Leviticus Chapter Eight

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In our study of Leviticus chapter eight, we see the process of installing Aharon and his sons into their office of priesthood and we are reminded that we who are in Christ have also been called to be a royal priesthood.

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Leviticus 8:1-4

ADONAI said to Moshe, "Take Aharon and his sons with him, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket of matzah; and assemble the entire community at the entrance to the tent of meeting." Moshe did as ADONAI ordered him, and the community was assembled at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

Once again, we see that God directs Moshe to prepare a consecration ceremony for Aharon and his sons as priests. In the list of things required for the service, we see garments which will identify them as priests and we see a basket of matzah which represents humility. This reminds us that the calling of priests is to a life of humility and that calling includes us as Christians because we are to be a royal priesthood.

Leviticus 8:5-9

Moshe said to the community, "This is what ADONAI has ordered to be done." Moshe brought Aharon and his sons, washed them with water, put the tunic on him, wrapped the sash around him, clothed him with the robe, put the ritual vest on him, wrapped around him the decorated belt and fastened the vest to him with it. He put the breastplate on him, and on the breastplate he put the urim and tumim. He set the turban on his head, and on the front of the turban he affixed the gold plate, the holy ornament, as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.

The congregation of witnesses was there to see the ceremony and it began with the immersion of Aharon and his sons. This is what we would call baptism and it indicates a change of status to being under the authority of God. Then, we see that Aharon is dressed as the high priest and the garments would identify him as holding that office. Once again, we see that the urim and tumim are placed in the pouch behind the breastplate and the traditional rabbinic view is that these things would give the high priest the ability to discern God's will and settle matters between men. We see that the last thing that was put on Aharon was the turban with the plate that said "Holy to the Lord" and this was a reminder that the high priest would be totally committed to the purposes of God. It was like a holy crown that demonstrated authority and showed that he was in agreement with God.

Leviticus 8:10-13

Then Moshe took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, thus consecrating them. He sprinkled some on the altar seven times, anointing the altar with all its utensils and the basin with its base, to consecrate them. He poured some of the anointing oil on Aharon's head and anointed him, to consecrate him. Moshe brought Aharon's sons, clothed them with tunics, wrapped sashes on them and put headgear on them, as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.

Moshe then put the special anointing oil on everything in the tabernacle as well as on the head of Aharon. This showed that all of those things were set apart for a purpose which is worship of God based on agreement with the will of God. Then, we see the sons of Aharon were dressed as priests and we see that a distinction is made between Aharon and his sons; their clothes were different, they did not have the breastplate, their hats were different, and they did not have the anointing oil put on their heads. This distinction reminds us that God is a God of order and, in this order, the high priest was to discern the will of God and teach it to the others so that their service would be pleasing to God.

Leviticus 8:14-17

Then the young bull for the sin offering was brought, and Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering. After it had been slaughtered, Moshe took the blood and put it on the horns of the altar all the way around with his finger, thus purifying the altar. The remaining blood he poured out at the base of the altar and consecrated it, to make atonement for it. Moshe took all the fat on the inner organs, the covering of the liver, the two kidneys and their fat, and made it go up in smoke on the altar. But the bull, its hide, its flesh and its dung were taken outside the camp and burned up completely, as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.

Now, we see that a sin offering had to be made for the priests and this speaks of the fact that none of us are perfect in the sight of God. We see that everything was put into spiritual order by cleansing the altar and making atonement for their sins. In the fact that the parts that were not appropriate for the offering to God were burned up outside the camp, we are reminded of the separation that sin brings between man and God.

Leviticus 8:18-21

Next, the ram for the burnt offering was presented. Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram; and after it had been slaughtered, Moshe splashed the blood on all sides of the altar. When the ram had been cut in pieces, Moshe made the head, the pieces and the fat go up in smoke. When the inner organs and the lower parts of the legs had been washed with water, Moshe made the entire ram go up in smoke on the altar; it was a burnt offering giving a fragrant aroma, an offering made by fire to ADONAI - as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.

We are reminded that the burnt offering was presented by someone desiring access to God and here a ram is presented on behalf of the priesthood. The act of placing their hands on its head was symbolic of the transfer of their sins and the parts being burned on the altar speaks of God's righteous judgement falling upon sin.

Leviticus 8:22-25

Then the other ram was presented, the ram of consecration; Aharon and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. After it had been slaughtered, Moshe took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aharon's right ear, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. Next Aharon's sons were brought, and Moshe put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet; then Moshe splashed the blood on all sides of the altar. He took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat covering the inner organs, the covering of the liver, the two kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh.

We see that a second ram was sacrificed for the consecration of the priests with its blood being placed on their ear, thumb, and big toe but we are not told why this is done. Then, we see that blood was splashed on the altar and the parts that were proper for an offering were taken for the service.

Leviticus 8:26-28

From the basket of matzah that was before ADONAI he took one piece of matzah, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer, and placed them on the fat and on the right thigh. Then he put it all in Aharon's hands and in the hands of his sons and waved them as a wave offering before ADONAI. Moshe took them out of their hands and made them go up in smoke on the altar on top of the burnt offering; they were a consecration offering giving a fragrant aroma; an offering made by fire to ADONAI.

A piece of each of the three types of bread were taken from the basket and placed on the parts of the ram and then it was placed in the hands of the priests and presented as a wave offering. We are reminded that the wave offering signified victory and then the parts were taken by Moshe and burned up on the altar.

Leviticus 8:29

Moshe took the breast and waved it as a wave offering before ADONAI; it was Moshe's portion of the ram of consecration - as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.

The breast was presented as a wave offering by Moshe and once again it speaks of victory in being aligned with the will of God.

Leviticus 8:30

Moshe took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aharon and his clothing, and on his sons with him and their clothing, and consecrated Aharon and his clothing together with his sons and their clothing.

The garments speak of works while the blood speaks of redemption and here we see that all of the priests were set apart for their redemptive work. This redemptive work is bringing the people into the presence of God and that is the same type of work that we are called into when we become a part of the body of Yeshua Messiah.

Leviticus 8:31 & 32

Moshe said to Aharon and his sons, "Boil the meat at the door of the tent of meeting; and eat it there with the bread that is in the basket of consecration, as I ordered when I said that Aharon and his sons are to eat it. Whatever is left over of the meat and bread you are to burn up completely.

This eating of the unleavened bread and the meat from the sacrifice speaks of agreement and fellowship or unity between the priests and God. We see that anything that was not eaten was to be burned up and this is a reminder that it was holy and not to be removed from the tabernacle area.

Leviticus 8:33-36

You are not to go out from the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are over; since ADONAI will be consecrating you for seven days. He ordered done what has been done today, in order to make atonement for you. You are to remain at the entrance to the tent of meeting day and night for seven days, thereby obeying what ADONAI ordered done, so that you may not die. For this is what I was ordered." Aharon and his sons did all the things which ADONAI ordered through Moshe.

The final part of the installation of Aharon and his sons into their priestly office was to sit and wait outside the tent of meeting for seven days. This was a time for them to remember that they were to humbly serve God on behalf of the people. This sitting and waiting shows us that there are no shortcuts and they had to learn to submit to authority. We, likewise, should remember that we are humbly called to serve the Lord as a part of His royal priesthood.

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