Levi @ adhesion. (1.) The third son of Jacob by Leah. The origin of the name is found in Leah's words Genesis:29:34), "This time will my husband be joined [Heb. yillaveh] unto me." He is mentioned as taking a prominent part in avenging his sister Dinah Genesis:34:25-31). He and his three sons went down with Jacob (46:11) into Egypt, where he died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years Exodus:6:16). (2.) The father of Matthat, and son of Simeon, of the ancestors of Christ Luke:3:29). (3.) Luke:3:24. (4.) One of the apostles, the son of Alphaeus Mark:2:14; Luke:5:27-29), called also Matthew Matthew:9:9).
Leviathan @ a transliterated Hebrew word (livyathan), meaning "twisted," "coiled." In Job:3:8, Revised Version, and marg. of Authorized Version, it denotes the dragon which, according to Eastern tradition, is an enemy of light; in 41:1 the crocodile is meant; in Psalms:104:26 it "denotes any large animal that moves by writhing or wriggling the body, the whale, the monsters of the deep." This word is also used figuratively for a cruel enemy, as some think "the Egyptian host, crushed by the divine power, and cast on the shores of the Red Sea" Psalms:74:14). As used in Isaiah:27:1, "leviathan the piercing [R.V. 'swift'] serpent, even leviathan that crooked [R.V. marg. 'winding'] serpent," the word may probably denote the two empires, the Assyrian and the Babylonian.
Levirate Law @ from Latin levir, "a husband's brother," the name of an ancient custom ordained by Moses, by which, when an Israelite died without issue, his surviving brother was required to marry the widow, so as to continue his brother's family through the son that might be born of that marriage Genesis:38:8; Deuteronomy:25:5-10; comp. Ruth:3; 4:10). Its object was "to raise up seed to the departed brother."
Levite @ a descendant of the tribe of Levi Exodus:6:25; Leviticus:25:32; Numbers:35:2; Joshua:21:3-41). This name is, however, generally used as the title of that portion of the tribe which was set apart for the subordinate offices of the sanctuary service (kjvKings:8:4; Ezra:2:70), as assistants to the priests. When the Israelites left Egypt, the ancient manner of worship was still observed by them, the eldest son of each house inheriting the priest's office. At Sinai the first change in this ancient practice was made. A hereditary priesthood in the family of Aaron was then instituted Exodus:28:1). But it was not till that terrible scene in connection with the sin of the golden calf that the tribe of Levi stood apart and began to occupy a distinct position Exodus:32). The religious primogeniture was then conferred on this tribe, which henceforth was devoted to the service of the sanctuary Numbers:3:11-13). They were selected for this purpose because of their zeal for the glory of God Exodus:32:26), and because, as the tribe to which Moses and Aaron belonged, they would naturally stand by the lawgiver in his work. The Levitical order consisted of all the descendants of Levi's three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; whilst Aaron, Amram's son (Amram, son of Kohat), and his issue constituted the priestly order. The age and qualification for Levitical service are specified in Numbers:4:3Numbers:4:23, 30, 39, 43, 47. They were not included among the armies of Israel Numbers:1:47Numbers:2:33Numbers:26:62 ), but were reckoned by themselves. They were the special guardians of the tabernacle Numbers:1:51Numbers:18:22-24). The Gershonites pitched their tents on the west of the tabernacle (3:23), the Kohathites on the south (3:29), the Merarites on the north (3:35), and the priests on the east (3:38). It was their duty to move the tent and carry the parts of the sacred structure from place to place. They were given to Aaron and his sons the priests to wait upon them and do work for them at the sanctuary services Numbers:8:19Numbers:18:2-6). As being wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, they had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance Numbers:18:20Numbers:26:62; Deuteronomy:10:9Deuteronomy:18:1-2), and for their support it was ordained that they should receive from the other tribes the tithes of the produce of the land. Forty-eight cities also were assigned to them, thirteen of which were for the priests "to dwell in", i.e., along with their other inhabitants. Along with their dwellings they had "suburbs", i.e., "commons", for their herds and flocks, and also fields and vineyards Numbers:35:2-5). Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four in each of the other tribes Joshua:21). Six of the Levitical cities were set apart as "cities of refuge" (q.v.). Thus the Levites were scattered among the tribes to keep alive among them the knowledge and service of God. (See PRIEST
Leviticus @ the third book of the Pentateuch; so called in the Vulgate, after the LXX., because it treats chiefly of the Levitical service. In the first section of the book (1-17), which exhibits the worship itself, there is, (1.) A series of laws (1-7) regarding sacrifices, burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings (1-3), sin-offerings and trespass-offerings (4; 5), followed by the law of the priestly duties in connection with the offering of sacrifices (6; 7). (2.) An historical section (8-10), giving an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (8); Aaron's first offering for himself and the people (9); Nadab and Abihu's presumption in offering "strange fire before Jehovah," and their punishment (10). (3.) Laws concerning purity, and the sacrifices and ordinances for putting away impurity (11-16). An interesting fact may be noted here. Canon Tristram, speaking of the remarkable discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the Holy Land by the Palestine Exploration officers, makes the following statement:, "Take these two catalogues of the clean and unclean animals in the books of Leviticus  and Deuteronomy . There are eleven in Deuteronomy which do not occur in Leviticus, and these are nearly all animals and birds which are not found in Egypt or the Holy Land, but which are numerous in the Arabian desert. They are not named in Leviticus a few weeks after the departure from Egypt; but after the people were thirty-nine years in the desert they are named, a strong proof that the list in Deuteronomy was written at the end of the journey, and the list in Leviticus at the beginning. It fixes the writing of that catalogue to one time and period only, viz., that when the children of Israel were familiar with the fauna and the flora of the desert" (Palest. Expl. Quart., Jan. 1887). (4.) Laws marking the separation between Israel and the heathen (17-20). (5.) Laws about the personal purity of the priests, and their eating of the holy things (20; 21); about the offerings of Israel, that they were to be without blemish (22:17-33); and about the due celebration of the great festivals (23; 25). (6.) Then follow promises and warnings to the people regarding obedience to these commandments, closing with a section on vows. The various ordinances contained in this book were all delivered in the space of a month (comp. Exodus:40:17; Numbers:1:1), the first month of the second year after the Exodus. It is the third book of Moses. No book contains more of the very words of God. He is almost throughout the whole of it the direct speaker. This book is a prophecy of things to come, a shadow whereof the substance is Christ and his kingdom. The principles on which it is to be interpreted are laid down in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It contains in its complicated ceremonial the gospel of the grace of God.
LEVI @ - (joined). The name of the third son of Jacob by his wife Leah. (B.C. about 1753.) The name, derived from lavah , "to adhere," gave utterance to the hope of the mother that the affections of her husband, which had hitherto rested on the favored Rachel, would at last be drawn to her: "This time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons." Genesis:29:34) Levi, with his brother Simeon, avenged with a cruel slaughter the outrage of their sister Dinah. [DINAH] Levi, with his three sons, Gershon, Kohath and Merari, went down to Egypt with his father Jacob. Genesis:47:11) When Jacob’s death draws near, and the sons are gathered round him, Levi and Simeon hear the old crime brought up again to receive its sentence. They no less than Reuben, the incestuous firstborn, had forfeited the privileges of their birthright. Genesis:49:5-7) [LEVITES] Two of the ancestors of Jesus. Luke:3:24Luke:3:29) Son of Alphaeus or Matthew; one of the apostles. Mark:2:14; Luke:5:27-29) [See MATTHEW]
LEVIATHAN @ - (jointed monster) occurs five times in the text of the Authorized Version, and once in the margin of Job:3:8) where the text has "mourning." In the Hebrew Bible the word livyathan , which is, with the foregoing exception, always left untranslated in the Authorized Version, is found only in the following passages: Job:3:8Job:41:1; Psalms:74:14Psalms:104:26; Isaiah:27:1) In the margin of Job:3:8) and text of Job:41:1) the crocodile is most clearly the animal denoted by the Hebrew word. Psalms:74:14) also clearly points to this same saurian. The context of Psalms:104:26) seems to show that in this passage the name represents some animal of the whale tribe, which is common in the Mediterranean; but it is somewhat uncertain what animal is denoted in Isaiah:27:1) As the term leviathan is evidently used in no limited sense, it is not improbable that the "leviathan the piercing serpent," or "leviathan the crooked serpent," may denote some species of the great rock-snakes which are common in south and west Africa.
LEVITES @ - (descendants of Levi). Sometimes the name extends to the whole tribe, the priests included, Exodus:6:25; Leviticus:25:32; Numbers:35:2; Joshua:21:3-41) etc; sometimes only to those members of the tribe who were not priests, and as distinguished from them. Sometimes again it is added as an epithet of the smaller portion of the tribe, and we read of "the priests the Levites." Joshua:3:3; Ezekiel:44:15) The history of the tribe and of the functions attached to its several orders is essential to any right apprehension of the history of Israel as a people. It will fall naturally into four great periods:-- I. The time of the exodus . --There is no trace of the consecrated character of the Levites till the institution of a hereditary priesthood in the family of Aaron, during the first withdrawal of Moses to the solitude of Sinai. Exodus:24:1) The next extension of the idea of the priesthood grew out of the terrible crisis of Exod 32. The tribe stood forth separate and apart, recognizing even in this stern work the spiritual as higher than the natural. From this time they occupied a distinct position. The tribe of Levi was to take the place of that earlier priesthood of the first-born as representatives of the holiness of the people. At the time of their first consecration there were 22,000 of them, almost exactly the number of the first-born males in the whole nation. As the tabernacle was the sign of the presence among the people of their unseen King, so the Levites were, among the other tribes of Israel, as the royal guard that waited exclusively on him. It was obviously essential for their work as the bearers and guardians of the sacred tent that there should be a fixed assignment of duties; and now accordingly we meet with the first outlines of the organization which afterward became permanent. The division of the tribe into the three sections that traced their descent from the sons of Levi formed the groundwork of it. The work which they all had to do required a man’s full strength, and therefore, though twenty was the starting-point for military service, Numb 1, they were not to enter on their active service till they were thirty. Numbers:4:23Numbers:4:30,35) At fifty they were to be free from all duties but those of superintendence. Numbers:8:25-26) (1) The Kohathites, as nearest of kin to the priests, held from the first the highest offices. They were to bear all the vessels of the sanctuary, the ark itself included. Numbers:3:31Numbers:4:15Numbers:31:35 ) (2) the Gershonites had to carry the tent-hangings and curtains. Numbers:4:22-26) (3) The heavier burden of the boards, bars and pillars of the tabernacle fell on the sons of Merari. The Levites were to have no territorial possessions. In place of them they were to receive from the others the tithes of the produce of the land, from which they, in their turn, offered a tithe to the priests, as a recognition of their higher consecration. Numbers:18:21-24-26; Nehemiah:10:37) Distinctness and diffusion were both to be secured by the assignment to the whole tribe of forty-eight cities, with an outlying "suburb," Numbers:35:2) of meadowland for the pasturage of their flocks and herds. The reverence of the people for them was to be heightened by the selection of six of these as cities of refuge. Through the whole land the Levites were to take the place of the old household priests, sharing in all festivals and rejoicings. (12:19; 14:26-27; 26:11) Every third year they were to have an additional share in the produce of the land. (14:28; 26:12) To "the priests the Levites" was to belong the office of preserving, transcribing and interpreting the law. (17:9-12; 31:26) II. The period of the judges. --The successor of Moses, though belonging to another tribe, did all that could be done to make the duty above named a reality. The submission of the Gibeonites enabled him to relieve the tribe-divisions of Gershon and Merari of the most burdensome of their duties. The conquered Hivites became "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for the house of Jehovah and for the congregation. Joshua:9:27) As soon as the conquerors had advanced far enough to proceed to a partition of the country, the forty-eight cities were assigned to them. III. The monarchy. --When David’s kingdom was established, there came a fuller organization of the whole tribe. Their position in relation to the priesthood was once again definitely recognized. In the worship of the tabernacle under David, as afterward in that of the temple, the Levites were the gatekeepers, vergers, sacristans, choristers, of the central sanctuary of the nation. They were, in the language of ( 1Chronicles:23:24-32) to which we may refer as almost the locus classicus on this subject, "to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of Jehovah, in the courts, and the chambers, and the purifying of all holy things." They were, besides this, "to stand every morning to thank and praise Jehovah, and likewise at even." They were, lastly, "to offer" --i.e. to assist the priest in offering-- "all burnt sacrifices to Jehovah in the sabbaths and on the set feasts." They lived for the greater part of the year in their own cities, and came up at fixed periods to take their turn of work. ( 1Chronicles:25:1; 1Chronicles:26:1) ... The educational work which the Levites received for their peculiar duties, no less than their connection, more or less intimate, with the schools of the prophets, would tend to make them the teachers of the others, the transcribers and interpreters of the law, the chroniclers of the times in which they lived. (Thus they became to the Israelites what ministers and teachers are to the people now, and this teaching and training the people in morality and religion was no doubt one of the chief reasons why they were set apart by God from the people, and yet among the people. --ED.) The revolt of the ten tribes, and the policy pursued by Jeroboam, who wished to make the priests the creatures and instruments of the king, and to establish a provincial and divided worship, caused them to leave the cities assigned to them in the territory of Israel, and gather round the metropolis of Judah. ( 2Chronicles:11:13-14) In the kingdom of Judah they were, from this time forward, a powerful body, politically as well as ecclesiastically. IV. After the captivity. --During the period that followed the captivity of the Levites contributed to the formation of the so-called Great Synagogue. They, with the priests, formed the majority of the permanent Sanhedrin, and as such had a large share in the administration of justice even in capital cases. They appear but seldom in the history of the New Testament.
LEVITICUS @ - The third book in the Pentateuch is called Leviticus because it relates principally to the Levites and priests and their services. The book is generally held to have been written by Moses. Those critics even who hold a different opinion as to the other books of the Pentateuch assign this book in the main to him. One of the most notable features of the book is what may be called its spiritual meaning. That so elaborate a ritual looked beyond itself we cannot doubt. It was a prophecy of things to come; a shadow whereof the substance was Christ and his kingdom. We may not always be able to say what the exact relation is between the type and the antitype; but we cannot read the Epistle to the Hebrews and not acknowledge that the Levitical priests "served the pattern and type of heavenly things;" that the sacrifices of the law pointed to and found their interpretation in the Lamb of God; that the ordinances of outward purification signified the true inner cleansing of the heart and conscience from dead works to serve the living God. One idea --HOLINESS-- moreover penetrates the whole of this vast and burdensome ceremonial, and gives it a real glory even apart from any prophetic significance.