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Book of Leviticus

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Leviticus (lih-vih-tih-kus) is the third book of both the Bible, and the Torah. In Hebrew it is known as Wayiqra' (וַיִּקְרָא), meaning 'And He will declare.' It was written by the Old Testament Patriarch Moses. Leviticus was written to the Hebrew people of Israel. The book has several main topics, some of which are the Jewish laws of sacrificing to God, and the work of the priests. These priests are sometimes known as Levites (what this book is named after).

When was it written

It was likely developed over a long period of time, reaching its present form during the Persian empire (Yehud Madinata) between 538-332 BCE. Other sources say this book probably was written around 1300 B.C.[1]


God gives more instructions to Moses. God asks Moses to repeat what He said to Moses' friends, the Israelites.

Continuing from Exodus the Israelites are escaping Egypt. They reach the Biblical Mount Sinai. In Exodus, Moses learned from God how to build the holy tabernacle (a tent for praying). In Leviticus God teaches Moses and the Levites how to make sacrifices to the tabernacle and how to behave in a good way.

The first few chapters are God's laws for how to make sacrifices.[2]

Then Moses makes Aaron a priest of God. Details about how the priests are to make sacrifices to God are given. This is sometimes called the "ceremonial law". Two sons of Aaron were destroyed for doing the work of the priest in the wrong way.

Then God teaches the people how to eat right and be clean.[3]

The rest of the book describes more on how priests, the Levites, should act (for example Day of Atonement, Holiness code).[4][5]


  1. IVP New Bible Commentary 21st century edition pp 121,22
  2. Grabbe (2006), p. 208
  3. Kugler, Hartin, pp. 82–83
  4. Kugler, Hartin, p. 83
  5. Kugler, Hartin, pp. 83–84

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