The title of this book comes from the Latin form of the name used in the Greek Septuagint Bible, indicating that the book deals largely with the instructions and regulations given by God for the priests and Levites (men of the tribe of Levi who were assigned to assist the priests with the tabernacle responsibilities, and later those for the Jerusalem temple). The book of Leviticus thus contains instructions for various types of sacrifices, for worship practices and ceremonies, and for the ordination of priests. It also provides regulations regarding ritual cleanness and uncleanness, and the solemnities for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
A major theme running through Leviticus is the holiness of God, and the implications that has for how the people of God should live their lives in conformity to God's standards of holiness. The closing section of the book (chapters 17–27) draws out the specifics of what holy living is about; for example, Leviticus 19.9,10 instructs people that they should leave the spilled or fallen grain in their fields after the harvest, so that the poor will be able to glean what has been left. This practice was an early form of a social safety net for the poor, and one example of how God's people were to live according to God's standards of grace and generosity.
Israelite Community: Sacrifices and Purity (1.1—16.34)
Israelite Community: Being God's Holy People (17.1—27.34)
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