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Most scholars see chapters 1–16 (the Priestly code) and chapters 17–26 (the Holiness code) as the work of two related schools, but while the Holiness material employs the same technical terms as the Priestly code, it broadens their meaning from pure ritual to the theological and moral, turning the ritual of the Priestly code into a model for the relationship of Israel to God: as the tabernacle is made holy by the presence of the Lord and kept apart from uncleanliness, so He will dwell among Israel when Israel is purified (made holy) and separated from other peoples.

The ritual instructions in the Priestly code apparently grew from priests giving instruction and answering questions about ritual matters; the Holiness code (or H) used to be regarded as a separate document later incorporated into Leviticus, but it seems better to think of the Holiness authors as editors who worked with the Priestly code and actually produced Leviticus as we now have it.

Azazel may be a wilderness-demon, but its identity is mysterious. It begins with a prohibition on all slaughter of animals outside the Temple, even for food, and then prohibits a long list of sexual contacts and also child sacrifice.

The "holiness" injunctions which give the code its name begin with the next section: penalties are imposed for the worship of Molech, consulting mediums and wizards, cursing one's parents and engaging in unlawful sex.

The book teaches that faithful performance of the sanctuary rituals can make that possible, so long as the people avoid sin and impurity whenever possible.

Chapters 6–7 go over much the same ground, but from the point of view of the priest, who, as the one actually carrying out the sacrifice and dividing the "portions", needs to know how this is to be done.Priests are instructed on mourning rituals and acceptable bodily defects.Blasphemy is to be punished with death, and rules for the eating of sacrifices are set out; the calendar is explained, and rules for sabbatical and Jubilee years set out; and rules are made for oil lamps and bread in the sanctuary; and rules are made for slavery.The En-Gedi Scroll, a burnt text that was excavated from an ancient Synagogue in Ein Gedi in 1970, and has been carbon dated to the late 5th century AD, was recently discovered to contain verses from the second chapter of Leviticus, making it the oldest piece of the Torah ever discovered after the Dead Sea Scrolls.The text was unreadable until analyzed with a micro CT scanner that was then used to recreate a 3D image of the scroll.

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