Chapter 4 the law living out the covenant
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Chapter 4 The Law – Living out the Covenant. Major Concepts Book of Leviticus : Holiness and Ritual Book of Numbers : Priestly Regulations and Inspiring Stories Book of Deuteronomy : The Law and Love On the Brink of the Promised Land. Leviticus: Holiness and Ritual.

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Chapter 4 The Law – Living out the Covenant

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Chapter 4 the law living out the covenant

Chapter 4The Law – Living out the Covenant

Major Concepts

  • Book of Leviticus: Holiness and Ritual

  • Book of Numbers: Priestly Regulations and

    Inspiring Stories

  • Book of Deuteronomy: The Law and Love

  • On the Brink of the Promised Land


Leviticus holiness and ritual

Leviticus: Holiness and Ritual

  • Writer was probably an Israelite priest in the time after the exile when the Temple was being rebuilt

  • Priests were members of the tribe of Levi, who led worship in the Temple

  • A handbook of instructions for Israel’s worship

  • Community worship was critical for the Israelites because it expressed who they were: God’s own beloved people


Chapter 4 the law living out the covenant

  • Ritual was not to be treated lightly - had to be done according to precise instructions

  • Leviticus presents the regulations for rituals as if they came directly from God to Moses and were as if put down during the travel through Sinai

  • Actually written centuries later for worship in the 2nd Temple

  • Writer wanted Jews to see worship in the Temple as related to their daily life in the community


Chapter 4 the law living out the covenant

  • Writer knew that worship is genuine only if it is expressed in how people treat one another

  • In addition to ritual, the book of Leviticus teaches how Jews should live out holiness in their relationships. It encourages:

    • honesty

    • respect

    • tolerance

    • compassion

    • generosity

    • and, reverence


Sacrifices of atonement

Sacrifices of Atonement

  • Leviticus deals with the rituals performed in the Temple

  • The rituals in the first half of the Book, deal with sacrifices of atonement, animal sacrifice, to be done in the temple whenever the Jews sinned against God

  • Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, the High Priest would offer sacrifice in the Holy of Holies to reconcile the whole Jewish people to God


Chapter 4 the law living out the covenant

  • Beginning with the Dispersion of the Jews around 70 C.E., the Jews continued to celebrate Yom Kippur but without the animal sacrifice

  • In the New Testament, the unknown author of Epistle to the Hebrews uses the idea of sacrificial rituals of atonement to give meaning to Jesus’ death and Resurrection:

  • He refers to Jesus as the true High Priest:

    • He offers Himself as the sacrifice

    • His blood is spilled for the people

    • He reconciles all of human-kind to God


The holiness code

The Holiness Code

  • Focus on how true worship is expressed in a person’s everyday life:

    • Leave some of the harvest for gleaning (collection) by the poor

    • Do not withhold the wages of a laborer until the next day

    • Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in the way of the blind

    • Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge; “love your neighbor as yourself”

    • Do not oppress foreigners; treat them as your would your own people (continued on next slide)


The holiness code continued

The Holiness Code - continued

  • Do not fashion dishonest weights and measures (devices used for determining prices)

  • Every fifty years there will be a jubilee – that is, debts are to be canceled, and those who have lost their property are to have the opportunity to redeem it

  • Leviticus reminds us the holiness is not simply a matter of going through all the right prayers and rituals, although these are important


  • Chapter 4 the law living out the covenant

    Love for God, the essence of true worship, is shown in love for one’s neighbor.

    For written homework, due tomorrow, answer the 5 review questions on page 78.

    Read up to and including page 78 in textbook.


    The book of numbers priestly regulations inspiring stories

    The Book of NumbersPriestly Regulations & Inspiring Stories

    • A complex work created by many authors and editors

    • The title comes from the census mentioned early in the book which greatly exaggerated the number of living Israelites

    • The second part of the book was originally called in Hebrew “In the Wilderness” which described the Hebrews’ wandering in the wilderness on the way to Canaan & talks about the Jews’ jealousy, rebellion & greed


    More complaining grumbling

    More Complaining & Grumbling

    • The 2nd part of the Book of Numbers gives a different version about the Jews’ unhappiness than that told in Exodus

    • In this version the people complain about food and disparage the manna given them by God

    • In this version Moses despairs of his own people and asks God to let him die

    • So God sends them food – flocks of quail and many people eat so much many of them die


    The lesson for the israelites

    The Lesson for the Israelites?

    God will provide

    • Especially when things look bleak

    • God will give them far more than they could ever have dreamed of


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