Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III
AN INTRODUCTION to the OLD TESTAMENT
Leviticus is the third part of the Pentateuch. The concluding chapters of Exodus that focus on the construction of the tabernacle (Exod. 25-40) lead naturally to the opening of Leviticus, which describes the various sacrifices performed in the Holy Place (Lev. 1-7). The name Leviticus comes from the Septuagint via the Vulgate and highlights the main subject matter. The name means “pertaining to the Levites,” and although that tribe as such is not emphasized throughout the book, the priestly subject matter renders the title appropriate. The Hebrew title, like those of the other books of the Pentateuch, derives from the initial words of the book. Leviticus is thus wayyiqra4 ( ar™:q]YIw" ), “And he called.” The book of Leviticus is often seen by the church as irrelevant to the present day. In those few cases where it is considered significant, an allegorical interpretation is used to “bridge the gap” between the time of the Old Testament and today. A close study of its contents, however, will reveal its rich contribution to our understanding of God and the history of redemption without recourse to allegory.