1. The Offerings (1-7)
2. The Priesthood (8-10)
3. Cleanliness as Part of Godliness (11-22)
a. Clean and Unclean Animals (11)
b. Purification for Mothers (12)
c. Purification in Leprosy (13-14)
d. Personal Purification (15)
e. The Day of Atonement (16)
f. Correct Treatment of Blood (17)
g. Holiness and Sexuality (18-20)
h. Holiness for the Priests (21-22)
4. Additional Matters (23-27)
a. The Feast Days (23)
b. The Sabbath Day (24:1-9)
c. Blasphemy (24:10-23)
d. The Year of Jubilee (25)
e. The Covenant of Blessing and Cursing (26)
f. Vows, Redemption, and Tithes (27)
The book of Leviticus was written by Moses some time before 1400
B.C. The book contains instructions for both the people and the
priests so that they can be holy before God. The adjective holy and
its verb form sanctified are used over 100 times; the words clean and
unclean appear over 200 times; and the words offering or sacrifice
are found over 300 times. The key verse is 19:2: "Speak to all the
congregation of the children of Israel: 'You shall be holy, for I the
Lord your God am holy'" (see also 11:44-45). When someone is making
an effort to live a holy life, various questions arise. This book
makes practical applications to all manner of situations.
To drive home the point that God is holy and that man must respect
the nature of God, a tragedy occurs. Two priests, Aaron's sons (Nadab
and Abihu) offer "profane fire" to God, which He had not authorized
(and which was therefore unacceptable). God's attitude toward things
profane (and also toward doing that which lacks Biblical authority) is
clearly demonstrated. He does not, as he did Nadab and Abihu, judge
immediately all wrongdoers (or none of us would survive), but His
attitude is clear.
10:1-2 The deaths of Nadab and Abihu.
16:1-34 The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
18:1-30 Laws of sexual purity.
19:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel,
and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the Lord your
God am holy.'"
19:18 "...but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the
19:26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood...."
20:13 "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of
them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be
put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
24:10-23 Blasphemy is to be punished with death.
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.[Old Testament Survey Index]