This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Arrangement and Divisions of the Book of Leviticus.

The order of subjects has been much criticised by those who deem themselves competent to sit in judgment even upon the style in which God should speak to men. Dr. Kalisch, with the double vail of Judaism and Rationalism before his eyes, amplifies on the “illogical arrangement” of Leviticus. It is not marvellous that a series of types should seem confused and chaotic to one who is stone-blind to the great Antitype which explains and harmonizes them all. On the other hand, Bertheau sees a regularity and exactness in the arrangement of topics which it is difficult for us to discover. His “seven groups of the laws of Moses,” each containing a greater or less number of decalogues, proceeds in some cases upon assumptions so arbitrary that we have not thought it wise to adopt it.

The chief difficulty in the grouping of subjects arises from the commingling of rules of life relating to morals with those relating to mere ceremonial requirements, the Hebrew mind never having made that sharp discrimination between the ethical and the ritual which the Christian has been trained to make. Acts 15:20, 29.

The division of the book into two parts adopted by Keil and Murphy, the first relating to the expiation of guilt and the second to the sanctification of the life, we have adopted, only making the division at the end of chap. x instead of chap. xvi, since the intervening chapters bear more or less directly upon sanctity of life, especially in the conception of the Hebrews. Even the day of atonement, described in chap. xvi, was not for the removal of conscious guilt at the initiation of the spiritual life, but for those “errors” (ἀγνοημάτων,) “of the people,” (Hebrews 9:7,) which are incidental to the most advanced stages of holy living on the earth, making appropriate the daily prayer, “Forgive us our debts.”


Part I. Propitiation, chapters 1-10.

SECTION I. Ritual of the Altar, chapters 1-7.

Introductory, Leviticus 1:1-17. The Meat Offering, Leviticus 2:1-16. The Peace Offering, Leviticus 3:1-17. Ordinary Sins of Inadvertence, Leviticus 4:1, 2. Sin of a Priest, Leviticus 4:3-12. Sin of the Congregation, Leviticus 4:13-21. Sin of a Prince, Leviticus 4:22-26. Sin of a Private Person, Leviticus 4:27-35. The Trespass Offering: Sin Against Justice — Concealing Testimony, Leviticus 5:1. Involuntary Violation of Ceremonial Purity, Leviticus 5:2, 3. Inadvertency in Oaths, Leviticus 5:4, 5. Trespass Offering Therefor, Leviticus 5:6-13. Defects in Holy Things, Leviticus 5:14-19. Wilful Fraud, Leviticus 6:1-7. Ordinances Appertaining to the Priests, Leviticus 6:8-30. Additional Laws of the Trespass Offering, Leviticus 7:1-10. Laws of the Peace Offering, Leviticus 7:11-21. The Fat and Blood Forbidden to be Eaten, Leviticus 7:22-30. Portion of the Priests, Leviticus 7:11-34. Summary of Preceding Laws, Leviticus 7:35-38.

SECTION II. Consecration of the Aaronic Priesthood — First Service —

Judicial Death of Nadab and Abihu, chapters 8-10.

The Investment and Unction, Leviticus 8:1-36. Aaron’s First Offering and Blessing, Leviticus 9:1-7. Aaron’s Personal Offerings, Leviticus 9:8-14. The Offerings for Israel, Leviticus 9:15-21. The Benediction and the Consuming Fire from Jehovah, Leviticus 9:22-24. Nadab and Abihu Slain by Jehovah, Leviticus 10:1-7. The Priests Forbidden Wine and Strong Drink, Leviticus 10:8-11. Eating the Most Holy Things, Leviticus 10:12-20.

Part II. Holiness, Rules for Sanctity of Life, chapters 11-27.

SECTION I. External Purity, chapters 11-15.

Purity and Impurity in Animals: Concerning Beasts, Leviticus 11:1-8. Concerning Fishes, Leviticus 11:9-12. Concerning Fowls, Leviticus 11:13-19. Concerning Winged Insects, Leviticus 11:20-25. Concerning Larger Animals, Leviticus 11:26-28. Purity and Impurity in Persons, Leviticus 12:1-8. The Leper, Leviticus 13:1-59. The Ceremonial Cleansing of the Leper, Leviticus 14:1-32. Signs of Leprosy in a House, Leviticus 14:33-45. The Cleansing of a House Suspected of Leprosy, Leviticus 14:46-57. Physical Sanctification: Treatment of Issues, Leviticus 15:1-18. The Uncleanness of Women in their Issues, Leviticus 15:19-33.

SECTION II. Ceremonial Purity, chapters 16-27.

The Day of Atonement: Occasion of the Institution, Leviticus 16:1, 2. Outline of the Ceremonial, Leviticus 16:3-10. Detailed Description of Certain Rites, Leviticus 16:11-28. General Rules respecting the Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16:29-34. The Sacredness of Blood, Leviticus 17:1-16. Holiness in Social Life: The Vices of Egypt and Canaan Prohibited, Leviticus 18:1-5. Prohibition of Incestuous Marriages, Leviticus 18:6-18. Unnatural Lusts Prohibited, Leviticus 18:19-30. Holiness Towards God and Righteousness Towards Men, Leviticus 19:1-37. Punishments, Leviticus 20:1-27. Holiness in the Priests: The Priests’ Mourning for the Dead, Leviticus 21:1-6. Holiness in Family Relations, Leviticus 21:7-15. Personal Disabilities for the Priesthood, Leviticus 21:17-24. Reverence for Holy Things, Leviticus 22:1-16. Acceptable Sacrifices, Leviticus 22:17-28. Miscellaneous Precepts Reiterated, Leviticus 22:29-33. Holiness in Days — Festivals Instituted; The Feasts of the Lord, Leviticus 23:1-8. The Sheaf of Firstfruits, Leviticus 23:9-14. The Feast of Pentecost, Leviticus 23:15-21. The Law of Charity, Leviticus 23:22. The Feast of Trumpets, Leviticus 23:23-25. Day of Expiations, Leviticus 23:26-32. The Feast of Ingathering, Leviticus 23:33-44. Purity in Oil and Showbread; Holiness of the Divine Name, and Sacredness of Human Life; The Illumination of the Tabernacle, Leviticus 24:1-4. Ordinance of the Showbread, Leviticus 24:5-9. The Blasphemer Stoned, Leviticus 24:10-23. The Law of Retaliation, Leviticus 24:17-23. Holiness Applied to Years: The Sabbatical Year, Leviticus 25:1-7. The Year of Jubilee, Leviticus 25:8-55. Rules for the Sale of Land, Leviticus 25:14-17. Additional Legislation respecting the Sabbatical Year, Leviticus 25:18-22. The Redemption of Land, Leviticus 25:23-28. The Redemption of Houses, Leviticus 25:29-34. Mercy to the Poor Enjoined, Leviticus 25:35-43. Non-Hebrew Servants, Leviticus 25:44-46. The Hebrew Servant and the Foreign Master, Leviticus 25:47-55. Promises and Threatenings as Sanctions of the Law and Motives to Holiness. Idolatry, the Sabbath, and the Sanctuary, Leviticus 26:1, 2. Blessings Promised to Obedience, Leviticus 26:3-13. Threatenings Against Disobedience, Leviticus 26:14-39. Mercy After Judgments — Israel not Utterly Destroyed, Leviticus 26:40-46. Holiness in Promises — Vows: Persons the Objects of Vows, Leviticus 27:2-8. Animals Vowed, Leviticus 27:9-13. Houses and Fields Vowed, Leviticus 27:14-25. Firstlings and Unclean Beasts, Leviticus 27:26, 27. Things Under the Ban and Tithes, Leviticus 27:28-34.

— Commentary on Leviticus.

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