Leviticus 1: Chapter Overview

April 13, 2022 in Today's Reading by TGV


Bible Study Guide/ Chapter Overview/ Leviticus 1, (3-BSG-1D)/ Theme: The Burnt Offering.


Characters: God, Moses, the Priests (Aaron’s sons), the Worshiper (sinner/ offerer).

Key Text: “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.” (Leviticus 1:4, NKJV)

Key Word: 1. Atonement (Lev. 1:4)/ Heb. Kipper = to cover, cancel, purge, purify, or decontaminate. Gk. katallagḗ, “reconciliation.” 2. A “sweet aroma” to the LORD (Lev 1:9, 13, 17)/ Heb. Reach Nichoach = an appeasing fragrance.

Selected Phrases —From the Tabernacle of meeting (1:1); A Burnt Sacrifice of the herd (1:3); A male without blemish (1:3); Offered “of his own free will” (1:3); At the door of the Tabernacle of meeting, before the LORD (1:3); He shall put his hand “on the head of the burnt offering” (1:4); It will be “accepted on his behalf”  (1:4); “to make atonement for him” (1:4); A Burnt Sacrifice — an offering made by fire, “a sweet aroma to the LORD” (1:9, 13, 17).

Striking Verses: Leviticus 1:1-2, 3-4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 17.

Division of Main Points

  1. Prelude: God speaks to Moses from the Tabernacle, the Mercy Seat (1) cf. Ex. 40:34-38.
  2. Types of acceptable offering to the LORD: The livestock—of the herd and the flock (2)
  3. What to do when a Sinner brings an Offering to LORD (3)
  4. Confession of Sin & Transference of Guilt (4)
  5. The Procedure for the Burnt Offering — The Procedure for offering a Bull (5–9); The Procedure for offering a Sheep or a Goat (10–13); The Procedure for offering a Bird (14–17)

Biblical Events: [Events Occurring]—

  1. The Exodus from Egypt • Ex 1:8–Dt 34:8
  2. Israelites wander in the wilderness • Ex 12:33–Dt 34:8
  3. God tells Moses to instruct the people about offerings • Lev 1:1–7:38
  4. The priesthood is established • Lev 1:1–9:24
  5. The Israelites build the tabernacle • Lev 1:1–27:34

Issues At a Glance — Access to Yahweh’s glorious presence; Blamelessness; Dedication/ Consecration to God; Laying on of hands; Free-will offering; Pleasing God (sweet aroma); Substitution: Substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.

Background Studies — Ancient Law Codes and Leviticus; Blood and OT sacrifices; Animal sacrifices to appease deity; A Greek ritual for purification vs. Israel’s cleansing by applying the blood to part of the sanctuary (see Lev. 1:5).

Issues for Further Study — Atonement, Levitical Priesthood, Functions of Priests, Introduction to Leviticus, The Pentateuch, How to Study the Bible, Types of Offerings in the Old Testament

Critical Thought: At the heart of the Pentateuch (five books of Moses), the foundation for the whole Bible, Leviticus contains more direct speech of God than any other biblical book. Previously God spoke from Mt. Sinai, but now, He communicates from the Mercy Seat (in the Sanctuary). God has a special message for His people regarding worship and holy living. It is important to note that God, not man, initiated & devised the way to access His presence. God appointed a mediator (Moses) to reveal the way (the plan). God opened the way for all – the rich, the not-so-rich, and the poor — to seek reconciliation through sacrifice. God told the rich how to approach Him (Lev. 1:3–9). He told the average person how to approach Him (Lev. 1:10–13). Lastly, He told the poor how to approach Him (Lev. 1:14–17). The burnt offering consisted of an animal of the herd, flock, and bird. Burnt Offerings taught sinners (who were separated from God by sin) that they could only come to Him through the total sacrifice of His beloved Son, who would offer up Himself “once for all” (Heb 7:27; John 1:29; 3:16). Beloved, that’s how much God loves you and wants you back when you are separated from Him!

This chapter calls for total consecration, as illustrated in the Burnt Offering (see Lev 1:5-9). The idea of total consecration is too broad for a heathen mind, but God does not accept partial consecration. The consecration of the child of God is the complete surrender of self to the operation of the Holy Spirit.

Exhortation: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1–2, NKJV)



Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Leviticus 1/ Theme: The Burnt Offering.

Leviticus 1 (NKJV) — 1 Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. 3 ‘If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. 4 Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 6 And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. 8 Then the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; 9 but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. 10 ‘If his offering is of the flocks—of the sheep or of the goats—as a burnt sacrifice, he shall bring a male without blemish. 11 He shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle its blood all around on the altar. 12 And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; 13 but he shall wash the entrails and the legs with water. Then the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. 14 ‘And if the burnt sacrifice of his offering to the Lord is of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out at the side of the altar. 16 And he shall remove its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar on the east side, into the place for ashes. 17 Then he shall split it at its wings, but shall not divide it completely; and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

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