over again in Bechukotai:
“I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.” Lev 26:11
“… and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant …” Lev 26:15
“I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.” Lev 26:30
“… they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.” Lev 26:43
“Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them;” Lev 26:44
Lev 26:11 is the first occurrence of the Hebrew verb translated “abhor” in Scripture, and it actually occurs rarely in the rest of the Hebrew Old Testament. The majority of its occurrences is right here in this chapter.
“Abhor” is in Hebrew, Strong’s H1602 געל ga’al, a primitive root meaning, “to loathe.” The 3-letter root is gimel + ayin + lamed.
gimel ג = foot, thus foot, walk, gather
ayin ע = eye, thus watch, know, shade
lamed ל = shepherd’s staff, thus teach, yoke, to, bind
The parable being told is of walking away (gimel) from the shade (ayin, in the sense of imparted knowledge and wisdom) provided by the shepherd (lamed, the God-ordained authority, or God Himself.)
In fact, the five occurrences of “soul (not) abhor” in this chapter forms its own chiastic structure:
The bottom line is that YHVH has set His love upon us. We set our love upon Him — which is evidenced, as we have seen all through Exodus and Leviticus, by loving His Word, His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments; His definition of righteousness and sin; His definition of those actions which show love to God and those actions which show love to our neighbor — by taking Him exclusively as our God, by walking in and obeying His commandments.
If we abhor YHVH and His statutes – because they cannot be divorced from each other, can we see that? Out of the abundance of YHVH’s heart of love, His mouth spoke His commandments which tell us how to show love (Luk 6:45) — then His soul will abhor us, because of the abominable things we have set our love and our hearts upon.
Now this does not sound like the gospel of grace in Messiah Yeshua. But examine the Scripture closely! Humankind has loved the things God abhors, and humankind has abhorred God and His loving and wise statutes which teach love. Yet for all that (Lev 26:44), as soon as our eyes are opened to our iniquity, as soon as we humble our uncircumcised hearts and accept that we are guilty, He remembers His covenant, cut in the blood of Messiah Yeshua the Savior of the world, and He does not cast us away, nor does His soul abhor us.
That is the gospel of grace in Messiah Yeshua, being preached from Leviticus!