Levitical Anointings
Leviticus 8:10-12
And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.…

The subjects of these anointings, as brought under our notice in the text, are, generally, "the tabernacle and all that was therein." From amongst these included things we have afterwards particularly specified, "the altar and all his vessels," and "the laver and his foot." The anointing of Aaron also is distinctly mentioned. We shall review these in order.


1. This was an emblem of the moral universe. The holy places represented the heavens (Hebrews 8:1, 2). Thus

(1) the most holy place, where the shechinah was, represented the "heaven of heavens," the "third heaven," or that which, by way of distinction and excellence, is called "heaven itself" (Hebrews 9:24).

(2) The holy place, which must be passed through in order to reach the most holy, represented those regions of the moral universe through which Jesus passed on his way from his cross to the throne of his majesty (Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 7:26). In that passage he was "in paradise," and sometimes manifesting himself to his disciples (see Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:23-32; Luke 23:43; Luke 24:15, 16, 31, 36, 51). The spiritual world is not far from us.

(3) If the most holy place represented the "third heaven," and the holy place leading to it the second, then the court of the priests will stand for the first. It describes the "kingdom of heaven" on earth, in other words, the spiritual Church of God. In this we are already "come," in faith and hope and joy, "unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem," etc., and hear the very voice of Jesus from the heavens above us (see Hebrews 12:22-25).

(4) The courts outside represented the Church in its visible part, viz. the court of Israel, the court of the women, and the court of the Gentiles. The distinctions which formerly existed here are now done away, so that instead of three, the courts are one (see Galatians 3:25-28; Ephesians 2:11-19). It is well to be found in these courts, for all outside are in alienation. But we should not rest satisfied with the profession of the outer court. Without the spiritual experience of the court of the priests we can never pass into the heavens "whither the Forerunner is for us entered" (Hebrews 6:19, 20).

2. It was sanctified with the holy anointing oil (verse 10).

(1) This oil represented the Holy Spirit in his gifts and graces (comp. Acts 1:5 with Acts 10:38; see also 2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 27). It was of peculiar composition. The formula is given in Exodus 30:23-25; but on pain of excommunication it must not be put to common use (Exodus 30:31-33). The person and offices of the Holy Ghost must be held in the greatest reverence; to profane these is fatal wickedness (Matthew 12:31, 32).

(2) With this oil the tabernacle was "sanctified," that is, separated to God. It was so separated to him for services of worship. Also to be a shadow of heavenly things. So the moral universe is claimed by God. The gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit arc the principles of universal sanctification.


1. The altar and all his vessels.

(1) This is obviously the altar of burnt offerings which stood in the court of the priests. The "vessels" were those for receiving the blood of the sacrifices, and all the implements used in connection with the service of the altar.

(2) It typified Calvary, the altar upon which the Great Sacrifice of the gospel was offered. And taken in a grander sense, in consistency with the magnificence of the figure in which the tabernacle represents the great universe of God, this earth was the altar upon which our Lord was offered.

(3) The altar was sprinkled with the oil "to sanctify it." The earth is thereby marked out as destined to be sanctified to God, and sanctified too by the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. It was sprinkled "seven times," to show the perfectness of that sanctification. And is not this the burden of prophetic hope (Psalm 37:10, 11, 34; Isaiah 11:6-9)?

2. The laver and his foot.

(1) This also was located in the court of the priests. In it they washed their hands and feet, and also the parts of the sacrifices requiring washing according to the Law.

(2) The anointing of this was "to sanctity it," or separate it to God. It was separated to him for the purposes of the ceremonial service. It was also separated, to represent the "laver of regeneration" under the gospel, or the "renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). Those who are spiritually baptized into Christ are anointed with the gifts and graces of his Holy Spirit.


1. The oil was poured upon Aaron's head.

(1) This anointing was profuse. "Poured" (see Psalm 133:2).

(2) It was "to sanctify him." He was thus separated to accomplish the service of God in the tabernacle. He was also separated to typify the Great High Priest of the gospel.

2. But when was the true oil poured upon Jesus?

(1) We have seen that, as Aaron was washed with water, so was Jesus, viz. at the Jordan (notes on verses 1-6). But the baptism of Jesus there was not so truly that conferred by John as that which came upon him from heaven (Matthew 3:16).

(2) The second act in the consecration of Christ appears to have been in the mount of transfiguration. There he had the "oil that maketh the face to shine," and was "anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows" (Psalm 45:7). This dazzling luster of the Holy Spirit was so profuse as to stream not only out of the pores of his skin, but to brighten all his raiment (comp. Psalm 133:2; Matthew 17:2).

(3) As at the Jordan the voice of the Father was heard from the excellent glory approving, so on Tabor the same voice is heard again (comp. Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5). He that received the Spirit "not by measure" is emphatically THE Messiah, THE Anointed One. - J.A.M.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.

WEB: Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and sanctified them.

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