This section of Leviticus continues on from the first 12 chapters in explaining the law and elaborating on it. There are many interesting laws through here, but there were a couple of things I noticed in particular.
The first is that Leviticus 18:22 is the first reference in the law that homosexuality is wrong. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for this among many other perversions previously, and there are other indications that it is wrong, but this is the first mention in the law. Similarly, the entirity of chapter 18 is focused on sexual relations that are wrong, and in chapter 20, the punishments for these sins and others are made clear. In reference to homosexuality, Leviticus 20:13.
The second thing is that Sabbath worship is encouraged to be kept and is spread over a number of chapters, mentioned almost as many times as it is in Exodus. In chapter 19:3 “Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.” Again a little further on in chapter 19:30 “Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.” The next mention is in Leviticus 23:3 “There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.” In chapter 26:2 again, almost the same words “Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.”
There is also mention of a Sabbath year which is something I haven’t come across before either, though it is regularly used in farming today (though not in the same way). In Leviticus 25:1-7 it is described as a year not to work the fields basically, to allow them to recuperate before working them again. Whether this is the source of crop rotation in modern day farming I don’t really know, but the concept is similar in that rotation allows fields a chance to recuperate before they are planted again.
There are a number of little things in this section that are quite interesting to note as well that I have not come across before, the one that particularly stood out to me though is, Leviticus 19:28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” I wasn’t aware that there is actually a statement like that in the Bible at all, which is quite interesting. I personally have always considered tattoo’s to be wrong simply because our bodies are meant to be the temple of God, and we are created in his image. So why do we need to distort and warp it?