Understanding the Old Testament - Lesson 8


Leviticus, the third book in the Pentateuch, is divided into sections focusing on matters pertaining to the Levites, particularly the priestly and sacrificial system established under the Mosaic Sinai covenant. It spans the period when Israel camped at Mount Sinai for about a year. Throughout the book, the theme of holiness pervades, emphasizing total dedication to God and moral purity. Leviticus also anticipates the gospel by portraying Jesus as the ultimate priest, sacrifice, and source of holiness, providing a framework for understanding His redemptive mission.

Miles Van Pelt
Understanding the Old Testament
Lesson 8
Watching Now

I. Background and Context

A. Introduction to Leviticus

B. Historical and Cultural Context

C. Authorship and Purpose

II. Contents of Leviticus

A. Sacrificial System (Leviticus 1-7)

1. Burnt Offering

2. Grain Offering

3. Peace Offering

4. Sin Offering

5. Guilt Offering

B. Installation of the Priests (Leviticus 8-10)

1. Anointing and Sacrifice

2. Death of Aaron's Sons

C. Laws of Impurity (Leviticus 11-15)

1. Various Causes of Impurity

2. Regulations for Purification

D. Laws of Holiness (Leviticus 16-27)

1. Day of Atonement

2. Covenant Blessings and Curses

III. Themes in Leviticus

A. Holiness

B. Day of Atonement

C. Love Your Neighbor

IV. Gospel in Leviticus

A. Jesus as Priest

B. Jesus as Sacrifice

C. Jesus as Holiness

V. Understanding Leviticus

A. Significance of Sacrifices

B. Chiasm Structure

C. Interpretation of Holiness

  • Engage with the Old Testament to grasp its Gospel-centered nature. From Genesis to Ecclesiastes and Psalms, discover foundational truths, wisdom, and insights on suffering. Strengthen your faith and find enduring hope in God's Word.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament's theological core, centering on Jesus Christ. Explore its diverse genres, languages, and authors, unified by Jesus as its focal point. Understand how biblical evidence supports Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, shaping interpretation.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides the thematic framework for the Old Testament. The Old Testament's thematic core is the Kingdom of God. Through this lesson, you'll understand its covenantal nature, from pre-temporal arrangements to various administrations like redemption, works, and grace, unveiling God's salvation plan in Christ.
  • Discover the intricate covenantal structure of the Bible, revealing its theological depth and unity, from the division of the Hebrew Bible to its mirroring in the New Testament, all centered around Jesus Christ.
  • Gain insight into the Pentateuch's covenantal structure, Moses' authorship debate, and evidence supporting it. Understand its significance as the foundation of Israel's relationship with God and its relevance for biblical theology.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the theological, structural, and thematic intricacies of the book of Genesis. You'll grasp its role as a foundational text in both the Old and New Testaments, exploring themes of covenant, creation, fall, redemption, and the fulfillment of promises. You'll gain insights into the genealogical structure of Genesis, its portrayal of key biblical figures like Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and its connection to the overarching narrative of the gospel.
  • Exodus reveals Yahweh's promise—"I will be with you"—unfolding divine presence and covenant. It anticipates Jesus as fulfillment—a better Moses and Tabernacle—ushering in God's eternal presence among humanity.
  • Studying Leviticus unveils the intricate system of laws and rituals at Mount Sinai. It explains sacrificial atonement, priestly consecration, purity laws, and the theme of holiness, prefiguring Jesus as the ultimate priest, sacrifice, and source of holiness.
  • Discover the Book of Numbers' insights on Israel's journey, God's faithfulness, consequences of disobedience, and parallels to Christ, cautioning against questioning God's holiness and emphasizing His desire to dwell among His people through the Holy Spirit.
  • Gain insight into Deuteronomy's covenant renewal for Israel entering Canaan, emphasizing obedience, typology, and its relevance for Christian living.
  • Gain deep insight into the former prophets, exploring themes of Yahweh's faithfulness, Israel's unfaithfulness, and the typological significance of the Mosaic covenant. Understand its relation to the Abrahamic covenant and its fulfillment in the New Covenant under Jesus, revealing God's plan for restoration.
  • Joshua unveils Joshua's leadership, divine promise fulfillment in Canaan, obedience's significance, and Jesus as the ultimate fulfiller of God's promises.
  • Discover the Book of Judges, detailing Israel's history and faith journey. Learn about judges as deliverers from oppression and idolatry, portraying parallels with Christ's ministry. Uncover a pattern of uncreation due to idolatry, emphasizing the need for an eternal judge—Jesus Christ—to save from corruption.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides insights into the book of Samuel, exploring its characters, themes, and the transition from judgeship to kingship in Israel. Learn of the significance of the Davidic covenant, culminating in Jesus as the ultimate King of Kings.
  • Gain insights into the Book of Kings, revealing its historical and theological significance. Discover the fulfillment of Davidic covenant, reasons for Israel's exile, and anticipation of the new covenant. Recognize Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of its promises.
  • This lesson reviews latter prophets' insights into Israel's exile for breaking the Mosaic Covenant, the prophetic office's nature, diverse prophecy genres, and the execution of covenant lawsuits, all pointing to God's judgment and hope for restoration.
  • Explore Isaiah's profound prophetic themes, from redemption to impending judgment. Unravel his life and ministry's context, review the debate around authorship, and learn essential tools for study.
  • Enjoy this lesson on Jeremiah, a second Moses figure, and his prophetic message of repentance, redemption, and a new covenant. Explore the book's chiastic structure, historical context, and theological significance, offering hope amidst Judah's fall.
  • Studying Ezekiel reveals its focus on the glory of the Lord and the temple. You learn of Ezekiel's exile, his visions, and themes like covenant theology, creation, and apocalyptic elements, offering profound insights into hope amidst crisis.
  • Discover insights into the minor prophets' diverse genres and themes, from covenant infidelity to divine restoration. Witness Jonah's repentance narrative and prophetic visions culminating in Christ's fulfillment. Embrace Yahweh's justice and compassion, urging Israel's return, leading to Jesus as the ultimate authority.
  • Understand the structure and themes of the Hebrew Bible's writings section. Explore diverse literary forms, intentional divisions mirroring prophets, and the overarching theme of exile and return, illuminating Israel's covenant journey.
  • Discover the depth of the Book of Psalms: 150 songs divided into 5 books, expressing diverse emotions and worship forms. Explore themes, structure, and practical applications for personal devotion and prayer.
  • Gain insights into human suffering and theodicy through Job's trials. Explore themes of faith, resilience, and God's sovereignty amidst adversity. Discover hope in God's incomprehensible sovereignty amid life's trials.
  • Proverbs is a book of timeless wisdom from Solomon, who was gifted by God. By studying this book, you can learn to navigate life with righteousness and discernment, rooted in the fear of the Lord.
  • Journey through Ruth, where redemption, loyalty, and divine providence intertwine. Ruth, a symbol of strength, aligns with Boaz, embodying ancient customs. Their union shapes history, reflecting the enduring legacy of faith amidst life's complexities.
  • Explore the Song of Songs for insights into marriage and intimacy. It navigates the tension between true love and temptation, advocating for unwavering commitment and passionate intimacy, reflecting God's desired relationship. Discover timeless wisdom for modern-day love and marriage.
  • Ecclesiastes reveals life's futility without God, emphasizing the necessity of fearing Him. Through Solomon's wisdom, it prompts reflection on divine purpose amid existential questions.
  • In Lamentations, mourn the fall of Jerusalem and exile, finding hope in God's sovereignty.
  • The book of Esthers contains themes of providence, hiddenness of God, and faithfulness in exile. You will uncover the intricacies of Esther and Mordecai's roles in the deliverance of the Jewish people, as well as the establishment of the festival of Purim. This study will equip you with insights into how God's providence operates amidst human events, even when His presence may seem concealed, and how faithfulness in exile can lead to unexpected outcomes of deliverance and restoration.
  • Through this lesson on the book of Daniel, you'll gain insights into its structure, themes of faithfulness in exile, comparisons with Joseph, and its significance for understanding apocalyptic literature, providing a comprehensive understanding of God's sovereignty and care for His people.
  • Explore Ezra and Nehemiah for insights into post-exilic restoration, intertwining faith, governance, and cultural renewal. These books point towards a deeper longing for true and lasting restoration and echo themes found in apocalyptic literature such as the book of Revelation.
  • The Book of Chronicles traces Israel's history, emphasizing kingship, priesthood, and divine selection. It anticipates restoration, pointing to Jesus as the ultimate priest-king who fulfills God's promises.

Understanding the Old Testament 
Dr. Miles Van Pelt
Lesson Transcript

We are now in our lecture for the book of Leviticus. Leviticus is the third book in the Pentateuch or the first section of the Hebrew Bible. Its Hebrew name is vayikra, translated into English as And He Called, which is simply the first words of the book. And that's how Hebrew would name these books, the first words or the first significant set of words in the book. But the English word Leviticus means something like matters pertaining to the Levites. It captures much of what the contents of the book with the priest and sacrificial system instituted under the Mosaic Sinai covenant stand for. So Leviticus, think of Levites and all that they do, the Levitical matters of sacrifice and purity. There is no narrative progression in the book of Leviticus. That is, Israel is going to be camped at Mount Sinai, receiving the law of God. There's no movement. There's no narrative flow, getting closer to the promised land or not.

Israel is camped at Sinai for approximately one year. And this single year begins in Exodus 19 and runs through Leviticus, and even through the book of Numbers chapter 10, when all of Israel will begin 40 years of wilderness wandering. OK, note, that Leviticus has 27 chapters and 859 verses. And it's all about this one year at Mount Sinai, followed by 10 more chapters in the book of Numbers. OK, that is 58 chapters of biblical text for a single year in the history of Israel. This is called historical focus. Think about this. The book of Genesis begins by describing the beginning of the world and runs through the patriarchs with Joseph and the 12 patriarchs going down into Egypt about 1876. So thousands or thousands and thousands of years. The book of Exodus records 80 years, the first two big sections of Moses's life with a focus on the third section there, the beginning of the third section. So you've got 120 years maybe in the book of Exodus or something like that. Leviticus, all the way from Leviticus and Numbers to Numbers chapter 10, one year, one year in the chapter, or one year in the life of Israel.

The purpose of Leviticus is to promote the holiness of God's people. The priests mediate the presence of God and the sacrificial system for two things. One, to atone for sin, and two, to provide the means of fellowship or communion with God. If God is going to be with his people, then his people have to be in a certain state to be with him. Thus, this system has both positive and negative aspects, communion, but also sacrifice, and purity. The book of Exodus laid the foundation for the biblical theme of divine presence. The book of Leviticus provides the system that allows for a holy God to dwell among an unholy people, priestly mediation, and sacrifice. 

In terms of genre, law or legislation constitutes the largest part of Leviticus, though there are some historical narratives as well in chapters 8 through 10. So we're going to be getting a lot of cleanliness laws, this makes you clean, this makes you unclean, purity laws, here's how to be pure, here's how what happens when you're impure, and then sacrificial systems.

We've covered date and authorship in our introductory lectures. We're arguing Moses, 1446 to 1406, with someone like Ezra revising and updating it about 400 BC. Outlining contents.

In terms of basic content, we're going to have several different things. The sacrificial system, the installation of the priests, laws of impurity, laws of holiness. Four big sections. The sacrificial system, the installation of the priests, laws of impurity, laws of holiness. 

The first section. The sacrificial system is found in Leviticus 1 to 7. There are five offerings described and provided for in Leviticus 1 to 7. The burnt offering, the grain offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. You might think reading through these offerings is kind of boring, but here's what they do. They tell you two things. One, that you're a sinner in need of a sacrifice. And two, that God wants you to be in his presence and he's providing you with how to be forgiven and enter into his presence. Okay, let's take a look briefly at each of these five offerings. 

First is the burnt offering. The burnt offering is a sacrifice that offers atonement for sin. The animal is killed and consumed by the fire. So sometimes it's called a whole burnt offering because all of it is burnt up since it represents the sinner who needs to restore his relationship with God. The worshiper identifies with the animal by laying his hands on his head before it is killed, meaning, this animal is dying in my place. It should be me here, but God is accepting this animal on my behalf. The burnt offering is an atonement offering. 

The second one is a grain offering. The grain offering is also listed as a gift or tribute offering because the Hebrew term means gift or tribute. The grain may be uncooked or cooked in various forms. A portion of the grain is taken and mixed with incense and burned as a gift to God. The rest is given to the priests. And this is how the priests would earn their living. They would receive part of the offering because Yahweh was their inheritance. The grain offering.

The third offering is the peace offering. The name is related to the word for shalom, meaning peace. As opposed to the burnt offering, only part of the animal is burned on the altar. The rest is enjoyed by the worshipers themselves in the context of fellowship. So sometimes the peace offering is called a fellowship offering because it is designed to promote communion with God. So here's what you do.You would take an animal or livestock. You would take it to the priest. Part of it would be burned on the altar to Yahweh. Part of it would be given to the priest for his portion. And then you would eat it there in the presence of God as a fellowship offering. Once you had offered your burnt offering, Yahweh wanted to eat and commune with you.And so you had a peace offering there in that particular category. It was the meal of fellowship. 

Next is the sin offering. The sin offering is connected in large part to when you break ritual purity laws and therefore sometimes called a purification ritual. You would make these sin offerings when you became ritually impure by touching a dead body, having some kind of skin disease, something like that, or blood flow issues. That's the sin offering.

And finally, the guilt offering. The guilt offering involves a violation of any of the Lord's holy things. It also appears that one can put a monetary value on the sin since restitution is called for plus a 20% penalty. For this reason, the sacrifice is sometimes called a reparation offering. So a burnt offering, a grain offering, a peace offering, a sin offering, and a guilt offering. 

There are two basic functions. One, to atone for sin, and two, to have fellowship with God. And so to have fellowship with God, you've got to take care of the sin issue. So you can see the two aspects of those offerings in the Levitical system in Leviticus 1 through 7. 

In Leviticus 8 through 10, the second section, you get the installation of the priests. There's anointing, sacrifice, and then the death of Aaron's sons because of offering strange fire. Aaron and his sons are set apart for service in the holy place. They are given priestly garments and are anointed with oil to identify them with the Tabernacle and set them apart to be in the presence of God. They offer sacrifices to atone for their sins. 

This section also includes the tragic story of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, who offer unauthorized fire before the Lord.God responds by consuming them with fire, thus serving as a warning for the dangers of the priesthood. That is, you could not do these sacrifices in any other way than was stipulated in the first seven chapters of Leviticus. So you get the installation of the priests, but also a warning that any violation of those rules has major consequences associated with them.

Chapters 11 through 15 in this book deal with laws of impurity. Laws of impurity such as impure food, clean and unclean, childbirth, leprosy, and bodily discharges. This is an entire list of what makes you unfit to be in Yahweh's presence or among his people. Now you might think, you know, chapters 11 through 15 are not very fun to read, but here's what they're teaching you. They're teaching you that because of sin, you are so stained that it's almost impossible to enter into Yahweh's presence on your terms. You need atonement and you need to know what makes you clean and unclean. It's like when new mothers read books about the dangers of childbirth. You know, there are 4,000 ways in which something can go wrong. And so every time a child is born, it's a miracle. In the same way, 4,000 things can make us impure before the Lord. So the fact that we have a path to approach the throne of grace with boldness is a miracle. That's how we have to read these laws.

Finally, the last section is the laws of holiness in Leviticus 16 to 27, where we have the day of atonement, sacrifices, issues related to the consumption of blood, sexual behavior, civil and religious life, priests, holy things, offerings, feasts, tabernacle supplies, retribution, and Sabbath years. That is how to conduct yourselves in this new theocratic economy with you having the Tabernacle built and Yahweh now dwelling in its midst from Exodus chapter 40. The first chapter of this section details the ritual day of atonement. This day is the only time anyone can enter the holy of holies, the day of atonement. And it can only be the high priest to purify the holy place from all the sins that have accumulated for the past year, the day of atonement. These sins are seen as being offered or carried off by the scapegoat that is driven out into the wilderness.

Here's how it works on the day of atonement. There are two goats brought in, hands are laid on them. One goat gets sacrificed as a means of atonement and the other goat gets sent out into the wilderness to be saying that all these sins have been taken away out of God's presence. And now the people are free to worship. The last two chapters in this section detail covenant blessings and curses. In the last part of the book of Leviticus, we get covenant blessings and covenant curses in Leviticus 26. Blessings in verses 1 through 13, curses in verses 14 to 39, the issue of repentance in 40 to 45, and then the conclusion in 46, which says these are the statutes and the judgments and the laws that Yahweh gave between Him and between the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses. Meaning this, we have the Mosaic economy and we have this covenant between Yahweh and his people and there are blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience, which means that in the Mosaic economy, there is built in this principle of works. That there was in the garden, the covenant between God and Adam, there's a principle of works. Fulfill the cultural mandate and don't eat from the tree. And they ate from the tree and they experienced the curse. A similar type of arrangement is here. It's being replayed out again. Israel is a new Adam. Canaan is a new Eden. And Israel is allowed to live in that land and to flourish in that land and experience blessings by obedience, but they don't. And so we need someone who can obey on their behalf or on our behalf to do it. You'll see how that comes into play later in the New Testament.

The fact that there are covenant blessings and curses reminds us of the nature of obedience and the significance of sin in the life of God's people. This moves us into specific texts or issues that are important to the book of Leviticus. As we finish up, number one is that the keyword in the book of Leviticus is holiness, either the noun of holy, the adjective holiness, or the verb to be holy. Okay, these three words occur 758 times in the Hebrew Bible. 143 of them appear in the book of Leviticus. That's almost 20 percent. More than any other book in the Old Testament. 100 times in Exodus, 75 times in Numbers, and 69 times in Isaiah, all books as big or bigger. And in Leviticus, it's 143 times.

Consider the expansive nature of this theme in Exodus through Numbers. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, where you have 318 occurrences of the total. That is, in these three books, you have 42 percent of all the holiness words in the Hebrew Bible, 42 percent, with Yahweh enthroned on Mount Sinai. Key verses for holiness, include Leviticus 11:45, "For I'm Yahweh who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, in order, that's the purpose of all this, is that so you should be holy because I am holy." Leviticus 19 too, "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, say to them, you must be holy for I, Yahweh your God, am holy."

Now, when we think about holiness, I want you to think about this, we normally think about holiness as moral purity. But really, holiness is total consecration or dedication to something or someone. For example, to be holy in the context of marriage is for a husband to be completely devoted and faithful to his wife and the wife to be completely devoted and faithful to her husband. That's what holiness is. And holiness produces good morality. So, normally we think about the fruit of holiness being moral or right, but really, holiness is the devotion that you have to someone or something. And so, when Yahweh here is saying, be holy because I am holy, he's saying, you be devoted to me 100 percent because I'm devoted to you 100 percent. We're going to pick up that theme again in the book of Isaiah, it's an important distinction to make in our thinking of holiness. 

The second kind of key term or thing going on in the book of Leviticus is the whole nature of the day of atonement. This is the only time anyone can enter the holy of holies and it's at the center of the book of Leviticus. There is this chiastic arrangement in Leviticus where you have chapters 1 through 7 being considered sacrifices, then in Leviticus 23 to 27, festivals, and sacred times. Then you have some instructions about the priesthood in 11 to 15, and the legislation for priesthood in 21 to 20. Then you have some clean and unclean things in 11 to 15 and 17 to 20. And right in the middle of this chiasm is the day of atonement, the day of atonement. Once a year with the sacrifice of a bull as a sin offering. Here is the method, Leviticus 16:21 The purpose is this, the place where Yahweh dwells because of the uncleanness of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions or sins, all their sins. And so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which dwells with them amid their uncleanness. So it's purity. It's how God dwells among his people.

The last theme that we have here that we want to talk about that's significant for the book of Leviticus is love your neighbor. We know that Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. This theme comes up in all places you would never think, the book of Leviticus. Holiness, consecration to God means that you are consecrating in a particular way to your brothers and sisters around you to love your neighbor. So for example, Leviticus 19.18 says, "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh." Or Leviticus 19:34, "You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself." And that's where we get Jesus saying in Mark 12, "Jesus answered the most important is this once again, Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength. And the second is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." In Deuteronomy, we'll talk about the 10 commandments or the 10 words, and they can summarize them like this. How should you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? And how do you love your neighbor as yourself? And that summarizes the whole law.

Finally, how is the book of Leviticus considered the gospel promised beforehand? And in this way, we know, number one, Jesus is a true and better priest. Number two, Jesus is the true and better sacrifice. And number three, Jesus is our true and better holiness. 

Number one, Jesus is the true and better priest. Hebrews 4:14, "Since then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Jesus, son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in the time of need." Jesus is the true and better priest. 

Two, Jesus is the true and better sacrifice.Again, Hebrews 7, "For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, think of Leviticus, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a son who has been made perfect forever." Jesus is our true and better sacrifice. 

Three, Jesus is our true and better holiness. This is something that we see in the gospels during the earthly life of Jesus.In Leviticus, a person can become unclean and unholy by coming into contact with unclean animals, people, or vessels. There are a million ways to become unclean in the Old Testament. However, in the life of Jesus, that which is unclean or unholy becomes clean by coming into contact with Jesus. Consider Matthew 11:5, when John the Baptist is asking about it, and they say, the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor have good news preached to them. These curses are being reversed. In Matthew 5:24-29, "A large crowd followed and pressed around him, that is Jesus, and a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better, she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, which should have made Jesus unclean, because she thought, if I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. And immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering." Jesus is our true and better cleanness. When we come in contact with Jesus, our uncleanness doesn't make him unclean, his cleanness makes us clean. 

And this is the gospel of Leviticus.

Questions? Two questions. I've heard Leviticus referred to almost in messianic terms, that it's helping us understand what happened on the cross. Are you comfortable with that? Yes, because what it shows us is that we have sinned, we need a sacrifice to be in God's Temple presence, and that's the messianic mission of Jesus, to be not just the priest, but the sacrifice itself.

And so we talk about the offices of Jesus as a prophet, priest, and king. That priest is a double thing. Not only does he mediate God's presence, but he undergoes the wrath of God's presence as that sacrifice.

The other question I had was on the whole efficacy of sacrifice. When I read in Leviticus, it says, if you do these things, your sins will be forgiven. If you do this, your sins will be forgiven.And then in Hebrews 10:4, it says, it's impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. So who's right? Yes, they're both right, because in the Mosaic economy, that covenant, it's a type or a shadow of the greater one. And so what's happening is, yes, the sins are forgiven in the sense of the scapegoat, they're put out of the camp. But they're still out there. They're not done away with. And the people after that can become sinful again. And so, yes, they are forgiven, but it's not a forgiven that's once and for all, which is what we have in the book of Hebrews or the life of Jesus. Those are great questions.

When you mentioned that part of the message of, or part of the structure of Leviticus is a chiasm, how do you spell that and what is it? So a chiasm, C-H-I-A-S-M, comes from the Greek letter chi, which is kind of like a crisscross parallelism. And I'll create a slide. You can upload that slide when I do it next time.

But what that does is it shows you that there's a beginning and an end. So, for example, when we talked about the structure of the Hebrew Bible and we talked about those eight boxes and we saw how Genesis begins with creation, marriage, and then the advent of Satan, and then it ends in Revelation with the destruction of Satan. A new marriage and a new creation. Does that make sense? So you have an A-B-C-C-B-A pattern and it shows you that there's a structure and design.

You've got a beginning and it kind of shows you that there's a unity of message. Now, when you have an A-B-C-D-C-B-A, you've got an extra point in there. That middle point usually marks the high point of the particular narrative.

And so it stands at the center. Chiasm is a feature that's all over the Hebrew Bible because it's a literary structure that allows people to know where something begins, where something ends, and what its point is. Because they didn't have page numbers, headings, verses, punctuation, vowels, or any of that, so they developed secondary literary techniques that would allow them to make sense of stuff.

You didn't have to guess where something began and ended or what was its main point. And there are dozens of ways really to engage in that chiastic structure. And so it's one of those structures that helps us to understand and to see God's Word and how the patterns work.