The third book of the Pentateuch and deals with the legal code of the sacrificial and priestly system and various detailed laws. The title of this third book of Moses was given by the ‘seventy’, ( those who translated the OT from the Hebrew to Greek) The Hebrew title, originally was ” And He called”, in line with the opening of the book.
The instructions given in this book seem to have been given between the setting up of the Tabernacle and the Israelites departure from Sinai, thus its position between Exodus and Numbers. This book may seem dull and hard to read, especially in the New Covenant since we no longer have to offer sacrifices nor keep endless laws; however this book is of great value for it typology concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, see Heb. 10 One could say that the epistle to the Hebrews is the Bible’s commentary on Leviticus, and it is recommended that one has a good grasp of Hebrews before tackling Leviticus!
Exodus deals with the redemption of God’s people, Leviticus with their worship.
And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,…
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son..
1. The laws/sacrifices given in this book are directly from God; they were not made up by Moses nor anyone else. that is they were given by revelation from God. If we compare the opening of the Hebrew epistle we have the same idea, God has chosen to reveal Himself to us so that we can know Him; in the New Covenant God has revealed Himself to us in JESUS how careful then we must be in listening !
2. Note that the sacrifices etc. were given AFTER the Tabernacle was built and set up. The Tabernacle was essentially the place where God revealed Himself to Israel Ex. 25:8. The sacrifices were given so that Israel could approach God. This is God’s order He reveals Himself then He shows us the basis of us approaching Him; in the New Covenant we approach Him on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice ALONE see Heb. 9-10.
3. The Levitical code was only temporary, they were only shadows or as we say, types of the true. Jesus is the complete fulfilment of the sacrifices.
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Holiness: this word appears some 90 times in this book. The key verse being:
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
One which Peter quotes in his first epistle.
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
I Pet.1:15 – 16
see also Heb.10:10; 12:10
|The way to God||Sacrifices unto God||1-7||see summary chart and study on typology|
|Priests unto God||8-10||Heb.5-7|
|The Walk with God||A clean life: selfward||11-15||I Pet. 1: 15-16.the laws on food, were done away with. see Acts10, and Rom.14but in type they represent fellowship.|
|A clean life: Godward||16-17||For Ch16see Heb.9:7- 10|
|A clean life: manward||18-20||In the Land Heb. 3 -4; and Eph.4-5 for example. Egypt typifies the world and Canaan the Flesh .|
|The worship of God||The priest’s family||21-22||More typical teaching on fellowship Heb. 13:15; IPet.2:5|
|The Lord’s feasts||23||see summary chart|
|The Tabernacle’s furniture||24:1-9||Rev.1 Jesus the great High Priest walking in the midst of the churches caring for them.|
|The witness to God||Profession||24:10-23||Allowing the world’s influence on us will take us right out of the promised rest in Christ.|
|Possession||25-26||The year of Jubilee: when everyone went back to his own possession , to God’s intended state, and to dwell in safety to yield their fruit. This speaks volumes of God’s intention for us in the new Covenant.|
The notes above only give a taste of some of the rich teaching to be found for the diligent student!