You Shall Be Holy
Leviticus is a difficult book for western minds. The worldview is alien and the laws and regulations appear arbitrary, peculiar, and irrelevant. What are we to make of it all?
We need to see it in its historical setting…
Keeping The Nation Pure
Blotchy skin diseases (Biblical leprosy) and discharges from the body breached the normal state of wholeness and was the physical mirror and equivalent of unholiness. These conditions prevented approach to the sanctuary and could sometimes mean exclusion from the camp of Israel…
Ezekiel Explains Leviticus
Ezekiel was a prophet in Babylon during the exile. He was also a priest and, therefore concerned with ritual and spiritual purity. He described the moral and spiritual pollution of the nation, considering it to be worse than Sodom.
What were the food laws really about
Explanations involving health and hygiene are superficially attractive but do not stand up to detailed analysis. The underlying principle is identical that involved in ritual uncleanness. It was a pictorial way of illustrating holiness.
Drawing near to God – Leviticus points to Hebrew
God’s desire is to live among His people but Leviticus teaches us that drawing near to God is no casual matter and is fraught with danger. The unclean and unholy will be consumed in the presence of ultimate holiness; they cannot coexist…
Sacrifice and Atonement Leviticus 1–7, Heb. 9–10
Sacrifice was an integral part of the life of Israel from Abraham onward. The central purpose was worship. At Mount Sinai atonement became the particular focus and occupied the central place in most of the sacrifices.
The Burnt Offering Leviticus 1
This was the most common sacrifice.
The central meaning appears to be redemption – setting free from sin and the resulting breach in relationship with God. God’s anger was turned away. The smoke ascended to God as a soothing aroma, testifying to the efficacy of the sacrifice in restoring a peaceful relationship…
The Purification Offering Leviticus 4
The burnt offering dealt with the guilt of sin. The purification offering had to do with cleansing. The focus was on the Holy things of the LORD and His presence in the midst of the congregation. The unique and central feature of the purification offering was the blood and how it was used.
Grain, Fellowship, and Reparation Offerings – Leviticus 3, 5:1–6:7
Three other types of offering are described. Together with the previous two “main” offerings they covered the whole range of life within the sacred community – confession, thanksgiving, prayer, shared life, refreshing relationships, making compensation for loss, making vows…
The Day of Atonement Leviticus 16
There would have been many unrecognized lapses, causing an accumulation of uncleanness.
This annual ritual for atonement, was designed to correct this situation, so the Purification Offering was the most prominent sacrifice. Holiness was essential. The Burnt Offering reminded of the need for forgiveness as well.