Observation Leviticus

I. NAME OF THE BOOK

A. In the Hebrew Text (MT) it is the first word of the book, "and He (YHWH) called."

B. The Talmud (Mishnah) called it "the law of the Priests."

C. From the LXX translation it is "Levitical Book."

D. The Latin Vulgate of Jerome entitled it "Leviticus."

 

II. CANONIZATION

A. It is part of the first section of the Hebrew Canon called "The Torah" or "teachings" or "Law."

B. The section is known as the Pentateuch (five scrolls) in the LXX.

C. It is sometimes called "The Five Books of Moses" in English.

D. It includes a continuous account by Moses from creation through Moses' life, Genesis – Deuteronomy.

 

III. GENRE – The book is mostly legislation, except for the historical narrative of chapters 8-10.

 

IV. AUTHORSHIP – Chapter 1:1 sets the often repeated pattern (35 times) "YHWH said to Moses."

See the detailed discussion in the Genesis outline.

 

V. DATE – Compare Exod. 40:2, 17 with Num. 1:1. This shows that it was given to Moses by God in the 1st month of the 2nd year after the Exodus. See the detailed discussion in the Exodus outline.

 

VI. SOURCES OF CORROBORATING THE HISTORICAL SETTING – 

 

VII. LITERARY UNITS (context)

A. BRIEF OUTLINE:

1. Chapters 1-16 – How to approach a Holy God?

2. Chapters 17-26 – How does one continue in communion with a Holy God?

B. The author's own use of an introduction formula, "And the Lord spoke unto Moses (or Aaron) saying. . ."

1. This may imply that this revelatory material was given over a period of time.

2. The places this formula occurs: 1:1-3:17; 4:1-5:13; 5:14-19; 5:20-26; 6:1-11; 6:12-16; 6:17-7:21; 7:22-38; 8:1-10:20; 11:1-47; 12:1-8; 13:1-59; 14:1-32; 14:33-57; 15:1-33; 16:1-34; 17:1-16; 18:1-3; 19:1-37; 20:1-27; 21:1-24; 22:1-16; 22:17-25; 22:26-33; 23:1-8; 23:9-22; 23:26-32; 23:33-44; 24:1-23; 25:1-26:46; 27:1-34;

C. EXPANDED OUTLINE:

1. Removal of Uncleanness, chaps. 1-16

a. Laws of Sacrifice, 1:1-7:38

(1) Burnt offering, chaps. 1:3-17 & 6:8-13

(2) Meal offering, chaps. 2:1-17 & 6:14-23

(3) Peace offering, chaps. 3:1-17; 7:33 & 7:11-21

(4) Sin offering, chaps. 4:1; 5:13 & 6:24-30

(5) Guilt offering, chaps. 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10

(a) Unintentional sin against YHWH's covenant, 4:1-35; 5:14-19

(b) Intentional sin against a covenant partner, 5:1-13; 6:1-7

(chapters 1-6:7 for people; chapters 6:8-7:36 for priests)

b. Consecration of Priests, 8:1-10:20

(1) Preparation for anointing, 8:1-5

(2) Washing, clothing and anointing, 8:6-13

(3) Anointing sacrifice, 8:14-32

(4) Moses gives Aaron instructions, 9:1-7

(5) Aaron and sons begin, 9:8-21

(6) Aaron blesses the people and YHWH

(7) The sin of Nadab and Abihu, 10:1-3

(8) Their fate and removal, 10:4-7

(9) Abstinence from wine while on duty, 10:8-11

(10) Priest's part of sacrifices, 10:12-20

c. The Clean and Unclean, chapters 11-15

(1) Animals, chapter 11 (cf. Deut. 14:6-20)

(2) Childbirth, chapter 12

(3) Skin diseases, chapters 13-14

(a) In man, 13:1-46

(b) In clothes, 13:47-59

(c) Purification, 14:1-32

(d) In houses, 14:33-53

(e) Summary, 14:54

(4) Purification from bodily discharges (men and women), chapter 15

d. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), an annual day of cleansing, chapter 16 (This seems to be the climax of chapters 1-16)

(1) Priestly preparation, 16:1-4

(2) Sin offering for the High Priest, 16:5-10

(3) The ritual, 16:23-28

(4) The annual enactment, 16:29-34

2. Restoration of Holiness and Fellowship with God, chaps. 17-26

a. The Sacrificial Blood, 17:1-16

b. The religious and moral standards, 18:1-20:27

(1) Incest

(2) Sexual sins

(3) Punishments, chapter 20

c. The Holiness of Priests, 21:1-22:33

d. The Holiness of annual feast days, 23:1-24:23

(1) Sabbath, 23:1-3

(2) Passover and Unleavened Bread, 23:5-8

(3) First-fruits, 23:9-14

(4) Harvest, 23:15-24

(5) Pentecost, 23:23-25

(6) Day of Atonement, 23:26-32 (only fast day)

(7) Tabernacles (Booths), 23:33-43

e. Special Years, 25:1-55

(1) Sabbatical, vv. 2-7

(2) Jubilee, vv. 8-55

(a) Observance, vv. 8-12

(b) Effects, vv. 13-34

(c) Each covenant individual's worth and freedom, vv. 35-55

f. Covenant Blessing and Cursing, 26:1-46

3. Appendix (vows), 27:1-34

a. Persons, vv. 1-8

b. Animals, vv. 9-13

c. Residences, vv. 14-15

d. Land, vv. 16-25

e. Firstlings, vv. 26-27

f. Devoted thing, vv. 28-39

g. Tithe, vv. 30-34

 

VIII. MAIN TRUTHS

A. The book of Leviticus is concerned with the legal basis for the civil and religious life of the nation of Israel and the role of the priesthood. It gives guidance for the use of the Tabernacle described in Exodus 25-40.

B. It describes how a sinful man can approach a holy God and also how he maintains fellowship. "Holiness" is the key to the book (cf. 11:44 [Matt. 5:48]).

C. Wonder of wonders, God desires that sinful man come to Him and He has provided a way, the sacrificial system.

D. YHWH's character is revealed:

1. In providing a sacrificial system, cf. chapters 1-7 (Grace)

2. In historical acts, cf. chapters 8-10 (Justice)

3. In His continuing presence with the people (Faithfulness)

E. Jesus' use of 19:18?

 

IX. TERMS AND/OR PHRASES AND PERSONS TO BRIEFLY DEFINE

A. Terms and Phrases

1. atonement, 1:4; 4:26 (NASB & NIV)

2. soothing Aroma, 1:9,13, (NIV, Aroma Pleasing)

3. unintentionally, 4:1,22,27; 5:15-18; 22:14 (NASB & NIV)

4. restitution, 6:5 (NASB & NIV)

5. wave offering, 7:30 (NIV, wave)

6. holy (kadosh), 11:44 (NASB & NIV)

7. leprosy, 13:1ff, (NIV, infectious skin disease)

8. scapegoat, 16:8 (NASB & NIV)

9. goat demons, 17:7, (NIV, goat idols)

10. soothsaying, 19:26 (NIV, sorcery)

11. jubilee, 25:30 (NASB & NIV)

B. Persons to Briefly Identify

1. Nadab and Abihu, 10:1

2. Azazel, 16:8, 10 (NIV, "for the scapegoat")

3. Molech, 18:21; 20:2

 

X. MAP LOCATIONS – NONE

 

XI. STUDENT CONTENT QUESTIONS

1. What does the sacrificial system represent? Why is "the Blood" mentioned so often, (3:17; 7:26; 17:11)?

2. How can the death of an animal forgive human sin?

3. Why are three of the five types of sacrifice voluntary?

4. What did Aaron's sons do that was worthy of death?

5. Why is there a distinction between clean and unclean animals?

6. What is unique about the Day of Atonement among all the set feasts of Israel?

7. What is the truth behind the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee?