Key verse: Leviticus 25:35-36

“If your brother becomes destitute and cannot sustain himself among you, you are to support him as an alien or temporary resident, so that he can continue to live among you. Do not profit or take interest from him, but fear your God and let your brother live among you.” (CSB)

Monday, April 22 | Read Leviticus 22

From the note on vv. 10-12 in Leviticus, by Mark F. Rooker, from the New American Commentary series:

“This section deals with the question of who may eat of the food offerings dedicated to the priests (Lev 6-7). No one outside the priest’s family could partake of the offerings made to the Lord, except for an acquired slave or a slave born in the priest’s household (22:10-11). Otherwise, those outside a priest’s family were prohibited from eating. The word zār, translated in the NIV “outside the family” (22:10), is normally translated “stranger,” referring to someone outside the ethnic boundaries of Israel. the word was also used, however, of those who do not belong to the priesthood (Exod 29:33; Num 3:10,18; 17:5; 18:4,7). It may therefore be rendered “layman.” the slave, who would be qualified to eat of a sacrifice probably was circumcised as a sign of his membership in the covenant. Daughters of priests who married laymen were also disqualified from partaking of a sacrificial meal (22:12).”

Tuesday, April 23 | Read Leviticus 23

From the NLT Illustrated Study Bible note on v. 22:

Concern for the Poor

“God commanded Israel to show concern for its people’s well-being. Israel’s covenant with God, together with its self-concept as an extended family, exerted a leveling effect that resisted pretensions to privilege. A family should provide for members who are facing difficulty. These members of the Israelite people included widows and orphans (Exod 22:22), the poor, and foreigners (Lev 19:10). In 19:9-10, the edges of the fields and the gleanings of field and vineyard were to be left for the needy (see 23:22). the crops that grew spontaneously each Sabbath year and Jubilee year were allocated to the poor and the foreigner (ch 25). Those who were destitute were not to be victimized. Instead, loans were to be made at no charge, or the debtor was to be allowed to work off his debt with dignity as a bondservant (25:35-42). These positive steps ensured that the poor had food to eat.”

Wednesday, April 24 | Read Leviticus 24

From the note on vv. 16-22 in The Book of Leviticus, by Gordon J. Wenham, from the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series:

“This incident of blasphemy provided an occasion to spell out some of the cardinal principles of biblical law in a short digression, vv. 16-22. These verses are carefully arranged in a concentric pattern called a palistrophe.

A resident alien and native Israelite (v. 16)
B take a man’s life (v. 17)
C take an animal’s life (v. 18)
D whatever he did, must be done to him (v. 19)
D’ whatever…, must be done to him (v. 20)
C’ kill an animal (v. 21a)
B’ kill a man (v. 21b)
A’ resident alien and native Israelite (v. 22)

“The symmetry and balance of this structure reinforces the points made explicitly in the text, namely, that in these cases the same penalty must be applied to both resident alien and native Israelite (vv. 16, 22) and that in all cases the punishment must match the offense: If a man injures his fellow citizen, whatever he did must be done to him (v. 19).”

Thursday, April 25 | Read Leviticus 25

From the Message Devotional Bible note on vv. 1-7:

Sabbath and Worship

“So how do we get these Sabbath-keeping rhythms into our lives so that we can work congruently with God, living more in step with him and his creation? The way we are to do it is to embed Sabbath-keeping in weekly acts of worship. We keep Sabbath best when we enter a place of worship, gather with a congregation and sing and pray and listen to God. When we walk out of the place of worship, we walk with refreshed eyes and re-created hearts into the world in which we are images of God participating in his creation work. This practice should be so embedded in our lives that even the land–even each one of our placed of business–participates in this joyous, life-giving rest.”

Friday, April 26 | Read Leviticus 26

From the Apologetics Study Bible note on v. 46:

“The belief that God disciplines his people in order to keep them from continuing in their sinful paths is also expressed in Dt 8:5 and Pr 3:11-12 (see Heb 12:4-11). While the ultimate curse of exile would cause Israel to forfeit her occupation of the land of her inheritance for a period of time (see Lv 18:24-28), it would not threaten the existence of Israel, the seed of Abraham (Rm 11). The NT seems to regard the principle of blessing and cursing as applying to the church, individually and corporately. As in the OT, those who accept God’s grace will enjoy its privileges in doing God’s will but will suffer if they do not (e.g., Rm 2:6-10). Many of the horrifying judgments described in Rv 6 find their original setting in the covenant curses of Lv 26 and Dt 28.”

Saturday, April 27 | Read Leviticus 27

From the KJV Everyday Study Bible note on vv. 30-33:

“The tithe is not a human invention but a divine command. The first time the tithe is mentioned in the Bible was when Abram gave a tenth of what he had to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20). The Israelites are told to tithe of the land (cp. Deut. 14:22-24). During the monarchy, the tithe was important because ti provided the capital necessary for the day-to-day operation of the temple. The giving of the tithe was revived by Nehemiah during the postexilic era since it seems that the practice had been ignored (Neh. 13:10-13,37-38). Through the prophet Malachi, God rebuked the people for robbing God by not bringing their tithes to the temple (Mal. 3:8-10).”

Sunday, April 28 | Numbers 1

From the Archaeology Study Bible notes on vv. 2-3:

Take a census. Within ancient Near Eastern literature, including the OT, the census had a variety of purposes. It was used to count the population for the purpose of taxation (see Luke 2:1-5; Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.1.1). It was employed to allocate the number ow workers to erve in the central sanctuary (Num. 3:14-39) or to fund the temple itself (Ex. 30:13-16). Perhaps its most important use in antiquity was a military registration for conscription.

twenty years old and upward. This appears to have been a common age of conscription in the ancient Near East and, in particular, in Israel (2 Chron. 25:5).”