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Leviticus 11

1 - The LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,

2 - "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth.

3 - Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud among the animals, that you may eat.

4 - "'Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those who part the hoof: the camel, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.

5 - The cony, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.

6 - The hare, because she chews the cud but doesn't part the hoof, she is unclean to you.

7 - The pig, because he has a split hoof, and is cloven-footed, but doesn't chew the cud, he is unclean to you.

8 - Of their meat you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.

9 - "'These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, that you may eat.

10 - All that don't have fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of all the living creatures that are in the waters, they are an abomination to you,

11 - and you detest them. You shall not eat of their meat, and you shall detest their carcasses.

12 - Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that is an abomination to you.

13 - "'These you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the vulture, and the black vulture,

14 - and the red kite, any kind of black kite,

15 - any kind of raven,

16 - the horned owl, the screech owl, and the gull, any kind of hawk,

17 - the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,

18 - the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,

19 - the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.

20 - "'All flying insects that walk on all fours are an abomination to you.

21 - Yet you may eat these: of all winged creeping things that go on all fours, which have legs above their feet, with which to hop on the earth.

22 - Even of these you may eat: any kind of locust, any kind of katydid, any kind of cricket, and any kind of grasshopper.

23 - But all winged creeping things which have four feet, are an abomination to you.

24 - "'By these you will become unclean: whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening.

25 - Whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.

26 - "'Every animal which parts the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor chews the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them shall be unclean.

27 - Whatever goes on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, they are unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening.

28 - He who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. They are unclean to you.

29 - "'These are they which are unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,

30 - the gecko, and the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink, and the chameleon.

31 - These are they which are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead, shall be unclean until the evening.

32 - On whatever any of them falls when they are dead, it shall be unclean; whether it is any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack, whatever vessel it is, with which any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it will be clean.

33 - Every earthen vessel, into which any of them falls, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it.

34 - All food which may be eaten, that on which water comes, shall be unclean; and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.

35 - Everything whereupon part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven, or range for pots, it shall be broken in pieces: they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.

36 - Nevertheless a spring or a cistern in which water is gathered shall be clean: but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean.

37 - If part of their carcass falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it is clean.

38 - But if water is put on the seed, and part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.

39 - "'If any animal, of which you may eat, dies; he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.

40 - He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.

41 - "'Every creeping thing that creeps on the earth is an abomination. It shall not be eaten.

42 - Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, even all creeping things that creep on the earth, them you shall not eat; for they are an abomination.

43 - You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps. You shall not make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled thereby.

44 - For I am the LORD your God. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth.

45 - For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

46 - "'This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth,

47 - to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.'"

Leviticus Images and Notes

The Book of Leviticus

Leviticus 16:30 - 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

Photo of the Sinai Wilderness
Photo of the Sinai Wilderness

Summary of The Book of Leviticus

Bible Survery - 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

In the 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 Leviticus 16 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). 

ILLUSTRATION

The Tabernacle of Moses

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness

The ancient Tabernacle of Moses illustration with the curtain fence, the bronze laver, the bronze altar, the holy place, and the badger skin covering. (Click to Enlarge)

The book may be divided 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).

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

Quick Reference Maps - Leviticus

Israel During the Book of Exodus

The World During the Book of Exodus

The Exodus of the Hebrews From Egypt

Mount Horeb or Mount Sinai

The Red Sea at the Time of Moses

Canaan Before Joshua

Leviticus Resources

The Giving of the Law
The Tabernacle

More About the Book of Leviticus
Leviticus in the Picture Study Bible
The Old Testament
Timeline of the Ancient World
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