The Book of Leviticus
- For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you,
that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survery - Leviticus
Summary of The Book of Leviticus
Hebrew Name - Vayyiqra "and He called"
Greek Name - Leviticus "from Levi"
Author - Moses
Date - 1490 BC Approximately
Theme - God's Laws for the Hebrew Nation
Types and Shadows - In Leviticus Jesus is the High Priest
Overview of Leviticus. � �1-7 � �God's laws concerning sacrifices. � � 8-10
� � God's ceremonial laws regarding the priesthood. � � 11-22 � � God's
ceremonial laws concerning purification. � � 23-27 � � God's laws regarding the
sacred feasts and festivals, tithes, offerings, sabbatical and jubilee years,
vows, and more.
Septuagint (The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament), the third book of
the Pentateuch is called "Levitikon" ("pertaining to the Levites"),
which is an
adjective that modifies the word "book." The Levites were the tribe in
Israel from which the
priests and others prominent in the worship services were chosen, in place of the
firstborn sons of all the tribes (Num. 3:45). Leviticus plays a very important
and essential role
in the Pentateuch. In the same way that it is important to understand the book
of Exodus before reading Leviticus, it seems just as important to read the book
of Leviticus before reading the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy and the rest of
the Old Testament for that matter. The purpose of the book of Leviticus is to
make a clear focus on the holiness of God, and a clear distinction on the
sinfulness of man in the light of God's holiness. God provides the necessary
steps that man needs to take to restore the great fellowship which was lost
between God and man as a result of the terrible defilement of sin. God explains
the laws that make this restoration possible, in a general sense and also a very
specific sense. These laws are intended to govern the whole life of the people
chosen to serve God. Because of the focus on God's holiness and how to approach
Him the book of Leviticus is clearly the most legalistic book in the entire Old
Testament. The core message of God's laws is seen in the absolute statement "Ye shall be holy,
for I the Lord your God am holy." Yet the great climax of this book can be
clearly seen in Leviticus 16 where God gives the instructions for making
atonement for sin on the Great Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). When the high
priest entered into the holy of holies and sprinkled the blood upon the Mercy
Seat the sins of the entire nation for the previous year were forgiven by God. The mercy which God
showed forth on the day of atonement so foreshadows the work of Christ that the
has been called "the most beautiful flower of all Messianic symbolism."
In addition to the moral, ceremonial, and civil laws set forth in the book of
Leviticus, there are also some historical sections, but these too are centered
around the priesthood. These historical portions include the consecration of
the priests in Leviticus 8 and 9, the sin and punishment of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10),
and the stoning of the blasphemer (Leviticus 24:10 ff). it is interesting that
the Levites are not mentioned except one time very briefly and incidental
(Leviticus 25:32 ff).
The book of Leviticus may be outlined as follows :
Outline of the Book of Leviticus
1 ) Laws concerning Sacrifice (1-7). In this section five types of offerings
are discussed: burnt offerings, meal offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings
and guilt offerings. This is filled out by a discussion of the sin offering as
it is to be observed by various classes of individuals.
2 ) An historical section featuring the consecration of the priests (8-9) and
the sin of Nadab and Abihu (ch. 10).
3 ) A section on laws of purification from ceremonial uncleanness (11-15).
These furnish instructions as to the appropriate sacrifices and ordinances for
ridding oneself of impurity.
4) The Day of Atonement (ch. 16).
5 ) Laws dealing with the conduct of God's people (17-20). These include
various religious and ethical laws designed to accent the separation between
Israel and the heathen nations.
6) Laws concerning the holiness of the priests (21-22).
7 ) A discussion of holy days and feasts (23-24). Included in this section
are the Sabbath, Passover, the feasts of first fruits and harvest, Pentecost,
the Day of Atonement and the feast of Tabernacles.
8 ) The Sabbatical and Jubilee Years (ch. 25).
9 ) Promises and threats connected with obedience to the laws (ch. 26).
10) An appendix containing the laws concerning vows (ch. 27).
More About the Book of Leviticus
Leviticus in the
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Timeline of the Ancient
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