|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:1-37 Aaron and his sons were to be set apart for the priest's office, with ceremony and solemnity. Our Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of our profession, called of God to be so; anointed with the Spirit, whence he is called Messiah, the Christ; clothed with glory and beauty; sanctified by his own blood; made perfect, or consecrated through sufferings, Heb 2:10. All believers are spiritual priests, to offer spiritual sacrifices,
Verse 36. - Thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it. Rather, "thou shelf purify the altar by making an atonement for it." The sin-offering for the altar was the same bullock which served for Aaron and his sons. Its virtue was applied to the altar by smearing the blood upon its horns and pouring the remainder at its base (ver. 12). See Leviticus 8:15: - "And Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it." And thou shalt anoint it. In his execution of these directions, Moses separated the anointing of the altar from the cleansing, placing it even before the anointing of Aaron. He anointed it by sprinkling the holy oil upon it seven times (Leviticus 8:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shall offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement,.... That is, every day of the seven days of consecration; denoting the full and complete atonement for sin by the sacrifice of Christ, which these sacrifices could not really obtain, and were therefore frequently repeated, in this case seven times; figuratively by that number pointing to the full expiation of sin by the atoning Saviour, who was made not only an offering for sin, but sin itself by imputation, for his people:
and thou shalt cleanse the altar when thou hast made atonement for it; which though not capable of sin, or of any moral guilt, yet, inasmuch as it was to be of sacred use, and to have sin offerings laid upon it, expiation and cleansing, in a ceremonial way, were to be made for it, to purge it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel, Leviticus 16:18. This altar was typical of Christ, who is that altar believers in him have a right to partake of; and though he had no sin of his own, no guilt of that kind to expiate, nor pollution to be cleansed from, yet as he had the guilt of his people transferred to him, and was clothed with their filthy garments, and had their uncleannesses on him; by the sacrifice of himself he purged away sin from himself and them, and was justified and cleared of all, and they in him:
and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it; anoint it, as it afterwards was, with the holy anointing oil, whereby it was sanctified, or set apart for holy uses; in which it was a figure of Christ anointed with the oil of gladness, the Holy Spirit, above his fellows; and was sanctified and set apart for his priestly office, in which he was both altar, sacrifice, and priest.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ex 29:36, 37. Consecration of the Altar.
36. and thou shalt cleanse the altar—The phrase, "when thou hast made an atonement for it," should be, upon it; and the purport of the direction is, that during all the time they were engaged as above from day to day in offering the appointed sacrifices, the greatest care was to be taken to keep the altar properly cleansed—to remove the ashes, and sprinkle it with the prescribed unction that, at the conclusion of the whole ceremonial, the altar itself should be consecrated as much as the ministers who were to officiate at it (Mt 23:19). It was thenceforth associated with the services of religion.
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