Exodus 29:36
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36) Thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it.—Rather, by making an atonement for it. The atonement was made by smearing the blood of the bullock upon the horns of the altar (Exodus 29:12, compared with Leviticus 8:15).

And thou shalt anoint it.—Comp. Leviticus 8:11, where we find that the altar was anointed by having the holy oil sprinkled upon it seven times. It is not quite clear at what period in the ceremonial this was done.

Exodus 29:36-37. The consecration of the altar seems to have been coincident with that of the priests; and the sin-offerings, which were offered every day for seven days together, had reference to the altar as well as the priests. An atonement was made for the altar — The altar was also sanctified; not only set apart itself to a sacred use, but made so holy as to sanctify the gifts that were offered upon it, Matthew 23:19. Christ is our altar, for our sakes he sanctified himself, that we and our performances might be sanctified and recommended to God, John 17:19.

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,A stranger - One of another family, i. e. in this case, one not of the family of Aaron. 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.

For atonement, as well for the priests as for the altar; both which, as they were or might be polluted, so they needed the sprinkling of this blood to sanctify them, to show that all persons and things were fitted for God’s service, and accepted by him only for and through the blood of Christ.

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.

And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for {m} atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

(m) To appease God's wrath that sin may be pardoned.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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.

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). Exodus 29:36Consecration 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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