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Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

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Does God punish the grandchildren for what the grandparents have done? Some people read these passages (Exodus 20:5, 34:7) and assume that they mean God punishes grandchildren based on their grandparents' sins. Unfortunately, they misinterpret these texts because they fail to understand the phenomena of numerical parallelisms. The Hebrew language favors parallelism, so that numbers which are close to other numbers will often be put in parallel to exhibit literary balance.

A special emphasis in Leviticus is how the Israelites can achieve holiness in their covenant with God. This includes holiness in ritual worship and also in daily life. All of Leviticus is received by Moses at Mt. Sinai.

At the beginning of Numbers they leave Mt. Sinai. So, in Numbers, the people have received the Sinai covenant (Exodus 19-Leviticus) and now they have set out on a journey to the promised land. The book of numbers provides a number of stories about their forty year journey to the promised land. Additionally, as the occasion requires more laws are given in the book of Numbers. This is similar to the amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Sinai covenant is the original full covenant, and the laws in Numbers and Deuteronomy are amended to the Sinai covenant.

The structure of Deuteronomy is highly important. It is an overt covenant structure crafted for a new people who need to realize they are part of God’s covenant. This book is written forty years after Mt. Sinai in northern Moab to a new generation about to enter the promised land. In some ways, Deuteronomy is the final draft of the covenant God made with Israel. Deuteronomy is perhaps more important than any of the other four books of the Pentateuch.


The Law:  Numerical Parallelisms

I.  Numerical Parallelisms

A.  1 // 2

B.  3 // 4

C.  6 // 7

D.  7 // 8

E.  1,000 // 10,000

F.  7 // 77

G.  3 // 4 // 1,000's


II.  The Meaning of the Term "Love"

A.  Action, not Attitude

B.  Used in International Diplomacy

C.  Corresponding Usage of the Term "Hate"

D.  Love of Self is Prohibited


The Law:  Leviticus

I.  Orienting Data for Leviticus

A.  Content

B.  Author

C.  When and Where

D.  Emphases

1.  Five types of sacrifices

2.  The priesthood

3.  Clean and unclean

4.  Sexual purity laws

5.  Food laws


The Law:  Numbers

I.  Orienting Data for Numbers

A.  Content

B.  Author

C.  Date of Composition

D.  Historical Coverage

E.  Emphases

1.  Preparation for military conquest

2.  God's constant leadership and care

3.  Doubting God

4.  Unbelief leads to loss

5.  Pagan prophet's blessing

6.  Cultic immorality

7.  Major preparation for the new conquest

8.  Conquest begins


The Law: Deuteronomy

I. Covenant Restatement


II. Covenant Structure

A. Prologue

B. Witnesses

C. Preamble

D. Stipulations

E. Document Clause

F. Sanctions

G. Witnesses

H. Document Clause

I. Witnesses

J. Sanctions

K. Epilogue

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