Order of consecration. — V.1. And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto Me in the priest’s office; this was the order of consecration which was to be in force for all times in the Jewish Church: Take one young bullock and two rams without blemish, free from sickness and any physical defects, v.2. and unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened, tempered with oil, olive-oil being mixed in when the dough was prepared, and wafers unleavened, very thin, cracker like sacrificial cakes, anointed with oil; of wheaten flour shalt thou make them, a specification which should be noted very carefully. V.3. And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams, the meal-offering, or bloodless offering, being represented as well as the burnt offering. V.4. And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, apparently inside the entrance of the court, and shalt wash them with water, the external cleansing symbolizing the inner purification; for only he that is hallowed inwardly is fit for holy service. V.5. And thou shalt take the garments, which the Lord had described in detail chap. 28, and put upon Aaron the coat, the long robe of white byssus, and the robe of the ephod, the hyacinth-colored garment that reached to the knees, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod; v.6. and thou shalt put the miter upon his head, and put the holy crown, the diadem of holiness inscribed to the Lord, upon the miter, chap. 28, 36. V.7. Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him, this form of induction into office being used not only in the case of the high priest, but also in that of prophets and kings. The oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who alone is able to sanctify man and prepare him properly for the service of the Sanctuary. V.8. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them, the characteristic white byssus garments of the common priests. V.9. And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons; for in this one article of dress the likeness between the ordinary priests and the high priest was shown, both classes using an embroidered girdle wrought in the four colors of the Sanctuary, and put the bonnets on them, bind the miter on Aaron and the caps on his sons. And the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute. And thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons, literally, fill their hands, invest them with the dignity and the obligations of their office. V.10. And thou shalt cause a bullock, the sacrificial animal mentioned above, to be brought before the Tabernacle of the Congregation; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock, in a gesture symbolizing the transfer of their own sins and guilt to the sacrificial animal, for, indeed, it was necessary that their own sins be expiated before they could offer sacrifice for the sins of the people. V.11. And thou shalt kill the bullock before the Lord, by the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, inside the entrance of the court. V.12. And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, smear it upon these peculiar projections of the large altar before the Holy Place, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar, the blood of the animal thus offered to the Lord taking, in a symbolic manner, the place of the sinner’s blood. V.13. And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, that is found in the abdominal cavity, and the caul that is above the liver, the fatty gathering between the liver and the duodenum, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar, the rich bloom of life falling to Jehovah as His part. V.14. But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung shalt thou burn with fire without the camp; it is a sin-offering; the complete destruction probably represented the sinner’s complete break with his past life. V.15. Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram, as in the case of the bullock, v.10. V.16. And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar, as a token of complete surrender to the Lord. V.17. And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, dissect it according to the rules of the craft, and wash the inwards of him and his legs, that is, the thighs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head, the head forming the center of the pile. V.18. And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar, after the removal of the skin and the unclean parts; it is a burnt offering unto the Lord; it is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord. An odor of pleasantness was this fire-offering unto Jehovah, because it signified that the priests were dedicating themselves with body and soul to the service of the Lord. V.19. And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram, as before. V.20. Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, that is, upon the ear-lap, next to the opening, and upon the thumb of their right hand and upon the great toe of their right foot, the gestures conveying the duties of obedience, of willing work, and of a walk according to the precepts of God’s holy Law, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. V.21. And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him; and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him. V.22. Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, the heavy tail of fat which is a characteristic of the sheep referred to, and the fat that covereth the inwards, the fat of the abdominal net, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder, “these parts representing the vigor of life, its comfort, and its conscientiousness,” and the shoulder-piece being included here, though it otherwise belonged to the priests, for a special reason; for it is a ram of consecration. The priests here voluntarily returned to Jehovah a part of the emoluments belonging to them. V.23. And one loaf of bread and one cake of oiled bread and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord, vv.2 and 3; Lev. 8, 26; v.24. and thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and shalt wave them for a wave-offering before the Lord, moving them up and down, and back and forth, in token of their voluntary surrender to the Lord. V.25. And thou, Moses, shalt receive them of their hands, the gifts of Israel and of Israel’s priests, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savor before the Lord; it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord, this sacrifice indicating an important part of the priests’ work. V.26. And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration, of the sacrifice of fullness, and wave it for a wave-offering before the Lord; and it shall be thy part, as the prince and leader of the people. V.27. And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave-offering, and the shoulder of the heave-offering, the former being merely moved back and forth in the gesture of giving, while the latter was also lifted up high to indicate the willing surrender to Jehovah, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons; for it seems that all the rest of the body went with the thigh, as the priests’ part. V.28. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’ by a statute forever from the children of Israel; for it is an heave-offering; and it shall be an heave-offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace-offerings, even their heave-offering unto the Lord. These parts were taken from the peace-offerings and the heave-offerings of the children of Israel, lifted off to be given to the priests. This signified in general that the priests were to be nourished from the sacrifices of Israel, even as the Lord has now ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. V.29. And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons’ after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them, the office of high priest being hereditary in Aaron’s family. V.30. And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, just as it was done in the consecration of Aaron, Lev. 8, 35, when he cometh into the Tabernacle of the Congregation to minister in the Holy Place. Aaron was a type of the true High Priest, Jesus Christ, who was anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure, as the true Mediator between God and sinful mankind. The sons of Aaron are types of the believers of the New Testament, who have been made priests before God and the Father and serve Him in holiness and righteousness, as it pleases Him.
The portion of the priests. — V.31. And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the Holy Place; it was sacred food intended to nourish them during the week of consecration. V.32. And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, that being their official place of abode when they were engaged in their work. V.33. And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, the parts of the daily offerings of consecration, which also served for expiation, to consecrate and to sanctify them. But a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy, set apart for the worship of the Lord. V.34. And if aught of the flesh of the consecrations or of the bread remain unto the morning, the priests finding themselves unable to eat all, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy. Once being set aside for the Lord’s use, it should not be returned to profane use. V.35. And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron and to his sons according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them. Moses was held responsible for the proper and complete execution of God’s orders. V.36. And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin-offering for atonement, as on the first day, vv. 10 and 11; and thou shalt cleanse the altar when thou hast made an atonement for it; the altar was also included in the rites of expiation and dedication; and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. V.37. Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy; whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy, set apart and dedicated to the Lord. Thus was the altar, in a symbolic sense, cleansed from defilement, and placed exclusively in the service of Jehovah, designed for permanent use in His service.
The daily burnt offering. — V.38. Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar: two lambs of the first year day by day continually. This sacrifice is here ordered, because it was to be made daily just as soon as the Tabernacle should be finished and dedicated. V.39. The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, literally, between the evenings, at twilight, which the Jews later explained as referring to the time between noon and sundown, for which reason their evening worship took place about three o’clock in the afternoon. V.40. And with the one lamb a tenth deal (about two and one half quarts) of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin (about one quart) of beaten oil, of the fine oil which was not forcibly pressed out of the olives, but allowed to flow out freely after they had been crushed or cut; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink-offering. V.41. And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat-offering of the morning and according to the drink-offering thereof, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord. This daily sacrifice signified that the life of the entire people was surrendered to Jehovah day by day. V.42. This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak there unto thee. At the altar of burnt offering the Lord wanted to give evidence of His presence with His people; there He would meet them by dealing with their representatives in person. V.43. And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the Tabernacle (or rather, Israel} shall be sanctified by My glory. V.44. And I will sanctify the Tabernacle of the Congregation and the altar; I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me in the priest’s office. V.45. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. This gracious promise is all the more beautiful by reason of the fact that the Lord did not confine His presence in their midst to the Most Holy Place, but gave them the assurance that He would also look upon their daily burnt offering in mercy, thereby always emphasizing anew the covenant made with them. V.46. And they shall know that I am the Lord, their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the Lord, their God. As the Lord lived in the midst of His people of old in the Sanctuary dedicated to His name, so He dwells in the midst of His believers at the present time in His Word and Sacraments.