Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Leviticus 1-4

The Books of Moses that make up the Pentateuch continue in Leviticus. Exodus described how the LORD led the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, and how he handed down to them the law. In Leviticus, much of that law is described. Today's reading, the first four chapters, all deal with specific details for various offerings. Chapter one describes, in detail, the process for making a burnt offering. Chapter two describes the grain offering and chapter three, the "fellowship" offering. Chapter four describes the steps for making the sin offering.

Thoughts, questions, issues

  • There's a tremendous amount of repetition in this section, as the instructions for the various offering are very similar, and each is repeated for minor variations in circumstances.
  • The burnt offering, whether from the herd or the flock, must be a male. The "fellowship" offering can be either male or female.
  • "It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD" is in chapter one three times. The "aroma pleasing to the LORD" is repeated a couple more times in chapter three.
  • Jesus is often referred to as the "lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." Chapter four of Leviticus describes the sin offering process. "If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, he is guilty. When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering for the sin he committed...If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he is to bring a female without defect. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it for a sin offering at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered."

Psalms 9

Psalm 9 comes with an interesting note, in that a tune is specified. Apparently, there are eleven psalms with tunes specified, number 9 is the first. I have no idea what the tune is, obviously, nor do I suspect that it would be of much use with the English words. But it seems to me to be one more foreshadowing in the Old Testament of the pivotal events of the New. In reality, is not the whole story of the Bible, start to finish, about "the Death of the Son," and the redemption accomplished through it?

And just to acknowledge the cluelessness which this exercise involves, as I read this tonight it occurs to me, for the first time, that the story of Abraham and Isaac is, in miniature, the story of redemption which God has writ large upon the earth. He asked of Abraham no more than he then provided for us - the sacrifice of his son as an atonement for sin.

This is also a praise psalm, albeit one with a more martial air than the one which precedes it. Much of the praise is for not only protecting againd, but destroying, "the enemy."

Psalm 9
For the director of music. To the tune of "The Death of the Son." A psalm of David.
1 [a]I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.

2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3 My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.

4 For you have upheld my right and my cause;
you have sat on your throne, judging righteously.

5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.

6 Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.

7 The LORD reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He will judge the world in righteousness;
he will govern the peoples with justice.

9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

11 Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.

12 For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.

13 O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,

14 that I may declare your praises
in the gates of the Daughter of Zion
and there rejoice in your salvation.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.

16 The LORD is known by his justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
Higgaion. [b] Selah

17 The wicked return to the grave, [c]
all the nations that forget God.

18 But the needy will not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.

19 Arise, O LORD, let not man triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.

20 Strike them with terror, O LORD;
let the nations know they are but men.

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