Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
Leviticus is composed of two basic genres Narrative History and Law. It was written by Moses about 1445-1444 B.C. The setting of Leviticus mainly appears to take place at Mt. Sinai. The key personalities of Leviticus include Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu Eleazar, and Ithamar.
It was written to draw the Israelites to the understanding of the infinite holiness of God, and that He desires them to act in a holy manner toward Himself. In doing this, God gives them many instructions to carry out. It describes Moses giving procedural instructions for the Israelites, especially to the Levitical priests, about how they are to carry out offerings, ceremonies, and celebrations. The word “Holy” is mentioned more times in Leviticus, than any other book in the Bible.
• From chapter 1-7, Sacrifice and Offerings are laid out for Priests and individuals in detail. These passages also describe how to use the altar for the sacrifices and the offerings to God.
• In chapters 8-10, Moses describes the instructions for the Levitical Priesthood, since Israel is to be “a kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6). He does this from the doorway of his tent. Moses consecrates his brother Aaron and his sons who are the priests.
• From chapters 11-15 Moses teaches the importance and procedures for things that are unclean. These include food, diseases, animals, insects, dead bodies, birth, cleaning and many others. God’s purpose of all this is to protect His people from the illnesses and diseases that come from these sources.
• In chapter 16, Moses gives instruction about the Day of Atonement. This was the day out of the year that the High Priest cleanses and prepares himself ceremonially to meet with God. This ceremony only takes place once a year. The High Priest enters into the Holy of Holies and offers a sacrifice to God for sins on behalf of the entire nation of Israel.
• Chapters 17-27 pertain to the laws that apply generally for living a holy life. These are many laws including sexual immorality, idolatry, land laws, more priestly laws, religious festivals and celebrations, the Sabbath year and the year of Jubilee.