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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 29

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-3

Sacrifices for the Ordination

Exodus 28 and Exodus 29 belong together. Priest’s clothing, described in Exodus 28, alone is not sufficient. An ordination must also take place. Being a priest is one thing, performing priestly service is another thing. To do priestly service it is necessary to occupy oneself with the Lord Jesus and His work. This is shown by the sacrifices mentioned in Exodus 29. Its meaning will be seen later in this chapter as it describes how these sacrifices are to be brought.

Verse 4

The Washing

Before we can see the work of the Lord Jesus, we first need to be washed with water. Water represents the Word of God in its cleansing power (Ephesians 5:26). Washing away all impurity by confession, to which we come when we read in God’s Word how He thinks about things, precedes sanctification, devotion. We see this in 1 Corinthians 6: “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Verses 5-9

Aaron and His Sons Clothed

After the washing to cleanse, the priest’s clothing can be put on. Its application is that we may be aware that God can accept us in His presence. We have the right clothing for that. We are clothed as priests “with righteousness” and “with salvation” (Psalms 132:9; Psalms 132:16), yes, with Christ Himself, for we are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). What is still needed is the foundation, the basis by which we can be clothed with Christ. We have this basis in the various sacrifices that are brought at the ordination.

Although Aaron and his sons are clothed together, the high priest has a special place. He is given special clothing and anointed with oil before there is spoken of blood. This is also the distinction between us as priests and the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus was also anointed with the Holy Spirit before He completed the work on the cross (Acts 10:38; Matthew 3:16). We have only been anointed, that is, we have received the Holy Ghost, after the shedding of His blood and the receiving of the gospel (Ephesians 1:13).

The sons see how Aaron is anointed. Thus, we must first have some understanding of the Lord Jesus as High Priest to be able to exercise our priesthood as God intended.

Verses 10-14

The Bull as a Sin Offering

Of the three animals that are slaughtered at the ordination, the bull is the first animal as a sin offering. Aaron and his sons must make themselves one with this sin offering, which is expressed by the laying on of their hands. For us, this means that we must make ourselves one with the Lord Jesus in the spirit as the sin offering, which is as the One Who “Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24) and was “made … sin on our behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus He has taken our sins away from us and we stand before God without sin.

The altar must also be cleansed with the blood of the sin offering. The altar speaks of the Lord’s table (Malachi 1:7; 1 Corinthians 10:15-Ecclesiastes :). The table of the Lord speaks of fellowship with God and with each other. It is necessary to always realize that sin must not have a place there.

Everything from the sin offering must be burned outside the camp as an abomination to God. The fat of the sin offering is not an abomination to God. That will be on the altar. Fat speaks of the power, the energy with which the Lord Jesus accomplished the work for sin. That is pleasant for God and we may tell Him, sacrifice to Him.

Verses 15-18

One Ram as a Burnt Offering

Just like on the head of the bull Aaron and his sons have to put their hands on the head of the ram that is offered as a burnt offering for the LORD. By making themselves one with the sin offering, the unworthiness of the priest passes, as it were, to the sin offering. In the burnt offering it is the other way around: by making themselves one with the burnt offering, the dignity and pleasantness of the burnt offering is as it were transferred to the priest.

The burnt offering is for God in its entirety and is for Him “a soothing aroma”. The Lord Jesus glorified God on the cross. He has revealed God in all His love and grace as well as in His righteousness and holiness.

Verses 19-21

The Other Ram as Ordination Offering

After seeing the Lord Jesus as the sin offering and the burnt offering comes the actual ordination. This is done by taking the other ram to sacrifice it as an ordination offering. This ordination offering is a special kind of peace offering. The peace offering is a fellowship offering.

Aaron and his sons also have to lay their hands on the head of this sacrificial animal and make themselves one with it. Bringing this sacrifice expresses that we see how the Lord Jesus, in fellowship with His Father and in full devotion to Him, has gone His way on earth to death.

This should also be expressed in our lives. It is not about being able to follow the Lord Jesus in the work He did on the cross. That is impossible, in that He is unique, only He was able to do that work. What matters is that our devotion to God is of the same character (cf. Ephesians 5:1-Exodus :). We see that symbolically represented in the following acts related to the application of blood.

The blood must be put on Aaron and his sons on the right earlobe, on the thumb of the right hand and on the big toe of the right foot. That speaks of our listening, obeying (ear), our conduct (hand) and our walk (foot). Our whole being is sanctified by the blood of the Lord Jesus. We must only listen to Him, only do what He says to us, only go where He wants us to be. The whole person must be devoted to God, only then will our priestly service be acceptable to Him. Therefore it is mentioned again that blood has to be sprinkled on the altar.

Blood is also sprinkled on the garments. The whole external behavior as priests must be in accordance with the value of the blood. Then anointing oil is sprinkled on it. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that true priestly service is possible and pleasant for God. It is about worship “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

Verses 22-28

The Wave Offering and the Heave Offering

Certain parts of the ram, together with certain grain offerings, must be placed in Aaron’s hands and in the hands of his sons. All this must be waved before the LORD. Then it must be offered to God as a burnt offering on the altar. In particular, the breast of the ram is mentioned as a “wave offering” and the thigh as a “heave offering”.

With these acts the ordination continues. First something has happened for them: sacrifices were slaughtered for them. Then something happened with them: they were sanctified with blood and anointed with oil. Now something has to happen by them: they have to bring the wave offering and the heave offering.

As priests, we may know the work that Christ has accomplished for us. We must know that we are sanctified by His blood to be a priest. We may perform our priestly service in the power of the Holy Spirit. We then gain insight into the qualities that have come to light in the Lord Jesus about the work He has accomplished.

The first thing mentioned is fat. Fat speaks of the energy, the perseverance He has shown in the way He has gone. With the fat also bread and cakes are brought. This is a grain offering and speaks of His whole way on earth until the death on the cross. In everything He has been perfectly pure and devoted to God. All this we may wave back and forth and heave up and down in admiration before God’s face.

When everything is waved back and forth, it is put on the burnt offering and sacrificed to God. This means that we worship God for all we have seen of the Lord Jesus. We will tell Him what a joy and satisfaction He must have found in His Son and all that He has done, all of which has been to His Father’s honor alone.

We may admire His love, of which the breast speaks because the heart is there, which has driven Him to do this work. We may see the power, of which the thigh speaks, through which He has completed this work. The breast and the thigh are for Aaron and his sons. As priests, we are allowed to ponder particularly over the love and power of the Lord Jesus. The more we see of this, the more it will be reflected in our devotion as priests.

Verses 29-30

The Follow-Up of Aaron

The priesthood service is always taken over by the next generation. As long as the church is on earth, God will ensure that He and His Son are honored. The priestly service in itself is for the whole life. That is what is meant when it is said: “For seven days the one of his sons who is priest in his stead shall put them on.” The priesthood is especially connected to the place of meeting or coming together.

Verses 31-35

The Ordination Offering as Food

The flesh of the ram may be eaten by the priests. Thus the sacrifice becomes a part of themselves. Food is meant spiritually for us. If we read in God’s Word with hunger to know Him, we will be formed by that food.

The ordination of the priest lasts seven days. For us, this means that we are priests all our lives, and that we constantly perform this service: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Verses 36-37

Atonement for the altar

The place where the ordination takes place must be constantly connected to the blood. We must always check whether the place of ordination is still clean, whether nothing has entered that is contrary to the meaning of the blood. Sin that is not judged cannot exist in the place where believers come as ordained priests to do their service.

Verses 38-42

Daily Morning and Evening Offering

God wants His people to remember daily that He can only dwell with them on the basis of an ongoing sacrifice. Because the work of the Lord Jesus always stands for His attention, He can be with His people. He wants His people to be aware of this. If the people forget the value of that sacrifice to God, they forget the reason for their existence as people of God. Then there will be room for man. Then he starts to think he is important and deviates from God.

Verses 43-46

God Meets with His People

The perpetual burnt offering is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. The Lord Jesus glorified God. God sees His people in Him and the value of His sacrifice. This is the basis on which God can and will dwell with His people, and meet them and comes together with them. He wants to be their God. He wants them to come to Him to honor Him, to worship Him. To this end He has delivered them from the slavery of sin.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Exodus 29". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/exodus-29.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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