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Products>Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 37 | NSBT)

Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 37 | NSBT)

, 2015
ISBN: 9780830826384
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In many ways, this is the fundamental question of Old Testament Israel’s cult—and, indeed, of life itself. How can creatures made from dust become members of God’s household “forever”? The question of ascending God’s mountain to his house was likely recited by pilgrims on approaching the temple on Mount Zion during the annual festivals. This entrance liturgy runs as an undercurrent throughout the Pentateuch and is at the heart of its central book, Leviticus. Its dominating concern, as well as that of the rest of the Bible, is the way in which humanity may come to dwell with God. Israel’s deepest hope was not merely a liturgical question, but a historical quest.

Under the Mosaic covenant, the way opened up by God was through the Levitical cult of the tabernacle and later temple, its priesthood and rituals. The advent of Christ would open up a new and living way into the house of God—indeed, that was the goal of his taking our humanity upon himself, his suffering, his resurrection and ascension.

In this stimulating volume in the New Studies in Biblical Theology, Michael Morales explores the narrative context, literary structure and theology of Leviticus. He follows its dramatic movement, examines the tabernacle cult and the Day of Atonement, and tracks the development from Sinai’s tabernacle to Zion’s temple—and from the earthly to the heavenly Mount Zion in the New Testament. He shows how life with God in the house of God was the original goal of the creation of the cosmos, and became the goal of redemption and the new creation.

Resource Experts
  • Contains scholarly and accessible volumes written by well-respected Biblical scholars
  • Includes notes that interact with the best of recent research and significant literature
  • Engages the immense challenges facing today’s church
  • Offers new insights and challenges established positions
  • Encourages Christians to better understand their Bibles through biblical theology
  • Leviticus within the Pentateuch: A Theological Structure
  • Longing for Eden: Genesis, The Narrative Context of Leviticus
  • Returning to Eden: Exodus, The Narrative Context of Leviticus
  • Approaching the house of God: The Dramatic Movement of Leviticus 1 to 10
  • Cleansing the house of God: The Dramatic Movement of Leviticus 11 to 16
  • Meeting with God at the House of God: The Dramatic Movement of Leviticus 17 to 27
  • Establishing the Earthly House of God: From Sinai’s Tabernacle to Zion's Temple
  • Entering the Heavenly House of God: From the Earthly to the Heavenly Mount Zion

Top Highlights

“The primary theme and theology of Leviticus (and of the Pentateuch as a whole) is YHWH’s opening a way for humanity to dwell in the divine Presence.” (Page 23)

“Whether the laws pertain to sacrifice, to distinguishing between clean and unclean, or to ethical and moral behaviour, the aim of the laws is fellowship and union with the living God. For this reason, though Leviticus is often characterized thematically by holiness,29 it is preferable to discern holiness not as an end in itself but rather as a means to an end, which is the real theme, the abundant life of joy with God in the house of God.” (Page 30)

“The shape of the Pentateuch, I posit, follows (and forms) its unifying theme: YHWH’s opening a way for humanity to dwell in the divine Presence. The essence of that way and the heart of the Pentateuch’s theology is the Day of Atonement.” (Page 38)

“Thus to be clean means to be fit for the Presence of God, while to be holy means that one belongs to God.” (Page 155)

“Indeed, the fundamental plotline of the Pentateuch (and redemptive history) is often missed precisely from the failure to discern the ultimate goal of creation, namely for humanity to dwell with God.” (Page 40)

Many Christians who try to read through the Bible stumble when they get to Leviticus because they don't understand what is going on. They then skip the book that is at the structural and theological heart of the Torah. . .If you enjoy books that help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and provide numerous 'Aha!' moments, put this book on your reading list."

—Keith Mathison, professor of systematic theology, Reformation Bible College

Michael Morales has written an excellent book, Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of Leviticus, that I hope will help people to better understand the purpose of Leviticus, and in particular the nature of true biblical worship. Highly recommended.

—Mark Jones, Reformation 21

Morales convincingly reads Leviticus as solving these problems through the Levitical approach to the house of God (Leviticus 1–10), cleansing of the house of God (11–16), and meeting with God (17–27). Levitical worship is obsolete today, but Morales demonstrates its significance to those entering God's presence through a better way.

—Caleb Nelson, World Magazine

Instructor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Knox Theological Seminary.


7 ratings

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  1. Ken McClurkin

    Ken McClurkin


  2. Ryan Aeby

    Ryan Aeby


  3. James Brooks

    James Brooks


    Great book
  4. Robert J Richardson
  5. Martin Knauber

    Martin Knauber


  6. Hyoungil Lee

    Hyoungil Lee


  7. john kho

    john kho



Digital list price: $29.99
Save $10.00 (33%)