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Leviticus 21-23

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Leviticus Chapter 21

The high priest was a living symbol of the coming Messiah (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?); the subservient priests were the earliest "ministers" (see Minister). As such, although no better (and preferable no worse) than any other human, the priests (see Levites) had physical and marriage rules specifically for them, within their responsibilities to The Lord. Examples:

The Tabernacle

"And The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them that none of them shall defile himself for the dead among his people, except for his nearest of kin, his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother, or his virgin sister" (Leviticus 21:1-3 RSV)

They shall not marry a harlot or a woman who has been defiled; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband; for the priest is holy to his God." (Leviticus 21:7 RSV)

"And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or one divorced, or a woman who has been defiled, or a harlot, these he shall not marry; but he shall take to wife a virgin of his own people, that he may not profane his children among his people; for I am The Lord who sanctify him." (Leviticus 21:13-15 RSV)

"Say to Aaron, None of your descendants throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles; no man of the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer The Lord's offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God." (Leviticus 21:17-21 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 22

As Nadab and Abihu learned, at the cost of their lives, The Lord's instructions about how He wanted things done were to be followed without taking it upon one's self to serve The Lord in a way of one's choosing (see the Fact Finder question below).


"And The Lord said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons to keep away from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so that they may not profane My Holy Name; I am The Lord.

Say to them, 'If any one of all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy things, which the people of Israel dedicate to The Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am The Lord." (Leviticus 22:1-3 RSV)

"They shall therefore keep My charge, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby when they profane it: I am The Lord who sanctify them." (Leviticus 22:9 RSV)

"So you shall keep My Commandments and do them: I am The Lord. And you shall not profane My Holy Name, but I will be hallowed among the people of Israel; I am The Lord who sanctify you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am The Lord." (Leviticus 22:31-33 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 23

All of the "Old Testament" Holy Days were instituted by Christ, and were about Christianity. They are The Lord's Holy Days, not the creation or property of any humans (see also The Holy Day Calendar and our Sermons Page for specific Holy Day sermons) .


"The Lord said to Moses, "Say to the people of Israel, The appointed feasts of The Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, My appointed feasts, are these." (Leviticus 23:1-2 RSV)

The only true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, that Jesus Christ Himself always observed (see Sunday Is Not The Sabbath), is proof of the Creator, who was Christ (see Christ The Creator):

"Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work; it is a Sabbath to The Lord in all your dwellings." (Leviticus 23:3 RSV) (see also The Ten Commandments Before Sinai?)

Christ's Passover and Christ's Feast of Unleavened Bread:

"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is The Lord's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to The Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread." (Leviticus 23:5-6 RSV)

Christ's Pentecost:

"Say to the people of Israel, When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest; and he shall wave the sheaf before The Lord, that you may find acceptance; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." (Leviticus 23:10-11 RSV)

"And you shall count from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven full weeks shall they be, counting fifty days to the morrow after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a cereal offering of new grain to The Lord." (Leviticus 23:15-16 RSV)

Christ's Feast of Trumpets:

"Say to the people of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation." (Leviticus 23:24 RSV)

Christ's Day Of Atonement:

"On the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present an offering by fire to The Lord. And you shall do no work on this same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before The Lord your God." (Leviticus 23:27-28 RSV)

Christ's Feast of Tabernacles and Christ's Eighth Day:

"Say to the people of Israel, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the feast of booths to The Lord. On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. Seven days you shall present offerings by fire to The Lord; on the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to The Lord; it is a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work." (Leviticus 23:34-36 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) Why didn't Moses enter The Lord's physical promised land? (b) Why are some Christians not going to enter The Lord's spiritual promised land?
(a) See Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?
(b) See I Did It My Way...

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