Leviticus

  • Leviticus Facts

    27 chapters
    859 verses
    23,440 words
    Pentateuch Genre

  • Leviticus Word Cloud

    This word cloud picture shows the most repeated words in Leviticus

  • Writings about Leviticus

    Christian education materials about Leviticus, including book overviews, reading guides for the Pentateuch genre, discussion questions, discipleship lessons, and thought-provoking essays.

  • Leviticus Daily Readings

    Start reading or listening to Leviticus and its associated daily readers on Day 32 when Leviticus begins

Daily Reader for Day 38: Leviticus 15 - 16


by Dave Moore

Today we continue in a section dealing with the treatment of various physical issues that would cause someone to be unclean.  I want to remind you again that when the law is dealing with issues of cleanliness and uncleanliness, it’s not reflecting on whether something or someone is a public health risk.  This became evident yesterday when dealing with ailments of the skin.

It’s also important to note that the “clean” and “unclean” designations were not a reflection of an object’s usefulness or of a person’s character.  These designations have to do with a person’s ability to approach the tabernacle.  These commands are embedded with a respectful fear of encountering the majestic power of the LORD.  Everyone approaching the tabernacle was doing so at their own risk. 

Keep this in mind as you read through today’s regulations on bodily emissions.  Men and women who were experiencing quite ordinary functions, whether voluntarily or not, were directed to be sure they were ready to approach the LORD’s tent.  It was not to be taken lightly. 

In chapter 16, there’s a time marker that’s followed by commands for the annual Day of Atonement.  On this day all Israel would cease working while the High Priest approached the LORD and asked for atonement for the sins of the nation. 

Notice that a series of sacrifices and rituals were required before Aaron, the High Priest, could even step inside the veil to the Most Holy Place that contained the Ark and the Mercy Seat. 

Also notice what happens to the two goats.  A few days ago I pointed out that the concept of “confession” was first raised in chapter 5.  Here we find it again over the second goat – called “Azalel” or (as we still call it today), the “Scapegoat.”  Consider what it might mean for the sins of a nation to be commuted onto an animal, which is then released into the wilderness, never to be seen again. 

Our verse for this week is Romans 5:6: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Leviticus chapters 15 and 16.  Now let’s read it!

Leviticus 15 - 16

15:1 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this is the law of his uncleanness for a discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is blocked up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. Every bed on which the one with the discharge lies shall be unclean, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And anyone who touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever sits on anything on which the one with the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches the body of the one with the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And if the one with the discharge spits on someone who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And any saddle on which the one with the discharge rides shall be unclean. And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening. And whoever carries such things shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Anyone whom the one with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And an earthenware vessel that the one with the discharge touches shall be broken, and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.

“And when the one with a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes. And he shall bathe his body in fresh water and shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and come before the LORD to the entrance of the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. And the priest shall use them, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD for his discharge.

“If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening. And every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with water and be unclean until the evening. If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water and be unclean until the evening.

“When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. And if any man lies with her and her menstrual impurity comes upon him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

“If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity. And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. But if she is cleansed of her discharge, she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons and bring them to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the priest shall use one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her before the LORD for her unclean discharge.

“Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”

This is the law for him who has a discharge and for him who has an emission of semen, becoming unclean thereby; also for her who is unwell with her menstrual impurity, that is, for anyone, male or female, who has a discharge, and for the man who lies with a woman who is unclean.

16:1 The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before the LORD and died, and the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. But in this way Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with a bull from the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen coat and shall have the linen undergarment on his body, and he shall tie the linen sash around his waist, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy garments. He shall bathe his body in water and then put them on. And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

“Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the LORD at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.

“Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself. And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die. And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat on the east side, and in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

“Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins. And so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which dwells with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. And he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and consecrate it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.

“And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.

“Then Aaron shall come into the tent of meeting and shall take off the linen garments that he put on when he went into the Holy Place and shall leave them there. And he shall bathe his body in water in a holy place and put on his garments and come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people. And the fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar. And he who lets the goat go to Azazel shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. And the bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp. Their skin and their flesh and their dung shall be burned up with fire. And he who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.

“And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever. And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father's place shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments. He shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Aaron did as the LORD commanded Moses.

(ESV)

Daily Audio Player

Choose a podcast

Choose a day

Who Did This & Why?

You Can Read the Bible is supported by Bellefield Presbyterian Church and blessed with its wonderful volunteers, including: Dave Moore, Jose David Aguilar Posada, Meagan Carter, Fiona Carter, Tanya Carter, Greg Burdette, Madeline Kulp, Andie Young, Justin Ray, Gary Liberati, Maureen Hinchman, Ken MacLeod, John Dolan, Roberto Cantillo, Charlei George, Josh Brown, Jeanne Griffith, Zachary Fritts, Dan Hinchman, Sophia Young, Lynette MacLeod, Gladys Cantillo, Grace Watson, Marianne Seah, Ian MacLeod, Liz Zimmerman, August Hall, Paza Boyd, Kristin Horner, Daniel Young, Paul Griffoen, Ben Moore, Meredith Carter, Bob Willson, Rosie Wagoner, Nick Bersin, Rhonda Hall, Helen Dolby, Emily Moore, Rick Zimmerman, Matt Jones, Kiana Jones, Jane Carter, Marilyn Long, Renee Hairston, Heather Weaver, Carol Williams, Anita Woolley, Andrew Thorpe, Emily Wenz, Matt Carter, and many others.

A special note of thanks to Dave Moore, the Moore family, Maureen Hinchman, the Hinchman family, Jose Posada, the Posada family, and to the Carter family. This would not have happened without your unwavering efforts, sacrifice, and support! Thank you!

We provide You Can Read the Bible in all of its many forms and formats as a ministry service to grow disciples within the church universal. This is not a substitute for your local church community, but it could be a resource to use within your local church and for you personally.

Contact Us