Click here to get started today!
by John Gill
INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS
This book is commonly called by the Jews Vajikra, from the first word with which it begins, and sometimes תורת כהנים, "the law of the priests" a; and this is its name in the Syriac and Arabic versions: by the Septuagint interpreters it is called λευιτικον, and by the Latins, Leviticus, or the Levitical book, because it gives an account of the Levitical priesthood, as the apostle calls it, Hebrews 7:11. It treats of the sacrifices under the Levitical dispensation, and of the priests concerned in them, and of the times and seasons in which they were offered, and of many other rites and ceremonies. That it was wrote by Moses is not only generally believed by the Jews, but is affirmed in the New Testament; see Matthew 8:4 compared with Leviticus 14:2 from whence, as well as from other citations out of it in other places, the authority of it may be concluded. The matter of it was delivered to Moses, and very likely by him then written upon the erection of the tabernacle, which was in the second year of the Israelites coming out of Egypt, in the first month, and the first day of the month, Exodus 40:17 and it was on the same day that the Lord spake to Moses out of it, and delivered to him the laws concerning sacrifices, recorded in the first seven chapters; see Numbers 1:1 compared with Leviticus 1:1 and on the eighth day of the same month, and some following days, the remainder of it was given to him, and written by him, see Leviticus 8:1 to which agrees the Targum of Jonathan on Leviticus 1:1.
"when Moses had made an end of erecting the tabernacle, Moses thought and reasoned in his heart, and said, Mount Sinai, its excellency was the excellency of an hour, and its holiness the holiness of three days, it was not possible for me to ascend unto it, until the time that the Word was speaking with me; but this tabernacle of the congregation, its excellency is an excellency for ever, and its holiness an holiness for ever, it is fit that I should not enter into it, until the time that be speaks with me from before the Lord; and therefore the Word of the Lord called to Moses, and the Word of the Lord spake with him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying;''
and to the same purpose the Jerusalem Targum. It was written in the year from the creation of the world 2514, and about 1490 years before the coming of Christ. The various sacrifices, rites, and ceremonies made mention of in it, were typical of Christ, and shadows of good things to come by him: there are many things in it, which give great light to several passages in the New Testament, and it is worthy of diligent reading and consideration.
a T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 103. 2.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17