Introduction to Leviticus

By James M. Rochford

Authorship

The authorship of Leviticus is bound up with the greater authorship of the Pentateuch as a whole. However, in addition to this evidence for Mosaic authorship, we can observe that God spoke to Moses some 56 times in the book of Leviticus.[1] The final verse states that Moses received all of these laws when he was on Mount Sinai (Lev. 27:34).

Furthermore, the NT authors attribute Mosaic authorship Leviticus on a number of occasions (Mt. 8:4; Lk. 2:22; Heb. 8:5). Consider some of the NT citations of Leviticus:

NT Citations of Leviticus

Leviticus

Passage

NT Citation

Leviticus 5:11

And to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:24
Leviticus 7:12 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Hebrews 13:15

Leviticus 11:44

It is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Leviticus 12:1-8 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord

Luke 2:22

Leviticus 12:8

To offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:24
Leviticus 13:49 Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Matthew 8:4

Leviticus 14:2-3

When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Luke 17:14
Leviticus 16:2, 12 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.

Hebrews 6:19; Revelation 8:5

Leviticus 16:27

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp… So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. Hebrews 13:11, 13
Leviticus 17:7 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.

1 Corinthians 10:20

Leviticus 18:5

And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Luke 10:28
Leviticus 19:18 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Matthew 5:43

Leviticus 20:7

It is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Leviticus 23:29 And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

Acts 3:23

Leviticus 24:9

He entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Matthew 12:4
Leviticus 24:19-20 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’

Matthew 5:38

Leviticus 25:10

To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. Luke 4:19
Leviticus 26:12 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them;

And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

2 Corinthians 6:16

Leviticus 26:21

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.

Revelation 15:1

Themes in Leviticus

As you read through Leviticus, it’s best to look for these major themes, rather than getting caught up in the minutiae.

Being distinct from the nations. While Exodus is the story of redemption, Leviticus is the old covenant foundation of sanctification (i.e. being “set apart” or “distinct” or “holy”). Geisler writes, “It has been well said that it took God only one night to get Israel out of Egypt but it took forty years to get Egypt out of them.”[2] The point of the Levitical laws was to separate them from the practices of pagan nations of Egypt and Canaan (Lev. 18:4).

Through Leviticus, God communicates that the Jews were to be separate or distinct from the Pagan culture around them. While each individual verse has value, make sure that you don’t miss the forest for the trees! The central theme of Leviticus is what God says: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2). Since this book was addressed to all of the people of Israel (Lev. 1:1-2), they were all to understand God’s mission for them. However, the laws “mainly emphasize Israel’s worship of God and the instructions for the priests.”[3] The Septuagint titled this book Levitikon, which means “pertaining to the priests.”[4]

The blending of the secular and the sacred. God gave the people these laws and instructions as they were waiting to enter the Promised Land. The laws of Leviticus do not give a separation between the secular and the sacred. This blending shows that God should be in all of our lives—not just part of it.

Blood and atonement. Pagan nations used blood to ward off the wrath of the deity and demonic entities. However, Harris writes, “It is of real interest that comparative studies of ancient religions find no such treatment of blood in their sacrifices. Evidently blood theology was exclusively Israelite.”[5] The blood sacrifices of Leviticus set up a foreshadowing (or “type”) of Jesus’ atonement.

Regarding the concept of atonement, Harris writes, “The verb ‘atone’ (kipper) has been much discussed. It has been derived from a root that in Arabic means ‘cover.’”[6] The noun form (kōp̱er) means “ransom.” Harris argues that the verb form should be translated as “to pay a ransom.”[7] The “atonement cover” (kappōre) was translated by the LXX with the Greek word hilastērion (used for Jesus’ atonement, Rom. 3:25).

Do not drink the blood. We repeatedly read that the Israelites were not allowed to drink the blood of the animal (Lev. 3:17; 6:30; 7:27; 17:10-11; 19:26; Deut. 12:32).

The priesthood. The Levites were set apart to be the priests of God, and they were in charge of the Tabernacle (Lev. 3:7). While God demanded the firstborn of all the children and animals of Israel (Lev. 3:13), he accepted the Levites as a substitute for all of the people (Lev. 3:41). Since Christ is our ultimate high priest, who substitutes for us (Heb. 9-10), perhaps this prefigures what God would do through Christ.

Perfect offerings. The expression “without defects” appears eighteen times in this book. This foreshadows the perfection of Jesus, who was a completely sinless sacrifice and priest (see “The Sinlessness of Jesus”).

No innovation. As you read Leviticus, one of the themes that you discover is how much detail we see in the worship. It is so stringent, but why? It seems that God wants to communicate that we need to come to him on his terms—not on our own.

Which Levitical laws carry weight for today?

Some of aspects of the Levitical law have been abrogated by the new covenant. For instance, the Jews weren’t supposed to eat pork or shellfish (Lev. 11:7, 10-12), but Jesus repealed these laws in the new covenant (Mk. 7:19; Acts 10). Likewise, while the Jews needed a human priest as their mediator, the book of Hebrews emphatically states that this was fulfilled by Christ and is no longer needed.

However, not everything in Leviticus is ceremonial. Other portions have universal, moral imperatives that are still just as true today. For instance:

  • Adultery (Lev. 18:20; 20:10)
  • Child sacrifice (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5)
  • Bestiality (Lev. 18:23; 20:15-16)
  • Idolatry (Lev. 19:4)
  • Loving one another (Lev. 19:18; cf. Mt. 19:19; 22:39)

Critics sometimes mock believers by asking, “If you consider same-sex marriage immoral, then so is eating pork and sleeping with your wife during her menstrual cycle! But why don’t you Christians treat these as serious sins, too?” This is a good question, but consider the alternative: What if we considered bestiality, adultery, child sacrifice, idolatry, and loving our neighbor as only a ceremonial law? This alternative isn’t any better. Thus we have two extremes set before us:

EXTREME #1: Affirm everything is moral in Leviticus—not ceremonial: If we adopted this view, then this would mean that we couldn’t eat at Red Lobster (Lev. 11:10), cut the grass on a Saturday (Ex. 35:2), use beard trimmers (Lev. 19:27-28), wear a cotton and polyester blended sweater (Lev. 19:19), or play with a pig-skin football (Lev. 11:7-8).

EXTREME #2: Affirm that everything is ceremonial—not moral: If we say that the entire book of Leviticus is ceremonial, then this would mean that adultery, child sacrifice, bestiality, idolatry, and loving our neighbor are just ancient ceremonial laws that aren’t binding for believers today.

Neither extreme is favorable or correct. Clearly some portions of Leviticus are ceremonial (or civil) law, while other portions are universal, moral imperatives. But which is which? How can we determine which portions are taken to be universal moral imperatives, and which were just for the Jewish people at the time?

Principles for identifying universal, moral imperatives in Leviticus

PRINCIPLE #1: The use of the death penalty. We have argued elsewhere for why God commanded the death penalty in the OT (see “What about Capital Punishment?”). However, for our purposes here, we believe that the use of the death penalty in the OT law can demonstrate whether or not an act is moral or ceremonial. That is, why would God call for the death penalty in the case of a ceremonial law? White and Niell write, “Not a single application of the death penalty to the general citizenry of Israel existed for violation of a ceremonial law.”[8]

Some, of course, point to the fact that God calls for the death penalty in the case of Sabbath observance, which is ceremonial—not moral (Ex. 35:2). However, we would retort that Sabbath observance is mentioned in the Ten Commandments, making it a moral imperative—not ceremonial.

PRINCIPLE #2: God never judges the nations for their failure to obey the dietary laws—only the moral laws. In the context of God’s condemnation of homosexuality, we read, “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants” (Lev. 18:24-25). God brought judgment on the Canaanites for these practices, but he didn’t bring judgment for their failure to practice the ceremonial law. God was holding them responsible for these moral actions.

PRINCIPLE #3: The NT authors repeat these moral imperatives as universally, morally binding. As we noted above, the NT repealed the obligation of believers to follow OT ceremonial and civil laws (see “Tips for Interpreting OT Law”). However, the NT authors repeat that adultery (Mt. 19:8), idolatry (1 Cor. 5:10), and loving our neighbor (Mt. 22:39) are still universal moral principles today.

The antithesis is also true for this principle. That is, if a NT author repeals one of the laws in the OT, then this would be our basis for thinking that this was only for the old covenant Jews in Israel—not for new covenant believers in the Church. For instance, Sabbath observance was binding for old covenant believers, but not for new covenant ones (Mk. 2:28; Col. 2:16-17). Likewise, the OT dietary and priesthood laws are not binding today either, because the NT explicitly teaches us this.

Commentary on Leviticus

Unless otherwise stated, all citations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

Leviticus 1: Burnt Offerings

(1:1-9) This describes burnt offerings from the herds. Atonement literally means “covering.” This was symbolic of taking away the people’s sin: “He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf” (1:4).

(1:10-13) This describes burnt offerings from the flocks.

The consecration was a full ox burnt on the altar.

(1:14-17) This describes burnt offerings from the birds.

We shouldn’t hold anything back. This gave a smell of barbecued meat on the grill and probably smelled great. You could use an ox, a sheep, or if you were poor, turtle doves. It needed to be a perfect sacrifice.

Leviticus 2: Meal Offering

(2:1-3) This describes the raw flour offering.

(2:4-16) This describes grain offerings.

The people had to make bread with their hands. The smell of fresh baked bread would have been savory. Here, the work of their hands is the offering. They shouldn’t mix leaven or honey with the flour. In Scripture, leaven usually refers to sin (Mt. 16:6; 1 Cor. 5:6). It also decays the bread. Harris writes, “The law against honey appears only here (v.11). The reason for forbidding yeast with the Passover meal was that when Israel left Egypt, there was no time to use yeast to make the bread rise. This incident may have determined the symbolic meaning in other sacrifices. Yeast and honey were indeed edible and were a suitable gift as an offering of firstfruits for the priests’ food, but they were not to be burned on the altar… The reason for the prohibition of honey is more obscure. Honey under some circumstances will also ferment, and this may have been a factor.”[9]

This isn’t a sin offering, but a memorial offering to God (v.2). This was done to remember what God had done for them.

Leviticus 3: Fellowship (or Peace) Offerings

(3:1-5) This describes peace offerings from the herds.

(3:6-17) This describes peace offerings from the flocks.

The animal could not have defects (v.1). The priest was to put his hand on the animal’s head (v.2), then they sprayed the blood on the altar all around (v.2). They had to gut the animal (v.4). They could kill an animal (v.1), a sheep (v.6), or a goat (v.12). They weren’t allowed to drink the blood or eat the fat (v.17). This is a permanent covenant law, but this is only a covenant between God and the Jews. So, this wouldn’t apply to believers today (v.17).

Part of the fellowship offering was burned and part of it was given back to eat. Therefore, they ate the food together. In the NT, Jesus wants to dine with his people (c.f. Jn. 13; Rev. 3:20).

Leviticus 4: Sin Offerings

(4:1-12) This describes sin offerings for the priests.

(4:13-21) This describes sin offerings for the people.

(4:22-26) This describes sin offerings for the leader.

(4:27-35) This describes sin offerings for the common person.

Even sins of ignorance need forgiveness. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34). In this offering, the entire skin was burned outside of the camp. In the burnt offering (Lev. 1), the priests could wear the skins. But this was not the case in this offering.

What is the difference between intentional and unintentional sins? At the very least, this shows that not all sins are the same in degree. Harris notes that the word for “unintentional sins” (šāg̱ag) means ‘to err,’ ‘go astray,’ ‘wander,’ or ‘stagger.’ He adds, “The nouns mean ‘error,’ ‘mistake.’ Outside the Pentateuchal legislation, the NIV always translates these words with such expressions (about twenty-five times). The idea of intent is not basic to the word and ought not to be imported.”[10] Later, we read that intentional sins also have a sacrificial offering (Lev. 6:2-3).

Leviticus 5: Transgression Offerings

The people needed to bring an offering and confess their sin publicly (5:5). The priests were allowed a part of the offerings. Later in the OT, we see Eli’s sons getting greedy as priests, taking the best meat offering (1 Sam. 2).

(5:6) The priests would make atonement for their sins through the death of a lamb or goat.

(5:7) The poor were not gauged for being poor. They could bring two turtledoves instead. This is the offering the Joseph and Mary brought to the Temple, which showed that Jesus grew up in a poor family. The really poor could bring flour (v.11).

(5:16) People had to pay back what they took, and they needed to add 20% on top of that.

Leviticus 6: Deception and False Oaths

(6:1-7) Liars and false testimony was punished by full restitution, as well as adding 20% on top for punishment. This was breaking one of the Ten Commandments. They could be forgiven if they brought their sacrifice to the altar.

(6:7-13) Priests had certain clothes to wear. They also needed to keep a continual fire burning on the altar. This would’ve been a considerable amount of work to do (e.g. cutting the wood, maintaining the fire, staying awake at night to keep it going, etc.).

(6:14-18) This describes the grain offering. The Levites could eat from the leftovers.

(6:19-23) The priests had to have a grain offering as well, cooking the grain in soaked olive oil.

(6:24-30) This describes the sin offering. The priest needed to eat some of the offering himself (v.26). Does this symbolize that some of the offering needed to apply to the priest? There is a repeated emphasis on the handling, washing, containing, and eating of the blood.

Leviticus 7: The Guilt Offering

(7:1-7) There are vivid descriptions of how exactly to slaughter and handle the guilt offering.

(7:8-10) The priests could take limited portions of the guilt offering.

(7:11-21) The peace offering (or fellowship offering) was a mixture of bread and meat. This could be eaten together, but it couldn’t be preserved past three days (v.18). If people came to the peace offering in an unclean state, then they would be removed from fellowship.

What does it mean to be “cut off” from the people? This could refer to execution, because the phrase is used this way at least three times (Lev. 17:14; 18:29; Ex. 31:14). It is also used this way to refer to cutting off enemies; however, this could also refer to kicking them out of the land. While capital punishment could be in view, Harris writes, “It seems difficult to prove this. It is safer to say that the phrase may have been used variously and often meant only some kind of excommunication from the people of the Lord.”[11]

(7:22-27) This describes how the people should offer their sacrifices. Don’t eat dead animals (probably for hygienic reasons?), and don’t drink the blood of the animal.

(7:28-36) The wave offering was symbolic of holding out the food to God, showing that it was his. But the person was allowed to eat it themselves.

(7:37-38) This section summarizes the sacrifices listed above.

Leviticus 8: Aaron is High Priest

(8:1-5) God calls Moses to gather the priests to ordain and anoint them.

(8:6-9) Moses dresses Aaron in his high priestly clothing.

(Lev. 8:8) What are Urim and Thummim?

(8:10-13) Moses anointed the tabernacle and Aaron’s sons—the other priests.

(8:14-29) Moses made several offerings in the Tabernacle.

Why did Moses put blood on Aaron’s right earlobe, right thumb, and right big toe? This practice is later mentioned for cleansing a person who had a skin disease (Lev. 14:14, 17, 25, 28). Harris writes, “These prominent parts symbolize the cleansing or consecration of the whole person’s being.”[12]

(8:30-36) The priests were ordained over a week long period. They themselves needed atonement (v.34), and Moses performed these sacrifices for them.

Leviticus 9: Aaron’s Work

(9:1) The eighth day would’ve been after their week long ordination.

(9:2-7) Now that the priests were officially consecrated and ordained, they were told to start making atonement for the people and themselves with animal sacrifices.

(9:8-14) First, Aaron made a sacrifice for himself and the other priests. Even the holy men needed an animal sacrifice.

(9:15-24) Aaron made sacrifices for the people. God’s glory came into the place (v.23), and the people could see God’s glory in these new sacrifices (v.24).

There was a two-fold function of the priest: (1) He would go to represent the people to God, and (2) he would bring God’s blessing to the people. This reminds us of Peter’s statement: “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

Leviticus 10: Strange Fire

(10:1-7) Two of Aaron’s sons (Nadab and Abihu) broke away from the strict prescriptions that God had given them. Nadab and Abihu had been with Moses on Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:1-2). Consequently, because they created “strange fire,” God destroyed them with fire. Nadab and Abihu may have strayed from God’s way because they were on an emotional overload in seeing God’s presence (Lev. 9:23-24), and they thought it was fine to get carried away in being fast and loose with what God had commanded. God disagreed!

If God had allowed them to get away with this (at the inaugural ceremony!), it would likely have led to a break down in his sacrificial system. God told Aaron (through Moses) that his reputation among the people was at stake (v.3), and this silenced Aaron’s objections. The fellow priests could deal with the two dead men, but they were not allowed to go out and mourn the two dead men. The people would do this for them.

(Lev. 10:1-2) What is the “strange fire” mentioned here?

(10:8-11) Aaron and the priests were not allowed to drink on the job.

(10:12-15) The priests had their allotted portion to eat.

(10:16-20) Aaron didn’t eat the sin offering, because he was mourning the death of his sons.[13] While Aaron followed Moses’ order to stay in the Tabernacle, he apparently could not eat after seeing his sons judged like this. Moses accepted this answer from Aaron, and he had no problem with this.

Application

We have to relate to God in the ways that he wants us to relate to him not just the way that makes us feel good. It might be easier for us to relate to him through what makes us feel good at the time, but what has God prescribed?

Leviticus 11: Kosher Foods

To understand this section further, read Why the Arbitrary Laws?

(11:1-8) These are ceremonial laws for eating land creatures. They could eat animals with a split hoof and who ate grass. However, no camels, rock badgers, no rabbits, and no pigs. They definitely couldn’t touch their dead bodies. The camels were useful animals for work. These others could be for hygienic purposes (?).

(Lev. 11:5-6) Do these animals chew the cud or not?

(11:9-12) These are ceremonial laws for eating aquatic creatures. They could eat aquatic creatures that had both fins and scales.

(11:13-19) These are ceremonial laws for birds. These seem to be universally forbidden. Could this be because they often harbored disease?

(11:20-23) These are ceremonial laws for eating insects. They couldn’t eat insects with the exception of “hopping” insects (e.g. grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, etc.).

(11:24-25) These are ceremonial laws for touching carcasses. The prohibition of touching dead carcasses probably seems to be for the purpose of hygiene and disease.

(11:26-28) These are ceremonial laws for eating four-legged creatures. This relates back to verses 1-8. Verses 38-47 qualify this.

(11:29-38) These are ceremonial laws for eating swarming creatures. These would include rats, mice, lizards, etc. Rats and mice are known for carrying diseases (e.g. the Bubonic Plague).

(11:38-47) This summarizes the laws for eating certain types of animals.

Declaring an animal unclean is not the same as declaring it evil. God cares and loves all of his creatures. Also there is no consensus on why some animals are clean and some unclean. There seems to be a pattern of the unclean ones being associated with death more.

Why were these laws given to the nation of Israel? It helped them to remain separate from other nations, by creating a unique culture. These rituals would no doubt serve as a constant reminder to the people of their need for making the parallel distinctions in the moral realm—not just the ritual.

Verse 11 states that these animals “will always be detestable for you.” But in the NT, the early church doesn’t care about observing these laws! Is this a contradiction? No, instead, Jesus fulfilled the law, and we are in a new covenant. Since we are not Jews in the old covenant, this covenant doesn’t apply to us because we are in a new covenant.

Application

Today, we are not in a fortress theology. We do not need to be holy and different in food, but in moral matters. We don’t need a separate culture to help preserve us. We should be in the world, but not of the world (Jn. 17).

Leviticus 12: Purification for child birth

(12:6-8) Mary and Joseph brought two turtle doves for her right of purification. This shows that they were poor. Women were unclean after birth.

(Lev. 12:1-8) Why was a mother unclean for 7 days for giving birth to a boy, but she was unclean for 14 days for giving birth to a girl?

Leviticus 13: Skin infections

(13:1-3) The priests would check the skin infections personally to see how bad they were.

(13:4-12) The main solution for skin infections was quarantine. The priest left the camp to inspect the person. Remember, this was a time before modern medicine. These bacterial infections or leprosy (modern day Hansen’s disease) could easily spread to the entire community.

(13:13) Why would a completely white person be considered clean? Wouldn’t this mean that the infection had spread to their entire body? Harris comments, “Perhaps the whiteness would refer to new skin, not as sun-bronzed as usual. However, if raw flesh appeared (vv.14–15), the man was unclean.”[14]

(13:14-17) The priest would continually do “checkups” to see if the infection had spread or healed.

(13:18-23) Here are more laws for assessing the severity of boils—skin diseases that are full of infection and communicable.

(13:24-28) Certain types of burns could turn infected.

(13:29-37) These “scalls” (NET), “itches” (NIV, ESV), “scales” (NASB), or “sores” (NLT) were some sort of scalp disease. The exact nature of the disease is unknown. Harris believes it to be some sort of open, festering scab.[15]

(13:38-46) This section deals with leprosy. The leper had an obligation to tell people (presumably from a distance) that they were unclean (v.45; cf. Lk. 17:12-13).

(13:46-59) The word “leprosy” (ṣārāʿa, NASB, ESV) refers to “some kind of rot, fungus, or mildew.”[16] Other translations render this term as “mildew” (NIV, NLT) or an “infectious disease” (NET). The garment needed to be burned if it was spreading, or thoroughly washed if it was receding.

(Lev. 13:47-59) How could leprosy affect clothing?

Leviticus 14: Cleansing from skin diseases and mildew

(14:1-7) Harris refers to the priests as the “public health officers.”[17] Jesus cleansed a leper and had him show himself to the priest in this fashion (Lk. 5:12-15). Birds, blood, and water were used to show that the person was cleansed from sin—similar in principle to the sacrifices in Leviticus 16:21-28.

(14:8-20) The practice of shaving the entire body and bathing would reveal any more scabs.

(14:21-32) The law gave cheaper options to a poor person who was in need. Lepers probably needed to take advantage of this, because they would’ve been quarantined and out of work for a long period of time.

(14:33-57) If there was mildew (?) in the house, the priest would inspect it. He would wait seven days to see if it was getting better or worse. If possible, he would pull out the infected stones and plaster and have them torn out. Then, they would remodel the house. However, if the mildew returned, then would need to demolish the house. If the house turned out to be free from mildew, then he would make atonement for the house with the blood of birds.

Leviticus 15: Unclean bodily emissions

(15:1-3) The type of discharge is unclear. It could be seminal discharge—yet this is explicitly mentioned in verses 16-18. Harris speculates that this could be gonorrhea or diarrhea.[18]

(15:4-12) Harris notes that these descriptions fit best with diarrhea, which transmits cholera rapidly. A venereal disease (like gonorrhea) wouldn’t fit with these descriptions. Both people and objects were considered unclean if the man sat on them, spit on them, touched them, etc. None of these would fit with a venereal disease, but would fit with the germs spread from diarrhea. Remember, this was a time before toilet paper, soap, and easily accessible hot water.

(15:13-15) The man had to wait a week to see if any more symptoms had surfaced. If not, then he could go to the priest for a sacrifice.

(15:16-18) These could be nocturnal seminal emissions or marital seminal emissions. However, note that there is not guilt associated with this. Harris writes, “Normal sexual activity resulted in temporary uncleanness requiring washing, but no guilt was attached and no offering required.”[19]

(15:19-24) The emphasis throughout this section is on “good hygiene.”[20] Of course, having menstrual blood all over the place would be poor hygiene (!!). Remember, this was a time before tampons, soap, and access to regular hot water. Regarding verse 24, Harris argues that this refers to the unwanted sexual advances of a woman’s husband, while she has menstrual cramps.[21] He distinguishes this from what is taught in Leviticus 20:18.

(15:25-33) This is describing an abnormal discharge, which is unclear. Harris notes, “The net effect of the quarantine imposed would be to prevent contagion and to give the woman a real rest from housework, marital relations, and family care.”[22]

The woman’s solution (vv.28-30) is identical to the man’s (vv.13-15). It was applied equally to “a male or a female” (v.33).

Leviticus 16: The Day of Atonement

(16:1-2) God reminds Moses that he could not break away from his instructions by pointing to the deaths of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2).

(16:3-4) Aaron—the high priest—had to dress a certain way before entering the Holy of Holies.

(16:5-6) First, Aaron had to make atonement for himself and his family before he could make atonement for the nation. This showed that he was in need of forgiveness too—even though he was a holy priest.

(16:7-10) One goat was sacrificed to God, and the other was the “scapegoat,” who carried the sin away—outside of the camp. This is a visual image of both atonement and expiation.

(16:11-19) God had promised to appear on the atonement plate (v.2). This could be why Aaron needed to fill the room with incense, so that he could not see God’s presence and “die” (v.13). The death of the goat was for the people of Israel, and the blood was spread over the atonement cover (v.15). This was for “all their sins.”

(16:20-22) Aaron would confess the sins of the people on the scapegoat and send him away into the wilderness.

(16:23-28) When Aaron finished his duties, he stripped of his clothes and cleansed himself. The people who handled the scape goat must be cleansed, and the bodies of the sacrificed animals must be burned.

(16:29-34) The Day of Atonement was a Sabbath, and everyone was to humble themselves and stop working—both the Israelites and the foreigners. The heirs of the high priest would take over after his death. It’s repeated that this was for all of the people’s sins.

The high priest had to butcher some 30 animals, and he had to bathe 5 times. This would have been some serious work. Hebrews tells us that this points toward Christ’s work on the Cross as the high priest. Paul writes, “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col. 2:16-17). Unlike the high priest (16:11), Christ didn’t have his own sin to make up for. On this one day, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies three times: (1) offer his own sin offering, (2) offer the blood of the bull for the people, (3) and offer the blood of the goat for the people.

What is the purpose of this for the nation of Israel? This makes Israel right with the Lord every year. This shows that it was not a resolved or final process. It needed to occur every single year—over and over. This foreshadows Christ’s atonement for us.

(Heb. 9:22) Was blood sacrifice really necessary?

(Lev. 16:8) What does “Azazel” mean?

(Lev. 16:16-22) Does the sacrificial system foreshadow Christ’s ultimate sacrifice?

Leviticus 17: The Importance of Blood

(17:1-5) It was illegal to sacrifice an animal outside of the Tabernacle.

(17:6-7) One reason for a centralized worship was to stop the people from entering into idolatry. For whatever reason, the Israelites worshipped goats as idols (“goat demons”). We are speculating, but perhaps some aberrant worshippers thought the goat sacrifices were somehow connected with a goat idol? Perhaps the same connection could be seen between the Golden Calf and the bull sacrifices. This is mere speculation, and we are not sure.

(17:8-9) They were “cut off,” but this meant removal from the community—not death. Later passages speak to capital punishment directly.

(17:10-14) Again, there were strict sanctions on drinking the blood of an animal, because the life of the animal was in the blood. Consider how this relates to Jesus’ statement that we’re supposed to drink his “blood” at the Last Supper. If the life was in the blood, then we gain the spiritual life of Jesus when we “drink his blood.”

(17:15-16) This is similar to Leviticus 11:39-40.

Leviticus 18: Immoral Relationships

(18:1-5) Again, we see the repeated emphasis on the Israelites being distinct. The point of the Levitical laws was to separate them from the practices of pagan nations (e.g. Egypt and Canaan).

(18:6-18) These laws repeat various different forms of biological or familial incest.

(18:19) This law is not met with capital punishment—only with being cut off from the people for seven days (Lev. 15:24; 18:29). Harris argues that the reason for this law was “a general protection for a woman against an inconsiderate husband’s approach.”[23]

(18:20) Adultery was forbidden by the seventh commandment.

(18:21) This likely refers to child sacrifice (2 Kings 23:10).

(18:22) Same-sex sexual acts are considered immoral in both the OT and NT. For reasons why we would affirm this passage as moral—not ceremonial—see the section “Principles for identifying universal, moral imperatives in Leviticus” in the introduction above.

(18:23) Bestiality was considered moral in the ancient Near Eastern worship of the gods of Ugarit.[24]

(18:24) The reason why God was judging the nations was because of these sins. This shows that these are not merely ceremonial commands, but universal moral imperatives that should be observed by all people—regardless of whether they have God’s special revelation.

(18:25-30) God promised to judge the Israelites in the same way as the Canaanites if they followed the same practices. God was not playing favorites.

Leviticus 19: Various laws

It’s difficult to find themes in these law codes. They seem to be a hodge-podge of laws. Harris writes, “Ancient law codes do not always follow the arrangement we think of as logical.”[25]

(19:1-2) Jesus and Peter cite verse 2 (Mt. 5:33; 1 Pet. 1:16).

(19:3) This repeats the fifth commandment.

Regarding the Sabbath, Harris writes, “No other nation of antiquity observed a seven-day week.”[26]

(19:4) Idolatry was forbidden.

(19:5-8) This is similar to Leviticus 7:15-18.

(19:9-10) This is almost identical to Leviticus 23:22. The purpose was to give the poor an opportunity to have sustenance farming. The poor still needed to work, but they at least had access to food if they worked for it.

(19:11-12) This repeats the third commandment. Harris writes, “To take the name of God in vain (KJV) is not merely to use it as a curse word but to invoke the name of God to support an oath that is not going to be kept.”[27]

(19:13) The poor were paid daily—not weekly or bi-weekly like today. They took their “paychecks” home at the end of the night.

(19:14) The people couldn’t mock or make fun of the deaf or the blind.

(19:15) Neither the rich nor the poor were to be unfavorably treated (cf. Ex. 23:3, 6).

(19:16) Slander and murder are connected (cf. Ezek. 22:9).

(19:17) Jesus affirms this in Matthew 5:43.

(19:18) This passage is quoted all over the NT (Mt. 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mk. 12:31; Lk. 10:27; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14).

(19:19) This law is also referenced in Deuteronomy 22:9-11. This could be a way of repeatedly showing the people that they needed to keep categories separate.

The LXX translates the “breeding” as holding down: “You shall not hold down your animals with an unequal yoke.” This Greek word (heterozeugos) is the same term used by Paul (2 Cor. 6:14). Harris believes that this refers to being unequally yoked—not sexual breeding.[28]

(19:20-22) If a female slave was betrothed (i.e. engaged) to a free man, and she cheated on him, then the original man should be financially compensated.

(19:23-25) The first fruits went to God before they could eat them for themselves. The same principle is used with regard to financial giving.

(19:26) Occult practice was met with capital punishment (Ex. 22:18; Deut. 18:9-13).

(Lev. 19:26) Why were false teachers put to death? (cf. Deut. 13:5)?

(19:27-28) Harris comments, “There was nothing morally wrong with cutting the hair or the beard or with tatooing. But these practices then, and also now in some places, were parts of heathen ritual.”[29]

(Lev. 19:27-28) Why couldn’t the Jews trim their beards or their hair or get tattoos?

(19:29) This could refer to regular prostitution or perhaps religious prostitution—given the context.

(19:30) The law about the Sabbath and the Sanctuary is sandwiched into this section on occult practice and idolatry. Perhaps the point is to show the alternative to these unrighteous practices.

(19:31) These are more laws on occult practice, getting very specific. The NET note states, “The prohibition here concerns those who would seek special knowledge through the spirits of the dead, whether the dead in general or dead relatives in particular.”

(19:32) Honor the elderly.

(19:33-34) Love the foreigner.

(19:35-36) It was possible to use improper scales to deceive people in business. This was a form of lying and defrauding people.

(19:37) God puts his personal stamp of approval on these laws.

We are supposed to take care of the poor. False teachers were put to death (19:26). Also, the people were not allowed to trim their beards (19:27-28).

Leviticus 20: Capital offenses

A number of acts were forbidden (1) sacrificing children to Molech, (2) visiting a medium, (3) adultery, (4) bestiality, (5) homosexuality, (6) dishonoring parents. This demonstrates that God values the family and faith of Israel. Disobedient children and adulterers were supposed to be put to death. God also promises to kick the people out of the land, if they don’t follow these commands.

(20:1-5) This refers to ritual child sacrifice (2 Kings 23:10; Jer. 32:35).

(20:6) See comments on Leviticus 19:32 above.

(20:7-8) God calls the people to be like him—not like the idols.

(20:9) Cursing parents is mentioned in both the OT (Ex. 21:17; Prov. 20:20) and the NT (Mt. 15:4; Mk. 7:10). Harris comments, “Cursing father and mother here surely does not refer to the angry response that a child might give in a fit of temper. The word is widely used. It includes blaspheming the name of God (24:11–16). Shimei cursed David in open rebellion (2 Sam 16:5–13). Gaal, the son of Ebed, cursed Abimelech (Judg 9:27). Cursing in ancient times sometimes involved a malevolent operation of magic against the person cursed. The modern equivalent is to put a hex on someone.”[30] This would fit with the context in verse 6.

(Lev. 20:9) Why were disobedient kids killed? (cf. Deut. 21:18-21)?

(20:10-12) Adultery (of any kind) was a capital crime. Both partners were put to death. In the case of rape, only the rapist was put to death—not the woman.

(Lev. 20:10-12) Why were adulterers put to death?

(20:13) See comments on Leviticus 18:22 above.

(20:14) This type of sin (polygamous sex with a mother and daughter) was worse than the others. It involved death by fire (!!).

(20:15-16) Bestiality is a sin (cf. Lev. 18:23; Ex. 22:19; Deut. 27:21). Harris comments, “The stories of the gods and goddesses of Ugarit frequently exhibit such practices. Israel’s pagan neighbors probably followed their gods in these revolting practices.”[31]

Why was the animal also put to death?

(20:17) Incest was a crime, but it doesn’t mention capital punishment.

(20:18) Sex with a menstruating woman was a crime, but it didn’t result in capital punishment. See comments above on Leviticus 15:19 and 18:19.

(20:19-21) These forms of incest resulted in childlessness—not capital punishment. Again, we see a range of punishments—not uniform punishment for various crimes.

(20:22-24) God’s judgment of the Canaanites was not capricious or arbitrary, but legal and moral. God was also not playing favorites: the Israelites would be judged if they practiced the same acts.

(20:25) Ceremonial laws were intertwined with the moral laws.

(20:26) God wanted the people to be like him—not the pagan nations.

(20:27) Occult practice was met with capital punishment.

Leviticus 21: Priests

Rules for regular priests

(21:1-4) Priests couldn’t touch or bury dead people, unless they were biological family.

(21:5-6) This must have been some sort of pagan practice. Harris writes, “They were apparently heathen signs of grief. What heathen superstition or religion they implied, we can only guess. At least they were forbidden to Israel and especially to Israel’s priests. In the Ugaritic story of Baal and Anat, the god Baal is killed and the other gods, his friends, cut their cheeks and chins and lacerate their forearms, chests, and backs (Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 139, vi.).”[32]

(21:7-8) Priests were allowed to marry, but they couldn’t marry prostitutes or divorced women. The priest was a model to the people of God being distinct.

(21:9) Because capital punishment was used, this shows that prostitution was a heinous sin.

Rules for the high priest

(21:10-15) High priests were anointed with oil on their heads (Ex. 30:30; Lev. 8:12). He couldn’t leave the sanctuary; it was a 24 hour job (v.12). He could only marry a virgin. This may have been to show that his children were legitimate heirs.

(21:16-24) The priests needed to be without any physical defect. Jesus—the ultimate Priest—was without any sort of sin.

Leviticus 22: Clean and Unclean Practices

Each of these festivals foreshadowed the finished work of Christ (see Foreshadowing in the Festival System).

(22:1-16) Only the priest and the immediate family could eat the sacrifices designated for the priests.

(22:17-25) The laws were different between a “votive” offering (i.e. an offering made from a vow) and a “freewill” offering. Votive offerings needed to be without defect, while the laws for freewill offerings were more relaxed. This is what got the Israelites in trouble in Malachi’s day (Mal. 1:14).

(22:26-27) Harris writes, “The reason for the law in v.27 is not entirely clear. But even today newborn calves are not usually slaughtered. The meat improves with age. Also, it probably is better for the mother that the calf not be taken at once. We might add that to transport a calf under a week old for some distance to the tabernacle or temple would likely in some cases kill the calf.”[33]

(22:28-33) The sacrifice was to be completely eaten.

Leviticus 23: Religious Festivals

(23:1-2) The people had a list of religious festivals.

(23:3) The Sabbath.

(23:4-8) The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. The first day of the week is the Passover. Christ became our Passover lamb—thus fulfilling this feast (1 Cor. 5:7). Christ is the bread of life (Jn. 6:35), who is without leaven (or sin). This feast lasted for seven days after Passover. On the final day of the week (v.8), they celebrate together in honor of God.

(23:9-14) The Festival of First Fruits. God gets the first of the harvest. A bag of grain was extremely valuable in this culture—almost like a pay check. This would be similar to giving your first paycheck of the month. They also need to give the first of their lambs, too (v.12). This must have been symbolic of trusting the Lord for their provision. This was fulfilled by Christ who was our first fruits (1 Cor. 15:20-23).

(23:15-22) Pentecost. Seven weeks and a day was 50 days (or Pentecost). The birth of the church was foreshadowed, because at the festival of Pentecost, they would collect the first fruits for God. 3,000 people were saved on this day (Acts 2). The loaves had leaven in it; leaven was a symbol of sin. The church isn’t been pure, either.

(23:23-25) The Festival of the Horn Blasts. The blasting of the horns brought in a time of rest for the people.

(23:26-32) The Day of Atonement. This was earlier discussed in Leviticus 16. This was also a day of rest. God was so serious about resting that he promised to destroy the person who worked.

(23:33-44) The Festival of Booths (Tents). This was to remind them of God’s provision in the wilderness. They went out and built tents to live in to remind them of the hardships of their ancestors. This was probably fun for the kids!

Leviticus 24: More religious festivals

(24:1-4) The Lampstand. Exodus 25:31-40 gives a further explanation on this. Moses made the original lampstand (Ex. 37:17-24). This could mean that the lampstand would continual burn, or it could mean that it would burn during the night (see Harris).[34]

(24:5-8) The Bread of the Presence. This gives descriptions of what was said in Exodus 25:30 and 40:23. The priests would eat this bread in the presence of God.

Narrative of an unbelieving son

(24:10-16) This woman’s husband was one of the Egyptians who left Israel in the “mixed multitude” (Ex. 12:38).

The word “curse” (qālal) is not simply profanity. It is using God’s name as a hex or occult curse.[35] Foreigners were welcomed (Ex. 23:9), but they had to adopt the faith and laws of the people. The law was indiscriminate on this: both Israelites and foreigners faced the same punishment (v.16, 22).

(24:17-23) This is the law of Lex Talionis. Restitution was possible, but murder was an exception (v.21).

What about an Eye for an Eye?

Leviticus 25: Sabbath Laws

(25:1-7) The Israelites needed to let their land lie fallow for one year about of seven.

(25:8-12) The fiftieth year was the “year of Jubilee.”

(25:13-28) The land was to be sold back to the people who originally owned it. The land was not to be sold on a “permanent basis” (v.23 NLT), because the land belonged to God. All of the Israelites were leasing the land from God himself (!).

(25:29-34) If a person needed to sell their house, they could buy it back a year later. But if they didn’t buy it back, then it belonged permanently to the new owner—regardless of the year of Jubilee (v.30).

Houses in villages did need to be returned at the year of Jubilee (v.31). Levites had all of their property returned to them. The Levites couldn’t sell their property (v.34).

Laws to protect the poor

(25:35-43) The poor would be taken in and given housing (v.35). They wouldn’t be charged interest (vv.36-37). They could be sold as an indentured servant, but not as a slave (v.39). They were released at the year of Jubilee (v.40).

(25:44-46) Slaves were allowed to be purchased from the surrounding nations. The context seems to be rich foreigners (v.47ff). They also could not be treated harshly (v.43), and they were also allowed to be escape if they were being treated unfairly (Deut. 23:15).

(25:47-55) Rich foreigners could hire Israelites, but they couldn’t keep them forever. Rich foreigners couldn’t keep Israelites as permanent slaves.

The land would return to the earlier ownership on the fiftieth year (7 x 7 years). This prevented individuals from systematic takeover from others. This halts the cycle of poverty.

The Bible and Slavery

Leviticus 26: Blessings and Cursings

This chapter is parallel to the blessings and cursings of Deuteronomy 28.

(26:1-2) Since God is immaterial, we shouldn’t worship any idol that is made with human hands.

If they OBEYED the law…

(26:3-13) If they obeyed, they would receive rain for the crops, great harvests, supernatural protection from enemies, and God would dwell with them. God promised that he would “walk” with them (v.12). This is similar to God “walking” with Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:8).

If they DISOBEYED the law…

(26:14-39) If they disobeyed, God would send disease, enemies, irrational fear (v.17), discipline (v.18), drought (v.19), lack of harvest (v.20), wild animals (v.22), and plagues (v.25).

The purpose of these acts is to get the Israelites to listen to God (v.27), but if they refuse, it would get even worse. They will resort to cannibalism because they are so hungry (v.29). God will cut off the sacrifices (v.31). God will send them into exile (vv.32-35). The survivors will be so traumatized that they will be filled with irrational fear of being taken over (vv.36-37).

God will use this to humble the people

(26:40-46) The exile will cause the people to confess their sins and return to God. God will not break the Abrahamic Covenant over their sins (v.42, 44).

Leviticus 27: Devoting people, property, or assets to God

(27:1-7) Were women worse less than men? Only a superficial reading would allow such a conclusion. Men could do more physically demanding work, and so, they were worth more. This is the same reason why little children were worth less than fully grown adults. Harris writes, “We may not conclude from these figures that women are considered of less worth in the OT. It is merely that adult males were more capable of and valuable for the heavy work of the tabernacle. A bride was purchased in ancient Israel; a groom cost nothing! This proves nothing!”[36]

Slaves were worth 30 shekels of silver if they died (Ex. 21:32), while the Code of Hammurabi valued a citizen at 30 shekels of silver (see Code of Hammurabi, 251-252).[37]

(27:8-13) This section cover dedicating animals to the priests. If they wanted to buy back the animal, they had to add 20% to the cost.

(27:14-15) This section cover dedicating houses to the priests.

(27:16-25) This section cover dedicating fields or farmland to the priests.

(27:26-27) The firstborn already belonged to God (Ex. 13:2, 12-13). Therefore, these people or animals couldn’t be given as a vow.

(27:28-29) If something was permanently dedicated (herem), it could not be taken back.

(27:30-33) The people needed to tithe (10%) of their belongings.

(27:34) God gave all of these commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.

[1] Geisler writes, “Some fifty-six times the Book of Leviticus says something to the effect that ‘the Lord spoke unto Moses.’” Geisler, Norman L. A Popular Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977. 65.

[2] Geisler, Norman L. A Popular Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977. 65.

[3] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 502). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[4] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 502). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[5] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 521). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[6] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 522). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[7] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 522). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[8] White, James. Jeffrey Niell. The Same-Sex Controversy. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 2002. Kindle loc. 898-899.

[9] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 541). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[10] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 547). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[11] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 558). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[12] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 563). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[13] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 567). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[14] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 577). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[15] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 578). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[16] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 579). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[17] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 582). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[18] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 586). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[19] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 586). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[20] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 586). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[21] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 586). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[22] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 586). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[23] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 600). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[24] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 601). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[25] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 602). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[26] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 602). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[27] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 604). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[28] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 607). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[29] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 608). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[30] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 612). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[31] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 613). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[32] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 616). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[33] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 621). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[34] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 630). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[35] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 631). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[36] Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 650). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[37] Cited in Harris, R. L. (1990). Leviticus. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers (Vol. 2, p. 651). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.