In English Bibles the book of Leviticus gets its name from the Latin transliteration of the Greek meaning "concerning the Levites."  In the Hebrew it is simply  ויקרא, Vayikra (or wayiqra), meaning "And he called," the first word of the text.  This begins Yahweh's instructions to Moses concerning how the new nation of Israel is to worship God.  There is no history, as such, within the bounds of these chapters.  The instructions are said to be Yahweh's direct commandments conscerning sacrificing animals and grain, consecration of priests, health, and personal relations. The instructions appear to have been given over a period of 50 days.


Though Moses is not told to write down what he is told, the assumption can be made that he did indeed do so.  Nothing within the text indicates a later addition to Exodus.  The giving of instruction is said to be in the "tent of the congregation" (1:1) that has been constructed near the tabernacle.  The book begins with a wau consecutive, meaning "And..."  This indicates a running narrative began in Exodus.  Though the perspective of the writer is in the third person, and Moses is directed to speak "to the children of Israel," it has been accepted until modern times that Moses also wrote them down, thus producing the text of today.


I. Regulations concerning Sacrifice (1:1 - 7:38)

II. Consecration of Priesthood priests (8:1 - 10:20)

III. Clean and unclean differentiated (11:1 - 15:33)

IV. The Day of Atonement (16:1-34)

V. Ritual Laws (17:1 - 25:55)

VI. Concluding Blessings and Punishments (26:1-46)

A. Blessings (26:1-13)
B. Curses (26:14-39)
C. The Rewards of contrition (26:40-46)

VII. Regulations concerning Vows and Offerings (27:1-34)

  1. The King James Reference Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishing, p. 170
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