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Leviticus 8:14-17

Context
Consecration Offerings

8:14 Then he brought near the sin offering bull 1  and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the sin offering bull, 8:15 and he slaughtered it. 2  Moses then took the blood and put it all around on the horns of the altar with his finger and decontaminated the altar, 3  and he poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar and so consecrated it to make atonement on it. 4  8:16 Then he 5  took all the fat on the entrails, the protruding lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, 6  and Moses offered it all up in smoke on the altar, 7  8:17 but the rest of the bull – its hide, its flesh, and its dung – he completely burned up 8  outside the camp just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 9 

1 sn See Lev 4:3-12 above for the sin offering of the priests. In this case, however, the blood manipulation is different because Moses, not Aaron (and his sons), is functioning as the priest. On the one hand, Aaron and his sons are, in a sense, treated as if they were commoners so that the blood manipulation took place at the burnt offering altar in the court of the tabernacle (see v. 15 below), not at the incense altar inside the tabernacle tent itself (contrast Lev 4:5-7 and compare 4:30). On the other hand, since it was a sin offering for the priests, therefore, the priests themselves could not eat its flesh (Lev 4:11-12; 6:30 [23 HT]), which was the normal priestly practice for sin offerings of commoners (Lev 6:26[19], 29[22]).

2 sn Contrary to some English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT), Aaron (not Moses) most likely slaughtered the bull, possibly with the help of his sons, although the verb is singular, not plural. Moses then performed the ritual procedures that involved direct contact with the altar. Compare the pattern in Lev 1:5-9, where the offerer does the slaughtering and the priests perform the procedures that involve direct contact with the altar. In Lev 8 Moses is functioning as the priest in order to consecrate the priesthood. The explicit reintroduction of the name of Moses as the subject of the next verb seems to reinforce this understanding of the passage (cf. also vv. 19 and 23 below).

3 tn The verb is the Piel of חָטָא (khata’, “to sin”) and means “to de-sin” the altar. This verse is important for confirming the main purpose of the sin offering, which was to decontaminate the tabernacle and its furniture from any impurities. See the note on Lev 4:3.

4 tn Similar to v. 10 above, “and consecrated it” refers to the effect of the blood manipulation earlier in the verse. The goal here was to consecrate the altar in order that it might become a place on which it would be appropriate “to make atonement” before the Lord.

5 tn Again, Aaron probably performed the slaughter and collected the fat parts (v. 16a), but Moses presented it all on the altar (v. 16b; cf. the note on v. 15 above).

6 sn See Lev 3:3-4 for the terminology of fat and kidneys here.

7 tn Heb “toward the altar” (see the note on Lev 1:9).

8 tn Heb “he burned with fire,” an expression which is sometimes redundant in English, but here means “burned up,” “burned up entirely.”

9 sn See Lev 4:11-12, 21; 6:30 [23 HT].



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