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EXODUS - CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE
Following the description of the priestly vestments, God gives the directions for the ceremony of consecration of the priests. This is in four parts:
I. The Sacrifice, verses 1-3; a young bullock, two unblemished rams, and unleavened cakes and wafers. These were to be offered "in the basket," or in one offering.
2. The Ablution, verse 4; Aaron and his sons were to be washed, at the door of the tabernacle. It is uncertain as to whether the washing of consecration was of the entire body, or merely of the hands and feet. Since this was not a washing of cleansing, but of consecration, it is likely of the hands and feet only, see John 13:9, 10.
3. The Investiture, verses 5, 6; the garments described in Ex 28:1-39 were to be put upon Aaron. Nine stages of investiture were fulfilled: the putting on of: 1. The linen tunic; 2. the under-girdle; 3. the robe (tunic) of the ephod; 4. the ephod; 5. the "curious girdle" of the ephod; 6. the breastplate; 7 the Urim and Thummim into the breastplate; 8. the mitre; and 9. the gold crown or plate.
4. The Anointing, verse 7; with the "holy anointing oil," Ex 25:6. Special anointing oil was poured on Aaron’s head. The formula for this oil is given in Ex 30:22-25. Ablution (washing) was a rite common to many religions. But anointing with oil was peculiar to the Mosaic system of worship. It applied to the ministry of priest,
prophet, and king, and also to the tabernacle and its furnishings. It signified the presence and power of the Holy Spirit upon the chosen one. In the Christian economy, anointing also plays a part, see Jas 5:14, 15. Jesus Himself is called "Christ" or "Messiah" or "The Anointed One,"- because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power (Ac 10:38; Lu 4:16).
The investiture of the ordinary priests consisted of three steps: the putting on of: 1. the linen tunic; 2. the girdle; and 3. the bonnet or cap. The ordinary priests apparently did not have oil poured upon their heads, but sprinkled on their garments. (v. 21; Le 8:30).
Aaron and his sons were to place their hands upon the head of the bullock, v. 1. This signified their identification with the sacrifice. This was the sacrifice of consecration. The bullock was a work animal, signifying that the purpose of consecration was for acceptable service to Jehovah.
Part of the blood of the bullock was smeared upon the "horns of the altar." The rest was poured out at the base of the altar. The fat, caul (membrane) of the liver, and other vital organs were burned upon the altar. The rest of the animal was then offered as a burnt sacrifice outside the camp. This was the general rule for sin offerings, Le 4:11, 12. The daily defilement of the priests was symbolically conferred to the sacrifice. This made the animal unfit for food or for burial within the camp (see Heb 13:11-13).
"One ram," one of the two in v. I. Aaron and his sons were to place their hands on his head, symbolic of identification with the sacrifice, and in acknowledgment that it was their representative.
The blood was to be caught in a basin, then "sprinkled," zarag, lit. "cast" out about the altar, not sprinkled with hyssop or hand.
The ram was to be cut into pieces, or its "natural limbs." The "inwards" or intestines were to be washed, then returned to the altar with the rest of the pieces. The entire animal was then offered as a burnt offering (see Le 1, 9, 13, 17).
The "sweet savor" of the burning sacrifice meant that the entire offering was pleasing to God (see Ge 8:21).
The "other ram," see vv. I, 15, the "ram of consecration" (Le 8:22). The blood of this sacrifice was to consecrate the service of Aaron and his sons in the priesthood. The blood was placed in three places: ’
I. On the tip of the right ear, signifying that the priest must always be attentive to the voice of God;
2. On the right thumb, symbolic of service, the work of the hands;
3. On the big toe of the right foot, signifying that the daily walk of the priests should be holy.
The blood and the anointing oil were to be sprinkled on the garments both of Aaron as high priest, and his sons as the ordinary priests. The combination of these two elements symbolizes the close relation of salvation and service.
The "rump" or tail of the Oriental sheep is quite broad and fat, and may weigh from six to twenty pounds. The tail along with the fat, the caul, the vital organs, and the right shoulder were placed in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and "waved" toward the four compass points, "before the Lord." Moses then took these parts and burned them upon the "altar of burnt offering" as a sacrifice to Jehovah.
On this occasion, the breast of the sacrifice was to be Moses’ part. Subsequently it belonged to the priests, Le 7:31-34, along with the right shoulder. The breast was a "wave offering," lifted up and waved toward the four points of the compass. The right shoulder was a "heave offering," a single lifting up toward heaven.
For the significance of these ceremonies today, see 1Co 9:13, 14; Heb 5:1-3; 7:26-28; 8:1-5.
Verses 29, 30:
The position of high priest passed from father to son. At Aaron’s death, the vestments of the high priest were preserved and used at the consecration of his successor, who was to be anointed and consecrated in them. He was to wear them for seven days from the time he took the office. Aaron’s successor was Eleazar (Nu 20:8). No mention is made of the anointing of any other in the lineage, though it is impled that this practice was perpetuated.
The remainder of the "ram of consecration" was "seethed" (boiled) and eaten by the priests, along with the bread offering (v. 23) at the tabernacle door. Any portion remaining until the following morning was burned. The ceremonies of consecration were to be repeated each day for seven days. Each day the altar was to be cleansed, and anointed again. The repetition of these ceremonies emphasized their importance.
It is implied that this seven day observance was to be repeated each time a new high priest came to office.
Two sacrifices were to be offered each day: one each morning and one each evening. The sacrifice was to be a year-old lamb, bread (meat) made of about three pounds of flour and a pint and a half of oil, and about a pint and a half of wine. This was to be a perpetual practice in Israel.
For the significance of this today, see Heb 10:1-3, 11-14.
"There," at the entrance of the tabernacle, Jehovah promised to meet with His people Israel. No Israelite other than a priest might enter the holy tabernacle, under penalty of death. But Jehovah would honor the tabernacle with His Shekinah glory, which was the true sanctification of this holy place. The purpose of His dwelling there: a continual reminder that Jehovah Elohe is the One who delivered them from Egypt and slavery.
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Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Exodus 29". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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