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Leviticus 4

1 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

2 - "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If anyone sins unintentionally, in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them:

3 - if the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bull without defect to the LORD for a sin offering.

4 - He shall bring the bull to the door of the Tent of Meeting before The LORD; and he shall lay his hand on the head of the bull, and kill the bull before The LORD.

5 - The anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull, and bring it to the Tent of Meeting.

6 - The priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of the bloodseven times before The LORD, before the veil of the sanctuary.

7 - The priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before The LORD, which is in the Tent of Meeting; and he shall pour out all of rest of the blood of the bull at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

8 - He shall take all the fat of the bull of the sin offering off of it; the fat that covers the innards, and all the fat that is on the innards,

9 - and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the cover on the liver, with the kidneys, he shall take away,

10 - as it is taken off of the bull of the sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering.

11 - The bull's skin, all its meat, with its head, and with its legs, its innards, and its dung,

12 - he shall carry the whole bull outside of the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire. Where the ashes are poured out, it shall be burned.

13 - "'If the whole congregation of Israel sins, and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and are guilty;

14 - when the sin in which they have sinned is known, then the assembly shall offer a young bull for a sin offering, and bring it before the Tent of Meeting.

15 - The elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before The LORD; and the bull shall be killed before The LORD.

16 - The anointed priest shall bring of the blood of the bull to the Tent of Meeting:

17 - and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before The LORD, before the veil.

18 - He shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before The LORD, that is in the Tent of Meeting; and the rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

19 - All its fat he shall take from it, and burn it on the altar.

20 - Thus shall he do with the bull; as he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.

21 - He shall carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is the sin offering for the assembly.

22 - "'When a ruler sins, and unwittingly does any one of all the things which the LORD his God has commanded not to be done, and is guilty;

23 - if his sin, in which he has sinned, is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without defect.

24 - He shall lay his hand on the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before The LORD. It is a sin offering.

25 - The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. He shall pour out the rest of its blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering.

26 - All its fat he shall burn on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and he will be forgiven.

27 - "'If anyone of the common people sins unwittingly, in doing any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and is guilty;

28 - if his sin, which he has sinned, is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has sinned.

29 - He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering in the place of burnt offering.

30 - The priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar.

31 - All its fat he shall take away, like the fat is taken away from off of the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a pleasant aroma to The LORD; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

32 - "'If he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring a female without defect.

33 - He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.

34 - The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar.

35 - All its fat he shall take away, like the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them on the altar, on the offerings of the LORD made by fire; and the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin that he has sinned, and he will be forgiven.

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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