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Leviticus Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Community and Covenant

"Come together, right now, over me."Obviously (or not-so-obviously) this isn't a quote from Leviticus, but The Beatles sure do capture the spirit of the book. Within the text itself, God uses laws...

Society and Class

Schools aren't the only places with cliques.The coolest kids in the Promised Land are the priests of the tribe of Levi—or at least that's what Leviticus wants everyone to believe. The book sets u...

Rules and Order

When people get together in one place, it's only a matter of time before they start drawing lines. And when God gets people together in one place, he turns the line-drawing dial to eleven. Levitic...

Morality and Ethics

The Israelites cannot live by rituals alone. The holy land has to be, well, holy. And that's where morality and ethics comes in. An ethic of mutuality runs through all of Leviticus. Israelites look...


For those who get easily turned off by rules on arranging altar wood and cutting livers, sin is where things can start to get interesting. Especially when it comes to the unusual things that Leviti...


Moses doesn't need Salt-n-Pepa to get him talking about sex (what it was, what it is, and what it should be). You probably don't either, especially when Leviticus provides so much juicy sex stuff t...

Foreigners and the Poor

Travelers, sojourners, strangers, Israelites who are poor—Leviticus has a lot to say about the so-called disadvantaged. But who are these people and what's really going on? The reason the book lu...

The Supernatural

To the average reader today, Leviticus can seem chock full of mystical woo-woo. God sniffing altars! Flames shooting down from the sky! Goat-demons, Molech, and ghosts!But religion scholars who spe...
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