Bible Week 2008 Leviticus Introduction

in European Judaism

One of the keys to understanding the Book of Leviticus is Genesis 1, the account of the creation of the world. The world that God creates comes into being through a series of separations: between light and darkness, between the waters above and below the firmament, between the sea and the dry land. In the end there are three major divisions, the heavens, the earth and the waters beneath the earth, each with its own distinctive features and inhabitants. As the Psalmist explains, the heavens are the domain of God, but the earth has been given to human beings to inhabit. However, because of God’s experience with human beings there will be one further act of separation, the choosing of Israel from amongst all the peoples of the world to be a ‘kingdom of priests and a holy nation’. The Book of Leviticus is about how the collective life of Israel is to be regulated so as to fulfil this task as a kingdom of priests.

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European Judaism

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