Leviticus 24-27 Chapter Study
We’ll be finishing up Leviticus tonight, then getting in to the first chapters of Numbers.
For those who are new to CC, our plan of study is to cover 2 OT books, then a book of the NT.
So far we’ve looked at Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, and now, we’re wrapping up Leviticus.
When we’ve finished Numbers in a few weeks, we’ll be studying Mark.
Someone asked me last week why seem to be rushing to finish Leviticus.
The Children’s classes are trying to parallel where we are in our study. So I gave Suzanne a schedule of how long we’ll be in each book.
Usually, I don’t know how long it will take to get through a book, we just study through and end where we end, based on the time we have each night.
Also, we’re summarizing a good portion of what we find in these last chapters of Leviticus because it’s a repeat of material we’ve already looked at. We see that in our first chapter tonight -
In vs. 1-4, God tells Moses how the golden lamp in the tabernacle in the tabernacle is to be tended.
That is the daily duty of the high priest and he is only to use the purest olive oil.
In vs. 5-9, instructions are given for how to bake the memorial loaves that go on the table of showbread across from the golden lampstand.
The best flour was used to make 12 loaves which were stacked in two columns of 6 each. They were to be replaced once a week.
The lampstand represented the Nation of Israel as they gave light to the world by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
The Table of showbread represented the Nation in their unity before the Lord.
Now we have an interesting little story in the middle of the giving of the Law.
10Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian,
went out among the children of
not clear if the man’s Egyptian father was with them or if he’d remained behind
In Exodus 12:38 we read that when the Jews left Egypt a “mixed multitude” of other nationalities went out with them, so it’s possible this man was among them.
In any case, these 2 guys came to blows and 1 of them profaned the name of God in some manner – exactly how isn’t made clear.
The point is, it was a clear violation of the laws regarding the misuse of God’s name which had just recently been given.
They arrested the guy and waited to hear from Moses what God’s counsel for his punishment would be.
13And the Lord spoke to
Moses, saying, 14“Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let
all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation
stone him. 15“Then you shall
speak to the children of
man’s blasphemy, coming so soon after the giving of the law prohibiting it, was
an indication of a waywardness of heart that could only bring great spiritual
corruption and harm to the camp of
The only remedy was to take the guy outside the camp and have as many people as possible participate in his execution.
Do you think this would put a caution in their minds about blasphemy?
17‘Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death. 18Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal.
19‘If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him—20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. 21And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death. 22You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the Lord your God.’”
This establishes the principle of lex talionis, or equal justice, not vengeful retribution.
What marks this as so radically different from the legal milieu of the day was that the same law was to be applied to foreigners as to the Jews.
This was simply unheard of in the ancient world.
23Then Moses spoke to the children of
In this chapter, God installs
a practice in the economic system of
It was a healthy check on the tendency toward greed that can overpower some. It was the Law of the Sabbath year.
1And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord. 3Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; 4but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, 7for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land—all its produce shall be for food.
Every 7th year, the fields were to lie fallow & not be replanted with seed.
The people were to harvest only what came up out of its own accord.
This Sabbath year became a real test of the people’s faith in God for they had to depend on God’s favor in the production of food when they hadn’t done any preparation for it.
In numerous studies that have been done, it’s been discovered that when fields, orchards, & vineyards are placed on this 7 year cycle, that year in which the ground is not tilled allows the soil to replenish naturally, the plants to maximize their fruitfulness, and the top soil is renewed & not washed off in the spring & winter rains.
This 7 year cycle negates the need for fertilizer, and the crops tend to be more hardy and pest & blight resistant.
Just as man needs a rest 1 day out of every 7, so the land needs a rest 1 year out of every 7.
From the time of King Saul
until the Babylonian captivity, the people of
In vs. 8-17 God gives instructions for a special Sabbath year, called the Year of Jubilee.
8‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. 13‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.
Every 50th year was a special year in which slaves were given their freedom, all lands reverted to their original owners, and debts were cancelled.
In the allotment of the land under Joshua, each family was given a specific plot of land.
The Jews were to understand that the Land belonged to God and that He had given their specific allotment to them and their descendants forever.
Lands could not be sold or lost through debt.
They could be rented out, and a man could become like an indentured servant through debt, but every 50 years, all lands were returned to their original owners and all debtors were discharged of their debts.
This meant that all financial
18‘So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety.
20‘And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?” 21Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.
This is a simple and straight-forward promise – trust God!
It meant that by faith they would leave off the plowing and sowing in the beginning of the 7th year.
23‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine;
for you are strangers and sojourners with
This is referring to the practice of Jubilee.
Interesting that God says the land is His, and yet, even though He is giving it to them, they are still strangers and visitors who are merely traveling through.
God says that because for the People of God in every age, this world is NOT our home – Heaven is our real home!
Hebrews 11:13-16 • 13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
One of the greatest yearnings of the human heart is the longing for fulfillment, for satisfaction.
There’s an inner hunger that isn’t satisfied by food.
People pursue all kinds of things in their pursuit of the elusive goal of being finally satisfied.
Success in business, in sports, fame, wealth, sex, romance, entertainment, pleasure.
There is seemingly an endless number of ways people try to scratch the itch of being satisfied.
And while they may find a moment or two in which they think they’ve finally laid hold of the prize, they can never hang on to it – it always slips away.
The reason for that is because God didn’t make us for this world – He made us for Himself and this world is simply the stage on which He intends us to find Him.
Christian – listen you will never find satisfaction in the offerings of this world – never!
Yes, there are joys to experience here, but all of them are only meant to whet our appetite for the ultimate Joy of our real home in heaven.
Psalm 16:11 • You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Christian – remember, you are a stranger, a traveler here. This world is not your home. Don’t try to find satisfaction in the things of this world.
25‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.
If a man who’d fallen into debt had rented out his land to another to pay off his debt, a relative, known as the goel, the kinsman-redeemer, could redeem the land for him before the Year of Jubilee.
Can you think of a story in the Bible that tells about a kinsman-redeemer who redeemed land for a relative?
In the Book of Ruth, Ruth’s Mother in Law, Naomi
had a husband who leased his land out and then moved to
His two sons married Moabite women, then all three men of the family died.
When Naomi returned to
The two women could not afford to redeem the land, so they approached a relative named Boaz to do it for them.
Boaz fell in love with Ruth, and when he went to redeem the land discovered that there was a goel closer to Naomi than he.
Can you think of another Bible story that tells about a kinsman-redeemer who redeemed land for a relative?
Jesus! He is our kinsman-redeemer, related to us by birth as a man, who came to redeem us from the slave market of sin and to reclaim our lost heritage - Planet Earth!
29‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee.
The rule of redemption with the house in a city was different because such possessions were not a part of the ancestral allotment of the family.
31However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.
Unwalled village houses were different because these were located ON the ancestral lands.
32Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time.
The Levites were not given plots of land as the other tribes were.
The only allotment they were given were these houses in the Cities of Refuge scattered throughout the land.
We’ll learn all about the cities of refuge in a later study.
33And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was
sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the
houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the
Around the priestly cities of refuge were common lands that were cultivated by the priests. These lands could not be sold since they belonged to the cities.
35‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you,
then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with
you. 36Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that
your brother may live with you. 37You shall not lend him your money
for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of
the land of Egypt, to give you the
In vs. 39-46, God says that while Jewish servants had to be given their freedom in the Year of Jubilee and that they had to be treated kindly, more as an employee than a slave – foreign slaves could be kept permanently.
vs. 47-55, God says that any foreigner who happens to live in
If he has a Jewish servant, he must let him go in the 50th year and if any of the servant’s close relatives wants to redeem him earlier than Jubilee, the foreign master has to let him go.
Now we get some general blessings for obedience & curses for disobedience.
1 You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.
2 You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.
3 ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,
4 then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5 Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land.
7 You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.
8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.
9 ‘For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.
10 You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.
11 I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.
12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.
No real comment is need here – this explains itself.
14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments,
15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant,
16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
This happened time and again in the period of the Judges.
17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me,
Meaning if they STILL will not obey Him.
then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
The curses of vs. 14-17 were like a first round of trouble meant to wake them up and cause them to repent of their having forsaken God.
we’re reading here is unique to
Each of both the blessings and curses mentioned
here were visited on the land and people in the history of
God has not entered into such a national covenant with any other nation.
And yet, the principles of God’s will revealed by the Law of Moses still stand and apply in a general way to every nation and era of history.
Leviticus is a legal code that reveals the holiness of God.
That holiness imperative stands for all people and nations.
If a people would know God’s favor, they must seek to follow His reveled will.
If they want to experience His opposition, then all they have to do is resist His authority.
It’s been well said that while God judges individuals in the afterlife, because nations only exist in the here & now, they are judged in history, in this life.
This means that any nation which knowingly rejects the will & counsel of God will know His judgment & wrath.
this in mind, and think about post 9/11
19 I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.
20 And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
This is the second round of trouble God will bring.
National pride over military might will diminish while environmental problems expand & crops fail.
If this round of trouble doesn’t turn people around, another will come . . .
21 ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.
22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.
Nature will turn on man. I’m thinking now of the recent news of how old diseases are making a comeback and how mountain lions are killing hikers right here in our own backyards.
Again, another round of trouble comes . . .
23 ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me,
24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Foreigners will invade and lay waste to large portions of the population.
This happened to
26 When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.
Meager portions – famine.
27 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me,
28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
29 You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.
30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.
31 I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas.
32 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.
33 I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest—for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.
of this happened to
Instead of turning to the Lord, she turned to her idols with ever greater abandon.
36 ‘And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues.
37 They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
38 You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
39 And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.
In the Jewish mind, the very worst thing that could happen to them as a people would be to die off childless in a foreign land.
This would be their fate if they didn’t repent and return to the Lord.
40 But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.
44Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them;
for I am the Lord their God.
45But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God:
I am the Lord.’”
46These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the
If the people would but turn to the Lord in genuine repentance, then He would return to them and regather them into the Land.
is also what happened after they spent 70 years in
We are seeing a last days fulfillment of this in
our own time as the Jews are returning to
1Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When a man consecrates by a vow certain persons to the Lord, according to your valuation, 3if your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 4If it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels; 5and if from five years old up to twenty years old, then your valuation for a male shall be twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels; 6and if from a month old up to five years old, then your valuation for a male shall be five shekels of silver, and for a female your valuation shall be three shekels of silver; 7and if from sixty years old and above, if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels. 8‘But if he is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall set a value for him; according to the ability of him who vowed, the priest shall value him.
Only the priests could serve the Lord in the rituals of religious service.
was no place for ambition to be a priest in
So what about the person from one of the other tribes who wanted to give him/herself completely to the Lord?
God placed a specific monetary value on men & women of different ages, & so capacities.
If they wanted to consecrate themselves to the Lord, they could do so by paying this amount to one of the priests.
It was simply a way for a person to symbolically give themselves over to God.
The amounts God mentions were no meager sum.
In vs. 9-28 we find that anything vowed to God, whether animals, lands, houses, or any possession, had to be given, or could be redeemed at an additional 20% along with the amount evaluated for it by the priest.
29No person under the ban, who may become doomed to destruction among men, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death.
Anyone consigned to death had to be executed; there was no buying his freedom.
30And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. 33He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’”
The word “tithe” means “tenth.”
One tenth of all their income, in whatever form it came, was to be given to the Lord.
If a person wanted to give money in place of a tithed thing, then a 20% surcharge was added to its value.
34These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of
What’s really mind-bending is to discover that in the Galilean schools of Jesus’ day, Jewish children memorized the entire book of Leviticus during 2nd grade!
Vander Laan, Ray – “What is a Disciple?” Audio message given at