Book of Leviticus

Introduction to the Book of Leviticus, God's Guidebook for Holy Living

Book Of Leviticus
Design Pics / Blake Kent

Book of Leviticus

Have you ever heard someone respond, "Leviticus," when asked, "What is your favorite book of the Bible?"

I doubt it.

Leviticus is a challenging book for new Christians and casual Bible readers. Gone are the fascinating characters and suspenseful stories of Genesis. Gone are the epic Hollywood plagues and miracles found in Exodus.

Instead, the book of Leviticus contains a meticulous and often tedious list of rules and regulations.

Yet, if understood properly, the book supplies readers with rich wisdom and practical instruction still applicable to Christians today.

Leviticus is best explained as a guidebook for teaching God's people about holy living and worship. Everything from sexual conduct to the handling of food, to instructions for worship and religious celebrations, is covered in detail in the book of Leviticus. This is because all aspects of our lives--moral, physical and spiritual--are important to God.

Author of the Book of Leviticus

Moses is credited as the author of Leviticus.

Date Written

Most likely written between 1440-1400 B.C., covering events between 1445-1444 B.C.

Written To

The book was written to the priests, Levites, and the people of Israel for generations to come.

Landscape of the Book of Leviticus

Throughout Leviticus the people were camped at the foot of Mount Sinai in the desert Peninsula of Sinai.

God had just delivered the Israelites from slavery and taken them out of Egypt. Now he was preparing to take Egypt (and slavery to sin) out of them.

Themes in the Book of Leviticus

There are three significant themes in the book of Leviticus:

The Holiness of God - Holiness is spoken of 152 times in the book of Leviticus.

It is mentioned here more than any other book of the Bible. God was teaching his people that they were to be set apart or "separated" for holiness. Just like the Israelites, we are to be different from the world. We are to devote every area of our lives to God. But how can we, as sinful people, worship and obey a holy God? Our sin must be dealt with first. For this reason Leviticus opens with instructions for offerings and sacrifices.

The Way to Deal with Sin - The sacrifices and offerings detailed in Leviticus were a means of atonement, or symbols of repentance from sin and obedience to God. Sin required a sacrifice--a life for a life. The sacrificial offerings had to be perfect, spotless, and without defect. These offerings were a picture of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who gave his life as the perfect sacrifice for our sin, so we would not have to die.

Worship - God showed his people in Leviticus that the way into God's presence, the path into worship, was opened through the sacrifices and offerings made by the priests. Worship then, is about relationship with God and letting him into every part of our lives. This is why Leviticus carefully detailed rules of conduct for practical daily living.

Today we know that true worship begins with accepting Jesus Christ's sacrifice for sin. Worship as a Christian is both vertical (toward God) and horizontal (toward men), involving our relationship with God and how we relate with other people.

    Key Characters in the Book of Leviticus

    Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar.

    Key Verse

    Leviticus 19:2
    "Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy." (NIV)

    Leviticus 17:11
    For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. (NIV)

    Outline of the Book of Leviticus

    • Instructions for Offerings - Leviticus 1-7.
    • Instructions for God's Priests - Leviticus 8-10.
    • Instructions for God's People - Leviticus 11-15.
    • Instructions for the Altar and the Day of Atonement - Leviticus 16.
    • Practical Holiness - Leviticus 17-22.
    • Sabbaths, Seasons, Festivals & Feasts - Leviticus 23-25.
    • Conditions for Receiving God's Blessing - Leviticus 26-27.