The Priests Begin Their Ministry
1On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the Lord. 3 Then say to the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb—both a year old and without defect—for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before the Lord, together with a grain offering mixed with olive oil. For today the Lord will appear to you.’”
5 They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before the Lord. 6 Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.”
7 Moses said to Aaron, “Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.”
8 So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. 9 His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering, as the Lord commanded Moses; 11 the flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp.
12 Then he slaughtered the burnt offering. His sons handed him the blood, and he splashed it against the sides of the altar. 13 They handed him the burnt offering piece by piece, including the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 He washed the internal organs and the legs and burned them on top of the burnt offering on the altar.
15 Aaron then brought the offering that was for the people. He took the goat for the people’s sin offering and slaughtered it and offered it for a sin offering as he did with the first one.
16 He brought the burnt offering and offered it in the prescribed way. 17 He also brought the grain offering, took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering.
18 He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he splashed it against the sides of the altar. 19 But the fat portions of the ox and the ram—the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— 20 these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. 21 Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.
22 Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.
23 Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
Leviticus Chapter 9 details the ministry of Aaron and his sons and the appearance of the Lord to the people of Israel.
Instructions for a Sin Offering
Chapter 9 of Leviticus begins with Aaron and his sons beginning their journey into priesthood. Moses, who led them through the process, explained to them the proper way to begin their ministry. He instructed them to bring a sin offering and a guilt offering to the Tent of Meeting.
According to the instructions Moses received from God, a perfect male calf should be sacrificed for a sin offering and a ram should be sacrificed for a burnt offering. Moses then instructed them to tell the Israelites to make a series of offerings in order to seek atonement.
Moses and Aaron Make Offerings
The Israelites were to bring a variety of different animals for sacrifice to the Tent of Meeting. They were also to bring a grain offering that was mixed with oil to the altar. As Moses performed the proper ritual, the entire Israelite community was to stand in front of the Lord and ask for His forgiveness.
Aaron also conducted some of the sacrifices as he asked for forgiveness on the community’s behalf. Once all of the offerings were completed, Aaron and Moses proceeded to lift their hands and bless the people that stood before them.
The Glory of God Appears
After the people had been blessed by Moses and Aaron, the light of the Lord appeared for all to see. In addition to the light, God sent fire down from Heaven that ignited the offering at the altar. The Israelites were overwhelmed with the glory of God after witnessing such miraculous events. They shouted with joy before falling to their knees to give thanks and praise to God.
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Leviticus 9 (King James Version)
And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.
And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering;
Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the LORD will appear unto you.
And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD.
And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you.
And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded.
Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar:
But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses.
And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp.
And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar.
And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar.
And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar.
And he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first.
And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner.
And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning.
He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about,
And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver:
And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar:
And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded.
And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.
And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.
And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
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authored the book of Leviticus.
Leviticus called,” named after the first word in the Hebrew text] is the third book of the Old Testament, part of the Pentateuch, the most important part of the Bible in Judaism. The book is chiastically structured.
Many Christian and Jewish conservatives believe that Moses is the sole author of the Pentateuch and that he was inspired directly by God to write text to write the Pentateuch in the space of a month, that month being the first of the second year after the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.
Most of Leviticus is filled with laws and codes, many of which are ritualistically followed by Orthodox Judaism. Much of Christianity, but not all, sees the law structure as being superseded by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Pauline teaching is that we were first under grace for salvation and the law, such as it is in Leviticus and recorded in other Old Testament books, is to show us the standard that we would have to uphold if there was no grace – a standard from which we would fall short.
There are two main sections in Leviticus:
Summary of Leviticus 1-16
Is the priestly code and many of its rules and regulations. Among these regulations:
Offerings: Leviticus 1-7
- Burnt Offerings (Leviticus 1)
- Offerings of meat (Leviticus 2)
- Peace Offerings (Leviticus 3)
- Offerings for sin (Leviticus 4)
- Offerings for trespass (Leviticus 5)
- Instructions for Priests regarding offerings (Leviticus 6-7)
Sacrificial Stories 8-10
- Aaron and his sons are made into priests (Leviticus 8)
- Aaron’s sons “offered strange fire before the Lord” and are burnt to death for their sins by God directly. (Leviticus 9-10)
More Laws 11-16
- Which animals are clean and which are unclean. (Leviticus 11)
- How to purify a woman rendered unclean from child birth. (Leviticus 12)
- Laws of leprosy and lepers as well as laws of mildew. (Leviticus 13-14)
- Laws regarding on the rendering clean of issues of bodily fluids from men and women and how to become clean. (Leviticus 15)
- On atonement and the description of the scapegoat. (Leviticus 16)
Holiness Code: Leviticus 17-26
See also: Leviticus 18 This is a very clear and concise expression of laws and holiness. It is not thought that Leviticus 27 is part of this concision of laws.
- Prohibition on the consumption of blood and of anything that has died naturally, also subjects idolatry and proper sacrifice of animals (Leviticus 17)
- Prohibition of incest, and of relations with the wife of a neighbor. (Leviticus 18)
- Prohibition of looking upon a woman while she is menstruating. (Leviticus 18)
- Prohibition of sacrifice of humans (Leviticus 18)
- Prohibition of homosexuality and bestiality (Leviticus 18)
- Many laws and admonitions: Keep the Sabbath, help the poor, do not steal or lie or cheat, be kind to the blind and dumb, don’t be a gossip, love thy neighbor, don’t let cows interbreed, don’t used mixed seeds, do not wear two types of fabric at once, relations with slave women, do not eat fruit from trees for four years, no magic, no astrology, guidelines for haircuts and shaving, no tattoos, respect elders, treat strangers kindly, be fair. (All Leviticus 19)
- Punishments: All who sacrifice their children will be put to death, all who do not respect their parents will be put to death, both of those who adulterer shall be put to death, those who have relations with their fathers wife or son’s wife shall be put to death, those who engage in sodomy shall be put to death, those who engage in relations with their mother in law will incur burning death upon man, wife and mother, those who engage in bestiality will be put to death along with the animal, do not look at naked or have relations with your sister, uncle’s wife or brother’s wife, witches and wizards should be stoned. (Leviticus 20)
- Priestly codes: Priests must marry virgins, cannot shave their heads, daughters will be burnt alive if they are “whores,” no lame or dwarven or blemished or handicapped priests. (Leviticus 21)
- Holy food: No unclean man shall eat of the holy food, nor shall strangers, slaves or servants unless the priest owns them. If the Priest’s daughter marries a stranger she shall not eat the holy food. Your sacrifices to the Lord may not be deformed. (Leviticus 22)
- Keep the Sabbath, make festivals and make offerings to God. Save some of your harvest for the poor. God will destroy you if you violate the Sabbath. (Leviticus 23)
- Altar of incense (Leviticus 24)
- A blasphemer is put to death. All blasphemers shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24)
- Murderers shall be put to death. Those who kill beasts shall have their own beasts killed. “Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.” (Leviticus 24)
- Laws regarding the Sabbath and the Jubilee year, and laws regarding slavery. (Leviticus 25)
- Those who follow God’s commandments shall be rewarded. They shall be prosperous and blessed with good weather and respected by God. Those who dispute God’s commandments will be punished. Their crops will fail and be eaten by enemies, they will be killed by enemies, their children will be eaten by wild animals, there will be pestilence, then they will eat their own children. (Leviticus 26)
- Also there is Leviticus 27. It concerns the commutation vows and sets the price for each human being. It is not a part of the Holiness code, though.
There are many very important passages in Leviticus:
Aaron and his Sons
- 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
- 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
- 10:3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
- 10:4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.
- 10:5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said.
- 10:6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.
Important Laws of Leviticus 18
- 18:10 The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.
- 18:11 The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
- 18:12 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman.
- 18:13 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman.
- 18:14 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.
- 18:15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
- 18:16 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.
- 18:17 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
- 18:18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her lifetime.
- 18:19 Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
- 18:20 Moreover, thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her.
- 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
- 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
- 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Important Laws of Leviticus 19
- 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
- 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
- 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
- 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
- 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.
- 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
- 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
- 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
- 19:26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
- 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
- 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
- 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
- 19:35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
Punishments of Leviticus 20
- 20:2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
- 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
- 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
- 20:11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
- 20:12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
- 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
- 20:15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
- 20:16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
- 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
- 20:18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
- 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
Codes of Justice in Leviticus 24
- 24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone * him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
- 24:17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
- 24:18 And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
- 24:19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
- 24:20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
- 24:21 And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.
- Jewish philosophy
- Leviticus (Translated)