When we last left the Israelites they were basically in the desert. Get comfortable, they will remain in the desert for the time being, as we journey through the next couple of books of the Bible.
The third book of the Bible is Leviticus. As the priesthood now comes from the Levitical bloodline, it may not be surprising, that in Greek, this book was translated to mean, “That Which Pertains to the Levites.” We will journey through offering and priesthood guidelines, as well as other Laws, and regulations.
Consisting of 27 chapters, Leviticus is a rule book for sure. It is to be reminded one of the reasons for all of the rules is explained in the previous book, Exodus. Moses sets out what should, and should not be done so other leaders/judges can set out, enforce these rules, and answer people’s questions with these guidelines.
If you need to catch up on Exodus here is Pt. 1 .
Also, be mindful of the fact this was a different time period. Women were treated a lot differently, and this was before Jesus Christ becomes our sacrifice. These next few books can trip a lot of Christians, and nonbelievers up. Look at the rulebooks for a historical record of the Law books, and how people were once treated. Be aware of the hygiene problems back then as well, soap and other body supplies were not as available.
Offerings and Law Offerings
Ch. 1 – 5 Covers various offerings, and how they are to be performed.
Ch. 1 – The Burnt Offering
Ch. 2- The Grain Offering
-grain offerings cannot be made with leaven, or honey (2:11)
– fruit offerings cannot be burned (2:12)
-all grain offerings need salt (2:13)
-firstfruit grain need oil on it with frankincense laid with it (2:15)
Ch. 3- The Peace Offering
Ch. 4- The Sin Offering
-a person sins unintentionally (4:02)
– if a priest sins unintentionally, he brings guilt on the people (4:03)
– if whole congregation sins unintentionally, it is the elders who make the sacrifice for them, once the sin is realized (4:13-15)
Ch. 5 & Part of Ch. 6- The Trespass Offering
-if a person does not admit/tell of hearing an oath or is a witness to, he/she has sinned with trespass (5:01)
– touching anything unclean or dead, the person becomes uncleaned and sinned (5:02)
– touches human uncleanliness, when a person is aware of it, he has sinned. (5:03)
– person swears to do evil or good by his lips, this is a form of an oath when the person is aware, then it is a sin (5:04)
– Ch. 6:01-2 discuss lying
Laws Of The Offerings
Law Of Burnt Offerings – (6:08-13)
Law Of Grain Offerings- (6:14-23)
-priest and sons get a portion of sacrifice (food)
-anyone who touches the offering must be holy
Law Of Sin Offerings – (6:24-30)
-Priest who offers a burnt sacrifice can eat it
-No sacrifice with blood brought in should be ate
Law Of Trespass Offerings – (7:01-10)
-Every grain offering belongs to all the sons of Aaron
Law Of Peace Offerings- – (7:11-21)
-leavened bread can be offered with a sacrifice of thanksgiving
-person who eats the flesh of sacrifice, that belongs to the Lord, shall be cut off from his people
-person who touches any unclean thing shall be cut off from his people
Fat And Blood Cannot Be Ate
Ch. 7:22-27 The people are told not to eat any fat of ox, sheep, or goat.
Fat of an animal that dies naturally can be used in other ways, but not ate.
No one can eat any blood in bird or beast, or they will be cut off from their people.
Aaron And His Sons Get A Portion & Consecrated
Ch. 7:28-38 As the priests have a lot to do daily, it makes sense that they were fed from the sacrifices of others.
Ch. 8– Aaron and sons get consecrated
– for seven days they couldn’t go out of the door of the tabernacle, during seven days they were getting consecrated.
Ch. 9 They are consecrated. They come out, offering sacrifices, the glory of the Lord is shown, and with a fire, He consumes the burnt offering. The people shout and fall on their faces.
Aaron’s Sons Disobey And Die
Ch. 10:01-07 Nadab and Abihu put fire in their censer, with incense, and offered it to the Lord. But the Lord had not commanded them to do so, and therefore they offered with a profane fire.
Fire went out from God and devoured the two. (NKJ) Leviticus 10:03, “And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: By those who come near Me, I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified. So Aaron held his peace.”
Aaron and his other sons were told not to mourn, lest they die, and wrath come upon the people. But for them to let their brothers, the body of people, mourn the loss.
Conduct For Priests
Ch. 10:08-20 Priests were not to drink wine or become intoxicated when going into the tabernacle, otherwise they die. This was meant so that they could be an example to the people. Holiness needed to be distinguished, between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean. They are told to teach the people and be an example.
Permitted and Forbidden Foods
Ch. 11:01-23 Foods that are permitted. Animals that had divided hooves, cloven hooves, and chews the cud.
What wasn’t permitted– camel, rock hyrax (badger), hare, and pig. All these animals were considered unclean, for their reasons listed, and not to be ate or touched.
What could be ate from the water– whatever has fins and scales, but what doesn’t have fins and scales cannot be ate. They are considered an abomination.
What is considered an abomination among the birds– eagle, vulture, buzzard, kite, falcon, every raven, ostrich, short-eared owl, screech owl, white owl, jackdaw, carrion vulture, stork, heron, hoopoe, and the bat. These cannot be ate.
All flying insects that creep on all fours are an abomination, except those with jointed legs above their feet with which to jump.
These flying insects can be ate– the locust, destroying locust, cricket, and grasshopper, everything else is an abomination.
Ch. 11:24-47 Those that touch an unclean animal will be unclean, until evening.
Those that creep are also considered unclean– the mole, mouse, large lizard, gecko, monitor lizard, sand reptile, sand lizard, and chameleon.
If they are dead, leave them alone. If they fall into a food vessel, the vessel is considered unclean. A spring, or cistern, where there is plenty of water, will still be considered clean, but any who touch the carcass will become uncleaned.
If a seed, that hasn’t been planted, is touched, it is still clean.
But if the seed is wet, and touched by a carcass/animal it is unclean.
Anything that creeps on its belly is an abomination and considered unclean.
Ritual After Childbirth
Ch. 12:01-08 If a woman gives birth to a male child, she is unclean for seven days. On the eighth, he shall be circumcised. She will continue then for 33 purification days. She will not touch any hallowed thing or come into the sanctuary, till days are done.
If she has a girl, she is considered unclean for two weeks. Her purification days are doubled to 66 days.
When her purification days are done, she brings a specified sacrifice to the priest as a sin offering. The priest offers and makes an atonement for her, and then she is considered completely clean.
Ch. 13 & 14 Covering Law of Leprosy and garments, and Ritual for Cleansing Healed Lepers.
We are halfway through! I’m seeing some symbolism with the offerings/sacrifices. The focus on fire and salt, in particular.
Do you have thoughts on some of the Laws? Does anything stand out to you?
~T. R. Noble