Lev 20:26 You shall be holy to me; for I the Lord am holy, and I have separated you from the other peoples to be mine.
Writer : Moses – the contents of the book are divine revelation given to him at Sinai.
Literature : Mainly Law with short narrative sections included too.
Main Purpose & Historical Background:
Gods people, the nation of Israel had been bought out of slavery into the wilderness, a massive family that needed to learn how to live and thrive.
Not only did they need practical help, how to be clean/ how to avoid diseases spreading and how to be safe, they needed spiritual help too.
Chapters 1-10 SACRIFICE
They were meant to be set apart, a light to the other nations.
God wanted to dwell with his people. After the fall His desire was always to get back to intimacy with his beloved children. And so the people needed to know how to dwell in the midst of a HOLY God, how could sinful man approach holy God?
We see the instituting of the priesthood and the sacrificial system. Which would enable God to be with His people (albeit temporarily, but a wonderful foreshadow of the fulfillment of His perfect plan through Jesus Christ, the once for all sacrifice)
Chapters 11-27 SANCTITICATION
GODS AMAZINGLY GOOD LAWS
Religious Laws – helped safeguard against Idolatry/set the people apart/showed Gods desire to be in the midst of His people
Dietary Laws – don’t eat some things…for medical reasons and also some were connected to pagan practices
Medical Laws – particularly for leprosy and other infectious diseases, the laws helped prevent the spread and saved lives – pagan practices were causing viral infections to spread rapidly (Gods laws were way ahead of what medicine would one day come to prove!)
Hygiene Laws – before people really had a concept of germs! God told them it was important to be clean
Marriage/Sex – should be based on a lifelong relationship, women were protected/ equal/ not property which was vastly different from any other culture at that time
Criminal Law – Gods Law was superior to the other ancient laws; there was a focus on protecting people rather than property
Safety Laws – preventing accidents (God showed that he cared)
Civil laws – were based on loving your neighbour as yourself
Economic Laws – there was a focus on grace and mercy, fighting poverty and encouraging generosity
Social Security System – encouraged HARD WORK
Public Holidays – a time to rejoice and relax and have FUN
The Laws of God were unique but also far superior to those of the surrounding peoples.