01 Leviticus 1-10 – Sacrifices and PriestsLeviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy - Life in the Desert
All written materials for this series will be posted on this website, http://servingandsharing.com/, under the category, “Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – Life in the Desert.” Here is my video presentation introducing this series – https://youtu.be/Lynx51p0tJA. Please use the “Contact” button to request corresponding handouts and outlines.
Watch this specific class presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKB1uvyHFM. The entire series will be added to this playlist as they are recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKB1uvyHFM&list=PL7JRppjEn33bCHyqZFRQ2JDiJnGRnOYyR.
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As we begin, here are some questions for thought and discussion.
What do the words “holy” and “holiness” mean? In what sense is God holy? Why is God’s Spirit designated as the “Holy Spirit?”
What caused holy people, places, and things to be holy? Think of the burning bush, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, Mount Sinai, etc.
What New Testament scriptures call us to holiness?
How is holiness related to happiness? Are they opposites? Or does holiness actually produce happiness?
Is holiness really necessary, or is it just recommended and optional, for those who are saved by grace?
Is holiness an inward condition of the heart, or an outward behavior, or both?
To win the world, should we become less holy and more similar to the world?
When we Christians are accused of being “holier than thou,” how should we respond?
What does the word “sacrifice” suggest? Cost? Loss? Giving up? Forfeiting?
If they gave what cost nothing, would that be a sacrifice? (2 Sam 24:24)
Why would Yahweh require sacrifices at all?
— To have one offer up what is costly and essential to one’s life?
— To have one express one’s commitment to holiness?
— To have one take time to meditate while preparing and offering sacrifice?
Why require items to be sacrificed that people would normally need for their food or livelihood?
Why were some to be animals and blood, while others were grain?
Why would he require such expense, time, detail, quantity, and repetition?
Why would some people sacrifice grudgingly, or maybe not at all?
Why would others sacrifice joyfully, maybe giving all that they had?
The Theme of Leviticus: Holiness
Lev 11:45 “For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The Same Theme for the Church and the Christian Today:
1 Pe 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. … 1 Pe 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious … 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Here is an excellent video with a clear, graphic overview of Leviticus. https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/torah-leviticus/
Leviticus: Symmetrical Outline
1-7 Ritual Sacrifices
8-10 Ordination of the Priests
11-15 Laws About Ritual Purity
16-17 Day of Atonement and Sacrifices
18-20 Laws About Moral Purity
21-22 Qualification of the Priests
23-27 Ritual Calendar
Lesson 01 — Leviticus 1-10 – Sacrifices and Priests
Allen Webster has written an article, “The Five Sacrifices of Calvary,” showing how Jesus Christ fulfills all the sacrifices described in Leviticus 1-7. https://housetohouse.com/the-five-sacrifices-of-calvary/
1:1-6:7 The Five Major Offerings
1:1-17 The burnt offering. 2:1-16 The grain offering. 3:1-17 The peace offering.
4:1-5:13 The sin offering. 5:14-6:7 The guilt offering.
6:8-7:36 The Handling of the Offerings
6:8-13 The burnt offering. 6:14-23 The grain offering. 6:24-30 The sin offering.
7:1-10 The guilt offering. 7:11-36 The peace offering.
7:37-38 Summary of the Offerings
8:1-10:20 The Establishment of the Priesthood
8:1-36 The ordination of Aaron and his sons.
9:1-24 The first tabernacle service.
10:1-20 The sin and death of Nadab and Abihu.
Now let’s look at the text itself. We’ll combine the description of each offering itself with the instructions for the priest’s handling of that same offering.
Lev 1:1-17; 6:8-13 – The Burnt Offering
Burnt offering noted in NT: Mark 12:33; Heb 10:6-8.
Voluntary. Thanksgiving, penitence, vows, and self-dedication.
Atonement: “at-one” reconciliation, covering sin, appeasing wrath.
1:3-9 Bull: costly, male without blemish.
Hand on the head = commitment, substitution. Blood sprinkled.
Parts arranged, washed of impurities, and burned completely.
1:10-13 Sheep or goat: again, male without blemish.
1:14-17 Dove or young pigeon
Wring and burn head, drain blood, remove crop (alimentary canal), tear open by wings without severing it, burn completely.
1:9, 13, 17 – “a pleasing aroma.” Eph 5:2; Phil 4:18
Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23 – The Grain Offering
“As a memorial.” Purpose – to honor and remember God, owner of all?
Tribute that the servant brings to his or her divine King.
Representing the consecration to God of the fruit of one’s labor.
Worshiper planted, cultivated, harvested, ground the grain into flour, then brought it to the priest, cooked (2:1-3) or uncooked (2:4-10).
Fine flour (wheat or barley), with olive oil, costly frankincense, salt.
Salt: a symbol of permanence, purity, and flavor.
Even the very poorest of the poor could participate in this offering.
Baked as bread or wafer (2:4), prepared on a griddle (2:5), or cooked in a pan (2:7). Remaining part given to Aaron and his sons for food.
Leaven or honey – no. Salt – yes. Note Mk 9:49-50.
Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-36 – The Peace Offering
Heb. shlamim (shalom): peace, well-being, health, wholeness, prosperity, salvation. Life in a proper relationship with God.
Purpose: to achieve, express fellowship with God. An occasion of special thanksgiving, or of a special vow to God, or of just plain, spontaneous celebration of God’s goodness. (Lev 7:12ff)
Cattle (3:1-5), sheep (3:6-11), or goat (3:12-17). Male or female.
Followed by a dinner party. Parts of the sacrificed animal as the entrée.
Only kidneys, fat covering intestines, and fatty lobe of liver were to be burned. Priest to be given the breast and the right thigh of the animal.
Fat-tail sheep. Tail weighed 15-20 pounds. Choicest part to eat.
Fat: given to the LORD. Blood: for atonement.
Lev 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30 – The Sin Offering
To purify the place of worship, contaminated by sin, for access to God.
“Unintentional” may be negligent, unpremeditated sin. (It is still sin!)
4:1-12 If the anointed priest sins. Higher standard and cost.
Bull’s blood sprinkled 7 times in front of the veil.
Remaining blood poured out at base of altar.
Some parts burned; the rest taken out of the camp. (Heb. 13:10-13)
4:13-21 If the whole congregation sins.
Elders lay hands on bull; then it is killed.
4:22-26 If a (tribal) ruler sins.
Male goat w/o blemish. Blood applied, poured.
“He shall be forgiven.”
4:27-35 If anyone else sins.
Female goat or lamb without blemish.
Blood applied, poured. “He shall be forgiven.”
5:1-6 Specific reasons:
Not giving testimony; becoming ritually unclean; rash oaths.
What to do? Realize guilt, confess sin, and bring sin offering.
5:7-13 For poorer worshipers:
Substitute two turtledoves or pigeons (5:7), or a small amount of flour, 1/10 of an ephah (Ephah = about 6 gallons) (5:11). Note Baby Jesus’ dedication at the temple (Luke 2:24).
Lev 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10 – The Guilt Offering
Possible distinctions from sin offering:
Guilt offering involved a breach of faith.
Guilt offering involved restitution and reparation.
5:14-16 Sins against holy things. Costly, with 20% added penalty.
5:17-19 Sins against God’s commands. Ram without blemish.
6:1-7 Sins against a neighbor. Defrauding, lying re: property, pledge, or robbery; extortion. 20% added penalty. Ram w/o blemish.
6:8-7:38 – Priest’s Role, Handling Offerings
7:37-38 – Summary of the Offerings
“The law … which the LORD commanded Moses on Mount Sinai.”
Sacrifices Christians are to Offer
Rom 12:1-2 Your bodies a living sacrifice.
Rom 15:16 Paul’s “offering” of the Gentiles.
Phil 2:17 Poured out as a drink offering.
Phil 4:18 Gift = a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice.
2 Tim 4:6 Paul poured out as a drink offering.
Heb 13:15-16 Praise, thanks, deeds, and sharing.
1 Pet 2:5 Holy priesthood, spiritual sacrifices.
Rev 5:8; 8:3-4 Prayers as incense rising.
Leviticus 8-10: The Priesthood
8:1-36 – Ordination of Aaron and His Sons
7 parts, marked by “as the LORD commanded.”
8:1-4 Preparation: items, entire assembly.
8:5-9 Washing and clothing: glorious attire.
8:10-13 Anointing: oil on tabernacles, altar, etc.
8:14-17 Sin offering to purify priesthood, altar.
8:18-21 Burnt offering: ram for Aaron and sons.
8:22-29 Peace offering: 2nd ram for installation.
8:30 2nd anointing: sprinkling oil on Aaron, etc.
8:31-36 Meal of covenant ratification.
9:1-24 – First Tabernacle Service
After 7 days of ordination, daily sacrifices begin.
9:7-14 First, atonement for the priests.
9:15-21 Then, atonement for the people.
From removing sinfulness (by the sin offering), to underscoring their petitions and praises (by the burnt offering), to fellowship (by the peace offering).
9:22-24 Aaron as the new mediator with Moses.
Yahweh’s miraculous fire consumes the animals, showing His approval.
10:1-20 – Nadab’s and Abihu’s Sin and Death
10:1-3 Aaron’s oldest sons. Sin of presumption. “Strange” fire, not as prescribed. Unauthorized worship violates God’s holiness and glory.
10:4-7 Moses tells Aaron’s other sons, Eleazar and Ithamar: “You represent the holy LORD and must uphold His holy standards.”
10:8-11 Aaron and sons: no alcohol. Be distinct. Teach the statutes.
10:12-15 Rules for priests to eat food after it was offered.
10:16-20 Rather than run the risk of defiling the sanctuary further by eating it, Aaron chose to burn up the entire goat.
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – Life in the Desert: Class outline, June – August, 2022.
01 6/5 Lev 1-10 Sacrifices and Priestly Ordination
02 6/12 Lev 11-16 Cleanness and Atonement
03 6/19 Lev 17-27 Laws for Priests and People
04 6/26 Num 1-10a Organization for the Nation
05 7/3 Num 10b-14 To the Border of the Promised Land
06 7/10 Num 15-20a Sojourn in the Wilderness
07 7/17 Num 20b-25 To the Plains of Moab
08 7/24 Num 26-36 Laws and Events in Moab
09 7/31 Deut 1-5 Commandments for the People
10 8/7 Deut 6-11 What God Expects of His People
11 8/14 Deut 12-26 Laws on Many Subjects
12 8/21 Deut 27-30 Blessings and Curses
13 8/28 Deut 31-34 Moses’ End