EXODUS – Chapter 29 – Chapter 456
THE CLOTHING AND CONSECRATION OF THE PRIESTS
The priests were divided into several categories. The lower order, styled merely "priests," were members of the Aaronic family. Their claim for the office was by fleshly descent from Aaron. Above them were the high priests. Aaron was the first of this order, and was succeeded by his son, and so on, generation after generation. Then there is reference in the Scriptures to "the Great High Priest." There is only one of this description: the Lord Jesus Christ. His claim is not established through fleshly descent but by divine appointment. He is not of the Aaronic order, but after the order of Melchisedek. He inherited his priesthood from no one; he passed it on to no one. He remains, and supersedes all others, by reason of his endless life and changeless ministry. He is figuratively represented in the chapter before us, in the clothing and consecration of the Aaronic priests, whilst typically setting forth the principles of the Great High Priest. In that regard, we are invited to "consider the apostle and the high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (Heb. 3:1).
The appointment of the high priest was a fourfold process (Exo. 28:41). He was called (v. 1), cleansed (ch. 29:4), clothed (vv. 5-6), and consecrated (v. 9). He represented Yahweh to the people, and the people to Yahweh. But additionally in this chapter, Moses acts as priest, thus combining in his person the positions of lawgiver, ruler, prophet and priest (vv. 3, 11,14,16-18 etc.).
The Preparation Of The Priests — vv. 1-3.
Sacrificial offerings are first made, then Aaron and his sons are washed, clothed, anointed and consecrated. All this is typical of what was accomplished in the Lord Jesus.
"And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them" — The consecration of the priests was a lengthy process lasting seven days (vv. 29-39), and was conducted in full view of the people (Lev. 8:3). The word "hallow" is from qadash, signifying "to make" or "pronounce clean." The priest was designed to be an object lesson to the people, emphasizing the moral qualities which they should endeavour to emulate.
"To minister unto Me in the priest's office" — The priest represented the people to Yahweh, and Yahweh to the people. As Israel was called to be a kingdom of priests (Exo. 19:6), the symbolic significance of the work of the priest was designed to educate the people as to what they should endeavour to attain. As such, the offerings were both on behalf of the priest, and through him, on behalf of the nation as a priestly community. The consecration of the priests set forth parabolically what was expected of the people, and therefore the whole congregation was called together to witness it (Lev. 8:3).
The priests represented the nation in miniature, but their failings (cp. Lev. 10:1-2) brought home the grim reality that they fell short of the ideal. Further, in that a section of the priestly people only were permitted to minister at the altar and tabernacle, Israel was reminded that as yet it was unfit to assume the priestly privileges to which the nation had been called. The symbolism of the consecration service, was to teach the people their need for personal effort, as a check to pride. The consecration of the priests was on the same day as that of the tabernacle, etc. (Exo. 29:44), so that all were hallowed together.
"Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish" — The purpose of these animals is disclosed later in the chapter. Of the two rams, one was taken for a burnt offering (vv. 15-18), and the other for an offering of consecration (vv. 19-22). The bullock was used as a sin offering.
"And unleavened bread" — The Hebrew is matstsoth lechem, "unleavened bread." Matstoth signifies that which is sweet, like milk; and as leaven denotes corruption, and therefore represents sin (ICor. 5:8), unleavened bread symbolises a ritual abstinence from sin. The name is suggestive of the exhortation of Peter: "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings [i.e., leaven], as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby" (1Pet. 2:1-2).
"And cakes unleavened tempered with oil" — The word "cakes" is the Hebrew challoth, derived from a root chalal, to bore, and by implication, to wound. The word is suggestive of sacrifice. These cakes were mixed with oil, indicating a way of life governed by the Word, and hence a rejoicing in the Truth (Isa. 61:10; Heb. 1:9).
"And wafers unleavened anointed with oil" — The word raqiqey ("wafers") is from raqaq, "to beat, pound, to spread thin by beating, and thus to make thin." These three forms of food denote three developments. First, the unleavened bread suggests the repudiation of the antitypical leaven: malice and wickedness (1Cor. 5:8). Next the punctured cakes which allowed the oil to penetrate throughout, indicate one who permits the Word to penetrate to his innermost being. Thirdly, the wafers, anointed with oil, point to the divine approval of a faith made perfect under trial.
All these different forms of bread were put to special use in the ceremony, as we shall see.
"Of wheaten flour shalt thou make them" — Wheat was considered the best of the crops; and of this the finest flour was to be used. Only the best should be offered to Yahweh in sacrifice. Christ is the bread of life; he was impregnated with the oil of the Word; and was beaten thin by the pounding of trial (cp. Heb. 5:8).
"And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams" —
They were all brought together in the one basket, pointing forward to the Lord who figuratively united all the three aspects of bread, in his person.
Firstly, he is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth in life; secondly, he was impregnated with the oil of the Word; thirdly, he reached unto perfection through suffering (Heb. 1:9). The basket of bread, with the bullock and the two rams having been brought close to the altar, all was ready for the consecration of Aaron and his sons.
First: Washed With Water — v. 4.
In order to become part of a holy priesthood, Aaron and his sons were ceremonially cleansed by washing.
"And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation" — The laver was placed between the altar and the door of the tabernacle itself, and most likely it was to that spot that Aaron and his sons were brought to be ceremonially washed.
"And shalt wash them with water" — As the burnt offering was washed with water, so were Aaron and his sons. This action indicated that they were to offer themselves as living sacrifices in the worship of Yahweh (cp. Lev. 1:13). The washing by the water of the laver figuratively pointed forward to the washing of the Word (Psa. 51:2; 119:9; John 15:3; 17:17; Eph. 5:26). This is the first essential for all acceptable service.
Then: Clothed with Divine Apparel - vv.5-9.
Having been ceremonially washed, Aaron and his sons were now suitably clothed. A true worshipper is not only washed by the influence of the Word, and so has his past sins removed, but will develop a righteousness of action based upon that of the Lord, and shall thus become clothed with garments of glory and beauty: an acceptable appearance through sacrifice unto Yahweh.
"And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod" — All these items have been outlined in Exo. 28. See also Lev. 8:7.
"And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre" — The reference is to the golden crown with the inscription thereon, Holiness unto Yahweh. This is here called netzer ha-qodesh. Netzer signifies "to set apart" in dedication as priest, or one under a Nazarite vow. See Exo. 39:30; Lev. 8:9. The same word is used to describe the kingly crown in 2Sam. 1:10; 2Kings 11:12 — thus uniting the principles of priest-king.
"Then shalt thou take the anointing oil" — For the composition of this, see Exo. 30:23-25. For the act of anointing and its importance, see Lev. 8:12, 30; 10:7; 21:10; Psa. 133.
"And pour it upon his head, and anoint him" — Aaron was anointed, in order that he might be sanctified, or set apart, for his high office (Lev. 8:12). At the same time the tabernacle, altar, laver, and so forth were also anointed (Lev. 8:10), so that all the means of worship were sanctified or set apart together. Concerning the anointing of Aaron, W.F. Barling wrote in Law and Grace: "Once robed in his official garb, Aaron was in need forthwith of anointing that he might be sanctified to discharge his duties before God; this anointing was strictly of the head only, but the head (being the directing agent of all the body's actions) clearly stood for the whole man so that the anointing of it effectively and conspicuously intimated that he needed a rich endowment of God's Spirit to qualify him to execute the priesthood in the way required by Him — a fact which the profusion of the anointing in his case served to emphasize, since it became proverbial that 'the precious ointment upon the head... ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard' and 'ran down to the skirts of his garments' (Psa. 133:2). The consecration of the priests was such that it entailed total separation to God — hence the strict injunction, 'Ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days' (Lev. 8:33). This time cycle of seven days (a symbolic period, as in the case of the feast of unleavened bread) taught the people that they were ever to remain spiritually in the very vicinity of God if they were to be what they were meant to be, His priestly people, in covenant relationship to Him."
"And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them" — As a lower order of priests, they were dressed only in the white coats. They lacked the splendour of the high priest, even as we lack the perfection of Christ.
"And thou shalt gird them with girdles" — See notes at ch. 28:4, 39.
"Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them" — The RV renders this as "head tires." The Hebrew migbaah, is derived from a root, signifying "to be convex," suggesting, by analogy, the calyx of a flower.
The use of the word "bind" would suggest that it represents a turban; whilst the whiteness of this article of dress represents a crown of righteousness (Pro. 16:35; 20:29). White hair suggests the glory of wisdom and of mature righteousness (Dan. 7:9).
"And the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute" — The word "perpetual" is olahm, and signifies a hidden period of time; hence points to the millennium. Of itself it does not denote endlessness, but rather continuation without break for the undefined period of time appointed it.
"And thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons" — For "consecrate," see the note ch. 28:41. The word signifies, as in the margin, to fill the hand of. Aaron and his sons were not separated unto idleness, but unto labour in the field of God as priests.
Finally: Offerings are Made - vv. 10-18.
The final act required for the consecration of the priests involves their association with the principle of sacrifice. A bullock is brought, and the priests are required to identify with its ceremonially atoning offering. By this means they typically enact the work of the Lord Jesus in his sacrifice.
"And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation" — The Hebrew gives the definite article "the bullock," that is, the bullock mentioned in v. 3. It was a sin offering (v. 14), both the first and the largest of all offerings. Likewise, forgiveness is the people's first need as well as their greatest. And because of imperfection in the priesthood, it was also the need of Aaron and his sons. All the beauty of clothing availed nothing without the sin offering. Those onlookers, who observed this ritual aright, would be humbled in mind, seeing that even the priests, including their high priest, required such an offering.
As a sin offering the bullock pointed forward to the offering of the Lord Jesus (Heb. 13:12); Paul's comment shows that the Lord also benefitted from his offering, and that, therefore, it was essential to his salvation, being appointed of God to that end (v. 20). He had no sins for which to atone, yet the sin offering was required, even in his case (Heb. 7:27). Why? Because he came "in the likeness of sinful flesh" and so "bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (IPet. 2:24). His offering ritually revealed what is necessary on the part of all those who would serve God in truth: namely, the putting to death of the "old man of the flesh" (Rom. 6:6). This, Christ did completely in life, so that when at last, he died as a sacrifice, his resurrection to eternal life was beyond doubt. "In that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God" (Rom. 6:10).
However, at the consecration of Israel's priests, neither priests nor people were without sin, so that all were in need of the sin offering to which the bullock pointed forward.
"And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock" — In this, they identified themselves with the sacrifice, so that it became representative of what they would attempt to do: give their lives an offering unto Yahweh. They placed their hands on the head of the bullock because the head is the seat of intellect, and sin commences in the mind.
"And thou shalt kill the bullock before Yahweh" — Thus the flesh was put to death; a principle that all must figuratively apply if they would please God. It was done "before Yahweh," as the offerings of all worshippers must be presented.
"By the door of the tabernacle of the congregation" — The bullock was slain in a public place as a witness to all worshippers who congregated to observe the ceremony.
"And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock" — The flesh and the blood comprise two parts of the offering. The former was put to death; the latter was given unto Yahweh. Blood represents "the life of the flesh" (Lev. 17:11), and blood poured out in sacrifice represents a life dedicated to God by denying (putting to death) the flesh, and positively offered. It therefore sets forth the principle of a life given unto Yahweh in active service.
The bread and wine of the Lord's Table represent the negative and positive aspects of his offering: the first relates to the putting to death of the flesh; the second to the giving of a life in service to Yahweh.
"And put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger" — The four horns of the altar were representative of the fourfold encampment of Israel: an extension of the altar, and therefore of the true "Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16). The blood placed upon the horns of the altar was designed as a means of atonement for it, to "purify the altar" (Lev. 8:15), or, as Rotherham renders it, that he "cleansed the altar from sin." The altar pointed forward to Christ our altar (Heb. 13:10). In what way was he "cleansed" by his own offering? Not from moral impurity, for he was guilty of no sin, but he was cleansed from physical imperfection. He did no sin, nor in inheriting mortality did he incur the guilt of Adam's sin, as is sometimes assumed. He inherited (as we all do) the result of Adam's transgression, which might be a misfortune but certainly is no crime. He did this in that he came in the same nature as all men: that of mortality, condemned because of its proneness to sin. From that nature he needed redemption, and obtained it through his own sacrificial death. So he benefited from his death, as Paul teaches: "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name" (Phil. 2:8-10). It is most unjust to assume that Christ did not benefit from his own offering. Such teaching fails to comprehend the purpose of his death which taught the principle that eternal life is only possible through death. He put to death the promptings of the flesh in life, refused to give way to its proneness to sin, submissively praying: "Not my will, but Thine be done." He completed that service of sacrifice in life by his sacrificial death, and in doing so, acted as our representative, showing what we must try to do in obedience unto God. He "bore our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Pet. 2:24), in that his nature was the same as ours, and is the seat of all sin (Mark 7:20-21; Uohn 1:8). He therefore was tempted in all points like as we are, but was without sin (Heb. 4:15). Because of his perfect obedience he rose from the dead to life eternal, and so provides the means of the forgiveness of sins for those who would come unto God through him. This was typed in the bullock as a sin offering.
hough witnessing to the existence of sin and imperfection, the bullock, itself, had to be "without blemish" (Lev. 4:3, 23, 28, 32). Its physical perfection stood in sharp contrast to the moral imperfection revealed in the requirement of the offering. So it is with the Lord Jesus. His character was perfect; his nature was not. He was without sin; his brethren have sins to be forgiven. His resurrection to eternal life was consequent upon his perfect obedience unto death; theirs is through the forgiveness of sins in his name.
"And pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar" — Portion of the blood had purified the altar, thus constituting it most holy. As Bro. Thomas remarks in Eureka vol. 2, p. 237: "It was now a thusiasterion — an Altar Most Holy; and all that touch it are holy; and without touching it none are holy." This was represented by pouring the bulk of the blood beside the altar, for that blood represented the worshippers who are thus made "one with the altar." This is obvious from the use of the symbolism in the Apocalypse. John saw "under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (Rev. 6:9). By "souls" is meant blood, for the life (or soul) "is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11 — the Hebrew nephesh translated "life" is rendered "soul" elsewhere).
So Bro. Thomas further comments (Eureka, vol. 2, p. 238): "From these premises, then, the reader will easily comprehend the phraseology of the fifth seal concerning 'souls underneath the altar.' When 'the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus,' and therefore 'within the altar,' die and return to their parent earth without violence, they are 'underneath the altar,' 'sleeping in Jesus,' 'dwelling in the dust,' 'sleeping in the dust of the earth:' but if they are made to lie 'underneath the altar' by the blood-shedding cruelty of the enemy, their souls are said, as in the language of the fifth seal, to cry with a great or loud voice for judicial vengeance on the murderers, who poured out their soul-blood unto death. Abel's blood shed by Cain is said to have a voice, and to speak: 'the voice of the bloods of thy brother cry to Me from the ground' (Gen. 4:10); and the blood of Jesus, shed by his brethren of the flesh, "speaks better things than the blood of Abel' speaks..."
Hence, when the blood of the bullock was poured out on the ground at the base of the altar, it witnessed that the lives of worshippers would be brought to death, but not without hope, for there, above, on the horns of the altar, was blood also, speaking of a life of dedication that will rise to newness of life. The blood on the horns of the altar (its most prominent part) pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ; whereas that poured out at its base represented the lives of worshippers.
"And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards" — The fat (cheleb) represents the stored-up riches of the animal; its choicest part. Fat is stored energy, which the law of the sacrifice taught had to be completely given unto Yahweh (cp. Lev. 7:23). Worshippers would recognise that they had to reserve for Yahweh the greatest energy of their being and the richest portion of their possessions.
"And the caul" — The Hebrew word yothereth is from a root signifying, to jut over, or to exceed, and by implication, to excel. It defines the lobe or flap of the liver (as if redundant or overhanging — see J. Strong), and thus relates to the liver net or stomach net which commences at the division between the right and the left lobes of the liver, and stretches on the one side across the stomach, and on the other to the regions of the kidneys (Unger). The caul, therefore, is a protection to these vital parts of the body. It is described as the lesser amentum, a layer of the inner lining of the cavity of the belly partly enveloping the liver. When such is removed, the vital organ of the liver is exposed. Removing the caul in sacrifice, therefore, suggests the need of worshippers to extend their energy at the expense of life itself: to dare something for God.
"That is above the liver" — The word for "liver" in Hebrew is kabed, as the heaviest of the viscera. The word is derived from a root that signifies in a bad sense, that which is dull and burdensome; and in a good sense, that which is generous, rich and honorable. The word is an apt one, for the liver largely governs the feelings of an individual: as "liverish," or otherwise. It was to the Hebrew the very source and centre of life.
The sacrifice taught that a person's feelings and very emotions, the source and centre of his happiness, had to be offered unto Yahweh. The liver inspects the food taken into the body and rejects that which is poisonous. It stores food, reserving sufficient to keep the body functioning for some days. Bile, which is a waste product, is converted by the liver into a fluid to aid digestion. All these functions of the liver can be applied spiritually.,
"And the two kidneys" — The Hebrew word kilyath, is from a root signifying, to completely prepare a thing. In that regard, the kidneys help separate and expel poisons from the body. They are two in number, situated in the back part of the abdomen, one on each side of the vertebral column, surrounded by a mass of fat and areolar tissue. They are for the purpose of separating from the blood certain materials which, when dissolved in a quantity of water, also separated from the blood, constitute the urine. When the kidneys are referred to figuratively, they are rendered as "reins," quite a fitting description of these vital parts of the body, for as healthy kidneys govern the feelings of a person, and therefore frequently influence his desires and actions, so the man-made reins govern the direction of an animal. Because of their sensitiveness, the Hebrew looked upon the kidneys as the seat of desire. Thus when suffering deeply, a man is said to be "pricked in his kidneys" (Psa. 73:21); when fretting affliction overcomes him, his kidneys are said to be cloven asunder (Job 19:27). Yahweh is frequently called the Trier of the heart and reins (kidneys), and of the ungodly it is said, that He is far from their reins (Jer. 12:2).
The use of the word "reins" to describe the kidneys is appropriate, inasmuch that, as reins guide an animal along the pathway, so a person's life is largely governed by his kidneys in health and in sickness. The offering of the kidneys in sacrifice witnessed that the worshippers must give up their desires to Yahweh. Figuratively, their "kidneys" must expel the poison that would otherwise mar a life of true worship and dedication.
"And the fat that is upon them" — As indicated above, fat represents stored energy. It denotes the general health, vigour, and excellency of an animal. Worshippers need to expend this in service to Yahweh; hence it was offered on the altar.
"And burn them upon the altar" — They formed part of the burnt offering, which was slowly consumed on the altar, the fire gradually devouring every part of the animal, causing it to ascend as smoke into heaven. It was not ordinary fire that did this, but fire provided by Yahweh (see Lev. 9:24). The burnt offering taught that worshippers must be consumed by the fire, or zeal, of the Word; it must consume their very beings. "Quench not the spirit," wrote Paul (1 Thes. 5:19), likening the Spirit-Word to the fire upon the altar. When the Lord, full of righteous indignation at the way in which the mercenary-minded Jews were desecrating the temple, overthrew their tables, and drove out the animals they haggled over, the apostles remembered that it was written of him: "The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up" (John 2:17). A person consumed with the zeal of the Truth is a continual burnt offering in the sight of Yahweh.
"But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering" — The remarkable spiritual significance of this is revealed by Paul in Heb. 13:1 1-13. So, in fulfilment of the type, Christ also "suffered without the gate," and we, also, are called upon to "go forth unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." Thus, the Mosaic system could not provide an effective sacrifice for sin, and, therefore, to obtain it one must go beyond the Law, unto the realm of Grace. The animal sacrifice was only a type, a shadow of that which was to come, for "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Heb. 10:4). The Law demonstrated this, and in so doing, acted as a "schoolmaster" to lead to Christ, that a person "might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24). The flesh was set aside "as profiting nothing" (John 6:63), whilst the mind and the emotions were offered upon the altar to Yahweh. The details of this are outlined in Lev. 4:8-12.
The flesh and substance of the animal were to be taken out "unto a clean place" where they were consumed. The antitype was fulfilled in that the Lord, having given his mind and emotions completely to his Father, and so rendering perfect obedience to His will, was buried in a clean place" (John 19:41), prior to his flesh becoming a spirit body of glory and incorruptibility.
"Thou shalt also take one ram" — The word for "ram" is ayil, from a Hebrew root signifying strength. The sacrifice of the ram, therefore, denoted the strength of the body given in service unto Yahweh. This was in accordance with the requirements of the Law: "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength" (Mark 12:30). But the only one who has ever accomplished this is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Protector of the flock — as was the ram of the sheep flock. The type of the ram, therefore, pointed to the Lord.
"And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram" — By so doing they identified themselves with the offering representatively, as their federal head, giving public witness that, like him, they would expend their strength in loving service to Yahweh. Typically, Aaron and his family pointed forward to Christ personal and multitudinous.
"And thou shalt slay the ram"— Representing the denial of flesh, the putting to death of the diabolos (Heb. 2:14), "the body of sin" (Rom. 6:6).
"And thou shalt take his blood" — Representative of life offered to God (Lev. 17:11).
"And sprinkle it round about upon the altar" — Blood so used represented life given in service to Yahweh. The Soncino translation renders "sprinkle" as "dash," and Jewish tradition states that the blood was thrown at two opposite corners of the altar, thus moistening all the four sides in a complete action.
"And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces" — This is literally "into its pieces." The animal was divided into its several parts representative of "heart, soul, mind and strength."
"And wash the inwards of him" — This taught the worshippers that mere externals of religion, its formalism, are not sufficient. True worship comes from within the mind and heart (Rom. 7:22), which likewise must be "clean" in the sight of Yahweh.
"And his legs" — The legs are the parts of the body that collect dust and dirt more than any other along the pathway of life. A worshipper might theorise upon the Truth without giving practical expression to it in a faithful "walk." In the symbolism of sacrifice, special attention was given to that facet of worship.
"And put them unto his pieces" — After carefully washing them they were replaced with the other pieces of the carcase.
“And unto his head" — The margin renders this as "upon his head," thus demonstrating that true worship is first a matter of the mind, and of understanding. If "the mind of Christ" is in a worshipper, his actions will more perfectly conform to the walk of Christ. This was dramatised in the altar worship by giving special prominence in the placing of the pieces of the sacrifice to conform to the head.
"And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar" — The whole carcase had to be consumed by the divine fire provided for the purpose. In like manner "true worshippers... worship the Father in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:23). Their actions conform to the Truth which motivates their being, and so they are consumed by zeal, as the sacrifice was by the fire.
"It is a burnt offering unto Yahweh" — As the pieces were placed on the altar so as to allow the fire to more easily consume them. So we should seek to make our walk and our ways conformable to the Word.
"It is a sweet savour" — The word "sweet" is niychoach, "restful, pleasant, delightful." Such an offering was something in which Yahweh found pleasure: a giving of self in sacrifice (Phil. 4:18).
"An offering made by fire unto Yahweh" — A service in which the flesh is completely absorbed by the Word.
Aaron As Yahweh's Representative For the People — vv. 19-28.
In Exodus 28, Aaron is revealed as a mediator on behalf of the people, bearing their burdens (v. 12), compassionate toward their weakness (v. 29), wisely guiding and judging them (v. 30), teaching them (v. 35), and constantly asserting the holiness of Yahweh as the ideal to which they should strive (vv. 36, 38). To that end, he must be properly prepared. This takes the form of calling, cleansing (washing), clothing and consecration.
"And thou shalt take the other ram" — This is called "the ram of consecration" (cp. v.31; Lev. 8:22).
"And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram" -Cp.v. 10.
"Then shalt thou kill the ram" — The ram seems to take the form of a peace offering (Lev. 3: 1-17), though differing from normal peace offerings inasmuch as its blood is applied to the persons of the priests. Such a sacrifice implies that peace with God involved the priests putting to death the flesh, and giving their lives and power in dedication to the service of Yahweh as His representatives to the people.
"And take of his blood" - The blood represented the life of the offerers. In this case, it was given back to them in order that it might be devoted to Yahweh's service.
"And put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron" — Sacrificial blood applied to the organ of hearing consecrated it to Yahweh's use: it must always be open to His instruction. Christ was foremost in that regard (John 8:47).
"And upon the tip of the right ear of his sons" — They too, were called of Yahweh. As Aaron typed the Lord, his sons typed his disciples, who are likened to "the children" of Christ (Heb. 2:13). It is their responsibility to give themselves to the study of the Word, and not merely to rely upon the intercessory work of their Redeemer in the absence of any such personal effort (Mat. 7:24).
"And upon the thumb of their right hand" — The blood of the ram of consecration sanctified their labour which was ministerial in scope.
"And upon the great toe of their right foot" — It sanctified their walk in life, their "going out" and "coming in." It taught that their "walk" had to be consistent with their calling: with the instructions they heard, and the ministerial work that they performed.
"And sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about" — See note v. 16. The lessons above have application to all followers of the Lord, for they are called to be priests.
"And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil" — This second anointing (cp. v. 7) seems to be the only one received by the ordinary priests (cp. Lev. 8:30), so that Aaron was "anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows" (Heb. 1:9). The mixture of the blood with the oil symbolised the close connection existing between justification (through the blood) and sanc-tification (through the Spirit-Word) leading to life eternal.
But why should the high priest be anointed twice in comparison with the single anointing of the ordinary priest? Because of his status, which pointed forward to that of Christ. The unique conception of the Lord constituted him "that holy thing," and his status as such was further endorsed by his "christing" (anointing) at the Jordan when he commenced his public ministry.
"And sprinkle it upon Aaron" — The verb is nazar instead of zaraq as in the previous verse. Here it does mean "to sprinkle."
"And upon his garments" — Aaron's garments were the insignia of his holy office, and therefore were sanctified, or set apart, to his exclusive use.
"And upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him"— The principle of holiness was to be continued in the generations of the family of Aaron. His sons would reflect the dedication of their father, as must the "children" of the greater high priest (Heb. 2:13).
"And he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him" — All were conse crated to holy service, pointing forward "to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:24).
"Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump" — For a comment on the use of fat in sacrifice, see v. 13. The word "rump" is alyah, from a root signifying "strength." It relates to the stout part of the ram, its fat tail. Sheep are not "tailed" in the Middle East as they are in Australia, and much of the "fat" or "strength" of the animal is stored in its tail. The RV renders the word "fat tail," representing stored energy and goodness.
"And the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them" — See note, v. 13.
"And the right shoulder" — The word in Hebrew is showq, from a root signifying to run, hence, here denoting the leg as a runner, implying activity, such as should be used in Yahweh's service.
"For it is a ram of consecration" — The word "consecration" is the plural mil-luim, fillings. The hands of the high priest were filled with the pieces of the offerings, illustrating what he was called upon to do. The offerings were to be completely consumed; there was nothing to be left to corrupt (v. 34).
"And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before Yahweh" — See notes on v. 2, and consider the development suggested by these three varieties of bread. Unleavened bread speaks of sincerity and truth (ICor. 5:8); bread impregnated with oil suggests the influence of the Spirit-Word; whilst reference to "wafers" denotes the effect of discipline, a "learning of obedience" through suffering (Heb. 5:1-4, 7-9).
The word "wafer" is raqiyq, from raq "to beat, pound, spread out by beating," hence to make thin. The basket containing these significant forms of food is said to be "before Yahweh;" hence in His sight.
"And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons" — The offerings were to be placed on the hands of Aaron and his sons, suggesting support, co-operation in fellowship in the work which was foreshadowed by them. The antitype is found in the labours of Christ and the believers, to the same end.
"And shalt wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh" — The Hebrew implies that Moses was to do this. Evidently he placed his hands under those of Aaron and his sons, guiding them in the action of waving to and fro, the portions of the offerings to which reference is made (see margin). The combined action of Aaron and his family, in conjunction with Moses, suggests co-operation and fellowship in the work of the Truth, guided by the revelation of the Law in awareness of Yahweh's living presence. The offerings were waved towards the altar to indicate they were Yahweh's, and then back to the priests to show that they were the medium of His manifestation to the people.
"And thou shalt receive them of their hands" — In this performance Moses acted as a priestly mediator (Gal. 3:19), combining in his person the roles of lawgiver, ruler, prophet, and priest (cp. vv. 3, 11, 14, 16, etc.), pointing forward to Christ who, likewise, combines in his person all such offices.
"And burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before Yahweh: it is an offering made by fire unto Yahweh" — Moses was to continue to act as priest by placing the pieces of the offering in order upon the altar, so that they might be entirely consumed with fire. This taught that priestly ministrations were not enough in themselves: they must be governed by principles of divine revelation as represented by Moses and the Law.
The Law thus taught the need of a "great high priest" who, though not born to the priesthood, would, like Moses, act in this capacity.
Thus the Law became as a schoolmaster leading to Christ (Gal. 3:24). Consider what was offered on the altar: bread, the fruit of personal labour; fat, the best and richest portions of life; the shoulder, or leg, indicative of physical activity. All were to be given to Yahweh.
"And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before Yahweh: and it shall be thy part" — The breast is the seat of affection. Therefore, in this transaction, Moses represented Yahweh (cp. Exo. 4:16), and received the breast, as the seat of affection.
In subsequent transactions this was given to the high priest who represented Yahweh to the people (Lev. 7:31-34). Meanwhile, Moses typified Christ (Deu. 18:18).
"And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering" — Vv. 27-28 comprise a short digression to explain future consecrations, when Moses would not be officiating. On such occasions the breast and right shoulder were to go to the priests. As these parts of the sacrifice represented the emotions and the main support of the beast, and therefore of the offerer, they were to be given unto Yahweh.
"And the shoulder of the heave offering" — The Hebrew terumah is from a root ruwm, "to be high" or lifted up. The heave offering represented a gift as offered up to Yahweh, or lifted out of a person's possessions. It was then ceremoniously lifted up and down to show that it had been given up to Yahweh, and that fellowship was enjoyed between Him in the heavens and His worshippers on earth, in the same way that Jacob saw angels "ascending and descending" between himself and heaven at a time of personal blessing (Gen. 28:12).
"Which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons" — The waving to and fro of the former portion of the offering denoted activity before Yahweh; whereas the "lifting up" of the other part indicated action in fellowship between Him and His priests on behalf of the people.
"And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'" — As priests they represented Yahweh to the people; therefore what was lifted up to Him was given to them.
"By a statute for ever from the children of Israel" — The word "statute" signifies "enactment," "appointment," and was designed for perpetuity or for as long as the Mosaic order remained, as the word olam ("for ever") denotes.
"For it is an heave offering; and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings even their heave offering unto Yahweh" — Wave and heave offerings are always connected with the portions of the priests, and with things dedicated to God's service (see Exo. 25:2; 35:22, 24; 38:24, 29; Lev. 7:30-34; Num. 18:11, 19, 24, etc.).
Aaron's Successors — Vv. 29-30.
The appointment of future high priests in the Aaronic line which traces their genealogy from him, is now outlined. These verses indicate a second digression (see v. 27) to indicate the future use of the priests' garments.
"And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them" — The holy garments, representing the character of the high priest, were to be preserved after his death, so that there was a continuous representation of what was required of the "great High Priest" to come, and for whom the people should seek.
"And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place” — At the time of consecration the priests were not to leave the tabernacle for seven days (Lev. 8:33). Thus worshippers would learn that priestly ministrations were always available (for seven represents completion), and were thereby reminded that Yahweh is always accessible (see Psa. 88:1; 134:1).
This verse completes the second digression as is shown in the AV by the paragraph sign at the beginning of v. 31.
The Partaking of the Offerings -Vv. 31-35.
Further instructions are now given to emphasize the fellowship principles of the sacrifices, in which Aaron and his sons represent the nation before God.
"And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration" — See v. 19. The second ram was a peace offering, in contrast to the first ram which was a burnt offering (cp. v. 18). The size and value of both offerings were equal, suggesting that there needs to be a compensating response from worshippers to justify the forgiveness of sins they expect from God. To the extent that they are prepared to give themselves up in His service (as burnt offerings), they can hope to enjoy the second (peace with God). Hence both were of equal value.
The narrative has now reverted to the actions of Moses at the consecration of Aaron.
"And seethe his flesh in the holy place" — This is in contrast to the Passover lamb that had to be roasted (Exo. 12:9). Seething is a slower, more thorough process of cooking than roasting. It is accomplished by immersion in water and by the application of heat. The word basshal, rendered "seethe" figuratively signifies to ripen, to be done, and hence to bring to maturity. The bubbling water is suggestive of zealous activity in the things of Yahweh (Psa. 119:139; 69:9; Gal. 4:18; Tit. 2:14). The meat was cooked in pots (1Sam. 2:13-14), and both the broth and the flesh were eaten (Jud. 6:19).
The "holy place" mentioned was not in the tabernacle itself, but in the court outside. The expression in the Hebrew is "in a holy place," not "the holy place." The sacrifice was eaten outside the door of the tabernacle (Lev. 8:31), in the sight of the Israelites gathered to witness the act.
"And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket" — This was a token of fellowship. As such, the priests ate of it as representing the priestly nation.
"By the door of the tabernacle of the congregation" — As a public witness, representative of all the people.
"And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them" — The word "atonement" is kaphar, "to cover." Sins were "covered," "hidden away," or forgiven thereby. The same principle is illustrated in the atonement effected through Christ. The eating of the offering consecrated the priests to doing the work of Yahweh, so separating or sanctifying them to that purpose.
"But a stranger shall not eat thereof” — The word "stranger" is zuwr, from a root, signifying to turn aside, hence a profane person, one not a priest. The latter alone were to partake of this offering; and that being the command, only one who turned aside from Yahweh would presume to break the command and eat of the offering.
"Because they are holy" — This taught that fellowship is exclusive. Israel was condemned because its leaders did not observe that exclusiveness (cp. Eze. 44:7). Holiness is a first principle of acceptable worship (Lev. 11:44; 1Pet. 1:14-16).
"And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy" — As with the Passover lamb, the offerings of consecration had either to be eaten, or burnt with fire; there must be no putrefaction (Exo. 12:10). This pointed forward to the offering of the Lord: his body saw no corruption in the grave (Acts 2:27), and, rising therefrom, his nature was changed from the state of mortality to that of immortality. Thus the type remarkably foreshadowed the antitype.
"And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons according to all things which I have commanded thee" — As with the construction of the tabernacle, so with the appointment of the priests: all had to be done meticulously according to the divine requirements. The same close attention to detail should be given to the spiritual requirements of those who have been called to be immortal priests in the Age to come.
"Seven days shalt thou consecrate them" — The whole ceremony was repeated seven times, the number of the oath or completion. See the use of seven throughout Scripture of which the following are examples: the seven encompass-ings of Jericho by Joshua (Josh. 6:3-4); the seven washings of Naaman (2Kgs. 5:14); the seven ascents of the servant of Elijah on Mount Carmel (lKgs. 18:43-44), and so forth. The whole purpose of Yahweh with flesh shall be accomplished in seven millennia, at the close of which, a perfected earth, "filled with the glory of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea," shall be delivered unto Him that He might be "all and in all." This will be brought about by effective priestly ministration: hence the sevenfold repeated ceremony of consecration.
A similar repetition is required in the age to come in the rehabilitation of Israel after the flesh (Eze. 43:26-27).
Sanctification of the Altar — Vv. 36-37.
Vital instructions are now outlined concerning the altar upon which are presented the various offerings. The basic need for atonement of all elements of man's relationship with God is emphasized.
"And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement" — This was the same bullock as served for Aaron and his sons (Lev. 8:11-Ι5). The ceremony was repeated seven times during successive days, emphasizing the need of setting aside the flesh, and of continuing priestly ministrations until the completion of the divine purpose with man upon the earth.
"And thou shalt cleanse the altar when thou hast made an atonement for it" — The literal Hebrew, according to the New Old Testament should be rendered "Thou shalt purify the altar in [or by] thy making atonement for it."
The word for "cleanse" is chata, a word used elsewhere for "sin." Accordingly, Rotherham renders the phrase: "and shalt make a sin-cleansing for the altar." This was done through the blood of the offering. Moses smeared blood on the horns of the altar and poured the rest of the blood at its base (Lev. 8:15). The significance of this we have discussed previously.
But why should the altar need "atoning," and why should the term "sin" be used in relation to it, seeing that it never transgressed in any respect? The altar was considered as "defiled" to identify it with a people who had sinned, and needed atonement therefrom. Therefore, it had to be cleansed first in order to provide the means of the forgiveness of sins on the behalf of actual transgressors, who desired to reach unto God through its means. So with Christ our altar (Heb. 13:10). He is our representative because he came in our sin-prone nature, a nature that resulted in transgression in all others who possessed it. Christ, however, rendered complete and perfect obedience unto the Father, in spite of the nature he bore. Therefore, though he never sinned, he was related to that which is the cause of sin in all others who possess it: human nature (see Mk. 7:18-23). From this he needed cleansing by a change of nature as we all do. And this was effected through his own blood (Heb. 13:20), by the shedding of which he was highly exalted, and "given a name which is above every name" (Phil. 2:9).
The cleansing of the altar by Moses, as well as the consecration of the priests, pointed forward to the physical cleansing of the Lord by his own sacrifice — not to his moral cleansing, for he was not in need of such. In the Age to come, the altar erected on Mt. Zion will also be "cleansed" by a similar ceremony (Eze. 43:18-27), although, in that case, it shall point back to the offering of the Lord, as in Moses' time it pointed forward to it.
"And thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it" — Actually the verses do not express the proper sequence by which the altar was cleansed. Moses first anointed the altar, actually doing this seven times before he anointed Aaron (Lev. 8:11-12). So Christ became our altar before he became our priest.
The altar was purified by the same blood which consecrated Aaron and his sons.
Its virtue was effected by smearing some of the blood upon its horns, and pouring the remainder at its base. As we have seen previously, the former pointed forward to Christ's offering on his own behalf, the latter to those "in Christ." See the process explained in Lev. 8:10-17.
"Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it" — The word "sanctify" signifies, to set apart for special use and purpose. In John 17:19, Christ used the term to describe his own offering, his complete dedication to his Father's will. He was the altar in preparation for the offerings of his people subsequently to be made through him.
"And it shall be an altar most holy" — The Hebrew is kadesh kadeshim: Holy of Holies. See also ch. 40:10. The altar of
sacrifice constituted the way into the Holy of Holies, and therefore of itself was identified with that quality.
"Whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy" — This rendition has been challenged on the grounds that it can read: "must be holy," and, therefore, only those persons, or things, already constituted holy were to touch the altar. But the AV is sustained, not only by the Hebrew, but by subsequent interpretation of the verse (see Exo. 30:29). A person touching the holy things was made holy thereby, but such holiness was not transmittable from person to person (see Hag. 2:1 1-12). In confirmation of this, the Lord pointed out that "the altar sanctified the gift" placed upon it (Mat. 23:19) — thus, the altar made the gift "holy." This justifies the AV translation of the verse before us.
But such holiness is not transmittable to those who might make contact with such "gifts," or those who are thus accounted "holy." Therefore an individual must make personal contact with the Lord, in order to be accounted among the "holy brethren" (Heb. 3:1).
The Continual Burnt Offering — vv. 38-44.
Following the consecration of the priests and the preparation of the altar. Moses now is instructed regarding the continual burnt offering to be made thereon every morning and evening. Two young lambs, symbolising early surrender to God, were offered daily, one in the morning and the other in the evening, together with appropriate offerings of bread and wine. These were for a sweet savour to Yahweh, pleasant to Him, in contrast to the wickedness of evil men which is as smoke in His nostrils.
"Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year" — Lambs of the first year speak of early surrender to God. They were a reminder of the Passover (Exo. 12:5), and therefore spoke of divine redemption from oppression and sin.
“Day by day continually" — The offerings constituted a constant reminder to the people that they must render unto Yahweh a daily living sacrifice of themselves (Rom. 12:1).
"The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even" — Thus the day commenced and concluded with a reminder of what was due to Yahweh: the sacrifice, or denial, of flesh, and the dedication of self to His will. The words "at even" are literally "between the evenings" as in Exo. 12:6.
"And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour" — This was a reminder of the manna, the bread of life received day by day in the wilderness wanderings (Exo. 16:33-36). Figuratively, it represented strength received through the Bread of life, and given back to Yahweh (Deu. 8:3; Mat. 6:11). The offering of the flour with the lamb reminded Israelites that there is a need to partake of the Word, as well as to sacrifice, and to pray. It constitutes the daily bread, or manna, of life.
In spiritual numerics, "ten" represents the whole.
"Mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil" — The hin was a measure of Egyptian origin, approximating to 3 litres (6 pints) according to linger's Bible Dictionary. "Four" is the number of national Israel, and "beaten oil" is suggestive of light manifested amidst trial (Phil. 2:15). These principles combined, speak of Israel as the nation drawn out of Egypt, manifesting the light of Truth in the midst of pressure and trial. This, all true Israelites are called upon to do.
"And the fourth part of a hin of wine or a drink offering" — Wine is induced by fermentation, and therefore, a sign and symbol of a new life, capable of "cheering God and man" (Judges 9:13).
The reference to the "fourth part" suggests the foundation number of national Israel (Num. 23:10). This is appropriate, for it is the Israelitish hope that brings true joy, and cheers both God and man.
"And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto Yahweh" — See Psa. 141:2 for the significance of the morning and evening sacrifices. As prayer was offered at these times, the former sacrifice commenced the day on a spiritual note; whilst the evening sacrifice and prayer brought it to a satisfactory conclusion. The former could be used as an opportunity to seek the guidance and help of Yahweh; the latter provided means to review the day and express thanks for the divine assistance and blessings received.
"This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations" — The New Old Testament renders this "for your generations." The command is made upon the basis that Israel is an eternal nation; that Yahweh finds pleasure in its members giving prayerful thought to Him every morning and evening. Those out of the Gentiles, who today claim identification with Israel, should keep this principle in mind in their daily lives.
"At the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before Yahweh" — The word translated ''congregation” is mowadein Hebrew, and denotes an appointed or set time. The translation, therefore, is faulty, and the RV renders it as a "tent of meeting." The Law appointed set times when Israelites were expected to come before Yahweh in worship, as well as defining the place where this should be done. But in this instance, the angel was speaking specifically to Moses, and this implies that there were set times appointed for him personally, to appear before Yahweh for further instruction,
"Where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee" — There is a play upon words in this verse. The Hebrew for "meet" is ya'ad which signifies to fix upon, and therefore suggests a set time for the purpose in mind. It is the root of the word mowade, an appointed, or set time. Already Yahweh had agreed to meet with and speak to Israel from the mercy seat (Exo. 25:21-22), but as this statement is made directly to Moses himself, it is obvious that he acted as mediator for the nation in such instances. Though not a priest, Moses had access to both the Holy and the Most Holy places when necessary, foreshadowing the work of Christ. See Exo. 30:6, 36; Num. 7:89; 17:4, and note the important observation of Heb. 7:14.
BURNT OFFERINGS AND PEACE OFFERINGS
Reference has been made to these forms of offerings, and from Exodus 24:5-8 it is obvious that they were made prior to the formal giving of the Law. In making the offering, it was required that the worshipper identified himself with it. The burnt offering, therefore, expressed the individual's self-surrender and complete devotion to God's will; in the peace offering he acknowledged fellowship with Yahweh on the basis of the former, and expressed his gratitude for mercies and bounties received.
Although the Law had not then been given, God had made known His will regarding sacrifices from the time of Adam (see Gen. 4:3-7; 8:20-21; 12:7; 13:4; 15:9-12; 22:13; 26:25; 31:54; 35:7; Exo. 8:26; 10:9, 26 and notes on Exo. 25:5-8).
The Burnt Offering
In presenting this offering, the offerer was conscious of the weakness of flesh; therefore blood was shed, confession was made, and the blood as the symbol of life offered on the altar. But the real purpose of the offering was the earnest desire to serve Yahweh to the fullest extent of one's being. Head (intellect), fat (strength), flesh (being) were placed in this order on the altar (Lev. 1:8-9). It thus expressed submission to Yahweh's will. The word "burnt" (Heb. olah, that which ascends — Lev. 1:3) expressed the offerer's desire to elevate his worship to such a degree of dedication as would please and glorify Yahweh (cp. 2Chr. 7:1; Psa. 20:1-3 mg.). But since communion with Yahweh is impossible to anybody tainted with sin (Isa. 59:2), and since no man could be sure of being sinless, the burnt offering was accounted as having an expiatory effect, first before the worshipper's yearning for fellowship with God was fulfilled (Lev. 1:4-5).
The Peace Offering
The Hebrew word shelem signifies "to bring as one," and therefore suggests the idea of unity of fellowship. Portion of the peace offering was eaten by the worshipper, so that in the transaction, Yahweh, the priestly mediator, and the worshipper were united "as one" (Lev. 7:15). This was the cause of great rejoicing as the word suggests (cp. John 14:27; Acts 10:36; Rom. 3:17; 5:1; 10:15; Eph. 2:14-15; 4:3; 6:15; Col. 1:20; Heb. 7:2). There were three kinds of peace offerings: Thanksgiving — probably offered in gratitude for some token of divine favour received (Lev. 7:12); Vow offerings — probably offered in fulfilment of a pledge made in conjunction with a prayer for some token of divine favour (Lev. 7:16); Voluntary offerings — a spontaneous act of worship (Lev. 7:16). With normal peace offerings, the offerer had to bring unleavened bread, wafers, and cakes with oil (Lev. 7:12), as well as leavened bread (Lev. 7:13). This last as an acknowledgement of his consciousness of shortcomings.
"And there I will meet with the children of Israel" — Yahweh promised to meet with the nation. However, lay Israelites could not enter the tabernacle itself, and could only "meet Yahweh" at its entrance, when they brought their sacrifices before Him to the altar. Any closer approach had to be through a priestly mediator. Nevertheless, in this statement He graciously promises to meet them with favour and acceptance, thus inviting them to use the facilities that He would make available to them.
"And the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory" — The word "tabernacle" is not in the original, and the margin replaces it with "Israel." Actually, both tabernacle and people were sanctified by the divine glory. Yahweh's presence in the former, by which it was shown to be separated unto His use, was indicated by the shekinah glory in the Most Holy; whilst His presence in the people was revealed by their obedience to His will (Exo. 13:2). The separation of Israel from all other nations constituted them a "holy people."
"And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar" — The tabernacle was sanctified, or set apart for divine use, by the glory of Yahweh taking possession of it on its erection (Exo. 40:34); and the altar was sanctified, or set apart, when, on the first occasion of sacrifice being offered thereon, "there came a fire out from before Yahweh, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat" (Lev. 9:24). By such open demonstration Yahweh claimed both as His own.
"I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me in the priests' office" — This was done in the manner recorded in ch. 40:12-16. Aaron and his sons were publicly inducted into their high office by divine endorsement, for the subsequent filling of the tabernacle with divine glory confirmed the appointment (Exo. 40:34).
"And I will dwell among the children of Israel" — The indwelling presence of Yahweh, evident in the shekinah glory in the physical tabernacle, foreshadowed His manifestation in the spiritual tabernacle of the multitudinous Christ (Heb. 8:2; 9:11-12). Yahweh dwelt among His people in His Son (Mat. 1:23; John 1:14), and His purpose ultimately is to dwell in the midst of all people in the glorified redeemed (Rev. 21:3).
"And will be their God" - Bro. Thomas renders this: "I will be to them for Elohim." This promises that Yahweh is to reveal Himself in true Israelites constituting the Elohim of the Age to come (Luke 20:36). Thus, although these promises have been partially fulfilled, the final and complete fulfilment awaits the time when the "earth shall be filled with the glory of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea" (Num. 14:21). The centre of that glory will be Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; 32:1; Mat. 5:35).
"And they shall know that I am Yahweh their God" — To "know," in the sense used here, is to have an familiar knowledge that results in a response to the knowing. So "Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived'1 (Gen. 4:1). Thus to know Yahweh's Name in proper perspective, is to manifest its attributes of goodness and severity in faithful actions (see Jn. 17:3; Rom. 11:22). It is to experimentally apply the characteristics of the family Name in life.
"That brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am Yahweh their God." — This was for the purpose of God manifestation, and not merely for the salvation of flesh, that Israelites were drawn out of Egypt. Israelites were separated from the land of sin and death, not simply for their own comfort and convenience, but in order that "I, Yahweh, may dwell among them." It is for the same purpose that the eternal God is "taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name" (Acts 15:14).
This demands separation, dedication and manifestation. As God was "in Christ" (2Cor. 5:19), so Christ must be in his followers (Eph. 3:16-21; Col. 1:27) in order to justify their status as the true Israel (Gal. 6:16). This demands action on the part of those who would be redeemed.
So Paul cited the Old Testament Scriptures to illustrate this responsible position: "Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing. And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2Cor. 6:16-18). True sonship is conditional upon so acting.
The call of the gospel is not a call to salvation in the absence of God manifestation, for the former is dependent upon the latter. The gospel is designed to transform walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing. And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2Cor. 6:16-18). True sonship is conditional upon so acting.
The call of the gospel is not a call to salvation in the absence of God manifestation, for the former is dependent upon the latter. The gospel is designed to transform.
THE SEVEN STAGES OF AARON'S CONSECRATION AND THEIR APPLICATION TO CHRIST
Separated (Exo. 28:1; Lev. 8:2). Thus he was called as a priest of Yahweh. See its application to Christ (Heb. 5:4-5; Isa. 42:1,6; 49:1; Psa. 1 10:4).
Brought (Exo. 29:4; Lev. 8:6). Aaron was thus presented to Israel as Yahweh's representative; as also was Christ (John 1:31; Mat. 3:13-17).
Washed (Exo. 29:4; Lev. 8:6). The influence of the Word (Psa. 119:9; John 3:5; 15:3; Eph. 5:26; Tit. 3:5). For its application to Christ, see Luke 2:47, 52; Mat. 3:15; John 12:49-50. His death completed the process of washing (Rom. 6:10; Heb. 13:20; Rev. 1:5).
Clothed (Exo. 29:5-6). The clothing was appropriate to his service before Yahweh, typifying both the character and the immortal nature of the Lord (2Cor. 5:4).
Anointed (Exo. 29:7). Christ was anointed as priest by the bestowal of spirit-nature (Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:9). He was previously anointed as prophet (cp. Mat. 17:5, "Hear ye him"), and is yet to be publicly anointed as king (Psa. 2:6-7).
Hands filled (thus consecrated, Exo. 28:41). Aaron became a mediator labouring on the behalf of Yahweh's people, and the Lord Jesus completed this work (1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:15).
Sanctified (Exo. 28:41). Aaron was set apart, as Christ is set apart in the heavens (John 17:19; Heb. 7:26).
LESSONS FOR US:
The call of the gospel is designed to transform our characters
We must “put to death” all our wordly, fleshly inclinations, “putting on” the new spiritual man.
HP Mansfield – Exodus
John Thomas - Eureka
How is the Law of Moses a “schoolmaster” and how does this bring us to Christ?
Why is human salvation not stressed as all pervaidingly important in the scriptures?
What are the significant differences between the Melchizadek priesthood and the Aaronic?
Outline the process whereby the call of the gospel changes our characters.
The “other churches” often have priests and pastors, is this right?
If a brother or sister sins, what needs to happen?