I know already what you are probably going to say, “You’re such a nerd!” So here’s my response in advance: Yup.
I spent the better part of 3 hours in Leviticus yesterday reading through it and looking for key repeated words and phrases. I was enraptured by the reading of it (and I’m not being sarcastic). I have always thought looking for repeated words and phrases helps you read a text or book in the Bible better. If you are interested in trying this for yourself give my print out a try (click here). It’s what I like to call a “God’s Word Search” of Leviticus.
And as if that wasn’t nerdy enough I did something else. I made a word cloud of the entire book of Leviticus.
Yup. That’s right. I went to BibleGateway and copy and pasted chapter by chapter all 27 chapters of Leviticus into a word cloud generator and I’m proud of it! Here’s the result that came out of it so you don’t have to consider trying it for yourself:
As you probably already know, a word cloud shows which words are most frequent in the text you provide. I assume the words will vary slightly depending on which translation of the Bible you use (I used the NRSVue), but I don’t imagine there are that many differences.
The words most prominent in this word cloud are: offer, Lord, priest, unclean, blood, holy, day, Moses, Aaron, fire, make, eat, and land.
I think if I ever write a devotional book on Leviticus I would use these 13 words as the topics and springboards for the chapters. We can be overly-focused on things like word counts sometimes, but they can be helpful and tell us something. I’d argue that these 13 words do tell us something significant for understanding the book of Leviticus. So I’m going to spend the next string of posts in my Leaning Into Leviticus series using these words as fodder for reflection.
And who knows? I might be able to use these as the rough outline for my devotional book on Leviticus if I ever get a chance to write it!