Particular orders are given in this chapter,
I. Concerning the consecration of the priests, and the sanctification
of the altar,
II. Concerning the daily sacrifice,
To which gracious promises are annexed that God would own and bless
them in all their services,
ver. 42, &c.
|The Consecration of the Priests.
||B. C. 1491.|
1 And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to
hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one
young bullock, and two rams without blemish,
2 And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil,
and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt
thou make them.
3 And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in
the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.
4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
5 And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the
coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the
breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:
6 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy
crown upon the mitre.
7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon
his head, and anoint him.
8 And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.
9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons,
and put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be
theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron
and his sons.
10 And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the
tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put
their hands upon the head of the bullock.
11 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the
door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put
it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all
the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
13 And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards,
and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and
the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.
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
15 Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall
put their hands upon the head of the ram.
16 And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood,
and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.
17 And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards
of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto
18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a
burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering
made by fire unto the LORD.
19 And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons
shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
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, and upon the thumb of their right
hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle
the blood upon the altar round about.
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.
22 Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and
the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the
liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and
the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:
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
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.
25 And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them
upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before
the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
26 And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's
consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD:
and it shall be thy part.
27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and
the shoulder of the heave offering, 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:
28 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute for ever
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.
29 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him,
to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them.
30 And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on
seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the
congregation to minister in the holy place.
31 And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe
his flesh in the holy place.
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.
33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was
made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall
not eat thereof, because they are holy.
34 And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the
bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the
remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
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.
36 And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin
offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when
thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to
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.
I. The law concerning the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the
priest's office, which was to be done with a great deal of ceremony and
solemnity, that they themselves might be duly affected with the
greatness of the work to which they were called, and that the people
also might learn to magnify the office and none might dare to invade
1. The ceremonies wherewith it was to be done were very fully and
particularly appointed, because nothing of this kind had been done
before, and because it was to be a statute for ever that the high
priest should be thus inaugurated. Now,
(1.) The work to be done was the consecrating of the persons whom God
had chosen to be priests, by which they devoted and gave up themselves
to the service of God and God declared his acceptance of them; and the
people were made to know that they glorified not themselves to
be made priests, but were called of God,
They were thus distinguished from common men, sequestered from common
services, and set apart for God and an immediate attendance on him.
Note, All that are to be employed for God are to be sanctified to him.
The person must first be accepted, and then the performance. The Hebrew
phrase for consecrating is filling the hand
Thou shalt fill the hand of Aaron and his sons, and the ram
of consecration is the ram of fillings,
The consecrating of them was the perfecting of them; Christ is said to
be perfect or consecrated for evermore,
Probably the phrase here is borrowed from the putting of the sacrifice
into their hand, to be waved before the Lord,
But it intimates,
[1.] That ministers have their hands full; they have no time to trifle,
so great, so copious, so constant is their work.
[2.] That they must have their hands filled. Of necessity they must
have something to offer, and they cannot find it in themselves, it
must be given them from above. They cannot fill the people's hearts
unless God fill their hands; to him therefore they must go, and
receive from his fulness.
(2.) The person to do it was Moses, by God's appointment. Though he was
ordained for men, yet the people were not to consecrate him;
Moses the servant of the Lord, and his agent herein, must do it.
By God's special appointment he now did the priest's work, and
therefore that which was the priest's part of the sacrifice was here
ordered to be his,
(3.) The place was at the door of the tabernacle of meeting,
God was pleased to dwell in the tabernacle, the people attending in the
courts, so that the door between the court and the tabernacle was the
fittest place for those to be consecrated in who were to mediate
between God and man, and to stand between both, and lay their
hands (as it were) upon both. They were consecrated at the
door, for they were to be door-keepers.
(4.) It was done with many ceremonies.
[1.] They were to be washed
signifying that those must be clean who bear the vessels of the
Those that would perfect holiness must cleanse themselves
from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,
2 Corinthians 7:1,Isa+1:16-18.
They were now washed all over; but afterwards, when they went in to
minister, they washed only their hands and feet
for he that is washed needs no more,
[2.] They were to be clothed with the holy garments
to signify that it was not sufficient for them to put away the
pollutions of sin, but they must put on the graces of the Spirit, be
clothed with righteousness,
They must be girded, as men prepared and strengthened for their work;
and they must be robed and crowned, as men that counted their work and
office their true honour.
[3.] The high priest was to be anointed with the holy anointing
that the church might be filled and delighted with the sweet savour of
his administrations (for ointment and perfume rejoice the
heart), and in token of the pouring out of the Spirit upon him, to
qualify him for his work. Brotherly love is compared to this oil with
which Aaron was anointed,
The inferior priests are said to be anointed
not on their heads, as the high priest
the oil was only mingled with the blood that was sprinkled upon their
[4.] Sacrifices were to be offered for them. The covenant of
priesthood, as all other covenants, must be made by
First, There must be a sin-offering, to make atonement for them,
The law made those priests that had infirmity, and therefore they must
first offer for their own sin, before they could make atonement for
They were to put their hand on the head of their sacrifice
confessing that they deserved to die for their own sin, and desiring
that the killing of the beast might expiate their guilt, and be
accepted as a vicarious satisfaction. It was used as other
sin-offerings were; only, whereas the flesh of other sin-offerings was
eaten by the priests
in token of the priest's taking away the sin of the people, this was
appointed to be all burnt without the camp
to signify the imperfection of the legal dispensation (as the learned
bishop Patrick notes); for the sins of the priests themselves could not
be taken away by those sacrifices, but they must expect a better high
priest and a better sacrifice.
Secondly, There must be a burnt-offering, a ram wholly burnt, to
the honour of God, in token of the dedication of themselves wholly to
God and to his service, as living sacrifices, kindled with the fire and
ascending in the flame of holy love,
The sin-offering must first be offered and then the burnt-offering;
for, till guilt be removed, no acceptable service can be performed,
Thirdly, There must be a peace-offering; it is called the ram
of consecration, because there was more in this peculiar to the
occasion than in the other two. In the burnt-offering God had the glory
of their priesthood, in this they had the comfort of it; and, in token
of a mutual covenant between God and them,
1. The blood of the sacrifice was divided between God and them
part of the blood was sprinkled upon the altar round about, and
part put upon them, upon their bodies
and upon their garments,
Thus the benefit of the expiation made by the sacrifice was applied and
assured to them, and their whole selves from head to foot sanctified to
the service of God. The blood was put upon the extreme parts of the
body, to signify that it was all, as it were, enclosed and taken in for
God, the tip of the ear and the great toe not excepted. We reckon that
the blood and oil sprinkled upon garments spot and stain them; yet the
holy oil, and the blood of the sacrifice, sprinkled upon their
garments, must be looked upon as the greatest adorning imaginable to
them, for they signified the blood of Christ, and the graces of the
Spirit, which constitute and complete the beauty of holiness, and
recommend us to God; we read of robes made white with the blood of
2. The flesh of the sacrifice, with the meat-offering annexed to
it, was likewise divided between God and them, that (to speak with
reverence) God and they might feast together, in token of friendship
(1.) Part of it was to be first waved before the Lord, and then burnt
upon the altar; part of the flesh
part of the bread, for bread and flesh must go together
these were first put into the hands of Aaron to be waved to and fro, in
token of their being offered to God (who, though unseen, yet compasses
us round on every side), and then they were to be burnt upon the altar
for the altar was to devour God's part of the sacrifice. Thus God
admitted Aaron and his sons to be his servants, and wait at his table,
taking the mat of his altar from their hands. Here, in a parenthesis,
as it were, comes in the law concerning the priests' part of the
peace-offerings afterwards, the breast and shoulder, which were now
divided; Moses had the breast, and the shoulder was burnt on the altar
with God's part,
(2.) The other part, both of the flesh of the ram and of the bread,
Aaron and his sons were to eat at the door of the tabernacle
to signify that he called them not only servants but
He supped with them, and they with him. Their eating of
the things wherewith the atonement was made signified their
receiving the atonement, as the expression is
their thankful acceptance of the benefit of it, and their joyful
communion with God thereupon, which was the true intent and meaning of
a feast upon a sacrifice. If any of it was left, it must be burnt, that
it might not be in any danger of putrefying, and to show that it was an
2. The time that was to be spent in this consecration: Seven days
shalt thou consecrate them,
Though all the ceremonies were performed on the first day, yet,
(1.) They were not to look upon their consecration as completed till
the seven days' end, which put a solemnity upon their admission, and a
distance between this and their former state, and obliged them to enter
upon their work with a pause, giving them time to consider the weight
and seriousness of it. This was to be observed in after-ages,
He that was to succeed Aaron in the high-priesthood must put on the
holy garments seven days together, in token of a deliberate and gradual
advance into his office, and that one sabbath might pass over him in
(2.) Every day of the seven, in this first consecration, a bullock was
to be offered for a sin-offering
which was to intimate to them,
[1.] That it was of very great concern to them to get their sins
pardoned, and that though atonement was made, and they had the comfort
of it, yet they must still keep up a penitent sense of sin and often
repeat the confession of it.
[2.] That those sacrifices which were thus offered day by day to make
atonement could not make the comers thereunto perfect, for then
they would have ceased to be offered, as the apostle argues,
They must therefore expect the bringing in of a better hope.
3. This consecration of the priests was a shadow of good things to
(1.) Our Lord Jesus is the great high-priest of our profession, called
of God to be so, consecrated for evermore, anointed with the Spirit
above his fellows (whence he is called Messiah, the
Christ), clothed with the holy garments, even with glory and
beauty, sanctified by his own blood, not that of bullocks and rams
made perfect, or consecrated, through sufferings,
Thus in him this was a perpetual statute,
(2.) All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices
(1 Peter 2:5),
washed in the blood of Christ, and so made to our God priests,
They also are clothed with the beauty of holiness, and have received
1 John 2:27.
Their hands are filled with work, to which they must continually
attend; and it is through Christ, the great sacrifice, that they are
dedicated to this service. His blood sprinkled upon the conscience
purges it from dead works, that they may, as priests, serve the
living God. The Spirit of God (as Ainsworth notes) is called the
finger of God
and by him the merit of Christ is effectually applied to our souls, as
here Moses with his finger was to put the blood upon Aaron. It is
likewise intimated that gospel ministers are to be solemnly set apart
to the work of the ministry with great deliberation and seriousness
both in the ordainers and in the ordained, as those that are to be
employed in a great work and entrusted with a great charge.
II. The consecration of the altar, which seems to have been coincident
with that of the priests, and the sin-offerings which were offered
every day for seven days together had reference to the altar as well as
An atonement was made for the altar. Though that was not
a subject capable of sin, nor, having never yet been used, could it be
said to be polluted with the sins of the people, yet, since the fall,
there can be no sanctification to God but there must first be an
atonement for sin, which renders us both unworthy and unfit to be
employed for God. The altar was also sanctified, not only set
apart itself to a sacred use, but made so holy as to sanctify the
gifts that were offered upon it,
Christ is our altar; for our sakes he sanctified himself, that we and
our performances might be sanctified and recommended to God,
38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar;
two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other
lamb thou shalt offer at even:
40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the
fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an
hin of wine for a drink offering.
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 savour, an
offering made by fire unto the LORD.
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.
43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the
tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.
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.
45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be
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.
In this paragraph we have,
I. The daily service appointed. A lamb was to be offered upon the altar
every morning, and a lamb every evening, each with a meat-offering,
both made by fire, as a continual burnt-offering throughout their
Whether there were any other sacrifices to be offered or not, these
were sure to be offered, at the public charge, for the benefit and
comfort of all Israel, to make atonement for their daily sins, and to
be an acknowledgement to God of their daily mercies. This was that
which the duty of every day required. The taking away of this
daily sacrifice by Antiochus, for so many evenings and mornings, was
that great calamity of the church which was foretold,
1. This typified the continual intercession which Christ ever lives to
make, in virtue of his satisfaction, for the continual sanctification
of his church: though he offered himself once for all, yet that
one offering thus becomes a continual offering.
2. This teaches us to offer up to God the spiritual sacrifices of
prayer and praise every day, morning and evening, in humble
acknowledgement of our dependence upon him and our obligations to him.
Our daily devotions must be looked upon as the most needful of our
daily works and the most pleasant of our daily comforts. Whatever
business we have, this must never be omitted, either morning or
evening; prayer-time must be kept up as duly as meat-time. The daily
sacrifices were as the daily meals in God's house, and therefore they
were always attended with bread and wine. Those starve their own souls
that keep not up a constant attendance on the throne of grace.
II. Great and precious promises made of God's favour to Israel, and the
tokens of his special presence with them, while they thus kept up his
institutions among them. He speaks as one well pleased with the
appointment of the daily sacrifice; for, before he proceeds to the
other appointments that follow, he interposes these promises. It is
constancy in religion that brings in the comfort of it. He promises,
1. That he would keep up communion with them; that he would not only
meet Moses, and speak to him, but that he would meet the children of
to accept the daily sacrifices offered up on their behalf. Note, God
will not fail to give those the meeting who diligently and
conscientiously attend upon him in the ordinances of his own
2. That he would own his own institutions, the tabernacle, the altar,
he would take possession of that which was consecrated to him. Note,
What is sanctified to the glory of God shall be sanctified by his
glory. If we do our part, God will do his, and will mark and fit that
for himself which is in sincerity given up to him.
3. That he would reside among them as God in covenant with them, and
would give them sure and comfortable tokens of his peculiar favour to
them, and his special presence with them
I will dwell among the children of Israel. Note, Where God sets
up the tabernacle of his ordinances he will himself dwell. Lo, I am
with you always,
Those that abide in God's house shall have God to abide with them. I
will be their God, and they shall know that I am so. Note, Those
are truly happy that have a covenant-interest in God as theirs and the
comfortable evidence of that interest. If we have this, we have enough,
and need no more to make us happy.