Consecration of the Priests
“This is what you shall do to consecrate Aaron and his sons so that they may serve Me as priests: take one young bull and two rams, without blemish, and unleavened bread and unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil; you shall make them of fine wheat flour. You shall put them in one basket, and present them in the basket along with the bull and the two rams. Then bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting [out where the basin is] and wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the tunic and the robe of the ephod and the ephod and the breastpiece, and wrap him with the skillfully woven sash of the ephod; and you shall put the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban. Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. You shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. And you shall wrap them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the [ornamental] caps on them; and the priest’s office shall be theirs by a perpetual statute. So you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.
“Then you shall bring the bull before the Tent of Meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall [a]lay their hands on the bull’s head. Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord by the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. And you shall take some of the blood of the bull and with your finger put it on the horns of the altar [of burnt offering], and you shall pour out the remainder of the blood at the base of the altar. You shall take all the fat that covers the intestines and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and offer them up in smoke on the altar. But the meat of the bull, its hide, and the contents of its intestines you shall burn in the fire outside the camp; it is a sin offering.
“And you shall take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram; then you shall kill the ram and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it around the altar [of burnt offering]. Then you shall cut the ram into pieces, and wash its intestines and legs, and place them with its pieces and its head, and you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord: it is a sweet and soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord.
“Then you shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram. Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ears of Aaron and his sons and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet, and sprinkle the [rest of the] blood around on the altar [of burnt offering]. Then you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Now Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments shall be consecrated (dedicated, made holy, declared sacred for God’s purpose).
“You shall also take the fat of the ram, the fat tail, the fat that covers the intestines, the lobe of the liver, the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, and the right thigh; (for it is a ram of ordination), 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 the Lord; and you shall put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and wave them as a [b]wave offering before the Lord. Then you shall take them from their hands, add them to the burnt offering, and burn them on the altar for a sweet and soothing aroma before the Lord; it is an offering by fire to the Lord.
“Then you shall take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s ordination, and wave it as a wave offering before the Lord; and it shall be your (Moses) portion. You shall consecrate the waved breast offering [of the ram] used in the ordination and the waved thigh offering of the priests’ portion, since it is [a contribution] for Aaron and for his sons. It shall be for Aaron and his sons as their due portion from the Israelites forever, for it is a [c]heave offering. It shall be a heave offering to the Lord from the Israelites from the sacrifices of their peace offerings.
“The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, to be anointed and ordained in them. That son who is [high] priest in his place shall put them on [each day for] seven days when he comes into the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place.
Food of the Priests
“You shall take the ram of the ordination and boil its meat in a holy place. Aaron and his sons shall eat the meat of the ram and the bread in the basket, at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. They shall eat those things by which atonement was made at their ordination and consecration; but a layman shall not eat them, because they are holy [that is, set apart to the worship of God]. And if any of the meat of ordination or the bread remains until morning, you shall burn it in the fire; it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
“So you shall do to Aaron and to his sons in accordance with all I have commanded you; during seven days you are to ordain them. You shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar from sin when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to consecrate it [for God’s sacred purpose]. For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar [of burnt offering] and consecrate it; then the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar must be holy (set apart for God’s service).
“Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs shall be offered each day, continuously. One lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb [d]at twilight; and with the one lamb there shall be one-tenth of a measure of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of beaten [olive] oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering [to be poured out]. And the other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and do with it as with the grain offering of the morning and with the drink offering, for a sweet and soothing aroma [to appease God], an offering by fire to the Lord. This will be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. There I will meet with the Israelites, and the Tent of Meeting shall be [e]sanctified by My glory [the [f]Shekinah, God’s dwelling presence]. I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting and the altar [of burnt offering]; also I will sanctify Aaron and his sons to serve as priests to Me. I will dwell among the sons of Israel and be their God. They shall know [from personal experience] and acknowledge that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God.
- Exodus 29:10 By laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice the offerer identified himself with it and through its death it became an atonement or covering for his sin. Because the sacrifice “covered” his sin it placed the offerer in a right relationship with God, just as later under the new covenant the perfection and sacrifice of the Christ would cover (atone for) the imperfection and sin of those who identified with Him and accepted Him as Savior.
- Exodus 29:24 The wave (undulation, wavelike) offering and the heave (lifted up, raised) offering were named after their manner of presentation. These were either voluntary gifts or contributions required for a specific religious purpose such as the atonement offering. It was understood that God received these offerings and then designated them for a religious purpose such as the support of the priests and their families, or the preparation and maintenance of the tabernacle.
- Exodus 29:28 See note v 24.
- Exodus 29:39 See note 12:6.
- Exodus 29:43 Only God can sanctify (set apart) something for His divine purpose. Man can consecrate (dedicate) something as sacred, that is, declare it separated from secular use.
- Exodus 29:43 This Hebrew word is not found in the Bible, but was used by the rabbis to describe the presence of God. Its basic meaning is “royal residence.” Among other things, the rabbis said that the Shekinah is present where ten people pray together, or where three people are sitting as a court of judges.
The Altar of Incense
“You shall make an altar upon which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. It shall be a cubit long and a cubit wide. It shall be square and it shall be two cubits high. Its horns of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and its sides all around, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding all around it. You shall make two gold rings under its molding, make them on the two side walls—on opposite sides—they shall be holders for the poles with which to carry it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood overlaid with gold. You shall put the altar of incense [in the Holy Place] in front and outside of the veil that screens the ark of the [a]Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn sweet and fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims and tends the lamps. When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall not offer any strange incense on this altar, or burnt offering or meal offering; you shall not pour out a drink offering on it. Once a year Aaron shall make atonement [for sin] on its horns. He shall make atonement on it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”
The Ransom Money
Then the Lord said to Moses, “When you take the census of the Israelites, each one shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord when you count them, so that no plague will come on them when you number them. This is what everyone who is counted shall give [as he joins those already counted]: a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel (the shekel is twenty gerahs); a half shekel as a contribution to the Lord. Everyone who is counted, from twenty years old and over, [as he joins those already counted], shall give this contribution to the Lord. The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give this contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves. You shall take the atonement money from the Israelites and use it [exclusively] for the service of the Tent of Meeting, so that it may be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”
The Bronze Basin
Then the Lord said to Moses, “You shall also make a basin of bronze, with a base of bronze, for washing. You shall put it [outside in the court] between the Tent of Meeting and the altar [of burnt offering], and you shall put water in it. Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. When they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister, to burn an offering in the fire to the Lord [they shall do the same]. They shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they will not die; it shall be a perpetual statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”
The Anointing Oil
Moreover, the Lord said to Moses, “Take for yourself the best spices: five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much—two hundred and fifty—of sweet-scented cinnamon, and two hundred and fifty of fragrant cane, and five hundred shekels of cinnamon blossom according to the sanctuary shekel, and a hin of olive oil. You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a sacred anointing oil. You shall anoint the Tent of Meeting with it, and the ark of the Testimony, and the table [for the bread] and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin [for cleansing] and its base. You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy (set apart for God). You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve as priests to Me. You shall say to the Israelites, ‘This shall be a holy and sacred anointing oil, to Me [alone] throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in the same composition. It is holy, and it shall be sacred to you. Whoever prepares any like it or puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them].’”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take sweet and fragrant spices—stacte, onycha, and galbanum, sweet and fragrant spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal amount of each— and make incense with it, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure and sacred. You shall crush some of it [into a] very fine [powder], and put some of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you. The incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the Lord. Whoever makes any like it, to use as perfume shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them].”
- Exodus 30:6 This is a reference to the two stone tablets inscribed by God that will be given to Moses (31:18).