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Leviticus: Holy God, Holy People - Preaching the Word (Mathews)

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This Preaching the Word commentary reveals how the regulations detailed in Leviticus point to the perfection and fulfillment of Christ in the New Testament age.

It is the message that God spoke to his people through Moses as they prepared to depart for the Promised Land. It details regulations for holy living and sacrificial worship in Old Testament Israel. But does Leviticus have anything to say to Christians today?

Knowing that readers of the Bible often get hung up on the seeming irrelevance of Leviticus, Kenneth Mathews counters with this insightful Preaching the Word commentary. His chapter-by-chapter analysis reveals much about not only the demands of a holy God but about the kind of relationship he wants with his people and his standards for worship in any age.

As Mathews illuminates the significance of Israel's sacrificial system and symbols, he draws parallel after parallel to Jesus as their perfect fulfillment. His commentary will train pastors, teachers, and serious readers in how Leviticus foreshadows the saving work of Jesus, and the many ways God made accommodation for human sin through Christ.

Table of Contents:

  1. Hearing from God Before Seeing God (1:1)
  2. Commitment (1:2-17)
  3. Thank You, Lord! (2:1-3:17)
  4. Purging the Soul (4:1-5:13)
  5. Debt-Free (5:14-6:7)
  6. Handling Holy Things (6:8-7:38)
  7. The Mediator (8:1-36)
  8. The Glory of the Lord (9:1-24)
  9. The Priestly Mission (10:1-20)
  10. Dining with God (11:1-47)
  11. Born into the Family of Faith (12:1-8)
  12. Holy to the Core (13:1-15:33)
  13. Day of Atonement (16:1-34)
  14. Honoring God at Table (17:1-16)
  15. The Sanctity of the Family (18:1-30)
  16. Daily Christian Living (19:1-37)
  17. Raising the Holy Bar (21:1-22:33)
  18. Holy Day or Holiday? (23:1-3)
  19. Worship for All Seasons (23:4-44)
  20. God’s Sacred Presence (24:1-23)
  21. Free at Last! (25:1-55)
  22. Grace Has the Last Word (26:1-46)
  23. Promises (27:1-34)



KENNETH A. MATHEWS (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary; PhD, University of Michigan) is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, where he teaches Old Testament, Hebrew, and biblical hermeneutics. His noted publications include two commentaries on Genesis and (as coauthor) the Leviticus Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls. 



"Dr. Kenneth Mathews is a superb student of the Holy Scriptures who always teaches the Bible with a view toward its proclamation. In this lively exposition, he shows us that Leviticus, though neglected today in many pulpits, is not only theologically seminal but also eminently preachable. A great contribution to this series!" - Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"Ken Mathews is a respected scholar and a faithful expositor. Both of these competencies are reflected in this work on Leviticus. Mathews brings to life the marvelous truths of a book that intimidates and therefore causes far too many to ignore it. This is a welcomed addition to this outstanding series. Read it and be blessed. Use it and bless your people." - Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"An illuminating treatment! Kenneth A. Mathews is among the few scholars who know how to discuss the legal texts of the Old Testament with appreciated aliveness, and that aliveness is vividly evident in his treating of the holiness theme in Leviticus. His new commentary illumines the text for preaching the gospel against the backdrop of Old Testament rituals and hopes. An excellent study!" - James Earl Massey, Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor-at-large, Anderson University School of Theology

"Dr. Mathews shows something of what Jesus meant when he said of Moses, 'He wrote about me' (John 4:46). He demonstrates that Leviticus is a book that foreshadows the riches of Christ the fulfiller. The preacher will find much help in this commentary for the task of showing that Leviticus is not to be dismissed as dull, legal prescription for ancient Israel, but is arresting, interesting, and relevant to Christian living." - Graeme Goldsworthy, Former Lecturer in Old Testament, Biblical Theology, and Hermeneutics, Moore Theological College