Read thru Old Testament – February 10, 2017

February 10

Leviticus 10-12


The Way to God…Sacrifice       Leviticus 1-10, cont’d.


Leviticus 8-10   Through the Priests, cont’d.


Leviticus 10-The Violation of Two Priests in Service

Leviticus 10:1-20-Nadab and Abihu, 2 of Aaron's sons offered "strange fire" (they used coals from somewhere other than the brazen altar-6:12-13;16:12; and they used incense at a time other than at the morning or even sacrifice ("which He had not commanded"-10:1; Exodus 30:7-8).  Some suggest that they may have also been drunk...because a prohibition against drinking follows immediately after their punishment (10:9).  The fire that killed them came from the cloud of glory over the Mercy Seat.  Though it killed them it did not consume their bodies or their clothing.

Leviticus 10:3-An incredible statement regarding our worship of God..."By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, and before all the people I will be honored." Any disobedience of God's commands detracts from His receiving glory.

Leviticus 10:9-11-God warns the priest against drinking “wine or strong drink” (“strong drink” means: intoxicating drink, fermented or intoxicating liquor) when they are ministering so that they will have full control of their mental faculties and not make mistakes.

Leviticus 10:16-20-Moses asked Aaron why he and his sons had not eaten the sin offering (Leviticus 6:26).  Aaron said that they had felt unworthy and Moses accepted his answer.  They had been commanded to not publicly mourn over the loss of his two sons (10:6-7)...and they were obedient.  But it seems that they must have felt some level of responsibility for the behavior of the two brothers since they now feel unworthy to eat the portion of the sin offering reserved for them.


The Walk with God…Sanctification     Leviticus 11-27


Leviticus 11-15 The Laws Concerning Purity


In this section (through chapter 15), the word ”unclean” occurs more than 100 times. Even though the emphasis is on ceremonial, rather than ethical, uncleanness, failure to obey these regulations was sin. Those laws served (1) to reflect the holiness of God, (2) to keep Israel distinct from the idolatrous practices of the nations around them, and (3) to help maintain physical health.

The Ryrie Study Bible, 11:1, footnote, p. 173


For an explanation of the laws concerning Purity (clean and unclean) see:


Clean, Unclean

The Old Testament. How Uncleanness Was Contracted and Treated. In Old Testament times the ordinary state of most things was "cleanness, " but a person or thing could contract ritual "uncleanness" (or "impurity") in a variety of ways: by skin diseases, discharges of bodily fluids, touching something dead ( Num 5:2 ), or eating unclean foods ( Lev 11 ; Deut 14 ).

Continue reading at:


For one thing, the expression clean and its counterpoint unclean is one of the prominent themes of Leviticus. Author G. J. Wenham,62 in a footnote in one of his commentaries, says that unclean and its cognates occurs 132 times in the Old Testament; over 50 percent of these are Leviticus. So the sense of uncleanness is a predominate theme, and the word clean, along with its related terms, occurs 74 times in Leviticus, which is over one-third of the uses found in the Old Testament. All of that says to us that if we are going to begin to get some kind of grasp of Leviticus, we must have some kind of grasp over what clean and unclean means and how these words apply to the Israelite.

Continue reading at:


Leviticus 11:1-47-Purity concerning Food

Leviticus 11:2-23-Here are examples of the clean animals that they may eat and the unclean that they man not eat...

  • on earth (chews the cud and divides the hoof; a “rock badger” is a rodent);
  • in water (has fins and scales; this rules out eels, shellfish, lobsters, crabs, oysters, etc.);
  • birds (20 types of unclean birds are identified);
  • insects (jointed legs with which to jump, different types).


For an interesting explanation of the reasoning behind clean and unclean animals from a Jewish perspective see:


Some Bible critics claim that there are errors here in Leviticus in terms of animal species, etc.  Here is an excellent response that sets the record straight:


Leviticus 11:24-31-If a person touches an unclean animal he becomes unclean.

Leviticus 11:32-40-If any article touches an unclean animal it becomes unclean (cooking utensils, skin, clothing, sack, other food, oven).


  1. Whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening: Unclean animals, when dead, couldn't just be left in the community to rot; they had to be disposed of. But the people who disposed of the unclean animals had to remedy their uncleanness by washing and a brief (until evening) quarantine.
  2. This means that if a dead rat was found in an Israelite village, it would be carefully and promptly disposed of, and the one disposing of it would wash afterward. This would help prevent disease in a significant way; after all, the Black Death - bubonic plague - killed one quarter of Europe's population around 1350, but Jewish communities were largely spared because they followed these hygienic regulations. Sadly, because they were often largely preserved, they were often accused and punished for being "masterminds" behind the plague.
  3. Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: This shows that ceremonial uncleanness was not the same as being in a state of sin. No sacrifice was required to remedy the condition of ceremonial uncleanness. It was a state of ceremonial impurity that needed to be addressed.

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Leviticus 11,


Leviticus 11:44-45-Why follow these laws?  "For I am the LORD your God.  Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy..." Their adherence to these laws was to serve as a constant reminder of Who their God was, Who they belonged to.


Leviticus 12:1-8-Purity concerning childbirth.

Leviticus 12:2-When a male child is born, the mother is unclean for 7 days.

Leviticus 12:3-A male child is to be circumcised on day 8.

Leviticus 12:4-After the birth of a son a woman was to observe a time of purification of 33 days.

Leviticus 12:5-If a woman gives birth to a female child...she will be unclean for 2 weeks and then observe a time of purification of 66 days.


12:1-8 The birth of a child, though a happy occasion, was a reminder that sin is transmitted to each person.  Thus, the mother was banned from performing religious duties for 40 days (in the case of a baby boy) or 80 days (in the case of a baby girl).  After this time she had to bring a burnt offering and a sin offering (cf. Luke 2:24).

The Ryrie Study Bible, 12:1-8 footnote, p. 175


Prayer:  Father, help me to be pure of heart. Show me how to live in such a manner that You are pleased.  Don’t let me do anything that would damage the fellowship that I have with You.


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