The Book of Leviticus


The book of Leviticus. We know you’ve been avoiding it cause it’s weird. So let’s fix that. Now remember the story of the Bible began with humans in God’s presence, but they were banished because of their rebellion. However, God wants to be in relationship with us, so He chooses one family that he will use to restore the world back into His presence. Tim: And so God’s presence comes to dwell in a tent right in the middle of Israel… Jon … and that’s great! But it creates a problem: because it’s so intense that Moses can’t go in and other priests who enter inappropriately… they die. Well, wait, if God’s presence is good, how is it all of a sudden dangerous for people? So think of it this way: God’s presence is like the sun – it’s pure power and goodness. And when something mortal and corruptible gets close to such pure power it’s destroyed. And so the word “holiness” is used in Leviticus to describe God’s pure and powerful presence, which like the sun is both good and dangerous. So the point of Leviticus is to show how corrupt Israelites can live near God’s goodness without being destroyed. Now in the book there are three ways for
how this is all going to work out and these are gonna seem strange to you
but just hang in there with us. Jon: The first one is rituals, the second is this idea of the priesthood, and the third is a bunch of purity laws. Tim: Now, the book is broken up into seven sections each solution is explored in two
sections of the book. The Rituals are here. The Priests are here. And the Purity Laws go here. Jon: Now the first solution, rituals, involves a lot of animal sacrifices. And so Leviticus begins with detailed instructions for how to make these sacrifices. Some are ways of saying “Thank You” to God and others are simply ways of saying “I’m Sorry.” Tim: And here at the end of the book there are some more rituals and these are about observing sacred days and festivals; they are all celebrations that retell some part of the story of how God rescued Israel and set them apart from the nations. Jon: The second solution to the holiness problem has to do with priests. You see, being directly in God’s presence is really dangerous, so He appoints priests as special representatives who can go into His presence on behalf of others. Tim: So in this section we have a story about how the priests are ordained into the priesthood. And then this other section explains this set of higher standards the priests have to live by, because they work so closely to God’s presence. Jon: The third solution in this book is all about Purity Laws, and this is by far the hardest thing to
understand for example in this section we’re really concerned with knowing whether you’re “clean” or “unclean”. Tim: Or another way of saying that is being “pure” and “impure”. Here’s what we need to know to understand this: when you’re in a pure state you can be near God’s presence, when you’re in an impure state you can’t. And so it was really important for Israelites to know what state they’re in at any given moment. Jon: So the first thing we have is a list of pure and impure animals. Tim: Yah, this list of animals is divided up by where they live: so, on the land in the sea, in the air. And the text is just not clear about why certain animals are impure or why touching or eating them makes you impure. What is clear, however, is that avoiding these creatures will set Israel apart, and it will remind them that God’s own holiness should affect every part of their lives including what they eat. Jon: After the food laws we get a lot of random rules about things like skin disease, touching dead bodies, what to do with bodily fluids… Tim: …But they’re not random. All of these are things that the Israelite’s associated with life and death, which are sacred things because God is the author of life. Jon: OK. But simply coming in contact with these things makes you impure? Tim: They do, but we have to keep in mind that it’s not wrong or sinful to be ritually impure – you just wait a few days, take a bath, offer a sacrifice, and you’re pure again. What is inappropriate is entering into God’s presence when you’re in an impure state. Jon: Now there’s more purity laws over here in this section. Tim: Yah, these focus on Israel’s moral behavior. So these are laws about social justice, healthy relationships, having sexual integrity. Living by these laws will make Israel into a morally pure people who can live near God’s presence. Jon: Those are the three solutions. Now you’ve probably noticed that they surround the very center of this book, and it’s here that we find a really important ritual called The Day of Atonement. Tim: Yah, so Israel’s a big tribe now, and odds are there’s a lot of sin happening that goes unnoticed that people are not deal with. And so one time a year the priests would take two goats, and one of those goats is killed and its blood is carried right into God’s presence where it symbolically covers, or atones for, Israel’s sin. Jon: Yah, that’s kinda weird… Tim: Well, the meaning of this sacrifice is explained in the next chapter where God says that the blood of a creature is its life, and so the goat’s life is offered as a substitute – it’s receiving God’s punishment for Israel’s sin so that the people don’t have to. Jon: That leaves the second goat. Tim: Yeah, the priest puts his hands on it, and then he confesses all the sins of Israel – it’s like he’s placing the sins on the goat. And then that goat gets cast out forever into the wilderness. It’s called The Scapegoat. Jon: Yeah, I’ve heard that word before. Tim: Yeah, it’s this very powerful image of how God is graciously removing Israel’s sin. Jon: But lets be honest, sacrifices in general it seem so barbaric. Tim: Well, you have to remember that in the ancient world sacrifices were the main way of buying favor from the gods. But the problem was that those same gods they’re unpredictable, they’re fickle, you never know if they’re gonna ignore you, or are they going to turn on you. So it’s in this cultural setting that we see Israel’s God as totally different. He does get angry about human corruption but it is never arbitrary. And He loves people, so He provides this clear way for Israel to know with confidence that they are forgiven, and that despite their corruption they are safe to live near His presence. And so that makes the book of Leviticus actually a revolutionary statement in its day. Jon: So that’s Leviticus. But Israel is still at Mt. Sinai in the middle of the wilderness, they need a place to live. T: Yes, the land God promised to Abraham, and so the journey to that land is what the next book of the Bible is all about.

85 thoughts on “The Book of Leviticus

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  • It would have been helpful to include a comparison of the sacrifice of lambs to the Ultimate Full and Perfect Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Yeshua Messiah. Like John the Baptist said, Behold the Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world. The Blood of the Lamb restores us to Life and Righteousness. It is the Greatest Gift of YHWH.

  • Due to the safety net provided through the sacrificial offerings and intercession of the high priests done on the people's behalf from the wrath of God, I want to know if it was ok for Israelites to continue sinning knowing that God forgives them despite their corruption?

  • Wasn't all these books once only oral? So what if, when the scribes wrote these, then the copyist copied them, couldn't they have added their own interpretation of what people should do? What I'm saying is what if animal sacrifices were never apart of our Most High, but since pagan worship was, they added it in to His too? I can't accept in my heart that our Creator would want all this death and blood rituals. I believe that's why Yashawah, came and set worship straight. Remember how many times, did the Son remind us that our Creator is the same from the beginning to eternity. He doesn't change. He hates murder, and therefore I don't believe that He would charge any human with killing another human for stealing, nor punish a woman for having unmarried sex but yet let men have concubines. I believe lots of things have been changed and that Yashawah, is the way, cthe truth and that all those bad scary things were never from out Creator and He hated their rituals and sacrifices.

  • So Jesus became both the sacrificial animal and the scapegoat!

    God bless you,Team!
    Thank God for using you guys to reach people in wonderful ways.

  • "I have come NOT to expel the law nor the prophets, I CAME TO FULFILL THEM. NOT ONE TITTLE NOR ONE JOT shall be added NOR REMOVED until the heavens and the earth perish." -Jesus in Matthew 5:17-18

  • Thanks for this video. Wow! This presentation sounds so catholic and the eucharist. Amen to you brothers. God bless

  • This is such a wonderfully clear explanation. God is unlink any other gods, redeeming and wooing people into a relationship with Himself… What a beautiful God!!

  • I had an atheist friend who asked, " why doesn't God just reveal himself to people" I said' if hid did so, you would be destroyed in his presence…

  • Isaiah 29:22 KJV – 
    22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.

  • Revelation 13:10 KJV – 
    10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

  • I think you missed one important point. The sins werent forgiven, the goat with the sins got just chasen away. With the sins- god just deals with them later, only jesus sacrifice can set us free from our sins and that is true always, even back then for the israelits.

  • I'm blown away. I'm reading through the bible for the first time chronically all the way through. This has been a great supplement for me. Now I can join a bible study for a deep dive and not be lost. Thank you for what you're doing.

  • Honestly I do not understand the animal sacrifices this way. I do know this is the beginning of understanding the sacrificial lamb. If I did not know this or was introduced this I still wouldn't understand what they were for.

  • The sun isn't good or evil, it's just the sun. The sun's effects can be positive or negative but that has nothing to do with its intent. You've taken an insane bloodlust book and just shrugged off all the inhumanity that is contained within.

  • I'm working with children and youth in Bangladesh..I love your videos..its very helpful for me and for my ministry..thank you so much..keep shining for Jesus.

  • "God loves people"; you mean God loves his people. God loves Israelites. A lot of hate is espoused if you interpret Leviticus literally.

  • Can we not use BLACK as a representative of EVIL, Rather use RED Please……Thats devision right there

  • I have a question, what should one do if they did an act of sexual impurity? Should they take a shower and sacrifice a goat, forgiveness of this sin? Have y'all found an answer to this in the bible?

  • Hey guys ur series are awesome. So informative and interesting thank you for bringing me closer to god. I hope for many more of these awesome videos down the road. Pray that many blessings come your way. God bless

  • For those of you animal activists and PETA members out there; don't get the wrong idea. God hated animal sacrifices. he was sick of Israels burnt offerings he wished they would just obey him stop shedding all of this innocent animal blood.

    Isaiah 1:11 – “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats."

  • Myself I don't think I'm better than God but what makes one better why would I not be able to see God himself. Why would I sacrifice an animal for ritual purposes, I understand that in those times that was currency but what use is it to God. Why are we not judge by the soul alone, there would be no reason to do certain things in heaven that we do on earth so if you have a pure soul does it matter if I make a sacrifice. If I'm willing to be honest about my sin why doesn't it stop there. Can anyone answer that without scripture, I feel like the bible is a prediction of morality so I would like to hear an logical answer.

  • Thank you guys for breaking down the book of Leviticus so well in a simple and entertaining way. It’s deeply appreciated since I’m bending over backwards trying to get the big picture of this book amidst all the details!! God bless you guys!

  • With anyone out there struggling to understand the book of Leviticus studying the topic of holiness really helps put things in appropriate-perspective. “The Holiness of God” by R.C Sproul breaks it down in a easy to understand but profound way. Holiness is a big part of the OT and Gods character. WARNING: Once you understand the idea of God’s holiness a lot ideas and perspectives you have are transformed🤯. It’s very confronting.

    Don’t be discouraged, but don’t be lazy either! Pray, study, and contemplate! Eat up the Word!

    Peace and Grace😌

  • In New Testament we are all Priest in the Presence of God ….. since we are Childrens of God we have Direct Connection to God our Holy Father ❤

  • This book is horror to the hebrews. These priests run the people like slaves. These animal sacrifices were barbaric and stupid. These priests were pure filthy and ignorant.

  • Wow Im reading Leviticus now and been skipping some chapters. Youve made the book very interesting for me. Thank you!

  • WOW – thank you sooooo much I can't tell you how much. I am sharing this on my FB page. I just skimmed over the one time I tried to read through the Word because I could NOT relate to it. Why? Because I'm lazy and I didn't see the need since I live in the time when my Lord, Jesus Christ has done all that "work" for me

  • God is not good. God is just another word for control and the Bible is just another rule book to abide by this control.

  • Hi Tim and John , this is Kashif from Pakistan sialkot. Your video is very helping i like it . Jesus bless both of you.

  • Leviticus is one of the last books i have to read this year to complete my bible reading….and I can’t say i was looking forward to it. BUT after listening and taking notes on this video, I am FAR MORE interested to read it! What a powerful explanation you gave on what a blessing this book actually was to them. This is great, thank you for all your hard work!

  • Tf. Offering innocent animals by turning your own sins unto them is morally corrupt. People who did that are most certainly in hell

  • ISAIAH 3 – LEVITICUS
    “And so it shall be: instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of a well-set hair, baldness; instead of a rich robe, a grinding of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.” (Isaiah 3:24)

    WORDS BY: FATHER

    "Worship. There are different forms of it performed to Me daily. But the beauty of it, and the worship I value, is beheld from the heart. The song is right; I search much deeper within, through the way things appear, I’m looking into your heart. I never look at what your body and actions do. But I watch, I evaluate how you come into My presence, what burdens you carry, what your thought life is like and where your desires are set upon. I then give back to you the measure your heart is true. I see many different hearts performing different types of worship daily but the person I am focusing on is you. What are you offering Me? A sweet smelling aroma or a stench? Instead of wearing the belt buckle of truth are you bound by the rope of bondage? Instead of wearing a crown of glory, are you coming bald with nothing to offer? Instead of wearing the robe of righteousness are you wearing sackcloth? Instead of beauty are you branded with the cares of the day? All these things have an effect in your worship for the better or worse.

    Coming into My presence should be no different than a priest entering the tabernacle. A cleansing is involved to purify all your impurities so that you may be ready to present your gift. All it takes is a step of faith by applying a blood covering and a heart ready to receive. Coming into My presence with burdens and unsettled issues within yourself or towards your brother, you are condemning yourself, for light cannot dwell with darkness. Therefore, when you come to Me, seek if there are any spots in your heart, cleanse them with the blood so that you may present to Me a true heart of worship."

  • what about all those sex rules? It may seem obvious to modern ears but the Israelite patriarchs had broken most of them. The father of Aaron & Moses had married his father's sister. Along with Abraham & his sister wife Sarah. Marrying 2 sisters-but isn't that how they got 12 tribes through Leah & Rachel. Also sleeping with fathers wife, not own mother is Reuben & Bilhah. Suddenly all these could carry a death sentence. Judah & his daughter-in-law Tamar!

  • I love all the information but stop calling GODS word weird and crazy all it is the flesh that can’t fathom human form can’t comprehend why we need to be in the spirit not flesh thank you no disrespect to you all Blessed job you are going I will continue to support Love to you all

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