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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Exodus 29

Verses 1-37

Dedication of the priests (29:1-37)

One purpose of this dedication ceremony was to impress upon priests and people alike that those who served God had to do so with purity and reverence. The priests were washed, symbolizing purification, then clothed and anointed, symbolizing appointment to their position (29:1-9).
Since they themselves were not free from sin, the priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins before they could act on behalf of others. First they offered a bull as a sin offering. By laying their hands on its head, they identified themselves with the animal. As their representative it died the death that they, because of their sins, should have died. The blood placed on the horns of the altar was evidence of life laid down. The offering of the best parts of the animal on the altar signified the priests’ devotion to God, and the burning of its remains outside the camp their hatred of sin (10-14).
Once sin had been justly dealt with, the priests offered a burnt offering. By burning the entire animal on the altar they pledged total dedication to God and his service (15-18).
After this the priests offered a second ram, called the ram of ordination (GNB: dedication). The unusual procedure in placing blood on the ear, thumb, toe and clothing of the priests probably symbolized the dedication of their whole life and service to God (19-21). Another way the priests demonstrated their dedication was by taking the most valued parts of the animal, along with certain cereal foods, waving them up and down in symbolic offering to God, then sacrificing them on the altar (22-25).
God showed his acceptance of the priests’ offering and his fellowship with them by giving them, as their special portion, certain other parts of the sacrificial animal. Again, however, the offerers first waved these portions before God to acknowledge that all rightly belonged to him (26-28). Finally, the priests came together to eat the remainder of the animal in a meal, thereby expressing fellowship with one another and with God (29-34).
This whole ceremony was repeated seven days. This gave the priests time to think carefully about the importance of the ritual and the life of service that lay ahead (35-37).

Verses 38-46

The daily offerings (29:38-46)

As an expression of Israel’s constant devotion to God, an offering of consecration was kept burning on the altar continually. The priests renewed the offering morning and evening, arranging the parts of the sacrificial animal on the altar in such a way as to ensure that the fire never went out (38-42; see Leviticus 6:8-13). God reminded Moses that his purpose in giving Israel the tabernacle and the priesthood was that he might dwell among his people and that they might know and serve him (43-46).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Exodus 29". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/exodus-29.html. 2005.