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Leviticus 16

1 - The LORD spoke to Moses, after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they came near before The LORD, and died;

2 - and the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron your brother, not to come at all times into the Most Holy Place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark; lest he die: for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat.

3 - "Aaron shall come into the sanctuary with a young bull for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

4 - He shall put on the holy linen coat. He shall have the linen breeches on his body, and shall put on the linen sash, and he shall be clothed with the linen turban. They are the holy garments. He shall bathe his body in water, and put them on.

5 - He shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

6 - "Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house.

7 - He shall take the two goats, and set them before the LORD at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

8 - Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats; one lot for The LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

9 - Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for The LORD, and offer him for a sin offering.

10 - But the goat on which the lot fell for the scapegoat shall be presented alive before The LORD, to make atonement for him, to send him away for the scapegoat into the wilderness.

11 - "Aaron shall present the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull of the sin offering which is for himself.

12 - He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar before The LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil:

13 - and he shall put the incense on the fire before The LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the testimony, so that he will not die.

14 - He shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

15 - "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with his blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.

16 - He shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins; and so he shall do for the Tent of Meeting, that dwells with them in the middle of their uncleanness.

17 - No one shall be in the Tent of Meeting when he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, and has made atonement for himself and for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel.

18 - "He shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the bull's blood, and some of the goat's blood, and put it around on the horns of the altar.

19 - He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and make it holy from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

20 - "When he has finished atoning for the Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, he shall present the live goat.

21 - Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, even all their sins; and he shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.

22 - The goat shall carry all their iniquities on himself to a solitary land, and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.

23 - "Aaron shall come into the Tent of Meeting, and shall take off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the Holy Place, and shall leave them there.

24 - Then he shall bathe himself in water in a holy place, and put on his garments, and come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people.

25 - The fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar.

26 - "He who lets the goat go for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

27 - The bull for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp; and they shall burn their skins, their flesh, and their dung with fire.

28 - He who burns them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp.

29 - "It shall be a statute to you forever: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and shall do no kind of work, the native-born, or the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you:

30 - for on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before The LORD.

31 - It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.

32 - The priest, who is anointed and who is consecrated to be priest in his father's place, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, even the holy garments.

33 - Then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary; and he shall make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar; and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.

34 - "This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel once in the year because of all their sins."It was done as the LORD commanded Moses.

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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