Today’s reading is: Lev. 20-22
Leviticus Chapter Twenty
- Chapter twenty focuses on some of the most evil practices that the Lord has already prohibited. In this chapter, however, specific penalties are proscribed.
- Capital punishment is indicated as the human judicial function (i.e. v.2).
- Cutting off from among his people is indicated as the Divine judicial function (i.e. v.3).
- These two concepts should be viewed as two sides of the same coin: the sin unto death from God’s perspective, and the death penalty from man’s perspective.
- Active participation in Molech worship (child sacrifice), and passive toleration of Molech worship, are totally condemned, and designated as capital offences (Lev. 20:2-5).
- All occult practices are punishable by death (Lev. 20:6-8,27).
- Cursing of parents is punishable by death (Lev. 20:9).
- The sexual violations of chapter eighteen are punishable by death (Lev. 20:10-21).
- The passage concludes with the admonition that Israel was not to imitate the Canaanite practices when they take the Canaanite land (Lev. 20:22-26).
Leviticus Chapter Twenty-One
- The Lord gives particular instructions to the priesthood, which is held to an even higher standard of holiness (Lev. 21:1-22:16).
- Priests could not defile themselves to bury any dead person, except for immediate family members (Lev. 21:1-6). The High Priest could not defile himself, even for immediate family members (Lev. 21:10-12).
- Priests could not marry a non-virgin single woman, or a divorced woman (Lev. 21:7,8).
- The single woman who was not a virgin was regarded as a harlot (Lev. 21:7,14).
- The widow was apparently acceptable to a priest, but not the High Priest—his wife must be a virgin (Lev. 21:13-15).
- The priest’s family must likewise maintain personal holiness. If a priest’s daughter had pre-marital sex (harlotry), the daughter was to be burned (Lev. 21:9; Gen. 38:24).
- The priesthood had precise physical qualifications and disqualifications (Lev. 21:16-24). Such physical requirements are not found anywhere in the Church Age priesthood in Christ (Heb. 7:16).
Leviticus Chapter Twenty-Two
- Chapter 22 continues the instructions for the priesthood to follow.
- The first section centers on the holy gifts (food) that were designated for the priests, and the importance that they not eat them in an unclean condition (Lev. 22:1-16; cp. 1st Sam. 21:4; 1st Cor. 11:27-32).
- The next section centers on the offerings, and the importance that they be without defect (Lev. 22:17-25).
- The last section addresses additional requirements about the minimum age for an animal to be sacrificed, and the prohibition against sacrificing an animal and its mother on the same day (Lev. 22:26-28).