Leviticus Chapter 1
The book of Leviticus is one of the most important books in the Old Testament. This book is a set of rules that God gave to Moses, so that His Hebrew children could learn how to live pleasing unto God. This book is the third that Moses wrote. It is the third of the Pentateuch (5 books).
These laws, God gave to Moses for the people, are not just religious laws, but civil laws as well. If the people live up to these laws, there would be no need for a king to rule over them. God wanted to fellowship with His people. He made a way for them to approach Him through sacrifice and obedience.
In Leviticus, we see the day to day progression of these Israelites. We will see as long as they worship God, they stay in good standing with Him. It is only when they wander from His instructions that they have trouble.
The Hebrew title of Leviticus is Wayyiqra, which means (and He called). It is also known as the (law of the priests), and the (law of offerings). In the Septuagint, it is titled Leuitikon, which means (that which pertains to the Levites). The name Leviticus indicates that it is connected with the tribe of Levi.
These laws were definitely given to Moses. The Hebrews were camped at the foot of mount Sinai, when Moses received these laws, which would later be called the law of Moses. They covered religious obligations, civil laws, moral laws, and even covered financial and dietary laws. A people could live just by these laws and do very well. God really wanted to be the only King these people needed.
These Levitical laws were given to Moses about one year after the first Passover. It would actually be about the first part of the second year of their wanderings.
In our study here, as in the other studies, we are looking into the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. We will see types and shadows of Jesus in the offerings and sacrifices. Just as in the book of Hebrews, we see Jesus Christ as our High Priest. He (Jesus), is our perfect sacrifice for all time. Thank goodness we do not have to keep up with all the sacrifices today. It would be a full time job. We see Jesus as the Passover Lamb, we see Him as the Bread, we see Him taking our sin upon His Body, that we might take on His righteousness.
If there is a theme, that we are to partake of in this book of Leviticus, it would be (Be ye holy, for I am holy). God is the holy God. A sinful person cannot approach God. We are allowed to approach Him, when we are covered in the blood of the prefect Lamb, His precious Son Jesus Christ. Only when we are washed in that blood are we allowed to approach the Father. Our life is in the blood of the Lamb. We are partakers of death, until we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. He is life. If we are full of Jesus, then we are full of life.
In Leviticus we see God teaching His chosen people how to live up to their being His chosen. We must look carefully at this book. We too, are the called of God. We must learn what is expected of the called of God. This is for all of God’s people, but even more so for those called into the ministry. God brought them out of Egypt (the world). Have we really left Egypt (the world), or are we still trying to cling to the world with one hand, and have God with the other? We have to leave Egypt before we can head for the Promised Land.
We can learn the ways of God in this series of lessons, but it is a special thing to be able to walk with God. He fellowships with the pure in heart only.
We sing a praise song that says (Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus. To reach out and touch Him and say that I love Him. Open my ears Lord and help me to listen, open my eyes Lord I want to see Jesus). To understand Leviticus, we must open our heart and let the Holy Spirit tell us the hidden messages contained here.
In these lessons watch for two keys. Access to the Father and the Holiness of God. The word Holy occurs 80 times in this book. God will also establish in this book the special times of worship. Look in each one of these and see Jesus. Offerings and feasts will all be types and shadows of our Lord Jesus. Look for Jesus in the high priest and look for believers in the priests. The symbolic meanings are tremendous in this book.
God is a God of order. In Exodus, He gave instruction for the building of the Tabernacle. Now Moses receives the instructions for the form of worship conducted in the tabernacle. Each sacrifice has a specific purpose. I say one more time, try to see the message God has for us in each of the feasts and sacrifices.
Leviticus 1:1 “And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,”
“The Lord called unto Moses”: Leviticus begins where Exodus left off. No sooner did the glory cloud come down to rest on the tabernacle in the concluding verses of Exodus, then God instructed Moses with the content in Leviticus. The question of how to use the tabernacle in worship is answered here by an audible voice from the Divine Glory over the ark in the Holy of Holies (compare Exodus 40:34; Num. 7:89; Psalm 80:1).
“Tabernacle of the congregation”: This is so named since it was the place where Israel would gather to meet the Lord (compare Exodus 25:8, 22; 26:1-37; and see Exodus chapters 25-32), for a detailed description of the tabernacle.
This very first verse leaves absolutely no doubt who these laws were given to, and no doubt at all who gave them. Lord in the verse above, is Jehovah, which means self existent or eternal One.
Leviticus 1:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, [even] of the herd, and of the flock.”
“Speak unto the children of Israel”: This is essentially revelation with reference to their spiritual life, for all the descendants of Jacob, who was also called Israel (compare Gen. 32:28).
“If any man of you bring”: These were completely voluntary and freewill offerings with no specific number or frequency given (1:3). The regulation excluded horses, dogs, pigs, camels, and donkeys, which were used in pagan sacrifices, as well as rabbits, deer, beasts and birds of prey. The sacrifice had to be from the offer’s herd or he had to purchase it.
“An offering”: The Pharisees manipulated this simple concept so that adult children could selfishly withhold the material goods which would help their parents, under the guise of Corban, that it was dedicated to the Lord (compare Mark 7:8-13).
“Bring an offering”: All sacrifices described in this book typically point to Jesus Christ, who gave Himself without spot unto God. They are thus predictive figures called types. Aaron the high priest also typifies Christ, our high priest (Heb. 4:15; 5:4-6; 9:7-14).
“Herd, and of the flock”: These terms refer to the cattle (1:3), sheep, or goats (1:10), respectively. Only domestic animals could be sacrificed.
We remember, from the study in Exodus, that the people were so frightened by the voice of God, that they had begged Moses to talk to God for them. The chain was God speaking to Moses and then Moses speaking to the people. The message Moses was to give the people was from God. Moses was just the mouth to bring it. This offering above seems to be a voluntary offering, because of the word [if]. One of the pleasing things that the patriarchs did everywhere they went was build an altar to God. God is pleased when man tries to please Him. We remember in Genesis, that Cain’s offering was unacceptable to God, but Abel’s offering of the flock was acceptable. Man, worshipping through offerings and sacrifices, was as if he were offering himself to God. The shedding of the blood of the animal symbolized the offering of his life to God.
Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.”
When the sacrifice was burned up, it symbolized the fact that the person sacrificing had totally committed themselves to God. The end result of sacrificing and making offerings is to put ourselves into a closer moral relationship with God. We Christians do this through accepting Jesus as our sacrifice. These Hebrews did it through sacrificing animals. The blood of animals, or even sinful man, could never do away with sin. The only thing it could do was cover it up. The person still had a guilty conscience. The only way to have a clear conscience is to be washed in the blood of Jesus Christ [the Lamb of God].
Hebrews 10:4 “For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
Leviticus 1:3 “If his offering [be] a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.”
The concept of a “burnt sacrifice” is presented first for significant reasons. It expressed “dedication”. The term means “that which ascends”, that is, to Yahweh. The entire sacrifice was consumed by fire on the altar, so that it was also described as the “whole burnt offering”. Of the other sacrifices, part was burned and part was eaten by the priests or even by the offeror himself; but all the burnt offering ascended to God in flame and smoke. Thus, the Israelite was taught that entire consecration is essential to true worship. The offerings were graded in value so that even the poorest worshipers who were conscious of their spiritual need might find access to God by coming in complete devotion. The offering was to be “a male without blemish”, indicating we are to bring the best we have to Him. The phrase “of his own voluntary will” is best translated “that he may be accepted”. The proper place to offer the sacrifice was “at the door of the tabernacle”, that is, in the court near the brazen altar, not at home or elsewhere.
This burnt sacrifice, as we said before, symbolizes the total commitment of the person sacrificing. This is to be done of their own free will, not of obligation. Salvation is offered to everyone, but we must accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord of our own free will. God does not require it of us. It is our decision whether we commit our life to God or not. The reason this is a male without blemish is because it is a type and shadow of Jesus (the Lamb of God). It shows the sin free (without blemish), life of Jesus. It was offered at the door of the tabernacle, because the first step to salvation is repentance. Just inside the door was the bronze altar. Bronze symbolizes judgement. We are all guilty of sin, before we repent and accept Jesus as our substitute for our sin. The person bringing this animal for sacrifice was placing his guilt on the head of this animal. The blood that was shed symbolized turning his life over to God. The key here is he came to God of his own free will. The blood sacrifice and the burning of the animal, showed his dedication to God.
Leviticus Chapter 1 Questions
1. The book of Leviticus is a book of ______ that God gave Moses.
2. Who wrote Leviticus?
3. What are the five books of Moses called?
4. If the people live up to these laws, there will be no need for what?
5. God made a way for them to approach Him through what 2 things?
6. When do God’s people get into trouble?
7. What is the Hebrew title of Leviticus?
8. What is another name it is known by?
9. The name Leviticus indicates that it is connected with what tribe?
10. Where were they camped when God gave these laws to Moses?
11. What different things did these laws cover?
12. Who did God want to be Israel’s King?
13. At what time were these laws given to Moses?
14. We will see types and shadows of Jesus in the _____________and ____________.
15. In the book of Hebrews, we saw Jesus as whom?
16. Name at least 3 things we will see Jesus as in Leviticus?
17. What does the author believe is the theme of Leviticus for believers?
18. How is the only way that we can approach Father God?
19. Our life is in the _______ of the Lamb.
20. What are we partakers of before we accept Jesus as our Savior?
21. If we are full of Jesus, we are full of ______.
22. What is God teaching His chosen people in Leviticus?
23. Have you and I really left Egypt “the world”?
24. What must we do before we can head for the Promised Land?
25. Who are the only people God fellowships with?
26. What must we do to really know what God is saying to us in Leviticus?
27. What 2 keys are we to watch for in Leviticus?
28. How many times does the word holy appear in Leviticus?
29. Offerings and feasts are all what?
30. What lets us know that God is the God of order here?
31. Where did God call to Moses from?
32. What root word did Lord come from in verse 1?
33. What does the name mean?
34. Why were the people not hearing from God direct?
35. What one word in verse 2 lets us know this is a voluntary offering?
36. What did the patriarchs do everywhere they went that pleased God?
37. What did the blood of the animal being shed symbolize for the one who was sacrificing?
38. When the sacrifice was totally burned up, what did it symbolize?
39. What was the desired end result of sacrificing and offerings?
40. What is the only thing that can clear the conscience of man?
41. Why must this offering in verse 3 be a male?
42. Why must it be without blemish?
43. Why was it important that it be a freewill offering?
44. Why did he place his hand on the head of the animal he was about to kill?