Leviticus (Week 1)
Who Wrote It? Moses, Leviticus 1:1 Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying,
Who Was It Written To? Jews, the National of Israel, Leviticus 1:2 “Speak to the children of Israel… [Cf. Leviticus 4:2; 7:23; 11:2]
Date: 1440-1400 B.C.
Israel reached Mt. Sinai after escaping the Egyptians (Cf. Exodus 19:1-2). Leviticus takes place during the month between the completion of the Tabernacle (Cf. Exodus 40:17) and the Israelites' departure from Sinai (Cf. Numbers 1:1, 10:11).
Purpose: The purpose of Leviticus is to provide instruction on how offerings were to be made in the Tabernacle and laws to guide the people in morality and holiness.
Why study a difficult and hard book?
Cultural Context- Many don’t want to study this book because it is much different from how we live.
Seeing Israel’s requirements then, give us a richer appreciation of how we live now.
Cf. Romans 15:4
Larger Literary Context- Leviticus comes after Exodus 25-40, most of which is focused on instructions for building the tabernacle. Many Christians find this very dull.
We must remember where we are in the story, and that Leviticus is in the middle of Israel’s story of failures and redemption.
Cf. Romans 11:11-15
Almost all of the book is law- Many do not find reading law nearly as interesting as reading stories. Why should we? Stories have tension that draws us in as we watch the plot unfold; law does not.
The law shows a characteristic of God that we usually don’t talk about; that God and His ways are holy.
Holy (Hebrew, qadowsh) “set apart, sacred”
Cf. Isaiah 55:8-9
[Also see 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalms 77:13; 145:17; Isaiah 6:3]
Negative view of the law- Many Christians view the “law” as something restrictive and ungracious.
The law is necessary in showing us the need for salvation.
Cf. Galatians 3:10-13, 19-25
Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.