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Biblical Illustrator Lev 1-2

Biblical Illustrator Lev 1-2

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 24, 2011
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BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR LEV 1-2ITRODUCTIO TO THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS.The Importancje of the Book, — The historical importance of the Book of Leviticusis very great. One might as well expect to understand the history of Greece, whileremaining in ignorance of philosophy and art, or of England, while knowingnothing whatever of parhament and the constitution as to understand the historyof Israel without a knowledge of the Hebrew ritual. Think how much labour isspent in the study of the classical mythology at our schools and universities, not forany value there is in itself, but for the light it throws upon classical literature ; andyet how little do Christian people realise the importance of studying the modes of worship among the Jews, in order to understand their literature, which is our BibleIAnd besides, not only is the knowledge of the Tabernacle worship necessary inorderto understand the sacred literature, but it is of real value in itself ; not merely of antiquarian and psychological value, like the ancient mythologies, but of presentpractical value, as throwing light upon the ew Testament and illustrating thatgospel on which our hopes are founded. This Book of Leviticus, like the Tabernacleitself, is rough and unattractive on the outside, and may even provoke the sneersof the mere passers-by ; but it is all glorious within, and to those who with reverentfeet enter its portal, there will be unfolded no inconsiderable amount of "theunsearchable riches of Christ." There are the rough " badgers' skins " without ;but within there is the glory of gold and the beauty of • ' the fine twined linen, withblue and purple and scarlet, and cherubims cunningly wrought." (/. M. Gibson,D.D.)The Unity, Design, and Contents op the Book. — This Book is marked on thesurface with these elements of unity ; it is all centred in the newly-erected Taber-nacle ; and ©nly a few weeks passed away between its beginning and its close.There is necessarily much variety in so considerable a collection of laws, and some-thing of historical narrative in connection with the immediate application of thoselaws ; but the main purpose is everywhere apparent and controlling — thearrange-ments whereby a sinful people may approach, and remain in permanentcommunionwith a holy God. This will better appear in the following table of contents. Thearrangement of the Book is as systematic as the nature of its contents allowed. Inregard to one or two alleged instances of repetition (chap, xi, 39, 40 compared withchap. xxii. 8 ; and chap. xix. 9 with chap, xxiii. 22) it is sufficient to say that they
 
were intentional ; and in regard to several chapters supposed to be placed out of their natural connection (as, e.g., chaps, xii. and xv.), it simply does not appear thatthe thread of connection in the mind of Moses was the same as in that of the critic.In fact, in the instances alleged, the great Legislator seems to have taken especialpains to break that connection which is now spoken of as the natural one, and hasthus, for important reasons, separated the purification after child-birth from allother purifications which might otherwise have seemed to be of the same character.evertheless, it is to be remembered that Leviticus was given at Sinai in view of animmediate and direct march to Canaan, which should have culminated in the pos-session of the Promised Land. When this had been prevented in consequence of Vvi ITRODUCTIO TO THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS.the sin of the people, a long time — above thirty-eight years — passed away beforetheencampment on the plains of Moab. During this period the law was largely inabeyance, as is shown by the fact that its most imperative requirement,circumcision,was entirely omitted to the close (Josh. v. 5-8). After this long interval it is notunreasonable to supp'>se that the writings of Moses would have been revisedbeforehis death, and such clauses and exhortations added as the changed circumstancesmight require. These passages, however, if really written at that time, so farfrom being in any degree incongruous with the original work, do but fill outand emphasise its teachings. The contents of Leviticus are arranged in thefollowing table in such a way as to show something of the connection of its parts :Book I. Of Approach to God (chaps, i.-xvi.). — First part. Laws of sacrifice(chaps, i.-vii.). — 1. General rules for the sacrifices (chaps, i.-vi. 7). (1) Burnt-offerings (chiip. i.). (2) Oblations (meat-offrrings) (chap. ii.). (3) Peace-offerings(chap. iii.). (i) Sin-offerings (chaps, iv.-v. 13). (5) Trespass-offerings (chaps, v. 14-vi. 7). 2. Special instructions chiefly for the priests (cbaps. vi. 8-vii. 38). (1) Forburnt-offerings (chap. vi. 8-13). (2) For oblations (meat-offerings) (chap. vi. 14-23).(3) For sin-offerings (chap. vi. 24-30). (4) For trespass-offerings (chap. vii. 1-6).(5) For the priests' portion of the above (chap. vii. 7-10). (G) For peace-offeringsin their variety (chap. vii. 1^.-21). (7) For the fat and the blood (chap. vii. 22-27).(8) For the priests' portion of peace-offerings (chap. vii. 28-36). (9) Conclusion of this section (cliap. vii. 37, 38). Second part. Historical (chaps, viii.-x). — 1. Theconsecration of the priests (chap. viii.). 2. Entrance of Aaron and his sons on
 
their office (chap. ix.). 3. The sin and punishment of adab and Abihu (chap. x.).Third part. The laws of purity (chaps, xi.-xv.). — 1. Laws of clean and uncleanfood (chap. xi.). 2. Laws of purification after child-birth (chap. xii.). 3. Laws con-cerning leprosy (chaps, xiii., xiv.). (1) Examination anil its result (chap. xiii. 1-46).(2) Leprosy in clothing and leather (chap. xiii. 47-59). (3) Cleansing and restora-tion of a leper. (chap. xiv. 1-32). (4) Leprosy in a house (chap. xiv. 33-53). (5)Conclusion (chap. xiv. 54-57). 4. Sexual impurities and cleansmgs (chap. xv.).Fourth part. Thf Day of Atonement (chap, xvi.). Book IL Of ContinuanceI Communion with God (chaps, xvii.-xxvi.). — First part. Holiness on the j^artof the people (chaps, xvii.-xx.). — 1. Hohness in regard to food (chap. xvii.).2. Holiness of the marriage relation (chap, xviii.). 3. Holiness of conducttowards God and man (chap. xix.). 4. Punishment for unholiness (chap. xx.).Second part. Holiness on the part of the priests, and holiness of the offcrin<is(chaps,xxi., xxii.). Third part. Sanctification offcasts (chaps, xxiii.- xxv.). — 1. Of thesabbaths and annual feasts (chap, xxiii.). 2. Of the holy lamps and shewbread(chap. xxiv. 1-9). 3. Historical. The punishment of a blasphemer (chap. xxiv.10-28). 4. Of the sabbatical and jubilee years ^chap. xxv.). Fourth part. Con-clusion. — Promises and threats (chap. xxvi.). Appendix. — Of vows (xxvii.). {Prof.F. Gardiner.)The BEiiATio of the Levitical Code to Heathen Usages. — Widely divergentviews have been held by different writers upon. this subject. Spencer was disposedto find an Egyptian origin for almost every Mosaic institution. Baehr has soughtto disprove all connection between them. The a priori probability seems wellexpressed by Marsham : " We know from Scripture that the Hebrews were for alongtime inhabitants of Egypt ; and we may suspect, not without reason, that they didnot wholly cast off Egyptian usages, but rather that some traces of Egyptian habitremained. Many laws of Moses are from ancient customs. Whatever hindered thecultus of the true Deity he strictly forbad. Moses abrogated most of the Egyptianrites, some be changed, some he held as indifferent, some he permitted, and evencommanded." Yet this legislation by its many additions and omissions, and thegeneral remoulding of all that remained, became, as Bosenmueller remarks,peculiarly and distinctively Hebrew, adapted to their needs, and sharply separatingthem from all other people. It can scarcely be necessary to speak of what theMosaic Law taught in common wil.i the customs of all people at this period of theworld's history. The aim of the law was to elevate the Israelites to a higher andbetter standard, but gently, and as they were able to bear it. Certain essential lawswere given, and these were insisted upon absolutely and with every varied form of command which could add to the emphasis. The unity of God and His omni-potence, were taught with a distinctness which was fast fading out from the world's

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