July 13, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Leviticus 16-18
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Context: Chapter 16 provides instructions for the Day of Atonement. It was the day that Israel dealt with their sin. It was the only day a priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies without being killed. Even then, there were strict instructions on how the priest must present himself. On this day, sins were not being taken away. Sin would not be taken away until Jesus came and died for our sins on the cross. The offerings given in the Old Testament covered the sins until Jesus came. Chapter 16 covers the preparation of the priest (1-6), the preparation of the place (7-19), and the preparation of the people (20-34). Chapter 17 is viewed by many as an extension of chapter 16. The instructions in chapter 17 were given to all Israelites. This chapter also explains why, in the New Testament, specifically the Corinthians, eating meat bought from pagan temples was a point of dissension between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. Chapter 17 includes the once place for sacrifice (1-6), the offense of goat worship (7), offering a sacrifice at the Tabernacle (8-9), and obligation not to eat blood (10-16). Chapter 18 switches themes from religious, ceremonial obligations to more practical life situations. Chapter 18 deals primarily with the 7th Commandment; sexual sin.
World History: Pan was the goat god. Although Israel had been brought out of slavery in Egypt, the continued to remain slaves to many of the idolatrous practices they learned in Egypt. Some of the Lord’s laws, such as slaughtering all meat at the Tabernacle, forced the Israelites to include the Lord in their meals and not false gods.