The Eschatological Significance Of Leviticus 26 -- By: William D. Barrick

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 16:1 (Spring 2005)
Article: The Eschatological Significance Of Leviticus 26
Author: William D. Barrick

The Eschatological Significance Of Leviticus 26

William D. Barrick

Professor of Old Testament

The blessings and curses of Leviticus 26 have eschatological significance because they relate to the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants. Verses 33–45 speak of retributive dispersion/exile, the Sabbath rest, the stricken remnant, and the contingency of repentance. Repentance includes Israel’s acceptance of retribution, Yahweh’s acceptance of repentance, and a summary of the retribution. Chapter 26 touches upon various eschatological themes, one of which is its attention to the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Deuteronomic covenants. It also speaks of the land promised to Israel under the Abrahamic Covenant, of Israel’s exile and eventual salvation, of preservation of the covenant by Yahweh though breached by Israel, of the prohibition of idolatry, of Sabbath observance, of the Lord’s presence with Israel, of His promises to bless obedient Israel, of Israel’s obedience and disobedience, of retribution and chastisement, and of future exile and repentance. Though the NT has only one direct reference to Leviticus 26, application of the chapter to believers of every era is obvious: faith is the binding requirement for anyone to have a relationship to the God of Abraham.

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Leviticus is not normally the first source students of Scripture consult when discussing eschatology. Its focus is on holiness,1 not prophetic events. Leviticus reveals that God called the Israelites to holiness in their worship and daily living as His chosen people. Chapters 1–7 present a sacrificial system that established an outward manifestation of individual and corporate covenant communion consistent with the divine standard of holiness. The sacrificial system facilitated the preservation of fellowship between the people of the covenant and their holy covenant God.

Next, chapters 8–10 define the priestly ministry. The priests were the caretakers of the covenant relationship. Chapters 11–15 move on to describe the purity Yahweh requires of His people so that surrounding nations might recognize Israel’s identification with Him. He summons His covenant community to a holy

lifestyle distinct from that of neighboring nations. The annual renewal of this covenant relationship takes place on the Day of Atone...

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