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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 29

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary



The detailed description of the priestly garments is now followed by an account of the manner in which Aaron and his sons were to be solemnly set apart for the priest’s office. Moses, as the chosen mediator of the Sinaitic covenant, is authorized to order the entire service, offer the sacrifices of inauguration, and perform the ceremonials of consecration and induction into office. In this chapter we have the ceremonials prescribed; in Leviticus viii the record of the actual consecration. As the ritual of offerings is more fully given in Leviticus 1-7, the reader is referred for that information to notes on those chapters.

Verse 1

1. To hallow them To consecrate and set them apart to minister unto Jehovah in the priest’s office. It was a solemn and appropriate ordination, and adapted to deepen in the minds of all the holy and responsible nature of their work in the sanctuary .

Bullock… two rams The purpose of these is detailed in great fulness in Exodus 29:10-28, and the corresponding passages in Leviticus 8:0.

Verse 2

2. Bread… cakes… oil The manner of preparing the vegetable offering is described in Leviticus ii, where see notes . The distinction between the cakes and the wafers was in the thinness of the latter, the unleavened bread being made up in two different forms .

Verse 4

4. Wash them with water Comp . Leviticus 8:6; Leviticus 16:4. Cleanness, purity, symbolizing holiness, was important to be observed, and is made emphatic in this ceremony .

Verses 5-6

5, 6. The garments These, so fully described in the foregoing chapter, were to be formally placed upon the priest’s person as a part of the ceremony of consecration . Comp . Leviticus 8:7-9.

The holy crown The graven plate of gold described in Exodus 28:36-38; Exodus 39:30-31.

Verse 7

7. The anointing oil The composition of which is described in Exodus 30:23-25. Compare the allusion in Psalms 133:2.

Verse 10

10. Cause a bullock to be brought Rather, as the Revised Version, thou shalt bring the bullock, that is, the bullock mentioned in Exodus 29:1. This was to be a sin-offering for Aaron and his sons. Comp. Leviticus 4:3-12, notes.

Put their hands upon the head Thus symbolically confessing their sins and transferring them to the substituted victim. See notes on Leviticus 1:4; Leviticus 4:4.

Verse 12

12. Put it upon the horns of the altar Thus sanctifying the altar itself that it might in turn sanctify the offerings put thereon .

Pour… beside the bottom of the altar Thus the substituted lives went out in blood under the altar, (comp . the “souls under the altar” in Revelation 6:9,) and made atonement for human lives . Comp . Leviticus 17:11.

Verse 13

13. Fat… caul… kidneys See notes on Leviticus 3:3-4.

Verse 14

14. A sin offering On the nature of which see notes on Leviticus 4:3-12.

Verses 15-18

15-18. Take one ram While the bullock served as a sin offering, this was to be a burnt offering unto the Lord. As in the one case, so in the other, the symbolical putting their hands upon the head of the victim was performed by Aaron and his sons, but the blood was sprinkled round about upon the altar, and the whole ram was burned upon the altar . Leviticus 1:3-13; Leviticus 8:18-21, notes .

Verse 19

19. The other ram This appears to have been a peace offering, not to be wholly consumed upon the altar, but portions to be given to the priests. It is called in Exodus 29:22; Exodus 29:26-27, and Leviticus 8:22, “the ram of consecration,” literally, ram of the fillings, alluding either to the filling of their hands or to the completion of their consecration . Rams were to be selected from “the herd” and were not commonly brought by individuals for peace offerings, (Leviticus 3:1;) but they were used for national peace offerings of the people, (Leviticus 9:4; Leviticus 9:18,) and by the Nazarites (Numbers 6:14) and the princes of Israel . Numbers 7:17. So, too, this was viewed as an exceptional peace offering, fitted to an extraordinary occasion .

Verses 20-21

20, 21. His blood… right ear… thumb… toe Thus this peace offering for the priests served an exceptional purpose in consecrating them to their holy office and work . Their ears were thus consecrated to listen to the commandments of Jehovah; their hands to a faithful discharge of sacred functions, and their feet to an obedient walking in the ordinances of the house of God. The sprinkling of the blood, and also the anointing oil upon the garments of Aaron and his sons, was a like consecration of these to the holy services of the priesthood. Also, as in the burnt offering, the blood was sprinkled about the altar.

Verses 22-25

22-25. A wave offering before the Lord This was a constant accompaniment of peace offerings, (comp . Leviticus 7:14, note,) and as a symbolical act was an acknowledgment of God’s rule in all the world around . (See below . ) Ordinarily “the wave breast and the heave shoulder” were assigned to the priests to be eaten, (Exodus 29:27; Leviticus 7:34-35,) but on the occasion of the consecration of Aaron and his sons, after the ceremonial of waving was performed by them, Moses received them of their hands, and offered them, with the several portions mentioned in Exodus 29:22, and the unleavened bread (Exodus 29:23) for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the Lord. So that in this ceremony of induction into office the priests appropriately consecrated every thing, by a symbolical act, unto Jehovah .

Verses 26-28

26-28. Be thy part As the officiating minister on this extraordinary occasion, Moses was to receive the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration. And here it is enunciated as a statute for ever, that the breast of the wave offering and the shoulder of the heave offering shall belong to the priests as their lawful portion of the peace offerings . These were evidently regarded as choice portions of the animal . The distinction between the wave offering ( תנופה ) and the heave offering ( תרומה ) is indicated by the Hebrew names, the former signifying horizontal motion to and fro, the latter vertical motion, perpendicular to the horizon . These constituted a double form of symbolical consecration, in adoration to Him who rules in all and over all .

Verses 29-30

29-30. The holy garments Those described in Exodus 28:2, ff. These were to be transmitted to Aaron’s sons after him. When Aaron died in Mt . Hor they were put upon his son Eleazar . Numbers 20:28. Seven days were to be devoted to the various ceremonies of consecrating a high priest, as in the original consecration of Aaron . Exodus 29:35. See on Leviticus 8:35. These seven days must have included one sabbath, and the rabbins say: “Great is the sabbath day, for the high priest entered not upon his duties, after his anointing, until one sabbath day had passed over him.”

Verses 31-37

31-37. Eat the flesh of the ram The ceremony of consecration, continuing for seven days, afforded opportunity for divers acts of worship, and for feasting upon the flesh of the peace offerings . This latter the priests were to do at the door of the tabernacle; and of the portion dedicated to them, and regarded therefore as specially holy, no stranger, no one outside the priestly family, was permitted to eat. No portions either of the flesh of the consecrations or of the bread which remained over unto the next day after they had been consecrated, were permitted to be eaten, but must all be burned. So, too, the altar of burnt offerings was to be cleansed, anointed, and sanctified on each of the seven days, probably by such forms of consecration as are mentioned in Exodus 29:12; Exodus 29:20.

Verse 38


38. Two lambs… day by day continually In immediate connexion with the consecration of the altar, the main purpose for which it was established is now indicated, namely, the offering of continual sacrifices, meat offerings and drink offerings .

Verse 39

39. Morning… even As regularly as the sun was wont to rise and set, so regularly were these sacrifices to be offered unto the Lord . Even is the same expression in Hebrew as between the two evenings in the margin of Exodus 12:6, where see note .

Verse 40

40. A tenth deal of flour The tenth part of an ephah is probably meant, which was an omer . See Exodus 16:36, note . Compare Numbers 5:15. Supposed to have been about three pounds in weight and not far from three quarts in measure. The hin was a liquid measure containing a little more than a gallon. The flour mingled with the beaten oil (Exodus 27:20) constituted the meat offering, on which see notes at Leviticus 2:0, and the wine is here expressly called a drink offering. This was a form of worship old as the days of the patriarchs, (see on Genesis 35:14,) and consisted in a devotional pouring out the wine as an oblation before or upon the altar of burnt offerings . It was not to be poured out on the altar of incense, (Exodus 30:9. )

Verse 43

43. There I will meet Here is enunciated the main thought that underlies all the symbolism of the tabernacle and its holy services . It was the visible sanctuary, where Jehovah signified the conditions on which it was possible for him to dwell with man, and permit man to dwell with him. The sanctification of Israel was to be secured through these consecrated forms of mediation, and was the highest ideal revealed amid the symbols. For what is it that shall be sanctified by my glory? Not the tabernacle or tent, as both the Authorized Version and the Revised Version supply in the text, nor the altar, as others have supposed; for both these are expressly named in the next verse as a distinct conception; but the children of Israel just mentioned, here conceived as a unit, and hence the use of the verb in the singular number. Israel is to be sanctified by meeting with Jehovah, and thus entering into the divine glory by the means ordained for that very end.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Exodus 29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/exodus-29.html. 1874-1909.
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