the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Expositor's Dictionary of Texts Expositor's Dictionary
by Editor - William Robertson Nicoll
Introduction to Leviticus The Book of Laws
This book has been aptly called the handbook of the priests. The content of the book is linked to the subjects dealt with in Exodus and is in direct continuation thereof.
I. Dedication. In this division there is revealed the provision of God for the approach of His people to Himself in worship. The offerings are first described and then their laws are enunciated. There followed instructions concerning the method of offering, which revealed the true attitude of the worshipper.
II. Meditation. The second division consists of a brief historical portion which gives an account of the actual ceremony of the consecration of the priests and the tabernacle, and the common cement of worship.
III. Separation. While provision for approach was made, and the method of appropriation was provided there were still very definite conditions which must be fulfilled in order that the people might avail themselves of the provision made. These conditions may be summarized as those of entire separation to God. This division also deals with the responsibilities of the priests.
IV. Consecration. The feasts of Jehovah were the national signs and symbols of the fact that the people, dedicated to God as the offering witnessed, permitted to approach through the mediation of the priestly service, separated in all the details of life, were by God consecrated to Himself.
V. Ratification. The laws of ratification consisted of the outward signs of the principle of possession to be observed in the land together with solemn promises and warnings. The first sign was of the sabbath of the land. In the seventh year of rest the original Ownership of God was recognized. The second sign was that of the jubilee, wherein great human inter-relationships, dependent upon the fact of Divine possession, were insisted upon. The book ends with a section dealing with vows. The principle laid down is that it is not necessary that vows should be made, but that if they are made they must be religiously observed.
G. Campbell Morgan, The Analysed Bible, p. 55.
References. I. 1. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxx. No. 1771. I. 4, 5. Spurgeon, Twelve Sermons on the Atonement, p. 49. I. 5. Ibid. p. 383. I. 9. J. Flemming, The Gospel in Leviticus, p. 46. I. 7. J. Monro Gibson, The Mosaic Era, p. 171. II. 1, 2. J. Flemming, The Gospel in Leviticus, p. 96. II. 11. Herbert Windross, The Life Victorious, p. 17. IV. 2, 3. Ibid. p. 107. IV. 3. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii. No. 739. IV. 6 and 7. Spurgeon, Twelve Sermons on the Atonement, p. 395. VI. 13. Bishop Bickersteth, Sermons, p. 16. VIII. 22, 23. H. Bonar, Short Sermons for Family Beading, p. 212.