Summary of Leviticus

Summary of Leviticus:

Leviticus 1-2: Animal Sacrifice/Offerings of Flour and Oil
Leviticus 3-4:  Don’t eat blood or Fat/Sinners forgiven through Sacrifices
Leviticus 5-6: Forgiveness comes through Trespass Offerings/Forgiveness through Atonement
Leviticus 7-8: Forgiveness through Sacrifice/ Washing and Anointing
Leviticus 9-10: Atonement by Sacrifice/ Unauthorized Sacrifices
Leviticus 11-12: What may or may not be eaten/The Law of Purification
Leviticus 13-14: The Law of Leprosy/Cleansing Lepers
Leviticus 15-16: Other types of Un-cleanliness/Forgiveness by Atonement
Leviticus 17-18: Don’t eat blood/Sex abominations
Leviticus 19-20: Commandments/laws of God/Sexual Sins
Leviticus 21-22: High Priest = Holy/ Sacrificial Animals are perfect
Leviticus 23-24: Weekly Sabbath/Law of Israel
Leviticus 25-27: Jubilee/Keep the Commandments/Tithing

Chapters 1-5 describe the sacrifices from the point of view of the common man in Israel. It covers what sacrifices are to be performed and what each one consists of. Chapters 6-7 go over much of the same material, but more from the point of view of the priest performing the sacrifice. The priest would be in charge of performing the actual ceremony and dividing up the sacrifice between God, the priest and the offerer. Sometimes however an entire sacrifice would be offered only to God, in the case of burnt ashes… etc.

Chapters 7-10 describe the consecration (by Moses) to Aaron and his sons, in order to become the first priests and the first ones to perform the sacrifices. It also discusses the importance of being not only authorized, but with the proper priesthood authority to exercise and perform certain ordinances, after two of the sons of Aaron do this without permission. Chapters 11-15 instruct the common people of Israel on purity and cleanliness. Eating certain animals or even touching them for that matter can be a violation of the commandments of God. These conditions of the animal or the person who ate/touched the animal can affect clothing, walls of a house. Each condition has certain ceremonies that must be performed and waiting periods to alleviate the sinner. In chapter 17, we read about the Day of Atonement, which is a day in which only the high priest can enter into the holiest part of the sanctuary, which is also known as the “holy of holies”. The priest sacrifices a bull for the priests and a goat for the common people (lay people), a third goat; “the scapegoat” is sent to the wilderness.

Chapters 17-26 contain much of the “Holiness Code”, which prohibits the slaughter of animals outside of the Temple, even for food. The code also gives a long list of sexual sins: which include: incest, homosexuality and bestiality. Penalties are imposed for those who worship Molech, or who consult wizards and other supernatural mediums. The code also includes: Mourning rituals for the priests, blasphemy punishments by death, rules for eating of sacrificial animals, the calendar is explained, rules for the Sabbath and the years of Jubilee are set. The end of the code tells Israel that they can either chose to follow those rules or be visited by horrible punishments and expulsion from the holy land for disobeying.HoHHHHG

 

Leviticus 25-27

Leviticus 25-27

Chapter 25: Jubilee

The Lord speaks to Moses in the Mount Sinai. He tells him that for seven years the children of Israel are to reap and sow the land. But in the eighth year they are to not dress the fields or prune the vineyards, but are supposed to let the land rest. In that same eighth year (or every eight years) the Lord will provide more meat in the wilderness for them to eat, because for that eighth year they will eat an increase in meat.

For every 50 years something special happens, the Jubilee! Every 50 years in the 10th day of the seventh month during the week of Atonement, shall the Jubilee trumpet sound.

The laws of the sale of lands and homes are revealed and Usury is condemned by God.

Chapter 26: Keep the Commandments

Temporal and Spiritual blessings can be for the children of Israel if they follow the commandments of God. If they choose to disobey, then they will be followed by cursing, scourging and desolations in the land. When people repent of their wrongdoings the Lord will have mercy upon them.

7 times more plagues for walking contrary to the laws and commandments of God. (Leviticus 26:21)

Chapter 27: Tithing

Properties are consecrated unto the Lord. Israel is commanded to pay 1/10 of all their increase in crops/flocks and herds. (Leviticus 27:32)

Leviticus 23-24

Leviticus 23-24

Chapter 23: Weekly Sabbath

In the seventh month on the first day of the month, the children of Israel are commanded to have a Sabbath that includes the memorial of lowing trumpets. For the first week of the seventh month shall be a week of sacrifices   On the 9th day of the seventh month shall be a Sabbath of rest from evening to evening. On the 10th day of the seventh month, shall be a day of Atonement.

Chapter 24: Law of Israel
A perpetual fire shall burn without the vail in the tabernacle. Anyone who blasphemes God, shall be stoned to death. Israel’s law is straightforward; an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Leviticus 21-22

Leviticus 21-22

Chapter 21: High Priest = Holy

Chapter 21 lists the requirements for the High Priests of Israel.

  • No baldness (Leviticus 21:5)
  • No cuts or mutilations to the skin (Leviticus 21:5)
  • They shall be as holy as God. They will not profane the name of God (Leviticus 21:6)
  • They shall take a wife who is a virgin (Leviticus 21:13-15)

Chapter 22: Sacrificial Animals are Perfect

Sacrificial animals are to be perfect without blemish.

Leviticus 19-20

Leviticus 19-20

Chapter 19: Commandments/ Laws of God

  • Be holy as God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
  • Keep the Sabbath day holy. (Leviticus 19:3)
  • Do not worship idols or other gods. (Leviticus 19:4)
  • When you make a sacrifice of peace offerings, it must be done under your own will. The meat from the offering must be eaten within two days or it is abominable before the Lord. (Leviticus 19:5-7)
    • What we can learn here, is that sacrifices in the days of Moses meant sacrificing animals for Atonement of your sins. Today, after Jesus Christ took upon him our sins through Atonement we must confess our sins and do what we can to make a restitution of our sins. But if we do not do it with the right hear then it truly is abominable before the Lord.
  • When you collect your harvest of grapes or any other harvest, you must collect most of them, but still leaving behind some that are not picked for the poor and the strangers passing through the land. (Leviticus 19:8-10)
    • What we can learn here, is that since the days of Moses the Lord has put in some sort of Welfare program to help those in need.
  • Do not steal. (Leviticus 19:11)
  • Do not lie. (Leviticus 19:11)
  • Do not swear by the name of God falsely. (Leviticus 19:12)
  • Do not defraud your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:13)
  • Do not curse the deaf. (Leviticus 19:14)
  • Do not put a stumbling block before the blind. (Leviticus 19:14)
  • Do not judge someone who is poor by disrespecting him. Do not honor someone just because they are rich or mighty. But with righteous judgment will you judge people. (Leviticus 19:15)
    • It is not our place to judge, especially if we do not know someone. We might learn that someone who is poor, is a good person that fell into hard times and find that someone who is actually a respected individual has a closet full of dark secrets.
  • Do not gossip. (Leviticus 19:16)
  • Do not avenge nor bear any grudge against someone. (Leviticus 19:18)
  • Do not eat anything with blood. (Leviticus 19:26)
  • Do not cut or print on your skin. (Leviticus 19:28)
    • Piercings and Tattoos. Think of it this way, your body is a temple, right? So therefore we should not modify it or put things on it that were not intended.
  • Do not prostitute out your daughter, that she may become a whore. (Leviticus 19:29)

Chapter 20: Sexual Sins

The first 9 verses of Chapter 20 talk about not sacrificing children of the congregation of Israel to a superstitious man named Molech. The Lord is warning Israel once again about the dangers of worshiping false gods. The remainder of the chapter talks about Sexual Sins.

  • If a man commit adultery he and the woman shall be put to death.
  • If a man or woman commit incest in any form, those participating shall be put to death.
  • If a man lie with another man; homosexuality in general both men shall be put to death.
  • If a man or woman lie with an animal; bestiality in general then both the man and the beast shall be put to death.

Leviticus 17-18

Leviticus 17-18

Chapter 17: Don’t Eat Blood

  • If anyone kills an animal and does not offer it as a sacrifice to the Lord, shall be cut off from among the people. (Leviticus 17:1-4)
  • You shall not offer sacrifices to anything or anyone, except God. (Leviticus 16:7)
  • “The Life of the flesh is blood” (Leviticus 17:11)
    • I don’t normally talk about other religions or beliefs outside of my own thoughts and the LDS teachings. But the issue of blood, and the belief of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is interesting to me. They believe that your soul is in the blood. That is why they do not believe in blood transfusions or donating blood for that matter. Here is why I don’t agree with that, but again this is my own opinion.
      • Jehovah’s Witnesses will use these scriptures to say that our soul is in our blood, but clearly it is saying that without blood, the body dies. Just as if you were to take out most any parts or organs in the body it would shut down.
      • That does not mean that the soul is in any one of those parts of the body. Think about it, something like 2/3 of our body is made up of water, could water be our soul? I don’t think so.
        • Here are some other  scriptures that mention NOT drinking or eating blood. But probably for other reasons.
          • Acts 15:20 and 29
          • Genesis 9:4
          • Leviticus 7:26; 17:14
          • 1 Chronicles 11:19
  • No one should eat blood (Leviticus 17:12 and 14)

Chapter 18: Sexual Abominations

The Lord speaks to Moses and reveals to him some of the abominations of other lands, and how Moses must instruct the children of Israel so that they do not perform the same sexual abominations.

  • Thou shalt not have incestuous relationships with anyone that is close to kin. (Leviticus 18:6) – I would say that this follows with modern day thought.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery (Leviticus 18:20)
  • Thou shalt not engage in homosexual relationships (Leviticus 18:22)
  • Thou shalt not commit bestiality (Leviticus 18:23)

 

Leviticus 15-16

Leviticus 15-16

Chapter 15: Other Types of Un-cleanliness

The Lord speaks to Aaron and Moses about skin issues and other unclean things. We learn in Matthew 9:19-21, that a “…woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him (Jesus), and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” (Matthew 9:19-22)        

This woman had a disease with her blood, that made her unclean to the rest of the world. The fact that Jesus turned around and spoke with this woman, probably did not go over with many people, but shows the great love Jesus had for everyone. He had compassion on her, because of the great faith that she had.

We learn more about that “un-cleanliness” in the 15th chapter of Leviticus, where the Lord reveals these things to Moses and Aaron:

“…if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: a whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean…” (Leviticus 15:19)

After that “probation” period of seven days, if she is still unclean, she will remain unclean. The woman in Matthew had suffered being “unclean” for twelve years!

Chapter 16: Forgiveness by Atonement

If the congregation of Israel sins, then the priest (in this case Aaron) will receive 2 goats, and he will cast lots (basically like flipping a coin) to find out which goat will be sacrificed and which goat will become the “scapegoat”. The scapegoat is let free and resides in the wilderness until after the other goat is slain and sacrificed to the Lord as a burnt offering. Most of the same rituals and ceremonies that we have discussed in previous chapters are completed here as well. The only difference is that the blood is sprinkled seven times east -ward on the mercy seat.

After those ceremonies are completed the priest will then bring back the scapegoat and which both his hands placed on the head of the scapegoat, all of the sins and transgressions of the children of Israel at that moment are placed upon the head of this one goat. I am guessing that this is where we got the word “scapegoat” as the one who gets blamed for something that he or she really had no part in.

The Atonement is completed after this, as the scapegoat takes the sins of the children of Israel.

Leviticus 13-14

Leviticus 13-14

Chapter 13: The Law of Leprosy

Laws of Leprosy and how to discern and control Leprosy. Leprous clothing is to be burnt.

What is Leprosy? Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by the “bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatois. Leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves, and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. Skin lesions are the primary external sign of Leprosy. If untreated, Leprosy can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. Fingers can be shorted, due to cartilage being absorbed into the body. Currently, around 2-3 million people in the world suffer from this disease. Over 1,000 leper colonies are still in existence, shut away from civilization. People today have a 95% immunity from Leprosy. Although rare, Leprosy can be treated within just a few weeks with modern medicine and incubation.

The Lord speaks to Moses and Aaron, about Leprosy:

                “When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or a spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of Leprosy; then he shall be brought before… the priest… And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin…and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is leprosy; and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean(Leviticus 13:2-3)        

So anyone who had a bad scab or spot on their skin would have to be brought before the priest to determine if it is leprosy or not. If someone was pronounced to have this disease they would shut them up, away from everyone and the priest would check in on them every seven days. If after seven days the disease goes away, then the priest can pronounce them clean. They in-turn would have to wash their clothes and bathe, and be “clean” again.

If the leprosy was bad enough, their clothes would have to be burnt, to avoid having the disease spread to other people.

The rest of chapter 13 goes on to describe every possible scenario on detecting leprosy.

Chapter 14: Cleansing Lepers

In  Mark 1:40-45; Jesus heals a leper and commands him to “…shew thyself (himself) to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded…” (Mark 1:44) The Leper was commanded to do, what Moses and Aaron were instructed of God to do. This is the Law of Cleansing Lepers:

The Lord speaks to Moses and instructs him of the Law of the Leper, or how to cleanse a leper, after the Leprosy has left the Leper.

  1. The priest shall go out and see if the Leper has healed.
  2. If the leprosy has been healed, the priest will command the leper to bring:
    1. two living birds
    2. cedar wood
    3. scarlet
    4. hyssop.
  3. One of the birds will then be killed in an earthen vessel over running water.
  4. Then take the living bird, the cedar, scarlet and hyssop and dip them into the blood of the bird that was killed over running water.
  5. Then the leper will sprinkle the blood on himself, seven times.
  6. He will let the living bird free in the filed
  7. He will wash all his clothes
  8. He will shave his head and all the hair on his body.
  9. He will then bathe, until he is clean.
  10. Then the former Leper needs to stay by his tent for seven days.
  11. On the seventh day, he shall again shave off all his hair, including eyebrows.
  12. He will wash himself and his clothes.
  13. On the eighth day, he will take two lambs without blemish and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering mingled with oil and one log of oil.
  14. With this offering, he shall bring it to the door of the tabernacle and present them to the priest.
  15. The priest shall offer it in a similar manner as the Trespass Offering.
  16. The priest will take some of the blood from the Trespass Offering and put some blood on the Leper’s right ear, thumb of his right hand and the big toe of his right foot.
  17. The priest will put oil from the log of oil in the palm of his own left hand.
  18. The priest will dip his right finger into the oil that is on his left hand, and sprinkle it with his finger 7 times before the Lord.
  19. The remaining oil is to be put on the leper’s right ear, thumb of his right hand and the big toe of his right foot and then the rest to be poured on the Leper’s head.
  20. Then the priest will finish the offering of Trespass as Atonement for the un-cleanliness of the Leper, making him clean again.

A similar law is given for houses. If a house seems to have the plague a priest will go and investigate. If he sees the house might have Leprosy, the house is shut up for seven days. If he comes back and the house no longer has leprosy all is good. But if the house has leprosy that cannot be contained, the house is broken down and the pieces are carried to an unclean part of the city and a Trespass Offering is made with 2 birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop.

Leviticus 11-12

Leviticus 11-12

Chapter 11: What may or may not be eaten under the Law of Moses

The Lord speaks unto Moses and reveals to him what animals him and the children of Israel and can eat, and is commanded to speak unto the children of Israel and repeat what he was told.

Clean/Unclean Animals:

  • Any animals that are “clovenfooted” and “cheweth the cud” they shall eat.
  • Any animal that is “clovenfooted” and does not “cheweth the cud” they cannot eat.
  • Any animal that is not “clovenfooted” but “cheweth the cud” they cannot eat.
  • In other words the animal must both “chew the cud” and be “clovenfooted”

What is a “clovenfooted” animal? Cloven footed animal is one that has a hoof divided into two parts at its distal extremity (as of ruminants or swine)

What is it mean by “cheweth the clud”? The cud is that portion of food which is brought up into the mouth by ruminating animals from their first stomach, to be chewed a second time. To Ruminate (Rumination), is to chew again what was slightly chewed and swallowed. Animals like cows have to chew the food a second time.

So we learn that anything that has hoof that is divided and ruminates is ok for the children of Israel to eat.

For fish: Anything with fins and scales in the waters the children of Israel can eat. But if anyone eats something from any waters on earth that does not have scales and fins, it will become an abomination to the children of Israel.

These are the birds or fowl in the air, that the children of Israel are commanded not to eat:

  • Eagle
  • Ossifrage
  • Ospray
  • Vulture
  • Kite
  • Raven
  • Owl
  • Night Hawk
  • Cuckow
  • Little Owl
  • Great Owl
  • Swan
  • Pelican
  • Grier Eagle
  • Stork
  • Heron
  • Lapwing
  • Bat
  • and ANY fowl that creep, going on “all four” shall be an abomination to the children of Israel.

Israel, however may eat of a few animals that have four legs and fly:

  • the Locust
  • the Bald Locust
  • the Beetle
  • and the Grass Hopper.

Israel is also commanded to NOT eat:

  • Weasel
  • Mouse
  • Tortoise
  • Ferret
  • Chameleon
  • Lizard
  • Snail
  • Mole

Anyone that even touches an unclean animal, without washing themselves is considered unclean as well. It is a very grievous thing. The Lord commands Israel to “…be holy; for I am holy…” (Leviticus 11:44)

Chapter 12: The Law of Purification

Women after having a child are considered “unclean” for seven days. On the eighth day the child, if he be born male, shall be circumcised. (Leviticus 12:3). After that the woman continues to be unclean for 33 days, where she can touch no holy thing, or come into the sanctuary until her days of purifying be fulfilled. If the child be born female, then the woman is unclean for two weeks during her separation and then continues to be unclean for 66 days.

When her days of purification have been completed she needed to bring forth a burnt offering; either a lamb and a pigeon/turtledove or 2 pigeons and 2 turtledoves, so the priest could make an atonement for her. Then she would be clean again.

Leviticus 9-10

Leviticus 9-10

Chapter 9: Atonement and Sacrifice

Aaron makes atonement by sacrifice for himself and all of Israel. The glory of the Lord appears unto all of Israel and the Lord consumes the offering on the altar by fire.

Chapter 10: Unauthorized Sacrifices

Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron perform un-authorized sacrifices, and as a consequence are slain by a fire from the Lord. Aaron and his other sons are forbidden to mourn for their loss, because of the iniquity that they did. The Lord forbids Aaron and his brethren to drink wine or strong drink, being the difference between clean and unclean and holy and unholy (Leviticus 10:9-10).

This is interesting, because God is telling Aaron not to drink alcohol, and in the LDS church today, we are commanded to not drink as well. It is because the Lord has commanded us not to drink alcohol.

We also learn from this chapter that, you need the authority from God to perform ordinances. The Lord killing Nadab and Abihu for performing these ordinances without the proper authority proves how important it is to the Lord, that we have the correct and proper authority to perform ordinances.