The book of Leviticus is part of the body of Old Testament books, is the Pentateuch of Moses (Torah). This is the third part of the book after Genesis, is a continuation of the book of Exodus. It belongs to the biblical canon of world religions: Judaism and Christianity. The exact date of writing is unknown, but the theologian MacDonald in his comments suggests that it was probably written in the XV century BC (between 1450 and 1410 BC) [MacDonald]. Professor Lopukhin’s explanatory Bible on the book of Leviticus states: «In the Jewish tradition it is called, according to the content» Torat-kohanim— «law of priests«, or «Torat-qorbanot» — the law of sacrifices ст the content of the book is a cult, which relates to duties the holy tribe of Levi: sacrifices, religious and ritual purifications, holidays, theocratic taxes, etc. » [Lopukhin].

The book of Leviticus belongs to the legislative books of the Old Testament. There are two facts that have nothing to do with the whole content of the book: chapters 10, verses 1-3 — the deaths of Nadab and Abiud after Aaron and his sons were ordained to the priesthood; ch. Verses 24: 10-23 — execution of a blasphemer. Everything else concerns the provisions of the law of the prophet Moses, which are set out in the second part of the book of Exodus. What characterizes Leviticus is that the legislation in it is presented as the development and fulfillment of God’s Revelation on Mount Sinai. The idea and purpose of the book is to show the formation of the community of the Lord from Israel, which would stand in close graceful and moral communion with Yahweh (from the Hebrew JVH — Existent).

The purpose of the book are the main provisions set out in it:

1) Lev.1-7 (about the victims).

2) Leo. 8-10 (on the consecration of priests).

3) Lev.11-16 (about the pure and the impure).

4) Lev. 17-20 (on the personal holiness of members of the Lord’s community in family and public life).

5) Leo. 21-27 (on the sanctity and order of all services, worship, sacred times, etc.).

In New Testament times, all sacrifices became a type of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the whole world (John 29). During the life of the Son of God, a sacrifice was offered in the courtyard of the Jerusalem temple. However, after the death of Jesus Christ, the sacrifices were stopped because the Law, all the prophecies, and the scriptures (psalms) were fulfilled and there was no need for it.

As we can see, there was an inseparable link between the covenants — the old and the new. This is confirmed by the support of the New Testament church by Old Testament prophecies. Chapter 18 of Leviticus contains the religious norms of human behavior that are universally binding in the relationship with God: “Keep my laws, and keep my statutes, and do them. I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and my judgments, that ye may do them ”(Lev. 18: 4-5). The book of Leviticus calls man to change his way of life from immoral to holy: «Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy» (Lev. 19: 2). Another rather interesting ritual is that the priest is forbidden to touch the deceased, except for his relatives, friends (Lev. 21, 1-3).

About the holidays established for the people of Israel by God is described in the book: Passover (14th day of the month of Nisan), Unleavened bread (15th day), Feast of Trumpets (1st day of the seventh month), Purification (9th day of the seventh month), Bush (15th day of the seventh month), the day of the Jubilee (50th year) (Lev. 23; 24). And at the end of the 27th chapter of the book it is said as follows: «These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai» (Lev. 27). As in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, observance of the precepts of the Law of God is important, because it affects the spiritual and moral relations of man, whose eternal life depends on the Creator of the world.


Bible. Books of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments: in Ukrainian translation with parallel places / Translated by Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko). — Kyiv: Publication of the Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, 2004. — 1416 p.

An Explanatory Bible, or Commentary on All the Books of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The edition of AP Lopukhin and his successors — in 11 volumes with ext. (1904—1913)

McDonald’s comments. Levitt introduction [Electronic resource]. — Access mode:

Bogdan Strykalyuk

priest of the OCU

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