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Leviticus 20

1 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

2 - "Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, 'Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel, who gives any of his offspring to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.

3 - I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people because he has given of his offspring to Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.

4 - If the people of the land all hide their eyes from that person, when he gives of his offspring to Molech, and don't put him to death;

5 - then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who play the prostitute after him, to play the prostitute with Molech, from among their people.

6 - "'The person that turns to those who are mediums, and to the wizards, to play the prostitute after them, I will even set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.

7 - "'Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the LORD your God.

8 - You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

9 - "'For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

10 - "'The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

11 - "'The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

12 - "'If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have committed a perversion; their blood shall be upon them.

13 - "'If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

14 - "'If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burned with fire, both he and they; that there may be no wickedness among you.

15 - "'If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal.

16 - "'If a woman approaches any animal, and lies down with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

17 - "'If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness; it is a shameful thing. They shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness. He shall bear his iniquity.

18 - "'If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness; he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

19 - "'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, nor of your father's sister; for he has made his close relative naked. They shall bear their iniquity.

20 - If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness. They shall bear their sin. They shall die childless.

21 - "'If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an impurity. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless.

22 - "'You shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them; that the land, where I am bringing you to dwell, may not vomit you out.

23 - You shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

24 - But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.

25 - "'You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean: and you shall not make yourselves abominable by animal, or by bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have separated from you as unclean for you.

26 - You shall be holy to me; for I, The LORD, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine.

27 - "'A man or a woman that is a medium, or is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.'"

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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