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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 9

Grant's Commentary on the BibleGrant's Commentary

Verses 1-24


Having completed all the instructions concerning the offerings and their laws, and now also having completed the consecration of the priests, Moses indicates the beginning of the priestly service in connection with the people. This was on “the eighth day,” for it was a new beginning for the people as regards their relationship to God. Moses addressed both Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. Aaron was to offer a young calf and a ram for a burnt offering, while the children of Israel were to offer a kid of the goats for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb, both yearlings, for a burnt offering, a bull and a ram for peace offerings and a meal offering mingled with oil. The reason for this is said to be “for today the Lord will appear unto you” (v. 4).

Since this began a new relationship to God, with the appearing of God to them in grace, all four of these fundamental offerings are required. The only one not required was a trespass offering, for it dealt only with specific cases of personal guilt, while the sin offering dealt with the basic sinful nature of man. The burnt offering emphasizes God's rights and God's glory, the peace offering speaks of peaceful accord and communion between God and men through this one sacrifice. The meal offering insists on the perfection of the lowly Manhood of the Lord Jesus.

It may seem that there is a great deal of repetition in connection with these offerings, but this is not without serious reason. The sacrifice of Christ has been the most amazing and significant fact of all history, and God wants its significance deeply impressed on every soul of mankind. Believers know how easily we let slip the remembrance of the wonder of the cross. Because of our tendency to forget, the Lord Jesus instituted the observing of the Lord's supper, the breaking of bread, saying, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).

Bringing the animals, etc. that Moses had commanded, all the congregation came and stood before the Lord, to hear Moses declare what the Lord had commanded, on the basis of which alone the Lord could appear to them (vv. 5-6).


First Moses tells Aaron to offer his sin offering and burnt offering, which is said to be for himself and for the people. Though it was primarily for Aaron, yet he was the representative of the people, so that they are seen as linked together (v. 9). Secondly, however, Aaron was told to offer the offering of the people to make atonement for them. For, though the people are in one sense linked with Aaron, yet in another sense they were distinct from Aaron, and both aspects have to be regarded, just as in one sense believers are linked with Christ and in another sense are altogether distinct from Him.

When the calf of the sin offering for Aaron was killed, his sons brought the blood to him. He dipped his finger in the blood and put this on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, then poured the rest of the blood out at the base of the altar. All the fat and the kidneys were burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded, for the fat speaks of the perfect devotion of the Lord Jesus to His Father and the kidneys His inner motives, which only God can rightly enjoy. The flesh and the hide of the animal he burned outside the camp. Though no mention is made of blood brought into the sanctuary, yet since this was an offering for the high priest, the priests were not to eat of it: all was to be burned (Leviticus 4:3-12).

Next the burnt offering for Aaron was killed. Aaron's sons presented to him the blood, which he sprinkled all around the altar. Then his sons brought to him the various parts of the animal with its head, and these he burned on the altar, for this was a sweet aroma to the Lord. But only when the inwards and legs were washed were they burned also on the altar. The waste, which speaks of defilement, must be washed away, for there was absolutely nothing defiling in the sacrifice of Christ. The inward physical defilement of the animal and the outward defilement of its legs symbolizes the inward spiritual defilement of all mankind and the outward defilement of our walk. In Christ there was absolutely nothing of this, so the animal's inwards and legs had to be washed in order to give a little indication of the purity of the Lord Jesus.


Now the goat for the people's sin offering was killed. The goat speaks of Christ as the Substitute for His people. We are told it was offered “like the first one,” but nothing more is said of it. Actually, it was not to be burned as was the calf for Aaron, but its flesh eaten by the priests (cf. Leviticus 9:16-18).

The sacrifice of the burnt offering is only mentioned briefly in verse 16, but it was offered in the prescribed manner. This offering involved both a calf and a lamb, both yearlings (v. 3). Then the meal offering was brought and a handful taken and burned on the altar beside the burnt offering (v. 17). Since it was not a blood offering, it was offered along with a blood offering. It speaks of the perfection of the humanity of Christ.

More is said concerning the bull and the ram as a sacrifice of peace offerings, for this speak of the strength of the offering as bringing Israel into communion with God initially . When Aaron killed these animals, his sons brought the blood to him, which he sprinkled all around on the altar (v. 18). Thus, redemption by blood was accomplished. All the fat and the kidneys of both animals were first put on the breasts, then burned in the fire. The breasts were not burned, for they were given to Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 7:31) after they were waved, together with the right thigh (vv. 20-21) But the fat was first put on the breasts before being burned to indicate that, though the fat was all for God, yet the priests were expected to have an appreciation of the fact that the fat did belong solely to God, just as believers today have reason to deeply appreciate the total devotion to God that is manifest in the Lord Jesus. We have before seen that the waving of the offering speaks of the ascension to glory of the Lord Jesus following His sacrifice, for priestly work is necessarily connected with His place in heaven today.

Having completed the offerings, Aaron could then lift up his hands to bless the people, which reminds us of the Lord Jesus in Luke 24:50, having completed His work of redemption, lifting up His hands in blessing to the disciples, for the basis of all blessing is the one great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.

Then Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle (v. 13), typical of the Lord Jesus entering heaven after His resurrection; but again coming out, and again blessing the people. The first blessing speaks of that to the Church immediately following the resurrection of the Lord, and this continues all the time the Lord Jesus is presently exalted on the Father's throne. But He will again come forth at the time when Israel is to be blessed with wonderful millennial blessing. Moses is typical of Christ as Ruler, and Aaron speaks of Him as High Priest, for in the coming day Israel will recognize Him both as King and Priest, so will have both the blessing of proper rule and that of mediatorship.

At this time the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, as indeed at the time of His coming in majestic glory, all the world will be subdued by the light of His manifestation. Attending this, fire came out from before Him to consume the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. Thus God indicated His acceptance of the offering, and He Himself was glorified.

In two ways the people were affected by this. First, they shouted, indicating their appreciation of what was manifestly the Lord's victory (cf. Numbers 23:21). Secondly, they fell on their faces, showing their willing humbling of themselves before Him, subdued at the recognition of His majesty.

Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Leviticus 9". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/leviticus-9.html. 1897-1910.
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