The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries provide compact, critical commentaries on the books of the Old Testament for the use of theological students and pastors. The commentaries are also useful for upper-level college or university students and for those responsible for teaching in congregational settings. In addition to providing basic information and insights into the Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful interpretation, to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed and critical engagement with the biblical texts themselves.
Leviticus is one of those OT books that modern readers tend to avoid on the basis of an undeserved reputation alone. Many assume that its laws and instructions – especially those concerning animal sacrifices – are irrelevant to the religious life of Western readers. This assumption does not take into account the theological principles demonstrated by these teachings and demonstrated in the cultic rituals and affairs of daily life mentioned in the book. Within the narrative arc of the Pentateuch, the laws of Leviticus represent a program for restoring the original created order, an order that has been disrupted by human sin. Leviticus prepares for and presents a world that is to be dominated by life, which is manifested by humans in cultic purity and daily holiness. As such, the book constitutes a challenge and an encouragement to believers of every generation, as they strive to live the life that God originally intended for humanity.