Leviticus, book of

The third book in the OT; the name (from the Latin Vulgate) is due to its principal theme: the staff who served the Temple, descendants of Levi. It is a post-exilic compilation of about 500 BCE which incorporates the Holiness Code (chs. 17–26), which comes from an earlier date, and legal practices from the monarchical centuries (before the Exile). Lev. is a priestly work and the intention of the compilation was to provide a kind of blueprint for the new age of the Return from Exile. Laws were represented as the legacy of Moses (Lev. 16:34), and the nation's sufferings were given a theological explanation as being punishment from God for failing to heed the covenant of Sinai (Lev. 26:44–5), as prophets had warned. The important task at the time of the editors was to go on repeating the ancient laws to ensure the Jews' survival in the future; the Sabbath (Lev. 23:3) and ceremonial purity (Lev. 11–15) are prescribed as giving distinctive customs to mark off Jews from the rest. Sacrifices [[➝ sacrifice]] were to be renewed as in the past (Lev. 4:1–6:7); these the Christian Church was to regard as superseded by the one sacrifice of Christ (Heb. 7:11). Although the book Lev. is dominated by ritual prescriptions, these are combined with moral insights (Lev. 19:17, 34) which express a message of equality that marks out Israelite society.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • LEVITICUS, BOOK OF — (Heb. וַיִּקְרָא; LXX Λευιτικόν leuitikon), more aptly described by its tannaitic name, Torat Kohanim, the Priests Manual, the third book of the Pentateuch. Leviticus is thematically an independent entity. exodus contains the story of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Leviticus — (from Greek Λευιτικός , relating to the Levites ). In Judaism it is third book of the Torah which are the five books of Moses, its transliteration is Vayikra . In the Christian bible it is also the third book of what is referred to as the Old… …   Wikipedia

  • Leviticus 18 — is a chapter of the Biblical book of Leviticus. It narrates part of the instructions given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. The chapter deals with a number of sexual activities considered unclean or abominable . Although the chapter is principally …   Wikipedia

  • Leviticus Rabbah — Leviticus Rabbah, Vayikrah Rabbah, or Wayikra Rabbah is a homiletic midrash to the Biblical book of Leviticus ( Vayikrah in Hebrew). It is referred to by Nathan ben Jehiel (circa 1035 ndash;1106) in his Aruk as well as by Rashi (1040–1105) in his …   Wikipedia

  • LEVITICUS RABBAH — LEVITICUS RABBAH, one of the oldest Midrashim extant, probably composed in the fifth century in Palestine. Like other ancient Midrashim it has many passages in Palestinian Aramaic and contains a considerable number of Greek and Latin words. Many… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Leviticus — • The third book of the Pentateuch, so called because it treats of the offices, ministries, rites, and ceremonies of the priests and Levites Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Leviticus     Leviticus …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Leviticus — third book of the Pentateuch, c.1400, from L.L. Leviticus (liber), lit. book of the Levites, from Gk. to Leuitikon biblion, from Leuites, from Hebrew Lewi. Properly the part of the Pentateuch dealing with the function of the priests who were of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Leviticus — [lə vit′ikəs] n. [LL(Ec) Leviticus (liber) < Gr(Ec) Leuitikon (biblion), lit., the Levitical (book)] the third book of the Pentateuch in the Bible, containing the laws relating to priests and Levites: abbrev. Lev or Lv …   English World dictionary

  • BOOK OF THE COVENANT — (Heb. Sefer ha Berit), name derived from Exodus 24:7 ( And he took the book of the covenant, and read it aloud to the people.… ), and usually taken to refer to the legal, moral, and cultic corpus of literature found in Exodus 20:22–23:33. This… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Leviticus — Le*vit i*cus ( [i^]*k[u^]s), n. [See {Levitical}.] The third canonical book of the Old Testament, containing the laws and regulations relating to the priests and Levites among the Hebrews, or the body of the ceremonial law. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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