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Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy Book Cover

Let’s continue our study of the last three books of the Pentateuch: Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Leviticus

The events recorded in Leviticus, the third book of the Bible, took place between the completion of the tabernacle (in Exodus) and Israel’s departure from Mount Sinai. Leviticus was important to the nation of Israel. In it, the Levitical priesthood was established, and it contains instructions regarding temple worship and service as well as the moral obligations of the Israelites to God and to each other.

Through all of the rituals and offerings and sacrifices, Leviticus communicates God’s holiness and the way Israel was to worship him (Leviticus 19:2). This response was to be reflected in their daily interactions with God and each other. God’s people are to faithfully obey the Lord and live holy lives according to his Word in order to reflect his character.

Numbers

As the title implies, the book of Numbers includes various statistics, including census counts, priest counts, and tribal counts. In Numbers 13–14, we also discover the reason why the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years before reaching the Promised Land. As they neared Canaan, Moses sent twelve spies to scout the land. When the spies returned at the end of forty days, all except Joshua and Caleb gave a negative report. The ten spies expressed disbelief that they could conquer a land filled with such powerful people. However, Joshua and Caleb disagreed and expressed faith that God would help them conquer the land. However, the people believed the report of the ten spies and began to fear the people living with the land. As a result, God punished the people by making them wander in the desert. The years corresponded to the number of days it took the spies to scout the land. The rest of the book of Numbers recounts the events that occurred during this season of wandering.

Deuteronomy

The events of Deuteronomy occur at the end of the Israelites’ forty years of wandering. They were ready to enter the Promised Land. By this time, all those who had seen the signs of God in Egypt had died (Numbers 14:22–23). Before this new generation crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Moses retold the Law to them to remind them of the covenant that God had established with the nation years earlier. The covenant was conditional. This meant if Israel kept God’s commandments, they would be blessed. If they failed to keep his commandments, they would endure the curses that were recorded in the Law. The final chapters of Deuteronomy record Moses’s preparation for his death and his appointment of Joshua as his successor (Deuteronomy 31–34).

God’s people are to faithfully obey the Lord and live holy lives according to his Word.

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Old Testament: The Pentateuch

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What are your thoughts after reading today’s overview of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy? Are they different than before reading . . . are they the same?

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Comments (13)

It’s never too late to learn right? I have NEVER looked at the Bible the way I am learning to look at it now and understand it! These three books will take some time for me to process through, however, I am excited to look at them with a new lens!~

I am so happy I am doing this study. The overview helped me understand Leviticus-Numbers and the time line of the Isrealites walk with God.

I didn’t know that temple worship rules and priesthood were established at the Leviticus until now. I should take it seriously and go back to read Leviticus from the beginning to the end again.

The overview, summary of these three books was very helpful. I did go back and try reading them.
I went half way through Leviticus and decided to jump over to Number to read more of the details in
that book. I still find there is a lot of detail especially in Numbers. I do feel I can follow and understand
the context better becuase of the overview.
I see how the OT is improtant part of history. God continued to instruct, rescue his people. They just
like us often question God, not just take Him at His word and Trust, knowing He is for us.

I will say I never realized how these books relate to Genesis and Exodus and to the journey of the Israelites. I appreciated hearing from you how they relate to each other and about the 40 years of wandering.

I am excited to not just see them as separate stand-alone Bible Stories, as usually I think of them, but rather a continuous story of God’s holiness, love for His people, and His desire to be loved and followed by His people.

The overviews were helpful in summarizing the books and making them seem less overwhelming. I’ve read the books before and this was very helpful.

I understand it more clearly now since it was summarized. I feel like I can clearly communicate what happened in each book. My overview is different. I can see the flow of the story line.

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