The Jewish title for Leviticus is wayyiqrā, “And He Called,” the first words of the book. The English title is derived from the name the book bears in the Latin Vulgate, Leviticus, “pertaining to the Levites.”
The historical perspective apparently determined placement of the book in the Canon. In the words of Brevard S. Childs,
...the book of Leviticus has been given a definite historical setting as instructions to Moses in the context of the Sinai covenant. Even elements of the narrative are continued from the previous book (Lev. 8-9 joins Ex. 29). The final chapters look forward to the imminent entrance into the promised land and connect smoothly with the book of Numbers (p. 157).
Theological considerations are also important in the placing of Leviticus immediately after Exodus. In the latter book God establishes the Sinai covenant with Israel and directs Moses in the building of the tabernacle. Leviticus gives instructions for worship at the tabernacle and for holy living before God. Basic theological themes introduced in Exodus, such as God's holy presence and human sinfulness, are central to Leviticus, where regulations are given in order that a sinful people may worship the holy God.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll gain access to a vast digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads to minimize distractions from God's Word. Try it free for 30 days!