The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons.
PUTTING ON THE GARMENTS. - V.1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, v.2. take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin-offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; v.3. and gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The detailed instructions of the Lord regarding the consecration of the priests, Ex. 28, 29, and 40, were now to be carried out. “This is the ordinance: first the persons; then the garments, as symbols of the office: the anointing oil, the symbol of the Spirit; the bullock for the sin-offering, the symbol of the priest favored with the entrusted atonement, and yet needing favor; the ram for the burnt offering, the symbol of the sacrificial employment; the ram for the sacrifice of consecration, the symbol of the priestly emoluments in true sacrifices of consecration; and the basket of unleavened bread, the symbol of life’s enjoyment of the priests, sanctified in every form by the oil of the Spirit.” (Lange.) V.4. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. V.5. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done. Very likely Moses repeated the entire ordinance referring to the consecration of the priests before the act of consecration was begun, as he had recorded the Lord’s words. V.6. And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water, very likely the whole body, a screen obviating the apparent impropriety, as on the Day of Atonement. This washing was symbolical of the purity of soul required in all those that draw near to God, and applies to all believers of the New Testament, as kings and priests before God and the Father. V.7. And he put upon him the coat, the long garment of shining byssus, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, the hyacinth-colored, close-fitting tunic, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious (skillfully made) girdle of the ephod, of variegated material, and bound it unto him there with. V.8. And he put the breastplate upon him, fastening it to the front of the ephod; also he put in the breastplate, in the pocket formed by the doubling of the material, the Urim and the Thummim. Cp. Ex. 28, 30. V.9. And he put the miter upon his head; also upon the miter, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown, the diadem of holiness, with the inscription, “Holiness unto the Lord,” as the Lord commanded Moses. V.10. And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the Tabernacle, the curtains or hangings of the tent, and all that was there in, the Ark of the Covenant, the altar of incense, the table of showbread, the candlestick, and all their instruments, and sanctified them. V.11. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar, namely, of burnt offering, seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them, Ex. 40, 6-10. V.12. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him. According to Jewish tradition, the anointing of the ordinary priests, which is not mentioned here, although referred to repeatedly, as in Num. 3, 3, differed from that of the high priest inasmuch as the oil was applied to their foreheads only. V.13. And Moses brought Aaron’s sons, and put coats upon them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets, bound caps, upon them, as the Lord commanded Moses. The minuteness of the description shows how thoroughly the believers of the Old Testament were in bondage under externals, Gal. 4, 3, from whose dominion we have been freed by the work of Christ.
THE SACRIFICES. - V.14. And he brought the bullock for the sin-offering, Moses here, as the mediator of the covenant, performing the functions of the Lord’s priest, And Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin-offering, in token of the transfer of their guilt to the sacrificial animal. V.15. And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it to make reconciliation upon it. The altar of burnt offering, although consecrated to the Lord, was yet in need of the purifying blood, in order to sanctify it for the service of the priests, to cover the sins with which they, as sinful men, would defile it while performing the work of their ministry. V.16. And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burned it upon the altar. V.17. But the bullock, and his hide, his flesh, and his dung he burned with fire without the camp, as in the case of all sin-offerings, chap. 4, 8-12; as the Lord commanded Moses, Ex. 29, 12-14. V.18. And he brought the ram for the burnt offering, the second of the three great sacrifices; and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram, which thereby was designated as their substitute in the sacrifice. V.19. And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. V.20. And he cut the ram in to pieces; and Moses burned the head and the pieces and the fat. V.21. And he washed the inwards, the intestines, and the legs in water; and Moses burned the whole ram upon the altar. It was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet savor, and an offering made by fire unto the Lord, according to the ordinance, chap. 1, 3-9; as the Lord commanded Moses, Ex. 29, 15-18. V.22. And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration, literally, the ram of fillings, that with which the hands of Aaron and his sons were to be filled for the wave-offering, as they were about to make it. The ceremony signified that the priests were now set apart for the service of bringing sacrifices in the name of the children of Israel. And Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. V.23. And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, to signify that he was to hear the Word of the Lord, perform His will, and walk in the way of His commandments. V.24. And he brought Aaron’s sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet. And Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. Cp. Ex. 29, 19. 20. V.25. And he took the fat, and the rump, the fatty tail which is found to this day in the Khirgiz variety of the Asiatic sheep, and all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, all the fatty membranes and the loose fat of the abdominal cavity, and the right shoulder, commonly known as the heave shoulder; v.26. and out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened cake, and a cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, one piece of each variety of meat-offering, and put them on the fat and upon the right shoulder; v.27. and he put all upon Aaron’s hands and upon his sons’ hands, and waved them for a wave-offering before the Lord. He stretched out his hands beneath those of Aaron and his sons, and then they all together moved their hands back and forth in a weaving motion, an act which always signified dedication to the Lord. V.28. And Moses took them from off their hands, and burned them on the altar upon the burnt offering; they were consecrations for a sweet savor, sacrifices by which they were really installed in their office. It is an offering made by fire unto the Lord. Cp. Ex. 29, 22-25. V.29. And Moses took the breast and waved it for a wave-offering before the Lord; for of the ram of consecration it was Moses’ part; as the Lord commanded Moses, Ex. 29, 27. V.30. And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him. This ceremony completed the consecration service on this and on each succeeding day. Cp. Ex. 29, 21. The priests were to perform the work of their service in the power of the Spirit of God.
FINAL INSTRUCTIONS. - V.31. And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, in a holy place in the court, Ex. 29, 31; and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecrations, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it. No lay person was permitted to partake of this sacrificial meal, for the food was holy, having served for the expiation and consecration of the priests. V.32. And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire. Cp. chap. 7, 17. V.33. And ye shall not go out of the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, out of the great entrance which led to the Sanctuary, in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end; for seven days shall he consecrate you. V.34. As he hath done this day, so the Lord hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you. On each one of the seven days the same rite was performed, at least so far as the sacrifices were concerned. V.35. Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord, observe His precept, that ye die not; for so I am commanded. V.36. So Aaron and his sons did all things which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses. Seven days they passed in holy seclusion in the court, seven days they brought the appointed sacrifices and lived on the sacrifice of consecration; what remained of it they did not devote to common or profane use, but they took care to burn it. For seven days they kept holy match, the watch of Jehovah, in the court of the Tabernacle, under the penalty of death. Moses made particularly prominent the symbolic force of this divine watch: it was Jehovah’s express commandment.