You might think Leviticus (the third book in the Bible) is one of the most boring and difficult to understand books in the Bible. But once I studied it in depth, it is actually fascinating. Did you know that it is the Old Testament book with the most intensive words directly from God? How can any Christians not wanting to read it?
I have been studying this book with my bible study group in the last few months. Since than my readings of the other bible books in both Old and New Testament are much richer than before, as the concept of holiness and offerings are key in our theology. Leviticus describes how God has called His people to act and behave, when living around the Tabernacle.
In this post, I want to share with you an interesting aspect : How the Tabernacle is closely related to the garden of Eden.
The Hebrew name of the book of Leviticus is “Calling”. As in the first verse of chapter one:
Leviticus 1:1 “The Lord CALLED to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting…”
In the Bible, the first time God ever called human was in Genesis 3:9, after the fall of Adam and Eve : “But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?””
After this, human were banished from the garden of Eden. See Genesis 3:24. The author of Leviticus wanted his readers to relate them with each other. Below are more examples.
1. East Exit
Both the exit of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and Tabernacle (Exodus 27:13-14) face east.
After God drove human out of Eden, he placed cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the entrance of the garden (Genesis 3:24)
Two cherubim were crafted on top of the cover of the Ark, which is placed inside the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:18-22).
Cherubim were also woven onto the curtain inside the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:31).
The Ark, covered by the “Mercy Seat” with two Cherubim on top.
There were many trees inside Eden, including the tree of life and tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).
The golden lamb-stand placed inside the Tabernacle was shaped like a tree, with seven branches of flowers and buds (Exodus 25:31-40)
4. Priestly Garments
Eden was the starting point of four rivers. Aromatic resin and onyx (precious stones) were present there (Genesis 2:10-12).
The Breastpiece of the priestly garment has four rows of precious stones mounted on it, including onyx (Exodus 28:19-20).
The High Priest with a breastplate of 12 precious stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
5. Adam’s clothes
After Adam and Eve sinned, God made garment for them (Genesis 3:21). The Hebrew word “Garment” is the same word as the priest tunics (Exodus 40:14, Leviticus 8:7).
6. To work and take care
In Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
In the Tabernacle, Levites and Priests work and take care of everything there (Numbers 3:7, 8:6, 18:5-6). The author used same Hebrew words to describe these two duties.
After the fall of human, God wanted to be with man again through the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:8) , just like in Genesis when God was living with man in Eden (Genesis 3:8).
Many people thought Leviticus is a book of priestly manual but actually it tells the Israelites how not to be like Adam and Eve, and to live out holy and unique life according to God’s calling, in order to bless all the people around the world.