8:15 and he slaughtered it. 1 Moses then took the blood and put it all around on the horns of the altar with his finger and decontaminated the altar, 2 and he poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar and so consecrated it to make atonement on it. 3
1 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).
2 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.
3 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
4 tn The expression “and performed a decontamination rite [with] it” reads literally in the MT, “and decontaminated [with] it.” The verb is the Piel of חטא (kht’, Qal = “to sin”), which means “to decontaminate, purify” (i.e., “to de-sin”; see the note on Lev 8:15).
5 sn The phrase “like the first one” at the end of the verse refers back to the sin offering for the priests described in vv. 8-11 above. The blood of the sin offering of the common people was applied to the burnt offering altar just like that of the priests.