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EXEGESIS > Old Testament > Pentateuch > Leviticus > Lev. 11;45 - Foundation for Holiness

Foundation for Holiness
Lev. 11:45


Leviticus has been called the “Book of Holiness,” with the word “holy” being used over 85 times in the book. God repeatedly informs the people that He is holy and that he expects the people to be holy (Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 26; see: I Pet. 1:16).

Genesis is the Book of “Beginnings”

Exodus is the Book of “Redemption”

Leviticus is the Book of “Holiness”

Two themes are prominent in Leviticus:

Sacrifice and Separation;

And in these two concepts is found the foundation for man’s holiness.

Sacrifice in Leviticus

    Text – in the first seven chapters five types of sacrifice are presented

1. Burnt Offering – a voluntary offering; an animal without blemish was offered as an atonement; blood to be sprinkled on the altar and the animal burned; (Ch. 1).

2. Meal or Grain Offering – flour, oil, and frankincense were brought; flour to have no leaven or honey; mixture to be burnt upon the altar as a sweet savor to the Lord; (Ch. 2).

3. Peace Offering – animal brought and killed; blood sprinkled on the altar; fat and inwards to be burned; (Ch. 3).

4. Sin Offering – young bullock without blemish brought to door of Tabernacle; hands laid on the bullock and the bullock killed; blood sprinkled seven times before veil; some blood placed on horns of Altar of Incense; rest of blood poured out at base of Bronze Altar; rest of bullock carried outside of camp and burned; (Ch. 4).

5. Trespass Offering – animal brought and killed; blood sprinkled on the altar; fat and inwards burned on the altar; (Ch. 5).


Sacrifices were required by the holy God – to come to God the one without holiness must come through sacrifice, a sacrifice involving the shedding of blood.

Multiple sacrifices were required; sacrifice was a continual aspect of Hebrew life; the following words are used repeatedly in Leviticus: sacrifice (42 times); priest (189); blood (86); and atonement (45).

The variety and amount of sacrifices were never sufficient; another sacrifice was always needed; the people required a supreme and final sacrifice.

Every sacrifice of the OT pointed in some way to the Person and Work of Christ; all the lambs anticipated the Lamb.

Separation in Leviticus

There were literally laws governing every aspect of Hebrew life; among the laws were: animals to eat and not eat (Ch. 11); duties after giving birth to a son or daughter (12); medical guidelines and principles of cleansing (13-15); relationship of kinfolk (18); tattoos and the occult (19); immorality (20; treatment of the land (25).

All the laws were predicated on the concepts of clean vs. unclean; and the cleanness was in relationship to the example and expectation of God; really to be clean was to be devoted to God, to be separated unto Him.

The separation distinguished them from the surrounding pagan nations; the separation of the Hebrews indicated their devotion to God.

One passage summarizes the idea:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God you shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord’” (18:1-5).

But, like the sacrifices, the laws were overwhelming, and the people were incapable of following them; again, like in the area of sacrifices, there was the need of One who could keep all of the Law for them.

Every regulation revealed the inability of the people and the need of the people for One who was capable—the Messiah was predicted.


To be holy is to be a saint; a saint is one who is holy; the two points cannot be distinguished.

All believers are saints; everyone who is a saint is a believer; the two points cannot be distinguished.

The holy person/saint/believer is the individual who has been and is being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ in His Sacrifice and Separation; holiness is not about the individual but about Christ; to believe in Him is to be identified with Him in every aspect of His Person and Work; to be in Christ is to have a sufficient and final Sacrifice and to be Separated unto God; to be in Christ is to be holy.

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