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Introduction to the Book of Leviticus Third book of the Pentateuch. Hebrew title: Wayyiqra. Title comes from the first words of the Hebrew text = "And.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Book of Leviticus Third book of the Pentateuch. Hebrew title: Wayyiqra. Title comes from the first words of the Hebrew text = "And."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the Book of Leviticus Third book of the Pentateuch. Hebrew title: Wayyiqra. Title comes from the first words of the Hebrew text = "And He called." Greek title: Leutikon. Appears in the Septuagint = "that which pertains to priests." Latin Vulgate translation derived the title Leviticus. Title is misleading. Leviticus deals with priestly requirements. All of Israel was to know and keep the Law.

2 Book of Leviticus Centers around the concept of the holiness of God. How an unholy people can acceptably approach God and remain holy. Includes rules on sex, marriage, touching blood, violating moral commandments and upholding Justice. Above all the keeping of feast days and celebrations to Yahweh. The key thought of Leviticus is holiness. The book of Leviticus can be understood as a handbook for holiness for the Israelite people.

3 In Leviticus: Spiritual holiness is symbolized by physical perfection. Demands for perfect animals for the many sacrifices. Requires a priest without deformity. Rules about a women's period. Sores, burns, and baldness. Such things were viewed as blemishes and may have represented people's spiritual defects.

4 Priests of the Tribe of Levi Leviticus was written by a priest of the tribe of Levi. (More likely that many people were involved in its writing.) They were the ones who led the Temple worship. Written during the period after the Babylonian Exile. Book is a handbook of instructions for Israel's worship. Community worship: 1. Expressed who they were as a people = specifically God's people. 2. Done with great reverence and care. 3. Grateful, humble and holy attitude toward God is to be lived out in everyday life. 4. Worship is only genuine when it is expressed in how people treat each other 5. Encourages: honesty, reverence, respect, tolerance, compassion and generosity

5 Sacrifices of Atonement When the people sinned against God they needed to do something to make amends (pay) for it; repair the damaged relationship. Sacrificed an animal. Blood poured out onto the altar signified life given to express sorrow. Altar signified the presence of God. Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): Priest enters the "Holy of Holies" = the sanctuary where God dwelled. Offered incense and the blood of a bull and a goat. Blood represented the life of the people given to God for the forgiveness of all the sins of all the people of the past year.

6 Sacrifices of Atonement and Jesus’ Death Atonement Payment for sins of Jewish people Sacrifice an animal (lamb) “Scapegoat” Animal blood poured on altar = life of people given to God for forgiveness of sins God forgives their sins Jesus’ death on cross Payment for the world’s sins Jesus: Lamb of God is sacrificed-“Scapegoat” Jesus’ blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins Jesus’ death reconciles us with God and our sins are forgiven

7 Not so common animals mentioned in Leviticus 11 Rock Badger Vulture Osprey Kite Nightjar Cormorant Hoopoe

8 Screech owl Barn owl Desert owl Buzzard Katydid Agama Skink

9 Leviticus chapter 11: The Division of Animals Pattern is based on Genesis 1. God has given order to the world by putting plants in the ground, birds in the air, fish swimming in the sea and animals that graze. All the forbidden foods in Leviticus fall under failures to this order. Creatures living in the sea that have no fins or scales are bad because they walk on the bottom of the sea as animals would on land. Birds that do not fly are bad. Animals that do not graze are to be avoided. Basic outlook of Israel toward food was not just as nourishment but to reflect God's goodness in creation What a person ate was highly symbolic of what a person believed.

10 The Meeting Tent: Holy of Holies

11 (9) 2nd Apartment The Holy of Holies (8) The Ark of the Testimony of God containing the 10 commandments (7) The Table of Showbread (6) The Golden Altar of Incense (5) 1st Apartment The Holy place (4) The Golden Candlestick (3) The Laver (2) The Brazen Altar of Burnt Offerings (1) The Sacrifice of the Lamb

12 The Brazen Altar of Burnt Offerings After confessing his sins over the animal and slaying it, the sinner let the priest as mediator take the lamb (or whatever animal was offered) and place selected portions of it (such as the fat, Lev. 4, 9) on the Brazen (Brass) Altar of Burnt Offerings, to be consumed by the flames. The Laver Located between the Brazen Altar of Burnt Offerings and the Sanctuary, the Laver was a basin filled with water used for ritual cleansing. Before handling the animal sacrifices brought by the people, the priest would have to cleanse his hands and feet with water from the Laver.

13 The Golden Candlestick (Menorah) To the south side of the room was a large golden candelabra, or Menorah, that had six branches off of a central candlestick. The Menorah used pure olive oil as fuel. It was the job of the priests to daily trim the wicks (which were made of old priestly garments) and refill the bowls of oil, so that the Menorah would constantly be a source of light. Sometimes the central candlestick is illustrated as being slightly taller than the others. The Menorah is also thought to be symbolic of the 7 days of creation, with the taller candlestick representing the Seventh - day (Saturday) Sabbath. The Table of Showbread A small table known as the table of Showbread. It was constructed of Acacia wood and covered with gold. On it were kept 12 loaves of unleavened bread (Lev 24:5-9). they represented the 12 tribes of Israel.

14 The Golden Altar of Incense In it was a brass pot, containing hot coals from the Brazen Altar of Burnt Offerings, and it was here that a very special blend of incense was burned by the priest, which filled the Sanctuary with a sweet smelling cloud, representing the prayers of the believers. On the day of atonement, blood from the lamb was put on the horns of the Golden Altar of Incense The Veil of the Sanctuary This veil or curtain between the two apartments of the Sanctuary, the Holy and the Most Holy, has great significance. This is because it was this veil that tore at the very moment Jesus died on the Cross. The Ark of the Covenant This was a box constructed of Acacia wood covered with Gold. Inside it was kept the two tables of stone upon which the 10 Commandments were written. Later it also contained Aaron's rod that budded, and a pot of manna. The lid of the Ark was called the Mercy Seat (Ex 25:17), and above it was where the glory of the Lord was present.

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