Commentaries on Leviticus

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For more great commentaries on Leviticus check:
Commentaries on the PentateuchCommentaries on the Whole Old Testament
& Whole Bible Commentaries




Ceremonial Laws



Order of Contents

Best  5
Commentaries  8+
Jewish  2
Early & Medieval  8
Figures & Types  2
Chapters  3
Authenticity  1



The Best Commentaries on Leviticus

Medium Level

Bonar, Andrew – A Commentary on the Book of Leviticus, Expository and Practical, with Critical Notes  1861  520 pp.

Bonar (1810–1892) was a minister in th Free Church of Scotland.

*** – ‘Very precious.  Mr. Andrew Bonar has a keen eye for a typical analogy, but he always keeps the rein upon his imagination, and is therefore safe to follow.  He is a master in Israel.’ – Spurgeon

Bush, George

Notes, Critical & Practical on Leviticus

Bush was a Biblical scholar, a professor of oriental literature in New York City University, and initially a presbyterian minister.

“Two works on Leviticus are deserving of continuous study.  These are by George Bush and Samuel Kellogg.  While other treatments may from time to time appear, they will invariably prove to be less satisfying.” – Cyril J. Barber

*** – ‘The author read extensively to produce this volume.  In his later years he became a Swedenborgian, but there is no trace of that leaning in this or his other comments.  He inserts the notes of the Pictorial Bible, but handsomely acknowledges them.’

Questions & Notes, Critical & Practical upon: Leviticus

Kellogg, S.H. – The Book of Leviticus  1891  565 pp.

“Of the commentaries on Leviticus, few can compare with the one by Samuel Kellogg (1839-1899).  An American Presbyterian scholar and missionary, Dr. Kellogg wrote on a variety of themes.  Now that he has passed on to his reward, his writings, and particularly his exposition on the third book of Moses, have become his greatest legacy.

In his treatment of the ‘law of the priests’, Samuel Kellogg deals with the origin and growth of divine revelation, and interprets what Moses penned in the light of the circumstances in which the sons of Israel found themselves while in the desert.  He is aware of the typology of the Tabernacle and its services, but wisely waits until he has treated the need for holiness and the place of sacrifice before showing how the ritual and service of the sanctuary prefigured the character and death of Christ.

Dr. Kellogg also deals objectively and fairly with the laws governing the daily lives of God’s people-a people only recently emancipated from slavery and only now beginning to learn what it meant to be free.  Even here his application of biblical truth is based upon accurate interpretation, so much so that the provision for and importance of cleansing form the defilement of sin is made to parallel graphically the teaching of the New Testament.

Two works on Leviticus are deserving of continuous study.  These are by George Bush and Samuel Kellogg.  While other treatments may from time to time appear, they will invariably prove to be less satisfying.” – Cyril J. Barber

Murphy, James – A Critical & Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Leviticus with a New Translation  (1872)

Murphy was an evangelical professor of Hebrew in Belfast, Ireland.  Spurgeon gave his highest rating to Murphy’s commentaries on Genesis, Exodus and the Psalms, though Spurgeon does not mention this particular work.

‘Combines a devotional emphasis with sound exegesis.’ – Cyril J. Barber



Poole, Matthew – Critical Synopsis of the Bible: Leviticus  Buy

This is different and much larger than Poole’s Annotations on Scripture.  Here Poole gives something of a history of interpretation (from Jewish writers until Christian interpreters of Poole’s own day) on every verse of the Bible.

‘…you will find in Poole’s Synopsis a marvelous collection of all the wisdom and folly of the critics.  It is a large cyclopedia worthy of the days when theologians could be cyclopean, and had not shrunk from folios to octavos.  Query—a query for which I will not demand an answer—has one of you beaten the dust from the venerable copy of Poole which loads our library shelves?  Yet as Poole spent no less than ten years in compiling it, it should be worthy of your frequent notice—ten years, let me add, spent in Amsterdam in exile for the truth’s sake from his native land.  His work is based on an earlier compilation entitled Critic Sacri, containing the concentrated light of a constellation of learned men who have never been excelled in any age or country.’ – Spurgeon



More Commentaries on Leviticus

Devotional & Practical

Cumming, John

Sabbath Morning Readings on the Old Testament: Book of Leviticus  (1855)  370 pp.

**  “For popular reading.  The author wrote too much to be profound.” – Spurgeon

The Great Sacrifice, or the Gospel according to Leviticus  (1854)

**  “A companion to the volume last mentioned.” – Spurgeon

Payne, J. Barton – ‘Leviticus’ in The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book with General and Introductory Essays & Exposition, vol. 1  Buy  ed. Carl Henry  (1960)

This little known commentary set by leading evangelicals (many of which were reformed) is brief (think airplane view) but helpful.  Payne, who was reformed, wrote a theology on the Old Testament through the outline of the structure of the Covenant, at the recommendation of Professor John Murray.


Medium Level


Babington, Gervase – Certain Plain, Brief and Comfortable Notes upon Exodus & Leviticus  also in Works  (d. 1610)

Willet, Andrew – A Six-fold Commentary upon the Third Book of Moses, called Leviticus  (d. 1621)

Willet (1562–1621)

**  “Plodding along with his six-fold load, Willet gives us a comparison of ten versions, ‘handles well nigh two thousand theological questions,’ and quotes ‘above forty authors, old and new.’  He sums up all preceding commentaries, both Protestant and Romish.” – Spurgeon



Mackintosh, Charles H. – Notes on the Book of Leviticus  (1860)

**  “We do not endorse the Plymouthism which pervades these notes, but they are frequently suggestive.  Should be read cautiously.” – Spurgeon

Moorehead, William – Studies in the Mosaic Institutes  (1895)  276 pp.

“An edifying study by one of the great evangelical scholars of the past century.” – Cyril J. Barber

Patrick, Simon – A Commentary upon the 3rd Book of Moses, called Leviticus  1698

Patrick (1626-1707) was an Arminian, Latitudinarian Anglican.

Rainsford, Marcus – The Tabernacle in the Wilderness, and the Gospel according to Leviticus  Buy  (1897)  294 pp.  ToC  Reprinted by Klock & Klock

Seiss, Joseph – The Gospel in Leviticus, or an Exposition of the Hebrew Ritual  (1860)

Seiss (1823–1904) is known for his commentary on Revelation.

**  “Twenty-one very admirable lectures, founded upon Bush and Bonar, but containing much original matter.  The work deserves attention.” – Spurgeon

‘Expository sermons by a nineteenth-century Lutheran pastor.  Although valuable, not as thorough or as helpful as Kellogg’s study in the Expositor’s Bible.’ – Cyril J. Barber



Jewish Commentaries

Ibn Ezra – Commentary on Leviticus  at Sefaria

Rashi – On Leviticus  at Patristic Bible Commentary



The Early Church on Leviticus


Parker, Jr., Samuel – Bibliotheca Biblica [a Biblical Library]; being a Commentary Gathered out of the Writings of Fathers & Ecclesiastical Historians, etc., vol. 3 (Lev)  (1720)

*  “Darling says, that this is ‘a commentary of profound learning and research;’ but it seems to us to be mainly filled with that archaic learning which is now out of date.” – Spurgeon

ed. Lienhard, Joseph – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy  Pre  Buy  (IVP, 2001)  360 pp.  ToC



Origen – Homilies on Leviticus 1-16  trans. Gary Barkley  in Fathers of the Church  (Catholic University of America Press, 1990)  305 pp.  ToC

Ambrosiaster – Questions & Answers on Leviticus (on Lev. 7:1)  at Patristic Bible Commentary

Augustine – Questions on Leviticus (chs. 5-26)  at Patristic Bible Commentary

Cyril of Alexandria – bk. 11: ‘Leviticus’  in Glaphyra on the Pentateuch, vol. 2: Exodus – Deuteronomy  in Fathers of the Church, vol. 138  Pre  (Catholic University of America Press, 2019), pp. 128-67

Cyril (c. 376 – 444)

Theodoret of Cyrus – The Questions on the Octateuch, vol. 2: On Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges & Ruth  in Library of Early Christianity  Ref  (Catholic University of America Press, 2007)  431 pp.

Theodoret (c. AD 393 – c. 458/466)



Medieval Church


Grosseteste, Robert – On the Cessation of the [Ceremonial] Laws  in The Fathers of the Church: Medieval Continuation  (Catholic University of America Press)



On Figures & Types


Guild, William – Moses Unveiled: or Those Figures which Served unto the Pattern and shadow of heavenly things, pointing out the Messiah Christ Jesus, briefly explained; Whereunto is added the harmony of all the prophets, breathing with one mouth the mystery of his coming, and of that redemption which by his death He was to accomplish  (1620)  62 pp.

Guild was a Scottish covenanter.

Keach, Benjamin – Tropologia, a Key to Open Scripture Metaphors… together with Types of the Old Testament  (d. 1704)

Keach was a calvinistic Baptist at the same church that Spurgeon would later minister at.

**  “This is a vast cyclopedia of types and metaphors of all sorts, and was once very popular.  It is a capital book, though too often the figures not only run on all-fours but on as many legs as a centipede.  It is not strictly upon Leviticus, but we felt bound to insert it in this place.” – Spurgeon

Mather, Samuel – The Figures or Types of the Old Testament, by which Christ & the Heavenly things of the Gospel were Preached & Shadowed to the People of God of Old, Explained & Improved in Sundry Sermons  (†1671; 1705)  570 pp.

** – ‘Though this is a work upon all the types, it contains so much instructive matter upon the Levitical sacrifices that we cannot forbear mentioning it here.  It is one of the old standard books of our fathers.’ – Spurgeon



On Chapters in Leviticus


Leviticus 1-11

Jukes, Andrew – The Law of the Offerings in Leviticus 1-7 considered as the appointed figure of the various aspects of the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ  1st ed. 1854, 1867  230 pp.

*** – ‘A very condensed, instructive, refreshing book.  It will open up new trains of thought to those unversed in the teaching of the types.’ – Spurgeon

Newton, Benjamin Wills – Thoughts on Parts of Leviticus  (1857)  on chs. 1-11

**  “This [the first part of it] touches only the first six chapters; but it treats of the offerings in a manner deeply spiritual and helpful.  This writer has some peculiarities of style and thought; but in matter and spirit he is far removed from the Darby school.” – Spurgeon



Leviticus 1

Clapham, Henoch – A Manual of the Bible’s Doctrine for Law & Gospel, Letter & Spirit, sign & thing signified, reduced to the First Chapter of Leviticus: Wherewith (occasionally) be plainly considered and briefly concluded, the most main questions wherewith the Christian churches be combied  (London, 1606)



Leviticus 14

Worden, Thomas – The Leper, and the Leper’s House, Cleansed, being an Exposition upon some part of the 14th Chapter of Leviticus; the Mystery of which is Explained and Applied to the state and condition of a Sinner’s Becoming a Saint, with profitable uses and applications, as also what chapter may be applied to, as to the cleansing or destroying of any particular church of Christ in and under the time of the Gospel…  (London, 1695)

We are unable to find any information about Worden.



Leviticus 16

Pierce, Samuel – Christ the Priest and Sacrifice of his People, being an Exposition of Ex. 28 and Lev. 16

Pierce (1746-1829) was an English Reformed Baptist.



The Authenticity of Leviticus

Vos, Geerhardus – ch. 16, ‘Internal Evidence of the Mosaic Origin of the Laws in Exodus-Numbers’  in The Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes  (1886)

Vos (1862-1949) was one of the last conservative theologians at Old Princeton, and is known as the father of reformed Biblical Theology.




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