Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

Leviticus 23

1 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

2 - "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'The set feasts of The LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.

3 - "'Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no kind of work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.

4 - "'These are the set feasts of The LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed season.

5 - In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is The LORD's Passover.

6 - On the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to The LORD. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

7 - In the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.

8 - But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a holy convocation: you shall do no regular work.'"

9 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

10 - "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest:

11 - and he shall wave the sheaf before The LORD, to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 - On the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb without defect a year old for a burnt offering to The LORD.

13 - The meal offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a pleasant aroma; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.

14 - You must not eat bread, or roasted grain, or fresh grain, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God. This is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

15 - "'You shall count from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be completed:

16 - even to the next day after the seventh Sabbath you shall count fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to The LORD.

17 - You shall bring out of your habitations two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour. They shall be baked with yeast, for first fruits to The LORD.

18 - You shall present with the breadseven lambs without defect a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to The LORD, with their meal offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet aroma to The LORD.

19 - You shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 - The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before The LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

21 - You shall make proclamation on the same day: there shall be a holy convocation to you; you shall do no regular work. This is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

22 - "'When you reap the harvest of your land, you must not wholly reap into the corners of your field, and you must not gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave them for the poor, and for the foreigner. I am the LORD your God.'"

23 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

24 - "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.

25 - You shall do no regular work; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to The LORD.'"

26 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

27 - "However on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to The LORD.

28 - You shall do no kind of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.

29 - For whoever it is who shall not deny himself in that same day; shall be cut off from his people.

30 - Whoever it is who does any kind of work in that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.

31 - You shall do no kind of work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

32 - It shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall deny yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall keep your Sabbath."

33 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

34 - "Speak to the children of Israel, and say, 'On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of tents for seven days to The LORD.

35 - On the first day shall be a holy convocation: you shall do no regular work.

36 - Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to The LORD. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to The LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you shall do no regular work.

37 - "'These are the appointed feasts of The LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to The LORD, a burnt offering, and a meal offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, each on its own day;

38 - besides the Sabbaths of The LORD, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to The LORD.

39 - "'So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.

40 - You shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

41 - You shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations. You shall keep it in the seventh month.

42 - You shall dwell in temporary shelters seven days. All who are native-born in Israel shall dwell in temporary shelters,

43 - that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in temporary shelters, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'"

44 - Moses declared to the children of Israel the appointed feasts of The LORD.

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
Back to Bible History Online