Leviticus 8:1
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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(1) And the Lord spake unto Moses.—As the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood which the Lord commanded Moses to effect (Exodus 28:1-43) was to be accompanied by different kinds of sacrifices (Exodus 29:1-37), it was first of all necessary to define the ritual of each sacrifice. This was therefore done in Leviticus 1-7, and the lawgiver now proceeds to record the communication which he received from the Lord respecting the appointment to the sacerdotal office, thus resuming the narrative which was broken off at the end of Exodus.

Leviticus 8:1-2. The Lord spake unto Moses — This is here premised to show that Moses did not confer the priesthood upon his brother Aaron because of his relation or affection to him, but by God’s appointment. Take Aaron, and his sons with him — All directions which were needful being given respecting sacrifices, and the rites belonging to them, Moses is now ordered to consecrate the priests according to the injunctions given before, Exodus 28., 29., and 30.8:1-13 The consecration of Aaron and his sons had been delayed until the tabernacle had been prepared, and the laws of the sacrifices given. Aaron and his sons were washed with water, to signify that they ought to purify themselves from all sinful dispositions, and ever after to keep themselves pure. Christ washes those from their sins in his own blood whom he makes kings and priests to our God, Re 1:5,6; and those that draw near to God must be washed in pure water, Heb 10:22. The anointing of Aaron was to typify the anointing of Christ with the Spirit, which was not given by measure to him. All believers have received the anointing.wilderness of Sinai - Compare Exodus 19:1. CHAPTER 8

Le 8:1-36. Moses Consecrates Aaron and His Sons.Moses by God’s command calls together Aaron and his sons, and the whole congregation, Leviticus 8:1-5. Washes Aaron and his sons, Leviticus 8:6. Puts on the priestly garments, Leviticus 8:7-9. Anoints the tabernacle, with the altar and laver, to sanctify them, Leviticus 8:10,11. Anoints Aaron, Leviticus 8:12. Puts the holy garments on his sons, Leviticus 8:13. Offers sacrifices for them; a bullock for a sin-offering, Leviticus 8:14-17; and a ram for a burnt-offering, Leviticus 8:18-21; and a second ram for consecration; uses the blood about some parts of their bodies; gives the parts into their hands to wave before the Lord, and sprinkles of the anointing oil and blood from upon the altar on them and their garments, Leviticus 8:22-30. Declares to them God’s charge, which they perform, Leviticus 8:31-36.

This is here premised, to show that Moses did not confer the priesthood upon Aaron by virtue of his relation or affection to him, but by God’s appointment, which also appears from the following story.

And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... The following section or paragraph, relating to the consecration of Aaron and his sons, was delivered, according to Jarchi, seven days before the setting up of the tabernacle; but to me it seems to have been delivered after the setting it up, since it was out of the tabernacle that the Lord said all those things recorded in the preceding chapters; and after he had given out the laws concerning sacrifices, then he renewed the order for the consecration of Aaron and his sons, that they might offer them:

saying; as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
The Consecration of Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 8:1-17)

1. See critical note on these chapters in App. I (b), pp. 159 ff.

Instructions to consecrate Aaron and his sons have already been given, Exodus 29:1-37. The account given in this chapter follows very closely the words of Exodus 29, with which it should be carefully compared.

The ceremonies connected with the consecration were: (a) washing (Leviticus 8:6), (b) vesting (Leviticus 8:7-9; Leviticus 8:13), (c) anointing (Leviticus 8:10-12), (d) offering sacrifices, which were of three kinds; (1) a Sin-Offering (Leviticus 8:14-17), (2) a Burnt-Offering (Leviticus 8:18-21), (3) the ram of consecration (Leviticus 8:22-32), which was treated as a Peace-Offering, but with additional ritual appropriate to the special occasion.Verses 1-5. - These verses contain the preliminaries of the ceremony of consecration. Aaron and his sons are to be brought to the door of the tabernacle, together with all that is necessary for the performance of the rite that is about to take place. The words in the second verse, a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread, should be translated, the bullock for the sin offering and the two rams and the basket. The garments, the anointing oil, the bullock, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread and cakes, had all been previously enjoined, when Moses was on the mount (Exodus 28, 29, 30). These previous injunctions are referred to in the words, This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done (verse 5). His hands were to bring the firings of Jehovah, i.e., the portions to be burned upon the altar (Leviticus 1:9), viz., "the fat (the fat portions, Leviticus 3:3-4) with the breast," - the former to be burned upon the altar, the latter "to wave as a wave-offering before Jehovah." חזה, τὸ στηθύνιον (lxx), i.e., according to Pollux, τῶν στηθῶν τὸ μέσον, pectusculum or pectus (Vulg. cf. Leviticus 9:20-21; Leviticus 10:15), signifies the breast, the breast-piece of the sacrificial animals,

(Note: The etymology of the word is obscure. According to Winer, Gesenius, and others, it signifies adspectui patens; whilst Meier and Knobel regard it as meaning literally the division, or middle-piece; and Dietrich attributes to it the fundamental signification, "to be moved," viz., the breast, as being the part moved by the heart.)

the brisket, which consists for the most part of cartilaginous fat in the case of oxen, sheep, and goats, and is one of the most savoury parts; so that at the family festivities of the ancients, according to Athen. Deipnos. ii. 70, ix. 10, στηθύνια παχέων ἀρνίων were dainty bits. The breast-piece was presented to the Lord as a wave-offering (tenuphah), and transferred by Him to Aaron and his sons (the priests). תּנוּפה, from נוּף, הניף, to swing, to move to and fro (see Exodus 35:22), is the name applied to a ceremony peculiar to the peace-offerings and the consecration-offerings: the priest laid the object to be waved upon the hands of the offerer, and then placed his own hands underneath, and moved the hands of the offerer backwards and forwards in a horizontal direction, to indicate by the movement forwards, i.e., in the direction towards the altar, the presentation of the sacrifice, or the symbolical transference of it to God, and by the movement backwards, the reception of it back again, as a present which God handed over to His servants the priests.

(Note: In the Talmud (cf. Gemar. Kiddush 36, 2, Gem. Succa 37, 2, and Tosaphta Menach. 7, 17), which Maimonides and Rashi follow, tenuphah is correctly interpreted ducebat et reducebat; but some of the later Rabbins (vid., Outram ut sup.) make it out to have been a movement in the direction of the four quarters of the heavens, and Witsius and others find an allusion in this to the omnipresence of God-an allusion which is quite out of character with the occasion.)

In the peace-offerings the waving was performed with the breast-piece, which was called the "wave-breast" in consequence (Leviticus 7:34; Leviticus 10:14-15; Numbers 6:20; Numbers 18:18; Exodus 29:27). At the consecration of the priests it was performed with the fat portions, the right leg, and with some cakes, as well as with the breast of the fill-offering (Leviticus 8:25-29; Exodus 29:22-26). The ceremony of waving was also carried out with the sheaf of first-fruits at the feast of Passover; with the loaves of the first-fruits, and thank-offering lambs, at the feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:11, Leviticus 23:20); with the shoulder and meat-offering of the Nazarite (Numbers 6:20); with the trespass-offering of the leper (Leviticus 14:12, Leviticus 14:24); with the jealousy-offering (Numbers 5:25); and lastly with the Levites, at their consecration (Numbers 8:11.). In the case of all these sacrifices, the object waved, after it had been offered symbolically to the Lord by means of the waving, became the property of the priests. But of the lambs, which were waved at the feast of Pentecost before they were slaughtered, and of the lamb which was brought as a trespass-offering by the leper, the blood and fat were given up to the altar-fire; of the jealousy-offering, only an azcarah; and of the fill-offering, for special reasons, the fat portions and leg, as well as the cakes. Even the Levites were given by Jehovah to the priests to be their own (Numbers 8:19). The waving, therefore, had nothing in common with the porricere of the Romans, as the portions of the sacrifices which were called porriciae were precisely those which were not only given up to the gods, but burned upon the altars. In addition to the wave-breast, which the Lord gave up to His servants as their share of the peace-offerings, the officiating priest was also to receive for his portion the right leg as a terumah, or heave-offering, or lifting off. שׁוק is the thigh in the case of a man (Isaiah 47:2; Sol 5:15), and therefore in the case of an animal it is not the fore-leg, or shoulder (βραχηίων, armus), which is called זרע, or the arm (Numbers 6:19; Deuteronomy 18:3), but the hind-leg, or rather the upper part of it or ham, which is mentioned in 1 Samuel 9:24 as a peculiarly choice portion (Knobel). As a portion lifted off from the sacrificial gifts, it is often called "the heave-leg" (v. 34; Leviticus 10:14-15; Numbers 6:20; Exodus 29:27), because it was lifted or heaved off from the sacrificial animal, as a gift of honour for the officiating priest, but without being waved like the breast-piece-though the more general phrase, "to wave a wave-offering before Jehovah" (Leviticus 10:15), includes the offering of the heave-leg (see my Archaeologie i. pp. 244-5).

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