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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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The third book in the Pentateuch; called Leviticus, because it contains principally the laws and regulations relating to the Levites, priests, and sacrifices. The Hebrews call it "the priests' law." In the first section, the various bloody and unbloody sacrifices are minutely described: the burnt offering, the meat, sin, peace, ignorance, and trespass offerings; the sins for which and the mode in which they were to be offered. The fullness of these details not only signified the importance of God's worship, but forbade all human additions and changes, that might lead to idolatry. The whole scheme was "a shadow of good things to come," typical of the Lamb "who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot unto God." Its best commentary is the epistle to the Hebrews.

A full account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests, is followed by the instructive narrative of Nadab and Abihu. Then are given the laws respecting personal and ceremonial purifications, a perpetual memento of the defilement of sin, and of the holiness of God. Next follows a description of the great day of Expiation; after which the Jews are warned against the superstitions, idolatry, etc., of the Canaanites; and laws are given guarding their morals, health, and civil order. The observance of their distinguishing festivals is enjoined upon them; and laws are given respecting the Sabbath and the jubilee, vows and tithes. The warnings and promises in the latter part of the book point their attention to the future, and aim to unite the whole nation in serving their covenant God. The book is generally held to be the work of Moses, though he was probably assisted by Aaron. Its date is B. C. 1490. It contains the history of the first month of their second year after leaving Egypt.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Leviticus'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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