Exodus 29
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Chapters 25–31

We come now to the long section of P, which contains the instructions stated to have been given by God to Moses on the mount for the construction and equipment of a sanctuary, and for the vestments and consecration of a priesthood. These instructions fall into two parts: (1) chs. 25–29; (2) chs. 30–31. The instructions contained in chs. 25–29 relate to (a) the vessels of the sanctuary, viz. the ark, the table of Presence-bread, and the candlestick,—named naturally first, as being of primary interest and importance (ch. 25); (b) the curtains, and wooden framework supporting them, to contain and guard the sacred vessels (ch. 26); (c) the court round the Sanctuary, and the Altar of Burnt offering, standing in it (ch. 27); (d) the vestments (ch. 28) and the consecration (ch. 29) of the priests who are to serve in the sanctuary (Exodus 29:1-37); (e) the daily burnt-offering, the maintenance of which is a primary duty of the priesthood (Exodus 29:38-42), followed by what is apparently the final close of the whole body of instructions, Exodus 29:43-46, in which Jehovah promises that He will bless the sanctuary thus established with His presence. Chs. 30–31 relate to (a) the Altar of Incense (Exodus 30:1-10); (b) the monetary contributions for the maintenance of public service (Exodus 30:11-16); (c) the Bronze Laver (Exodus 30:17-21); (d) the holy Anointing Oil (Exodus 30:22-33); (e) the Incense (Exodus 30:34-38); (f) the nomination of two skilled artificers, Bezal’el and Oholiab, to make the sanctuary and its appurtenances Exodus 31:1-11); (g) the observance of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-17).

The principal names of what we—adopting a rendering based upon Jerome’s tabernaculum (i.e. ‘tent’)—commonly call the ‘Tabernacle’ are the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 27:21), the Tent where God ‘met’ and talked with Moses; the Tent; the Tent of the Witness or Testimony, i.e. (see on Exodus 25:16) the Tent containing the Ark, in which were deposited the two tables of the Decalogue; the Dwelling (Exodus 25:9 al.), the Dwelling of Jehovah (Numbers 16:9 al.), or the Dwelling of the Testimony (Exodus 38:21 al.); and the Sanctuary (see on Exodus 25:8). The first two these designations are found in both JE and P; the others are used exclusively by P. If the passages in which E and J speak of the ‘Tent of Meeting’ or the ‘Tent’—viz. Exodus 33:7-11, Numbers 11:16 f., 24, 26, Exodus 12:5; Exodus 12:10, Deuteronomy 31:14 f.—are read carefully, it will be found that the representation which they give of it differs in several respects very materially from that given by P. In E the Tent of Meeting is outside the camp (Exodus 33:7, Numbers 11:26 f., cf. v. 30, Exodus 12:4 : on Numbers 14:44, see p. 428); it is guarded by one attendant, Joshua, who never leaves it Exodus 33:11; cf. Numbers 11:28); though it had probably some decoration (cf. on Exodus 33:6), it was obviously a much simpler, less ornate structure than that described by P; Moses used to go out to it, and enter into it speak with God, and the pillar of cloud then descended, and stood at the entrance of the Tent, and Jehovah spoke to him from it (Exodus 33:8-11; cf. Numbers 11:17; Numbers 11:25; Numbers 12:5; Numbers 12:10, Deuteronomy 31:14 f.); on the march also, the ark precedes the host, to seek out a camping-place for it (Numbers 10:33). In P, on the contrary, the Tent of Meeting is in the centre of the camp, with the Levites around it on the west, south, and north, and Aaron and his sons on the east, and the other tribes, three on each side, outside them (Numbers 2; Numbers 3:23; Numbers 3:29; Numbers 3:35; Numbers 3:38); it is served by Aaron and his sons, and a large body of Levites (in Numbers 4:48, 8580); it is a highly decorated, costly structure (chs. 25–27); the cloud (which is not in P spoken of as a ‘pillar’), instead of descending from time to time, as occasion requires, to the entrance of the Tent, that Jehovah may speak with Moses, rests upon the Tent always, when the camp is stationary (Exodus 40:35-38, Numbers 9:15-23), and Jehovah, instead of speaking to Moses at its ‘entrance,’ speaks to him from between the cherubim above the ark (Exodus 25:22, Numbers 7:89); on the march, also, the ark, borne, covered up, by the Kohathites, with the other sacred vessels, is in the centre of the long procession of Israelites, six tribes preceding it, and six following it (Numbers 2:17; Numbers 3:31; Numbers 4:5 ff; Numbers 10:21). Lastly in P the Tent of Meeting is the centre of an elaborate sacrificial and ceremonial system (Leviticus 1-27, &c.), such as is nowhere mentioned in connexion with the Tent of Meeting of J and E, and, in view of the subsequent history (Judg., Sam.), not historically probable,—at least on anything like the same scale. Unquestionably (cf. p. 359) both representations have common features: in both, in particular, the Tent is the place where God speaks with Moses, and communicates to him His will; nor need it be doubted, though it is no stated in so many words, that the Tent of JE, like that of P, sheltere the ark (though a much simpler ark than P’s): but there are also wide differences between them. Here it will be sufficient to have noted these differences: in explanation of them see p. 430 ff.

The Tabernacle, with its various appurtenances, is described to having been made by Bezal’el and Oholiab, and other skilled workmen acting under them, in accordance with detailed specifications given by God to Moses (chs. 25–31), and a ‘pattern,’ or model, shewn Moses in the mount (Exodus 25:9; Exodus 25:40, Exodus 26:30, Exodus 27:8). It is designed as a ‘dwelling’ (Exodus 25:8-9) in which God may permanently dwell among His people (Exodus 29:45); and after it has been erected and consecrated, He gives manifest tokens of His presence in it, He fills it with His glory (Exodus 40:34-38), He habitually speaks in it with Moses (Exodus 25:22), and He gives him many of His instructions from it (Leviticus 1:1, Numbers 1:1). It is also the centre at which all sacrifices are to be offered (Leviticus 1:3; Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 3:2, &c.).

In its general principle the ‘Tabernacle’ of P is a portable Temple (so Jos. Ant. iii. 6. 1 μεταφερόμενος καὶ συμπερινοστῶν ναός). On the one hand, it is a tent, and is repeatedly so called, formed of tent-hangings, or curtains, held in their places by cords and tent-pins, of oblong shape, and with a flat upper surface (without a ridge pole), like the tents of Bedawin at the present day (see ill. in Smith, DB. iii. 1467; Judges in SBOT. (Engl. vol.), p. 63; Doughty, i. 226; or (best) Benzinger, Bilderatlas zur Bibelkunde, 1905, No. 287, or Arch.2 89), and divided into two compartments, in this respect also (Kn. on Exodus 26:37) resembling the tents of Bedawin, in which a separate compartment is formed by a curtain for the women (Burckh. Bed. i. 39 f.; EB. iv. 4972); on the other hand, the Tabernacle has also the form of a temple of a type very common in antiquity, and in fact represented by Solomon’s temple, consisting of an oblong rectangular structure, with pillars on its front, standing in a large court, and divided into two parts, the hall (in Greek πρόναος, ‘fore-shrine’; in Solomon’s temple, the hêkâl, 1 Kings 6:3; 1 Kings 6:5; 1 Kings 6:17, &c. [in EVV. rendered badly ‘temple,’ suggesting the whole building]), corresponding to the Holy Place, and the shrine (ναός Hdt. i. 183, or ἄδυτον, the ‘part not to be entered,’ Lat. cella; Heb. debîr, the ‘hindmost part,’ 1 Kings 6:5; 1 Kings 6:16, &c. [in EVV., through a false etymology, the ‘oracle’]), corresponding to the Most Holy Place,—both without windows, and the latter containing, if there was one, the image of the deity to whom the temple was sacred, and usually entered only by the priests. The ‘Tabernacle’ was however primarily and essentially a tent; it was the tapestry curtains alone which formed the real ‘Dwelling’ of Jehovah (see on Exodus 26:1); the ‘boards,’ or framework, were merely intended to give the tent greater stability and security than ordinary tent-poles would do. An altar, a priesthood, with regulations determining who might hold it, and prescribing the sacrifices and other religious offices to be maintained, often also an ark containing some sacred object, a table on which food was laid out for the deity, lavers for ceremonial ablutions, &c., were likewise, in one form or other, the necessary elements in an ancient Temple establishment. The Tabernacle of P was an elaborate and ornate structure. Metals more or less precious, and woven materials more or less ornamented, and more or less richly coloured, were employed; the general distinction observed being that the nearer an object was to the Presence of Jehovah in the Holy of holies, the costlier and more beautiful it was, the commoner materials, such as bronze and ordinary woven stuff, being reserved for the objects further off (cf. on Exodus 25:3). In the same way, the high priest had a specially gorgeous and splendid attire, while that of the ordinary priests was much plainer.

In their dimensions, both the ‘Tabernacle’ and the court display great symmetry. The ruling numbers are 3, 4, 7, 10, their parts (1½, 2, 2½, 5), and their multiples (6, 9, 12, 20, 28, 30, 42, 48, 50, 60, 100). If, without indulging in fantastic extravagances, we may discern a symbolism in numbers, we may perhaps see in three a symbol of the divine, in four—suggesting the four quarters of the earth—the totality of what is human, in seven and twelve numbers which, deriving their original significance from astronomy, came to be regarded as symbols of completeness, and in ten and its multiples numbers specially suggestive of symmetry and perfection. In the prominence given to the numbers mentioned, we may perhaps recognize an effort ‘to give concrete expression—in a manner, it is true, which our Western thought finds it difficult to appreciate—to the sacred harmonies and perfection of the character of the Deity for whose “dwelling” the sanctuary is destined’ Kennedy, DB. iv. 667b). The Holy place Isaiah 20 cubits (30 ft.) long, 10 cubits (15 ft.) high and broad, and the Holy of holies a perfect cube of 10 cubits (exactly half the dimensions of the Holy of holies in Solomon’s temple); and these ratios, a perfect cube, or two cubes placed side by side, are, we are told (Enc. Brit.9 Architecture, cited ibid.), still considered the most pleasing in architectural art; while the perfect cube, forming the Holy of holies, may be intended to represent symbolically the ‘perfection of Jehovah’s character and dwelling place, the harmony and equipoise of all His attributes.’ Comp. how, in Revelation 21:16, the ideal perfection of the New Jerusalem is expressed in the fact that ‘the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.’

The ‘Tabernacle,’ moreover, symbolizes directly, and gives visible expression to, various theological and religious truths. It must, however, be clearly understood that in the text itself no symbolism or significance whatever is attributed either to the Tabernacle or to any of its appurtenances; so that, if we go beyond what is suggested directly by the names or uses of the Tabernacle, or its parts, we are in danger of falling into what is arbitrary or baseless. Bearing this in our minds, we may however observe that by one of its principal names, the mishkân, or ‘Dwelling’ (see on Exodus 25:9), the Tabernacle expresses in a sensible form the truth of God’s presence in the midst of His people; by another of its principal names, the ‘Tent of Meeting’ (Exodus 27:21), it gives expression to the truth that God is not only present with His people, but that He reveals Himself to them; by its third name, the ‘Tent (or Dwelling) of the Witness or Testimony,’ it reminded the Israelite that in the Decalogue, inscribed on the Tables in the Ark, it contained an ever-present witness to the claims of God and the duty of man. These three, especially the first, are the fundamental ideas symbolized by the Tabernacle. But there are also other ideas. Thus the gold, and costly, beautifully worked fabrics, which decorated, especially, the Holy of holies, and were also conspicuous in the gorgeous vestments of the high priest, give expression to the thought that the Dwelling, and the most responsible ministers of God, should be decked, or apparelled, with becoming splendour and dignity. The Bronze Altar, standing midway between the entrance to the court and the Tent, emphasized the importance of sacrifice in general under the old Dispensation (see further on Leviticus 1-5.), and taught the truth that ‘apart from shedding of blood there is no remission’ (Hebrews 9:22); while the burnt-offering, offered daily upon it on behalf of the community, gave expression to the spirit of worship which Israel as a whole should ever be actuated, and symbolized its constant sense of the devotion due from it to its divine Lord. The Laver, standing probably directly in front of the entrance to the Tent, in which the priests washed their hands and feet before their ministrations, secured the ceremonial purity, which was an emblem of the moral purity, that should belong to those who are the ministers of God. The Presence-bread—whatever it may have denoted originally (see on Exodus 25:30)—is an expression of thankfulness, and an acknowledgement that man’s daily bread,—is a like all other ‘blessings of this life,’—divine gift. The symbolism of the Candlestick is less obvious: none is suggested by the text; and any that may be proposed is in danger of being far-fetched, or of being read into the description as an afterthought: but—whether this was its original intention, or not—the candlestick may perhaps be most easily regarded as symbolizing the people of Israel, shining with the light of divine truth (cf. the figure of ‘light’ in Isaiah 51:4, Matthew 5:16 f., Php 2:15; and Revelation 1:12; Revelation 1:20, where the seven golden candlesticks seen in vision are said to denote the seven churches). The interpretation of Zechariah 4:1-4; Zechariah 4:11-13 is too uncertain to be used in explaining the symbolism of the candlestick in the Tabernacle (see the Century Bible, p. 203 f.): moreover, the candlestick there is differently constructed, and the lamps are differently supplied with oil. The Altar of Incense symbolized a higher form of devotion than the altar of burnt-offering: the smoke of incense was finer and choicer than that of animal victims; and it symbolized the devotion not of action, but of aspiration and prayer (cf. Psalm 141:2, Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3 f.): the blood of the sin-offering was also applied to the altar of incense, when it was offered for the high priest or the community (Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18 : see also Exodus 30:10). The ark itself, sacred though it is, does not in P enshrine or symbolize the divine Presence: it contains the Decalogue, which is the ‘witness’ to God’s claims and man’s duty: but the Presence is symbolized by the golden cherubim upon it—which are regularly the emblems of the nearness of deity (see on Exodus 25:18-20)—‘from between’ which, and above the ark, Jehovah speaks with Moses. And the cherubim rest upon the golden mercy-seat, or ‘propitiatory,’ symbolizing, with special emphasis and clearness, the mercifulness of God (Exodus 34:6 f.), and His readiness to forgive sin which has been repented of, and duly purged away (p. 332) by a propitiatory rite. The purification of the altar of burnt-offering (see on Exodus 29:36 f.), and the anointing of the Tabernacle and its vessels after their completion (Exodus 30:26-29), signified that objects designed for sacred purposes must be properly consecrated before being actually used in the service of Jehovah. And the ascending degrees of sanctity, attaching to the court, the Holy place, and the Holy of holies, marked both by the materials of which they were constructed, and by the fact that while the people generally might enter the court, only the priests could enter the Holy place, and only the high priest, and he only once a year, and that ‘not without blood,’ the Holy of holies, safeguarded, in an impressive and significant manner, the holiness of God; and shewed that, though the way to Him was open, it was open only under restrictions (Heb Exo 9:8), and especially that the Presence of God Himself could be approached only by those who were, in a special sense, ‘holy’ (cf. Lev Exo 19:2), and who carried with them the blood of atonement. According to the historical view of the Old Testament, these truths and principles do not date from Moses’ time, but were acquired gradually as the result of divinely guided meditation and reflection upon sacred things: but the question the actual date at which they were acquired does not affect their reality and value.

The symbolical meanings attached to the Tabernacle and its vessels, vestments of the high priest, &c., by Josephus and Philo (see Westcott, Hebrews, p. 238 f.), are cleverly drawn out, and testify to the reverence and regard with which the Tabernacle was viewed, but are too remote to possess probability.

In the NT. the Tabernacle is explained symbolically from a different point of view. In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is represented as constructed so as to reproduce a heavenly archetype—not a mere architect’s model, such as Exodus 25:9 would naturally suggest, but—a real and eternal heavenly original, the genuine ‘tent,’ pitched by God, not man (Exodus 8:2),—‘a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, and not of this creation,’ i.e. not of this visible order of things (Exodus 9:11),—whether by this is meant heaven itself, or an ideal celestial temple in heaven,—of which the earthly tabernacle is merely a secondary representation, a copy (ὑπόδειγμα, Exodus 8:5, Exodus 9:23 : cf. Wis 9:8) and shadow (Exodus 8:5), or counterpart (ἀντίτυπα τῶν ἀληθινῶν). And into this heavenly Temple, the archetype of the earthly tabernacle, Christ, the ideal and perfect High Priest, entered, like the Jewish high priest, only not with the blood of animal victims, but with His own blood, to appear before God, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Exodus 9:12; Exodus 9:23-26; cf. on Leviticus 16). Thus while Josephus and Philo regarded the Tabernacle as a microcosm, or ‘epitome of that which is presented on a larger scale in the world of finite being’ (Westcott, p. 240), the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews regards it as the temporal and material counterpart of an eternal and invisible temple in heaven. The Tabernacle further corresponds to Christ’s humanity. God ‘dwelt’ in the midst of His people in the ‘Dwelling’ (Exodus 25:9) of a tent; and the Word, when He took flesh, ‘dwelt as in a tent or tabernacle’ (ἐσκήνωσεν) among us, and manifested His ‘glory’ to the world (John 1:14). And entrance into (the presence of God, which was all but closed under the older Dispensation, is now opened, by the blood of Jesus, ‘through a new and living way, which he hath dedicated for us, through the veil, that is to say, through his flesh’ (Hebrews 10:20); on which A. B. Davidson (ad loc.) remarks, ‘This beautiful allegorizing of the veil cannot of course be made part of a consistent and complete typology. It is not meant for this. But as the veil stood locally before the holiest in the Mosaic Tabernacle, the way into which lay through it, so Christ’s life in the flesh stood between Him and His entrance before God, and His flesh had to be rent ere He could enter.’

There is no question that the Tent of Meeting, as described by J and E, is historical; but there are strong reasons for holding that the Tent of Meeting, as described by P, represents an ideal, and had no historical reality. See on this question p. 426 ff.

The execution of the directions given in chs. 25–31 is narrated in chs. 35–40, and (Exodus 29:1-37) Leviticus 8,—mostly in the same words, with merely the future tenses changed into pasts, but with a few cases of abridgment, omission, and transposition. In the notes on 25–31 the passages in 35–40 which correspond are noted at the beginning of each paragraph by ‘cf.’

The general structure and character of the Tabernacle are perfectly clear: but great difficulty and uncertainty attach to some of the details. It is impossible within the limits of the present commentary to discuss the doubtful or disputed points. The following notes are indebted frequently to Kennedy’s full and illuminative art. Tabernacle in DB.; a statement and criticism of divergent views upon the principal doubtful points will be found in Benzinger’s ably written art. Tabernacle in EB.

1–37 (cf. Leviticus 8). The ritual for the consecration of the priests. Vv. 1–3 (preparation of materials for the sacrifices) are preliminary: the ritual itself consists of the following parts: (1) washing the body, v. 4; (2) investiture and anointing of the high priest, vv. 5–7, and the investiture of the ordinary priests, vv 8–9; (3) a triple sacrifice, viz. (a) a sin-offering on behalf of the priests who are to be installed, vv. 10–14, (b) a burnt-offering, such as would naturally form part of a solemn ceremony, vv. 15–18; (c) the installation-offering itself (essentially a peace-offering), with the accompanying ceremonies, vv. 19–26, Exodus 31-34 : the entire ceremonial is to be repeated every day, for seven days, v. 35. Vv. 27–30 are parenthetical; and vv. 36–37 give directions for the purification of the altar. The execution of the instructions here given is narrated in Leviticus 8. The entire section, though it stands here, must have been written after the regulations of Leviticus 1-7. had been long in force; for in the directions for the cakes, &c., for the burnt-, the sin-, and (largely) for the installation-offering, it presupposes both the phraseology of Leviticus 1-7. and also the sacrificial usages there codified. For the same reason the fuller explanation of the technical terms employed belongs rather to a Commentary on Leviticus than to one on Exodus; to which accordingly the reader is referred for further information on such points.

And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish,
1–3. Preparation of the offerings (cf. Leviticus 8:2).

And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.
2. Three kinds of biscuit, for the minḥâh, or meal-offering (see on Leviticus 2.), accompanying the installation-offering: viz. (1) bread of unleavened cakes, see on Exodus 12:15; (2) perforated cakes (EB. i. 460) unleavened, mingled with oil, see on Leviticus 2:4; and (3) wafers (large, circular, very thin cakes: see EB. i. 605; L. and B. iii. 219 f.), unleavened, anointed with oil, see also on Leviticus 2:4.

And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.
And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
4. Washing of Aaron and his ‘sons’ (i.e. the common priests, as distinguished from the high priest); cf. Leviticus 8:6. This washing extended to the entire person; and was different from the subsequent ordinary washings of the hands and feet before the daily ministrations (Exodus 30:19 f.).

And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:
5. the coat] the tunic (Exodus 28:39). After the tunic, the sash seems to have been accidentally omitted: see Leviticus 8:7 (EVV. ‘girdle’).

the breastplate] the pouch: Exodus 28:15 ff.

and fasten (it) to him with the band of the ephod] see on Exodus 28:8. The verb rendered ‘fasten’ is formed from ‘ephod,’ and means only to fit or fasten as an ephod. In Leviticus 8:7 rendered bound, which, however, connects it incorrectly with the preceding ‘band.’

5–7. The investiture and anointing of the high priest. The high priest is to be arrayed in the garments described in ch. 28, and then to have his head anointed. Cf. Leviticus 8:7-10 a, 12 (vv. 10b–11, relating to the anointing of the Dwelling, altar, &c., have no parallel in Exodus 29, and seem out of place).

And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.
6. the mitre] the turban: Exodus 28:37.

the holy crown] so Exodus 39:30, Leviticus 8:9. Better, the holy diadem. The term does not occur in ch. 28; but it doubtless denotes the blue lace, with the gold plate in front, which was tied, in the manner of a ‘diadem,’ round the white turban of the high priest (see on Exodus 28:37). The word is also used of a royal diadem (2 Samuel 1:10 al.); and perhaps means properly a (mark of) separation (to Jehovah).

Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.
7. the anointing oil] see, for its ingredients and use, Exodus 30:22-33. Here only the high priest is anointed, in accordance with the expression ‘anointed priest,’ by which he is distinguished from the ordinary priests (Leviticus 4:3; Leviticus 4:5; Leviticus 4:16; Leviticus 6:22). On some other passages in P in which the ordinary priests are represented as anointed, see on Exodus 30:30.

And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.
8–9. The investiture of the ordinary priests (Leviticus 8:13). These are to be dressed in their tunics, sashes, and caps (Exodus 28:40). The words Aaron and his sons (which are inexact, for ‘Aaron’ had no ‘cap,’ Exodus 28:40) are not in LXX., or in the corresponding passage, Leviticus 8:13; they are doubtless a gloss, due to the fact that the ‘girdle’ (sash) for Aaron was not mentioned in v. 5 (so Di.). The linen drawers (Exodus 28:42 f.) are not noticed either here or in Leviticus 8:7; Leviticus 8:13.

And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.
9. consecrate] install (lit. fill the hands of): see on Exodus 28:41.

And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.
10. lay their hands upon] to mark it formally as their sacrifice: see on Leviticus 1:4; and cf. (in the ritual of the sin-offering) Leviticus 4:4.

10–14. The sin-offering (see on Leviticus 4.) for Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8:14-17).

And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
11. Cf. Leviticus 4:4.

And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
12. The Hebrew regarded the blood as the seat of the ‘soul,’ or principle of life; and it was in virtue of the ‘soul’ that was in it, that it made atonement (see Leviticus 17:11). By its application to the horns of the altar (cf. Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34),—as in other cases to those of the altar of incense, or to the mercy-seat (Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 16:14-15),—it was brought near to Jehovah.

upon the horns (Exodus 27:2) of the altar] i.e. of the altar of burnt-offering (Exodus 27:1 ff.), exactly as in the cases of the sin-offering for laymen specified in Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34 (contrast Exodus 29:6 f., Exodus 29:17 f.): the priests, before their consecration is completed, are treated as laity.

at the base of the altar] as in the ordinary sin-offering, Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34; cf. Leviticus 5:9; Leviticus 8:15 (the parallel to the present passage), Exodus 9:9. The ‘base’ (lit. foundation) of the altar is mentioned only in these passages. On the additions in Leviticus 8:15, respecting the atonement made for the altar, see below, on v. 36.

And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.
13. The parts of the sin-offering which were regularly consumed upon the altar: see Leviticus 4:8 f. On the parts in question, see more fully on Leviticus 3:4.

the fat that covereth the entrails] i.e., probably, what is called technically the ‘great omentum,’ a highly fatty membrane, which in ruminants covers the whole of the paunch, and extends partially over the intestines. See Leviticus in SBOT., Plate opp. to p. 4, and p. 65; EB. iv. 4206.

the caul (i.e. net) upon the liver] the appendix (Heb. the redundance) upon the liver, i.e., as Moore in the Orient. Studien Th. Nöldeke gewidmet (1906), ii. 761 ff., has convincingly shewn, what is called technically the lobus caudatus, or tail-shaped lobe, a small finger-shaped appendix—in the Mishna, Tamid iv. 3, it is actually called ‘the finger of the liver’—projecting from the liver close to the right kidney (cf. Leviticus 3:4, to be rendered as RVm.). This, as Moore shews, is how the term was understood by the oldest interpreters, LXX., Onk., Pesh., and in the Mishna: LXX. ὁ λοβὸς does not mean, as Bochart and many others supposed, ‘the greater lobe’ of the liver itself, but ‘the lobe’ κατʼ ἐξοχήν, i.e. this appendix, which was specially important in ancient divination (cf. Aesch. P. V. 495; Eurip. Electra, 828: see also Jastrow in O.T. and Semitic Studies in memory of W. R. Harper, 1908, ii. 289, 294, 326, in a paper on Bab. liver-divination)1[210]. It was no doubt this ancient significance of the lobus caudatus which led to its being specially selected for consumption upon the altar. The rend, caul (i.e. net, the ‘lesser omentum’) is first found in Jerome (reticulum).

[210] Both Etruscan and Babylonian models of the liver, as mapped out for diviners, shew the lobus caudatus very distinctly (Moore, 768): see an ill. of a Bab. model in Jeremias, ATLAO. 358 (2590) = Gressmann, Altor. Texte u. Bilder zum AT. (1909), ii. 51.

burn them] consume them in sweet smoke: Heb. hiḳṭir, lit. make odorous (the cogn. Arab, means to exhale odour in roasting), or turn into sweet smoke (cf. the Greek κνίση, of the steam of a burning sacrifice, as Il. i. 317). The word is always used of burning either a sacrificial offering or incense; and must be distinguished from sâraph, the ordinary Heb. word for burn (i.e. to destroy by fire) vv. 14, 32, &c. In Ex. hiḳṭir recurs vv. 18, 25, Exodus 30:7-8; Exodus 30:20, Exodus 40:27 : it is frequent in Lev. (Exodus 1:9; Exodus 1:13, &c.), and also occurs elsewhere (as 2 Kings 16:15).

But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.
14. When a sin-offering was offered for priests, or for the whole community, including the priests, its flesh was burnt (cf. Leviticus 4:11 f., 21, Exodus 9:11); when it was offered for laymen, the flesh was eaten by the priests (Leviticus 5:13; Leviticus 6:26). Though the priests are here treated as laity (see on v. 12), the flesh is to be burnt, because no proper priest is present to eat it (Di.).

dung] better, for distinction, offal,—viz. that removed from the animals offered in sacrifice: Leviticus 4:11; Leviticus 8:17; Leviticus 16:27, Numbers 19:5, Malachi 2:3†.

a sin offering] see on Leviticus 4.

Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
15–18. The burnt-offering (Leviticus 8:18-21),—such as would naturally form part of a solemn ceremony. On the ritual, see more fully Leviticus 1.

And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.
16. sprinkle] toss: viz. in a volume, out of a tossing-vessel or basin (see on Exodus 27:3). ‘Sprinkle’ not only conveys an incorrect idea of the action meant, but also confuses it with an entirely different action, correctly represented by ‘sprinkle’ (Leviticus 4:6; Leviticus 4:17; Leviticus 5:9 &c.): it is to be regretted that the distinction, obliterated in AV., but correctly pointed out in the Speaker’s Commentary (1. ii. 499b) in 1871, should not have been preserved in RV. The reader who desires to understand correctly the sacrificial ritual of the Hebrew should correct on the margin of his copy of the RV. toss or throw for ‘sprinkle’ (with against for ‘upon,’ where altar follows: see the next note) here, v. 20, Exodus 24:6, Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 1:11; Leviticus 3:2; Leviticus 3:8; Leviticus 3:13; Leviticus 7:2; Leviticus 7:14; Leviticus 8:19; Leviticus 8:24; Leviticus 9:12; Leviticus 9:18; Leviticus 17:6, Numbers 18:17; Numbers 19:13; Numbers 19:20 (but vv. 4, 18, 19, 21 ‘sprinkle’ is correct), 2 Kings 16:13; 2 Kings 16:15, Ezekiel 43:18, 2 Chronicles 29:22; 2 Chronicles 30:16; 2 Chronicles 35:11; also Ezekiel 36:25 and Exodus 9:8; Exodus 9:10.

upon] against. As the Jews expressly state, the blood was thrown not upon the altar, but against the sides of it, and in such a manner that with two movements of the ‘tossing-vessel’ the blood was thrown against its four sides (Zebâḥim v. 4 ff.; Rashi on Leviticus 1:5). So Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 1:11, &c.

And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head.
17. cutinto its pieces] i.e. divide it by its joints. So Leviticus 1:6 al.

and wash
, &c.] Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:13.

and put them, &c.] viz. on the altar: cf. v. 18, and Leviticus 1:8 f., 12 f.

And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
18. a burnt offering] see Leviticus 1.

a sweet savour] a soothing odour (McNeile), lit. an odour of rest giving, i.e. one composing and acceptable to the Deity. It is a technical expression for the fragrant odour emitted by a burning sacrifice, and is doubtless a survival from the time when the deity was supposed to be actually placated by the smell of the sacrificial smoke (see on v. 13). It is used, repeatedly by P (Leviticus 1:9; Lev Exo 1:13 &c.), and once by J (Genesis 8:21). Comp. the erêshê tâbu, or ‘goodly odour,’ offered to the Bab. gods (EB. iv. 4119; cf. Del. HWB. 121, 140a). ‘Sweet savour’ is a paraphrase based upon the rend. of LXX. ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας ‘an odour of a sweet smell’ (Php 4:18). Note that ‘savour’ in Old English meant not only taste (Matthew 5:13), but smell, as Joel 2:20, and 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 2:16 for ὀσμή: see DB., s.v.

an offering made by fire] in the Heb. one word,—as we might say, a firing. Another expression of the priestly terminology, used often by P (Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:13; Leviticus 1:17, &c.), and occurring also twice besides (Deuteronomy 18:1, 1 Samuel 2:28).

And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.
19–20. The second of the two rams (v. 1) to be killed, and its blood applied to the persons of Aaron and his sons (cf. Leviticus 8:22-24).

19–26. The installation-offering (cf. Leviticus 8:22-29). This was essentially a peace-offering,—the special characteristic of which was that the flesh of the sacrifice was partaken of by the offerer and his friends (cf. on Exodus 20:24; and see here vv. 32–34),—with modifications due to the particular occasion (such as the application of the blood to the priests and their garments, vv. 20, 21, the solemn ‘waving’ of the offerings in the priests’ hands, vv. 22–25, the special term ‘ram of installation,’ &c.). On the peace-offering in general, see Leviticus 3.

Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
20. The organs of hearing, handling, and walking are touched by the blood, implying that the priest is to have hallowed ears to listen to God’s commands, hallowed hands to perform his sacred offices, and hallowed feet to tread lightly the sacred places, as also to walk generally in holy ways (Kn. Di. Bä). Cf. Leviticus 8:23-24.

and sprinkle] and toss: see on v. 16.

21 (cf. Leviticus 8:30). A mixture of the sacrificial blood, and of the anointing oil (v. 7), to be sprinkled upon Aaron and his sons, and also upon their garments.

sprinkle] here this rend. is correct (Heb. hizzâh from nâzâh).

And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.
Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:
22. the fat, and] read with Sam. ‘the fat, (even)’: the fat tail, as Leviticus 3:9; Leviticus 7:3 shew, was part of the fat of the animal. So Di. (on Leviticus 8:25), Bä. &c.

the fat tail] Leviticus 3:9; Leviticus 7:3; Leviticus 8:25; Leviticus 9:19†; and probably to be restored in 1 Samuel 9:24 (for the ungrammatical ‘that which was upon it’). What is meant is the large tail of certain species of sheep, still bred in Palestine, and elsewhere, which was esteemed a delicacy. The tail is often so heavy as to need the support of a little cart (Hdt. iii. 113; EB. iv. 4441: see ill. in Jewish Encycl. xi. 50).

the caul] the appendix, as v. 13.

the right thigh] so rightly; not shoulder (RVm. = AV.). In the ordinary peace-offering this was the perquisite of the officiating priest (Leviticus 7:32 f.); here it is burnt ultimately (v. 25) upon the altar. The other parts mentioned were burnt regularly on the altar (Leviticus 3:9-11).

a ram of installation] lit. ‘of filling’ (sc. of hands): cf. the cognate verb in v. 9. ‘Consecration’ is not sufficiently distinctive. So vv. 26, 27, 31, 34; in the ║║, Leviticus 8:22; Leviticus 8:28-29; Lev Exo 8:31; Leviticus 8:33; and Leviticus 7:37†.

22–25. Symbolical investiture of the priests with authority to offer sacrifice. Select portions of the offerings to be placed on their open hands, waved, as they lie there, forwards and backwards before the altar, and finally burnt upon it (Leviticus 8:25-28).

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:
23. a loaf] a round (kikkâr)—corresponding to the ‘bread of unleavened cakes’ of v. 2. A circular flat ‘cake’ is meant, not what we should call a ‘loaf.’ For cake read perforated cake, as v. 2.

the basket (v. 3) of unleavened cakes that is before Jehovah] i.e. at the entrance of the Tent of meeting (v. 32; cf. Leviticus 8:3).

And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD.
24. hands] lit. palms; hence ‘upon,’ i.e. upon the open palms.

wave them] Moses is to ‘wave’ the offerings enumerated in vv. 22, 23, as they lie upon the priests’ hands, before Jehovah—i.e. to wave them not from right to left, but towards the altar and back. The ceremony of ‘waving’—first in H, Leviticus 23:11; Leviticus 23:20—is prescribed mostly for offerings which become ultimately the perquisite of the priests: and it seems to be intended as a symbolical expression of the fact that such offerings are first given to God, and then given back by Him to the priest for his own use (Di. on Leviticus 7:30, Now. ii. 239, Bä.): cf. Numbers 5:25; and see further on Leviticus 7:30. Here, as the offerings were afterwards, not given to the priests, but burned upon the altar (v. 25), the symbolism of the ceremony must be different; perhaps it is meant as a symbolical induction of the priests by Moses into their office of presenting sacrifices upon the altar (Bä.).

And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
25. Finally, Moses is himself—the priests being not as yet fully installed, and authorized to do so themselves—to take the offerings from their hands and burn them upon the altar. In Leviticus 8:28 the parts thus burnt are expressly called the installation(-offering).

burn them] consume them in sweet smoke, as v. 18.

upon the burnt offering] mentioned in v. 18.

for a soothing odour before Jehovah] See on v. 18.

And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it shall be thy part.
26. The breast of the ram to be ‘waved’ before Jehovah, and then ven to Moses (cf. Leviticus 8:29). The breast of the ordinary peace offering, after being ‘waved’ before Jehovah, was the perquisite of the priests (Leviticus 7:30 f.); here it is given analogously to Moses (who throughout the present ceremony acts the part of priest).

wave] used here in the strict sense explained on v. 24.

And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:
27. the breast of the wave offering] or, the wave breast, as this part of the peace-offering was technically called (Leviticus 7:34; Leviticus 10:14 al.).

the thigh of the heave offering elsewhere (Leviticus 7:34 al.) the heave thigh: better (see on Exodus 25:2), the thigh of the contribution, i.e. the thigh which was contributed by the worshipper to the priest. As was explained on Exodus 25:2, no rite of elevation is implied in the expression.

heaved up] contributed; lit. lifted up, or separated, from a large mass for a sacred purpose. Cf. Exo Exodus 35:24; and see DB. iii. 588a (5 a).

from the ram of installation, (even) from that which is for Aaron, and from that which, &c.] ‘that which’ (twice) is in apposition wit ‘the ram of installation.’

27–28. Both the breast and the thigh of the ram of installation to in perpetuity the perquisite of Aaron and his sons. The verses (which do not agree with vv. 22, 24; for the thigh which was there burnt on the altar is here to be the perquisite of the priests) are probably a later insertion, correcting v. 26, and harmonizing (though imperfectly) vv. 22, 25 with the practice that was usual in the case of a peace-offering, viz. for the priests to receive both the breast and the right thigh (Leviticus 7:32-34).

27–30. Two parenthetical regulations: neither in Leviticus 8.

And it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD.
28. for Aaron and his sons] in Leviticus 7:33 it is laid down that the ‘heave thigh’ is to be in particular the perquisite of the officiating priest.

a due (ḥôḳ; lit. statute) for ever] See on Exodus 27:21.

an heave offering (twice)] a contribution (v. 27); something ‘lifted off’ and separated from the rest of the sacrifice as a priestly due: cf. Numbers 18:8; Num Exo 18:11; Numbers 18:19.

of the sacrifices] out of would be clearer, as in the "" Leviticus 7:34.

peace offerings] See more fully on Leviticus 3, and Leviticus 7:28-34.

unto Jehovah] who, however, gives them back to the priests (Numbers 18:8).

And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them.
29. his sons] as v. 30 shews, the series of eldest sons, in the line o direct descent, are meant.

to be anointed in them] v. 7.

consecrated] installed, as v. 9.

29–30. The costly and decorated vestments of the high priest to be passed on to his successors in the office. Another parenthetic regulation, if not a later insertion: the continuation of v. 26 is clearly v. 31.

And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place.
30. Seven days] to be explained from v. 35.

when he cometh] i.e. first cometh. More clearly, who is to come.

And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place.
31. seethe] i.e. boil, as the word is actually rendered (in both AV. and RV.) in the parallel place, Leviticus 8:31.

its flesh] apart from the right thigh (v. 22), and, if v. 27 form an original part of the regulation, the breast.

in a holy place, i.e. in the court: see on Leviticus 6:16. In the║, Leviticus 8:31, ‘at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting,’ where also (as directed here in v. 32) it is to be eaten.

31–34. Continuation of v. 26 (cf. Leviticus 8:31-32). The sacrificial meal accompanying the peace-offering; the flesh of the ram of installation to be eaten by Aaron and his sons in the court of the Tent of Meeting. For the general principle, see Leviticus 7:15-21; and cf. on Exodus 18:12.

And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
32. that is in, &c.] that remains in it after the things mentioned in v. 23 have been taken from it.

And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
33. those things] the flesh and the bread of v. 32.

atonement] i.e. at-one-ment, setting at one, reconciliation, as in Shakespeare (e.g. Rich. III. i. 3. 36). This is always the meaning of ‘atonement’ in the Bible (as in Old English generally): the idea of amends or reparation for a fault, which the word now mostly suggests, is not implied in either its Hebrew or its Greek equivalent. See further DB. iv. 128; and on Exodus 30:10. The burnt-, the guilt-, and the sin offering are in P often said to ‘make atonement’ (see the references in DB. iv. 130a), but this is the only passage of P in which that is predicated of a peace-offering.

to consecrate] to install.

a stranger] Heb. zâr; i.e., here, one not a priest (see esp. Numbers 16:40), a frequent use of the word in P (Exodus 30:33, Numbers 3:10; Numbers 3:38; Numbers 18:7 al.; see further DB. iv. 622a, near the bottom). Quite a different word from the ones rendered stranger in Exodus 12:48 (gêr), and strange in Exodus 2:22 (nokri): see the notes on these passages, and Strange, Stranger, in DB.

And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
34. Cf. Leviticus 7:15 (P), Exodus 22:30 (H), both of a peace-offering; also above, Exodus 12:10.

consecration] installation (-sacrifice). See v. 31.

And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them.
35. To make it the more solemn and efficacious, the entire installation-ceremony is to be repeated every day for seven days (cf. Leviticus 8:33-35). In Lev. it is added that the priests are to remain during the whole of the seven days at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

consecrate] install.

And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.
36. offer] Heb. do: see on Exodus 10:25.

the bullock] a bullock (so the Heb.): upon independent grounds, also, the bullock of vv. 1, 10–14 can hardly be meant; for vv. 1, 10 speak only of atonement for the priests; and the ceremonies enjoined in v. 12 are in particular those prescribed in Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:25; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34 for persons. It is true, two clauses referring to the altar (‘and un-sinned the altar,’ ‘and sanctified it by making atonement for it’) are found in Leviticus 8:15 (the "" to v. 12 here); but the absence of any corresponding instructions in Exodus 29:12 raises the suspicion that they are later additions to the text, based upon vv. 36 f. here.

cleanse the altar] free the altar from sin, or, if it is permissible to coin a word, corresponding approximately to the single word ḥiṭṭç’ (see G.-K. § 52h) of the Heb., un-sin the altar. Either cleanse or purge (RVm.) leaves out a distinctive part of the Heb. idea: the Hebrew understood ‘sin’ in a wider sense than we do, and regarded it as capable of infecting even a material object. The word occurs in the same sense Leviticus 8:15 (of the altar, as here), Leviticus 14:49 (of a leprous house), Leviticus 14:52, Numbers 19:19 (RV. purify); Ezekiel 43:20; Ezekiel 43:22 (twice), 23 (all of the altar, Ezekiel 45:18 (of the sanctuary); Psalm 51:7 (purge)†; and in the reflexive conj., Numbers 8:21; Numbers 19:12 (twice), Numbers 19:13, Numbers 19:20, Numbers 31:19-20; Numbers 31:23†.

by thy making (marg.) atonement for it] on account of its being regarded as infected with sin. For other cases of ‘atonement’ being made for a material object—regarded either as affected by the natural impurity of human workmanship, or as tainted by contact with a sinful people—see (of the altar of burnt-offering) Lev Exo 8:15 (the execution of the present injunction), Ezekiel 43:20; Ezekiel 43:26, Leviticus 16:18; Leviticus 16:20; Leviticus 16:33; (of the altar of incense) ch. Exodus 30:10 b; (of the sanctuary) Ezekiel 45:20, Leviticus 16:16; Leviticus 16:20; Leviticus 16:33; (of a leprous house) Leviticus 14:53 (DB. iv. 131b).

thou shalt anoint it] Cf. Lev Exo 8:11 (in the insertion referred to on v. 7 above, between the words corresponding to v. 7a and v. 7b here). See on Exodus 30:26-29 (at the end).

36, 37. The altar to be fitted for sacred uses by atonement being made for it: the ceremony to be repeated, like the installation-ceremony, every day for seven days. The altar, as the work of human hands, was regarded as infected by a natural uncleanness, which had to be ceremonially removed before it could be used for sacred purposes. Cf. the atoning rites, to continue for seven days, prescribed by Ezek. for the installation of the altar of the restored Temple, Ezekiel 43:18-27.

Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.
37. most holy] a technical term of the priestly phraseology, applied to many different things brought specially near to God, e.g. to the altar of burnt-offering, here and Exodus 40:10; to the altar of incense, Exodus 30:10; to the Tent of Meeting and vessels belonging to it, Exodus 30:26-29; to the meal-offering, Leviticus 2:3, &c. (see a complete list in Daniel in the Camb. Bible, p. 137; also in Di.’s note on Leviticus 21:22, where its distinction from holy is explained).

shall become holy] i.e. become sacred to Jehovah, implying that, if it be a thing (‘whatsoever’), it will be forfeited to the sanctuary (cf. Numbers 16:37-38, where the censers which had rashly been made ‘holy,’ are retained in the service of the sanctuary, and made into beaten plates for the altar; Deuteronomy 22:9, Leviticus 27:10, Joshua 6:19 a, compared with 19b), and, if it be a person (‘whosoever,’ the more prob. rendering), not already properly consecrated, and so able to touch sacred things with impunity, that he is given over to the Deity to be dealt with by Him as He pleases. So Exodus 30:29, Leviticus 6:18 b, Leviticus 6:27; cf. Ezekiel 46:20 b, where ‘sanctify’ is to be similarly explained. We have here, as in the passages quoted, a survival of primitive ideas of ‘holiness.’ Holiness, i.e. consecration to a deity, is a contagious quality: thus the altar or the incense is holy, and whatever touches it becomes holy. What is holy must further be kept from profane use, and not touched, without due precaution, or by unfit persons; a person touching it in heedlessness or curiosity becomes thereby ‘holy’ himself, and may be dealt with by he Deity as He pleases, even to the extent of having to pay for his imprudence with his life: cf. 2 Samuel 6:6 f.; Numbers 4:15; Numbers 4:20; Numbers 16:37 end, 38a [read as RVm.]. See Dr Gray’s luminous note, Numbers, pp. 209–211, with the passages cited by him from Frazer’s Golden Bough, e.g. i. 321 (ed. 2), ‘In New Zealand the dread of the sanctity of chiefs was at least as great as in Tonga. Their ghostly power, derived from an ancestral spirit or atua, diffused itself by contagion over everything they touched, and could strike dead all who rashly or unwittingly meddled with it’; Rel. Sem. pp. 142 f., 427 ff. (ed. 2, pp. 152 f., 446 ff.); DB. iv. 826 f.

Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
38. the altar) the altar of burnt-offering, just referred to (v. 36 f.).

offer (twice)] lit. do, as v. 36 (see on Exodus 10:25). So v. 41.

of the first year] see on Exodus 12:5.

continually] i.e. regularly: see on Exodus 27:20, and cf. v. 42.

38–42. The burnt-offering, to be offered daily, morning and evening, on behalf of the community. A law in great measure verbally identical, but somewhat fuller, recurs in Numbers 28:3-8, in a table, Numbers 28-29, of public sacrifices prescribed for different days in the year. Here it interrupts the connexion between vv. 37 and 43; so it is probable (Di. al.) that it has been introduced here from Numbers 28 with some abridgements, and adjustments in vv. 38a, 42b, fitting it to its new place, by a later hand, just as Exodus 27:20 f. seems to have been similarly introduced from Leviticus 24:2 f. Its position (after v. 36 f.) is suitable: for the daily burnt-offering was a central and fundamental element in the worship (cf. Wellh. Hist. p. 80)—notice the terms in which its suspension by Antiochus Epiphanes is alluded to in Daniel 8:12 f., Daniel 11:31, Daniel 12:11—and its proper maintenance was one of the chief duties to be performed on the altar of v. 36 f.

The law, like Numbers 28:3-8 (cf. also Leviticus 6:9), regulates the post exilic usage. Before the exile, as 2 Kings 16:15 shews, it was the custom to offer a burnt-offering in the morning, but only a minḥâh, i.e. a cereal, or ‘meal,’ offering in the evening; Ezek. also (Ezekiel 48:13-15) prescribes for the restored temple only a morning burnt-offering (with accompanying meal-offering: he prescribes no evening offering at all). Before the exile the minḥâh thus held an independent position, as the evening offering: the present law duplicates the burnt-offering, and at the same time subordinates the evening minḥâh to the evening burnt-offering (cf. on v. 40).

The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:
39. between the two evenings] see on Exodus 12:6.

And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.
40. The minḥâh, or ‘meal-offering’ (see Leviticus 2), as it is expressly termed in the "" Numbers 28:5, which in P is the regular concomitant of a burnt-offering (see Numbers 15:1-12; and cf. Numbers 28:9; Numbers 28:12-13, &c.).

a tenth part (of an ephah)] Heb. ‘issârôn, only in P (28 times). The ephah was probably about 8 gallons, so the ‘issârôn would be about 6½ pints (see further Kennedy, in DB. iv. 912b, near the bottom).

fine flour] Genesis 18:6 and often: as the material of a meal-offering Leviticus 2:1; Leviticus 2:4-5; Leviticus 2:7, and elsewhere.

mingled withoil] as v. 2, Leviticus 2:4-5 al. A ‘hin’ (Jos. Ant. iii. 8. 3) was 1/6 of the ‘bath’ (the equivalent for liquid measure of the ephah for dry measure, Ezekiel 45:11) = about 1⅓ gallon; ¼ of a hin would thus be about 2⅔ pints. For the oil of superior quality called beaten oil, see on Exodus 27:20 : this is the only minḥâh for which it is prescribed.

a drink offering] or libation; also a frequent concomitant of the burnt-offering (Numbers 15:5; Numbers 15:7; Numbers 15:10; cf. Numbers 28:9; Numbers 28:14; Numbers 29:18; Numbers 29:21, &c.). According to Sir 50:15 it was poured out at the base of the altar. The amount, ¼ hin for a lamb, is the same as in Numbers 15:5; Numbers 28:14; for larger animals the amount was greater.

And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
41. do thereto, &c.] i.e. offer a similar meal-and drink-offering

for a soothing odour, &c.] see on v. 18.

This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.
42. a continual burnt offering] i.e. a burnt-offering recurring regularly: so Numbers 28:3; Numbers 28:6; Numbers 28:10; Numbers 28:15 al., Ezekiel 46:15. The same word continual (or continually) is also used often besides, esp. in P, of standing institutions of the theocracy, as Exodus 25:30 Heb., Exodus 27:20 (see the note), Exodus 28:29-30; Exodus 28:38; Exodus 30:8 al.

throughout your generations
] see on Exodus 12:14.

door] entrance.

where] i.e. in the Tent of Meeting; cf. Exodus 25:22, Exodus 30:36. For you, Sam. LXX. have thee, as in these passages. The clause beginning here leads on to vv. 43–46.

And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.
43. And I will meet there] There is no emph. on ‘there’ in the Heb. In its probable original context (see on vv. 38–42), at the altar.

the Tent] Heb. it, i.e., in its probable original context, the altar.

by my glory] When He enters it in His glory: see Exodus 40:34 f.; and cf. on Exodus 16:10. Tent, altar, and priests (v. 44) will alike be hallowed by the power of Jehovah’s sanctifying presence.

43–46. Conclusion to the whole body of directions (chs. 25–29). In the sanctuary thus erected, Jehovah will appear in His glory; and dwell permanently in the midst of His people. The purpose of its construction, as laid down in Exodus 25:8, is thus accomplished.

And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office.
And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
45. dwell among] cf. on Exodus 25:8.

will be to them a God] see on Exodus 6:7.

And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.
46. And they shall know] viz. by the evidences of His presence in their midst (cf. Exodus 16:6; Exodus 16:12). For other instances of the expression, see on Exodus 6:7.

I am Jehovah their God] a closing asseverative formula: see on Exodus 6:8
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