This is Episode #39 and today we’ll read Leviticus, chapters 22-23 together. God gives some very specific instructions about the how the priests are to eat their holy food, what qualifies as an acceptable sacrifice from the Israelites, and He designates all of the holy days.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #39 and today we’ll read Leviticus, chapters 22-23 together. God gives some very specific instructions about the how the priests are to eat their holy food, what qualifies as an acceptable sacrifice from the Israelites, and He designates all of the holy days.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Leviticus Chapter 22
Priests and Their Food
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons to deal respectfully with the holy offerings of the Israelites that they have consecrated to me, so they do not profane my holy name; I am the Lord. Say to them: If any man from any of your descendants throughout your generations is in a state of uncleanness yet approaches the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord, that person will be cut off from my presence; I am the Lord.
No man of Aaron’s descendants who has a skin disease or a discharge is to eat from the holy offerings until he is clean. Whoever touches anything made unclean by a dead person or by a man who has an emission of semen, or whoever touches any swarming creature that makes him unclean or any person who makes him unclean — whatever his uncleanness — the man who touches any of these will remain unclean until evening and is not to eat from the holy offerings unless he has bathed his body with water. When the sun has set, he will become clean, and then he may eat from the holy offerings, for that is his food. He must not eat an animal that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts, making himself unclean by it; I am the Lord.
They must keep my instruction, or they will be guilty and die because they profane it; I am the Lord who sets them apart.
Outside the Family
“No one outside a priest’s family is to eat the holy offering. A foreigner staying with a priest or a hired worker is not to eat the holy offering. But if a priest purchases someone with his own silver, that person may eat it, and those born in his house may eat his food. If the priest’s daughter is married to a man outside a priest’s family, she is not to eat from the holy contributions.
But if the priest’s daughter becomes widowed or divorced, has no children, and returns to her father’s house as in her youth, she may share her father’s food. But no outsider may share it. If anyone eats a holy offering in error, he is to add a fifth to its value and give the holy offering to the priest. The priests must not profane the holy offerings the Israelites give to the Lord by letting the people eat their holy offerings and having them bear the penalty of restitution. For I am the Lord who sets them apart.”
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to Aaron, his sons, and all the Israelites and tell them: Any man of the house of Israel or of the resident aliens in Israel who presents his offering — whether they present payment of vows or freewill gifts to the Lord as burnt offerings — must offer an unblemished male from the cattle, sheep, or goats in order for you to be accepted. You are not to present anything that has a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf.
“When a man presents a fellowship sacrifice to the Lord to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or flock, it has to be unblemished to be acceptable; there must be no defect in it. You are not to present any animal to the Lord that is blind, injured, maimed, or has a running sore, festering rash, or scabs; you may not put any of them on the altar as a food offering to the Lord. You may sacrifice as a freewill offering any animal from the herd or flock that has an elongated or stunted limb, but it is not acceptable as a vow offering. You are not to present to the Lord anything that has bruised, crushed, torn, or severed testicles; you must not sacrifice them in your land.
Neither you nor a foreigner are to present food to your God from any of these animals. They will not be accepted for you because they are deformed and have a defect.”
The Lord spoke to Moses: “When an ox, sheep, or goat is born, it is to remain with its mother for seven days; from the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as an offering, a food offering to the Lord. But you are not to slaughter an animal from the herd or flock on the same day as its young. When you offer a thanksgiving sacrifice to the Lord, offer it so that you may be accepted. It is to be eaten on the same day. Do not let any of it remain until morning; I am the Lord.
“You are to keep my commands and do them; I am the Lord. You must not profane my holy name; I must be treated as holy among the Israelites. I am the Lord who sets you apart, the one who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord.”
Leviticus Chapter 23
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: These are my appointed times, the times of the Lord that you will proclaim as sacred assemblies.
“Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there is to be a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; it is a Sabbath to the Lord wherever you live.
“These are the Lord’s appointed times, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times. The Passover to the Lord comes in the first month, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the month. The Festival of Unleavened Bread to the Lord is on the fifteenth day of the same month. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you are to hold a sacred assembly; you are not to do any daily work. You are to present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day there will be a sacred assembly; do not do any daily work.”
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land I am giving you and reap its harvest, you are to bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest.
Present the Sheaf
He will present the sheaf before the Lord so that you may be accepted; the priest is to present it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you present the sheaf, you are to offer a year-old male lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering is to be four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil as a food offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, and its drink offering will be one quart of wine. You must not eat bread, roasted grain, or any new grain until this very day, and until you have brought the offering to your God. This is to be a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you live.
“You are to count seven complete weeks starting from the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the presentation offering. You are to count fifty days until the day after the seventh Sabbath and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.
Bring two loaves of bread from your settlements as a presentation offering, each of them made from four quarts of fine flour, baked with yeast, as firstfruits to the Lord. You are to present with the bread seven unblemished male lambs a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offerings and drink offerings, a food offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. You are also to prepare one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a fellowship sacrifice. The priest will present the lambs with the bread of firstfruits as a presentation offering before the Lord; the bread and the two lambs will be holy to the Lord for the priest. On that same day you are to make a proclamation and hold a sacred assembly.
You are not to do any daily work. This is to be a permanent statute wherever you live throughout your generations. When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the resident alien; I am the Lord your God.”
Day of Atonement
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a day of complete rest, commemoration, and trumpet blasts — a sacred assembly. You must not do any daily work, but you must present a food offering to the Lord.”
The Lord again spoke to Moses: “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You are to hold a sacred assembly and practice self-denial; you are to present a food offering to the Lord. On this particular day you are not to do any work, for it is a Day of Atonement to make atonement for yourselves before the Lord your God.
If any person does not practice self-denial on this particular day, he is to be cut off from his people. I will destroy among his people anyone who does any work on this same day. You are not to do any work. This is a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you live. It will be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial. You are to observe your Sabbath from the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”
Festival of Shelters
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: The Festival of Shelters to the Lord begins on the fifteenth day of this seventh month and continues for seven days. There is to be a sacred assembly on the first day; you are not to do any daily work. You are to present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you are not to do any daily work.
“These are the Lord’s appointed times that you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for presenting food offerings to the Lord, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its designated day. These are in addition to the offerings for the Lord’s Sabbaths, your gifts, all your vow offerings, and all your freewill offerings that you give to the Lord.
“You are to celebrate the Lord’s festival on the fifteenth day of the seventh month for seven days after you have gathered the produce of the land. There will be complete rest on the first day and complete rest on the eighth day. On the first day you are to take the product of majestic trees — palm fronds, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook — and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You are to celebrate it as a festival to the Lord seven days each year.
This is a permanent statute for you throughout your generations; celebrate it in the seventh month. You are to live in shelters for seven days. All the native-born of Israel must live in shelters, so that your generations may know that I made the Israelites live in shelters when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” So Moses declared the Lord’s appointed times to the Israelites.
I just love these appointed times, don’t you? I mean, I can’t imagine them, considering these busy and independent lives that we live, but I can appreciate them. Each one has a very specific purpose in pausing to recognize who God is and that it is by Him the Israelites – and us – are sustained. Passover is celebrated to remember that God rescued the Israelites out of their horrible slavery and oppression. The Festival of Firstfruits reminds all of us that the first portion of everything that we have is to be given back to God because it is thru His blessing that we have anything at all. The Day of Atonement was a time of confession and receiving forgiveness. There was joy and gratitude in these celebrations. And rest. Blessed rest.
It seems we could use a few Holy Days ourselves. What do you think? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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