Concerning the consecration of the priests, and the
sanctification of the altar, ver. 1 - 37.
Concerning the daily sacrifice, ver. 38 - 41.
To which gracious promises are annexed, ver. 42 - 46.
4: They were to be consecrated at the door of the tabernacle - God
was pleased to dwell in the tabernacle, the people attending in the courts,
so that the door between the court and the tabernacle was the fittest place
for them to be consecrated in, who were to mediate between God and man, and
to stand between both, and lay their hands (as it were) upon both.
Here they were to be washed, signifying that they must be clean who
bear the vessels of the Lord, (Isa 52:11). And they were to be
clothed with the holy garments, to signify that it was not sufficient
for them to put away the pollutions of sin, but they must put on the graces
of the Spirit, be clothed with righteousness, (Ps 132:9).
They must be girded, as men prepared and strengthened for their work;
and they must be robed and crowned, as men that counted their work
and office their true honour.
7: The high priest was to be anointed with the holy anointing
oil - That the church might be filled with the sweet favour of his
administrations, and in token of the pouring out of the Spirit upon him, to
qualify him for his work.
10: There must be a sin - offering, to make atonement for them. The
law made them priests that had infirmity; and therefore they must first
offer for their own sin, before they could make atonement for the
people, (Heb 7:27,28).
They were to put their hand on the head of their sacrifice; confessing
that they deserved to die for their own sin, and desiring that the killing
of the beast might be accepted as a vicarious satisfaction. It was used
as other sin - offerings were; only, whereas the flesh of other sin - offerings
was eaten by the priests, in token of the priests taking away the sin of the
people, this was appointed to be all burnt without the camp, to signify
the imperfection of the legal dispensation, for the sins of the priests
themselves could not be taken away by those sacrifices, but they must expect
a better high priest, and a better sacrifice.
15: There must be a burnt - offering, a ram wholly burnt, in token
of the dedication of themselves wholly to God, as living sacrifices,
kindled with the fire, and ascending in the flame of holy love. This
sin - offering must be offered, and then the burnt - offering, for till guilt
be removed no acceptable service can be performed.
19: There must be a peace - offering; it is called the ram of
consecration, because there was more in this, peculiar to the occasion,
than in the other two. In the burnt - offering God had the glory of their
priesthood, in this they had the comfort of it. And in token of a mutual
covenant between God and them, the blood of this sacrifice was divided
between God and them, part of the blood was sprinkled upon the altar
round about, and part upon them, upon their bodies, and upon their
garments. Thus the benefit of the expiation made by the sacrifice was
applied and assured to them, and their whole selves from head to
foot sanctified to the service of God. The blood was put upon the
extreme parts of the body, to signify, that it was all as it were
enclosed and taken in for God, the tip of the ear, and the great toe
not excepted. And the blood and oil signified the blood of Christ,
and the graces of the Spirit, which constitute and compleat the beauty of
holiness, and recommend us to God. The flesh of the sacrifice, with the
meat - offering annexed to it, was likewise divided between God and them, that
(to speak with reverence) God and they might feast together, in token of
friendship and fellowship.
22: Part of it was to be first waved before the Lord, and then
burnt upon the altar, these were first put into the hands of Aaron to be
waved to and fro in token of their being offered to God, and then
they were to be burnt upon the altar, for the altar was to devour God's
part of the sacrifice. Thus God admitted Aaron and his sons to wait
at his table, taking the meat of his altar from their hands. Here, in a
parenthesis as it were, comes in the law concerning the priests part of the
peace - offerings afterwards, the breast and shoulder, which were now
divided; Moses had the breast, and the shoulder was burnt on the
altar with God's part.
31: The other part of the flesh of the ram, and of the bread, Aaron
and his sons were to eat at the door of the tabernacle, to signify that he
not only called them servants but friends. He supped with them,
and they with him. Their eating of the things wherewith the atonement
was made, signified their receiving the atonement, their thankful
acceptance of the benefit of it, and their joyful communion with God
35: Seven days shalt thou consecrate them - Though all the ceremonies
were performed on the first day, yet, they were not to look upon their
consecration as compleated till the seven days end, which put a
solemnity upon their admission, and a distance between this and their former
state, and obliged them to enter upon their work with a pause, giving them
time to consider the weight of it. This was to be observed in after ages:
he that was to succeed Aaron in the high priesthood, must put on the
holy garments seven days together, in token of a deliberate advance into
his office, and that one sabbath might pass over him, in his consecration.
Every day of the seven, in this first consecration, a bullock was to be
offered for a sin - offering, which was to intimate,
That though atonement was made, yet they must still keep up a penitent
sense of sin, and often repeat the confession of it.
That those sacrifices which were thus offered day by day, could not
make the comers there unto perfect, for then they would have ceased to
be offered; (Heb 10:1,2).
They must therefore expect the bringing in of a better hope. Now this
consecration of the priests was a shadow of good things to come.
Our Lord Jesus is the great high priest of our profession, called of
God to be so consecrated for evermore, anointed with the Spirit
above his fellows, whence he is called Messiah, the Christ;
clothed with the holy garments, even with glory and beauty;
sanctified by his own blood, not that of bullocks and rams.
All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices,
washed in the blood of Christ, and so made to our God priests,(Re 1:5,6).
They also are clothed with the beauty of holiness, and have received the
anointing, (1Jo 2:27).
His blood sprinkled upon the conscience, purgeth it from dead works, that
they may, as priests, serve the living God. The Spirit of God is
called the finger of God ((Lu 11:20), compared with (Mt 12:28),)
and by him the merit of Christ is effectually applied to our souls, as here
Moses with his finger was to put the blood upon Aaron. It is
likewise intimated that gospel ministers are to be solemnly set apart to the
work of the ministry with great deliberation and seriousness, both in the
ordainers, and in the ordained, as those that are employed in a great work,
and intrusted with a great charge.
36: The consecration of the altar, seems to have been coincident
with that of the priests; and the sin - offerings, which were offered every
day for seven days together, had reference to the altar, as well as the
priests. And atonement was made for the altar. The altar was also
sanctified, not only set apart itself to a sacred use, but made so
holy as to sanctify the gifts that were offered upon it,(Mt 23:19).
Christ is our altar, for our sakes he sanctified himself, that we and
our performances might be sanctified and recommended to God,(Joh 17:19).
38: This daily service, a lamb offered upon the altar every morning,
and every evening, typified the continual intercession which Christ ever
lives to make in the virtue of his satisfaction for the continual
sanctification of his church: though he offered himself once for all,
yet that one offering thus becomes a continual offering. And this
teaches us to offer up to God the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise
every day, morning and evening, in humble acknowledgment of our dependence
upon him, and our obligations to him.
40: A tenth deal, or tenth part of an Ephah, is about three
quarts. A hin is five quarts.