Condition: Brand New
Subject: Religion & Spirituality
Format: MP3 CD
As Translated in the
The Book of Leviticus
The Book of Leviticus (/lɪˈvɪtɪkəs/; from Greek Λευιτικόν, Leuitikon, meaning "relating to the Levites") is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the Torah (or Pentateuch), and the third book of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Its Hebrew name, Hebrew: ויקרא, Vayikra/Wayiqra, comes from its first word, "And He called." The English name is from the Latin Leviticus, taken in turn from Greek and a reference to the Levites, the tribe of Aaron, from whom the priests descended. The book, however, addresses all the people of Israel (1:2) though some passages address the priests specifically (6:8). Most of its chapters (1–7, 11–27) consist of God's speeches to Moses which he is commanded to repeat to the Israelites. This takes place within the story of the Israelites' Exodus after they escaped Egypt and reached Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1). The book of Exodus narrates how Moses led the Israelites in building the Tabernacle (Exodus 35–40) based on God's instructions (Exodus 25–31). Then in Leviticus, God tells the Israelites and their priests how to make offerings in the Tabernacle and how to conduct themselves while camped around the holy tent sanctuary. Leviticus takes place during the month or month-and-a-half between the completion of the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:17) and the Israelites' departure from Sinai (Numbers 1:1, 10:11).
The instructions of Leviticus emphasize ritual, legal and moral practices rather than beliefs. Nevertheless, they reflect the world view of the creation story in Genesis 1 that God wishes to live with humans. The book teaches that faithful performance of the sanctuary rituals can make that possible, so long as the people avoid sin and impurity whenever possible. The rituals, especially the sin and guilt offerings, provide the means to gain forgiveness for sins (Leviticus 4–5) and purification from impurities (Leviticus 11–16) so that God can continue to live in the Tabernacle in the midst of the people.
The traditional view is that Leviticus was compiled by Moses, or that the material in it goes back to his time, but internal clues suggest that the book developed much later in Israel's history and was completed either near the end of the Judean monarchy in the late seventh century BCE or in the exilic and post-exilic period of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. Scholars debate whether it was written primarily for Jewish worship in exile that centered on reading or preaching, or was aimed instead at worshipers at temples in Jerusalem and Samaria. but they are practically unanimous that the book had a long period of growth, and that although it includes some material of considerable antiquity, it reached its present form in the Persian period (538–332 BCE).
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