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Smith's Bible Dictionary

The third book in the Pentateuch is called Leviticus because it relates principally to the Levites and priests and their services. The book is generally held to have been written by Moses. Those critics even who hold a different opinion as to the other books of the Pentateuch assign this book in the main to him. One of the most notable features of the book is what may be called its spiritual meaning. That so elaborate a ritual looked beyond itself we cannot doubt. It was a prophecy of things to come; a shadow whereof the substance was Christ and his kingdom. We may not always be able to say what the exact relation is between the type and the antitype; but we cannot read the Epistle to the Hebrews and not acknowledge that the Levitical priests "served the pattern and type of heavenly things;" that the sacrifices of the law pointed to and found their interpretation in the Lamb of God; that the ordinances of outward purification signified the true inner cleansing of the heart and conscience from dead works to serve the living God. One idea --HOLINESS-- moreover penetrates the whole of this vast and burdensome ceremonial, and gives it a real glory even apart from any prophetic significance.

ATS Bible Dictionary

The third book in the Pentateuch; called Leviticus, because it contains principally the laws and regulations relating to the Levites, priests, and sacrifices. The Hebrews call it "the priests' law." In the first section, the various bloody and unbloody sacrifices are minutely described: the burnt offering, the meat, sin, peace, ignorance, and trespass offerings; the sins for which and the mode in which they were to be offered. The fullness of these details not only signified the importance of God's worship, but forbade all human additions and changes, that might lead to idolatry. The whole scheme was "a shadow of good things to come," typical of the Lamb "who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot unto God." Its best commentary is the epistle to the Hebrews.

A full account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests, is followed by the instructive narrative of Nadab and Abihu. Then are given the laws respecting personal and ceremonial purifications, a perpetual memento of the defilement of sin, and of the holiness of God. Next follows a description of the great day of Expiation; after which the Jews are warned against the superstitions, idolatry, etc., of the Canaanites; and laws are given guarding their morals, health, and civil order. The observance of their distinguishing festivals is enjoined upon them; and laws are given respecting the Sabbath and the jubilee, vows and tithes. The warnings and promises in the latter part of the book point their attention to the future, and aim to unite the whole nation in serving their covenant God. The book is generally held to be the work of Moses, though he was probably assisted by Aaron. Its date is B. C. 1490. It contains the history of the first month of their second year after leaving Egypt.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The third book of the Pentateuch; so called in the Vulgate, after the LXX., because it treats chiefly of the Levitical service.

In the first section of the book (1-17), which exhibits the worship itself, there is,

(1.) A series of laws (1-7) regarding sacrifices, burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings (1-3), sin-offerings and trespass-offerings (4; 5), followed by the law of the priestly duties in connection with the offering of sacrifices (6; 7).

(2.) An historical section (8-10), giving an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (8); Aaron's first offering for himself and the people (9); Nadab and Abihu's presumption in offering "strange fire before Jehovah," and their punishment (10).

(3.) Laws concerning purity, and the sacrifices and ordinances for putting away impurity (11-16). An interesting fact may be noted here. Canon Tristram, speaking of the remarkable discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the Holy Land by the Palestine Exploration officers, makes the following statement:, "Take these two catalogues of the clean and unclean animals in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy . There are eleven in Deuteronomy which do not occur in Leviticus, and these are nearly all animals and birds which are not found in Egypt or the Holy Land, but which are numerous in the Arabian desert. They are not named in Leviticus a few weeks after the departure from Egypt; but after the people were thirty-nine years in the desert they are named, a strong proof that the list in Deuteronomy was written at the end of the journey, and the list in Leviticus at the beginning. It fixes the writing of that catalogue to one time and period only, viz., that when the children of Israel were familiar with the fauna and the flora of the desert" (Palest. Expl. Quart., Jan. 1887).

(4.) Laws Marking the separation between Israel and the heathen (17-20).

(5.) Laws about the personal purity of the priests, and their eating of the holy things (20; 21); about the offerings of Israel, that they were to be without blemish (22:17-33); and about the due celebration of the great festivals (23; 25).

(6.) Then follow promises and warnings to the people regarding obedience to these commandments, closing with a section on vows.

The various ordinances contained in this book were all delivered in the space of a month (Comp. Exodus 40:17; Numbers 1:1), the first month of the second year after the Exodus. It is the third book of Moses.

No book contains more of the very words of God. He is almost throughout the whole of it the direct speaker. This book is a prophecy of things to come, a shadow whereof the substance is Christ and his kingdom. The principles on which it is to be interpreted are laid down in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It contains in its complicated ceremonial the gospel of the grace of God.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The third canonical book of the Old Testament, containing the laws and regulations relating to the priests and Levites among the Hebrews, or the body of the ceremonial law.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia



1. Name

2. Character of Book

3. Unity of Book: Law of Holiness Examination of Critical Theory


1. Modern Analyses

(1) Theories of Disintegration

(2) Reasons for Dismemberment

(3) Insufficiency of These Reasons

2. Structure of the Biblical Text

(1) Structure in General

(2) Structure of the Individual Pericopes


1. Against the Wellhausen Hypothesis

(1) The Argument from Silence

(2) Attitude of Prophets toward Sacrificial System

(3) The People's Disobedience

(4) Indiscriminate Sacrificing

(5) Deuteronomy and Priestly Code

2. Connection with Mosaic Period

(1) Priestly Code and Desert Conditions

(2) Unity and Construction Point to Mosaic Origin


1. Positive

(1) The Law Contains God's Will

(2) The Law Prepares for the Understanding of Christianity

(3) The Law as a Tutor unto Christ

2. Negative


I. General Data.

1. Name:

The third book of the Pentateuch is generally named by the Jews according to the first word, wayyiqra' (Origen Ouikra, by the Septuagint called according to its contents Leuitikon, or Leueitikon, by the Vulgate, accordingly, "Leviticus" (i.e. Liber), sometimes "Leviticum"). The Jews have also another name taken from its contents, namely, torath kohanim, "Law of the Priests."

2. Character of Book:

As a matter of fact ordinances pertaining to the priesthood, to the Levitical system, and to the cults constitute a most important part of this book; but specifically religious and ethical commands, as we find them, e.g. in Leviticus 18; 19; 20, are not wanting; and there are also some historical sections, which, however, are again connected with the matter referring to the cults, namely the consecration of the priests in Leviticus 8 and 9, the sin and the punishment of two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (10:1;), and the account of the stoning of a blasphemer (24:10;). Of the Levites, on the other hand, the book does not treat at all. They are mentioned only once and that incidentally in 25:32;. The laws are stated to have been given behar Cinay (7:38; 25:01:00; 26:46:00; 27:34), which expression, on account of Leviticus 11, in which Yahweh is described as speaking to Moses out of the tent of meeting, is not to be translated "upon" but "at" Mt. Sinai. The connection of this book with the preceding and following books, i.e. Exodus and Numbers, which is commonly acknowledged as being the case, at least in some sense, leaves for the contents of Leviticus exactly the period of a single month, since the last chronological statement of Exodus 40:17 as the time of the erection of the tabernacle mentions the 1st day of the 1st month of the 2nd year of the Exodus, and Numbers 1:1 takes us to the 1st day of the 2nd month of the same year. Within this time of one month the consecration of the priests fills out 8 days (Leviticus 8:33; Leviticus 9:1). A sequence in time is indicated only by Leviticus 16:1, which directly connects with what is reported in Leviticus 10 concerning Nadab and Abihu. In the same way the ordinances given in 10:6; are connected with the events described in 8:1-10:5. The laws are described as being revelations of Yahweh, generally given to Moses (compare 1:1; 4:01; 5:14; 6:19, 24 (Hebrew 12, 17); 7:22, 28, etc.); sometimes to Moses and Aaron (compare 11:1; 13:01; 14:33; 15:1, etc.), and, rarely, to Aaron alone (10:8). In 10:12;, Moses gives some directions to the priests, which are based on a former revelation (compare 6:16 (Hebrew 9)ff;; 7:37;). In 10:16;, we have a difference of opinion between Moses and Aaron, or rather his sons, which was decided on the basis of an independent application of principles given in Leviticus. Most of these commands are to be announced to Israel (1:2; 4:02; 7:23, 19; 9:3;; 11:02; 12:02; 15:02; 18:2, etc.); others to the priests (6:9, 25 (Hebrew 2, 18); 21:02; 22:2, etc.); or to the priests and the Israelites (17:2; 22:18), while the directions in reference to the Day of Atonement, with which Aaron was primarily concerned (16:2), beginning with 16:29, without a special superscription, are undeniably changed into injunctions addressed to all Israel; compare also 21:24 and 21:2. As the Book of Exodus treats of the communion which God offers on His part to Israel and which culminates at last in His dwelling in the tent of meeting (40:34;; compare under EXODUS, I, 2), the Book of Leviticus contains the ordinances which were to be carried out by the Israelites in religious, ethical and cultural matters, in order to restore and maintain this communion with God, notwithstanding the imperfections and the guilt of the Israelites. And as this book thus with good reason occupies its well established place in the story of the founding and in the earliest history of theocracy, so too even a casual survey and intelligent glance at the contents of the book will show that we have here a well-arranged and organic unity, a conviction which is only confirmed and strengthened by the presentation of the structure of the book in detail (see under II, below).

3. Unity of Book: Law of Holiness:

As a rule, critics are accustomed first of all to regard Leviticus 17:1-25:55 or 26 as an independent section, and find in these chapters a legal code that is considered to have existed at one time as a group by itself, before it was united with the other parts.

It is indeed true that a series of peculiarities have been found in these chapters of Leviticus. To these peculiarities belongs the frequent repetition of the formula: "I am Yahweh your God" (18:2, 4; 19:2, 4, etc.); or "I am Yahweh" (18:5, 6, 21; 19:14, 16, etc.), or "I am Yahweh.... who hath separated you" (20:24), or "who sanctifieth you" (20:8; 21:8, 15, 23, etc.). To these peculiarities belong the references in words, or, in fact, to the land of Canaan, into which Israel is to be led (18:3, 14;; 19:23;, 29; 20:22;; 23; 25), and also to Egypt, out of which He has led the people (18:3; 19:34; 22:33; 26:13, 15, etc.); as, further, the demand for sanctification (19:2), or the warning against desecration (19:12; 21:23, etc.), both based on the holiness of Yahweh. In addition, a number of peculiar expressions are repeatedly found in these chapters. Because of their contents these chapters have, since Klostermann, generally been designated by the letter H (i.e. Law of Holiness); or, according to the suggestion of Dillmann, by the letter S (i.e. Sinaitic Law), because, according to 25:1; 26:46, they are said to have been given at Mt. Sinai, and because in certain critical circles it was at one time claimed that these chapters contain old laws from the Mosaic period, although these had been changed in form. These earlier views have apparently now been discarded by the critics entirely.

Examination of Critical Theory.

We, however, do not believe that it is at all justifiable to separate these laws as a special legal code from the other chapters. In the first place, these peculiarities, even if such are found here more frequently than elsewhere, are not restricted to these chapters exclusively. The Decalogue (Exodus 20:2) begins with the words, "I am Yahweh thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Exodus 22:31 contains the demand, "Ye shall be holy men unto me." Exodus 29:44, 45 contains a promise that God will dwell in the midst of the Israelites, so that they shall learn that He is Yahweh, their God, who has brought them out of Egypt in order to dwell in their midst as Yahweh, their God (compare, further, Exodus 6:6-8; Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 10:10, 11; Leviticus 11:44 Numbers 15:37-41; Numbers 33:52, 55 Deuteronomy 14:2, 21). It is a more than risky undertaking to find in these and in other sections scattered remnants of H, especially if these are seen to be indispensable in the connection in which they are found, and when no reason can be given why they should be separated from this collection of laws. Then, too, the differences of opinion on the part of the critics in assigning these different parts to H, do not make us favorably inclined to the whole hypothesis. Hoffmann, especially (Die wichtigsten Instanzen gegen die Graf-Wellhausensche Hypothese, 16;), has shown how impossible it is to separate H from the other ordinances of the Priestly Code in so radical a manner. In saying this we do not at all wish to deny the peculiar character of these chapters, only we do not believe that Leviticus 17 can be added or Leviticus 26 can be taken away from this section; for in Leviticus 17 all the characteristic peculiarities of the Holiness Law are lacking; and, on the other hand, in Leviticus 26 the expression "I am Yahweh your God," or a similar one in 26:12, 13, 14, is found. The subscription in 26:46 connects Leviticus 26 with the preceding; and, further, the reference to the Sabbatical year as described in Leviticus 25, found in 26:34, 43, is not to be overlooked. Finally, also, other legal codes, such as that in the first Book of the Covenant (Exodus 23:20-33) and that of Deuteronomy (27:11-28:68) close with the offer of a blessing or a curse.

The chapters under consideration (Leviticus 18:1-26:46) are most closely connected with each other solely through their contents, which have found expression in a particular form, without these facts being sufficient to justify the claim of their being a separate legal code. For since in Leviticus 1-17 all those things which separate the Israelites from their God have been considered and bridged over (compare Leviticus 1-7, the laws concerning sacrifices; Leviticus 8-10, the mediatorship of the priests; Leviticus 11-15, the unclean things; Leviticus 16, the Day of Atonement; Leviticus 17, the use made of blood), we find in Leviticus 18:1-26:46 an account of the God-pleasing conduct, which admits of nothing that desecrates; namely, Leviticus 18; 19; 20 contain laws dealing with marriage and chastity and other matters of a religious, ethical or cultural kind, together with the punishments that follow their transgression; Leviticus 21 determine the true character of the priests and of the sacred oblations; Leviticus 23, the consecration of the seasons, of life and death, etc.; Leviticus 25, the Sabbath and the Jubilee year; Leviticus 26 contains the offer of a blessing or a curse. Leviticus 1-17 have, as it were, a negative character; Leviticus 18:1-26:46 a positive character. In Leviticus 1-17 the consciousness of what is unclean, imperfect and guilty is awakened and the possibility of their removal demonstrated; while in Leviticus 18:1-26:46 the norm of a holy life is set forth. Even if these two parts at certain places show so great a likeness that the occurrence of an interchange of ordinances could be regarded as possible, nevertheless the peculiar character of each part is plainly recognized; and this is also a very essential argument for the view that both parts have one and the same author, who intentionally brought the two parts into closer connection and yet separated the one from the other. On this supposition the peculiarities of Leviticus 18:1-26:46 are sufficiently explained, and also the positive contents of these chapters and the fact that just these chapters are referred to in pre-exilic literature oftener than is the case with Leviticus 1-17, and particularly the close connection between Ezekiel and H is to be regarded as a consequence of the common tendency of both authors and not as the result of their having used a common source (see EZEKIEL, II, 2). In Leviticus 26:46 we have what is clearly a conclusion, which corresponds to 25:1; 7:37; 1:1, and accordingly regards Leviticus 1:1-26:46 as a unity; while Leviticus 27, which treats of vows and of tithes, with its separate subscription in 27:34, shows that it is an appendix or a supplement, which is, however, in many ways connected with the rest of the book, so that this addition cannot, without further grounds, be regarded as pointing to another author.

II. Structure.

1. Modern Analyses:

Modern criticism ascribes the entire Book of Leviticus, being a special legal code, to the Priestly Code (P). The questions which arise in connection with this claim will be discussed under III, below. At this point we must first try to awaken a consciousness of the fact, that in this special particular, too, the documentary theory has entered upon the stage of total disintegration; that the reasons assigned for the separation of the sources are constantly becoming more arbitrary and subjective; and that the absurd consequences to which they consistently lead from the very outset arouse distrust as to the correctness of the process. Just as in the historical parts the critics have for long been no longer content with J (Jahwist) and E (Elohist), but have added a J1 and Later additions to J, an E1 and Later additions to E, and as Sievers and Gunkel have gone farther, and in detail have completely shattered both J and E into entirely separate fragments (see GENESIS), So the Priestly Code (P), too, is beginning to experience the same fate. It is high time that, for both the historical and the legal sections, the opposite course be taken, and that we turn from the dismemberment to the combination of these documents; that we seek out and emphasize those features which, in form and content, unite the text into a clear unity. For this reason we lay the greatest stress on these in this section, which deals with the structure of the book, and which treats of the matter (1) negatively and (2) positively (see also EXODUS, II).

(1) Theories of Disintegration.

We have already seen in the article DAY OF ATONEMENT (I, 2, (2)) in connection with Leviticus 16 an example of these attempts at dissection, and here still add several examples in order to strengthen the impression on this subject.

(a) General Considerations:

If we for the present disregard the details, then, according to Bertholet (Kurzer Hand-Kommentar zum Alten Testament), not only Leviticus 17:1-26:46 (see, above, under I) at one time existed as a separate legal corpus, but also the sacrificial legislation in Leviticus 1-7, and also the laws concerning the clean and the unclean in Leviticus 11-15. Concerning Leviticus 16 see above. Then, too, Leviticus 27 is regarded as a supplement and is ascribed to a different author. Finally, the so-called "fundamental document" of P (marked Pg) contained only parts from Leviticus 9 (also a few matters from Leviticus 8), as also one of the three threads of Leviticus 16, for Leviticus 8-10, it is said, described the consecration of the priests demanded in Exodus 25;, which also are regarded as a part of Pg, and Leviticus 16:1 is claimed to connect again with Leviticus 10 (compare on this point DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2). All these separate parts of Leviticus (i.e. Leviticus 1:1-27:34) are further divided into a number of more or less independent subparts; thus, e.g., Leviticus 1-7, containing the sacrificial laws, are made to consist of two parts, namely, Leviticus 1-5 and Leviticus 6-7; or the laws concerning the clean and the unclean in Leviticus 11-15 are divided into the separate pieces, Leviticus 11; Leviticus 12; Leviticus 12 13:1-46; and these are regarded as having existed at one time and in a certain manner independently and separated from each other. But how complicated in detail the composition is considered to be, we can see from Leviticus 17:1-26:46.

(b) Leviticus 17-26 Considered in Detail:

While Baentsch (Hand-Kommentar zum Alten Testament) accepts, to begin with, three fundamental strata (H1 = Leviticus 18; 19; 20 and certain portions from Leviticus 23; 24; 25; H2 = Leviticus 21; H3 = Leviticus 17), Bertholet, too (op. cit., x), regards the development of these chapters as follows: "In detail we feel justified in separating the following pieces: (i) Leviticus 17:3, 4 (5, 7a), 8, 9, 10-14; (ii) 18:7-10, 12-20, 22; and this united with (iii) 19:3, 11, 27, 30, 31, 35, 36, which was probably done by the author of (iii). The following were inserted by the person who united these parts, namely, 18:6, 27, 25, 26, 28, 30; (iv) 19:9, 10, 13-18, 19, 29, 32; (v) 19:5-8, 23-26; (vi) 20:2(3), 6(27); (vii) 20:9, 10-21; 19:20; (viii) 21:1b-5, 7, 9-15, 17b-24; 22:3, 8, 10-14, 18b-25, 27-30; (ix) 23:10-20, 39-43; (x) 24:15-22, except verses 16a(?)b; (xi) 25:2-7 (4), 18-22, 35-38, 39, 40a, 42, 47, 53, 15; (xii) 25:8a, 9b, 10a, 13, 14-16, 17, 24 f. In uniting these pieces Rh (the Redactor of the Law of Holiness) seems to have added de suo the following: 17:5 (beginning); 18:2b-5, 21, 24, 26a(?), 29; 19:33, 37; 20:4, 7, 22-26; 21:6, 8; 22:2, 9, 15, 31-33; 23:22; 25:11; 26:1 f. At the same time he united with these an older parenetic section, 26:3-45, which, by inserting 26:10, 34, 39-43, he changed into a concluding address of this small legal code. All the rest that is found in Leviticus 17:1-26:46 seems to be the result of a revision in the spirit of the Priestly Code (P), not, however, as though originally it all came from the hand of Rp (Redactor P). That he rather added and worked together older pieces from P (which did not belong to Pg) is seen from an analysis of Leviticus 23..... As far as the time when these parts were worked together is concerned, we have a reliable terminus ad quem in a comparison of Nehemiah 8:14-18 with Leviticus 23:36 (P), 39; (H). Only we must from the outset remember, that still, after the uniting of these different parts, the marks of the editorial pen are to be noticed in the following Leviticus 17:1-26:46, i.e. that after this union a number of additions were yet made to the text. This is sure as far as 23:26-32 is concerned, and is probable as to 24:1-9, 10-14, 23; 25:32-34; and that this editorial work even went so far as to put sections from P in the place of parts of H can possibly be concluded from 24:1-9."

(c) Extravagance of Critical Treatment:

This is also true of all the other sections, as can be seen by a reference to the books of Bertholet and Baentsch. What should surprise us most, the complicated and external manner in which our Biblical text, which has such a wonderful history back of it, is declared by the critics to have originated, or the keenness of the critics, who, with the ease of child's play, are able to detect and trace out this growth and development of the text, and can do more than hear the grass grow? But this amazement is thrust into the ackground when we contemplate what becomes of the Bible text under the manipulations of the critics. The compass of this article makes it impossible to give even as much as a general survey of the often totally divergent and contradictory schemes of Baentsch and Bertholet and others on the distribution of this book among different sources; and still less possible is it to give a criticism of these in detail. But this critical method really condemns itself more thoroughly than any examination of its claims would. All who are not yet entirely hypnotized by the spell of the documentary hypothesis will feel that by this method all genuine scientific research is brought to an end. If the way in which this book originated had been so complicated, it certainly could never have been again reconstructed.

(2) Reasons for Dismemberment.

We must at this place confine ourselves to mentioning and discussing several typical reasons which are urged in favor of a distribution among different authors.

(a) Alleged Repetitions:

We find in the parts belonging to P a number of so-called repetitions. In Leviticus 1-7 we find a twofold discussion of the five kinds of sacrifices (1-5; 6:1;); in Leviticus 20 punitive measures are enacted for deeds which had been described already in Leviticus 18; in 19:3, 10; 23:03; 26:2 the Sabbath command is intensified; in 19:5;; 22:29, we find commands which had been touched upon already in 7:15;; 19:9 we find almost verbally repeated in 23:22; 24:2; repeats ordinances concerning the golden candlestick from Exodus 27:20;, etc. The existence of these repetitions cannot be denied; but is the conclusion drawn from this fact correct? It certainly is possible that one and the same author could have handled the same materials at different places and from different viewpoints, as is the case in Leviticus 1-7 in regard to the sacrifices. Leviticus 18 and 20 (misdeeds and punishments) are even necessarily and mutually supplementary. Specially important laws can have been repeated, in order to emphasize and impress them all the more; or they are placed in peculiar relations or in a unique light (compare, e.g., 24:1;, the command in reference to the golden candlestick in the pericope Leviticus 23; 24; see below). Accordingly, as soon as we can furnish a reason for the repetition, it becomes unobjectionable; and often, when this is not the case, the objections are unremoved if we ascribe the repetitions to a new author, who made the repetition by way of an explanation (see EXODUS, II, 2, (5)).

(b) Separation of Materials:

Other reasons will probably be found in uniting or separating materials that are related. That Leviticus 16 is connected with Leviticus 8-10, and these connect with Exodus 25;, is said to prove that this had been the original order in these sections. But why should materials that are clearly connected be without any reason torn asunder by the insertion of foreign data? Or has the interpolator perhaps had reasons of his own for doing this? Why are not these breaks ascribed to the original author? The sacrificial laws in Leviticus 1-7 are properly placed before Leviticus 8-10, because in these latter chapters the sacrifices are described as already being made (9:7, 15, the sin offering; 9:7, 12, 16, the burnt offering; 9:17; 10:12, the meal offering; 9:18, the peace offering; 9:3, all kinds). In the same way Leviticus 11-15, through 15:31, are inwardly connected with Leviticus 16, since these chapters speak of the defiling of the dwelling-place of Yahweh, from which the Day of Atonement delivers (16:16, 33). As a matter of course, the original writer as well as a later redactor could have at times also connected parts in a looser or more external manner. In this way, in 7:22;, the command not to eat of the fats or of the blood has been joined to the ordinances with reference to the use of the peace offerings in 7:19;. This again is the case when, in Leviticus 2, verses 11-13 have been inserted in the list of the different kinds of meal offering; when after the general scheme of sin offerings, according to the hierarchical order and rank in Leviticus 4, a number of special cases are mentioned in 5:1;; and when in 5:7; commands are given to prevent too great poverty; or when in 6:19; the priestly meal offerings are found connected with other ordinances with references to the meat offerings in general (6:14;); or when the share that belongs to the priest (7:8;) is found connected with his claim to the guilt offering (7:1;); or the touching of the meat offering by something unclean (7:19;) is found connected with the ordinances concerning the peace offerings; or when in Leviticus 11 the ordinances dealing with the unclean animals gradually pass over into ordinances concerning the touching of these animals, as is already indicated by the subscription 11:4, 6 (compare with 11:2). Still more would it be natural to unite different parts in other ways also. In this way the ordinances dealing with the character of the sacrifices in 22:17-30 could, regarded by themselves, be placed also in Leviticus 1-7. But in Leviticus 22 they are also well placed. On the other hand, the character of Leviticus 1-7 would have become too complicated if they were inserted here. In such matters the author must have freedom of action.

(c) Change of Singular and Plural:

Further, the frequent change between the singular and the plural in the addresses found in the laws which are given to a body of persons is without further thought used by the critics as a proof of a diversity of authors in the section under consideration (compare Leviticus 10:12;; 19:9, 11;, 15;, etc.). But how easily this change in numbers can be explained! In case the plural is used, the body of the people are regarded as having been distributed into individuals; and in the case of a more stringent application the plural can at once be converted into the singular, since the author is thinking now only of separate individuals. Naturally, too, the singular is used as soon as the author thinks again rather of the people as a whole. Sometimes the change is made suddenly within one and the same verse or run of thought; and this in itself ought to have banished the thought of a difference of authors in such cases. In the case of an interpolator or redactor, it is from the outset all the more probable that he would have paid more attention to the person used in the addresses than that this would have been done by the original writer, who was completely absorbed by the subject-matter. Besides, such a change in number is frequently found in other connections also; compare in the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 22:20-25, 29; Exodus 23:9; compare Deuteronomy 12:2; Deuteronomy 13). In regard to these passages, also, the modern critics are accustomed to draw the same conclusion; and in these cases, too, this is hasty. In the same way the change in the laws from the 3rd to the 2nd person can best be explained as the work of the lawgiver himself, before whose mind the persons addressed are more vividly present and who, when speaking in the 2nd person, becomes personal (compare Leviticus 2:4; with 2:1-3, and also 1:2; 3:17; 6:18, 21, 25;).

(d) Proofs of Religious Development:

A greater importance seemingly must be attributed to the reasons based on a difference in the terminology or on contradictions in the laws, as these appear to lead to a religio-historical development. But the following examples are intended to show how all important it is to be slow in the acceptance of the materials which the critics offer in this connection.

(3) Insufficiency of These Reasons.

(a) In Leviticus 5:1-7, in the section treating of the sin offering (4:1-5:13), we find the word 'asham, which also signifies "guilt offering" (compare 5:14;; 7:1;).

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... LEVITICUS. The emphasis which modern criticism has ... religion of Israel. From
this neglect Leviticus has suffered most. Yet for many ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/mcfadyen/introduction to the old testament/leviticus.htm

Then Follows the Book of Leviticus, in which the Precepts Bearing ...
... The Sacred History Of Sulpitius Severus. Book I. Chapter XX. Then follows the book
of Leviticus, in which the precepts bearing upon sacrifice are set? ...
/.../severus/life and writings of sulpitius severus /chapter xx then follows the.htm

The Attack on the Book of Leviticus.
... V. THE ATTACK ON THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS. "The Lord called unto Moses, and
spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation ...
/.../concerning the assumptions of destructive criticism/v the attack on the.htm

... THE BIBLE BOOK BY BOOK. A MANUAL. For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books. * * *
* Chapter III. Leviticus. Chapter III. Leviticus. Name. ...
/.../the way of salvation in the lutheran church/chapter iii leviticus.htm

Of the Old Testament, Therefore, First of all There have Been ...
... Of the Old Testament, therefore, first of all there have been handed down five books
of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Then Jesus Nave ...
/.../37 of the old testament.htm

Thou Shalt in any Wise Rebuke Thy Neighbor, and not Suffer Sin ...
... Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
Leviticus 19:17. The whole verse reads thus: "Thou shalt ...
/.../finney/lectures to professing christians/thou shalt in any wise.htm

/...//christianbookshelf.org/maclaren/expositions of holy scripture k/contents 2.htm

Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
... They are found in Leviticus 17.xxvi., and have felicitously been designated as the
Holiness Code, because they constantly emphasize the holiness of Jehovah and ...
/.../ix influences that gave rise.htm

List of Abbreviations Used in Reference to Rabbinic Writings ...
... The Taldmudic Tractate Qiddushin, on Betrothal. Kil. The Taldmudic Tractate Kilayim,
on the unlawful commixtures (Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 22:9-11). Kinn. ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/list of abbreviations used in.htm

Were Christ and the Apostles Mistaken?
... of her purification were accomplished according to the law of Moses," brought the
child "to present him to the Lord." This was done, according to Leviticus 12:2 ...
/.../concerning the assumptions of destructive criticism/iv were christ and the.htm

Leviticus (1 Occurrence)
... Exploration officers, makes the following statement:, "Take these two catalogues
of the clean and unclean animals in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy . ...
/l/leviticus.htm - 42k

Carcase (38 Occurrences)
... Numbers 19:16, 22; Leviticus 11:39). Noah Webster's Dictionary. (n.) See
Carcass. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CARCASS; CARCASE. ...
/c/carcase.htm - 21k

Valuation (22 Occurrences)
...Leviticus 5:15 If any one commit a trespass, and sin unwittingly, in the holy things
of Jehovah; then he shall bring his trespass-offering unto Jehovah, a ram ...
/v/valuation.htm - 14k

Statutes (178 Occurrences)
...Leviticus 10:11 and that you are to teach the children of Israel all the statutes
which Yahweh has spoken to them by Moses." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS ...
/s/statutes.htm - 40k

Sex (51 Occurrences)
...Leviticus 15:18 And if a man has sex relations with a woman and his seed goes out
from him, the two of them will have to be bathed in water and will be unclean ...
/s/sex.htm - 22k

Ceremonially (38 Occurrences)
...Leviticus 4:12 even the whole bull shall he carry forth outside the camp to a clean
place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire. ...
/c/ceremonially.htm - 18k

Soothing (40 Occurrences)
... (See NAS). Leviticus 1:9 but its innards and its legs he shall wash with water. ...
Leviticus 1:17 He shall tear it by its wings, but shall not divide it apart. ...
/s/soothing.htm - 18k

Carcass (30 Occurrences)
... 17:46; Isaiah 34:3; Isaiah 66:24 Ezekiel 6:5; Ezekiel 43:7:9, and "corpse" in Nahum
3:3. (2) The Hebrew nebhelah, is also translated "carcass" in Leviticus 5:2 ...
/c/carcass.htm - 18k

Article (17 Occurrences)
...Leviticus 11:32 On whatever any of them falls when they are dead, it shall be unclean;
whether it is any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack ...
/a/article.htm - 13k

Slaughtered (72 Occurrences)
...Leviticus 1:5 and he hath slaughtered the son of the herd before Jehovah; and sons
of Aaron, the priests, have brought the blood near, and sprinkled the blood ...
/s/slaughtered.htm - 29k

Summary of the Book of Leviticus - Bible Survey | GotQuestions.org

What are the 613 commandments in the Old Testament Law? | GotQuestions.org

What is the meaning of the strange fire in Leviticus 10:1? | GotQuestions.org

Leviticus: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Leviticus (1 Occurrence)

Exodus 9:18
Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now. Leviticus



Related Terms

Carcase (38 Occurrences)

Valuation (22 Occurrences)

Statutes (178 Occurrences)

Sex (51 Occurrences)

Ceremonially (38 Occurrences)

Soothing (40 Occurrences)

Carcass (30 Occurrences)

Article (17 Occurrences)

Slaughtered (72 Occurrences)

Kidneys (15 Occurrences)

Cereal (124 Occurrences)

Cleansing (37 Occurrences)

Separation (50 Occurrences)

Kinsman (29 Occurrences)

Aroma (50 Occurrences)

Caul (12 Occurrences)

Convocation (19 Occurrences)

Appears (38 Occurrences)

Aliens (53 Occurrences)

Savour (52 Occurrences)

Valued (27 Occurrences)

Consecration (22 Occurrences)

Crops (48 Occurrences)

Cooked (35 Occurrences)

Sanctifying (22 Occurrences)

Scall (9 Occurrences)

Scab (7 Occurrences)

Sojourners (37 Occurrences)

Statute (63 Occurrences)

Afford (12 Occurrences)

Somewhat (30 Occurrences)

Sanctifieth (21 Occurrences)

Sprinkled (55 Occurrences)

Slaughter (121 Occurrences)

Crawling (20 Occurrences)

Sojourning (35 Occurrences)

Swarming (19 Occurrences)

Approach (56 Occurrences)

Cleansed (76 Occurrences)

Voluntary (17 Occurrences)

Covers (50 Occurrences)

Countrymen (60 Occurrences)

Carcasses (30 Occurrences)

Covereth (61 Occurrences)

Appendage (11 Occurrences)


Suffice (22 Occurrences)

Scale (38 Occurrences)

Sabbaths (53 Occurrences)

Sanctify (91 Occurrences)

Spot (42 Occurrences)

Cud (9 Occurrences)

Arrange (19 Occurrences)

Aaron's (53 Occurrences)

Sojourneth (27 Occurrences)

Sprinkling (48 Occurrences)

Creeping (43 Occurrences)

Sexual (59 Occurrences)

Sojourn (51 Occurrences)

Alien (102 Occurrences)

Vow (49 Occurrences)

Consecrated (101 Occurrences)

Yeast (48 Occurrences)

Split (36 Occurrences)

Shaking (162 Occurrences)

Commits (39 Occurrences)

Abominable (52 Occurrences)

Swelling (14 Occurrences)

Add (135 Occurrences)

Consecrate (65 Occurrences)

Sheep (413 Occurrences)

Sprinkle (37 Occurrences)

Sits (52 Occurrences)

Shekels (92 Occurrences)

Swarm (26 Occurrences)

Azazel (3 Occurrences)


Savor (51 Occurrences)

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