The Bible | Part 3

In the first two parts of this series, I began to outline the books of the Bible! In the review of Genesis we saw everything from the creation of the world to the rise of the Israelites. In Genesis the background of the nation of Israel is established, and we see them take roots among the Egyptians through the close relationship that Joseph had with the Pharaoh. Unfortunately, that relationship was lost after the death of Joseph, and we see in the review of Exodus that the new Pharaoh quickly places the nation of Israel under the bondage of slavery because of a fear of their might. Exodus is a wonderful story of salvation from that bondage through Moses, and it culminates in the Lord establishing a covenant with the Israelites at Mount Sinai. We see the covenant established through the law and the tabernacle, and Exodus ends with the construction of the tabernacle. Leviticus, simply put, is a continuation of Exodus. The law and the tabernacle are expounded upon in great detail, and the purpose of it all revolves around the most important attribute of God. ***AGAIN – If I miss anything, please comment and let me know what should be added to the list, and I may come back and edit these posts to include more information as it is discovered!***

LEVITICUS – When reading Leviticus, it seems like it is ripe with drab lists of requirements and outdated judgements, but when you look at the Book as a whole, it is a strong testament to the holiness of God and the importance of offering and worship.

45 For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.'” Leviticus 11:45

When you read Leviticus in light of the verse above, it is quite clear that it is an account of all that would be required in order to have a relationship with the pure and holy God. Leviticus describes to the Israelites and the priesthood how they are to use the tabernacle outlined in Exodus to purify themselves before the Lord and to give thanks to Him! The tabernacle is shown as the tool of the holy nation of Israel to worship. It is utilized to maintain a direct relationship with God when straying from the law (sinning), which seems to be commonplace [then and even now].

  1. Leviticus 1 – Leviticus 3 | Utilizing the tabernacle – burnt offerings, meal offerings, peace offerings: These offerings are voluntary offerings of the congregation as worship to the Lord. We are immediately exposed to the standards of the tabernacle in these beginning chapters! These offerings take place in the outer courtyard, and they are brought “unto the Lordl”; are offered “before the Lord” at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; and are “a sweet savor unto the Lord.” Through these verses, it is clear that these sacrifices are acts of worship before God at the door of the tabernacle, and Aaron and his sons are tasked with placing the offering upon the altar to burn as a sacrifice to God.
  2. Leviticus 4 – Leviticus 6:7 | Utilizing the tabernacle – sin offerings, guilt offerings, trespass offerings: These offerings are required because of a failure to abide by the law. These offerings take place outside the tabernacle, but a portion of the sin offerings is taken into the tabernacle in the Holy place. In chapter 4 it is explicitly stated that all who sin are required to bring an offering; the priest, the congregation, the ruler, the common people. Then, in chapter 5 and 6 the phrasing changes to “any soul” that sins or commits a trespass must bring an offering. These chapters are important because we begin to see the need for an animal from the flock (notably a lamb) without blemish, and we see that the priest “shall make an atonement” for the sinner. We also see signs of grace in these chapters, i.e. ch5:11 says if he is not able to bring two turtledoves, then he can bring fine flour!
  3. Leviticus 6:8 – Leviticus 7 | Utilizing the tabernacle – the priest’s role in the different offerings: The priest has specific duties and obtains specific portions of some of the offerings which are brought before the Lord. In these verses, the Lord is speaking through Moses to Aaron and his sons. He explains what needs to be done regarding each of the previously mentioned sacrifices, and He also includes the offering required of Aaron and his sons on the day when they are anointed.

    37 This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, 38 which the Lord commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai. Leviticus 7:37-38

  4. Leviticus 8 – Leviticus 9 | The tabernacle in action: Chapters 8 and 9 are our first glimpse of the tabernacle in action. The congregation is gathered before the tabernacle, and the priests are anointed with oil. The priests offer up their sacrifice as described in the previous chapter, and they are consecrated by the Lord at the door of the tabernacle for 7 days. On the 8th day, Aaron and his sons offer up a sin offering, a burnt offering, a meal offering, and a peace offering unto the Lord. And then we see the power of the tabernacle and the offerings:

    22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Then fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:22-24

  5. Leviticus 10 | The punishment for unholiness: Misuse of the tabernacle led to the death of Nadab and Abihu, two of Aaron’s sons. These two sons offer a strange fire before the Lord that was not commanded, and as a consequence they are killed by a fire from the Lord. This passage goes to depict and explain the great importance of the priesthood to uphold the law given by the Lord. Near the end of the chapter there is some reconciliation when Moses questions Aaron’s treatment of the sin offering, but he become content when Aaron responds with a strong knowledge of the law.
  6. Leviticus 11 – Leviticus 15 | The law regarding uncleanliness: These chapters included rules regarding clean and unclean animals, leprosy, childbirth, and unclean bodily issues. They serve to describe what is required to make sure the Israelites are pure and holy before the Lord, and it is in these chapters we begin to see an overarching statement that relates to the entire law and the tabernacle. As we see in the verse referenced above, the Lord claims “you shall be holy, for I am holy.”
  7. Leviticus 16 | The day of atonement: Here we see a reaction from the Lord to the death of Aaron’s sons. It becomes a little clear that the two sons most likely went into the tabernacle with the strange fire and possibly into the Holy of Holies where the ark is located. Because of the blunder, the Lord limits the access to the Holy of Holies to once a year, which is the day of atonement. Aaron was to bring an offering for himself first, and afterwards he offers for the congregation. There is a notable part of the procedure that involves two goats. At the door of the tabernacle Aaron “cast lots” upon the two goats. One goat was chosen to be a sin offering, and the other goat was to be a scapegoat. Aaron laid both of his hands on this goat and confessed all of the sin of the children of Israel over him, “putting them upon the head of the goat.” Then he released the goat, and the sin he was bearing, into the wilderness! This process was instituted on the tenth day of the seventh month every year. The priest made atonement of all the entire congregation, and their sins were cleansed before the Lord.
  8. Leviticus 17 – Leviticus 22 | The law regarding immorality and holiness: The importance of following the Lord’s “ordinances,””statutes,” and “judgements” are depicted in these chapters. They list out various requirements that would prevent the congregation from being defiled before God. They are requirements to be holy before the Lord. Chapter 21 and Chapter 22 describe the requirements of a priest and of the offerings presented before the Lord.
  9. Leviticus 23 | The feasts of the Lord (holy convocations): The Lord sets aside 7 feasts or days of holy convocation. The first (v.5) was the Lord’s passover on the “fourteenth day of the first month.” The second (v.6) was the feast of unleavened bread on the very next day. The third (v.10) was the first fruits of the harvest. The fourth (v.16) was the Pentecost which takes place 50 days after the feast of first fruits (How many days after Christ’s resurrection was the Day of Pentecost?). The fifth (v.24) is the “memorial of blowing of trumpets.” The sixth (v.27) was the day of atonement. The seventh (v.34) was the feast of tabernacles. All of these feasts point to Christ and his power in our lives as our holy intercessor and Savior.
  10. Leviticus 24 | The tabernacle lamps and showbread, law regarding blasphemy, and “eye for eye, tooth for tooth,”: The Book begins to wind down here, and describes how to maintain the lamps and showbread within the tabernacle. It then goes on to describe the Israelitish (part Egyptian) whose son blasphemed the name of the Lord. His punishment, and the punishment for anyone who blasphemed the name of the Lord, was death. The idea of an “eye for an eye” is presented, which means the response (punishment) for a wrong or for a blessing must be equivalent to the gravity of that sin or blessing.
  11. Leviticus 25 – Leviticus 25:23 | The promised land: Fittingly the Lord explains the required response for the Israelites as they receive the blessing of the promise land.
  12. Leviticus 25:24 – Leviticus 27 | Additional regulations of the law and the benefits of obedience: The ending chapters discuss various other aspects of the law including a brother that is poor or a servant, idols and graven images, vows, and tithing. Notably though, chapter 26 discusses the benefits of obeying the commandments of the Lord and the punishment for disobeying His commandments. God offers rain, peace, growth, strength, etc. for walking in His statutes.

Leviticus is an extensive description of all that is required to please and have a relationship with our holy God. It is a great reminder of the depth of Christ’s love as he established a new covenant that abolished the old. It would be impossible to live by the law and the tabernacle of the Israelites, which is why we see then and even now, no man was saved by the law. It has forever required faith in order to be made right with the Lord.

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