Leviticus, 1




1. Name

2. Character of Book

3. Unity of Book:

Law of Holiness Examination of Critical Theory


1. Modern Analyses

(1) Theories of Disintegration

(2) Reasons for Dismemberment

(3) Insufficiency of These Reasons

2. Structure of the Biblical Text

(1) Structure in General

(2) Structure of the Individual Pericopes


1. Against the Wellhausen Hypothesis

(1) The Argument from Silence

(2) Attitude of Prophets toward Sacrificial System

(3) The People's Disobedience

(4) Indiscriminate Sacrificing

(5) Deuteronomy and Priestly Code

2. Connection with Mosaic Period

(1) Priestly Code and Desert Conditions

(2) Unity and Construction Point to Mosaic Origin


1. Positive

(1) The Law Contains God's Will

(2) The Law Prepares for the Understanding of Christianity

(3) The Law as a Tutor unto Christ

2. Negative


I. General Data.

1. Name:

The third book of the Pentateuch is generally named by the Jews according to the first word, wayyiqra' (Origen Ouikra, by the Septuagint called according to its contents Leuitikon, or Leueitikon, by the Vulgate, accordingly, "Leviticus" (i.e. Liber), sometimes "Leviticum"). The Jews have also another name taken from its contents, namely, torath kohanim, "Law of the Priests."

2. Character of Book:

As a matter of fact ordinances pertaining to the priesthood, to the Levitical system, and to the cults constitute a most important part of this book; but specifically religious and ethical commands, as we find them, e.g. in Le 18; 19; 20, are not wanting; and there are also some historical sections, which, however, are again connected with the matter referring to the cults, namely the consecration of the priests in Leviticus 8 and 9, the sin and the punishment of two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (10:1), and the account of the stoning of a blasphemer (24:10). Of the Levites, on the other hand, the book does not treat at all. They are mentioned only once and that incidentally in 25:32. The laws are stated to have been given behar Cinay (7:38; 25:1; 26:46; 27:34), which expression, on account of Leviticus 11, in which Yahweh is described as speaking to Moses out of the tent of meeting, is not to be translated "upon" but "at" Mt. Sinai. The connection of this book with the preceding and following books, i.e. Exodus and Numbers, which is commonly acknowledged as being the case, at least in some sense, leaves for the contents of Leviticus exactly the period of a single month, since the last chronological statement of Exodus 40:17 as the time of the erection of the tabernacle mentions the 1st day of the 1st month of the 2nd year of the Exodus, and Numbers 1:1 takes us to the 1st day of the 2nd month of the same year. Within this time of one month the consecration of the priests fills out 8 days (Leviticus 8:33; 9:1). A sequence in time is indicated only by Leviticus 16:1, which directly connects with what is reported in Leviticus 10 concerning Nadab and Abihu. In the same way the ordinances given in 10:6 are connected with the events described in 8:1-10:5. The laws are described as being revelations of Yahweh, generally given to Moses (compare 1:1; 4:1; 5:14; 6:19,24 (Hebrew 12,17); 7:22,28, etc.); sometimes to Moses and Aaron (compare 11:1; 13:1; 14:33; 15:1, etc.), and, rarely, to Aaron alone (10:8). In 10:12, Moses gives some directions to the priests, which are based on a former revelation (compare 6:16 (Hebrew 9); 7:37). In 10:16, we have a difference of opinion between Moses and Aaron, or rather his sons, which was decided on the basis of an independent application of principles given in Leviticus. Most of these commands are to be announced to Israel (1:2; 4:2; 7:23,19; 9:3; 11:2; 12:2; 15:2; 18:2, etc.); others to the priests (6:9,25 (Hebrew 2,18); 21:2; 22:2, etc.); or to the priests and the Israelites (17:2; 22:18), while the directions in reference to the Day of Atonement, with which Aaron was primarily concerned (16:2), beginning with 16:29, without a special superscription, are undeniably changed into injunctions addressed to all Israel; compare also 21:24 and 21:2. As the Book of Exodus treats of the communion which God offers on His part to Israel and which culminates at last in His dwelling in the tent of meeting (40:34; compare under EXODUS, I, 2), the Book of Leviticus contains the ordinances which were to be carried out by the Israelites in religious, ethical and cultural matters, in order to restore and maintain this communion with God, notwithstanding the imperfections and the guilt of the Israelites. And as this book thus with good reason occupies its well established place in the story of the founding and in the earliest history of theocracy, so too even a casual survey and intelligent glance at the contents of the book will show that we have here a well-arranged and organic unity, a conviction which is only confirmed and strengthened by the presentation of the structure of the book in detail (see under II, below).

3. Unity of Book:

Law of Holiness:

As a rule, critics are accustomed first of all to regard Leviticus 17:1-25:55 or 26 as an independent section, and find in these chapters a legal code that is considered to have existed at one time as a group by itself, before it was united with the other parts.

It is indeed true that a series of peculiarities have been found in these chapters of Leviticus. To these peculiarities belongs the frequent repetition of the formula:

"I am Yahweh your God" (18:2,4; 19:2,4, etc.); or "I am Yahweh" (18:5,6,21; 19:14,16, etc.), or "I am Yahweh .... who hath separated you" (20:24), or "who sanctifieth you" (20:8; 21:8,15,23, etc.). To these peculiarities belong the references in words, or, in fact, to the land of Canaan, into which Israel is to be led (18:3,14; 19:23,29; 20:22; 23; 25), and also to Egypt, out of which He has led the people (18:3; 19:34; 22:33; 26:13,15, etc.); as, further, the demand for sanctification (19:2), or the warning against desecration (19:12; 21:23, etc.), both based on the holiness of Yahweh. In addition, a number of peculiar expressions are repeatedly found in these chapters. Because of their contents these chapters have, since Klostermann, generally been designated by the letter H (i.e. Law of Holiness); or, according to the suggestion of Dillmann, by the letter S (i.e. Sinaitic Law), because, according to 25:1; 26:46, they are said to have been given at Mt. Sinai, and because in certain critical circles it was at one time claimed that these chapters contain old laws from the Mosaic period, although these had been changed in form. These earlier views have apparently now been discarded by the critics entirely.

Examination of Critical Theory.

We, however, do not believe that it is at all justifiable to separate these laws as a special legal code from the other chapters. In the first place, these peculiarities, even if such are found here more frequently than elsewhere, are not restricted to these chapters exclusively. The Decalogue (Exodus 20:2) begins with the words, "I am Yahweh thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Exodus 22:31 contains the demand, "Ye shall be holy men unto me." Exodus 29:44,45 contains a promise that God will dwell in the midst of the Israelites, so that they shall learn that He is Yahweh, their God, who has brought them out of Egypt in order to dwell in their midst as Yahweh, their God (compare, further, Exodus 6:6-8; 31:13; Leviticus 10:10,11; 11:44; Numbers 15:37-41; 33:52,55; Deuteronomy 14:2,21). It is a more than risky undertaking to find in these and in other sections scattered remnants of H, especially if these are seen to be indispensable in the connection in which they are found, and when no reason can be given why they should be separated from this collection of laws. Then, too, the differences of opinion on the part of the critics in assigning these different parts to H, do not make us favorably inclined to the whole hypothesis. Hoffmann, especially (Die wichtigsten Instanzen gegen die Graf-Wellhausensche Hypothese, 16), has shown how impossible it is to separate H from the other ordinances of the Priestly Code in so radical a manner. In saying this we do not at all wish to deny the peculiar character of these chapters, only we do not believe that Leviticus 17 can be added or Leviticus 26 can be taken away from this section; for in Leviticus 17 all the characteristic peculiarities of the Holiness Law are lacking; and, on the other hand, in Leviticus 26 the expression "I am Yahweh your God," or a similar one in 26:12,13,14, is found. The subscription in 26:46 connects Leviticus 26 with the preceding; and, further, the reference to the Sabbatical year as described in Leviticus 25, found in 26:34,43, is not to be overlooked. Finally, also, other legal codes, such as that in the first Book of the Covenant (Exodus 23:20-33) and that of De (27:11-28:68) close with the offer of a blessing or a curse.

The chapters under consideration (Leviticus 18:1-26:46) are most closely connected with each other solely through their contents, which have found expression in a particular form, without these facts being sufficient to justify the claim of their being a separate legal code. For since in Leviticus 1-17 all those things which separate the Israelites from their God have been considered and bridged over (compare Leviticus 1-7, the laws concerning sacrifices; Leviticus 8-10, the mediatorship of the priests; Leviticus 11-15, the unclean things; Leviticus 16, the Day of Atonement; Leviticus 17, the use made of blood), we find in Leviticus 18:1-26:46 an account of the God-pleasing conduct, which admits of nothing that desecrates; namely, Le 18; 19; 20 contain laws dealing with marriage and chastity and other matters of a religious, ethical or cultural kind, together with the punishments that follow their transgression; Leviticus 21 f determine the true character of the priests and of the sacred oblations; Leviticus 23, the consecration of the seasons, of life and death, etc.; Leviticus 25, the Sabbath and the Jubilee year; Leviticus 26 contains the offer of a blessing or a curse. Leviticus 1-17 have, as it were, a negative character; Leviticus 18:1-26:46 a positive character. In Leviticus 1-17 the consciousness of what is unclean, imperfect and guilty is awakened and the possibility of their removal demonstrated; while in Leviticus 18:1-26:46 the norm of a holy life is set forth. Even if these two parts at certain places show so great a likeness that the occurrence of an interchange of ordinances could be regarded as possible, nevertheless the peculiar character of each part is plainly recognized; and this is also a very essential argument for the view that both parts have one and the same author, who intentionally brought the two parts into closer connection and yet separated the one from the other. On this supposition the peculiarities of Leviticus 18:1-26:46 are sufficiently explained, and also the positive contents of these chapters and the fact that just these chapters are referred to in pre-exilic literature oftener than is the case with Leviticus 1-17, and particularly the close connection between Ezekiel and H is to be regarded as a consequence of the common tendency of both authors and not as the result of their having used a common source (see EZEKIEL, II, 2). In Leviticus 26:46 we have what is clearly a conclusion, which corresponds to 25:1; 7:37; 1:1, and accordingly regards Leviticus 1:1-26:46 as a unity; while Leviticus 27, which treats of vows and of tithes, with its separate subscription in 27:34, shows that it is an appendix or a supplement, which is, however, in many ways connected with the rest of the book, so that this addition cannot, without further grounds, be regarded as pointing to another author.

II. Structure.

1. Modern Analyses:

Modern criticism ascribes the entire Book of Leviticus, being a special legal code, to the Priestly Code (P). The questions which arise in connection with this claim will be discussed under III, below. At this point we must first try to awaken a consciousness of the fact, that in this special particular, too, the documentary theory has entered upon the stage of total disintegration; that the reasons assigned for the separation of the sources are constantly becoming more arbitrary and subjective; and that the absurd consequences to which they consistently lead from the very outset arouse distrust as to the correctness of the process. Just as in the historical parts the critics have for long been no longer content with J (Jahwist) and E (Elohist), but have added a J1 and Later additions to J, an E1 and Later additions to E, and as Sievers and Gunkel have gone farther, and in detail have completely shattered both J and E into entirely separate fragments (see GENESIS), So the Priestly Code (P), too, is beginning to experience the same fate. It is high time that, for both the historical and the legal sections, the opposite course be taken, and that we turn from the dismemberment to the combination of these documents; that we seek out and emphasize those features which, in form and content, unite the text into a clear unity. For this reason we lay the greatest stress on these in this section, which deals with the structure of the book, and which treats of the matter (1) negatively and (2) positively (see also EXODUS, II).

(1) Theories of Disintegration.

We have already seen in the article DAY OF ATONEMENT (I, 2, (2)) in connection with Leviticus 16 an example of these attempts at dissection, and here still add several examples in order to strengthen the impression on this subject.

(a) General Considerations:

If we for the present disregard the details, then, according to Bertholet (Kurzer Hand-Kommentar zum Alten Testament), not only Leviticus 17:1-26:46 (see, above, under I) at one time existed as a separate legal corpus, but also the sacrificial legislation in Leviticus 1-7, and also the laws concerning the clean and the unclean in Leviticus 11-15. Concerning Leviticus 16 see above. Then, too, Leviticus 27 is regarded as a supplement and is ascribed to a different author. Finally, the so-called "fundamental document" of P (marked Pg) contained only parts from Leviticus 9 f (also a few matters from Le 8), as also one of the three threads of Leviticus 16, for Leviticus 8-10, it is said, described the consecration of the priests demanded in Exodus 25, which also are regarded as a part of Pg, and Leviticus 16:1 is claimed to connect again with Leviticus 10 (compare on this point DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2). All these separate parts of Leviticus (i.e. Leviticus 1:1-27:34) are further divided into a number of more or less independent subparts; thus, e.g., Leviticus 1-7, containing the sacrificial laws, are made to consist of two parts, namely, Leviticus 1-5 and Leviticus 6-7; or the laws concerning the clean and the unclean in Leviticus 11-15 are divided into the separate pieces, Leviticus 11; 12; 13:1-46; and these are regarded as having existed at one time and in a certain manner independently and separated from each other. But how complicated in detail the composition is considered to be, we can see from Leviticus 17:1-26:46.

(b) Leviticus 17-26 Considered in Detail:

While Baentsch (Hand-Kommentar zum Alten Testament) accepts, to begin with, three fundamental strata (H1 = Le 18; 19; 20 and certain portions from Le 23; 24; 25; H2 = Leviticus 21; H3 = Leviticus 17), Bertholet, too (op. cit., x), regards the development of these chapters as follows:

"In detail we feel justified in separating the following pieces: (i) Leviticus 17:3,4 (5,7a),8,9,10-14; (ii) 18:7-10,12-20,22; and this united with (iii) 19:3,11,27,30,31,35,36, which was probably done by the author of (iii). The following were inserted by the person who united these parts, namely, 18:6,27,25,26,28,30; (iv) 19:9,10,13-18,19,29,32; (v) 19:5-8,23-26; (vi) 20:2(3),6(27); (vii) 20:9,10-21; 19:20; (viii) 21:1b-5,7,9-15,17b-24; 22:3,8,10-14,18b-25,27-30; (ix) 23:10-20,39-43; (x) 24:15-22, except verses 16a(?)b; (xi) 25:2-7 (4),18-22,35-38,39,40a,42,47,53,15; (xii) 25:8a,9b,10a,13,14-16,17,24 f. In uniting these pieces Rh (the Redactor of the Law of Holiness) seems to have added de suo the following: 17:5 (beginning); 18:2b-5,21,24,26a(?),29; 19:33,37; 20:4,7,22-26; 21:6,8; 22:2,9,15,31-33; 23:22; 25:11; 26:1 f. At the same time he united with these an older parenetic section, 26:3-45, which, by inserting 26:10,34,39-43, he changed into a concluding address of this small legal code. All the rest that is found in Leviticus 17:1-26:46 seems to be the result of a revision in the spirit of the Priestly Code (P), not, however, as though originally it all came from the hand of Rp (Redactor P). That he rather added and worked together older pieces from P (which did not belong to Pg) is seen from an analysis of Leviticus 23. .... As far as the time when these parts were worked together is concerned, we have a reliable terminus ad quem in a comparison of Nehemiah 8:14-18 with Leviticus 23:36 (P),39 (H). Only we must from the outset remember, that still, after the uniting of these different parts, the marks of the editorial pen are to be noticed in the following Leviticus 17:1-26:46, i.e. that after this union a number of additions were yet made to the text. This is sure as far as 23:26-32 is concerned, and is probable as to 24:1-9,10-14,23; 25:32-34; and that this editorial work even went so far as to put sections from P in the place of parts of H can possibly be concluded from 24:1-9."

(c) Extravagance of Critical Treatment:

This is also true of all the other sections, as can be seen by a reference to the books of Bertholet and Baentsch. What should surprise us most, the complicated and external manner in which our Biblical text, which has such a wonderful history back of it, is declared by the critics to have originated, or the keenness of the critics, who, with the ease of child's play, are able to detect and trace out this growth and development of the text, and can do more than hear the grass grow? But this amazement is thrust into the ackground when we contemplate what becomes of the Bible text under the manipulations of the critics. The compass of this article makes it impossible to give even as much as a general survey of the often totally divergent and contradictory schemes of Baentsch and Bertholet and others on the distribution of this book among different sources; and still less possible is it to give a criticism of these in detail. But this critical method really condemns itself more thoroughly than any examination of its claims would. All who are not yet entirely hypnotized by the spell of the documentary hypothesis will feel that by this method all genuine scientific research is brought to an end. If the way in which this book originated had been so complicated, it certainly could never have been again reconstructed.

(2) Reasons for Dismemberment.

We must at this place confine ourselves to mentioning and discussing several typical reasons which are urged in favor of a distribution among different authors.

(a) Alleged Repetitions:

We find in the parts belonging to P a number of so-called repetitions. In Leviticus 1-7 we find a twofold discussion of the five kinds of sacrifices (1-5; 6:1); in Leviticus 20 punitive measures are enacted for deeds which had been described already in Leviticus 18; in 19:3,10; 23:3; 26:2 the Sabbath command is intensified; in 19:5; 22:29, we find commands which had been touched upon already in 7:15; 19:9 f we find almost verbally repeated in 23:22; 24:2 repeats ordinances concerning the golden candlestick from Exodus 27:20, etc. The existence of these repetitions cannot be denied; but is the conclusion drawn from this fact correct? It certainly is possible that one and the same author could have handled the same materials at different places and from different viewpoints, as is the case in Leviticus 1-7 in regard to the sacrifices. Leviticus 18 and 20 (misdeeds and punishments) are even necessarily and mutually supplementary. Specially important laws can have been repeated, in order to emphasize and impress them all the more; or they are placed in peculiar relations or in a unique light (compare, e.g., 24:1, the command in reference to the golden candlestick in the pericope Le 23; 24; see below). Accordingly, as soon as we can furnish a reason for the repetition, it becomes unobjectionable; and often, when this is not the case, the objections are unremoved if we ascribe the repetitions to a new author, who made the repetition by way of an explanation (see EXODUS, II, 2, (5)).

(b) Separation of Materials:

Other reasons will probably be found in uniting or separating materials that are related. That Leviticus 16 is connected with Leviticus 8-10, and these connect with Exodus 25, is said to prove that this had been the original order in these sections. But why should materials that are clearly connected be without any reason torn asunder by the insertion of foreign data? Or has the interpolator perhaps had reasons of his own for doing this? Why are not these breaks ascribed to the original author? The sacrificial laws in Leviticus 1-7 are properly placed before Leviticus 8-10, because in these latter chapters the sacrifices are described as already being made (9:7,15, the sin offering; 9:7,12,16, the burnt offering; 9:17; 10:12, the meal offering; 9:18, the peace offering; 9:3, all kinds). In the same way Leviticus 11-15, through 15:31, are inwardly connected with Leviticus 16, since these chapters speak of the defiling of the dwelling-place of Yahweh, from which the Day of Atonement delivers (16:16,33). As a matter of course, the original writer as well as a later redactor could have at times also connected parts in a looser or more external manner. In this way, in 7:22, the command not to eat of the fats or of the blood has been joined to the ordinances with reference to the use of the peace offerings in 7:19. This again is the case when, in Leviticus 2, verses 11-13 have been inserted in the list of the different kinds of meal offering; when after the general scheme of sin offerings, according to the hierarchical order and rank in Leviticus 4, a number of special cases are mentioned in 5:1; and when in 5:7 commands are given to prevent too great poverty; or when in 6:19 the priestly meal offerings are found connected with other ordinances with references to the meat offerings in general (6:14); or when the share that belongs to the priest (7:8) is found connected with his claim to the guilt offering (7:1); or the touching of the meat offering by something unclean (7:19) is found connected with the ordinances concerning the peace offerings; or when in Leviticus 11 the ordinances dealing with the unclean animals gradually pass over into ordinances concerning the touching of these animals, as is already indicated by the subscription 11:4,6 f (compare with 11:2). Still more would it be natural to unite different parts in other ways also. In this way the ordinances dealing with the character of the sacrifices in 22:17-30 could, regarded by themselves, be placed also in Leviticus 1-7. But in Leviticus 22 they are also well placed. On the other hand, the character of Leviticus 1-7 would have become too complicated if they were inserted here. In such matters the author must have freedom of action.

(c) Change of Singular and Plural:

Further, the frequent change between the singular and the plural in the addresses found in the laws which are given to a body of persons is without further thought used by the critics as a proof of a diversity of authors in the section under consideration (compare Leviticus 10:12; 19:9,11,15, etc.). But how easily this change in numbers can be explained! In case the plural is used, the body of the people are regarded as having been distributed into individuals; and in the case of a more stringent application the plural can at once be converted into the singular, since the author is thinking now only of separate individuals. Naturally, too, the singular is used as soon as the author thinks again rather of the people as a whole. Sometimes the change is made suddenly within one and the same verse or run of thought; and this in itself ought to have banished the thought of a difference of authors in such cases. In the case of an interpolator or redactor, it is from the outset all the more probable that he would have paid more attention to the person used in the addresses than that this would have been done by the original writer, who was completely absorbed by the subject-matter. Besides, such a change in number is frequently found in other connections also; compare in the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 22:20-25,29; 23:9; compare Deuteronomy 12:2,13). In regard to these passages, also, the modern critics are accustomed to draw the same conclusion; and in these cases, too, this is hasty. In the same way the change in the laws from the 3rd to the 2nd person can best be explained as the work of the lawgiver himself, before whose mind the persons addressed are more vividly present and who, when speaking in the 2nd person, becomes personal (compare Leviticus 2:4 with 2:1-3, and also 1:2; 3:17; 6:18,21,25).

(d) Proofs of Religious Development:

A greater importance seemingly must be attributed to the reasons based on a difference in the terminology or on contradictions in the laws, as these appear to lead to a religio-historical development. But the following examples are intended to show how all important it is to be slow in the acceptance of the materials which the critics offer in this connection.

(3) Insufficiency of These Reasons.

(a) In Leviticus 5:1-7, in the section treating of the sin offering (4:1-5:13), we find the word 'asham, which also signifies "guilt offering" (compare 5:14; 7:1). Accordingly, it is claimed, the author of 5:1-7 was not yet acquainted with the difference between the two kinds of offerings, and that this part is older than that in 4:1; 5:14. However, in 5:1 the word 'asham is evidently used in the sense of "repentance," and does not signify "sin offering" at all; at any rate, already in 5:6 f we find the characteristic term chaTTath to designate the latter, and thus this section appears as entirely in harmony with the connection.

(b) Critics find a contradiction in Leviticus 6:26; 7:33,7, and in 6:29; 7:31,6, since in the first case the officiating priest and in the other case the entire college of priests is described as participating in the sacrifice. In reply it is to be said that the first set of passages treat of the individual concrete cases, while the second set speak of the general principle. In 7:8, however, where the individual officiating priest is actually put in express contrast with all the sons of Aaron, the matter under consideration is a difference in the meal offerings, which, beginning with Leviticus 2, could be regarded as known. Why this difference is made in the use of this sacrifice is no longer intelligible to us, as we no longer retain these sacrifices, nor are we in possession of the oral instruction which possibly accompanied the written formulation of these laws; but this is a matter entirely independent of the question as to the author.

(c) According to Exodus 29:7; Leviticus 4:3,5,16; 6:20,22; 8:12; 16:32; 21:10,12, the high priest is the only one who is anointed; while, on the other hand, in Exodus 28:41; 29:21; 30:30; 40:15; Leviticus 7:36; 10:7, all the priests are anointed. But the text as it reads does not make it impossible that there was a double anointing. According to the first set of passages, Aaron is anointed in such a manner that the anointing oil is poured out upon his head (compare especially Exodus 29:7 and Leviticus 8:12). Then, too, he and all his sons are anointed in such a way that a mixture of the oil and of the blood is sprinkled upon them and on their garments (compare especially Exodus 29:21 and Leviticus 8:30). Were we here dealing with a difference in reference to theory and the ranks of the priesthood, as these discussions were current at the time of the exile (see III, below), then surely the victorious party would have seen to it that their views alone would have been reproduced in these laws, and the opposing views would have been suppressed. But now both anointings are found side by side, and even in one and the same chapter!

(d) The different punishments prescribed for carnal intercourse with a woman during her periods in Leviticus 15:24 and 20:18 are easily explained by the fact that, in the first passage, the periods are spoken of which only set in during the act, and in the second passage, those which had already set in before.

(e) As far as the difference in terminology is concerned, it must be remembered that in their claims the critics either overlook that intentional differences may decide the preference for certain words or expressions; or else they ignore the fact that it is possible in almost every section of a writer's work to find some expressions which are always, or at least often, peculiar to him; or finally, they in an inexcusable way ignore the freedom of selection which a writer has between different synonyms or his choice in using these.

All in all, it must be said that however much we acknowledge the keenness and the industry of the modern critics in clearing up many difficulties, and the fact that they bring up many questions that demand answers, it nevertheless is the fact that they take the matter of solving these problems entirely too easily, by arbitrarily claiming different authors, without taking note of the fact that by doing this the real difficulty is not removed, but is only transferred to another place. What could possibly be accepted as satisfactory in one single instance, namely that through the thoughtlessness of an editor discrepancies in form or matter had found their way into the text, is at once claimed to be the regular mode of solving these difficulties--a procedure that is itself thoughtlessness. On the other hand, the critics overlook the fact that it makes little difference for the religious and the ethical value of these commands, whether logical, systematic, linguistic or aesthetic correctness in all their parts has been attained or not; to which must yet be added, that a failure in the one particular may at the same time be an advantage in the other. In this respect we need recall only the anacoluths of the apostle Paul.

2. Structure of the Biblical Text:

(1) Structure in General.

The most effective antidote against the craze to split up the text in the manner described above will be found in the exposition of all those features which unite this text into one inseparable whole. What we have tried to demonstrate in the arts GENESIS; EXODUS, II; DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2 (compare also EZEKIEL, I, 2, (2)) can be repeated at this point. The Book of Leviticus shows all the marks of being a well-constructed and organic literary product, which in its fundamental characteristics has already been outlined under I above. And as this was done in the several articles just cited, we can here add further, as a corroborative factor in favor of the acceptance of an inner literary unity of the book, that the division of the book into its logical parts, even down to minute details, is here, as is so often the case elsewhere, not only virtually self-evident in many particulars, but that the use made of typical numbers in many passages in this adjustment of the parts almost forces itself upon our recognition. In other places the same is at least suggested, and can be traced throughout the book without the least violence to the text. The system need not be forced upon the materials. We often find sections but loosely connected with the preceding parts (compare under 1 above) and not united in a strictly logical manner, but which are nevertheless related in thought and association of ideas. In harmony with the division of the Book of Ge we find at once that the general contents, as mentioned under I above, easily fall into 10 pericopes, and it is seen that these consist of 2 sets each of 5 pericopes together with an appendix.

(a) Ten Pericopes in Two Parts:

Part I, the separation from God and the removal of this separation:

(i) Leviticus 1:1-7:38; (ii) Leviticus 8:1-10:20; (iii) Leviticus 11:1-15:33; (iv) Leviticus 16; (v) Leviticus 17.

Part II, the normal conduct of the people of God:

(i) Le 18; 19; 20; (ii) Le 21; 22; (iii) Le 23; 24; (iv) Leviticus 25; (v) Leviticus 26.

Appendix, Leviticus 27; compare for the number 10 the division of Exodus 1:8-7:7; 7:8-13:16; 13:17-18:27; also the Decalogue, 20:1; 21:1-23:19; 32:1-35:1; and see EXODUS, II, 2; and in Le probably 18:6-18; 19:9-18, and with considerable certainty 19:1-37 (see below).

(b) Correspondence and Connections:

I leave out of consideration in this case the question whether an intentional correspondence among the different parts be traced or not, even in their details. Thus, e.g.; when the 2nd pericope (948/A>; 2148/A>) treats particularly of the order of the priests, or when the 4th pericope of the 2nd set (Leviticus 25) states that the beginning of the Year of Jubilee fell on the 10th day of the 7th month, i.e. on the Day of Atonement as described in Leviticus 16, in the 4th pericope of the 1st set (compare 25:9 with 16:29); or when both sets close with two shorter pericopes, which evidently express high stages of development (Le 16; 17, respectively, Le 25; 26 treating of the Day of Atonement, of the use made of blood and the purposes of blood for the altar or the Jubilee Year, of the blessing and the curse).

And, as far as the order in other respects is concerned, it is throughout to be regarded as founded in the subject-matter itself that Leviticus 1-17 must precede Leviticus 18:1-26:46. First that which separates the people from God must be removed, and then only is a God-pleasing conduct possible. Just as easily, and in agreement with the context, it is possible that the consecration of the priests in Leviticus 8-10 presupposes the sacrificial torah (Leviticus 1-7; compare under 1 above) and follows the latter, and is immediately introduced by the mention made of the installation sacrifices for which otherwise there are no reasons assigned in the concluding formula in 7:37 (compare 8:22-32). The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), which in 16:16 f and 33 is spoken of in connection with the purification of the sanctuary, is in turn introduced by Leviticus 11-15, or more particularly by the remark in 15:31, where mention is made of the pollution of the dwelling-place of Yahweh. And on the other hand, the ordinances dealing with the priests (948/A>; Leviticus 11-15. The sacrifices, with which the first part in Leviticus 1-7 begins, are taken up again by the conclusion in Leviticus 17, in the commandment concerning the blood for the altar. The second part, too, already at the beginning (Le 18; 19; 20) in its religiously cultural and ethical ordinances, shows in the clearest possible manner what matters it proposes to discuss. In this way the systematic structure of the book is apparent in all particulars.

Close connections:

comparison with Exodus: And, further, the different pericopes are also so closely Connected among themselves and with the corresponding pericopes in the books of Ex and Nu, that many have thought it necessary to regard them as a special body of laws. But the connection is so close and involves all the details so thoroughly, that all efforts to divide and distribute them after the examples described under 1 above must fail absolutely. We shall now give the proofs for the different pericopes in Lev, but in such a manner as to take into consideration also Exodus 25:1-31:18; 35, treating of the tabernacle and its utensils and the Aaronitic priesthood, which are most intimately connected with Lev. All details in this matter will be left out of consideration.

(i) Tabernacle and priesthood:

That Leviticus 8-10 (the consecration of the priests, etc.), together with Exodus 25, constitutes a single whole is accepted on all hands. But the tent of meeting and its utensils, and also the priesthood, both with and without any emphasis on the Aaronitic origin, are presupposed also in almost each one of the other pericopes of Leviticus; compare for Leviticus 1-7, e.g., 1:3,1; 3:2,8,13; 4:4,5,7,14,16,18; 6:26 (tent of meeting); 1:5,12; 3:5; 4:7,25,30; 6:12 (altar of burnt sacrifices); 4:7,18 (altar of incense sacrifices); 4:6,17 (veil); 6:9,19 (court); 1:5,7,8,11; 2:2; 3:2,5,8,13; 6:9,14,16,20,25, etc. (Aaron and his sons as priests); for Leviticus 11-15 see 12:4,6; 14:11,23; 15:14,29,31 (sanctuary, tent of meeting, dwelling-place); 11:1; 12:6; 13:1; 14:2,33; 15:1 (priesthood); for Leviticus 16 see verses 2,7,16,20,23,13 (sanctuary and Holy of Holies tent of meeting); 16:2,12 (veil); 16:2,13 (lid of the Ark of the Covenant); 16:12,18,20,33 (altar); 16:1 (Aaronitic priesthood); for Leviticus 17 see verses 4-6,9 (tent of meeting); 17:6,11 (altar); 17:5 (priesthood); for Le 18; 19; 20 see 19:30,21 (sanctuary of Yahweh, tent of meeting); 19:22 (priesthood); for Leviticus 21 f see 21:12 (sanctuary); 21:23 (sanctuaries of Yahweh); 21:23 (veil, altar); 21:1,21 (Aaronitic priesthood); for Leviticus 23; 24 see 23:2,4,21,24,27,36 f (sanctuary); 24:1 (candlestick, tent of meeting); 24:5 (table of showbread); 23:10,20 (priesthood); 24:3,1 (Aaronitic priesthood); for Leviticus 26 see verses 2,11,31 (sanctuary, dwelling-place of Yahweh, sanctuaries); for Leviticus 27 see verses 10,33 (sanctuary); 27:8 (priesthood).

(ii) In the same way the sacrificial laws of Leviticus 1-7 are mentioned in the following pericopes as matters that are well known. For Leviticus 8-10 see 9:7,15 (sin offering); 9:7,12,16 (burnt offering); 9:17; 10:12 (meal offering); 9:18 (peace offering); 9:3 f (all together); compare also Exodus 29:14,18,28. In Leviticus 9:21; 10:14 f (wave-breasts and heave-thigh) direct reference is made to 7:30-36. In the same manner 10:16 presupposes the ordinances dealing with the different ways of offering the sin offerings in 4:3,13; 6:24-30; for Leviticus 11-15 see 12:6; 14:12 (compare especially 14:13 with 4:24); 14:21; 15:14,29; for Leviticus 16 see verses 3,5,9,11,15,24,27; for Leviticus 17 see verses 5,8,11; for Le 18; 19; 20 see 19:6,21 f (here is therefore the 'asham found in H, which is claimed to be of a later date); for Leviticus 21 f see 21:6,21; 22:17,29; for Leviticus 23; 24 see 23:12; 18:19,27,37; 24:9; for Leviticus 26 see verses 30; for Leviticus 27 compare verses 15,19,27,31 with 5:16; 6:5.

(iii) Laws on clean and unclean:

The laws in reference to the clean and the unclean in Leviticus 11-15 are also interwoven with the whole book. For Leviticus 1-7 see 5:2; 6:27; 7:19; for Leviticus 8-10 see 10:10; for Leviticus 16 see verses 16,19; for Leviticus 17 see verses 13,15; for Le 18; 19; 20 compare 20:25 with 11:44, and in general with Leviticus 11; for Leviticus 21 f see 21:10; 13:45; 22:3 with Leviticus 13-15; for Leviticus 27 see verses 11 and 27, as also Leviticus 11.

(iv) The laws in reference to the Day of Atonement found in Leviticus 16 are prepared for by those found in Leviticus 11-15, namely, in 14:4,49 (the ceremony with the two birds in connection with the purification from leprosy), and in 15:31 (compare 16:16,19; see above). For Leviticus 23; 24 compare 23:26 with 16:29 if, and for 25:9 with 16:29 see above; compare also Exodus 30:10.

(v) Leviticus 17 is re-echoed in Leviticus 1-7 (7:26 f) and in Le 18; 19; 20 (19:26).

(vi) Finally Leviticus 25 (Year of Rest and Year of Jubilee) is presupposed in Leviticus 26:34,43 and in Leviticus 27:17,23 f.

The above, however, by no means exhausts this list of references and similar thoughts, and we have here given only some leading illustrations. What literary tricks must be resorted to when, over against this overwhelming mass of evidence, critics yet insist that the different parts of the book were originally independent writings, especially, too, when the entire tabernacle and utensils of the Aaronitic priesthood, the Day of Atonement, the Year of Jubilee, the whole sacrificial scheme and the laws dealing with the great festivals, the restriction of the slaying of the sacrificial animals to the central sanctuary, are regarded as the products of imagination alone, according to the Wellhausen hypothesis (compare III, below, and see also EXODUS, III, 5; DAY OF ATONEMENT, III, 1; EZEKIEL, II, 2). And how little is gained in addition when, as is sometimes done, in a most arbitrary manner, the statements found in Leviticus 1-3 concerning the tabernacle of revelation ("tent of meeting") and concerning Aaron's sons, or concerning Aaron and his sons together, are regarded as later additions. In Le and Exodus 25; 35, everything is so entirely of one and the same character and has so clearly emanated from one and the same spirit, that it is impossible to separate from this product any constituent parts and to unite these into groups that were originally independent, then to split up these still further and to trace the parts to their sources, and even to construct a scheme of religious and historical development on this reconstruction of the sources.

(2) Structure of the Individual Pericopes.

As the windows and the column capitals of a medieval cathedral are arranged according to different schemes and this divergence is regarded as an enrichment of the structure, thus, too, we find it to be in the structure of the various pericopes of the Book of Leviticus. These latter, too, possess a certain symphony of different tones, but all are rhythmically arranged, and only when united do they produce the entire symphony.

(a) The Laws Concerning the Sacrifices (Leviticus 1-7):

In the first place, the five different kinds of sacrifices in Israel are mentioned in succession twice, in Leviticus 1:1-7:21:

Part I, Leviticus 1-5, namely (i) Leviticus 1, burnt offerings; (ii) Leviticus 2, meal offering; (iii) Leviticus 3, peace offerings; (iv) 4:1-5:13, sin offering; (v) 5:14-26, guilt offering; Part II, 6:1-7:21, namely

(i) 6:8-13, burnt offerings;

(ii) 6:14-23, meal offering;

(iii) 6:24-30, sin offering;

(iv) 7:1-7 with appendix, 7:8-10, dealing with that part of the sacrifices which belongs to the priest (see under 1, above), guilt offering;

(v) 7:11-21, peace offerings.

With this is found connected in 7:22-27 the prohibition of the use of the fat or the blood, and in 7:28-36, the laws concerning the wave-breast and the heave-thigh. We have accordingly at once twelve of these laws (compare on Exodus 25:1-30:10 in article on EXODUS, II, 2, (5) and on EZEKIEL, I, 2, 5)). But even apart from this we have no right to ascribe Leviticus 1-5 and 6:1-7:21, on the ground that they are duplicates, to different authors.

That there is a difference between these two accounts is proved, not only by the fact that the first set of laws from Leviticus 1-5 is addressed to all the Israelites (compare 1:2; 4:2), and the second set 6:8; 7:21 to Aaron and his sons (compare 6:9,25); but the second set has also in content a number of altogether different viewpoints as compared with the first set, so that the same author found himself induced or compelled to write both sets. On the other hand, the fact that both have the same author is evident from the very close connection between the two sections. In addition to the fact that both make mention of all five kinds of sacrifices, we can yet compare 3:5 with 6:22 (fat pieces of the peace offering over the burnt sacrifices upon the pieces of wood); and, further, the express reference of 6:17 to Leviticus 4, while 6:30 presupposes the distinct separation of the sin offering, the blood of which is brought into the tent of meeting, from the other sacrifices, as these are given in 4:3,13 over against 4:22,27. Leviticus 4, with its reference to the peace offerings (4:10,26,31,35), is again most closely connected with Le 3. We must accordingly insist that the whole account is most intimately interwoven. Over against this, the omission within the first set, Leviticus 1-5, in 5:14-16, of the ritual for the peace offering, is sufficiently explained only by the fact that this ritual was to be used in the second set (6:8-7:21), and here for the first time only in 7:1-15, which fact again speaks for the same author for both sets and against the supposition that they were merely mechanically united by a redactor. The fact that the second set 6:8-7:21 has a different order from that of Leviticus 1-5, by uniting the sin offering immediately with the meal offering (6:24 with 6:14-23), is probably on account of the similar ordinances in 7:9 and 7:19 (manner of eating the meal offering and the sin offering). On the other hand, the position of the peace offering at the close of the second set (7:11) furnished the possibility of giving to the piece of the entire pericope embraced in 7:22-27,28-36 a suitable conclusion; since 7:22 (prohibition of the eating of the fat and the blood), connected with 7:19, contained in 7:28 an ordinance that pertained to the peace offering (heave-breast and wave-thigh). At any rate, these last two pieces are to be regarded separately from the rest, since they are no longer addressed to the priests, as is 6:8-7:21, but to all Israel; compare 7:23,29. On some other data less intimately connected with the matter, compare above under 1.

(b) Consecration of priests and related matters (Leviticus 8-10):

In this pericope, as in the following, down to Leviticus 17 inclusive, but especially from Leviticus 11 on, the principle of division on the basis of the number four predominates, in many cases in the details, too; so that this could scarcely be regarded as an accidental feature (compare also the history of Abraham in Genesis 12-26; further, in Exodus 35:4-40:38; and in EXODUS, II, 2, (7); Leviticus 16, under DAY OF ATONEMENT, I, 2, (1)); Deuteronomy 12-26, too, is probably to be divided on this principle, even to the minutest details (compare finally Le 21-22:16; 22:17-30; Le 23 f and 26).

(i) Leviticus 8, treating of the first seven days of the consecration of the priests:

The outline is found in 8:2, namely Aaron, the sacred garments, the anointing oil, the bullock of the sin offering, two rams, unleavened bread (compare 8:6,7,10,14,18,22,26).

(ii) Leviticus 9 the first sacrifices of Aaron and his sons on the 8th day (9:2-4 contain the outline, after the manner of 8:2; compare 9:7,11, the sin offering and the burnt offering of Aaron, with 9:2; also 9:15-18, treating of what the people brought for the sacrifices, with 9:3; but it is to be noticed that the meal offering and the peace offering (9:17,18) are given in inverted order from that found in 9:3 f). Here too we find the number seven, if we add the burnt offering for the morning (9:17).

(iii) 10:1-7, the sin of Nadab and Abihu and their punishment by death; (iv) 10:8-20, ordinances concerning the priests, occasioned by 8:1-10:7 and provided with a new superscription in 10:8, namely 10:8, dealing with the prohibition of the use of wine and intoxicants; 10:9, distinction between the holy and the unholy; 10:12-15, the eating of the sacred oblations; 10:16-20, the treatment of the goat for the sin offering.

(c) Laws Concerning the Clean and Unclean (Leviticus 11-15):

(i) Leviticus 11, treating of clean and unclean animals. The outline of the chief contents is found in 11:46 with a free transposition of one number. There are accordingly four pieces, namely, 11:2-8, quadrupeds; 11:9-12, water animals; 11:13-23, birds (with an appendix, treating of contact with the unclean, 11:24-28, which give a summary of the animals mentioned (see under 1); 11:29-45, the small animals upon the earth (again in four subdivisions, namely, (i) 11:29-38; (ii) 11:39; (iii) 11:41; (iv) 11:44 f).

(ii) Leviticus 12 treats of women in confinement, also in four pieces (12:2-4, birth of a male child; 12:5, birth of a female child; 12:6, purification ceremony; 12:8, ordinances in case of extreme poverty). These parts are not joined logically, but in a rather external manner.

(iii) The passage 13:1-14:53, containing the laws of leprosy, with the subscription in 14:54. (Because seven points are to be enumerated, 14:55 (garments and houses), this is not as in its further exposition separated from the other laws and is placed in their midst.) The exposition contains four pieces, namely, 13:1-44, leprosy on human beings (with concluding 13:45 f), with seven subdivisions, of which the first five longer ones are constructed along fairly parallel lines, and again can be divided into four sub-subdivisions, namely, 13:1-8; 1:9-17; 1:18-23; 1:24-28; 1:29-37; 1:38; 1:40-44. The significance of the number seven for the structure (see (2), (b), i, above) is akin to that found, e.g., in Exodus 24:18 b through 31:18 (see EXODUS, II, 2, (5)); Leviticus 8; 9 (see above); Leviticus 23; 25; and 27; and possibly 26:3-13,14-39 (see below); finally, the whole Book of Ex is divided into seven parts (see EXODUS, II, 1). 13:47-59, leprosy in connection with garments, with four subdivisions, namely 13:47-50; 13:51; 13:53; 13:55. The last subdivision can again be readily separated into four sub-subdivisions, namely, 13:55; 13:56; 13:57; 13:58; 14:1-32, purifications (14:2 being a special superscription), with 4 subdivisions, namely,

(i) 14:2b-3a, the leper before the priest;

(ii) 14:3b-9, the purification ceremonies on the first seven days, again divided into 4 sub-subdivisions:

14:3b; 14:5-7; 14:8; 14:9;

(iii) 14:10-20, the ceremony of the eighth day (4 sacrifices, namely 14:12-18, guilt offering; 14:19a, sin offering; 14:19b, burnt offering; 14:20, meal offering; in the 4 sacrifices (5:12-6:7) there are again 4 different actions:

14:14; 14:15; 14:17; 14:18;

(iv) 14:21-32 (in cases of poverty) 14:33-53, leprosy in houses, with four subdivisions:

14:33-35; 14:36-38; 14:39-42; 14:43-53.

(iv) Leviticus 15, sickness or natural issues, with 4 subdivisions, namely, 15:1-15, checked or running issues together with their purification (15:3-12 contain 12 laws:

15:3; 15:4a; 15:4b; 15:5; 15:6; 15:7; 15:8; 15:9; 15:10a; 15:10b; 15:11; 15:12); 15:16-18, issue of seed; 15:19-24, periods; 15:25-30, other flows of blood and their purification. Leviticus 15:1-15 and 15:16-18 refer to men, and 15:19-24 and 15:25-30 to women; and in addition to these implied suggestions, as 15:1-15 and 15:25-30 to dealing with abnormal issues and their purification ceremonies, 15:16-18 and 15:19-24 deal with normal issues.

(d) The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16):

See IV, 1, (2), 2, and under ATONEMENT, DAY OF.

(e) Uses and significance of the blood of sacrifices (Leviticus 17):

(i) 17:3-7, only one place for killing the Sacrifices and the rejection of all foreign cultures; (ii) 17:8,9, only one place for sacrificing; (iii) 17:10-14, prohibitive of eating the blood; (iv) 17:15, pertaining to carcasses of animals found dead or which have been torn by wild beasts.

Here the form and the contents of the section have been brought into perfect harmony by the author. Leviticus 17:3,8,10,13 begin with same words, and each contains a similar formula in reference to the punishment, while logically 17:10 and 13 are evidently only subdivisions of the third part in 17:10-14, which treats of the prohibition of eating blood. In the fourth division, again, while in substance connected with the rest, there is lacking the formal agreement with the first three divisions.

(f) (g) (Le 18; 19; 20; 21):

These naturally fall each into 2 parts. Leviticus 18-20 contain

(i) Leviticus 18, religious and ethical laws;

(ii) Leviticus 20, laws dealing with punishments.

(f) (i) Religious and ethical laws (Leviticus 18):

(a) Leviticus 18:

Ordinances with reference to marriage and chastity. Leviticus 18:1-5, introductory; 18:6-18, prohibition of marriage between kindred of blood; 18:19-23, prohibition of other sexual sins; 18:24-30, warnings.

The subdivision can perhaps be divided into 10 subordinate parts, if it is permitted to combine the different degrees of relationship mentioned in Leviticus 18:12-14 (namely, 18:7,8,9,10,11,12-14,15,16,17,18). Since it, of itself, manifestly consists of 5 ordinances (18:19,20,21,22,23), this whole section, if we are permitted to divide it into 5 commandments (18:2,3a,3b,4,5) and also into 5 (18:24,26-28,29,30a,30b), would contain 5 X 5 words; but this is uncertain.

(b) Leviticus 19:

various commands of the deepest significance. In order to discover the divisions of this chapter we must note the characteristic formula, "I am Yahweh, your Gods" or a similar expression, which often appears at the beginning and at the end of certain divisions, e.g. in series (1) (9) and (10), but which in the middle series appears in each case only once, and which in all the series is found also at the conclusion.

In this way we can compute 10 tetralogues. Thus after the superscription in 19:2 containing a summary, we have

(i) 19:3,1 (19:3a,3b,4a,4b);

(ii) 19:5-10 (19:5,7,9,10);

(iii) 19:11 f (19:11a,11b(?),11b(?),12);

(iv) 19:13 f (19:13a,13b,14a,14b);

(v) 19:15 f (15a,15b,16a,16b);

(vi) 19:17 f (19:17a,17b,18a,18b);

(vii) 19:19-25 (19:19a,19b,20-22,23-25);

(viii) 19:26-28 (19:26a,26b,27,28),

(ix) 19:29-32 (19:29,30,31,32);

(x) 19:33-36 (19:33,14,35,36); 19:37 constitutes the conclusion of the whole.

(Note that the number ten here is certain in the conviction of the present writer; but he is not quite so sure of the number of subdivisions within the main divisions; we may have to do here with pentalogues and not with tetralogues. If this is the case, then the agreements with Leviticus 18 would under certain circumstances be even greater.)

Possibly groupings of two can yet form a closer union (compare on Exodus 1:1-18:27; 21:1-23:33, EXODUS, II, 2, (1-4)). At any rate (iii) and (iv) can be summarized under the general heading of defrauding one's neighbors; (v) and (vi) under that of observation of the laws; (vii) and (viii) under that of heathen abuses; while (ix) and (x) perhaps intentionally mingle together the religious and cultural and ethical elements, in order thereby already to express that all these things are most intimately connected (but compare also Leviticus 19:12,14,17, in the middle sections). In 19:5,20,23, the author develops his subject somewhat more fully.

(f ii) Laws dealing with punishments (Leviticus 20):

The regulations in reference to punishments stand in such close relation to the contents of Leviticus 18 and to parts of Leviticus 19, that it is absolutely incomprehensible how the Critics can assign these three chapters to different authors. Even if certain regulations of Leviticus 18 are not found here in Leviticus 20:7,10,17 b,18, and even if another order has been followed, this variation, which doubtless also hangs together with a new grouping of the materials, is rather an advantage than a disadvantage for the whole. It is impossible to conceive that a redactor would have altered anything in two entirely parallel and similar texts, or would himself have written a parallel text differing from the other. Leviticus 20 can probably be divided into 4 parts, namely,

(i) 20:1-8, punishments for idolatry and witchcraft with a concluding formula, 20:7;

(ii) 20:9-18, punishment of death for ten crimes, all of which, with the exception of the first, are of a sexual nature (20:9-18). It is a question whether the first in the second group (20:14), i.e. the sixth in the whole series, was intended to be made prominent by the peculiar character of the punishment (burning to death);

(iii) 20:19-21, other sexual sins, with lighter punishments;

(iv) 20:22-27, with 4 subdivisions (warning, 20:22; promise, 20:24; emphatic repetitions of two commands already given, 20:25; (compare with 11:44, and in general with Leviticus 11); and 20:27 with 19:26,31; 20:6). Perfectly certain in this chapter is the fact that the different kinds of punishments are likewise decisive for their order. It is doubtless not to be regarded as accidental that both at the beginning and at the end death by stoning is mentioned.

(g) (Leviticus 21:1-22:33):

(i) Laws concerning the quality of the priests (21:1-22,16); and

(ii) concerning sacred oblations (22:17-30) with the subscription 22:31-33.

(g i) Qualities of priests:

Leviticus 21:1-22:16 in four sections (21:1,10,16; 22:1; note also in 21:18-20 the 12 blemishes; in 22:4-8 the 7 cases of uncleanness).

(g ii) Sacred oblations:

Leviticus 22:17-30 in four sections (22:18-20,21-25,26-28,29 f).

(h) Consecration of seasons, etc. (Leviticus 23; 24):

(i) Leviticus 23, laws for the feasts (7 sections, namely, 23:3,4,6-14,15-22,23-25,26-32,33-36, with the appendix that in every particular suits the connection, in 23:39, added to the feast of the tabernacles);

(ii) 24:1-4, treating of the sacred candlestick, which represents the moral conduct of the Israelites, and for this reason suits admirably in the connection; as this is true also of

(iii) 24:5-9, treating of the showbread, which represents the results of the labor of Israel;

(iv) 24:10-23, containing the report of the punishment of a blasphemer of God and of one who cursed.

Probably the example was made of a person who took the name of God in vain at the time which this chapter describes. But possibly there is a still closer connection to be found with that which precedes. The showbread and the candlestick were found in the holy place, which with its utensils pictured the relation of Israel's character to their God; while the utensils in the Holy of Holies indicated God's relation to His people (compare Hengstenberg, Beitrage, III, 644). But since the holy place, in addition to the showbread and the candlestick, contained only the incense altar, which symbolized the prayers of Israel, and as the blasphemer represents the exact opposite of prayer, it is probable that in 24:10 prayer is indicated by its counterpart. This section consists of 4 parts, namely, 24:10-12; 24:13-14; 24:15-22 (giving a series of punishments for certain wrongdoings which are more or less closely connected with that found in the text); 24:23.

(i) Sabbatic and Jubilee years (Leviticus 25):

Sabbatic and Jubilee years in 7 sections, namely, 25:1-7; 25:8-12; 25:13-28; 25:29-34; 25:35-38; 25:39-46; 25:47-55.

(j) Conclusion:

Curse and blessing (Leviticus 26): The grand concluding chapter, offering a curse and a blessing and containing all the prophetic utterances of later times in a nutshell, namely,

(i) 26:1-2, repetition of four important demands (26:1a,1b,2a,2b);

(ii) 26:3-13, the blessing, possibly to be divided into 7 stages, one more spiritual than the other;

(iii) 26:4-39, the curse, possibly to be divided into seven stages, one more intense than the other (compare also the play on words 7 times repeated, in reference to shabbath, possibly found in 26:34, and certainly found in 26:18,21,24,27 f);

(iv) 26:40-45, the mercy finally shown by Yahweh for His covenant's sake.

(k) Appendix:

Finally, the appendix in Leviticus 27, dealing with vows and tithes, in 7 parts, namely, 27:1-8; 27:9-13; 27:14-15; 27:16-21; 27:26; 27:28-29; 27:30-33.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'LEVITICUS, 1'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.