The main reason this book is called Leviticus is because the
majority of this book deals with the Levite priest and how they are to conduct
worship and to administer services of sacrifice. It as book rich with law and
regulation which is a continuation of the laws and regulations given in the
book of Exodus. These laws and regulation reveal how man can gain access to
God. The Levites were responsible for taking care of these laws and to exercise
proper judgment with these laws. The tribe of Levi was not allotted a portion
of land like the rest of the tribes of
Author and the time of the writing
Of course God is the real author of the book but Moses is the one who recorded all these laws and regulation. The NT confirms that Moses is the author of Leviticus in several places.
First Jesus talks about the cleansing of lepers
Matthew 8: 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."
Jesus says Moses commanded this and this commanded in found in Lev. 14:1-4.
Luke talks about the purification of women after childbirth.
Luke 2:22 22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
This purification of women after childbirth is found in Lev. 12:2-6
There is no doubt that Moses is the author.
Many believe that the book of Leviticus was probable written sometime around 1452 BC .The book itself only contains those laws that were commanded at mount Sinai.
Leviticus 27:34 34 These are the
commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of
Out of all the books in the Bible Leviticus contains more direct messages from God than the other books. The book mentions speaking to someone or of himself some 103 times.
There are several key words in Leviticus. Holiness is found 87 times, the word blood in regards to cleansing is used 89 times and the word atonement is uses 45 times.
The key verses which sum up the book of Leviticus is
Leviticus 11:44-45 44 'For I am the LORD your
God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am
holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that
creeps on the earth. 45 'For
I am the LORD who brings you up out of the
The key phrase of the book is “I am the Lord your God” this occurs 21 times.
The theme of Leviticus is holiness and that God is holy. The book teaches us that man must continually return to God for cleanings and forgiveness. It also teaches that a person can only gain access to God through a blood sacrifice.
Leviticus 11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.'
The same thing is true under the new covenant as well.
Hebrews 9: 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another -- 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Jesus became our 1 time blood sacrifice and it is only through his blood that we can gain access to God today. We have so much better under the NT. Think about this there are over 600 different laws and regulations that law of Moses commanded for its people to keep perfectly. Mainly just the priest had access to these written laws and everyone had to come to them to make judgment call on these laws. Some people complain today and say that keeping the laws of the NT are to hard I just wonder what they would say if they had to keep all those laws of the OT. We have so much easier under the NT because there are lot less laws and regulation and we all have access to God word.
1 John 5:3 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Lets make a brief summary of the book of Leviticus
Laws of Sacrifice (1-6:7)
God gives some very specific ways animals are to be sacrifices and offered up for burnt offerings. He also covers how grain offerings are to be made. Depending on what kind of offering was made God had certain ways he wanted things done. He had certain way for peace offerings, sin offerings, trespass offerings and offerings of restitution had to be done.
Leviticus 4:3-12 3 'if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. 4 'He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD, lay his hand on the bull's head, and kill the bull before the LORD. 5 'Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull's blood and bring it to the tabernacle of meeting. 6 'The priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times before the LORD, in front of the veil of the sanctuary. 7 'And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 8 'He shall take from it all the fat of the bull as the sin offering. The fat that covers the entrails and all the fat which is on the entrails, 9 'the two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove, 10 'as it was taken from the bull of the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn them on the altar of the burnt offering. 11 'But the bull's hide and all its flesh, with its head and legs, its entrails and offal -- 12 'the whole bull he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.
Laws of the Priests (6:8-10:20)
In these chapters the Priest are given specific instruction on they are to conduct the sacrifices and how they are they are to conducts themselves. We also learn that parts of the sacrifices that are made are to be given to the priest to eat and live on. In these chapter we learn all the details on how Moses consecrates Aaron and his sons. We learn a valuable lesson from.
Leviticus 10:1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
Nadab and Abihu will forever serve as examples of why it is important to follow Gods law. They tried to offer a strange fire that was not commanded by him and they paid with their lives.
Laws of Purity (11-22)
The chapters cover a lot if information. First it
covers what kind of food is permitted and forbidden and points out which
animals will make a person unclean. The whole idea in these chapters tells what
make a person unclean and what they must
do to become clean again. Those who are unclean are not allowed to enter the
tabernacle area and even some are made to go outside of the camp of
Leviticus 16:1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of
the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the LORD,
and died; 2 and the LORD said
to Moses: "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time
into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on
the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. 3 "Thus Aaron shall come into
To summarize this the high priest would offer a bull for his sins then
he would take 2 goats one would be used
as a sacrifice for the people the other one the high priest would put both
hands on he goat and confess the children of Israel sin and the
goat would be let go to go run into the wilderness. This goat is called the scapegoat and would bare the sin of the
Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
When Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed the cleaning power of his blood
went backwards to the OT people and
forward to us today. Jesus just had to be sacrificed 1 time to do away with sin
as to where the children of
Also within these chapters of Leviticus it condemns Homosexuality in Chapter 18 and condemns those who practice witchcraft in chapter 19 and in chapter 22 it talks about what kind of animals are acceptable to be offered up to the lord. God does not permit lame or defective animals to be sacrificed to him.
Laws of Feasts (23-25)
In these chapter God give specific instruction on how these various different feast are to be conducted and it also deals with property issues, the poor and slavery.
A Reminder and some various Laws (26-27)
In these finally chapters God gives some additional
laws but in chapter 26 he reminds the children of
Leviticus 26:3-4 3 ' If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, 4 then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
He goes on talks how they will be blessed if they obey his commands.
Leviticus 26: 14 ' But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. 18 ' And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.
There are many great lesson we can learn from Leviticus. 1. God has giving us a free will to choose to be good or to be bad. 2. If choose to obey his will then we will receive his blessing. 3. If we choose to disobey him then we will be separated from him and he will be against us.