Exodus 40:15
And you shall anoint them, as you did anoint their father, that they may minister to me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
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(15) Thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father.—By the narrative of Leviticus 8, it would seem that Aaron’s sons were not anointed in the same way as himself. He had the oil poured over his head (Leviticus 8:12; Psalm 133:2). They were merely sprinkled with a mixture of oil and blood (Leviticus 8:30). The difference implied a lower degree of official holiness.

Their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood.—The Jewish commentators maintain that the one anointing of the sons of Aaron sufficed for all time, and was not repeated in the case of any subsequent priests, who became fully possessed of the sacerdotal office without it. Each high priest was, on the contrary, inducted into his office by anointing, whence the high priest came to be spoken of as “the anointed priest (Leviticus 4:3; Leviticus 4:5; Leviticus 4:16; Leviticus 21:12, &c.).

Exodus 40:15. Their anointing shall be an everlasting priesthood — A seal that their priesthood shall continue as long as the Jewish polity lasts. He signifies that this unction should be sufficient for all succeeding priests. None were afterward anointed but the high-priests.40:1-15 When a new year begins, we should seek to serve God better than the year before. In half a year the tabernacle was completed. When the hearts of numbers are earnest in a good cause, much may be done in a short time; and when the commandments of God are continually attended to, as the rule of working, all will be done well. The high-priesthood was in the family of Aaron till Christ came, and in Him, the substance of all these shadows, it continues for ever.Most holy - In Exodus 40:9 the tabernacle and its utensils are said to be rendered holy by the anointing; the altar and its utensils are in Exodus 40:10 said to be "most holy". The difference does not express a higher degree of holiness: it is only used as a caution. The position of the altar exposed it to the chance of being touched by the people when they assembled in the court, while they were not permitted to enter the tabernacle. The tabernacle itself, with all that belonged to it, is called most holy in Exodus 30:29. 15. anoint them, as thou didst anoint their fathers—The sacred oil was used, but it does not appear that the ceremony was performed exactly in the same manner; for although the anointing oil was sprinkled over the garments both of Aaron and his sons (Ex 29:21; Le 8:30), it was not poured over the heads of the latter. This distinction was reserved for the high priest (Ex 29:7; Le 8:12; Ps 133:2). i.e. A sign or seal that their priesthood shall continue as long as their polity lasts, till the coming of Messias. He signifies that this unction should be sufficient for all succeeding priests; they should not need to be anointed again, except the successive high priests. See Exodus 29:7,29 Le 4:3 16:32 21:10 And thou shall anoint them as thou didst anoint their father,.... For Aaron was first anointed, and then his sons:

that they may minister unto me in the priest's office; which they might not do before their anointing, though separated for it, and called unto it:

for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations; that is, this ceremony of anointing was to be used in all ages at the investiture of the high priest with his office, until the Messiah should come, who would put an end to the Aaronic priesthood; for not common priests, only the successors of the high priest, were anointed in later times; this present unction serving for all the priests that should follow in successive generations, so long as the priesthood continued.

And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing {d} shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.

(d) Till both the priesthood and the ceremonies should end, which is at Christ's coming.

15a. For the common priests being anointed exactly as the high-priest (not prescribed in ch. 29), see Exodus 28:41; and cf. on Exodus 30:30.

15b. an everlasting priesthood] It is to be for ever hereditary in Aaron’s family. A perpetual priesthood is also promised to Aaron’s ‘sons’ in Exodus 29:9 : but it is not, as here, based upon their being anointed; in fact, no anointing is there prescribed for them at all. The Rabbis, understanding the pron. in ‘their anointing’ to refer to Aaron’s sons alone, inferred that the anointing of Aaron’s actual sons sufficed for the ordinary priests in all future ages, and that in the case of the ordinary priests the ceremony was never afterwards repeated (cf. Di., and Kalisch, Leviticus, pp. 666–8). But this is a forced and artificial interpretation: their and to them refer naturally to Aaron and his sons together (Di.).Verse 15. - Thou shalt anoint them as thou didst anoint their father. The mode of anointing does not seem to have been identical in the two cases. The oil was first poured upon Aaron's head (Leviticus 8:12; Psalm 133:2), and afterwards sprinkled upon him (Leviticus 8:30). It was, apparently, only sprinkled upon the priests (ib,). This was a lower form of anointing; and hence the high priest was sometimes called "the anointed priest" (Leviticus 4:5, 16; Leviticus 6:22; Leviticus 16:32, etc.). Their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood. The Rabbinical commentators maintain that these words apply to the ordinary priests only, and on the strength of them establish a difference between the ordinary priests and the high priests. The latter were in every ease to be anointed to their office. A single anointing sainted for the former. It is scarcely necessary to say that there is no Scriptural ground for this distinction. The natural sense of the words is, rather, that as long as the anointing continued, the priesthood should continue. After the completion of all the works, the command was given by God to Moses to set up the dwelling of the tabernacle on the first day of the first month (see at Exodus 19:1), sc., in the second year of the Exodus (see Exodus 40:17), and to put all the vessels, both of the dwelling and court, in the places appointed by God; also to furnish the table of shew-bread with its fitting out (ערכּו equals לחם ערך Exodus 40:23), i.e., to arrange the bread upon it in the manner prescribed (Exodus 40:4 cf. Leviticus 24:6-7), and to put water in the laver of the court (Exodus 40:7). After that he was to anoint the dwelling and everything in it, also the altar of burnt-offering and laver, with the anointing oil, and to sanctify them (Exodus 40:9-11); and to consecrate Aaron and his sons before the door of the tabernacle, and clothe them, anoint them, and sanctify them as priests (Exodus 40:12-15). When we read here, however, that the dwelling and the vessels therein would be rendered "holy" through the anointing, but the altar of burnt-offering "most holy," we are not to understand this as attributing a higher degree of holiness to the altar of burnt-offering than to the dwelling and its furniture; but the former is called "most holy" merely in the sense ascribed to it in Exodus 30:10 namely, that every one who touched it was to become holy; in other words, the distinction has reference to the fact, that, standing as it did in the court, it was more exposed to contact from the people than the vessels in the dwelling, which no layman was allowed to enter. In this relative sense we find the same statement in Exodus 30:29, with reference to the tabernacle and all the vessels therein, the dwelling as well as the court, that they would become most holy in consequence of the anointing (see the remarks on Exodus 30:10). It is stated provisionally, in Exodus 40:16, that this command was fulfilled by Moses. But from the further history we find that the consecration of the priests did not take place contemporaneously with the erection of the tabernacle, but somewhat later, or not till after the promulgation of the laws of sacrifice (cf. Leviticus 8 and Leviticus 1:1.).
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