Leviticus 9:23
And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Went into the tabernacle of the congregation.—Better, went into the tent of meeting. The sacrifices being ended, there still remained the burning of the incense on the golden altar which stood in the tabernacle. Hence Aaron, conducted by Moses, left the court where the altar of burnt offering stood, and where the sacrifices had been offered, and went into the holy place where the altar of incense stood to perform this last act of the ritual. (See Exodus 30:7, &c.) Having already delivered to Aaron the charge of all the things connected with the sacrifices in the court, Moses now also committed to him the care of the things within the sanctuary, showing him, at the same time, how to offer the incense, how to arrange the shewbread on the table, how to light and trim the lamps of the candlestick, &c., all of which were in the sanctuary. There can, however, hardly be any doubt that whilst there they prayed, as tradition informs us, for the promised manifestation of the Divine presence.

And came out, and blessed the people.—According to an ancient tradition embodied in the Chaldee Version of the Pentateuch, the blessing which Moses and Aaron unitedly bestowed upon the people on coming out of the sanctuary, was as follows :—“May the word of the Lord accept your sacrifice with favour, and remit and pardon your sins.”

And the glory of the Lord appeared.—To show his gracious acceptance of the institution of the priesthood, and of the whole service connected therewith, God manifested himself in the more luminous appearance of the cloudy pillar. This glorious appearance which, in a lesser degree, always filled the tabernacle, was now visible in greater effulgence to all the people who witnessed the installation. (Comp. Exodus 16:10; Exodus 40:34; 1Kings 8:10-12.)

Leviticus 9:23. And Moses — Went in with Aaron, to direct him, and to see him perform those parts of his office which were to be done in the holy place, about the lights, and the table of show-bread, and the altar of incense, upon which part of the blood of the sacrifices now offered was to be sprinkled, Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 4:16. And blessed the people — Prayed to God for his blessing upon them, as this phrase is explained Numbers 6:23, &c., and particularly for his gracious acceptation of these and all succeeding sacrifices, and for his signification thereof by some extraordinary token. And the glory of the Lord — Either a miraculous brightness shining from the cloudy pillar, as Exodus 16:10, or a glorious and visible discovery of God’s gracious presence and acceptance of the present service.9:22-24 When the solemnity was finished, and the blessing pronounced, God testified his acceptance. There came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed the sacrifice. This fire might justly have fastened upon the people, and have consumed them for their sins; but its consuming the sacrifice signified God's acceptance of it, as an atonement for the sinner. This also was a figure of good things to come. The Spirit descended upon the apostles in fire. And the descent of this holy fire into our souls, to kindle in them pious and devout affections toward God, and such a holy zeal as burns up the flesh and the lusts of it, is a certain token of God's gracious acceptance of our persons and performances. Nothing goes to God, but what comes from him. We must have grace, that holy fire, from the God of grace, else we cannot serve him acceptably, Heb 12:28. The people were affected with this discovery of God's glory and grace. They received it with the highest joy; triumphing in the assurance given them that they had God nigh unto them. And with the lowest reverence; humbly adoring the majesty of that God, who vouchsafed thus to manifest himself to them. That is a sinful fear of God, which drives us from him; a gracious fear makes us bow before him.Aaron, having now gone through the cycle of priestly duties connected with the brass altar, accompanies Moses into the tent of Meeting. It was reasonable that Moses, as the divinely appointed leader of the nation, should induct Aaron into the tabernacle.

Blessed the people - This joint blessing of the mediator of the Law and the high priest was the solemn conclusion of the consecration and Inauguration. (Compare 2 Chronicles 6:3-11.) According to one tradition, the form used by Moses and Aaron resembled Psalm 90:17. But another form is given in the Targum of Palestine, "May your offerings be accepted, and may the Lord dwell among you and forgive you your sins."

23. Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle—Moses, according to the divine instructions he had received, accompanied Aaron and his sons to initiate them into their sacred duties. Their previous occupations had detained them at the altar, and they now entered in company into the sacred edifice to bear the blood of the offerings within the sanctuary.

the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people—perhaps in a resplendent effulgence above the tabernacle as a fresh token of the divine acceptance of that newly established seat of His worship.

Moses went in with

Aaron to direct him, and to see him perform those parts of his office which were to be done in the holy place, about the lights, and the table of shewbread, and of the altar of incense, upon which part of the blood of the sacrifices now offered was to be sprinkled, according to the law, Leviticus 4:7,18.

Blessed the people, i.e. prayed to God for his blessing upon the people, as this phrase is explained, Numbers 6:23, &c., and particularly for his gracious acceptation of these and all succeeding sacrifices, and for his signification thereof by some extraordinary token, which accordingly happened,

The glory of the Lord; either a miraculous brightness shining from the cloudy pillar, as Exodus 16:10 Numbers 14:10; or a glorious and visible discovery of God’s gracious presence and acceptance of the present ministry and service, as it follows. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation,.... They went out of the court where the altar of burnt offering stood, and where Aaron had been offering the sacrifices; and they went into the holy place, where stood the altar of incense, the shewbread table, and the candlestick; and it is probable Moses went in with Aaron thither, to show him how to offer the incense, to order the shewbread on the table, and to light and trim the lamps of the candlestick; and so Jarchi observes, that he went in to teach him concerning the business of the incense; but it may be, it was also to pray for the people, as the Targum, and for the Lord's appearance to them, as was promised and expected, and that fire might descend on the sacrifices as a token of acceptance of them, as Aben Ezra notes:

and came out, and blessed the people; Aaron had blessed them before, but now both Moses and Aaron blessed them, atonement being made by the sacrifice of Christ, and law and justice thereby fully satisfied; Christ and the law agree together in the blessing of the Lord's people; way was hereby made for the communication of blessings to them, consistent with the law of God, and his holiness and justice, Galatians 3:10,

and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people: some visible signs of his glory, some very great splendour or lustre, or breaking forth of his glory; or Christ, the glory of the Father, appeared in an human form, as a pledge of his future incarnation, when all the above sacrifices, which were types of him, would have their accomplishment; and this being immediately upon the offering of them, may signify that the glory of God greatly appears in the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ, and in the redemption and salvation of his people in that way, Psalm 21:4 and the glorious and gracious presence of God is enjoyed by his people, in consequence of the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, which was signified by the mercy seat, from whence the Lord communed; and it is through Christ, his blood and sacrifice, saints have access to God, and fellowship with him, Ephesians 2:18.

And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and {i} blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.

(i) Or prayed for the people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting] The meaning of this action is not explained and the clause has been interpreted in various ways. If it be regarded as introducing Aaron to the tent of meeting, and to the duties which he had to perform there, the reason why Aaron has not hitherto brought any of the blood into the Holy place is apparent.Verse 23. - Moses (for the last time) and Aaron (for the first time) went into the tabernacle in the character of priest. During this visit Moses committed to Aaron the care of the things within the tabernacle, as he had already given him the charge of all connected with the sacrifices of the court. Not till after this is Aaron fully initiated into his office. "No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Hebrews 5:4). On coming out from the tabernacle, Moses and Aaron, standing near the door, unite in blessing the congregation, in order to show the harmony between them and the capacity of blessing in the Name of the Lord enjoyed by Aaron as by Moses. The latter has now divested himself of that part of his office which made him the one mediator between God and his people, Aaron is henceforth a type of Christ as well as Moses. While giving the joint blessing, the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people, proceeding from the ark, and enveloping the lawgiver and the priest as they stood together. Of the sacrifices of the nation, Aaron presented the sin-offering in the same manner as the first, i.e., the one offered for himself (Leviticus 9:8.). The blood of this sin-offering, which was presented for the congregation, was not brought into the holy place according to the rule laid down in Leviticus 7:16., but only applied to the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; for the same reason as in the previous case (Leviticus 9:8.), viz., because the object was not to expiate any particular sin, or the sins of the congregation that had been committed in the course of time and remained unatoned for, but simply to place the sacrificial service of the congregation in its proper relation to the Lord. Aaron was reproved by Moses, however, for having burned the flesh (Leviticus 10:16.), but was able to justify it (see at Leviticus 10:16-20). The sin-offering (Leviticus 9:16) was also offered "according to the right" (as in Leviticus 5:10). Then followed the meat-offering (Leviticus 9:17), of which Aaron burned a handful upon the altar (according to the rule in Leviticus 2:1-2). He offered this in addition to the morning burnt-offering (Exodus 29:39), to which a meat-offering also belonged (Exodus 29:40), and with which, according to Leviticus 6:12., the special meat-offering of the priests was associated. Last of all (Leviticus 9:18-21) there followed the peace-offering, which was also carried out according to the general rule. In המכסּה, "the covering" (Leviticus 9:19), the two fat portions mentioned in Leviticus 3:3 are included. The fat portions were laid upon the breast-pieces by the sons of Aaron, and then handed by them to Aaron, the fat to be burned upon the altar, the breast to be waved along with the right leg, according to the instructions in Leviticus 7:30-36. The meat-offering of pastry, which belonged to the peace-offering according to Leviticus 7:12-13, is not specially mentioned.
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