The Book of Leviticus Overview
The name of the book in the Hebrew Bible is its opening word, wayyiqrā‘, ‘and he [the Lord] called’. The name Leviticus is derived from the ancient Greek and Latin translations of the Hebrew Scriptures. It was given to the book doubtless because it contains many instructions relating to the work of the levitical priests. However, it is not entirely appropriate for two reasons. First, because not all the tribe of Levites were actually priests but only those of a particular family within the tribe. And secondly, because a lot of the book is directed at the ordinary Israelites, not merely the priests, addressing issues of their lives in relation to worship, family morality, social and community living, economic dealings etc. The book was as important for the ‘laity’ as for the ‘clergy’.
Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Ex 40:34