Exodus 29:12
And you shall take of the blood of the bullock, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
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(12) Thou shalt take of the blood . . . and put it upon the horns of the altar.—It has been already noticed that the virtue of the altar was considered to reside especially in its horns; hence fugitives clung to them (1Kings 1:50; 1Kings 2:28). In all sin offerings it was required (1) That some of the victim’s blood should be smeared upon the altar’s horns; and (2) That the remainder should be poured at its base (Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:18; Leviticus 4:30; Leviticus 4:34).

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,Door of the tabernacle - Entrance of the tent. See Leviticus 8:3.10-22. And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle—This part of the ceremonial consisted of three sacrifices: (1) The sacrifice of a bullock, as a sin offering; and in rendering it, the priest was directed to put his hand upon the head of his sacrifice, expressing by that act a consciousness of personal guilt, and a wish that it might be accepted as a vicarious satisfaction. (2) The sacrifice of a ram as a burnt offering (Ex 29:15-18). The ram was to be wholly burnt, in token of the priest's dedication of himself to God and His service. The sin offering was first to be presented, and then the burnt offering; for until guilt be removed, no acceptable service can be performed. (3) There was to be a peace offering, called "the ram of consecration" (Ex 29:19-22). And there was a marked peculiarity in the manner in which this other ram was to be disposed of. The former was for the glory of God—this was for the comfort of the priest himself; and as a sign of a mutual covenant being ratified, the blood of the sacrifice was divided—part sprinkled on the altar round about, and part upon the persons and garments of the priests. Nay, the blood was, by a singular act, directed to be put upon the extremities of the body, thereby signifying that the benefits of the atonement would be applied to the whole nature of man. Moreover, the flesh of this sacrifice was to be divided, as it were, between God and the priest—part of it to be put into his hand to be waved up and down, in token of its being offered to God, and then it was to be burnt upon the altar; the other part was to be eaten by the priests at the door of the tabernacle—that feast being a symbol of communion or fellowship with God. These ceremonies, performed in the order described, showed the qualifications necessary for the priests. (See Heb 7:26, 27; 10:14). Upon the horns of the altar; not of incense, as some would have it, but of the burnt-offerings, as may appear,

1. Because it was that altar at the bottom whereof the blood was to be poured, as it is here expressed; but that was not done at the altar of incense, as is evident and confessed. Compare Leviticus 16:18, &c.

2. It was that altar upon which the parts of the sacrifices were burnt, as it here follows, Exodus 29:13, for there is no distinction here between the two altars. It is true, in the following sin-offerings of the priests the blood was put upon the horns of the altar of incense, Leviticus 4:7. But it must be considered,

1. That the blood was not poured out at the bottom of that altar.

2. Because Aaron and his sons were not yet complete priests, but private persons, and therefore did this at the same altar which the people used in their sin-offerings, Leviticus 4:25,30. And thou shalt take the blood of the bullock,.... Being slain, and its blood received into a basin:

and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger; not sprinkle it with hyssop, as was done in some cases, but put on with the finger dipped into the blood in the basin; as the horns of the altar were the place where the sacrifice was bound, as some think, or however where persons in distress fled for refuge, and laid hold on, it may figure the blood of Christ, being effectual to the cleansing of their souls, and the remission of their sins, through the application of it to them by the Spirit of God:

and pour all the blood beside at the bottom of the altar; the rest of the blood not put upon the horns of the altar, all that was left of it. Jarchi says, there was a receptacle (for it) that protruded from around the altar, about a cubit from the ground; and here it was that the blood was poured.

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.Verse 12. - Thou shalt take of the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar. The virtue of the altar was regarded as residing especially in its horns. Here expiation was obtained by the blood - "which is the life " - of the victim being first smeared upon the four horns, and then the remainder poured out at the altar's base. Such was the usual practice with "sin-offerings" (Leviticus 4:7) whereof this was to be the first example. Consecration of Aaron and his Sons through the anointing of their persons and the offering of sacrifices, the directions for which form the subject of vv. 1-35. This can only be fully understood in connection with the sacrificial law contained in Leviticus 1-7. It will be more advisable therefore to defer the examination of this ceremony till we come to Leviticus 8, where the consecration itself is described. The same may also be said of the expiation and anointing of the altar, which are commanded in Exodus 29:36 and Exodus 29:37, and carried out in Leviticus 8:11.
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