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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 8

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2514. B.C. 1490.

This chapter gives an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons before the congregation. Moses washes and dresses them, Leviticus 8:1-9 . Anoints the tabernacle, with its utensils, and Aaron, Leviticus 8:10-12 . Clothes his sons, Leviticus 8:13 . Offers for them a sin- offering, Leviticus 8:14-17 . A burnt-offering, Leviticus 8:18-21 . The ram of consecration, Leviticus 8:22-30 . Declares to them God’s charge, which they perform, Leviticus 8:31-36 .

Verses 1-2

Leviticus 8:1-2. The Lord spake unto Moses This is here premised to show that Moses did not confer the priesthood upon his brother Aaron because of his relation or affection to him, but by God’s appointment. Take Aaron, and his sons with him All directions which were needful being given respecting sacrifices, and the rites belonging to them, Moses is now ordered to consecrate the priests according to the injunctions given before, Exodus 28., Exodus 28:29., and 30.

Verse 3

Leviticus 8:3. All the congregation The elders, who 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 9

Leviticus 8:9. The holy crown The crown signified the dignity of the high- priest, and its being termed holy, the sanctity of his person and office. Thus he was a type of Christ, crowned with glory and honour, perfectly holy, and consecrated for evermore.

Verse 11

Leviticus 8:11. He sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times To signify the singular use and holiness of it, which it was not only to have in itself, but to communicate to all the sacrifices laid upon it. And thus does the blood of atonement give efficacy to all the services of believers, and render them acceptable to God.

Verse 12

Leviticus 8:12. He poured the oil upon Aaron’s head In a plentiful manner, as appears from <19D302>Psalms 133:2, whereas other persons and things were only sprinkled with it; because his unction was to typify the anointing of Christ with the Spirit, which was not given by measure to him. A measure of the same anointing is given to all believers, to all the members of Christ’s mystical body, who, by virtue of their union with their living head, partake of those gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit which were in him. Reader, hast thou received a measure of them? Remember, If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.

Verse 14

Leviticus 8:14. The bullock There were, indeed, seven bullocks to be offered at his consecration, one every day; but here he mentions only one, because he here describes only the work of the first day.

Verse 15

Leviticus 8:15. Moses took the blood, &c., and purified the altar This ceremony of touching the altar with blood emphatically signified that all the services which they offered to God partook of their impurity, and that the very altar which consecrated their oblations was defiled by their unhallowed touch. But the sprinkling it with the blood of the victim, which, by divine appointment, was substituted and accepted instead of the forfeited life of the sinner, made room for repentance, the removal of guilt, and purification; on which account the altar is said to be purified and sanctified by this action.

Verse 17

Leviticus 8:17. The bullock and his flesh he burned As commanded, Exodus 29:14. The priests were not to eat of their own sin-offering, (Leviticus 6:23,) to teach them that they could not make a proper atonement for their own sins, much less for the sins of others; though God was pleased to appoint their eating the sin-offering of others to be a sign to the people of God’s accepting their sacrifice; and their eating of the sin- offering is therefore called making atonement for them, or bearing their iniquity. Compare Leviticus 6:26, with Leviticus 10:17; Leviticus 10:19; see also Exodus 24:14; and Leviticus 19:7. His hide Which, in the offerings for the people, was not burned, but given to the priest.

Verse 18

Leviticus 8:18. He brought the ram Hereby they gave God the glory of this great honour which was put upon them, and returned him praise for it; and also signified the devoting themselves and all their services to the honour of God. Thus Paul thanked Jesus Christ for putting him into the ministry, and devoted himself and all he had to his service.

Verse 19

Leviticus 8:19. He Either Moses, as in the following clause, or some other person by his 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.

Verse 22

Leviticus 8:22. He brought the ram of consecration This was brought for a peace-offering, Exodus 29:19; Exodus 29:31-32. The order wherein these sacrifices were brought, was most rational; for first, a sacrifice for sin was offered, (Leviticus 8:14,) as an acknowledgment of their unworthiness; then followed the whole burnt-offering, (Leviticus 8:18,) which was a sign of their devoting themselves henceforth wholly to the service of God. After this followed the sacrifice of peace-offering, (Leviticus 8:31,) which betokened their being so far in favour with God as to hold communion with him, and partake of his sacred feast. The blood of this was, in part, put on the priests, their ears, thumbs, and toes; and, in part, sprinkled on the altar, signifying that they were (so to speak) married to the altar, and must all their days attend upon it.

Verses 29-31

Leviticus 8:29 ; Leviticus 8:31. Moses’s part Who, at this time administering the priest’s office, was to receive the priest’s wages. 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

Leviticus 8:33. Seven days In each of which the same ceremonies were to be repeated, and other rites to be performed. He Either God or Moses; for the words may be spoken by Moses, either in God’s name or in his own.

Verse 35

Leviticus 8:35. Abide at the door of the tabernacle day and night Apply yourselves assiduously to the service of God and the business of your consecration. Let nothing divert you from your sacred duty. Gospel ministers are compared to those that served at the altar, (1 Corinthians 9:13,) and being solemnly dedicated to God, ought not to depart from his service, but faithfully abide in it all their days; and they that do so, and continue labouring in the word and doctrine, ought to be counted worthy of double honour, double to that of the Old Testament priests.

Verse 36

Leviticus 8:36. So Aaron and his sons did all things And thus the covenant of life and peace ( Mal 2:5 ) was made with them. But after all the ceremonies used in their consecration, one point was reserved for the honour of Christ’s priesthood. They were made priests without an oath; but Christ with an oath. Hebrews 7:21. For neither these priests nor their priesthood was to continue. But his is a perpetual and unchangeable priesthood.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 8". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/leviticus-8.html. 1857.
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