The Book of Leviticus

The Book of Leviticus

Leslie Rainey

Our brother Rainey has a special burden upon his heart for the young in Christ’s flock. It is his intention to prepare an outline study of the separate books of the Bible.

There are those at school or college, and others engaged in apprenticeship work, who do not have time for a prolonged intensive Bible course. These monthly studies will prove a help and blessing to all, especially to those with limited time.

Should any feel the need of further help or have some specific problem, they may contact brother Rainey through this office.

Most Christian young people I have met look upon this book as dry and uninteresting. Perhaps the fault is due to teachers who stress the theological terms instead of many practical teen-town topics. For instance in Leviticus we learn how God teaches His people by pictures or types so that they may have fellowship with Him. The “types” were all fulfilled in Christ, the promised Saviour, the Sinless One, who came as the final and perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. To know a little of this book is to thank God for telling us that He is holy and that sin does matter, because it separates us from God. If we want to be happy and radiant in this world of defilement and death, then we must learn to obey God’s commands and consecrate ourselves unto Him in order that we might live holy lives. Today even in modern Israel the statutes and judgments and laws (26:46) concerning diet, sanitation, family life, social life and holidays are strictly followed, and no doubt this is the reason why the younger generation of Israel is one of the healthiest and most industrious over the world.

Key Word, Holiness, 87 times. Key Verse, 19:2-20:26.

In Genesis man is seen in his ruin, in Exodus in redemption, in Leviticus man is seen in right relationship with God on the basis of sacrifice. Only the soul that is cleansed can commune with God. The outstanding truth of this book is pointed out in the N.T. in the book of Hebrews, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9.22).

The essential note of the book is Sacrifice, Sanctification and Separation. The title of the book comes from the translation of the Seventy of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, and pertains to the tribe of Levi. In the Hebrew, the title is “VA-YICH-RAH” i.e., “And He Called,” which is more in keeping with the message of the book, since little is said concerning the tribe of Levi.

It is the guide book of the priests — whereas in Numbers we have the guide book of the Levites, and in Deuteronomy the guide book of the People of God. It is the call of God to the Redeemed — to access, to draw nigh, to worship and communion in His Presence, and to holiness of body and soul.

In Exodus we read of God’s approach to us, but in Leviticus our approach to God. In the one book Christ is the Saviour, and in the other the Sanctifier. In Exodus, our guilt is prominent but in Leviticus our defilement. Exodus reveals God as Love, Leviticus as Light. In the one we are brought into union with Him, and the other we are brought into communion. Exodus offers pardon but Leviticus calls to purity. In the one book we are delivered from Satan, and in the other we are dedicated to God (W.G.S.).

Throughout the book we see offerings, priests, ceremony, ritual, all speaking of Christ as the Great Centre of everything, as alone the Bearer of our sins, as opening up access to God, as bringing God and us into blessed relationship, as the Great Redeemer, from the past, and all-sufficient for the present, and Securer and Hope of the future.

The book opens majestically — directly (see Num. and Josh.). The Lord spake — said or commanded (56 times), I am Jehovah (21 times), I am Jehovah your God (21 times). The chief personality is Aaron, and the outstanding chapter is the Great Day of Atonement, 16. There are five main offerings: — The Burnt, The Meal, The Peace, The Sin, and The Trespass.

There are seven great Feasts:

· The Sabbath

· Passover

· Pentecost

· Trumpets

· Tabernacle

· Sabbatic

· Jubilee

You read about Sabbatic system—seventh day, seventh week, seventh month, seventh year — and heptades of years.

The key word of the book is holy (87 times), and the next atonement (45 times). Here the problem of how sinful man can approach God is fully answered by oblation and mediation. It insists on holiness of body as well as holiness of soul (19:2).

In Genesis God is Light.

In Exodus God is Love.

In Leviticus God is Spirit, taking the things of Christ and making them a blessed reality.

Dr. Parker says that Leviticus embraces a period of a month — most remarkable book in the Old Testament.

1. The Call Of God (1-10). Access.

Oblation (1 To 6:7)
A The Five Great Offerings.

All tell out in matchless beauty the person and work of Christ.

1. Burnt Offering — Consecration of Christ in Life and death Godward (Chapter 1).

2. Meal Offering — consecration of Christ in death. Perfect in life Manward (Chapter 2).

3. Peace Offering — communion. Fellowship with the Father and the saints (Chapter 3).

4. Sin Offering — Continued cleansing - iniquity, sin - Godward (chapter 4, verses 1-12 - Individual Sins and 13 - 21 Congregational sins.

5. Trespass Offering — Cleansing -injury, wrong. Sins — Manward (chapter 5. 14-16).

B The Law Of The Offerings (6:8 To 7:38).

Order, arrangements etc.

C The Priests And Purification (8-10).

(a) Call (8:1-5) (b) Cleansing (6). (c) Clothing (7-13).

(d) Consecration (14-30), (e) Food (31-36), (f) Ministry (ch. 9).

(g) Failure (ch. 10).

Hence we see the Priests, consecration, inauguration, and transgression.

2. The Commandment Of God (11-27) Application-To Sanctity{Pb 197}

Dr. A. T. Schofield points out that the words, “health, whole, and holy” are from the same root, and likens man to a three story building. The ground floor is the body, which should be kept healthy. The second floor is the soul, which should be kept whole, or wholesome, the third floor is the spirit which should be kept holy. In chapters 1-10 objective — the work of Christ for us — What He is, does, and is able to do. Now the last section is subjective — practical, what the Spirit is and is able to do in us as priests unto God.

A Physical Life (11-15)

(a) The Law of Food — holy people must have pure food (XI).

(b) The Law of Issues — (XI-XII), pure bodies.

(c) The Law of Leprosy — (XIXIII), pure habits.

(1) Personal (13:1-46, 14:1-32), pure homes.

(2) In a Garment (13:47-59).

(3) In a House (14:35-57).

B NATIONAL LIFE — (16) Great Day Of Atonement.

C Spiritual Life — (17-27).

(a) Worship, (17:1-9), (b) Daily Meals (17:10-16), (c) Socially (18-20), (d) Priestly Relations (21-22), (e) Public Worship (23), (f) Our Entire Life (24-26).

(1) Perversity (24)

(2) Prosperity (25)

(3) Promises and Punishments (26) (g) Vows (27).