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Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Introduction to Leviticus
Sources Used to Write this Study
The Concordia Commentary Leviticus (CCL) by John Kleinig (Primary Source)
The Holy Bible (ESV)
The Concordia Self Study Bible (CSSB) edited by Robert Hoerber, (NIV)
The Concordia Self Study Commentary (CSSC) by Walter Roehrs

The Theological Framework of Leviticus


The tabernacle was the place where God dwelled with His people. At the tabernacle
substitutionary atonement provided the forgiveness and cleansing necessary for the
Israelites to approach God and gain access to His grace and favor. Gods revelation to
Moses at the tabernacle finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. So in the end Leviticus
proclaims the Gospel.
Leviticus is Torah and Torah is instruction from God, both Law and Gospel. The
commandments and decrees of Leviticus are: 1) creative they create the tabernacle and
access to God; 2) sanctifying God makes and keeps things holy and empowers them
with His holiness; 3) life-giving God shares His life and protects against anything that
diminishes that life (18:5). The divine service (the offerings prescribed by God at the
tabernacle) enacts Gods Word, is sacramental, and is where He meets with and interacts
with His people.
The tabernacle is Gods place of residence with His people (26:11). His presence was
veiled by a cloud and concealed by the Holy of Holies. When people came to the
tabernacle, they came before the Lord.
God was holy and people were not. His presence then presented danger to them. His
presence was either life-giving or deadly, bringing either joy or terror. The divine service
gave safe access to Him through the altar of burnt offering. The initial rite of atonement
assured a favorable reception from Him (forgiven and cleansed of sin). In the divine
service He shared His holiness with them and blessed them.
Leviticus presupposes Gods presence and interaction with His people in the daily service
(the daily sacrifices) which were established in Exodus.
Leviticus shows when, where, how, and why God shares His holiness. This is done
through rituals. Pagan nations had many sources of holiness, many gods. But Yahweh
alone is holy. He is the Holy One. Holiness is only available through contact with God.
Holiness was a contingent condition. It was lost when contact with God was lost.
Holiness is undefinable. It can only be experienced by personal contact and ritual
interaction with God at the sanctuary. In the NT that involves the incarnation of and

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


interaction with Christ. Access to Gods holiness depends on ones proximity to Him.
There are three spheres of holiness and three classes of holy people in Leviticus:
Holy of Holies
High Priest

The Holy Place


Officiating priests

Courtyard
Congregation of Israel

There are three states of being that are described in Leviticus. They are:
1) Holy and clean
2) Clean and common
3) Common and unclean
Theologically people are either holy or common. Anthropologically people are either
clean or unclean. Yahwehs presence sanctifies and makes holy. Yahwehs presence
purifies; it leads from unclean to clean. And it sanctifies; it leads from clean to holy.
Conversely, desecration leads from holy/clean to common and defilement leads from
clean to unclean
Theologically, all people are unclean and are in need of constant purification. All need to
be purified before they can enter the sanctuary and share in Gods holiness. Thus God
alone is the source of purity (as He alone is holy). He cleanses and sanctifies through the
daily service.
The effect of Gods holiness on a person depends upon the state of the person. If he is
ritually clean then His presence is life-giving. If he is unclean then His presence is deathdealing. The tabernacle and its services were designed to forestall separation and death.
The priests were responsible for the protection of Gods holiness and the purification of
the people. If His holiness was desecrated, the priests would suffer Gods wrath.
Holiness and impurity are both a status and a power. They are opposites, just as light and
life are incompatible with darkness and death. Impurity disqualifies from admission to
Gods presence at the sanctuary. When the unclean comes into contact with the holy it
arouses Gods wrath. His holiness destroys the unclean like fire burns up gas or light
banishes darkness. The Common is like a buffer zone between the two incompatible
poles of holiness and impurity.
Degrees of Holiness
Places
Holy of Holies
Holy Place and Altar
Courtyard
Israelite Home
Israelite Camp/Town
Clean Dump Outside of Camp
Unclean Area Outside of Camp
Wilderness

Persons
God and High Priests
Unblemished Priests
Congregation of Israel
Clean Israelites
Israelites and Resident Aliens
Ashes and Carcasses from Sin Offering
Unclean People and Things
Azazel

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Some impurity (mediums, child sacrifice) required the death penalty. Some impurity
required only washing. Ritual purity was required for participation in Gods holiness.
God did not keep His holiness to Himself or distance Himself from sinful people. Instead
He came down to earth to share His holiness. He makes and keeps people holy: I am the
Lord, who sanctifies you/them in ongoing action, repeatedly and continually.
God made people holy by communicating His holiness physically with His people
through holy things altar, sanctuary, holy food for priests, and holy food in the divine
service for the Israelites.

Context for Leviticus


Leviticus is a continuation of Exodus. Instructions for the tabernacle had been given in
Exodus and the tabernacle had been built as Yahweh instructed. From the cloud of
Yahwehs presence on Mt. Sinai, Yahweh had spoken to Moses. After the tabernacle was
built, Yahwehs cloud of presence moved from Sinai to the Tent of Meeting (the
tabernacle). Yahweh now spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting. So Yahwehs presence
in the tabernacle was not a result of the sacrificial ritual. When the ritual was performed,
it did not summons and evoke Yahwehs presence. He was already there. In other words,
people do not manipulate God by offering sacrifices. By providing sacrifices God
provided a way for His people to meet with Him and a means through which He could
bless them.
In Leviticus God is about to give legislation authorizing and explaining exactly how it is
that the Israelites can meet with Him and receive His grace (worship). It is Gods Word
that will determine how, where, and by whom He should be worshipped.
The layout of the tabernacle created two focal points: the incense altar inside the tent and
the altar of burnt offering in the courtyard. God met with Moses in the tent and He met
with the people at the altar of burnt offering.

High Level Outline of Leviticus


I. The Involvement of the Israelites in the Divine Service (1:1 15:33)
A. The Manual of Offerings (1:1 7:35)
B. The Inauguration of the Divine Service (8:1 10:20)
C. The Manual for Purity (11:1 15:33)
II. The Ritual for the Day of Atonement (16:1-34)
III. The Participation of the Israelites in Gods Holiness (17:1 27:34)
A. Reverence for the Sanctuary (17:1-22:33)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


B. Observance of the Sabbaths (23:1-25:55)
C. Promises and Warnings: Gods Policy for Israel (26:1-46)
D. Votive Offerings and Consecrated Things (27:1-34)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 1: Background and Setting for Leviticus
Read Ex. 19:1-6; Ex. 25:8; Ex. 24:15-18; Ex. 40; Ex. 29:38-46
1. In the first part of the book of Exodus God rescued Israel from their bondage in
Egypt. He did this through the ten plagues (Ex. 7-11), which included the
Passover (Ex. 12), and through their miraculous escape through the Red Sea (Ex.
14). After Yahweh brought them safely through the Red Sea into what did he lead
them (Ex. 15:22)?

Yahweh led them into the desert.

In such an inhospitable environment Yahweh took care of them. At a very high


level, what did he do for them in each of the following passages?

Ex. 16: He fed them quail and manna.

Ex. 17:1-7: He provided water for them.

Ex. 17:8-16 He fought for them and defeated the Amalekites.

Once in the desert, where did Yahweh lead them to (Ex. 19:1-4)?

Yahweh led to them into the desert of Sinai and had them camp in front of
Mt. Sinai. At that place God was present. Therefore God led them into his
holy presence.

Point: The setting then as Leviticus begins is that Israel has been delivered from
slavery in Egypt, has been provided for in the desert by Yahweh, and has been led
by Yahweh to Mt. Sinai to his holy presence. Mt. Sinai is the location for most of
the second half of Exodus, all of Leviticus, and the first few chapters of Numbers.
2. While at Mt. Sinai Yahweh reminded Israel what he had done for them and he
made a covenant with them (Ex. 19-24). In this covenant Yahweh was to be their
God and they were to be his holy and priestly people. This relationship between
Yahweh and Israel had actually existed from the time of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob. Now that that relationship had been formalized in the covenant, what did
Yahweh wish to do (Ex. 25:8b; 29:45)?

Yahweh wished to dwell among them.

Where would he do this (Ex. 25:8a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Yahweh would live among his people in a sanctuary that the Israelites
would make for him.

Yahweh gave them instructions on what materials to use and how to build this
sanctuary (Ex. 25-30). The people provided the materials needed and craftsmen
made everything as Yahweh had specified (Ex. 35-39). What was this sanctuary
called (Ex. 40:1)?

Yahwehs holy sanctuary in which he would live among his people was
called the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.

Yahweh instructed Moses on how to set the tabernacle up. Moses was to start with
the Most Holy Place and its furniture (Ex. 40:3). He was then to set up the Holy
Place (Ex. 40:4-5). Finally, he was to set up the outer courtyard (Ex. 40:6-8).
What was Moses then to do to with all of the furnishings (Ex. 40:9-11)?

He was to anoint them with oil and consecrate them, setting them aside for
Yahwehs purposes.

What was Moses to do to Aaron and his sons, the divinely appointed priests (Ex.
40:12-15)?

Moses was to anoint and consecrate them, setting them aside for service to
Yahweh.

Point: Yahweh wished to dwell with Israel so he gave Israel instructions on what
materials to use and how to build a sanctuary in which he might do this. He also
set aside priests who would serve him at his royal residence.
3. Having received these instructions from Yahweh (Ex. 40:1-15), what did Moses
do in response (Ex. 40:16-33)? What is being stressed? (Ex. 40:16b, 21b, 23b,
25b, 27b, 29b, 32b)

Moses did everything just as Yahweh commanded him. He set up the


tabernacle and everything in it just as God had commanded him to do.

Yahweh took the initiative and Moses responded in the obedience of faith. Moses
did all these things in preparation for Gods life-giving presence among his
people.
Point: This is how a relationship with God works. He reveals himself and his will
to us through his Word and we respond by believing it and obeying it. As his
people, this is how Israel should live.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


4. When Israel left Egypt they were led by Yahweh. What form did he take to lead
them so that they could visibly see him (Ex. 13:21-22)?

Yahweh went ahead of them and led them in the form of a pillar of cloud
by day and a pillar of fire by night.

When the covenant was confirmed and ratified Moses went up on the mountain of
God (Ex. 25:13). When he did what settled on top of the mountain for seven days
(Ex. 24:15-18)? Who was in it? How do we know?

The glory of Yahweh settled on the top of the mountain in the visible form
of a cloud. Gods glory in the cloud looked like a consuming fire to Israel.
Not only do we know that Yahweh was in the cloud by his glory, but also
because he called out to Moses from within the cloud.
.
.

While camped at Mt. Sinai, before the tabernacle was erected, Moses set up a tent
outside the camp, which was also called the tent of meeting (Ex. 33:7a). The
purpose of this tent was so that people could inquire of Yahweh (Ex. 33:7b).
When such an inquiry took place, Moses got up and went out to the tent. When he
did, all of the people stood up at the entrance of their own tents in reverence.
What happened when Moses entered the tent (Ex. 33:9-10)?

When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and
stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses.
And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of
the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door.
.
.

What happened inside the tent as the cloud stood at the entrance of the tent (Ex.
33:11a)?

Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to
his friend.

In the making of two new stone tablets, Moses took two tablets with him and
ascended Mt. Sinai as God commanded (Ex. 34:1-4). When Moses went up what
happened (Ex. 34:4)?

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and
proclaimed the name of the LORD.

In all of these cases we just went through what is always associated with the
cloud? What does the cloud represent?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

In all of these cases the cloud represents the presence of Yahweh. In the
form of a cloud Yahweh led them and protected them. He spoke from the
cloud. From the cloud the glory of his presence shined forth.

Point: Many times throughout Scripture the cloud is used as a symbol of Gods
holy presence with his people.
5. Now that the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, had been set up as the LORD had
commanded Moses (Ex. 40:16-33), what happened (Ex. 40:34-35)?

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD
filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting
because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the
tabernacle. The glory cloud which descended and filled the tabernacle
represented Yahweh taking up residence in the tabernacle. He literally
tabernacled or tented among his chosen people.
.
.
.

Point: The reason and importance for all of the detailed instructions concerning
the tabernacle is now clear. Through this means God chose to dwell among his
people. Throughout their time at Sinai and in their travels through the desert
Yahweh was visibly present with his people and continued to lead his people in
the form of a cloud/fire (Ex. 40:36-38).
Fulfillment in Christ: In the beginning of his gospel, John writes that the Word
became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14a). The Word who became flesh is
of course Jesus, Gods Son. And when he came to earth as a human being he
dwelt among us. A more literal translation of the word translated as dwelt
would be tabernacled. Jesus tabernacled among us.
Therefore the OT tabernacle in which God lived among his people foreshadowed
and prefigured the NT tabernacle, Jesus Christ. It is in Christ that God lives
among his people. Not only did God live among his people in the OT and NT
times, but in the book of Revelation John sees in a vision that God will live
(dwell, tabernacle) among his people in the new heaven and new earth throughout
eternity (Rev.21:3).
6. In Ex. 29 Yahweh gives instructions for the consecration of the priests. What was
it that the priests were to do each and every day (Ex. 29:38-42)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Each day the priests were to offer up two lambs, one in the morning and
one in the evening. They were to offer them up as burnt offerings. In
conjunction with the offering of each lamb was a grain offering.
.
.

As we will see in Leviticus, other offerings could be added to these two basic
offerings. But the daily whole burnt offering and grain offering were the
foundational offerings of the sacrificial system. They were offered everyday,
morning and evening. We will refer to them as the public burnt offerings (not to
be confused with the private burnt offerings) and the public grain offerings (not to
be confused with the private grain offerings). The whole system of offerings
offered at the tabernacle might be termed the OT divine service. (Much more on
this will follow in the Bible Study.)
The daily burnt offering was the foundational offering on which all other offerings
depended. In this offering a whole lamb was burned on the altar for Israel. The
emphasis of this offering was on Yahwehs promises:
To meet with Israel at the Tent of Meeting.
To dwell among the Israelites.
To be the Israelites God.
The public burnt offering was sacramental (God giving His gifts through physical
means). This offering made it possible for holy Yahweh to meet with His unholy
people. That was its primary function.
Fulfillment in Christ: The two offerings of the daily OT divine service
correspond to the two main parts of the NT Divine Service, the Service of the
Word and the Service of Holy Communion.
In the OT public burnt offering blood atonement was made and the burning of the
offering on the altar resulted in a sweet smelling aroma that arose to God. In the
Service of the Word atonement is not made, but the results from Jesus atoning
work on the cross (forgiveness, peace, life) are distributed. In the Service of the
Word God proclaims and offers to us through the pastor the Good News of our
salvation won by Jesus. The Gospel read and proclaimed in the Service of the
Word is the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Christ and his saving work that
is spread throughout the world by Christians (2 Cor. 2:14-16).
In the OT public grain offering which was offered each day, a portion of the grain
was offered on the altar. Because of this contact with the altar the rest of the grain
became most holy food which God gave to the priests to eat. This corresponds to
the Service of the Sacrament in which the holy body and blood of Christ are the
holy food provided by God for the priesthood of all believers to eat and drink.
So the OT divine service with its sacrifices was a precursor and shadow of the NT
Divine Service in which Gods grace is received. The other OT sacrifices which

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


were added to these foundational sacrifices also correspond to other parts of the
NT Divine Service.
7. If one were to pick one word to sum up Leviticus that word might be holy. In all
of creation only God is holy. A holy God can only associate himself with holy
people and things. And those whom God associates himself with are required to
live holy lives. But the fact is that no human being is holy. How then can holy
God have a relationship with sinful human beings? The only answer possible is
that God must share his holiness with them. In Leviticus and the OT he does this
through the sacrificial system, the divine service (the first major part of Leviticus,
chapters 1-7). By his Word Yahweh told Moses that it was through the sacrifices
which were brought by the people and administered by the priests at the
tabernacle that the people would share in his holiness and could meet with him in
his holy presence. And then having received Gods holiness, they could then lead
the holy lives and be the holy people that God expected and required them to be
(the second part of Leviticus).
Fulfillment in Christ: The OT divine service in which Yahweh shared his
holiness with Israel was but a shadow the NT Divine Service which centers in
Christ. The whole sacrificial system, the tabernacle, the sacrifices, and the priests
all point forward to Jesus. The human body of Jesus became the dwelling place,
the tabernacle of God. Wherever Jesus is physically present, there is the holy
presence of God. Jesus is the sacrifice, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin
of the world. All OT sacrifices pointed forward to the sacrifice of Jesus on the
cross. Jesus is also a priest. As Priest he sacrificed himself. Not only is Jesus a
priest but he is also the High Priest who entered the heavenly Most Holy Place
bringing with him his own blood which he sprinkles for the atonement of sinful
mankind. By the means of the Gospel and the Sacraments Christ shares his
holiness with us, making us holy in Gods sight (justification).
Those who believe in Jesus have been made holy by the shed blood and sacrifice
of Christ received in Word and Sacrament. Having shared his holiness with them,
God now expects his people to live holy lives (sanctification). Through his Word
God shows what he expects of them (third use of the Law) and empowers them
(through the Gospel) to live holy lives. To do this he gives them his Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit uses the Means of Grace (Word and Sacrament) to sanctify his
people and keep them in the one true faith until life everlasting.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The Manual of Offerings
An Outline of The Manual of Offerings (Lev. 1:1 7:38)
The first major section of Leviticus is concerned with the offerings made at the
tabernacle. In it God gives detailed instructions on each offering.
I. The Involvement of the Israelites in the Divine Service
A. The Manual of Offerings (1:1 7:35)
1. The Voluntary God-Pleasing Offerings (1:1-3:17)
a. Divine Legislation for the Private Offerings (1:1-2)
b. Regulations for the Burnt Offering (1:3-17)
c. Regulations for the Grain Offering (2:1-16)
d. Regulations for the Peace Offering (3:1-17)
2. The Mandatory Offerings for Atonement (4:1-5:26)
a. Regulations for the Sin Offering (4:1-5:13)
b. Regulations for the Reparation Offering (5:14-6:7)
3. The Consumption of the Holy Food (6:8-7:38)
a. The Daily Public Offering (6:8-18)
b. The Daily Grain Offering of the High Priest (6:19-23)
c. The Occasional Offerings of the Israelites (6:24-7:21)
d. Prohibited Food: Fat and Blood (7:22-27)
e. The Priests Portion of the Peace Offering (7:28-36)
f. The Conclusion of the Manual of Offerings (7:37-38)
B. The Inauguration of the Divine Service (8:1 10:20)
C. The Manual for Purity (11:1 15:33)

Overview of the Manual of Offerings (Lev. 1-7)


The Manual of Offerings consists of nine divine speeches
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

General introduction (1:1-2)


The God-pleasing burnt offering, grain offering, and peace offering (1:3-3:17).
The sin offering for atonement and forgiveness (4:1-5:13).
The reparation offering for the desecration of holy things (5:14-19).
The reparation offering for desecration from the violation of an oath (5:20-26).
Instructions for the public burnt offering and for the private grain offering (6:111).
The grain offering of the priests (6:12-16).
Instructions for the sin offering, the reparation offering, and the peace offering
(6:17-7:21).
The prohibition of eating fat and blood (7:22-27).
The due of the priests from the peace offering (7:28-36).
Summary conclusion (7:37-38).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lev. 1-7 can be divided into two parts.
Part 1
1. Private Burnt Offering (1:3-17)
2. Private Grain Offering (2:1-16)
3. Peace Offering (3:1-17)
4. Sin Offering (4:1-5:13)
5. Reparation Offering (5:14-5:26)
Part 2
1. Public Burnt Offering (6:1-6)
2. Public Grain Offering (6:7-16)
3. Sin Offering (6:17-23)
4. Reparation Offering (7:1-10)
5. Peace Offering (7:11-36)
The first part instructs the Israelites on which offerings could be presented to God as well
as how and why they were presented to him.
The second part prescribes how the holy things from the offerings were to be disposed of,
where, when, and by whom.

The Voluntary God-Pleasing Offerings (Lev. 1-3)


Key phrases are repeated in the first three chapters. When the offering is turned into
smoke it is described as a gift of pleasing aroma to the Lord. This is Gods response to
the offering being transformed into smoke on the altar. This phrase is a combination of
two formulae: a gift to the Lord and a pleasing aroma to the Lord. The combination
of the two shifts the accent away from the aroma to the Lords pleasure at the gift of
offering to him.
Most commentators view this from a human point of view, that is, what the offerer hopes
to get when making these offerings. But the Lord himself is giving these directions. He is
explaining how he will respond to these ritual transactions. By his Word he decides what
gifts are acceptable and what their purpose is. And his Word announces what he himself
promises to accomplish through it.
Because God has said that this is a gift that produces a pleasing aroma, the people are
assured whenever these offerings are presented as he ordains, that the Lord accepts them
and is pleased with those who brought them. This is the explanation from Gods point of
view.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 2: Regulations for the Private/Personal Burnt Offering
Read Lev. 1
Outline
1. Yahweh begins to speak to Moses about offerings (1:1-2)
2. Private burnt offering from the herd (1:3-9)
3. Private burnt offering from the flock (1:10-13)
4. Private burnt offering of a bird (1:14-17)
Study
1. Where did Yahweh speak to Moses at (1:1)? What is another name for it (Ex.
40:34)?

Yahweh spoke to Moses from the Tent of Meeting, the tabernacle.

Moses and the Israelites had built the tabernacle according to the specifications
Yahweh had given them. And when they had finished setting it up Gods holy
presence filled the tabernacle. This was Yahwehs royal residence. He now lives
among his people in a special way at this place. In this first divine speech Yahweh
spoke to Moses, but who was his message for and what was the topic Yahweh was
going to address (1:2)?

The message Yahweh was about to tell Moses was to be relayed by Moses
to the Israelite people. The topic he was going to address was the offerings
that people could bring to Yahweh.

This topic is covered in chapters 1 7. In 1:2 and in the chapters that follow
Yahweh was authorizing the Israelites to bring offerings to him. Not only did he
authorize the type of offerings that will be discussed, but he also authorized the
animals that will be used as offerings. The animals for the offerings were to come
from their herds and flocks (1:2b). Since the animals came from their own
personal flocks and herds, the offering would represent the offerer and his
household.
2. What is the first type of offering that is covered (1:3)?

The first offering Yahweh spoke of is a burnt offering.

The word offering means brought to. So the animal is brought to Yahweh at
his royal residence, the tabernacle (1:2). It is given to him as a gift. Yahweh is
giving his okay for them to do this. The word translated as burnt means going
up, meaning that the whole offering is going up in flames and smoke. Therefore
the offering is many times called a whole burnt offering since the entire animal

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


was burned on the altar. This offering is brought by an individual or family and is
not the daily burnt offering that is offered twice each day (see Ex. 29:38-42),
therefore we will distinguish between the two by calling this one the private
burnt offering and the daily offering as the public burnt offering.
3. What 3 private burnt offerings were acceptable to Yahweh (1:3, 10, 14)?

Acceptable to Yahweh was a burnt offering from the herd, from the flock,
or of birds.

Why do you suppose Yahweh allowed 3 different private burnt offerings?

It was probably a matter of economics. The offerings went from the most
expensive to the least expensive. A very poor person could only afford a
small bird, while a rich person could afford the more expensive offering
from the herd. Therefore no one was excluded from this offering because
of their economic status.
.
.

4. No matter which animal was chosen for the offering, what characteristic was it
required to have (1:3a, 10b)?

He shall offer a male without blemish.

The fact that it had to be male may be because it was viewed as the head of the
flock. In that sense then this offering was costly, costing the life of the head of the
flock. It could also be looked at in the complete opposite way. The female animals
from the herds and flocks were the most important in the sense that it was through
them that the flock grew and expanded. In that sense the males were of less value
and were expendable.
The animal also had to be without defect. Symbolically a perfect life was being
given in the place of sinful life. The perfect animal was giving his life in the place
of the sinful person. An exchange was made when the offerer laid his hand upon
the animals head. The sin of the offerer was transferred to the animal and the
animals perfection was transferred to the offerer.
Fulfillment in Christ: In actuality the animal chosen for the offering could not
take away the sin of the offerer by taking his place. This perfect, male animal was
a type of Christ. Christ, the Son of God, was without sin and took the place of
sinful mankind, dying the death that man deserved. Christ could rightfully
exchange places with sinful mankind because he was a man who could take the
place of people and because he could carry the weight of the sins of the world
himself because he was the Son of God. Therefore he exchanged his perfection

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


for the sin of mankind. He is the true Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the
world.
5. The most complete description of the whole burnt offering is given for the
offering from the herd (1:3-9). The layperson selected a male animal without
defect from the herd and brought it before Yahweh at the sanctuary. He then laid
his hand upon the head of the animal and killed the animal before Yahweh. For
what purpose did the layperson make this offering (1:4b)?

The purpose of the offering was to make atonement for the offerer.

The person bringing the offering had sins that needed covering (atonement)
from Gods sight. What the priests did next was most significant. What were the
priests to do after the animal had been killed (1:5b, 11b, 15b)?

Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against
the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

As the blood of the sacrifice physically covered the sides of the altar when the
priests threw it against it, so it also symbolically covered the sins of the offerer
from Gods sight. The penalty for sin is death and the animal which was
associated with the offerer (by the laying on of hands symbolically transferring
sin) gave up its life in place of the offerer. For this reason it is called
substitutionary atonement as the animal took the place of and paid the price for
sinner. This is also why the animal was to be without defect (1:3, 10). A perfect
life was exchanged for an imperfect one.
In teaching my Sunday School children about atonement, I would take the word
atone and break it into two parts at one. What atonement did was make
the sinner and God at-one with each other. Sin had separates us from God.
Therefore the atonement or covering of sin, the barrier between God and man,
brings God and man back together.
Fulfillment by Christ: The sheep/goats could not actually cover over mans sin
from God. The fact that these sacrifices were made over and over again day after
day clues us in to this. What they did was point forward to the one great sacrifice
of the Lamb of God who was perfect in every way. He shed his blood on the
cross. In doing so, his blood covered over, atoned for, the sins of the world. Like
the OT public burnt offering, Jesus sacrifice on the cross gives people access to
Gods grace, favor, and presence. Individuals can now approach God without fear.
The blood of Christ not only covers the sins of the world but it covers the sins of
individual sinners. As the blood of the private burnt offering covered the sins of
the offerer and qualified him to enter Gods presence to present his offering, so
the blood of Christ allows us to do the same. Because of His shed blood and the

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


atonement He won, Christ presents us holy and unblemished to God the Father
(Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; cf. Eph 1:4).
6. There were two altars at the tabernacle. Which altar was the blood thrown against
(1:5b)? Where was it located?

The blood was thrown against the altar for burnt offering. It was located
outside in the courtyard. The altar of incense was in the Holy Place inside
the tent.

Upon this altar the priests prepared the fire for the offering (1:7). The fire on the
altar was to never go out. It was the holy fire of Gods presence. It turned the
offering into a cloud of smoke. Since God was present there in the fire, it was a
most holy place and therefore only the priests were allowed to access it. They
were the mediators or go-betweens between the people and God. The altar was the
bridge that linked heaven and earth, God and His people. This was the place
where God met with his people.
7. The text does not specify a specific day or time when this sacrifice was to be
made. But most likely this sacrifice, along with others, was presented to Yahweh
at the three great pilgrim feasts (Passover, Pentecost, and Booths). These were the
times when the Israelites came to sanctuary.
8. With the offering cut into pieces (1:6, 12a) and the fire prepared (1:7, 12b), what
part of the animal was placed on the altar (1:8-9a, 12b-13a, 15a & 17a)?

The priest shall burn all of it on the altar. The priests placed the entire
animal on the altar. The entire animal was devoted to Yahweh.

Since the animal represented the offerer who was offering the sacrifice to
Yahweh, and since the whole offering was burned on the altar, by offering this
sacrifice the offerer was saying that his or her whole life and all that they had
were devoted completely to Yahweh.
Fulfillment in Christ: Because Christ made us acceptable to God by covering
over our sins with his shed blood, Christians respond by offering their whole
selves to God. They offer their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
God (Rom 12:1). They offer the sacrifices of their prayers and praises (Heb.
13:15), the gifts for the preachers of the Gospel (Phil 4:18) and the needy (Heb
13:16b), and all good works (Heb 13:16a).
According to the same verses referenced above, who did Yahweh authorize to
approach the altar and perform the sacrifice?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The priests laid out the cut up parts of the animal on the altar and burned
the entire animal on the altar.

Yahweh had established the priests as mediators between himself and the people.
Since the fire was the fire of Gods holy presence lay people could not approach
the altar. The priests representing the people came before Yahweh for them and
offered the sacrifices for them.
9. What then was produced when this whole animal burned in fire (1:9b, 13b, 17b)?

The result of this offering in each of the three cases is a pleasing aroma to
the Lord.

The attention for this sacrifice is on the sweet aroma produced by the smoke. The
aroma worked in both a physical and spiritual way (that is, in a sacramental way physical means bringing spiritual blessings). When Yahweh accepted the offering,
He accepted the offerer. And so, the sweet physical smell reminded the offerer of
the sweetness of Gods acceptance.
Fulfillment in Christ: Yahwehs pleasure in the OT sacrifice foreshadowed His
pleasure in His Sons sacrifice. He said He was well pleased with Him (Mt.
3:17; 17:5). Because of the blood Jesus shed, we are able to approach God
without fear and offer him our offerings. When we offer to God ourselves, our
time, our treasures, and our talents God is pleased with them. God accepts them
not because we are so good or perfect but because of Christ and what he has done.
Even though our offerings are tainted by sin, Jesus takes away that sin and makes
our offerings a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 3: Regulations for the Private/Personal Grain Offering
Read Lev. 2
Outline
I. Regulations for raw grain offerings (2:1-3)
II. Regulations for the baked grain offering (2:4-16)
A. The presentation of bread as a grain offering (2:4-10)
B. The exclusion of yeast products and the inclusion of salt (2:11-13)
C. The case of first-ripe barley (2:14-16)
Study
1. Previously we have spoken of the daily divine service which consisted of the
daily burnt offering and the daily grain offering. This chapter is about a grain
offering. Is this speaking of the daily grain offering or a private grain offering that
anyone could bring? The first phrase of chapter 2 gives us a clue (2:1a). Which
grain offering is it?

This is not the daily grain offering. Chapter 2 begins by Yahweh saying,
When anyone brings a grain offering as an offering to the LORD.
Therefore this is an offering which anyone can bring at any time.

This then is a private grain offering, an offering that any Israelite could bring to
Yahweh.
2. What different forms could the grain offering take (2:1a, 4-5, 7)?

2:1a: Fine flour in an uncooked form.

2:4: Grain baked as loaves.

2:4: Grain baked as wafers.

2:5: Grain baked on a griddle.

2:7: Grain cooked in a pan.

It did not matter whether the offering was raw, baked, or cooked. It was
considered a grain offering to Yahweh. What other ingredient was always
included with the grain (2:1b, 4b, 5b, 6a, 7b)?

Oil was always included with the fine flour.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


This ingredient would serve two purposes. First it was a common ingredient used
in cooking. The part of the offering that was not burned on the altar would at
some point be cooked and eaten. And second, it would provide flammability for
the part that was burned on the altar.
Besides the flour and the oil, what other ingredient was used (2:1b, 2)?

The third ingredient was frankincense or incense.

For what purpose was it added? Well, if you make popcorn and you burn it, what
does it smell like? How could this ingredient help?

When popcorn or other grains are burned they stink. So incense was added
to mask the bad smell and instead give it a good smell, a pleasing aroma.

Finally, what was the last ingredient that was required (2:13a, 13c)?

The ingredient was salt.

One reason this ingredient was used was to provide taste. But that was not the
primary reason. What was the primary reason? (Hint: they didnt have
refrigerators in those days.)

The primary reason salt was used was that it preserved the food. With no
refrigerators food sat out at room temperature. Salt helped prevent mold
and decay.

Remember that all of the grain was not used as an offering. Only a portion of it
was. Therefore the rest of it would be used later in making bread, cakes, wafers,
etc. So the rest of it would be put into storage until it was needed.
In that day and time salt was shared at a covenant meal (2:13b). When two
parties made an agreement it could be sealed with a shared meal. Sharing salt at
this meal was symbolic. As salt provided permanence and stability for food, so the
salt here represented permanence and stability in the relationship of the two
parties in the agreement they were making with each other. And so in the context
of this offering, the salt of this offering was symbolic of the permanence and
stability in the relationship between Yahweh and the Israelites.
3. The first part of the procedure for the private grain offering was performed by the
layperson. Yahweh gave the Israelites (men, women, and families) grain to
harvest. They took the grain, prepared it (as flour or bread or cakes), put oil,
incense, and salt on it, and presented it to the priest at the tabernacle. What then
did the priests do with a portion of the offering (2:2, 9)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The priest took a small portion of the offering and burned it on the altar as
a memorial portion.

This memorial portion represented the whole offering. That small portion pointed
back to majority portion that was not burned. The action by the priest dedicated
the entire offering to Yahweh. And the entire offering was only a small portion of
the entire harvest. Yet by bringing this small portion as a grain offering, the
offerer was acknowledging that the entire harvest had been a blessing and gift
from Yahweh.
What happened to the portion of the offering that was not burned on the altar (2:3,
10)? Who did it belong to?

The rest of the offering belonged to the priests. It was given to them as
holy food to eat.

Yahweh provided the grain to the Israelites for food. So the grain started out in the
common domain. But when grain was brought as a grain offering, the grain
brought to the Lord moved from the common to the holy domain. This happened
when a portion of it was burned on the altar, coming into contact with Gods holy
presence. This represented a transaction in which the grain was transferred from
the people to Yahweh. Yahweh then used it to provide holy food for His
household, the priests. Once it became holy, it could not be removed from His
presence. The priests had to eat the bread in Gods presence (see 6:14-23 for what
the priests were required to do with the holy grain from the public grain offering).
Dr. Kleinig used the following metaphor to help explain what was happening.
Yahweh was the King. He owned all the land and rented it out to the Israelites.
They produced grain on it. When it became ripe, Yahweh summoned His renters
to His royal presence. When they came, they brought their rent/grain to the King.
He then took the rent/grain and used it to show delight in His people and to
provide food for his courtiers, the priests. This offering deepened the relationship
between the offerer and Yahweh.
4. What was the physical result of burning the memorial portion on the altar (2:2b,
9b)?

It resulted in a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

It pleased Yahweh that he could provide Israel with this grain. It pleased Yahweh
that they recognized that the grain was given to them by him. It pleased Yahweh
to give the remainder of the offering to his priests for food. It pleased the offerer
to know that Yahweh had accepted him and his offering. The pleasing aroma then

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


represented a mutual delight of the offerer for Yahweh and his provision and of
Yahweh for his thankful people.
5. Like the private whole burnt offering (see chapter 1), no specific time is given
when these sacrifices were made. They were normally brought to one of the three
pilgrim feasts. The feasts normally coincided with the harvesting of grain. So
these sacrifices tied together the common harvest cycle with the sacred holy day
cycle.
6. There were two ingredients that were not allowed in the private grain offering for
practical and symbolic reasons. What were they (2:11)?

Leaven and honey (or fruit syrup) were not allowed.

Based on your general knowledge of food, how long did food last that had leaven
or honey in it versus food that did not?

Food with leaven or honey would not last as long. It decayed and molded
and fermented much quicker.

Leaven then became associated with corruption, sickness, decay, and death all of
which are unclean and incompatible to Gods holiness. Symbolically then it
pointed out that nothing should be allowed to happen that would corrupt and ruin
Yahwehs relationship with his people.
7. In 2:14-16 Yahweh gives instructions for a grain offering using the firstfruits of
the harvest. What were the ingredients used (2:14-15)?

2:14: Firstfruit grain, roasted and crushed.

2:15: Oil.

2:15: Frankincense.

It included the same basic ingredients as grain offerings that used fine flour. What
procedure did the priest follow (2:16)?

He followed the normal procedure for the private grain offering. He


burned a memorial portion of the grain and oil and incense as a grain
offering to Yahweh.

8. In the end, the private grain offering provided holy food for the priests (2:3, 10).
The priests were not so much dependent on the generosity of the people, as they
were on the generosity of Yahweh. The grain, which Yahweh first provided for the

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


people, was given by the people as a gift (offering) to the Lord. He in turn gave it
to the priests who served him.
Fulfillment in Christ
9. What meaning and value does studying the private grain offering have for the NT
church?
(9A) Once settled in the Promised Land, the Israelites would grow their own
grain. They would prepare the ground, sow the seed, harvest the grain, and store
the grain. Through the work of their hands Yahweh would provide for them. And
it would be from the fruit of their labors that they would bring the grain for the
grain offering. They could approach Yahweh with this offering and he would
accept it because the blood atonement of the public burnt offering covered over
their sin. Because of it they could approach Yahweh without fear.
Is not the same thing true for the NT people of God? Doesnt God provide for us
by giving us jobs? Through the work of our hands and minds we earn money. We
then, like the Israelites, take from the fruits of our labors and bring them to God as
an offering. How is it that we who are sinful people can approach holy God with
our offerings? It is because of the public burnt offering Jesus made on the cross.
There he shed his blood making atonement for our sin. Because our sin has been
covered over by Jesus blood we can approach God without fear.
(9B) Not that many years ago the money that was used as currency was the
goods that people worked for. And so the offerings people brought to church were
those goods, the work of their hands. They actually brought goods such as flour
and sugar, baked goods such as bread, the fruit of the vineyard (wine), etc. as
offerings to the Lord. From the goods that people brought, some of the bread and
wine was set aside for use in the Lords Supper.
The grain from the grain offering was consecrated and made holy by the burning
of a memorial portion on the altar. Likewise our offerings are consecrated to the
Lord. But how are the things that we receive from the hand of God which we
bring as offerings consecrated and made holy (1 Tim. 4:5)?

They are made holy by the word of God and prayer.

When does this happen in the Divine Service?

This happens generally through the Service of the Word where Gods word
is read and proclaimed. It happens more specifically in the prayers of the
church, the pre-communion prayer (usually the Lords Prayer), and in the
words of institution where mysteriously the body and blood of Christ
become present in, with, and under the bread and wine.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
Through these means all of our offerings are made holy and consecrated for Gods
use.
(9C) All of the grain was made holy by the burning of the memorial portion.
When this transaction occurred ownership of the grain changed from the offerer to
Yahweh. It was now his grain and he could do with it whatever he wanted.
Yahweh chose to give this grain to his priests as holy food.
It is the same with our offerings. They were made holy by the word of God and
prayer. At that time they become the Lords possession. In the days when people
brought food stuffs as an offering, a portion of the bread and wine was set aside
for Holy Communion. Because of the presence of Christ in the bread and wine, it
became holy food. Who is it that eats this holy food in the Divine Service?

The baptized people of God eat this holy meal.

In the OT only the priests could eat the holy grain from the private grain offering.
How is it that in the NT regular laypeople can eat the holy food of the Lords
Supper (1 Pet. 2:9)?

All of Gods people are priests. We call them the priesthood of all
believers.

Therefore the holy food that God offers in the Lords Supper, he gives to all his
people, for all are his priests. Jesus is the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35), the holy food
that God provides for his priests. Through this meal then God shares his holiness
with us. And by partaking of His holy body Gods people become holy (Heb
10:10). He has made them a holy nation and for this holy nation he provides holy
food.
What else do we use the offerings for? To answer this we look to the apostle Paul.
What did Paul receive from the Philippians? What did he compare it to (Phil.
4:18)?

Paul received supplies as a gift from the Philippian congregation. Paul


likened it to a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to
God.

Paul then represents all pastors. Pastors do Gods work and therefore should
receive a living from it. The Lord provides for His pastors through the offerings of
His people in the same way that he provided for the priests in the OT. The
Philippians did this for Paul and we do the same for our pastors.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


(9D) Through the private grain offering Yahweh provided most holy food for the
priests. Most holy food had to eaten in a holy place (see 6:16), that is, in Gods
holy presence. Therefore it is most appropriate that when the people of God, the
priesthood of all believers, eat the most holy food of the Lords Supper, that they
come forward and eat the holy food in Gods holy presence as we do in the Divine
Service.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 4: Regulations for the Private/Personal Peace Offering
Read Lev. 3
Outline
I. The first case: sacrifice of cattle as peace offerings (3:1-5)
A. Choice of cattle (3:1a)
B. The ritual procedure (3:1b-5)
II. The second case: sacrifice of sheep and goats as peace offerings (3:6-16a)
A. Choice of sheep and goats (3:6)
B. The procedure for them (3:7-16a)
III. Conclusion (13:16b-17)
A. Reservation of fat for the Lord (3:16b)
B. Prohibition of the consumption of the fat and blood (3:17)
Study
1. In 1:1 Yahweh began speaking to Moses about voluntary, private offerings. First
Yahweh spoke about the private burnt offering (ch. 1). Then he spoke about the
private grain offering (ch. 2). What type of offering does Yahweh speak about
next (3:1)?

Next Yahweh speaks of the private peace offering.

Where could the animal used in this offering come from (3:1, 6)?

The peace offering could be an animal from the herd or from the flock.

If it was from the flock, what two kinds of animals could be used (3:7, 12)?

A lamb or a goat could be chosen from the flock.

This chapter then is divided into 3 major parts that coincide with the 3 different
animals that could be used for the peace offering (3:1-5, 6-11, 12-15).
2. The ritual procedure for the peace offering laid out for each of the 3 different
animals is nearly identical. What was the procedure for the peace offering?
1. Whether from the herd or flock, the animal chosen could be (3:1a, 6a):
male or female.
2. In purity, the animal chosen was to be (3:1b, 6b):
without blemish.
3. The location the animal was to be taken to was (3:1c, 7b, 12b):
before the LORD, that is, to the tabernacle, Yahwehs royal residence.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


4. Next the layperson did the following two things to the animal in front of
the tent of meeting (3:2a, 8a, 13a):
he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the entrance
of the tent of meeting.
5. The sons of Aaron (the priests) would then (3:2b, 8b, 13b):
throw the blood against the sides of the altar.
6. From the dead animal the layperson then removed and offered to Yahweh
its (3:3-4, 9-10, 14-15):
fat, kidneys, and liver.
7. The priests then would take the fat, kidneys, and liver and (3:5a, 11a, 16a):
Burn them on altar on the wood and fire.
8. The burning of the fat, kidneys, and liver produced (3:5b, 16b):
a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
9. Yahweh then provided the holy meat of the peace offering as food for the
offerer and his family (This is not described here).
3. The basic meaning of peace is the opposite of every kind of brokenness and
incompleteness. Peace supplies what is lacking for wholesomeness of body and
soul; it puts together the disjointed pieces of a shattered relationship into a
harmonious whole A sacrifice of peace offering was the ritual demonstration
that the broken relationship between holy God and unholy Israel had been
healed. (3:1 note, p91, CSSC)
Through the peace (or fellowship) offering Yahweh provided a way to bring peace
to the Israelites, to repair the broken relationship brought about by sin. Therefore
the first thing dealt with in this offering was sin, which was the cause of the
disruption in peace and fellowship. This was done in steps 4 and 5 of the offering
as described above. In what ways was sin dealt with?

(Step 4a): First, sin was symbolically removed from the offerer and
transferred to the animal being sacrificed by the offerer placing his hand
on the head of the sacrifice.

(Steps 4b-5): Second, the unblemished animal was killed and the blood
was thrown on the sides of the altar atoning for or covering sin.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Doing these things made it possible for the offerer to approach the altar with
his/her gift (offering). It made them and their offering acceptable to Yahweh. It
made fellowship and peace possible.
4. With peace possible because sin has been dealt with by atonement, the offering
could now be made. In this offering Yahweh would provide a fellowship meal for
his people in which they could celebrate their reconciliation with Yahweh. Not all
the details concerning this holy meal are given here. In it Yahweh would provide
holy meat for Israelite families (we will study this in 7:11-36). Because of the
atonement made by blood, the Israelites could eat this holy meal without worry of
desecrating Gods holiness.
Yahweh would also participate in this meal. Considering that Yahweh met with
his people at the altar in the holy fire, what was Yahwehs portion of this meal
(see step 8 in the procedure above in point #2)?

The fire of Yahwehs presence consumed the fat, kidneys, and liver.

The importance of the fat is seen by the fact that over one-half of the legislation in
this text is devoted to the fat, to the removal of fat, the presentation of fat, and the
burning of fat. What were the Israelites forbidden to do with the fat (3:16b-17)?
Why?

They were forbidden to eat the fat because it belonged to Yahweh.

Fat was associated with the best of the sacrifice. Therefore the best was reserved
for the Best (Yahweh), the Host of the banquet, Yahweh. When Yahweh consumed
the fat in the fire, what resulted? What was it turned into (3:5b, 16b)?

The burning of the fat turned into a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

In this legislation Yahweh promised that when this offering was made in the
manner that he prescribed he would be pleased with it. With that knowledge, the
offerer could be assured that Yahweh had accepted the offering and by extension
the offerer himself.
5. Two of the primary materials that were provided in this offering and stressed by
this text are blood and fat. What was Israel forbidden to do with both the blood
and the fat (3:17b)?

They were forbidden from eating both of them.

Why might this be? Dr. Kleinig explains that in giving these procedures and rules
concerning the blood and fat, Yahweh counteracted two pagan practices: eating of
blood with the meat and consumption of fat by humans. Pagans ate blood because
they believed they would receive the life force from the sacrifice. Pagans

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


associated the fat with power. Therefore they ate the fat to gain spiritual power. So
by giving these laws, Yahweh was stressing to the Israelites where the source of
life and power did and did not come from. Where did life and power not come
from? And where did he imply that it did come from?

Not from: Life and power did not come from: the blood and fat of animals.

Came from: Life and power did come from: Yahweh, the Creator and
Redeemer.

6. If the blood and fat are reserved for Yahweh, the question might arise as to why
the kidneys and liver were burned on the altar with the fat? Dr. Kleinig again
explains that these were associated with pagan practices. Kidneys were associated
with the essence of the animal. Pagans used the liver lobe in the practice of
divination, that is, to foretell the future. By burning these things along with the
fat, Yahweh prevented the Israelites from following these pagan practices.
7. When looking at the peace offering in chapters 3 and 7 we note the following
concerning the flow of the location and materials:
A. At the Israelite home a clean animal was chosen from the herd or flock.
B. At the sanctuary the clean animal was presented to Yahweh and clean
meat was removed.
C. On the altar the blood was splashed and the fat was burned,
providing atonement and assurance of acceptance.
B At the sanctuary the meat had now become holy and was given by
Yahweh back to his people.
A The holy meat was taken back to the Israelite home for a family meal.
The center of structure (C) is what happens at the altar, the place where Yahweh
meets with his people in grace. The procedure prescribed by Yahweh with the
blood and the fat assured the offerer acceptance by Yahweh and fellowship and
peace with him.
8. Like the previous two offerings in chapters 1 and 2, no time is given when these
offerings are made. Apparently this offering could be made at any time. But the most
likely time was during the three great pilgrim feasts, Passover, Pentecost, and Booths
when the people came to the tabernacle.
9. You may have noticed that the private peace offering (ch. 3) started out the same way
as the private burnt offering (ch. 1). But after the application of blood for atonement,
it deviated from it. Here is a brief comparison.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Action
-------Presentation
Laying on of hands
Slaughter
Dashing of blood
Present fat
Burnt on altar

Burnt
Offering
---------Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Whole animal

Peace
Offering
---------Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Fat, kidneys, lobe of liver

The first part of each sacrifice is the same. In both sacrifices a perfect animal is
chosen, sins are transferred by the laying on of hands, the animal is slaughtered in
place of the offerer, and the blood of the sacrifice is splashed against the altar for
atonement, for the covering of sin. The second part of the two sacrifices is different
by the fact of what is burned on the altar. In the private burnt offering the whole
animal was burned on the altar symbolizing that the whole life of the offerer was
devoted to Yahweh. In the private peace offering only the fat, kidneys, and liver were
burned on the altar. This was Yahwehs part of a fellowship meal between him and the
Israelites. So in spite of the similarities of the first part, the offerings have two very
different purposes.
10. Dr. Kleinig offers a summary of the private peace offering which takes into account
this text and later texts which deal with the holy food that is the result of this
sacrifice.
Lets step back and take a wide view of what is happening here. Yahweh was the King
who owned the land of Israel. The Israelites were the renters of His land. He
allowed them to live there and to use His land. Three times a year Yahweh, the King,
would summons the heads of households to appear before Him at His temple palace
for audience with Him. The offerings they brought were like rent for the use of the
land. Yahweh in turn received the offerings, showed His pleasure in them, and then
gave the meat from the offerings back to the renters for a banquet meal. They ate the
banquet in His presence as His royal guests along with His courtiers, His priests. In
the meal Yahweh acknowledged their status as His people and their privileged
position before Him. The meal confirmed the peoples right to live in the land. The
God of Israel, the land of Israel, and the people of Israel were all integrated
harmoniously in this pivotal sacrifice. The meal was a joyous meal in which they
celebrated Gods generosity towards them. They enjoyed divine hospitality.
Admission to His meal meant admission to His peace and protection.
Fulfillment in Christ
11. When sin entered the world it brought with it brokenness and shattered relationships,
which removed the peace and wholeness that God created and desired for the world.
The private peace offering pointed to the fact that this peace and fellowship between

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


God and people could be restored. But this is not something that people can do.
Rather, it must be initiated and carried out by God himself. The way that God would
restore peace would be through his sons death on the cross. Jesus would be the
ultimate peace offering.
But Jesus is never specifically called a peace offering. Yet what did Jesus promise his
disciples (Jn. 4:27a)?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

After his resurrection, what did Jesus offer to his disciples (Jn. 20:19, 21, 26)?

Jesus offered them peace.

If Jesus is able to offer and give peace, then he must be the true peace offering. How
do many of the NT letters begin (for instance see1 Cor. 1:3 and Rom. 1:7)?

They begin with: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord
Jesus Christ.

What does Paul urge in Col. 3:15?

Paul says, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

If Jesus can give peace and peace comes from him then he must be the peace offering
that fixes, heals, and provides the wholeness that the world is missing because of sin.
Only because he offered himself up on the cross can true peace exist in the world.
12. Before peace could be made between God and humankind, sin had to be dealt
with. As sin was transferred to the animal and it was then killed in place of the
offerer and its blood was used to make atonement, so Jesus took our sin upon
himself, was killed in our place, paying the punishment that we deserved, and
made atonement for us through his shed blood. The sin that separated us from
God has been removed by Jesus, our peace offering.
13. The result of the OT peace offering was a holy meal that celebrated peace
between God and the Israelites. In that meal the fat was reserved for Yahweh. The
best food was reserved for the Host of the celebration banquet. A holy meal also
results from Jesus NT peace offering. But in this meal Jesus reserves the best for
his invited guests. They receive his holy body and blood.
14. The participants in Christs holy meal drink his holy blood. In the OT drinking the
blood from the sacrifice was not allowed; it was strictly forbidden. This was done
to show the people that life does not come from the blood of an animal but from
God. So why is it ok to drink the blood of Jesus, the NT peace offering (see John
6:52-59?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Drinking the blood of Jesus is okay because Jesus is God and God is the
source of life. If you want life, that life must come from Jesus. Those that
eat his flesh and drink his blood in faith have eternal life.
.

What did Jesus say about himself (Jn. 14:6; 11:25)?

Jesus said, I am the life.

Jesus is life and offers life through his blood. Therefore we gladly receive the life
he offers in himself. He is the source of life. True and eternal life is only available
through him.
The Lords Supper is the ultimate peace offering, the meal where God continually
gives the once-for-all sacrifice of His Son. Through Jesus we have peace with
God and with each other (Eph 2:11-18).
15. Browse through or think about the Divine Service (worship service) that we
participate in each Sunday. Notice the parts of the service where the peace that
Jesus won on the cross is explicitly mentioned, offered, and given? (see the
following link for a Divine Service Sampler from CPH:
http://lsb.cph.org/samples/LSB_Sampler.pdf )

In the Kyrie or Lord, Have Mercy:


In peace let us pray to the Lord, For the peace from above.

In the Gloria in Exclesis:


peace to his people on earth.

In the Pax Domini or The Peace of the Lord:


The peace of the Lord be with you always.

In the Angus Dei or The Lamb of God:


Grant us thy peace.

In the dismissal of communicants from the Lords Supper:


Depart in peace.

In the Nunc Dimmitis or Song of Simeon:


now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

In the post communion canticle:


We thank You that for His sake You have given us pardon and peace in
this Sacrament.

In the Benediction:
and give you peace.

In what part of the service is there a cluster of references to peace? In what part of
the service are most of the references to peace made?

Most of the references to peace cluster around the Lords Supper.

Why does this make sense in light of the holy meal that resulted from the OT
peace offering?

This makes sense because the OT peace offering resulted in a banquet and
fellowship meal which was provided by Yahweh. In the Lords Supper he
provides the same.
.

Jesus won peace for the world on the cross. He makes that peace available and
distributes it through his Word and Sacraments, which is his Divine Service to
mankind. By receiving the peace that Jesus offers in faith, we are made whole
again. What was broken has been fixed. What was separated was brought back
together.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 5: Regulations for the Sin Offering (Part 1-Regular Sin
Offering)
Read Lev. 4
Outline
I. Introduction and commission (4:1-2a)
II. Speech with legislation for the sin offering (4:2b-5:13)
A. The normal sin offering (4:2b-35)
1. The general case: unintentional sin against a divine prohibition (4:2b)
2. The public offerings for the high priest and the congregation (4:3-21)
a. The case of a priests sin with the threat to the people from his
sin (4:3-12)
b. The error of the congregation (4:13-21)
3. The sin offering for a tribal leader (4:22-26)
4. The sin offering for a lay Israelites (4:27-35)
B. The graded sin offering (5:1-13)
Study
1. Chapter 4 begins a new speech from Yahweh to Moses (4:1). What was Moses to
do when he heard this word of the Lord (4:2a)?

What Yahweh was about to speak to Moses, Moses was to say to the
people of Israel. Moses was to relay Gods word to Israel.

Moses was a mediator between Yahweh and Israel. Yahweh spoke to Moses and
then Moses told the people what Yahweh said. What did this word of the Lord
have to do with (4:2b, 13, 22, 27)?

This word of the Lord has to do with anyone in Israel who sins
unintentionally by doing any one of the things that by the LORD's
commandments ought not to be done.

If anyone did this, what was the offering called that they were required to bring
(4:3b, 14b, 24b, 29)?

If anyone unintentionally broke any of the commandments from God, he


was required to bring a sin offering.

2. The word of the Lord on the sin offering is broken into four sections (4:3-12, 1321, 22-26, 27-35), each addressing someone different who sinned. Who sinned in
each section?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

4:3a: the anointed priest. This probably refers to the high priest who was
anointed with oil.

4:13a: the whole congregation of Israel.

4:22a: a tribal leader.

4:27a: a common person.

In each case the person that sinned and the people that they represent (see 4:3a)
are threatened because of his/her/their sin. What animal was to be brought as a sin
offering in each of the four cases?

4:3b: a bull.

4:14b: a bull.

4:23b: a male goat.

4:28b, 32: a female goat or lamb.

The animals used for the sin offering differed from the animals used in the burnt
offering. In the burnt offering male rams and lambs were used, but they could not
be used in the sin offering. This was a clear way of differentiating between the
burnt offering and the sin offering.
The animals that were used for the sin offering were apparently symbolic.
The bull was the head of all domesticated animals. Therefore the bull
represented the high priest who represented all of Israel.
The male goat led the flock to water and pasture. Therefore the male goat
represented the leaders who were over the tribes and clans.
The female goats/lambs made up the bulk of the flock. Therefore the
female goat/lamb represented the congregation of Israel.
3. No matter who sinned and what animal was used for the sin offering, the same
basic procedure was to be followed. What was to be done with the animal in all
four cases (4:4, 14b-15, 23b-24, 28b-29, 32b-33)? What three things were they to
do with the chosen animal that was without blemish?

He shall bring the bull [or goat or sheep] to the entrance of the tent of
meeting before the LORD.

and lay his hand on the head.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

and kill [it] before the LORD.

In each case the person who sinned was the person who laid their hand upon the
animal being used for the sin offering and killed it. In doing so he transferred his
sin to the animal and the animal died in his place for that sin. In the case where
the congregation sinned, not every person in Israel could lay their hands upon the
bull. Who represented the people in the laying on of hands and killing of the
animal (4:15)?

The elders of Israel represented all the Israelites.

4. In the sin offering the main focus is on the manipulation and disposal of blood.
For what purpose was the blood used (4:20b, 26b, 31b, 35b)?

Blood in all 4 cases was used to make atonement for the forgiveness of
sin. Atonement was made for the person(s) that sinned and his/her/their
unintentional sins.

The procedure for the use of blood differed between the first two cases and the
last two cases. In the first case the high priest (the anointed priest), who
represented all of Israel, sinned and brought guilt on all the people (4:3a). And in
the second case all of Israel sinned (4:13a) and therefore all of Israel stood guilty
before Yahweh. So in the first two cases all of Israel is implicated by the sin that
was committed. In the third and fourth cases an individual sinned, a leader or a
common person was guilty.
First lets look at the first two cases. What did a priest do each day inside the tent
of meeting for the people (Ex. 30:6-8; Lk. 1:9-11)?

Each day a priest went into tent of meeting before Yahweh to offer incense
on the incense altar. The incense symbolized the prayers of the saints
rising up before God.

When the priest burned incense, he represented all of Israel standing before
Yahweh offering up their prayers to him. So the priest represented Israel and the
priest stood before Yahweh each day at the altar of incense. Because the high
priest sinned or Israel sinned (in cases 1 and 2), the priest representing them was
defiled. And therefore when the priest entered into Gods presence before the
curtain to burn incense, he defiled the incense altar and the Holy Place. How then
was the Holy Place and altar of incense cleansed of sin and its defilement (Lev.
4:5-7a, 16-18a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

4:5, 16: And the anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull
and bring it into the tent of meeting.

4:6, 17: and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle part of
the blood seven times before the Lord in front of the veil of the
sanctuary.

4:7a, 18a: And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the
altar of fragrant incense before the Lord that is in the tent of meeting.

The sprinkling of blood before the curtain and the smearing of blood on the horns
of the altar made atonement for sin thereby cleansing the Holy Place and the altar
of incense. Blood atonement from the sin offering made it possible for the priest
to come before Yahweh each day without incurring His wrath.
How many times was blood sprinkled before the curtain (4:6,17)? What does this
number represent in the Bible? What then does it mean?

The blood was sprinkled 7 times before the curtain, that is, Yahwehs
presence. 7 is the number of completeness. Therefore the sprinkling of
blood 7 times represents the complete covering or atonement of sin.
.
.

Dr. Kleinig proposes that on the seventh time the blood was sprinkled 7 times.
Therefore 7 x 7 = 49, which represents complete cleansing to the second degree.
This sprinkling then in this ritual covered over unintentional sins and looked
forward to the great Day of Atonement (where blood was manipulated 49 times)
when complete cleansing would be made for all sins, even intentional sins.
5. Now we will look at the manipulation of blood for the last two cases, which
involved the unintentional sin of individuals (4:22-26, 27-31). The priests had
access to Yahweh in the Holy Place. Individual Israelites did not. They were
restricted to the outer court. Where did the common Israelites meet with Yahweh
(Ex. 29:38-46, esp. 29:42-43)? Therefore what became polluted by their sin and
needed to be cleansed?

Yahweh met with the individual Israelites at the altar for burnt offering.
Therefore when an individual sinned the altar where the Israelite sacrifices
were offered became polluted. It needed to be cleansed from the taint of
sin.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Where then was the blood applied to provide atonement for individual sinners
(4:25, 30, 34)?

Obviously because the altar for burnt offering had become contaminated
by the sin of individuals and needed to be cleansed, the blood was applied
to the altar. The priest smeared blood from the sin offering on the horns of
the altar for burnt offering.
.

In summary then, the incense altar and the altar of burnt offering became polluted
by sin. If the pollution was not removed (through the blood on the horns), God
would have to withdraw His holy presence and destroy His people because God is
holy and can have nothing to do with sin. So through the sin offering all obstacles
were removed for their beneficial interaction with God.
6. After the animal for the sin offering had been killed and blood atonement had
been made, what came next in the ritual (4:8-10, 19-20, 26a, 31a, 35a)?

The fat, kidneys, and lobe of liver were removed from the slaughtered
animal just like they were in the peace offering and burned on the altar for
burnt offering.

As you might remember from the peace offering, the fat belonged exclusively to
Yahweh and was consumed by him in the flames of fire. And Yahweh prevented
Israel from using the kidneys and liver as the pagans did in their religious
practices. These restrictions caused Israel to look to Yahweh for power and life
rather than to the fat and internal organs of animals.
You may also remember that the burning of the fat created a sweet smelling aroma
that rose up to Yahweh, signifying Yahwehs pleasure in the sacrifice and the
offerer of the sacrifice. It also signified the pleasure of the offerer that Yahweh
had accepted him.
7. The blood had been used for atonement and the fat had been burned on the altar.
What happened to the rest of the animal used for the sin offering in cases 1 and 2
for the high priest and the whole congregation (4:11-12, 21)?

But the skin of the bull and all its flesh, with its head, its legs, its entrails,
and its dung all the rest of the bullhe shall carry outside the camp to a
clean place, to the ash heap, and shall burn it up on a fire of wood. On the
ash heap it shall be burned up. Everything else (skin, meat, head, legs,
inner parts, and dung) was taken outside the camp and burned on the ash
heap.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
.
So the rest of the animal that was sacrificed was not used for the offering. This
shows that the primary material supplied by the sacrifice was the blood. And the
primary purpose for the blood was to make atonement for sin. The purpose of the
sin offering then was to deal with the sin that had come between the people and
Yahweh. The perfect animal had become a substitute for the sinner. It paid the
price that the sinner deserved. Its shed blood covered over the sins of the sinner.
Nothing is said in this text about the rest of the animal sacrificed for cases 3 and
4, the sin of a tribal leader and the sin of an individual common person. According
to 6:24-30, what was to happen to the meat from the individual sin offering?

The presiding priest who performed the offering received the meat. He had
to eat it in a holy place, that is, in the court of the tent of meeting because
the meat was holy. He could share it with other priests in his family.
.
.

8. In summary then, the sin offering was performed to make atonement for sin.
Atonement means to wipe off, cover, or ransom. Those who became unclean were
in need of atonement. By their unclean presence they polluted the sanctuary. The
sin offering ransomed and released the sinner(s) from his sin and its impurity.
Also the damaged relationship to God was repaired and privileged access to God
was restored. He was made fit to share in Gods holiness again. The opposite of
this is shown at the end of Num 15:17-31. The opposite is to be cut off from Israel
and to be deprived of life with God.
9. To learn about the graded sin offering and how Christ fulfilled and became the
ultimate the sin offering, see the next lesson, which is part 2 of the sin offering.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 6: Regulations for the Sin Offering (Part 2-Graded Sin
Offering)
Read Lev. 5:1-13
Outline
II. Speech with legislation for the sin offering (4:2b-5:13)
A. The normal sin offering (4:2b-35)
B. The graded sin offering (5:1-13)
1. The four cases for this offering (5:1-4)
a. Failure to obey adjuration to testify in a court case (5:1)
b. Guilt from unwitting contact with an unclean animal (5:2)
c. Guilt from unwitting contact with an unclean person (5:3)
d. Guilt for forgetfulness in fulfilling a rash oath (5:4)
2. The prescribed procedure (5:5-13)
a. Experience of guilt (5:5a)
b. Confession of sin to the priest (5:5b)
c. Presentation of one of the following graded sin offerings (5:613)
i. Normal sin offering (5:6)
ii. Sin offering of birds for poor person (5:7-10)
iii. Sin offering of flour for very poor person (5:11-13)
Study
1. In the previous lesson we studied the normal sin offering (Lev. 4). The first few
verses of chapter 5 deal with 4 special cases of sin that required a sin offering.
What kinds of sins was the normal sin offering offered for (4:2b)?

The normal sin offering was for unintentional sins for doing anything that
Yahweh commanded not be done. So it generally covers all unintentional
sin.

Chapter 5 begins by listing 4 specific sins that a common person could commit.
What are they?

(1) 5:1- The first is the failure to testify in court when they had seen or knew
what had happened.

(2) 5:2- The second was to touch or eat an unclean animal, making them
unclean.

(3) 5:3- The third was having contact with an unclean person, making them
unclean.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

(4) 5:4- The fourth was a rash oath.

2. Now the question is, why are these 4 sins singled out? Believe it or not, they
actually have something in common with each other. Each of these 4 sins of
negligence in 5:1-4 affects Gods holiness. These sins made them ritually impure.
And Holy God cannot come into contact with anything that is impure. The first
and fourth sins are similar in how they affect Gods holiness, as are the second
and third.
It may not be immediately apparent as to how the first and fourth sins affect Gods
holiness. How does not testifying and uttering careless oaths affect Yahwehs
holiness?
Typically in many cultures and societies, when a person testifies in court, he
swears to tell the truth. In order to guarantee that he tells the truth, he will swear
by the most high name or person that is known. In the American court system a
witness will typically place his right hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth.
If one does not tell the truth after swearing in Gods name to tell the truth, he
defames and defiles Gods holy name. The same was true for Israels courts. They
testified while under oath in Yahwehs name. If a witness in Israels court fails to
speak up about something he knows about while under oath in Gods name, he
defiles Gods holy name. This then is how sin #1 affects Yahwehs holiness.
Similarly in case 4, when one took an oath, one would swear in Gods name to the
truth of the matter or action. Taking an oath in a rash or careless manner then was
using Gods name in a careless way. This was treating his name in a disrespectful
manner. Therefore this too defiled Gods holy name.
Let us now consider sins number 2 and 3, touching or eating an unclean animal
and having contact with an unclean person. Obviously both of these sins have to
do with uncleanness. Later on in Leviticus laws concerning uncleanness will be
given. In general people had to be in a state of cleanness in order to come before
God at his sanctuary. To be unclean meant one could transmit impurity. And as we
said above, Holy God can have nothing to do with impurity. Impurity pollutes
Gods holiness. Therefore having contact with unclean things spreads impurity.
And spreading that impurity into Gods holy domain pollutes Gods holiness.
3. After the 4 sins that affect Gods holiness are listed comes the procedure to be
followed for these types of sin. The procedure was similar to a normal sin
offering. But the procedure is not spelled out again in detail as it was earlier.
Rather, it is assumed to be the same but with two differences. The first difference
is recorded in 5:5. What was the sinner required to do in 5:5 that was not required
in the normal sin offering?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

When the sinner found out that he was guilty of sinning against Gods
holiness, he was required to confess his sin.

What happens when sin is not confessed (Ps. 32:3-4)?

When a person knows that they have sinned, he feels the guilt of his sin,
for day and night your [Yahwehs] hand was heavy upon me.

How is the guilt of sin alleviated (Ps. 32:5)?

When sin is acknowledged and confessed to Yahweh, Yahweh forgives


the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore confession tackled the guilt the sinner felt for his sin. It did this by
bringing the sin out in the open where it could be dealt with through atonement.
The Hebrew word used indicates that this confession had to be out loud. Whether
the confession was made out loud to God or to the priest is not stated.
4. Sin wedges its way in between the person that sins and God. That sin can be
removed but it is costly to do so. What had to be to be brought to Yahweh as
compensation for the sin (5:6a)?

The sinner had to bring to Yahweh a female from the flock, a lamb or a
goat, for a sin offering.

This animal either came from the familys flock or had to be purchased from
another familys flock. Either way it was costly.
But not only was it costly to the sinner. It was obviously costly to the female
animal. What did it cost the animal?

The animal paid for the sin with its life. It gave up its life in place of the
sinner.

What was the primary purpose for killing the lamb or goat (5:6b)?

The purpose of the sacrifice was to provide blood for atonement. The
sacrificial blood covered over sin and the pollution caused by sin.

5. The second major difference between the normal sin offering (Lev. 4) and the sin
offering described in 5:1-13 is related to cost. What if the sinner was poor and

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


could not afford a lamb or goat? What could he bring to Yahweh as compensation
for his sin (5:7)?

If the sinner could not afford a female lamb or goat from the flock, he
could bring two turtledoves or two pigeons.

And if he could not afford two birds, what could he bring as his sin offering
(5:11)?

He could bring a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering.

This was one days ration of food, about two or three quarts of flour. So no matter
how poor a person was, he could afford a sin offering. Whether rich or poor sin
had to be dealt with and it could be dealt with.
In the case of two birds being used as a sin offering (5:7-10), one bird was used
for blood atonement of the sin offering and the meat from it was eaten by the
priest. The other bird was burned on the altar as a burnt offering.
In the case of fine flour being used as a sin offering, what was not to be put on the
flour (5:11b)?

He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin
offering.

In what offering was it required to add oil and incense (see Lev. 2:1b-2)?

Oil and incense were required to be added to the grain brought as a grain
offering.

For what purpose was oil and incense added (see Lesson 3, point #2)?

Oil was added to provide flammability for offering and incense was added
to mask the bad odor from burning grain on the altar.

The mood surrounding the grain offering was one of joy and thanksgiving. The
offerer recognized Yahwehs provision of crops for food and Yahweh was pleased
that his people recognized him as the one who was providing for them.
When compared to the grain offering what would the mood for the sin offering
be?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

While the mood for the grain offering was joyful, the mood surrounding
the sin offering would be sorrow for sin.

Since the offering of a sin offering was not a joyful event, oil and incense were
not allowed. Without incense to mask the bad smell of burning grain, the sin
offering would stink. Actually though, this rancid smell would seem appropriate
to go with the rancid effects of sin and the penitent mood that went with the
offering.
If flour was used for a sin offering, the procedure followed was like that of the
grain offering (5:12-13). A memorial portion was burned on the altar and the rest
went to the priest. The flour burned on the altar was placed on the LORD's food
offerings (5:12). No blood was manipulated when flour was used as a grain
offering. But the food offerings referred to include the burnt offering (1:9) and
peace offering (3:3). Blood was shed in these offerings as well as in the public
burnt offering. And thus through the flour brought for and burned as a sin offering
the priest made atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one
of these things, and he shall be forgiven (5:13).
6. No matter what the sinner brought for a sin offering, in all cases there were
several results from it.

The sacrifice provided atonement. Atonement freed the sinner from his sin.
Through it his sins were forgiven and he was reinstated into a favorable
relationship with Yahweh.
It also took care of the guilt that the sinner felt. This was done through the
confession of the sin. Through confession the guilt was alleviated and the
sinner was freed from it.
The sacrifice also provided compensation/reparation for their failure, a penalty
for it. There was a price to pay for sinning against God.

Fulfillment by Jesus of the Normal and Graded Sin Offerings


7. In the OT a female lamb or goat was the normal sin offering (Lev. 4). But if a person
could not afford it, he could offer 2 birds or even a days ration of fine flour as his sin
offering (5:1-13). The sin offering propitiated (turned aside and satisfied) Gods
righteous wrath. Since God is just, he must punish sin. As the animal was sacrificed in
the place of the sinner (substitution), Gods wrath was turned from (propitiated) the
sinner to the sacrifice.
The sin offering of the OT points forward to The sin offering of NT. What was the sin
offering in the NT (Rom. 8:3, see ESV footnote for sin; 2 Cor 5:21, see NIV
footnote for sin)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

God made his Son, Jesus, to be sin for us. That is, God transferred all of our
sin to his Son, making him a sin offering for mankind.

Why did the Father send his Son to this world (1 Jn. 4:10)?

The Father sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. The primary
purpose the Father sent the Son was to be a sin offering for our sins. He did
this because he loved us.

What does the apostle John say Jesus is (1 Jn. 2:2)?

John says: He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also
for the sins of the whole world. Jesus came to be a propitiation for our sins
and he is a propitiation for our sins. He is our sin offering.
.

What further evidence is given in Heb. 13:11-12 that Jesus is a sin offering?

After the blood of the sacrifice had been taken into the holy places in the OT
sin offering, the rest of the sacrificial animal was taken and burned outside the
camp. Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem. His blood was shed to
sanctify people and then as the OT sin offering was destroyed outside the
camp, so Jesus body was destroyed outside the city through his crucifixion
and stabbing with a sword.
.
.
.
.

In offering himself on the cross Jesus became the sin offering for the world. In his sin
offering he redirected Gods righteous wrath away from sinners and towards himself.
He took the punishment that we deserved. In doing so Gods justice was carried out;
sin was punished.
8. The heart of the sin offering was blood atonement. God used blood for two things:
First he used it to cleanse the sanctuary and altars from impurity. The priests went
into the Holy Place daily and the high priest entered the Most Holy Place once a year.
Because they and the people they represented were sinful, these holy places that they
came into contact with became polluted by sin. The sanctuary and both altars were
sanctified by the use of blood from the sin offering.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The cleansing of the holy places in the OT points forward to the once and for all
perfect cleansing of the NT sin offering. Jesus entered the greater and more perfect
tent (Heb. 9:11), that is, the heavenly sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and
calves (Heb. 9:12), but with what (Heb. 9:12)?

Jesus entered with his own holy, precious blood.

The OT sin offering had to be offered again and again in order to redeem sin. But the
sin offering of Christ was made just once. He only needed to cleanse the heavenly
holy places just one time. Why (Heb. 9:12b)?

He needed to do it only once because his sin offering secured eternal


redemption. He took upon himself the sin of the whole world and paid the
price for it. No other sacrifice is necessary. His blood purifies all the pollution
caused by sin.
.
.

9. The second purpose for blood in the sin offering was to provide atonement for the
forgiveness of sin. As the tabernacle and altars were cleansed by the blood of the sin
offering, so also was the sinner. Blood atonement was made on the sinners behalf. In
the NT what is it that cleanses us from sin (1 Jn. 1:7)?

The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Jesus not only sprinkles the heavenly holy places to purify them. What else is his
blood sprinkled on (Heb. 9:13-14; 10:21-22)? Why?

Jesus sprinkles our consciences and hearts to purify and cleanse them from
dead works to serve the living God.

10. The sin offering of the OT was for Gods people only. Who was Jesus sin offering for
(1 Jn. 2:2)?

Jesus sin offering was for the sins of the whole world.

The sin offering of the OT was for the forgiveness of unintentional sins. What sins
does Jesus sin offering provide forgiveness for? What does the parable of the
Pharisee and Tax Collector (Lk. 18:9-14) show us concerning the kind of sins that are
forgiven by Jesus sacrifice? (Hint: the tax collector chose his profession.) (Also see 1
Jn. 1:9b.)

Since the tax collector chose his profession and since the tax collectors were
known for charging more taxes than the Roman government required and for

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


keeping the extra money for themselves, they were deliberately sinning. They
were stealing peoples money. Since the tax collector went home justified, his
sin was forgiven. Jesus sacrifice provides forgiveness for intentional as well
unintentional sins. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
.
.
.
11. Jesus came to be a sin offering and to turn aside Gods wrath from sinners to himself
by shedding his blood. In this way he provides redemption for the world. How is it
that sinners can receive the benefits of Jesus sin offering (Rom. 3:23-25a)?

Sinners receive the redemption paid for by Jesus shed blood through faith as a
free gift of grace.

For those who trust in the shed blood of Jesus, what knowledge and satisfaction do
they have that affects their life now and into eternity (Rom. 8:1)?

They have the knowledge and satisfaction of knowing there is no


condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. They have nothing to fear
concerning Gods justice. They will not be condemned because their sins have
been paid for and forgiven. They are righteous, guiltless, and free from
condemnation.
.
.
.

Jesus sin offering was for all people and all sins. Yet there is one sin that negates the
effectiveness of Jesus sacrifice. What is it (Heb 3:12; 6:6; 10:29)?

The sin that prevents people from receiving the forgiveness and redemption
Jesus won on the cross is the sin of unbelief. By not believing in Jesus, one
shows contempt for his sacrifice. In showing contempt, one tramples
underfoot the Son of God and profanes his blood shed for the forgiveness
his sins.
.
.
.

Therefore it is rather simple. Those who trust in and believe in Jesus and the sin
offering he made on the cross receive forgiveness of their sins. They hold in highest
reverence the holy and precious blood of Christ shed for them. Those who do not

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


believe in Jesus show contempt for his holy and precious blood shed for them and do
not receive forgiveness of their sin.
12. In the examples of sinning against Gods holy name or his holy presence a confession
of sin was required (5:5). The apostle John also speaks of confessing our sin (1 Jn.
1:9). In this same passage John writes, God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Therefore when we confess our sins we bring them into the light. We openly admit
them to God. What has God promised to do when we confess our sins (1 Jn. 1:9)?

He promises to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all


unrighteousness.

The word confess means to say the same thing. So when we confess we say
the same thing as God. In the creed we confess who God is and what he has done
for us. We simply say back to God and to each other what God has revealed in his
Holy Scriptures.
In confessing our sins we say the same thing that God says to us. We say, I am
a sinner and I have committed these sins. We speak the truth of our sinful
condition and the sins we commit because of it. We are able to do this without
fear because a sin offering has been performed for us. Jesus shed blood has taken
care of impurity of our sin. We are unafraid to confess because God the Father has
promised to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness for
the sake of Jesus.
13. The sin offering was part of the OT divine service held at the tabernacle and later at
the temple. Having been forgiven of their sins, the people could bring voluntary
offerings to Yahweh without worry. They could participate in the divine service with a
clear conscience because they knew their sins were forgiven and Gods wrath had
been appeased by the sin offering.
The same is true in the NT Divine Service (Christian worship). No sin offering is
needed in the Divine Service because Jesus one-time sin offering was made, which
took away the sins of the world. But the NT Divine Service depends upon and makes
available the benefits of Jesus sin offering on the cross. The NT Divine Service
begins with the confession of sins. The confession is made out loud to God and to
each other. We do not try and hide our sins. Instead we bring them into the light and
as God has assured us that he forgive[s] us our sins and cleanse[s] us from all
unrighteousness. God announces this forgiveness through his ambassador, the pastor.
Having received that assurance, the congregation can participate in the Divine Service
with a clear conscience. In the Divine Service Jesus sprinkles our hearts and
consciences with his precious blood taking away sin and all impurity. Therefore we
do not need to worry about desecrating Gods holiness in the Divine Service and as
God is present among us to speak and teach his holy word and to feed us a holy meal.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 7: Regulations for the Reparation (or Guilt) Offering
Read Lev. Lev. 5:14-6:7
Outline
I. The reparation offering for the desecration of holy things (5:14-19)
A. Introduction: the Lords address to Moses (5:14)
B. The divine speech (5:15-19)
1. The reparation offering for unintentional sacrilege (5:15-16)
2. The reparation offering for suspected sacrilege (5:17-19)
II. The reparation offering for the violation of an oath (6:1-7)
Study
1. Note that many people call this offering a guilt offering and traditionally it was
called the trespass offering. But Dr. Kleinig prefers to call it a reparation offering.
He says that one of the purposes of the sin offering was to take care of guilt and
that the main focus of this offering is compensating the one who was wronged. In
this case the one who was wronged was God. Therefore this offering dealt with
sins against God. The connection between the reparation offering and sacrilege
(desecration of holy things) can be seen by the cases where the reparation offering
was offered:
Lev. 5:15-16: Offered for a misappropriation of a holy thing.
Lev. 5:17-19: Offered for suspected violation of prohibitions against holy
things.
Lev. 6:1-7: Offered for perjury using Gods holy name.
Lev. 14:12, 21: Offered for skin diseases that jeopardized the holy status
of the Israelite.
Lev. 19:20-22: Offered for sex with a betrothed slave desecrating Gods
holy name.
Num. 6:7-12: Offered for contact with a corpse desecrating the holy status
of a Nazarite.
Ezra 10:10: Offered for marriage to pagan women desecrating Gods holy
seed.
What one thing do each these cases have in common?

In each case something holy has been desecrated.

Only God is holy and therefore all holy things belong to him. When someone
damaged or took something that was holy, they took or damaged that which
belonged to God. This is called sacrilege and the reparation offering dealt with it.
Because of this, Dr. Kleinigs translation of 5:15 begins like this: When a person
commits an act of sacrilege unintentionally sinning against any of the Lords holy
things

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

2. This section consists of two divine speeches (5:14, 6:1). The first speech (5:1419) gives two cases (5:15-16; 5:17-19) in which the reparation offering was
required. We begin here by looking at the first case. The first case involved sin
against what (5:15a)?

The first case involves unintentional sin against the holy things of
Yahweh.

Part of the priestly function was to distinguish between what was holy from what
was most holy. The reparation offering was for unintentional sin against
something that was holy. Sin against something that was most holy is not covered
here.
The difference between the most holy and holy things was that the most holy
things communicated Gods holiness by physical contact. The most holy things
included:
The tent of meeting and all of its furnishings: the ark of the covenant, the
incense altar, the lampstand, the table, the altar for burnt offering.
Most holy food: The showbread and the bread from the grain offering and
the meat from the sin offering and the reparation offering.
The only people who were to have contact with these most holy things were
Gods appointed representatives, the priests.
What things then were considered holy?

Num. 5:9-10: every contribution, all the holy donations of the people of
Israel, which they bring to the priest All the offerings brought to the
sanctuary were holy.

Lev. 19:5-8: The meat from the peace offering was holy.

Num. 18:15-18: Firstborn animals were holy to the Lord.

Num. 18:12-13: The first-ripe and first-processed produce from the land
was holy and belonged to Yahweh.

Lev. 27:30-33: All tithes were holy to the LORD.

Lev. 27:9-27: Anything vowed to Yahweh (animal, house, or land) was


holy.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


3. What was the penalty for desecrating anything holy (Lev. 19:8; Num. 18:32)?

The penalty for the desecration of anything holy was either to be cutoff
from Yahweh and his people or death.

How could a person avoid divine retribution for the desecration of anything holy?
What was required of the sinner (5:15b, 16a)?

Generally: The sinner had to compensate Yahweh and make restitution.

The specific offering required was (5:15b): a ram without blemish was
required as a reparation offering. At the sanctuary a value was placed on the
ram.

Restitution had to be paid for sacrilege. How much did it cost the offender
(5:16a)?

It cost him the value of the ram used as a reparation offering plus a fifth
(20%).

Most likely the ram was bought at the sanctuary. And since the sin was against the
holy things of God, the restitution was paid to Yahwehs representative, the priest.
The priest played the role of a mediator between God and the offender. Apart from
the priest, no restitution could be made.
Most likely a ram was chosen because it was the head of flock, the largest and the
most valuable. This type of sin was costly, which showed the gravity of sinning
against anything holy.
4. Besides providing compensation and restitution, what else was the ram used for
(5:16b)?

The ram was used by the priest to make atonement for the sinner for the
forgiveness of his sin.

The legislation here concentrates on the occasions that caused the need for the
reparation offering rather than on the procedure. The procedure for this offering is
given in 7:1-10. The procedure was like that of a peace offering, except the priest
alone ate the meat. The act of atonement freed the person from Gods punishment.
5. The second case given (5:17-19) is somewhat similar to the first case (5:15-16). In
the first case the person knew that they had unintentionally sinned against a holy
thing of Yahweh. In the second case a person breaks a divine prohibition in the

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


sacred realm, but he did not know it. If the person realized his sin because his
conscience made him feel guilty, a reparation offering was to be brought to the
priest. The offering is the same as the first case, a ram without blemish, which is
used as payment for the unintentional infraction and for atonement for
forgiveness.
6. A third case is given (6:1-7) which requires a reparation offering. In this case too
something holy is sinned against, but it is more difficult to determine what this
holy thing is.
How would you summarize the sin committed in 6:2-3a, 4b-5a?

A person illegally obtains or misappropriates someone elses property.

This doesnt seem to be a sin against God at all. The key to understanding how
this is a sin against something holy is the phrase swearing falsely (6:3). Here is
how this situation would play out. He illegally obtains someone elses property.
Later when confronted he denies it. This cannot be taken to court because there is
no way to prove it. So he takes an oath in Gods name, which includes a curse
upon himself if he is lying. If he lies under oath using Gods holy name he
commits sacrilege because he has made God an accessory to the crime. He has
tainted Gods holy name. Then God would enact the curse and punish him. If he
felt guilty and wanted to escape the curse, he would admit his guilt and make
restitution to the victim and God.
7. What was the sinner required to do before he could bring his reparation offering
(6:4a, 5b)?

He shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to
whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt.

After he paid the injured person in full plus 20%, he could then bring the normal
reparation offering and the priest would perform atonement and his sin would be
forgiven (6:6-7).
8. Was the act of perjury (lying under oath in Gods name) deliberate or
unintentional?

It was clearly deliberate.

But reparation offerings could only be made for unintentional sins against Gods
holy domain. So why was it ok for a reparation offering to made in this case and
the sin forgiven? Under what circumstances was this allowed (Num. 5:7-8)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

When a person sinned against another person by taking their possessions and
swearing falsely under oath, the sin could be forgiven when it was confessed
and full restitution was made.
.
.

What happened then was the act of confession changed the status of the offense so
that God looked at it as an unintentional sin instead of intentional. That opened
the door for atonement and forgiveness.
9. In summary then, the reparation offering dealt with cases where someone
desecrated a part of Yahwehs holy domain. There were two theological functions
for this offering:
1) It provided compensation for the damage that had been done to the holy things
or holy name. And it required an additional payment of 20% as restitution to
restore what had been disrupted.
2) The atonement of the blood rite brought forgiveness and freed the person from
the liability of the offense and the punishment he deserved. He could be sure he
had been forgiven; his guilt had been paid for (expiated).
The reparation offering served a clear purpose. It encouraged the Israelites to heed
their consciences and repent of their sins. It also soothed troubled consciences by
providing forgiveness. In this sacrifice God undid the destructive effect of the
sacrilege on the offender. In this offering Gods holiness was safeguarded, justice
was done, and Gods favor was restored.
Fulfillment by Christ
10. The reparation offering was meant to compensate God for the loss or abuse of
something holy. It dealt with something that belonged to God (a holy thing or His
holy name). Those who committed sacrilege stole from God and were in debt to
him. The offering fixed what was desecrated and paid the debt.
Read Acts 4:34 5:11. How might this be considered an act of sacrilege?

Ananias and Sapphira gave the impression that they were giving all the money
from the sale of property to the Lord. They made the offering but kept part of
it back for themselves. So they deliberately misappropriated for themselves
money that belonged to God. That which belongs to God is holy.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The penalty (death) shows the danger of sacrilege in the NT. This is why Paul
warned against desecrating the holy body and holy blood of our Lord (1 Cor.
11:27-30). If not atoned for, the sin of sacrilege results in Gods wrath and
withdrawal of grace (cf. Heb. 10:26-31).
11. There is no direct reference to the reparation offering in the NT. But how do
Jesus words in Mt. 20:28; 26:28 lead you to believe Jesus was a reparation
offering?

In a reparation offering payment was made and sin was atoned for. Jesus gave
his life as a ransom for many (payment made). And his blood was poured
out for the forgiveness of sins (atonement). His death paid the ransom and
His blood provided forgiveness of all peoples debt to God.
.
.
.

Also in Mt. 20:28, Jesus said he had come to serve. Jesus is alluding to what
OT prophecy (Is. 52:13 53:12)?

Jesus is alluding to himself being the suffering servant that Isaiah refers to.

What did Isaiah prophesy that the suffering servant would be (Is. 53:10)?

Isaiah prophesied that the suffering servant would be an offering for guilt or
a reparation offering.

So in this way also we see Jesus as a reparation offering for the world. In offering
himself, Jesus restores what was once holy to be holy again, that is, making us
Gods holy possession. [An example of this is Peter. On the night of Jesus
betrayal, Peter took an oath saying that he did not know Jesus. This was an act of
sacrilege, a desecration of Gods holy name. After His resurrection from the dead
Jesus restored Peter. In His reparation offering, which was his death on the cross,
Christ paid the price for Peters act of sacrilege. And by his blood shed on the
cross, Jesus made atonement and Peters sin of sacrilege was forgiven. And he not
only did it for Peter, but he does the same for us too.]
12. The reparation offering was required because something holy had been
desecrated. We saw things that were considered holy in the OT (see point #2
above). What kinds of things are holy in the NT that we should not desecrate?

Rom. 1:2; 7:12:


The scriptures are holy because they are Gods Word.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 3:16-17:


Each Christians body is holy because the Holy Spirit dwells within them.

Eph. 5:27; Col. 3:12-13; Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:9:


The church as a whole and each Christian who makes up the church is holy.

Lk. 1:35; Heb. 7:26; 1 Pet. 1:14-16 (esp. 15a); 1 Pet. 3:15; Rev. 3:7:
The Lord Jesus Christ is holy.

Heb. 9:14; 10:19, 29; 13:12:


The blood of Christ is holy.

As a member of the Holy Trinity and as his name spells out, the Holy Spirit is
holy.

Because Jesus is holy and Gods Word is holy and the Holy Spirit is holy, the
sacraments of Baptism and the Lords Supper are holy. Through these means holy
God connects his holy Word to simple earthly objects and makes them holy.
Through these simple means holy Jesus comes to us to wash us with holy water
and to feed us with holy food. Through these means Jesus gives us the holy gifts
of life and salvation that he won on the cross. And it is through these means that
the Holy Spirit uses Gods holy Word to create and sustain faith in us making us
holy.
Therefore since we come into contact with these holy things, we must not
desecrate them, for everything that is holy belongs to God. Yet we do desecrate
them. We do not read and study Gods Word as we should. The way that
Christians sometimes treat other Christians is shameful. Many times Christians do
not treat their bodies as holy and as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Who of us who
receive the holy body and blood of Christ treat it with the full respect and
reverence that it deserves all the time? Sometimes Christians grieve the Holy
Spirit by rejecting the Good News he brings through the holy Word and holy
Sacraments. Christians also take Gods holy name in vain, often carelessly or
willfully misusing it.
What then should we do when we desecrate the holy things of God? Confess
those sins to God, knowing that, thanks be to God, he has provided a reparation
offering in his Son. As our reparation offering Jesus gave his life as a ransom for
many, paying the price that we should have paid. And by shedding his blood he
made atonement for us, providing us with the forgiveness of sins. His sacrifice on
the cross paid the debt that we owed to God.
13. Christ paid our debt to God the Father, but we are still in debt to each other. What
did Jesus teach about these debts (Mt. 6:12)?

As God has forgiven our debts, so we are to forgive our debtors.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


How many times should we be willing to do this (Mt. 18:21-22)? What does he
mean?

Jesus said to forgive others 77 times. This was his way of saying our
forgiveness to others should be as unlimited as his forgiveness for us is.

What happens when we do not forgive others (Mt. 6:14-15; 18:35)?

To not forgive others is to forfeit ones own forgiveness and holiness. He will
forgive you as you have forgiven others.

If Christians sinned against others, they were to seek forgiveness and


reconciliation. They were to do this before they approached God with their gift in
the Divine Service (Mt. 5:23-26). As Christ has forgiven all of our debts, so we
are to forgive all debts to each other. What is the one debt that Christians
continually owe (Rom. 13:8-10)?

As Christians, we have but one debt to pay: we must continue to love one
another.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Overview of the Consumption of the Holy Food (6:8-7:38)
Even though the contents of chs. 6 and 7 seem the same as chs. 1-5, they have a different
focus: the disposal of what is not burnt on the altar (ashes and skin from burnt offering,
grain and bread from grain offering, and meat from the sin, reparation, and peace
offerings). Since the priests are responsible for what is not burned, chs. 6 and 7 are
primarily for them.
This is presented not as ritual case law (like chs. 1-5), but as ritual instruction (Torah
Law and Gospel). The instruction teaches the priest how to perform a ritual so that the
sacred is distinguished from the common and the clean for the unclean. Some translate
Torah as Law, but this fails to convey the rich Gospel content. It is Gods intent to
provide a remedy for the sin of His people and to convey to them His purity and holiness.
In this section five instructions are given. They are given in two groups, the regular
sacrifices (the burnt and grain offerings) and the occasional sacrifices (the sin, reparation,
and peace offerings).
I. The instructions for the daily sacrifice (6:8 6:23)
A. The burnt offering (6:8-13)
B. The grain offering (6:14-23)
II. The instructions for the occasional sacrifices (6:24 7:36)
A. The sin offering (6:24-30)
B. The reparation offering (7:1-10)
C. The peace offering (7:11-36)
On top of these five instructions are five divine speeches to Moses. But the five speeches
do not coincide directly with the five instructions.
I. Divine speech to priests on the daily public sacrifice (6:8-18)
A. The burnt offering (6:8-13)
B. The grain offering (6:14-18)
II. Divine speech to Moses on the daily grain offering of the high priest (6:19-23)
III. Divine speech to the priests on the occasional offerings of the Israelites (6:24-7:21)
A. The sin offering (6:24-30)
B. The reparation offering (7:1-6)
C. The priestly dues (7:7-10)
D. The grain offering (7:11-21)
IV. Divine speech to the Israelites on prohibited food (7:22-27)
V. Divine speech to the Israelites on the priests portion of the peace offering (7:28-36)
VI. Conclusion (7:37-38)
7:7-10 succinctly summarizes what belongs to the priests from each of the five most holy
offerings and 7:28-34 summarizes the portions of the priests from the peace offering.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 8: The Daily Public Offering (Part 1)
(The Sacred Fire and the Disposal of the Ashes)
Read Lev. Lev. 6:8-13
Outline
I. Introduction and commission (6:8-9a)
II. Divine speech (6:9b-18)
A. Instruction about the disposal of the ashes from the daily burnt offering (6:9b13)
1. Heading about the leftover burnt offering (6:9b)
2. Daily procedure (6:10-12)
3. Summary instruction (6:13)
a. Commandment to keep the perpetual fire burning (6:13a)
b. Prohibition against its extinction (6:13b)
B. Instruction on the disposal of the daily grain offering (6:14-18)
Study
1. As Yahweh spoke instructions to Moses (6:8), who were the instructions for
(6:9a)?

These instructions from Yahweh were for Aaron and his sons who are
the priests.

Each day a public burnt offering was placed on the altar and burned each morning
and each evening. The evening burnt offering stayed on the altar all night until
the morning (6:9c). Concerning the fire on the altar, what were the priests
required to do (6:9d, 12a, 13)?

The priests were required to keep the fire burning, to not let it go out.

The priests acted as the stewards of Gods house. The center of any house and of
Gods house was the hearth. The priests were responsible for tending to the fire in
Gods house at the altar for burnt offering. They were to never let it go out.
2. This section concentrates on the sacred fire that was on the altar for burnt
offering. Fire was necessary for the sacrificial system to burn up the sacrifices.
Where did the fire on the altar come from (Lev. 9:24; see also 1 Chr. 21:26 for the
origin of the fire for temple)?

The fire on the altar was fire that came from Gods holy presence.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Therefore the fire represents Yahwehs presence among His people. What did the
fire do to the offerings that were placed upon the altar? In other words, what was
the purpose of the fire?

The fire burned up the offerings. The purpose of the fire was to burn the
offerings.

When the fire burned the offerings, what did it produce (1:9b, 2:2d; 3:5b: 4:31b)?

The burning of the offerings produced a sweet aroma that rose up to


Yahweh.

While its not explicitly stated in the text, it can be safely assumed that along with
the aroma that rose up to Yahweh, a cloud of smoke would have also arose with
the aroma. If one saw smoke from a distance but was not close enough to see a
fire, one would rightly assume that there was a fire that was causing the smoke. In
this way the smoke reveals that there is a fire. On the other hand, sometimes
smoke from a fire is so thick that one cannot see the fire. In this case the smoke
conceals the fire.
In a similar way what does the smoke from the burning of the sacrifices on the
altar reveal and conceal? (Hint: Look at the very beginning of this point.)

The smoke both revealed and concealed Gods holy presence with Israel.

This was very similar to the cloud of presence that led Israel and filled the
tabernacle. It both revealed and concealed Gods presence with them.
Previously, in what way had God appeared to Israel on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:16-19;
24:17)?

He had appeared to them in the form of fire and smoke.

And so he does the same thing at the tabernacle. He is present with his people in
the fire and smoke in the burning of the sacrifices on the altar for burnt offering.
What then would happen if the fire went out (cf. 2 Chr 13:10-12; 29:6-9)?

Since God was present with Israel in the fire on the altar of burnt offering,
if the fire went out, God would no longer be present with his people.

3. What was the procedure for taking care of the fire each morning (6:10-12)?

6:10a: The priest dressed in his holy vestments.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

6:10b: The priest then removed the ashes from the altar for burnt offering
and placed them next to the altar on the east side.

6:11a: The priest then removed his priestly vestments and put on other
clothes.

6:11b-12a: Then the priest carried the ashes to the dump outside the camp
without putting out the fire on the altar.

6:12b: The priest then stoked the fire on the altar by adding firewood.

6:12c: He then used the fire to burn up the leftovers from the previous
days offerings.

The removal of ashes was done after they smoldered overnight. They were not
considered holy. Each morning they were taken and dumped in a clean place
outside the camp. Each morning they were cleaned out in preparation for the new
burnt offering.
Each morning as the first ritual enactment in the daily sacrificial ritual at the
sanctuary, the ashes were cleaned out and the fire was stoked as a preparation by
the officiating priest for the daily morning burnt offering.
4. Before the priest could remove the ashes, what was he required to put on (6:10a)?

He was required to put on his priestly vestments.

Why was this required? (Hint: What did they approach to do this?)

Vesting up was required because they had to approach the altar for burnt
offering which was considered most holy.

The priests and their vestments where considered to be holy. What made them
holy (Ex. 29:21; Lev. 8:30)?

They and their vestments were holy because they and their garments were
sprinkled with the blood used for atonement and the holy anointing oil.

The priests had to wear their holy vestments each time they worked at the altar.
The holy vestments were a mark of the priests sacred office and status.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. In summary then, the priests kept the fire burning because it was no ordinary fire;
it was kindled by Yahweh as a sign of His presence. The holy fire bridged heaven
and earth by bringing the offerings of the people to God, as well as bringing God
to His people. Just as God revealed His name to Moses in the fire of the burning
bush (Ex. 3:2-15) and His glory to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai through fire on the
mountain (Ex. 24:17; 40:34), so He revealed Himself through the fire on the altar
to His people. Fire was a good means to communicate His holy presence. His
presence, like fire, could be both life enhancing and life threatening, beneficial
and destructive. The fire was to never go out. If it went out Yahweh would not be
present to meet with and give His grace to His people.
Fulfillment by Christ
6. What did Jesus tell his disciples he had come to do (Lk. 12:49)?

Jesus told his disciples that he came to bring fire from heaven to earth.

But this fire could not be kindled until after His atoning death and resurrection.
When was this fire kindled (Acts 2:1-3)?

This fire was kindled on Pentecost when the tongues of fire came to rest
on the heads of each of the disciples.

What was the fire that rested on the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:32-33)?

This fire was the Holy Spirit. Jesus kindles the fire of the Holy Spirit in
each person that believes in him.

Just as the fire of Gods holy presence was kindled on the altar in the OT divine
service (Lev. 9 and 2Chr 7:1-3), so tongues of fire came from heaven at Pentecost
and rested on the disciples. Therefore the NT Divine Service was inaugurated
with this fire of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
7. Based on Acts 2:32-33, who is it that kindles the fire of the NT Divine Service?

It is Jesus who pours out his Spirit into each person that believes. Jesus
kindles the fire of the Holy Spirit in the NT Divine Service.

What happened when Jesus opened the Scriptures to two of his disciples on the
way to Emmaus (Lk. 24:32)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The hearts of the disciples burned within them. Jesus had kindled the fire
of the Holy Spirit within them.

On the first Easter Sunday the NT Divine Service was inaugurated. In it Jesus
spoke and explained Gods Word and he shared a sacred meal with his disciples.
And when he did, the hearts of his disciples burned. So now He does the same in
the NT Divine Service that is celebrated each Sunday around the world. In it the
hearts of Christians burn with the holy fire of the Holy Spirit when the Holy
Scriptures are read and preached and the Bread of the Lords Supper is served.
Christ offered Himself to the Father as an atoning sacrifice for the world. Now in
the Divine Service through the fire of the Holy Spirit he offers us along with
himself as His sacrifice to the Father. We become living sacrifices living a life of
worship through the Holy Spirit (Jn. 4:23, 24; Phil 3:3).
8. The fire of the OT divine service burned on the altar at the tabernacle and later at
the temple. In the NT Divine Service Christians are the altar on which the fire of
the Holy Spirit burns in the new temple of the Triune God, the church. As Yahweh
revealed His hidden glory and gave access to this gracious presence at the altar in
the tabernacle/temple, so in the NT the Christian and the church become the place
of Gods gracious presence where his hidden glory is revealed.
Each Christian then is a living altar on which the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
prayer, and praise are offered up by Christ by the fire of the Holy Spirit to God the
Father. This fire that burns within us is the very presence of God. Gods glory
then shines through us. The apostle Paul urges his readers to be aglow with the
Spirit (Rom. 12:11) and he warns them not to quench the Spirits fire (1 Thess.
5:19).
9. In the NT church each person is a priest. Each believer has been sprinkled with
the atoning blood of Christ. And it is the responsibility of the priest to not let the
fire of Gods presence to go out. The fire of the Holy Spirit must be kept alight in
the church. Wherever Jesus is present and his Word is read and proclaimed and
his Supper served, there the fire of the Holy Spirit will be burning intensely. For
through these means Jesus stokes the fire on the altar of each believer.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 9: The Daily Public Offering (Part 2)
(Consumption of the Daily Grain Offering)
Read Lev. Lev. 6:14-18
Outline
I. Introduction and commission (6:8-9a)
II. Divine speech (6:9b-18)
A. Instruction about the disposal of the ashes from the daily burnt offering (6:9b13)
B. Instruction on the disposal of the daily grain offering (6:14-18)
1. Heading (6:14a)
2. Procedure (6:14b-16)
3. Divine declaration of its nature and use (6:17)
4. Summary instruction (6:18)
Study
1. In the previous lesson we learned about the preparation for the daily public burnt
offering. In this lesson we learn about instructions concerning the consumption of
the daily public grain offering. Together these two offerings made up the daily
divine service which was held twice a day every day. Note that before this chapter
neither of these offerings have been previously discussed in Leviticus. (They
introduced and discussed in Exodus as part of the covenant.)
The daily public grain offering, as described here (6:14), was like the private grain
offering (2:1-16), but with two differences.
The daily public grain offering was always connected to the daily public
burnt offering. The two were always offered together. The daily grain
offering was always placed on top of the daily burnt offering.
It was presented by the priests to Yahweh and not the layperson.
2. What was the procedure that was to be followed for the daily public grain offering
(6:14-16)?

6:14b: The priests shall come before Yahweh at the altar and offer the grain
offering to Yahweh.
.

6:15: The presiding priest will take a handful of the fine flour of the grain
offering and its oil and all the frankincense that is on the grain offering and
burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

6:16: The rest of flour was baked into unleavened cakes which were eaten by
the priests in the courtyard of the tabernacle in Yahwehs presence.
.

3. When the priests presented the grain offering to Yahweh at the altar, a transaction
occurred. Possession of the grain changed hands. It was given to Yahweh as a gift.
At that time Yahweh took ownership of the entire grain offering; it belonged to
him. Yahweh could do with it whatever he wished. Yahweh determined that only a
small portion of the offering was to be burned on the altar. What did Yahweh do
with the rest of the offering that was not burned?

He gave the majority of the offering to his priests to eat.

With this offering God made provision for His priests and fed them from His
table. The presentation of the public grain offering occurred twice a day along
with the public burnt offering and culminated in a holy meal eaten by the priests
in Gods presence as His guests
4. When Israel conquered the Canaanites in the promised land, Yahweh divided up
the land and gave it to the tribes of Israel as its inheritance. Within in each tribe,
each family received land on which they could raise crops and have livestock. All
the tribes but one received land. That one tribe was the tribe of Levi. What did the
tribe of Levi inherit (Jos. 21)?

The tribe of Levi was given cities throughout Israel. The cities were given
to the Levites from the inheritance of the other tribes.

The other tribes inherited land through which Yahweh provided food for them by
allowing them to grow crops. How did Yahweh provide food for the Levites (the
priests) (6:16a, 17b)?

One way that Yahweh provided food for the Levites was through the daily
public grain offering. He took the grain offering given to him by the
Israelites and assigned the unburned portion to His priests for their
livelihood.
.
.

5. What prohibition did Yahweh place on the priests concerning the baking of the
bread (6:17a)?

It shall not be baked with leaven.

Why was this restriction given? (See Lesson 3, point #6.)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Leaven was associated with corruption and decay. Yahwehs priests had
contact with him. They served in his holy presence. He can have nothing
to do with that which has been corrupted.
.

6. Note the status change of the grain used for the grain offering. The grain started
out in an Israelite field. It started out as common grain. When it was brought to
the sanctuary to be used as a grain offering it became holy as did all the offerings
brought as a gift to Yahweh. What did its status become when the token portion
was burned on the altar (6:17c)?

When the token portion was burned on the altar the grain offering became
most holy just like the sin offering and reparation offering that we have
studied.
.

The token portion taken from the grain offering represented the whole offering.
Since it came into contact with the holy fire which came from Yahwehs presence,
the whole offering became most holy.
Because of its status as most holy, only authorized personnel could come into
contact with it. Who did Yahweh authorize to come into contact with and eat this
most holy offering (6:18a)?

Only the priests (the male children of Aaron and future generations) were
allowed to come into contact with the flour from the grain offering and eat
the bread made from it.
.

7. What happened to anything that touched the most holy flour from the grain
offering or the most holy meat from the sin and reparation offerings (6:18c)?

Whatever touched them became holy.

This is sometimes called contagious sanctification. (Sanctification means to


make holy.) This idea is an important one. Authorized contact with these most
holy things made and kept a person or thing holy. Unauthorized contact with them
brought punishment.
Because this food was most holy, it could not leave Yahwehs holy presence. It
had to be eaten in a holy place. That is, it had to be eaten at the sanctuary, the
place where God lived among his people, near the altar on which the fire of his
presence burned.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


So from this holy meal the Israelite priests not only received nourishment from
Yahweh in this most holy meal but they also received holiness from him as well.
In this meal Yahweh shared his holiness with his servants the priests.
Fulfillment by Christ
8. Through the OT public grain offering Yahweh provided food for his priests. The
priests served at the altar and so the Lord provided food for them from the altar in
the grain offering (1 Cor. 9:13). The most holy flour from the grain offering was
baked into cakes and was eaten by the priests in Yahwehs presence, a holy place.
This holy meal provided two things. First it provided physical nourishment for the
priests. Secondly, through this holy meal Yahweh shared his holiness with the
priests.
Who are the priests of the NT (1 Pet. 2:5, 9)?
All Christians are part of the holy priesthood.
9. As Yahweh provided most holy food in the grain offering from his table (the altar)
for his priests, so he does in the NT. The grain offering, like all OT offerings,
pointed forward to Jesus sacrifice on the cross. The public grain offering
occurred twice a day every day. How many times was the NT public grain
offering offered up (Heb. 7:27)?

Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice, but he needed to do it only once for


all.

Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the Father provides most holy bread for his priests
(all Christians). What is the most holy bread that the Father provides (Jn. 6:31-34,
51-58)? What do Christians receive when they eat this most holy bread?

Jesus is the true bread from heaven. He came down from heaven and
gives life to the world. The true bread from heaven is the flesh of the
Son of Man. Unless you eat his flesh you have no life in you. The one who
eats his flesh has eternal life.
.
.

When and where does God offer this most holy bread to Christians?

God offers the Bread of Heaven in the Divine Service. Specifically he


offers it in Holy Communion or the Lords Supper. In Holy Communion
God invites us to come into his holy presence to receive most holy Bread
from his table.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
Each person that eats the most holy Bread in Holy Communion receives the body
of the crucified and risen Christ. Each person that receives this most holy Bread in
faith receives life and eternal life.
10. In the OT divine service (the sacrifices at the tabernacle/temple) most holy food
had to be eaten in a holy place, which was at the tabernacle/temple near the altar
of burnt offering. It had to eaten in Yahwehs holy presence.
In Christian churches where is the holy place that Christians eat the most holy
Bread from Heaven?

In Christian churches the members of the congregation come forward to


the chancel (the area in front of the church near the altar) and typically
kneel before God. And then the holy Bread (which is the body of Christ
in/with/ and under the bread) is taken from the altar (Gods table) and is
given to each person by the pastor.
.
.
.

And yet when Christians enter into Gods holy presence in the chancel area, they
enter into something greater than the eye can see. They enter the holy places of
the heavenly temple (Heb. 10:19-22; 12:22). They enter heaven itself through the
way that Christ opened up for them. For wherever God is present, there is heaven.
11. The purpose for the OT public grain offering was twofold. First, it provided
nourishment for Yahwehs priests. Second, Yahweh shared his holiness with his
priests. Through contact with most holy things, Yahwehs holiness was
communicated. In this way the priests received Yahwehs holiness.
The purpose for the NT public grain offering (Holy Communion/the Lords
Supper) is the same as in the OT. Believers are invited to eat at Gods table as His
privileged guests. In this most holy food that God offers (Christs body and blood)
He nourishes His people and shares His holiness and gives access to the Fathers
holy and gracious presence.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 10: The Daily Grain Offering of the High Priest
Read Lev. Lev. 6:19-23
Outline
I. Introduction: the Lords address to Moses (6:19)
II. Divine speech (6:20-23)
A. Description of the high priests grain offering (6:20)
B. Procedure (6:21-22)
C. General Summary (6:23)
Study
1. Lev 6:19 begins a new divine speech. Therefore this offering is distinguished
from the regular grain offering (6:14-18).
We know that Aaron and his sons (6:20a) were chosen by God to be priests. So
this offering is concerned with the priests. Yet the offering was not for all priests.
This offering was offered to the LORD on the day when he is anointed (6:20b).
He is singular. Who is he who is anointed? (See Ex. 29: 5-7; Lev. 8:12;
21:10; Num. 35:25.)

Aaron was anointed as High Priest.

Notice also that the offering was to be made by the priest from among Aaron's
sons, who is anointed to succeed him (6:22a). The priest who would become the
high priest after the current high priest made the offering for the high priest. So
even though all priests were anointed, this offering was specifically for the high
priest.
2. The high priest offered this offering to Yahweh (6:20a). On what day did the high
priest begin to offer it to Yahweh (6:20b)?

He began offering it on the day when he is anointed. Starting on the day


that the high priest was anointed as high priest the offering was made.

What did the offering consist of (6:20c)?

The offering consisted of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour. This amount


of flour was about a days ration for a person.

When and how often was this grain offering to be made (6:20d)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The grain offering was to be made as a regular grain offering, half of it in


the morning and half in the evening. It was to be offered every day, twice
a day. It was a regular part of the daily divine service.
.
.

This offering then was offered every day that the high priest held the office and
performed the vocation of high priest. It was therefore always associated with the
office and vocation of high priest. Also, since it was offered each morning and
each evening, this offering became associated with the beginning and ending time
of his daily service.
3. The ESV translates the phrase in 6:21 as: You shall bring it well mixed, in baked
pieces. Dr. Kleing translates this phrase as: You shall bring it well soaked and
present the pieces of the grain offering of crumbled bits. Given these
translations, what was the three step procedure for this offering (6:21)?

6:21a: Flour was mixed with oil and baked as flat cakes on a griddle.

6:21b: It was broken in pieces, soaked in oil, and presented by the high
priest.

6:21c: The bread made from the flour and oil was burned on the altar,
creating a pleasing aroma to Yahweh. Half was burned at the morning
sacrifice and half was burned at the evening sacrifice.
.
.

What was the end result of this offering (6:21c)?

The end result was that the offering produced a pleasing aroma to the
Lord.

What does this mean in terms of Yahwehs disposition toward the high priest?

By receiving the offering, Yahweh demonstrated His pleasure in the high


priest and His approval of his service.

4. As we said above, since this offering was for the high priest, it was offered for
him by the priest who had been anointed to succeed him (6:22a). This was a
unique feature of this offering.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In the other grain offerings that we studied (daily public and private), a memorial
portion was burned on the altar and the rest of the grain was provided by Yahweh
as food for his priests. What was another unique feature of this grain offering
(6:22c-23)?

Every time this offering was made all of it was to be burned on the altar.
None of it was to be eaten.

The phrase in 6:22b translated by the ESV as to the LORD as decreed forever is
translated as the LORDs perpetual share in the NIV and as the perpetual due
of the Lord by Dr. Kleinig. When the term perpetual due is used in other places
in Leviticus, it is talking about a food ration for the priests for their service to
Yahweh. So here it is talking about a food ration for Yahweh.
This may seem rather strange. In many pagan religions the people brought food as
their offering to feed their gods. This then might seem to be a daily meal
presented to Yahweh by his priests just like the pagans did for their gods. But that
is not the case. Yahweh had taken a normal sacrifice of the pagans and
reconfigured it, giving it a completely different purpose. This offering was not for
Yahwehs benefit, but for the benefit of his high priest. This offering that was
completely consumed by Yahweh in the fire, resulted in a pleasing aroma. This
pleasing aroma assured the high priest that Yahweh approved of and was pleased
with his service to him. Through this offering Yahweh confirmed the status of the
high priest as his chief courtier and head of the priesthood.
Fulfillment by Christ
5. Jesus is our High Priest. But Jesus did not offer daily offerings for himself as the
OT high priest did. Instead, what did Jesus offer to the Father (Heb. 5:7)?

Instead Jesus offered up prayers and supplications.

What did Jesus do on a regular daily basis (Mt 14:23; Mk 1:35; Lk 5:16; 6:12;
9:18, 28; 11:1)?

Jesus communicated on a regular daily basis with his Father through


prayer.

On one occasion when Jesus prayed, what did he do (Lk. 11:1-4)?

Jesus taught his disciples to pray by teaching them the Lords Prayer.

What did Jesus teach his disciples about prayer in the parable of the persistent
widow (Lk.18:1-8, esp. 18:1)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Jesus taught them to always pray or to pray regularly.

6. The OT high priest was the chief steward over the house of God. Who is the NT
High Priest that is over the house of God (Heb. 10:19-21)?

In the NT Jesus is a great priest over the house of God.

In the OT the high priest appeared before Yahweh on behalf of Gods chosen
people Israel. Who does Jesus appear before God on behalf of (Heb. 9:24)?

He appears in the presence of God on our behalf. Since Hebrews was


written to Christians, Jesus appears before God on behalf of all Christians.

The OT high priest offered sacrifices for himself and the people. Does Jesus, our
High Priest do the same (Heb. 7:27)?

Our High Priest does not offer daily sacrifices for himself and the people.

Why or why not?

He does not offer daily sacrifices because He has no need since he did
this once for all when he offered up himself. He offered a perfect
sacrifice that applies to all times and need not be repeated.
.

What does he do instead (Heb. 7:25)?

He intercedes for those who draw near to God through him.

Because of his once and for all perfect saving sacrifice on the cross and his
intercession of their behalf, what do the people of God do in response (Heb.
13:15-16)?

They respond by offering up sacrifices of praise to God (prayer),


acknowledging his holy name. They also offer the sacrifices of doing good
and sharing what they have.
.

What does God think of these sacrifices (Heb. 13:16b)?

These sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Our High Priest makes it possible for Christians to come before the throne of
grace without any worries, knowing that God accepts us and our prayers. How
often did Paul and can all Christians come before God in prayer (1 Thess. 3:10; 2
Tim. 1:3)?

Christians can pray to God night and day. They can talk to God at any
time.

Who do Christians include in their prayers? How often do they include them in
their prayers? And what is their attitude towards them? (See Rom 1:9; 1 Cor 1:4;
Eph 5:20; Phil 1:4; Col 1:3; 1 Thess 1:2; 2 Thess 1:3; 2:13; Philemon 4)

Christians pray for other Christians. They pray for them continually, every
day. They pray for them with an attitude of thanksgiving and joy.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 11: The Occasional Offerings (Part 1) The Sin Offering
Read Lev. Lev. 6:24-6:30
Outline
I. Introduction (6:24-25a)
II. Divine speech (6:25b-7:21)
A. Instruction about the sin offering (6:25b-30)
1. Heading (6:25b)
2. Place of slaughter and the reason of slaughter there (6:25c)
3. Place for consumption of meat from the sin offering (6:26)
4. Its holiness (6:27-28)
5. The disposal of its meat (6:29-30)
B. Instruction about the reparation offering (7:1-10)
C. Instruction about the peace offering (7:11-21)
Study
1. Next Yahweh speaks to Moses about the occasional offerings that the Israelites
brought, the sin offering, the reparation offering, and the peace offering. As we
said earlier the contents of this section may seem to be the same as in chapters 15, but they are not. While Yahweh speaks of the same offerings, the difference
here is the focus. The focus is on the disposal of what is not burnt on the altar.
2. The first part of Yahwehs speech on the occasional offerings is about the sin
offering (6:24-30). We first studied about the sin offering in lessons 5 and 6,
which covered the regular sin offering (Lev. 4) and the graded sin offering (Lev.
5:1-13).
The primary material supplied by the animal sacrificed for the sin offering was the
blood. And the primary purpose for the blood was to make atonement for sin. The
purpose of the sin offering then was to deal with the sin that had come between
the people and Yahweh. The perfect animal had become a substitute for the sinner.
It paid the price that the sinner deserved. Its shed blood covered over the sins of
the sinner.
The procedure for the sin offering as described in chapters 4 and 5 was as follows:
(1.) An appropriate animal was chosen.
(2.) Sin was transferred to the animal when the offender placed his hand on the
animals head. For a sin by an individual, confession was made for the sin.
(3.) Blood atonement was made. For the priest/congregation, blood was sprinkled
in the Holy Place and smeared on the horns of the Altar of Incense. For the
individual, blood was smeared on the horns of the Altar for Burnt Offering.
(4.) The fat from the animal was burned on the altar.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


(5.) The rest of the offering was disposed of. For the priest/congregation, the rest
was burned outside of camp. For the individual, the meat belonged to the
presiding priest. He could share with the other officiating priests.
3. Who is this divine speech (6:24) directed towards (6:25a)?

Here Yahweh speaks to Aaron and his sons, the priests.

It is directed towards them because they are the ones who handle the holy blood
and meat from the sin offering.
Where was the animal for the sin offering to be killed and why (6:25b)?

The animal for the sin offering was to be killed in the same place where
the animal for the burnt was killed. It was to be killed before the LORD
because it was most holy.
.

Apparently that meant that the sin offering had to be killed on the north side of the
altar, like the burnt offering, and not in front of the altar like the peace offering.
The burnt offering was most holy and the peace offering was holy.
4. What happened to the meat from the sin offering (6:26a)?

The meat from the sin offering belonged to the priest who offered it, the
presiding priest. The presiding priest was to eat the most holy meat from
the sin offering.
.

Where was he to eat it (6:26b)?

He was to eat it in a holy place, that is, somewhere in the vicinity of the
tent of meeting, the place of Yahwehs holy presence among Israel. Since
it was most holy food, it could not leave Gods holy presence at the
tabernacle. The meat could only be used for holy purposes.
.
.

Who could the presiding priest share the meat with (6:29)?

He could share the meat with any of the priests. All priests were holy to
the Lord and therefore could eat the most holy meat.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. There was an exception to the rule that the presiding priest and his fellow priests
could eat the meat. What was it (6:30)?

If the blood from the sin offering had been brought into the tent of
meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place it could not be eaten by the
priests.
.

For what kind of sin offerings was the blood taken into the Holy Place to make
atonement for it (see Lev. 4:1-12, 13-21)?

The blood from the sin offering was taken into the Holy Place and
atonement was made with it when the sin offering was for the high priest
or the whole congregation of Israel.
.

In these cases the priests were implicated as guilty parties. In general the priests
benefited from the sin offering because they received the meat to eat. The
exception to this then was that the priest could not benefit from his own sin by
receiving the meat from it. What was done with the meat in these cases where the
priest was implicated as a sinner (6:30b; 4:12, 21)?

In these cases the meat was taken outside the camp to the ash heap and
burned.

The meat from the sin offering was most holy and was not to be desecrated. Since
it was most holy, it was to stay in Gods most holy presence and be used for his
holy purposes. Yahweh had determined that whoever he authorized to have
contact with the most holy meat would receive his holiness (6:27a). His purpose
then in providing most holy meat to his priests was to share his holiness with
them.
In the case where the meat could not be eaten by the priests, when the meat was
removed from Yahwehs presence and taken outside the camp, it was no longer
holy. And when it was burned, it could no longer be used for common purposes.
The priests were authorized to eat the most holy meat. What happened if someone
who was not authorized came into contact with something that was holy (Lev.
10:1-2)?

If an unauthorized person came into contact with something holy then the
holiness of God was desecrated and Gods wrath was on those who
desecrated them. An example of this was the incident of Nadab and Abihu
using unauthorized fire on the altar for burnt offering.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
These instructions therefore protected the most holy things from desecration, as
well as the priest from the lethal consequences of desecration.
6. Both the blood and meat were most holy and therefore must not be desecrated.
Contact with holiness made one holy. Therefore a number of steps were taken to
prevent something that was holy from being desecrated by normal human use.
Weve seen a couple of instructions from Yahweh concerning the people
authorized to have contact with the most holy meat and the place where they may
have contact. In the case where holy blood accidentally splashed on the robes of
the priest, what was to be done (6:27b)?

The priest had to launder the robes in the sanctuary.

We have seen that the priest received the most holy meat from the sin offering and
was to eat it in a holy place. In order to eat it, he had to cook it. What types of
vessels were commonly used for cooking (6:28)?

Either earthenware (clay pot) or bronze vessels were used for cooking.

What was required after the most holy meat was cooked in a clay pot (6:28a)?

The clay pot had to be destroyed. With all of the little nooks and grannies
it would be impossible to scrub it clean of all the most holy meat.

What was required if the most holy meat was cooked in a bronze pot (6:28b)?

The bronze pot had to be scoured and rinsed in water. All traces of the
holy had to be removed.

All cooking utensils that came into contact with the most holy meat had to be
thoroughly cleansed. When that wasnt possible they had to be destroyed, for
nothing that contained the holy could be used for common purposes. When these
utensils lost contact with the holy through washing, they were no longer holy and
could then be used normally without the threat of desecrating Gods holiness.
Fulfillment in Christ
7. For how Jesus fulfilled the sin offering, see Lesson 6, points 7 13. For how
Jesus fulfilled the occasional offerings as a whole (6:24 7:21), see Lesson 15.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 12: The Occasional Offerings (Part 2) The Reparation
Offering
Read Lev. Lev. 7:1-6
Outline
I. Introduction (6:24-25a)
II. Divine speech (6:25b-7:21)
A. Instruction about the sin offering (6:25b-30)
B. Instruction about the reparation offering (7:1-10)
1. Heading (7:1a)
2. Its status as a reparation offering (7:1b)
3. Place of slaughter (7:2a)
4. Place for the disposal of blood (7:2b)
5. Presentation of its fat (7:3-4)
6. Burning up of its fat on the altar as a food gift to the Lord (7:5)
7. Consumption by priests in a holy place and the reason for that (7:6)
8. Appendix on the portion for priests from the most holy sacrifices (7:710)
C. Instruction about the peace offering (7:11-21)
Study
1. As we said earlier the contents of this section may seem to be the same as in
chapters 1-5, but they are not. While Yahweh speaks of the same offerings, the
difference here is the focus. The focus is on the removal and use of the fat and
disposition of the most holy meat.
2. To refresh your memory, here is a summary of the reparation offering we studied
earlier in Lesson 7 (Lev. 5:14 6:7). The reparation offering dealt with cases
where someone desecrated a part of Yahwehs holy domain. There were two
theological functions for this offering:
1) It provided compensation for the damage that had been done to the holy things
or holy name. And it required an additional payment of 20% as restitution to
restore what had been disrupted.
2) The atonement of the blood rite brought forgiveness and freed the person from
the liability of the offense and the punishment he deserved. He could be sure he
had been forgiven; his guilt had been paid for (expiated).
The reparation offering served a clear purpose. It encouraged the Israelites to heed
their consciences and repent of their sins. It also soothed troubled consciences by
providing forgiveness. In this sacrifice God undid the destructive effect of the
sacrilege on the offender. In this offering Gods holiness was safeguarded, justice
was done, and Gods favor was restored.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


3. What offering does Yahweh speak about here (7:1a)? What is the name of it that
we used in Lesson 7?

Here Yahweh addresses the guilt offering or it can be called the reparation
offering since its main concern was compensation and restitution.

What was its status (7:1b)?

It was most holy.

4. This section gives the procedure the priests were to follow when they performed
the reparation offering (7:2-6). What was the procedure?

7:2a: The offending Israelite slaughtered the animal at the same place
where the burnt offering is slaughtered.
.

7:2b: The priest made atonement when he splashed blood on the altar.

7:3-4: The Israelite removed and presented all of the fat.

7:5: The priest burned the fat on the altar as a food offering to Yahweh.

7:6a: The presiding priest received all of the meat to eat. He was free to
share it with any of the priests.

What was the status of the meat (7:6c)?

The meat from the reparation offering was most holy.

Because of its status, where did it have to eaten at (7:6b)?

Because it was most holy, it had to be eaten in a holy place. It had to


eaten near Gods holy presence at the sanctuary.

5. In this section there is a lack of emphasis on the blood ritual. What is the main
emphasis on in...?

7:3-5: The removal and burning of the fat.

7:6: The eating of the most holy meat.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Since the fat came into contact with the fire of Gods presence it became holy and
it made the meat most holy. Therefore the emphasis in this passage is on the
proper treatment of most holy things.
The meat was the payment, compensation, and a gift to Yahweh. Yahweh in
turn gave the meat to his priests as food from his table to be eaten in his presence.
Through the meat from this reparation offering and the sin offering and the bread
from the grain offering, God provided food and holiness for the priests.
Fulfillment in Christ
6. For how Jesus fulfilled the reparation offering, see Lesson 7, points 10 13. For
how Jesus fulfilled the occasional offerings as a whole (6:24 7:21), see Lesson
15.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 13: The Occasional Offerings (Part 3) the Portions for the
Priests
Read Lev. Lev. 7:7-10
Outline
I. Introduction (6:24-25a)
II. Divine speech (6:25b-7:21)
A. Instruction about the sin offering (6:25b-30)
B. Instruction about the reparation offering (7:1-10)

8. Appendix on the portion for priests from the most holy sacrifices (7:710)
a. Meat from the sin and reparation offerings (7:7)
b. Skin from the burnt offering (7:8)
c. Bread from the grain offering (7:9)
d. Flour from the grain offering (7:10)
C. Instruction about the peace offering (7:11-21)
Study
1. This small section provides a summary that concerns the occasional offerings.
What offerings are mentioned in 7:7-10?

It mentions the guilt (reparation) offering, the sin offering, the burnt
offering, and the grain offering.

Earlier in this section it was established that the meat from the sin offering and the
reparation offering was most holy (6:25b, 29b; 7:1b, 6b); that the most holy meat
had to be eaten in a holy place (6:26b; 7:6b); and that every male among the
priests may eat of it (6:29a; 7:6a). Although any priest could eat the most holy
meat, who did the meat officially belong to (7:7b)?

The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. The most holy
meat belonged to the presiding priest, the priest who made atonement.

It belonged to him, but he could share it with the rest of the priests who were on
duty at the tabernacle/temple.
2. While the private sin offering and reparation offerings provided most holy meat,
the private burnt offering did not because the meat was burned on the altar. The
skin from the burnt offering was not burned on the altar. What happened to the
skin (7:8)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The skin from the private burnt offering belonged to the presiding priest.
He could do with it whatever he wanted.

3. What else belonged to the presiding priest (7:9)?

Every grain offering baked in the oven and all that is prepared on a pan or
a griddle.

4. What general principle has been made in 7:7-9?

Generally speaking, the meat, skin, and bread from the occasional
offerings belonged to the presiding priest. It was like his pay from Yahweh
for his service to Yahweh.
.

What was the exception to this rule (7:10)?

The exception was the grain offering of flour.

Who shared it (7:10b)?

It was shared equally by all the sons of Aaron, the priests.

Also for practical reasons the most holy meat and bread had to be eaten by the
priests at the sanctuary within a day or two because after a couple of days it would
start to go bad; it would become rotten. On the other hand, the flour from the
grain offering of flour could be stored for a long period of time without worry of
spoilage. And it was then available for all the priests at whatever time they needed
it. Without it the priests who were on duty at the tabernacle/temple who were not
the presiding priest would have had no food (unless the presiding priest shared
what belonged to him).
5. For how Jesus fulfilled the occasional offerings as a whole (6:24 7:21), see
Lesson 15.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 14: The Occasional Offerings (Part 3) the Peace Offering
Read Lev. Lev. 7:11-21
Outline
I. Introduction (6:24-25a)
II. Divine speech (6:25b-7:21)
A. Instruction about the sin offering (6:25b-30)
B. Instruction about the reparation offering (7:1-10)
C. Instruction about the peace offering (7:11-21)
1. General heading (7:11)
2. The material for the thank offering and the disposal of it (7:12-15)
3. The disposal of meat from the votive and freewill offerings (7:16-18)
4. The consumption of the meat (7:19-21)
Study
1. This section of Leviticus covers the peace offering that a layperson could offer to
Yahweh (7:11). We first saw the peace offering in Lev. 3:1-17. If you want to
refresh your memory about the peace offering, see Lesson 4 and the rest of point
#1 here.
The purpose of the peace offering was to bring about peace (complete wholeness
and well being) between God and man. To do this, a perfect animal was brought
from the flock or herd by the layperson before Yahweh. Sins were transferred to
the animal by the laying on of hands. The animal died as a substitute for the
sinner. Its blood was used to atone for sins. The result of the sacrifice was a
banquet meal. Yahwehs portion of the meal (the fat) was consumed on the altar.
The meat from the sacrifice was given by Yahweh back to the offerer to be used
for a banquet meal shared with family and community to celebrate the peace and
well-being that Yahweh provided.
Dr. Kleinig summarizes the peace offering in the following way. The Israelites
were invited by the King/Owner of the land (Yahweh) to His royal residence.
They brought their rent payment (peace offering) to the King. He received their
offerings and then used the offerings to provide a great banquet for them. It was a
joyous meal that celebrated the peace and harmony that they and the King
enjoyed as well as their privileged status they had before Him. In the meal they
enjoyed divine hospitality and recognized that they lived under His peace and
protection.
2. The previous instructions about the peace offering in 3:1-17 emphasized the blood
and the fat. But here other materials are focused upon. What material is the focus
of 7:12-14?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The focus in these verses is on the bread of the peace offering for
thanksgiving.

What material is the focus on in 7:15-18 and 7:19-21?

The focus in these verses is on the meat of the peace offering.

Both of these things are holy things. Therefore the purpose of this section about
the peace offering is the proper way of handling the holy things of the peace
offering.
3. Who is this divine speech addressed to (7:12a)? Who is the person who will be
handling the holy things of this sacrifice?

Since the meat from the peace offering went to the offerer and he shared it
with his friends and family, the instructions here are addressed to the laity.
It is addressed to any individual that brings a peace offering. The priest is
hardly even mentioned.
.
.
.

They were instructed on what to present, what must be eaten, when to eat it, what
to do with the leftovers, what to do with contaminated meat, and the ritual status
of the Israelites that participate in the meal.
4. There are three different type of peace offerings mentioned in the text. What are
they (7:12a, 13a, 16a).

A peace offering given out of thanksgiving (7:12a).

A peace offering given as a result of a vow (7:16a).

A peace offering given as a freewill offering (7:16a).

A peace offering given out of thanksgiving was offered to fulfill a promise made
by a person in a prayer of lament when Yahweh answered the prayer. He
presented this sacrifice with music and song to celebrate deliverance.
In the second case, a vow was made in a prayer of lament by a person in trouble.
When Yahweh answered his prayer by rescuing him, he fulfilled his vow by
offering a peace offering.
In the third case, a peace offering was made completely out of free will. The
freewill offering was brought spontaneously in gratitude for Yahwehs blessings.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What type of peace offering would be made in the following situations: Gen.
28:20-22; 2Sam 15:7-8?

A peace offering to fulfill a vow.

What type of peace offering would be made in the following situations: Pss. 7:17;
35:18; 52:9; 56:12-13?

A peace offering of thanksgiving.

So all three kinds of peace offerings were offered in response to the experience of
divine blessings.
5. The peace offering for thanksgiving receives the most attention (7:12-14). What
was added to the normal peace offering in this type of offering?

7:12b: unleavened loaves mixed with oil.

7:12c: unleavened wafers smeared with oil.

7:12d: loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil.

7:13b: loaves of leavened bread.

So in total there were four different kinds of bread that were offered along with
the animal. Three types of bread were unleavened and surprisingly one type was
leavened. What other material was required with the unleavened bread (7:12)?

They were either made with olive oil or olive oil was spread on them.

What was the offerer to do with some of this bread (7:14a)?

He shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the LORD. One
loaf of each of the four types of bread was given to Yahweh as a gift.

After Yahweh received these loaves, what did he do with them (7:14b)?

He gave them to the presiding priest.

This meant that in the peace offering for thanksgiving none of the bread was
burned. When the loaves of each type were given as a gift to Yahweh, they
became holy and the rest of the loaves became holy also (see Lev. 19:5-8). The
bread was not most holy, since none of it was not burned on the altar; it did not

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


come into contact with the fire of Yahwehs holy presence on the altar. Therefore
it was not required that it be eaten by the priest in Yahwehs presence. Rather, the
holy bread received by the priest could also be eaten by him and his family
outside the sanctuary. And the rest of the holy bread that was not given as a gift to
Yahweh was eaten as part the sacrificial banquet by the offerer and his family and
friends. It was eaten by the holy people of God within the confines of the holy
camp.
6. In the previous point we discussed the holy bread from the peace offering for
thanksgiving that became a part of the banquet meal in which the peace (complete
wholeness and well-being) from Yahweh was celebrated. Now we will look at the
holy meat that was eaten at this same banquet celebration. The protection of the
meats holiness is the main point in this pericope.
Like the bread, the meat from the peace offering was holy not most holy. (If it
were most holy it would have to be eaten by the priests directly in Yahwehs
presence.) Since it was not most holy, it did not communicate holiness, yet it was
not common meat either. It could not be used for common purposes. It had to be
used for the holy purposes that Yahweh determined, which in this case was a
Eucharistic (thanksgiving) celebration.
Sacred space was determined by ones proximity to Yahweh. The space closer to
him was more holy and the space farther away from him was less holy. Sacred
time was determined by Yahweh. Yahweh determined that the holy meat from the
peace offerings had to be eaten within certain periods of time. How long did the
offerer and his family and friends have to eat the peace offering for thanksgiving
(7:15)?

This offering had to be eaten on the same day that it was offered.

What else was required besides eating it during this time period (17:15b)?

They had to eat it all. None of it was to remain the next morning.

How long could the peace offering for a vow or out of freewill be eaten (7:16)?

These offerings had to be eaten the day of the sacrifice or the next day.

If any of the peace offering offered by freewill or for a vow had any meat left on
the third day, what were they to do with it (7:17)?

They were to burn it. It could no longer be used for holy purposes and it
could not be used for common purposes either.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What would happen if someone did eat meat from the peace offering on the third
day (7:18)?

If this happened, the offerer would not be accepted by Yahweh. He would


not get credit for making the offering. Since the offering was tainted,
desecrating Yahwehs holiness, the offerer would have to bear his
iniquity.
.
.
.

The time restrictions for eating the peace offering were given to protect the
holiness of the meat. The holy meat had to be eaten in a time period that was close
to the original sacrifice. It was always to be remembered that the banquet meal
celebration was the result of the peace offering. It was to be remembered that the
peace they had was a gift from Yahweh their holy God.
7. Lev. 7:19-21 gives more restrictions concerning the holy meat from the peace
offering. What two restrictions are given in 7:19?

The holy meat could not come into contact with anything unclean. If it did
the tainted meat had to be burned. And only people who were clean could
eat the holy meat.
.

What happened if someone who was unclean ate the holy meat from the peace
offering (7:20)?

That person was cutoff from Israel; he was excommunicated from the
people of God.

The prohibition against someone who had become unclean, no matter how they
became unclean, is reiterated in 7:21. If that occurs that person shall be cut off
from his people.
The principle of cleanness was a basic principle of worship in the OT. (We will
study about this when we study Lev. 11-15.) One had to be ritually pure for
admission into Gods presence and for reception of Gods blessings (cf. Ps. 24:35) else one defiled and desecrated the offering and it had to be burned (7:19a) and
he had to be excommunicated from Gods people (7:20, 21). So this instruction
was given to forestall such a thing. In many cases a person was unclean for only a
short period of time. Therefore one might have to be temporarily excluded from
contact with holy things in order to prevent permanent exclusion.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The meat from this offering was meant to be shared with the family or
community. Therefore when carried out according to Yahwehs Word, a sense of
community was stressed. The community aspect of it was also emphasized by the
penalty for uncleanness separation from the community.
8. In summary then, the laity was the primary recipient of these instructions from
Yahweh concerning the peace offering. They were instructed on what to present,
what must be eaten, when to eat it, what to do with the leftovers, and what to do
with contaminated meat. It also says that the people also must be clean to eat it.
The result of the peace offering was a sacred meal provided by Yahweh for his
people. In it, Yahweh treated them as favored guests. He provided holy food for
them to eat in His presence. Its holiness was very important, therefore it could not
come into contact with anything that was unclean and it had to eaten in the given
time period. Desecration of it led to excommunication.
9. For how Jesus fulfilled the peace offering, see Lesson 4, points 11 15. For how
Jesus fulfilled the occasional offerings as a whole (6:24 7:21), see Lesson 15.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 15: The Occasional Offerings (Part 4) the Fulfillment by
Christ
Read Lev. Lev. 6:24 7:21
Outline
I. Introduction (6:24-25a)
II. Divine speech (6:25b-7:21)
A. Instruction about the sin offering (6:25b-30)
B. Instruction about the reparation offering (7:1-10)
C. Instruction about the peace offering (7:11-21)
Study
1. In this lesson we will learn about how Jesus fulfilled the occasional offerings of
the Israelites in a wide sense. How Jesus specifically fulfilled each of the three
offerings covered in 6:24 7:21 has already been discussed.
For information on the sin offering (6:24-30) and how Jesus fulfilled it,
see Lessons 5 and 6 (Lev. 4:1 5:13).
For information on the reparation (guilt) offering (7:1-10) and how Jesus
fulfilled it, see Lesson 7 (Lev. 5:14 6:7).
For information on the peace offering (7:11-21) and how Jesus fulfilled it,
see Lesson 4 (Lev. 3).
2. Like the daily public offerings, the occasional offerings had three main stages or
steps. They were as follows.
Step 1) First there was the blood rite of atonement.
Step 2) Second was the incineration of the offerings.
Step 3) And third there was the sacred meal of bread and meat.
Only after the removal of impurity (in step 1) and Gods acceptance of the people
(in step 2) could the priests and people eat the sacred food (in step 3). And they
had to be ritually clean before they could participate in the meal. Otherwise they
would desecrate Gods holiness.
According to Heb. 7:27 and Heb. 10:12, how were all of the OT sacrifices
fulfilled?

Jesus fulfilled all the OT sacrifices by offering up once and for all the
perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus offered up himself and,
having completed his work, he now sits at the right hand of God.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Jesus one sacrifice completely fulfills each of the three steps of the OT
occasional offerings offered in the divine service.
Step 1) In the sin and reparation offerings, an innocent and perfect animal gave up
its life in the place of the sinner. Its shed blood was then used to provide
atonement, that is, to cover sin. How did Jesus fulfill this step?

Jesus, the innocent and perfect One, took our place, paying the price that
we deserved. He willingly gave up his life and shed his blood to atone for
our sin.
.

Step 2) In the sin, reparation, and peace offerings the fat, kidneys, and lobe of
liver were burned on the altar, which produced a pleasing aroma to Yahweh. This
meant that Yahweh accepted the offering and the offerer. They both pleased him.
Jesus also fulfilled this step.
o God the Father was well pleased with the offering of his Son, for by
offering himself he took away the sins of the world. By believing in his
all-availing sacrifice, Christians are now acceptable in Gods sight. In
Christ, the Father is well pleased with Christians. God now accepts them
and their sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
Step 3) Because the Israelites were cleansed of sin and acceptable to God,
Yahweh invited them to a banquet meal. The end result of the occasional offerings
was holy food provided by Yahweh for this holy meal. The sin and reparation
offerings provided most holy meat for the priests. And the peace offering provided
holy bread for the priests and for the community of Israel. The peace offering also
provided holy meat for the community. In this meal they celebrated the peace
which Yahweh gave them. How did Jesus fulfill this step? What holy meal does
God provide for his people?

In his sacrifice on the cross Jesus cleansed the world of sin and made
people acceptable to God. As a result God invites us to a holy meal. The
end result of Jesus sacrifice is that he gives his body as holy food for a
holy meal the Lords Supper. Jesus called himself the Bread from
Heaven. In the Supper we receive this Bread from Heaven and celebrate
the peace that God gives that surpasses all understanding.
.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Because Jesus one-time sacrifice fulfills all of these sacrifices, we no longer need
to offer sin, reparation, and peace offerings. His sacrifice provides all that we
need forgiveness, acceptance, and fellowship with God.
3. In the OT only the priests could eat the most holy food. The laypeople could eat the
holy food, but not the most holy food. But this has changed in the NT. What are the
laypeople called in 1 Pet. 2:9? What does this mean that all of Gods are? What does
this mean concerning eating most holy food?

They are called a royal priesthood. This means that all of Gods people are
priests, which means that all of Gods people eat the most holy food that
God provides.
.

In the OT the priests could not eat the meat from their own sin and reparation
offerings; they could not benefit from their sins. But in the NT this is different.
Jesus is our sin and reparation offering and yet we eat his most holy body. It
benefits us greatly as it conveys the forgiveness of sins. What else does it convey
to those who partake of it in faith (Heb. 10:10)?

It also conveys Christs holiness (we are sanctified). Contact with this
most holy food makes and keeps Gods people holy. In this way God
shares His holiness with us.
.

4. In the peace offering for thanksgiving, four different kinds of bread were brought and
offered. This bread became part of the festive banquet that celebrated the peace that
Yahweh provides. Sometimes the Lords Supper is called the Eucharist. What does
Eucharist mean?

Eucharist means thanksgiving.

The Lords Supper fulfills the peace offering. In the Lords Supper we receive
Gods peace and at the same time we thank him for this great gift (Mt. 26:26, 27,
30; Lk 22:19-20; Heb. 13:15-16), just as the Israelites offered a peace offering for
thanksgiving. Such an offering of thanksgiving is well-pleasing to the Father
(Heb. 13:16).
So the only sacrifice that we make is the sacrifice of thanksgiving. This sacrifice
is eucharistic and not propitiary (made to turn aside Gods wrath Christs onetime sacrifice on Calvary has already done that). In fact the entire Divine Service
is a service of thanksgiving. Throughout the service by faith we receive the
gracious gifts that God offers and we in turn respond with sacrifices of praise and
thanksgiving.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. A prerequisite for the Israelites was that they had to be in a ritually clean state
before they could approach the sanctuary with their offerings and eat the sacred
meal (more on this in chapters 11 15). This was necessary so that they would
not profane Gods holiness. As Christians approach God in the Divine Service to
receive his gifts and to eat his Supper, they too must be in a ritual state of purity.
How is it that Christians enter this state of purity (Acts 22:16)? What is cleansed
by this act?

Through Baptism our sins are washed away. In Baptism we are connected
to the death and resurrection of Christ. His shed blood cleanses our
conscience and heart.
.
.

Each Sunday baptized believers in Jesus come into Gods holy presence to eat a
holy meal, which is the holy body and blood of Christ. Because the food received
at this meal is most holy, great care must be taken that we do not profane Gods
holiness. The first step taken to avoid sacrilege is that only those baptized receive
the holy meal. But those who are baptized are still sinful people. So what else is
done to avoid sacrilege? What takes place at the beginning of each Divine Service
to prevent this?

The Divine Service begins with confession and absolution. As sinful


people we openly confess to God that we are sinful. The pastor then, as
Gods representative, announces the forgiveness of the sin of those who
confess.
.
.

Since our sins have been forgiven, we are pure in Gods sight. All he sees is the
righteousness of Christ. Therefore we can receive the holy meal without the
worrying about profaning Christs holiness. If we were to profane his holiness,
what would we expect as a result (1 Cor. 11:27-32)?

We would expect to be judged and disciplined by God.

For those who eat the holy meal in faith and with a clean conscience, they receive
nothing but grace and peace, life and blessing. They have a foretaste of the great
heavenly banquet that celebrates the union of the Messiah with His holy people.
6. When the Israelites became unclean and then came into contact with something
that was holy, the penalty was to be cut off from God and the community of Gods
people.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What happens to those Christians who reject Gods grace by rejecting Christ
(Rom 11:22)?

Like the OT Israelites, Christians who have fallen away will be cut off
from God and his people.

There is another situation in which people are cut off from God and the Church.
What is it (Gal 5:4)?

Those who try and justify themselves by the law are severed from
Christ. And since Christ is the only Way to the Father (Jesus said, I AM
the way No one comes to the Father except through me.), by counting
on their own righteousness in keeping the law they lose access to Gods
grace; they lose their place among Gods people.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 16: Prohibited Food: Fat and Blood
Read Lev. Lev. 7:22-27
Outline
I. Introduction (7:22-23a)
II. Divine Speech (7:23b-27)
A. The fat from animals (7:23b-25)
B. The blood from animals (7:26-27)
Study
1. In the prior lesson, Yahweh gave instructions on the proper use and disposal of
holy things of the occasional offerings. These holy things consisted of the meat,
the blood, and the fat. The purpose of these instructions was so that Yahwehs
holiness would not be desecrated. These instructions covered the animals that
were killed and used for the offerings, but what about animals that died outside
the tabernacle that the Israelites came upon during their daily life? Did the same
restrictions apply to these animals or could they do what they wanted with them?
This short section answers these questions.
What offering was discussed in 7:11-21?

The peace offering.

What offering will be discussed in 7:28-36?

The peace offering.

So while these verses answer questions about dead animals encountered by the
Israelites outside the tabernacle, this speech was placed here because it also has
something to say to the Israelites about fat and blood from the peace offering.
2. Lev. 7:22 begins a new divine speech, as Yahweh speaks to Moses. What was
Moses to do with the words that Yahweh was about to speak to him (7:23a)?

Moses was to pass on to Israel what Yahweh was going to say.

What is the general rule concerning the fat from cattle, sheep, and goats (7:23b)?

You shall eat no fat, of ox or sheep or goat. They were not allowed to eat
fat.

What was the general rule concerning blood from a bird or animal (7:26)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Moreover, you shall eat no blood whatever, whether of fowl or of animal,


in any of your dwelling places. They were not allowed to eat blood.

This same restriction was given in the regulations for the peace offering in 3:16b17. For what reason did pagans eat blood and fat (see Lesson 4, point #5)?

Pagans ate blood because they believed they would receive the life force
from the sacrifice. Pagans associated the fat with power. Therefore they
ate the fat to gain spiritual power.
.

So by giving these laws, Yahweh was stressing to the Israelites that life and power
originated and came from him. This law prevented the Israelites from following
these pagan practices. And if these are the laws that apply to the blood and fat of
animals outside the tabernacle, how much more does it apply to the sacrifices at
the tabernacle! Under no circumstances were they to eat blood or fat.
3. Outside the tabernacle, if animal died by itself (7:24a) or was killed by other
animals (7:24b) the Israelites were forbidden from eating its fat (7:24d). But what
were they allowed to do with the fat (7:24c)?

They were allowed to use the fat in any other way.

Examples of things they might use the fat for were: for fuel for a lamp or as polish
or as the base for an ointment.
4. What would happen to anyone who ate the fat from an offering made to Yahweh
(7:25)?

That person would be cut off from Israel. He would be excommunicated.


It would be as if that person did not exist to Israel.

The general prohibition against eating the fat from animals (7:23b) is given to
make sure that no Israelite eats the fat from any sacrifice to Yahweh. This includes
the peace offering which was discussed just prior to this text and which will be
discussed some more after this text.
What was the penalty for eating any blood (7:27)?

The penalty was the same as eating the fat. That person who eats blood
will be cut off from his people. He will be excommunicated and cease to
exist in Israel.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


This may seem to be a harsh penalty for eating fat or blood. But remember those
who did such things did them to gain life and power. They looked outside of
Yahweh for such blessings. In the end this was a form of idolatry. It is placing
ones trust in something or someone other than Yahweh. No one who trusts other
gods or other things instead of Yahweh can be a part of the people of God. As the
people of God, Israel lived in Yahwehs holy presence. Such an idolater could no
longer live in Yahwehs presence. He was expelled from the community.
So the peace offering was all about the community of Gods people. Those who
believed and trusted in Yahweh celebrated the peace (well-being, complete and
whole life) they had with Yahweh and one another. Therefore it was appropriate
that those who did not trust in Yahweh for life and peace were not a part of the
community. They placed their faith in other gods and therefore excluded
themselves from the assembly.
Fulfillment in Christ
5. For how Jesus fulfilled this text concerning fat and blood, see Lesson 4, points 13
and 14.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 17: The Priests Portion of the Peace Offering
Read Lev. Lev. 7:28-36
Outline
I. Introduction (7:28-29a)
II. Divine speech about the priestly dues from the peace offering (7:29b-34)
A. Personal presentation of the Lords offering from the peace offering (7:29b-33)
B. Divine decree (7:34)
III. Postscript about the priestly portions from the peace offering (7:35-36)
A. Gods institution of these dues for the priests (7:35-36a)
B. Their perpetuity (7:36b)
Study
1. A new divine speech begins in 7:28. And again what Yahweh tells Moses he is to
pass on to the Israelites (7:29a). In this speech God addresses the Israelites about
certain portions of the peace offering that God has reserved for the priests.
This text expands on the peace offering in 3:1-17 and the instructions about the
bread and meat in the peace offering in 7:11-21. While the presentation of the fat
was mentioned in chapter three, the text here gives the full procedure for the
presentation of the fat to Yahweh.
2. Before the priests could receive what they were due from the peace offering, these
gifts had to be given to Yahweh. After Yahweh took possession of them he gave
the priests their part.
This text describes the procedure of how the gifts of the peace offering were
presented to Yahweh and what Yahweh did with them. The procedure was as
follows:
Once the animal for the peace offering had been brought to the tabernacle (7:29b),
who was responsible for bringing Yahwehs gifts to the altar to give to him
(7:29c-30a)?

The layperson offering the peace offering himself brought the gifts of the
peace offering to Yahweh with his own hands.

What two things did he bring to Yahweh at the altar (7:30b)?

He brought the fat and breast (rib cage) to Yahweh at the altar.

Once he brought them to the altar, what did he do with them (7:30c)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

He waved them or elevated them before Yahweh.

When the breast and fat were elevated at the altar, what did the presiding priest do
(7:31a)?

The presiding priest took the fat from the rib cage and burned it on the
altar.

The elevation and burning of the fat transferred possession of the peace offering
to Yahweh. Once Yahweh possessed it, he could do with it whatever he pleased.
What did Yahweh determine should happen to the breast (7:31b)?

Yahweh determined that the breast should go to Aaron and his sons, the
priests.

What did Yahweh determine the layperson should do with the right thigh of the
peace offering (7:32-33)?

The right thigh you shall give to the priest as a contribution. The right
thigh belonged to the priest who made atonement with the blood and who
burned the fat on the altar. It belonged to the presiding priest.
.

3. In Lev. 7:34, Yahweh explains what he was doing in the procedure just given.
What was Yahweh doing?

He took the breast that was waved or elevated before him and the thigh
that was contributed by the people of Israel from the peace offering and
gave them to the priests as their perpetual due.
.

So the Israelite layperson gave these things to Yahweh as a gift. Yahweh received
the gifts and then turned around and gave them to the priests who were serving
him. This was another way in which Yahweh provided food for the priests and
their families.
The peace offering was the most common sacrifice of all the sacrifices. Therefore
it provided a large part of the diet of the priests and their families. The meat given
to the priests from the peace offering is called a perpetual due (7:34c). When a
worker works, he is due a pay check for that work. So it was in the manner
described in these verses that Yahweh paid the priests that worked for him at the
tabernacle. Going forward from the day on which they were anointed as priests
(7:35b, 36b), Yahweh provided for them by the peace offerings. This ordinance
was to continue from generation to generation (7:36c).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


4. Instructions for the offering that was made when a priest was ordained were given
in Ex. 29:22-28. When this offering was made, a portion of it was given to the
priests. What portion did the priests receive (Ex. 29:26-28)?

From the ordination offering the priests received the breast and thigh as they
did in the peace offering.

The ordination offering then set the precedent for the peace offering. Therefore
from the day that they were anointed and consecrated as priests, Yahweh provided
for them. Beginning with the ordination offering and continuing from that point
forward in the peace offerings, Yahweh provided food for the priest and his family
(7:35-36).
Fulfillment in Christ
5. The priests were Gods courtiers, the keepers of His house, and administrators of
His affairs. God assigned them and their families a portion of the offerings so they
could be fully devoted to Gods service without supplemental employment.
When Jesus sent out the Twelve to preach, The kingdom of heaven is at hand,
what did they do for food and shelter (Mt. 10:5-11)?

Food and shelter were provided for them free of charge by those who heard
the Gospel.

Who did Paul compare in 1 Cor. 9:13-14?

He compared those who proclaim the Gospel in the NT with the OT priests.

What was the comparison he made? How were they similar?

Paul said that just as the OT priests received their food from the sacrifices, so
the NT pastors should receive their living from the Gospel. That is, pastors
who preach the Gospel should be paid from the offerings brought by the
congregation.
.
.

Who is it that should share all good things with the one who teaches Gods
Word (Gal. 6:6)?

The one who is taught should share with his teacher. The layperson should
provide for his pastor.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Who went out of their way to provide for Paul even when he was not with them
(Phil. 4:15-18)?

The Philippian congregation provided for Pauls needs even as he went and
preached the Gospel at other places.

Ministers of the Word are doing holy work and they are to receive their living
from the holy offerings given to God at the Divine Service. God takes from the
offerings given by the congregation and in turn gives part of it to his servants, his
pastors. It is in this way that God provides for them and their families.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 18: The conclusion of the Manual of Offerings
Read Lev. 7:37-38
Study
1. These verses not only conclude chapters 6-7, but they also conclude the entire
manual of offerings (chs. 1-7). The offerings listed in 7:37 are the offerings that
have been discussed in the first 7 chapters of Leviticus, except for one. The
offerings are listed in the order of holiness.
The one offering that has not been discussed in the first 7 chapters of Leviticus is
the ordination offering. The ordination offerings were instituted in Ex. 29:19-28
and enacted in Lev. 8:22-29. Earlier we established that the ordination offerings
set the precedent and provided a pattern for the peace offerings (see Lesson 17,
point #4). The priests portion of the peace offering in 7:29-35 is the same as it
was in the ordination offering, which is found in Ex. 29:22-28. So it may be listed
here for that reason.
These ritual instructions were given by Yahweh to Moses at Mount Sinai (7:38a).
In these instructions Yahweh commanded the Israelites to bring these offerings to
Yahweh at the tabernacle (7:38b), the place where he lived among his people.
This concludes the first major section of Leviticus, the Manual of Offerings.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Overview of the Inauguration of the Divine Service (8:1-10:20)
The text now switches from ritual case law to narrative. The narrative revolves around
seven commands given by Moses. In each case a report is given that the command was
carried out (except for the last one where it is assumed).
The narrative unfolds in three stages.
1) The consecration of the priests (8:1-36).
2) The inauguration of the divine service (9:1-24).
3) The death of Nadab and Abihu from a careless act of sacrilege (10:1-20).
Chapter 8 leads up to chapter 9. Chapter 9 is the climax, especially Yahwehs appearance
to Israel in 9:23-24. Chapter 10 provides the occasion for the discussion for performing
the divine service exactly as Yahweh commanded and for acts that pertain to the
priesthood.
Chapters 9 and 10 contrast the divinely instituted offerings presented correctly by Aaron
and the unauthorized fire presented by his sons. The fire of Yahwehs presence appeared
in both cases. In one case it brought blessing and joy and in the other case it brought
death and destruction. Blessing and joy came to those who approached as He commanded
and death and destruction came to those who didnt. The rest of Leviticus seeks to ensure
that Israels encounter with Yahweh will result in life and blessing rather than in death
and destruction.
Moses did just as Yahweh had commanded him. This phrase and variations of it occur
over and over. The divine service then was implemented as an exemplary act of
obedience by Moses, Aaron, and the people.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 19: The Ordination of the Priests (Part 1)
(Preparation for the Ordination of the Priests)
Read Ex. 28-29; Lev. 8:1-13
Outline
I. Preparation for ordination (8:1-5)
A. The Lords speech to Moses (8:1-3)
B. Compliance of Moses and the obedience of the congregation (8:4)
C. Announcement by Moses of Gods authorization of the ceremony (8:5)
II. Description of the ceremony for the ordination (8:6-30)
A. Preparatory rite (8:6-13)
1. Washing of the candidates (8:6)
2. Investiture of Aaron as high priest (8:7-9)
3. Anointing of tabernacle, altar, basin, and Aaron (8:10-12)
4. Investiture of Aarons sons (8:13)
---------B. Sacrificial ritual (8:14-29)
C. Concluding rite (8:30)
III. Completion of the ordination (8:31-36)
Study
1. The place where Israel would worship Yahweh, the tabernacle with all of its
furnishings, had been built according to the specifications given by Yahweh (Ex.
40:16-33). The instructions had been given by Yahweh to Moses for the sacrifices
that were acceptable and were to be performed at the tabernacle (Lev. 1-7). Earlier
in Exodus Yahweh spoke of priests that would serve him at the tabernacle by
performing the sacrifices. Yahweh chose from the tribes of Israel who would serve
him as priests. Who did he chose (Ex. 28:1)?

Yahweh chose Aaron and his sons from the tribe of Levi to serve as his
priests.

What did Yahweh have the Israelites make for Aaron (Ex. 28:2)?

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and
for beauty.

What did these specifically consist of (Ex. 28:4)?

A breastpiece.

An ephod.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

A robe.

A coat of checker work.

A turban.

A sash .

What were they to make for Aarons sons (Ex. 28:40)?

For Aaron's sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall
make them for glory and beauty.

They were to cloth Aaron and his sons with these special garments (Ex. 28:41a).
What were they to do next (Ex. 28:41b)?

You shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they
may serve me as priests.

At a high level in a sentence or two, what is described in Ex. 29?

Ex. 29 describes the procedures that Israel was to use to anoint, ordain,
and consecrate Aaron and his sons as priests. It describes what sacrifices
to make and exactly how to perform them.
.

At this point in Leviticus, the tabernacle is ready. The instructions for the
offerings to be made at the tabernacle have been given. God had chose Aaron and
his sons to serve as priests. The garments for the priests have been made. All that
remains is to officially anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them. And
now in Lev. 8 Yahweh will have Moses and the Israelites do so.
2. Lev. 8:1 begins a new divine speech. Yahweh spoke to Moses (8:1) and told him
to take what to the tabernacle (8:2)?

Aaron and his sons, the ones Yahweh chose as priests.

The garments made for the priests.

The anointing oil.

The bull of the sin offering.

The two rams.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The basket of unleavened bread.

What else was Moses to do (8:3)?

Assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting. All
of the people of Israel were to gather at the tabernacle for the ordination
ceremony.
.

By witnessing the ordination ceremony, the congregation would learn what God
commanded concerning the priests and that the priests would represent them
before God and they also would represent God to the people.
After Yahweh gave the command to take these things to and assemble everyone at
the tabernacle, what did Moses do (8:4)?

And Moses did as the LORD commanded him, and the congregation was
assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

The phrase as the LORD commanded him/Moses will appear often in chapter 8.
The chapter revolves around the 7 acts of obedience by Moses to Yahwehs
commands. Moses act of obedience in the ordination of the priests is an
exemplary act of obedience.
Moses stood before the whole congregation of Israel that had assembled and told
them that what was about to take place is what Yahweh had commanded (8:5). It
wasnt some neat ceremony that he dreamed up. Yahweh had determined what
should be done and had communicated it to Moses. It was Gods Word that
determined exactly how the priests should be anointed, ordained, and consecrated.
3. The first five verses of chapter 8 are preparation for the ordination ceremony. In
looking at Lev. 8, the preparation for the ordination of the priests forms the first
part of a chiasm, which goes as follows:
A Preparation of material and persons for ordination: command and execution
(8:1-5)
---- B Anointing of the sanctuary and the high priest (8:6-13)
-------- C The sacrificial service, the divine service (8:14-29)
---- B Anointing of the priests and their vestments (8:30)
A Continuation of the ritual for a week: command and execution (8:31-36)
This arrangement makes clear that the priests themselves were not holy in and of
themselves. Rather, they were holy because of their participation in the divine
service.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Also note that in carrying out the consecration of the priests the terms take and
give are used as catchwords. Moses takes 10 things and Moses gives 7
things. The use of these words indicates that the ordination process involved a
complex series of interchanges between Yahweh, the priests, and Moses.
4. There were several acts of purification that took place in the ordination ceremony.
What was the first act of purification (8:6)?

The first act of purification was Moses taking Aaron and his sons and
washing them.

This washing purified them so that they could enter the sacred ground of the
tabernacle, the place where God would dwell among his people.
5. Next Moses clothed one of the individuals (8:7-9), but the text does not
specifically say who it was. Given what we studied in point #1 and the clothing he
was clothed with, who did Moses cloth first?

Moses clothed Aaron with the special clothes made for the high priest.

The first two garments he clothed Aaron (the high priest) with, he would also later
cloth Aarons sons (the priests) with. What were they (8:7a, 13a)?

According to the ESV, he clothed them with a coat and a sash. Dr. Kleinig
translates it as a tunic and a sash.

The coat/tunic was made of white linen. The sash was made of embroidered linen
with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. The high priest and regular priests represented
God before the people. Therefore the colors were symbolic of Gods holiness
(white) and his royal majesty (blue, purple, and scarlet).
The high priest had 4 special vestments that the normal priests did not have. What
were they?

8:7b- a robe.

8:7c- an ephod with a skillfully woven band.

8:8- a breastpiece and in it was the Urim and the Thummim.

8:9- a turban with a golden plate.

The material used to make these special vestments resembled the materials used
in the construction of the tabernacle.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


o The robe was a blue woolen robe made with a single piece of cloth. It had
an opening for the neck like a surplice. It had bells and pomegranates
around its fringes.
o The ephod was shaped like a circular apron and was worn over the robe. It
was made with gold interwoven with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn mixed
with linen. Straps attached it to the shoulders.
o The breast piece was worn over the ephod. It had on it 4 rows of 3
precious stones engraved with the names of the 12 tribes.
o The turban had upon it a gold plate/diadem. Inscribed upon it were the
words YHWH holiness. It stretched from ear to ear across the forehead.
These special clothes showed that they were clothed in Gods holiness (diadem)
and bore the nation on their hearts before God (breastplate) in the Holy Place.
Through these special vestments the office of the priesthood was not only
symbolized but also conferred upon these men. They held a holy office in which
Yahweh gave them a certain status, authority, and power. Priests could serve only
if properly vested. When done with their service the vestments were taken off and
the priest functioned as a common person in the human domain.
Note that there has been a lot of debate on exactly what the Urim and the
Thummim was. They were probably two sacred lots that were placed in a pocket
in the ephod. They were used by the high priest when inquiring of Yahweh. Each
lot probably gave two possible answers, yes or no. When used together they could
give three possible results: positive (yes/yes), negative (no/no), or neutral (yes/no
or no/yes).
6. After dressing the candidate for high priest (Aaron) with his special vestments,
what did Moses do (8:10)?

Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all
that was in it, and consecrated them.

What happened when the holy anointing oil was applied to a thing or person (Ex.
30:22-33; 40:9-15)?

It made them holy; it sanctified them.

So the tabernacle and everything in it became holy. It was all set aside
(consecrated) for Yahwehs use. Through the means of the tabernacle and its
furnishings Yahweh would live among the Israelites and grant them access to his
gracious presence and gifts. Through the divine service held within these facilities
Yahweh would provide a way for them to come to him and receive his blessing.
Next, what tabernacle furnishings receive special attention (8:11)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The altar, its utensils, and the basin receive special attention.

In terms of the Israelites who looked on, why might these furnishings have
received special attention?

The altar is the place where the Israelite sacrifices would be made. It was
the place where Yahweh would meet with his people.

In terms of the priests, why might these furnishings have received special
attention?

The altar was the primary place where the priests would work. They would
spend most of their time offering sacrifices on the altar. At the altar they
would represent the people before God and vice versa.
.
.

The altar was sprinkled 7 times with the holy anointing oil (8:11a). This made the
altar most holy. The number 7 in scripture is the number of completeness. The
altar was singled out as we said above because it was the place where Yahweh met
with his people, where the sacrifices were offered, and where the priests would
spend the bulk of their time. The altar was completely devoted for Yahwehs use
in maintaining his relationship with his people.
7. After Moses anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, what did he anoint next
(8:12)? Why?

Next he anointed Aarons head. He did this to consecrate him, to set him
aside for Yahwehs purposes.

The word holy means separate. Therefore just as the tabernacle and all its
furnishings became separate from common things (they became holy) when they
were anointed, so did Aaron as he was anointed. The high priest was not just a
common person. He was holy in that Yahweh would work through him for the
good of the people. He would represent the people to God and God to the people.
He was set apart for Yahwehs use.
8. After clothing and anointing Aaron as high priest and anointing the tabernacle for
Yahwehs use, who did Moses bring before the people and what did he do to them
(8:13)?

He brought Aarons sons before everyone and clothed them as priests with
coats, sashes, and caps.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


This then concluded the preliminary rites. Next would come the rite of ordination
which was enacted with three sacrifices.
Fulfillment in Christ
9. For how Jesus the fulfilled consecration and ordination of the priests, see Lesson
21.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 20: The Ordination of the Priests (Part 2)
(The Sacrificial Ritual for the Ordination of the Priests)
Read Lev. 8:14-30
Outline
I. Preparation for ordination (8:1-5)
II. Description of the ceremony for the ordination (8:6-30)
A. Preparatory rite (8:6-13)
---------B. Sacrificial ritual (8:14-29)
1. Sacrifice of a bull as a sin offering (8:14-17)
a. Presentation and slaughter (8:14-15a)
b. Purification and consecration of the altar with the blood rite (8:15b)
c. Burning up of fat by Moses (8:16)
d. Incineration of leftovers (8:17)
2. Sacrifice of a ram as a burnt offering (8:18-21)
a. Presentation and slaughter (8:18-19a)
b. Disposal of blood by Moses (8:19b)
c. Burning up by Moses as a pleasing aroma (8:20-21)
3. Sacrifice of a ram as an ordination offering (8:22-29)
a. Presentation and slaughter (8:22-23a)
b. Placement of blood on priests and disposal by Moses (8:23b-24)
c. Elevation of thigh with fat and loaves (8:25-27)
d. Burning of these by Moses as a pleasing aroma (8:28)
e. Appropriation of the breast by Moses (8:29)
C. Concluding rite (8:30)
---------III. Completion of the ordination (8:31-36)
Study
1. The preparations for the ordination ceremony of the priests have been completed.
The candidates for priest have been washed, clothed with their special garments,
and the tabernacle and all of its furnishings, as well as, the future high priest had
been anointed with oil consecrating them for Yahwehs purposes (8:1-13). The
animals and bread that were to be used for the ordination sacrifices had been
brought to the tabernacle (8:2). The whole congregation of Israel had been
assembled at the tabernacle to witness the consecration of these people whom
Yahweh had chosen as his and their priests (8:3-4). All the preparations have been
completed. It was time to perform the sacrifices that Yahweh commanded in order
to consummate the priesthood in Israel.
2. What was the first sacrifice that was performed (8:14a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The first sacrifice was the sacrifice of a bull for a sin offering.

Consequently, what did Aaron and his sons do (8:14b)? What was the significance
of it?

They laid their hands on the head of the bull before it was slaughtered. In
this act the sins of the priestly candidates were symbolically transferred to
the bull.
.

Because the penalty for sin is death and because the bull now carried all of the
sins of the priests, the bull was killed (8:15a). The bull was a substitute. It died the
death that the priests deserved. It paid the penalty for their sins. Besides this, what
material did the sin offering provide and what was it used for (8:15b)?

The sin offering provided blood. The blood from the sin offering was used
to provide atonement. Moses applied blood to the horns of the altar to
purify it. And he poured the blood at the base of the altar to consecrate it.
.
.

The altar, which had been atoned for and purified, would become the place for all
future atonement in the sacrificial system. The performance of this sacrifice was
the inaugural rite of atonement. From the time of the ordination ceremony
forward, blood atonement would be made each and every day at the altar. This
was necessary because sin abounded and needed to be covered over. This initial
sacrifice prepared the altar, setting it apart, so that it could be used for all future
sacrifices.
The fat, liver, and kidneys were burned on the altar (8:16) preventing them from
being used as pagans did in acts of divination. In several cases the priests would
receive the meat from the sin offering (see Lev. 4). But the priests were not
allowed to benefit from a sin offering for their own sins, so in this case since the
sin offering was for them they could not receive and eat the meat. What happened
to the meat from this sin offering (8:17)?

The bull and its skin and its flesh and its dung he burned up with fire
outside the camp, as the LORD commanded Moses.

3. What was the second offering that was made in the ordination ceremony (8:18a)?

The second offering was a ram for burnt offering.

The offering was a ram because a ram is the head of the flock. In a similar way
Yahweh led the people of Israel through the high priest and the priests.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The procedure followed for the burnt offering (8:18b-21) was the normal
procedure for the burnt offering. Hands were laid upon it (8:18b). It was killed
(8:19a). Its blood was used to make atonement (8:19b). The ram was cut into
pieces and the entire animal was burned on the altar (8:20-21a). It produced a
pleasing aroma to Yahweh (8:21b).
There were three important aspects to this burnt offering for the priests as there
are for all burnt offerings.
o First, it provided blood that was used for atonement. The sins of the priests
were atoned for (covered over) by the blood.
o Second, the entire ram was burned on the altar. As the entire ram was
dedicated to and used in the whole burn offering at the altar, so because
their sins had been atoned for the priests were dedicated to and used their
entire selves in the service of Yahweh at the altar.
o Third, the sacrifice resulted in a pleasing aroma. The pleasing aroma
showed Yahwehs delight in the offering and offerer. In it he showed his
pleasure in them and their service to him.
4. What was the third offering (8:22a)? And what did the priests do once again to
this offering (8:22b)?

The third offering was to offer the second ram as an ordination offering.
As it was presented the priests laid their hands on the head of the ram,
showing that they identified with it.
.
.

The ram for the third offering was then killed (8:23a). The procedure that
followed the killing of the ram was completely different and unique from all other
sacrifices. After it had been killed, what was the first thing Moses did (8:23b)?

Moses took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear
and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.

Next Moses did the same thing to whom (8:24a)?

Next Moses applied blood to the right ear, thumb, and big toe of the
priests.

In the first offering, the sin offering, what was blood applied to and for what
purpose (8:15)?

In the sin offering blood was applied to the horns of the altar for purpose
of purifying it and consecrating it.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The blood was applied in a similar way and for similar purpose here to the high
priest and the priests. Applying the blood purified and consecrated them for
service to Yahweh.
o The blood daubed on the ear purified it so that they might hear and obey
the Word of God.
o The blood daubed on the thumb purified it so that they could handle the
holy things of God.
o The blood daubed on the toe purified it so that they could walk on holy
ground before Yahweh.
What did Moses do with the rest of the blood (8:24b)?

Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. He used it to make
atonement, that is, to cover the sins of the priests.

The application of blood to the priests and the altar was done to purify them and
make them fit for service to Yahweh.
5. Next Moses took several things and placed them on the right thigh. What were
those things (8:25-26)?

8:25- First was the fat, the liver, and the kidneys.

8:26- One unleavened loaf.

8:26- One loaf of bread with oil.

8:26- One wafer.

He placed the bread on the fat and the fat on the right thigh. What then did Moses
do with all these things (8:27a)?

He took these things and placed them in the hands of Aaron and his sons.

What then was done with these things (8:27b)?

They were presented to Yahweh as an elevation or wave offering.

Now what was the purpose of taking the fat, bread, and thigh and giving it to the
priests to be used as an elevation offering? In the normal course of the daily
divine service, who was it that would handle these things and present them to
Yahweh?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

It was the priests who handle them and present them.

Who did the right thigh of the peace offering belong to (7:32-34)?

It belonged to the presiding priest, the priest who made blood atonement
and who burned the fat on the altar.

So by filling the hands of the priests with the things that the priests would
normally handle in their daily service to Yahweh and by giving them the right
thigh which belonged to the priests, he was officially ordaining them as priests.
This was the first time that they would handle all the things that the priests would
normally handle and receive the meat that priests were due.
6. What did Moses do after he gave the priests the fat, bread, and right thigh
(8:28a)?

He took those things from the priests and burned them on the altar.

Why did he do that? Why would he take the things that he had just given to the
priests, which were their due, and then burn them? Those things that come into
contact with the fire of Gods holy presence become holy. Burning them then
designated that the bread and the right thigh of future peace offerings was holy
food for the priests.
What resulted when these things were burned on the altar (8:28b)?

It resulted in a pleasing aroma to Yahweh.

In this way Yahweh showed his acceptance of and pleasure in these men whom he
had chosen to serve him as priests.
7. After the fat, bread, and right thigh had been burned on the altar, signifying them
as holy food in future peace offerings, Moses took the breast and waved it for a
wave offering before the LORD. It was Moses' portion of the ram of ordination, as
the LORD commanded Moses (8:29). In elevating the breast before Yahweh,
Moses transferred ownership to him. Yahweh in turn gave it to Moses as his due
from the ordination ceremony. In normal peace offerings, the priest was due the
right thigh. Even though Moses was from the tribe of Levi he was not a priest.
Therefore instead of the right thigh Yahweh gave him the breast instead.
8. The elevation offering was the central act in the ordination ceremony. After it had
taken place, Moses took the holy anointing oil and mixed it with what (8:30a)?

He mixed it with the blood.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Where did this blood come from? Or what did it consist of?

The blood was on the altar where it was used to make atonement in the
previous sacrifices. The blood from these sacrifices that had been thrown
on the sides of the altar obviously would have been mixed together.
.
.

Having come into contact with the altar, the blood had been made holy. Therefore
two potent holy substances (the anointing oil and blood) had been uniquely
combined.
What did Moses do with this holy mixture (8:30b)?

He sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and also on his sons and his
sons' garments.

For what purpose did he do it (8:30c)?

He did it to consecrate (set apart for Gods holy purposes) Aaron and his
vestments (high priest and high priests vestments) and Aarons sons and
their vestments (priests and priests vestments). Having been sprinkled
with the holy anointing oil and the holy blood, those who would serve as
priests were clothed in the holiness of God.
.
.
.
.

The holy blood taken from the altar and sprinkled on the priests and their
vestments tied together the holy place of the altar to the holy office of the
priesthood. The primary place where the priests would do their work would be in
Yahwehs holy presence at the altar.
The holy vestments that the priests wore represented the holy office of the priest.
Therefore those who wore these holy vestments held a holy office. The priests
would wear their holy robes only while they performed their sacred duties at the
tabernacle. They were required to remove the holy garments when they were off
duty in the common domain.
9. In summary then, the three sacrifices formed the main part of the ordination
ceremony.
o The first offering was the sin offering. It was performed for several
purposes. (1) First, it was performed for the sins of the priestly candidates.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Their sins were transferred to the sacrificial bull and it died in their place.
(2) Second, the sacrificed bull provided blood that was used to purify the
altar by smearing it on the four horns of the altar. (3) Third, this act of
atonement was the first act of atonement performed at the altar. It set the
precedent for the atonement that would be made at that altar on a daily
basis. (4) Fourth, it showed Gods pleasure in the priests as the sacrifice
resulted in a pleasing aroma.
o The second offering was a ram for burnt offering. This offering had three
important phases. (1) The ram was a substitute for the priestly candidates.
It provided blood that was used for the atonement of their sins. (2) The
entire ram was burned on the altar, signifying the complete devotion of the
priests in their service of Yahweh. (3) The result of the sacrifice was a
pleasing aroma, which once again signified Yahwehs pleasure in the
priests and their devotion to him.
o The third offering was a ram for an ordination offering. This was the main
offering in the liturgy. (1) The blood from the sacrifice was applied to the
high priest and the priests. It was applied to their right ear, right thumb,
and right big toe. This purified them so that they could rightfully hear and
obey Gods Word, handle the holy things, and walk on the holy ground of
the tabernacle. (2) Moses placed into their hands the things the priests
would handle on a daily basis. This was the inaugural time that they
handled these things before Yahweh. (3) The bread and meat handled by
the priests were burned on the altar. In doing so they became holy by their
touching of the holy fire of Gods presence. This indicated that in the
future when the priests received the bread and meat that they were due for
their service, it was holy food provided for them by God and it would have
to be eaten in Gods holy presence.
o In two of the sacrifices the blood was splashed against the sides of the
altar to make atonement. Blood from theses sacrifices was mixed with
holy anointing oil and sprinkled on the candidates and their priestly
garments. This meant that their service at the tabernacle was a holy service
to Yahweh. The consecrated garments represented the holy office of the
priests. It shifted the focus from the person to the office. The holy
garments could only be worn on the holy precincts of the tabernacle while
performing holy service to Yahweh.
Fulfillment in Christ
10. For how Jesus fulfilled consecration and ordination of the priests, see Lesson 21.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 21: The Ordination of the Priests (Part 3)
(Completion of the Ordination of the Priests)
Read Lev. 8:31-36
Outline
I. Preparation for ordination (8:1-5)
II. Description of the ceremony for the ordination (8:6-30)
A. Preparatory rite (8:6-13)
B. Sacrificial ritual (8:14-29)
C. Concluding rite (8:30)
---------III. Completion of the ordination (8:31-36)
A. Speech by Moses to the priests (8:31-35)
1. Address by Moses to the priests (8:31a)
2. Command about the consumption of meat and bread by them (8:31b-32)
3. Command for weeklong seclusion with the daily repetition of the sacrifices (8:3335)
B. Compliance of the priests (8:36)
Study
1. The main part of the ordination ceremony, the three sacrifices (see Lesson #20),
had been completed (8:14-30). Now Moses gives a few more instructions to
conclude the ceremony.
What is the instruction that Moses gives to Aaron and his sons in 8:31?

They are to take the meat from the ordination offering that was not burned
on the altar and boil it at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and there eat
it. They were also to take the rest of the bread that was not burned on the
altar and eat it with the meat in Gods presence.
.
.
.

Yahweh took the meat and bread from the ordination offering that was offered to
him and in turn gave it to the priests who were being ordained and provided them
with a holy meal.
What were they to do with any leftovers (8:32)?

They were to burn any leftovers from the banquet meal in fire.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The leftovers were not allowed to spoil and they were not to be used for common
purposes outside the holy precincts of the tabernacle.
2. What were the priestly candidates not allowed to do (8:33)? Why?

The candidates were not allowed to go outside the entrance of the tent of
meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed,
for it will take seven days to ordain you.
.

It would take seven days to completely consecrate the tabernacle and the priests.
What were they to do each day (Lev. 8:34-35; Ex. 29:35-37)?

They were to stay at the tabernacle for seven days. They were not to leave
it day or night. And they were to perform the exact same ceremony each
day. They were to perform the same three sacrifices each day and perform
the same anointings each day. And each day would culminate with a
sacred meal provided by and eaten before Yahweh.
.
.
.
.

The seven days were a transitional period of purification and initiation that
brought the priests into the sacred domain. On the eighth day they were ready for
service. It set the precedent for all future ordinations which also lasted seven days
and prepared the priests for service on the eighth day.
The priests resided at the tabernacle for the seven days of ordination week. This
showed that their holiness was achieved by their close proximity to Yahwehs
presence. He shared His holiness with them.
The tabernacle was the primary place of operation for the priests. It was there that
they were ordained as priests. They were ordained in the very place that they
would serve as priests. Therefore this first ordination ceremony also established
the place of the divine service.
3. And 8:35 records that they were obedient, Aaron and his sons did all the things
that the LORD commanded by Moses.
4. The whole ceremony was an act of consecration. The priests were consecrated by
the whole week-long process. The high priests consecration started with
anointing and ended with the sprinkled vestments. The altars consecration started
with the anointing and ended with blood on the horns. They were not completely
consecrated until the ceremony had been performed each day for seven days.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Ordination involved Yahwehs admission of the priests into his presence and his
acceptance of them as his priests. Thus they were brought near by Moses as if
they themselves were Moses offering to Yahweh (8:6, 13). (This is the language
used when sacrifices were brought near to Yahweh, to be burned on the altar.)
In the pleasing aroma, Yahweh showed his acceptance of them. The anointing
of the high priest gave him access to the tabernacle, the altar, and the basin. The
anointing of the vestments gave the priests access to the altar and to the food from
the altar. This ordination ritual continued each day for a week and each day ended
with the sacred meal in the sanctuary. The rite of ordination was enacted exactly
as Yahweh commanded.
Fulfillment in Christ
5. Aaron was the first high priest. He was appointed by God. He was anointed with
holy anointing oil and he was consecrated by the blood of sacrifices. He served
God in the earthly sanctuary, the tabernacle. He represented the people of Israel
before God and he represented God to the people.
Who is the high priest referred to in the following verses (Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15;
5:5; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:7-11)?

Jesus Christ.

When was he anointed? And what was he anointed with (Acts 10:38; Mt. 3:16;
John 1:32-33; Acts 4:26)?

Jesus was anointed at his Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

By his sacrificial death, his shedding of blood on the cross, he consecrated


himself to serve the Lord and do his will by winning forgiveness of sins for all
people.
Who appointed Jesus as High Priest and in what order was he appointed (Heb.
5:1-10; 7:1-28)?

God the Father appointed Jesus as High Priest in the order of


Melchizedek.

How long will he serve as High Priest (Heb. 5:6)?

He will be High Priest forever.

Where is it that Jesus serves as High Priest (Heb. 8:1-2; 9:11-12; 10:19-21)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Jesus serves as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, in the heavenly and
holy presence of God the Father.

What does he do as the eternal High Priest who stands before God the Father
(Heb. 7:25; 12:24; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 9:24)?

As High Priest, Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and man.
For those who come to God through Christ, he intercedes. He appears
before God the Father on behalf of all believers.
.

6. Aaron did not serve as a single solitary priest for the whole nation. God appointed
Aarons sons as priests to serve with him. God consecrated and sanctified them
through the blood of the whole burnt offering and the ordination offering. As
priests they are to offer sacrifices for the people to God and pronounce Gods
blessing upon them.
Jesus did not become man to serve as priest for mankind by himself. Those who
serve as priests with him he sanctifies (Heb. 2:11). How or by what means does he
sanctify them (make them holy) (Heb 10:10, Heb 10:14, Heb 10:29)?

Jesus sanctifies them through the offering of his body as a sacrifice on the
cross. His shed blood sanctifies those who believe in him.

Those who have been baptized are called to serve with Christ. They are living
stones who are being built up into a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5a). As part of this
spiritual house, what are they to be and to do (1 Pet. 2:5b, 9)?

They are to be a holy priesthood and they are to offer spiritual


sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. They are Gods people
because he has shown mercy to them. They have been chosen by God and
belong to him to be his holy priests and to proclaim the greatness of him
who called them out of the darkness of sin into the light of his
righteousness.
.
.
.
.
.

7. Having been chosen by God to be priests, the OT candidates for priest were
officially ordained as priests when they went through the ordination ceremony. In

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


it they were washed, blood was applied to them, and they and their vestments
were sprinkled with a mixture of holy anointing oil and holy blood from the altar.
In a similar way Christ makes people his priests through Baptism. What does
Christ do to those he has chosen in Baptism (1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26; Heb. 10:22)?

He washes them clean. He does this through his Word connected to the
water. With such pure water he cleanses not only the body but also the
conscience.
.

As the priests had the blood of the sacrifice applied to their members (ear, thumb,
toe) that Yahweh might use them as instruments in the sacrificial system, so too
when Christians are baptized they are joined to Christs death and resurrection
(Rom. 6:1-14). In Baptism the blood of Christ is applied and it cleanses us of all
sin (1 Jn. 1:7). Through Baptism we present our members as instruments of
righteousness (Rom. 6:13). What else does God do to those who have been
baptized (2 Cor. 1:21-22; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27)?

He anoints them with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a seal and
guarantee of their salvation.

When the holy anointing oil and holy blood from the altar were sprinkled upon
the priests and their vestments, they became holy. In a similar way when we are
baptized, the Holy Spirit and the holy precious blood of Christ are sprinkled upon
our heart and conscience (Heb. 10:22; 1 Pet. 1:2). So when we are baptized what
happens to us and what are we called to be (1 Cor. 1:2)?

We are sanctified, that is, made holy. And we are called to be saints, that
is, to be holy ones. We are called to be who we are. We are holy therefore
we are to be holy.
.

But for the Christian the sprinkling with blood for cleansing and holiness is not
just a one time event. Jesus does this repeatedly in the Divine Service (Heb.
12:24). In Holy Communion Christ give us his blood to drink. In doing so he
shares his holiness with us. Therefore the holy priesthood of all believers has as
its origin the priesthood of Christ. He makes us priests and he shares his holiness
with us. Therefore we serve with him.
8. The OT priests wore special vestments when they served Yahweh at the
tabernacle. These vestments were made holy by being sprinkled by holy oil and
blood. Wearing the vestments qualified the priests to stand and work in Yahwehs
holy presence.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In a similar way the NT priests of God (all believers in Jesus) are uniquely
dressed for service. What garments are Christians clothed in when they are
baptized?

Gal. 3:27 Christ himself.

1 Thess. 5:8 the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope
of salvation.

Rom 13:12b the armor of light.

Eph. 4:20-24 (esp. v.24) the true righteousness and holiness of God.

Col. 3:12 Put on the qualities that Christ exhibits: compassionate


hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Rev 7:9, 13, 14; 22:14- White (Holy and righteous) robes which have been
washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.

9. What does wearing the white robes of righteous qualify them to do (Rev. 7:15-17,
esp. v. 15)?

It qualifies them to stand before the heavenly throne of God and to serve
him day and night in his holy temple.

Having put on Christ, who do Christians have access to (Eph. 2:18)?

They have access to God the Father.

Through Christ what can Christians draw near to (Heb. 4:16; 7:19, 25)?

They can draw near to God who sits upon the throne of grace.

Having approached God wearing the white robes of Christs righteous, Christians
can now serve God (Heb. 9:14) and participate in the heavenly Divine Service
(Heb. 12:22-24). They bring with them and offer to God their sacrifices. What
sacrifices do they offer and are acceptable to God?

Rom. 12:1 - They offer their bodies as living sacrifices.

Heb. 13:15 The sacrifice of praise; they confess his holy name.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Heb. 13:16 Doing good and sharing our material possessions with
others.

When do Christians come before the Father and what do they look for from Him
(Heb. 4:16)?

They come in time of need looking to receive mercy and find grace.

10. The OT priests were mediators. They were represented the people of Israel before
God, offering up the peoples sacrifices to Yahweh. And they represented God to
the people, pronouncing Yahwehs blessing upon the people at the end of the
divine service.
Who is the NT mediator between people and God (1 Tim. 2:5)? As their mediator,
what does he provide?

Jesus is the Mediator between God the Father and all people. The only
access people have to God the Father is the Mediator, Jesus Christ.

Incidentally because of this fact, that is one of the reasons why all other religions
are false religions. All other religions that are monotheistic religions attempt to
access God in some other way than Jesus. But since this is impossible, those
religions are false and lead to destruction.
If Jesus is the only Mediator and only he has access to the Father, why then do
Christians pray? Does prayer give us access to the Father? Does God hear our
prayers? The answer to these questions is found in John 15:16; 16:23.

Prayer gives us access to the Father you might say in an indirect way. We
have access to God through prayer only if the prayer is in the name of
Jesus. If we pray in Jesus name, God the Father will hear our prayer. Any
prayer that is not in Jesus name will not be heard by the Father.
.
.
.

Christians are those people who believe in and trust in Jesus and Christians pray
in Jesus name. Therefore Christians function as priests when they pray to God for
others in Jesus name. They bring peoples requests to God in prayer. In this way
they are mediators between people and God. They represent people before God
when they pray to God for others in Jesus name. In fact what does Paul urge and
desire in 1 Tim. 2:1-10?

Paul urges that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be


made for all people and that in every place the men should pray.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


So Christians are priests in that they represent people before God. But priests also
represent God to the people. Can Christians represent God to people? The answer
is, yes. How does Peter say that Christians do this in 1 Pet. 2:9?

In their daily lives Christians proclaim God and his wonderful deeds to
people.

God is Light. And Christians have access to the Light through Jesus. Therefore
Christians are children of Light (Eph. 5:8). Christians have no light of their own.
Rather, they only reflect Gods light. In what way do Christians who reflect Gods
light become the light of the world (Mt. 5:14-16)? How does this represent God
to the people around us?

The light of Christians to the world is their good deeds. When Christians
take no credit, but instead give all glory to God, the people who see these
good deeds recognize that God is working through these people and give
him the glory he deserves.
.
.

Therefore Christians represent God to people in all of the vocations in which God
has placed them. In all stations of life they reflect the light of Gods grace to those
around them. They also represent the people before God in the Divine Service
when they bring them and their needs to God in prayer, which is in Jesus name.
Christians are the NT priests of God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 22: The Inauguration of the Divine Service (Part 1)
(Preparations for the inaugural divine service)
Read Lev. 9:1-11
Outline
I. Preparation for the inaugural service (9:1-5)
...A. The command of Moses to Aaron (9:1-4)
......1. The summoning of the priests and elders by Moses (9:1)
......2. His commission to Aaron (9:2-4)
.........a. Instruction about Aarons offerings and the peoples offerings (9:2-4a)
.........b. Announcement of the Lords appearance as the purpose of the service (9:4b)
...B. Report of their compliance (9:5)
......1. Presentation of the offerings at the tent of meeting (9:5a)
......2. Assembly of the congregation (9:5b)
II. Inauguration of the divine service at the altar (9:6-24)
...A. Announcement by Moses of the Lords appearance as the purpose of the ritual (9:6)
...B. Authorization by Moses of Aarons access to the altar (9:7)
......1. Command to approach the altar (9:7a-b)
......2. Command to sacrifice the offerings for the priests (9:7c)
......3. Command to sacrifice the offerings for the people (9:7d)
...C. Aarons execution of the commands (9:8-22)
......1. His approach to the altar (9:8a)
......2. The sacrifice of the offerings for the priests (9:8b-14)
.........a. A calf as a sin offering (9:8b-11)
---------.........b. A ram as a burnt offering (9:12-14)
......3. The sacrifice of the offerings for the people (9:15-22a)
......4. His benediction of the people and descent from the altar (9:22b)
...D. The ritual conclusion of the service (9:23a-b)
...E. The result of the ritual enactment (9:23c-24)
Study
1. The tabernacle and all its furnishings had been built with the finest materials
according to the specifications given by Yahweh. It has been anointed and
consecrated for Yahwehs use with the holy anointing oil. It was ready to be used.
Yahweh had given instructions about what sacrifices were allowed to be made at
the tabernacle. He had also explained the procedure and purpose for each of the
sacrifices (Lev. 1-7).
The priests had been chosen by Yahweh. Special vestments had been made for the
high priest and the regular priests. During a seven day long ordination service,

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


they and their vestments had been consecrated and anointed for service to Yahweh
(Lev. 8). They are now ready to serve him.
With all of the preparations complete, the first divine service was ready to be
preformed.
2. In relation to the ordination ceremony for the priests, when do the events of
chapter 9 take place (9:1a)?

The events in ch. 9 take place the very next day after the seven day
ordination ceremony. The inaugural divine service will take place on the
eighth day.
.

(Also note that the events recorded in chapter 10 will also occur on the 8th day.)
The 8th day in Scripture marks the beginning of something new. A week is 7 days
long. So the 8th day is the beginning of a new week. Circumcision was done on the
8th day. It marked the beginning of the infants new life in Gods covenant people.
Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, the 8th day. It was the first
day in Gods new creation. This is why many baptismal fonts have 8 sides. It
symbolizes the new life in Christ that the person is being baptized into.
On the 8th day, who did Moses call together to speak to (91b)?

He called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. He called the high
priest, the priests, and the representatives of the tribes of Israel.

3. Who did Moses speak to first (9:2a)?

First Moses spoke to Aaron, the high priest.

What two things did Moses tell him to get for himself and what were they to be
used for (9:2b-c)?

9:2b: Aaron was to get a bull calf for a sin offering which was without
blemish for the purpose of offering it to Yahweh.

9:2c: Aaron was also to get a ram for a burnt offering which was without
blemish for the purpose of offering it to Yahweh.

Who did Moses speak to next (9:3a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Next Moses spoke to the people of Israel.

What four things did Moses tell them to get and what were they to be used for
(9:3b-c - 9:4a-b)?

9:3b: A male goat for a sin offering.

9:3c: A calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt
offering.

9:4a: an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord.

9:4b: a grain offering mixed with oil.

For what purpose and reason was Aaron and the people to get these animals that
were going to be sacrificed (9:4c)?

The purpose of the service was so that God could appear in glory to the
congregation. Yahweh was going to appear in such a way that Israel could
see with their own eyes that he was present with them.
.

Therefore this chapter not only records what happened in the inaugural divine
service, but also why it happened. He initiated it so that He could appear to his
people in grace. Previously the glory of Gods presence was enclosed in a cloud.
Soon his presence would be revealed in an unveiled state as sacred fire. This
inaugural divine service would set a precedent for the daily divine service. In it
each day Yahweh would come to his people and meet with them at the altar. From
there he would he would be gracious to them.
4. How did Aaron and the people respond to what Moses told them (9:5)? What did
they do?

They brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting,


and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord.

After they brought the sacrificial animals to and gathered at the tabernacle, Moses
reiterated that the reason Yahweh commanded these things was so that the glory
of the Lord may appear to you (9:6).
With the entire nation of Israel gathered around, what did Moses then tell Aaron
to do (9:7)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Moses formally ordered Aaron to approach the altar and perform the
sacrifices and make atonement for himself and the people.

Who did Moses say commanded this (9:7b)?

This was commanded by Yahweh.

This was very important because as Gods representative, Moses showed the
people that from now on Aaron was publicly authorized by Yahweh to access the
altar and to carry out the divine service. It wasnt just Moses telling Aaron to do
this. It was Moses relaying what Yahweh commanded; it was by Yahwehs
authority.
5. With the preparations for the inaugural divine service complete and the command
from Yahweh given that Aaron should perform the service (9:1-7), Aaron took
over and began to perform the divine service. What did he do first (9:8)?

Aaron approached the altar, the place where the priests did most of their
work, and killed the calf that was to be used as a sin offering for himself.

After he killed the calf, what steps did Aaron and his sons perform for his sin
offering (9:9-11)?

9:9a- Aarons sons took the blood from the sin offering and gave it to
Aaron.

9:9b- Aaron took the blood, dip his finger in it, and put it on the horns of
the altar.

9:9c- Aaron then poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar.

9:10- The fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin
offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses.

9:11- The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp.

This sin offering was for Aaron, the high priest. Before he could represent the
people before Yahweh at the altar, his sins had to be dealt with. He had to be
cleansed and his sin had to be atoned for.
Even though the divine service had formally begun with the sin offering for the
high priest, the sin offering was preparatory for the main part of the divine

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


service. The center of the ritual was the burnt offerings. In general the sin offering
prepared for the burnt offerings and the burnt offering was then followed by the
peace offering and other occasional offerings.
Fulfillment by Jesus
6. For how Jesus fulfilled the initial divine service, see Lesson #24.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 23: The Inauguration of the Divine Service (Part 2)
(Execution of Yahwehs commands for the inaugural divine service)
Read Lev. 9:12-24
Outline
I. Preparation for the inaugural service (9:1-5)
...A. The command of Moses to Aaron (9:1-4)
...B. Report of their compliance (9:5)
II. Inauguration of the divine service at the altar (9:6-24)
...A. Announcement by Moses of the Lords appearance as the purpose of the ritual (9:6)
...B. Authorization by Moses of Aarons access to the altar (9:7)
...C. Aarons execution of the commands (9:8-22)
......1. His approach to the altar (9:8a)
......2. The sacrifice of the offerings for the priests (9:8b-14)
.........a. A calf as a sin offering (9:8b-11)
---------.........b. A ram as a burnt offering (9:12-14)
......3. The sacrifice of the offerings for the people (9:15-22a)
......4. His benediction of the people and descent from the altar (9:22b)
...D. The ritual conclusion of the service (9:23a-b)
......1. Entry of Moses and Aaron into the tent and their exit from it (9:23a)
......2. Their benediction of the people (9:23b)
...E. The result of the ritual enactment (9:23c-24)
......1. The appearance of the Lord in glory with fire on the altar (9:23c-24)
......2. The jubilation and homage of the people (9:24b)
Study
1. With the preparation made and the command given by Yahweh through Moses to
Aaron to begin the divine service, Aaron heeded Gods Word and began the divine
service with his sin offering (9:1-11). Aaron now continues the divine service by
performing what offering (9:12a)?

Aaron now performs the burnt offering for himself.

After the ram had been killed, what three main steps did Aaron perform for his
burnt offering (9:12b-14)?

9:12b- First, Aarons sons handed him the blood and he made blood
atonement by throwing the blood of the burnt offering against the sides of
the altar.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

9:13- Second, Aarons sons cut the sacrifice up into pieces, handed them to
Aaron, and Aaron burned them on the altar.

9:14- Third, he washed off the inner parts and the legs and burned them on
the altar too.

This was a personal burnt offering for Aaron. In it his sins were atoned for, his
complete devotion to Yahweh was expressed by the entire offering being offered
on the altar, and the mutual delight in the relationship was expressed in the
pleasing aroma that resulted from the sacrifice. It showed that Yahweh accepted
the offering and offerer because he was pleased with them.
2. After the sin offering and burnt offering for Aaron, Aaron and his sons performed
the offerings for the people of Israel (9:15a). What three offerings did they offer
for the people (9:15b, 16a, 17a)?

For the people he offered a sin offering, a burnt offering, and a grain
offering.

What kind of procedure did Aaron follow for the first two offerings (9:15c, 16b)?

He offered the sin offering following the same procedure as his own sin
offering. And he offered the burnt offering according to the rule,
according the procedure that Yahweh had established.
.

And he burned the grain offering with the burnt offering as it normally would
each day (9:17b). Little detail is given for these three offerings. They were
performed for the normal reasons Yahweh said to perform them.
3. Next in the liturgy of the divine service came the peace offering for the people
(9:18-21). In it:
o Blood atonement was made (9:18).
o The fat was burned (9:19-20).
o The breasts and right thigh were waved before Yahweh (9:21a).
The procedure for the peace offering was followed just as Yahweh had
commanded through Moses (9:21b). The peace offering celebrated the
relationship that existed between God and his people.
What happened when Aaron finished the sin, burnt, and peace offerings (9:22a)?

From the altar he blessed the people.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


This blessing given at this time was abnormal. It did not normally occur at this
stage of the divine service. It was given at this point to show the people that
through the peace offering Yahweh would bring them blessing.
4. What three things happened after the sacrifices were complete and the blessing
had been given (9:23-24a)?

9:23a- Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting (the holy place).

9:23b- They came out of the tabernacle and blessed the people.

9:23c-24a - and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. The
people saw fire come from Yahwehs presence in the tabernacle and burn
up the burnt offering and fat that was on the altar.
.

When Aaron and Moses entered the tent of meeting they established the precedent
for the daily rite to twice a day enter to burn incense and to pray. Whether they
burned incense and prayed in this case, we are not told. In the normal daily ritual,
the entry into the tabernacle occurred after blood atonement was made and before
the burnt offering was made. The fact that it was reversed in this case was to make
the connection between the entry into Yahwehs presence with the giving of
Yahwehs blessing. Aaron entered Yahwehs presence in order to bring his
blessing to the people. This would be done each day in the daily divine service.
5. The highlight of the service was the theophany of Yahweh (Gods appearance in
visual form through physical means). The theophany came in the form of fire
which came from the Holy of Holies and went to the Altar and burned up the
sacrifices. When did the theophany happen (9:23-24)?

It occurred at the same time that Moses and Aaron blessed the people.

This tied together Yahwehs presence among them with his blessing to them. The
fire on the altar was now the sacred fire of Yahwehs presence. That fire would
burn up the sacrifices placed on the altar, creating smoke with a sweet-smelling,
pleasing aroma. Therefore each day in the divine service Yahwehs presence
among the Israelites was made known visually in the fire and smoke and audibly
in the words of Yahwehs blessing in the benediction.
The appearance of Yahweh through fire set a precedent for the daily divine
service. In every divine service Yahweh would be present to bless his people.
Every divine service would be a theophany. The place of Yahwehs appearance
was at the altar. The time of his appearance was at the burnt offering. The manner
of his appearance was through holy fire on the altar, a fire veiled and encased by
smoke.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


6. The whole service led up to and culminated in the theophany and benediction.
The things that preceded it in the service prepared the people for the appearance
by God and his blessing. The primary preparation for that moment was the blood
atonement of the sacrifices. Blood atonement made them ritually clean and fit for
Gods presence. He made atonement in two stages, first for himself and then for
the people. Having been cleansed of their sins by blood atonement, they were then
ready for the advent of Yahweh.
So the inaugural service provided the paradigm for subsequent services. In every
service: God came to his people to bless them; the people brought offerings to be
cleansed of their impurities and to receive Yahwehs favor; and the altar was the
place where Yahweh met with his people through fire. It was the daily sign of his
gracious presence with them.
What was the peoples response to Yahwehs appearance (9:24b)?

When they saw it they shouted and fell on their faces. Their response
was one of jubilation and prostration.

Their response set the precedent for the peoples response to the daily burnt
offering. At every divine service the people present would respond in the same
way.
Fulfillment by Jesus
7. For how Jesus fulfilled the initial divine service, see Lesson #24.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 24: The Inauguration of the Divine Service (Part 3)
(The fulfillment of the divine service in Christ)
Fulfillment of Lev. 9: 1-24
Study
1. Moses inaugurated the OT divine service. He received the commands from
Yahweh concerning the service and told Aaron and his sons what they were to do.
As Moses, Aaron, and Aarons sons stood before the people, Moses told Aaron to
perform the service. The service prepared the people for and culminated in the
appearance of Yahweh in blessing.
Just as Moses initiated Aaron and his sons into the OT divine service, so Jesus
initiates his fellow priests (all baptized believers) into acceptable service to God.
Just as Moses established the OT divine service for Israel, so Jesus establishes the
NT Divine service for the church. The service that Jesus established fulfilled and
superseded the OT divine service. The Gospel of Luke shows us how Jesus
established the NT Divine Service. There were five key events in Luke that relate
to corresponding events in Lev. 9.
Event 1:
The first event occurred in Lk. 1:8-22. Read through it now thinking about a
possible connection to the OT divine service in Lev. 9.
The OT divine service culminated and ended with Yahwehs blessing as
pronounced by the priest. Because of what happened in this event in Luke, what
would Zechariah not have been able to do?

Since Zechariah could not speak when he came out from burning incense
and offering prayers, he would not have been able to pronounce Gods
blessing on the people.
.

The tabernacle/temple was the place where God lived among and appeared to his
people. It was the place where he gave them his blessing. But with the coming of
Jesus, Gods presence shifted from the tabernacle/temple to Jesus, who was God
in the flesh. Gods blessing would now come through Jesus instead of the temple.
Zechariahs inability to speak the blessing was a signal that this shift would occur.
Worship must center on Jesus who comes as Immanuel to bless us.
Event 2:
The second event occurred in Lk. 9:28-36. Read through it now thinking about a
possible connection to the OT divine service in Lev. 9.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In the OT the glory of Gods presence was revealed in the fire that went from
Gods presence in the Holy of Holies to the altar. After that the fire on the altar
was the holy fire of Gods presence. In the fire God met with his people at the
altar. In the event described in Luke, what did three of Jesus disciples see when
they went up with him on a mountain (Lk. 9:29, 32)?

They saw Jesus shine brightly in glory.

What were they told to do in Lk. 9:35?

God the Father spoke saying, This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to
him!.

This event then emphasizes that Gods holy presence has shifted from the holy
fire at the altar in the tabernacle to the person of Jesus. His glory is now found in
Jesus. Jesus is the new place of worship. God meets with his people to bless them
in Jesus. A central requirement of this worship is to listen to Gods Word (Service
of the Word).
Event 3:
The third event occurred in Lk. 22:14-30. Read through it now thinking about a
possible connection to the OT divine service in Lev. 9.
In the OT, a holy meal (holy meat and bread) was eaten in Gods presence at the
tabernacle by the priests. What kind of meal did Jesus institute (Lk. 22:19-20)?
What holy food did he serve?

Jesus instituted the Lords Supper. In it he provides his holy body and
blood to eat and drink.

In the OT Yahweh provided holy food from the sacrifices. In the NT Jesus is
present with his disciples and provides a holy meal for them, which resulted from
his sacrifice of himself on the cross. At this meal and in his kingdom Jesus serves
his disciples and his disciples serve one another. (Service of the Sacrament)
Event 4:
The fourth event occurred in Lk. 24:13-35. Read through it now thinking about a
possible connection to the OT divine service in Lev. 9.
In the OT, on the 8th day God revealed His glory through fire on the altar in the
inauguration ceremony. In the NT on the 8th day Jesus revealed his hidden glory
through what means (Lk. 24:27, 30-32, 35)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Jesus revealed his presence among them through the Scriptures and the
breaking of bread.

The place and manner in which God reveals his glorious presence among his
people has shifted from the tabernacle/temple to Jesus. Today Jesus is present
with his disciples through his Word and Sacraments.
Event 5:
The fifth event occurred in Lk. 24:50-51. Read through it now thinking about a
possible connection to the OT divine service in Lev. 9.
In the OT Aaron blessed the people at the end of the divine service when he
emerged from Gods presence in the holy precincts. When did Jesus bless his
disciples (Lk. 24:50-51)?

Jesus blessed them as he ascended into the Fathers holy presence in


heaven.

Jesus is the last and eternal high priest who serves in the heavenly realm. From
heaven he continues to bless his people. At the end of the Divine Service today
Jesus blesses the congregation through the Aaronic blessing spoken by the pastor.
Summary of the establishment of the NT Divine Service:
These five events show that with the coming of Jesus worship has forever
changed and shifted. God is now present among his people in Christ. Wherever
Jesus is is the only place where true worship can occur. All the OT sacrifices
pointed forward to the one-time sacrifice of Christ. Because of his sacrifice all of
Gods people have been purified and are made priests who have access to God.
From his sacrifice comes forgiveness of sins and holiness which is conveyed to
his disciples through his shed blood which is received in the holy meal that he
offers. Jesus is present with his disciples and reveals his hidden glory through the
simple means of his Word and Sacraments. As the eternal High Priest he
continues to bless his people through the Divine Service. The NT Divine Service
that Christ instituted fulfills the OT service and brings it to its goal.
2. The shift of the place of worship from the tabernacle/temple to Jesus can be seen
in the following chart that compares the OT divine service to the NT Divine
Service.
OT divine service.............NT Divine Service
Aaron-high priest.............Jesus-High Priest
Aarons sons-priests..........All believers-priesthood of all
.................................believers
Instituted so that God........Jesus sent so that God could
...could manifest his glory......manifest His glory to His

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


...to his people on earth........people on earth
Gods glory was revealed......Gods glory was hidden in the
...and hidden in fire ...........humanity of of Jesus, but
...and smoke that ascended.......revealed to the saints in
.................................Gods Word
God made Himself avail-.......God made himself available and
...able and accessible by........accessible through the
...sacrifices that removed.......sacrifice of Jesus that
...impurity and brought them.....purifies us and brings us
...Into His presence.............into Gods presence

3. The inaugural divine service culminated in the theophany of fire that came from
Gods presence in the Holy of Holies to the altar for burnt offering. In the NT
Gods glory can also be seen, but in a hidden and rather unspectacular way. How
is Gods glory seen in the NT (Jn 1:14, 18; 2 Cor 4:6; Heb 1:3)?

Gods glory is seen in Jesus, the Word made flesh. Even though his
appearance is like that of any man, He makes the Father known and is the
radiance of Gods glory.
.

How does God make the mystery of his glory in Christ known to us (Col 1:2527)?

He makes it known through the Word of God.

Since the fullness of God dwells in the physical body of Christ (Col. 2:9-10), it is
hidden from mankind and yet this mystery is revealed through Gods Word.
Therefore it is essential that worship include Gods Word which reveals Gods
presence and saving activity in Christ.
4. The OT divine service revolved around a whole series of sacrifices which were
performed on a daily basis. These sacrifices were offered again and again in order
to make atonement for the sins of the priests and the people. But Jesus changed
the orientation and shape of the Divine Service. How did Jesus sacrifice differ
from those of the OT (Heb. 7:27; 10:10)?

He did not need to offer sacrifices for himself and he did not need to offer
sacrifices daily. He sacrificed himself once for all people.

What did he accomplish in his one-time sacrifice (Heb. 1:3b; 10:10)?

Through his sacrifice he made purification for sins. His sacrifice also
sanctified those who believe in him.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Because his sacrifice brings purification once and for all, there is no need for any
further sacrifices. Full atonement has been made through the blood of Christ. His
removal of the sins of his fellow priests gives them a clear conscience (Heb.
10:19-22) and allows them to approach Gods throne of grace without fear (Heb.
4:16) and participate in the heavenly liturgy with the angels, saints in heaven, and
saints on earth.
With the sacrifice of Christ complete, the focus of the Divine Service changes
from the purification through blood to Jesus coming and giving out the benefits
that resulted from his sacrifice: eternal life, complete well-being, and salvation.
5. In every OT divine service God was present in a theophany of fire. There he made
his pleasure in and blessing of his people known in the pleasing aroma, the
Aaronic blessing, and the sacrificial meal. In the NT Divine Service he does the
same through the new Meal. In the Lords Supper Jesus is present through the
ordinary means of bread and wine. He serves his disciples a holy meal from his
holy table. Christians are his honored guests. Through this Meal and through the
closing benediction Christians hear and receive Gods blessing.
The OT divine service ended with the peoples response of joy. In the NT the
Meal is also called the Eucharist (thanksgiving). And so it is with joy and
thanksgiving that the people of God receive this Meal. For in this Meal they
receive the full assurance of the forgiveness of their sins as well as a restored
relationship with God. In it Christ gives his peace.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 25: The Penalty for Disobedience (Part 1)
(The death of Nadab and Abihu and resulting instructions to the
priests)
Read Lev. 10:1-11
Outline
I. The report of the death of Nadab and Abihu (10:1-5)
...A. The Lords reaction to their unauthorized offering (10:1-3)
......1. The offering of incense with unauthorized fire (10:1)
......2. Their death by the holy fire from the Lord (10:2)
......3. Instruction by Moses to Aaron on respect for the Lords holiness (10:3a)
......4. Compliance of Aaron with silence (10:3b)
...B. The arrangement of the burial of Nadab and Abihu by Moses (10:4-5)
......1. The summoning by Moses of Mishael and Elzaphan (10:4a)
......2. His directive to them about the removal of the corpses (10:4b)
......3. Their compliance (10:5)
II. The aftermath of the event (10:6-20)
...A. The instruction of the priests by Moses (10:6-7)
......1. His address to Aaron and his sons (10:6a)
......2. His speech (10:6b-7a)
.........a. Prohibition of ritual mourning by the priests with the threat of death
.........b. Permission for mourning by the Israelites
.........c. Prohibition of the departure of the priests from the sanctuary for the funeral
......3. Their compliance (10:7b)
...B. The Lords instruction to Aaron (10:8-11)
......1. His address to Aaron (10:8)
......2. His speech on the duties of the priests (10:9-11)
---------...C. The instruction of the priests by Moses on their consumption of the holy food
(10:12-20)
Study
1. In the last several lessons weve studied the events that happened on the 8th day.
That is, on the first day after the 7 day ordination ceremony of the priests. On the
8th day Aaron and the priests performed the inaugural divine service (Lev. 9). But
that was not the only event to take place on the 8th day. Lev. 10 describes another
event that occurred on the 8th day and its aftermath.
2. Chapter 10 picks up where chapter 9 left off. Lev. 9:24 and 10:1 refer to two kinds
of fire. What are they?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

9:24- This fire is the fire from Yahwehs presence. It came from the Holy
of Holies and went to the Altar for Burnt Offering and consumed the burnt
offering and the fat that was on the altar. This was holy fire that was
connected to Gods holy presence.
.
.

10:1- This fire was regular, common, ordinary fire. They had not been
authorized to bring such fire into Yahwehs holy presence.

What did Nadab and Abihu do with the common, ordinary fire (10:1)?

They took it and put it in their censers and put incense on it and offered it
to Yahweh.

Had Yahweh commanded them to do this (10:1b)?

No. It says the fire was unauthorized and that Yahweh had not
commanded them to do it.

In 9:24, what did the holy fire of Yahwehs presence consume?

It consumed the burnt offering and the fat that was on the altar.

In 10:2, what did the holy fire of Yahwehs presence consume?

It consumed Nadab and Abihu.

How is God described in Deut. 4:24?

He is described as a consuming fire.

Now remember that God alone is holy. And holy means separate. He is separate
from anything that is common. As the Creator, he is far above and beyond all that
he created. Therefore coming into contact with his holiness has consequences.
When done in the manner that he authorizes, it brings blessings and joy. When not
done in an authorized way, it brings death and destruction.
The normal procedure for burning incense was to take hot coals from the Altar for
Burnt Offering and some incense into the Holy Place. The coals were placed on
the Incense Altar and the incense was placed on the hot coals and burned before
Yahweh as the priest prayed for the people. The main point in this text is that
Nadab and Abihu took the fire from some other source. There was actually
nothing wrong with what they were doing. The right people performed a

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


permissible rite at the right time and place, but in the wrong way. They paid for it
with their lives. This incident was archetypical of all unauthorized ritual acts.
3. After the holy fire consumed Nadab and Abihu, Moses reminded Aaron of Gods
Word (10:3). Who are those who are near me (10:3a)?

Those who were authorized to come near to Yahwehs holy presence were
the priests.

How were the priests to treat Yahweh (10:3a)?

Yahweh was to be sanctified by them. He was to be treated as holy.

When the priests treat Yahweh in that way, Yahweh will appear in glory to all the
people (10:3b).
What was Aarons response (10:3c)?

Aaron held his peace or Aaron remained silent.

He may have responded this way either because he was filled with dread from
what just happened or because he accepted Gods Word and the deed that just
occurred.
4. Who were Mishael and Elzaphan (10:4a)?

They were the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron. They were Aaron and
Moses cousins.

Since Moses and Aaron were from the tribe of Levi, what tribe would their
cousins have been from?

Since they were close relatives of Moses and Aaron, they also would have
been from the tribe of Levi.

What would the members of this tribe who were not priests have access to?

They would have had access to the tabernacle courtyard. The Levites were
responsible for its care and for moving the tabernacle from place to place.

Since they were to care for the purity of the sanctuary, what did Moses command
them to do (10:4b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and
out of the camp. They were charged with carrying the dead bodies of
Nadab and Abihu from the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.
.

Mishael and Elzaphan came and did as Moses commanded them (10:5). They
carried the dead bodies outside the camp. Since dead bodies were considered
unclean (we will learn more about this in Lev. 11-15, the Manual of Purity) and
would transmit impurity if touched, they carried them by their tunics without
touching the bodies.
What was the status of a corpse? The answer depends upon who you ask. If you
asked an animist, a corpse was regarded as holy because it was the point of
contact between the living and the dead. Because they were leaving the earthly
realm and entering the divine realm, they were believed to have spiritual power.
They fed them at their grave site and believed that they received supernatural
power from them. For animists, the corpses of Nadab and Abihu were especially
holy because they were killed by holy fire in a holy place as they served a holy
God.
To the one true God corpses were the source of impurity; they were not holy but
unclean. They had to be removed from the sanctuary and buried outside the camp
so that they did not pollute the camp or sanctuary.
5. The holy God Yahweh had chosen Israel as his people and he wanted to come and
live among them. Yahweh showed his holiness in the form of a consuming fire.
Like common fire, the consuming fire of Gods holiness can be either beneficial
or destructive. But how can a holy God live amongst sinful people in a gracious
and beneficial way and not in a destructive and deadly way? What would your
answer be based on what youve learned so far in Leviticus?

Since God was holy He was to be treated as holy. Gods holiness was
respected when the divine service was performed as He commanded. The
way that the priests performed the sacred ritual, by following or not
following his commands and treating the offerings as holy or not,
determined whether Gods glory was revealed in grace or wrath.
.
.
.

In other words, Yahweh provided a way that he could interact with his people and
be gracious to them. The way that he provided was the sacrificial system, the
divine service. In this service Yahweh met with his people, provided forgiveness
of sins through substitutionary atonement, and then provided a sacred meal for

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


them where the people celebrated their relationship with Yahweh and had
fellowship with him and each other.
6. After the dead bodies of Nadab and Abihu had been removed, Moses gave several
commands to Aaron and his two remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar (10:6-7).
What were the commands?

10:6a- Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose or Do not dishevel
your hair.

10:6a- do not tear your clothes or do not tear your vestments.

10:7a- do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting.

What reasons are given as to why they should not do these things (10:6b, 7b)?

lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation and lest you
die, for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you.

Now these commands seem rather strange and the reasons for the commands
seem rather harsh (lest you die). Why would such commands and penalties be
given? The key to understanding this is to answer the following questions:
Who are the commands given to?

The priests were commanded not to do these things.

What were Aaron and his sons doing?

They were performing the divine service.

Where were they doing it?

They were performing the divine service at the tabernacle in Yahwehs


holy presence.

What did all of the prohibitions have to do with?

They had to do with the funeral and mourning for Nadab and Abihu.

The priests were charged with protecting the sanctity of the holy precincts where
Yahweh lived and interacted with his people. Therefore while they were on duty
serving at the tabernacle they were not allowed to participate in any rites of
mourning. This would have been out of place. In a similar way common fire was

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


out of place at the tabernacle. Dead corpses were out place at the tabernacle. It
would have been inappropriate for the anointed priests who were on duty to leave.
This was sort of an object lesson for a command Yahweh would soon give for the
priests to distinguish between what is clean and unclean and what is holy and
common (10:10).
If it was inappropriate for the priests to mourn, was it ok for the Israelite people to
mourn (10:6b)?

Yes, the Israelites could mourn. Outside Yahwehs immediate holy


presence they could mourn the loss of their loved ones and particularly in
this case Nadab and Abihu.
.

How did Aaron and his two remaining sons respond to the command (10:7b)?

They did according to the word of Moses.

7. Up to this point Yahweh has always spoken to Moses. Who does Yahweh speak to
in 10:8-11 (see 10:8)?

Yahweh spoke these words to Aaron.

Yahweh gives him a command. Because it came directly from Yahweh, Aaron was
responsible to him and not to Moses for carrying it out. What was the command
(10:9a)?

Drink no wine or strong drink.

Who did the command apply to (10:9b)?

It applied to Aaron and his sons. It applied to the priests.

When did it apply (10:9c)?

When you go into the tent of meeting That is, it applied when the priests
were on duty at the tabernacle.

What was the penalty if they broke this command (10:9d)?

They would die.

For how long was this command in effect (10:9e)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.

Given what we just studied in point #6 above about the prohibitions and the
reason for them and given the instruction Yahweh gives Aaron in 10:10, why was
this prohibition in 10:9 given?

When alcohol is drunk by someone, it exerts power over that person. Its a
natural kind of thing that happens. In other words, its part of the common
domain. And as Yahweh explains to Aaron in 10:10, one of the jobs of the
priests is distinguish between the common and the holy. So in this case the
power is a common power and not a divine power and therefore is out of
place in the holy domain.
.
.
.
.

Another possible reason for the prohibition of consuming alcohol at the sanctuary
was that the Canaanite cults consumed alcohol at funerals. They did it to bring
about holy intoxication or spiritual ecstasy. It was used to venerate the ancestral
spirits. So this too was a sign of mourning and a form of false worship which had
no place at the tabernacle.
As we said earlier, the priests were responsible for guarding the holiness of
Yahweh. To do so they had to know the difference between the common and the
holy (10:10a). They also had to know the difference between the clean and the
unclean (10:10b). Anything unclean spread impurity and impurity was not
allowed in the holy domain.
A part of making these distinctions and guarding Yahwehs holiness was also
teaching the people what was common and what was holy, and what was clean
and what was unclean (10:11a). In some sense the Israelite camp was considered
holy because of its close proximity to the holy tabernacle grounds. And Yahweh
considered the Israelite people his holy people. And the Israelite people brought
their sacrifices to Yahweh at the tabernacle. Therefore Israelites could spread
impurity to the holy domain and could use the holy as something common or vice
versa. Therefore it was important that they too be able to make these distinctions
in order not to profane the holy. Which statutes were the priests to teach the
people (10:11b)?

They were to teach them all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them
by Moses. In other words, they were to teach them everything in the book
of Leviticus. They used Lev. 1-8 and Lev. 19-27 to teach the people the
difference between the holy and the common. And they used Lev. 11-18 to
teach the difference between the clean and the unclean.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
.
Lev. 10:8-11 then is the key to the origin and purpose of Leviticus. Leviticus not
only teaches the priests, but it is also for the people so they could benefit from
their interaction with God in the divine service.
Now this was another difference between the Israelites and the pagans. The pagan
priests said they had secret knowledge from their gods and they kept that
knowledge to themselves away from the people. But here we see that this was not
the case for the Israelite priests. They were to share with and teach the people the
words that Yahweh spoke to Moses.
Fulfillment by Jesus
8. The next lesson continues the events of chapter 10. It also shows how Jesus
fulfilled the events and commands of chapter 10.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 26: The Penalty for Disobedience (Part 2)
(Instructions concerning holy food and the offerings)
Read Lev. 10:1-11
Outline
I. The report of the death of Nadab and Abihu (10:1-5)
...A. The Lords reaction to their unauthorized offering (10:1-3)
...B. The arrangement of the burial of Nadab and Abihu by Moses (10:4-5)
II. The aftermath of the event (10:6-20)
...A. The instruction of the priests by Moses (10:6-7)
...B. The Lords instruction to Aaron (10:8-11)
---------...C. The instruction of the priests by Moses on their consumption of the holy food
(10:12-20)
......1. His address to Aaron and his sons (10:12a)
......2. His speech (10:12b-15)
.........a. The consumption of bread from the grain offering (10:12b-13)
.........b. The consumption of meat from the peace offerings (10:14-15)
......3. His dispute with Aaron over meat from the priests sin offering (10:16-20)
.........a. Moses anger at the incineration of the meat from their sin offering (10:16)
.........b. His challenge to Aaron (10:17-18)
.........c. The reply of Aaron (10:19)
.........d. Moses satisfaction (10:20)
Study
1. The offerings for the inaugural divine service were complete (Lev. 9). The
unfortunate incident with Nadab and Abihu was over (10:1-5). Instructions to the
priests concerning the prohibition of funeral rites at the sanctuary had been given
(10:6-7). The command to distinguish and teach the people the difference between
the common and the holy and the clean and the unclean had been given (10:8-11).
Now there is some grain and meat from the offerings from the inaugural divine
service that has not been consumed on the altar. Moses reiterates to Aaron and his
sons what should be done with this holy food (10:12-20).
2. Having been instructed in how not to desecrate the sanctuary by not observing
mourning rites while on duty at the tabernacle, they are now instructed in how not
to desecrate the holy food that resulted from the sacrifices on the holy altar
(10:12-18). This food became holy because a portion of the sacrifice came into
contact with the holy fire of Yahwehs presence on the altar.
Several cases concerning holy food are given. In the first case (10:12-13), what
did Moses tell Aaron and his sons to eat (10:12a)? Where were they to eat it
(10:12b, 13a)? And what was its status (10:12c)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The priests were to eat the leftover grain from the grain offering. They
were to eat it next to the altar, which was a holy place. It had to be eaten in
a holy place because it was most holy food.
.

Why did Yahweh give them this most holy food to eat (10:13b)?

They were allowed to eat it because it was their due. It was the payment
they were due from Yahweh for their services to him. This food was given
to Yahweh in a sacrifice and in turn he gave it to the priests to eat.
.

3. In the second case, what food did Moses instruct them on next (10:14a)?

The breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed.

Who was to eat it and where (10:14b)?

This food was available to the priests and their families. It could be taken
outside the sanctuary to be eaten (to their homes), but it had to be a ritually
clean place.
.

They were allowed to eat this food because it was their due from Yahweh from the
peace offerings (10:14c-15). This thigh and breast had been taken and elevated
before Yahweh along with the fat. In doing so, it was given to Yahweh. Yahweh in
turn gave it to the priests as their due. This was what Yahweh commanded earlier
in Leviticus concerning the peace offering. When they followed Yahwehs
instructions, this holy food was not desecrated. It was a blessing from Yahweh to
the priests and their families.
4. The first two cases of holy food were straight forward in the application of Gods
word concerning them. But the third case was not so clear. The third case
involved the goat from the sin offering (10:16a). What did Moses find out about
the meat from this offering and what was his reaction to it (10:16b)?

He found out that it had been burned up and he was angry with Eleazar
and Ithamar.

If the blood from the sin offering was not brought into the Holy Place, the priests
were due its meat (6:23; 10:18). So in this case, based on Gods word, the priests
should have eaten the meat from the sin offering as their due. But they didnt.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Instead they burned it. So Moses questioned Eleazar and Ithamar as to why they
burned it instead of eating it (10:17-18).
Aarons response (10:19) went something like this:
o We performed their sin offering and burnt offering. Which means their
sins had been covered by the atonement made (10:19a).
o But then Yahwehs holiness was desecrated by the unauthorized fire and
by the death of Nadab and Abihu in the holy precincts of the sanctuary
(10:19b).
o So I didnt know what our ritual status was before God. Had we been
defiled? Was Yahweh displeased with us too? If we were implicated by
these events and therefore guilty of sacrilege, could we rightfully eat the
holy meat? Would Yahweh have approved? (10:19c)
o So to be on the safe side, we burned the meat rather than eat it. We would
rather give up something we were due rather than displease Yahweh.
So in these circumstances they erred on the side of caution. They chose to be
more respectful towards Gods holiness than to insist on the meat due them. And
when Moses heard their explanation he agreed with and approved of their
decision and the action they took (10:20).
Earlier Moses had instructed Aaron and his sons on the sacrifices and procedures
for offering them (Lev. 1-7). Here he challenged Aaron on why they burned the
meat from the sin offering (10:17-18). After hearing Aarons explanation, he
deferred to Aarons interpretation and application (10:19-20). He accepted
Aarons authority in the domain that Yahweh had placed him in as the high priest.
Aaron had been given the command to distinguish what was common from what
was holy and what was clean from what was unclean. And he was told to teach
the Israelites the difference. So here he did distinguish the difference and he did
teach his brother Moses.
5. In summary then, the context for this chapter is the ritual performance of the
inaugural divine service (Lev. 8-10). The previous chapter (Lev. 9) was the model
for its right performance. This chapter is the opposite. 10:1-3 records the unhappy
event. 10:4-20 deals with practical and theological aftermath of the event.
From this incident (10:1-3) they learned that any act of sacrilege by the priests
endangered their lives. This chapter gives and expands upon the ramifications of
desecrating Gods holiness.
These chapters taught about how the priests were buffers between the people and
God. When the priests performed the atonement rites they protected the people
from the threat of death. Gods grace was extended through the priests. But when
Gods holiness was desecrated, the priests received Gods wrath. They were
responsible and accountable to God for safeguarding his holiness.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Fulfillment by Christ
6. In Deuteronomy God is described as a consuming fire. His holy presence is
expressed in either grace or wrath. God was present in the OT at the tabernacle. At
the tabernacle his grace was shown when he was approached in the proper
manner. In that case the fire of his presence consumed the sacrifices on the altar
and the people received forgiveness from him and fellowship with him. On the
other hand, his wrath was shown when he was approached in an unacceptable
manner. In this case the fire of Gods presence consumed the priests who
desecrated his holiness.
The same is still true in the NT. God is holy and he comes either in grace or in
wrath. For those who are righteous he has nothing but grace. The unrighteous
receive nothing but wrath. But what does Rom. 3:10-12 say?

No one is righteous.

This would seem to say then that since no one is righteous then all people will
receive Gods wrath. This would be true if we had to depend upon our own
righteousness. Yet Abraham was considered righteous. Why and how was he
considered righteous (Rom. 4:3)?

Abraham was righteous because he believed God, and it was counted to


him as righteousness.

Like Abraham we too can be righteous. How is this possible (Rom. 4:5b)?

If we believe in him who justifies the ungodly, our faith will be


counted as righteousness.

To justify means to pronounce righteous. God pronounces sinners as righteous


if they have faith in Jesus. When one comes to faith in Jesus a great exchange
(Luther) occurs. We give Jesus our sin in exchange for his righteousness. So when
God looks at a believer he sees the righteousness of Christ and is considered
righteous.
So in the end the only way that God can be safely approached is when we come to
him in faith. When we do we can be assured that he will act graciously toward us.
Outside of faith in Jesus there is no safe way to approach God. Outside of Jesus
God deals with people only in wrath.
7. This faith which receives the righteousness of Christ is created by God through
his Word of Law and Gospel. The Law shows us our sin and our need for a
Savior. The Gospel shows us our Savior (Jesus) and how he has met all our needs.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, can be believed through faith or it
can be rejected. So whenever the Gospel is proclaimed, it is a real life or death
situation. Those who believe the Good News graciously receive eternal life and
salvation. Those who do not believe receive Gods wrath and will suffer eternal
death (2 Cor. 2:14-16).
8. In the OT divine service Yahweh was present among his people to bless them. But
when Nadab and Abihu used unauthorized fire Yahwehs wrath was kindled
against them and they were destroyed by the holy fire.
Similarly in the NT Divine Service God comes to his people to bless them. One
way in which he does this is through the Lords Supper. In the Lords Supper
Jesus is present graciously offering the life and salvation he won for us on the
cross. He comes to give life, yet under what circumstances can this encounter
become deadly (1 Cor. 11:27-32)? (Remember that in the Supper one receives the
holy body and holy blood of Jesus.)

When the holy body and blood of Jesus are received in an unworthy
manner, it brings Gods judgment causing weakness, sickness, and death.

What is an unworthy manner? What did we say in the last point was the only safe
way to approach holy God and receive grace rather than wrath?

The only way to approach God and receive grace is through faith in Jesus.
Therefore to eat and drink the Lords Supper in an unworthy manner is to
eat and drink without faith. In doing so one desecrates Gods holiness and
God must respond in wrath.
.
.

9. In the OT the priests were mediators between the people and God. Because they
represented the people, they bore the iniquity of the congregation (10:17) and
performed the blood rites to atone for it.
In the new covenant God did not require a group of men or even a scapegoat to
bear the iniquity of the people who came before Him with their impurity. The OT
priests were a type of the One to come who would bear the sins of the world. Who
did Isaiah prophesy would bear those sins (Is. 52:13-53:12; esp. 53:4, Mt. 8:17)?

Of course it was Jesus, the Great High Priest, who was the Suffering
Servant who has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He bore the
iniquity of all people.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


He was not only our Priest who bore our iniquities, but was also our Sacrifice (Jn.
1:29). He provided blood atonement. Like the blood of the sacrifices, His blood
protects us from Gods wrath and desecration. Because of Jesus, who bore our
sins and shed his blood for us, what do we have and not have with God (Rom.
5:1-2; 8:1)?

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained
access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of
the glory of God. There is therefore now no condemnation for those
who are in Christ Jesus. Because we have bee justified by grace through
faith we therefore can approach God without fear.
.
.
.
.

10. The OT priests guarded the holiness of Yahweh by not allowing anything unclean
or common to come into contact with Yahwehs holiness. If they allowed that to
happen, since they bore the sins of the people (10:17), the priests received Gods
wrath.
In the NT the ministers of the Word are similar and dissimilar to the OT priests.
They differ in that they do not bear the iniquity of the people. How are they
similar (1 Cor. 4:1-2)?

Like the OT priests, the NT ministers are to be faithful stewards of the


holy mysteries of God.

As caretakers of the mysteries of God, what are ministers not to do (Mt. 7:6, note
that dogs and pigs are unbelievers)?

They do not allow the holy things of God to be desecrated and trampled
under foot by unbelievers. The holy things of God are to be treated with
respect and awe and received by faith.
.

As the OT priests were to teach the people the difference between things that are
clean and unclean and things that are holy and common, so the NT ministers of
Christ are to teach the saints to distinguish what is holy from what is common and
unclean. In the following pericopes who is teaching who about uncleanness?
What is he teaching?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Mk. 7:17-23- Jesus is teaching his disciples that all foods are clean; it is
the heart of man that is unclean.

Acts 10:1-29 (esp. 10:28)- God is teaching Peter that Gentiles are not
excluded from the holy people of God.

Acts 11:1-18 (esp. 11:17)- Peter taught the church the same lesson that
God had taught him. The Gentiles too can be a part of the holy people of
God.
.

So one of the great tasks of a pastor is to teach the people of God. They teach
Gods holy Word, and they teach how Gods holy presence is with us to bless us
when two or three are gathered together in his name, and how Jesus is really
present when the Lords Supper is administered. Therefore, since holy God is
present in them, his Word and Sacraments must not be desecrated but treated with
the highest respect and honor.
11. In the OT only the priests could come into Gods immediate holy presence at the
altar and the Holy Place and serve him. In the NT all believers in Jesus are part of
the holy priesthood. As such, what are they required to treat as holy (Mt. 6:9; 1
Pet. 3:15)

Gods name is to be kept holy. And in your hearts honor Christ the Lord
as holy.

What are they to strive for (Heb. 12:14)?

They are to strive for Gods holiness.

What are they to avoid and what are they to receive (James 1:21)?

They are to avoid the filth of sin and the wickedness of the world. Instead
they are to receive with meekness the implanted word. Through his holy
Word, God brings us to faith, keeps us in faith, and causes the fruit of faith
to be exhibited in our lives.
.
.

They are also to avoid drunkenness. What should fill them and influence them
instead (Eph. 5:18)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The Holy Spirit.

Under the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians, who have been redeemed by the
blood of Christ and who place their faith and hope in God, are empowered to lead
holy lives (1 Pet. 1:15-21).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The Manual for Purity (Lev. 11-15)
The priests had received their charter to distinguish between holy and common, and the
clean and the unclean. Now in this section of Leviticus (11-15) God provides a Manual
for Purity to help them make the distinction. They were to make this determination in
order not to defile the tabernacle, to prevent another incident like Nadab and Abihu who
died because of their impurity. This manual is not only for the priests, but also for the
people. That was the other part of the priests mandate. The priests were to teach it to the
people. God provided this manual using six divine speeches. These chapters prepare for
the comprehensive cleansing on the Day of Atonement in Lev. 16, which was meant to
prevent a recurrence of what happened to Nadab and Abihu.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 27: Instruction on Clean and Unclean Meat (Part 1)
Read Lev. 11:1-23, 41-45
Outline
I. Introduction (11:1-2a)
II. Speech about clean and unclean meat (11:2b-45)
A. Instruction about edible and inedible meat (11:2b-23)
1. Four-legged land animals (11:2b-8)
2. Sea creatures (11:9-12)
3. Detestable birds (11:13-19)
4. Detestable flying insects (11:20-23)
--------- B. Instruction about the impurity from the carcasses of dead animals (11:24-40)
--------- C. Instruction about the consumption of meat from swarming land animals (11:41-45)
1. Classification of all swarming land animals as detestable and inedible (11:41-42)
--------- 2. Final prohibition and commands about purity and sanctification (11:43-45)
III. Summary subscript (11:46-47)
Study
1. What was the purpose for the book of Leviticus (10:10-11)?

10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between
the unclean and the clean, 11 and you are to teach the people of Israel all
the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses. Leviticus served
as a textbook on distinguishing what is holy from what is common and
what is clean from what is unclean. It was the job of the priests to
distinguish these things and it was also their job to teach the people these
things as well.
.
.
.
.

What happened when Gods holiness was desecrated (10:1-2)?

When Nadab and Abihu desecrated Gods holiness they were struck down.

The purpose then of Leviticus in general and the Manual for Purity in particular
was to educate the priests and people so that something like this would not happen
again.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


2. In the past Yahweh spoke to Moses. Who did Yahweh speak to this time (11:1)?

This time he spoke to both Moses and Aaron.

Given the content of this speech, why would it make sense for Yahweh to speak to
Aaron too?

Aaron had started functioning as high priest and he had been charged with
distinguishing between clean and unclean and teaching the people. So it
makes sense that God would include Aaron.
.

What were Moses and Aaron to do with Gods Word spoken to them (11:2a)?

They were to pass on to the people of Israel and speak to them these words
from Yahweh. They were to use Gods Word to instruct the people.

This speech by Yahweh to Moses and Aaron can be divided into three main parts
(see also the outline):
... (1) 11:2b-23 Instruction on meat from clean and unclean animals
... (2) 11:24-40 Instruction on the treatment of impurity from contact with
carcasses of animals
... (3) 11:41-45 Instruction on meat from clean and unclean animals
And it concludes with a summary in 11:46-47.
3. The first main part covers edible and inedible meat (11:2b-23). And within it, four
different categories are covered. The first category in the first main part is in
11:2b-8.
In general what animals are included in this category (11:2b-8, esp. 11:2b)?

This category includes all four-legged land animals.

What two criteria were to be used to determine which land animals could be eaten
and which could not (11:3)?

Animals may be eaten if they chewed the cud and if they had split hooves.

These types of animals would include sheep, goats, and cattle. What were they
forbidden to do if the animal did not pass both of these criteria (11:4-7)?

They were forbidden to eat them.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What 4 examples are given of animals that could not be eaten and what was the
reason why they could not be eaten in each case?

11:4b- The camel because it did not have split hooves.

11:5a- The rock badger because it did not have split hooves.

11:6a- The hare because it did not have split hooves.

11:7a- The pig because it did not chew the cud.

What were they to consider these animals as and treat them as (11:4c, 5b, 6b, 7b,
8b)?

They were to consider and treat these animals as unclean.

Because of this what were they forbidden to do with these animals (11:8a)?

You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their
carcasses. Because they were unclean, they were not to eat their meat or
touch their carcasses.
.

4. The first main part that covers edible and inedible meat (11:2b-23) now continues
with the second category of animals (11:9-12). In general what animals are
included in this category (11:9-12, esp. 11:9a)?

This category includes animals that live in the water.

What criteria were used to determine which of these animals could be eaten
(11:9b)?

If the animals lived in the water and had fins and scales they could be
eaten.

What were they to consider and treat the animals as that lived in the water but did
not have fins and scales (11:10-12)?

They were to be considered and treated as detestable. They were to shun


them for ritual theological reasons and they were not to eat them.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. The first main part that covers edible and inedible meat (11:2b-23) now continues
with the third category of animals (11:13-19). In general what animals are
included in this category (11:13-19, esp. 11:13a)?

This category includes birds.

In 11:13-19 do you see any criteria given that could be used to determine if a bird
is edible or inedible? If so, what is it?

No criteria are given. All that is given is a list of birds.

The order of the birds listed seems to be by zoological classification and by size
from largest to smallest. It appears as if all of the inedible birds listed are
carnivorous scavengers. Therefore feeding upon dead bodies made them unclean.
How were the Israelites to consider these birds (11:13a,b)?

The Israelites were to consider these birds as detestable. They were to


avoid them.

6. Finally we come to the fourth category of animals (11:20-23) in the first main part
(11:2b-23). In general what animals are included in this category (11:20-23, esp.
11:20a, 21a, 23a)?

This category includes the winged insects.

The insects discussed here had both wings to fly and legs to walk. These insects
were to be detestable to the Israelites (11:20, 23). But there were exceptions to the
rule. What criterion was used to decide the exceptions (11:21)?

If the flying insects had jointed legs they could be eaten.

What four exceptions are listed in 11:22?

The locust, the bald locust, the cricket, and the grasshopper.

7. Let us now skip down to 11:41-45 (the third main part) because these verses also
discuss the eating of meat from animals. Previously certain birds (11:13-19) and
flying insects (11:20-23) were considered to be detestable and therefore were
inedible. What else should be treated the same way (11:41)?

All swarming land animals are detestable and cannot be eaten.

What three types of animals are included in this group?

11:42a- Animals that move around on their belly.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

11:42b- Animals that walk on all four legs.

11:42c- Animals that have many feet.

11:42d-43 then reiterates that these swarming animals are detestable and are not
to eaten by the Israelites.
8. We will pick up the rest of this chapter in the next lesson. But right now let us
stop, take a step back, and think about what we have studied in this lesson. What
is the purpose of all these instructions about what animals are ok to eat and not ok
to eat? These instructions were given not for nutritional and health reasons but for
religious reasons. It has to do with the peoples standing before God, their status
before him, and their access to him. The terms unclean and detestable are
used throughout this chapter. These are ritual-theological terms. If one was
unclean, then he was disqualified from involvement in the divine service, the
daily sacrificial ritual. Anything that was detestable was to be avoided for ritual
reasons.
So these instructions have to do with the Israelites relationship with God. But you
might ask, how is it that their relationship with God depended on the meat from
certain animals? It has to do with the disruption of Gods work in two domains:
the common domain of human life in the natural order and the holy domain of
Gods life-giving presence in the supernatural order the Israelite home and
Yahwehs sanctuary, the family table and Yahwehs table. Both domains were
threatened by the life-destroying power of impurity. Since the people came from
their homes to the tabernacle, purity at home was connected to holiness in the
sanctuary. God wished to spread his holiness into the common realm, purifying
and sanctifying it. Therefore the reason for distinguishing between clean and
unclean meat was to prevent impurity from gaining a foothold in the common
realm so it could not spread to the sacred realm.
When God created the world, he created it with order. Think about the animals
God created. What kinds of animals do people normally have as pets?

Dogs, cats, parakeets, etc.

These are domesticated animals. What kinds of animals do not make good pets?

Wild animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, etc. Swarming animals such
as snakes and rodents.

When God created the world, God created three classes of land animals: wild
animals, domesticated animals, and swarming animals (Gen. 1:26). Each animal
had its boundaries and purposes. Only the domesticated animals were created to

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


share in the human domain. All other creatures were out of place in the domestic
realm. The animals themselves were not unclean. But when they were used
outside their normal boundaries and purposes they became potential bearers of
impurity.
The domestic animals could be further divided. Some domestic animals were used
for food (sheep, cattle), others for transportation (horses, donkeys), etc. The
domestic food animals provided the criteria for determining what creatures could
be eaten (they had split hooves, chews cud, etc.) by the Israelites.
The meat that was classified as unclean and detestable by God was unfit for
Israelite consumption at home in the common domain. When animals that were
not created by God to be eaten were eaten, they were being used in ways that God
did not intend. Chaos and confusion were being introduced into Gods created
order. Therefore the person eating such meat became unclean. Any person that
was unclean could not participate in the divine service at the tabernacle. The
throat that was about to eat the holy food of God could not also eat detestable
food that God had not meant for consumption.
<u> Fulfillment by Christ </u>
9. To see how Jesus fulfilled these OT laws about eating clean meat and avoiding
unclean meat, see lesson 29.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 28: Instruction on Clean and Unclean Meat (Part 2)
Read Lev. 11:24-40
Outline
I. Introduction (11:1-2a)
II. Speech about clean and unclean meat (11:2b-45)
A. Instruction about edible and inedible meat (11:2b-23)
--------- B. Instruction about the impurity from the carcasses of dead animals (11:24-40)
1. Impurity from the carcass of an inedible four-legged animal (11:24-28)
2. Impurity from the carcass of a swarming land animal (11:29-38)
a. List of eight rodents and reptiles (11:29-31a)
b. Pollution by their contact with objects (11:32-38)
3. Impurity from the carcass of an edible four-legged animal (11:39-40)
--------- C. Instruction about the consumption of meat from swarming land animals (11:41-45)
1. Classification of all swarming land animals as detestable and inedible (11:41-42)
2. Final prohibition and commands about purity and sanctification (11:43-45)
III. Summary subscript (11:46-47)
Study
1. We begin this lesson looking at the second main part of the chapter (11:24-40).
Here the speech shifts from the consumption of meat (11:2b-23) to the treatment
of impurity from the carcasses of animals. Uncleanness could be received in two
ways from the dead bodies of animals. What were they?

11:24- Touching a carcass rendered a person unclean until evening.

11:25- Carrying a carcass rendered the person and his clothes as unclean
until evening.

Two examples are given of these general principles. (1) The carcasses of hoofed
land animals that were not regarded as edible (horses, donkeys, mules) were
considered unclean when touched (11:26). And (2) the carcasses of land animals
with paws (lions, bears, wolves) were considered unclean when touched (11:27).
Also when one had to move such dead animals, any clothes that touched the dead
animal were unclean and had to be washed (11:28).
Living animals, even unclean ones, did not convey uncleanness by touch. But
touching the carcasses of all land animals did. Note that 11:24-40 is not so much
concerned about the spread of impurity as it is about its treatment.
2. The uncleanness from the carcasses of what type of animals (11:29-38) is
discussed next (11:29a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Swarming land animals.

A list of some of these animals is given (11:29b-30). The exact identification of


many of these is uncertain. The same is true of these animals as was true of the
previous land animals (11:26-27). Touching their dead carcasses made a person
unclean until evening (11:31).
Taking a look at this list (11:29b-30) and considering that homes were not air tight
like they are today, what could these rodents do?

They could easily invade a home and its storage areas.

When a rodent did so, at some point it could die there and the Israelites would
then have to remove them, making themselves unclean.
3. What happened to any surface that came into contact with one of these dead
animals (11:32)?

That surface was unclean until evening and had to be washed.

What happened if one of these dead animals fell into an earthenware vessel
(11:33-34)?

The vessel and any food or drink that was in it was unclean. The vessel
had to be smashed and the food was unfit for human consumption.

What had to be done if an oven or stove came into contact with one of these dead
creatures (11:35)?

It had to be broken into pieces.

In general anything that came into contact with a dead rodent was unclean. But
there were a couple of exceptions. What were they (11:36a, 37)?

If a spring or cistern holding water or seeds that had not been planted
came into contact they were still considered clean.

But the person who had to remove the carcass from the water became unclean
(11:36b) and if the seeds had been watered to start the germination process they
were unclean and therefore could not be used to produce human food (11:38).
4. The third unit (11:39-40) within the second main part (11:24-40) gives
instructions concerning the treatment of impurity from the carcass of a clean,

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


edible domesticated animal, such as a cow, sheep, or goat (11:39a). Like other
dead animals, what did touching the carcass do to the person who touched it
(11:39b)?

Whoever touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.

Surprisingly, what could they do with the meat from one of these dead,
domesticated animals (11:40a)?

They could eat it.

And yet, any person that came into contact with it became unclean until evening
and had to wash his unclean clothes.
5. In the previous lesson we discussed 11:41-43 because it also dealt with the
consumption of meat from animals (see Lesson 27, point 7). These verses are part
of the third main part of the chapter (11:41-45). Verses 44 and 45 not only provide
the theological reason for the prohibitions given in 11:41-43, but they also give
the theological reasons for all the prohibitions in the entire chapter.
Yahweh was Israels God (11:44a). How had he demonstrated this or as their God
what had he done for them (11:45a)?

Yahweh had brought them up from the land of Egypt, rescuing them
from slavery.

He did this so that he could live among them and interact with them. How and
where would Yahweh live among them and interact with them?

Yahweh lived and interacted with Israel at the tabernacle. It was the
place of his royal residence. It was the place where he was gracious to
Israel.
.

As their God who has recued them and who lives among them, what does he
command them (11:44b, 45b)?

He commands them to be holy.

Yahweh is holy (11:44b, 45b), so he expects his people to be holy. Yet, only God
is holy. The Israelites were not holy and could not generate their own holiness. So
how could Israel be holy as God commanded? The only way that Israel could be
holy was for the one true holy God to share his holiness with them. Yahweh did
this through the peace offering in the divine service. In it Yahweh provided holy
meat for his people to eat in a sacred banquet. Because they received Yahwehs
holiness by consuming holy food, they became holy and were not allowed to

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


consume any unclean food. The same throat that swallowed holy food was not to
swallow disgusting, unclean food.
So, in fact, because of Yahwehs grace, Israel was already holy. God had made
them holy by sharing his holiness with them. They were his special people whom
he had chosen out of all the people in the world. Therefore they were to be who
they were; they were holy and were to be holy. The only way they could
consecrate themselves and be holy (11:44b, 45b) was to remain clean and come to
Yahwehs holy presence at the tabernacle and receive that holiness in the holy
meat of the peace offering. Therefore they were not to defile themselves by eating
any swarming thing that crawls on the ground (11:44c). Such things were
incompatible with Gods holiness and disqualified them of their place before
Yahweh in Israel.
The primary reason that impurity and the resulting uncleanness mattered is
because it disqualified one from coming into Gods presence at the tabernacle and
eating the sacred meal. And if they could not come before him and receive the
holy food he offered, they could not receive his holiness and the grace he offered
to them. Therefore, as we said earlier, the point of all these discussions about what
was unclean and the treatment for uncleanness was primarily religious. It involved
their relationship with Yahweh.
6. There were at least two other reasons for the prohibitions in this chapter that also
relate directly to Israels relationship with Yahweh. These reasons have been
discussed in previous lessons. (1) They couldnt eat meat from a carcass because
it had blood in it. The Israelites did not receive the life power from the blood as
the pagans believed. Instead they contracted life-diminishing impurity. (2) The
Israelites shunned anything that had to do with death and the cult of the dead.
Pagans viewed such things as a connection to the afterworld.
It may be possible that God made some of these animals off limits because they
were associated with the underworld or were associated with the ground which
received the dead. Some birds were shunned because they lived off of dead
carcasses or were used for augury. Some rodents were shunned because they were
made into idols as symbols of other deities. In the end, all these things were to be
avoided because they adversely affected their relationship with Yahweh.
7. 11:46-47 is not part of the speech, but rather summarizes its content and purpose.
Its purpose was to distinguish between unclean meat and clean meat. This was the
duty of the priests. And they also were to teach the distinction to the people.
<u>Fulfillment by Christ</u>
8. To learn about how Christ fulfilled the laws about clean and clean meat see
Lesson 29.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 29: Instruction on Clean and Unclean Meat (Part 3)
(The Fulfillment of the Clean/Unclean Laws by Christ)
Fulfillment of Lev. 11:1-40
Study
1. What did the OT the prophets promise God would do (Is. 4:4; Jer. 33:8; Eze.
36:29,33; 37:23)?

They promised that God would cleanse his people from impurity.

In doing so what would he give them (Eze. 36:25-27)?

He would give them a new heart and a new spirit. He would give them
his Holy Spirit so that they would keep his statutes and decrees.

How was this accomplished (Titus 2:14; Heb. 1:3; 9:14)?

Jesus made purification for our sins by his blood, which was shed on
the cross as an atoning sacrifice for the world.

How does he apply this purification and cleansing to people (Jn. 15:3; 1 Cor. 6:11;
Eph. 5:26; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9)?

He applies it by his Word and Baptism. When we heed his Word and
confess the truth that we are sinners and express faith in Jesus saving
work he cleanses us from all unrighteousness. The blood of Jesus his
Son cleanses us from all sin.
.
.

2. In Baptism through water and the Word Christ doesnt just cleanse the body to
enter an earthly sanctuary. What does he cleanse? And he cleanses so that we may
enter what sanctuary (Heb. 9:14; 10:19-22; Acts 15:9)?

In Baptism the benefits of Christs shed blood are applied to us,


cleansing our conscience and giving us a true heart, so that we may
enter the heavenly sanctuary through the blood of Christ, entering
through the new and living curtain which is the flesh of Christ.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In the OT two types of uncleanness that they had to avoid and be cleansed of were
eating unclean meat and touching the carcasses of dead animals (chpt. 11). The
people had to be clean in order to enter into Gods holy presence at the tabernacle
and receive his holiness in the sacred meal. In the NT what is required of
Christians for them to enter into Gods holy presence and receive his holiness in
the sacred meal (Mt. 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22)?

A pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith are required.

And these are the things that God provides through his Word and Baptism. He
gives us what we need in order to have a close relationship with him.
What did Jesus criticize the scribes and Pharisees for (Mt. 23:25-26; Lk. 11:3741)?

He criticized them for cleaning the outside but not the inside.

So Jesus demanded a much higher and comprehensive level of purity than the OT
required and that the Pharisees practiced.
3. In the OT what one ate or touched could cause uncleanness and defile a person.
But what does Jesus say defiles a person (Mt 15:11, 18, 20; Mk 7:15, 19, 20, 23)?

Jesus says, It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but
what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. But what comes
out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.
.
.
.

Because of this we recognize and confess that we are by nature sinful and
unclean (Confession in the Divine Service). This is why the heart becomes the
battleground between purity and impurity. Unclean thoughts and desires lead to
unclean acts (Mt. 15:10-20), which desecrate the Christians holiness.
This is why Baptism is not just a one-time event but the beginning of a whole new
life. Since the heart is evil and rears its ugly head each day, it must be cleansed
each day. This is only something that God can do. As Christians, each day we live
a baptismal life (which began on the day that we were baptized). In this baptismal
life God daily cleanses our sinful hearts by killing off the old sinful heart we are
born with and raising up a new heart that has the righteousness of Christ.
As a Christian we have been cleansed and have received Christs holiness in Holy
Baptism. The Christian then seeks not to desecrate Christs holiness which he now
possesses. So through the power of the Holy Spirit he seeks to live the sanctified

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


(holy) life, avoiding evil thoughts, desires and actions. In the Christian life Christ
keeps coming to his people in Word and Sacrament, building them up for the
sanctified life by giving them his holiness. He continues to give his holiness not in
the eating of clean animals that have been sacrificed, but in the eating of his holy
body in Holy Communion. He willingly sacrificed his body on the cross in order
that he might cleanse our hearts and share his holiness with us.
4. By cleansing the heart, Jesus fulfilled the laws of Lev. 11 to avoid eating unclean
meat. These laws then, like the rest of the OT, pointed forward to Jesus who
would bring cleansing once and for all at a much deeper level. Because of this in
the NT all food is now clean (Mk. 7:19). Jesus extended purity from the body to
the heart.
5. Read through Acts 10:9-15. Summarize what this says about unclean meat?

While in his trance a voice told Peter to kill and eat the meat of
unclean animals. Peter responded by saying that he has never eaten
anything common or unclean. Peter was then told that God has made
the common clean.
.
.

In the OT Israel was called by Yahweh to be his holy people. As holy people they
could only eat ritually clean meat so that they would not desecrate Gods holiness.
But as we established earlier, Jesus fulfilled the OT laws concerning unclean
meat. And therefore now food that was considered common and unclean is now to
be considered clean. God makes that same point here in this story.
Before Jesus came how did the Jews consider the Gentiles (Acts 10:28a)? And
what did God show Peter in this vision (Acts 10:28b)?

The Jews could not associate with the Gentiles. The Gentiles were
considered common and unclean. But God showed Peter that now he
makes even the Gentiles clean and holy.
.

As Christ has now made all food clean and edible, so he also makes common and
unclean people holy. Through the Gospel he is able to cleanse the hearts of
Gentiles as well as Jews. No matter whether Jew or Gentile, Christ cleanses the
heart through his Word and Baptism.
Paul also discussed clean and unclean food in Rom. 14:13-23. What food is
unclean to Paul (Rom. 14:14a, 20a)?

All food is clean.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What did the regulations of the OT, including those for clean and unclean meat,
foreshadow (Col. 2:16-17, 20-22)?

They foreshadowed the work of Christ. He fulfilled them and


superseded them.

What is it that Christ gives us through the Holy Spirit that now make us
acceptable to God (Rom 14:17-18)?

Christ gives us righteousness and peace and joy through the Holy
Spirit. This makes us acceptable to God.

We appropriate these things for ourselves through faith, which is itself a gift from
God. Having his righteousness, we can now stand before God without the fear of
desecrating Gods holiness.
6. Some of the animals that were considered unclean and therefore were off limits
for the Israelites were rodents that were commonly made into idols by the pagans.
Their meat was excluded from consumption because they were associated with
idolatry. They could not eat both meat associated with false gods and meat
associated with the one true God.
Even though, since Christ had come, all food was now considered clean and could
be eaten, there was a situation that Paul addressed where he forbid consuming
certain food. What does Paul say in 1 Cor. 10:19-21?

Even though idols are really nothing and food offered to idols is really
nothing, when people offer food to idols, they are really offering it to
demons. Therefore we should avoid food that we know has been
offered to idols because in reality it is offered to demons. And You
cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
.
.
.

So even though the food is clean, since it has been offered to demons, it should be
avoided.
7. In 2 Cor. 6:14-16 Paul contrasts the following things:
o Righteousness and lawlessness
o Light and darkness
o Christ and Belial
o A believer and an unbeliever
o The temple of God and idols

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


He asks, What partnership, what fellowship, what accord, what portion,
what agreement do these things have with each other? What answer does Paul
give in 2 Cor. 6:17? What are Christians to do with such things?

Therefore go out from their midst,


and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing.
.

These things are to be considered unclean. They are things that lead us away from
God. These things desecrate our holiness. As the holiness of God at the tabernacle
was desecrated by unclean things, so, we being the temple of the living God (2
Cor. 6:16a), desecrate our holiness by associating with such things.
Revelation 21 speaks of the new heaven and earth and the new heavenly
Jerusalem. In language reminiscent of Lev. 11, what does God warn in Rev.
21:27?

He warns that nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who
does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the
Lamb's book of life.
.

Therefore we are to shun all that is unclean and detestable that we may not be
disqualified from entering the eternal holy city. Instead we wash our robes in the
blood of the Lamb, making them pure and giving us the right to enter the eternal
city by it gates (Rev. 22:14).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 30: Impurity from Childbrith
Read Lev. 12:1-8
Outline
I. Introduction (12:1-2a)
II. Speech about the purification of a woman after childbirth (12:2b-8)
...A. The schedule for purification (12:2b-5)
......1. The schedule for a male child (12:2b-4)
......2. The schedule for a female child (12:5)
...B. The prescribed sacrifices for ritual restoration (12:6-8)
......1. The normal sacrifices (12:6-7a)
......2. Summary statement (12:7b)
......3. The sacrifice for a poor woman (12:8)
Study
1. Once again, in this short chapter, Yahweh speaks to Moses (12:1) and what he
says is again to be passed on to the Israelites (12:2a). What is it that Yahweh
speaks to Moses about (12:2b, 5a)?

Yahweh speaks to Moses about the situation of a woman conceiving


and giving birth to a child.

The first case they discuss is when a woman gives birth to a male child (12:2b).
For how long of a period of time was she unclean after giving birth to her son
(12:2c)?

She was unclean for 7 days, the same period of time as when she had
her normal menstrual period. The postnatal discharge of blood during
this period was considered the same as her normal menstrual
discharge. It rendered her unclean.
.
.

Because of the postnatal discharge during this period of time, the mother could
not engage in the normal activities of the common domain. This was because
contact with her discharge would make others ritually unclean in the common
domain and prevent them from participating in the divine service in the holy
domain of Yahweh.
Some might ask why a woman should be considered unclean when she is doing
something that comes naturally like having a baby? The answer to this question
has to do with the discharge of blood. As we have discussed in earlier lessons,
pagans associated blood with life power. This was taken to an even higher degree
when it involved blood from giving birth. This was viewed by them as an

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


extremely potent super-natural life power. So in order to cause the Israelites to
look to Yahweh as the source of life instead of a superstitious belief in the power
of blood, Yahweh made blood a source of impurity.
2. Note that what is being described in this chapter is a typical rite of passage. A rite
of passage has three stages: an initial act of separation, a transition stage, and a
final rite of reincorporation into society. This passage concentrates on the
transition (12:1-5) and on the reincorporation (12:6-8) that occurs after childbirth.
Also note that even though the mother goes through many physiological changes,
its main concern is the mothers religious status, her access to the sanctuary and
her contact with holy things.
3. What was supposed to happen on the 8th day after a male child is born (12:3)?

On the 8th day the child is to be circumcised.

Some pagans also practiced circumcision. Pagan circumcision normally took


place at puberty, turning a boy into a man fit for marriage and adult life. But God
made it a mark of the covenant with Abraham. As an infant, he became a member
of the covenant community who would pass on the seed and blessing of Abraham
to his descendants.
4. Next another period of time is described. For how long was this period and what
was the mother restricted from doing during it (12:4)?

After the original 7 day period when she was unclean, there was a 33
day period in which she was being purified. During this time she was
not allowed to touch anything holy or come into the sanctuary.
.
.

So after the original 7 day period was complete, the mother could resume her
normal activities in the common domain without worrying about making others
unclean. Yet she still could not have any contact with the sacred domain for 33
days.
During this time her ritual status was undetermined. On the one hand, she was no
longer ritually unclean because she no longer transmitted impurity through her
postnatal discharge. But on the other hand, she could not have contact with the
sacred domain.
5. Lev. 12:5 discusses the case of the birth of a daughter. How did it differ from the
birth of a son?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The period in which the mother was unclean was two weeks instead of
one week. And the indeterminate period of being clean yet unable to
contact anything in the sacred domain was 66 days instead of 33 days.
.
.

What would be the reason for having different periods of time for the birth of a
son versus a daughter? No reason is given for the different time periods for male
and female. Different reasons have been proposed. (1) It was the custom of that
time. (2) Modern scholars attribute it to inferiority of females, but this is wrong.
(3) Actually it may be that the opposite is true. The longer period may be because
the daughter was a potential mother, a seed producer and therefore more
important.
6. When the religious quarantine was over (12:6a), 40 days for a boy (7 days + 33
days) and 80 days for a girl (14 days + 66 days), it was time to readmit the mother
into the sacred domain. What was the mother to do to be readmitted (12:6b)?

She shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a
lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a
sin offering.
.

So her Readmittance would be by sacrifices. What did these sacrifices provide her
with that allowed her readmittance (12:7)?

The blood from the burnt and sin offerings provided atonement, which
cleansed her from her impurity.

So the blood of both sacrifices provided atonement and through the burnt offering
Yahweh showed that he accepted her and reinstated her as a member of the
congregation. She was once again ritually clean and had access to Gods holiness
and blessing.
7. What alternative was allowed if the mother was poor and could not afford a lamb
(12:8)?

If she were poor she could use two turtle doves or two pigeons instead.
One was used for the burnt offering and one was used for the sin
offering. From these two sacrifices she would be atoned for and she
would once again be ritually clean.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


8. The use of this rite of passage did several things.
o It connected the life of the mother to the divine service.
o It prevented the mother from becoming involved in the pagan practice of
looking to receive cosmic life powers from blood.
o It recognized her as the seed bearer.
o It connected her vocation as mother with her call to holiness.
o It incorporated the menstrual and reproductive cycle of a mother with the
liturgical calendar.
<u>Fulfillment by Christ</u>
9. In 12:2, the ESV has If a woman conceives. Dr. Kleinig translates it as When a
woman produces seed. Seed is a classic translation which is used often in
Genesis. What was the Seed (or Offspring) which was promised going to do in
Gen. 3:15 KJV?

He would crush the head of the serpent.

What did Yahweh promise the patriarchs that the Seed would do (Gen. 22:18;
26:4; 28:14 KJV)?

The Seed would be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.

The apostle Paul writes about the fulfillment of the Seed (or Offspring). Who is
the Seed (Gal. 3:16 KJV)?

Obviously Christ is the Seed who crushed the serpent and is a blessing
to the whole world.

And therefore those who are in Christ, that is, have faith in Christ, are Abrahams
seed. They are heirs of the promise (Gal. 3:28-29). They are blessed.
The promised Seed came, died, was planted in the tomb, came to life (the
resurrection), and produced many more seeds (by the proclamation of the
Gospel). Those seeds continue to be produced to this day and will continue until
the End. Said another way, the promised Seed came and received the promised
inheritance. He then shares his inheritance with those who believe and trust in
him, thereby becoming a blessing to the world.
10. 12:3 says that a male child shall be circumcised on the 8th day. What the purpose
of circumcision (Gen. 17:11-12)?

Circumcision was a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham.

What happened to Jesus in Luke 2:21?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

On the 8th day Jesus was circumcised.

When this happened Jesus was keeping the law of 12:3. And as he kept this law,
so he also kept the whole law perfectly. And as the Son of Man, Jesus represents
all humanity. Therefore in his circumcision, all people were circumcised once and
for all. Through his circumcision he entered into the covenant with Abraham and
received its promised blessings. He then shares those blessings with all those who
believe and trust in him.
11. Christ has replaced circumcision with a new kind of circumcision. In this
circumcision instead of the foreskin being cut off, the body of the flesh is cut
off. This is the work of God the Father. When does he do this circumcision (Col.
2:11-12)?

This circumcision happens in our Baptism. In it the sinful flesh is


crucified and a new person is raised to life through faith.

What does this circumcision enable us to do (Phil. 3:3)?

The circumcised worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ


Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. It enables us to enter into
and participate in the Divine Service where we participate in true
worship. Faith is the highest form of worship. The Holy Spirit causes
the circumcised to receive Gods precious gifts by faith and to put
our full trust in Jesus.
.
.
.
.

12. Lev. 12:4-8 describes a period of purification for the mother after giving birth. An
example of this is given in the NT. Given the context, who went through the
period of purification in Luke 2:22-24?

Mary did after the birth of Jesus.

After the time for purification had passed, Mary went to the temple to do what
(Lk 2:24)? What law was she obeying (Lev. 12:8)?

She went to offer a sacrifice for her readmittance to the divine service
as was required by Lev. 12:8. According to the law, after waiting the
prescribed number of days, she was to offer a sacrifice for her
purification.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
What law is given in Ex. 13:12a?

Every firstborn male was to be set apart to Yahweh.

What were they to do for each firstborn male (Ex. 13:13b; Num. 18:15-16)?

They were to redeem him. They were to pay 5 shekels of silver or 20


gerahs.

When they came to Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice for Marys purification, what
else did Mary and Joseph do (Lk. 2:22b-23)?

They brought baby Jesus to present him to the Lord since he was their
firstborn son. They fulfilled the OT requirement of consecrating the
firstborn son to Yahweh.
.

Notice that no mention is made of Mary and Joseph paying the redemption price
for Jesus, their firstborn. When the firstborn was redeemed he belonged to God
and was devoted to serve him. Why was this redemption not necessary for Jesus
(Lk. 1:35)?

He was already the Son of God and was completely devoted to doing
Gods will.

So Luke very deliberately tied together Marys purification with Jesus


consecration. In doing so he showed that ultimately the purification sacrifices of
Mary pointed forward to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross where Jesus carried
out Gods will to save the world. In fact his sacrifice purifies all the saints. And
the purification that he provides is not just for Mary and us to enter into the
earthly sanctuary and the OT divine service. He purifies us so that we may enter
the heavenly sanctuary and participate in the heavenly Divine Service.
13. The church commemorates the circumcision of Jesus on New Years Day, the
eighth day after the birth of Jesus. On that day the church prays for the true
circumcision of the heart that God performs. This circumcision cuts away the
sinful desires and lusts of the heart.
The church celebrates the purification of Mary on the same day that it celebrates
the presentation of our Lord - on February 2. This is 40 days after the birth of
Christ. We pray that as the mother was purified and then presented as clean at the
temple, so we too may be purified and presented to God with clean hearts.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 31: The Diagnosis of Impurity from Skin Diseases (Part 1)
Read Lev. 13:1-46
Outline
I. Introduction: Gods address to Moses and Aaron (13:1)
II. Speech about their diagnosis of infected skin and clothing (13:2-59)
...A. Seven cases of clean skin disease (12:2-46)
......1. Diagnosis of a person with suspected skin disease (13:2-8)
.........a. Presentation of person with symptoms to a priest (13:2)
.........b. Initial diagnosis (13:3-4)
.........c. Subsequent examination and further quarantine with a negative diagnosis (13:5)
.........d. Final examination and certification of quarantined person (13:6)
.........e. Diagnosis of person with subsequent infection (13:7-8)
......2. Diagnosis of a person with skin disease (13:9-17)
.........a. Presentation of infected person to a priest (13:9)
.........b. Initial diagnosis (13:10-13)
.........c. Diagnosis of person with subsequent infection (13:14-15)
.........d. Diagnosis of unclean person with subsequent change of symptoms (13:16-17)
......3. Diagnosis of infected boils for possible skin disease (13:18-23)
.........a. Presentation of person with infected boil to a priest (13:18-19)
.........b. Initial diagnosis (13:20-21)
.........c. Subsequent diagnosis of quarantined person (13:22-23)
......4. Diagnosis of infected burns for possible skin disease (13:24-28)
.........a. Initial diagnosis by a priest (13:24-26)
.........b. Subsequent diagnosis of quarantined person (13:27-28)
......5. Diagnosis of head rash for possible skin disease (13:29-37)
.........a. Initial diagnosis by a priest (13:29-31)
.........b. Subsequent examination of quarantined person (13:32-33)
.........c. Final diagnosis of quarantined person (13:34)
.........d. Diagnosis of person with subsequent infection (13:35-370
......6. Diagnosis of skin patches for possible skin infection (13:38-39)
.........a. Description of symptoms (13:38)
.........b. Certification of purity by priest after a negative diagnosis (13:39)
......7. Diagnosis of hair loss for possible skin disease (13:40-46)
.........a. Two cases of clean baldness (13:40-41)
.........b. Diagnosis of unclean baldness ((13:42-44)
.........c. Restrictions for an unclean skin-diseased person (13:45-46)
---------B. Diagnosis and treatment of moldy clothing (13:47-59)
Study
1. In chapter 13 we continue our study of determining what is clean and unclean.
Remember that the purpose for making this determination is religious. In order to
go to Yahwehs holy residence (the tabernacle), to enter it and stand before him,
and to receive his gracious gifts, the Israelites had to be clean. If they were

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


unclean, they were either temporarily or permanently barred from his presence.
Therefore all of the strange laws in this chapter have to do with whether the
Israelites could participate in the divine service or not.
The divine speech in this chapter was given to Moses and Aaron (13:1). Aaron
was included because it was the job of the priests to diagnose skin infections to
determine if a person was clean or unclean. In the first part of the speech (13:146) God instructs them on how to determine if a skin disease makes a person
unclean. Yahweh instructs them using seven different instructions.
2. Instruction 1- Diagnosis of Suspected Skin Disease (13:2-8)
What kind of symptoms would cause an Israelite to be taken to a priest to be
examined (13:2)?

When the skin swelled, had an eruption, or had a spot on it, they were
to be taken to the priest to be examined.

Note that what the ESV translates as leprous disease actually stands for several
different kinds of skin diseases.
The priest then examined the skin disease (13:3a). The person was declared by the
priest as unclean (13:3c) if he observed what two things (13:3b)?

If the hair turned white (dead) and the infection was deep (below the
skin causing the loss of flesh) the person was declared unclean by the
priest.

But if these criteria were not met, what did the priest do (13:4-6a)?

13:4- The priest quarantined the infected person for 7 days.

13:5- After 7 days, the priest reexamined the infection. If the infection
had not spread, he quarantined the infected person for another 7 days.

13:6- After the second 7 day quarantine period, the priest reexamined
the infection. If the infection looked better, he declared the person
clean.

Once declared clean, what did the person with the infection do (13:6b)?

He washed his clothes and was then considered clean.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What happened if the infection had spread after he had been cleansed (13:7-8)?

13:7- He had to appear before the priest again.

13:8- The priest examined him one more time. If the infection continued to
spread, the priest pronounced the person as unclean, that he officially had
a leprous disease or a scaly skin disease (Kleinig).
.

3. Most of the material in 13:1-46 is presented in 5 main steps of diagnosis: (1)


statement of symptoms, (2) examination by priest, (3) identification of symptoms,
(4) certification of disease, and (5) declaration of ritual status.
Note that most skin infections did not make a person ritually unclean. Only one
class of skin infection did. And it was classified as a scaly skin disease or a
leprous disease. What these kinds of infections had in common was that the
infection ate away at the flesh of the body or at the fabric of clothing. So it killed
the flesh beneath the infection and made it decay. It was the mark of death. It had
an impurity like that of a corpse. Secondary symptoms used to identify it were the
death of the hair and loss of flesh.
4. Instruction 2 Certification of a Person with Skin Disease (13:9-17)
As in the previous case, the priest examined the infection (13:9-10a). If there is a
white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in
the swelling, it is a chronic leprous disease in the skin of his body (13:10b-11a).
In this case no quarantine period was necessary. It was obvious that this was a
leprous disease. So after the priest certified this, he declared the person ritually
unclean (13:11b).
What situation is described in 13:12-13a?

Here the priest sees that the skin disease has spread all over the body.

If it had all turned white, what did the priest declare the person to be (13:13b)?

He declared the person to be clean.

Apparently since the disease was not eating away at the flesh, showing the sign of
death, it was not considered unclean.
Under what circumstances was a person always considered unclean (13:14-15)?

Whenever there was raw flesh, the priest examined the person, certified
that it was a scaly skin disease, and classified him as unclean.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Under what circumstances could a person who had a scaly skin disease and had
been declared unclean, be declared clean again (13:16-17)?

If the infection got better and the skin returned to normal the priest would
examine him and declare him to be clean because he was clean again.

So instruction 2 is similar to instruction 1 in that if the infection is eating away at


the flesh and destroying the flesh the person is unclean, otherwise he is clean.
5. Instruction 3 Diagnosis of Infection from Boils (13:18-23)
What does the third case involve (13:18-19)?

It involves a case where white swelling or a reddish-white spot develops in


the same place where there had been a boil that had healed. This required
that a priest look at.

He was declared unclean as having a leprous skin disease if the priest observed
what two symptoms (13:20)?

If it appeared deeper than the skin and its hair had turned white. These
were the normal symptoms that the priest looked for (13:4).

But if the priest did not observe these two symptoms, he quarantined the person
for 7 days (13:21). If after this period of time the skin disease spread the priest
declared him unclean (13:22). But if it did not spread then the priest declared him
clean (13:23).
So instruction 3 is similar to instructions 1 and 2 in that if the infection is eating
away at the flesh and destroying the flesh the person is unclean, otherwise he is
clean.
6. Instruction 4 Diagnosis of Sores from Burns (13:24-28)
The fourth case is very similar to the third case. The only difference is this
infection is related to a burn rather than a boil. If white swelling or a reddishwhite spot develops where the burn was, it was required that a priest look at it
(13:24-25a). If it had the two normal symptoms of a scaly skin disease, the priest
declared him to be unclean (13:25b). If on the hand, the priest did not observe the
two normal symptoms and the spot had faded, he quarantined the person for up to
7 days (13:26). On the seventh day, if the disease had spread, the priest declared

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


him as having a scaly skin disease and as unclean (13:27). But if it had not spread
and had gotten better, he was declared to be clean (13:28).
Again, the same basic pattern was followed as in the previous cases.
7. Instruction 5 Diagnosis of an Infection on the Head or Jaw (13:29-37)
What does this case cover (13:29)?

This case covers when a man or woman has a disease on the head or the
beard.

In this case the priest examined the infected area. If he saw the normal two
symptoms of a deep infection and hair in the affected area that had turned yellow
and had become thin, he declared the person to be unclean (13:30). But if he did
not observe these two criteria, he quarantined the person for 7 days (13:31). If
after 7 days the priest observed that the infection had not spread, that it had no
yellow hair in it, and that it did not look any deeper than the skin (13:32), what
happened (13:33)?

The person had the area around the infection shaved. The infection itself
was not shaved. Then the priest quarantined the person for 7 more days.

The priest reexamined the person after the quarantine period. If the infection had
not spread or gotten worse, the priest declared the person clean and the person
washed his clothes and was clean (13:34). But if after his cleansing, the person
thought that the infection was spreading again and the priest examined it and saw
that it was, the priest declared him unclean (13:35-36). But if the priest thought it
was unchanged and that healthy black hair was growing, he declared the person
clean (13:37).
8. Instruction 6 Diagnosis of Skin Patches on the Body (13:38-39)
When was a person supposed to go to a priest to be examined in this case (13:3839a)?

If a person had white spots on his body he went to the priest for
examination.

If the spots were a dull white color, it was a known disease that was not leprous
and therefore the person was considered clean (13:39).
9. Instruction 7 Diagnosis If Hair Loss is Caused by Skin Disease (13:40-46)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


If a man loses hair from the crown of his head or from his forehead, what is the
person and what was his ritual status (13:40-41)?

The man is just bald and is ritually clean.

If a reddish-white spot broke out on a persons bald spot, he was required to go to


the priest to have it examined (13:42-43a). If the priest examined it and
determined that it did look like a leprous disease on the bald spot (13:43b), what
was the man and what was his status (13:44a)?

He is a leprous man, he is unclean.

What does it emphatically say that the priest was required to do in this case and
why (13:44b)?

The priest must pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head.

This last case is somewhat different than the previous cases. In the previous cases
the person had a scaly skin disease and was pronounced unclean by the priest. In
this case the man not only had a leprous disease and was declared unclean, but he
was a leprous man or he was skin diseased man. His whole person became
associated with his disease. This is because the head represents the whole body.
And when the head had a leprous disease, he had the mark of death on him.
What was a person with a leprous disease upon his head required to do (13:45a)?

He was required to wear torn clothes and wear his hair all messed up.

In another part of Leviticus what were these signs of (10:1-6, esp. v. 6)?

These things were signs of mourning for the dead.

This was required because they were dying a slow death as a result of the kind of
disease that they had. What else were they required to do (13:45b)?

When someone approached them, they were required to cover their mouth
with their hand and they were required to cry out, Unclean, unclean in
order to let people know of their sickness.

As long as a person had this scaly skin disease on his head he was unclean
(13:46a). He could not approach Yahwehs holy presence at the sanctuary and eat
the holy food that Yahweh offered. What else was required of such unclean people
(13:46b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

He was required to live alone outside the camp, away from his family and
friends.

In this case, the person with the skin disease was not only prevented from
participating in the holy meals that Yahweh offered, he was also prevented from
participating in common meals with his kinfolk.
Such requirements for people who have this type of skin disease may seem rather
harsh to us today. But we must remember a couple of things. First, there was no
cure for this type of skin disease. When one acquired such a disease it meant
almost certain death. And this type of disease may have been contagious, so such
restrictions protected the larger community from a mass outbreak and death toll.
Second, in Leviticus a persons head carried special significance. It represents the
whole person. This can be seen looking at the high priest. The high priest:
o Had his head anointed with oil (8:12; 21:10).
o Wore a turban with the holy plate on his head (8:9).
o Was not allowed to dishevel his hair in mourning (10:6; 21:10).
Also note that when a person with a leprous skin disease recovered from the
disease, he had oil placed upon his head (14:18, 29). And when someone heard a
person blaspheme God, he was required to lay his hand upon the blasphemers
head (24:14). These cases show that the head was an important symbol of whole
person.
10. In summary then, these seven instructions had to do with certifying a skin disease
as either clean or unclean. The criteria for the diagnosis are carefully laid out. The
original primary symptoms vary but there are five secondary symptoms that
confirm the presence of defiling skin disease. They are:
o Change of skin color from the normal pink-white
o Change of hair color from dark to white or yellow
o Damage to the tissue beneath the skin in the infected area
o Spread of the infected area
o Ulceration of the skin in discolored area
If the priest observed these symptoms he was required to declare the person
ritually unclean and that person could not appear at the tabernacle and participate
in the divine service.
<u> Fulfillment by Christ </u>
11. Chapter 14 covers the purification of a person who had skin disease. Therefore the
fulfillment of the skin disease laws will be covered at the end of that chapter, in
Lesson 34.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 32: The Diagnosis of Impurity from Skin Diseases (Part 2)
(The Diagnosis of Diseased Clothing)
Read Lev. 13:47-59
Outline
I. Introduction: Gods address to Moses and Aaron (13:1)
II. Speech about their diagnosis of infected skin and clothing (13:2-59)
...A. Seven cases of clean skin disease (12:2-46)
......1. Diagnosis of a person with suspected skin disease (13:2-8)
......2. Diagnosis of a person with skin disease (13:9-17)
......3. Diagnosis of infected boils for possible skin disease (13:18-23)
......4. Diagnosis of infected burns for possible skin disease (13:24-28)
......5. Diagnosis of head rash for possible skin disease (13:29-37)
......6. Diagnosis of skin patches for possible skin infection (13:38-39)
......7. Diagnosis of hair loss for possible skin disease (13:40-46)
---------...B. Diagnosis and treatment of moldy clothing (13:47-59)
......1. The presentation of moldy clothing to a priest (13:47-49)
......2. Their initial examination and quarantine by the priest (13:50)
......3. The diagnosis and treatment of quarantined clothing (13:51-58)
.........a. Positive diagnosis (13:51-52)
.........b. Negative diagnosis (13:53-58)
......4. Concluding subscript (13:59)
Study
1. The first part of chapter 13 dealt with special types of skin diseases that made
people unclean (13:1-46, see Lesson 31). In the second part of the speech (13:4759) Yahweh instructs them on how to diagnose and treat fungus in clothing. One
might expect this to be treated later in Leviticus when Yahweh speaks about
fungus in homes (14:33-57). But it is treated here because clothing is so closely
associated with skin. In fact you might say that clothing is like a second skin for
the human body.
Procedure for Diagnosis and Treatment of an Infection in Clothing
2. Note the term used in 13:47a that speaks of clothing being infected with mold
or fungus. What is the term used? Does this sound familiar?

The clothing is described as being infected by a leprous disease just like


the skin was.

What types of garments were included (13:47b-48)?

It refers to all types, whether woolen or linen or skin (leather).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What criteria was used to determine if it was a leprous disease (13:49)?

It was determined to be a leprous disease (mold or mildew) if it was


greenish or reddish in color.

If mold or mildew was found on clothing, it had to be taken to the priest to be


examined (13:49b). After the priest examined the infected clothing, what did he
do with the clothing (13:50-51a)?

He quarantined the infected clothing for 7 days and then reexamined it on


the 7th day.

If the disease had spread, what did the priest determine about the clothing and
do with the clothing (13:51b-52)?

When the priest saw that the mold had spread, he determined that it was a
persistent leprous disease no matter what type of clothing it was on.
Therefore the clothing was unclean. There was nothing they could do to
stop the mold from spreading, so the priest was required to burn the
diseased clothing.
.
.
.

What happened if the mold had not spread after the 7 day quarantine period
(13:53-54)?

The priest had the owner wash the infected clothing and then the priest put
the clothing into quarantine for another 7 days.

The priest reexamined the infected clothing after the second 7 day quarantine
period. If the mold got worse or stayed the same, he pronounced it unclean and
the clothing was burned (13:55). On the other hand, if the priest found that the
mold on the laundered clothing had faded over the 7 days, he tore out the diseased
area of the garment (13:56). What happened if, after tearing out the diseased area,
the mold came back on the garment and spread (13:57)?

The garment was unclean and was burned. It could not be purified.

What had to be done to a piece of clothing that had been cleansed of its disease
before it was considered clean again (13:58)?

The garment was washed a second time and it was then considered clean.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


That then concludes the law for a case of leprous disease in a garment of any
type to determine whether it is clean or unclean (13:59).
3. The clothing worn by the Israelites was common clothing. Common clothing
could be clean or unclean. It had to be clean to engage in normal common
activities in the community and it had to be clean to enter the sanctuary. What
happened to the common clean clothing in Lev. 8:30? What did its status become?

The common clean garments of Aaron and his sons were sprinkled with
holy anointing oil and blood. This made their garments holy.

On the other hand, common garments could become unclean when they came into
contact with any number of things, such as a carcass, genital discharge, menstrual
blood, etc. Normally washing the unclean clothing was enough to purify it and
make it clean again. But they might remain unclean if a persistent mold could not
be removed. In this case the garment had to be destroyed. In a religious context, it
was important that the garments of the Israelites be clean so that they could enter
the holy precincts of the sanctuary without desecrating it.
<u> Fulfillment by Christ </u>
4. The fulfillment of the laws of skin disease is covered in the lessons for Lev. 14.
So here we will look only at the fulfillment of infected clothing.
In the OT, purity of clothing went along with purity of the body. Being clean gave
a person access to the sanctuary and to the holy food that came from Yahwehs
table. However, greater purity is required in the NT in order to access the
heavenly sanctuary and the holy food that God provides. In reality, how pure are
people (Rom. 3:23)?

All people have sinned and fall short of what God requires.

The reason for this is that all people come into this world clothed with the
flesh. How would you classify the desires and works of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-24)?

The desires of the flesh are evil. They go against the desires of the Holy
Spirit. The works of the flesh are all kinds of sin and evil.

All people by nature are clothed with the sinful, dying flesh and therefore are
unclean and cannot enter into Gods holy presence in the heavenly sanctuary or
receive his holy gifts.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. But in the Sons incarnation, Jesus took on our sin-infected humanity in order to
cloth us with his own sinless and pure humanity. What happens to our sinful flesh
in Baptism (Col. 2:11-12; 3:9)?

In Baptism the sinful flesh is put off. In Baptism the sinful flesh is
removed like a piece of dirty clothing.

What new garment are we clothed in in Baptism (Gal. 3:27; Col. 3:9-10)?

In Baptism, after the sinful flesh is put off, we are clothed in a new
garment and that garment is Christ.

In Baptism the old sinful, unclean garment is removed and a new pure and clean
garment is put on. In Baptism God kills off the old sinful self and creates a new
self, one that is like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). In
Baptism God works faith in Christ in us.
Since we are now clothed in Christ and have his righteousness and holiness, what
do we now have access to (Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:18)?

We now have access to God the Father in his heavenly sanctuary. We have
access to his gracious gifts.

This access to the Father is explained in the parable of the wedding banquet (Mt.
22:1-14). In it, after those invited fail to come (Mt. 22:1-8), the good and bad are
invited to the wedding feast (Mt. 22:9-10). What is the only requirement for those
attending and eating the feast at the kings table (Mt. 22:11-12)?

The only requirement is to wear the wedding garment provided by the


king.

This garment is Christ and his righteousness. Anyone who will not accept Christ
and his saving work is cast out of the Fathers presence (Mt. 22:13-14).
6. In the latter part of each of Pauls letters, he normally tells about how Christians
should live. As people who have been clothed with the holiness of Christ, what
are we required to do?

Eph. 4:22, 24- We are required to put off your old self, which belongs to
your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and
to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true
righteousness and holiness.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.

Rom. 13:14- We are required to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make
no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Col. 3:12-14- We are required to put on the virtues of Christ, forgiving


one another as we have been forgiven. And above all put on love.

The response of Christians to being justified by God is to live the baptismal life.
Our new life began at our Baptism with God killing off the old sinful self and
raising up a new self. The new life we have been given continues this pattern.
While in this world we are at the same time sinners and saints. Therefore each day
the sinful flesh must be put off and the righteousness of Christ and his perfect
virtues must be put on. We are to be who we are. We are holy in Gods sight,
therefore we are to be holy.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 33: Purification of the Skin-Diseased (Part 1)
(Preliminary purification rite for a skin-diseased person.)
Read Lev. 14:1-9
Outline
I. Gods address to Moses (14:1)
II. Speech about purification of a person from skin disease (14:2-32)
A. Heading (14:2a)
B. Preliminary rite for admission to the community (14:2b-8)
1. Exam by priest and preparation of animals and material for the rite (2b-4)
2. Preliminary rite of purification (5-8)
a. Slaughter of one bird over a pot with fresh water (5)
b. Sprinkling of the person by priest with blood from that bird (6-7a)
c. Release of other blood-stained bird (7b)
d. Laundering of clothes, shaving, bathing for purification (8a)
e. Readmission to camp but not into the tent for 7 days (8b)
-------------- C. Main rite for the readmission to the sanctuary (14:9-31)
1. The Normal rite (9-20)
2. The alternative rite for poor a person (21-31)
D. Summary subscript (32)
Study
1. There are two main parts to the speech for the purification of a skin-diseased
person: the preliminary rite for readmission to the community (14:2b-8) and the
main rite for the readmission to the congregation (14:9-31). In this lesson we will
look at the preliminary rite.
2. In these verses Yahweh speaks to Moses (14:1). What does he speak to Moses
about (14:2a)?

Yahweh instructs Moses on how a leprous person or a skin-diseased


person is purified or cleansed.

Why was this instruction given only to Moses and not to Aaron too since it had to
do with making a person clean who had been unclean? The reason for this is that
it dealt with the sacrificial ritual for purification. Previous instructions concerning
the divine service, the sacrificial system, were given to Moses. If it was
instruction on the distinction between impurity and purity then Aaron would have
been addressed also. (The instructions for distinguishing whether a skin disease
was clean or unclean were given in chapter 13.)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


3. The skin-diseased person lived outside of camp. So to begin the purification
process the priest went outside of camp and met with the skin-diseased person and
examined the place where the infection was (14:2b-3a). If the infected area had
healed (14:3b) what did the priest command be brought to the skin-diseased
person which would be used in the first phase of his purification (14:4)?

Two live clean birds and cedarwood and scarlet yarn and hyssop were to
be taken to the person who was to be cleansed.

What did the priest command be done with one of the wild birds (14:5)?

One of the birds was to be killed in an earthenware vessel over fresh


water.

Having grown up on a farm where we grew chickens and butchered them for
meat, I can surmise why the bird was killed in a pot. A chicken is usually killed by
either cutting off the head or by wringing its neck. When this happens the nerves
of the chicken cause it to flop around for a minute. When this happens blood
splatters on anything that is close to the bird. The pot would prevent this from
happening. This then relates to our next question.
The first bird was killed to provide one main material for the ritual. What was it
(14:6)?

The main material the first bird supplied was blood.

What was in the pot that the first bird was killed in (14:5b, 6b)?

The ESV says it had fresh water in it.

The Hebrew word for this literally means living water. This refers to water from
a stream of running water or a spring. When one had flocks and moved them from
one area to another to graze, one of the most important things to find was a source
of fresh water. Water literally provided life. Hence, it was living water.
What was the blood and water used for (14:6)?

the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop ... and the live bird
were dipped in the blood/water mixture.

So when the bird was killed in the pot, its blood, which was the main material
needed, mixed with the living water. The priest then dipped the cedarwood and
the scarlet yarn and the hyssop ... and the live bird in the blood/water mixture.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What was the cedarwood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop used for? Actually its not all
that mysterious. Hyssop branches were tied to a cedar branch with the yarn to
make a brush. What then was the brush used for after it had been dipped in the
blood/water mixture (14:7a)?

It was used to sprinkle the blood/water mixture on the person to be


cleansed 7 times.

Given what you know about how blood was used in many of the sacrifices and
given Heb. 9:22, what was the purpose of this sprinkling of blood?

Blood from many sacrifices was used to make atonement. Blood covered
over the sins of the people. In doing so, it cleansed and purified the
people.
.

Here too it served a similar purpose. Like in most other cases, the blood here was
used as part of the purification process. After the sprinkling, what did the priest
declare and do (14:7b)?

He declared the skin-diseased person clean and then let the living bird that
had been dipped in blood free to return to the open field, its natural
habitat.
.

This act provided visual symbolism of what was about to happen to the formerly
skin-diseased person. What did it symbolize (see 14:8b)?

The person who was sprinkled with blood and pronounced clean was
about to be, like the second bird, set free to return to his natural habitat,
the community and camp of Israel.
.

The final step to be taken before he would be allowed to return to the community
was that the formerly skin-diseased person had to wash his clothes and shave off
all his hair and bathe himself in water (14:8a).
4. After that he was clean and could live inside the camp, but not yet with his family.
He lived this way for 7 days (14:8b). The 7 days were a transition period. And on
the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his
eyebrows ... and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water
(14:9). And for a second time it says he was clean. The first part of the
purification process made him clean enough that he was able to enter the camp.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


After the transition period and the cleansing actions taken, he was now ritually
clean, able to come before Yahweh at his holy sanctuary.
This procedure reinstated a person into the community and back into the location
of Gods presence. Therefore location played an important part of this rite. The
first part of this procedure starts out with the priest going to the skin-diseased
person outside the camp. In the next stage, the person being purified is allowed to
enter the camp, but is not allowed to enter his home with his family or go to the
tabernacle. After a transition period of a week, he is allowed to come to the
entrance of the tabernacle before the Lord. After that the priest then performed the
sacred ceremony at the altar before Yahweh. The movement from outside the
camp to inside the camp to the presence of God visibly showed and confirmed his
change of status to everyone. Soon the one who was unclean and lived outside the
presence of God and the community would be fully readmitted to the community
and Gods holy presence.
5. Next will come the main rite for the readmission of the formerly skin-diseased
person to the divine service at the holy sanctuary (14:10-20, 21-32). This will be
covered in the next lesson.
<u> Fulfillment by Christ </u>
6. For how Jesus fulfilled these purification rites, see Lesson 35.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 34: Purification of the Skin-Diseased (Part 2)
(Main purification rite for a skin-diseased person.)
Read Lev. 14:10-32
Outline
I. Gods address to Moses (14:1)
II. Speech about purification of a person from skin disease (14:2-32)
...A Heading (14:2a)
...B Preliminary rite for admission to the community (14:2b-8)
---------...C Main rite for the readmission to the sanctuary (14:9-31)
......1. The Normal rite (9-20)
.........a. Prepare by shaving, laundering, and bathing on the 7th day (9)
.........b. Prepare animals and material on the 8th day (10)
.........c. Location of the person and his offerings in the prescribed place (11)
.........d. Enactment of reparation offering (12-18)
............1. Dedication of lamb and oil by the priest (12)
............2.Slaughter of lamb at the right place (13)
............3. Application of the blood by the priest to the person (14)
............4. Application of oil on the person (15-18a)
............5. Performance by priest of the rite for atonement (18b)
.........e. Enactment of the sin offering (19a)
.........f. Enactment of the burnt offering with the grain offering (19b-20a)
.........g. Declaration of ritual purity from combined rites of atonement (20b)
......2. The alternative rite for poor a person (21-31)
.........a. Preparation and presentation of alternate animals and materials (21-23)
.........b. Enactment of the reparation offering (24-29)
............1. Dedication of the lamb and the oil by the priest (24)
............2. Application of the blood by the priest (25)
............3. Application of oil by the priest (26-29)
.........c. Enactment of the sin offering and burnt offering (30-31a)
.........d. Declaration of ritual purity from combined rites of atonement (31b)
D. Summary subscript (32)
Study
1. In the previous lesson we discussed the preliminary rites for the purification of a
skin-diseased person (14:1-9). This lesson will cover the main rite (14:10-32).
First lets take a look at the overall structure of the main rite. The main rite is
subdivided into two parallel sections: the normal rite (14:10-20) and the modified
rite for a poor person (14:21-31). Both of the two sections are carefully crafted
into chiasms. The first section (14:10-20) revolves around these words:

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


A 14:11-12 priest, purification/purify/clean
...B 14:12b-13 oil, before the Lord, sin offering, burnt offering
......C 14:14a the blood of the reparation offering
.........D 14:14b identical material as 14:17b
............E 14:15 oil, palm
...............F 14:16 oil, palm, before the Lord
............E 14:17a oil, palm
.........D 14:17b identical material as 14:14b
......C 14:17c the blood of the reparation offering
...B 14:18-20a oil, before the Lord, sin offering, burnt offering
A 14:20b priest, purification/purify/clean
This chiastic arrangement highlights:
The anointing with oil (B, E, F, E, B),
The application of blood from the reparation offering (C, D, D, C), and
The purification of a person before the Lord (A, B, B, A).
The second section (14:21-31) revolves around the following words:
A 14:21a means are insufficient
...B 14:21b-23 make atonement, grain offering, turtle-doves, pigeons,
..........within his means, sin offering, burnt offering, priest, before the Lord
......C 14:24 priest, oil, before the Lord
.........D 14:25a the blood of the reparation offering
............E 14:25b almost all the same material as 14:28b
...............F 14:26 priest, some of the oil, on the palm/from his palm
..................G 14:27 some of the oil from his palm, before the Lord, priest,
...............F 14:28a priest, some of the oil, on the palm/from his palm
............E 14:28b almost all the same material as 14:25b
.........D 14:28c the blood of the reparation offering
......C 14:29 priest, oil, before the Lord
...B 14:30-31 make atonement, grain offering, turtle-doves, pigeons,
..........within his means, sin offering, burnt offering, priest, before the Lord
A 14:32 means are insufficient
This arrangement emphasizes the same things as the first section with the addition of the
means of a poor person (A, A) and atonement (B, B)
2. The two sections of the main rite (14:10-20, 21-31) essentially parallel each other
with the exception of the some of the materials used for the offerings. These rites
occurred on the 8th day (14:10a, 23a). List materials required for the offerings
given in 14:10.

Two male lambs without blemish, and .

One ewe lamb a year old without blemish, and .

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

A grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil,
and .

One log of oil.

Now list the materials required for the offerings for a poor person (14:21a) given
in 14:21-22.

One male lamb for a guilt offering to be waved, to make atonement for
him, and.

A tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and .

A log of oil;.

Also two turtledoves or two pigeons, whichever he can afford. The one
shall be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering.

What are the differences?

In the normal offerings, 3 lambs were used. In the offerings for the poor
one lamb was used along with 2 birds.

In the normal offerings, three tenths of an ephah of fine flour was used. In
the offerings for the poor only 1 ephah of fine flour was used.

3. After the person who was to be cleansed gathered the materials needed for his
cleansing, what happened (14:11, 23b)?

He brought the things necessary for the sacrifices to the tabernacle. The
priest then set the man who is to be cleansed and these things before the
LORD, at the entrance of the tent of meeting (14:11).
.

What did the priest then do (14:12, 24)?

The priest then took one of the male lambs and the oil and raised them as
an elevation offering to Yahweh.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


By doing this he transferred them from the human domain to the divine domain.
They became Yahwehs possession.
Next the priest killed the lamb for the guilt/reparation offering inside the
sanctuary before Yahweh (14:13a, 25a). It is noted that the guilt/reparation
offering is most holy and therefore belongs to the priest (14:13b). What did the
priest do with some of the blood from the guilt/reparation offering (14:14, 25b)?

He put it on the right earlobe, right thumb, and right big toe of the person
being purified.

Normally in the reparation offering blood was placed on the altar to free a person
from the guilt of actual or suspected sacrilege, but in this case before this
happened blood was applied to the person being cleansed. The purpose for this
was so that his ears were cleansed to hear Gods holy word, his hands were
cleansed to touch the holy meat that Yahweh provided, and his feet were cleansed
to stand on holy ground.
4. Next came a special rite performed using the olive oil (14:15-18a, 26-29). What
did the priest do with the oil (14:15-16, 26-27)?

The priest poured some of the oil on his left palm. He dipped his finger in
the oil and sprinkled it 7 times before Yahweh.
.

Seven is the biblical number for completion and perfection. Therefore this
sprinkling completely and perfectly consecrated the oil for Yahwehs use. What
did the priest do with the oil next (14:17, 28)?

The priest took some of the remaining oil on his left hand and smeared it
on top of the blood from the guilt/reparation offering on the right ear,
thumb, and big toe on the person being cleansed.
.
.

In doing so Yahweh made him fit and empowered him to hear Gods holy Word,
to touch the holy meat from the peace offerings, and to stand on holy ground
without worry. What did the priest do with the rest of the oil in his left hand
(14:18a, 29)?

The rest of the oil he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed.

By placing the rest of the oil on the head where the leprous disease used to exist,
the priest showed that the mark of death was gone and that his status had been
fully restored and that he was now welcome as a guest at Yahwehs table.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. After the special rites for the oil had finished, the normal rite for the
guilt/reparation offering picked back up where it left off and the priest made
atonement with the blood from the guilt/reparation offering (14:18b, 29b). Then
the priest made a sin offering, a burnt offering, and a grain offering for the person
being cleansed (14:19-20a, 30-31a). These offerings were made in order to make
atonement and when they were completed, the person was considered clean and
was restored to his normal place in the community. This ends Yahwehs
instruction on the purification of a skin-diseased person, both the normal rite and
the rite for the poor person (14:32).
After these rites were performed, the cleansed person had access to the tabernacle,
could bring offerings to the tabernacle, and could receive holy meat from the
peace offerings from Yahweh at the tabernacle. Once he was doomed as an
outcast. Now he became a privileged guest. He moved from the realm of death to
the realm of life. And while nothing is said at this point, it is assumed that the
cleansed person was now free to go and live at home again and participate in
family life.
<u> Fulfillment by Christ</u>
6. To see how Jesus fulfilled the laws concerning the diagnosis of skin disease (13:159) and the purification of if (14:1-32), see the next lesson, Lesson 35.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 35: Purification of the Skin-Diseased (Part 3)
(This lesson covers Jesus fulfillment of the diagnosis and purification of skin disease.)
This lesson refers to Lev. 13:1-46 and 14:1-32.
Study
Fulfillment by Christ
1. In Lev. 13:1-46 Yahweh gave instructions to Moses and Aaron on how the priests
were to determine if a person had a leprous disease and then declare him to be
unclean. He gave them 7 cases and the criteria to use in each case. In Lev. 14:1-32
Yahweh gave instructions to Moses on how a person who had been cured of a
leprous disease could be purified and readmitted into the community and the
divine service. The priest performed a preliminary cleansing rite outside the camp
and then a primary rite, offering sacrifices at the tabernacle.
Jesus did not diagnose unclean skin diseases or determine if a person had been
healed of it. Neither did he perform special rites to purify those who had been
healed. Instead Jesus healed people of all kinds of diseases, including healing
people who had leprosy. And the way that he did it was through his word and his
touch. What was Jesus healing of lepers a sign of (Mt. 11:2-5; Lk. 7:18-22)?

The healing of lepers was one of 6 signs that he was the promised
Messiah.

2. Many OT prophecies of the Messiah referred to his healing ministry. Yet none of
them specifically prophesy of him healing those who had leprous diseases. Yet if
one reads the Suffering Servant psalm in Is. 53 carefully, one will see that it is
strongly implied. The promised Messiah would bear the griefs and sorrows of
sinners (Is. 53:4a). When he does so, how do we see the Messiah (Is. 53:4b)?

We see the Messiah as being stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

For what reason would the Messiah be cut off out of the land of the living (Is.
53:8b)?

He was cut off out of the land of the living because he was stricken for
the transgression of my people.

The word stricken, which we just saw being used in Is. 53:4b, 8b, is used
repeatedly in Lev. 13-14 in referring to those who were infected by skin
diseases that made them unclean. The Suffering Servant described in Is. 53 would

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


come to heal those who had been stricken with the unclean and persistent
disease of sin. How would he do this (Is. 53:11b, 12b)?

The righteous one shall make many to be accounted righteous, and he


shall bear their iniquities. The Righteous One heals by taking our
iniquities and sins upon himself and in return he gives us his righteousness
so that we may be accounted righteous.
.
.

The Suffering Servant then heals by making a great exchange. He exchanges his
righteousness for our sins. He bears our sins and pays the penalty for them and in
return we receive his righteousness and therefore stand before God justified. Of
course Jesus is the Suffering Servant. He did indeed bear our sins and pay the
penalty for them on the cross. In return Jesus gave us his righteousness when we
were baptized. Through this great exchange Jesus heals us of our sin sickness.
3. At a high level, what did Jesus do in Mt. 8:1-4; Mk. 1:40-45; and Lk. 5:12-16?

Jesus healed and cleansed a leprous man.

How did he do it (Mt. 8:3; Mk. 1:41-42; Lk. 5:13)?

And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, I will; be
clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Mt. 8:3). He did it by
touching him and by speaking the words, Be clean.
.

According to what we have studied in Leviticus, what happens to a person when


they touch someone or something that is unclean?

That person becomes unclean.

So by touching the leper, Jesus became unclean, taking on the lepers impurity.
But Jesus touch was a healing touch because immediately his leprosy was
cleansed (Mt. 8:3b). What did Jesus then tell the cleansed leper to do (Lk. 5:14)?

He told him not to tell anyone and to show himself to the priest and to
offer the required sacrifices that Moses commanded. He basically told him
to carry out the procedure outlined in Lev. 14:1-32.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What have we learned in the last few lessons (Lev. 14:1-32) was the reason for
offering these sacrifices?

The purpose as outlined in Lev. 14:1-32 was for readmission of the healed
person to the tabernacle and the divine service.

Therefore the story of Jesus healing a leper shows how Jesus heals unclean
people, with his touch and word. And it shows the reason that he heals people of
their sin sickness and gives them a new status. By nature we are sinful and
unclean (from the Confession in the Divine Service). Since we are unclean we
cannot come into contact with holy God. This then is the whole purpose for the
Christ. He came to this earth heal us of our sin sickness, to make us clean in
Gods sight, to give us access to God the Father. His saving work allows us to
enter into Gods holy presence without fear of desecrating his holiness.
4. On another occasion Jesus healed not just 1 leper, but 10 lepers (Lk. 17:11-19).
This story reinforces the previous point and adds a new dimension to it. As Jesus
travelled he was met by 10 lepers (Lk 17:11-12a). From a distance they cried out
to Jesus, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us (Lk 17:12b-13). What did Jesus tell
them to do and what happened when they did it (Lk. 17:14)?

He said to them, Go and show yourselves to the priests. And as they


went they were cleansed.

Given the fact that Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest and given
that a little later 1 of the 10 was called a Samaritan and a foreigner (Lk 17:16, 18),
what does that tell us about the identity of 9 of the lepers?

The 9 lepers who were healed were Israelites.

Because of who they were, Jesus was instructing them to go through the
purification process as outlined in Lev. 14 so that they could be reinstated to the
community and participate once again in the divine service. But one of the healed
lepers was a Samaritan. So this was not an option for him. What did he do (Lk.
17:15-16)?

When he saw that he was healed, he returned, praising God with a loud
voice and he fell down before Jesus, giving him thanks.

Jesus questioned why the other 9 did not return and give thanks to God and then
he said to the Samaritan, Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well
(Lk 17:19). On that day the Samaritan received more than physical healing of an
incurable disease. By faith in Jesus he now had salvation and access to God. He

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


became a member of the church and had communion with God. This is why Jesus
came, to make sinners clean and to give them access to God.
5. Since having a leprous skin disease was the worst of all skin diseases, making one
unclean and unable to participate in the divine service, how Jesus dealt with it
shows how he deals with all unclean people. And this is of the utmost importance
for all people because as we said above all people are by nature sinful and unclean
and deserve nothing but punishment. Since Jesus easily cleansed those who had
leprosy and made them clean, so Jesus is quite capable of cleansing each of us
from all our sins that make us unclean. And in doing so he makes us fit to enter
into Gods holy presence and to participate in the Divine Service.
How is it that Jesus makes us clean? In the OT purification rites for a person
whose skin disease had been healed, blood atonement rites were performed. First,
atonement was made outside the camp, which allowed him to reenter the camp.
Then blood atonement was made at the tabernacle, which allowed him to be
reinstated in the congregation and the divine service. Jesus made atonement for us
by shedding his blood on the cross. How then is Jesus blood atonement applied to
each of us individually (Rom. 6:1-11)?

It is done through Baptism. In Baptism we are united with Christ. When


he died on the cross we too died with him. When he rose from the dead,
we rose with him.
.

What happens in Baptism is like taking off dirty clothes and putting on clean
ones. What is taken off in Baptism (Col. 3:9)?

In Baptism the old sinful self is taken off of us.

What is put on in Baptism (Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:9-10)?

In Baptism we have put on Christ. We have put on a new self, one that is
righteous and holy and is being renewed in the knowledge of God.

So in Baptism Jesus swaps clothes with us so to speak. He takes our filthy, sinful
clothing and he gives us his pure and holy clothing. Having been made clean by
Christ, we now have access to God the Father in the Divine Service. In that
Service he announces his forgiveness of our sins, speaks his Word of Law and
Gospel to us, and feeds us holy food from his table (the Lords Supper). One
name for this feast is the Eucharist, which means thanksgiving. Like the leper
who returned to give thanks to God for cleansing him of his leprosy, so we too
give thanks to God for the healing us of our fatal sin sickness. Just as Jesus healed
lepers by his touch and word, so in the Supper he does the same for us as we hear

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


his Word graciously inviting us to the Meal and physically receive the body and
blood of Christ.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 36: Purification of Infected Houses (Part 1)
Read Lev. 14:33-45
Outline
I. Gods address to Moses and Aaron (14:33)
II. Speech about the treatment of fungus in houses (14:34-53)
A. The case of a house with suspected unclean fungus (14:34-47)
1. Notification of the priest (34-35)
a. Appearance of a fungus in the house (34)
b. Report by the owner to the priest (35)
2. Initial examination by the priest (36-38)
a. Removal of contents from the house (36)
b. Quarantine of house with red or green fungus (37-38)
3. Second examination by the priest (39-42)
a. Inspection for the spread of the fungus (39)
b. Removal of the infected area (40-41)
c. Repair of the wall (42)
4. Treatment for the recurrence of fungus (43-45)
a. Examination for its outbreak and spread 943-44a)
b. Identification of the infection and declaration of the house as unclean (44b)
c. Demolition of the house (45)
--------- 5. Purification of people polluted by entry into the house (46-47)
B. The purification of a formerly infected house (14:48-53)
III. Summary subscript for chapters 13-14 (14:54-57)
Study
1. In Lessons 31 35 we learned about the diagnosis, treatment, and purification of
a leprous person (Lev. 13:1 14:32). Now we will learn about the diagnosis,
treatment, and purification of a leprous house. This speech is divided into three
clear sections. The first section (14:34-42) begins with when. The second
(14:43-47) and third (14:48-53) sections present cases that begin with if.
The arrangement of the second and third sections follows the pattern of the two
previous speeches.
The instruction on the treatment of an infected house (14:43-47) follows
the pattern for the instruction on infected fabrics (13:47-58).
And the ritual for the cleansing of the house (14:48-53) is similar to the
preliminary ritual for the cleansing of a skin-diseased person (14:2-7).
If you care to, you can look back at these texts that provide the pattern followed
here.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


2. This legislation describes two things. First, it tells how the priest identified and
treated an unclean infection (mold) of an Israelite home (14:36-45). Second, it
describes the procedure for the purification of that which was unclean because of
mold (14:46-53). We begin by looking at the procedure for the diagnosis and
treatment of an infected house.
Because Yahweh spoke this speech to Aaron as well as Moses (14:33), what does
this tell about the content of the speech?

Whenever Aaron is addressed along with Moses it means that the content
of the speech instructs on the difference between something or someone
being clean or unclean. It was the duty of the priests to make this
determination.
.
.

What does 14:34a presuppose and anticipate about the future of the Israelites?

It presupposes and anticipates that Yahweh will keep his promise and
bring the Israelites to and give them the Promised Land, the land of
Canaan. Once in the land they will settle it and live in it.
.

In what OT book do we see this coming true?

In the book of Joshua, Yahweh led the Israelites into the Promised Land
and defeated the Canaanite nations that resided there. Yahweh took the
land from them and gave it to the Israelites.
.

Yahweh was with the Israelites. Yahweh lived amongst the Israelites in the land of
Canaan. The tabernacle was his royal residence among them. Because Yahweh
would live with them in the land their towns and houses had to be ritually clean.
What happened in the home affected the people who would go into Gods holy
presence at the temple. They had to be ritually clean in order to come into his
presence. One of the main materials used in building homes in that region of the
world was mud, which was used as plaster. One reality of these types of homes
was that mud homes were susceptible to mold. And sometimes they would
develop a persistent mold which was unclean and incompatible with holy God.
And such a mold made the people who lived in the house unclean. So the purpose
of this legislation is religious. The cleanness of the house affected the cleanness of
the people who lived in it.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


3. So when the Israelites settle in the land of Canaan, from time to time Yahweh
would allow a leprous disease (persistent mold) to grow in their houses
(14:34b). If this should happen, what was the owner of the house to do (14:35)?

The owner was to go to the priest and inform him of it.

What did the priest do when the owner told him about his house disease and why
(14:36)?

The priest went to examine the house. Once there, he ordered that all of
the contents of the house be removed. He did this so that the family who
lived there would not become ritually unclean. After the house was
emptied, the priest went in and made an examination.
.
.

If the priest found bright green or bright red mold on the wall that went deeper
than the plaster, he quarantined the house for 7 days (14:37-38). After 7 days the
priest came back and looked to see if the disease (mold) had spread (14:39). The
text does not say, but it is presumed that if the mold had not spread then the house
was considered clean. Summarize what the priest ordered be done if he found that
the mold had spread.

14:40- Take out the moldy stones and put them outside the city in an
unclean place.

14:41- Scrape all the plaster of the walls and take the plaster to an unclean
place outside the city.

14:42- Take some new stones and put them into the place on the wall
where the old stones were removed. Then replaster the house.

4. If a house, which had been treated for its disease by replacing the moldy stones
and re-plastering the walls developed mold again, the priest was called to come
and examine the house again (14:43-44a). If the priest observed that the mold had
indeed come back, what kind of mold was it and what was the status of the house
(14:44b)?

The mold was a persistent leprous disease and the house was unclean.

If this was the case, what did the priest then do to the house (14:45)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

He tore the house down and hauled all of the stones, timber, and plaster
outside the city to an unclean area.

5. The main purpose for addressing this issue of a house with a serious growth of
fungus was religious. Such a house was ritually unclean and it made the family
that lived there unclean. One had to be ritually clean in order to go to the
tabernacle and participate in the divine service. So these instructions were given
in order to ensure that the family could come to the sanctuary and not desecrate
Yahwehs holiness.
There was also a secondary reason for it and it had to do with the cultural
environment and the countries among which the Israelites lived in. The Hurrians
and the Hittites held that mold in a house was a sign of evil and a sign that the
gods were displeased with the family that lived there. The Babylonians believed
that all impurity came from demons. For them the appearance of red or white or
green fungus was omen for disaster and death for the family that lived there.
Because of this it would have been natural for the Israelites to view infected
houses in the same way.
So a secondary reason for giving these instructions was that Yahweh was giving
them a way of dealing with persistent mold in a house without condoning the
pagan religious beliefs and superstitions. Yahweh acknowledged that at times he
would send an infection on a house (14:34). But when he did, he did not do it to
punish the household. It was simply an unclean infection that polluted the house
and the people who lived there. Religiously this was significant because it could
keep the family from going to the tabernacle. So it had to be dealt with in an
appropriate way. It was a source of impurity that had to be removed and these
instructions told them how to deal with it.
Purification of a Formerly Infected House
6. The purification of a formerly infected house is found in 14:46-57. It will be
covered in the next lesson.
Fulfillment by Christ
7. To see how Jesus fulfilled the diagnosis, treatment, and purification of a leprous
diseased house, see the next lesson.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 37: Purification of Infected Houses (Part 2)
Read Lev. 14:33-57
Outline
I. Gods address to Moses and Aaron (14:33)
II. Speech about the treatment of fungus in houses (14:34-53)
A. The case of a house with suspected unclean fungus (14:34-47)
1. Notification of the priest (34-35)

---------- (This lesson begins here.) --------- 5. Purification of people polluted by entry into the house (46-47)
B. The purification of a formerly infected house (14:48-53)
1. Examination by priest and declaration as clean (48)
2. Preparation of material for the rite (49)
3. Rite of purification (50-53a)
a. Slaughter of one bird (50)
b. Dipping of live bird and hyssop in the blood (51a)
c. Sprinkling of the house with the blood (51a-52)
d. Release of the live bird (53a)
4. Result: purification of the house (53b)
III. Summary subscript for chapters 13-14 (14:54-57)
A. List of unclean infections (54-56)
B. Purpose of their identification (57a)
C. General summary (57b)
Study
1. In the previous lesson we studied the diagnosis and treatment of an infected house
(14:33-45). In this lesson we will study about the purification of a house that is no
longer infected with mold (14:46-57). And then we will conclude with how Jesus
fulfilled these laws concerning infected houses.
The core of the cleansing of the house in 14:51-52 is arranged carefully in a
chiasm to emphasize the sprinkling of the house with the blood of the bird as a
rite of purification. It has the following keywords:
A 14:51a the cedar wood, the hyssop, the crimson yarn
B 14:51b the live bird
C 14:51c in/with the blood of the bird, in/with the living water
D 14:51d the house
X 14:51e seven times
D 14:52a the house
C 14:52b in/with the blood of the bird, in/with the living water
B 14:52c the live bird
A 14:52d the cedar wood, the hyssop, the crimson yarn

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


2. This section describes purification procedures for purifying things that had come
into contact with the pollution of mold. What was the status of a person who
entered a quarantined house (14:46)?

That person was unclean until evening.

Based on previous parts of Leviticus, it is assumed that the person became clean
again when he took a bath. If someone slept or ate in a polluted house, his clothes
became unclean and to make them clean again they had to be washed (14:47).
3. Now we come to the case where a house had been diagnosed and treated for a
persistent leprous disease (persistent mold). After the quarantine period the priest
reexamined the house. If he found that the mold had not come back after the
stones had been replaced and the house had been re-plastered, he pronounced the
house clean, the house had been healed of its disease (14:48).
To purify the house the priest followed the same procedure used for the
purification of a skin-diseased person (14:2-7). The materials gathered for the
purification process were two small birds, cedarwood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop
(14:49). The priest took an earthenware pot and put some living water in it. He
then killed one of the birds in the pot (14:50). Doing this caused the blood of the
bird to mix with the fresh water. The priest then made a brush by attaching the
hyssop branch to the cedarwood (used as a handle) by tying them together with
the yarn (14:51a). What then did the priest do with the brush he had made
(14:51b)?

He dipped it in the blood/water mixture and sprinkled the house seven


times.

What else did he dip in the blood/water mixture (14:51)?

He also dipped the second bird in the blood from the first bird that was
killed.

What was the purpose of doing this (14:52)?

This was the purification rite. By applying blood to the house, the house
was cleansed.

This rite was a rite of atonement (see 14:53b). Normally atonement was made for
a person by applying blood to the altar at the tabernacle. In that case the person in
need of purification came to the tabernacle. But in this case the house that needed
cleansing could not be brought to the tabernacle. So the atonement rite was
modified to apply the blood to the house instead of the altar, making it clean. It

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


could no longer pollute the people residing in it and make them unfit to enter the
sanctuary.
One last step remained for the purification process of the house. What was it
(14:53a)?

The last step was to let the second bird, which had been dipped in blood,
to go free back to his normal habitat in the country.

As was the case with the person who was cleansed of his leprous skin disease, this
was a symbolic act. The blood symbolized atonement. By shed blood the house
was purified of its disease. And as the bird was set free and returned to its home,
so the family that lived in the house was free to return to their home. They could
once again live in it without worrying about becoming unclean. They could live in
the house because it had been atoned for and was ritually clean.
And again, the underlying point of this whole section is that if a house is unclean,
it could make the family that lives in the house unclean. And if they were unclean,
they could not could not into Yahwehs holy presence at the tabernacle and
participate in the divine service.
4. Lev. 14:54-57 is a subscript that ties together and rounds out the various kinds of
unclean infections discussed in Lev. 13-14. An unclean infection could come upon
a persons head or skin, his clothes, or his house (14:54-56). The main purpose of
each section of these chapters was to teach whether these kinds of infections were
clean or unclean. And the purpose for determining if something was clean or
unclean was to prevent someone from becoming unclean and going to the
tabernacle in an unclean state and desecrating Yahwehs holiness.
<u> Fulfillment by Christ </u>
5. Some might ask, how is this relevant for us today? For us mold and mildew have
no religious significance. Thats true, but we must remember that the significance
of this legislation is the connection between the home and the tabernacle, the
ability for Gods people to come into Gods holy presence. Thats the whole
reason that Jesus came. We have become separated from God because of the
uncleanness of our sin. Jesus came to cleanse us of that uncleanness, to make us
clean so that we can come into the Fathers holy presence without worrying about
desecrating it.
During his earthly ministry Jesus entered the homes of unclean and sinful people.
In Mark 2:13-15a whose house did Jesus go to? What was this persons
occupation? What was this occupation known for?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Jesus went to the house of Levi (usually called Matthew). Levi was a tax
collector. Tax collectors collected taxes for the Rome. They were known to
be corrupt and traitors. They were traitors because they were Jews who
worked for the Roman occupiers. They were corrupt because they would
not only collect the taxes that Rome imposed, but they would also charge
extra and keep it for themselves.
.
.
.
.

What did Jesus do while he was at his house and who did he do it with (Mk. 2:1516)?

Jesus was reclining at the table eating with his disciples and with sinners
and tax collectors.

When asked about why he ate with these kinds of people, what was Jesus
response (Mk. 2:17)?

Jesus compared the sinners and tax collectors to the sick and himself to a
physician. Jesus said he had come to heal the sick. And the reason he
healed the sick was so that they could have fellowship with God.
.

Little did those sinners and tax collectors know at the time, but Jesus was healing
them and making them clean of the impurity of their sin. And little did they know
that when they reclined at the table with Jesus they were in the very presence of
holy God and they were having fellowship with him.
6. In Mt. 26:6-13 and Mk. 14:3-9 Jesus entered the house of Simon the leper. While
there a woman came and poured very costly ointment on Jesus head. When the
disciples raised objections because the money spent on it could have been given
to the poor, Jesus defended her. What did Jesus say she was doing (Mt. 26:12;
Mk. 14:8)?

Jesus said she was preparing his body for burial beforehand.

Jesus was on his way to the cross. Through his death on the cross Jesus would
bring about the cleansing of unclean, sinful people. Jesus associated with the
unclean and sinners for they were the very people he came to heal and make clean
so they could be reconciled to God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


7. In Lk 19:1-9 Jesus entered the house of another sinner. Who was he and what
was his occupation (Lk. 9:2)?

Jesus entered the house of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector.

What did Jesus very presence bring to his house (Lk 19:9)?

Jesus very presence brings salvation.

The same is true today. When Jesus is allowed to enter our houses he brings
salvation; he brings healing; he brings cleansing.
8. In the OT a house was purified when the blood of a bird was sprinkled on it 7
times and when a second bird dipped in the blood was set free to return to its
home. The blood shed was the blood of atonement. Jesus was the atoning sacrifice
for the sins of the world. His blood purifies us. By faith in his blood, we are set
free to return to our heavenly home. We are free to attend the Divine Service and
receive Gods holy gifts.
9. In Christian homes families call on the triune God, read, listen to, and study his
Word, and pray. Our homes are theologically significant places. In many Lutheran
homes Jesus is asked at every meal to come and be our guest as we eat the food he
has provided for us. Jesus has promised to be present where two or three are
gathered in his name. While we normally think of this as the Divine Service, each
meal where we gather as a family in Jesus name can be thought of as a mini
Divine Service. At the Divine Service Jesus is present and provides a meal for us.
In our homes when we ask Jesus to be our guest, he is present and the meal we eat
is a blessing from him as are all our blessings. And wherever Jesus is present, he
brings salvation and he cleanses us of all sin.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 38: Purification from Genital Discharges (Part 1)
(There are five cases of impurity that result from genital discharges that are discussed in
this lesson. The next lesson will go over the reasons why they cause impurity and how
Christ fulfilled these laws.)
Read Lev. 15:1-18
Outline
I. Introduction (15:1-2a)
II. Speech on the treatment of impurity from genital discharges (15:2b-30)
A. Impurity of a male from discharges (15:2b-17)
1. Treatment for an abnormal venereal discharge (15:2b-15)
a. The nature of impurity (15:2b-3)
i. The discharge as the cause of impurity (15:2b)
ii. The symptoms for the identification of this impurity (15:3)
b. Its transmission, duration, and treatment (15:4-12)
i. Contact with polluted bedding and a polluted seat (15:4-6)
ii. Contact with a polluted body (15:7)
iii. Contact with polluted spittle (15:8)
iv. Contact with a polluted saddle and its trappings (15:9-10)
v. Touch of people and vessels by a polluted hand (15:11-12)
c. Restoration to a clean state at the end of the infection (15:13-15)
i. Laundering of clothes and bath after a week (15:13)
ii. Presentation of sacrifices for ritual purification on the eighth day (15:14-15)
2. Treatment for a normal seminal discharge (15:16-17)
a. Cleansing of body with a bath (15:16)
b. Laundering of cloth or leather stained with semen (15:17)
B. Impurity of male and female from sexual intercourse (15:18)
C. Impurity of a female from discharges (15:19-30)
1. Treatment for normal menstrual discharge (15:19-24)
a. The duration of impurity from menstruation (15:19a)
b. Its transmission, duration, and treatment (15:19b-24)
i. Direct contact with the menstruant (15:19a)
ii. Contact with polluted bedding and anything on which she has sat (15:19b23)
iii. Sexual intercourse (15:24)
2. Treatment for abnormal menstrual discharge (15:25-30)
a. Its characteristics and the duration of impurity from it (15:25)
b. Its transmission by bedding and seating, duration, and treatment (15:26-27)
c. Restoration to a clean state at the end of the discharge (15:28-30)
i. Transitional period of seven days (15:28)
ii. Presentation of sacrifices for ritual purification on the eighth day (15:29-30)
III. Summary instruction to Moses and Aaron (15:31)
IV. Summary subscript (15:32-33)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Study
1. We begin this lesson by noting the overall structure of this section. It begins with
an introductory commission (15:1-2a) and ends with a concluding statement
(15:31-33). The main body of this divine speech is arranged in the form of a
chiasm.
A Introduction (15:1-2a)
B Abnormal male discharges (15:2b-15)
C Normal male discharge (15:16-17)
D Normal sexual relations (15:18)
C Normal female discharges (15:19-24)
B Abnormal female discharges (15:25-30)
A Conclusion (15:31-33)
This structure shows that in terms of genital discharges both men and women are
equivalent. They both have normal and abnormal discharges that cause impurity.
During the two lessons that cover chapter 15, we will be referring back to this
chiastic structure. From the overall structure we see that five cases are given:
15:2b-15 (B), 16-17 (C), 18 (D), 19-24 (C), and 25-30 (B). Notice how much
longer the first case is as compared to the other cases. The first case is presented
in detail. It provides the pattern for the cases which follow. Therefore the other
four cases are abbreviated in order to avoid unnecessary repetition.
2. This divine speech (The LORD spoke to) is given to both Moses and Aaron
(15:1). Aaron was included because it would be the job of the priests to perform
the purification sacrifices which reinstated the formerly unclean person to the
divine service. And the instructions that Yahweh is about to speak to them are to
be passed on to the Israelites (15:2a). They will play an important role in selfdiagnosing and treating the impurity.
3. What does the first case (B, 15:2b-15) have to do with (15:2b)?

The first case has to do with a man with a discharge from his body. And
because of his discharge he is unclean.

The Hebrew word translated as body by the ESV really means flesh. Dr.
Kleinig says that this word is used as a euphemism that refers to male genitals.
This is backed up by the context of the first case. It talks several times about the
places upon which the man with the discharge sat being unclean (15:4, 6).
If a man had a discharge in that area of the body that either flowed or produced a
blockage hindering urination, the discharge was a source of uncleanness (15:3).
And of course if one was unclean, one could not go to the tabernacle and

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


participate in the divine service. No mention is made of a priest making an
examination. Therefore it was up the Israelite man to make the diagnosis himself.
This then is the reason why this law needed to be passed on to the Israelites.
4. What became unclean because of the mans discharge (15:4, 9)?

The bed where he slept and any place where he sat, including a saddle,
was unclean.

The impurity from the discharge could also be communicated. Three kinds of
secondary contamination are mentioned. What was the first way in which
someone could become unclean (15:5a, 6a, 10a)?

If someone touched his bedding, sat on anything that he sat on, or touched
anything that was under him he became unclean.

For how long was he unclean and what did he have to do to become clean again
(15:5b, 6b, 10b)?

He was unclean until evening. He had to wash his clothes and take a bath
to become clean.

What was the second way in which someone could become unclean (15:7a)?

By touching the body of the man with a discharge one would become
unclean.

Whoever did this was unclean until evening and had to wash his clothes and
himself to become clean (15:7b).
We have seen where the first two kinds of secondary contamination came about
when someone touched anything that the unclean man sat on or by touching the
unclean man. In the third kind of contamination it was the unclean man who
communicated his uncleanness to others. What was one way that the unclean man
could spread contamination (15:8a, 11a)?

He could spread it by spitting on someone and by touching someone


without first washing his hands.

Like in the other cases, the person who was spat upon or who was touched was
unclean until evening and had to wash his clothes and himself to become clean
again (15:8b, 11b). The unclean man could also spread his uncleanness to a pot by
touching it (15:12a). If the pot was wood it could be made clean by washing it.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


But if it was earthenware, it could not be made clean and therefore had to be
broken into pieces (15:12b).
5. If a man with a discharge was healed, a certain procedure had to be performed
which would purify him and allow him to once again approach the tabernacle and
participate in the divine service (15:13-15). What was the procedure?

15:13b- Seven days after the discharge stopped he washed his clothes.

15:13c- He then bathed in living (fresh) water. He was then considered


clean.

15:14- On the 8th day he took two birds to Yahweh at the tabernacle and
gave them to the priest.

5:15- The priest used one bird for a sin offering and the other bird for a
burnt offering. Through blood atonement was made for the man.

The week long period was a time of passage from a state of impurity to a state of
purity. The 8th day marked a fresh start for the man. On that day, the sin offering
provided ritual cleansing, the removal of his impurity. The burnt offering was
offered for ritual readmission to the holy congregation, for the restoration of
privileged access to God and his blessings.
6. The second case of the chapter (15:16-17) forms the next part of the chiasm (C).
The first case (15:2b-15) covered abnormal male discharges. This case covers
normal male discharges. If a man had an emission of semen outside normal sexual
intercourse, that semen was a source of ritual impurity (15:16-17). The man and
anything the semen touched was unclean. They had to be washed and they
remained unclean until sunset.
7. The third case (15:18) is the center of the chiastic structure (D) of the chapter.
This case covers the emission of semen during normal sexual intercourse between
a man and a woman. What did the semen make unclean? What was required to
make them clean?

The semen made both the man and the woman unclean until evening. They
both were required to bathe themselves in water.

8. The fourth case (15:19-24), normal female discharges (C in the chiasm), parallels
the second case, normal male discharges (15:16-17, C in the chiasm). What was
the discharge that caused her to be unclean (15:19a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The flow of blood during her menstrual period was a source of impurity
that made her unclean for 7 days.

What else did her blood make unclean (15:20)?

Everything on which she lay or sat became unclean.

In relation to the woman, how could others become unclean (15:19b, 21a, 22a,
23a)?

Another person could become contaminated by touching the woman


(15:19b), by touching her bedding (15:21a), or by touching anything that
she sat on (15:22a).
.

When another person became unclean by one of the ways just described, how
long were they unclean and what did they have to do to be purified (15:19b, 21b,
22b, 23b)?

The person became unclean until evening. The person was purified by
washing his clothes and taking a bath in water.

If a man and woman unwittingly had sex at the very beginning of the womans
period, the man got her menstrual blood on him and became unclean (15:24a). For
how long did he remain unclean and how could his uncleanness be spread
(15:24b)?

He was unclean 7 days just like the woman. During that period of time
everywhere he slept was automatically unclean.

So anyone who came into contact with his or her bedding during the 7 day period
became unclean. The details are not laid out for us, but it seems probable that
when a person became unclean in this manner that the uncleanness lasted 1 day
and the person was purified when he washed his clothes and took a bath (see
15:21).
It also does not describe how the menstruant was purified at the end of the 7 days.
Based on its parallel passage for normal male discharges (15:16), it seems
probable that at the end of her normal 7 day period she took a bath to wash away
the impurity and become clean again.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


9. The fifth and last case in the chapter is found in 15:25-30 and makes up part B in
the chiasm. These verses cover an abnormal flow of blood from a woman and are
parallel to the abnormal male discharge found in 15:2b-15 (B).
If a woman has a flow of blood outside her normal period or her period lasts
longer than 7 days, this caused her to be unclean. How long did she remain
unclean (15:25)?

She remained unclean as long as she had the irregular bleeding.

During this time of uncleanness anything that she laid on or sat on was unclean
(15:26). And anyone who came into contact with her bedding or seat became
unclean until sunset and had to wash his clothes and take a bath to be cleansed
from impurity (15:27).
When her abnormal bleeding stopped what did she have to do to be purified of her
uncleanness?

15:28- She had to go through a 7 day transition period before she was
clean.

15:29- On the 8th day she took 2 small birds to the priest at the entrance of
the tabernacle.

15:30- The priest would use 1 bird for a sin offering and the other bird for
a burnt offering. The sacrifice of birds was used to make atonement for
her. She and Yahweh were once again at-one with each other.
.
.

This procedure for ritual purification and restoration was exactly the same as that
for a man with an abnormal discharge.
10. Yahweh provides a summary and purpose for these laws concerning genital
discharges. What was the purpose for these laws (15:31)?

The people needed to know when they were clean or unclean. If they were
unclean they could not come into Yahwehs presence at the tabernacle. If
they did, the impurity of their unclean defiled the holiness of the
tabernacle. And anyone who defiles Yahwehs holiness with their
uncleanness will die.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


A final subscript wraps up this divine speech (15:32-33). It basically says the
same thing that we have in our chiasm. These laws were given for men who had
normal or abnormal genital discharges, for women who had normal and abnormal
genital discharges, and for men and women who engage in normal sexual
relations.
11. We have gone through the five cases provided in chapter 15, which explain when
people with genital discharges are unclean. At this point we have not tried to
explain why it is that they are unclean in these circumstances. In the next lesson
we will discuss the reasons why and we will see how Jesus fulfills these laws.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 39: Purification from Genital Discharges (Part 2)
(In the previous lesson the five cases of impurity that result from genital discharges were
discussed. This lesson will go over the reasons why they cause impurity and how Christ
fulfilled these laws.)
This lesson refers to Lev. 15:1-33
Outline
I. Introduction (15:1-2a)
II. Speech on the treatment of impurity from genital discharges (15:2b-30)
A. Impurity of a male from discharges (15:2b-17)
B. Impurity of male and female from sexual intercourse (15:18)
C. Impurity of a female from discharges (15:19-30)
III. Summary instruction to Moses and Aaron (15:31)
IV. Summary subscript (15:32-33)
Study
1. As we said in the previous lesson, chapter 15 is laid out in the form of a chiasm.
A Introduction (15:1-2a)
B Abnormal male discharges (15:2b-15)
C Normal male discharge (15:16-17)
D Normal sexual relations (15:18)
C Normal female discharges (15:19-24)
B Abnormal female discharges (15:25-30)
A Conclusion (15:31-33)
During this lesson we will be referring back to this structure.
2. One thing that should be clear is that human beings are not unclean in and of
themselves. They become unclean when their bodies come into contact with
something that is impure.
The Israelites lived together as a community in the common domain. This domain
was caught in the middle between Gods holy domain and the domain of impurity,
that is, the fallen, sinful world. So their contact with impure things of the one
domain made them unclean and their contact with holy things of the other domain
made them holy. When they became unclean, they had the ability to spread that
uncleanness. When they were clean, they could not spread that cleanness. Only
God could do that.
3. In Gods order of creation, everything God created has its place and purpose in
the world. What was Gods practical purpose in creating the genital organs of men
and women? (Hint: think about future generations.)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

A primary purpose for human genitals is for human reproduction. It is only


through sexual relations that future generations of people exist. So the
purpose of human genitals has to do with life.
.

So it is Gods design that life flows from him through a man and woman to a new
human being that God creates. What is it that stops this flow of life? Look at four
out of the five cases in this chapter and determine what stopped the flow of life in
each case.

15:2b-15 If a man had an abnormal discharge, an infection on his


genitals, he could not have sex and therefore the flow of life was cut off.

15:16-17 If a man had an emission of semen outside of normal sexual


intercourse, the flow of life was stopped since sperm and egg had no
possibility of joining and creating a new human being.
.

15:19-24 If a woman is in the midst of her period, which washes


unfertilized eggs from the body, the life potential in the egg is not realized.

15:25-30 In the case where a woman has a prolonged or irregular


menstrual period, the continued flow of blood hinders and frustrates the
process of procreation.

In each of the four cases the flow of life from God through man was either
stopped or impeded greatly. In such cases Gods creative purposes were
frustrated.
4. Through these laws God classified normal and abnormal genital discharges as
unclean and the cause of impurity. He used these laws to regulate the sexual
activity of the Israelites marriages. Those with abnormal discharges were
prevented from having sexual intercourse and thereby spreading their infection. It
prevented men from making sexual demands during a womans period. And it
also encouraged sex during the other 3 weeks of the month.
5. Of course the most important dimension of these laws had to do with the ritual
status of men and women before God. Impurity was defined theologically. If
people became unclean from genital discharges they were not allowed to come
before Yahweh at the tabernacle or touch anything that was holy. Anyone who
brought their impurity to the tabernacle defiled it and the end result was their
death. Following these laws prevented this from happening.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


6. The theological view just described helps us make sense out of some of the more
puzzling parts of this chapter. For instance, why are semen and menstrual blood
considered sources of impurity? They are after all normal and natural substances
emitted by healthy people. It only begins to make sense when you view them
theologically within the pagan, animist environment that the Israelites lived in.
Pagans viewed semen and blood as either super-natural, life-giving substances or
as something that was dangerous if used in the wrong way or by the wrong
person. So they often used them for magic or sorcery. Some people viewed them
as divine because of the mythology of an ancestors intercourse with a god or
goddesses.
Many of the Canaanite religions practiced fertility rites at their temples. They
practiced cultic prostitution. Therefore these laws that made semen and blood
sources of impurity prevented the Israelites from engaging in sexual activity at the
tabernacle like the pagans. It prevented them from ever thinking that sex was a
sacred religious or divine act. These laws placed sexual activity as part of the
common realm, not the sacred realm. And it caused the Israelites to view human
reproduction as the will of God and as a flow of life that came from him to the
Israelite families.
7. In summary then these laws were primarily about keeping the Israelites in a
ritually clean status so that they could come before Yahweh and receive his holy
gifts without worry of defilement. If they did become unclean, Yahweh provided
the way in which they could become clean and purified. Once they were purified
they could once again enter into his presence and receive his holiness.
Fulfillment by Christ
8. God created and blessed the marital union (Gen. 1:27, 2:24). His instruction was
to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28; 9:1, 7). God provided a
way for them to do this by procreating through sexual intercourse. Sexual
relations between a husband and wife were a normal part of marriage in the
common realm. Like all of Gods gifts, sex can used as God intended it or in ways
that God forbids.
Gods people are called saints. Saints are holy ones. They are holy because
Christ has made them holy and because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Since
we are holy and the Holy Spirit lives within us, we must do nothing to defile his
holiness. As saints (holy ones) we are called to live sexually pure lives. What are
we to do with sexual impurity (Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:7; Heb. 13:4)?

We must have nothing to do with sexual immorality. We are to put death


all sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness,

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


which is idolatry. We are called by God to be holy not impure. The
marriage bed is to be kept pure.
.
.
In the NT a shift has occurred from the physical sexual purity to a more stringent
purity of the heart. It is a clean conscience that gives us access to the heavenly
sanctuary (Heb. 9:14). But our consciences are stained with all kinds of sin,
including sexual sin. How then are we cleansed (1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26-27)?

Our consciences are cleansed by the washing of water with the word,
which is Baptism. The washing of Baptism includes the complete
cleansing of all kinds of sexual impurity.
.

9. Since Christ was concerned with the purification of the conscience for service in
the heavenly sanctuary, there is no discussion of impurity that results from sexual
discharges in the NT. But there is one related account of a woman with a
continuous menstrual discharge for 12 years. This story is in all three Synoptic
Gospels (Mt. 9:20-22; Mk. 5:25-34; Lk. 8:43-48). Read through the accounts.
According to what we have studied in Lev. 15, what was this womans status?
What could she not do because of it?

She was unclean because of the flow of blood. Therefore she could not
participate in the divine service at the tabernacle.

Why did she come up to Jesus and touch his garments (Mk. 5:27-28)?

She had heard about Jesus, how he had healed all kinds of people. And she
believed that if she could only touch his garment she would be healed.

By touching Jesus while she was in this unclean state, according to Lev. 15:25-27
she would have communicated her uncleanness to Jesus. What was the result of
touching of Jesus (Mt. 9:22; Mk. 5:34; Lk. 8:48)?

She was healed of her disease.

So, even as she communicated her uncleanness to Jesus, Jesus communicated his
cleanness and purity to her. An exchange took place. She was not only healed but
also saved and restored to the community and to the divine service. Because she
had faith in Jesus she was able to receive the cleansing that Jesus offered. And to
reiterate, she received not just physical healing, but spiritual healing also.
Spiritually and physically she was made well.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


10. The healing of the woman with a 12 year blood discharge is embedded within the
story of synagogue rulers seriously sick daughter and her subsequent death (Mt.
9:18, 23-25; Mk. 5:21-24, 35-43; Lk. 8:40-42, 49-56). At the insistence of the
father Jesus went to the house where the young girl had died. He believed that
Jesus could heal her and even raise her from the dead. And when he arrived he
proceeded to do just that, to raise her from the dead. How did he do it (Lk. 8:54)?

He took her by the hand and told her to arise. He raised her by his touch
and his word.

Of course a corpse was unclean. So by touching the dead girl Jesus became
unclean. But at the same time Jesus conveyed to the girl his cleanness and raised
her to life. Like the woman healed of her blood disorder, an exchange took place.
Jesus, through his word and touch, takes impurity away and conveys his purity to
the unclean giving them access once again to God through faith in Jesus.
11. It is surprising that that there is no discussion in the NT whether menstruating
women could come into Gods holy presence at the Divine Service and receive
Christs holy body and blood in the Lords Supper. The lack of discussion then
implies that this was not an issue. It also implies that those with venereal
discharges also do not desecrate Christs holy body and blood. Why is this? This
is because baptized believers have been cleansed of all their impurities. This
cleansing continues in the Lords Supper. What is it that cleanses us in the Supper
(1 Jn. 1:7)?

The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

12. In the beginning Eve was deceived by the serpent and became a transgressor (1
Tim 2:14). Yet Eve and all Christian women (1 Tim 2:11-15) are saved through
childbearing (1 Tim. 2:15a). Childbearing obviously involves the discharges of
menstruation and childbearing. Mary did indeed go through the process of bearing
and giving birth to the One who would save people from their sins. Paul goes on
to say that women will be saved under what conditions (1 Tim. 2:15b)?

They will be saved if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with
self-control.

Therefore childbearing, as well as all areas of life, is sanctified (made holy)


through faith in Christ. Christ went through, that is, he touched the whole
human life cycle from conception to the grave. And as we have seen, it is by his
touch that he takes on our impurity and gives us his purity. Therefore by
touching the whole human lifecycle he purifies and sanctifies it.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 40: The Ritual for the Day of Atonement (Part 1)
(This lesson will cover the context and structure for the Day of Atonement as well as the
preliminary rites for it.)
Read Lev. 16:1-10
Outline
I. Introduction (16:1-2a)
A. The occasion for Yahwehs speech to Moses (16:1-2a)
II. Speech with the legislation for Aarons entry into the Holy of Holies (16:2b-28)
A Warning about unauthorized entry (16:2b-c)
B. The preparation for entry by the high priest (16:3-10)
1. Sacrifice of animals by the high priest: bull and ram (16:3)
2. Ritual bathing and clothing (16:4)
3. Reception of the peoples sacrificial animals: two goats (16:5)
4. The presentation of the high priests sin offering (16:6)
5. The preparation of the two goats as the peoples sin offering (16:7-10)
--------- C. The rite for the cleansing of the sanctuary (16:11-19).
1. Blood rite performed in the Most Holy Place (16:11-16a).
2. The blood rite in the tent of meeting (16:16b-17)
3. The blood rite at the altar for burnt offering (16:18-19)
D. The rite for the removal of sin (16:20-22)
E. Presentation of the offerings on the altar (16:23-25)
F. Readmittance of assistants (16:26-28)
III. The Lords legislation for the Israelites about the Day of Atonement (16:29-34a)
IV. Report of Aarons compliance (16:34b)
Study
1. Lets begin this lesson by looking at the context for chapter 16 and see how it fits
in to the big picture of Leviticus. Chapter 16 is the central chapter of the book of
Leviticus. It is the last chapter in the first half of the book and it prepares for the
second half. The Day of Atonement cleansed the people from all sins not covered
by the normal sacrifices in chapters 1-7. It also purged the sanctuary from all the
impurity and uncleanness mentioned in chapters 11-15. The performance of the
rituals for the Day of Atonement meant that the people could continue to bring
offerings to the Lord under the leadership of the priest as established in chapters
8-10. This also meant that the people could continue to participate in Gods
holiness at the sanctuary and in their daily lives as outline in chapters 17-27.
2. Moses, the author of Leviticus, used a number of devices to structure this
legislation. What did he use to frame the ritual legislation?

16:3; 16:24b-25 sin offering and burnt offering.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

16:4; 16:23-24a holy linen garments and bathing in water.

16:7-10; 16:20-22 the scapegoat.

Moses uses the same phrase in 16:6 and 16:11a to frame the acts performed in
preparation for the main rite. What phrase is repeated?

16:6; 11a Aaron shall present/offer the bull as a sin offering for
himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house.

With the marking off of the preliminary rite, this then means that the main rite for
the Day of Atonement is found in 16:11-19. In the main rite the Most Holy Place,
the tent of meeting (Holy Place), and the altar for burnt offering were cleansed
from all impurity. See the Outline for more detail.
16:29-34 is an addendum. Moses uses several phrases to frame and divide the
addendum into two parts. What phrase is used in 16:29, 31, 34 that frames and
divides this pericope?

a statute forever.

Therefore 16:30 and 16:32-34a are the heart of each of the two parts. What do
these verses stress? (Hint: a word used in 16:30 is used 5 times in 16:32-34a.)

Atonement. It stresses the atonement of the entire sanctuary and the priests
and people.

Lev. 16:3-28 then explains how Aaron should enter the sanctuary and the Most
Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. And Lev. 16:29-34a explains when and why
it to be done annually.
Through the repetition of certain words we can see what the main focus of this
chapter is.
o Blood sprinkled
o The Holy Place
o Mercy seat
o Sin
o Sin offering
o Come into
The main focus will be on the sprinkling of blood from the sin offering upon the
mercy seat and holy place in order to atone for sin in order that priests and people
can continue coming into Yahwehs holy and gracious presence.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Also note that this chapter not only establishes the ritual Day of Atonement, but it
also reports its first observance as a precedence for future observance.
3. Chapter 16 begins a new speech by Yahweh to Moses (16:1a). What was the
occasion for this speech (16:1b, also see 10:1-3))?

The occasion for this speech was the death of the two sons of Aaron,
when they drew near before the LORD and died (16:1b). Aarons sons,
Nadab and Abihu, offered incense before Yahweh with unauthorized fire.
Because of this, fire came out from Yahwehs holy presence in the Holy of
Holies and consumed them and they died (10:1-3).
.
.
.

If that was the occasion, what was the purpose for these divine words (16:2b)?
And what do we learn about Yahwehs presence (16:2b)?

The purpose had to do with coming into Yahwehs holy presence. Yahweh
was present in the Most Holy Place behind the veil. There, within a cloud,
he sat upon his royal throne, the mercy seat, the lid of the Ark. In these
words Yahweh warned that no one was allowed to come into his holy
presence at just any time.
.
.
.

Special note: In this chapter the Most Holy Place is referred to as the Holy
Place. We know that it is speaking of the Most Holy Place because it is found
inside the veil (16:2).
What would following the Word of God that is found in this divine speech prevent
from happening (16:2)?

Listening to and obeying Gods word would prevent the priests from dying
because they entered into Yahwehs holy presence in an unauthorized way
as Aarons sons had.
.

Therefore Yahweh used this occasion to instruct Aaron and future high priests
through Moses (16:2a) on how they should approach him so that they would not
defile the sanctuary and incur Yahwehs wrath. As we will soon see, only one day
a year could Yahweh be approached in his inner sanctuary. And on that day, only
the high priest, if he followed the prescribed procedure as laid out by Yahweh,

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


could come before Yahweh with fire from the altar for burnt offering and blood
from special sacrifices and approach Yahweh safely.
One might wonder if the legislation in chapter 16 is given as a result of the event
that happened in chapter 10, why the legislation in chapters 11-15, which speaks
of classes of impurity, was inserted in between? The reason is that the purpose of
the Day of Atonement was to cleanse the people and the sanctuary of all impurity
and uncleanness (16:16, 19, 30, 34). Chapters 11-15 tell us about such impurity
and uncleanness. All impurity is removed on the Day of Atonement.
4. In this divine word, Yahweh will prescribe a way in which the high priest could
come into the Most Holy Place (16:3a) without fear of death. The procedure about
to be given can be divided into 5 parts. They are as follows:
..(1) The preparation for the rite (16:3-10)
..(2) The main rite (16:11-25)
..(3) The concluding acts of the rite (16:26-28)
..(4) The involvement of the people in the rite (16:29-31)
..(5) The responsibility of the high priest for its annual performance (16:32-33)
In the remainder of this lesson we will look at the preparation that was to take
place before the main rite. In the next lesson we will study the main rite. And in
the third lesson we will look at the rest of the chapter.
Part 1 The Preparation for the main rite (16:3-10)
5. In preparation for the Day of Atonement, the high priest was to bring a bull and
ram to the tabernacle (16:3). What were they to be used for (16:3) and
symbolically why would they be appropriate for the high priest?

The bull would be used for a sin offering for the high priest and the ram
would be used for a burnt offering for the high priest. These two animals
would be appropriate for the high priest because they were the leaders of
the herd and the flock. In a similar way the high priest was the leader of
the nation of Israel.
.
.
.

Once the high priest had brought these animals to the tabernacle, he was required
to change clothes. But before he changed his clothes, he was required to bathe his
entire body (16:4b). The cleansing of his entire body was symbolic of what was
about to happen. All of the dirt and smell of sin was about to washed away on this
special day.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Normally as a representative of Yahweh the high priest dressed in royal robes. But
on this day at the beginning of the ceremony what was he required to change into
(16:4a)?

He shall put on the holy linen coat and shall have the linen undergarment
on his body, and he shall tie the linen sash around his waist, and wear the
linen turban; these are the holy garments. He was required to change into
plain linen clothes.
.
.

Why was he required to change into these clothes? When wearing the ornate,
royal robes the high priest functioned as Yahwehs mediator to the people. At the
beginning of this ceremony he was the peoples representative before Yahweh. In
terms of holiness, what kind of people did the high priest represent? What did
they have to offer Yahweh and by nature what was their status before him?

The high priest represented a sinful people, a people who had nothing to
offer to Yahweh. By nature they were not a royal priesthood. They, like all
people, stood guilty before God and deserved nothing but punishment.
.
.

In todays terms, it would be like us being stripped down from our normal clothes
down to simply a plain white tee shirt and underwear. As the representative of the
people the high priest stood stripped of all his honor. He and they stood before
Yahweh with nothing hidden and with nothing to offer.
These garments were special holy garments that worn only on this one day of
the year and were worn in this one holy ritual ceremony. These garments were
stored in the tent of meeting, used on the Day of Atonement, and then stored again
until next years Day of Atonement.
6. Next, what did the people of Israel bring to the high priest at the tabernacle and
for what purpose (16:5)?

The people brought two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a
burnt offering. These would be the offerings for the people.

The fact that there were two male goats for the sin offering was unusual. We will
soon see why there were two and how each would be used.
7. Next, Aaron presented to Yahweh the bull for a sin offering (16:6a). Who was the
sin offering for and what was its purpose (16:6b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The sin offering was for himself and his household. The purpose of the sin
offering was to make atonement for their sins.

The high priest was sinful like everyone else. Therefore his sins needed to be
atoned for. Note that the bull was not killed and atonement was not made yet. That
would come shortly in the main rite. Here it was simply presented before Yahweh.
8. The final step of preparation involved the two male goats (6:7-10). What did
Aaron do with the two goats?

16:7 He set them before the LORD at the entrance of the tent of
meeting.

16:8 Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the LORD and
the other lot for Azazel. Dr. Kleinig believes that this verse is often
mistranslated. Instead of casting lots, what is meant is to place a tag on
each goat to mark one for Yahweh and one for Azazel, a demon.
.
.

16:9 Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD and
use it as a sin offering. Or Aaron will bring forward the goat marked for
Yahweh to prepare it for a sin offering.
.

16:10 The goat that was marked for Azazel was presented alive before
Yahweh. Later atonement would be made over it and it would be sent into
the wilderness.
.

The presentation of the two goats before Yahweh was the last step in the
preparation. All was now ready for main rite of atonement.
9. The next lesson will cover the main rite of atonement performed on the Day of
Atonement.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 41: The Ritual for the Day of Atonement (Part 2)
(This lesson covers the Main Rite for the Day of Atonement)
Read Lev. 16:11-25
Outline
I. Introduction (16:1-2a)
A. The occasion for Yahwehs speech to Moses (16:1-2a)
II. Speech with the legislation for Aarons entry into the Holy of Holies (16:2b-28)
A Warning about unauthorized entry (16:2b-c)
B. The preparation for entry by the high priest (16:3-10)
--------- C. The rite for the cleansing of the sanctuary (16:11-19).
1. Blood rite performed in the Most Holy Place (16:11-16a).
a. The sin offering of the high priest (16:11-14)
i. The slaughter of the bull (16:11)
ii. Burning of incense in the Most Holy Place (16:12-13)
iii. Sprinkling of its floor and the atonement cover (16:14)
b. The sin offering of the people (16:15)
i. Slaughter of the goat (16:15a)
ii. Sprinkling of the floor and the atonement cover (16:15b)
c. Purpose: atonement for the purging of the Most Holy place (16:16a)
2. The blood rite in the tent of meeting (16:16b-17)
a. Repetition of the two blood rites (16:16b)
b. Exclusion of the other priests (16:17a)
c. Purpose: atonement for the priesthood and the congregation (16:17b)
3. The blood rite at the altar for burnt offering (16:18-19)
a. Smearing of the blood from the sin offerings on its horns (16:18)
b. Sprinkling of blood on the altar (16:19a)
c. Purpose: cleansing and consecration of the altar (16:19b)
D. The rite for the removal of sin (16:20-22)
1. Presentation of the scapegoat by high priest (16:20)
2. Confession of sins over it (16:21a)
3. Its dispatch to the desert by an assistant (16:21b)
4. Its release by him there (16:22)
E. Presentation of the offerings on the altar (16:23-25)
1. Removal of vestments in the tent of meeting (16:23)
2. Bathing and clothing with normal vestments (16:24a)
3. Burning of the two burnt offerings (16:24b)
4. Burning of fat from the sin offering (16:25)
--------- F. Readmittance of assistants (16:26-28)
1. Bathing of person who dispatched the scapegoat (16:26)
2. Bathing of person who burnt up the sin offerings (16:27-28)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


III. The Lords legislation for the Israelites about the Day of Atonement (16:29-34a)
A. Date for the annual day of fasting and rest (16:29-31)
B. Performance of atonement by Aarons successor (16:32-34a)
IV. Report of Aarons compliance (16:34b)
Study
Part 2 The Main Rite for the Day of Atonement
(Stage 1 The Cleansing of the Sanctuary (16:11-19))
1. With all of the preparations being made, Aaron/the high priest was now ready to
perform the main rite. Stage 1 of the main rite involved the cleansing of the
sanctuary. And the first step in cleansing the sanctuary was the cleansing of the
Most Holy Place.
What was the first offering that Aaron/the high priest made and who was it for
(16:11)?

Aaron/the high priest killed the bull as a sin offering for himself and his
household.

As you may recall, the most important part of a sin offering was the blood that
was used to make atonement. But before Aaron/the high priest did anything with
the blood of his sin offering he had to do something else which involved incense.
What did Aaron do?

16:12 He was to take some hot coals from the altar for burnt offering
(authorized fire) and two handfuls of incense and bring them into the Most
Holy Place (inside the veil).
.

16:13 He was then to put the incense on the coals of fire and create a
cloud of smoke to screen the mercy seat to protect himself from visually
intruding on Gods holy presence, for to do so meant certain death.
.
.

Having created a cloud of smoke with the incense in the Most Holy Place,
Aaron/the high priest and Yahweh were completely hidden from each other as
they met on this day. Aaron/the high priest could now safely approach the mercy
seat, Yahwehs royal throne. According to the ESV translation what did Aaron/the
high priest do next (16:14)?

According to the ESV, he took some of the blood of the bull into the Most
Holy Place and sprinkled it once upon the front of the mercy seat and then
he sprinkled the blood in front of the mercy seat again seven times.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
The NIV translates this verse slightly different. According to the NIV translation
what did Aaron/the high priest do next (16:14)?

According to the NIV, he took some of the blood of the bull into the Most
Holy Place and sprinkled it once upon the front of the atonement cover
(the mercy seat) and then he sprinkled the blood before the atonement
cover (the mercy seat) seven times.
.
.

Dr. Kleinig translates 6:14 in a similar way as the NIV. Seven is the biblical
number of completeness and perfection. Therefore this rite of blood atonement
completely purged the Most Holy Place of all the impurity caused by the high
priest and his family.
Note that the mercy seat or atonement cover was the lid to the box called the Ark
of the Covenant. The cover was made of pure gold and had a cherub at each end.
It was thought of as the seat of Gods royal throne, the place where God sat as he
resided and ruled his people.
The Most Holy Place, and in particular, the mercy seat was the most holy place on
earth because that was the place where God dwelled. When the blood came into
contact with the mercy seat, the blood became most holy. This most holy blood
would then be used to make holy and re-consecrate all of the places where God
met with and bestowed his blessings upon his people.
2. After making atonement for the Most Holy Place with the blood from his sin
offering, what did Aaron/the high priest do next (16:15)?

16:15a He took the goat that was the sin offering for the people, which
was marked for Yahweh, and killed it.

16:15b He then took the blood from the goat inside the veil into the
Most Holy Place.

16:15c He then sprinkled the blood from the peoples sin offering over
the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat as he had done with his own
sin offering.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


For what reason did the blood of a goat need to be applied to the Most Holy Place
(16:16a)?

The blood of the peoples sin offering was applied to the Most Holy Place
because the uncleanness and sinfulness of the people of Israel had polluted
the Most Holy Place and it needed to be cleansed.
.

The atonement made with the blood of both sin offerings completely covered over
and purified the Most Holy Place.
3. With the Most Holy Place purged of its impurity, Aaron/the high priest next
moved to the Holy Place, the room just outside the curtain (in this pericope it is
called the tent of meeting) (16:16b). This room too needed to be cleansed of the
uncleanness brought about by the sins of the people (16:16b). What does it say
that Aaron/the high priest was to do (16:16b, see also Ex. 30:1, 9-10, esp. v.10)?
What does this mean?

All it says in 16:16b is: And so he shall do for the tent of meeting. It
does not give exact details on the rites of blood atonement for the tent of
meeting.
.

The sin offering for the people was discussed in Lev. 4. What was the procedure
for the manipulation of the blood that it prescribed (4:6-7, 17-18)?

4:6, 17 - Blood from the sin offering was sprinkled 7 times on the floor in
front of the curtain.

4:7a, 18a - Then blood was smeared on the four horns of the incense altar.

So apparently this was the atonement procedure that was followed on the Day of
Atonement first with the blood from Aarons/the high priests sin offering and
then again with the blood from the peoples sin offering. The tent of meeting (the
Holy Place) was cleansed of all uncleanness (sprinkled 7 times, the number of
completeness) brought about by the sins of the high priest and his family and by
all the people of Israel.
What restriction was in place while atonement was being made for the Most Holy
Place and the Holy Place on the Day of Atonement (16:17)?

After the high priest entered the tent, no one else was allowed to enter it
until he came back out.

4. With the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place having been cleansed from its
uncleanness through blood atonement, Aaron/the high priest left the tent of

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


meeting and moved out to the altar for burnt offering that stood in the courtyard
before Yahweh (16:18a). What did he do at the altar?

16:18b He shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the
blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around.

16:19a Then he took some of the blood and sprinkled it 7 times upon the
altar with his finger.

Again, what was the purpose for doing this (16:19b, 18a)?

The purpose was to make atonement for the altar, to cleanse it and
consecrate it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.

The altar for burnt offering was the place where the normal daily rite of
atonement took place. But on this day, the altar itself benefited from the rite
performed in the Most Holy Place. Its purity and holiness was restored by the
application of most holy blood so that it could continue to function as the place
where atonement was made and where God could meet with His people to bless
them.
To summarize the cleansing of the altar: the high priest brought the remaining
blood from both sin offerings from the tent of meeting to the altar for burnt
offerings. There he mixed the blood together. He placed some of the blood on the
4 horns of the altar for burnt offerings. Then he sprinkled it on the altar 7 times
with his forefingers. And the purpose for this blood atonement rite was to cleanse
the altar from the uncleanness of the people of Israel.
This then concludes the main rite of atonement that was performed on the Day of
Atonement. The places where Yahweh was present and met with his people,
which had become polluted by the peoples sin, were cleansed by these rituals.
And as a result of the uncleanness being removed, Yahweh could continue to meet
with his people at this place and show his grace to them.
Part 2 The Main Rite for the Day of Atonement
(Stage 2 The Rite for the Removal of Sin (16:20-22))
5. The first goat that had been chosen and marked for Yahweh had been killed as a
sin offering. Its blood had been used to make atonement. Now it was time to use
the other goat which had been set aside and marked for Azazel. Aaron/the high
priest took this goat, which was still alive, and presented it at the altar before
Yahweh (16:20). What did the high priest do next?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

16:21a The high priest laid both hands upon the head of the goat and
confessed all of the sins and iniquities of the people of Israel.

16:21b With the sins of Israel symbolically transferred upon the goat, the
high priest handed over the goat to a man from the congregation who took
the goat out into the wilderness.

16:22 The goat, bearing all the iniquities of the people, was taken to an
inaccessible place in the desert and released.

Note that the high priest was the representative of the whole nation of Israel. He
represented the people before Yahweh. In doing so, he confessed all of their sins
and all of their rebellion against God (not just the unintentional sins). When he
confessed all of their sins, he symbolically transferred them to the goat. This was
done so that their sins could be removed from Gods holy presence.
There is some question as to what the word Azazel means. It is believed to be the
name of a demon or another name for the devil. If this is the case then the desert,
a place devoid of life, is the abode of the devil and his demons. The desert then is
the counterpart to the Most Holy Place. The place where God dwells is a place of
life, holiness, and cleanness. The place of the devil is the opposite. It is a place of
death, sinfulness, and uncleanness. By this act then, the sins and uncleanness of
the people were removed from Gods holy presence and sent out to a most
appropriate place, the abode of demons.
Part 2 The Main Rite for the Day of Atonement
(Stage 3 Acts performed by the high priest after the blood rite (16:23-25))
6. Now we come to the third and last stage of the main rite (the second part of five
parts) performed on the Day of Atonement. The sanctuary had been cleansed by
an extra ordinary act of blood atonement of the pollution that resulted from sin
and the sins of the people had been removed by the scapegoat. Now the high
priest would shift from primarily representing the people to primarily representing
Yahweh. What did Aaron/the high priest do next?

16:23 - Aaron went back into the tent of meeting, removed the plain linen
garments that he had put on earlier, and left the garments in there (where
they would stay until next years Day of Atonement).
.

16:24a He took a bath in a holy place (somewhere on the sanctuary


grounds).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

16:24b He then put back on his normal royal robes that he wore as high
priest and came out of the tent of meeting.

16:24c Then he offered a ram (163b) as a burnt offering for himself and
a ram (16:5b) as a burnt offering for the people, making atonement for
himself and the people.

16:25 And the fat that was left over from the sin offerings he burned on
the altar.

Remember that contact with the holiness of God made people and things holy.
Since the high priest came into direct contact with God when he entered the Most
Holy Place, he became most holy (like the blood). Therefore some people
postulate that the reason why the high priest had to take a full bath after the blood
rite was complete was to remove the super-holiness that he received from contact
with Yahweh. Anyone who was unclean and came into contact with Gods
holiness defiled Gods holiness and would receive Gods wrath. Therefore this
bath by the high priest removed the holiness of God and prevented the possibility
of anyone defiling Gods holiness and incurring his wrath.
7. This day and this rite were about performing a comprehensive act of atonement
for the sanctuary and for the congregation. The bottom line purpose for this was
so that the Israelites could continue to approach and meet with God, so they could
continue to have access to his grace and blessing.
Dr. Kleinig summarizes the activities of this day as follows: on this most holy
day, the most holy person in Israel performed the most holy rite in the Most Holy
Place with the most holy blood from the most holy animals, so that the sinful
Israelites could have safe access to their most holy God.
8. The final instructions for the Day of Atonement (16:26-34) (parts 3, 4, and 5) are
covered in the next lesson.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 42: The Ritual for the Day of Atonement (Part 3)
(This lesson covers the rest of the instructions for the Day of Atonement after the main
rite has been performed.)
Read Lev. 16:26-34
Outline
I. Introduction (16:1-2a)
A. The occasion for Yahwehs speech to Moses (16:1-2a)
II. Speech with the legislation for Aarons entry into the Holy of Holies (16:2b-28)
A Warning about unauthorized entry (16:2b-c)
B. The preparation for entry by the high priest (16:3-10)
C. The rite for the cleansing of the sanctuary (16:11-19).
D. The rite for the removal of sin (16:20-22)
E. Presentation of the offerings on the altar (16:23-25)
--------- F. Readmittance of assistants (16:26-28)
1. Bathing of person who dispatched the scapegoat (16:26)
2. Bathing of person who burnt up the sin offerings (16:27-28)
III. The Lords legislation for the Israelites about the Day of Atonement (16:29-34a)
A. Date for the annual day of fasting and rest (16:29-31)
B. Performance of atonement by Aarons successor (16:32-34a)
IV. Report of Aarons compliance (16:34b)
Study
1. We said earlier that the procedures for the Day of Atonement were laid out in five
parts. The five parts are: (1) The preparation for the rite (16:3-10), (2) the main
rite (16:11-25), (3) the concluding acts of the rite (16:26-28), (4) the involvement
of the people in the rite (16:29-31), and (5) the responsibility of the high priest for
its annual performance (16:32-33). The previous two lessons covered the first two
parts. This lesson will cover the last three parts.
Part 3 The Concluding Acts of the Rite (16:26-28)
2. The acts performed on this special day of the year were almost exclusively
performed by the high priest. But there were two other individuals who performed
minor roles. What did the first individual do (16:26a)?

The first person took the scapegoat to the desert and released it.

What did this person have to do before he could be readmitted to camp after he
released the goat (16:26b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

He had to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he
may come into the camp.

What was the job of the second person?

16:27a - He had to carry the leftovers of the bull and the goat that were
used for the sin offerings outside the camp.

16:27b Once he had them outside camp, he had to burn the skin, meat,
and dung.

What did the person who burned the bull and goat outside of camp have to do
before he could be readmitted to the camp (16:28)?

He had to wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he
may come into the camp.

Normally the Israelites had to wash their clothes and take a bath when they had
become unclean and needed to restore their cleanness. The Israelites could not
come into Yahwehs holy presence in an unclean state. But is that why these two
people had to wash their clothes and take a bath? Some would argue, yes, that in
performing their tasks they became unclean and needed to be purified. Some
would argue, no. They would argue that the two goats and the bull were all sin
offerings and had come into Yahwehs holy presence. Therefore when these two
people performed their task, they came into contact with holy things and needed
to wash away the holiness in order to avoid the possibility of desecrating Gods
holiness. This line of reasoning follows the same line of reasoning as to why the
high priest had to take a bath after making atonement for the sanctuary.
Part 4 The Peoples Involvement in the Day of Atonement (16:29-31)
3. This section describes the involvement of the people of Israel in the Day of
Atonement. First, a time reference is given as to when and how often these special
rites were to be performed. When and how often were they to be performed
(16:29a, 31b, 34a)?

These rites were to be performed the seventh month, on the tenth day of
the month each year every year from that time forward.

In the seventh month Israel celebrated its great religious festivals. The festivals
began with the Day of Acclamation (23:23-25) and culminated in the Feast of
Booths (23:33-35).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The first Day of Atonement was performed as a result of the death of Aarons two
sons who approached Yahweh with unauthorized fire (10:1-4). The subsequent
legislation prescribed a comprehensive rite of atonement to cleanse the sanctuary
of all impurity. The legislation also prescribed that these rites be preformed every
year on the tenth day of the seventh month thereafter.
On this special day, what were the people of Israel required to do (16:29b, 31a)?

The Israelites and any foreigners who lived among the Israelites were to
afflict themselves and do no work (ESV).

The ESV has afflict yourselves. The NIV has deny yourselves. Dr. Kleinig
has humble yourselves. In other words, they were to perform signs of mourning
in recognition that they were a sinful people who were doomed to die unless
Yahweh was merciful to them. These signs of mourning included: fasting,
wearing sackcloth and ashes.
They also were to do no work on that day. While they were not required to come
to the sanctuary, their full attention was to be on their sorry state and their need
for atonement. They refrained from work in recognition that there was no work
that they could do to cleanse themselves from sin. Only God could do the work
that was necessary in order to free them and cleanse them from the impurity of
their all their sins (16:30).
Part 5 The Responsibility of the High Priest for Its Annual Performance
(16:32-33)
4. Who was authorized and commanded to perform the rites for the Day of
Atonement each year (16:32a)?

It was the responsibility of the high priest to perform these rituals each
year.

He was to make atonement wearing the special linen garments (16:32b). By


performing these rituals, what did he make atonement for (16:33)?

The holy sanctuary or the Most Holy Place.

The tent of meeting or the Holy Place.

The altar which is the altar for burnt offering.

The priests.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

All the people of the assembly or all the Israelite people and foreigners
that lived with them.

5. And the chapter concludes by simply saying that Aaron did as the LORD
commanded Moses (16:34b). What Yahweh commanded and instructed, Aaron
did.
A Summary of the Focal Points and Observations of the Day of Atonement
6. The event that led to the institution of the Day of Atonement was death of Nadab
and Abihu, Aarons sons, when they approached Yahweh with unauthorized fire
and died. These instructions warned Aaron about unauthorized entry and spelled
out how Yahweh could be approached once a year without fear.
7. As far as people go, the high priest was the focal point. All of the rites revolved
around him. In fact the rites of this special day could only be performed by him.
Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place and he could enter it only on
this one day of the year. And he had to do it in the prescribed way. He acted on
behalf of the people, representing them before Yahweh. He atoned for the sins of
all the people and cleansed the sanctuary from the impurity that their sins had
brought. He acted vicariously on their behalf.
8. As for the location, the focal point of the Day of Atonement was the Most Holy
Place. It was there that Yahweh resided and appeared to the high priest in a cloud.
The priest entered it three times: to burn incense, to sprinkle blood from his sin
offering, and to sprinkle blood from the peoples sin offering.
9. Also important on that day were the movements into and out of Yahwehs
presence. First the movements went from outside to the Most Holy Place and then
the movements went from the Most Holy Place back out.
o The animals went from the entrance into the courtyard.
o The blood of the animals went from the courtyard into the Most Holy
Place.
o Then the blood went from the Most Holy Place out to the tent of meeting.
o Then the blood went from the tent of meeting out to the altar for burnt
offering.
o The scapegoat went from the courtyard out to the desert.
o The sin offerings leftovers went from the courtyard out to the ash dump.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Through these movements (into Gods presence and then out from it) holiness was
restored and moved out from the Most Holy Place and impurity was expelled
from the sanctuary and the people.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 43: The Ritual for the Day of Atonement (Part 4)
(This lesson covers the fulfillment the Day of Atonement by Jesus Christ)
This Lesson refers to Lev. 16:1-34
Study
Fulfillment of the Day of Atonement by Christ
1. There were two striking features of the Day of Atonement. First, a comprehensive
act of atonement was performed in which the sanctuary and people were atoned
for. And second, all of the sins of the people were confessed and placed upon the
scapegoat. And the scapegoat was sent away from Yahweh into the desert to the
devil and his demons.
Jesus fulfilled these two major features. First, he shed his blood on the cross
making atonement for all of the sins of all of the people of the world, past,
present, and future. Second, like the scapegoat, Jesus took all the sins of the world
upon himself and went out into the desert, the lifeless abode of Satan and his
demons. When did Jesus go out into the desert (Mt. 3:13 4:11)?

Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert immediately after his
baptism.

While there he battled with Satan and prevailed against him. What weapon did
Jesus use against the devil (Mt. 4:1-11)?

Jesus used Gods Word, the scriptures, as his weapon to defeat the devil.

The final battle against the devil came when Jesus went to the cross. What looked
like utter defeat when Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross was in actuality a
total victory. When Jesus cried out, It is finished! and gave up his spirit, he was
declaring that everything that he came to do had been finished, the victory had
been won. What happened in the temple when Jesus won the victory (Mt.
27:51a)?

The curtain in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

As we learned in Lev. 16, only the high priest could go inside curtain into the
Holy of Holies and he could do it only once a year following the procedure laid
out by Yahweh. So what is the significance of the curtain that separated the Holy
of Holies being torn in two?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The tearing of the curtain signifies that the way to Father has been opened
up. All people at all times now have open access to God the Father
through faith in Jesus.
.

2. On the Day of Atonement an extra-ordinary act of atonement was made. The


blood from the sin offering for the high priest and the blood from the sin offering
of the people was sprinkled in the Most Holy Place, in the Holy Place, and on the
altar for burnt offering. On this day the holy sanctuary, the place where Yahweh
resided and met with his people, was cleansed from all impurity brought about by
the Israelites sin.
The main rite of the Day of Atonement began with the high priest taking blood
into the Most Holy Place and sprinkling it on the mercy seat and before the mercy
seat. The blood, having come into contact with the mercy seat, the royal throne
upon which Yahweh sat among his people, became most holy blood and was used
to cleanse the Holy Place and the altar.
These rites were performed each year by the high priest. He was the only one
allowed to enter Yahwehs royal inner room. But he could do it only once a year
and he had to do it in the way prescribed by Yahweh.
The work of the high priest on that special day prefigured the work of Christ.
What the high priest did was a picture of what would come on the true Day of
Atonement administered by Christ. Heb. 9:7-14 elaborates upon how Christ
fulfilled the work of the high priest on the Day of Atonement. When Christ came,
what did he appear as (Heb. 9:11a)?

He appeared as a high priest.

In the OT the high priest entered the tabernacle (tent) that housed the Holy Place
and the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. What tabernacle did Christ
enter (Heb. 9:11b, 12a)?

Christ entered the greater and more perfect tent, the holy places .

The OT tabernacle (tent) is the holy place where Yahweh resided. Where is the
greater and more perfect tent and holy places where God resides that Jesus
entered?

This refers to the heavenly sanctuary. This refers to Gods holy residence
in heaven.

So as the high priests entered the OT tabernacle, Jesus, the eternal High Priest,
entered the heavenly tabernacle. When the OT high priest entered the tabernacle,

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


he entered with the blood of goats and calves (Heb. 9:12b). Jesus did not enter
the heavenly sanctuary with the blood of goats and calves. What did he enter with
(Heb. 9:12c)?

He entered with his own blood.

By the blood of the sacrifices, the OT high priests won redemption for the people
from their sins for the prior year. This act of atonement had to be performed year
after year. What kind of redemption did Jesus win when he entered with his blood
(Heb. 9:12d)?

By shedding his blood and entering the heavenly sanctuary with it, Christ
secured an eternal redemption from all sin.

The blood of the OT sacrifices was limited in the sanctification and purification
that it provided (Heb. 9:13). But the blood of Christ, who was the spotless Lamb
of God, was able to purify the consciences of all people for all time for all of their
sins (Heb. 9:14). Therefore this one act in which Christ shed his blood was all that
was necessary to win eternal salvation for all people for all time. It need not be
repeated. As Christ said, It is finished!
3. As we have said the mercy seat is the place where Yahweh resided among his
people and graciously met with them and bestowed his gifts upon them. Christ is
God in the flesh. It is in Christ that God is gracious toward people. It is in Christ
that God gives his gifts of eternal life, health, and salvation. Therefore Christ is
the new Mercy Seat. God has mercy upon us in Christ. And it is through faith in
the redemption won by Christ by the shedding of his propitiating (turning aside of
Gods wrath) blood that we receive justification as a free gift of Gods grace
(Rom. 3:23-25a).
4. In the OT the high priest brought the blood into the Most Holy Place on earth.
There, having come into contact with the mercy seat, the blood became most holy
and had the power to cleanse.
At his ascension into heaven, Jesus brought his own blood into heaven. Since his
blood was brought into the Most Holy Place, the heavenly sanctuary, it was most
holy and had the power to cleanse and sanctify perfectly.
The OT high priest took the blood from the Most Holy Place and sprinkled it and
applied it to the earthly incense altar and the earthly altar for burnt offering, the
most holy things, cleansing them of the pollution of sin.
Instead of cleansing earthly holy things, what is it that Jesus cleanses with his
most holy blood (Heb. 9:23-24)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The earthly holy things were but a copy of the heavenly ones. Jesus
cleanses the heavenly holy things, the true things that the earthly ones
represented.
.

What does Jesus sprinkle his most holy blood upon to cleanse (Heb. 9:13-14;
10:2, 22)?

With His own blood He sprinkles the hearts and consciences of those who
serve the living God in the heavenly sanctuary.

In the Holy Supper Jesus brings his most holy blood from the Fathers presence
and gives it to his guests who he invites to his table. There he gives his blood to
them to drink. He does this for their cleansing and sanctification. Therefore the
atonement of the cross becomes Jesus ongoing ministry of atonement (Pfitzner)
as he continuously applies his blood to his people cleansing their consciences and
hearts.
5. In the OT only the high priest could pass through the curtain and enter the Most
Holy Place and he could do it only one day of the year. No one else could
approach the throne of grace.
But when Jesus came he changed that. Who now can enter the holy places? And
by what means can they enter (Heb. 10:19-20)?

Jesus has opened the way into the Fathers presence for all Christians, for
all who faith in him. They have access to God through the flesh and blood
of Jesus. Jesus lived and died in the flesh. Jesus shed his blood on the
cross. In this unlikely way he opened up and continues to provide access
to God.
.
.
.

As Christians we are priests in the priesthood that serves in the house of God.
Jesus is our great High Priest (Heb. 10:21). No OT priest could approach the
throne of grace. But now in the NT, our High Priest has opened up the way for his
fellow priests to go where no OT priest dare trod. Because our sins have been
forgiven we can approach God with a cleansed heart, the full assurance of faith,
and a clear conscience (Heb. 10:22). When we approach the throne of grace, what
is it that we confidently look for (Heb. 4:16)?

We are confident that we will receive mercy for Jesus sake. We look to
God for help for ourselves and for others.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Amazingly, as we still reside in this sin filled world, we have access to the
heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22-24). We have access to God as he sits on his
heavenly throne ruling all things. There he sits surrounded by innumerable angels
who are gathered festively. Also with the Father are all those who have gone
before us in faith. They have been made righteous by Christ. We have access to
the Father who sits in his heavenly glory through Jesus, our Mediator. Through
Jesus he has made a new and better covenant. And it is Jesus blood that seals the
covenant and is sprinkled on hearts of those who believe to cleanse them.
6. In the OT the Day of Atonement was performed each year. But since Jesus came
and made atonement once and for all on Good Friday, we have no need for an
annual Day of Atonement. What has the atonement that was made by Jesus blood
provided for us (Rom. 5:9-11)?

Jesus blood justifies us. It saves us from Gods wrath. By his death we,
who were once enemies of God, are now reconciled to him.

7. The OT tabernacle and temple were laid out in three parts. (1) The entrance to the
tabernacle led to the courtyard. In the courtyard was the altar for burnt offering.
(2) When one entered the tabernacle proper, one entered the Holy Place which
housed the incense altar. (3) The Holy Place was separated from the Most Holy
Place by a curtain. The Most Holy Place housed the Ark of the Covenant, Gods
royal throne. The people had access to the courtyard only. The priests had access
to the courtyard and the Holy Place. The high priest had access to the courtyard,
the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place (but only on one day a year). This
limited access displayed different degrees of holiness.
Our churches are laid out in a similar way to the tabernacle. (1) The part where
the people sit is called the nave. This is like the courtyard. (2) Then we have the
space where the lectern, pulpit, and baptismal font are. (3) Finally, we have the
heart of the sanctuary where the altar is.
The altar/table is symbolic of two things. First it symbolizes the mercy seat, the
throne of grace. It symbolizes the place where God was present with his people
and the place where atonement was made for their sins. In a very real sense the
heavenly sanctuary is brought down to earth at this place. At the altar God is
present in Christ. Christ has brought his most holy blood from the heavenly holy
places to the altar/mercy seat. From there God has mercy on us through the
atoning blood of Christ.
Secondly, the altar symbolizes the altar for burnt offering. On it sacrifices were
made daily for the sins of the people. These sacrifices pointed forward to the one
great sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. There he gave his body and blood for

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


us for the forgiveness of our sins. And so it is here that he gives us that same body
and blood that he willingly sacrificed for us on the cross but which also was
raised from the dead. From the altar he gives us his body and blood for the
forgiveness of our sins.
While laid out in a similar way to the tabernacle, the access to all three areas in
the church is not limited as it was in the tabernacle. In Christian freedom, lay
people can come to the lectern and read Gods Word. And for Holy Communion
Christ invites all penitent sinners to come to the altar to receive the holy Meal. All
Christians are priests (a part of the priesthood of all believers) and Christ has
opened up the way into the heavenly sanctuary for all his fellow priests. Jesus is
that way. His body is the curtain that was torn in two on the cross. By faith in
Christ we enter the heavenly tabernacle and receive the holy food that Christ
offers in grace in the Sacrament of the Altar (Heb. 4:16).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The Structure of Leviticus 17-22
What is the function of chapter 17? Does its prohibition on the use of blood stand in
contrast to the use of blood in the Day of Atonement in chapter 16? Or is it thematically
connected to chapters 18-22, with the recurring use of the words cut off?
In chapters 18-22 God relays how Israel is to orient their lives around the sanctuary by
avoiding defilement and by relating their lives to Gods sanctifying presence. Chapter 17
along with Lev. 22:17-30 provides a frame for the laws in between. The use of
tabernacle, the tent of meeting, and the sanctuary also tie together these chapters.
The material in this section is arranged in the form of a loose chiasm.
A Use of blood from animals for atonement (17:1-16)
B Defilement of the land (18:1-30)
C Holiness of the congregation (19:1-37)
B Penalties for defilement of the land (20:1-27)
C Holiness of the priesthood (21:1-22:16)
A Animals acceptable for sacrifice (22:17-33)
So the answer to our original questions is that chapter 17 does tie in with chapter 16 the
Day of Atonement with its discussion on how blood is not to be used. And it also
introduces a new section on how the Israelites should orient their lives around the
sanctuary. It is a transition chapter that looks backward and forward.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 44: Ritual Use and Abuse of Blood (Part 1)
(This lesson covers the context and structure of chapter 17. It also covers the first part of
Lev. 17 - the proper place for sacrifices.)
Read Lev. 17:1-9
Outline
I. Gods address and commission of Moses (17:1-2a)
II. Speech on the place for ritual slaughter (17:2b-7)
A. Superscription: divine command (17:2b)
B. Proclamation of the penalty for ritual slaughter apart from the tabernacle (17:3-7a)
1. Case of ritual slaughter for peace offerings (17:3-4a)
2. Extirpation as the penalty for illegitimate slaughter (17:4b)
3. Reasons for the penalty (17:5-7a)
a. Offering of blood and fat at the tabernacle rather than in the field (17:5-6)
b. Prevention of sacrifice to the demons (17:7a)
C. Subscription: perpetual ritual statute (17:7b)
III. Gods second commission to Moses (17:8a)
IV. Speech about the legitimate sacrifice and consumption of meat (17:8b-16)
A. Proclamation of the penalty for sacrifice apart from the tabernacle (17:8b-9)
1. Case of sacrifice apart from the tabernacle (17:8b-9a)
2. Extirpation as the penalty for infringement (17:9b)
--------- B. Gods personal threat of punishment for the consumption of blood (17:10-12)
C. Instruction about the disposal of blood from edible game (17:13-14)
D. Instruction about purification after the consumption of carrion (17:15-16)
Study
1. First lets take a look at some of the structural elements in chapter 17 that will
help us understand it better and put it in the proper context.
(..1A) The use of blood provides a connection between chapters 16 and 17. This
connection is made through a chiastic arrangement of Lev. 16:29-17:11.
A Atonement and denial of selves (16:29-31)
B Perpetual ritual statute (16:31)
C The role of the priest in performing the rite of atonement (16:32)
D Atonement for the tent of meeting (16:33)
E Atonement for the children of Israel (16:34a)
F The fulfillment of the Lords command to Moses (16:34b)
F The Lords speech to Moses (17:1)
E Speaking to the children of Israel (17:2)
D Offerings at the tent of meeting (17:4)
C Offerings to the priest (17:5)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


B Perpetual ritual statute (17:7)
A Atonement for your selves/lives (17:11)
(..1B) A key word used throughout the chapter is life. The interplay between
life and blood forms a chiasm in 17:10-12.
A The Israelite or alien person who eats blood (17:10)
B The life of flesh in its blood (1711a)
C Your persons/lives (17:11b)
B Blood by means of the life (17:11c)
A No Israelite or alien person shall eat blood (17:12)
(..1C) Another key term is blood. It is used 13 times throughout the chapter. It
is used in connection with the term life. The chapter contrasts the illegitimate
(17:4) and legitimate (17:13) pouring out of blood. It also contrasts the
illegitimate consumption of blood (17:10, 12, 14) with the proper use of blood for
atonement (17:6, 11).
(..1D) There are five paragraphs (abbreviated below as Par.), all of which deal
with the proper use of blood from edible animals. The central paragraph (17:1012) provides the prohibition of blood consumption because God has reserved it
for sacrificial atonement. The first two paragraphs (17:1-7, 8-9) provide the
rationale for it and the last two (17:13-14, 15-16) provide the consequences from
consuming meat from animals that have not been sacrificed.
(Par. 1) Penalty for misplaced ritual slaughter (17:2-7)
(Par. 2) Penalty for misplaced sacrifices (17:8-9)
(Par. 3) Penalty for eating blood (17:10)
(Par. 3) Mandate for the use of blood in the rite of atonement (17:11)
(Par. 3) Prohibition of eating blood (17:12)
(Par. 4) Disposal of blood from game (17:13-14)
(Par. 5) Purification from carrion (17:15-16)
(..1E) In summary, chapter 17 then is a transitional chapter. It is related to chapter
16 by its references to blood and atonement. And it also introduces the
chapters which follow it.
2. Lev. 17:1 begins a new divine speech in which Yahweh spoke to Moses. Who was
Moses to speak these words to (17:2a)?

Moses was to speak these words to Aaron and his sons and to all the
people of Israel. All the people of Israel were to know and keep these
words.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


These words to the Israelites which follow are a command from Yahweh (17:2b)
which deal with the proper use of blood.
3. What does this command concern (17:3)?

It concerns the killing of an ox, a lamb, or a goat in the camp or outside


the camp.

As we continue to read through the rest of the paragraph (17:4-7), what seems to
be the probable reason why the Israelites would kill these animals in camp or
outside the camp (see esp. v. 5)?

It would seem as if they are killing them and using them as sacrifices.

The point being made then is that these places are not the proper places where
sacrifices should be made. Even if the sacrifices were made to Yahweh, they were
not to be made by the Israelites in these places. If they wished to make a sacrifice
to Yahweh, what were they to do (17:4a)?

To make a sacrifice to Yahweh, the Israelites were to bring their animal to


the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the LORD in front
of the tabernacle of the LORD.
.

All sacrifices to Yahweh were to be made at the tabernacle. There was to be no


private cult where individual Israelites would perform their own rituals apart from
the rituals instituted by Yahweh at the tabernacle. It was not enough to offer the
right sacrifices to Yahweh. The sacrifices also had to be made at the proper place
as determined and commanded by Yahweh. The sacrifices had to be brought to
Yahweh at his residence at the tabernacle.
The slaughter and sacrifice of an animal could not occur in the camp or outside
the camp. The camp was the common domain where people lived which was
separate from the divine domain where Yahweh lived among his people. The
sacrifices had to be brought to Yahwehs sacred domain. The animals were
slaughtered at the entrance to the tent of meeting, which was a transitional area
that stood between the common domain and the sacred domain.
What happened to a person who disregarded Yahwehs command and killed and
made sacrifices outside the tabernacle (17:4b)?

Because he shed blood outside the tabernacle, Yahweh considered him


guilty of murder. The result of this guilt was that he would be cut off
from among his people.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


So what then was the end purpose for this command and the threatened
consequences for disobeying it (17:5)?

The purpose was to stop the practice of making sacrifices in the open field
and instead bring them to Yahweh at the tabernacle. They were bring them
to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and sacrifice them as
sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD.
.
.

What would the priest do when they brought their sacrifices to Yahweh (17:6)?

He would perform the ritual for the peace offering. He would make blood
atonement on the altar to cover over sins and he would burn the fat on the
altar showing Yahwehs pleasure in the offerer and the offering.
.

Besides the possibility of offering sacrifices to Yahweh in the open fields, what
other kinds of sacrifices did people make (17:7a)? And what did Yahweh think
about it (17:7a)?

They made sacrifices to goat demons. Sacrifices made to anyone other


than Yahweh were viewed as spiritual prostitution.

Goat-demons were worshipped as a god. Goat demons resided in the earth and the
underworld. They were believed to control the fertility of animals that grazed on
their terrain. Worship of them as the givers of life was a rejection of Yahweh who
was the true Giver of life.
This was not a onetime command. This command continued from generation to
generation (17:7b). Worship was to be made to Yahweh alone, in the way that he
prescribed, at the place where resided.
4. Who does this command apply to (17:8)?

This command applies to all the Israelites and to any aliens that live
among them.

Since these teachings also included resident aliens, they too were prohibited from
offering sacrifices apart from the tabernacle. They had equal status with the
Israelites in the sacrificial ritual. They too could worship the one true God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


And once again Yahweh reiterates that the penalty for anyone in Israel who does
not bring his sacrifices to the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting would be
to be cut off from his people (17:9).
5. In 17:6 it says, And the priest shall throw the blood on the altar of the LORD. In
doing so, the priest is performing blood atonement. As the blood covers the sides
of the altar, so the peoples sins are being covered. This is the only proper use of
blood for the Israelites. The blood and the life in that blood were reserved only for
atonement. It could not be used for any other sacral or secular purpose. In fact the
misuse of blood not only did not enhance and give life, but it brought death. Life
could not be found in the blood of animals. Rather, life was found only in God
and contact with Him in worship.
Both the previous chapter and this chapter have to do with atonement. Atonement
is a divine-human ritual transaction which God created to provide a solution to a
problem. The problem is this: God had chosen Israel to be his special people. He
desired to meet and interact with his people in order that he might bless them. He
chose to live among and interact with them at the tabernacle. But that raised the
following question: How could his sinful, unclean people come before him, their
holy God, to receive blessing from Him without desecrating his holiness by their
impurity and so suffer the penalty of death as threatened in 15:31?
God solved the problem by establishing the rite of atonement. It removed the
obstacles to their interaction with God; it qualified them to participate in Gods
holiness, which was life-giving, life-protecting, and life-enhancing. As the animal
was presented to Yahweh and its blood was splashed on the altar, a transfer took
place from the common to divine domain. Yahweh then used the blood to make
atonement. In atonement the people were released from their sins and were given
access to God and his grace.
6. Our study of chapter 17 continues in the next lesson as we continue our study of
the proper and improper use of blood as determined by Yahweh. And in the next
lesson we will also cover how Jesus fulfills these commandments.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 45: Ritual Use and Abuse of Blood (Part 2)
(This lesson covers the proper and improper use of blood for the Israelites. It also covers
the fulfillment of the commands in Lev. 17 by Christ.)
Read Lev. 17:10-16
Outline
I. Gods address and commission of Moses (17:1-2a)
II. Speech on the place for ritual slaughter (17:2b-7)
A. Superscription: divine command (17:2b)
B. Proclamation of the penalty for ritual slaughter apart from the tabernacle (17:3-7a)
C. Subscription: perpetual ritual statute (17:7b)
III. Gods second commission to Moses (17:8a)
IV. Speech about the legitimate sacrifice and consumption of meat (17:8b-16)
A. Proclamation of the penalty for sacrifice apart from the tabernacle (17:8b-9)
--------- B. Gods personal threat of punishment for the consumption of blood (17:10-12)
1. Case of blood consumption (17:10a)
2. Personal threat of extirpation by God (17:10b)
3. Reasons (17:11-12)
a. Gods provision of blood for the rite of atonement (17:11)
b. Gods repetition of his prohibition of eating blood (17:12)
C. Instruction about the disposal of blood from edible game (17:13-14)
1. Case of slaughter of game for food (17:13a)
2. Instruction on the burial of blood (17:13b)
3. Reasons for burial (17:14)
D. Instruction about purification after the consumption of carrion (17:15-16)
1. Case of eating meat from carrion (17:15a)
2. Purification by washing and bathing (17:15b)
3. Reason: threat of guilt from failure to undergo purification (17:16)
Study
1. The first command by Yahweh in this chapter was that all sacrifices must be made
at the tabernacle (17:1-9). What is the second command (17:10a)?

No Israelite or resident alien was allowed to eat blood.

What would happen if someone did eat blood (17:10b)?

Yahweh would personally set his face against him and he would be cut off
from his people.

Many of the pagans that surrounded the Israelites would intentionally eat blood.
They believed that they would receive the life-power that was in the blood, for

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


they correctly realized that the life of the flesh is in the blood (17:11a). But
Yahweh wanted the Israelites to know that they could not and did not receive lifepower by eating the blood of animals. Life did not come from animals and their
blood; it came from God. He is the source of life.
If eating blood was an improper use of blood, what did Yahweh determine was a
proper use of blood (17:11b)?

The only proper use of blood was for atonement. The life of the animal
was given in order that blood atonement could be made for the people.

After giving the proper use of blood Yahweh reiterates the prohibition to all the
people of Israel: No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger
who sojourns among you eat blood (17:12). He could not be much clearer.
2. The total ban on the consumption of blood created two problems. What did the
first problem have to do with (17:13a)?

The first problem had to do with hunting. What was to be done with the
blood if they hunted and killed wild game?

What instruction was given to those who killed wild game (17:13b)?

They were to pour out its blood and cover it with earth.

And it is reiterated for the third time that the life of every creature is in its blood,
that they were forbidden to eat blood, and if they did they would be cut off
(17:14).
3. What was the second problem caused by the ban of eating blood (17:15a)?

The second problem had to do with blood from animals that died of
natural causes or an attack.

This meat in this situation lacked life and was viewed as unclean. What
instructions were given concerning this situation (17:15b)?

Whether he is a native or a sojourner, shall wash his clothes and bathe


himself in water and be unclean until the evening; then he shall be clean.
He could eat the meat, but he would temporarily become unclean and had
to purify himself.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What would happen if he did not bathe himself (17:16)?

He would remain unclean and could not participate at the tabernacle


because he was unclean.

4. This focus on blood is alien to modern readers. In an animistic society, some of


which still exists today in parts of the world, all living things have a spirit or soul.
This spirit enlivens and empowers them and resides in their blood. For such
people it is a given that the life of the flesh is in the blood (17:11). For them
blood is life. This type of thinking would have been true for all of Israels
neighbors. Blood was intentionally eaten by them with the meat in order to gain
life. And blood was intentionally poured on plants to enhance growth (17:5, 7).
They also used blood to feed the spirits of the dead and deities that resided in
the earth or underworld. Or it was given to appease evil spirits such as goatdemons (17:7) to ward of infertility. God banned all these uses of blood. The only
use of blood that was sanctioned by God was its use in the rite of atonement. The
power of blood in atonement came not from the life in it, but from Gods Word
which instituted the use of it.
Earlier chapters told how the blood from sacrifices should be used and told of the
results of it. This chapter gives the rationale behind it. The life of the animals was
not given by people in exchange for their lives. Rather God gave them the life of
the animals to make atonement for their own lives. God could give them these
lives because he is the Life-Giver. These lives were his to give. He did not give
them this life to eat and drink. They did not receive life-power from God by
eating blood. Rather they received atonement from God which came from the
blood on the altar. That blood ransomed and freed them from impurity and from
the threat of death due them because of the desecration of Gods holy presence,
thereby giving them access to God and His life-giving blessings.
Fulfillment by Christ
5. What does the NT say about the subjects in Lev. 17? In the council of Jerusalem
(Acts 15:1-21) it was decided that the Gentiles should abstain from four things:
(A) pollution from idols, (B) sexual immorality, (C) the meat from strangled
animals, and (D) the consumption of blood (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25). All four are
concerns of Lev. 17.
(..5A) What was prohibited in Lev. 17:7?

Making sacrifices to goat-demons was prohibited.

Who does Paul say the sacrifices to idols that pagans make are actually being
made to (1 Cor. 10:20-21)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The sacrifices of pagans to idols are in reality sacrifices to demons.

Therefore, all worship of all gods that are not the Triune God is idol/demon
worship. All non-Christian worship is idolatry and is demonic. This is scandalous
to the world, especially to the pluralistic western society where people want to
consider all religions as equal and as just different ways to God. But Jesus said, I
Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except
through me. The only way to God is through faith in Jesus. All other ways are
idolatry and demonic.
(..5B) What were sacrifices to goat-demons considered to be (17:7)?

It was considered to be religious prostitution.

In Rev. 2:18-29 in the letter to the church at Thyatira, John points out that Jesus is
not happy with a woman in that church named Jezebel, who calls herself a
prophetess and who is teaching false doctrine and seducing them into the sins of
sexual immorality and eating food offered to idols. By tolerating her, they were
passively approving her false teachings. This woman in the church of Thyatira is
like Jezebel of the OT. The Jezebel of the OT was a Canaanite who married the
king of Israel, Ahab. She had King Ahab erect a temple and altar to Baal in
Samaria. Like Jezebel of the OT, this Jezebel through her false teachings was
leading people away from the one true God to other false gods. What was her
false teachings leading people to commit (Rev. 2:22)?

They were committing spiritual adultery. Christ is the husband and the
church is the bride. When the bride chases after other gods she commits
spiritual fornication and adultery.
.

As Leviticus considers worship of anything other than God as spiritual


prostitution, so also does the NT. False teachings that lead people away from
Christ lead to spiritual adultery. That is why doctrinal truth is so important. This is
why false doctrine and false worship are so closely associated with sexual
immorality.
(..5C, 5D) The other two restrictions that came from the council of Jerusalem had
to do with blood (eating meat from strangled animals and the consumption of
blood). Jewish Christians would harken back to Lev. 17 and its complete
prohibition of the eating of blood. Therefore Jewish Christians could not have
fellowship with anyone who consumed blood. So Gentile Christians were
required to observe these restrictions in order to maintain their relationship with
Jewish Christians. Yet the observance of these laws did not save. All were saved
by grace through faith. The council of Jerusalem put these restrictions in place in
order to preserve the unity of the church.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


6. In the first half of Lev. 17, Yahweh made it clear that the only acceptable place
where sacrifices could be offered and blood atonement could be made was at the
tabernacle. The Tabernacle (and later the temple) was the only place where God
could be worshipped. It was the only place where God promised to make himself
available. And the rite of atonement had to be performed at this place to have
access to His grace.
In the OT the tabernacle/temple was the place where God chose to dwell among
his people. In the NT where is it that God dwells?

Jn. 2:21 In the body of Jesus.

Col. 1:19; 2:9 The fullness of God dwells in Jesus bodily.

OT worship set the pattern for NT worship. God is be worshipped at the place
where he dwells among his people and makes himself available. In the NT that
place has shifted from the tabernacle/temple to the body of Jesus. Because Jesus
body has been glorified, it is no longer bound to the limits of time and space.
Where two or three are gathered in Jesus name, Jesus promised to be there in
their midst. What conclusion do we draw from this as to the place where God
must be worshipped?

Therefore Jesus is the new and only place where God can be worshipped
in the NT. God is present in Christ and dispenses his grace through Christ.
Christ is present in the Divine Service.
.

This is why our worship services, the Divine Service, are completely centered on
Jesus. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus. God hears our prayers
only when they come through Jesus. Gods gifts of forgiveness and peace come
only through Jesus. Apart from the incarnate Son of God all human worship is
idolatry and demonic.
7. In the OT Yahweh instructed that blood be used for only one purpose and that
purpose was for blood atonement. The restricted use of blood for atonement
prepared for the atonement that Christ would make through his own blood.
Look up the following passages in the ESV: Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10. What
term (not a word we use in everyday language) is used to describe Jesus and what
he did? What does it mean?

Propitiation. It is a turning aside and satisfaction of Gods righteous wrath.

Now look up the same passages in the NIV. How does the NIV translate that
word?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Sacrifice of atonement or atoning sacrifice.

When blood atonement was made, it did two things:


o It provided expiation. Gods righteous judgment requires that a price be
paid for the sin that has been committed. In the OT an animal sacrificed its
life in the place of the sinner; it paid the price. Its blood was shed and was
thrown against the sides of the altar symbolizing that the sin had been
covered.
o It also provided propitiation. In propitiation Gods wrath is turned away
from the sinner and is turned towards and carried out upon something else.
In the OT it was turned to and carried out on the sacrificial animal.
The verses we looked at at the beginning of this point (point #7) speak in these
terms about Christ. How did Christ provide:

Expiation? Christ paid the price for our sins and the sins of the whole
world. He shed his blood on the cross covering all sins.

Propitiation? When Christ went to the cross Gods righteous wrath which
should have been directed towards us sinners was redirected towards him.
Jesus satisfied the righteous requirements of Gods justice by living a
perfect life and by paying the price for us.
.
.

What else did Jesus do by shedding his blood?

1 Pe 1:18-19 Because Jesus shed his blood for us, we were ransomed
from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers .

Heb 9:12 - He secured an eternal redemption.

Rev. 5:9 By your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe
and language and people and nation.

Acts 20:28 He obtained the members of his flock with his blood.

8. In the second half of Lev. 17 the Israelites are strictly forbidden to eat or drink
blood. The reason for this was so that they would not look to obtain life from
the blood of animals, but rather look to God for life, since he was the Creator and
Sustainer of life.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Yet Jesus does something that appears to violate this prohibition. What is it that
Jesus gives out to drink in Holy Communion (Mt. 26:28; Mk. 14:24; Lk. 22:20; 1
Cor. 10:16; 11:25)?

He gives his own blood to drink.

So why this reversal? Why is it ok to drink blood in the NT but not in the OT?
The key, whether in the OT or NT, is to look to God as the Creator and Sustainer
of life. Jesus is God. Jesus told the Jews four times that they needed to drink his
blood. Why? What would they receive if they did (John 53-56)?

They would receive life, eternal life. They would be raised up on the Last
Day and they would be one with Christ.

The blood of the OT sacrifices pointed forward to the blood that Christ would
shed on the cross. When Jesus ascended into heaven he took with him his shed
blood (Heb 9:11-12). There he cleansed the heavenly places with his blood like
the OT high priest cleansed the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place on the Day of
Atonement. Jesus then comes from heaven to earth where two or three are
gathered in his name at the Divine Service. He brings with him his holy blood. He
gives it to communicants to drink. By means of His blood he conveys all the
eternal blessings that he won with his self-sacrifice. In giving us his holy blood to
drink, he sprinkles our hearts and consciences, cleansing them from sin (Heb
9:13-14; 10:22; 12:24; 1 Pe 1:2).
What blessings does Jesus give through his holy blood to those who have faith in
him?

Mt 26:28; 1Cor 11:25; Eph 1:7 Redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Ro 5:9 Justification.

Heb 9:14; 1Jn 1:7 Purifies our consciences and cleanses us from all sin.

Heb 10:29; 13:12 Sanctifies (makes holy) Gods people.

Heb 13:20-21 Equips us to do his will.

Rev. 12:7-12 (esp. v. 11) By his blood they conquer Satan and the forces
of evil.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Christs cleansing and sanctifying blood is our most precious possession because
it gives us eternal life, all of the great blessings listed above, and access to the
heavenly sanctuary while here on earth (Eph. 2:13; Heb 10:19).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The Structure of Leviticus 18-20
These three chapters contain three divine speeches, which are linked together in a number
of ways:
(1) Lev. 18 prohibits defilement.
Lev. 20 gives penalties for desecration through defilement.
(2) Lev. 18:24-30 is an admonition to avoid defilement.
Lev. 20:22-26 is a call to holiness.
(3) The formula for self-introduction and self-commitment is a recurring motif
throughout this whole part of Leviticus (20 times).
(4) Lev. 19:2 Call to holiness
Lev. 20:7-8 Promise of sanctification
Lev. 20:26 Call to holiness
(5) In chapters 18-20 God admonishes Israel to keep His statutes (18:5, 26; 19:37; 20:22
(cf. 19:19; 20:8)) in order that they might receive life from Him by sharing in His
holiness. In fact the focus on their observance in 18:3-5 and 20:22-26 frames this body of
legislation.
These three chapters introduce the second half of Leviticus. They deal with reverence for
the sanctuary and participation in Gods holiness. The legislation in Lev. 18-27 therefore
carries out the command of God to Aaron in 10:10-11 that he and his fellow priests must
distinguish what is holy from what is common and what is clean from what is unclean
and teach the Israelites to do so as well.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 46: Ritual Defilement of the Land by Sexual Immorality (Part
1)
(This lesson provides the structure and context of chapter 18 and then takes us through
the first half of the chapter.)
Read Lev. 18:1-17
Outline
I. Introduction (18:1-2a)
II. Speech by Moses to the Israelites (18:2b-30)
A. Introductory admonition (18:2b-5)
1. Gods self-introduction (18:2b)
2. Prohibitions against following the pagan customs and laws of the land (18:3)
3. Commands to observe Gods laws with Gods self-introduction (18:4)
4. Promise of life from observance with Gods self-introduction (18:5)
B. Legislation for human sexual activity (18:6-23)
1. Heading (18:6)
a. Prohibition of incest (18:6a)
b. Gods self-introduction (18:6b)
2. Prohibition of incest in an extended family (18:7-17)
a. With a mother (18:7)
b. With a stepmother (18:8)
c. With a full sister or half sister (18:9)
d. With a granddaughter (18:10)
e. With a stepsister (18:11)
f. With a paternal aunt (18:12)
g. With a maternal aunt (18:13)
h. With a paternal aunt-in-law (18:14)
i. With a daughter-in-law (18:15)
j. With a fraternal sister-in-law (18:16)
k. With a mother and her daughter (18:17a)
l. With a mother and her granddaughter (18:17b)
--------- 3. Prohibition of sexual malpractices (18:18-23)
C. Concluding admonition: rationale for compliance (18:24-30)
Study
1. First lets look at the structural elements of chapter 18. This speech can be divided
into two sets of laws dealing with human sexuality: 18:7-17 and 18:18-23.
In Hebrew the eleven prohibitions in 18:7-17 all begin with the word
nakedness. Each of the prohibitions follows one of two chiastic patterns.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


(..1) The first is an ABA pattern and is illustrated by 18:8:
A The nakedness of your fathers wife
B Do not uncover;
A it is your fathers nakedness.
The pattern then is as follows:
A defines the prohibited relationship.
B Prohibition of sexual involvement.
A gives the reason for the relationship.
This pattern is used in 18:12, 13, 16 and is modified in 18:9, 10, 17.
(..2) The second chiastic pattern is an ABCBA pattern as illustrated by 18:15:
A The nakedness of you daughter-in-law
B do not uncover
C she is your sons wife;
B do not uncover
A her nakedness.
In this pattern the prohibition is repeated (B, B) and it centers on the reason for
the prohibition (C). The law in 18:7 follows this pattern and the laws in 18:11 and
18:14 modify it.
The second set of prohibitions in 18:18-23 are linked together as a series by the
use of and in Hebrew.
Verses 1-5 and 24-30 provide a frame for this passage. They are both admonitions
and contain many of the same words.
2. In this divine speech Yahweh speaks to Moses (18:1). What was Moses to do with
the words that Yahweh spoke to him (18:2a)?

Moses was to speak Gods word to the people of Israel.

As you read through this divine speech notice the personal tone used by God. In it
he speaks directly to the Israelites. What is the first thing Yahweh says to the
people (18:2b)?

Yahweh said, I am the LORD your God.

He introduces himself by his personal name Yahweh (translated as the


LORD). This would remind the people of the covenant at Mt. Sinai in which

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


God spoke through Moses and bound himself to Israel as their God. He uses this
formula for self introduction, or a similar one, six times in this chapter (18:2, 4, 5,
6, 21, 30). By revealing his name to them, he gave them access to himself.
In 18:2-6 (and later in 18:24-30) Yahweh addresses the Israelites corporately. He
will address them individually in 18:7-23. Yahwehs personal interest in them is
shown in his corporate admonition to them and in the specific legislation for
them. The legislation that he will give will establish conditions for the Israelites in
order that they will enjoy life in the promised land.
3. What two countries are the Israelites told not to be like (18:3)?

As Yahweh brings them into the land of Canaan, they are not to do as the
Egyptians do and they are not to do as the Canaanites do.

The Israelites are not to live by the statutes of these countries (18:3b). Rather,
what rules and statutes are they to follow (18:4)?

They are to keep and walk in the statutes that Yahweh their God gives
them to live by.

It doesnt say at this point, but given that most of the rest of the chapter is
legislation concerning sexual behavior within the family and without, what is
implied about the sexual behavior of Egypt and Canaan in the prohibition of 18:3?

It is implied that the sexual behavior of these nations was loose to say the
least. In fact we know that the Canaanites were so sexually disgusting that
God caused the land to vomit them out and Yahweh gave it to the
Israelites.
.
.

The prohibition given in 18:3 and removal of Canaanites then served as a warning
to Israel. If they live the same way as the Canaanites the same fate would await
them.
What reason is given in 18:5 to keep Yahwehs statutes and rules?

He shall live by them, that is, to have life.

Dr. Kleinig translates this slightly different. His translation is: any person who
does them will have life by them. Yahweh is the Creator. He gave life to Adam
and Eve and he gives life to each and every person. But life consists of more than
a beating heart and a functioning brain. What is the full life that God desires for
us? God desires a full life in family and community, peace and prosperity, health

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


and happiness, vitality and longevity. Life flows from God to people. True life
comes from having a relationship with God. When one has such a relationship,
one has these things. Anything that hinders that relationship hinders the flow of
life to people. God gives these laws and others in order that the Israelites might
have a full life. God provides life in ordered ways. When that order is followed,
life flows freely. But when there is disorder and chaos, the flow of life from God
is cut off. The sexual disorders discussed in this chapter cut off the flow of life
from God to His people. God wants them to have full life and therefore he
prohibits them from engaging in these disorders.
4. Lev. 18:6-17 covers a set of statutes that go together. Lev. 18:6 provides a general
heading for these statutes. What is the concern of these statutes? What is this
referring to?

These statutes concern not uncovering the nakedness of any close


relatives. Uncovering the nakedness of is referring to having sex with.
No one is to have sex with a close relative.
.

Why does God give this command? As we said, God created the world with order.
He designed and made things to work in certain ways. He designed people to live
in families who love and care for each other. Families are built upon relationships.
When those relationships suffer, the family suffers. When those relationships are
in chaos, the family is in chaos. Sex between blood relatives creates disorder and
ruins relationships, which in turn ruins the family. So the laws that follow in 18:717 are for the good of the family and the relationships of the family members.
Yahweh puts an emphatic stamp on this command by concluding it with I am
Yahweh. By his continued use of his self-identification to the Israelites, Yahweh
is associating himself with them and is committing himself to them. Since he is
their God they must do nothing that will bring dishonor to him.
5. All of the laws in 18:7-17 are laws against incest. The people a man was
forbidden to have sex with can be grouped into four groups. Who is in the first
group (18:14; 18:12-13; 18:7; 18:8)? (If some are hard to figure out, look at the
outline.)

Aunt-in-law (18:14), aunt (18:12, 13), mother (18:7), stepmother (18:8).

Who is in the second group (18:9b; 18:9a; 18:16; 18:11)?

Half sister (18:9b), full sister (18:9a), sister-in-law (18:16), stepsister


(18:11).

Who is in the third group (18:15; 18:17)? And which person fits into this group
but is not mentioned? (Perhaps she was so obvious that she was assumed.)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Daughter-in-law (18:15), daughter (so obvious, it was assumed?),


stepdaughter (18:17).

Who is in the fourth group (18:10; 18:17)?

Granddaughter (18:10), step-granddaughter (18:17).

This first group of laws sets the boundaries for sexual activity within the extended
family. The reason for this is that they are all of the same flesh. When one marries
into a family, he or she becomes a flesh and blood relative to everyone in that
extended family. Incest disrupts the foundational relationships in the family, the
basic unit in the land of Israel and the basic unit of people everywhere. The
extended family generally consisted of five generations of people living and
working together. Its members were of the same flesh. Its male members were
responsible for its integrity and productivity. They were to act in its best interests.
Sexual relations between the various members of a family would go against the
sexual boundaries that God created for the family and tare the fabric of the family
into shreds.
The second reason for this taboo involves nakedness. God intends that a husband
and wife share their nakedness with each other, but not with the rest of the family.
Nakedness has to do with a personal identity and an ordered intimacy. Sharing it
outside of that marriage, even among family, ruins both. By taking what is meant
to be most private and putting it on display in public brings confusion and shames
the family. Incest degrades the individuals as well as the family.
6. The next lesson will cover the second set of prohibitions and the concluding
admonition. A third lesson will discuss how Jesus fulfills this chapter.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 47: Ritual Defilement of the Land by Sexual Immorality (Part
2)
(This lesson takes us through the second half of the chapter 18.)
Read Lev. 18:18-30
Outline
I. Introduction (18:1-2a)
II. Speech by Moses to the Israelites (18:2b-30)
A. Introductory admonition (18:2b-5)
B. Legislation for human sexual activity (18:6-23)
1. Heading (18:6)
2. Prohibition of incest in an extended family (18:7-17)
--------- 3. Prohibition of sexual malpractices (18:18-23)
a. Marriage to a sister of a wife during her lifetime (18:18)
b. Sexual intercourse with a woman during menstruation (18:19)
c. Sexual intercourse with a neighbors wife (18:20)
d. Sacrifice of offspring to Molech (18:21)
e. Homosexual intercourse (18:22)
f. Sexual intercourse of a man with an animal (18:23a)
g. Sexual intercourse of a woman with an animal (18:23b)
C. Concluding admonition: rationale for compliance (18:24-30)
1. Avoidance of the defilement and expulsion from the land (18:24-25)
2. Avoidance of expulsion and extirpation by God (18:26-29)
3. Gods commission of the Israelites to protect the land (18:30a)
4. Gods concluding self-introduction (18:30b)
Study
1. Lev. 18:18-23 covers a second set of prohibitions. This section covers a wide
variety of sexual prohibitions. In each case what is prohibited and why?

18:18 A man is not allowed to take his wifes sister as a wife. Besides
degrading his first wife and producing a rivalry within the family, this
uncovers her nakedness. Remember that this refers to personal identity
and ordered intimacy. A husband and wife become one flesh. That one
flesh was not intended to be shared by others.
.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

18:19 Having sex with a woman who is in the midst of her period was
prohibited because she was in an unclean state. This would spread her
uncleanness.
.

18:20 A man could not have sex with his neighbors wife. This was
adultery and it made a man unclean.
.

18:21 One could not offer any of his children to Molech as a sacrifice
because this would profane Yahwehs holy name. To give a child which
belonged to Yahweh to another god was profane.
.

18:22 A man could not have sex with another man. God obviously
created the bodies of men and women to fit together for sex. To treat a
man as a woman is an abomination to Yahweh. This violates the order that
God created between a man and a woman.
.
.

18:23 Neither a man or woman was to have sex with an animal. In the
created order people are different than and are over animals. To have sex
with animals is perverted.
.

One might wonder why child sacrifice (18:21) is included in this list of sexual
prohibitions. In the KJV the word that is normally translated as children is
translated as seed. In the OT seed may refer to semen or offspring. In
adultery, a mans seed is given to another woman who is outside the marriage.
When a child is born to a married couple, the child is their seed. Abraham was
given a promise from God that through his seed, one of his offspring, the whole
world would be blessed.
Therefore all the prohibitions in 18:18-23 have to do with the improper use of
seed. Doing these sexual acts violates a persons nakedness, makes people
unclean, reverses the natural order, confuses natural boundaries, and desecrates
Gods holy name (child sacrifice).
In summary, the sexual acts that God prohibits go against the divinely established
natural created order. Bestiality violates the order of the species. It confuses the
animal realm with the human realm. Homosexuality violates the order of sexes,
confusing the distinction between men and women. Incest and adultery violates
the order of kinship, violating the order God established for families. When man

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


in rebellion goes his own way, the order that God established is broken and chaos
and pain ensue.
2. Lets take a minute and look at the importance of location in this chapter. In 18:3
it mentions that Yahweh had brought them out of Egypt where the Israelites once
lived and was bringing them to Canaan. When immigrants enter a new land, in
order to better fit in they often adopt the customs of the people who already live
there. They adapt and fit into the culture and society. But Yahweh expressly told
them not to bring with them and live by the customs of Egypt and not to live by
the customs of the Canaanites. Instead Yahweh said, You shall follow my rules
and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God. You shall
therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by
them: I am the LORD.
If they were to live according to the ways of the Canaanites, what would it do to
them and the land (18:24-25a, 27)?

If they live like the Canaanites they would become unclean and the land
would become unclean.

What did this mean in terms of worshipping Yahweh? What happened if anyone
approached Yahweh in this state?

Yahweh could not be approached by anyone that was unclean. To do so


would desecrate Yahwehs holiness and the person would be destroyed.

Instead of living like the Canaanites, they must live according to the laws of God
who will live with them in that land (18:26). Life there was to revolve around
their coexistence with Him.
What did Yahweh do to the Canaanites because of the sexually perverted ways
they lived in (18:25b)?

He punished them for their iniquity and caused the land to vomit them out.
He used the Israelites to kick the Canaanites out of the land that he had
given them to live in.

What did God threaten to with the Israelites if they lived like the Canaanites
(18:28-29)?

If they live as sexual deviants like the Canaanites and make the land
unclean, Yahweh would cause the land to vomit them out just like it did
with the Canaanites. He threatened the death penalty to anyone who lived
this way.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
This land was a good land that had been polluted by the sexual deviations of its
inhabitants. The land suffered from the wickedness of its people. Like a stomach,
the land would vomit out what had polluted it (be it the Canaanites or the
Israelites). God was going to purge the land of its pollutants. Since God would
live with His people in this land, it had to be kept pure like the tabernacle. Israel
had to do guard duty for the land just as the priests did for the tabernacle.
What charge did Yahweh end the chapter with (18:30)?

He charged the Israelites to never practice any of these abominable


customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves
unclean by them.
.

And the final punctuation mark on the whole chapter is Yahwehs selfidentification (18:30). They are never to do these abominable things because he,
Yahweh, the Creator and Redeemer God, the God of Israel, has said not to.
3. Since Yahweh told the Israelites not to live like the Egyptians and the Canaanites,
and since it speaks about the Canaanites being vomited out by the land because of
their disgusting sexual lifestyle, it is clear that even though these prohibitions
were given to the Israelites, they apply to all people. The laws given in this
chapter are universal and are testified to by the created order and by our
conscience.
God gives every nation a good land to live in. He also gives each person a natural
knowledge of the created order. For instance, one can easily look at animals and
look at humans and know that they completely different from each other and that
they were never meant to have sex with each other. This is part of the order that
God created the world in. And so as part of that order the land we live on is given
to us by God to support our life. But it goes the other way too. The life we lead
affects the environment around us. An obvious case would be when we dump
garbage on the side of the road or in our rivers. This pollutes our environment.
But there are less obvious ways that we pollute the land we live on. One of those
ways is given in this chapter. When people live sexually deviant lives, they pollute
the good land God has given them. Their consciences bear witness to this
pollution and inform them that they are violating Gods created order. God will
not allow it to continue forever. At some point, if they continue living sexually
disgusting lives, he will have the land do to them what he had it do to the
Canaanites. It will vomit them out.
For the Israelites, not polluting the land by disregarding Gods created order was
even more important and carried greater significance than it did for the nations.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Israel was Gods chosen people and besides giving them this land to live in,
Yahweh was going to live in this land with them. They would come into his
presence at the tabernacle where he would share his holiness with them. Therefore
neither the people nor the land could be polluted, for to do so would desecrate
Gods holy name. If they did so, they would be expelled and cut off from the land.
These laws then protect Gods holiness and their holiness and allow them to
continue to share in his holiness. It would enable them to enjoy a full life with
Him in the land.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 48: Ritual Defilement of the Land by Sexual Immorality (Part
3)
(This lesson covers how Christ fulfilled the laws given in Lev. 18)
Fulfillment by Christ
1. The way that God has designed life is that life begins with him and then flows to
parents and their children. Through his created order it continues to flow from
generation to generation. Incest, adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality block and
restrict this flow of life. The laws in this chapter against these things apply not
only to Israel, but to the NT people of God and indeed to all people.
A Christians attitude towards sexual immorality distinguishes him or her from
pagans. What is that attitude and what is the reason behind it (1 Cor. 6:14-20)?

The Christian is never to be joined to a prostitute and is to flee from sexual


immorality. The reason for this is that we have been bought for a price
with the holy blood of Christ and we have been joined to God because the
Holy Spirit lives within us. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit
and it should not be polluted with sexual immorality.
.
.
.

Instead of using their bodies for sexual immorality, what should Christians use
them for (1 Cor. 6:20)?

As a Christian, you are to Glorify God in your body.

2. Lev. 18:5 promises that any human being who does them will have life by them.
Jesus expanded this view of life to pertain to all the commandments. When
questioned about life, what did Jesus point the lawyer to (Lk. 10:25-28)?

Jesus pointed him to the Law or Torah. He confirmed what the teacher of
the Law said. If he loves God with all his heart and if he loved his
neighbor as himself, he would live.
.

This teaching is absolutely true but it causes a problem for sinful people. Is it
possible for sinful people to perfectly and continually love God and his neighbor?

No, this is impossible.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Deep down the teacher of the Law knows this. So what is he trying to do when he
asks Jesus, And who is my neighbor? (Lk. 10:29)? And what is Jesus answer
(Lk. 10:30-38)?

In asking the question, the lawyer is trying to limit who his neighbor is. To
him his neighbors who he is to love with his whole heart may be his
family and friends. But in telling the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus
shows that our neighbors include anyone who is in need of help, including
our enemies!
.
.
.

God works through people helping their neighbors to give life and to make life
better. Whenever we dont help people in need, we are cutting off the flow of life
from God to people.
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus taught about loving our neighbor. The
next story in Luke (Lk. 10:38-42) illustrates love for God. What did Mary do to
show that she loved God (Lk. 10:39)?

She sat at Jesus feet and listened to him teach.

Since Jesus is God and life flows from God to people, the words he spoke were
life-giving words. Peter said, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life (Jn. 6:68). When we hear and believe Jesus Word we receive eternal
life.
3. In the Gospel of John Jesus applied the promise of life in Lev. 18:5 to himself and
his Word. The Father sent the Son to his fallen creation to give life. Who did he
come to give life to? And what kind of life did he offer (Jn. 3:16; 5:26; 10:10;
17:2)?

Jesus came to give life to all people, the whole world. The life he offers is
a full and abundant life, life as God first intended it. He came to give
eternal life.
.

Why did Jesus say the Jews searched the scriptures (Jn. 5:39a)? [By the way, note
that at the time of Jesus the scriptures only consisted of the OT. The NT scriptures
had not been written yet.]

They search them looking for eternal life.

And indeed they were right! How does one find eternal life in the scriptures (Jn.
5:39b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The OT scriptures bear witness to Jesus. The main purpose of the


scriptures is to point us to Jesus. Life is found in Jesus.

Jesus is the sole source of life. The scriptures reveal Jesus to us. The words of
scripture are Jesus life-giving Word to us. Through them Jesus sends his Spirit
and life and the Holy Spirit gives that life to people through the Word (Jn. 6:63).
What is it that the Holy Spirit works in people that allows them to receive eternal
life (Jn. 3:36a; 5:24)?

Through Gods Word the Holy Spirit works faith in Jesus in people. Those
who believe in Jesus already have eternal life.

4. To receive eternal life one has to be justified before God the Judge. Pauls
opponents (the Judaizers) taught that in addition to faith in Jesus, one had to keep
the Law. What did Paul say was the status of those who rely on works of the
law and why (Gal. 3:10)?

Those who rely on the Law are under a curse because they must abide by
all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. They must keep
the Law perfectly and if they dont they are cursed.
.

If we must be justified before God will give us eternal life and we cannot be
justified by keeping the Law, how then does Paul explain how we are justified and
saved (Rom. 10:9-13)?

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the
heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is
saved (Rom. 10:9-10).
.
.

If we cannot be saved by keeping the Law, what is the purpose of keeping the
laws given in Lev. 18 and in the Pentateuch? Keeping these laws is a fruit of
justification. It is part of our sanctification. It allows life to flow from God to us.
5. Lev. 18 prohibits sexual immorality. Jesus and his apostles uphold these laws
(Jesus - Mt. 5:27-30; 19:18; Mk. 10:19; Lk. 18:20; Apostles - Rom. 13:9; James
2:11; 1 Cor. 6:9). Jesus widened the scope of adultery. For Jesus adultery is not
just the physical act. What did Jesus include as adultery (Mt. 5:8)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Jesus said that, Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has
already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Where does adultery and all sins arise from (Mt. 5:19; Mk. 7:21-22)?

Adultery and all sins arise out of the heart. The sinful heart of man is the
source of the problem.

Jesus teaches that a person is defiled by secret acts of adultery and sexual
immorality that are committed in the imagination of the heart.
6. Lev. 18 prohibits incest. The apostle Paul speaks of an incestuous relationship in
the Corinthian congregation between a man and his step-mother (1Cor. 5:1-8).
Does Paul allow it? What does Paul tell them to do with the man?

Paul berates them for allowing such a thing in their church. They are
allowing what even the pagans dont allow. He tells them to remove the
man from the congregation and hand him over to Satan
(excommunication) in order that he might realize the gravity of his sin and
repent.
.
.
.

Lev. 18 prohibits homosexual behavior. How does Paul describe such behavior
(Rom. 1:26-27)?

Paul says that God gives people over to their homosexual and lesbian
behavior and perverted passions. He allows them to carry out their sinful
actions even though it is contrary to the natural order that he created. He
does it as an act of judgment on their shameless acts.
.
.

Concerning the kingdom of God, what will happen to those who persistently and
willingly commit these sins (1Cor. 6:9-10)?

They will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will not spend eternity
with God in heaven.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Yet not until death is a persons fate sealed. Some of the people in the Corinthian
congregation had lived a sexually immoral life. Some were adulterers and some
had lived a homosexual lifestyle. What happened to them (1 Cor. 6:11)?

This was their way of life in the past. When they came to believe in Jesus
they received pardon and cleansing for their sins and a new way of life.
They were justified before God and sanctified.
.

7. In general the sexual sins mentioned in Lev. 18:6-23 are called fornication or
sexual immorality in the NT. They are described as sins that need to be repented
of (2 Cor. 12:21), works of the sinful flesh (Gal. 5:19), as impurity that there
should not be even a hint of among Christians (Eph. 5:3), and as earthly things
within us that should be put to death (Col. 3:5).
The sexual immorality that the Canaanites practiced polluted the land and caused
God to expel them. The Israelites were warned not to practice such sins or they
would be disqualified from possessing the promised land. These things serve as a
warning for Christians. What happens when Christians become involved in these
acts of fornication (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:5; Rev. 21:8; 22:15)?

They will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). They give up
their inheritance of the kingdom of Christ (Eph. 5:5). Instead of heaven,
they will experience the second death (eternal separation from God) and
the lake of fire and sulfur (Rev. 21:8). They will be excluded from Gods
holy presence. Their place will be outside of heaven.
.
.
.

By a pure act of grace God sent his Son Jesus. But if Christians respond to such
grace by wantonly disregarding Gods laws and the created order that he
established, God will disinherit them from heavenly promised land.
8. The punishments that God inflicted upon unfaithful Israel in the OT were types
and examples for Christians so that they might not desire evil, put God to the test,
and be seduced into practicing idolatry, sexual immorality, and grumbling (1 Cor.
10:5-13). What happens to all people who persist in sexual immorality (Eph. 5:56; Heb. 13:4)?

God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. And the wrath of
God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

What are members of the church to do with those within the church who
impenitently live a sexually immoral lifestyle (1 Cor. 5:9-13; Eph. 5:6-7)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

They are not to associate with such people. They are to purge them from
their midst.

9. Heb. 13:4 provides a succinct summary of Lev. 18.: Let marriage be held in
honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled. God designed that sexual
intercourse be made between a married husband and wife. It is a clean act
approved by God. Christians and their marriage are holy in Gods sight. Therefore
they are forbidden to defile the marriage bed in any way, by sexual immorality or
by adultery. Since God has established and sanctified marriage, he will also
defend it: God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous (Heb. 13:4).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 49: The Holiness of the Congregation (Part 1)
(This lesson covers the first half of Lev. 19.)
Read Lev. 19:1-18
Outline
I. Introduction (19:1-2a)
A. Gods address to Moses (19:1)
B. Gods commission to Moses (19:2a)
II. Speech by Moses to the congregation of Israel (19:2b-37)
A. Introductory call to share in Gods holiness (19:2b)
B. Basic requirements for sharing in Gods holiness (19:3-4)
1. Respect for parents and observance of the Sabbaths with divine self-introduction
(19:3)
2.. Prohibition of idolatry with divine self-introduction (19:4)
C. Two cases of offerings (19:5-10)
1. Right use of the meat from the peace offerings (19:5-8)
2. Right provision of food for the disadvantaged (19:9-10a)
a. Leftover grain for gleaning in the fields (19:9)
b. Leftover grapes for picking in the vineyards (19:10a)
3. Divine self-introduction (19:10b)
D. Justice and love as the basis for communal solidarity (19:11-18)
1.Prohibition of deceptive misappropriation of property with divine selfintroduction (19:11-12)
2. Prohibition of the oppression and abuse of the disadvantaged with divine selfintroduction (19:13-14)
3. Maintenance of justice in local courts with divine self-introduction (19:15-16)
4. Positive rather than negative retaliation with divine self-introduction (19:17-18)
--------- E. Central admonition (19:19)
F. Two cases on mixtures (19:20-25)
G. Areas of conflict between Gods holiness and family solidarity (19:26-32)
H. The generous treatment of resident aliens (19:33-36a)
I. Final admonition on the observance of Gods laws (19:36b-37)
Study
1. First lets look at some structural elements that will help us understand this
chapter better. The main structural device used is the use of the formula for
Yahwehs self-introduction: I am the LORD or I am the LORD your God. It
is used 15 times. Sometimes its use marks off subunits and other times it marks
off major units.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The use of an admonition (19:2b; 19:19; 19:36b-37) frames and divides the text
into two main parts (19:3-18; 20-36a). Each of the two main parts has several
sections which correspond to each other. See the diagram below.
Admonition (19:2b)
Foundational laws (19:3-4)
Case law on animal sacrifices and agriculture (19:5-10)
Moral commandments (19:11-18)
Admonition (19:19)
Case law on animal sacrifices and agriculture (19:20-25)
Religious commandments (19:26-32)
Concluding laws (19:33-36a)
Admonition (19:36b-37)
There are also several key words and phrases that tie the two main parts together.
keep (19:3, 19, 37) divides the speech into two halves.
to fear (19:3, 14, 30, 32) associates reverence for the Lord with
reverence for parent and the sanctuary.
Sabbath (19:3, 30) connects family with the sanctuary.
you shall not turn to (19:4, 31) associates idols and the spirits of the
dead.
The varied use of holy (19:2, 8, 24, 30) connects Gods holiness with
meat from peace offerings, the fruit of a young tree, and the sanctuary.
desecration (19:12, 29) connects the desecration of Gods name with a
fathers desecration of his daughter.
injustice (19:15, 35) connects judicial injustice with commercial
injustice.
to love another (19:18, 34) extends love of neighbor to love of resident
alien.
Chapter 19 connects with chapters 18 and 20 by:
The admonition to keep Gods statutes (18:5, 26; 19:19a, 37)
The admonition to enact the statutes (19:37b; 20:22)
The call to share in Gods holiness (19:2; 20:26b)
2. This divine speech was given to Moses who in turn was to tell the Israelites (19:12a). Lev. 19:2b is the first use of the formula for self-introduction: I the LORD
your God. All of the statutes in this chapter need to be understood in light of this
formula. Throughout the chapter the formula is used in four ways:
(.. 2A) Short form (8 times), I am Yahweh (the LORD), used to introduce
Himself and give access to Himself
(.. 2B) Long form (6 times), I am Yahweh (the LORD) your God, used to
commit Himself to them as their God

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


(..2C) Long form w/deliverance from Egypt (1 time), I am Yahweh (the LORD)
your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, used to claim allegiance to
Him as His subjects
(..2D) Long form w/declaration of His holiness (1 time), I, Yahweh (the LORD)
your God, am holy, used to claim them as His holy people
3. What was Yahwehs command to Israel (19:2b)?

Yahwehs command to the Israelites was: You shall be holy.

This call to holiness can be understood in three ways:


o as a promise that they will be holy
o as a fact that they are holy
o as a demand that they are to be holy
Since only God is holy, any holiness that they have is derived from Him; He
shares His holiness with them. It is God who makes and keeps them holy. This
chapter then is about the Israelites not doing anything that would block Gods
holiness from coming to them. They are to obey these prohibitions because they
are holy and want to continue receiving his holiness.
One important point needs to be made about Israels holiness. By obeying these
commandments the Israelites did not become holy. That would amount to
justification by works. God in his grace gave them His holiness through holy
things. They received His holiness like we receive light from the sun. That
holiness was received by grace alone. These prohibitions identified things that
desecrated Gods holiness or defiled the Israelites. They were holy; therefore they
needed to avoid whatever was ungodly. They were to obey because they were
holy. This is the presupposition of the entire speech. They need to be who they
are. They are holy therefore they need to be holy.
Participation in Gods Holiness (19:3-4)
4. Which of the 10 commandments does 19:3a reiterate (see Ex. 20:12)?

This is the fourth commandment Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving
you.
.

What commandment does 19:3b refer to (see Ex. 20:8)?

This refers to the third commandment - Remember the Sabbath day, to


keep it holy.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


At first glance it might seem strange to put these two commandments together.
After all the fourth commandment is from the second table of the Law, which has
to do with our love for neighbor. And the third commandment is from the first
table of the Law, which has to do with our love for God. To understand this we
must keep in mind what we said in the previous point about holiness and look
back at the diagram in point #1 above, which says these verses are foundational
laws for this chapter.
What were the Israelites required to do on the Sabbath day (Lev. 23:3)?

They were required to rest on the Sabbath. They could not do any work.

As the tabernacle was holy space devoted completely to Yahweh, so the Sabbath
day was holy time which was completely devoted to Yahweh. By not working on
this day, they had time to reflect on the fact that there was no amount of work that
they could do to make themselves holy. They had to depend completely upon God
for their holiness.
What and who were the people of Israel to Yahweh (Lev. 20:26; Deut. 7:6)?

The people of Israel were holy to Yahweh. They were his treasured
possession out of all the nations.

Therefore every Israelite child born to Israelite parents was holy; he was a part of
Gods holy people. Israelite parents were Yahwehs representatives through which
he made his people holy. Parents also promoted the holiness of the family by
leading their families to observe the Sabbath and festive holy days at the
sanctuary and by bringing sacrifices to the tabernacle.
They were to revere their parents and keep Yahwehs Sabbaths because Yahweh
had committed himself to them as their God (19:3c).
Two more foundation laws are given in 19:4. Which commandment do they refer
to (see Ex. 20:3)?

They refer to the first commandment You shall have no other gods
before me.

In 19:4a most translations have: Do not turn to idols. Dr. Kleinig translates it
slightly different: You shall not turn to godlings. Godlings is a derisive term.
They were feeble entities that didnt deserve to be called gods. The Israelites had
access to the true God, Yahweh, who had committed himself to them. They did
not need to turn to these false gods for help and blessing. They had access to God
through His name (Yahweh). What else were they not permitted to do (19:4b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

God said to them, you shall not make for yourselves any gods of cast
metal.

This probably refers to the household gods we see in the OT (for instance see
Micah in Judg.17:4). These gods were made either by pouring gold, silver, or
bronze into a mold or by plating wooden statues with gold or silver. These statues
were to give access to the god that they represented. The Israelites were obviously
forbidden to have statues that represented false gods. But this prohibition goes
beyond that. They also could not make statues of Yahweh. Yahweh could not be
accessed through a statue. Yahweh had already given them access to himself
through his holy name (19:4c) and through the sacrificial system performed at the
tabernacle.
So these foundational commandments are meant to protect the flow of holiness
from God out to and through His congregation. By turning to godlings or idols of
Yahweh the Israelites cut themselves off from the Lord and His holiness.
Two Kinds of Offerings (19:5-10)
5. Yahweh, the one true holy God, had chosen and committed himself to Israel. As
their God he shared his holiness with them and cared for them. He shared his
holiness with them through the peace offering (19:5a). The people brought peace
offerings to Yahweh at the tabernacle. Yahwehs acceptance of the peace offering
showed that he accepted not only the offering but the offerer (19:5b). After
receiving the offering, Yahweh then turned around and gave the meat from the
peace offering back to the offerer as a holy meal. Since the meat had come into
contact with Yahwehs holy presence at the altar for burnt offering, it was holy.
This meat was the only holy object that the lay people were allowed to handle.
Because it was holy certain restrictions were placed on it. What were those
restrictions (19:6)?

The meat from the peace offering had to eaten on the day of the sacrifice
or the next day. Any meat left over after that had to be burned in fire.

By eating this holy meat as Yahweh prescribed the people received Gods holiness
and blessing. What happened if someone did not eat it as Yahweh prescribed
(19:7-8)?

After the second day the meat was rotten meat and it was not acceptable to
eat it. Anyone who ate the meat after the second day was guilty of
profaning that which was holy to Yahweh and was cutoff from Israel.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The flow of holiness, life, and blessing came from Yahweh to the Israelites
through their families to the whole community. One way that Yahweh gave them
these blessings was through the peace offering. Treating the holy meat from the
peace offering as if it were common meat instead of holy meat by eating it after
the second day was an act of sacrilege and a kind of spiritual suicide. For in doing
so, they cut themselves off from the community and Gods blessing.
As Yahweh provided holiness and life for his people through the peace offering,
so he provided for the poor and aliens through another kind of offering. When
landowners reaped their harvest, what were they forbidden from doing (19:910a)?

They were not permitted to reap all the way to the edge or pick up stalks
that fell to the ground during the reaping process. The same was true for
their vineyards. They were not to strip them bare of all its fruit or pick up
the fallen grapes.
.
.

What was the purpose for leaving some of the grain and fruit in the fields
(19:10b)?

Some of the grain and fruit was purposely left in the fields and vineyards
for the poor and aliens. They could come along and take some of the grain
and grapes for their own use. This was Gods provision for them, a kind of
welfare system.
.
.

Many times within chapter 19 sections are bracketed off by Yahwehs formula of
self-introduction I am the LORD your God. Notice that there is no selfintroduction between the instructions about the peace offering (19:5-8) and the
instructions on harvesting (19:9-10). Thats one of the reasons we take these
verses as one unit.
But what then is the purpose of joining these two parts together? As we said
above, one connection between the two parts is that through these two means
Yahweh provides and cares for his people, showing his love and concern for them.
Another reason for connecting the two parts might be as follows. Lev. 19:5-8 is
concerned about the holy realm (God sharing his holiness through the holy meal
from the peace offering). Lev. 19:11-18 is concerned about the moral social realm
(as it deals with stealing, oppressing, injustice, etc.). Lev. 19:9-10 has both a
religious and social meaning. It bridges the gap between the holy and the moral. It
was both a religious and moral duty to provide for the poor and aliens. It is easy to

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


see the moral aspect of providing for the poor. But it is a little harder to see the
religious aspect.
In the peace offering, Yahweh took from what had been given to him and gave it
back to the people as a holy meal. Through this meal Yahweh showed that he
accepted them. He used the meal to build up and nourish his relationship with
them. The legislation concerning gleaning is very similar. Yahweh owned the land
of Canaan. He allowed the Israelites to live on and use the land (as renters). He
provided crops and vineyards for his people. But some Israelites and aliens that
lived among them did not own land. So through the instructions in 19:9-10
Yahweh provided for those who could not grow their own crops and grapes. The
whole harvest belonged to Yahweh, but he chose to give most of his crops to those
who rented the land (from a human perspective the landowners) and the rest of
the crops he demanded be left in the fields where the poor and aliens could come
and gather for themselves and their families. It was a type of offering that God
used to provide for the poor.
Yahweh provided for the priests and their families through various kinds of
offerings. Yahweh provided a holy meal for the Israelites through the peace
offering. Yahweh provided for the Israelite families by offering to them the crops
that grew upon their/his land. And Yahweh provided for the poor and needy by
offering to them some of the crops that were not harvested along the edges and
that which fell to the ground. In all these ways Yahweh provided for his people
through offerings. That is the religious aspect of verses 9 and 10.
Gods Protection of His Holy People from Abuse (19:11-18)
6. Note that this unit is divided into four subunits. What is it that divides it into 4
subunits (19:12b, 14c, 16c, 18c)?

Yahwehs formula for self-introduction divides into 4 subunits I am the


Lord.

The four subunits are made up mostly of prohibitions. The things prohibited here
could not be covered in a normal court of law. So by these prohibitions God made
these acts of injustice sins against himself and his holiness. By his holiness then
he protected the members of his community.
The prohibitions which tell Israel what not to do are summarized by four
performative commandments that tell Israel how they should treat each other as
Gods holy people. What are these four commandments?

19:14b You shall fear your God.

19:15c In righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. Judge justly.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

19:17b You shall reason frankly with your neighbor. Openly and
honestly rebuke your offender.

19:18b You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

This is how holy people treat each other.


7. What does the first subunit have to do with (19:11a) and which of the 10
commandments is this (Ex.20:15)?

It has to do with stealing. The seventh commandment says you shall not
steal.

The next three prohibitions in this subunit (19:11b 12a) forbid the covering up
of the theft. Note the progression.
o First the theft occurs (19:11a).
o Then when confronted the offender denies the theft with a lie (19:11b).
o Then when challenged, the offender lies and claims that he is the owner of
the property (19:11c).
o Finally when taken to court, the offender swears upon Gods holy name
that he is the owner and did not steal the property (19:12a).
What commandment is broken when Gods name is profaned (19:12a; Ex. 20:7)?

The second commandment forbids taking Gods name in vain.

Therefore the act of stealing could eventually lead to the terrible sin of sacrilege
by desecrating Gods holy name.
8. The next set of commandments (19:13-14) protected each person in the
congregation from exploitation by powerful people. Three cases are given. In the
first case what is prohibited (19:13a)?

You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. It prohibits withholding
property or payment from someone or using ones high position to
basically rob someone in a vulnerable position.
.

What is prohibited in the second case (19:13b)?

It prohibited the delayed payment of a worker his wages.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


This is speaking of day labors. They were poor. They had no property and had no
permanent job. God protected them by requiring they be paid every day.
What was prohibited in the third case (19:14a)?

You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind.
God prohibits hidden abuse of disadvantaged people. They were unable to
defend themselves.
.

This may be talking of literal deaf and blind people and it may also be talking of
figurative deaf and blind people. When someone insults another person secretly
behind their back, it is as if they are deaf and blind to what is being said about
them. In either case, the abusers do not fear retaliation from them. But they should
fear God who protects the weak and avenges them through His holiness.
9. In 19:15-16 God prohibits injustice in Israels courts (19:15a). The Israelites held
court at the city gates. The Israelite people served as jurors and made judgments
on innocence and guilt. What does Yahweh warn against and prohibit from the
jurors (19:15b,c)?

He warns them and prohibits them from favoring the poor because they
are weak or the great because they are powerful. They are to judge
based on what is right (19:15c).
.

Israelites could also be eye witnesses to events that occurred or things that were
said. What does Yahweh warn against in 19:16a?

He warns against going around and slandering someone, that is, secretly
attacking someones reputation.

Doing this leads to injustice because an unjust sentence is formed in the peoples
community and therefore was a type of murder.
A person may also be on the other side of slander. They be the one who hears the
slanderous attacks made by another person. What were they to do when they
heard such slanderous attacks (19:16b)?

They were not to be indifferent, but to stand up for the person who was
being slandered.

In this case the person who allowed someone to be slandered was just as guilty
before Yahweh as the person doing the slandering for the loss of the persons life.
In a sense they both had blood on their hands.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


10. The three subunits in 19:11-16 culminate in 19:17-18 with the Lords remedy for
injury and abuse, whether by theft, exploitation, or injustice. This material
presupposes a tribal society in which blood clans governed by payback. On the
positive side this preserved social and moral ecology of the clan. But on the
negative side it also generated revenge and hatred between clans. The Lord
undermined the revenge cycle by forbidding what (19:17a)?

By forbidding hatred for ones brother in ones heart.

What is the opposite of hate?

Love.

So rather than conceal hatred in the heart, the Israelites were to speak the truth in
love; they were to speak to the person who hurt them directly (19:17b). One
purpose for doing so would be to give the offender the chance to admit his wrong
and make it right. If he did not confront his offender and harbored hatred in his
heart, his hatred turned the victim into a wrongdoer who came under Gods
judgment (19:17c).
What does harboring hatred in ones heart lead to, which Yahweh prohibits
(19:18a)?

It leads to holding a grudge and a desire to take out vengeance on the


oppressor. Yahweh forbids both. Yahweh alone was to pay back evildoers.

These two prohibitions violated the basic tenet of tribal society, the principle of
personal retaliation for being wronged. Even if justice was not served by
confronting the wrongdoer, the victim was not allowed to hate or get revenge.
Instead, how was he to retaliate (19:18b)?

Instead, he was to retaliate with love. He was to love his neighbor as


himself.

The love the Lord commands here is not an emotion, but an act of the will. Each
person loves himself in the sense that he seeks what is good for himself. So they
are to do the same for others, even their enemies. The love normally reserved for
close family was to be extended to the whole congregation, the Lords holy
family.
11. The next lesson will cover the second half of Lev. 19.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 50: The Holiness of the Congregation (Part 2)
(This lesson covers the second half of Lev. 19.)
Read Lev. 19:19-37
Outline
I. Introduction (19:1-2a)
II. Speech by Moses to the congregation of Israel (19:2b-37)
A. Introductory call to share in Gods holiness (19:2b)
B. Basic requirements for sharing in Gods holiness (19:3-4)
C. Two cases of offerings (19:5-10)
D. Justice and love as the basis for communal solidarity (19:11-18)
--------- E. Central admonition (19:19)
1. Admonition on the observance of Gods statutes (19:19a)
2. Proverbial instruction on the avoidance of mixtures (19:19b)
F. Two cases on mixtures (19:20-25)
1. Sexual intercourse between an Israelite and a betrothed slave girl (19:20-22)
2. The use of fruit from a young fruit tree or vine (19:23-25a)
3. Divine self-introduction (19:26b)
G. Areas of conflict between Gods holiness and family solidarity (19:26-32)
1. Involvement in spiritism and the cult of the ancestors with divine selfintroduction (19:26-28)
2. Respect for Gods Sabbaths and sanctuary rather than desecrating daughters by
making them prostitutes with divine self-introduction (19:29-30)
3. Respect for live elders rather than dead ancestors with repeated divine selfintroduction (19:31-32)
H. The generous treatment of resident aliens (19:33-36a)
1. Loving treatment rather than oppression of aliens (19:33-34)
2. Use of correct weights and measures in trade and commerce (19:35-36a)
I. Final admonition on the observance of Gods laws (19:36b-37)
Study
The Prohibitions of Mixtures (19:19)
1. The admonition in 19:19a introduces the second half of the speech. Dr. Klenig
translates this slightly different than the ESV. He has: You must keep my ritual
statutes. The added word ritual is of significance. Rituals were carried out at
the tabernacle and therefore had theological connotations. It was at the tabernacle
that Yahweh shared his holiness with his people. Therefore what follows in this
chapter has to do with flow of holiness from Yahweh to his people. Note that this
functions in a similar way as 19:2 does for the first part of the chapter.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The admonition is followed by three puzzling prohibitions. The three prohibitions
have to do with mixing together things that do not normally go together. What
three areas do these prohibitions refer to (19:19b)?

Breeding different kinds of livestock together.

Sowing two different kinds of grain in the fields.

Making clothing out of two different kinds of material.

The three have to do with different natural and cultural orders. Mixing of these
things produces confusion and disorder in species, agriculture, and religious
status. (We say religious status for mixing material for clothing because the only
clothing made with different materials was that of the high priest. The average
Israelite had no reason to produce fabrics like those of the high priest.)
Note the relationship the three have with the ritual ceremonies at the tabernacle.
Both livestock and grain were brought and offered as sacrifices. The high priest
carried out his duties wearing his holy garments. Therefore the three prohibitions
have to do with making sure the Israelites remain clean so that can approach
Yahweh in the divine service in an acceptable way.
Two Cases of Sacral Disorder (19:20-25)
2. The two cases in 19:20-25 are the counterpart of the two instances in 19:5-10 in
the first part of the speech.
The first case, in 19:20-22, deals with an ambiguous social situation. An Israelite
man has a sexual encounter with a slave woman who belongs to her master and
who is also engaged to another man (19:20a). If she were a free woman, both she
and her lover would have been stoned (Deut. 22:23-24). If she were unbetrothed,
her lover would have been required to pay compensation to her owner and marry
her (Deut. 22:28-29). But this situation is different so a distinction is made.
In this case they were not to be put to death (19:20b) because she was not free.
Neither was her master compensated. Instead, who was compensated and what
was the compensation (19:21)?

Yahweh was compensated with a ram for a reparation offering.

What was done with the ram (19:22)?

The ram was offered as a reparation offering. It was used to make


atonement for the man so that his sin could be forgiven. The procedure for
the reparation offering was given in 5:14 6:7.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Reparation offerings were usually made when something holy had been
desecrated. But in this case it is not clear what holy thing had been violated.
Either Yahwehs holy name used in a betrothal oath or his name used in Israels
promise to keep the Decalogue was apparently violated. The reparation offering
resulted in the forgiveness of his sins and the restoration of his holy status.
3. The second case involved the fruit from a fruit tree (19:23-25). What were the
Israelites forbidden to do with it (19:23)?

Once they lived in the promised land, if they planted a fruit tree, they were
forbidden from eating the fruit from the tree for the first three years.

What may be implied from this verse is that the green fruit from the young fruit
tree was plucked from the tree so that it did not waste its energy trying to produce
fruit, thereby letting the tree put all of its energy into growing. What happened to
the fruit in the fourth year (19:24)?

In the fourth year all of the fruit from the tree was considered holy. It was
picked and taken to the sanctuary where it was used as an offering of
praise to the LORD. In taking it to the sanctuary the Israelites showed
that they recognized that it came from Yahweh and belonged to Yahweh.
.
.

After this firstfruit was given to Yahweh, the fruit it bore in subsequent years was
available to the Israelites as common fruit (19:25). The only requirement was that
the firstfruits each year be used as a tithe to Yahweh (Lev. 27:30). In this way,
each year the Israelites would continue to acknowledge that the fruit came from
Yahweh and belonged to Yahweh.
Dr. Kleinig sees in 19:23 a reference to circumcision (see also ESV text notes).
He translates it as follows: And when you enter the land and plant any kind of
fruit tree, you shall treat its foreskin [bud] with its fruit as if it were a foreskin; for
three years you shall regard it as uncircumcised; it shall not be eaten. If this is
the case the fruit tree is being compared to a young Israelite male who is being
circumcised. In circumcision the young boy is recognized as belonging to
Yahweh. In his common life, Yahweh will use this holy child as a blessing to his
people. So the young tree is viewed in a similar way. It belongs to Yahweh and
will be used by Yahweh to bless his people.
The Sacral-Social Disorder of the Congregation (19:26-32)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


4. This part of the speech (19:26-32) is the structural counterpart to 19:11-18. The
prohibitions in this section forbid acts that violate the sacred and social order of
the congregation. The performative commandments do the opposite. They instruct
on how these orders are upheld and built up.
The world view at this time was that the family was made up of living people and
the spirits of dead ancestors. But in Gods design the realms of the living and the
dead were separate. These prohibitions therefore cut these ties, focusing on the
fact that life came from the Lord and not from dead ancestors.
Note that Dr. Kleinig translates 19:26a slightly different than the ESV. He has:
You shall not eat [meat] over its blood. Given the context this translation makes
better sense than the ESV. Eating meat over its blood refers to the pagan practice
of slaughtering an animal for sacrifice, draining its blood into a pit to attract
ancestral spirits from the underworld, and eating the meat around the pit or over
its blood. This was supposed to summons the spirits for divination (19:26b).
Yahwehs prohibition against this cut off the realm of the living from the realm of
the dead.
The prohibitions in 19:27-28 have to do with mourning rites for the dead. Pagans
would mutilate their beards and bodies to show their solidarity with the dead and
their loyalty to them. These practices were forbidden because they encouraged
ancestor worship and the cult of the dead. The realm of the living was not to be
mixed with the realm of the dead.
5. The word translated as profane in 19:29 could also be translated as desecrate.
Both of these have to do with holiness. The Israelites were a holy people. Farming
ones daughter out as a prostitute desecrated her holiness (19:29a). A second
reason is given to disallow prostitution. What is it (19:29b)?

The place or land where prostitution occurred became defiled by it.

God created sex as something good between a husband and wife as a part of the
natural order. Therefore prostitution disturbed not only the sacred order, but also
the natural order of creation. Prostitution caused the land where it was performed
to be filled with depravity. There is a delicate balance between the sacred, social,
and natural realms. Prostitution introduced disorder and confusion into all three.
In terms of holiness, what did Yahweh do on Sabbaths and at the sanctuary?

Through the observance of the Sabbaths and the rituals performed at the
sanctuary, Yahweh shared his holiness with the Israelites.

Keeping the Sabbaths and revering the sanctuary (19:30) distinguished between
two holy and common things. What are these two things?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Keeping the Sabbath distinguished between holy time and common time.
Having reverence for the sanctuary distinguished between holy space and
common space.
.

In terms of holiness, prostitution and keeping the Sabbaths and observing the
rituals at the sanctuary were opposites. The former desecrated holiness and the
latter built up holiness.
6. Lev. 19:31-32 has to do with whose knowledge and wisdom the Israelite should
and should not consult. Who should they not consult (19:31a)?

Yahweh said, Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them


out. They were forbidden from turning to the spirits of the dead for life
and blessing.
.

What did they do to themselves if they consulted them (19:31b)?

They made themselves unclean, which meant they could not approach
Yahweh at his sanctuary. The spirits of the dead were not holy, in fact, they
were contagiously unclean; they polluted the Israelites.
.

Instead of consulting the spirits of the dead, who were the Israelites to consult
(19:32a)?

Instead of consulting the dead, they were to consult the living elders.

In the order that God created, the elders had knowledge and wisdom and were to
be honored. They conveyed His blessing. By revering them, they feared God
(19:32b). The family and the Israelite nation was held together largely by its
elders. The holiness of the congregation was threatened when the elders were
disregarded and treated with contempt. Therefore these verses again separate the
living and the dead.
Generosity to Aliens as Fellow Servants of God (19:33-36a)
7. Next Yahweh discusses the treatment of aliens who live among the Israelites.
When the Israelites settle in the promise land, how were the Israelites not to treat
aliens (19:33)?

They were not to do an alien any harm.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


How were they to treat them (19:34a)?

They were to treat aliens as if they were Israelites; they were to love them
as they loved themselves.

While aliens could offer sacrifices and had access to God at the sanctuary, legally
they could not own land and so had to work as laborers, which made them open to
exploitation. Therefore the commandment to love neighbor in 19:18 is expanded
in 19:33-34 to love aliens as themselves. What other reason is given in 19:34b?

Because they were once aliens and the Lord loved and provided for them,
therefore they were do the same for aliens that lived among them (see
Deut. 10:18-19).
.

Since aliens were laborers, artisans, and traders, they were especially vulnerable
to exploitation by the manipulation of weights, lengths, and quantities. Therefore
the business transactions of the Israelites were to be fair (19:35-36a). This applied
in their dealings with all Israelites and specifically with aliens who were
vulnerable to exploitation.
Summary Admonition (19:36b-37)
8. How does this divine speech end (19:36b-37)?

It ends with the divine formula for deliverance from Egypt coupled with
the call to observe Yahwehs law.

In the formula Yahweh not only gives access to himself through his holy name,
but he also claims the allegiance of the people because they were liberated by
him. So they were to do as he commanded as a response to his generosity towards
them. They were his holy people and he gave them these commandments so that
they could participate more fully in his holiness.
9. The next lesson will discuss how Jesus fulfilled these commandments and the
commandments from the first half of chapter 19.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 51: The Holiness of the Congregation (Part 3)
(This lesson discusses how Jesus fulfilled Lev. 19.)
Refers to Lev. 19:1-37
Study
Fulfillment by Christ
1. The people of Israel belonged to Yahweh and Yahweh declared, I Yahweh your
God am holy (19:2b). Because he was holy his people had to be holy. But the
only way that sinful people can be holy is for God to share his holiness with them.
Yahweh did this with his OT people by giving them access to himself and his
holiness through his holy name and by giving them the holy meat from the peace
offering. Therefore to keep his command You shall be holy (19:2a), they had to
use the means that Yahweh provided to be holy. They had to have a connection to
Yahweh in order to tap into his holiness.
Knowing that sanctified means to make holy and saints means holy ones,
who else is called to be holy like OT Israel (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Thess. 4:7)?

All those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ are called to be holy. All Christians are holy and are to be holy.

Christians like all people are sinful. How can they be holy (Heb. 12:10; 1 Cor.
1:2, 30)?

Christians are holy because they share in Jesus holiness. They are made
holy in Christ. He is their righteousness and sanctification and
redemption.

Before the foundation of the world Christians were called to be holy and
blameless (Eph. 1:3-4). They are holy but not because of anything they have
done. Their holiness is completely dependent upon Christ. Christ shares his
holiness with them making them holy. He is their holiness. What is the goal of the
Christians sanctification (Rom. 6:19-23)?

The goal of their sanctification in Christ is participation in eternal life, the


divine life of the Holy Trinity.

2. Because Christians are holy what does God expect of them (1 Pet. 1:15)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

You also be holy in all your conduct. Christians are expected to live
holy lives.

Because of this, except for the laws that deal with the tabernacle, the prohibitions
and commandments in Lev. 19 still apply and are relevant for Christians today.
Therefore it makes sense and is interesting to know that Lev. 19 is used more
often in the NT and early church than any other part of Leviticus. It provides an
ethic of holiness. This ethic is learned and applied to the Christian life by
liturgical participation in Gods holiness. Through the Divine Service God shares
his holiness with us. Through it he shapes the life of the community and their
dealings with each other and others outside the community.
3. One of the foundational laws in Lev. 19 was to keep the Sabbath (19:3b). Resting
on the Sabbath provided holy time, a time to consider that no amount of work on
their part could make them holy. Their holiness was completely dependent upon
God sharing his holiness with them, which he did through their parents, by giving
access to his holy name, and through the sacrificial system.
In the NT God does not command us to keep the Sabbath. Why is this (Col. 2:1617; Mt. 11:28-30)?

This is because Christ fulfilled the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a shadow of
what Christ would bring. Sabbath means rest. He came to bring rest to our
souls. Jesus is our rest.
.

How does Jesus, as our Rest, make us holy (sanctify us) (Jn. 17:17-19; 1 Tim.
4:5)?

Jesus makes us holy through the holy Word of God. It is the sanctifying
truth.

How do people enter the sanctifying rest that Jesus provides (Heb. 4:1-13, esp. v.
3a)?

Anyone may enter his sanctifying rest simply by trusting in Jesus, by


believing his word.

This is why Luther said in his explanation of the third commandment (Remember
the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy): We should fear and love God so that we do
not despise preaching and his Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn
it. Thus those who participate in the Divine Service hear Gods holy Word read
and preached and are sanctified by it. By hearing and believing Gods Word they
enter his rest and participate in Gods holiness.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


4. In the OT God lived among his people at the tabernacle/temple. At the
tabernacle/temple he gave them access to himself and shared his holiness with
them. God gave them the holy meat from the peace offering to eat as a holy meal
(19:5-8). Through this meal God gave them his holiness.
All the commandments concerning the sanctuary are fulfilled by Christ. If God
was present with his people in the OT at the temple, where was he present in the
NT (Jn. 2:21; Mt. 12:6)?

Jesus body is a greater temple than the old temple. Jesus is God present
bodily.

Looked at in another way, what temple has replaced the OT temple (Eph. 2:1922; 1 Pet. 2:4-8; 1 Cor. 3:16-17)? What is Jesus part in this temple?

The temple in the NT is the people of God. God lives among them and in
them. Or said another way, the NT temple is the church. Jesus is the chief
cornerstone on which the structure of the church is dependent.
.

What then does reverence my sanctuary (19:30b) ultimately apply to then (1


Cor. 3:9-17, esp. vv. 16-17)?

It applies to the church. Reverence is to be shown to the church for it is the


dwelling place of holy God built upon Christ himself. It applies to each
person who trusts in Jesus. The Holy Spirit dwells within each person who
has faith in Jesus.
.
.

Gods temple is holy (1 Cor. 3:17b). And therefore we must have reverence for its
sanctity and keep ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1).
5. At the tabernacle God shared his holiness with the Israelites by giving them holy
meat from the peace offerings (19:5-8). How does God share his holiness in the
NT (1 Cor. 11:20-28)?

He shares it through the holy meal of Christs body and blood.

The Israelites were not to desecrate the holy food from the peace offering (19:8).
What happens in the NT when someone desecrates the holy food of Christs body
and blood (1 Cor. 11:27-32)?

Those who do so fall under Gods judgment.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


6. Israel was prohibited from turning to idols (19:4). What are NT believers
commanded not to do (1 Cor. 10:7; 1 Jn 5:21)?

NT believers are commanded: Do not be idolaters and keep yourselves


from idols.

In fact what have Christians done (1 Thess. 1:9)?

Christians have turned to God from idols to serve the living and true
God.

Even though idols are really nothing (1 Cor. 8:4), what do we know that is so
dangerous about them (1 Cor. 10:20-21; 12:2; Rev. 9:20)?

Even though idols cannot see, hear, or walk, when one worships an idol
one actually worships demons. Demons use idols to pull people away from
the one true God. Idols/demons and God are mutually exclusive.
.

What do we know about those who practice idolatry (1 Cor. 6:9; Rev. 22:15)?

They will not inherit the kingdom of God; they will be excluded from the
eternal holy city of God.

Therefore as the temple of the Lord, the place where God lives in his people,
Christians are not to have any association with idols and the religions of
unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-16).
7. The practices prohibited in Lev. 19:26-29, 31 are associated with the occult.
Christians too are to have no involvement with the occult. These are dead works
that defile the conscience (Heb. 9:14) and are the works of the devil. Christ
cleanses the heart of those who believe so that magic, sorcery, astrology, and
soothsaying no longer have any hold on them (Acts 16:16-18; 19:19).
8. Christians are sanctified by Christ and therefore he calls them holy brothers and
sisters, for he has made them holy like himself (Heb. 2:11-12). These holy
brothers and sisters have a heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1). This calling then governs
their treatment of others. How are they to treat others (1 Pet. 2:17)?

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


As a holy nation, their treatment of others can have two effects on their holiness.
It can either promote it or undermine it (1 Pet. 1:14-2:10). What does the
desecration of ones holiness lead to (1 Cor. 11:30)?

It leads to sickness and death.

What does the promotion of holiness lead to (Rom. 6:22)?

It leads to eternal life.

Therefore any acts of desecration and defilement are to be shunned to bring


holiness to completion in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1).
9. Christ and his apostles used Lev. 19 to catechize the saints on what kinds of
behavior undermined or promoted their mutual participation in Gods holiness.
Many of the prohibitions in Lev. 19 are echoed in the NT and are accompanied by
positive admonitions. In each case below name the prohibition and admonition.

Lev 19:11a; Eph 4:28: prohibits theft (instead work hard, provide for poor
with offerings.).

Lev 19:11b; Eph 4:25; Col 3:9: prohibits deceptive and fraudulent
dealings (instead speak honestly.).

Lev 19:12; Mt 5:33-37; James 5:12, cf; Mt 23:16-22: prohibits oaths


(instead speak the plain truth).

Lev 19:13; 1 Cor 6:7-8; James 5:1-6: prohibits exploiting workers and the
disadvantaged (instead put up with injustice of ones self).

Lev 19:14a; Lk 6:28; 1 Cor 4:12; James 4:11-12; 1 Pet 3:9: prohibits
cursing others (instead bless those who abuse them).

Lev 19:14b; Mt 18:1-6; Mk 9:42; Lk 17:2; Ro 14:13; 16:17; 1 Cor 8:13:


prohibits putting up stumbling block for young Christians (instead
welcome them).

Lev 19:15; James 2:12-13; 3:7-12: prohibits partiality (instead judge


mercifully).

Lev 19:16; 1 Cor 5:11; 6:10; 2 Cor 12:20; Eph 4:29; James 4:11-12; 1 Pet
2:1, cf. Ro 1:29, 30: prohibits gossip and slander (instead use gracious and
constructive speech).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Lev 19:17a; 1John 2:9-11; 3:15; 4:20: prohibits hatred in Gods family
(instead love each other).

Lev 19:18a; Ro 12:19-21; 1 Thess 5:15: prohibits revenge (instead repay


evil with good).

Lev 19:29; 1 Cor 6:13-20: prohibits sexual sins, prostitution. They


desecrate Gods holy people.

Similar to the negative prohibitions, the positive commandments are also repeated
in the NT. In each case below what are the positive commandments?

Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20 (Lev. 19:3a): Christian children respect their parents.

Rom. 12:13; Eph. 4:28; James 2:14-16; 1 Jn. 3:14-17; cf. Acts 2:45; 4:3435; Rom. 15:26-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:1, 12; Gal. 2:10 (Lev.
19:9-10): Use church offerings to provide for the needy of the church.

Mt. 10:28; 1 Pet. 2:17; cf. 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Pet. 1:17 (Lev. 19:14b, 32b): Fear
God, which is qualified by the assurance of salvation (1 Jn. 4:14-18).

Lk. 17:3; Eph. 5:11-14; Gal. 6:1-5; 1 Tim 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13;
2:15 (Lev. 19:17): Pastors and disciples rebuke those who had sinned.

Mt. 19:19; 22:39; Mk. 12:31; Lk. 10:27; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8
(Lev. 19:18b): Love their neighbors as themselves.

1 Pet 5:5a; 1 Tim. 5:1-2 (Lev. 19:37): Submit to the elders of the church
and to honor them.

10. When asked what the most important commandment was, what was Jesus
response (Mt. 22:34-40)?

Jesus said love the Lord your God and love your neighbor.

Carrying out this commandment fulfills the whole Law of God (Rom. 13:8-10;
Gal. 5:13-14). Yet doing so does not make one holy. Holiness can only be
received from God. Jesus shares his holiness in the Divine Service. In it he
sanctifies his disciples (Jn. 17:17-19). God showed his love by sending his only
Son into the world, so that we might live through him (1 Jn. 4:9-10). How are
Christians to respond to such great love (1 Jn. 4:11)?

If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. We respond to


Gods love by loving our neighbor.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Therefore the NT once again agrees with the Lev. 19, especially 19:18b: you
shall love your neighbor as yourself.
11. Who does love of neighbor start with (Eph. 1:15; Col. 1:4; Philemon 1:5, 7; Heb.
6:10)?

Loving neighbor starts with loving other Christians, loving the saints.

By loving fellow Christians the Lord Jesus strengthens and establishes them in his
holiness so that they will be blameless before God the Father when Jesus comes
again (1 Thess. 3:12-13). Their participation in Christ and his holiness provides
the basis and stimulus for their mutual love.
Yet the love of the saints reaches beyond the church. In Leviticus the Israelites
were to love the aliens that lived among them (Lev. 19:33-34). In Leviticus it
says: Love your neighbor as yourself (19:18b). Who did Jesus say a neighbor
was (Lk. 10:25-37)?

A neighbor is anyone who was in need.

Who else are Christians to love (Mt. 5:43-48; Lk. 6:27-36)?

Christians are even to love their enemies.

As priests of the living God, Christians seek to share Gods life-giving holiness,
reconciling lost humanity to God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 52: Penalties for the Ritual Defilement of the Sanctuary and
the Land (Part 1)
(This lesson covers the context and structure of Lev. 20 and first part of Lev. 20.)
Read Lev. 20:1-8
Outline
I. Introduction (20:1-2a)
A. Gods address of Moses (20:1)
B. Commission to speak to the Israelites (20:2a)
II. Speech (20:2b-27)
A. Religious offenses and participation in Gods holiness (20:2b-8)
1. Cases of death penalty for religious offenses (20:2b-6)
a. Sacrifice of child to Molech (20:2b-3)
b. Communal tolerance of child sacrifice (20:4-5)
c. Consultation of spiritists (20:6)
2. Participation in Gods holiness (20:7-8)
a. Call to self-consecration with formula of divine self-introduction (20:7)
b. Call for ritual observance with formula of divine consecration (20:8)
--------- B. Moral offenses and the preservation of holiness (20:9-26)
1. Penalties for moral offenses (20:9-21).
2. Avoidance of defilement and participation in Gods holiness (20:22-26)
C. Death penalty for the practice of spiritism (20:27).
Study
1. This chapter might be considered as an appendix to Lev. 18 and 19. It addresses
the same audience, to the Israelites (18:2; 20:2) and covers the same topics.
Lev. 18 and 19 forbid the offenses and Lev. 20 announces Gods penalties for
them. What are the topics covered in the following verses?

20:2-5; 18:21 - Child sacrifice to Molech.

20:6; 19:31 Spiritism.

20:7; 19:2 Being holy.

20:9; 19:3 Cursing parents.

20:10; 18:20 Adultery.

20:11; 18:8 - Sexual intercourse with mother.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

20:12; 18:15 - Sexual intercourse with daughter-in-law.

20:13; 18:22 - Homosexual intercourse.

20:14; 18:14 - Marriage with a woman and her mother.

20:15-16; 18:23 Bestiality.

20:17; 18:9 - Marriage to ones sister.

20:18; 18:19 - Sexual intercourse during menstruation.

20:19; 18:12-13 - Sexual intercourse with aunt.

20:20; 18:14 - Sexual intercourse with aunt-in-law.

20:21; 18:16 - Sexual intercourse with sister-in-law.

2. Each of the laws mentioned above follows the same basic pattern:
o the case
o the penalty
o the reason
o and the status of the offense.
These laws are arranged according to their subject and severity of the penalty. The
first three cases in 20:2-6 deal with religious offenses. The second series of
thirteen cases in 20:9-21 deal with moral offenses arranged in decreasing order.
The two sets of laws culminate in two similar admonitions in 20:7-8 and 20:2226. Both admonitions include the formula for self-introduction, the command to
keep Gods decrees, and the call to be holy. The admonitions divide the chapter
into two parallel sections.
First set of laws (20:2-6)
Admonition (20:7-8)
Command to keep Gods decrees (20:7)
Call to be holy (20:7)
Self-introduction (20:7)
Second set of laws (20:9-21)
Admonition (20:22-26)
Command to keep Gods decrees (20:22)
Self-introduction (20:24)
Call to be holy (20:26)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Following the two main divisions is the final verse. The final verse forms an
inclusion with the first set of laws by referencing spiritism (20:6) and death by
stoning (20:2).
First set of laws: Stoning (20:2) and spritism (20:6)
... Second set of laws (20:9-21)
Final verse: Spritism (20:27a) and stoning (20:27b)
3. Please note that as you read and study this chapter that the extended family is the
basic social and religious unit in Israel. All of the laws in this chapter are given to
protect the family from disintegration.
Four potential threats to the survival of the family are given: (1) The first threat is
from spiritual apostasy by child sacrifice to Molech and the practice of
necromancy (20:1-6, 27). (2) The second comes from the displacement of the
parents as heads of the family (20:9). (3) The third threat comes from improper
sexual activity in the family (20:10-21). (4) The fourth comes from destructive
acts of vengeance for execution of a family member. When the death penalty was
carried out it was carried out by those outside the family and God prohibited the
family of revenge for such a killing. If the death penalty was carried out, his
family could not take vengeance because the offender brought it on himself (20:9,
11, 12, 13, 16).
4. This is another divine speech in which Yahweh speaks to Moses (20:1) and which
Moses is to relay to the people of Israel (20:2a). In 20:2 Yahweh gives a
prohibition. Who does this prohibition apply to (20:2b)?

It applies to any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who


sojourn in Israel. It applies to the Israelites and to any aliens that live
among them.
.

What are they prohibited from doing (20:2c)?

They are prohibited from giving any of their children to the god Molech.
This is speaking of child sacrifice to Molech.

What is the penalty if they do (20:2d)? Who would carry it out (20:2d)?

They will be put to death. They will be stoned to death by the people of
the land.

Note that the people of the land does not refer to all the Israelites. It might be
translated as the sons of Israel. It is a technical term that refers to the assembly
of men that had political and judicial power in the community. They represented

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


the entire community. They were responsible for the administration of justice.
Court cases were normally heard by these people at the city gate.
In many cases the leaders of the family looked out for the family and acted on its
behalf. But in this case they were either unable or unwilling to act because of
close family relationships. So instead in this case of child sacrifice the people of
the land carried out justice by stoning those who were responsible for the death
of the child.
5. Another important contextual point can be made by the phrase: the people of the
land. The land is mentioned in 20:2 and 4. This refers to the land of Canaan.
This chapter envisions the Israelites living in the land of Canaan. The Scriptures
understand that the land was Gods land, not the land of the people who lived
there. He treated the current inhabitants (the Canaanites) as bad tenants. He
therefore announced that He would evict them and bring the Israelites into live
there. The land was a rich land that provided not only necessities but also
abundance, a land flowing with milk and syrup. God promised He would give
them an abundant life. It was also a holy land because God would reside there
with them in His sanctuary. They would live on His royal estate as His servants.
They were to rid the land of everything that would desecrate the sanctuary and
disrupt the flow of life from Yahweh to His people.
6. Not only were the people of the land against those who sacrificed their child to
Molech, who else was against them and what did he do (20:3a)?

Yahweh himself was against him. He would set his face against that man
and will cut him off from among his people.

If the offenders were to somehow escape their penalty from the people of the land,
they were to know that their grievous sin was seen by Yahweh would not go
unpunished. He himself would take care of the matter.
Note that Yahweh, the one true God, is clearly distinguished from the false god
Molech and the spirits of the dead (mentioned later in 20:6, 27). Molech was a
deity that lived in the underworld. A child was sacrificed to him in exchange for
fertility in the family and in the land. The Canaanites associated Molech with the
spirits of their dead ancestors who lived in the land and were buried there. To the
Canaanites the land belonged to their dead ancestors and they had the power to
bless or harm those who currently lived on the land. They thought that these
spirits could be conjured up by necromancers or mediums.
Because of this Molech and these spirits were viewed as rivals of Yahweh in the
land. They were completely incompatible with worship of Yahweh and life with
him in his land.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


7. When they offered their child to Molech (20;2), how did this affect their worship
of Yahweh (20:3c)?

It made his sanctuary unclean and profaned his holy name.

By offering their child as a sacrifice to another god, the Israelites religiously


prostituted themselves (see 20:5), defiling themselves and making themselves
unclean. All who lived in the land, lived with Yahweh the holy God. Whenever
Yahweh came into contact with uncleanness, his holiness was desecrated.
Therefore when the Israelites practiced child sacrifice to Molech, they not only
made themselves unclean, but they also, because they lived with Yahweh in the
land, made his sanctuary unclean and profaned his holy name. When they did this
they aligned themselves with evil and cut themselves off from the divine source of
life.
8. What did Yahweh say would happen if the people of land closed their eyes
(20:4) or looked the other way and did not put the offender to death (20:5)?

Yahweh said, I will set my face against that man and against his clan and
will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in
whoring after Molech. They were to know that if they escaped
punishment from the Israelite court system that they would not get away
with it scot free.
.
.
.
.

In the tribal system that the Israelites lived under, the family, led by the family
patriarch, looked out for and policed themselves. Then the clans settled matters
amongst themselves through a court system where the people of the land
decided whether a person was guilty or not guilty and communally carried out the
death penalty. Then if justice was not carried out by either the family or the
people, Yahweh himself would see to it that justice was carried out.
In this case when justice was failed to be carried out, who was it that Yahweh
would set his face against (20:5a, b)?

Yahweh would set his face against that man and his clan and against
him and all who follow him. Yahweh would hold responsible the whole
family that allowed this to happen and anyone who supported him.
.
.

And we know that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God
(Heb. 10:31). But God has every right to be angry, for in offering sacrifices to

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Molech they were in effect whoring after Molech (20:5c). They were seeking
him out; they were chasing after him. In the covenant Yahweh and Israel had
pledged themselves to each other like a husband and wife. Yahweh had fully
given himself to his spouse and he expected the same in return.
9. What else would cause Yahweh to set his face against one of his own people and
cut him off from the community (20:6)?

If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I


will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his
people.

This is called practicing spiritism or necromancy. It refers to the practice of


someone conjuring us the spirits of the dead, especially of an ancestor. It may also
refer to a person in whom a spirit enters and dwells and enables him to engage in
occult practices. These inhabited people were called the knowers in Hebrew.
These spirits were believed to have supernatural powers to do good or evil and
could help people foretell the future. Families were tempted to turn to these spirits
to secure their survival rather than to the Creator of the universe.
How is this action of turning to mediums and necromancers described (20:6a)?
Why do you suppose it is described that way?

It is described as whoring after them. It was described this way because


they were turning to ghosts and familiar spirits (as Dr. Kleing translates)
for life and for answers about life. But only God is the source of life. As
those who practiced child sacrifice chased after and gave themselves to
Molech, so those who went to mediums and necromancers chased after
and gave themselves to the spirits of the dead. They sought after another
who was not their beloved.
.
.
.
.
.
.

10. Yahweh closes out the first part of this chapter with an admonition. What were the
people of Israel to Yahweh (Deut. 14:2)?

They were a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has
chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the
peoples who are on the face of the earth.
.

What did Yahweh admonish this holy nation to be (20:7)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

He admonished them to be holy.

They were holy, therefore they were to be holy. Holy means separate. God had
separated them from all of the other nations as his own treasured possession. He
had introduced himself to them and had committed himself to them with his holy
name. He now dwelt among them in his sanctuary (20:3). Now as his holy nation,
they were to separate themselves from all evil and uncleanness.
As their God, what did Yahweh continuously do for Israel (20:8b)?

He continuously sanctifies them; that is, he continuously makes them holy.

How is it that God continuously made them holy? He made them holy not through
a single event, but through an ongoing process of reception of holiness from Him
through participation in the divine service. In the divine service he shared his
holiness with them.
Because he made them holy, what did he command them to do (20:8a)?

He commanded them to keep my statutes and do them.

Keeping and doing the statues that God commanded did not make them holy.
They were already holy. Keeping them prevented any obstacles from blocking the
flow of holiness and life that came to them from God.
11. The Canaanites (as well as other animistic people) considered child sacrifice to
Molech and the ghosts and spirits of their dead relatives to belong to the divine
sacral realm. But the opposite was true. They were in no way allies of God or
agents of his blessing. They were unclean spirits that destroyed life and brought
disorder to the world. They made inroads into the world and invaded families
through child sacrifice and through the spiritists who conjured them up. These
practices were punished so severely because they were an avenue that brought
evil into the lives of the Israelites. The threat of capital punishment helped keep
them from gaining a foot hold in the land. It removed the impurity that provided
hospitable cover for them.
12. The next part of chapter 20 (see the next lesson) deals primarily with the penalties
for sexual sins. Some people have a difficult time finding a connection between,
on the one hand, child sacrifice and necromancy and, on the other hand, sexual
sins. This chapter may make the most sense if we view all the offenses as
remnants of pagan religious customs and practices of the Canaanites. All these
practices were performed by other religions in order to gain life power in one way
or another. But the Lord declares that all these acts incur his wrath. They are
incompatible with Gods gifts of fertility, life, and the prosperity of the family.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 53: Penalties for the Ritual Defilement of the Sanctuary and
the Land (Part 2)
(This lesson covers the second part of Lev. 20.)
Read Lev. 20:9-27
Outline
I. Introduction (20:1-2a)
A. Gods address of Moses (20:1)
B. Commission to speak to the Israelites (20:2a)
II. Speech (20:2b-27)
A. Religious offenses and participation in Gods holiness (20:2b-8)
1. Cases of death penalty for religious offenses (20:2b-6)
2. Participation in Gods holiness (20:7-8)
--------- B. Moral offenses and the preservation of holiness (20:9-26)
1. Penalties for moral offenses (20:9-21).
a. Cases for execution by humans (20:9-16): cursing parents, adultery, incest,
homosexual behavior, marriage to woman and her mother, and bestiality.
b. Cases for divine extirpation (20:17-18): marriage to half sister and sex during
menstruation.
c. Case for bearing iniquity: intercourse with aunt (20:19).
d. Cases for childlessness (20: 20-21): sex with aunt or sister-in-law.
2. Avoidance of defilement and participation in Gods holiness (20:22-26)
a. Admonition for observance of Gods decrees in the land (20:22-23).
b. Promise of possession of the land as a gift from God (20:24a).
c. Call for separation from impurity (20:24b-26).
C. Death penalty for the practice of spiritism (20:27).
Study
1. The first set of offenses in this chapter were offenses against the holy Lord and
His holy people. These offenses were covered in the previous lesson and
concerned child sacrifice and consulting spiritists. The second set of offenses
consists of offenses against the Israelite family (20:9-21). These will be covered
in this lesson.
2. What was the first offense against the family and what was the penalty for it
(20:9)?

The offense was cursing ones father or mother. The penalty was death.

Gods design for humanity was to work through the family unit. A family
consisted of a husband and wife who had children. God was determined to bring
blessing and life through fathers and mothers to their children. God gave parents

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


the ability to have children and the authority over them. Those who cursed their
parents cursed the very structure that God designed for their benefit. This
disrupted the flow of life from God to the family. It brought disharmony instead
of the intended harmony. Because cursing ones parents cut off life from the
family, the penalty was similar, the loss of life. It was as if they killed their parent
(his blood is upon him) and stopped the flow of life that came through them
from God.
3. What was the next offense and what was its penalty (20:10)?

The next offense was a man committing adultery with his neighbors wife.
The penalty was that they both be put to death.

Gods intention was that each family be distinct from other families. In each
family the flow of life was to be from a father to a son to the sons son, etc. This
order of the family was thrown into chaos when family units starting mixing with
each other. Because of this mixing the flow of life was stifled. Again, because the
flow of life that God intended was cut off, the penalty was similar, the loss of life
of both guilty parties.
4. All of the laws in 20:11-21 have to do with sexual sins. Lev. 20:11 and 20:17-21
speak of cases where a close family members nakedness has been uncovered.
In a marital union, the husband and wife become one flesh. In the marital order
that God created, that flesh is not meant to be seen or shared with anyone else. A
special intimacy exists between the two of them. If that intimacy is exposed
(uncovered), the protective cover that God provided for that relationship was
removed. All kinds of damage can then occur not only to that relationship but to
the family. The life of the entire family is thrown into chaos because sexual
intercourse has been entered into outside the boundaries that God has established.
In each of the following cases the life of the family has been deeply affected.
What is the penalty in each case?

A man lies with his father's wife (20:11) Both of them shall surely be
put to death; their blood is upon them.

A man takes his sister and sees her nakedness, and she sees his
nakedness, it is a disgrace (20:17) They shall be cut off in the sight of
the children of their people. He has uncovered his sister's nakedness, and
he shall bear his iniquity.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

A man lies with a woman during her menstrual period and uncovers her
nakedness (20:18) Both of them shall be cut off from among their
people.

Uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your father's sister


(20:19) They shall bear their iniquity.

A man lies with his uncle's wife (20:20) They shall bear their sin;
they shall die childless.

A man takes his brother's wife (20:21) They shall be childless.

These sexual sins were punished harshly because they endangered not only those
who participated but also the whole family. It endangered the life of the family.
One special note about having sex during menstruation. The womb of a woman
was viewed like a well of water (the fountain of her blood (20:18)), a lifegiving spring, a source of life. It needed to be covered to protect it from
contamination. Therefore there was to be no sex during menstruation. Some
believed that having sex during this time brought fertility by mixing the mans
living seed with the womans life-giving blood. For the Israelites, it was not a
sacred act but an act that contaminated both.
5. All of the cases in 20:12-16 are capital offenses. Back in 18:23 the act of
bestiality was called an act of perversion (see also 20:15-16). What was the act of
a man lying with his daughter-in-law called (20:12)?

It is also called an act of perversion.

As the act of bestiality perverts the boundary between people and animals, so also
the order of generations within the family is perverted when a man lies with his
daughter-in-law. This act would bring inevitable confusion to the family as life
normally passed from father to son through a sons mother.
What was the penalty to be paid for having sex with ones daughter-in-law and for
bestiality (20:12, 15-16)?

The penalty was death. This was open rebellion against God and the order
that he created.

In both cases it was like they had sucked the life right out of the family and
therefore their punishment was one in kind.
How is the case of homosexual sex described (20:13)?

It is called an abomination.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


It violated the order of sexes that God created. It takes life from the family
because literally no new life can be generated between two men or two women.
Animists believed that in a homosexual encounter men exchanged each others
life-power. In reality the opposite was true. It cut them off from God and his life,
for they were to be put to death (20:13b).
How is the case of a man [who] takes a woman and her mother also described
(20:14)?

It is described as depravity.

Again, life is meant to flow from God to parents to children. One man having sex
with a mother and daughter disrupts the flow of life in the family. The penalty that
they will face is that he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no
depravity among you (20:14b).
6. The second set of laws is summarized by the admonitions in 20:22-26. This text
provides the theological presuppositions for the previous laws. What is the reason
given as to why the Israelites should keep all of the statutes and rules (20:22a)
that Yahweh has just given them (20:22b)?

They should keep them that the land where I am bringing you to live may
not vomit you out.

The land did this before. Who did it do it to and why (20:23)?

The nation that resided in the land of Canaan prior to Israel practiced all
these things. Therefore God caused the land to vomit them out. He drove
them out of the land.
.

How did Yahweh feel about the customs of this nation (20:23b)?

He detested them. Thats why he was driving them out.

Let us reiterate an important point. These laws were given to Israel. But we see
that the Canaanites were being driven out of the land because they did these
sinful, abominable, detestable things. So these laws apply not only to Gods
people but to all people for all time. No matter who does these things, God is not
pleased. In fact he is disgusted and brings judgment against those who accept
them and do them. Let this be a warning to us and to all people.
Since Yahweh was driving the Canaanites out, what was he going to do with the
land (20:24a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Yahweh was going to give it to the Israelites as a possession, as their


inheritance.

The Israelites would be the new renters of Yahwehs land. But if they did not keep
all of Yahwehs statutes and rules, if they walked in the customs of the
Canaanites, Yahweh would cause the land to vomit them out too. And in fact later
on that is exactly what happened. Just as Yahweh used the Israelites to drive out
the Canaanites, so he would use the Assyrians and Babylonians to drive out the
Israelites.
This land was not to be just an adequate place to stay, but a land of plenty, a land
flowing with milk and honey. Yahweh, the Creator of the universe, had the
power to give them this good land, just as he had the power to separate the
Israelites from all of the other nations and make them his own special nation
(20:24b).
7. Yahweh had chosen Israel as his people. He had rescued them from slavery in
Egypt. He had brought them to himself and made a covenant with them to be their
God and they his people. He provided for them as they went through the desert.
He lived among them in the tabernacle. He made them holy by sharing his
holiness with them in the divine service. He was driving out the Canaanites and
giving the promised land to Israel. How were they to respond to such
overwhelming grace (20:25)?

They are to remain clean. They were to avoid anything that Yahweh had
set aside as unclean.

What were the Israelites to be (20:26a)?

They were to be holy to the Lord.

What is the basis for this command (20:26b)?

They were to be holy because Yahweh was holy and he had separated the
Israelites from all of the other peoples on earth.

Yahweh would physically set them apart by giving them their own land (20:24,
26). He made them holy by his holy presence among them, giving them access to
holiness (20:3, 7). Now he tells them to be holy (20:26). The only way they
could be holy is by continuing to receive Yahwehs holiness. They did this by
following his ritual statutes. When they received the holy meat from the peace
offering they received Yahwehs holiness. On the other hand, when they did the
things described in this chapter, they desecrated and profaned Gods holiness. If

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


they wanted to remain holy, they had to avoid the offenses listed in 20:2-6 and
20:9-21.
8. The chapter is capped off with one final warning that mediums and necromancers
would be put to death (20:27a). They would be stoned for killing people
(20:27b). They killed people by leading them away from God. God is the source
of life. When one loses his connection to God, he loses life. Anyone who commits
the sins listed in this chapter loses his connection to God and to life. Anyone who
looks for life and life-power anywhere else than in the Lord commits spiritual
suicide.
Israel was holy. If they observed God rules for ritual purity, they would continue
to receive life and blessing from Him. But if they desecrated His holiness with
these impurities, they would face death. Therefore ongoing participation in Gods
holiness was a matter of life and death eternal life and death.
9. The next lesson covers how Jesus fulfilled chapter 20.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 54: Penalties for the Ritual Defilement of the Sanctuary and
the Land (Part 3)
(This lesson covers how Jesus fulfilled the Laws in Lev. 20.)
This lesson refers to Lev. 20:1-27.
Fulfillment by Christ
1. Jesus did not explicitly abolish any of the laws and penalties that are found in Lev.
20. Which law did Jesus confirm in Mt. 15:4 and Mk. 7:10 (Lev. 20:9)?

Jesus confirmed that those who curse their parents should be put to death.

In Jn. 8:2-11 the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to him who had been
caught in adultery. Did Jesus disagree with their judgment based on Lev. 20:10
that she should be put to death?

No, he didnt disagree.

In fact, instead of abolishing these laws that prescribed the death penalty Jesus
expanded them. If the penalty for adultery is death, who is guilty of it and
therefore should be put to death (Mt. 5:28)?

Every man who looks at a woman lustfully is guilty of adultery and


therefore should be put to death.

According to Jesus who should be put to death and why (Lk. 13:1-5)? How can
the penalty for sin be avoided?

According to Jesus anyone who sins in any way should die. The penalty
for any kind of sin is death. The only way to avoid the death penalty is to
repent.

2. What about Paul? Does he agree with Jesus? According to Rom. 1:26-32, who
does Paul say should die for their sins?

Those who practice homosexual and lesbian relationships and all those
who are filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness,
malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They
are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful,
inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless,
ruthless.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
.
.
At one time or another we are each guilty of at least one of these things and
therefore deserve to die (Rom. 1:32). All of us sin and the wages of sin is
death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus and Paul agree. All people sin and all people deserve to
die because of it.
3. Jesus taught that all people sin and deserve to die as a result of it. This is the Law
and it serves the purpose of driving people to the Gospel. Seeing the terrible
situation people had put themselves in, the Father sent his Son into the world. Did
he send him in judgment (Jn. 3:17-18; 12:47)? If not, for what purpose did he
come?

No, Jesus did not come to condemn and judge the world. Rather, he came
to save the world.

What did Jesus do to save the world? First, Jesus did not abolish the Law but
instead fulfilled it. He did this by keeping the Law perfectly for us. And then he
took the death penalty that we deserved upon himself. When he died on the cross
for the sins of the world, he became a sin offering so that those who believe in
Him could be pardoned and justified (2 Cor. 5:21).
The Gospel then is the Good News for mankind that they do not have to die for
their sins because Jesus has already died in their place. Because justice is served
on Jesus instead of sinful mankind, what did Jesus do when the woman who was
caught in adultery was brought to him (Jn. 8:2-11, esp. v11)?

Jesus did not condemn her but instead pardoned her.

What did Jesus do when the sinful woman came to him and anointed his feet (Lk.
7:36-50, esp. vv. 47-50)?

Jesus forgave her of her many sins.

By doing so, Jesus set the pattern for the church. Paul followed this pattern. He
states in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 that those who willfully live sexually impure lives and
practice all kinds of other sins will not inherit the kingdom of God. This is Gods
Law. Yet, these sinners can be forgiven. How (1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 6:1-11)?

If they are baptized, they are washed of their sin. In Baptism our old sinful
self dies with Jesus. In doing so we die to our sin. And we also rise with
Christ to a whole new life.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

So the church preaches the Good News of the Gospel and enacts the Gospel in
Baptism. Through these means they hear and receive the pardon and forgiveness
that Jesus won and offers.
4. In Lev. 20:26 Yahweh said, I Yahweh am holy. Who is Jesus identified as in
Mk. 1:24; Jn. 6:69?

Jesus is the Holy One of God. Jesus is God. Jesus is holy.

In Lev. 20:8 Yahweh said, I am Yahweh who sanctifies you or I am Yahweh


who makes you holy. As we discussed, Yahweh made his people holy through his
holy name, his holy presence among them, and the holy meal he provided for
them. He shared his holiness with them, making them holy.
In these Last Days, the Holy One of God is present in the NT Divine Service. He
promises to be with two or three people when they gather in his name (Mt. 18:20).
The risen Christ is really present to give us his holy body and blood in the Supper
(1 Cor. 11:23-29).
As the people of OT Israel could not make themselves holy and were made holy
by Yahweh sharing his holiness with them, so the same is true of the NT church.
How does Jesus make his people holy (sanctify them) (Hebrews 2:11; 10:10, 14,
29; 13:12)?

He sanctifies through his holy body and blood which he willingly


sacrificed on the cross.

Because of this Christ is our sanctification (1 Cor.1:30). He offers his holiness to


us. How then do we receive his holiness and become sanctified (Acts 26:18; 1
Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1)?

Those people who have faith in Jesus and thereby call upon his name are
called to be saints (holy ones) and are sanctified. They are sanctified in
Christ Jesus.
.

How else are people sanctified (Jn. 17:17, 19)?

They are sanctified in his Word and in the Truth.

One of the main focal points of the Divine Service is Gods Word, the Truth.
Therefore Jesus shares his holiness with those who come to the Divine Service
and participate in faith. He shares his holiness through his Word and Sacraments.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. The church then is made up of saints (holy ones) who are holy in Christ, having
received Christs holiness through faith. What then are these holy ones called to
be and do (1 Pet. 1:14-15)?

They are called to be holy and live a lifestyle that reflects their holy status.

They are like the OT people of God who were also called to be holy (Lev. 20:26).
What kind of holy vocation are they to carry out (1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6; 5:10)?

They are to be a holy priesthood. They are to be priests who serve God.

As the OT priests represented the people before God and represented God to the
people, so the NT saints are priests who do the same now. They bring the needs of
the people to God and they bring the Good News of Gods grace to the people of
the world. As the OT priests had access to and served the living God, so do the
NT saints.
What other holy thing are the NT people of God (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16)?

They are Gods holy temple, the temple of the living God, the place where
the Holy Spirit dwells.

As God lived among his people in the OT in the tabernacle/temple, so in the NT


God actually lives in the body of each person who believes in Jesus. In Baptism
the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the person baptized. That is how each
believer becomes a part of the holy temple of God.
6. Since the body of each Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), what
are Christians to avoid and what are they to do (2 Cor. 14-7:1)?

Christians are to avoid lawlessness, the darkness of sin, Satan, the spiritual
beliefs of unbelievers, idols (all gods but the triune God). We are to
cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing
holiness to completion in the fear of God.
.
.

Christians must avoid desecrating Gods holy temple (themselves) by defiling


themselves in body or spirit. What will happen to those who do defile themselves
by deliberately sinning after receiving the Truth, by participating in sexual
immorality, impurity, and filthiness (Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Thess. 4:7-8; Heb. 10:26-31)?

They will encounter Gods wrath. They should fear the fury, punishment,
and judgment of Gods wrath. The Lord will take vengeance and judge his
people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
Israel was threatened with expulsion from the promised land if they followed the
evil customs of the Canaanites (Lev. 20:22-23). What will Christians lose if they
defile themselves in similar ways (1 Cor. 6:9-10)?

They will lose their inheritance in Gods kingdom. They will lose their
place in the heavenly promised land. They will lose their status as Gods
holy people.
.

Avoiding sexual immorality and the occult does not make a person holy. Rather,
these are things that a holy person avoids in order not to lose his holiness. Having
been set apart as holy (2 Tim. 2:21), what is it that the saints should pursue (1
Tim. 2:22)?

Instead of sinful passions, Christians should pursue righteousness, faith,


love, and peace.

7. Lev. 20 speaks much about sexual immorality (20:9-21). Participating in sexual


immorality defiles a persons holiness. The holiness of Gods people determines
their sexual behavior, their talk about sex, and their attitude about closely
associating themselves with the sexually immoral. (Eph. 5:3-14). What does the
Christians holiness lead them to do (1 Thess. 4:3-5)?

Their holiness leads them to abstain from sexual immorality by


controlling their own bodies in holiness and honor and not in the
passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.
.

Concerning sex, sharing in Gods holiness affects Christians in three ways: (1)
they avoid sexual immorality. (2) They do not exploit their spouse for their own
sexual gratification, but use their sexuality honorably and considerately. (3) They
respect the God-pleasing sexuality of others.
8. Gods harsh judgment on sexual immorality in Lev. 20 is hard for modern people
to understand. Yahweh prescribes the death penalty for homosexual actions
(20:13). Today in the Western world homosexuality is promoted as natural and
legitimate. Its even accepted in some parts of the visible church.
Likewise, homosexual intercourse was practiced and condoned in some parts of
the ancient world. But it was prohibited by God if the Israelites were to live in the
land with him. Since this was one of the reasons why the Canaanites were evicted
from the land (Lev. 18:3, 24-25, 27-28; 20:23), we know that these laws did not

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


just pertain to Israel. What does the NT say about homosexual acts and those who
live that type of lifestyle (Rom. 1:18-32)?

It says that in their rebellion against God, people live ungodly and
unrighteous lives. Because of this, God gave them up to their sinful lusts.
He allowed them to act on their dishonorable passions and commit
shameless acts. Even though they know Gods righteous decree that those
who do such things deserve to die, they do them anyway and approve of
others who practice them.
.
.
.
.

The reason that God prohibits homosexual activity is theological. God views such
activity as an abomination. It is incompatible with his holiness, which he has
shared with his people. It defiles their holiness and therefore alienates them from
God. Even though our society and culture approve of this type of behavior, the
church must condemn it because it is very clear in the Scriptures about how God
feels about it (see 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-11). For those individuals and
churches that go against Gods Word, Gods warning still stands: those who do
such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Another case that is hard to understand for modern mind in Lev. 20 is the
prohibition against sex during menstruation and its harsh penalty (20:18). Again
the reason behind this prohibition is theological. Pagan religions viewed
menstrual blood as a magical and a source of life. So instead of looking to God as
the Creator and Sustainer of life, they looked elsewhere. Does this prohibition still
apply today? Unlike homosexuality, the NT has nothing to say about this. Because
of this the church has left it up to each individual as a matter of conscience. Some
might argue though that with the pagan sacralization of sex and menstrual blood
in the New Age Movement it might be wise to reaffirm the prohibition against it
in Leviticus.
9. Christs disciples need to avoid anything that defiles their holiness. In the OT
parents sacrificed their children to Molech to gain fertility and life-power (20:26). The closest equivalent to this today in our society is abortion. What do people
look to gain today when they willingly abort their children?

Many times they abort their children for convenience. They do it to save
themselves time and money.

Rather than sacrifice the lives of their children, Christian parents view children as
a gift from God. How do they raise their children (Eph. 6:4)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

They bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. They
teach them to know the Lord and to be grateful for the grace he has shown
us in sending hid dear Son for us.
.

Christians have nothing to do with spiritism and the occult (20:6, 27), for these
things pull us away from God and look to dead spirits and Satan for life instead of
God.
Christians do not curse their parents (20:9). What do they do instead (Eph. 6:1-3;
Col. 3:20)?

They obey and honor their parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Because the Holy Spirit lives within them and Christ has made them holy through
his Word and Sacraments, Christians resolve to live holy lives, avoiding all that
defiles and doing all things that please God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 55: Protecting the Holiness of the Priests (Part 1)
(This lesson covers the first part of chapter 21-the holiness of the priests.)
Read Lev. 21:1-9
Outline
I. Introduction (21:1a-b)
A. Gods address to Moses (21:1a)
B. Gods commission of Moses (21:1b)
II. Speech by Moses to the priests (21:1c-15)
A. The holiness of the priests (21:1c-8)
1. Their involvement in funerary practices (21:1c-6)
a. Prohibition of desecration by contact with the dead except for flesh
relatives (21:1c-4)
b. Prohibition of involvement in certain mourning rites (21:5-6)
2. Their choice of wife (21:7)
3. Call for the Israelites to respect the holy status of the priests (21:8a).
4. Gods self-presentation as Israels sanctifier (21:8b).
B. Penalty for a priests daughter who desecrates her father by prostitution (21:9)
--------- C. The holiness of the high priest (21:10-15)
1. His involvement in funerary practices (21:10-12)
2. His choice of wife (21:13-15)
Study
1. Chapters 18-20 showed how the Israelites were to avoid defilement and continue
to participate in Gods holiness. Chapters 21-22 show how the priests do the
same. The focus of these chapters is on the holiness of the priests and their food.
Chapters 21 and 22 are a discrete unit in Leviticus. They have six sections each of
which concludes with the formula: I am Yahweh who sanctifies you/them (21:8,
15, 23, 22:9, 16, 32). The admonition in 22:31-33 provides the conclusion not
only for 22:26-30, but also for both chapters.
The pattern for the arrangement of these two chapters is complicated as five
speeches are included within the six sections.
2. The content of this speech is divided into two clear parts. The speech deals with
the holiness of the priests (21:1c-9) and then the holiness of the high priest
(21:10-15). They both follow the same basic pattern of arrangement.
o They prohibit the involvement of priests in certain funeral practices
o and then list the classes of women who are unsuitable for the priest to
marry. The reasons for the prohibitions are also given.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


o Both parts end with Yahwehs self-presentation as the sanctifier of his
people.
The way that these two parts are arranged highlights the command in 21:9 to burn
the daughter of a priest who is involved in prostitution.
A number of key words tie together the material in this speech:
o desecrate the desecration of a priest (21:4), of his daughter (21:9), of
the priest by his daughter (21:9), Gods name (21:6), Gods sanctuary
(21:12), the priests children (21:15); and the prohibition of marriage to a
desecrated woman (21:7, 14).
o to be holy and words derived from it Yahweh is holy (21:8); he
resides in his sanctuary (21:12) and sanctifies his people (21:8, 15).
The priests are holy to both God (21:6, 7) and to the Israelites (21:8).
o defile used in 21:1, 3, 4, 11 links the two parts of the speech together.
o List of prohibited classes of women for marriage the repetition of this
list in reverse order (21:7, 14) also ties the two parts together.
3. Who was this divine speech directed towards (21:1a)?

This divine speech was directed to the priests.

What prohibition is given to them in 21:1c-3?

Priests were not allowed to make themselves unclean by coming into


contact and burying relatives that have died. He could only tend to the
closest of his relatives (his flesh relatives) his mother, his father, his
son, his daughter, his brother, or his virgin sister.
.
.

Lev. 21:4a says, He shall not make himself unclean as a husband among his
people. One of the primary tasks for the leader of a family was to provide proper
burial for the members of his family, especially his parents. But in doing so, he
made himself unclean. It was inevitable. The priests were not allowed to this,
except as was said for the closest of relatives.
The previous paragraph interprets husband in a broad sense. When one marries,
he marries into a family and then is responsible for the burial of the relatives of
that family. But it could also be interpreted in a narrower sense (as Dr. Kleinig
does). In this sense it would only refer to him as the husband of his wife. This
would then mean that the priest could not bury his wife because she was not a
flesh relative. (Note that the term for flesh here is different than the one used
in Gen. 2:24, where a husband and wife become one flesh.) An Israelite
husband was normally responsible for the burial of his wife (cf. Gen. 23; 48:7;
49:31-32). But the priest in this interpretation was not allowed to do this.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What would happen if a priest did make himself unclean by burying a relative
who was not a close relative (21:4b)?

He would profane himself.

This is interpreted as meaning he would disqualify himself from the priesthood.


4. So why would Yahweh prohibit the priests from burying any relatives who were
not close relatives? In ancient religions the priests played a leading role in
funerals, mourning rites, and commemorations of the dead. The burying of the
dead along with the other actions named in this chapter was part of the cult of the
dead. In the cult of the dead, it was believed that when a person died, he entered
the spirit world and became even more alive and influential. The corpses were
viewed as sacred and believed to be a bridge into that realm. So people who
followed the cult of the dead looked to the dead for life and power.
What was the main and most important task that a priest performed?

The main task of a priest was to perform the sacrifices at the tabernacle.
These constituted the divine service.

Therefore by restricting the priests role in funerals, Yahweh was completely


disassociating the divine service from the cult of the dead. He did not want it to
even gain a toe-hold in Israel. The living God did not share his domain with the
dead. Those spirits that were conjured up were identified by Yahweh as unclean
spirits, associated with evil powers and a source of defilement. He wanted his
priests to have nothing to do with them. These prohibitions ensured that. These
prohibitions prevented spiritism from taking hold in Israel.
5. What else were the priests prohibited from doing concerning the dead (21:5)?

The priests also could not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off
the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body.

The things listed in 21:5 were associated with the cult of the dead. The mutilation
of the hair, beard, and body closely associated a person with the dead. It was an
act of devotion toward them.
The body of the priest was holy. At the tabernacle he physically came into the
holy presence of God. He called upon Gods holy name. He offered sacrifices at
the holy altar of God. He ate most holy food in Gods presence form Gods table.
Ritually speaking, the most important part of the body was the head with its crop
of hair. It represented the whole body. When he became a priest his head was
anointed with holy anointing oil. Because of this the head of the priest and his
whole person belonged to God. Therefore the hair on his head was not to be

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


shaved at the forehead or side-locks. He and his head were to be associated with
God and not with the dead.
The priests were holy therefore what were they commanded to be (21:6)?

They were holy therefore they were to be holy.

Remember that holy means separate. What does this mean concerning these
funeral rites that were associated with the cult of the dead?

They were to have nothing to do with them. They were to have no


connection to them. The same people who offered up the LORD's food
offerings, the bread of their God and who called on the name of Yahweh
were not to profane his holy name by participating in the cult of the dead.
.
.
.

So the purpose of these prohibitions has to do with preserving the holiness of the
priests. What is holy is not to be desecrated. Contact with the dead and
participation in the cult of the dead desecrated the holiness of the priests and the
holy name of Yahweh who they represent and are associated with.
6. What was the next restriction placed upon the priests (21:7a)?

The next restriction concerned marriage. A priest could not marry a


prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a
woman divorced from her husband. They were restricted in whom they
could marry.
.

Note that a woman who has been defiled probably refers to a cult prostitute. For
what purpose was this restriction given (21:7b)?

They were restricted from marrying these women because the priests were
holy to the God they served. Marrying them desecrated their holiness.

A priest could not marry a prostitute, a cult prostitute, and a divorcee because
these women had been defiled by what happened to them. He also could not
marry a widow because she had previously been attached to another man.
Basically, priests were forbidden to marry women who had had sexual activity
with other men. To do so desecrated the holiness of the priest. Therefore this
legislation, which restricted the priests in terms of funeral practices and whom
they may marry, was given to protect the holiness of the priests.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


7. In 21:7 the priest was holy to God. Who is the priest holy to in 21:8?

The priest was to be considered holy to the people and the other priests.

Why were they to be considered holy (21:8)?

The priests were holy because Yahweh, the holy God, used the priests to
make the people holy (to sanctify them). Yahweh made the people holy
through the sacrifices (the bread of your God) that the priest offered.
They had a holy vocation, a vocation in which God sanctified them by
sharing his holiness with them through the sacrifices.
.
.
.
.

8. In what other way was the holiness of the priest desecrated (21:9)?

The priest was desecrated if his daughter, who was formed from his holy
seed, became a common prostitute or a cultic prostitute.

The holiness of the priest was closely associated with the holiness of his family.
The holy seed of the priest was passed down to each generation in the form of
children. If those children desecrated themselves, they desecrated the holiness of
the entire family.
To communicate the seriousness of this, the penalty for the daughter turned
prostitute was death by burning.
9. To summarize the first part of chapter 21, the priests were responsible for the
divine service at the tabernacle. The priests were holy because they had access to
the altar and the sanctuary of holy God. The priests received their holiness from
God through their presentation of the sacred offerings and their consumption of
holy food. But when they were not on duty, they were at their homes where the
normal things of life happen. Like others, they were married, raised their children,
and cared for their family. At times members of their family died and had to be
buried. At that time, when someone died, the body remained at the home until the
time of burial. These laws were given so that when some of these normal things
happened, the holiness of the priest would not be desecrated.
The laws given here do not deal with the ritual activity of the priests, but with
their family life in two key areas: marriage and bereavement. In these areas the
holiness of the priest could be compromised. Contact with the dead defiled the
priests and disqualified them from the sacrificial ritual at the tabernacle. And

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


marriage to a forbidden woman also desecrated the holiness of the priest. So his
duties as a priest and as the head of the family clashed. As priest he was
responsible for the divine service at the sanctuary. As head of household, he was
married and buried his flesh relatives. In the end this legislation shows that his
attachment to God was to override his loyalty to his family.
10. In the next lesson we will discuss the protection of the holiness of the high priest
and how Jesus fulfilled the legislation of this lesson and the next.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 56: Protecting the Holiness of the Priests (Part 2)
(This lesson covers the second part of chapter 21-the holiness of the high priest and how
Jesus fulfilled the legislation of 21:1-15.)
Read Lev. 21:10-15
Outline
I. Introduction (21:1a-b)
II. Speech by Moses to the priests (21:1c-15)
A. The holiness of the priests (21:1c-8)
B. Penalty for a priests daughter who desecrates her father by prostitution (21:9)
--------- C. The holiness of the high priest (21:10-15)
1. His involvement in funerary practices (21:10-12)
a. Prohibition of disheveled hair and torn clothes because of his sacred anointing
and investiture (21:10)
b. Prohibition of involvement in the funeral of a sonsanguinal relative (21:1112a)
c. His consecrated status as the reason for these prohibitions (21:12b)
d. Gods self-introduction (21:12c)
2. His choice of wife (21:13-15)
a. Virgin rather than widow, divorcee, cult prostitute, or prostitute (21:13-14)
b. Desecration of children as the reason for not choosing from prohibited
women (21:15a)
c. Gods self-introduction as Israels sanctifier (21:15b)
Study
1. In the previous lesson we discussed the preservation of the holiness of the priests
by the restriction of their involvement in funerals and of the women that they
could marry. Following these restrictions prevented them from desecrating their
holiness. We continue now with the next part of chapter 21.
2. Now we have more prohibitions. Who do these prohibitions apply to (21:10a-b)?

These prohibitions apply to The priest who is chief among his brothers,
that is, the high priest. He had had the holy anointing oil poured upon his
head and he wore the holy garments that have been consecrated with holy
oil and blood.
.
.

What is the first thing the high priest was prohibited from doing (21:10c)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The high priest could not let the hair of his head hang loose nor tear his
clothes.

When would someone do this?

These things were part of the mourning rites for the dead. These were acts
of dedication towards the deceased.

The high priests head and hair had been anointed with holy anointing oil. The
head represents the whole body and therefore when the high priest was anointed
his whole person was dedicated to Yahweh. He completely belonged to and was
associated with God. Therefore the hair that had been anointed associating it with
Yahweh was not to be disheveled associating it with death.
The high priest also wore holy garments. When he wore these garments in service
at the tabernacle he represented God. The garments that he wore that associated
him with God were not to be torn in mourning thereby associating them with
death.
There was nothing sacred about death. The high priest was holy by the fact that he
had been anointed with holy anointing oil, he wore the holy garments, and he
served not only at the holy altar and in the Holy Place, but he even entered the
Most Holy Place once a year. Therefore any kind of connection to death by the
high priest desecrated Yahwehs holiness. These things had to be avoided.
3. What was the next restriction for the high priest (21:11)?

The high priest could not go near any dead bodies, including those of his
parents.

One of the most important duties for the head of a family was the proper burial of
his next of kin, especially his parents. But the high priest was barred from having
any involvement in the burial of even his closest relatives. To have any
involvement with death by the high priest desecrated Yahwehs holiness.
Continuing on the death and funeral theme, what else was the high priest
forbidden from doing (21:12a)?

He was forbidden from even leaving the sanctuary.

What happened if he did (21:12b)? And why was this so (21:12c)?

If he did, he profaned the sanctuary of Yahweh. The reason for this is that
the high priest had been anointed with the holy anointing oil of Yahweh.
He belonged to Yahweh and served Yahweh at his sanctuary. He was to do

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


nothing that associated Yahweh or his sanctuary with death. Yahweh was
the God of life and through the rituals at the sanctuary he gave life to his
people.
.
.
.
.
4. Now it switches to a different kind of prohibition. What topic does it concern
(21:13-15)?

The topic now switches to marriage, to what kind of woman the high
priest could marry.

What kind of woman was he to marry (21:13, 14b)?

He was to marry a virgin who was from his own people, the Israelites.

Who could he not marry (21:14a)?

A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a


prostitute, these he shall not marry.

How does this list differ from that of the priests? Compare 21:7 with 21:14a.

The priests could marry a widow, but the high priest could not.

What was the result if the high priest married any of these kinds of women
(21:15)?

The result was that he profaned his offspring. Any male child from such a
union was disqualified from the priesthood because he had been profaned.
Said another way, the seed of the high priest was holy. To mix holy seed
with a forbidden woman desecrated the holy seed; it desecrated the
sanctity of the priestly family.
.
.
.

Like the priests, these laws were given to preserve and protect the holiness of the
high priest. The high priest was the highest representative of Yahweh to Israel. He
was holy to God. It was Yahweh who sanctified him and his offspring (21:15b).
He was holy to Israel. Therefore he was to do nothing to desecrate that holiness.
Fulfillment by Christ

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


5. Part of the legislation in Lev. 21 was directed to the high priest (21:10-15). The
high priest was consecrated to God when he was anointed with the holy anointing
oil (21:12). In the NT Jesus is the great High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
Jesus was anointed at his Baptism. What was he anointed with (Acts 10:38)?

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus now serves as our High Priest. What do the following passages teach us
about our High Priest (Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5:5, 10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:11)?

Heb. 2:17 He is like us in every respect. He is mercy and faithful. He


made propitiation for our sins, that is, he turned Gods wrath away from us
towards himself.
.

Heb. 4:14 As the OT high priest passed through the curtain into the Most
Holy Place, so Jesus our High Priest passed through the heavens, the Most
Holy and eternal abode of God.
.

Heb. 4:15 Jesus is a High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses
and who was tempted like we are, but who did not sin.

Heb. 5:5 Jesus did not exalt himself to be High Priest, but rather was
appointed to be High Priest by God the Father.

Heb. 5:10 Jesus was designated by God a high priest after the order of
Melchizedek. This is a priesthood that will never end.

Heb. 6:20a Jesus has gone before us preparing the way.

Heb. 7:26 Jesus is a High Priest who is holy, innocent, unstained,


separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

Heb. 8:1 Jesus is a High Priest who who is seated at the right hand of
the throne of the Majesty in heaven. He sits at the right hand of God the
Father.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Heb. 9:11-12 The OT high priest entered the earthly tabernacle into the
Holy Place with the blood of goats and calves. Jesus entered the heavenly
tabernacle with his own blood, securing our eternal redemption.
.
.

The OT high priest was the mediator between God the people of Israel. As the
greater High Priest, Jesus is the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).
By virtue of being anointed with holy anointing oil, wearing garments anointed
with the holy anointing oil and holy blood, participating in the divine service at
the holy altar, entering the Holy Place and Most Holy Place, and eating the holy
food, the OT high priest was holy. What do the following verses say about Jesus,
our High Priest?

Lk. 1:35; Rev. 3:7 Jesus is holy, the Son of God, the holy One, the true
One.

Mk. 1:24; Jn. 6:69 Jesus is the Holy One of God.

The OT high priest looked forward to and prefigured Jesus, our great and eternal
High Priest. He entered the heavenly sanctuary with his own blood which he shed
upon the cross. He made atonement for us with his blood, taking away of our sins
once and for all. He now sits at the right hand of God as our advocate, preparing a
place for us.
6. In the OT the high priests served in the divine service with their fellow priests.
They too were holy as Yahweh sanctified them through their service at his altar
and through the holy food that he gave to them. In the same way, Jesus, our High
Priest, shares the priesthood with his brothers (Heb. 2:11-13), his fellow priests
who serve in the heavenly Divine Service, for all believers are part of the royal
priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9). As the OT priests were made holy by anointing, so also
are we NT priests made holy. The OT priests were anointed with holy anointing
oil. What are NT priests anointed with that makes them holy (2 Cor. 1:21-22)?

The priests of the NT (all believers) are, like Jesus, anointed with the Holy
Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who gives faith so that they may be sanctified in Christ (Acts
26:18; 1 Cor.1:2; Phil. 1:1; 4:21). As holy priests, the people of God on earth
serve in the heavenly Divine Service with the angels and the saints in heaven
(Heb. 12:22-24). Like the high priest in Israel, the angels and saints in heaven
never leave the heavenly sanctuary. They serve God day and night (Rev. 7:15).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


7. The high priest in the OT had a higher degree of access to God than the priests
did. But in the NT the disciples of Jesus, the NT priests, have the same access as
Jesus, the eternal High Priest, in accessing God the Father. How is this possible
(Eph. 2:18, also see Jn. 14:6; 16:23-24; Heb. 7:25)?

Christians have access to God the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the
Way to the Father. Christians draw near to the Father through Jesus and
ask him for things in Jesus name. As long we approach God through
Christ, we have the same access to the Father as Jesus.
.
.

Since Christians have this access to Father, they can use that access to bring
people and their needs to the Father and the Fathers blessings to them. They are
therefore much more privileged that the OT priests.
8. In the OT the priests were made holy (sanctified) by Yahweh (21:9,15) not in one
single event, but continuously by eating the holy food that Yahweh provided from
his table (the altar). As the OT priests participated in eating the holy food from
the altar, what do the NT priests (all Christians) participate in and what holy food
do they receive (1 Cor. 10:16-22; Jn. 6:33, 51)?

When Christians eat and drink the bread and wine of Holy Communion,
they participate in and receive the holy body and blood of Christ. They eat
the living Bread that came down from heaven to give life to the world.
.
.

The blood of Christ not only makes us holy, but it also purifies the conscience
from dead works (Heb. 9:14). Therefore, Christians do all they can to avoid
these dead works that defile their holiness and deaden their consciences. They
are required to separate themselves from every defilement of body and spirit (2
Cor. 7:1). What specifically are they to flee from and why (1 Cor. 10:14-22)?

They are to flee from idolatry. Not because they are actually worshipping
some other god because there is but one God. They actually worship
nothing. But behind every kind of worship of false gods are demons.
Worship of false gods is really worship of demons (unclean spirits).
Therefore Christians are to avoid spiritism and all forms of contact with
unclean spirits.
.
.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


9. In our study of preserving the holiness of the priests in the last two lessons, we
have seen that the normal duties of the priest in the family sometimes clashed
with their duties as a priest as they served Yahweh at the tabernacle. When such a
clash occurred, their responsibility to Yahweh overrode their responsibility to the
family. The same is true for Christians. Jesus once told a man, Follow me. And
the man responded with, Lord, let me first go and bury my father (Lk. 9:59).
What was Jesus response and what did he mean by it (Lk. 9:60)?

Jesus response was, Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for
you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. Obedience to Christs call
takes precedence over earthly responsibilities. Heavenly matters which
concern the kingdom of God override earthly matters.
.
.

As his holy people who served him, the priests had certain restrictions placed
upon them in order to preserve their holiness. One such restriction was that they
could not marry women who had been attached to other men (Lev. 21:7, 14).
Jesus too gave restrictions concerning marriage to his followers. What does Jesus
say in the following verses?

Mt. 5:31-32 Jesus said, Everyone who divorces his wife, except on the
ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever
marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
.

Mt. 19:3-12 Gods original intention for marriage was that one man and
one woman be joined together in marriage for a life time. He says that
husbands and wives that have been brought together by God should not
separate. Jesus said, Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual
immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. In some cases it is
better for a person not to marry, but only if he or she has been given that
gift by God. Some have such strong sexual passions that it is better that
they marry.
.
.
.
.
.

Lk. 16:18 - Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits
adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband
commits adultery.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


.
.
What does Paul have to say about marriage and divorce (1 Cor. 7:10-16)?

Paul says that those who are married should not divorce. And if you are
married to an unbeliever, you should remain married as long as the
unbeliever is willing. But if the unbelieving spouse wishes to separate, let
him do so.
.
.

So not only are Christians forbidden from marrying a divorced person, as the
priests in Israel were, but they are forbidden from divorcing their spouse, except
in the case of sexual immorality, and from marrying someone who was divorced.
Why such stringent demands like this? A hint is given in what we just read from
Paul in 1 Cor. 7:14. What happens to an unbelieving husband and the children if
they remain married?

Paul says that he is made holy and the children are holy.

Therefore such importance is attached to marriage because it involves holiness.


The holiness of a person is defiled by marriage to someone who has been
divorced. And holiness is defiled when someone divorces their spouse. It is as if
the divorce party had committed adultery. As the laws in Lev. 21:1-15 were meant
to protect the holiness of the priests, so the restrictions place upon Christians by
Jesus are meant to protect the holiness of the spouses and children.
10. In the previous point we saw that Jesus placed restrictions on divorce and
marriage of the divorced in order to preserve an individuals holiness. What else
are Christians to avoid to preserve their holiness?

1 Thess. 4:2-8 Christians are to abstain from sexual immorality. Each


person is to control his body in holiness and honor. They are not to follow
the passion of their lusts. God has not called us for impurity, but in
holiness.
.
.

Eph. 5:3-6 Christians are to avoid sexual immorality, all impurity, and
covetousness.

They are holy. They are called to be holy. And they are to treat each other as holy.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 57: Causes of Disqualification from Priestly Service
Read Lev. 21:16-24
Outline
I. Introduction (21:16-17a)
II. Speech about the disqualification of blemished priests from sacred service (21:17b-23)
A. Prohibition of service by a blemished priest (21:17-21)
1. Repeated prohibition of presentation of offerings (21:17b-18a)
2. List of disqualifying blemishes (21:18b-20)
3. Repeated prohibition of approach with Gods food (21:21)
B. Privilege of consumption of sacred food by a blemished priest (21:22)
C. Prohibition of access to the sacred places to avoid their desecration (21:23a)
D. Gods self-introduction as the sanctifier of the holy things (21:23b)
III. The compliance of Moses (21:24)
Study
1. First we will look at the overall structure. The disqualifying blemishes of the
priests are framed by the prohibition may not approach and shall not draw
near. It is used six times in these few verses.
may not approach (21:17) / shall not approach (21;18)
List of disqualifying blemishes (21:18b-20)
shall not draw near (21:21a) / shall not draw near (21:21b)
Consumption of holy food (21:22)
shall not enter (21:23a) / shall not draw near (21:23b)
so that he does not desecrate my holy things (21:23c)
The speech ends with the formula for divine self-introduction. This corresponds to
its summary use in 21:8 and 21:16. Also note the progression of sanctification:
sanctification of the Israelites (21:8), sanctification of the high priest (21:16), and
sanctification of the sanctuary holy places (21:23).
2. In this divine speech, Yahweh spoke to Moses and Moses was commanded to pass
it on to Aaron the high priest (21:16-17a). In this speech Yahweh gets directly to
the main point. What is his main point (21:17b)?

None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish


may approach to offer the bread of his God. No priest who has a physical
defect can approach the altar and offer sacrifices to God or approach the
incense altar and burn incense.
.
.

What reason is given in 21:23 for this prohibition?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The reason given is that if a blemished priest approached the altar he


would profane Yahwehs sanctuaries.

Yahweh sanctified these holy things (21:23b) by his holy presence. Therefore a
blemished priest could not perform the sacrificial ritual or enter the Holy Place
(go through the veil, 21:23a) without desecrating these holy things.
3. Lev. 21:21 reiterates the prohibition. In doing so it says that the blemished priest
shall not come near to offer the LORD's food offerings (21:21a) and to offer the
bread of his God (21:21b, 21:17, 21:22). The difference between the two is that
the LORDSs food offerings refers to approaching the altar to make the
offerings to Yahweh. And the bread of his God refers to the results of the
sacrifices, which the priest distributed. A blemished priest could not approach the
altar to do either of these without desecrating Yahwehs holiness.
4. What kinds of things constituted a blemish that disqualified a priest from
approaching the altar (21:18-20)?

A blind man.

A lame man.

A man with a mutilated face.

A man with a limb too long.

A man with an injured foot.

A man with an injured hand.

A man who had a hunchback.

A man who was a dwarf.

A man with bad eyesight.

A man with an itching disease.

A man with scabs.

A man with crushed testicles.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


These instructions were given to Aaron the high priest. As high priest he was over
the priests. He determined who was eligible for service as priests. The high priest
of each generation would determine whether or not his offspring did or did not
have a blemish and whether they could or could not come before the altar
(21:17a).
5. As an overview, here is how things worked at Yahwehs tabernacle. Yahweh was
the holy God of Israel. He sanctified his sanctuaries by his holy presence (21:23).
Therefore his sanctuaries were to be treated with respect and not desecrated by the
priests. Yahweh sanctified his priests so that they could approach him and present
his gifts to him at the altar (21:17, 21). Since he had sanctified them, he allowed
them to approach the altar for burnt offering and the incense altar (21:23). Since
they worked for Yahweh, Yahweh provided them with holy food, which resulted
from the sacrifices. There were two kinds of holy food, the most holy food that
was eaten by the priests at the sanctuary and the holy food that was eaten by the
priests and their families at their homes. By them eating this holy food, Yahweh
continued to sanctify them as his priests. Sanctification was an on-going process.
Since Yahweh was the owner of the tabernacle and it was his personal residence,
he alone determined what disqualified a priest from serving him there. And
Yahweh determined that no priest was to officiate in his holy presence at his holy
residence who had any type of bodily defect. What else had similar restrictions
placed upon it (22:18-25)?

Animals presented as offerings also had to be without defect. The list of


defects an animal could not have was very similar.

Therefore, like animal, like priest! In a way then the body of the priest was
regarded as an offering to God. In the same way that the whole body of an animal
was claimed by God and used by him, so was the priest.
6. While the blemished priest was restricted from serving at Gods altars, what was
he not restricted from doing (21:22)?

He was not restricted from eating the bread of his God. He could eat
both the most holy food and the holy food of God.

In terms of the holy food from the Lords altar both the blemished and
unblemished priest were treated the same. They both shared equally in Yahwehs
holiness. Blemished priests received their livelihood from Yahweh just like the
unblemished priests. The blemished priest and his family benefited from the
physical integrity and service of the unblemished priests.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


What was the difference between the food or bread that was most holy from that
which was holy? What did they both consist of?
The most holy food consisted of:
o The meat from the sin offering.
o The meat from the reparation offering.
o The bread and flour from the grain offering.
Contact with these holy offerings communicated holiness. These offerings could
not be removed from Yahwehs presence; they were eaten by the priests in the
sacred precincts. This meat and bread were their rations from Yahweh while they
were on duty at the sanctuary. The blemished priest could partake of this holy
food just like the unblemished priest.
The holy food consisted of:
o The forequarter of meat from the peace offering.
o The first-ripe fruits of grain.
o The first-processed offerings of olive oil, grain, and wine.
o All votive offerings of food.
o Tithes of agricultural produce.
The blemished priest could take these things home and share them with his family
just like the unblemished priest.
Therefore the eligibility for presenting the sacrifices was clearly distinguished
from the eligibility for consuming the sacred food that resulted from them.
The speech concludes with a recognition that Moses did what Yahweh told him to
do. He told Aaron (the high priest), Aarons sons (the priests), and all the people
of Israel what Yahweh said about blemished priests.
Fulfillment by Christ
7. The priesthood of Aaron and future generations of high priests pointed forward to
Jesus our High Priest. What do we know about our High Priest (Heb. 7:26)?

He is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted


above the heavens.

Jesus was not only the High Priest but also the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the
world. As High Priest he offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to purify
and sanctify His fellow priests- all believers in Christ (Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19). As
Aaron was over and responsible for the priests, so is Jesus. If a priest was
blemished Aaron could not allow him to serve in the divine service. But it is
different with Jesus. All priests who serve under Jesus (all believers) are

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


blemished by sin. Under the terms of the OT they could not serve in the Divine
Service. But what did his sacrifice change them to be (Eph. 1:4; Col. 1:22)?

Because of his sacrifice on the cross he made them to be holy and


blameless. He changed them from blemished to unblemished by removing
the blemish of sin.
.

How is Christs perfect sacrifice applied to each person so that they become
unblemished (Eph. 5:25-27)?

It is applied in Baptism. Baptism connects us to Christs death and


resurrection. In Baptism the sin blemishes which would disqualify us from
service in the Divine Service are washed away.
.

8. What does Christ use to sanctify his priests (Heb. 10:29; 13:12)?

Jesus sanctifies with his holy precious blood.

Having been made holy and unblemished by the blood of Christ in the
Sacraments, Christs priests, in a similar way as the OT priests, have access to the
heavenly sanctuary and serve with him in the Divine Service. Likewise, as the OT
priests ate the most holy food, the bread of God (21:22) at the sanctuary in
Gods holy presence, so do the NT priests of God. What is the NT bread of God
and what does it provide (Jn. 6:33, 51)?

The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to
the world. Jesus is the bread of God who gives life to the world. If
anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.
.

Because they are holy and blameless, how are Christians called to live their lives
(Phil. 2:15)?

They are called to be blameless and innocent, to live as unblemished


children of God in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.

9. Eating the most holy food, the bread of God, that resulted from the sacrifices
might be considered a great banquet. What were the qualifications for eating this
banquet in the OT divine service (Lev. 21:21-22)?

Only the priests who were unblemished could eat the most holy meat.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Jesus once told a parable about eating the Bread of God in the kingdom of God.
He compared it to a great banquet. Read Lk. 14:15-24.
When those who were invited to the great banquet gave excuses and did not
come, who did the master command his servants to invite (Lk. 14:21)?

Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor
and crippled and blind and lame.

Unlike the OT banquet, where family lineage (Aarons line of priests) and
physical perfection (unblemished priests) determined who could eat the bread of
God, in the eternal NT banquet the Gospel invitation is offered to all, including
the blind, lame, and crippled. All people have been made blind, lame, and
crippled by sin. All people who live on the streets and lanes and on the
highways and hedges are compelled by the Gospel to come and eat at the
banquet.
Those who simply accept the Gospel invitation to the banquet, through faith, are
fit for it and will be accepted into it. Conversely, those who had previously been
qualified by virtue of their outward standing (family lineage and physical body)
will be excluded from it if they reject the invitation that comes only through
Christ (Lk. 14:18-21). To serve with Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, one simply
must have faith in Christ and His Gospel. Such faith qualifies them and removes
all blemishes.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 58: Consumption of Holy Food by the Priests and Their
Families (Part 1)
(This lesson covers 22:1-16. The next lesson will cover how Jesus fulfilled it.)
Read Lev. 21:1-16
Outline
I. Introduction (22:1-3a)
A. The Lords address to Moses (22:1)
B. First commission to speak (22:2)
C. Second commission to speak (22:3a)
II. Speech about the protection of the holy things (22:3b-16)
A. General prohibition (22:3b-d)
1. Prohibition of access to the holy things by an unclean priest (22:3b)
2. Threat of divine excommunication (22:3c)
3. Gods self-introduction (22:3d)
B. Laws about the consumption of food (22:4-16)
1. Laws for the priests (22:4-9)
a. Prohibition of consumption of holy food by an unclean priest (22:4-7)
b. Prohibition of defilement from eating animals found dead (22:8a)
c. Responsibility of the priests for the holy things (22:8b-9)
2. Laws for the members of a priests household (22:10-16)
a. Persons forbidden or permitted to consume holy food (22:10-13)
b. Law of restitution for accidental desecration by a disqualified person (22:14)
c. Responsibility of the priests for the holy things (22:15-16)
Study
1. Chapters 21-22 cover the responsibility of the priests for the holy things of God.
Chapter 21 dealt with who could officiate in the divine service. This speech tells
about who was allowed to eat the sacred food.
The speech is divided into two parts by the formula for divine self-introduction of
the Lord as the sanctifier of the priests and the offerings and by the general
admonition to the priests about their responsibility for the holy things (22:9, 1516). The first part tells what kinds of impurity disqualify a priest from eating the
sacred food (22:3b-9). This part is divided into three sections by the use of the
formula for self-introduction (22:3, 8, 9). The second part tells which members of
the priests household are disqualified from eating sacred food (22:10-16).
2. This divine speech was once again spoken to Moses by Yahweh and was to be
passed on to Aaron and his sons (22:1-2a). This legislation covers certain
situations in which the priests were to do what concerning the holy things that
the people dedicated to Yahweh (22:2b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Under the circumstances described in this section, the priests were to


abstain from the holy things. Under these circumstances they could not
approach anything that was holy.
.

What would happen if they did not abstain from the holy things under these
circumstances (22:2c)?

They would profane Yahwehs holy name.

Any personal offerings that the Israelites brought to Yahweh at the tabernacle and
dedicated to him became holy. At that point they belonged to Yahweh and were
associated with him. Therefore to approach them under the circumstances
described in 21:3-8 profaned his holy name. The priests were responsible for
guarding the holy things and making sure they were not desecrated.
Section 1 Laws for the Priests Concerning Holy Food (22:3-9)
3. What is the overarching prohibition of this section and its consequences (22:3)?

If any one of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches


the holy things that the people of Israel dedicate to the LORD, while he has
an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the
LORD.
.
.

So if a priest in any generation approached the holy things of God while in a state
of uncleanness, he would be cut off from Yahweh.
What are these holy things that were dedicated to Yahweh by the Israelites?
These were not the most holy bread and meat eaten by the priests at the sanctuary.
The holy things consisted of (Num. 18:11-18):
o The first-processed produce from the land (such as olive oil, wine, and
grain.
o The first-ripe produce of barley and fruit.
o Food presented as an offering for a vow.
o Meat from all firstborn sheep, goats, and cattle.
These offerings were the food provided by Yahweh for the priests and their
families. These offerings became holy when a prescribed portion of them were
burnt on the altar. Since they were holy, they were either life-nourishing or lifethreatening, depending on if they were used as God had commanded. The priests
could not handle these holy things if they were in a state of uncleanness.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


4. Next some examples are given of what makes a priest unclean. What are the first
two things listed that make a priest unclean (22:4a)?

A priest is unclean if he has a leprous disease or has a discharge from his


body.

Any priest who was unclean in these ways could not eat this holy food provided
by Yahweh until he was clean. Next it lists several types of uncleanness caused by
touching something that is unclean. What are those things that could not be
touched because they caused uncleanness?

22:4b Touching a dead person.

22:4b Touching a a man who has had an emission of semen.

22:5a Touching a swarming thing.

22:5b Touching a person who had a contagious uncleanness.

These are a few things that when touched cause uncleanness. They were not
allowed to touch anything that would cause them to become unclean (22:5b). And
if they did become unclean by touching something, how long were they unclean?
What could they not do while they were unclean? And what did they have to do to
become clean again? (22:6)

They were unclean until evening. They were not able to eat the holy food.
And they had to bathe with water to become clean again.

After the sun went down and he had bathed himself, the priest could then eat the
holy food (22:7a-b). He was no longer unclean and this was rightfully the food
Yahweh had given him to eat (22:7c).
Two other examples are given of would cause a priest to become unclean. A priest
would make himself unclean if he ate meat from an animal that died of natural
causes or was killed by wild beasts (22:8).
5. What would happen to a priest if he became unclean and ate some of the holy
food (22:9)?

He would have to bear his sin and the penalty he would have to pay was to
give his life because he profaned Yahwehs holiness.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Yahweh is the God who sanctifies the priests. And he does it by giving them holy
food to eat. Therefore he has every right to determine how and under what
circumstances his holy food should be eaten.
Section 2 Laws for the Members of a Priests Household Concerning Holy
Food (22:10-16)
6. In this section the topic of holy food continues. In the previous verses it spoke
about the priests themselves. Here it speaks about which members of the priests
household could and could not eat the holy food brought home from the sanctuary
by the priest. What three groups of people were not allowed to eat the holy food
that the priest brought home (22:10)?

A normal layperson was not allowed to eat the holy food.

No foreign guests of the priest could eat the holy food.

Hired workers of the priest could not eat the holy food.

On the other hand, who could eat the holy food (22:11)?

A slave owned by the priest could eat the holy food.

Children born in the priests house could eat the priests holy food.

When could a priests daughter not eat the holy food (22:12)?

She could not eat the food contributed to the priests if she had gotten
married, thereby becoming a member of another family.

Yet on the other hand, if a daughter had gotten married and left the home, under
what circumstances could she once again eat her fathers holy food (22:13)?

If she became a widow or her husband divorced her and she had no
children and she moved back in to her fathers house, she could once again
eat his holy food. She had become part of his family once again.
.
.

7. 22:13b reiterates that a layperson could not eat the priests holy food. But what
happened if he did (22:14)?

If a layperson accidentally ate some of the priests holy food, he had to


pay reparations from what was unlawfully taken from Yahweh. He had to

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


pay the priest, Yahwehs representative, the value of the food, plus another
20 percent.
.
.
According to 5:14-16, the person who misappropriated the holy property also had
to present a ram as a reparation offering as compensation to Yahweh.
8. 22:15-16 provide a summary for this section. The priests were responsible for
seeing to it that the holy things of God were used properly. In this case that meant
seeing to it that the holy food given to Yahweh as a contribution by the people
was eaten by the proper people, the priests family. If an unauthorized person ate
the holy food, the holy things were profaned and the person who ate the food had
to bear the iniquity and guilt of his actions. The priests were held accountable by
Yahweh, the One who sanctified the food.
9. This legislation shows how the families of the priests participated in Gods
holiness. When the priest brought home the holy food from the sanctuary, the
priests home became an extension of the Lords table; it became a holy place.
The same rules for purity applied to the eating of the sacred food in both
locations.
God shared His holiness with the priests and their families through this holy food.
Since these things belonged to God and were holy, abuse of them desecrated
Gods holy name. Since the priests had the wonderful privilege of access to Gods
table, and since they were stewards of the life-giving, holy things of God, they
were responsible for the proper use of this holy food. They were to prevent the
desecration of His holiness. Any act of desecration had severe consequences for
the priest and/or his family.
10. In the next lesson we will study how Jesus fulfilled the laws in 22:1-16.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 59: Consumption of Holy Food by the Priests and Their
Families (Part 2)
(This lesson covers how Jesus fulfills the laws in 22:1-16.)
Refers to Lev. 21:10-16
Study
1. All Christians belong to the royal priesthood of God. As such, they receive the
spiritual food and drink that the Lord provides for the sustenance of their faith.
This food and drink are the most holy things they have from God. Just as God
sanctified the priests and their families through holy food, so he does the same for
the priesthood of all believers.
In the OT, the priests had to be physically clean to eat the holy food (22:3-9).
What is required of the NT priesthood (Mt. 5:8; Heb. 9:14; 10:22)?

They must be pure in heart.

On our own our hearts are anything but pure. How is it possible that can we have
a pure and true heart (Heb. 10:22)?

Only by faith can we be assured of a true heart.

A pure heart then is a gift from God that we receive by faith. What else do we
receive with the purity that God provides (1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:3; 1 Pet.
3:16, 21)?

By faith we also have a clear conscience.

What then issues from a pure heart, clear conscience, and sincere faith (1 Tim.
1:5)?

Love.

It is like a chain. It starts with purity that God provides. That purity is received by
faith (also a gift from God). That purity leads to a pure heart and clean
conscience, which then leads to love for the saints of God.
2. Saints are the holy people of God. They have communion with God through holy
things (Apostles creed: the communion of saints or communion in holy
things), that is, through their reception of the Word and Sacraments. The feast of
the Lords holy body and blood is the fulfillment of Lev. 22:1-16. This feast is a
real meal in which the communicant receives the very body and blood of Jesus
Christ, given and shed for the forgiveness of sins (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Since the body and blood of Christ are most holy, they must be treated with the
utmost respect. As the holy food from Yahweh had to be eaten by only authorized
people in the OT, so the same is true of the NT holy food that God provides. As
only the priests and their families who were clean could eat the holy food, so only
those who belong to the priesthood of all believers and are pure in heart (have
faith in Jesus) can eat his holy body and blood. People become a member of the
priesthood when they are baptized. In Baptism they are anointed with the Holy
Spirit and the Spirit, working through the Word, creates faith. Faith then
apprehends the gifts that Jesus offers. Eating and drinking the Meal in faith is
what is called eating and drinking in a worthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27).
3. What else is required of each priest before he eats the holy food offered to him
by God (1 Cor. 11:28-29)?

Each person must examine himself, discerning that in this meal one
receives the very body of Christ that was given for you on the cross.

What does examining ones self entail? There are three dimensions to examining
oneself:
(1) First, do you believe that the Christs crucified and risen body and blood are
really present in the Sacrament? Do you trust Christs word that it is?
(2) Do you believe that there are benefits (forgiveness of sins) in eating the
Supper? If so, do you desire them? Do you realize you are a sinner and need
forgiveness?
(3) Do you recognize the unity of the body of Christ (the church) and wish to
preserve that unity by removing anything that is causing divisions?
What happens if someone examines himself and answers no to any of these
questions and still communes (1 Cor. 11:29-32)?

If someone does this, they bring Gods judgment upon themselves. His
judgment shows up in the form of weakness, illness, and death. The Lord
disciplines us so that in the end we will not be condemned.
.

4. From earliest times, in order to insure that only authorized priests ate the holy
food, Holy Communion was closed to everyone who was not baptized (Didache
9:5). Those baptized have been purified by Gods Word and anointed with the
Holy Spirit. Before communing, the baptized cleared their consciences by
confessing their sins and reconciling with those whom they had offended. In
doing so they made sure that they did not pollute and desecrate Christs holy body
and blood (Didache 14:1-3; cf. Mt. 5:23-26).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


As the early church practiced closed communion, so the church throughout its
history has practiced closed communion. It does not practice it as some kind of
exclusive club. Rather, it is simply being faithful to Gods Word. It seeks to
prevent the desecration of Christs holy body and blood and it seeks to prevent
Gods judgment upon unworthy communicants.
5. As Gods representatives, pastors are called to preach the Word and administer the
Sacraments. Jesus words in Lk. 12:41-43 are for pastors. What are pastors to be?

They are to be faithful and wise managers over the Masters household.
They are servants of the Master, the Lord Jesus, who take care of his
family.
.

What are they to do?

They are to give out food to the household at the proper time.

The holy food that the priest brought home from God could only be given to his
immediate family as defined by God. And in order to eat the holy food, each
member of the family had to be clean. Anyone outside his immediate family who
ate the holy food desecrated Gods holiness. And any family member who was
unclean and ate the holy food desecrated Gods holiness. Therefore the priest was
responsible for seeing to it that the holy food was administered only to his
immediate family and that they were clean.
As the priest gave Gods holy food to his household, so the pastor does the same
for his family, the local church, when he gives out the holy food in the Lords
Supper. What does Jesus say should not be done with your holy things and with
your pearls (Mt. 7:6)?

Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs,
lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

That which is holy and of great value to the church is the holy and precious body
and blood of Christ. Pastors should not give these holy things to dogs and
pigs. These unclean animals refer to those people who are unbaptized or
unrepentant or heretics. These people are unclean and do not see these things as
holy and precious and therefore pastors are not to give the holy things of God to
such people. Likewise who else should not receive the Lords Supper (1 Cor.
11:27-29)?

Those who eat in an unworthy manner (those who do not eat in faith),
those who cannot examine themselves, and those who do not recognize the

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


real presence of Christs body and blood in the Sacrament should not
receive the Lords Supper.
.
.
Why should they not receive it (1 Cor. 11:29-31)?

To give the Holy Supper to such people not only does not benefit them,
but it invites Gods judgment upon them.

6. The pastors are not the only ones who are responsible for seeing to it that the holy
body and blood of Christ are not desecrated. Each person who considers going to
communion also bears responsibility for his or her self. Each person who receives
communion must eat and drink in a worthy manner. What happens if they eat
and drink in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27, 29)?

They will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. They
must realize that when they eat and drink, they are eating drinking much
more than just bread and wine. They are eating and drinking the very body
and blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine. If they cannot
see and understand (discern) this, they eat and drink judgment on
themselves.
.
.
.
.

Without a recognition of the real presence of Christs body and blood, one
desecrates the holy things of God. Two sins are involved here. First, there is the
sin of unbelief. When Christ took the bread and broke it he clearly said, Take;
this is my body (Mark 14:22). And when he took the cup he said to them, This
is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. (Mark 14:24). Those
who eat and drink without recognizing the real presence of Christs body and
blood do not believe Jesus word.
The first sin leads to the second. The sin of unbelief is compounded by the sin of
being sacrilegious toward the holy Sacrament. That which is holy is treated in a
irreverent and disrespectful manner. The holy things of God are trampled under
foot (Mt. 7:6). The entire text for this lesson (Lev. 22:1-16) is devoted to seeing to
it that holy things of God are received by the right people in the right way, the
way that God has determined. Let each person beware. This is not some trifling
issue. The Supper is given by God in order that he might give to his people life,
strength, and health. But if it is received without faith, the holy things of God are
trampled under foot and God threatens his judgment in the form of weakness,
illness, and death (1 Cor. 11:30).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Therefore this is the reason that the church practices closed communion. It is not
practiced because it is some exclusive club. It is practiced because this is Gods
command. It is practiced because this is a serious matter. God expects that the
holy things he offers to us be treated and received with reverence and faith. It is
practiced to prevent people from receiving Gods judgment. Pastors and members
of the church alike must be scrupulous about their treatment of Christs body and
blood so that they do not desecrate Gods holy name.
7. The Israelite priests received their livelihoods from the offerings brought by the
congregation. They served Yahweh at the tabernacle. In turn Yahweh received the
peoples offerings and then gave some of them to the priests as their wages. They
were fully devoted to Yahweh, therefore Yahweh provided for them.
What about Christian pastors? Should their entire livelihood be provided by the
church? In some denominations, being a pastor is a full time job earning them full
time wages. In other denominations, pastors work a secular job during the week
and preach in the church on Sunday. What does it say in the following verses
concerning this?

Mt. 10:10; Lk. 10:7-8 Those who God sends out to preach the Gospel
should be given food and shelter. They deserve to be taken care of. Their
focus should be on preaching the Gospel. They should not have to worry
about food and shelter.
.
.

1 Cor. 9:3-14 (esp. vv. 13-14) It says that pastors have the right to full
time wages for the full time work of preaching the Gospel. Paul did not
use that right in order not to put any obstacles in front of anyone. Paul
made the point that the priests received their livelihoods from their service
at the tabernacle and that the Lord commanded that those who proclaim
the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
.
.
.
.

Gal. 6:6 In gratitude for the pastors teaching of Gods Word, the ones
who have been taught should share the good things that God has blest
them with with the pastor.
.

1 Tim.5:17-18 Those who preach and teach should be paid wages


because they have earned them.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Therefore pastors have the right to receive their living from preaching the Gospel
and congregations should supply their needs.
8. As the priests made their families holy by giving them holy food from God, so
pastors do the same as they serve up the Gospel of God in Word and Sacrament to
their congregations. The people they preach the Gospel to are sanctified by the
Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:15-16). In response to the Gospel, people bring offerings to
the Lord. In the past these offerings were normally food and other tangible things.
Today it is primarily money. Their offerings are given to the Lord for his use, to
further his kingdom. Once the Lord takes possession of them, like the OT
sacrifices, they become holy. And anything that is holy must be treated with honor
and respect. Holy things must not be desecrated. The Lord uses these offerings to
spread his holy Gospel throughout the world. Through the use of these offerings
the Lord provides for the pastors who serve him. Therefore these holy offerings
are not to be misused, abused, or squandered. If pastors or others misuse them,
they should confess these sins and make appropriate compensation as was done in
the reparation offering (Lev. 22:16; cf. 22:14).

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 60: Acceptable [Personal] Offerings for the Israelites
Read Lev. 22:17-30a
Outline
I. First speech on acceptable animals for sacrifice (22:17-25)
A. Introduction (22:17-18a) address to and commission of Moses.
B. Speech of Moses to the Israelites (22:18b-25).
1. Prohibition of defective male animals as persona votive and freewill burnt
offerings (22:18b-20)
2. Prohibition of defective animals as votive and freewill peace offerings (22:21)
3. Classes of defective animals (22:22-25)
a. General blemishes (22:22)
b. Animals with a stunted leg for votive offerings but not for freewill peace
offerings (22:23)
c. Male animals with damaged testicles (22:24)
d. Blemished animals obtained from foreigners (22:25)
II. Second speech on temporal restrictions for sacrifices (22:26-33).
A. Introduction: the Lords address to Moses (22:26).
B. Gods speech to Moses (22:27-33).
1. Temporal restrictions on the sacrifice of young animals (22:27-28).
2. Temporal restrictions on eating meat from a thank offering (22:29-30a).
----------- 3. Concluding admonition (22:30b-33)
a. Gods self-introduction with an instruction to keep commandments (22:30b31a)
b. Gods self-introduction with a prohibition of desecration (22:31b-32)
c. Gods self-introduction as Israels sanctifying redeemer (22:32b-33a)
d. Gods self-introduction (22:33b)
Study
1. Looking at the structure of these verses, we see that there are two related speeches
(And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying twice) about which animals were
acceptable for private sacrifices. The first speech is in 22:18b-25 and the second is
in 22:26-33.
The words acceptance and accept are used seven times (22:19, 20, 21, 23, 25,
27, 29) and tie the two speeches together. Also the phrase for your acceptance in
22:19 and 22:29 form an inclusion around both speeches.
The first speech is divided into three parts by the repetition of defect, blemish.
The second speech ends with an elaborate admonition. It provides not only a
conclusion to these two speeches but for the all the speeches in chapters 21 and
22. In a similar way other admonitions concluded earlier divine speeches (e.g.,

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


18:23-30; 19:36b-37; 20:22-26). Note that within the conclusion the formula for
divine self-introduction is used four times.
Acceptable Animals for Sacrifice (22:18-25)
2. In this divine speech Yahweh spoke to Moses (22:17). Who was Moses to
communicate Gods Word to (22:18a)?

Moses was to speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel.
Everyone in Israel was to know and learn these words of God.

The instructions in this pericope have to do with sacrifices. Therefore it makes


sense that these speeches are addressed to both the priests and the Israelites. The
Israelites were responsible for bringing acceptable offerings and the priests had
the final say-so that the offerings were acceptable. God gave His approval to the
sacrifices through His representatives, the priests.
What is the first type of sacrifice that is addressed and who could present it
(22:18b)?

The first type of sacrifice discussed is the whole burnt offering and it
could be offered by any of the Israelites or even the resident aliens that
lived among them.
.

Normally the Israelites were not required to present any burnt offerings as
personal sacrifices to the Lord because the burnt offering was the basic public
sacrifice for the whole congregation offered each day. But obviously as these
verses state, they could offer a burnt offering if they wanted to. Under what
circumstances would they offer such an offering to Yahweh (22:18c)?

They could offer a burnt offering as a result of a vow or as a freewill


offering.

In an offering that resulted from a vow, a person made a vow that if he received
divine intervention into whatever desperate situation he was in, he would thank
Yahweh publically by offering a burnt offering. The freewill offering was just
that, an offering offered freely and spontaneously to Yahweh.
What did Yahweh require of the animal that was used for a personal burnt offering
(22:19b-20a)?

It had to be male.

It had to be from the cattle, sheep, or goats.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

It had to be without blemish.

Only these kinds of animals were acceptable to Yahweh as a voluntary burnt


offering. What the ESV translates as accepted for you in 22:19a and acceptable
for you in 22:20b, Dr. Kleinig translates slightly different as for your
acceptance and acceptable on your behalf. So the purpose for these sacrifices
being offered to Yahweh was so that Yahweh would accept both the sacrifice and
those who presented them. Therefore if the animal was acceptable to Yahweh, so
was the person who presented the offering. If the offerer followed Yahwehs
instructions then he could be certain that Yahweh would accept the offering and
would be pleased by him. These voluntary personal offerings were a divinely
sanctioned means of access to Yahweh.
3. Lev. 22:21a speaks of another type of offering to Yahweh. What is it?

A peace offering.

Under what circumstances does it speak of that this offering can be given
(22:21b)?

It is given as a result of a vow or as a freewill offering.

What were the requirements for the personal peace offering in order for it to be
acceptable to Yahweh (22:21c)?

It had to be from the flock or herd.

It had to be perfect, without blemish.

4. Both of these personal offerings had to be without blemish (22:19, 20, 21). What
blemishes are listed in 22:22-24?

22:22a - Animals are blemished if they are blind, disabled, or mutilated or


have a discharge, an itch, or scabs.

22:23 An animal with a part too long or too short (short or long leg) is
blemished and cannot be offered as a vow offering. It can however be
offered for a freewill offering.
.

22:24a Any animal that has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or
cut is blemished.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Requiring a perfect male prevented the Israelites from culling out inferior
animals. Also note, the choice for animals mirrors the choice of men for the
priesthood (see Lev. 22:22-24 and compare to Lev. 21:18-20). As the priests
represented their flock, the people of Israel, so the sacrificed animals
represented their herd or flock.
Yahwehs command was that animals such as these you shall not offer to the
LORD or give them to the LORD as a food [or gift] offering on the altar (22:22b,
24b). Offerings such as these were not to be offered within your land (22:24b),
the land where Yahweh the perfect God resides among them. It didnt matter
where the animal had come from, whether from within Israel or from a foreigner
outside. If it was defective it was not to be offered to God. It would not be
accepted on behalf of the offerer (22:25).
5. In summary then, an Israelite or a resident alien could bring a voluntary personal
offering to Yahweh. It was presented at the sanctuary to Yahweh as a gift in
conjunction with the regular sacrificial ritual. The priests had to examine the
animal to make sure it was defect free. If the animal was chosen from the Israelite
flocks and herds and if it was a male without any defects, the Israelite could be
certain that Yahweh would accept it. And in accepting it, Yahweh was also
accepting the offerer of the gift. Through this sacrificial ritual Yahweh gave
access to himself and showed favor to his people.
Temporal Restrictions for Sacrifices (22:26-30a)
6. In the previous section Yahweh placed restrictions upon which animals could be
sacrificed for personal burnt and peace offerings. In this section Yahweh places
restrictions on sacrifices in terms of time.
This time Yahweh spoke only to Moses (22:26). What time restriction is placed
upon a sacrifice in 22:27?

A baby ox, sheep, or goat could not be offered as a sacrifice within the
first 7 days after being born. From the eighth day on it was acceptable as a
gift offering to Yahweh.
.

What is the similarity between 22:27 and 12:2-3 in terms of time?

The baby animal had to remain with its mother for 7 days and after 7 days
a male Israelite child was circumcised.

Seven days was the time for ritual transition from one state to another. After 7
days an Israelite boy officially became part of the covenant nation and after living
7 days outside the mothers womb the baby animal officially became an

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


individual animal in its own right. Having officially changed to a new state of
being, the young animal could now be offered as a gift offering to Yahweh on
behalf of its owner.
7. What is the time restriction given in 22:28?

After a baby ox or sheep had transitioned away from its mother and could
be accepted as a sacrifice on its own, it still could not be offered on the
same day as its mother.
.

It is possible that this law was put in place to counteract some pagan practices that
were meant to enhance fertility of the flock or herd. But it certainly was put in
place to make sure that both the mother and her young one were not confused as
one sacrifice. After the ritual transition period they were to be considered two
separate sacrifices. They were not to be confused with each other.
8. The third temporal restriction concerned the thank offering (22:29a). What time
restrictions were placed upon it (22:30a)?

The Lord said, It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of
it until morning. On the same day that the sacrifice was made the meat
from the thank offering had to eaten.
.

When a thank offering was made, the animal was presented before Yahweh and
then offered upon the altar. A song of thanksgiving was also sung at the sanctuary.
Then the meat from the offering was served as a sacrificial banquet. The purpose
of this restriction was so that the sacred thanksgiving meal was closely associated
in time with the thank offering. The meat from the offering was holy meat since it
came into contact with the holy altar. Therefore this restriction caused the
Israelites to treat the meat as holy and not common food. It protected the holy
meat from ritual abuse.
What was the purpose of the thank offering (22:29b)?

You shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. The purpose is the
same as in the previous section. Yahweh set these temporal restrictions in
order that the people could be sure that Yahweh would accept them. This
was made clear by his acceptance of their sacrifices as gifts to him.
.
.

Fulfillment by Christ

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


9. The sacrificial animals of the OT had to be without blemish. The same is true of
any NT sacrifices. What NT sacrifice was offered without blemish (Heb. 9:14; 1
Pet. 1:19)?

Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice without blemish. He was like a lamb


without blemish or spot.

For what purpose did he sacrifice himself (1 Pet. 1:18-19a)?

He offered himself to ransom us from our futile ways. He paid that ransom
with his precious blood.

What was another reason for his perfect sacrifice (Heb. 9:14b)?

He sacrificed himself in order to purify our conscience from dead works


to serve the living God.

What was the end result and goal of his perfect sacrifice (Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Col.
1:22; Jude 24; Heb. 10:14)?

The result of his perfect sacrifice in which he ransomed us with his


precious blood was to present us, the church, to God the Father as holy
and blameless. As he was without blemish or spot, so he makes his church
to be without blemish or spot. Since he is perfect, he makes them perfect.
.
.

His sacrifice as the perfect Lamb of God made it possible to establish your hearts
blameless (1 Thess. 3:13) and to keep them blameless (1 Thess. 5:23) until the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23).
10. In the church, as in Israel, God declares which sacrifices are acceptable and wellpleasing to Him. Who did God the Father say he was pleased with (Jn. 8:29; Mt.
3:17; 17:5; 2 Pet. 1:17)?

God the Father was pleased with his beloved Son. Everything he does
pleases God.

Because God is pleased with his Son, and because we offer our sacrifices through
him, how does God feel about the sacrifices that we offer, our sacrifices of praise,
of doing good and sharing what we have, our spiritual sacrifices (Heb. 13:15-16;
1 Pet. 2:5)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Because our sacrifices are made through him whom the Father is pleased
with, our sacrifices are pleasing and acceptable to the Father.

11. The perfect Lamb of God employs ministers who make known what Christ has
done and offer the benefits of his saving sacrifice. Their priestly service is to share
the Gospel of God. Those who hear the Gospel and believe it become a holy
offering to God that is acceptable to him (Rom. 15:15-16). They become disciples
of Jesus. What do followers of Jesus do ( 1 Jn. 3:22; Heb. 12:28)?

Followers of Jesus keep Gods commandments and offer acceptable


worship with reverence and awe.

Keeping Gods commandments has two dimensions. What are they (1 Jn. 3:23)?

It first has a vertical dimension in that we believe in the name of his Son
Jesus Christ. It also has a horizontal dimension where we are to love one
another, just as he has commanded us.
.

Believing in Gods Son involves following Gods command to listen to him, for
Jesus has the words of eternal life. And it is Jesus who commands his disciples
to go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you. (Mt. 28:19-20a). Therefore Gods commandments point
us to Jesus and his Word and Sacraments. These things are acceptable worship.
Jesus leads us in such worship, offering himself and us with him as a perfect
sacrifice to God the Father.
12. Having been made a pure (defect free) and acceptable sacrifice to God by the
blood of Christ, in what God-pleasing ways do Christians live and respond to the
grace that God has shown to them?

Rom. 12:1-2 They offer their bodies as living sacrifices. They do not
conform to the worlds standards, but discern and conform to the will of
God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
.

Phil. 4:18 Their provision for pastors and missionaries is a fragrant


offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

Heb. 13:16 They do good and share what they have for such sacrifices
are pleasing to God.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

1 Pet. 2:5 As a spiritual house and holy priesthood they offer spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Pet. 2:9 As a chosen people who belong to God and who have been
made holy and his priests, they proclaim the excellencies of him who
called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
.

Rom. 14:17-18 They live in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the
Holy Spirit serving Christ. This is acceptable to God.

Col. 3:17 In word and deed they do everything in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Since the saints are purified by the blood of Christ, their bodies and souls, their
offerings and good works, their prayers and their praises, their acts of
thanksgiving and their confessions of faith are well-pleasing to God the Father.
Because they and their offerings are in Christ they can be sure that the Father
approves of them and delights in them. He sees them as thank offerings. Their
whole life on earth is therefore included in the service that they offer together
with Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 61: Conclusion to the Protection of Holy People and Holy
Things
Read Lev. 22:30b-33
Study
1. This section, which is bracketed by the formula for divine introduction (22:30b,
33b) making it a separate unit, is obviously the conclusion of Yahwehs speech to
Moses in 22:27-30. But it is a conclusion to much more than this. And this is
shown in three ways.
First, what do the following passages have in common (Lev. 22:31; 18:2-4; 18:30;
19:37; 20:22)?

In all of these passages Israel is admonished by God to keep my


commandments and do them (22:31), follow my rules and keep my
statutes and walk in them (18:4), keep my charge (18:30), observe all
my statutes and all my rules, and do them (19:37), keep all my statutes
and all my rules and do them (20:22).
.
.
.

Because all of these passages from previous chapters contain Yahwehs


admonition to keep his commandments, this conclusion concludes not just
chapters 21-22 (holiness of priests and the holy things of God), but also chapters
18-20 (the avoidance of ritual defilement).
2. Second, what do these verses have in common (Lev. 22:32b; 20:8; 21:8, 15, 23;
22:9, 16)?

In each Yahweh says, I am Yahweh who sanctifies you/him/them.

Seven times in chapters 20-22 Yahweh introduces himself by saying he is the God
who sanctifies (makes holy). Chapters 20-22 were covered in lessons 52-60.
Looking at the lesson headings from these lessons, what holy things were
protected from defilement?

Lessons 52-54 (ch. 20) The holy land and sanctuary at which Yahweh
lived among his people was not to be defiled.

Lessons 55-57 (ch. 21) The priests who served Yahweh at the tabernacle
by offering holy sacrifices were not to be defiled.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Lessons 58-60 (ch. 22) The holy food provided by Yahweh to the
families of the priests and the holy offerings given by the Israelites were
not to be defiled.
.

Therefore this conclusion is a conclusion of chapters 20 22 which guard the


holiness of Yahweh given to the Israelites through the means that Yahweh chose:
the sanctuary, the priests, and the sacrifices. God elected to share his holiness with
Israel by these holy things. This legislation was given to make sure that nothing
stopped the flow of holiness from Yahweh to Israel.
3. Third, what do the following verses have in common (Lev. 22:32a; 22:2; 18:21;
19:12:20:3; 21:6)?

They all speak of not profaning Gods holy name.

Chapter 22 began (22:2) and ended (22:32) with not profane my holy name.
This phrase then forms an inclusion or brackets off the text in between. So it most
obviously forms the conclusion to chapter 22. But as we just saw, it also echoes
the same concern about not profaning Yahwehs holy name as chapters 18, 19, 20,
and 21.
We conclude then that the conclusion of chapter 22 draws together the main
theological strands from chapters 18-22 and therefore is the conclusion of all
these chapters.
4. The theological summary provided by this conclusion reminded the Israelites that
because of the great privilege they enjoyed in having access to Yahweh and his
holiness, great demands were placed upon them to keep his ritual statutes. Four
times (22:30b, 31b, 32b, 33b) in this conclusion Yahweh introduced himself to the
Israelites by name (I am the LORD [Yahweh]). Having access to a persons
name gives access to that person. Therefore the Israelites had access to Yahweh
and his blessings. No other people had that privilege. In the third self-introduction
(22:32) Yahweh presented himself as the One who sanctifies you. This says
then that they did not make themselves holy; he made them holy. They were
indeed a privileged people.
5. In the third self-introduction of himself to Israel (22:32-33), what does Yahweh
mention that he did for Israel in connection with the fact that he sanctifies Israel
(22:33a)?

He mentions that he brought them up out of Egypt.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


He freed them from slavery in order to be their God (22:33a). What was this in
fulfillment of (Gen. 17:7-8)?

This is in fulfillment of the promise Yahweh made to Abraham. He


promised to be the God of Abraham and his offspring.

Ex. 29:38-46 records how, after Yahweh had rescued Israel from slavery and
brought them out of Egypt, he wanted to meet with his people on a regular basis.
He chose to do this at the tabernacle, which is also called the tent of meeting. He
consecrated the tent, the altar, the priests, and the sacrifices for his purposes. And
his purpose was that on a daily basis he would meet his people at the tabernacle in
the daily burnt offering (Ex. 29:42). As their God he would dwell among them
and meet with them (Ex. 29:45). And when he met with them, they would be
sanctified (Ex. 29:43).
So as their God, he sanctifies them. He does so, as weve seen in Exodus and
Leviticus, by dwelling with them and through the divine service. He shares his
holiness with them by interacting with them in the sacrificial ritual. There he
made them holy and kept them holy.
6. The great privilege of having access to God and participating in his holiness
brought with it two fundamental demands. What was the first (22:31)?

The first demand was: So you shall keep my commandments and do


them: I am the LORD.

The commandments that Yahweh gave in chapters 18-22 concerning the


protection of holy things and holy people were to be kept by Israel. The reason for
this was that apart from these divinely mandated rituals in the divine service Israel
had no access to God and his holiness. His words to Moses, Aaron, and the people
instituted and empowered the rituals of the divine service as a vehicle for him to
share his holiness with them. Therefore anything that damaged the divine service
and compromised its sanctity was prohibited.
What was the second prohibition (22:32a)?

And you shall not profane my holy name.

God and his name were holy, that is, special and separate from anything that was
ordinary. God is above and beyond all the things that he created and he and his
name were to be treated as such. In the following verses, when was Gods holy
name profaned?

19:12 when it was used to swear a false oath.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

18:21; 20:3 when Israel participated in the cult of Molech.

21:5-6 when the priests of Israel participated in forbidden ritual


practices.

They kept from profaning Gods holy name when they acknowledged that he was
holy, acknowledged that he dwelled in their midst, and respected the holy things
of God. They kept from profaning Gods holy name when they did not swear false
oaths, participate in the cult of Molech, and participate in forbidden rituals. When
Gods holy name was profaned, it prevented God from sharing his holiness with
them in a beneficial way.
Fulfillment by Christ
7. In the OT God rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt in order to be their God, to
dwell with them, and to share his holiness with them in the divine service. God
has done the same thing with the NT Israel, the church. He has ransomed them
from their slavery to sin and the devil. What price did he pay to ransom them (1
Pet. 1:14-21; Rev. 5:9-10)?

He ransomed them through the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.

What was his purpose for rescuing the church (Eph. 2:17-22)? How is this similar
to his purpose in rescuing OT Israel?

Eph. 2:18 As he rescued OT Israel so they might have access to him in


the divine service, so he rescued the church so that they might have access
to the Father through the Holy Spirit.
.

Eph. 2:19 As he rescued OT Israel so that he might be their God and care
for them, so he rescued the church so that they might be members of
Gods family, where they are loved and cared for.
.

Eph. 2:21-22 As he rescued OT Israel so that he could dwell among


them at his tabernacle/temple, so he rescued the church so that God might
dwell in them, his holy temple.
.

When we introduce ourselves by name to someone, we give that person access to


ourselves that they did not have before. In this conclusion, Yahweh introduces
himself by name to Israel four times when he said, I am the LORD [Yahweh].

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In doing so, he gave Israel access to himself and his grace. What has Jesus done
with Gods name (Jn. 17:6a, 26)?

Jesus said, I have manifested your name to the people and I made
known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the
love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. In
Christ a gracious God is made known. Through Christ we have access to
God the Father. Through Gods holy name the love of God is in us.
.
.
.

8. He has done everything just described for the church and has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). One of those spiritual blessings is that he
sanctifies them. How does he sanctify them?

Jn. 17:17; Eph. 5:26 It is by his Word that he sanctifies them and keeps
them holy.

Seven times in Leviticus 18 - 22 Yahweh identified himself as the God of Israel


who sanctifies them. God does not change. As he sanctified OT Israel so he also
sanctifies his NT people, the church. In Holy Baptism Gods Holy Word and Holy
Name are applied and through them we are sanctified (made holy) like the rest of
the saints (holy ones).
God not only sanctifies each person who is baptized, what else does he sanctify
and how does he do it (1 Tim. 4:4-5)?

Everything that a Christian receives from God is sanctified by the use of


Gods Word and prayer.

Therefore it is through the Name and Word of the Triune God that God gives
access to himself and shares his holiness with us, sanctifying us and all the
blessings that he gifts us with. Without his Word and without his Holy Name we
do not have access to him. Because of this what are Christians required to do with
his Name (Lk. 11:2)?

Christians are required to hallow Gods Holy Name.

And what are Christians required to do with Gods Word (Mt. 7:24; 13:23; Lk.
8:21; 11:28; Jn. 8:31)?

Christians are required to hear it, understand it, and enact it in their lives.
By doing these things they hallow his Holy Word.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Christians hallow Gods Holy Name and keep his holy commandments because it
is through them that God makes himself known, claims them as his own, makes
them holy, gives access to himself, and dwells within them. His Word and Name
are precious to Christians because through them God gives life as he intended in
all of its fullness.
9. Indeed, Christians are to hallow Gods Holy Name and his Holy Word in all parts
of their lives. But this is especially true in their worship. Christian worship is
aptly called by Lutherans the Divine Service. For in the Divine Service Gods
Holy Triune Name is invoked and his Holy Word is enacted in proclamation,
confession, Baptism, Holy Communion, absolution, benediction, prayer, praise,
and offerings. God comes to us in the Divine Service and serves us because in it
we use the means that he has given us to give access to himself. Through his
Name and Word he makes himself known, gives us access to himself, sanctifies
us, makes us his own, dwells in us, and gives his gracious gifts of forgiveness,
life, and salvation.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 62: Calendar of Holy Times (Part 1)
(This lesson will set the context for chapter 23, go over the structure of the chapter, and
then cover the first 2 of 7 holy times as laid out by Yahweh.)
Read Lev. 23:1-8
Outline
I. Speech about Sabbath and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (23:1-8)
A. Introduction (23:1-2a)
B. Speech of Moses to the Israelites (23:2b-8)
1. Heading with instructions for the dating of the Sabbath (23:2b-3)
2. The dates for the Feast of Unleavened Bread (23:4-8)
a. Subheading about the proclamation of the times appointed by God (23:4)
i. Date for the Passover (23:5)
ii. Date for the Feast of Unleavened Bread (23:6a)
iii. Length of time for eating unleavened bread (23:6b)
iv. Proclamation of the first day as a holy day (23:7)
v. Length of time for the presentation of offerings (23:8a)
vi. Proclamation of the seventh day as a holy day (23:8b)
---------II. Speech about the Feast of Weeks (23:9-22)
III. Speech about the Day of Acclamation (23:23-25)
IV. Speech about the Day of Atonement (23:26-32)
V. Speech about the Feast of Booths (23:33-43)
VI. Statement of Compliance (23:44)
Study
1. Before beginning chapter 23, lets take a step back and look at the larger context.
We saw where chapters 17-22 formed a discrete unit as they dealt with the
protection of holy people, holy places, and holy things. The question here is
whether chapters 23-26 are interconnected in the same way.
At first glance it would not seem so for the following reasons.
o Each section has its own clear conclusion.
o There is no summary conclusion.
o Chapter 26 is rather strange in that it concludes the speech begun in
chapter 25, yet it does not continue the discussion of chapter 25
concerning the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years.
On the other hand, it seems as if 26:2 provides a conclusion for Lev. 17-22 and
23-25. Gods command to revere his sanctuary in 26:2a states the theme of
chapters 17-22. And Gods command to observe his Sabbaths in 26:2b
summarizes the laws in chapters 23-25. Therefore based upon these laws, Israel
was to order their lives spatially around the sanctuary (17-22) and temporally

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


around the observance of the Sabbaths and the holy times (23-25). The rest of
chapter 26 then provides the consequences for whether they did or did not follow
Gods commands in these chapters. Therefore the commentary which this Bible
study is based on treats Lev. 23-26 as a discrete whole.
2. Next we will look at the context and structure of chapter 23. This chapter contains
a speech which is made up of five sub-speeches, all of which describe the
liturgical calendar that God devised for Israel to follow.
Moses also uses some headings and a subscription to divide the material as
follows:
General heading (23:2b)
Regulations for the Sabbath (23:3)
Subheading (23:4)
Appointed times for Gods meeting with His people (23:5-36)
Subscription (23:37-38)
Regulations on lay involvement in the Feast of Booths (23:39-43)
The liturgical calendar is tied together by a series of key words and phrases:
o Appointed times of the Lord (23:2, 4, 37, 44)
o Sabbath(s) (23:3, 11, 15 [twice], 16, 32 [twice], 38)
o A [time of] rest (23:3, 24, 32, 39)
o The seventh day (23:3, 8); the seventh month (23:24, 27, 34, 39, 41)
o Seven days (23:6, 8, 34, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42)
o Proclaimed holy day(s) (23:2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 21, 24, 27, 35, 36, 37)
o Present a gift/gifts to the Lord (23:8, 13, 18, 25, 27, 36[twice], 37)
o You shall not do any work in your occupation (23:7, 8, 21, 25, 35, 36)
o You shall not do any work (23:3, 28, 31)
o A perpetual ritual statute throughout your generations (23:14, 21, 31,
41)
o To the Lord (23:3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18[twice], 20, 25, 27, 34,
36[twice], 37, 38, 41)
The holy days described in this chapter can be divided into two major parts:
o 23:1-22 tell us about the holy days in the spring (the time when the harvest
took place) which begin in the first month of the year and continue
through the end of the harvest.
o 23:23-36 tell us about the holy days in the fall in the seventh month of the
year.
The holy days in the spring and fall more or less mirrored each other.
Spring Holy Days (Began in the 1st month of the liturgical calendar.)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


o The weekly Sabbath Day set the pattern for holy days on which no work
was to be done.
o The Passover held late on the 14th day of the first month kicked off the
Feast of Unleavened Bread
o The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a 7 day feast which lasted from the
15th of the month to the 21st of the month.
o The first day of the Feast (the 15th) was a holy day of rest.
o During the Feast (16th 20th) a ceremony was held for the elevation of the
first sheath. This kicked off the week of weeks (49 days) of harvest.
During the Feast the people ate unleavened bread in remembrance of their
quick deliverance from Egypt.
o The last day of the Feast (the 21st) was a holy day of rest.
o The Day of Pentecost (50th day) ended the spring liturgical calendar and
the harvest. It was a holy day of rest.
Fall Holy Days (Occurred during the 7th month of the liturgical calendar.)
o The Day of Acclamation on the 1st day of the month kicked off the fall
holy season. It was a holy day of rest.
o The Day of Atonement was held on the 10th day of the month. It was a
holy day of rest.
o The Feast of Booths was a 7 day feast which lasted from the 15th of the
month to the 21st of the month.
o The first day of the Feast (the 15th) was a holy day of rest.
o During the Feast (16th 20th) the people lived in booths and marched
around the altar each day. This Feast commemorated Israels travels
through the desert on their way to the Promised Land.
o The last day of the Feast (the 21st) was a holy day of rest.
o The day after the Feast of Booths a closing ceremony was held. This was a
holy day of rest and it concluded the fall liturgical calendar.
A number of inclusions and chiasms employed in this chapter also give it
structure. Note the following inclusions:
Reaping of the harvest (23:10)
Elevation of first sheaf and the Feast of Weeks
Reaping of the harvest (23:22)
Residence for the Israelites (23:17)
Laws concerning first-ripe produce
Residence for the Israelites (23:21)
Command to keep the Feast of the Lord (23:39)
Command to carry branches
Command to keep the Feast of the Lord (23:41)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Note the following chiasms used:
At the introduction to the chapter:
A Appointed time(s), proclaim (23:2b)
B Sacred occasion (23:2c)
C These, appointed times (23:2d)
D Work, do (23:3a)
X Sacred occasion (23:3b)
D Work, do (23:3c)
C These, appointed times (23:4a)
B Sacred occasion (23:4b)
A Appointed time(s), proclaim (23:4c)
The Day of Atonement is arranged as a chiasm, emphasizing key observances for
the day.
A1 Demand for self-deprivation (23:27)
B1 Prohibition of work (23:28)
A2 Lack of self-deprivation (23:29)
B2 Prohibition of work (23:31)
A3 Demand for self-deprivation (23:32)
The First Appointed Holy Time: The Sabbath (23:1-3)
3. We now take a look at the text of chapter 23. This is another divine speech by
Yahweh which is addressed to Moses (23:1). Moses is to pass along what Yahweh
says to the people of Israel (23:2a). The second part of verse 2 acts as a heading
for the chapter. What will this chapter be about (23:2b)?

In this chapter Yahweh will lay out appointed feasts at appointed times
during the year for his people. These appointed times will be holy days in
which Yahweh will meet with his people.
.

What was the first appointed time that was to be holy to Yahweh (23:3)?

The seventh day each week was to be a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy
convocation. It is a Sabbath to the LORD.

Note that what the ESV translates in 23:2 as you shall proclaim as holy
convocations; they are my appointed feasts, Dr. Kleinig translates as you shall
proclaim as proclaimed holy days these are my appointed times. So holy
convocations (a special meeting called for holy purposes) becomes proclaimed
holy days. The Hebrew word behind this means appointed time. It is an
appointed time to meet or to arrange a place to meet. So as the Lord meets with

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


his people regularly at the altar in the daily divine service, he also wishes to meet
with his congregation at other special appointed times, on days that are appointed
by Yahweh as holy days. Since these days were not normally holy days, they were
proclaimed by sounding of trumpets (see Num. 10:10). Because they were
proclaimed as holy days by Yahweh, they became holy days. On some of these
holy days the people were required to assemble at the sanctuary and on some they
were not. In their translation, the ESV puts the emphasis on meeting on a holy
day. In Dr. Kleinigs translation he puts the emphasis on the proclamation of the
holy day. Similarly in 23:2, the ESV has appointed feasts and Dr. Kleinig has
appointed times. Neither is wrong, again just a different emphasis.
This instruction for the Sabbath lays out the rhythm and pattern for normal
Israelite life. The first 6 days of the week were common days that belonged to the
Israelites. What could they do on these 6 days (23:3a)?

For these 6 days they could work.

But the 7th day was a holy day to Yahweh. What did the Israelites do on the
Sabbath Day and where did they do it (23:3b)?

On this day the Israelites could not do any work. They simply stayed at
home and rested (23:3b).

On this holy day, the Israelites were not required to perform any ritual. Their
ritual was simply to do nothing, to rest. As they rested their attention was placed
on Yahweh and the divine service. They benefited from the divine service without
doing any work. It was Yahwehs work for them that was beneficial; they had to
rely on him. Their work counted for nothing.
On the Sabbath and on some other holy days the people rested at home. While at
home they benefited from sacrificial ritual being performed at the sanctuary. The
home then became an extension of the sanctuary. The observance of the sacred
calendar linked the family home to Yahwehs home (the sanctuary).
The Sabbath was the archetypical holy day. Other holy days would be patterned
after it. The Sabbath then held a high position in the temporal order like the Holy
of Holies did in the spatial order and the daily sacrifice did in the ritual order. This
sabbatical principle (the day of rest) governed the liturgical calendar of Israel. As
he established a holy place (the sanctuary) with His word, so he established holy
times, again with His word. On these days the Israelites were to rest and present
gifts to the Lord. These days were not naturally holy. They were proclaimed as
holy (23:2, 3) (probably through the blowing of trumpets at the sanctuary). These
days were no longer used for common use but for divine use. God set these days
apart as holy days so that He could meet with and share His holiness with His
people.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


The Second Appointed Holy Time: The Feast of Unleavened Bread (23:4-8)
4. Lev. 23:4 functions as a subheading for the rest of the chapter. With the pattern for
holy days set by the Sabbath, what does this subheading say will now follow
(23:4)?

Next will follow all of the appointed feasts (or appointed times) which
shall be proclaimed each year as the feasts that Yahweh has appointed for
them.

Counting the Sabbath, there will be 7 special appointed times that will be holy
days for Yahweh to meet with his people.
5. The second appointed time (or feast) on the religious calendar is included in 23:58. When was the second appointed time to be held and what event would be used
to inaugurate it (23:5)?

The second appointed time was during the first month, on the fourteenth
day of the month at twilight. On this day and time the Passover was to be
observed.

The observance of the Passover commemorated the day on which Yahweh rescued
his people from slavery in Egypt. At the original Passover, each family slayed a
lamb and then took the blood of the lamb and painted it on the door frame. When
the angel of death saw the blood, he passed over the house. Where there was no
blood, he killed the firstborn of that house. When this happened the Egyptians
released the Israelites from their captivity.
What feast began the next day after the Passover, the fifteenth day of the first
month (23:6a)?

The Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh.

This Feast also harkened back to the original Passover. The Passover also
included a meal. The lamb that was killed was roasted and eaten along with bread
and bitter herbs. Because they were leaving in such a hurry, they did not have
time to wait for the bread to rise. So leaven was not added to the bread. They had
to eat it unleavened. This Feast then celebrated the quick release of Israel from
captivity by Yahweh. For how long did the Feast of Unleavened Bread last and
what were the Israelites required to do during the Feast (23:6b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted 7 days. During those 7 days the
Israelites were required to eat unleavened bread to remind them of their
quick exit from Egypt.
.

There were two required holy days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When
were they (23:7, 8b)? What were they not allowed to do on these days?

The first day of the Feast and the last day (7th day) of the Feast were holy
days on which no work could be done.

What else did the Israelites do during the 7 days of the Feast besides eat
unleavened bread (23:8a)?

They presented food offerings (or gifts as Dr. Kleinig translates it) to
Yahweh for all 7 days.

An important point to make about making offerings is that of location. Yahweh


authorized people to come near to him, to present a gift to him. Therefore
the heads of each of the households, as representatives of each family, had to
make a pilgrimage to the tabernacle for this Feast in order that they could come
near Yahweh and present him an offering. These offerings were made for all 7
days of the Feast.
6. We will continue our study of Lev. 23 in the next lesson with the third of the
seven items on the liturgical calendar.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 63: Calendar of Holy Times (Part 2)
(This lesson covers the last 5 of 7 holy times as declared by Yahweh.)
Read Lev. 23:9-44
Outline
I. Speech about Sabbath and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (23:1-8)
---------II. Speech about the Feast of Weeks (23:9-22)
A. Introduction (23:9-10a)
B. Speech by Moses to the Israelites (23:10b-22)
1. Date of the day for the elevation of the first sheaf (23:10b-14)
a. Its occurrence after the Sabbath during the week of Unleavened Bread
(23:10a-11)
b. Prescription of its offerings (23:12-13)
c. Prohibition of consumption of new grain before that day (23-14)
2. Date of Feast of Weeks (23:15-21)
a. Calculation of the date for the feast (23:15-16)
b. List of offerings for that day (23:17-20)
c. Proclamation of a day free from work as a perpetual statute (23:21)
3. Commandment to leave the gleanings for the needy (23:22a)
4. Gods self-introduction (23:22b)
III. Speech about the Day of Acclamation (23:23-25)
A. Introduction (23:23-24a)
B. Speech by Moses to the Israelites (23:24b-25)
1. Date for the proclamation of the Day of Acclamation (23:24b)
2. Prohibition of work and requirement to present offerings on that day (23:25)
IV. Speech about the Day of Atonement (23:26-32)
A. Introduction: Gods address to Moses (23:26)
B. Continuation of the previous speech to Moses (23:27-32)
1. Date for the proclamation of the Day of Atonement (23:27a)
2. Instruction on the observance of that day (23:27b-32a)
a. Practice of self-deprivation and presentation of offerings (23:27b)
b. Prohibition of all work (23:28)
c. Warnings about noncompliance (23:29-30)
d. Prohibition of work as a perpetual ritual statute (23:31)
e. Establishment of the day as a time for rest and self-deprivation (23:32a)
3. Length of rest for that day (23:32b)
V. Speech about the Feast of Booths (23:33-43)
A. Introduction (23:33-34a)
B. Speech by Moses to the Israelites (23:34b-43)
1. Dates for the Feast of Booths (23:34b-36)
a. Date and duration of the feast (23:34b)
b. Proclamation of the first day as a holy time free from work (23:35)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


c. Requirement to present offerings for seven days (23:36a)
d. Proclamation of the eighth day as time for offerings and a day free from work
(23:36b)
2. Subscription about the times appointed by God for offerings (23:37-38)
3. Additional dates for the lay observance of the Feast of Booths (23:39-43a)
a. The carrying of branches in festal procession during the feast (23:39-41a)
i. Date and duration of the feast with its first and eighth day as times of rest
(23:39)
ii. Length of time for carrying branches in rejoicing as a perpetual ritual
statute (23:40-41a)
b. Residing in booths during the feast (23:41b-43a)
i. Date for the feast (23:41b)
ii. Length of time for residing in booths (23:42-43a)
4. Gods self-introduction (23:43b)
VI. Statement of Compliance (23:44)
Study
The Third Appointed Holy Time: The Presentation of the First Sheaf (23:9-14)
1. In this lesson we continue our study of the holy days and feasts of Israels
liturgical calendar in Lev. 23. In the previous lesson we studied the archetypal
holy day, the Sabbath and the Feast of Unleavened Bread with its holy days. What
does the third item on the liturgical calendar have to do with (23:9-10)? What
were the Israelites to do?

This item has to do with the sheaf of the firstfruits. After Israel entered the
land that Yahweh was going to give them and they reaped the harvest of
grain, they were to take the first sheaf of the harvest and take it to the
priest.
.
.

This sheaf was the first sheaf from the barley harvest. What was the priest to do
with the first sheaf of the harvest that Israel brought to him (23:11)?

On the day after the Sabbath (during the Feast of Unleavened Bread) the
priest was to wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you [they] may be
accepted.
.

The first sheaf that was waved before Yahweh represented the entire harvest.
When it was waved before Yahweh, the Israelites recognized that it was Yahweh
who had given them the land and the harvest from the land. Since he was the
owner of the land, the harvest rightfully belonged to him. The elevation of the
first-ripe produce of the land dedicated the entire harvest to Yahweh; it transferred

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


ownership to him. Yahweh would in turn accept the harvest and the offerers of the
harvest. What else was to be done when the first sheaf was waved (23:12-13)?

Three offerings were made. A male lamb, a year old, without defect was
offered as burnt offering to Yahweh. A grain offering to Yahweh was made
with two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This was a gift
(food) offering to Yahweh that produced a pleasing aroma, showing divine
pleasure in the offering and offerer. And a drink offering was made with a
fourth of hin.
.
.
.
.

These offerings remind us of the daily burnt and grain offerings made on behalf of
the whole congregation of Israel. The sacrifices here then, offered with the first
sheaf, show that the whole congregation recognized Yahweh as the Giver of the
grain that they harvest and as their Provider.
What could Israel not do until the first sheaf had been offered to Yahweh
(23:14a)?

The Israelites could not eat any baked, roasted, or fresh new grain until
after the first sheaf had been dedicated to Yahweh. Only after this day
could the Israelites eat any of the grain from the new harvest.
.
.

By doing this they recognized that the harvest belonged to Yahweh. It was his
land and he provided the grain. After publically recognizing this fact, Yahweh
turned around and released the grain to the Israelites for their use at their homes.
As Yahweh provided food for his priests from the grain offerings, so he also in a
similar way provided food for all of his people through the grain harvest. In this
way he blest his people.
Was the elevation of the first sheaf a one-time event for the first harvest once they
entered the promised land (23:14b)?

No. Every year going forward at this time on the calendar the first sheaf of
the harvest was to be brought to the sanctuary and offered to Yahweh.
Every year they were to recognize that the harvest belonged to Yahweh
since he was the owner of the land. Every year they were to recognize that
Yahweh graciously provided this grain for them.
.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


By not allowing the new grain to be eaten until the overall harvest had been
dedicated at the sanctuary, Yahweh tied the common meals of Israel to an
appointed holy day. Their entire existence was tied back to Yahweh and his
provision. The land they lived in, the food they ate, and the work they did were all
tied to and revolved around Yahweh.
The Fourth Appointed Holy Time: The Day of Weeks (23:15-22)
2. What happened on the first day after the Sabbath in 23:11?

On that day the first sheaf of the harvest was brought to the priest and he
waved it before Yahweh.

What else was Israel to do on this day (23:15)?

From the day when the first sheaf was offered as a wave offering, the day
after the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they were to
count off 7 full weeks.
.

What were the Israelites to do on the day after the 7 Sabbath-weeks (23:16)?

On the 50th day they were to present a grain offering of new grain to the
LORD.

It is not named here, but this is the day of Pentecost (Pentecost means 50) or the
Day of Weeks. What was this grain offering to consist of (23:17)?

It was made up of two loaves of bread made from the firstfruits of the
wheat harvest (where the ESV has flour, Dr. Kleinig has wheat flour)
and was to be brought to Yahweh.
.

By making this offering, the Israelites once again recognized Yahweh as the
rightful owner of the harvest and as their Provider.
3. Along with making two loaves of bread from the first-ripe wheat and presenting
them to Yahweh on the 50th day, Israel was required to make other offerings. What
were they?

23:18a: You shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without
blemish.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

23:18b: You shall present one bull from the herd and two rams. They
shall be a burnt offering to the LORD.

23:18c: You shall present their grain offering.

23:18d: You shall present their drink offerings.

23:19a: You shall offer one male goat for a sin offering.

23:19b: You shall offer two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of
peace offerings.

All of these offerings together are described as a food offering with a pleasing
aroma to the LORD or as Dr. Kleinig translates it, a gift of a pleasing aroma to
the LORD (23:18e).
The 7 lambs corresponded with the completion of the 7 weeks. The sacrifice of
the bull and two rams made this a national event, as the bull and ram are the
leaders of the entire herd and flock. They symbolized that the whole nation was
wholly dedicated to Yahweh their great Provider. The grain and drink offerings
went along with the burnt offering as they do in the daily ritual. And as it says, the
goat was used as a sin offering to make atonement for the nation and the two
lambs were used for a peace offering, symbolizing the wholeness of the
relationship between Yahweh and his people.
The priest elevated the two loaves along with the two lambs before Yahweh to
dedicate and transfer ownership to him (23:20a). This made them holy (23:20b).
Yahweh in turn used the lambs to provide meat and the loaves to provide bread
for the priests on duty. Since the bread and meat were holy, they had to be eaten at
the sanctuary by the priests in Yahwehs presence. This was the only public peace
offering on the calendar for the year.
4. As the priests performed the sacrifices for the nation, what did the people do on
this 50th day after the raising of the first sheaf (23:21)?

For the people this was a day proclaimed as a holy day. It was audibly
proclaimed (probably by blowing the rams horn) (23:21a) and the people
stayed in their dwelling places and were required not to do any work
(23:21b).
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


This was an on-going command for the current and all future generations
(23:21c). In their harvesting over these 7 weeks, what were the people prohibited
from doing (23:22)? And what was the purpose for it?

They had to leave the crops on the outside edges and not harvest them.
Also any gleanings that fell on the ground while they were harvesting
were not to be picked up. They where to leave these crops in the fields for
the poor and the resident aliens to come and help themselves.
.
.
.

The command ends emphatically by the use of Yahwehs formula for self
introduction. He is their God and he commands them to do it. This day ended the
annual grain harvest and it ended the first half of the liturgical calendar.
5. Note the following about some of the numbers used here. In Hebrew the name for
a week is seven, obviously because there were 7 days in a week. So in order to
count off 49 days, they counted off a week of weeks. The 50th day is sometimes
called the Day of Weeks or Pentecost. It is not given a name here because the
emphasis is on the 7 weeks. According to Jer. 5:24, what did God appoint these 7
weeks for?

They were appointed for the harvest.

This is why 23:10 and 23:22 reference the harvest.


Next we will study the second half of the religious calendar. When we do we will
find parallels between the two halves of the calendar. The Feast of Unleavened
Bread will correspond to the Feast of Booths and the Day of Weeks will
correspond to the 8th day of Booths.
The Fifth Appointed Holy Time: The Day of Acclamation (23:23-25)
6. The next appointed holy day given by Yahweh to Moses (23:23) for the children
of Israel occurred at a different time of the year. When would it take place
(23:24a)?

This holy day occurred in the seventh month, on the first day of the
month.

There is that number 7 again, the number associated with the Sabbath. The 7th
month is sometimes called the Sabbath month. What was the first day of this
month to be (23:24b)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

It was to be a day of solemn rest.

As the Sabbath day, a day of rest, set the pattern for all holy days and played an
important part in the counting of the 7 weeks which led up to Pentecost, so here
a day of solemn rest began the second half of the religious calendar.
For the last part of 23:24, the ESV has:
o a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.
Dr. Kleinig translates it as:
o a commemoration with acclamation , a proclaimed holy day.
To have a memorial or commemoration for someone is to recall, remember,
and show respect for someone. Acclamation is loud and enthusiastic approval
of someone. In Ps. 47:5-7 how is God acclaimed and what is he acclaimed to be
(see also Ps. 98:6)?

He is acclaimed with a shout, the sounding of trumpets, and with singing


as the King of all the earth.

So we see that on this special day, the children of Israel were to remember
Yahweh. He was their King and the King over all the earth. On this day they were
to acclaim him as their King by blasting trumpets (Num. 29:1) and by loud
approving shouts. By doing so they proclaimed this day as a holy day, a day in
which they did not do any ordinary work (23:25a). What was one thing the people
did do on this day (23:25b)?

On this day they were to present a food [or gift] offering to the LORD.

The prescribed offerings for this day are given in Num. 29:1-6. They sound very
similar to the offerings made on the Day of Weeks (Pentecost) (see 23:15-21).
The blowing of the trumpets not only reminded the Israelites of Yahweh and the
work he did/does for them, it ushered in the ritually significant seventh month. It
told the people to prepare for the Day of Atonement (23:26-32, coming up on the
10th day) and the Feast of Booths (23:33-43, started on 15th day).
The Sixth Appointed Holy Time: The Day of Atonement (23:26-32)
7. The sixth appointed time was the Day of Atonement. It occurred on the 10th day of
the 7th month (23:27a). It was another day that was proclaimed to be holy for
Israel by Yahweh (23:27b). What were the Israelites to do on this day (23:27c,
note the ESV text note)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

On this day they were to afflict themselves and present a gift offering to
Yahweh. On this day they were afflicted by their sins. They showed
contrition for those sins by carrying out a fast.
.
.

What were they absolutely forbidden from doing on this day (23:28a, 31a)?

They could not do any kind of work on this holy day.

All of the work that was done on this day was done by Yahweh and the high
priest. What work did the high priest do (23:28b)?

He did the work of making atonement for Israel before Yahweh their God.

What threats were made concerning the Day of Atonement (23:29-30)?

Anyone who was not afflicted, that is who did not fast, would be cut
off from his people. And anyone who did any kind of work on that day
would be destroyed by Yahweh.
.

This statute was not a one-time statute, but one that applied to generations going
forward (23:31b). And it was carried out by each family in their home (23:31c). It
was a day of complete rest and fasting (23:32a). And while other holy days went
from dawn to dusk, this day went from dusk to dusk (23:32b), highlighting its
importance. It started at dusk on the 9th day and went to dusk on the 10th day.
The Seventh Appointed Holy Time: The Feast of Booths (23:33-43)
8. The seventh proclaimed holy day (23:35a) was the Feast of Booths to Yahweh (or
Feast of Tabernacles, see ESV text note) (23:34b). When were the Israelites to
observe it and for how long did this feast last (23:34a)?

The feast began on the 15th day of the seventh month and it lasted for 7
days.

The first day and the 8th day of the feast were declared to be holy days on which
no ordinary work could be done (23:35, 36b). For the seven days of the feast the
Israelites were to present food or gift offerings to Yahweh (23:36a). The 8th day
was the day after the feast. It served as a type of closing ceremony. What did
Israel do on the 8th day (23:36b)?

They presented an offering to Yahweh and gathered for a sacred assembly.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Since the Israelites were required to assemble, this was a pilgrim feast, a feast
where Israelite households had to be represented before Yahweh at the sanctuary.
9. The list of 7 proclaimed holy times is rounded off by 23:27-38. These were the
appointed feasts [or times] of the Lord (23:37a). During these holy feast days,
the Israelites were to:

23:37b proclaim as times of holy convocation or proclaim as


proclaimed holy days (Kleinig). Since these times were appointed and
proclaimed as holy days by Yahweh, the Israelites were to proclaim and
observe them as holy days.
.
.

23:37c present food or gift offerings which consisted of burnt offerings,


grain offerings, sacrifices, and drink offerings, all of which are given on
the appropriate day.
.

What were these holy days and offerings in addition to (23:38)?

These holy days were in addition to the normal holy days, the Sabbaths to
Yahweh. And the sacrifices made on these holy days were in addition to
the normal gift offerings of the Israelites: the vow offerings and the
freewill offerings that they would make to Yahweh.
.
.
.

10. The text now returns to give more details about the Feast of Booths (23:39-43). At
first this seems rather strange. Why not include these details with the rest of the
information about the Feast of Booths prior to the summary in 23:37-38? Notice
that the main focus of the 7 appointed holy times has been on the special days of
rest and the special sacrifices which were offered during these holy days. Lev.
23:39 reiterates the date for the Feast of Booths and the mandatory holy days that
were to be observed, the 1st day and the 8th day. But then it goes into some details
about the procedures followed during the 7 days of the feast. These details are not
about days of rest or sacrifices. Therefore the focus of this information is different
from the previous information given about the appointed holy times. That may be
why it is separate.
Note that as we look at verses 39 43, three times the ESV has the word
celebrate. In each case Dr. Kleinig translates it as: go on pilgrimage [to
celebrate]. This provides a little different view of what is happening. The way

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


that they were to celebrate was to make a pilgrimage to the sanctuary and then do
the things described in these verses.
11. Once they made the pilgrimage to the sanctuary for the Feast of Booths (23:39),
they observed the feast in two unique ways. What was the first way (23:40)?

They were to gather branches from 3 different kinds of trees (palm trees,
leafy trees, and willow trees) and rejoice before the LORD your God for
each of the 7 days.
.

Therefore these 7 days were festive in nature, as they rejoiced before Yahweh all 7
days. Apparently the way this worked was that the Israelites, carrying their
branches, would walk in a procession around the altar (cf. Ps. 118:27) and rejoice.
Their rejoicing probably consisted music and songs. This command to make a
pilgrimage and celebrate for 7 days in the 7th month (23:41a) was a lasting
ordinance for generations to come (23:41b).
What was the second unique way that they celebrated the feast (23:42)?

For 7 days all of the Israelites lived in temporary shelters or booths.

What was the purpose for doing so (23:43)?

The purpose for the Israelites dwelling in booths was so that each
generation would remember how Yahweh brought the Israelites out of the
land of Egypt. When they came out and travelled through the desert they
lived in temporary booths. It was a reminder how Yahweh their God freed
them and travelled with them as they made their way to the promised land.
.
.
.
.

The people did these things, celebrating and rejoicing for 7 days. The 8th day
stood apart from these 7 days for a couple of reasons. On the 8th day there were no
processions and they no longer lived in their booths. The 8th day was a holy day of
rest when sacrifices were offered to Yahweh and on which the people returned
home. The 8th day was a transition day from the 7 days of rejoicing back to the
regular rhythm of 6 days for work and 1 day for rest.
The chapter ends with Moses declaring to the people of Israel the holy appointed
days as Yahweh had commanded (23:44).
12. Even though it is made up of seven individual events, the religious calendar of
Israel needs to be looked at as a whole. It established an annual cycle for the

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Israelites to follow which coordinated the work of the Israelites in the land the
Lord was giving them with the work of the Lord in the divine service at the
sanctuary. It established a pattern of work days and holy days. This pattern ran
according to two cycles: the weekly cycle with its Sabbaths and the annual cycle
with its 7 extraordinary days of rest.
The annual cycle was divided into two halves by the cluster of celebrations
around two critical times for an agrarian community: the spring and autumn
equinoxes. In between the two (winter) was the growing season for wheat and
barley. In the calendar the appointed times in the spring corresponded with the
appointed times in the fall:
Spring ----------------------------------------- Fall
7 days of Unleavened Bread --------------- 7 days of Booths
Day of Pentecost ---------------------------- 8th day of Booths
The sabbatical principle (the day of rest) governed the calendar. The weekly
Sabbath occurred on the 7th day of the week. Seven was identified as a complete
holy number. Just as the 7th day of the week was holy, so was the 7th month of the
year a holy month. As there were 7 days in a week, there were 7 days of
Unleavened Bread, 7 days of the Feast of Booths, and 7 weeks from the elevation
of the first sheaf to the Day of Weeks. Just as the 7th day of the week was a weekly
day of rest, so there were 7 extraordinary annual days of rest. Thus the divinely
instituted calendar harmonized the work of the Israelites in the natural order with
their worship of God in the supernatural order. Each Sabbath was an eternal
moment in the temporal order, a foretaste of heaven on earth.
13. Through his Word God had established a holy place (the sanctuary, the place
where he resided among his people) and holy ways in which his people could
interact with him without fear of annihilation (holy sacrifices offered in the
manner he prescribed). Through his Word he established how he would share his
holiness with Israel (the holy food that resulted from their sacrifices). Now
through his Word he established holy times. On these holy days the Israelites
rested from their work and presented gifts to Yahweh.
These holy days were not naturally holy. Yahweh declared them to be holy and he
had the Israelites proclaim them as holy (probably by the blowing of trumpets).
By doing so these days were removed from common use and were instead
devoted entirely to Yahweh. But Yahwehs purpose for making them holy was not
for his benefit but for the peoples benefit. Through his work on these days
Yahweh shared his holiness with them though the sacrifices that were offered.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the raising of the first sheaf, and the Day of
Weeks also stressed Gods grace to them for giving them the land to live in and
for providing for them by releasing the harvest from the land to them. The Feast
of Booths shifts the focus from the land and its produce to Gods rescue of Israel

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


from Egypt. After their release they lived in temporary booths. This shows that
they were his people apart from the land. They were his people while in Egypt
and they were his people as they travelled through the desert. God was not only
the Owner of the land and the Provider, but he was also their Deliverer. They were
holy subjects of the heavenly King.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 64: Calendar of Holy Times (Part 3)
(This lesson covers the fulfillment of chapter 23 by Christ.)
Refers to Lev. 23:1-44
Fulfillment by Christ
1. The establishment of the sacred times in Lev. 23 was for the Israelites and was to
govern the whole life of the nation, week to week and year to year. This was the
annual calendar that they were to order their lives by. Jesus life and work were
shaped by this calendar. What was Jesus custom each week (Lk. 4:16)?

It was Jesus custom to attend the synagogue each Sabbath.

During his ministry, what did Jesus do at the synagogue each Sabbath (Mk. 1:21;
Lk. 4:31; Mk. 6:1-6; Lk. 4:16-31; 13:10)?

He taught Gods Word at the synagogue.

In what way did the religious calendar affect Jesus and his family as he grew up
(Lk. 2:41-42)?

Jesus parents and their family went to Jerusalem every year for the Feast
of the Passover.

During his ministry what feasts did Jesus make a pilgrimage to?

Jn. 2:13-23 (esp. vv.13, 23) Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover.

Jn. 5:1 He went to an unknown feast.

Jn. 7:2-10 (esp. vv. 2, 10) Jesus went to the Feast of Booths.

What was the most significant and last feast that Jesus made a pilgrimage to?
What was his intended purpose for going to this feast (Mt. 26:2, 17; Mk. 14:1, 12;
Lk. 22:1,7; Jn. 11:55; 12:1, 12; 13:1)?

Jesus last pilgrimage was to the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened
Bread. He went to it for the purpose of dying on the cross as the Passover
Lamb and giving himself to us as the Bread of Life.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In fact Jesus was crucified on the eve of the Passover, rested in the tomb on the
Sabbath, and rose on Sunday, the day of the first sheaf. Jesus whole ministry was
influenced by the liturgical calendar.
2. By his observance of the liturgical calendar, Jesus both fulfilled and transformed
the days God proclaimed as holy. What did Paul say about the festivals and
Sabbaths (Col. 2:16-17)?

They were but a shadow of what was to come. Jesus was the substance
that they pointed to.

So everything that God promised through the OT divine service and the liturgical
calendar was fulfilled in full measure through his incarnate Son. John elaborates
on this more fully than the other gospels. In John, Jesus ministry begins and ends
with his pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover (Jn. 2:13-25; 13:1). In
between John shows how the whole festive cycle of the liturgical calendar reaches
its goal in Jesus. To summarize: Jesus followed the requirements of the Torah; he
offered life and judgment on the Sabbath, bread during Passover, light and water
at Tabernacles, and his own consecrated presence (Gods presence) during
Dedication (summary by Choloe from God Dwells with Us, p. 155.
3. The NT interprets the sacred appointed times Christologically (in terms of Christ)
and eshcatologically (in terms of the End). Concerning the Sabbath, what did
Jesus say during a controversy with the Pharisees (Mk. 2:23-28, esp. v. 28)?

He said, The Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.

As a man and Israelite, Jesus was required to observe the Sabbath. But as the
Messiah, the Son of God, He was Lord of the Sabbath; it belonged to Him; he
determined its purpose. On the Sabbath in the OT, while the people rested, God
worked in the divine service, providing forgiveness of sins and bread for the
priests. Also on the Sabbath the world continued to function as it did on all other
days. This was because on each day, including on the Sabbath, God brought life
into the world, provided for people, and judged those who died. In the order of
creation God worked continually for the benefit of people.
In a similar way as his Father, Jesus worked on the Sabbath for the benefit of
people. He gave life to those who heard his Word and believed. He provided for
his followers by giving them the Bread of Life. And he passed judgment on those
who would not listen or believe in him. As the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus gave
rest to his disciples (Mt. 11:28). Jesus worked on the Sabbath in the order of
redemption in order to give sinners eternal rest.
The Sabbath rest of the OT pointed forward to the eternal Sabbath rest that began
on the Sunday in which Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus brought the Sabbath to its

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


goal. He fulfilled it by providing an eternal Sabbath rest. This is why Christians
worship on Sunday; it is the Lords Day, the day of resurrection. As the Sabbath
was foundational for the OT, so Sunday became the archetypal holy day for the
NT church.
4. As Jesus transformed the OT Sabbath bringing it to its goal, so he also transforms
and brings to its goal the OT Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. What was
Jesus identified as in the following verses: Jn. 1:29, 36; 1Pet. 1:19?

Jesus was identified as the Lamb of God, as a lamb without defect or


blemish.

What happened to this Lamb (Rev. 5:6; 1 Cor. 5:7b)?

The Lamb was slain. It was sacrificed as the Passover Lamb.

The Passover lamb of the OT pointed forward to the true Passover Lamb of the
new covenant, Jesus Christ. His shed blood on the cross causes the angel of death
to pass over each person who believes in him. As Christ ate the Passover meal
with his disciples on the night before he died, he transformed the meal into
something new with eternal meaning. How did he transform it (Lk. 22:14-20)?

When he gave them the Passover bread to eat he said, This is my body,
which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And when he
gave them the Passover wine to drink he said, This cup that is poured out
for you is the new covenant in my blood. In, with, and under the forms of
bread and wine, Jesus gave them his very body and blood for the
forgiveness of their sins.
.
.
.
.

This new Passover meal replaced the old meal. It is celebrated not just once a
year, but every Sunday as Christ gathers his disciples together in the Divine
Service.
5. The Passover meal was closely associated with and ushered in the Feast of
Unleavened Bread. During this feast the Israelites ate unleavened bread for seven
days to commemorate their sudden release from slavery in Egypt. The bread was
made without yeast because they did not have time to wait for it to rise.
When bread is made, a little bit of leaven is mixed into the lump of dough and it
causes the whole thing to rise. In scripture leaven is associated with evil. A little
bit of evil comes to permeate our entire being. What does Paul urge Christians in
1 Cor. 5:6-8?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Paul urges us to Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump.
Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the
leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and
truth.
.
.

In these verses then Christians are designated as bread. And they are to be
unleavened bread, bread that does not have mixed in with it the leaven of malice
and evil. The Feast of Unleavened Bread then looks forward to the life of the
Christian. In the NT this feast is deepened to include the removal of all corruption
and embraces all of life. In the life of the church, the Passover festival is
celebrated regularly each Sunday. It is a continuous Easter festival. Therefore as
we celebrate the great Passover each Sunday Paul urges that we do it as
unleavened bread (1 Cor. 5:8), as pure bread without yeast (corruption) mixed in.
6. The day after the first day in the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread the first sheaf
was raised before Yahweh. In doing so the Israelites acknowledged that all of the
harvest came from and belonged to God. The first sheaf was the firstfruits of the
entire harvest.
After Jesus died on the cross, he was placed in a tomb. On the Sabbath he rested
in the tomb and then on the first day of the week, he rose from the dead. During
the Feast of Unleavened Bread this day was the day when the first sheaf was
raised. The first sheaf then pointed to Jesus. In terms of a harvest, what was Jesus
(1 Cor. 15:23)?

Jesus is the firstfruits of the harvest. He was the first to raised from the
dead.

What (or who) then is the rest of the harvest? What will happen to them? And
when will this happen (1 Cor. 15:20-23)?

Those who belong to Christ are the rest of the harvest. Those who have
faith in Jesus belong to him and will be raised from the dead when Christ
comes again.
.

7. The raising of the first sheaf kicked off the 7 week harvest period, the Feast of
Weeks. During this period the grain was harvested. The 7 weeks concluded on the
50th day with the Day of Weeks or Pentecost.
Jesus resurrection marked off the beginning of the harvest of souls for the
kingdom of God. Instead of lasting 7 weeks, when will this harvest end (Mt.
13:36-43)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

The harvest will come to an end at the end of the age. The harvest will
continue until the Last Day.

Jesus was raised at the beginning of the 7 weeks of Pentecost. For 40 days during
the 7 weeks of Pentecost Jesus appeared to his disciples. The 7 weeks culminated
on the 50th day, the day of Pentecost. What gift did God give to Jesus disciples on
Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)?

Jesus disciples were given the gift of the Holy Spirit who gave them the
ability to speak the Gospel in other languages.

What was the result of God pouring out his Holy Spirit and the preaching of the
Gospel on that day (Acts 2:41)?

The result was that 3000 souls were saved that day.

As we read the rest of the book of Acts, as well as the epistles, we see that as the
Gospel message spread and was preached, the number of people grew who were
being saved. Therefore those first 3000 souls that were saved were the firstfruits
of the harvest. That harvest continues throughout the NT period and will continue
until the Last Day, the final day of the harvest in Gods kingdom.
8. On the Day of Atonement the high priest made atonement for the whole nation.
On this day blood was applied to all the holy places in order to purify them from
sin. This was the one day a year that the high priest entered the most holy place to
sprinkle blood on and before the mercy seat of God.
As we saw in chapter 16 this day was associated with Jesus death on Good
Friday. On that day he shed his blood to atone for the sins of the world. And then
on Ascension Day, he, as our High Priest, entered the heavenly most holy place
with his own blood, cleansing it from the pollution of our sins.
The Day of Atonement then cleansed the people in preparation for their
pilgrimage to the holy city for the Feast of Booths. There they would come into
Gods holy presence with great joy. The atonement made by Jesus does the same
for us. We have been cleansed of our sins and now we are making our way to the
heavenly city of Gods presence. We look forward with expectant joy at our
arrival in the heavenly Promised Land.
(For more Jesus fulfillment of the Day of Atonement see chapter 16, lesson 43)
9. In the Feast of Booths the Israelites reenacted their trip through the wilderness on
the way to the promised land. For the seven days of this feast, the Israelites lived

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


in temporary shelters as their ancestors once did in the desert. And on each day
they would make a procession to the sanctuary and come before Yahweh and
celebrate with great joy.
Like the rest of the feast days, the Feast of Booths should be understood
Christologically. John includes a major discourse on Jesus visit to the temple on
the occasion of the Feast of Booths (Jn. 7 8). The climax of the feast and Jesus
visit came on the last great day of the feast (Jn. 7:37). Over time two ceremonies
became associated with Booths: the lighting of a large candelabrum on the first
night of the feast and the daily pouring out of water on the altar. What did Jesus
say about himself on this last day of Booths?

Jn. 7:37-39 He said he was the source of life-giving water, which is the
Holy Spirit. Those who believe in Jesus receive the life-giving Holy Spirit.
.

Jn. 8:12 Jesus said he was the Light of the world. Whoever follows him
will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
.

Gods goal in bringing Israel through the desert, sheltering them in temporary
booths, was to bring them to the promised land where they could live with him in
permanent structures. In the Feast of Booths, the Israelites retraced the steps of
their ancestors and they too came into Gods life-giving presence at the
tabernacle.
Jesus appearance at the temple on the last day of Booths was a theophany, an
appearance by God at his temple. There he says that anyone at any time can come
to him and he will give them his life-giving Spirit. Jesus has replaced the
tabernacle as the place of Gods presence. He has replaced the Feast of Booths as
the place to make a pilgrimage to. Anyone who is thirsty can come to Jesus (make
a pilgrimage to Jesus) and he will receive the life-giving water of the Holy Spirit
(Jn. 7:37-39). By his proclamation on this day, Jesus has brought the Feast of
Booths to its intended goal.
10. Originally God set up the Feast of Booths as one of the appointed holy times for
Israel on their religious calendar. But who did the prophet Zechariah prophesy
would participate in the Feast of Booths (Zech. 14:16-21, esp. vv. 16-17)?

He speaks of the nations and the families of the earth shall go up


year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the
Feast of Booths. So Zechariah prophesies that the Gentiles too will
participate in the Feast of Booths.
.
.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


In Jesus statements at the temple at the Feast of Booths in John that we just
looked at (Jn. 7:37-39; 8:12), Jesus opens the door for the fulfillment of
Zechariahs prophecy and the inclusion of the Gentiles with the Israelites in their
pilgrimage into Gods holy presence. Anyone who comes to Jesus, who is God in
the flesh, whether Jew or Gentile, comes into Gods holy presence which brings
heavenly joy and everlasting rejoicing for all of Gods people.
11. One can see an interesting connection between Jesus transfiguration and the Feast
of Booths in Lukes gospel. What happened prior to the transfiguration (Lk. 9:1827)?

Peter made his confession that Jesus was the Christ; Jesus foretold his
death; and Jesus said those that follow him must deny themselves, take up
his cross daily.
.

When did the transfiguration take place (Lk. 9:28)?

It took place eight days after these sayings.

The end of the Feast of Booths came on the 8th day of the feast. When Jesus was
transfigured his face and clothing became dazzling white. This event was an
epiphany of Jesus, a making known that Jesus was Gods Son. He shone in the
brightness that only came from God (Lk. 9:29) and then God said, This is my
Son, my Chosen One; listen to him! (Lk. 9:35). Peters clumsy response to what
he saw also ties this to Booths. What did Peter suggest they do (Lk. 9:33)?

He suggested they make three tents (or tabernacles or booths).

In the Messianic age all those who come to Jesus (make a pilgrimage) will be
overshadowed by the bright light of Gods holy presence and will dwell with Him
in permanent heavenly shelters forever. There they will continually rejoice in
God and their salvation.
12. In a couple of places the NT interprets Booths in terms of the End. What do Paul
and Peter equate the temporary shelters of the feast with (2 Cor. 5:1-2; 2 Pet.
1:13-14)?

The booths are like our earthly bodies. They house us on our journey to
our heavenly homeland.

What happens when this tent is destroyed (2 Cor. 5:1-2)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

We know that we have a permanent residence built by God waiting for us,
a heavenly dwelling.

St. Johns vision of heaven is also told in terms of the festivities of Booths (Rev.
7:9-17). Who is it that comes before Gods throne day and night (Rev. 7:9, 14)?

Coming before God in a great procession is a great multitude that no one


could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and
languages. These are those who have been redeemed by the precious
blood of Christ.
.
.

When they celebrate the Feast, what do they carry in their hands (Rev. 7:9)?

They carry palm branches as the ancient Israelites did.

What do they sing as they come before the throne (Rev. 7:10)?

They sing a song of praise to God and to the Lamb for the salvation they
have provided.

This song of praise was inspired by Ps. 118:14 which traditionally was the psalm
sung during the daily processions around the altar at the feast. And as Jesus
promised streams of living water, so the Lamb as their shepherd guides them to
springs of living water.
13. Jesus fulfilled the entire OT liturgical calendar. Therefore sacred time is no longer
determined by Gods people meeting Him at the tabernacle or temple. Instead it is
the presence of the risen Lord meeting bodily with His people in the church in the
Divine Service. The church therefore created a new liturgical calendar based on
this fact. Like the OT, it had a weekly cycle and a festive season. The weekly
cycle went from Sunday to Sunday, the day of the Lords resurrection. It was the
archetypal holy day like the Sabbath was for the OT calendar. Three great feasts
are celebrated during the festive season of the church calendar: the Easter
Passover, Pentecost, and Epiphany, which replaced Booths. The focus of the new
calendar is Jesus. Each Sunday and feast center on Him and His ongoing ministry
in the Divine Service.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 65: Holy Oil and the Holy Bread (Part 1)
(This lesson goes over the details of 24:1-9. The next lesson will summarize what we
have learned from it and go over how Jesus fulfills them.)
Read Lev. 24:1-9
Outline
I. Gods address to Moses (24:1)
II. Gods speech to Moses (24:2-9)
A. Gods commandment to the Israelites about the holy things (24:2-4)
1. Provision of olive oil by the Israelites (24:2)
2. Care of the lamps by Aaron (24:3-4)
a. Setting them up to burn overnight in the tent of meeting (24:3)
b. Setting them up regularly on the lampstand (24:4)
B. Gods commandment to Moses and Aaron about the holy bread (24:5-9)
1. Arrangement of the bread by Moses (24:5-7)
a. Preparation of the twelve loaves (24:5)
b. Setting out the loaves with frankincense on the table (24:6-7)
2. Replacement of the bread by the priests (24:8-9)
a. Setting out new loaves each Sabbath (24:8)
b. Assignment of the old bread to the priests (24:9)
Study
1. We begin by looking at the structure for this passage. At first it would seem that
this legislation would fit better if it were placed after chapter 22 as an end to the
discussion on the use of holy things. However, this chapter may serve as the
culmination in the arrangement of holy things for Lev. 19 24. These holy things
are arranged in ascending order of holiness with closer proximity to God. The
progression is from the Israelites (Lev. 19-20) to the priests (Lev. 21:1 22:16),
from the normal acceptable offerings of the Israelites (Lev. 22:17-33) to special
sacred times (Lev. 23), from the oil and bread offered in the tent of meeting (24:19) to the name of the Lord residing in the Holy of Holies (24:10-23).
This section is made up of two units (24:1-4; 24:5-9), which are linked by the
repetition of certain key words and phrases:
regular, regularly (24:2 ,3 ,4 ,8)
bring, take (24:2, 5)
clear (24:2, 7)
set, arrange (24:3, 4, 8) and arrangement, pile (24:6, 7)
before/in the presence of the Lord (24:3, 4, 6, 8)
pure, clean, bright (24:4, 6)
Holy Oil (24:1-4)>

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


2. In 24:1 we begin another divine speech in which Yahweh spoke to Moses. Yet this
speech is a little different. What does Yahweh command the Israelites to do in
24:2?

The Israelites are to bring to Moses pure oil from beaten olives for the
lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly.
.

We note that the oil was pure oil. It was a high grade oil that gave off little
smoke. We also note that the oil was to be brought to Moses and that the purpose
for bringing the oil to Moses was so that it could be used as fuel for a light that
would burn regularly. Where was this light to be placed (24:3a)?

It was to be placed outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of


meeting. It was placed in the Holy Place inside the tabernacle.
.

So Moses was charged with the initial setup of the light in the Holy Place, which
used the oil supplied by the people. That is what makes this divine speech
different. Normally God spoke to Moses who then passed on Gods Word to
Aaron and the priests and/or the people of Israel. In this case Moses is the
recipient rather than the mediator of the Word. Who was to take care of the light
after Moses set it up (24:3b)?

Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the LORD


regularly. Aaron and the high priests that followed him would be
responsible for making sure that the light was lit and had enough oil each
night and each morning.
.
.

Providing light in the Holy Place each night was not just a one-time event or an
event for a certain period of time. It was to be an on-going ritual statute forever
throughout your generations (24:3c).
3. As we said above, this ritual was enacted in the Holy Place in the tent of meeting
(24:3a). This location is significant. Both this ritual and the next one (24:5-9)
occur before the Lord (24:3, 6, 8). This speech then presupposes that the tent is
Yahwehs royal residence. The inner room, the Holy of Holies, was his private
quarters. And the outer room of the tent was his office, where he met with his
staff, the priests. This light was to be set up in the outer room, in his office.
4. Even though this speech is given to Moses and Aaron was responsible for
attending to the lamp each day, the speech concentrates on the people of Israel
(24:2a). They were the ones who were to bring the oil for the lamp. It was by their
provision of oil that the lamp was kept burning (24:2b). So even though they did

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


not enter the tent, the priests represented them before Yahweh. The priests acted
on their behalf in keeping the lamp lit.
5. The oil provided fuel for the lamps. Where were the lamps placed (23:4)?

The lamps were placed upon a lampstand which was made of pure gold
and which stood before the Lord in the Holy Place.
.

The lampstand was made up of a central column with six shafts. The shafts were
paired with each other on opposite sides of the central column. Cups were fixed as
holders for the lamps on the top of the central column and the six shafts. The 7
lamps were put out on these 7 cups.
6. The lamps were lit each evening to provide light during the night in the Holy
Place. But for what? The priests did not enter the Holy Place at night and God
needed no light. The text gives us two hints of its significance. First, for what
purpose were the people to provide olive oil (24:2)?

It was for light.

It is like the sun. Wherever it is present it gives off light. What is the source of this
light (Ps. 90:8; Num. 6:25)?

God is the source of this light. This light proclaims his presence among his
people in the midst of menacing darkness.

Therefore it was a theophany, a nightly appearance by God. It corresponds to the


daily theophany by God in the fire at the altar (9:23-24). By this light the people
knew God was present with them. The second hint of its purpose is given in verse
3. It was located outside the veil of the testimony or the curtain of the written
stipulations. What is the testimony or written stipulations that it is referring
to?

Inside the ark of the covenant was the two stone tablets with the
Decalogue of the covenant inscribed on them.
.

The commandments inscribed on the tablets were nothing less than Gods Word
for the people. Gods Word enlightens people. That connection is made in Num.
7:89-8:4. There Yahweh spoke words audibly to Moses as Aaron setup the 7
lamps to give off light.
Therefore the purpose for the light was to indicate that Gods presence and Word
were there to enlighten his people. The lampstand and its light visibly show that

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


God is present for this people in grace. His presence brings light and life. What
does the extinction of the lamps indicate (2 Chron. 29:6-9)?

It indicates unfaithfulness to Yahweh. They have forsaken Yahweh and


turned their backs on him. Therefore he is no longer present in grace but in
wrath. Gods illuminating presence has been lost.
.
.

Holy Bread (24:5-9)


7. As the Israelites were to provide pure oil (24:2) for the lamps, so it is presumed
that they were also to provide the fine flour (see 24:8b, from the people of
Israel) that was used by Moses to bake 12 large round loaves of bread (24:5).
What was Moses to do with the 12 loaves (24:6)?

He was to set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold
before the LORD.

Since this table was before the LORD, it was located in the Holy Place. It was
made from acacia wood and was overlaid with gold. It was overlaid with gold to
show its holiness.
Since the bread and the table were before the LORD, what was the bread called
(Ex. 25:30; 35:13; 39:36; 1 Sam. 21:6; 1 Ki. 7:48 2 Chron. 4:19)?

It was called the bread of the Presence.

And what was the table called (Num. 4:7)?

The table of the bread of Presence.

What went out with the bread and what was it used for (24:7)?

Along with the bread was pure frankincense. It was to be burned as a


memorial portion of this gift (or food) offering.
.

When the frankincense was burned as a token portion, it made the whole offering
holy and it transferred the bread to Gods possession.
8. With Moses having set the original bread and frankincense before Yahweh, what
was to happen going forward from that point (24:8a)?

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus

Aaron the high priest was to take over. Every Sabbath day Aaron shall
arrange it before the LORD regularly. Every Sabbath Aaron was to take a
new set of 12 loaves and set them out on the table before Yahweh.
.
.

This bread was from the people of Israel (24:8b). It was required of them to
provide it as his covenant people. What was to happen to the bread from the
previous week when the 12 new loaves were placed out before Yahweh (24:9a)?

And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy
place. The old bread was eaten by the priests who were on duty.
.

Why was it required that they eat it in a holy place (24:9b)?

This was required because the bread had become most holy when it was
placed before Yahwehs holy presence and when the frankincense, as a
memorial portion, was burned on the incense altar.
.
.

So on the Sabbath the high priest baked 12 loaves of bread, brought them to the
Holy Place and placed them before Yahweh. He then burned the incense on the
incense altar. As the incense burned, the priests took the old bread and ate it.
9. The next lesson will summarize what we have just learned and go over how Jesus
fulfills them.)

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


Lesson 66: Holy Oil and the Holy Bread (Part 2)
(This lesson will summarize what we have learned in the previous lesson on 24:1-9 and
then will go over how Jesus fulfills them.)
This lesson refers to Lev. 24:1-9
Summary and Theological Reflections on the Holy Oil and Holy Bread
Study
1. Each day the High Priest represented the Israelites before God in the daily ritual.
After he performed the rite of atonement and before he offered the daily
sacrifices, he did three things in the Holy Place. 1) He attended to the lamps on
the lampstand and 2) burnt the incense on the golden altar. On the Sabbath, 3) he
also changed the bread on the table. This speech pertains to the first and third of
these. The Israelites supplied the materials to keep the lamps burning and to make
the bread that was placed in Yahwehs presence.
2. The activities that occurred inside the tent paralleled the enactments that occurred
as part of the daily sacrifices. What was done to the daily burnt and grain
offerings (Ex. 40:29)?

They were offered up on the altar.

In a similar way the oil was provided in order to offer up a regular lamp (24:2b,
Kleinigs translation).
Lev. 2:1-10 describes the procedure for the grain offerings. What part of the grain
offering was burned on the altar (see esp. 2:2, 9)?

A handful of grain, oil, and frankincense was burned on the altar. Only a
memorial portion was burned.

What was done with the rest of the grain (see esp. 2:3, 10)?

The rest was left for the priests to use and eat as needed. It was most holy
therefore the bread had to eaten in Yahwehs holy presence.
.

In a similar way the incense that was brought with the 12 loaves of bread was
burned as a memorial portion on the incense altar. This made the bread most holy
and the priests had to eat in Yahwehs holy presence.

Bible Study Based on the Concordia Commentary: Leviticus


3. Some people note that the rites described in this section resemble those performed
by pagan priests. Pagan priests lit lamps to provide light for their gods and they
set out bread for food for their gods. Yet in Yahwehs case the light and bread
were not for his benefit. This was a case of ritual reversal. The rites performed
were similar but the end results were completely different. God took the pagan
rites and used them to reveal the truth, which was the opposite of human thinking.
The light symbolized for the people the light that came from Gods holy presence;
He had no need for light. And the bread was not a meal for Yahweh. Rather, in
this meal it was God who was the host who provided a meal for His priests each
Sabbath with the grain provided by His people, the twelve tribes of Israel (twelve
loaves). Since the bread became most holy when the incense was burned, when
the priests ate the holy bread, they received Yahwehs holiness. This was
Yahwehs way of sharing his holiness.
4. So the lighting of the lamps and the setting out of the bread were not for Gods
benefit, but for the peoples benefit. In providing light he made his life-giving,
enlightening, sanctifying presence available to them. In a special weekly meal that
God hosted for them, the service of the priests culminated in Yahweh sharing his
holiness with his priests. The lighting of the lamps each day marked off the daily
cycle and the setting out of the bread each week marked the weekly cycle of
service at the tabernacle.
Fulfillment by Christ
5. What does Heb. 9:1-5 speak abou