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INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 29
This chapter gives an account of the form and order of the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priestly office; preparatory to which Moses is ordered to take a young bullock, two rams, bread, cakes, and wafers unleavened, and bring them and Aaron and his sons to the door of the congregation, where the ceremony was to be publicly performed, and which began with washing them, Exodus 29:1 and then proceeded by putting on the priestly garments directed to be made in the preceding chapter, first on Aaron, who also was anointed, Exodus 29:5 and then upon his sons, Exodus 29:8 after which the bullock and the two rams were to be slain, and orders are given what was to be done with their blood, and the several parts of them, as well as with the cakes and wafers, Exodus 29:10 and directions are given to make these wave and heave offerings, Exodus 29:24 and that the garments of Aaron's should be his son's that succeeded him, Exodus 29:29, and that the flesh of the ram of consecration with the bread should be eaten by Aaron and his sons and no other, Exodus 29:31, the altar also where they were to officiate was to be cleansed, sanctified, and an atonement made for it, Exodus 29:36 after which two lambs every day, morning and evening, were to be offered on it in all succeeding generations,
Exodus 29:38, and the chapter is closed with a promise that the Lord would meet with the children of Israel at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and would sanctify the tabernacle, and dwell among them, and be their God, Exodus 29:43.
And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them,.... To Aaron and his sons: to "hallow" them; to sanctify them, set them apart, and consecrate them:
to minister unto me in the priest's office; for which the Lord had appointed them, to which he had chose, called, and separated them:
take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish; a young bullock was an heifer of three years old, according to Kimchi t, and such an one was used in sacrifice in former times, see
Genesis 15:9 though Maimonides u says it was one of two years, and so Abendana w, whose words are,
"a bullock is a son of two years, and a ram is after he has entered into the second year thirty one days;''
and so Ben Gersom; the bullock was an emblem of the strength, laboriousness, and patience of Christ, and both of them being without blemish, were typical of his purity and perfection in his nature and life, and especially in his sacrifice.
t Comment. in Psal. lxix. 32. u Hilchot Zebachim, c. 1. sect. 14. w Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.
And unleavened bread,.... Such as used to be eaten at the time of the passover, and this being distinguished from cakes and wafers, after mentioned, shows that this was bread of a larger size, a loaf or loaves of bread, see Exodus 29:3
and cakes unleavened, tempered with oil; these were made of flour mixed with oil, but without leaven, and were a lesser and thinner sort of bread than the former:
and wafers unleavened, anointed with oil; with oil olive, the best of oil, as the Targum of Jonathan, and so Aben Ezra; these were a thinner sort of bread still, somewhat like our pancakes; and they were anointed with oil after the baking of them, and in the form of the Greek χ, "chi", as Jarchi says, or of a St. Andrew's or Burgundian cross:
of wheaten flour shall thou make them; of the finest of the wheat, for these were to be the food of Aaron and his sons, who were now to be invested with an high and honourable office, and were to live according to the dignity of it; and these being all unleavened, may denote that sincerity, simplicity, and integrity that ought to be found in them, in the discharge of their office, and which were in Christ in full perfection; as well as soundness in doctrine, life, and manners, being free from all leaven of false doctrine, hypocrisy, and malice; and likewise what is expected of the same kind in all the saints, who, under the Gospel dispensation, are all of them priests unto God, and whose food is the finest of the wheat, Christ the bread of life.
And thou shalt put them into one basket,.... The unleavened bread, cakes and wafers; this basket may be an emblem of the Gospel and the ministration of it, in which Christ the bread of life is carried, and ministered to his people:
and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams; not that the bullock and the rams were to be brought in the basket along with the bread, cakes, and wafers; but at the same time that they were brought to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, these were to be brought, led, or drove to the altar, in order to be slain and sacrificed.
And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,.... That is, order and direct them to come thither; for it cannot be thought he was to carry them in his arms or on his shoulders, or have them thither by force, whether they would or not; but he was to declare to them that it was the will of the Lord they should appear there:
and shalt wash them with water; out of the laver after mentioned, which stood between the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar: the Targum of Jonathan says, this washing was performed in forty seahs of living or spring water, which was sufficient for the immersion of the whole body, which it is highly probable was the case; and so Jarchi interprets it of the dipping of the whole body, and which seems to have been necessary, upon their entrance on their office, to denote their complete purity and holiness, though afterwards, when they entered on service, they only washed their hands and feet, see
Exodus 30:18 to which our Lord seems to allude, John 13:10 this washing shows what purity and holiness were necessary to the priests of the Lord, and that they ought to be clean that bear the vessels of his house, or minister in his sanctuary, and which were in Christ in their full perfection; and such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, and undefiled, and so could offer himself without spot, and was a fit person to take away sin by sacrifice, and to be an advocate for his people: this may also point at his baptism, which he submitted to before he entered on his office in a public manner, and which was performed by immersion; and in this way ought all his priests, his saints, to be washed, as well as with the washing of regeneration, and with the blood of Christ; and which is necessary to their officiating as priests, or drawing nigh to God, and requisite to their communion with God and Christ.
And thou shall take the garments,.... The priestly garments before ordered to be made, and when made:
and put upon Aaron the coat: the broidered coat, the coat of fine linen, which was put on first and was next to his flesh, for all these garments were put on in the order in which they are here placed:
and the robe of the ephod: which was all of blue, and had pomegranates and golden bells at the hem of it; this was put over the broidered coat:
and the ephod; which was made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen: this was a short garment put over the robe of the ephod:
and the breastplate; with the Urim and Thummim in it, or the twelve precious stones on which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, which hung down over the breast by wreathen chains of gold, from the shoulder pieces of the ephod:
and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod; which was made of the same material and after the same manner as the ephod itself, and which girt all his garments tight and close to him; the significance of these has been observed already; and unless thus clothed he could not minister in his office, and these he had only on while ministering in it: no mention is made of the breeches, because these were doubtless to be put on by the high priest himself in a private manner before he came there; whereas all these garments were put on him publicly at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, where it would not have been so seemly and decent to put on the other.
And thou shall put the mitre upon his head,.... Which was made of linen, and was a wrap of linen about his head in the form of a turban:
and put the holy crown upon the mitre; the holy crown was a plate of gold which had these words, "holiness to the Lord", engraven on it; and so says the Targum of Jonathan,
"on which the holy name was engraven;''
the mitre was upon the top of his head, this in the forefront of that; it was upon Aaron's forehead, and reached from ear to ear, and was fastened behind with a blue lace; this was like a crown or a diadem, and denotes the honour and dignity of the priestly office: Christ is a priest on his throne, and his saints are a royal priesthood, even kings as well as priests unto God.
Then thou shall take the anointing oil, After ordered to be made of principal spices, myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia, and oil olive, Exodus 30:23
and pour it upon his head, and anoint him; this was done, according to Jarchi, in the form of the letter "chi" as before; the oil was put upon his head and between his eyebrows, and he joined them with his finger: Aben Ezra thinks this was done before the mitre was put upon his head, for upon the head was the oil only poured; but Nachmanides was of opinion that the mitre was so folded about the head that the middle of the head was open, and upon that the oil was poured; and so the Talmudists say x that his (the high priest's) hair was seen between the plate of gold and the mitre; but however this was, it seems plain from the text that this anointing was after the mitre was put on, and the priest habited with all his garments; and it is also as clear a case, that the ointment was poured on his head, which ran down to his beard, Psalms 133:2, and I see no difficulty in supposing that the mitre and crown might be taken off again while the ceremony of anointing was performed. This unction denotes the investiture of Christ with his office in eternity, who is said to be anointed so early, Proverbs 8:22, and the donation of the Spirit to him in time, without measure; with which he is said to be anointed, both at his incarnation and at his baptism, and also at his ascension to heaven, and hence comes the name of the Messiah, which signifies anointed; and so his people, his priests, are anointed of God, with an unction from him, with the oil of grace, with the graces of the Spirit, which is necessary for their instruction, for the presentation of themselves to as an holy sacrifice, and to make them meet for the heavenly glory.
x T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 19. 1.
And thou shalt bring his sons,.... Order the sons of Aaron to come to the same place where he was:
and put coats upon them: such as were ordered to be made for them,
And thou shalt gird them with girdles (Aaron and his sons),.... Aaron with the girdle of the ephod, and with the girdle of needlework, and his sons with common girdles made for them; all which showed what strength, diligence, and expedition were necessary for the discharge of their office:
and put the bonnets on them; upon their heads, which differed only from the high priest's mitre in the manner of rolling or wrapping, as has been observed on Exodus 28:39:
and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute; that is, shall descend from father to son in Aaron's family throughout all generations, until the Messiah should come; who would be a priest of another order, and put an end to the Aaronic priesthood, by fulfilling what that was a type of, and so abolishing it:
and thou shall consecrate Aaron and his sons; or "fill the hand of them"; that is, with sacrifices to offer for themselves and others,
Exodus 28:39- :. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan are,
"shall offer the offering of Aaron, and the offering of his sons,''
of which there is an after account, and was one part of their consecration.
And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation,.... The same, or of the same kind he was ordered to take, Exodus 29:1, and here the place is expressed where it was to be taken, and what was to be done with it:
and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock; not Aaron first alone, and then his sons, as some have thought, Aben Ezra makes mention of; but, as he says, both together, not one before another; declaring it to be their sacrifice, a vicarious one, one in their room and stead, signifying that they deserved to die as that creature would; and by this act putting, as it were, their sins and transgressions upon it, see Leviticus 16:21 and which was an emblem of the imputation of sin to Christ, and laying upon him the iniquities of us all.
And thou shalt kill the bullock before the Lord,.... That is, Moses is ordered to do it, who now officiated as a priest, "pro tempore", Aaron and his sons not being yet completely invested with that office, or thoroughly consecrated to it; of which consecration this sacrifice was a part, and therefore could not with propriety be concerned in killing their own sacrifice; for that purpose, Moses therefore did it, and he did it "before the Lord"; Jehovah the Son gave him those orders to do it before Jehovah the Father, in his presence, as an offering to him, and for his acceptance. And the ark, as Aben Ezra observes, was in the middle westward, and right against it was the altar of incense, and opposite that the altar of burnt offering:
by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; that is, as Jarchi interprets it, in the court of the tabernacle before the door; not by the door by which they entered in to the court of the tabernacle; but in the court before the door that leads in to the holy at some distance from which stood the altar of burnt offering, where this bullock was slain and sacrificed: all this may denote the public manner in which Christ, the antitype, suffered in the presence of the Lord, with his knowledge and will, and before the people of Israel.
And thou shalt take the blood of the bullock,.... Being slain, and its blood received into a basin:
and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger; not sprinkle it with hyssop, as was done in some cases, but put on with the finger dipped into the blood in the basin; as the horns of the altar were the place where the sacrifice was bound, as some think, or however where persons in distress fled for refuge, and laid hold on, it may figure the blood of Christ, being effectual to the cleansing of their souls, and the remission of their sins, through the application of it to them by the Spirit of God:
and pour all the blood beside at the bottom of the altar; the rest of the blood not put upon the horns of the altar, all that was left of it. Jarchi says, there was a receptacle (for it) that protruded from around the altar, about a cubit from the ground; and here it was that the blood was poured.
And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards,.... That covered the skin or caul, in which the bowels are contained, called the "omentum", which generally has a pretty deal of fat upon it:
and the caul that is above the liver; which seems to design the diaphragm or midriff; but the Septuagint renders it, "the lobe of the liver"; and Ben Melech says it is to be interpreted with the liver, for he says he took a little of the liver with the caul:
and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar; the Targum of Jonathan is, lay them in order on the altar; it is not easy to say, since fat is taken both in a good and bad sense, what is designed by the burning of it: as fat often designs the best, it being burned on the altar may signify that the best is to be given to the Lord, and we are to honour him with the best things we have, which should be devoted to his service; or as fat renders insensible, and stupefies and makes men heavy, and inclines to a carnal and vicious disposition, and the inward parts and reins being the seat of carnal desires, affections, and lusts; it may denote that the inward part of man is very wickedness, and that the inward corruptions of nature, and the carnal affections and fleshly lusts, are to be mortified and destroyed, at least the power of them to be subdued and restrained.
But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung,.... The several parts and members of him, head, legs, feet, c. and the skin taken off of him, and the dung that comes from him. Aben Ezra observes, that the flesh comprehends the head and the pieces, and may be interpreted in a way of conjecture, that he washed it, and afterwards burnt it all representing a whole Christ under all his painful sufferings, and the shame and reproach he underwent in them:
shalt thou burn with fire without the camp; so Christ, the antitype, suffered without the gates of Jerusalem a most painful and shameful death, despised and reproached by men, and the wrath of God like fire poured out upon him: the apostle seems to refer to this, Hebrews 13:11,
it is a sin offering; in order to make atonement for the sins of Aaron and his sons; for the law made men priests that had infirmity, and needed offerings and sacrifices for their own sins, which shows the imperfection of the Aaronic priesthood.
Thou shalt also take one ram,.... One of the two he was bid to take, Exodus 29:1;
and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram; confessing their sins, acknowledging their guilt, and by this act transferring the same to the ram, which was to be a burnt offering, and was typical of the imputation of sin to Christ, as before observed.
And thou shalt slay the ram,.... As he was ordered to slay the bullock, acting in this as a priest, as in that:
and thou shall take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar; the blood being received into a basin, it was not to be put upon the altar with the finger, as the blood of the bullock, but was to be sprinkled probably with a bunch of hyssop, round about upon the altar, on the top and sides: as the deity of Christ is the altar which sanctifies every gift, this may signify that his blood has its virtue and efficacy from that, to make atonement for the sins of men, and to cleanse them from them.
And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces,.... For the better convenience of laying it upon the wood on the altar, that it might be burnt; for it was to be a whole burnt offering:
and wash the inwards of him, and his legs; denoting the purity of the sacrifice of Christ, and that when his people give up themselves to God as a whole burnt offering, in the flames of love and zeal, their affections should be pure and sincere:
and put [them] unto his pieces, and unto his head; lay them together, so that they might be entirely consumed at once; signifying that Christ was both in soul and body an offering and a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour to God; zeal for the honour of whose house, and the glory of his name, ate him up, as well as the fire of divine wrath; and so our whole souls, bodies and spirits, should be presented to the Lord as a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice to him, which is more strongly suggested in the next verse.
And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar,.... For which reason his head, his pieces, his inwards, and his legs, were to be put together, and laid in order upon the altar:
it is a burnt offering unto the Lord; offered up to him, and accepted by him, as follows:
it is a sweet savour; or "a smell of rest" y, in which God acquiesces, and rests, and takes delight and pleasure; it is, as the Septuagint version,
for a smell of sweet savour, or a sweet smelling savour; which phrase the apostle makes use of, and applies to the sacrifice of Christ, Ephesians 5:2:
an offering made by fire unto the Lord; which being consumed by fire ascended upwards to the Lord, and became acceptable to him, as the sacrifice of his own Son, in his fiery sufferings and death, was unto him.
y ריח ניחוח "odor quietis", Montanus, Fagius, Vatablus, Cartwright, Piscator.
And thou shall take the other ram,.... The other of the two that was left, Exodus 29:1:
and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram, as they were to do, and did, upon the head of the other;
Exodus 29:1- :.
Then shall thou kill the ram,.... As the other:
and take of his blood, some part of it being received into a basin:
and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons; according to Jarchi, this is the middle gristle within the ear; but Saadiah more rightly says it is the tender part which joins to the orb of the ear. The blood was put upon this part to sanctify it, and cleanse from sins that come thereby, and to teach the high priest that he ought attentively to listen to what should be said unto him of the Lord, that he might faithfully report it to the people; and as our great High Priest had his ear opened and awakened, to hear as the learned; and happy are his people who have ears to hear the joyful sound, and take pleasure in it, and who are cleansed from their hearing sins, by his precious blood:
and upon the thumb of their right hand; on the middle joint of it, as Jarchi:
and upon the great toe of the right foot; the hands and fingers being the instruments of action, and the feet and toes of walking, show that the life and conversation of the priests of the Lord ought to be pure and holy, and so their antitype perfectly was; and whereas there is imperfection in all the actions, and even in the best righteousness of the saints, and their walk and conversation is not without sin, they have need to have them sprinkled with, and their conversation garments washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb:
and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about; as was done with the blood of the other ram, Exodus 29:16.
And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar,.... Not that which was sprinkled upon it, which could not be gathered up in such quantities as to be sprinkled again; but which was in a basin on it, having been received into it when the ram was slain:
and of the anointing oil; hereafter to be made, and with which Aaron was anointed as soon as he had his garments on; and this is a different anointing from that that was poured on his head; this was sprinkled on his garments, as follows:
and sprinkle it upon Aaron; both the blood and the oil:
and upon his garments; the note of Aben Ezra is, under the garments of Aaron, and on his garments, as if they were sprinkled within and without:
and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him; at his first unction his sons do not seem to have been anointed at all, but now they and their garments are sprinkled both with blood and oil; denoting both the justification of the priests of the Lord by the blood of Christ, and the sanctification of them by the Spirit, and the need that both their persons and their actions stand in of cleansing by them both:
and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him: all should be holy in a ceremonial sense, and devoted to holy uses and services; see Psalms 45:8.
Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump,.... The fat which was upon it: the sheep in Arabia and about Judea were remarkable for their large tails; according to Rauwolff z, they were half a span thick, and one and a half broad, and very fat; and so in Africa and Egypt were rams of large tails often and twenty pounds weight a; and Aristotle b speaks of sheep in Syria that had tails a cubit broad; and Herodotus c makes mention of two sorts in Arabia, one sort have tails three cubits long, which if drawn upon the ground would ulcerate, wherefore the shepherds make little carts to bear them upon d, and the other sort have tails a cubit broad; and Vartomanus e relates, how in Arabia are fat sheep whose tails weigh eleven, twelve, seventeen, nay, forty four pounds, and of a cubit long:
and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul of the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them:
and the right shoulder; what was to be done with it is afterwards observed as well as with the rest:
for it is a ram of consecration; or "of fillings" f; Jarchi says, the Scripture declares these fillings to be peace offerings, for they minister peace to the altar, and to him that does the service, and to the owners; wherefore the breast was necessarily his that did the service for his portion, and this was Moses, for he ministered in the fillings, and the rest Aaron and his sons ate, for they were the owners.
z Travels, p. 221. a Leo. African. Descript. Africae, l. 9. p. 753. b Hist. Animal. l. 8, c. 28. c Thalia sive, l. 3. c. 113. d The same is observed in T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 54. 2. & Gloss. in. ib. e Navigat. l. 2. c. 5, 9, 15. f מלאים "impletionum", Montanus, Vatablus, Piscator.
And one loaf of bread,.... Of unleavened bread, as in
Exodus 29:2 large bread is meant, as Ben Melech observes, for the rest were cakes and wafers, as follows:
and one cake of oiled bread; which was made of flour and oil mixed and tempered together:
and one wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread; which was anointed with oil and crossed, as the Jewish writers say:
that [is] before the Lord; which basket of unleavened bread, cakes, and wafers, was set in the court of the tabernacle, and so said to be before the Lord, being devoted to whatever use he should assign them, being by his orders brought thither.
And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons,.... Which accounts for the use of the phrase, filling the hand for consecration, Exodus 29:9 for all the above things of the ram, bread, cakes, and wafers, were put into their hands when consecrated, denoting their investiture with their office: all things are in the hands of Christ, relative to the glory of God and the good of his people; their persons are in his hands, and all grace and blessings of it for them; a commission to execute his office as a priest is given to him; and as it was proper that he also should have somewhat to offer, his hands are filled, and he has a sufficiency for that purpose, as Aaron and his sons had, Hebrews 8:3
and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: which was waved or shook to and fro, from east to west, and from north to south, to or before him, as Jarchi observes, whose are the four winds of the world g; and this was done by Moses and Aaron also; for, according to the same writer,
"both were employed in waving, both the owners and the priest, how? the priest put his hand under the hand of the owner and waved, and in this Aaron and his sons were the owners and Moses the priest.''
g Vid. T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 62. 1.
And thou shalt receive them of their hands,.... After they had been put into them, and filled with them, and waved by them:
and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering; not the flesh of the ram, which is after ordered to be boiled and eaten by Aaron and his sons; but the fat of it, before described, with one loaf, one cake, and one wafer of unleavened bread, out of the basket: this was done
for a sweet savour before the Lord; that it might be grateful and acceptable to him, as it was:
it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord;
And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's consecrations,.... The ram being slain and cut to pieces, this part is particularly disposed of:
and wave it for a wave offering before the Lord; in the manner before described:
and it shall be thy part: the part of Moses, he officiating now as a priest; and we find accordingly in later times that this part of the sacrifice belonged to the priest, Leviticus 7:31.
And thou shall sanctify the breast of the wave offering,.... Set it apart for the use of the priest in all succeeding ages:
and the shoulder of the heave offering: as the breast was waved from one hand to another, or cast from the hand of one to the hand of another; the shoulder was heaved up, or cast up and caught again: this also was to be sanctified or set apart for the priest's use, Leviticus 7:32,
which is waved, and which is heaved up of the ram of the consecration: the breast was waved and the shoulder heaved:
even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons; as these two parts before mentioned in peace offerings were.
And it shall be Aaron's and his sons by a statute for ever from the children of Israel,.... That is, the shoulder, which seems particularly meant, though the breast also was theirs, which was at this time given to Moses, he being priest; and this was an everlasting statute and ordinance in all generations, as long as the priesthood of Aaron lasted, until the Messiah should come and put an end to it: and this the children of Israel were always to allow the priests; the shoulder, because Aaron bore their names before the Lord upon his shoulders, for a memorial; and the breast for a like reason, because he bore their names in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, and their judgment also before the Lord continually, Exodus 28:12,
for it is an heave offering: it is lifted up to the Lord, and therefore is given to his priest:
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: it being heaved up and given to the priest, it was reckoned an offering to the Lord, and was accepted by him as a peace offering; and it was an emblem of the lifting up of their hearts to God, and of the going up of the affections and desires of their souls to him, and of their serving and worshipping him in spirit and in truth, who is a spirit, and was their Father in heaven, to whom their eyes, hearts, and hands, were to be lifted up.
And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his son's after him,.... That son that succeeded him in the priesthood; for the priesthood continued in Aaron's family by succession, the eldest son being high priest, until the disposal of this office fell into the hands of Heathen princes, and then it was obtained by interest or money: now, though the coat and breeches might be wore out by Aaron before he died, yet the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and its girdle, and the breastplate, might continue, and go from father to son, and especially the latter, even to succeeding ages; see Numbers 20:26,
to be anointed therein, and consecrated in them; this is to be understood only of the high priesthood, and of anointing and consecrating to that; for none but high priests were anointed, and their sons who succeeded them in that office, and who were anointed, and consecrated in like manner as Aaron was, by washing, clothing, anointing, and sacrificing.
And that son that is priest in his stead,.... The Targum of Jonathan is,
"who shall rise after him of his sons, not of the Levites;''
for the high priest was to be of the family of Aaron, a descendant of his; it was not enough that he was of the tribe of Levi, but he must descend from Aaron, either in the line of Eleazar or of Ithamar:
shall put them on seven days; the next successor was to wear the garments seven days running:
when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place; to offer sacrifice in the court of the tabernacle, on the altar of burnt offering, and to offer incense on the altar of incense, and to trim the lamps of the candlestick, and to put the shewbread on the table.
And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration,.... For the other ram was cut in pieces and burnt, even the whole of it:
and seethe his flesh in the holy place; not in that part of the tabernacle which was properly the holy place, as distinguished from the holy of holies, and from the court of the tabernacle; for in that there was no convenience for boiling, but in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation, even at the door of it, as in Leviticus 8:31.
And Aaron and his sons shall eat of the flesh of the ram,.... Typical of the flesh of Christ, whose flesh is meat indeed, and to be eaten by faith, whereby it becomes spiritual food, savoury and nourishing, as it is to all the Lord's priests, or who are made so to God:
and the bread that is in the basket; the unleavened bread, cakes, and wafers, Exodus 29:2, what was left of them, one loaf, one cake, and one wafer, having been put into the hands of Aaron and his sons, and received from them and burnt, Exodus 29:23 this may figure Christ the bread of life, held forth in the ministry of the word, for believers in him to feed upon; which basket of bread was
by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; the whole court, Jarchi says, was so called, where the people in common assembled, and the Lord met with them; and so may point at the public ordinances, where Christ is set forth as food for souls.
And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made,.... For the sins of Aaron and his sons, for they were men of infirmity, and needed sacrifice for sin themselves; and herein Christ their antitype excelled them, that he had no sin of his own, and needed not to offer first for them, and then for the sins of others, as Aaron and his sons, the types of him, did; and their eating of the sacrifice for atonement points at the receiving of the atonement of Christ's sacrifice by faith, and the enjoyment of it and the blessings following on it:
to consecrate and to sanctify them; that they might be filled and fitted, and set apart and devoted to the office of the priesthood, and minister in it:
but a stranger shall not eat [thereof], because they are holy; meaning not one of another nation, but of another family, though an Israelite; the Targum of Jonathan renders it, a profane and common person, a layman, one that was not a priest; who, though he was of the seed of Israel, yet not being of the seed of Aaron, as Aben Ezra interprets it, he might not eat of the above things, because they were devoted to holy uses; and therefore none but such who were sanctified or set apart to sacred service might partake of them.
And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning,.... Being more than the priests could eat:
then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire; that it might not be used in a contemptuous manner, or abused to superstitious uses; the same orders with those respecting what was left of the passover:
it shall not be eaten, because it is holy; which is the reason before given why it should not be eaten by a stranger, and being kept till the next morning it was ordered to be burnt, that it might not then be eaten at all; it was not to be given to a stranger, nor to be cast to dogs, because it had been devoted to sacred uses; and it seems as if it was not to be eaten by the priests themselves the next day, who were to live upon the daily provision made for them.
And thus shall thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons,.... For their consecration, washing, clothing, anointing them, sprinkling blood upon them and their garments, and offering sacrifice for them:
according to all things which I have commanded thee; no one thing was to be omitted, and we find they were carefully and punctually observed, Leviticus 8:1
seven days shalt thou consecrate them: so long the rites and ceremonies of the consecration were to be performing, that they might be thoroughly used to the putting on of their garments, and the offering of sacrifices as they saw performed by Moses; and in all respects be fitted for the discharge of their office: the Jewish writers generally say that seven days were appointed, that a sabbath might pass over them.
And thou shall offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement,.... That is, every day of the seven days of consecration; denoting the full and complete atonement for sin by the sacrifice of Christ, which these sacrifices could not really obtain, and were therefore frequently repeated, in this case seven times; figuratively by that number pointing to the full expiation of sin by the atoning Saviour, who was made not only an offering for sin, but sin itself by imputation, for his people:
and thou shalt cleanse the altar when thou hast made atonement for it; which though not capable of sin, or of any moral guilt, yet, inasmuch as it was to be of sacred use, and to have sin offerings laid upon it, expiation and cleansing, in a ceremonial way, were to be made for it, to purge it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel,
Leviticus 16:18. This altar was typical of Christ, who is that altar believers in him have a right to partake of; and though he had no sin of his own, no guilt of that kind to expiate, nor pollution to be cleansed from, yet as he had the guilt of his people transferred to him, and was clothed with their filthy garments, and had their uncleannesses on him; by the sacrifice of himself he purged away sin from himself and them, and was justified and cleared of all, and they in him:
and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it; anoint it, as it afterwards was, with the holy anointing oil, whereby it was sanctified, or set apart for holy uses; in which it was a figure of Christ anointed with the oil of gladness, the Holy Spirit, above his fellows; and was sanctified and set apart for his priestly office, in which he was both altar, sacrifice, and priest.
Seven days thou shalt make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it,.... That it might be thoroughly fit to have sacrifices offered on it:
and it shall be an altar most holy; as Christ is, and is called the Most Holy, and said to be anointed, Daniel 9:24. He is holy in his person, nature, and offices, more holy than angels or men; as holy as the Lord God, the God of Israel, his Father, who is glorious in holiness, and none like to him for it:
whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy; that is, whatsoever gift or sacrifice, according to law, was offered on it, whatever appertained unto it, or were suitable for it; for as for other things, they were not made holy by a touch of it, Haggai 2:11. The Targum of Jonathan refers it to persons, paraphrasing the words, that such should be holy who were
"of the sons of Aaron, but of the rest of the people it was not lawful for them to draw nigh, lest they should be burnt with flaming fire that comes out of the holy things;''
but our Lord applies it to gifts and offerings of the altar, for to this case he seems to have respect, Matthew 23:19 for he is the altar that sanctifies not only the persons, but the services of his people, and their sacrifices of prayer and praise come up with acceptance to God from off this altar; though even the best duties and services of theirs need atonement and purification by the sacrifice and blood of Christ.
Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar,.... An altar being ordered to be built, and this sanctified and expiated, and priests being appointed and consecrated to the service of it; an account is given of the offerings that should be offered up upon it every day, besides those that should be offered occasionally, and at other set times:
two lambs of the first year day by day continually; typical of Christ the Lamb of God, who continually, through the efficacy of his blood, and the virtue of his sacrifice, which are ever the same, takes away day by day the sins of his people. A lamb is a proper emblem of him for innocence and harmlessness, for meekness and humility, for patience, for usefulness for food and clothing, and especially for sacrifice; and these being of the
first year, may denote the tenderness of Christ, who as he grew up as a tender plant, so as a tender lamb, encompassed with infirmities, being in all things like unto his people, excepting sin; and as these were to be
without spot, Numbers 28:3 and so here, in the Septuagint version, it may point at the purity of Christ, who is the Lamb of God, without spot and blemish, and who offered himself without spot to God, and was a fit sacrifice to be offered up for the taking away of the sins of men.
The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning,.... And before this no other sacrifice was to be offered, and therefore it was slain and offered very early; and yet it was not lawful to slay it before break of day, wherefore great care was taken that it should not;
"he that was appointed over the service used to say to the priests, go out, and see if the time of slaying is come; if it is come, he that went out to see, said, coruscations or brightnesses; Matthias the son of Samuel said, does it enlighten the face of the whole east as far as Hebron? he said, yes; why was this necessary? because one time the light of the moon ascended, and they thought the east was enlightened (or it was break of day), and they slew the sacrifice h:''
and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, or
between the two evenings; of which phrase :- Josephus i says, it was about the ninth hour, or three o'clock in the afternoon, that the daily sacrifice was offered: the Misnic doctors say k, it was slain at eight and a half, or half an hour after two o'clock, and was offered up at nine and a half, or half an hour after three o'clock: they stayed as long as they could before they offered it, because no sacrifice was offered after it but the passover. We are told that the lamb of the morning was slain in the northwest corner of the altar, and that of the evening in the northeast corner l: the reason of this was, because in the morning the sun was in the east, and shone over against the west; but the evening daily sacrifice was when the sun was in the west, and shone opposite the east m: this was in a good measure literally fulfilled in Christ, namely, as to the time of slaying and offering the daily sacrifice; for he was crucified at the third hour, that is, at nine o'clock in the morning, at the sixth hour, or at twelve o'clock at noon, darkness was upon the earth, which continued till the ninth, and then he gave up the ghost, which was three o'clock in the afternoon, the usual time of slaying and offering the daily evening sacrifice, Mark 15:25 and this may signify the extensiveness of Christ's sacrifice, reaching from the morning of the world to the evening of it. He was slain and offered up in the morning of the world, in the purpose and promise of God, in the typical sacrifices of men, and in the faith of his people, who looked to him as the atoning Saviour, and in the efficacy of his blood, which reached to all the saints from the beginning, for the pardon and atonement of their sins; and it was at the end or evening of the Jewish world and state that Christ was offered up a sacrifice for sin, and the virtue of it will continue to the end of the world. Christ is the Lamb of God that continues to take away the sin of the world, and his blood continues to cleanse from all sin, and he ever lives to make intercession for transgressors. Good men are continually sinning, and they ever stand in need of the application of pardoning grace and mercy; there are sins of the night, and the sins of the day they fall into, and nothing can expiate them but the blood and sacrifice of Christ. The repetition of these sacrifices every day, morning and night, shows that they could not really and perfectly take away sin; the cessation of them was a token of perfect atonement by Christ, which made them needless and useless: and this may teach us, that the sacrifices of prayer and praise should be morning and evening; in the morning we should express our thankfulness for the mercies of the night, and pray for the continuance of them the day following; and at the evening we should offer up the sacrifices of praise for the mercies of the day, and pray for the mercies of the night; and at both seasons should be concerned to have a fresh application of the atoning blood and sacrifice of Christ, for the taking away from us the sins of the night and day.
h Misn. Yoma, c. 3. sect. 1, 2. Tamid, c. 3. sect. 2. i Joseph. Antiqu. l. 14. c. 4. sect. 3. k Misn. Pesachim, c. 5. sect. 1. l Misn. Tamid, c. 4. sect. 1. m Bartenora in Misn. Tamid, c. 4. sect. 1.
And with the one lamb a tenth deal,.... That is, the tenth part of an "ephah", as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, which is an "omer", and held as much as a man could eat in one day, or more, see Exodus 16:18:
of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; this was a meat, or, rather bread offering, which went along with the daily sacrifice, and typified Christ the food of his people, who is compared to a corn of wheat; is the finest of the wheat, and the bread of God, which came down from heaven, and gives life, food; and nourishment to men; and the "beaten oil" may signify the graces of the Spirit in him, and the exercise of them through the many trials and sufferings he endured, and which make him savoury food to his people, as a crucified Christ is:
and the fourth part of a hin of wine for a drink offering; a "hin", Aben Ezra says, was an Egyptian measure, but what reason he had for it does not appear; according to Ainsworth, the fourth part of it was a pint and a half; but according to Bishop Cumberland n, who has with great exactness calculated the Jewish measures, it was a quart and above half a pint; this was poured out upon the altar. Jarchi says there were two silver basins on the top of the altar, and there were bored in them like two small nostrils, and wine was put in the middle of them; and it flowed and went out by the way of the nostrils, and fell upon the top of the altar, and from thence descended to the bottom: this wine poured may either signify the blood of Christ shed, or poured out for the remission of sin; or the love of Christ very plentifully manifested in the offering up of himself for men, and the acceptableness of to God: and, moreover, as sacrifices are called the bread of God, and he makes as it were a feast of them, feeding on them with delight and pleasure, it was necessary there should be wine to complete the banquet; wherefore wine is said to cheer both God and man, Judges 9:13, alluding to the libations of wine in sacrifices.
n Of Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 3. p. 86.
And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even,....
and shall do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof; a meat and drink offering consisting of the same things, for quality and quantity, and made in the same manner, were to be offered with the daily evening sacrifice, as with the morning one:
for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord: for these lambs were both burnt with fire upon the altar, and therefore are called a burnt offering in the next verse.
This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations,.... To be offered up morning and evening in every age, as long as the Mosaic economy lasted, till he came, who put an end to it by offering up himself, the antitype of it:
at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord; that is, upon the altar of burnt offering which stood there, see Exodus 40:29:
where I will meet you to speak there unto thee; to accept of their sacrifices, give further directions of what was to be done, and answers to inquiries made of him in matters of moment and difficulty. Jarchi observes, that some of their Rabbins conclude from hence, that the holy blessed God spoke with Moses from off the altar of brass, after the tabernacle was set up; but others say from off the mercy seat, as in
And there will I meet with the children of Israel,.... Not only with Moses or with Aaron, and his successors, but with the people themselves, by granting them his gracious presence in public ordinances, giving them tokens of his goodwill unto them, and of his acceptance of their offerings, hearing their prayers put up by themselves, or by the priest interceding for them, and receiving their thanksgivings for mercies bestowed, and giving them instructions by the mouth of his priests:
and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory; by his Shechinah, or the glory of the divine Majesty, dwelling in it; or it may be supplied, the children of Israel shall be sanctified; set apart and distinguished by his glorious presence among them; the Targum of Jonathan is,
"I will be sanctified in or by their princes, because of my glory.''
And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar,.... This seems to intimate that something else in the preceding verse is intended, as what should be sanctified, than the tabernacle, as we supply it; or else here is a repetition of the same thing for the confirmation of it, and both that and the altar were, sanctified, or set apart for holy uses, as well as cleansed and expiated by sacrifices:
I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office; that is, in a ceremonial way, by separating them from the rest of the children of Israel, by washing, clothing, and anointing them, and by accepting sacrifices offered by them; for this is not to be understood of internal sanctifying grace, which, though Aaron had, and many of his sons that succeeded him, yet not all; nor was it necessary to the performance of the priestly office, though it is in all those who are a royal priesthood, and made priests as well as kings unto God; for they are a holy nation, called with an holy calling, and unto himself, and have it both internally and externally.
And I will dwell among the children of Israel,.... In the tabernacle ordered to be built for him, and which, when built, was placed in the midst of the camp of Israel; and here Jehovah dwelt as a king in his palace, near at hand to help, protect, and defend his subjects, and supply them with all things needful for them; see Deuteronomy 4:7
and will be their God; their covenant God, their King and their God, their government being a Theocracy; their God and Father, by national adoption, and from whom they might expect all good things, they continuing in obedience to his commands, by the tenure of which they held their rights and privileges, civil and ecclesiastical.
And they shall know that I am the Lord their God,.... By his presence with them, by the blessings bestowed upon them, by his care of them, and kindness to them:
that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell amongst them; not only did he bring them from thence, that they might dwell in the land of Canaan, but that he might dwell among them, which was by far the greatest mercy; and not only that they might be delivered from the bondage and affliction with which they were sorely pressed, but that they might be a free people, under the protection of their King and their God, in the midst of them; all which was a great encouragement to them, and an obligation on them to attend the service of the sanctuary, and to obey the Lord in whatsoever he had enjoined or should command them:
I am the Lord their God; of which he had given full proof and evidence by what he had done for them, and would yet give more; and to have the Lord our God is the greatest happiness that can be enjoyed, see
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Exodus 29". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent