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Leviticus 1:1


Then the Lord called to Moses and spoke to him 1  from the Meeting Tent: 2 


Ex 19:3; Ex 24:1,2,12; Ex 25:22; Ex 29:42; Ex 33:7; Ex 39:32; Ex 40:34,35; Joh 1:17

NET © Notes

tn Heb “And he (the Lord) called (וַיִּקְרָא, vayyiqra’) to Moses and the Lord spoke (וַיְדַבֵּר, vayÿdabber) to him from the tent of meeting.” The MT assumes “Lord” in the first clause but places it in the second clause (after “spoke”). This is somewhat awkward, especially in terms of English style; most English versions reverse this and place “Lord” in the first clause (right after “called”). The Syriac version does the same.

sn The best explanation for the MT of Lev 1:1 arises from its function as a transition from Exod 40 to Lev 1. The first clause, “And he (the Lord) called to Moses,” links v. 1 back to Exod 40:35, “But Moses was not able to enter into the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it and the glory of the Lord had filled the tabernacle” (cf. J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:134). Exod 40:36-38 is a parenthetical explanation of the ongoing function of the cloud in leading the people through the wilderness. Since Moses could not enter the tent of meeting, the Lord “called” to him “from” the tent of meeting.

sn The second clause of v. 1, “and the Lord spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying,” introduces the following discourse. This is a standard introductory formula (see, e.g., Exod 20:1; 25:1; 31:1; etc.). The combination of the first and second clauses is, therefore, “bulky” because of the way they happen to be juxtaposed in this transitional verse (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 8). The first clause of v. 1 connects the book back to the end of the Book of Exodus while the second looks forward the ritual legislation that follows in Lev 1:2ff. There are two “Tents of Meeting”: the one that stood outside the camp (see, e.g., Exod 33:7) and the one that stood in the midst of the camp (Exod 40:2; Num 2:2ff) and served as the Lord’s residence until the construction of the temple in the days of Solomon (Exod 27:21; 29:4; 1 Kgs 8:4; 2 Chr 5:5, etc.; cf. 2 Sam 7:6). Exod 40:35 uses both “tabernacle” and “tent of meeting” to refer to the same tent: “Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” It is clear that “tent of meeting” in Lev 1:1 refers to the “tabernacle.” The latter term refers to the tent as a “residence,” while the former refers to it as a divinely appointed place of “meeting” between God and man (see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:873-77 and 2:1130-34). This corresponds to the change in terms in Exod 40:35, where “tent of meeting” is used when referring to Moses’ inability to enter the tent, but “tabernacle” when referring to the Lord taking up residence there in the form of the glory cloud. The quotation introduced here extends from Lev 1:2 through 3:17, and encompasses the burnt, grain, and peace offering regulations. Compare the notes on Lev 4:1; 5:14; and 6:1 [5:20 HT] below.

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