Leviticus was originally named thus in the Vulgate (Latin translation of the bible) and refers to Israel’s priest family, the Levites.
In chapter 7 of Leviticus we find the nation of Israel still living in the Sinai Desert, where they had landed post their dramatic exodus from slavery in Egypt. This book contains laws that range from how Israel were to worship God as a nation, right down to the practicalities of their individual lives. Leviticus is not a narrative, rather it is a compilation of laws covering:
· The Levite priest system
· Daily religious practises
· National worship of God
· Healthy living
· Criminal justice
· National holidays
No doubt there are some aspects not covered in this list, but hopefully it will suffice to illustrate the breadth of God’s divine laws. This book would have been an invaluable handbook for the Levitical priests who administered the laws to the Nation of Israel.
It is important to note that the book of Leviticus has several layers of application; it was a handbook for the priests, it was the nations code of law and, it is an allegorical description of Jesus Christ’s life work and what is required of his followers.
In summary, the book of Leviticus may seem dry and full of dull laws but it affected the lives of an entire nation for several hundred years. Worship, marriage, pregnancy, immigration, sickness, death and crime are just a few of the scenarios this law has seen. Despite the laws no longer being practised, we ignore this book to our detriment, as it is a valuable tool that can teach us about God’s plan of salvation through His son Jesus Christ.
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3v24.