The book of Leviticus.
The third book of the Pentateuch.
None on site.
CCEL: Leviticus (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible: Leviticus (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible: Leviticus
(Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS: Leviticus (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX: Leviticus (Greek and English).
Sacred Texts: Leviticus (polyglot).
Leviticus at the OT Gateway.
Leviticus in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Pentateuch at Kata Pi (Oesterly
Leviticus from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to Leviticus (David Malick).
Outline of Leviticus (David Malick).
The Structured Torah (Moshe Kline).
The Goat for Azazel (Jacqueline C. R. De Roo).
Jewish tradition attributes the Pentateuch (that is, the books of Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) to Moses.
Our English title is of Greek derivation (Λενιτικον
and means Levitical [book], indicating the priestly laws
The book was originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek
translation known as the Septuagint
(abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of Leviticus:
Samuel Sandmel writes: "The absence of narrative and the monotony of the
Priestly style combine with our present attitudes about the contents to make
the book heavy and dull for the present-day reader. Ancient rabbis and modern
scholars have found a fascination in itthe rabbis because of their devotion
to the intricate details of the cult practice, and the scholars because of the
light shed on religious developments. Yet the general reader has only an antiquarian
interest in animal sacrifice or in rites of purification. Pre-eminently among
the five books of the Pentateuch, Leviticus exhibits the character of a manual
of instruction in the cult. Its precise instructions make it a guidebook, rather
than only a reference book. The Priestly portions of Exodus and Numbers deal
with paraphernalia of the cult, but Leviticus deals with the obligations of
people to it. The opening words, after the routine formula, are: 'When a man
among you offers sacrifice to Yahve. . . .' The accentuation on the man making
the offering rather than on the offering itself gives Leviticus a human quality
it might otherwise not have." (The Hebrew Scriptures, pp. 388-389)
Hill and Walton write: "Leviticus is basically a manual or handbook on
holiness designed to instruct the covenant community in holy worship and holy
living so that they might enjoy the presence and blessing of God (cf. Lev. 26:1-13).
The laws and instructions were to transform the former Hebrew slaves into 'a
kingdom of priests and a holy nation' (cf. Exod. 19:6)." (A Survey of
the Old Testament, p. 122)
Roland J. Faley writes: "In its present form, Lv is post-exilic, the work
of the Priestly school during the period of cultic reorganization after the
Exile's termination (538). The Holiness Code, which had taken on some additions
during the Exile, was once more re-edited and became the nucleus of Lv. To it
were added the sacrificial code (chs. 1-7), the ordination rite (chs. 8-10),
and the legal purity code (chs. 11-16). Chapter 27, dealing with the commutation
of vows, comes from a still later edition. The purpose of Lv was to supply directives
on all aspects of religious observance for the post-exilic community, especially
as they related to the Temple liturgy." (The Jerome Biblical Commentary,
John H. Hayes writes: "The book of Leviticus itself now contains twelve
major sections with each section marked off by a summarizing statement. These
major summary statements appear in 7:37-38; 10:20; 11:46-47; 12:7b-8; 14:54-57;
15:32-33; 16:34b; 21:24; 23:44; 24:23b; 26:46; and 27:34. (Some sections also
have minor internal summaries; see 13:59; 14:32). This division into twelve
sections no doubt reflects the use of twelve as a symbolic number both indicating
completeness and pointing to the twelve tribes of Israel. Before this material
was edited into its final form, some of the twelve sections may have existed
as separate and independent collections. For example, chaps. 1-7 or a shorter
version of this material could have constituted a document serving as a small
handbook on sacrifice." (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 157)
Jay G. Williams writes: "Documentary critics, recognizing the preponderant
interest in cultic matters in Leviticus, have assigned virtually the whole of
the book to the P source and thus have dated it in the exilic or post-exilic
period. If one means by this that the book took final shape at this time, such
dating can be accepted. Certainly Chapter 26 bears evidence of post-exilic authorship,
for it alludes to the captivity of the people and the desolation of the land.
(26:27ff) It must also be recognized, however, that like the other books of
the Torah which also were put in final form at a fairly late date, Leviticus
is based upon much older material which may have been edited during or after
the exile but which surely was in use long before the fall of Jerusalem. Leviticus
must be seen, not as the creation of a particular age, but as the final form
of a tradition which developed over the centuries. Within its pages we can find
not only hints of post-exilic times but very ancient descriptions of rites and
customs." (Understanding the Old Testament, pp. 116-117)