Today’s reading is: Lev. 9-11
Leviticus Chapter Nine
- Aaron and his sons entered into their priesthood on the 8th day, and began their work of service immediately (Lev. 9:1).
- They needed to offer sin offerings on their own behalf, before they were able to offer sin offerings on behalf of the people (Lev. 9:7,15).
- This was an element of inferiority in this priesthood, as the priesthood of Jesus Christ is led by a sinless and perfect High Priest (Heb. 7:26‑28).
- Aaron’s first sacrifice was not consumed by a natural fire, but the fire of God was used to make a very lasting impression (Lev. 9:24; 1st Kgs. 18:38,39; 2nd Chr. 7:1).
Leviticus Chapter Ten
- For Nadab & Abihu, the very lasting impression was not very lasting (Lev. 10:1‑7).
- They offered “strange fire” before the Lord, in violation of what the Lord had commanded (v.1).
- Perhaps they used common fire, instead of the coals from the brazen altar. Perhaps they used the wrong incense on the altar of incense.
- Fire came out of the holy of holies and consumed Nadab and Abihu immediately (v.2).
- The example is set immediately, at the onset of a new age, that the Lord holds His worship to the highest degree of seriousness (cp. Acts 5:1 11 at the beginning of the Church Age).
- Judgment begins at the house of the Lord (1st Pet. 4:17).
- Nearness to God requires holiness—the more near, the more holy (v.3).
- Levites were tasked to bury Nadab & Abihu, while Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar continued on in their spiritual service and responsibility (vv.4‑7; cf. Matt. 8:22).
- The Divine discipline upon Nadab & Abihu provides opportunity for instruction (Lev. 10:8‑20).
- Instruction against drunkenness while “on duty” (vv.8‑11).
- Instructions on eating the sacred food (vv.12‑15).
- Moses was displeased with Aaron’s lack of capacity to feast on what the Lord provided (vv.16‑18).
- Moses was pleased with Aaron’s capacity to voluntarily forsake such privileges in view of difficult circumstances (vv.19,20).
Leviticus Chapter Eleven
- A holy nation was taught to eat in a holy manner (Lev. 11:1‑47).
- The OT dietary restrictions for the Jewish people is sometimes considered odd by modern readers. It ought not seem odd at all given that God’s first ever law given to humanity was a dietary restriction (Gen. 2:16,17).
- The distinction between clean and unclean animals was known as early as the days of Noah (Gen. 7:2).
- This was true even though humanity’s diet was strictly plant-based (Gen. 1:29,30).
- Once animals were added to humanity’s diet, no animal prohibitions were ever given (Gen. 9:3).
- The word unclean, in adjective or verb form, occurs over 100 times in Lev. 11‑15. טָמֵא tāmē’ #2931: adj. unclean, impure; #2930: v. to be unclean, become unclean.
- Rule of thumb: if it has a split hoof, and chews the cud, it may be eaten (Lev. 11:2,3).
- No camels, rock badgers (coney, rock hyrax, shaphan), or rabbits, though they chew the cud, they do not have a split hoof (Lev. 11:4,5,6).
- No pigs, though they have a split hoof, they do not chew the cud (Lev. 11:7).
- No pawed animals: cats, dogs, bears, etc. (Lev. 11:27).
- Unclean animals could not be eaten, nor their dead bodies touched (Lev. 11:8,26‑28).
- Rule of thumb for seafood: fins and scales are good (Lev. 11:9‑12). This would rule out shellfish, lobsters, crabs, oysters, eels, etc.
- Rule of thumb for birds: no rule of thumb for good birds, twenty prohibited birds (Lev. 11:13‑19). Not named here, but understood elsewhere to be clean: doves, pigeons, quail, and sparrows.
- Rule of thumb for insects: jumping insects are good, including locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers (Lev. 11:20‑23). All other flying or creeping insects are bad (Lev. 11:41‑44).
- Rule of thumb for other “vermin:” all bad, including mice, lizards, snakes, crocodiles (Lev. 11:29,30). These vermin also make clothing and cooking items unclean if they are found in them (Lev. 11:31‑40).
- Bottom line: a holy people under law has a holy diet under law (Lev. 11:44‑47). A holy people under grace as a holy diet under grace (1st Tim. 4:3‑5; Acts 11:5‑18; Gal. 2:12).
- The principle of holiness is that we have become partakers of the Divine nature (Lev. 11:45; 1st Pet. 1:16; 2nd Pet. 1:4; Heb. 12:10).