The Book of Leviticus: Any Relevancy for Today?

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,937
edited March 9 in Apologetics

Leviticus is an often neglected in the OT. Share some light on it and enrich your life and the lives of others.

  1. What is this book about?
  2. Any lessons in it for today's Christians?
  3. This book speaks a lot about blood.
  4. Did paganism slipped into the sacred Writings?

What's the meaning of sprinkling blood, animal sacrifices, smoke, altar, etc? What lesson if any to learn or to gain? The underlying theme throughout Lev is that sinful, filthy, depraved, unclean mankind cannot stand in the sight of God unless he is sanctified. Cleanliness on the outside is indicative of a sanctifying process that has occurred on the inside. Without either, neither man nor woman, can ever be completely whole.

A fact that the entire ritual of the Hebrew cultus hinges on blood manipulation. For this reason, the book of Leviticus is replete with the intricate detail of the sacrificial system at the heart of which, in this respect, is blood manipulation. The instructions are provided in meticulous detail as to the requirements of both priest and people in the sacrificial context. Blood aspersion is very helpful in understanding the intricacies of the OT cult.

Consequently, the book of Leviticus is replete with terms of the cultic procedure with respect to the manipulation of blood. Blood has an apotropaic ("supposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck"] quality. While it was an agent employed in inaugural and consecration rites, it also played a significant role in covenant making. By blood, both Yahweh and His covenant people were bound together in a unique covenantal relationship. Blood manipulation was an important aspect of the OT cultus. The book of Leviticus provided elaborate instruction in this regard. This book provide a very helpful understanding about blood aspersion in the cult of the sanctuary.

The book of Leviticus is a study of God's laws. The law became (and still is) very important for the Israelites. While reading Leviticus, you might come across some laws that don‟t make any sense. The laws that God set up for them not only gave them guidelines for their behavior but they also established health codes that prevented the people from being wiped out from a disease. Through these detailed practices, God was protecting his people in a time when modern medicine was not available. 

The book of Leviticus details what God expects from those who had been redeemed and had been labeled as the people of God. Leviticus is the third book in the Pentateuch. The Levites are singled out as the people destined to serve God in the role of priests.

The OT ritual texts outline five basic types of sacrifices, which differed in their procedures and goals

  1. The Burnt Offering (lev 1:1-17; 6:8-13)
  2. Grain Offering (lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23)
  3. Well-being (so-called peace or fellowship) 
  4. Offering (Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-38)
  5. Purification (so called “sin”) 
  6. Offering (4:1-5:13; 6:24-30). 
  7. Reparation (so-called guilt) 
  8. Offering (5:14-16; 7:1-10).

R. Laird Harris points out that “the need for various sacrifices arises from the varied needs of a people’s worship”. The Book of Leviticus is full of such needs: thanksgiving, celebration, cleansing, healing, and forgiveness.

Let the truth be known. Any thoughts on the subject matter? CM

SOURCES:

-- R. Laird Harris, “Leviticus,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 2:534-552, 538.

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