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This article forms part of the series on the
The Old Testament - Septuagint
or simply "LXX", the Koine Greek version
of the Hebrew Bible.
Pentateuch or "the Law"
1.Genesis | 2.Exodus | 3.Leviticus | 4.Numbers | 5.Deuteronomy
Historical Books
6.Joshua | 7.Judges | 8.Ruth

9.I Kingdoms | 10.II Kingdoms | 11.III Kingdoms | 12.IV Kingdoms
13.I Chronicles | 14.II Chronicles | 15.I Esdras | 16.II Esdras
17.Nehemiah | 18.Tobit | 19.Judith | 20.Esther with additions
21.I Maccabees | 22.II Maccabees | 23.III Maccabees

Books of Wisdom
24.Book of Psalms | 25.Job | 26.Proverbs
27.Ecclesiastes | 28.Song of Solomon
29.Wisdom of Solomon | 30.Wisdom of Sirach
The Prophets
The Minor Prophets, or "The Twelve"

31.Hosea | 32.Amos | 33.Micah | 34.Joel | 35.Obadiah | 36.Jonah
37.Nahum | 38.Habakkuk | 39.Zephania | 40.Haggai | 41.Zachariah

The Major Prophets

43.Isaiah | 44.Jeremiah | 45.Baruch | 46.Lamentations
47.Letter of Jeremiah | 48.Ezekiel | 49.Daniel with additions

IV Maccabees

The Book of Leviticus (Greek;Λευιτικός /"Relating to the Levites), [1] is the third book of Moses and the Old Testament. The English title, Leviticus, comes from the Latin Vulgate version of the Greek OT (Septuagint, LXX) Leuticon meaning "matters of the Levites" (25:32, 33). Whilest the book addresses issues of the Levite's responsibilities, much more significantly, all the priests are instructed in how they are to assist the people in worship and the people are informed on how to lead a holy life.

The Book of Leviticus is quoted in the New Testament on 15 occasions.

Leviticus contains extremely specific details of the laws and priestly rituals. The first 16 chapters and the last chapter make up the Priestly Code, with rules for ritual cleanliness, sin-offerings, and the Day of Atonement, including Chapter 12 which mandates male circumcision. Chapters 17-26 contain the Holiness Code, including the injunction in chapter 19 to "love one's neighbor as oneself" as later confirmed by Jesus in the Gospels. The book is largely concerned with "abominations", largely dietary and sexual restrictions. The rules are generally addressed to the Israelites, except for the prohibition in chapter 20 against sacrificing children to Molech, which applies equally to "the strangers that sojourn in Israel."

Authorship and writing

Christian and Jewish tradition holds that God dictated the Book of Leviticus to Moses as He did the other Books of the Law [2]

The authorship and date issues are resolved in the verse: "These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai" (27:34; cf. 7:38; 25:1 and 26:46). In the bible, the fact that God gives these laws to Moses appears 56 times in Leviticus. In addition to recording detailed prescriptions, this book chronicles several historical accounts relating to the laws [3] The Exodus is dated to have occured ca. 1445 BC and the tabernacle is estimated to have finished one year later [4] Leviticus picks up the record from Exodus, it is likely that this was revealed in the first month (Abib/Nisan) of the second year afte the Exodus. So, the Book of Numbers beings after that in the second month (Ziv; cf. Num 1:1).

Modern scholarship sees the Bookf o Leviticus as a product of the Priestly source and therefore dates it to the fifth century BC.

Major Theme

Points to develop:

  • How to have access to God through appropriate worship and
  • How to be spiritually acceptable to God through an obedient walk.

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Even though the book contains a great deal of law, it is presented in a historical format. There is no geographical movement of the people of Israel. They remain situated at the foot of Sinai, the mountain where God came down to give His law (25:1; 26:46 and 27:34). Immediately after this Moses supervised the construction of the tabernacle, God came in glory to dwell there; this marks the close of the book of Exodus (40:38).

Leviticus is both a manual for the worship of God in Israel and a theology of the Old Covenant ritual. Comprehensive understanding of the ceremonies, laws and ritual details prescribed in the book is difficult in todays society because Moses assumed a certain context of historical understanding. Once the challenges of understanding the detailed prescriptions has been met, questions arise as to how believers in the church should respond to them, since the New Testament clearly abrogates Old Testament ceremonial law [5], the levitical priesthood [6] and the sanctuary [7] as well as instituting the New Covenant [8]

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  1. Laws pertaining to Sacrficice
  2. Beginnings of the Priesthood
  3. Prescriptions for Uncleanness
  4. Guidelines for Practical Holiness


  1. The Book of Leviticus is also known as Vayikra (Hebrew: ויקרא, literally "and He called") and is the third book in the Jewish Pentateuch (/Greek) or Torah(תּוֹרָה(Hebrew).
  2. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Megillah, p. 31B; see also Rashi on Deuteronomy, Ch. 28:23; see also the commentary of Ohr HaChaim at the beginning of Deuteronomy, where he states, "the first four books God dictated to Moses, letter by letter, and the fifth book, Moses said on his own." See also Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, Likkutei Sichot, Vol. 19, p. 9, f. 6, and additional references there. See Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911.
  3. See, Leviticus 8-10 and 24:10-23.
  4. Exodus 40:17.
  5. cf. Acts 10:1-16; Col 2:16, 17.
  6. Scriptural referencing required.
  7. Scriptural referencing required.
  8. Scriptural referencign required.

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