© 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

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© 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUS OT101 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States of America COMMENTARY ON THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUS BY Dr. MEDHAT S. IBRAHIM OT 101 Servants’ Preparation Program 2002 High School Boys (July 22 – 26) High School Girls (July 26 – 30) College (August 6 – 10) Nashville, TN 2 © 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUS OT101 About the Book of Le
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   © 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States  THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUS OT101 2 © 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States of America COMMENTARY ON THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUSBY Dr. MEDHAT S. IBRAHIM   OT 101 Servants’ Preparation Program2002High School Boys (July 22 – 26)High School Girls (July 26 – 30)College (August 6 – 10)Nashville, TN  THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUS OT101 3 © 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States About the Book of Leviticus Leviticus used to be the first book that Jewish children studied in the synagogue. In the church it tends tobe the last part of the Bible anyone looks at seriously. Characteristics of the Book of Leviticus(1) Leviticus is largely a codebook, a book of regulations . If any book of the Old Testament couldbe called a “book of the law” surely the Book of Leviticus is such. The book is filled with regulations. (2) The Book of Leviticus is, to a great degree, a book of priestly regulations . In the Hebrewtext the first word of the Book of Leviticus, translated “and He called,” serves as the title of the book. TheEnglish title, Leviticus, is borrowed from the Latin Vulgate, which, in turn, is derived from the Septuagint, theancient Greek translation of the Hebrew text. Leviticus is not an inappropriate title for this, the third of thebooks of the Pentateuch written by Moses. It focuses on the Levitical priesthood, who are prominentlyfeatured in this book. (3) The Book of Leviticus contains many regulations pertaining to the laity, as well as to thepriests . It should be pointed out, however, that the book is not written exclusively for the levitical priests,but has much instruction directed to the Israelite layman. (4) The Book of Leviticus is a book of regulations which is given by God through Moses,spoken to him from the tent of meeting . The very first words of the Book of Leviticus are: “Then theLORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel andsay to them, …’” (Lev. 1:1-2). The regulations of Leviticus are a direct revelation from God to and throughMoses. (5) Leviticus is closely connected with the entire Pentateuch, and especially with Exodus andNumbers . In the srcinal text the Book of Leviticus begins with a connective, which is essentially equivalenthere to “and,” indicating to the reader that the book simply follows on with the events and content of theBook of Exodus. At the very conclusion of the Book of Exodus the presence of God descends upon thetabernacle. In Leviticus, the implications of the presence of God are spelled out. (6) Essentially, Leviticus can be divided into two major divisions, separated by chapter 16,which deals with the annual Day of Atonement . Chapters 1-15 deal with what we might call “priestlyholiness” for they give instructions about sacrifices and rituals, which ceremonially relate to one’s holiness.Chapters 17-27 deal more with what we could call “practical holiness,” that is holiness, which is workedout, in one’s daily walk, rather than by one’s religious or ritualistic activities. (7) Leviticus makes a great deal of some distinctions . Much of the Book of Leviticus is devoted todistinguishing between what is “clean” and “unclean,” and that which is “holy” from that which is “profane.”Finally, there are four key elements in the theology of the book: ã The Presence of God ã Holiness ã The Role of Sacrifice ã The Sinai Covenant We find the regulations for the various sacrifices in two major texts:  THE HOLY BOOK OF LEVITICUS OT101 4 © 2003 Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States First Regulations: Subsequent Regulations: (More “laity” directed) (More Priestly in orientation)Burnt Offering, ch. 1 Law of Burnt Offering, 6:8-13Grain Offering, ch. 2 Law of Grain Offering, 6:14-18(vv. 19-23, the priests grain offering),7:9-10Peace Offering, ch. 3 Law of Peace Offering, 7:11-34Sin Offering, ch. 4 Law of Sin Offering, 6:24-30Guilt Offering, ch. 5, 6:1-7 Law of Guilt Offering, 7:1-10Ordination Offering, 6:19-23 Ordination Offerings, 8:1–9:24Priests and offerings, 10:1-20 1   The Law of Burnt Offerings (Leviticus 1:1-17) The altar for the burnt offerings was of acacia wood, overlaid with bronze, being nearly 8 feet square andabout 4 and half feet high. It was a very large altar indeed, but certainly not too large considering the largenumber of sacrifices and offerings which it was required to facilitate. 1. Observations Concerning the Burnt Offerings(1) The burnt offering does not srcinate in Leviticus, but is found early in the Book of Genesis . The first “burnt offering” was that offered by Noah after the floodwaters had subsided, at whichtime he offered “burnt offerings” of all the clean animals (Gen. 8:20). God instructed Abraham to offer upIsaac as a “burnt offering” (Gen. 22:2ff.), and so the ram which God in Isaac’s place was offered byAbraham as a burnt offering (Gen. 22:13). When Moses told Pharaoh that Israel must take their cattle withthem into the wilderness to worship their God, it was because they needed them to offer burnt offerings(Exodus. 10:25-26). Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, offered a burnt offering to God in Exodus chapter 18 (v.12). The Israelites offered up burnt offerings in conjunction with their meeting with God and receiving Hiscovenant on Mt. Sinai (Exodus. 20:24; 24:5, etc.). Unfortunately, when the Israelites worshipped the goldencalf they offered up burnt offerings as a part of their false worship (Exodus. 32:6). (2) The burnt offering regulated in Leviticus chapter 1 was viewed primarily a personalofferings, done voluntarily by the individual Israelite . The verse 2 reads, “Speak to the sons of Israeland say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock’” (Lev. 1:2). From here on, the personal pronoun “he” is employed,referring to this individual Israelite, who comes with the burnt offering. It is also apparent that it was only themales who could make these offerings to the Lord. It seems that they represented their families (Job 1:5). (3) The burnt offering is one of the most common offerings, which is offered on a great varietyof occasions, often in conjunction with another sacrifice or offering. There were the regularlyscheduled times for the burnt offering. Burnt offerings were to be made every day, in the morning and the
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