Chapter 8

Ordination of Aaron and His Sons

    • The Lord told Moses to get Aaron and his sons, their priestly garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, two rams, and basket of unleavened bread and call the entire Israelite community to come together at the entrance to the Tabernacle.

      • Guzik writes, “Exodus 29 records the command God gave to Moses to carry out this consecration ceremony with Aaron and his sons. Now that the tabernacle was built it was time to perform the ceremony… Exodus 29:1 stated the purpose for the ceremony: To hallow them for ministering to Me as priests. That is, it was to set the priests aside for God’s purpose and will…Since in Jesus we are a holy priesthood . . . a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9), there is much for us to learn by analogy in this consecration ceremony. God wants us set apart for His purpose and will, and He uses these principles to accomplish that goal.”

    • Moses obeyed and the consecration ceremony began:

      • Moses presented Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. Moses dressed Aaron with the tunic, sash, robe, ephod, breastpiece with Urim and Thummim, and the turban with holy diadem. He then anointed the Tabernacle and everything in it with the anointing oil- sprinkling the altar seven times. He anointed Aaron, pouring some of the anointing oil on his head. Then, Moses presented Aaron’s sons in the same way, clothing them in their tunics, sashes, and headbands.

        • “The process of consecration began with cleansing. All priestly ministries began with cleansing, and a cleansing that was received: you shall wash them. Aaron and his sons did not wash themselves; they received a washing…This was humbling, because it took place publicly at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. We cannot be cleansed from our sin without being humbled first.This great cleansing was a one-time thing. From then on they just needed to cleanse their hands and their feet…Like these ancient priests, every Christian is washed by the work of God’s word (Ephesians 5:26), by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). This cleansing work was accomplished by the death of Jesus for us (Revelation 1:5) and appropriated by faith.” (Guzik)

        • Guzik notes, “After being cleansed, the priest had to be clothed – but not in his own clothes. He had to put on garments given by God… Like these ancient priests, every believer is clothed in Jesus Christ and in his righteousness (Revelation 3:5). These are clothes that are given freely by Jesus, but received and “worn” by faith.”

      • Spurgeon comments on the priestly garments, “Note, that these garments were provided for them. They were at no expense in buying them, nor labor in weaving them, nor skill in making them; they had simply to put them on. And you, dear child of God, are to put on the garments which Jesus Christ has provided for you, at his own cost, and freely bestows upon you out of boundless love.”

      • On anointing with oil, Guzik writes, “Priests also had to be anointed. The oil (a picture of the Holy Spirit) was poured over their heads, indicating that it was given in great measure, not in small measure (Psalm 133:2). Things were sprinkled, but upon people the oil was out-poured.”

      • Then Moses brought the bull for the sin offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head and Moses slaughtered it. Moses purified the altar by applying the blood of the bull to the four horns of the altar with his finger. He then poured the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. He burned the fat of the bull on the altar and burned the rest of the bull (its hide, meat, and dung) outside the camp.

        • Guzik notes, “As Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull, they symbolically transferred their sin to the bull…Like these ancient priests, every believer can only be consecrated to God through sacrifice. Our consecration should be greater, because it was made through a far greater sacrifice – the sacrifice of God’s own Son.”

      • Next, Moses presented the ram for the burnt offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head; Moses slaughtered it and sprinkled its blood on the sides of the altar. He cut it into pieces and burned the head, some of the pieces, and the fat on the altar. He then washed the internal organs and the legs with water and burned the entire thing on the altar as a burnt offering- a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

      • The second ram was then presented- the ram of ordination. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head, Moses slaughtered it, and put some of its blood on Aaron’s right earlobe, the thumb of his right hand, and the big toe of his right foot. He then did the same to Aaron’s sons. He then sprinkled blood on the sides of the altar. Moses took the fat of the ram and its right thigh and placed one cake of unleavened bread, one cake made with oil, and one wafer from the basket of unleavened bread on top of them. He put all of this in the hands of Aaron and his sons and they waved these (lifted them up) to the Lord as a special offering. He then took them from their hands and burned them on the altar as the ordination offering to the Lord. Moses then took the breast and waved (lifted up) it to the Lord as a special offering. This was Moses’ portion of the ram.

        • “Atonement for sin was performed with the sin offering and the burnt offering. Yet in their consecration, the priests still had to identify with the sacrificial victim. Their identification with the sacrifice went beyond atonement…To express the idea of consecration, blood from the ram was placed on the ear, thumb, and toe of the priest. It was blood from the ram – not the wool, not the fat. God wanted the life of the sacrificial victim to mark His consecrated priests… Leviticus 17:11 is one of many passages that expresses this principle: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. God wanted the life of the sacrificial victim to be evident in the body of the priest… These consecrated priests were stained with the blood of sacrifice. They should hear differently because the blood was on their ear. They should work differently because the blood was on their thumb. They should walk differently because the blood was on their toe.” (Guzik)

      • Moses consecrated Aaron and his sons by taking some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkling them on their priestly garments.

        • “The blood alone wasn’t enough. God wanted blood mixed with oil, and to have the mixture sprinkled on the priests. There was to be a combination of both the sacrifice and the spirit (represented by the anointing oil). This mixture of oil and blood stained the garments of Aaron and his sons. It would be a long reminder of this ceremony of consecration.” (Guzik)

      • Moses told Aaron and his sons to boil the remaining meat at the entrance of the Tabernacle and eat it with the remaining bread in the basket. Any meat or bread that was left over had to be burned. Aaron and his sons could not leave the entrance to the Tabernacle for seven days, at which point the ordination ceremony was complete.

      • The Lord commanded everything that was done that day to purify them and make atonement with them (make them right with Him). They were to stay at the entrance of the Tabernacle for seven days and follow the ceremony exactly. If they did not, they would die. Aaron and his sons did everything exactly as the Lord had commanded.

        • Everett Harrison writes, “Verse 35 indicates that on each of the next seven days Moses was to offer the same sacrifices on behalf of Aaron and his sons.”