Lessons from the Levitical Priesthood

Discovery for Students

Lessons from the Levitical Priesthood


Leviticus 8:1 through 10:20

“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people” (Leviticus 9:23).


Aaron had been chosen by God to be the high priest for Israel, to make offerings unto the Lord for the people, and his sons were to succeed him. Prior to the time of Moses, the heads of families offered sacrifices. Now the nation had been organized, the Tabernacle had been set up specifically as a place for sacrifices and worship, a ritual had been prescribed, and a ceremonial rank of officers were appointed to particular roles.

In these three chapters, we find that the consecration of Aaron and his sons was accomplished by a sin offering followed by a burnt offering. This was a ritual prescribed by God to prepare them for the office they were about to fill. The consecration service lasted seven days, the sacrifices being repeated each day. During this time, those being consecrated were not allowed to leave the sanctuary.

Nadab and Abihu, the two oldest sons of Aaron, were men with a great heritage. Not only were they the sons of Israel’s high priest, but they were also the nephews of Israel’s leader, and the heads of Israel’s princely elders. They had been with Moses and Aaron on the mount of God, they had seen the glorious visions at Mount Sinai, and now they had been consecrated to the Levitical priesthood. All of this made their trespass, documented in chapter 10, all the more inexcusable and worthy of judgment.


  1. What critical phrase is repeated in chapter 8, verses 4, 9, and 13? What do you suppose would have been the outcome if Moses had not operated in such a matter?
  2. Why was it important for the people to observe the consecration of the priests? (Leviticus 8:2-3)
  3. In Leviticus 8:2, God commanded Moses to bring three animals to this ceremony. What were they? What was the specific use for each?
  4. What was the significance of each sacrifice?
  5. Why do you suppose God wanted animals without blemish for the sacrifices? (Leviticus 9:2)
  6. What promise is found in Leviticus 9:4-6? What application might we make regarding our approach to God today?
  7. In Leviticus 9:22-24, something special took place, just as God had said. As God does not change, what can we learn from this, if we need something from God in our own lives?
  8. Why were two sons of Aaron (Nadab and Abihu) slain by the Lord? (Leviticus 10:1-2)
  9. The offense and death of Nadab and Abihu was a tragic event in the midst of a special and celebratory time for Israel. What can we learn from it?


There are many lessons to learn about the importance of complete obedience to God. What He has said, He means. What He has promised, He will do. God’s Word is sure, and the best way for us to inherit all of His blessings is to pay attention to the details of our own lives. If we live with sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, we will be right in line for the Lord to reveal His glory to us too.