Tuesday 13th February

Leviticus 1-4

Guidance about the Burnt Offering, Grain Offering, Fellowship Offering and Sin Offering

The Book of Leviticus, the third book of the Torah, addresses all the people of Israel though some passages specifically address the priests (6:8). Most of its chapters (1–7, 11–27) consist of God's speeches to Moses which he is to repeat to the Israelites. The Book of Exodus narrates how Moses led the Israelites in building the Tabernacle based on God's instructions. Then in Leviticus, God tells the Israelites and their priests how to make offerings in the Tabernacle and how to conduct themselves while camped around the holy tent sanctuary. Leviticus takes place during the month or month-and-a-half between the completion of the Tabernacle and the Israelites' departure from Sinai (Numbers 1:1, 10:11). The instructions of Leviticus emphasise ritual, legal & moral practices rather than beliefs. They reflect the world view of the creation story in Genesis 1 that God wishes to live with humans. The book teaches that faithful performance of the sanctuary rituals can make that possible, so long as the people avoid sin & impurity whenever possible. The rituals, especially the sin and guilt offerings, provide the means to gain forgiveness for sins (Lev 4–5) & purification from impurities (Lev 11–16) so that God can continue to live in the Tabernacle in the midst of the people.

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