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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-5


Verses 1-5:

Section Two

This marks the beginning of the second section of the Book. The first section concerned the institution of the sacrificial system. This second section deals with the institution of the Levitical priesthood.

In the Patriarchal Age, the family head was the priest of his household, see Job 1:5. In his priestly role, he offered sacrifices and offerings, similar to the peace offerings.

With the institution of the sacrificial rituals came the need to establish a priesthood to administer them. This came about in three stages:

The first stage: to hallow the firstborn of Israel as holy to God, following the deliverance of this firstborn from death in Egypt, Nu 3:13.

The second stage: to substitute the tribe of Levi for the first born in Israel, Nu 3:41-45; Ex 32:26.

The third state: to hallow the family of Aaron, as the hereditary priesthood. Originally this number was five. It was reduced to three with the death of Nadab and Abihu. With the passage of time the priestly family grew, to meet the expanded needs of the nation.

The priesthood was typical of the ministry of Christ. The garments which the high priest wore, the sacrifices he offered, and his ministry on behalf of the people symbolize the Person and sacrifice of Christ, see Heb 9:1-28.

The text sets the stage for the consecration of the priests. Aaron and his sons were to appear before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle, along with those items required for the sacrifice. The sacrificial animals, the basket of bread, and the garments were already provided for in God’s instructions to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Verses 6-12

Verses 6-12:

Moses first washed Aaron, likely with water from the brazen laver. This was done in the sight of the people, and consisted of washing those parts of the body not covered by the linen drawers, see Ex 28:42. This symbolized Aaron’s ceremonial cleansing. Then Moses placed upon him the holy garments of the high priest. These are described in Exodus chapter 28. The robing with these garments followed the order set forth in Scripture.

Following the investiture of Aaron with the high priest’s garments, Moses then anointed the tabernacle, the altar and all its vessels, and the laver and its base. For this purpose he used the holy anointing oil, described in Ex 30:22-25. He then poured the oil upon Aaron’s head, from which it ran down upon his beard and his garments, see Ps 133:1-3.

The symbolism of this anointing is the consecration to service by the Holy Spirit, see 1Jo 2:20, 27.

Verses 13-17

Verses 13-17:

The investiture of Aaron’s sons followed his consecration. Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar were robed in the priestly garments described in Ex 28:40-43, consisting of a white tunic, girdle (sash or belt), and bonnet, migbaoth, or turban. The text at this point says nothing of their being anointed. However, Moses did anoint them, in keeping with the specific command in Exodus 40:15. It is unlikely that the anointing of the priests was as extensive as that of the high priest.

Moses offered the first Sin Offering (see chapter 4) ever made upon the altar of sacrifice. Prior to this there had been offerings similar to the Peace Offering and the Whole Burnt Offering, but no Sin Offering.

Moses at this point continued to act as a priest, a patriarch priest even though he was not of the priestly family (Aaron and his sons). The reason: Aaron was not yet high priest. This offering was made for Aaron and his sons. Also, the blood was not taken into the tabernacle, and the sacrifice was not eaten but was burned outside the camp, see Le 7:26, 30.

Verses 18-21

Verses 18-21:

The ritual for the Whole Burnt Offering was followed exactly, see chapter 1. Moses also offered this sacrifice, as a step in the consecration of the priests and the tabernacle.

Verses 22-30

Verses 22-30:

The "ram of consecration" is the ram offered as the Peace

Offering, see Le 7:28-34. Following the "wave" and "heave" part of the ritual, Moses then placed some of the blood of the sacrifice upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and upon the big toe of the right foot of Aaron. Then he repeated this ritual for Aaron’s sons, the ordinary priests. This pictures that all their senses and all their powers are consecrated to God’s service. Relative to today, it symbolizes that the child of God is to dedicate himself completely to God. The same blood which brings peace with God (Col 1:20) also serves to consecrate the child of God to His service, 1Co 6:19; Ro 12:1, 2.

Verses 31-36

Verses 31-36:

Moses gave the appropriate portions of the peace offering to Aaron and his sons, not as priests but as offerers of the sacrifice.

The ceremonies of consecration lasted seven days. During this time, Aaron and his sons remained in the tabernacle courtyard, but they did not enter into the sanctuary. They did not begin their ministry as priests until the time of consecration was fulfilled.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Leviticus 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/leviticus-8.html. 1985.
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