Leviticus overview

Greetings!  This starts our study of Leviticus

I know some of you are thinking, “What?! Leviticus?!  Isn’t that the book people get bogged down in when they try to read the Bible from front to back?”  Yes, some parts of the book may appear to be outdated, dry and repetitive, but remember that it is in the Bible for a reason.  There are some interesting things in the book and it helps us to better understand what Jesus means and how the sacrificial system pointed to him.  I just went through Leviticus with my teenaged daughters, so if they can do it, so can you. 

We’ll do something a little different and read about three chapters at a time.  I’ll just post the links instead of pasting the text in the blog posts.  Or you can just read along in your Bible. 

Who wrote this and when was it written?  Moses wrote this in approximately 1445 BC, shortly after the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt after 400 years of slavery and just after the tabernacle was completed. 

Who was it written to?  Priests and the Israelites

Where was it written: near Mount Sinai, where the 10 Commandments were received.

Why was it written?  As a guide to priests to conduct worship (chapters 1-17) and a guide to holy living for the Hebrews (chapters 18-27).  Leviticus trivia: The word holiness is mentioned 152 times, the most of any book of the Bible.

Many of the laws in Leviticus are considered ceremonial laws, which means they only applied to the Israelites.  Jesus fulfilled those laws by his life, death and resurrection, so they don’t apply to Christians today.  Leviticus does contain some moral laws that apply to us all.  More on that later.

Themes of Leviticus:

  • Sin is very, very serious and requires payment to God
  • The nature of God
  • The distinictive rules given to the Israelites to set them apart from other peoples
  • Five kinds of offerings are covered, in two main categories – praise/thanks to God and atonement for sins

Have you read Leviticus before?  What are your impressions of it? 

Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.

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