Alright folks, it’s about to get all LEVITICAL up in here!!!
Out of all the books in the Bible, I would have to say this is the one book more than any other that stops the earnest Bible student in his or her tracks from completing the goal to read through all of the Scriptures.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
There have been many a times when I ‘ve made the firm determination to read through the ALL of the Scriptures and understand every word (or most of it anyway), but once I got into Leviticus, I invariably ended up falling flat on my face.
Well, first of all this book is practically NEVER taught in the churches.
So since childhood, a gentile has received practically zero education on this portion of the Bible.
Contrast this with a Jewish child.
In Shabbat school at the synagogue, do you want to know what Bible book a Jewish child begins studying?
We’re talking about a huge difference in theological understanding and training that begins at the start of one’s formative years.
Here’ what happened.
During the Middle Ages, I’d say starting from around the 5th century AD and continuing for a period of about 1000 years, it was illegal to own and study Scripture.
The staunchly anti-Semitic Popes and Bishops at the time held a tight grip on Biblical “knowledge and truth”.
At the same time, they stomped out any attempts to explore Biblical events that occurred prior to the birth of the church.
The so-called “Old Testament” became locked away and rendered obsolete.
And issues dealing with the Biblical sacrificial system were especially avoided because they were too Jewish!
So what happened as a result?
By the time most of you reading this article were born, Christianity had pretty much relegated the “Old” testament to the outer limits of infinity.
And the New Testament had been reduced to little else than the 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The truth be told, the basis of faith for the modern Christian, especially those of the evangelical ilk, is NOT really the Bible, but a set of principles watered down from the Scriptures into what are called “Church doctrines”.
Trust me, I went to a Bible college and had to take a bunch of “systematic theology” classes, so I know what I’m talking about here.
What’s even funnier is that these so-called “church doctrines” actually vary quite a bit depending on which of the few thousand Christian sects or denominations you are a member of.
It’s such a chaotic mess.
Well, if you’re an earnest seeker FINALLY wanting to understand what the Book of Leviticus is all about and specifically how it is connected to the our Savior, you’ve finally came to the right place.
We are going to meticulously study this book verse-by-verse, and when we’re done, I think you’re going to find it to be life-changing.
I know for myself, that after reading through the Book of Leviticus, I always come away from it deeply impressed and overwhelmed by the pure HOLINESS of the eternal God we worship.
And from a scholarly perspective, we who are living in this day and age have an extreme advantage.
The reason is because over the last 20 years or so, there have been big-time breakthroughs in archeology and our understanding of ancient Hebrew including its mother language Akkadian have shed much light on the meaning of many of the mysterious and obscure rituals contained in Leviticus.
See, the reason many people get derailed in their Bible studies when they get into Leviticus is because they simply don’t understand it.
Well, that’s all about to change and I can honestly say without any reservations that this is MY FAVORITE book in all of the Torah, so you’re in good hands.
Now to be fair, I’ve leveled quite a bit of criticism at the church.
But on the other side of the fence, traditional Jews have also relegated the Hebrew Bible (Tanach) to 2nd place in favor of the voluminous works of Rabbinical commentary we today know as the Talmud, which they consider to be their spiritual authority.
However, the sudden rebirth of Israel in 1948 has now forced many of us to go back and take a good hard look at God’s Word, especially the “Old Testament”.
The concepts, prophecies, and principles THAT CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN THE TORAH and have been treated as dead and irrelevant for far too long now are being revisited!!!
God’s eternal WORD is making a comeback folks.
See, here’s the thing.
When you really study God’s Word, you realize that there are many concepts that aren’t really reflected or addressed in Christian doctrinal-based theology (the “trinity” is a prime example).
And neither do they jive with many of the teachings of Rabbinical Judaism which more often than not can be philosophical, humanistic, sectarian, and political rather than Scriptural in their viewpoint.
Alright, let’s get started.
Man, I’ve been waiting for this day, just counting the days until I would finally get to Leviticus.
Let the roller coaster ride begin!
First, the title of the Book of Leviticus, itself, makes it pretty apparent what this book is all about.
This book is named after the Tribe of Levi.
If you recall, Levi was one of the original 12 Tribes of Israel.
But this tribe was special in that God separated LEVI away from all the other tribes of Israel.
In other words, Levi was adopted away from Jacob, just as Jacob adopted Manasseh and Ephraim away from Joseph.
Levi was to become a special tribe, a tribe of priests unto the Lord.
Before Leviticus was named “Leviticus”, it was called “TORAT KOHANIM“.
“TORAT” means “teaching” and “COHANIM” means “priests“.
So literally the Book of Leviticus is all about the “priestly teachings” or “priestly instructions“.
However, the Hebrew title for this book today is VAYIKRA.
This means “Now He called“.
These are just the first few words that start off the Book of Leviticus.
The Hebrews ended up making the opening phrase of each book of the Torah the title of the book.
Now, as one might suspect, a great deal of Leviticus deals with primarily animal sacrifices.
However, historically speaking, the destruction of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago has put a temporary end to the priesthood and the sacrifices.
See, the purpose of the priests, their job was to officiate over and perform the rituals that CAN ONLY PERFORMED at the temple that was in Jerusalem.
However, the temple doesn’t exist now (but will be rebuilt I believe soon) and at the hand of the Roman Empire the Jews were pretty much scattered throughout the gentile world.
These events combined with the pretty thorough removal of Hebrew thought by a gentile-based church has resulted in a weak foundation for understanding the Lord’s teaching, principles and instructions contained in the Book of Leviticus.