Saturday, 16 April 2016

Leviticus 11-15

Here's how the study works: Read the chapters mentioned in the heading during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for several chapters creates the opportunity to revisit them and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

11:2 Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat …'

We focus on what we can't do but God focus on what we can do.

Commentators differ on why some animals are designated 'clean' or 'unclean'. Reasons tend to fall into 6 categories: 1. Arbitrary 2. Cultic (associated with pagan practices) 3. Hygiene 4. Aesthetic 5. Ethical 6. Symbolic.

There is a threefold division of animals into clean, unclean and sacrificial. Symbolically these parallel to Jews, non-Jews and priests. In the New Testament the Jews appear to regard their food laws as symbolic of the division between themselves and Gentiles (Acts 10:14 & 28). Therefore the abolition of these laws under the New Covenant illustrates the fact that by his death Jesus has broken down the wall of partition that separated Jews and Gentiles (Constable's Commentary).

Susan said...

12:4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over.

These laws ensured that women rested after giving birth.

Leviticus 11-16 has numerous parallels to the pattern of Genesis 1-11. These instructions seem to relate to Genesis 3 and the curse involving childbirth (Constable's Commentary).

Susan said...

13:46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

This is fairly drastic and parallels Adam and Eve leaving the Garden. "Every man who was diagnosed as unclean suffered a similar fate [to Adam and Eve]" (Constable's Commentary).

Under the new covenant Jesus has purified us from all unrighteousness by his blood.

Susan said...

14:20 … and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for them, and they will be clean.

Five times the phrase "will be clean" appears in this chapter. God made a way for people to be made clean in the past (sacrifice & ritual), clean in the present (Jesus Christ) and clean in the future when the curse will be lifted.

Susan said...

15:31 You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.

(Schulz & Harrison in Constable's Commentary) "The banning of the sexual and the sensual from the presence of God may have been one of the most noteworthy characteristics of Israel's religion uniquely distinguishing it from the other religions of the ancient Near East … This contingency separated sexual activity from cultic worship in a unique manner and this precluded the orgiastic worship that was so much a part of religion among people like the Canaanites."