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Thursday, September 21st, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 8

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



Moses by God’s command calls together Aaron and his sons, and the whole congregation, Leviticus 8:1-5.

Washes Aaron and his sons, Leviticus 8:6.

Puts on the priestly garments, Leviticus 8:7-9.

Anoints the tabernacle, with the altar and laver, to sanctify them, Leviticus 8:10,Leviticus 8:11.

Anoints Aaron, Leviticus 8:12.

Puts the holy garments on his sons, Leviticus 8:13.

Offers sacrifices for them; a bullock for a sin-offering, Leviticus 8:14-17; and a ram for a burnt-offering, Leviticus 8:18-21; and a second ram for consecration; uses the blood about some parts of their bodies; gives the parts into their hands to wave before the Lord, and sprinkles of the anointing oil and blood from upon the altar on them and their garments, Leviticus 8:22-30.

Declares to them God’s charge, which they perform, Leviticus 8:31-36.

This is here premised, to show that Moses did not confer the priesthood upon Aaron by virtue of his relation or affection to him, but by God’s appointment, which also appears from the following story.

Verse 3

The elders which represented all, and as many of the people as would and could get thither, that all might be witnesses both of Aaron’s commission from God, and of his work and business.

Verse 7

The linen breeches prescribed Exodus 28:42 are not here mentioned, because they were not to be put on at his consecration, but afterwards in the execution of his office.

Verse 9

This here added, either because Nadab and Abihu had been led to their error by drinking too much, which might easily fall out when they were feasting and full of joy for their entrance into so honourable and profitable an employment; or at least because others might thereby be drawn to commit the same miscarriages, which they might now commit from other causes. Drunkenness is so odious a sin in itself, especially a minister, and most of all in the time of his administration of sacred things, that God saw fit to prevent all occasions of it. And hence the devil, who is God’s ape in his prescriptions for his worship, required this abstinence from his priests in their idolatrous service.

Verse 11

Seven times, to signify the singular use and holiness of it, which it was not only to have in itself, but also to communicate to all the sacrifices laid upon it. The laver, where the priests washed themselves, and the sacrifices, and vessels or instruments of the holy ministration. See Leviticus 6:28.

Verse 12

He poured of the anointing oil in a plentiful manner, as appears from Psalms 133:2, whereas other persons and things were only anointed or sprinkled with it.

Verse 14

There were indeed seven bullocks to be offered at his consecration, one every day, Exodus 29:35,Exodus 29:36; but here he mentions only one, either by a common enallage of number, or because he here describes only the work of the first day, and leaves the rest to be gathered from it; of which see Leviticus 8:33.

Verse 17

In the offerings for the people the hide was not burnt, but given to the priest.

Verse 19

He killed it; either Moses, as in the following clause, the pronoun being put for the noun; or some other person by Moses’s appointment; which may be the reason why he is not named here, as he is to the sprinkling of the blood, which was an action more proper to the priest, and more essential to the sacrifice, as the learned have observed.

Verse 23

The lowest and softest part of the ear is called the tip or lap of the ear. See Exodus 29:20.

Verse 29

Moses at this time administering the priest’s office was to receive the priest’s wages; it being most just and reasonable that the work and wages should go together.

Verse 31

Boil the flesh, that which was left of the ram, and particularly the breast, which was said to be Moses’s part, Leviticus 8:29, and by him was given to Aaron, that he and his sons might eat of it, in token that they, and only they, should have the right to do so for the future.

Verse 33

For seven days the same ceremonies were to be repeated, as the next verse implies, and other rites to be performed.

He consecrate you; either God or Moses; for the words may be spoken by Moses, either in God’s name, or in his own; Moses speaking of himself in the third person, which is very common in Scripture.

Verse 35

The charge of the Lord; what God hath commanded you concerning your consecration.

If the threatening seem too severe for the fault, it must be considered both that it is the usual practice of lawgivers most severely to punish the first offences for the terror and caution of others, and for the maintenance of their own authority; and that this transgression was aggravated by many circumstances, being committed by sacred and eminent persons, and that in the presence of the people, which made it a public scandal, and in God’s worship, where he is very tender and jealous, and against a plain and easy command of God, and at a time when they were receiving high favours and privileges from God. Nor is sin to be esteemed or measured by the idle fancies of men of corrupt minds and lives, whose interests and lusts easily blind their minds; but by the authority, majesty, and will of the great, and wise, and just Lawgiver.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Leviticus 8". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/leviticus-8.html. 1685.
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