Leviticus
Introduction 1-5 Moses Must Dedicate Aaron and His Sons 6 Aaron and His Sons Washed with Water 7-9 The High Priestly Garments Put on 10-12 The Anointing 13 Put on the Priestly Garments 14-24 The Offerings for Ordination 25-29 The Wave Offering 30 Sprinkling of Oil and of Blood 31-32 The Food of Aaron and His Sons 33-35 Place and Period of the Ordination 36 Aaron and His Sons Obey
Introduction

After the description of the offerings, what the priests bring, now follows the historical dedication of Aaron and his sons as priests. We become witnesses of the institution of the priesthood. The institution happens according to the description in Exodus 29, which announces the priesthood and sets out the instructions for how the institution must happen.


Moses Must Dedicate Aaron and His Sons

1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering, and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread, 3and assemble all the congregation at the doorway of the tent of meeting.” 4So Moses did just as the LORD commanded him. When the congregation was assembled at the doorway of the tent of meeting, 5Moses said to the congregation, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded to do.”

In Aaron and his sons we see a type or a shadow of the Lord Jesus as High Priest and the believers as priests. All believers are priests (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.). That is the principle. Unfortunately, not all believers of the church function as priests. The Old Testament pictures show how we can practically live up to our priesthood, how as a believer we can become a priest. God wants us to bring spiritual sacrifices to Him.

The priestly service is not only a personal matter. It concerns the whole congregation: the whole congregation of Israel comes together at the tent of meeting (verses 3-43and assemble all the congregation at the doorway of the tent of meeting.”4So Moses did just as the LORD commanded him. When the congregation was assembled at the doorway of the tent of meeting,). Priestly service in the Old Testament is mainly performed for the benefit of the people, i.e. for others. The priesthood of the believers is especially expressed in the meetings of the believers when they gather as a church in the place where God dwells (Mt 18:2020For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”).


Aaron and His Sons Washed with Water

6Then Moses had Aaron and his sons come near and washed them with water.

Washing with water is not here to wash away something unclean. A believer who wants to be a priest uses the water of the Word not only to be cleansed, but above all to remain clean.


The High Priestly Garments Put on

7He put the tunic on him and girded him with the sash, and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him; and he girded him with the artistic band of the ephod, with which he tied [it] to him. 8He then placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. 9He also placed the turban on his head, and on the turban, at its front, he placed the golden plate, the holy crown, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

The garments of the High Priest speak of the high priestly service of the Lord Jesus. He is the heavenly Man and holds a heavenly high priesthood, while everything He does shows His Divine glory. He represents God’s people before God. In Exodus 28 the garments are described in detail. The description there takes place in a different order than here. Here we see how the garments are put on successively, so from inside to outside. In Exodus, the garments are described from outside to inside (Exo 28:44These are the garments which they shall make: a breastpiece and an ephod and a robe and a tunic of checkered work, a turban and a sash, and they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister as priest to Me.; Lev 8:7-87He put the tunic on him and girded him with the sash, and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him; and he girded him with the artistic band of the ephod, with which he tied [it] to him.8He then placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim.). For the meaning of the garments, see the explanation of Exodus 28.


The Anointing

10Moses then took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times and anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them. 12Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

Not only must there be sanctified priests, but everything they do their service with must also be sanctified. Only that which is anointed by the Holy Spirit – the anointing oil speaks of Him – and thereby sanctified, can be brought into connection with God.

Aaron as a picture of the Lord Jesus is anointed with oil even before blood has been applied to him. In the sons of Aaron as a picture of the believers who are priests, blood is first applied and then oil. In the spiritual application this means that the Holy Spirit can come on the Lord Jesus without the application of blood, for He is the perfect, sinless Man. We are sinners by nature. The Holy Spirit can only come on sinners after they have been cleansed of their sins by the blood of the offering of Christ.


Put on the Priestly Garments

13Next Moses had Aaron’s sons come near and clothed them with tunics, and girded them with sashes and bound caps on them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

After Aaron is clothed with his high priestly dignity as a picture of the Lord Jesus, his sons can now be clothed as priests. There is only a priesthood of all believers possible because the Lord Jesus has made them competent to do so. The priestly garments speak of the dignity that the believers now possess to approach God as priests in the sanctuary.

In the letter to the Hebrews we see how we are perfectly sanctified by the offering of Christ (Heb 10:1414For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.). Because of this we have confidence to draw near to God as priests (Heb 10:19,22a19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.). An additional incentive to do so is the presence of the Lord Jesus there as the “great priest over the house of God” (Heb 10:2121and since [we have] a great priest over the house of God,).


The Offerings for Ordination

14Then he brought the bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. 15Next Moses slaughtered [it] and took the blood and with his finger put [some of it] around on the horns of the altar, and purified the altar. Then he poured out [the rest of] the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it, to make atonement for it. 16He also took all the fat that was on the entrails and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat; and Moses offered it up in smoke on the altar. 17But the bull and its hide and its flesh and its refuse he burned in the fire outside the camp, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 18Then he presented the ram of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 19Moses slaughtered [it] and sprinkled the blood around on the altar. 20When he had cut the ram into its pieces, Moses offered up the head and the pieces and the suet in smoke. 21After he had washed the entrails and the legs with water, Moses offered up the whole ram in smoke on the altar. It was a burnt offering for a soothing aroma; it was an offering by fire to the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 22Then he presented the second ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23Moses slaughtered [it] and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24He also had Aaron’s sons come near; and Moses put some of the blood on the lobe of their right ear, and on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. Moses then sprinkled [the rest of] the blood around on the altar.

Three offerings are brought for the ordination of Aaron’s sons:
1. a sin offering (verse 14),
2. a burnt offering (fresh 18) and
3. an offering of ordination (verse 22).
The offering of ordination is a special form of the peace offering.

Aaron and his sons lay their hands on all three offerings. As we have seen before, laying on the hands means identification with that on which the hands are laid. If you want to be a priest, you must identify yourself with the work of the Lord Jesus.

In the sin offering it means that, in order to perform priestly service, I must be well aware that all my sins have passed to the Lord Jesus, that He has borne my sins and has been judged for them. Equally, I may and must be aware that I stand before God in all the pleasantness of the offering of the Lord Jesus that He brought to God as burnt offering. I derive my dignity to be a priest not from something in myself, but exclusively from Him.

If I am now ordained to God as a priest, I can only accomplish my task as a priest devoted to God if I see that the Lord Jesus is the great Priest, who is perfectly devoted to God in everything. He has always done perfectly everything the Father has commanded Him to do (Jn 6:3838For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.; 10:1818No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”; 14:3131but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.).

It is remarkable that all the offerings here are brought by Moses. The priests are not yet able to do so, they are not yet ordained. Moses can do that. He doesn’t need ordination. He is a picture of the Lord Jesus as the Teacher of righteousness.

We have already seen what happens to the sin offering and the burnt offering in Leviticus 4 and Leviticus 1, respectively. This also applies to the offering of ordination, although this has not been explicitly mentioned. The offering of ordination is a special kind of peace offering. In Leviticus 7 it is mentioned separately in the summary of the laws on sacrifices, but in connection with the peace offering (Lev 7:3737This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings,).

The animal of the ordination offering is a ram, as is the burnt offering. This means that our ordination and devotion as priests must have the same character as the burnt offering. Our ordination and dedication must be of the same features as the ordination and dedication of the Lord Jesus (cf. Eph 5:1-21Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.). That means the commitment of our whole person.

That the ordination offering is a special kind of peace offering is evident from the special application of a part of the blood. The blood of the ordination offering is applied to three body parts (verses 23-24). The blood of Christ, His dedication to death, is the foundation of our dedication.

The blood is first applied to the ear. The ear speaks of listening, hearing, obeying. This is where every true priestly service begins. First we must listen to know what the Lord asks of us, how He wants everything to be. Only then can we hold act (hand) and walk (foot), in accordance with the meaning and value of the blood.


The Wave Offering

25He took the fat, and the fat tail, and all the fat that was on the entrails, and the lobe of the liver and the two kidneys and their fat and the right thigh. 26From the basket of unleavened bread that was before the LORD, he took one unleavened cake and one cake of bread [mixed with] oil and one wafer, and placed [them] on the portions of fat and on the right thigh. 27He then put all [these] on the hands of Aaron and on the hands of his sons and presented them as a wave offering before the LORD. 28Then Moses took them from their hands and offered them up in smoke on the altar with the burnt offering. They were an ordination offering for a soothing aroma; it was an offering by fire to the LORD. 29Moses also took the breast and presented it for a wave offering before the LORD; it was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

The fat and the grain offering – bread, cake, waver – speak respectively of the energy and the perfect life of the Lord Jesus. The right thigh speaks of His power to walk on earth. For this he derives His strength from His fellowship with the Father.

All this is put on the hands of Aaron and his sons, symbolically repossessing their lives. In the picture this indicates that by doing so they clearly understand who the Lord Jesus is and what He has done for their ordination. They move it back and forth before God’s face. They show it all to God, to let Him as it were enjoy the glory that He found in the life of the Lord Jesus. When we present it to God in this way, we also enjoy it ourselves.

Moses offers the wave offering on the altar. He gets the breast, after he has moved it as a wave offering before the LORD. The breast is reminiscent of the heart and thus of the love of the Lord Jesus who is the origin of everything. The love of the Lord Jesus is fully satisfied in the result of His work by which a priesthood was established. This is something we should also think about when we are surprised to realize that we are now able to perform priestly services.


Sprinkling of Oil and of Blood

30So Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, and his sons, and the garments of his sons with him.

After the offerings are brought, Aaron and his sons are sprinkled with oil and blood, consecrating them to the priesthood. All conditions, as God has determined, are fulfilled. Oil and blood speak of the fact that the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ are the foundation upon which we, connected to Christ, have our place with God (cf. 1Pet 1:22according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.).


The Food of Aaron and His Sons

31Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons, “Boil the flesh at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and eat it there together with the bread which is in the basket of the ordination offering, just as I commanded, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons shall eat it.’ 32The remainder of the flesh and of the bread you shall burn in the fire.

The above actions are necessary to put them in the position of priests. They have laid a God-given foundation for priestly service. What is still needed is the strength to exercise that service. For this purpose, Moses gives Aaron and his sons the flesh of the ordination offering, a peace offering, and the accompanying cakes to eat. It is food for Aaron and his sons. Without this food, there will be no true priestly service.

Believers who know that they have been called or ordained to priestly service, feed themselves with the thought that they owe this privilege to what the Lord Jesus did on the cross, by giving Himself completely to God there. They also think of Him in connection with their ordination to priest in His perfect devotion to God in His life on earth, which is represented in the bread. They share these grateful thoughts with the Lord Jesus, the true Aaron, through whom He also, as it were, feeds Himself.

Any remaining flesh and bread must be burned. What we cannot grasp from the work and life of the Lord Jesus, we should not try to understand, but we must remove it.


Place and Period of the Ordination

33You shall not go outside the doorway of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the day that the period of your ordination is fulfilled; for he will ordain you through seven days. 34The LORD has commanded to do as has been done this day, to make atonement on your behalf. 35At the doorway of the tent of meeting, moreover, you shall remain day and night for seven days and keep the charge of the LORD, so that you will not die, for so I have been commanded.”

The period of the ordination is seven days. That speaks of our whole life. The number seven is the number of perfection. Seven days means a complete period. With the eighth day (Lev 9:11Now it came about on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel;) a new period begins. The time of our priestly ordination is our whole life. We are “continually”, every day of our lives, priests (Heb 13:1515Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.).

However, our priestly service is in a special way connected to the tent of meeting. God wants our daily, continuous priestly service always to be connected in our hearts with the place where He comes to meet His people, that is for us the local church.

God wants us as priests to be in the right place – “the doorway of the tent of meeting”, during the period determined by Him – “day and night for seven days” – and in the right mind – “keep the charge of the LORD”. Only if we keep His commandments and ensure that the service happens as He wills, we will be able to continue to perform our priestly service. If we do not take into account Him and His will, our priestly service will “die” (Lev 10:1-21Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.2And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.).


Aaron and His Sons Obey

36Thus Aaron and his sons did all the things which the LORD had commanded through Moses.

The obedience of Aaron and his sons is striking and exemplary. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear how this is deviated from (Lev 10:11Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.). It is to be hoped that this obedience will also be found in the present priesthood of the believers with all the believers. Unfortunately, Christianity shows how much the priesthood of all believers has been renounced there as well. Even where the priesthood of all believers is confessed, often it is not put into practice.


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