These two chapters launch that portion of Leviticus (17-26) that scholars refer to as the Holiness Code. The Holiness Code is oriented by the idea that the people of Israel bear the responsibility for holiness, a concept expressed in Lev 19:2 (“You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy”). Though rare in Leviticus and the rest of the Torah, this statement is stated repeatedly in the holiness code (e.g., Lev 17:1; 18:1; 19:2; 20:2; 22:17). In terms of chapters 17 and 18, the episode focuses on the heinousness of personal worship violations against Yahweh (ch. 17), punishable by “cutting off” (Hebrew: karat), and the logic behind forbidden sexual unions (ch. 18).
paper referenced: Hahn Bergsma Noahs nakedness and the curse on Canaan