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Leviticus 8:1--9:24

Context
Ordination of the Priests

8:1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 1  8:2 “Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, the anointing oil, the sin offering bull, the two rams, and the basket of unleavened bread, 8:3 and assemble the whole congregation at the entrance of the Meeting Tent.” 2  8:4 So Moses did just as the Lord commanded him, and the congregation assembled at the entrance of the Meeting Tent. 8:5 Then Moses said to the congregation: “This is what the Lord has commanded to be done.”

Clothing Aaron

8:6 So Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. 8:7 Then he 3  put the tunic 4  on Aaron, 5  wrapped the sash around him, 6  and clothed him with the robe. 7  Next he put the ephod on him 8  and placed on him 9  the decorated band of the ephod, and fastened the ephod closely to him with the band. 10  8:8 He then set the breastpiece 11  on him and put the Urim and Thummim 12  into the breastpiece. 8:9 Finally, he set the turban 13  on his head and attached the gold plate, the holy diadem, 14  to the front of the turban just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Anointing the Tabernacle and Aaron, and Clothing Aaron’s Sons

8:10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. 15  8:11 Next he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times and so anointed the altar, all its vessels, and the wash basin and its stand to consecrate them. 8:12 He then poured some of the anointing oil on the head of Aaron and anointed him to consecrate him. 8:13 Moses also brought forward Aaron’s sons, clothed them with tunics, wrapped sashes around them, 16  and wrapped headbands on them 17  just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Consecration Offerings

8:14 Then he brought near the sin offering bull 18  and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the sin offering bull, 8:15 and he slaughtered it. 19  Moses then took the blood and put it all around on the horns of the altar with his finger and decontaminated the altar, 20  and he poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar and so consecrated it to make atonement on it. 21  8:16 Then he 22  took all the fat on the entrails, the protruding lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat, 23  and Moses offered it all up in smoke on the altar, 24  8:17 but the rest of the bull – its hide, its flesh, and its dung – he completely burned up 25  outside the camp just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 26 

8:18 Then he presented the burnt offering ram and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram, 8:19 and he slaughtered it. 27  Moses then splashed the blood against the altar’s sides. 8:20 Then he 28  cut the ram into parts, 29  and Moses offered the head, the parts, and the suet up in smoke, 8:21 but the entrails and the legs he washed with water, 30  and Moses offered the whole ram up in smoke on the altar – it was a burnt offering for a soothing aroma, a gift to the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 31 

8:22 Then he presented the second ram, the ram of ordination, 32  and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram 8:23 and he slaughtered it. 33  Moses then took some of its blood and put it on Aaron’s right earlobe, 34  on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe 35  of his right foot. 8:24 Next he brought Aaron’s sons forward, and Moses put some of the blood on their right earlobes, on their right thumbs, and on the big toes of their right feet, and Moses splashed the rest of the blood against the altar’s sides.

8:25 Then he took the fat (the fatty tail, 36  all the fat on the entrails, the protruding lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and their fat 37 ) and the right thigh, 38  8:26 and from the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened loaf, one loaf of bread mixed with olive oil, and one wafer, 39  and placed them on the fat parts and on the right thigh. 8:27 He then put all of them on the palms 40  of Aaron and his sons, who waved 41  them as a wave offering before the Lord. 42  8:28 Moses then took them from their palms and offered them up in smoke on the altar 43  on top of the burnt offering – they were an ordination offering for a soothing aroma; it was a gift to the Lord. 8:29 Finally, Moses took the breast and waved it as a wave offering before the Lord from the ram of ordination. It was Moses’ share just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Anointing Aaron, his Sons, and their Garments

8:30 Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and his sons’ garments with him. So he consecrated Aaron, his garments, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him. 8:31 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “Boil the meat at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, and there you are to eat it and the bread which is in the ordination offering basket, just as I have commanded, 44  saying, ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it,’ 8:32 but the remainder of the meat and the bread 45  you must burn with fire. 8:33 And you must not go out from the entrance of the Meeting Tent for seven days, until the day when your days of ordination are completed, because you must be ordained over a seven-day period. 46  8:34 What has been done 47  on this day the Lord has commanded to be done 48  to make atonement for you. 8:35 You must reside at the entrance of the Meeting Tent day and night for seven days and keep the charge of the Lord so that you will not die, for this is what I have been commanded.” 8:36 So Aaron and his sons did all the things the Lord had commanded through 49  Moses.

Inauguration of Tabernacle Worship

9:1 On the eighth day 50  Moses summoned 51  Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, 9:2 and said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both flawless, and present them before the Lord. 9:3 Then tell the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat 52  for a sin offering and a calf and lamb, both a year old and flawless, 53  for a burnt offering, 9:4 and an ox and a ram for peace offerings to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with olive oil, for today the Lord is going to appear 54  to you.’” 9:5 So they took what Moses had commanded to the front of 55  the Meeting Tent and the whole congregation presented them and stood before the Lord. 9:6 Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded you to do 56  so that the glory of the Lord may appear 57  to you.” 9:7 Moses then said to Aaron, “Approach the altar and make your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement on behalf of yourself and on behalf of the people; 58  and also make the people’s offering and make atonement on behalf of them just as the Lord has commanded.”

The Sin Offering for the Priests

9:8 So Aaron approached the altar and slaughtered the sin offering calf which was for himself. 9:9 Then Aaron’s sons presented the blood to him and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar, and the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 9:10 The fat and the kidneys and the protruding lobe of 59  the liver from the sin offering he offered up in smoke on the altar just as the Lord had commanded Moses, 9:11 but the flesh and the hide he completely burned up 60  outside the camp. 61 

The Burnt Offering for the Priests

9:12 He then slaughtered the burnt offering, and his sons 62  handed 63  the blood to him and he splashed 64  it against the altar’s sides. 9:13 The burnt offering itself they handed 65  to him by its parts, including the head, 66  and he offered them up in smoke on the altar, 9:14 and he washed the entrails and the legs and offered them up in smoke on top of the burnt offering on the altar.

The Offerings for the People

9:15 Then he presented the people’s offering. He took the sin offering male goat which was for the people, slaughtered it, and performed a decontamination rite with it 67  like the first one. 68  9:16 He then presented the burnt offering, and did it according to the standard regulation. 69  9:17 Next he presented the grain offering, filled his hand with some of it, and offered it up in smoke on the altar in addition to the morning burnt offering. 70  9:18 Then he slaughtered the ox and the ram – the peace offering sacrifices which were for the people – and Aaron’s sons handed 71  the blood to him and he splashed it against the altar’s sides. 9:19 As for the fat parts from the ox and from the ram 72  (the fatty tail, the fat covering the entrails, 73  the kidneys, and the protruding lobe of the liver), 9:20 they 74  set those on the breasts and he offered the fat parts up in smoke on the altar. 9:21 Finally Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh as a wave offering before the Lord just as Moses had commanded.

9:22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them and descended from making the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering. 9:23 Moses and Aaron then entered into the Meeting Tent. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 9:24 Then fire went out from the presence of the Lord 75  and consumed the burnt offering and the fat parts on the altar, and all the people saw it, so they shouted loudly and fell down with their faces to the ground. 76 

1 sn Lev 8 is the fulfillment account of the ordination legislation recorded in Exod 29, and is directly connected to the command to ordain the tabernacle and priesthood in Exod 40:1-16 as well as the partial record of its fulfillment in Exod 40:17-38.

2 sn For “tent of meeting” see the note on Lev 1:1 above.

3 sn Here Moses actually clothes Aaron (cf. v. 13 below for Aaron’s sons). Regarding the various articles of clothing see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 111-12 and esp. J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:501-13.

4 sn The term “tunic” refers to a shirt-like garment worn next to the skin and, therefore, put on first (cf. Exod 28:4, 39-40; 29:5, 8; 39:27). Traditionally this has been translated “coat” (so KJV, ASV), but that English word designates an outer garment.

5 tn Heb “on him”; the referent (Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “girded him with the sash” (so NASB); NCV “tied the cloth belt around him.”

sn The sash fastened the tunic around the waist (Exod 28:4, 39; 29:9; 39:29).

7 sn The robe was a long shirt-like over-garment that reached down below the knees. Its hem was embroidered with pomegranates and golden bells around the bottom (Exod 28:4, 31-35; 29:5; 39:22-26).

8 sn The ephod was an apron like garment suspended from shoulder straps. It draped over the robe and extended from the chest down to the thighs (Exod 28:4, 6-14, 25-28; 29:5; 39:2-7).

9 tn Heb “girded him with.”

10 sn The decorated band of the ephod served as a sort of belt around Aaron’s body that would hold the ephod closely to him rather than allowing it to hang loosely across his front (Exod 28:8, 27; 29:5; 39:5, 20).

11 sn The breastpiece was made of the same material as the ephod and was attached to it by means of gold rings and chains on its four corners (Exod 28:15-30; 29:5; 39:8-21). It had twelve stones attached to it (representing the twelve tribes of Israel), and a pocket in which the Urim and Thummim were kept (see following).

12 sn The Urim and Thummim were two small objects used in the casting of lots to discern the will of God (see Exod 28:30; Num 27:21; Deut 33:8; 1 Sam 14:41 in the LXX and 28:6; Ezra 2:63 and Neh 7:65). It appears that by casting them one could obtain a yes or no answer, or no answer at all (1 Sam 28:6; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 111-12). See the extensive discussion in J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:507-11.

13 tn Although usually thought to be a “turban” (and so translated by the majority of English versions) this object might be only a “turban-like headband” wound around the forehead area (HALOT 624 s.v. מִצְנֶפֶת).

sn The turban consisted of wound-up linen (cf. Exod 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6; 39:31; Lev 16:4).

14 sn The gold plate was attached as a holy diadem to the front of the turban by means of a blue cord, and had written on it “Holy to the Lord” (Exod 28:36-37; 39:30-31). This was a particularly important article of high priestly clothing in that it served as the main emblem indicating Aaron’s acceptable representation of Israel before the Lord (Exod 28:38).

15 sn The expression “and consecrated it” refers to the effect of the anointing earlier in the verse (cf. “to consecrate them/him” in vv. 11 and 12). “To consecrate” means “to make holy” or “make sacred”; i.e., put something into the category of holy/sacred as opposed to common/profane (see Lev 10:10 below). Thus, the person or thing consecrated is put into the realm of God’s holy things.

16 tc The MT has here “sash” (singular), but the context is clearly plural and Smr has it in the plural.

tn Heb “girded them with sashes” (so NAB, NASB); NRSV “fastened sashes around them.”

17 tn Heb “wrapped headdresses to them”; cf. KJV “bonnets”; NASB, TEV “caps”; NIV, NCV “headbands”; NAB, NLT “turbans.”

sn Notice that the priestly garments of Aaron’s sons are quite limited compared to those of Aaron himself, the high priest (cf. vv. 7-9 above). The terms for “tunic” and “sash” are the same but not the headgear (cf. Exod 28:40; 29:8-9; 39:27-29).

18 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]).

19 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).

20 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.

21 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.

22 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).

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

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

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

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

27 tn Aaron probably did the slaughtering (cf. the notes on Lev 8:15-16 above).

28 tn Again, Aaron probably cut the ram up into parts (v. 20a), but Moses presented them on the altar (v. 20b; cf. the note on v. 15 above).

29 tn Heb “cut it into its parts.” One could translate here, “quartered it” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:133; cf. Lev 1:6, 12 above).

30 tn Again, Aaron probably did the washing (v. 21a), but Moses presented the portions on the altar (v. 21b; cf. the note on v. 15 above).

31 tn See Lev 1:9, 13.

32 tn For “ordination offering” see Lev 7:37

33 tn Again, Aaron probably did the slaughtering (cf. the notes on Lev 8:15-16 above).

34 tn Heb “on the lobe of the ear of Aaron, the right one.”

35 tn The term for “big toe” (בֹּהֶן, bohen) is the same as that for “thumb.” It refers to the larger appendage on either the hand or the foot.

36 tn See Lev 3:9.

37 tn See Lev 8:16.

38 tn See Lev 7:32-34.

39 tn See Lev 2:4.

40 sn The “palms” refer to the up-turned hands, positioned in such a way that the articles of the offering could be placed on them.

41 tn Heb “and he waved.” The subject of the verb “he waved” is Aaron, but Aaron’s sons also performed the action (see “Aaron and his sons” just previously). See the similar shifts from Moses to Aaron as the subject of the action above (vv. 15, 16, 19, 20, 23), and esp. the note on Lev 8:15. In the present translation this is rendered as an adjectival clause (“who waved”) to indicate that the referent is not Moses but Aaron and his sons. Cf. CEV “who lifted it up”; NAB “whom he had wave” (with “he” referring to Moses here).

42 sn See Lev 7:30-31, 34.

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

44 tn Several major ancient versions have the passive form of the verb (see BHS v. 31 note c; cf. Lev 8:35; 10:13). In that case we would translate, “just as I was commanded.”

45 tn Heb “but the remainder in the flesh and in the bread”; NAB, CEV “what is left over”; NRSV “what remains.”

46 tn Heb “because seven days he shall fill your hands”; KJV “for seven days shall he consecrate you”; CEV “ends seven days from now.”

sn It is apparent that the term for “ordination offering” (מִלֻּאִים, milluim; cf. Lev 7:37 and the note there) is closely related to the expression “he shall fill (Piel מִלֵּא, mille’) your hands” in this verse. Some derive the terminology from the procedure in Lev 8:27-28, but the term for “hands” there is actually “palms.” It seems more likely that it derives from the notion of putting the priestly responsibilities (or possibly its associated prebends) under their control (i.e., “filling their hands” with authority; see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:538-39). The command “to keep the charge of the Lord” in v. 35 and the expression “by the hand of Moses” (i.e., under the authoritative hand of Moses, v. 36) may also support this interpretation.

47 tn Heb “just as he has done” (cf. the note on v. 33).

48 tn Heb “the Lord has commanded to do” (cf. the note on v. 33).

49 tn Heb “by the hand of” (so KJV).

50 sn This eighth day is the one after the seven days of ordination referred to in Lev 8:33-35.

51 tn Heb “called to”; CEV, NLT “called together.”

52 tn Heb “a he-goat of goats.”

53 tn Heb “and a calf and a lamb, sons of a year, flawless”; KJV, ASV, NRSV “without blemish”; NASB, NIV “without defect”; NLT “with no physical defects.”

54 tn The verb is either a prophetic perfect (“will appear to you”) as in the MT (cf. IBHS §30.5.1.e; so many English versions), or a futurum instans participle (“is going to appear to you”) as in the LXX and several other versions (see the BHS footnote; cf. IBHS 627 §37.6f). In either case, the point is that Moses was anticipating that the Lord would indeed appear to them on this day (cf. vv. 6, 22-24).

55 tn Heb “to the faces of.”

56 tn Heb “which the Lord commanded you shall/should do.”

57 tn Heb “and the glory of the Lord will appear,” but the construction with the simple vav (ו) plus the imperfect/jussive (וְיֵרָא, vÿyera’; literally, “and he will appear”) suggests purpose in this context, not just succession of events (i.e., “so that he might appear”).

58 tn Instead of “on behalf of the people,” the LXX has “on behalf of your house” as in the Hebrew text of Lev 16:6, 11, 17. Many commentaries follow the LXX here (e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:578; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 118) as do a few English versions (e.g., NAB), but others argue that, as on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16), the offerings of the priests also effected the people, even though there was still the need to have special offerings made on behalf of the people as reflected in the second half of the verse (e.g., B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 56).

59 tn Heb “from.”

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

61 sn See Lev 4:5-12 and the notes there regarding the sin offering for priest(s). The distinction here is that the blood of the sin offering for the priests was applied to the horns of the burnt offering altar in the court of the tabernacle, not the incense altar inside the tabernacle tent itself. See the notes on Lev 8:14-15.

62 tn For smoothness in the English translation, “his” was used in place of “Aaron’s.”

63 tn The verb is a Hiphil form of מָצָא, matsa’, “to find” (i.e., causative, literally “to cause to find,” but here the meaning is “to hand to” or “pass to”; see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 117-18, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:581-82). The distinction between this verb and “presented” in v. 9 above (see the note there) is that in v. 9 Aaron’s sons held the bowl while Aaron manipulated some of the blood at the altar, while here in v. 12 they simply handed the bowl to him so he could splash all the blood around on the altar (Milgrom, 581).

64 tn For “splashed” (also in v. 18) see the note on Lev 1:5.

65 tn See the note on v. 12.

66 tn Heb “and the burnt offering they handed to him to its parts and the head.”

67 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).

68 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.

69 tn The term “standard regulation” (מִשְׁפָּט, mishpat) here refers to the set of regulations for burnt offering goats in Lev 1:10-13. Cf. KJV “according to the manner”; ASV, NASB “according to the ordinance”; NIV, NLT “in the prescribed way”; CEV “in the proper way.”

70 sn The latter part of the verse (“in addition to the morning burnt offering”) refers to the complex of morning (and evening) burnt and grain offerings that was the daily regulation for the tabernacle from the time of its erection (Exod 40:29). The regulations for it were appended to the end of the section of priestly consecration regulations in Exod 29 (see Exod 29:38-40) precisely because they were to be maintained throughout the priestly consecration period and beyond (Lev 8:33-36). Thus, the morning burnt and grain offerings would already have been placed on the altar before the inaugural burnt and grain offerings referred to here.

71 tn See the note on Lev 9:12.

72 tn Heb “And the fat from the ox and from the ram.”

73 tn The text here has only the participle “the cover” or “that which covers,” which is elliptical for “the fat which covers the entrails” (see Lev 3:3, 9, 14; 7:3).

74 tn The plural “they” refers to the sons of Aaron (cf. v. 18). The LXX, Smr, and Syriac have singular “he,” referring to Aaron alone as in the latter half of the verse (the singular is followed here by NLT). Cf. NCV “Aaron’s sons put them.”

75 tn Heb “from to the faces of the Lord.” The rendering here is based on the use of “my faces” and “your faces” referring to the very “presence” of the Lord in Exod 33:14-15.

76 tn Heb “fell on their faces.” Many English versions and commentaries render here “shouted for joy” (e.g., NIV; cf. NCV, NLT) or “shouted joyfully,” but the fact the people “fell on their faces” immediately afterward suggests that they were frightened as, for example, in Exod 19:16b; 20:18-21.



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