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Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 8

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-5


After the description of the offerings, what the priests bring, now follows the historical dedication of Aaron and his sons as priests. We become witnesses of the institution of the priesthood. The institution happens according to the description in Exodus 29, which announces the priesthood and sets out the instructions for how the institution must happen.

Moses Must Dedicate Aaron and His Sons

In Aaron and his sons we see a type or a shadow of the Lord Jesus as High Priest and the believers as priests. All believers are priests (1 Peter 2:5). That is the principle. Unfortunately, not all believers of the church function as priests. The Old Testament pictures show how we can practically live up to our priesthood, how as a believer we can become a priest. God wants us to bring spiritual sacrifices to Him.

The priestly service is not only a personal matter. It concerns the whole congregation: the whole congregation of Israel comes together at the tent of meeting (Leviticus 8:3-Numbers :). Priestly service in the Old Testament is mainly performed for the benefit of the people, i.e. for others. The priesthood of the believers is especially expressed in the meetings of the believers when they gather as a church in the place where God dwells (Matthew 18:20).

Verse 6

Aaron and His Sons Washed With Water

Washing with water is not here to wash away something unclean. A believer who wants to be a priest uses the water of the Word not only to be cleansed, but above all to remain clean.

Verses 7-9

The High Priestly Garments Put On

The garments of the High Priest speak of the high priestly service of the Lord Jesus. He is the heavenly Man and holds a heavenly high priesthood, while everything He does shows His Divine glory. He represents God’s people before God. In Exodus 28 the garments are described in detail. The description there takes place in a different order than here. Here we see how the garments are put on successively, so from inside to outside. In Exodus, the garments are described from outside to inside (Exodus 28:4; Leviticus 8:7-Ruth :). For the meaning of the garments, see the explanation of Exodus 28.

Verses 10-12

The Anointing

Not only must there be sanctified priests, but everything they do their service with must also be sanctified. Only that which is anointed by the Holy Spirit – the anointing oil speaks of Him – and thereby sanctified, can be brought into connection with God.

Aaron as a picture of the Lord Jesus is anointed with oil even before blood has been applied to him. In the sons of Aaron as a picture of the believers who are priests, blood is first applied and then oil. In the spiritual application this means that the Holy Spirit can come on the Lord Jesus without the application of blood, for He is the perfect, sinless Man. We are sinners by nature. The Holy Spirit can only come on sinners after they have been cleansed of their sins by the blood of the offering of Christ.

Verse 13

Put On the Priestly Garments

After Aaron is clothed with his high priestly dignity as a picture of the Lord Jesus, his sons can now be clothed as priests. There is only a priesthood of all believers possible because the Lord Jesus has made them competent to do so. The priestly garments speak of the dignity that the believers now possess to approach God as priests in the sanctuary.

In the letter to the Hebrews we see how we are perfectly sanctified by the offering of Christ (Hebrews 10:14). Because of this we have confidence to draw near to God as priests (Hebrews 10:19; Hebrews 10:22). An additional incentive to do so is the presence of the Lord Jesus there as the “great priest over the house of God” (Hebrews 10:21).

Verses 14-24

The Offerings for Ordination

Three offerings are brought for the ordination of Aaron’s sons:
1. a sin offering (Leviticus 8:14),
2. a burnt offering (fresh 18) and
3. an offering of ordination (Leviticus 8:22).
The offering of ordination is a special form of the peace offering.

Aaron and his sons lay their hands on all three offerings. As we have seen before, laying on the hands means identification with that on which the hands are laid. If you want to be a priest, you must identify yourself with the work of the Lord Jesus.

In the sin offering it means that, in order to perform priestly service, I must be well aware that all my sins have passed to the Lord Jesus, that He has borne my sins and has been judged for them. Equally, I may and must be aware that I stand before God in all the pleasantness of the offering of the Lord Jesus that He brought to God as burnt offering. I derive my dignity to be a priest not from something in myself, but exclusively from Him.

If I am now ordained to God as a priest, I can only accomplish my task as a priest devoted to God if I see that the Lord Jesus is the great Priest, who is perfectly devoted to God in everything. He has always done perfectly everything the Father has commanded Him to do (John 6:38; John 10:18John 14:31).

It is remarkable that all the offerings here are brought by Moses. The priests are not yet able to do so, they are not yet ordained. Moses can do that. He doesn’t need ordination. He is a picture of the Lord Jesus as the Teacher of righteousness.

We have already seen what happens to the sin offering and the burnt offering in Leviticus 4 and Leviticus 1, respectively. This also applies to the offering of ordination, although this has not been explicitly mentioned. The offering of ordination is a special kind of peace offering. In Leviticus 7 it is mentioned separately in the summary of the laws on sacrifices, but in connection with the peace offering (Leviticus 7:37).

The animal of the ordination offering is a ram, as is the burnt offering. This means that our ordination and devotion as priests must have the same character as the burnt offering. Our ordination and dedication must be of the same features as the ordination and dedication of the Lord Jesus (cf. Ephesians 5:1-Exodus :). That means the commitment of our whole person.

That the ordination offering is a special kind of peace offering is evident from the special application of a part of the blood. The blood of the ordination offering is applied to three body parts (Leviticus 8:23-Jeremiah :). The blood of Christ, His dedication to death, is the foundation of our dedication.

The blood is first applied to the ear. The ear speaks of listening, hearing, obeying. This is where every true priestly service begins. First we must listen to know what the Lord asks of us, how He wants everything to be. Only then can we hold act (hand) and walk (foot), in accordance with the meaning and value of the blood.

Verses 25-29

The Wave Offering

The fat and the grain offering – bread, cake, waver – speak respectively of the energy and the perfect life of the Lord Jesus. The right thigh speaks of His power to walk on earth. For this he derives His strength from His fellowship with the Father.

All this is put on the hands of Aaron and his sons, symbolically repossessing their lives. In the picture this indicates that by doing so they clearly understand who the Lord Jesus is and what He has done for their ordination. They move it back and forth before God’s face. They show it all to God, to let Him as it were enjoy the glory that He found in the life of the Lord Jesus. When we present it to God in this way, we also enjoy it ourselves.

Moses offers the wave offering on the altar. He gets the breast, after he has moved it as a wave offering before the LORD. The breast is reminiscent of the heart and thus of the love of the Lord Jesus who is the origin of everything. The love of the Lord Jesus is fully satisfied in the result of His work by which a priesthood was established. This is something we should also think about when we are surprised to realize that we are now able to perform priestly services.

Verse 30

Sprinkling of Oil and of Blood

After the offerings are brought, Aaron and his sons are sprinkled with oil and blood, consecrating them to the priesthood. All conditions, as God has determined, are fulfilled. Oil and blood speak of the fact that the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ are the foundation upon which we, connected to Christ, have our place with God (cf. 1 Peter 1:2).

Verses 31-32

The Food of Aaron and His Sons

The above actions are necessary to put them in the position of priests. They have laid a God-given foundation for priestly service. What is still needed is the strength to exercise that service. For this purpose, Moses gives Aaron and his sons the flesh of the ordination offering, a peace offering, and the accompanying cakes to eat. It is food for Aaron and his sons. Without this food, there will be no true priestly service.

Believers who know that they have been called or ordained to priestly service, feed themselves with the thought that they owe this privilege to what the Lord Jesus did on the cross, by giving Himself completely to God there. They also think of Him in connection with their ordination to priest in His perfect devotion to God in His life on earth, which is represented in the bread. They share these grateful thoughts with the Lord Jesus, the true Aaron, through whom He also, as it were, feeds Himself.

Any remaining flesh and bread must be burned. What we cannot grasp from the work and life of the Lord Jesus, we should not try to understand, but we must remove it.

Verses 33-35

Place and Period of the Ordination

The period of the ordination is seven days. That speaks of our whole life. The number seven is the number of perfection. Seven days means a complete period. With the eighth day (Leviticus 9:1) a new period begins. The time of our priestly ordination is our whole life. We are “continually”, every day of our lives, priests (Hebrews 13:15).

However, our priestly service is in a special way connected to the tent of meeting. God wants our daily, continuous priestly service always to be connected in our hearts with the place where He comes to meet His people, that is for us the local church.

God wants us as priests to be in the right place – “the doorway of the tent of meeting”, during the period determined by Him – “day and night for seven days” – and in the right mind – “keep the charge of the LORD”. Only if we keep His commandments and ensure that the service happens as He wills, we will be able to continue to perform our priestly service. If we do not take into account Him and His will, our priestly service will “die” (Leviticus 10:1-Exodus :).

Verse 36

Aaron and His Sons Obey

The obedience of Aaron and his sons is striking and exemplary. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear how this is deviated from (Leviticus 10:1). It is to be hoped that this obedience will also be found in the present priesthood of the believers with all the believers. Unfortunately, Christianity shows how much the priesthood of all believers has been renounced there as well. Even where the priesthood of all believers is confessed, often it is not put into practice.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Leviticus 8". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/leviticus-8.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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