Summary: The Study Of Leviticus, Numbers And Deuteronomy
The Study Of Leviticus, Numbers And Deuteronomy
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The last three books of the Pentateuch are Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Moses was the human author of these books also. Twenty of the chapters of Leviticus begin with the statement: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying.” “The Lord spoke to Moses” appears forty times in the book of Numbers. Deuteronomy clearly claims Moses as its author (Deuteronomy 1:1,5; Deuteronomy 4:44,45; Deuteronomy 31:24-26). Jesus said the Law (the first five books of the Old Testament) was written by Moses (John 5:45-47). However, the last chapter of Deuteronomy may have been written by Joshua for it tells of Moses’ death.
Leviticus was written at Mt. Sinai. Numbers probably was written near the end of the wandering in the desert. Deuteronomy would have been written shortly before Moses’ death (Deuteronomy 1:5; Numbers 36:13).
Leviticus: The Way of Holiness
Leviticus served as a guide for the priests and Levites. It contains instructions about sacrifices, offerings and tabernacle worship. It also shows that sinful men can approach a sinless God by means of sacrifice (Isaiah 59:1,2; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 10:4). Leviticus emphasizes that blood is essential to atonement for sins (Leviticus 17:11). The two key words in Leviticus are: (1) holiness and; (2) atonement. The book is named for the Levites, the tribe from which the priests came.
There are five major offerings by which Israel could maintain holiness before God. They are:
1. Burnt offerings which showed complete dedication to God;
2. Meal offerings which showed gratitude to God for His blessings;
3. Peace offerings which showed communion or fellowship with God;
4. Sin offerings which atoned for sins. Sin offerings were a type of Christ’s sin offering for us;
5. Trespass offerings for specific acts of wrongdoing.
Numbers: Wandering in the Wilderness
This book is called “Numbers” because all the males who were old enough to serve in the army were numbered. This was done at Mt. Sinai and later as they prepared to enter Canaan. Numbers covers the time of Israel’s wandering in the desert from Mt. Sinai to the Plains of Moab. This was about 38 years. The book can be divided into five sections.
The first section records the preparation to begin the journey from Mt Sinai (Numbers 1:10 - 10:10). A count was taken which showed there were 603,550 men old enough to serve in the army. The Levites were not included. Instructions for the health of the camp, for tabernacle worship, and for moving the camp were also given.
The second section tells of the journey from Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea (Numbers 10:11-14:45). On this journey, several things happened. The people longed for the food in Egypt. They were sent quail by God, but were punished for their sins of murmuring and complaining. Also Aaron and Miriam rebelled against Moses’ authority. Miriam was stricken with leprosy as punishment. Perhaps this was because she was the leader of the rebellion; and being a woman, it was not proper for her to claim such authority. Also twelve spies were sent out from Kadesh-Barnea. They were gone for 40 days. They brought back a report that Canaan was a “land flowing with milk and honey.” However, ten of the twelve spies feared the people of the land. They lacked faith in God to give them the land. Only Joshua and Caleb disagreed. The people followed the faithless spies. Because the people lacked faith, they were sentenced to wander in the desert for forty years. Of that generation, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land.