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 up rituals and rules that make the priests of God the group that holds the Israelites together.
But if the Israelites are as successful as God promises to make them, it's only a matter of time before other folks get enough wealth and power to give the priests a run for their money. From the incest rules to the jubilee, the laws in Leviticus use an ethic of mutual care and social responsibility to keep a new 1% from taking control.
The book talks about other people in Israel, too. Farmers, families, city dwellers, landless foreigners, the disabled, the poor—they all have their place in this growing nation, and not of all them are moving on up.
Questions About Society and Class
Are there any differences between the religious rituals and the more general rules in regard to how they treat issues of class and society?
What is the social significance of clothing in Leviticus?